Wednesday, June 25, 2008

UCLA Medical Center preps for its biggest operation: moving day

Capping months of preparation, an army of healthcare professionals Sunday will transfer 350 patients to their new hospital across the street.

On Sunday, 2,100 doctors, nurses, technicians and managers at UCLA Medical Center will participate in a task of epic proportions: moving to the gleaming new hospital across the street.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fun Weekend Fact: US Open Runner-Up soon to be Bel-Air Country Club Member?

Rocco Mediate played like a champ at this year's US Open at Torrey Pines.

But when you are up against Tiger, all bets are off.

Eddie Merrins, the longtime teaching pro at Bel-Air Country Club, has been working with Mediate on his swing and the psychology of the game. Interestingly enough, Merrins said Mediate is trying to gain membership at Bel-Air, so he played a round with the club committee on Tuesday.

Mediate was in Bel-Air two days before the Open. Who said you had to live in a bubble all week leading up to the Open? Not Mediate.

He shared a hug after he finished the final round with a 71. Mediate was playing with a one-shot lead and forced Woods to birdie the final hole to send it into a playoff. Woods obliged.

"I'm very proud," Merrins said. "I thought he handled himself superbly. He handled the magnitude of the situation as well as he could. Tiger loves competition. Rocco loves competition, too. He doesn't have as many trophies to show for it. But (today) that doesn't matter."

Rocco ultimately lost to Woods in the sudden death hole following an 18-hole playoff round.

We all welcome Rocco to the neighborhood -- but ask him kindly not to break our windows.

Bill Rosendahl Press Release: Home Invasion Burglar

City councilman Bill Rosendahl has issued a press release warning of a burglar terrifying female seniors on the Westside. According to investigators, the suspect enters the homes through a window wearing all dark clothing, a ski-mask, and gloves. He then awakens the victim and demands money and jewelry before ransacking the victim's home and fleeing. Five homes have been hit so far.


Thursday, June 12, 2008




The Hillside communities have experienced a series of residential burglaries that have a specific or distinctive method of operation (MO). These burglaries have been occurring primarily on weekends during the early to late evening hours. While a number of residents have been away for just a few hours, many have also been gone for the entire weekend.

The area of the home targeted has been primarily upstairs master bedrooms and master bathrooms where valuables such as jewelry, cash and small safes are routinely kept in closets and vanities. The methods that have been used to gain entry into the homes have been through second story glass doors and windows by smashing the glass and entering the residence. In many cases, the suspects have utilized ladders found on the property or outside patio furniture to gain access to a second floor balcony.

Based on limited video surveillance tapes provided by residents, the suspects are described as (2) male Blacks, 25-30 years of age. Detectives believe that the suspects are wearing gloves and covering their faces with ski masks.

The Los Angeles Police Department is making every effort to investigate these crimes and identify the suspects responsible. Since community awareness is the key to prevention we need your assistance. Immediately report any suspicious activity to the police. If you observe what you believe to be a crime in progress or a crime that just occurred call 911 immediately. All other suspicious activity may be reported to the non-emergency dispatch directly at 1-877-275-5273. Be prepared to provide a description of the suspects and vehicle including license plate information.

We are also encouraging residents to re-evaluate their home security by utilizing the below prevention measures.

Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked, including side or rear garage doors.

Ensure that alarm systems are maintained in good working order.

Ensure that the upstairs master bedroom and closet areas are equipped with motion sensor detectors.

Activate alarms when leaving your residence even if just for short trips away.

Eliminate the presence of any ladders from the outside of your residences.

Ensure that safes are bolted and secured to the frame or foundation.

Maintain up to date records and photos of small non-serialized valuables.

Consider installing surveillance cameras covering the exterior and interior areas where safes and other valuables are kept.

If you may know any information, please call WLA Burglary Detectives at (310) 444-1522 or the WLA front desk at (310) 444-0701

Fun Thursday Reading - Mega-mansions are L.A.'s really big show,0,24321,full.story
From the Los Angeles Times

Unaffected by the economic woes besetting the masses, the super-rich are going on creating palace-like complexes. One builder says he knows of 20 houses of at least 20,000 square feet in the works.

By Jessica Garrison
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 12, 2008

In Beverly Hills, a 32,000-square-foot beaux-arts mansion that will be sheathed in Portuguese limestone and adorned with gold-plated doorknobs fashioned in France is rising on Sunset Boulevard.

A few miles away in Bel-Air, businessman Eri Kroh has requested permits to lop off the top of a hill, fill in a canyon and then, after moving some 68,000 cubic yards of dirt, replace the chaparral-covered lot with a 30,000-plus square-foot single family home with Pacific Ocean views.

Just down the hill, workers recently were building retaining walls for a giant lot that real estate experts say could soon feature one or two giant palace-like homes.

Anyone who assumed that the construction of mega-mansions would grind to a halt as the economy worsens must not be familiar with the customs of the very rich.

"Does anybody need 40,000 square feet?" asks real estate agent Stephen Shapiro of the Westside Estate Agency. "No, [but] these are our current-day aristocrats and feudal leaders . . . and this is what they want."

Builder John Finton, who is overseeing construction of the 32,000 square-foot house on Sunset Boulevard for businessman C. Frederick Wehba Sr. and his wife, Susan, said he knows of at least 20 20,000-plus square-foot homes under construction or about to break ground in what he called the "platinum triangle" of wealthy areas in Los Angeles County: Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Holmby Hills.

Few properties are as infamous as the site where Finton is building the Wehbas' home. At Sunset and Alpine Drive, it is being built on one part of the former estate of Saudi Sheik Mohammed al Fassi. Known as "the statue house," it became infamous decades ago when it was painted lime green and the nude statues surrounding the property were decorated with representations of genitalia.

Real estate experts give various explanations for the continuing popularity of mega-mansions.

"People are spending much more time at home," Finton said. "They want to be comfortable."

Indeed, for the super-rich, being comfortable can mean turning your home into a resort.

Real estate agent Drew Fenton said that no one sets out to build a mega-house; it just happens.

"You keep adding the rooms you think you need. The ballroom. The screening room. Masters with his and hers and a beauty salon and a massage room. And the house keeps growing." Added Fenton: "I can't explain why someone needs a gift-wrapping room or a florist room. That is a question of culture."

Others had another explanation: ego.

"Each year it seems there are more extremely rich people with ever larger egos that have to be right on top of the mountainside . . . so everyone will know -- aha -- there is the richest person on the hill," said Joe Edmiston, director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which has fought to preserve open space in the hillsides.

If there are 20 residences of 20,000-plus square feet in the works for Los Angeles County, it would represent a surge of mega-mansions. According to records from the Los Angeles County assessor, there are fewer than 60 homes with more than 20,000 square feet in the county and fewer than 10 with more than 30,000.

Still, real estate agents said assessor records aren't always accurate because they may not measure pool houses, cabanas and other similar living spaces.

Currently, many of the largest homes in the county are concentrated in the neighborhood of Beverly Park, a gated community in the hills south of Mulholland Drive in the city of Los Angeles; several houses there are at least 25,000 square feet.

The largest home in Los Angeles County remains the 50,000-plus-square-foot, 123-room Holmby Hills estate of the late Aaron Spelling, which has a bowling alley, doll museum and gift-wrapping room.

Kroh, who has filed plans for the house on top of the knoll with the city of Los Angeles, insisted that there is nothing remarkable about them.

Though paperwork on file with the city shows a house of 39,000 square feet, Kroh said it will actually be smaller. He also said he may not build the home after all.

Current plans call for two stories of 10,000 square feet each above ground, along with 12,000 square feet -- including a movie theater and an indoor pool -- below ground.

"I could find you hundreds of homes like that. Hundreds," Kroh said.

But even as plans are drawn for ever-larger homes, there is a growing chorus of people who are questioning the concept of the mega-mansion.

Spurred by complaints from homeowners that "mansionization" is ruining the character of many neighborhoods, the Los Angeles City Council last month approved new limits on the sizes of many Los Angeles houses.

The law applies only to the city's flatlands, but officials are working on a companion law for the city's hillsides, where many of these giant homes are slated to be built.

That is little comfort to homeowners who say an influx of giant homes has already hurt their neighborhoods.

Some of Kroh's would-be neighbors, for example, oppose his plans. They say they worry about landslides and the rumble of trucks up their hilly street during construction.

Kroh dismisses these concerns, saying his project, if he builds it, will make the area safer by giving it better fire truck access and better drainage.

But the locals also talk about a less tangible issue: the way that an influx of mega-mansions can change the character of a close-knit community.

Many of the original homes in the area, built after the 1961 Bel-Air fire, were modest ranch houses of three and four bedrooms.

As homes have sold and the area has grown in cachet, some people have torn down and replaced with what one resident calls "casino-style Tuscan villas."

This, in turn, has transformed the neighborhood, many long-time residents say.

"We used to know all our neighbors," said Robert Cremer, a retired engineer. "We'd socialize with them. If they had a project, moving furniture, we'd help them out. The sort of thing neighbors do. . . . That doesn't exist anymore."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

LAPD invites you to attend its Community Police Academy


West Los Angeles Senior Lead Office (310) 444-0743 June 4, 2008

The Los Angeles Police Department invites you to attend our Community Police Academy!

Operations-West Bureau will conduct a Community Police Academy for all community members.

The eleven-week course will be held at the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center located at 5651 W. Manchester, Los Angeles, 90045. The class will meet each Tuesday evening between 6:30 and 9:30 pm. The course will conclude with a graduation ceremony on August 12, 2008.

Through the Community Police Academy, enrolled students will be encouraged to build a lasting partnership with the Department, with the ultimate goal of reducing crime and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Each community member must meet the following criteria:

Must be 18 years or older;

Live or work in Operations-West Bureau;

No prior felony convictions;

No outstanding warrants;

No pending criminal cases; and

Must be approved by an Area Commanding Officer.

Interested community members should contact the West Los Angeles Community Relations Office at 310-444-0743.

For any additional information please contact the Operations

LAPD Community Crime Alert Report 6-4-2008


Please remain vigilant to activity and people in our neighborhood. If you see what you believe may be a crime in progress, call 911! If you see other suspicious activity, notify the Non Emergency Dispatch at 1-877-275-5273. Forward any suspect information to me via e-mail or phone, so I can verify appropriate follow-up was conducted. Please record the date, time, type of activity, suspect(s) descriptions, and the description of any involved vehicles with accurate license plate information. Video cameras are great for capturing much of this information! We have received information from several alert community members and private security companies. This information directs us towards possible suspects and has resulted in several arrests.

Christopher Ragsdale, Senior Lead Officer

West Los Angeles Community Police Station

Office: 310-444-0741/Cell: 213-305-5895



9800 Easton Drive, RD 808

Victim and Suspect, a friend of the victim's got into an argument, during which they exchanged racial slurs. The suspect left and returned and struck the victim with an unknown object, the victim believed to be a pipe (however, the victim never saw a pipe).

Suspect: Male Black, 6-2, 300, 32 years


10800 Wilkins, RD 0833

MO: On 06/02/08, between 1030 and 2045, suspect(s) smashed the SFR garage door, removed cash/jewelry.

10600 Kinnard Ave Apt. RD 0834

MO: On 05/28/08 between 1030 hours and 1530 hours, unknown suspect(s) entered the location through a front door with a possible key. Once inside the unknown suspect(s) tool U. S. currency and jewelry.

10600 Kinnard Ave Apt. RD 0834

MO: On 05/28/08 between 0800 hours and 1515 hours, unknown suspect(s) entered the location through a front door with a possible key. Once inside the unknown suspect(s) tool U. S. currency and jewelry.

10600 Kinnard Ave Apt. RD 0834

MO: On 05/28/08 between 0730 hours and 1500 hours, unknown suspect(s) entered the location through a front door with a possible key. Once inside the unknown suspect(s) tool U. S. currency.


05-29-08 1945-0815 RD 0833 Street 1400 Veteran 1998 Honda Civic

Burglary Theft from Motor Vehicle:

06-03-08, 0200/0900 RD0855 Garage 1655 Camden Smash laptop

06-02-08, 1200-1215 RD0807 1500 N. Beverly Glen street pried door lock wallet, Laptop

05-31-08, 0930/1430 RD 0807 Street 1100 Angelo Unlocked tools

05-31-08, 2100/1030 RD 0829 Garage 1300 Beverly Glen Smash window camera

05-31-08, 2100/1000 RD 0833 Garage 1300 Kelton Smash window laptop

05-24-08, 1630/1645 RD 0833 Alley 1400 Westwood Unlocked Phone

05-27-08, 1400 RD 0834 Driveway 10500 Wilshire Unlocked Guitar


3100 Deep Cyn RD 0808 MO: Unk suspect stole delivered package from victim's porch. Loss:$2300.

10700 Wilshire Bl RD 0834 MO: Vict rec'd call from hotel security that his old cancelled checks were found at loc. Checks stolen from his home at unk time. Loss: 0