Pictures and Memories from National Night Out

On August 4th, cities, and communities, and neighborhoods across the country celebrated National Night Out. Our own Neighborhood Council joined with our neighbors at North Hollywood West, our local Neighborhood WATCH groups and others to take part in this annual event.

Our local celebration was held at the City Department of Transportation lot at the corner of Whitsett Avenue and Saticoy Street, above the now-iconic Vintage North Hollywood mural. Both of our Neighborhood Councils had worked with the office of Councilmember Paul Krekorian to clean up this area and turn a hazard into a work of art.

National Night Out recognizes the efforts of Neighborhood WATCHes and others to do much the same. Since 1984, the National Organization of Town Watches have organized Neighborhood WATCH groups, community organizations, non-profits, and others to take back the night. It was envisioned as a gathering that would bring people out of their homes in the evening, without fear, and showing the strength of a community that stands up together. Many National Night Out events have featured marches of neighbors walking proudly down dangerous streets or cleanups of abandoned and blighted areas. Others are more festive with music, food, and entertainment encouraging people to meet each other and build trust in a community.

The National Night Out earlier this month was a gathering in the same spirit. Of course, our co-sponsor Councilmember Krekorian was there, but we were also happy to host and speak with US Representative Tony Cardenas and City Controller Ron Galperin. There was food, music, and games. Chuck Loring from our own Council MC’d the event with music and his ever-present presence, while NoHo West demonstrated mastery of the grill and cooking.

By the end of the night, everyone had eaten their fill, caught up with their neighbors and maybe caught the ear of some of our elected’s, and praised the progress we’ve made in making our area a little bit better. A few pictures from the night on Flickr can be found from our photo page under the Archives tab.

And for everyone who couldn’t make it, we’ll see you next year.

Flickr photos from the album 2015 National Night Out by NHNE NC

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 7:25pm - Lively conversation with Ben Moore, Jeff Garner and Florence DorickTue, 08/04/2015 - 7:01pm - Ben Moore, Jeff Garner, and Lorraine DiazTue, 08/04/2015 - 7:46pm - Representative Cardenas poses with Board Members Chuck, Ernie, and Inez, with the next generation from Upward BoundTue, 08/04/2015 - 8:01pm - Representative Cardenas, Chuck Loring, and Carol RoseTue, 08/04/2015 - 8:02pm - Ernie Moscoso with Representative CardenasTue, 08/04/2015 - 8:02pm - Inez Morin with Representative CardenasTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:40pm - Chuck Loring stands with Councilmember Krekorian and Controller GalperinTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:52pm - Chuck Loring with Imelda Padilla from LAANETue, 08/04/2015 - 6:37pm - Chuck Loring masters the audio entertainment at the NNOTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:23pm - Chuck Loring shows his neighborhood pride at the NNO eventTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:34pm - Florence Dorick talks to Ernie Merlan, artist for the Whitsett Slope mural at the NNO EventTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:39pm - Controller Galperin and Councilmember Krekorian put their heads togetherTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:25pm - Inez Morin poses with Controller Ron GalperinTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:34pm - Sarah Ramsawack greets Paul Krekorian with some stakeholdersTue, 08/04/2015 - 6:30pm - The NC table is set up for the 2015 NNOTue, 08/04/2015 - 8:50pm - Chuck Loring is first to arrive and last to leave for the teardown at the NNO
16 out of 16 on Flickr

Kids Say Thanks For Field Trip

At our last meeting on May 21st, the Board was delighted by the outpouring of appreciation from the kindergarten classes of Strathern Elementary. Months earlier, the teachers from those classes came to the Neighborhood Council and asked for support for a field trip. With school budgets tight, they wanted to take their young charges on a field trip to Underwood Farms. At our March meeting, the Council approved a grant of $1,500 to help pay for the field trip costs. Along with funding support from others, 135 kindergartners from six classes joined 18 parent volunteers on May 8 for a trip to the farm.

How we get our foods, both fruit and vegetables, and meats, and milk had been the project of the Kindergarten school year and at the conclusion of the year the field trip to a working farm was a real highlight for excitement. Squeals of delight, and oohs and a-ays, followed every turn. Pointing fingers, and touching the soil, pulling the plants for their individual food bags, and seeing the wide variety of animals on the farm all brought happy bounces from one delight to the next.

A week before the trip the sow had given birth to seven little pink piglets. They were the love of every child. Each little pig had a name after the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The most unusual vegetable was not the orange carrots, but the purple carrots! (Yes, Google Purple Carrots. You will find it is true. There are purple carrots, and you can learn more about the history of purple carrots on your computer.) When the children arrived at the farm they were welcomed by Farmer Alex who gave the children wagon rides pulled by the great big tractor. They covered acres of the farm where the children could see row after row of vegetables. At wagon stops, Farmer Alex, explained how the seeds were planted, weeded, watered, and then harvested. Every child was given a standard grocery bag. Each child got to get off the wagon and harvest as many of the lettuces, carrots, beets, and other veggies, as their bags could hold. Those grocery bags of produce were taken to their mothers to cook for dinner. The children saw the chickens, the roosters, and the baby chickens. They saw turkeys rabbits, pigs, horses, cows. They also saw some exotic animals, such as an emu, ostrich, and llama. But those cute little pink piglets seemed to take the cake with the children’s delight.

The next school day the good teachers knew the value of review and recollection. They had the children talking about their trip, then writing a narration of what they saw. There were pictures drawn about their sights and ventures. And, yes, the purple carrots, and pink piglets were in the pictures. Also, there were pictures of the wagons that were pulled by tractors. And there was the fun of climbing on the big stacks of hay, and the fun of going down on the big slide. Through it all, and in their pictures, the day was filled with bright sunshine.

The bottom line with the children’s recollections in word and picture, was all a great pleasure. These children can grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow. Every encouragement that we can give to them can help to develop the good citizens of our future. It pays to nurture and treat all children very well. They are not just children: they are our future.

Some of the pictures that the kids drew of this field trip were given to the Board at our May meeting. Much thanks is due to our Board Members Sarah Ramsawack and Inez Morin for selecting the pictures that accompany this article. And extra credit goes to Sarah for submitting the majority of the description of the trip above.

And not least, much appreciation and respect is due to the hard-working teachers at Strathern Elementary who went the extra mile so their kids could have this experience.

letter-of-appreciation510 thank-you-2-510

Another NoHo Community Cleanup

On April 11, our Neighborhood Council joined with Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s office for another neighborhood cleanup.

More than 50 high school volunteers volunteered their Saturday morning to make a difference in their neighborhood. And after a quick breakfast snack and some inspiring words, they set out for Sherman Way and Laurel Canyon to tackle some of the worst and most public streets in our Council area.

The streets and sidewalks near this intersection have long been a difficult area to keep tidy, and the Council has devoted a few cleanup efforts to improving them. It is an ironic twist that each cleanup finds less trash and debris in this area, but it’s more noticeable since it also stands out that much more. And by repeatedly cleaning the same area, we’re showing people in the community that a former eyesore can be a clean place, encouraging everyone to help keep it that way.

A special thanks for support goes to Yasser Durghalli and Handy Mart Liquor on Laurel Canyon north of Strathern. The very good Mr Durghalli, as a strong and respected community business leader, donated all of the water at the cleanup event. The support of our neighbors like this helps bring us together to make our corner of the city a better place.

This also represents our last major scheduled cleanup for the fiscal year. We haven’t decided on the time and location for the next one, but it will probably be after our new fiscal year starts in July. If you have any suggestions about an area in our Council that needs a small army of volunteers, be sure to let us know. You can contact us through this website, or attend one of our Board meetings or a meeting of the Outreach Committee.

Slope and New Mural Recognized

On the evening of March 12th, the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, the oldest and largest Council alliance in the City, held an anniversary event. And as Council members from across the Valley ate, met each other, and listened to some excellent speakers, awards were presented for achievements during the year. Our own Neighborhood Council, along with our neighbors at the North Hollywood West Council, were recognized for “Best Collaborative Project to Instill Community Pride” for our work towards the new Vintage North Hollywood Mural.

For the past several years, our Council has worked with North Hollywood West and the office of Councilmember Paul Krekorian to clean and improve the Whitsett slope. Once an eyesore of overgrown weeds and trash, today the area on Whitsett north of Sherman Way near Saticoy is planted with local vegetation and hosts one of the largest public murals in the City, and certainly one of the newest. Visible from the 170 freeway, the Vintage North Hollywood mural reflects the history of our community, from old agriculture to a tribute to Nudie Taylor, designer for the rhinestone cowboy craze.

As a Neighborhood Council, we are proud to have made this long-standing commitment to positive change in our community, especially when it has brought together our community with many volunteer efforts over the years and strengthened the bond between Neighborhood Councils and our Councilmember. It is by working together that we can achieve great things, and that was the recognition of this award. We appreciate everyone who has lent a hand and supported this work with us, and thank in advance all of those who will join us in the years to come as we do more for our community.

Potential Homeless Shelter In Spotlight

Our November 20 Board meeting saw the largest turnout we’ve had in a long time. Dozens of our neighbors came to the meeting to speak and hear about a potential development at this corner of Saticoy and Tujunga shown below in a picture from Google Maps. The Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, which provides services and support to the homeless community in the Valley, is considering the construction of a new shelter facility at 11350 Saticoy.

The issue was first raised in our Council at our Land Use Committee meetings, with an extensive discussion at the October 23rd meeting. The minutes for that meeting, including a very thorough description of the information presented there are available here in this Land Use Minutes Link, while our Committee pages are under construction. The Land Use Committee will be taking a break for November and December, but will return to meet again on January 6th.

The proposed shelter location is located in the Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council boundaries. People can follow their actions on the issue through their website at They also have an upcoming combined special meeting of both their Board and Planning and Land Use Committee on November 24th.

You can learn more about the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission at their website, They have information about their existing facilities and other programs to help the needy people in our area. The Mission will also be holding their Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday and is looking for volunteers and supporters.

The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council will also be holding a special summit meeting with host Councilman Paul Krekorian, of Council District 2, on December 17th in the Council Chambers at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard. The focus of the meeting will be “Homelessness & Mental Illness”.

Vintage North Hollywood Mural Dedicated on Saturday

On November 15th, our Board joined once again with our neighbors at North Hollywood West Council and Paul Krekorian’s CD 2 to dedicate the Vintage North Hollywood mural. At 9,000 square feet, it is one of the largest murals in the city and is a big symbol of the revival of this classic Los Angeles art form.

At 240 feet long, the mural took over 10,000 gallons of paint and the work of more than 100 volunteers. Members of the community helped artists Ernie Merlan and Levi Ponce create this installation, in addition to autistic adults from Mr. Merlan’s Exeptional Minds, a non-profit work center and animation studio.

The mural dedication also marks the culmination of one of the biggest and most successful renovation cleanups in our area. For years, the slope on Whitsett Boulevard south of Saticoy was an overgrown eyesore, strewn with weeds and trash. Over the course of several years, community groups, including our Neighborhood Council have picked up trash, pulled weeds, swept dirt, planted drought-resistant plants, installed a watering system, and more. Slowly, the area transformed from a blight to an attraction.

Saturday’s dedication was a great community event with speeches, food, and news cameras. Hundreds turned out to see the new mural, and Nudie Taylor’s custom car, courtesy of the San Fernando Valley Relics Museum. Nudie, the original rhinestone cowboy fashion designer, was one of many vintage parts of North Hollywood that made its way into the mural.

Special thanks to Nancy of Teesdale Neighborhood Watch for the cover picture for this article.

NoHo Mural Painting Continues, Dedication Planned

This past Saturday, the Vintage North Hollywood mural moved a step closer to completion with the help of some dedicated and artistic volunteers. When the call went out, they chose to spend a lovely Saturday morning making their neighborhood a more beautiful place with a vast concrete canvas on Whitsett. This was the second day of public painting. Of course, regular readers will already know this from another article on this website.

Councilman Paul Krekorian of CD 2, who has been leading the mural effort, has also announced a planned dedication date on November 15th. Our own Neighborhood Council, partnering again with our neighbors at NoHo West NC, will be helping to support this event.

To follow the developments on the mural, keep watching right here. Or follow #nohomural.

Another Whitsett Slope Cleanup Improvement

Our Council, in coordination with the City Council District 2, and our neighbors at the North Hollywood West Neighborhood Council, returned to the Whitsett Slope on March 31. Our Council has visited this slope many times over the past years for trash cleanup, weed removal, planting, and now another weeding, including hundreds of volunteer hours. And the results speak for themselves. This slope on the west side of Whitsett south of Saticoy may be small, and may be very close to the freeway, but it has gone from an eyesore to a symbol of the kind of changes we can make in our community.

As we consider the many Saturdays that have gone into restoring this small piece of land, we also see the kind of dedication and persistance that can be needed to make this kind of turnaround. Changes don’t happen overnight, but our Council, our neighbors, and our partners have demonstrated that we can follow through and make a difference.
Our thanks and recognition go out to everyone who was able to join our efforts on Saturday, as well as everyone who has generously donated their time and effort to this project in the past. None of this would have been possible if we had not come together as a larger community.

View Flickr Album

Whitsett Soccer Complex to get new Synthetic Field

The City of LA and the Department of Recreation and Parks are working on a long-term goal of improving the Whitsett Soccer Complex, located at the corner of Whitsett and Vanowen. They will be adding a new synthetic field in the next few months. The long term goal is to add 7 fields, an ADA area and some picnic areas.

There will be a discussion about the project on February 19, 2014 @ 2 pm, at Valley Plaza Library, 12311 Vanowen st. in North Hollywood.

President Moscoso Helps Turn On New Traffic Light

Council President Ernie Moscoso joined City Council Member Paul Krekorian to turn on the new traffic signal at the intersection of Lankershim and Valerio. As a popular pedestrian crossing, this intersection has long been a dangerous place to walk or drive, but that all changed on November 5th.
President Moscoso and Councilman Krekorian at the control box for the new signal at Valerio and Lankershim.

Translate »