Of Note…and Notes

Make Music LA is an eleven-hour celebration of musical creativity that will take place on June 21, 2012 throughout the entire county of Los Angeles – including Santa Monica! Many city sidewalks, parks, community gardens, street corners and schoolyards will become backdrops or stages for free concerts. Local musicians and venues can register and sign up at Make Music LA. Reed Park and the Annenberg Community Beach House both have open slots available for local musicians and bands. For questions or to sign up to perform at these venues please contact Allison Ostrovsky at 310-458-8350 or allison.ostrosvky@smgov.net.

Bike Critter Art Contest

The Santa Monica Museum of Art presents an exciting opportunity for artists of all ages! Draw your very own “bike critter” to be featured as the signature artwork for Tour da Arts, SMMoA’s 4th annual cultural bike event . Submissions must be in black and white. The winning drawing will be announced July 1, 2012. Participation is free and open to all ages. Submit your bike critter image by Thursday, June 21 at midnight!

My Name is Asher Lev, Santa Monica Rep, Saturday, June 2, 2pm

A new series of staged readings of classic and contemporary plays at Santa Monica Library by the Santa Monica Rep Theater Company will begin with Aaron Posner’s “My Name Is Asher Lev.” Based on Chaim Potok’s classic novel, it’s the story of a young painter, brought up in a strict, Hasidic Jewish home, who struggles with issues of faith and tradition versus art and individualism. Santa Monica Rep is a young and very talented theater company that has attracted followers and won acclaim with its 2010/11 series of readings at Santa Monica Public Library, an artists in-residence production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at the Annenberg Beach House, and recent productions of David Auburn’s “Proof” at The Church in Ocean Park and Ruth McKee’s “The Rubber Room” at the Miles Playhouse.

Admission is free. Tickets available on a first come first served basis. Limited seating. Arrive 30 minutes before show to guarantee a seat.For more information: 310-458-8600. Santa Monica Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

Two Added Shows of “Little Red,” Santa Monica Playhouse, Saturday, June 2, 3pm & Sunday, June 3, 12:30pm

Popular demand has required two additional performances of “The Adventures of Little Red (Riding Hood, of course).” It’s the Rudie-DeCarlo musical comedy, a reworking of the classic fairy tale, featuring a sweetly independent Little Red, the discombobulated Huntsman Siegfried Spitznase, not one but three wayward Grandmamas, and the oh-so-charming, not the least bit scary, Baron Wolfgang von Wolfgang, Junior as the only “wolf” in sight. “An enchanting journey through the Black Forest replete with romance, lots of laughs, and musical and lyrical ideas brazenly borrowed from Gilbert & Sullivan…filled with ever-surprising delights that will lift up your spirits.” (This Week in Show Business).

Admission: $12.50 general admission, $10.50 for kids 12 and under. For more information: 310-394-9779 x2
Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St.

The 100cameras Exhibition Fundraiser: Through the Lens of a Child
Hamilton Galleries and Tony Shalhoub, Saturday, June 2, 5-10pm

Hamilton Galleries and Tony Shalhoub present The 100cameras Exhibition Fundraiser “Through the Lens of a Child.”

100cameras gives marginalized children the means to document their lives through photography and to create positive change in their own communities. The exhibit showcases the work of some of these children. See their perspectives and celebrate their voices. 100% of the money from the children’s purchased prints is used to raise awareness and capital to meet physical needs and sustain growth within the unique community.

Free admission. RSVP to Denise Hooper at RSVP@100cameras.org.
For more information: 310-451-9983. Hamilton Galleries, 1431 Ocean Ave.

Artist Reception: Margaret W. Gallegos “Reverie.” FIG. Saturday, June 2, 5-7pm
Margaret W. Gallegos’s new work is a joyful tumble of shapes, an explosion of airy color, and a solid dose of playfulness. Underlying Gallegos’ work is a seriousness, a knowledge that we can never fully escape the problems of our world. However, with these new paintings, Gallegos indulges some reverie. Shapes play against each other, float in embracing atmospheres, sweep and swirl, taking flight as if caught in a wondrous tornado, dancing across ever-evolving landscapes. Color vibrates. Brushstrokes search out hidden pleasures. These are paintings that speak of a love for life: curious, bold, whimsical but firmly planted, cheerfully sharing yet teasingly elusive.

Free admission. For more information: 310-829-0345. Bergamot Station G6, 2525 Michigan Ave.

National Children’s Chorus: Voices of the Far East, The Broad Stage. Saturday, June 2, 7pm

For this exhilarating series finale, the Broad goes global, presenting an NCC collaboration full of new languages, unusual vocal techniques, and odd and unexpected instruments. Westsiders will find themselves musically transported to Asia to hear the ways Western choral traditions have adapted Eastern folk music and to marvel at sounds and rhythms rarely heard west of the 405.
Tickets: B $35, A $45, Premium $67. For more information: 310-434-3200. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St.


SAMOHI is only four blocks from the Pacific Ocean, so it is utterly
Fitting that the SAMOHI Band will set sail on a water-themed pops concert on Tuesday, June 5th, at 7 PM in historic Barnum Hall.

The Band program includes all sorts of brilliant music as it travels both above and below the sea to perform its most refreshing Pops Concert in years.

The SAMOHI Concert Bands and Symphonic Winds will play some of their favorite water-themed television and movie songs. Then… The Samohi Wind Ensemble will perform the West Coast premiere of Julie Giroux’s “POSEIDON.” Giroux is a prolific and award-winning composer of orchestral and concert band music.

In her own words:
“Poseidon is a musical portrait of the Greek god Poseidon and is divided into five thrilling sections; The Ocean, The Sea Horses, Poseidon’s Chariot, Medusa and Pegasus and The Maelstrom! The piano, harp and sometimes the vibraphone most often represent the rippling of water as sunshine dances through it. The lower brass often represents Poseidon himself.”

This is an extremely challenging piece that most high schools would not even attempt to perform! But the Samohi Wind Ensemble, recently described as one of the best High School Wind Ensembles in the nation, will BLOW YOU AWAY. This concert is a must-see event for music and water lovers!

$10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students. “It’s the best entertainment value in town!”


Dear Commissioners,

With regard to last night’s hearing, it’s demeaning to suggest that a developer with a base cost of +/-$4.5m and possibly (?) a yearly negative of $150,000 for a total of $5.5m in cost from 2006-2013, can’t turn a profit in developing 2 acres of property. But if in fact that’s the case, he should not be in this business and he certainly shouldn’t be building a project of this massive density!!!

Please do the right & honorable thing.

Ron Goldman FAIA

P.S. and who is this “peer” financial expert who doesn’t seem to understand Richard McKinnon’s accurate question along with other misleading statements (??)

Goldman Firth Rossi Architects
Malibu, California
Fax. 310-456-7690


The Planning Commission met last night, continuing its meeting of May 23. Last night, as last week, the subject was a very large no-name proposed mixed use development. Should the Commission recommend that the City Council approve a relocation plan for the residents of the Village Trailer Park, which is in the way of the development, the Environmental Impact Report and the commencement of negotiations for a Development Agreement?

Last week, there were 40-some speakers, last night, there were six. The Commissioners spent a long time talking first to the developer and then to the lead planner on the project. Sometimes, they asked questions. Sometimes, they just listened. The developer and the planner seemed in synch. The Commissioners seemed uneasy.

But, last night as last week, the real subject was the Village Trailer Park – as fact and symbol. It is home to some of our oldest, wisest and most vulnerable residents, and it is singular, unique – a fragment from another time, and quite valuable – an oasis in a hectic surround. And it is in jeopardy as it’s in the way of what some people call “progress.”

But what’s going on isn’t progress, it’s greed – plain, old greed and it has seized Santa Monica like a disease. It was born and bloomed in City Hall, and now City policies, City projects, Council decisions are all infected by it.

Though some residents have got a bad case of greed, many of us are horrified by it, but clearly we must do more than nod sadly when another good building or place disappears and is replaced by another mediocre monument to money…and greed.

Last night, after another four hours, the Commission adjourned without making a decision. They will meet again on June 20. They know what to do, they’re simply afraid to do it – it’s too radical, too….decisive.

They should read the two following articles, so should you, and everyone else who loves this gloriously idiosyncratic beach town. If they don’t set your hair on fire, then you might want to take more vitamins. There are many more of us, after all, it’s our town, we have the the final vote, and there’s an election this year.


Village Trailer Park — Issues raised at May 23rd meeting

By Zina Josephs

Subj: Village Trailer Park Development Agreement

Dear Planning Commissioners, 1) At the May 23rd Planning Commission meeting, an attorney from the Legal Aid Society stated that 90% of the VTP residents are elderly and/or disabled. One is 94 years old, and another is terminally ill. The Tenant Impact Report (TIR) doesn’t address “relocation stress syndrome,” which can cause death. The attorney stated that the TIR should be rejected. And, if the trailer park is closed, residents should be compensated for the “in-site value” of their trailers and according to the size of their trailers, not just given a flat sum.

2) Also at the May 23rd Planning Commission meeting, attorney Sabrina Venskus stated that:

a) The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is deficient.

b) The Development Agreement should not be heard until the Bergamot Area Plan is adopted.
(This is confirmed by a memo from former Planning Director Eileen Fogarty.)

c) By having begun re-location prior to the Planning Commission and City Council approving the Development Agreement, city departments have made it a “fait accompli.”

d) The developer comes to the Commission asking for a “gift” of $40 million by allowing increased density.
The LUCE and the Interim Zoning Ordinance offer a “possibility,” not a “right” to develop. The City is under no obligation to approve the project.

e) There’s nothing in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that requires the city to approve the Development agreement.

f) The city could claim that preserving a portion of the park could be considered a “public benefit” in exchange for upzoning. Existing residents could remain, and development could be done on the
remaining portion.

g) The developer could also “flip” the property once he gets approval of the Development Agreement.

3) Also at the May 23rd Planning Commission meeting, architect Ron Goldman presented a Powerpoint that described an alternate project in which the eastern portion of the VTP property (adjacent to residential properties) would remain a trailer park, and the western portion (adjacent to the future Roberts Business Center) could be developed.

4) Biological Resources — Under the proposed project, more than 100 mature trees would be destroyed, along with shrubs and flowering plants. The goal of the city’s Urban Master Plan and the “city as arboretum” is to increase canopy, especially in low-canopy areas of the city. Village Trailer Park currently has 107 trees and a variety of ornamental shrubs and flowers. The trees consist of 27 species, including 27 jacarandas, 17 Brazilian pepper trees, 16 weeping figs, and 1 coast redwood tree that is not considered “viable for relocation.”

5) Land Use — Section 4.10-3 – One of the LUCE goals is to “preserve and enhance neighborhoods.” The Village Trailer Park utilities were upgraded a few years ago. With proper care, all 109 spaces at Village Trailer Park could easily be filled, and the neighborhood could flourish. It’s difficult to see how destroying the Village Trailer Perk would preserve this neighborhood, which has existed since 1950.

6) Turning homeowners into subsidized renters — Section 4.10-17 – “The proposed project would provide 52 affordable housing units.” Currrently, Village Trailer Park residents own their mobile homes and rent their spaces. The space rental is covered by the city’s Rent Control ordinance. If the residents are displaced from their mobile homes, they will have to pay much higher rents for a “studio” apartment. They will no longer be homeowners.

7) Neighborhood Effects — The proposed project includes 393 residential units, with 227 market-rate condos — including 108 lofts, 83 one-bedroom units, and 36 two-bedroom units. 84% of the market rate units in the proposed project will only house one or two people. Of the apartments, there would be 73 studio units (38 affordable) and 93 one-bedroom units (14 affordable). Again, these would house only one or two people. How is the city to develop stable family neighborhoods with such a preponderance of lofts and one-bedroom units?

8) Section 4.13-4 – “Population density” in terms of housing units per square mile. LA County has 861 housing units per square mile. Santa Monica has 6,134 housing units per square mile. Why is the city considering approval of 4-story buildings to further increase density?

9) Section 4.13-10 – “Population displacement impacts would be less than significant?” The significance of the “displacement impacts” is a matter of opinion. Moving from a mobile home with lots of windows and cross-ventilation, surrounded by trees and shrubs and flowers, into a concrete box with windows/light only on one side would have quite an impact on anyone, let alone an elderly and/or ill person.

10) Section 2.3 – “Significant and unavoidable” impacts in the neighborhood, with increased traffic volumes in intersections and on neighborhood street segments. Section 2.21 describes 2,360 net new daily car trips.

11) Section 4.10-18 discusses “Cumulative Impacts,” including 2834 Colorado Avenue (192,000 sq ft — Colorado Creative Studio Project/Lionsgate) and 2848-2912 Colorado Avenue (300,000 sq ft — Roberts Business Center). But it does not include the potential cumulative impacts from the following:

– Agensys (153,000 sq ft at 1800 Stewart)
– Bergamot Transit Village (750,000 sq ft on Olympic between 26th and Stewart)
– New Roads School (117,000 sq ft expansion at 3131 Olympic)
– Paseo Nebraska (356,000 sq ft at 3025 Olympic,1820 Berkeley, and 3020-3060 Nebraska)
– SMC Academy of Entertainment & Technology (48,750 sq ft expansion at 1660 Stewart)

Including Village Trailer Park’s 399,581 sq ft, this adds up to 2,031,331 sq ft of development in that one small area. Where are the estimates for the cumulative environmental impacts from all of that? Where is the Bergamot Area Master Plan for which the city accepted more than $600,000 from the federal government?

12) Traffic impacts – It’s estimated that the following intersections will be rated at D, E, or F in 2020 (on a scale of A to F, with A referring to free-flowing traffic, and F referring to congested intersections):

20th and Wilshire,
20th and Santa Monica Blvd.,
20th and Olympic,
23rd and Ocean Park Blvd.,
Cloverfield and Santa Monica Blvd.,
Cloverfield and Colorado,
Cloverfield and Olympic,
Cloverfield and the I-10 westbound off-ramp,
Cloverfield and the I-10 eastbound on-ramp,
Cloverfield and Ocean Park Blvd.,
26th and Wilshire,
26th and Colorado Avenue,
26th and Olympic,
Yale and Broadway,
Stewart and Olympic,
Stanford and Colorado,
Stanford and Colorado,
Centinela and Santa Monica Blvd.,
Centinela and Broadway,
Centinela and Colorado,
Centinela and Pennsylvania,
Centinela and the I-10 westbound ramps,
Bundy and Olympic,
Bundy and Pico,
Bundy and the I-10 eastbound on-ramp,
Bundy and Ocean Park Blvd.,
Barrington and Olympic.