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Oaks News Archive 2011
Taking Back the Stairs

On Sunday morning, July 24, more than a dozen neighbors of the Oaks, St. Andrews Place, and adjacent streets gathered to “take back the stairs” by trimming overhanging hedges, cleaning up beer bottles and trash, and painting out graffiti.

The St. Andrews Walk – the public stairway linking Tyron Road with St. Andrews Place – has increasingly become a problem for surrounding neighbors and the community. The stairs have become a favorite hangout for drinking, drugs, and other nefarious activity. Tagging, litter, and loud, late night noise are relentless. Although police have stepped up patrols and made a number of arrests, the problems persist. The Oaks has been coordinating with the City and neighbors on St. Andrews on a long-term solution, including lighting and addressing an abandoned house adjacent to the stairs on Tyron Road.

Before and after the cleanup

The stairs now look great! But until there is a long-term solution, neighbors expect the graffiti and trash to return and so will be holding similar cleanup events every month or so. If you would like to be noticed for a future “take back the stairs” day, please email Adam Kear at ackear@gmail.com.

Summer is here...
... but the 2011 Oaks Summer Picnic is already over. A good time was had by all, as is evident in this photo of the raffle price drawing. We'll do it all over again next year!
Of Firecrackers and Roars
Over the last six months, a number of Oaks residents have voiced their concern that there seem to be many more motorcycles on Oaks streets than in recent memory, and these motorcycles seem considerably louder than ever before.
 
Residents are apprehensive not only about the noise issue but especially about safety as apparently, some riders do wheelies a dozen feet from small children, and quite a few bikes produce ear-splitting back-firing sounds. Some riders seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of speed limits, and pass cars that slow down for the speed humps on Canyon Drive. If true, it’s behavior that endangers people's health in more ways than one.
 
In order to determine if this is actually a problem in The Oaks, we would like to hear from you. If you are concerned or affected by excessive noise or traffic safety issues caused by motorcycles, please send an email to motorcycle-noise@oakshome.org. Tell us where you live and what pattern of noise you are experiencing. - Thanks for your help!
Another Fun Oaks Night At Vermont
It was another great night for the neighborhood on Tuesday April 12th, when Oaks Homeowners Association board members waited on residents at Vermont Restaurant. The evening was our annual fundraiser and yielded just about $1,000 for the Association, thanks to the very generous tips of about forty Oaks residents. A special thank you to the 17 residents of Ponet Drive who once again showed up in force to catch up with the latest neighborhood gossip (or so we've been told) and enjoy the delicious dishes on the $35 prix fixe menu Vermont created specially for us, as well as the wine and cocktail specials. We heard from many that they enjoyed the experience so much that they plan to be back next year with even larger groups, and we are grateful for all the support!

Notwithstanding that some scofflaw had stolen or destroyed all of the signs announcing our Annual Meeting, the board of the Oaks Homeowners Association and about fifty members gathered in the American Film Institute’s Jack Warner Building on March 21st for our annual get together.  Outgoing board president Bob Young introduced our new president, Caroline Schweich who chaired the remainder of the meeting. [continued here]
The Signs Are Gone, But The Meeting Is Still On
March 2011
Something strange happened this past week in The Oaks… The six signs announcing our annual membership meeting were taken down… or stolen… by someone. In any event, they’re gone. And while we do think we're pretty cool, we don't believe our signs are now adorning some teenager's bedroom walls. Which leaves us to speculate that perhaps there’s someone out there who doesn't want you to know about this meeting...

Nonetheless, the meeting is still on, and we hope to see all of you there, at the Oaks Homeowners Association’s Annual Meeting, Monday night, March 21st at 7:00 at the American Film Institute, the Jack Warner Building, Room 107.

This might be a good time to remind everyone that the Oaks Homeowners Association is a group of fellow Oaks residents, who volunteer their time on behalf of the neighborhood. We conduct our business out in the open (unlike the nefarious sign stealer) and we encourage everyone who has something to say to speak to us directly. For that reason, Oaks residents are always welcome at our monthly board meetings, and they can email or call boardmembers. You can find the list of boardmembers and the minutes of our meetings right here on our website.

We know that we need the neighborhood's backing for everything we do, and that's why it's important to us that you let us know what’s on your minds, that you come to the annual meeting on Monday, and that you become a member of the organization. And by the way, you’re welcome to do the former two, even without doing the latter one.
Hollywood Farmers Market Threatened
January 2011
Most people in The Oaks are now aware of the threat to the Hollywood Farmers Market.  The City may not renew the Market’s permit to close Ivar Avenue between Selma and Sunset on Sunday mornings.  This year the Los Angeles Film School has decided it needs its driveway on Sundays, and will no longer give the Farmer's Market permission to close Ivar south of Selma.  Without 100% agreement from the businesses along Ivar, the street cannot be closed.   If you frequent the Market, you know how many stands operate on this block.

The City has offered other options, but the situation is complicated by the fact that the Market opened a brick and mortar restaurant, the Farmer's Kitchen, at the corner of Selma and Morningside.  The Market needs to stay in that area.  One alternative is to add the block of Ivar north of Hollywood Boulevard, but without interrupting traffic on Hollywood Boulevard.  This would mean that the thousands of people who visit the Market would have to cross Hollywood Boulevard -- a major safety issue.  The other possibility suggested is to use the parking lot on the northwest corner of Selma and Vine.  This may be an expensive solution; it is not clear who would shoulder that cost; and it is not clear that the lot is large enough.

The non-profit Market has been operating at this site for twenty years serving the community.  In fact, it was already there when the for-profit Los Angeles Film School moved in.  It is not clear why the Film School needs access to so much additional parking on Sunday mornings.  In any event, in mid-December the City granted the Market a 90-day extension of its closure permit in order to allow the Market and the school an opportunity to work out a solution.  While we hope they are able to resolve the matter in a way that preserves the Market, this obviously is a situation that we all need to monitor.

Additional information from the market's oprator is available at the following sites:
farmernet.com and see-la.org.
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