Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Red Flag warning of fire danger goes up in L.A. area amid hot, dry winds

From the LA Times

Dry winds are expected to return to the Los Angeles area this afternoon, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag fire danger warning.

Heavy winds last week sparked several fires around the region, including a large fire in Ventura County. But this week, forecasters said temperatures will be lower and humidity will be higher.

The Red Flag warning begins at 6 tonight in areas such as Angeles National Forest and is expected to end at 6 p.m. on Friday.

There are no major wildfires burning, but the massive Station fire remains only 98% contained. Officials have said they might not get full containment until it starts raining.

--Shelby Grad

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Swan Song: Bel~Air Hotel on Eve of Closure

The front entrance to the Hotel Bel-Air, photographed around 1947.

As the Hotel Bel~Air prepares for closure tomorrow - the LA Times honors our favorite neighborhood haunt with a story featuring Antonio Castillo de la Gala, the hotel's Champagne Bar pianist, who after 12 years of delighting hotel patrons and guests will end his long love affair tonight.

Monday, September 28, 2009

WLA Community Police Station Open House - Sunday October 4th from 11 AM to 3 PM

COMMUNITY ALERT
NOTIFICATION
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
OPEN HOUSE
The West Los Angeles Community Police Station is having an Open House on Sunday October 4th from 11 AM to 3 PM. The station is located at 1663 Butler Avenue, 1 Street South of Santa Monica and 4 Streets West of the 405 Freeway.

There will be free food and activities for the kids, as well as a tour of the police station. Come by and meet the officers who patrol your streets.

Any questions please contact Sergeant David Podesta at (310) 444-0743.

ALERT - Two Bobcats Spotted on Chantilly



One of our residents saw two bobcats on Chantilly in his backyard over the weekend.

The Bel~Air Association will be contacting Animal Control today to help address this matter, which may include the setting of humane traps for the Bobcats this week.

INFORMATION ON BOBCATS BELOW:
Bobcat Lynx rufus

The Bobcat is a wild cat native to North America. They are found mostly in the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico. The bobcat is an adaptable animal that inhabits wooded areas as well as semi-desert, urban, and swampland environments. They live in a set home range which shifts in size with the season.

In appearance the bobcat is quite similar to the Canada Lynx but is usually significantly smaller. In color they are mostly tan to grayish brown, but can vary. They also have numerous black streaks in their coat, with dark bars on their forelegs and tails. Their spotted coat allows them to blend into their environment. The ears are black-tipped and pointed with short black tufts. There is generally an off-white color on their lips, chin, and underparts. Kittens are born well-furred and already have their spots.

Adult male bobcats are 28 to 47 inches long, and height to their shoulders is about 14 or 15 inches. Included in their length is a stubby 6-inch tail, which has a "bobbed" apearance, which gives this species its name. They weigh about twice that of a house cat, with adult males usually ranging from 16 to 30 pounds while the females, which are smaller, average about 20 pounds. They are muscular, and have hind legs that are longer than their front legs, giving the animal a bobbing run. They weigh 0.6 to 0.75 pounds and are about 10 inches in length at birth. By their first year they will reach about 10 pounds. They have sharp hearing and vision, and a good sense of smell. They are also excellent climbers. Bobcats can and will swim when they need to, but will normally avoid water.

Bobcats are generally most active during twilight and are therefore considered crepuscular. They keep on the move from three hours before sunset until midnight, then again from before dawn until three hours after sunrise. Each night they will move from two to seven miles along their habitual routes.

As a predator, the bobcat is able to go for long periods without food, but will eat heavily when prey is abundant. During the lean periods, they will often predate larger animals which they can cache and come back to later. The bobcat hunts by stalking or ambushing their prey and then pouncing or giving chase for short distances. Their preference is for mammals about 1.5 to 12.5 pounds in weight. Their main prey varies by region. In the eastern United States it is the cottontail rabbit, but in the north it is the snowshoe hare. When these prey exist together, as in New England, they make up the primary sustenance of the bobcat. In the far south, the rabbit or hare is sometimes replaced by the cotton rat as the primary food source. The bobcat is an opportunistic predator that, unlike its Canadian cousin the Lynx, can readily replace its primary prey with a variety of options.

The bobcat hunts animals of three different sizes, and will adjust its hunting techniques accordingly. On small animals they will hunt in areas known to be abundant in prey, and will lie, crouch, or stand still in wait for an animal to wander close. It will then pounce, grabbing its prey with its sharp, retractable claws. These are usually small rodents like mice and squirrels or birds, but also fish and insects. For slightly larger animals such as rabbits and hares, they will stalk from a covering and wait until they come within 20 to 35 feet before rushing in to attack. Less commonly they will feed on larger animals such as foxes, minks, skunks, and house cats. They have been known to kill deer as well, especially in winter when smaller prey is scarce, or when deer populations become more abundant. They will do so by stalking the deer, often when it is lying down, then rushing in and grabbing it by the neck and biting through the base of the skull or chest. While they rarely kill deer, when they do, they eat their fill and then bury it with snow or leaves, often returning to it several times to feed.

The bobcat has no major predators other than man. The coyote has been known to be a direct predator of the bobcat, but has an unknown effect on their populations. Cougars and wolves may also occasionally kill bobcats when they get the chance. Death is due to a variety of causes, such as diseases, accidents, hunters, automobiles, and starvation. Kittens however may be hunted by several predators, including owls, foxes, and even male bobcats. The young are most likely to die shortly after leaving their mothers while still perfecting their hunting technique. Of fifteen bobcats tracked, the yearly survival rate averaged 0.624, with females having the same rate as males. Many bobcats will live to six or eight years of age, with a few reaching beyond ten. The longest they have been known to live in the wild is 16 years, but in captivity have been known to live up to 32.2 years. However, when prey populations are not as abundant, fewer kittens are likely to reach adulthood.

The bobcat has long been hunted and trapped by humans. They are listed in the CITES treaty which allows them to be hunted so long as doing so is not detrimental to their population. However bobcats have maintained a high population, even in the south where they are extensively hunted. Kittens are most vulnerable to hunting, albeit indirectly, due to their dependence on an adult female for the first few months of its life. In the 1970s and 1980s their furs saw an unprecedented rise in price, causing further interest in hunting them. However, these furs are worth little today. They are nevertheless still hunted, with half the mortality of some populations being attributed to this cause. As a result, the rate of bobcats dying in winter when hunting season is generally open is skewed. There have also been reports of cannibalism occurring when prey levels are low, but it is very rare and does not overtly influence the population. If chased by a dog, which in human-inhabited areas are a major source of predation, they will usually climb up a tree. Additionally the bobcat does not tolerate deep snow, and will hole-up and wait out heavy snow storms.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mike Feuer September 2009 Newsletter

September 22, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From LA City Planning - Hillside Area Amendment Adopted by City Council Today

EMAIL from Erick Lopez, City Planner

Greetings All:
This email is to inform you that the City Council unanimously voted to adopt the Hillside Area Definition & Map Ordinance today: 14 Yes, 0 No, and 1 Absent. The two changes that our Department had agreed to make at the June 16, 2009 Planning & Land Use Management Committee meeting were also included as part of the action.
As a result of the 14 Yes votes, a second reading is not needed. The Ordinance will now go to the Mayor's Office for his approval. If approved by the Mayor, the Ordinance will be posted by the City Clerk's Office for 10 days and become effective after a mandatory 30-day period. As soon as I receive an official effective date, I will pass on the information to those individuals on this interest list. I will also work with our staff to have the adopted version of the map made available for download on our Department website.
This new Hillside Area definition and map will better reflect the true hillsides throughout the City of Los Angeles. It will provide the protections of the provisions established by the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance for the roughly 51,000 residential lots which are not truly hillside. More importantly, it will leave only the true hillside lots to be addressed by the Baseline Hillside Ordinance. I would also like to reaffirm our pledged to review any proposals for future changes to the new Hillside Area Map during the upcoming outreach efforts, when sufficient evidence is presented.
I want to take the opportunity to thank all of those who have provided input and attended the public meetings for this particular project. Also, now that we have completed this step I can now say that my attention will now be focused almost entirely on the Baseline Hillside Ordinance, and will also involve significant contributions from a team of planners which will help deal with various aspects of hillside development. We look forward to working with you all during the various meetings we have planned for the final part of this revamping of the City's single-family regulations.
As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau - West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 - fax

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hillside Area Definition & Map on the City Council Agenda for tomorrow

From City of LA Planning Dept.:

Greetings All:
I have just learned this morning that the Hillside Area Definition & Map (CPC-2008-4683-CA) will be on the City Council Agenda for tomorrow's meeting (Item 12). I have attached a copy of the agenda to this email.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and will be located in:

John Ferraro Council Chamber
200 N. Spring St., Room 340
Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you can't make it to the meeting, you can also listen to it over a touch-tone phone by calling CouncilPhone at (213) 621-CITY, (310) 547-CITY, (310) 471-CITY, or at (818) 904-9450. You can also watch the meeting on Channel 35 (where available) or online at http://www.lacityview.org/.
If approved by the City Council, and a second reading is not needed, the Ordinance will the go to the Mayor's Office for his approval. If approved by the Mayor, the Ordinance will be posted by the City Clerk's Office for 10 days and become effective after a mandatory 30-day period.
You can track the progress of the case and download any available public documents at the LACityClerk Connect website (http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm). The Council File Number for the Hillside Area Amendment is 09-1390.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me.
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau - West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 - fax

Monday, September 21, 2009

UCLA Lights Up - "Community of Heroes Beacon"


As part of UCLA's Volunteer Day on September 22, the University lit up the sky on the nights of September 20 & 21 with the "Community of Heroes Beacon" (four blue columns of light). I hope you all had a chance to step outside and look to the sky - as it was really something special to behold. My pictures do not do the display justice - especially the intersection of the four columns that formed a beautiful pyramid of light. And if you look to the right of the right-most beam, I believe Venus is making a cameo appearance.
Posted by Picasa

C-PAB MEETING - LAPD

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH NEWS

Volume 1, Issue 1 West Los Angeles Senior Lead Office (310) 444-0735 Sptember 2009

WEST LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY and POLICE ADVISORY BOARD

C-PAB MEETING

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

7:00pm to 8:30pm

Hamilton High School Cafeteria

2955 South Robertson Blvd.

A C-PAB is a group of civilian volunteers from the residential and business community. An Area C-PAB's role is to advise the Area commanding officer regarding crime and quality of life issues that affect the community. Additionally, C-PAB members are to disseminate information received from the Department back to the community. Community-Police Advisory Boards are Area specific and one source from which an Area Commanding Officer receives information.

At the meeting, you will receive information regarding police related issues in your area. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of the officers and also receive information in how to join C-PAB

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Sincerely,

Sergeant David Podesta

Alertcommunity.com - LAPD's Newest Westside Crime Fighting Tool - USE IT!


The West Los Angeles LAPD has launched a new website for Westside citizens to report suspicious activity in their neighborhood. Citizens may make a report anonymously.

The new site is called AlertCommunity.com and may be accessed by clicking here: http://www.alertcommunity.com/

From the site:

The purpose of this site is to maintain a database of suspicious activity for use by police while investigating crimes. THIS SITE IS NOT TO BE USED FOR REPORTING CRIMES OR EMERGENCIES. FOR EMERGENCIES CALL 911.

To use this site, simply enter the information related to anything that appears suspicious to you. It is not necessary to fill in all of the fields. This information will only be available to law enforcement authorities.

THIS WEBSITE IS CURRENTLY ONLY FOR USE IN THE WESTSIDE AREAS OF LOS ANGELES, INCLUDING BRENTWOOD, BEL AIR, PACIFIC PALISADES, WESTWOOD, BEVERLYWOOD, RANCHO PARK AND CHEVIOT HILLS. Entries will be monitored by the LAPD West LA Area.

Helicopter Noise at the New UCLA Reagan Hospital - New Community Organization to Address

This information was received from a recently formed community organization based west of the UCLA campus and formed to address helicopter noise at the new Reagan Hospital.
"FlighTGUARD is a system to track flights that land at The New Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA and disrupt our way of life in the surrounding communities, it stands for Flight Tracking for Gross Unsolicited And Redundant Disruptions. Please help us spread the word by forwarding this message to those who may be interested. Our Mission is to stop un-necessary noise. "

For more information you can contact this organization at uclaheliport@gmail.com

Compare Helicopter NOISE to Everyday Sound:
[Each 10-decibel increase in sound level is perceived as approximately a doubling of loudness.]

Sound

Decibel Level

Rustling Leaves

20 dB

Whispering

25 dB

Library

30 dB

40 dB

Average Home

50 dB

Normal conversation

60 dB

Telephone ring

65 dB

Idling motorcycle

70 dB

Busy Traffic

75 dB

Accelerating motorcycle

80 dB

Electric drill, weed whacker at 6 feet

85 dB

Screaming Child

85 dB

95 dB

Jack Hammer

100 dB

Helicopter

105 dB









Normal speech at 3-5 feet.

Idling motorcycle sounds twice as loud as normal conversation, because 10 dBs louder.

Motorcycle at full throttle sounds twice as loud as at idle, because 10 dBs louder.

This is the predicted noise level that nearby residents will hear at night with windows closed. Imagine sleeping through the noise of an electric drill at the foot of your bed.

Jackhammer another doubling of the noise level.

Helicopter at 100 feet is 50% louder than a jackhammer.

Firefighters brace for heat wave, winds

From the LA Times:

September 21, 2009 | 8:45 am

The Los Angeles Basin is expected to experience a heat wave starting today and moving into full swing Tuesday with triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds, putting firefighters on high alert, weather officials said.

"The low humidity means our air is going to be pretty parched," said Jamie Stern of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Fire danger is expected to be highest Tuesday, when temperatures will peak and humidity will be lowest. Red-flag warnings indicating heightened fire danger were expected to go into effect at 4 a.m. Tuesday and last until about 6 p.m. Wednesday. The warnings cover the valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as well as Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and most mountain areas.

Winds from the northeast, the direction typical of Santa Anas, were beginning to emerge and expected to contribute to fire conditions. But the winds will be more docile than initially forecast, and will not reach the high speeds characteristic of Santa Anas, officials said.

"We're shying away from calling it that," Stern said. "We're also trying to discourage any pyromaniacs from getting involved."

Fire crews battling the last of the Station fire in the Angeles National Forest said they spent the weekend preparing for this week's heightened danger. Retardant was sprayed along the ridge to the east of Mt. Wilson so that even if hot spots were to flare up due to dry winds, the flames will not cross the ridge, said Carol Underhill of the U.S. Forest Service.

Officials reiterated they expect the fire to be fully contained by Tuesday, she said. It is currently 94% contained.

With high-pressure systems controlling the weather pattern, temperatures in downtown Los Angeles were expected to reach highs of 85 today, 98 on Tuesday and Wednesday, tapering off to 94 on Thursday and 90 on Friday. Valley areas will hit 90 degrees today, then 100 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Humidity was expected to be in the single digits on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

-- Victoria Kim

Coyote attacks prompt action in Griffith Park

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-griffith-park-coyote21-2009sep21,0,1053307.story

latimes.com

Coyote attacks prompt action in Griffith Park

After two people are bitten in less than month, trappers are called in and kill seven of the animals.

By Tony Barboza

September 21, 2009

A man reported being attacked by a coyote in Griffith Park last week, wildlife officials said.

The man, who was lying down near the Travel Town area Wednesday night, reported waking up to find a coyote biting his foot, but he was not seriously injured, said Kevin Brennan, a wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game.

The attack was the second reported in less than a month in the 4,210-acre, chaparral-covered park. Wildlife authorities learned from Los Angeles County health officials last week that another person had been bitten in the park in late August.

In response, wardens dispatched U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife services trappers, who roved the park Thursday and Sunday, trapping and lethally shooting seven of the animals. The agency's policy is to capture and kill coyotes only if there's an imminent threat to public safety. "Somebody getting bitten is an imminent threat," Brennan said.

But because authorities learned of the attacks too late to swab the victim for coyote DNA, they will never know if they nabbed the biter.

"It's been a while since we've had a bite here in Southern California, which is good. That's the way we like to see things," Brennan said. "But almost every day someone's losing pets to coyotes."

A 2004 study by the University of California's Hopland Research and Extension Center found coyote aggression and attacks on people and pets on the rise in the state, particularly in the Southland's "suburban-wild land interface" areas.

Pop singer Jessica Simpson's dog, a 5-year-old Maltese-poodle mix named Daisy, was snatched by a coyote outside her Los Angeles home Monday. Brennan said another 3-year-old "maltipoo" was taken in the jaws of a coyote right in front of its owner two nights later in the Hollywood Hills area.

As drought, development and wildfires have depleted their natural habitat, coyotes have adapted by scrounging for food and shelter in suburban backyards and parks. But there are many measures homeowners can take to make the creatures unwelcome.

What can I do to keep coyotes out of my yard?

Food and water lure coyotes. Don't leave pet food or water outside. Cover your compost and keep trash in clean containers with tight-fitting lids. Keep barbecue grills clean, limit the use of bird feeders, and pick up fallen fruit. Install motion-sensitive lighting and coyote-proof fencing if they continue to be pests.

How can I keep my children and pets safe?

Never allow young children to play outside unsupervised. Don't leave pets outdoors unattended, especially cats and small dogs. If you must keep them outside, confine your animals in sturdy kennels at least 6 feet high.

What should I do if a coyote approaches my home?

Immediately take pets and small children inside. Then make loud noises -- perhaps by banging pots and pans together -- or spray the animal with a garden hose or throw rocks toward it. That probably will drive the coyote away and help it retain its natural wariness of humans.

tony.barboza@latimes.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

UCLA Volunteer Day “Community of Heroes Beacon” Sept. 20-21


As part of UCLA's Volunteer Day on September 22, the University will light up the sky on the nights of September 20 & 21 with the "Community of Heroes Beacon" (four blue columns of light).


The Beacon will be the herald for the UCLA Volunteer Day in which more than 6,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni will be mobilized to participate in restoration and beautification projects at eight locations in Los Angeles: Griffith Park, Point Dume State Beach, the VA Hospital and five underserved local schools. This is considered on of the largest single day volunteer events in any University’s history.

UCLA's Volunteer Day is part of their vision to create a “community of heroes” -- a corps of thousands of enlightened volunteers from the extended UCLA family and the greater community who are involved in a lifelong commitment to civic engagement and volunteering. The Beacon and Volunteer Day are also part of the kick off events for the new UCLA online Volunteer Center at volunteer.ucla.edu.

The hours of the show will be on both September 20 and 21 from sunset until 1am.

UCLA staff has worked to ensure that the direct beams will have no significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

We congratulate UCLA on such a powerful movement of volunteerism. The resounding positive impact this will have on our community, and city as a whole, will certainly be easy to see!

We hope many will take the opportunity to enjoy the show.

7 Westside homes reportedly burglarized in 10 days

Be on Alert Bel~Air and please report any suspicious activity to the LAPD. Crime appears to be on the rise - and by this LA Times article West LA looks to be a target.


From the LA TIMES:

Seven Westside homes have been hit by burglars in 10 days, according to a Neighborhood Watch group that keeps tabs on residential crimes.

Melrose Action keeps watch over neighbors’ safety in the West Hollywood-West Los Angeles area east of La Cienega Boulevard along Melrose Avenue. The group was formed in the wake of a street killing last year Katan Khaimov, 70, of West Hollywood was stabbed and left for dead.

Since then, the group has developed a public safety network to alert homeowners, residences and business owners to crime and safety issues developing in their neighborhoods.

The WeHo News has more:

They report that, in addition to a walk-up armed robbery of a mother and two toddlers at 3rd Street and Gardener on Sept. 9, more than half a dozen home burglaries were either attempted or accomplished between Aug. 31 and Sept. 9. The armed robbery took place at 9:30 a.m. as the trio, the kids in a stroller, walked in their neighborhood.

Collection of Andy Warhol art stolen from Westside home - $1 Million Reward Offered


Los Angeles: Between Sept. 2 and 3, 2009, a multi-million-dollar collection of original artwork by renowned artist Andy Warhol was stolen from the West Los Angeles home of businessman Richard L. Weisman on Angelo Drive. The stolen property included a collection of ten 40-inch by 40-inch pieces produced from 1977 to 1979 depicting famous athletes. A portrait of Weisman was also taken.

A domestic employee entered Weisman's home on Sept. 3 and immediately discovered the artwork missing from the dining room walls. She then left the residence and went to a neighbor's home where she called the police.

Accompanying this press release is a crime alert with details of the incident and images of the stolen artwork.

Photos of the paintings can also be found at the following link:
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/9584873_FnPj8#645233892_VxSHt

Further descriptions are available at the crime alert links below:
Crime Alert Flyer

A reward of $1 million is being offered for information leading to the recovery of the artwork. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft Detail at 213-485-2524. After-hours and on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making Perfect Even Better - The Future of the Hotel Bel~Air


Making Perfect Even Better was the theme of the evening.

And Hotel Bel~Air General Manager Timothy Lee is committed to accomplishing just that.

Last night at the iconic Hotel Bel~Air, Mr. Lee hosted a number of Bel~Air Association Directors to a wonderful dinner and a preview of what the next 18 months hold for the world renowned Stone Canyon hideaway.

Over Potato Crusted Smoked Balik Salmon and Osetra Caviar, rumors were dispelled and plans were revealed. By the time the Valrhona Gianduja Chocolate Flower with Elephant Heart Plum Sorbet dessert was presented, most of our questions and concerns had been addressed, leaving us eagerly anticipating the completion of the Hotel’s refurbishment and the rebirth of a true Bel~Air legend.

The following comprise of the Hotel Bel~Air’s plans to make perfect even better:

The iconic Spanish colonial beauty of the Hotel will be maintained – the signature pink stucco buildings, red tile roofs and majestic towers will be refreshed and repainted, but otherwise untouched.

The 12-acre private sanctuary containing hundreds of plants, flowers and trees – including the wedding gazebo and Swan Lake - will be preserved.

Chloe, Athena and Hercules, the Hotel’s eight-year-old mute swans, will remain in place and continue to be pampered with five star luxuries including their daily diet of fresh iceberg lettuce and swan pellets. During the short period of time that the lake is being resurfaced, individual ponds and enclosures will be provided for each swan.

12 new villas will be constructed (pursuant to plans approved by the City in 2007) consistent with the architecture and quality of the surrounding Hotel. We are informed that these villas will be located where the current Hotel herb garden and “tree house” reside. The villas will include world class luxuries such as large patios and individual plunge pools.

The new Hotel Spa with seven treatment rooms and three Spa Suites will be completed. Access to the Spa will be limited to Hotel Guests and Bel~Air Association Members.

Existing in-room improvements will include enhancements in acoustics (i.e,. sound proofing), lighting, plumbing, air conditioning and modern technology conveniences.

The interior of the Champagne Bar and Restaurant will be upgraded while maintaining signature services and offerings such as the exclusive Table One.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATES can be found on the hotel website: www.hotelbelair.com

Rumors:

The Hotel will be torn down and rebuilt in a “modern” design. FALSE – the existing Hotel is being rejuvenated and will not be torn down. The new Villas and Spa will be constructed in a similar Spanish colonial design as the surrounding Hotel.

The Champagne Bar must be maintained as it is one of the last original historic bars in the City. FALSE – current Champagne Bar is not the original Hotel bar, which most will be surprised to learn was originally white!

The Hotel Furniture will be sold at auction. FALSE – the hotel is storing all furniture for future use.

The Hotel Swans will be sold or given away. FALSE – the swans will remain under the same high-level of care and attention until the completion of the Hotel and their return to a rejuvenated Swan Lake.

The Hotel Staff will be let go. TRUE – This is one of the most devastating aspects of the Hotel’s refurbishment. Nonetheless, Mr. Lee indicated that all staff is invited to reapply for Hotel positions once the renovation is completed. Moreover, the Hotel has hired resume and interview specialists to assist in the placement of staff – and many have already found new jobs including some at the Beverly Hills Montage and Peninsula Hotels. We wish all our friends at the Hotel the absolute best and hope each of you finds your way back to us in the future. The care, service and attention you provided was nothing short of perfect and made every visit to the Hotel an utter delight.

Local Residents / Construction Information:

The Hotel will officially close on October 1, 2009 and will be down for an anticipated 18 months.

The Hotel Bel~Air is committed to minimizing disruption to the neighborhood and its residents as part of the 2007 Spa and Villas approvals with the City of Los Angeles.

Construction parking and traffic as well as staging will take place on Hotel property.

Construction workers will be prohibited from parking on residential streets.

Fences and screenings will be installed along Stone Canyon Road and behind the Hotel entrance and exit to discretely separate construction activities.

Excavation, hauling and open air construction will be limited from 9 AM to 6PM Monday through Saturday. Interior work is limited to 8AM to 7PM.

No construction materials or equipment will be stored on Stone Canyon or Chalon Roads.

The adjacent streets will be swept clean daily to remove dust and debris.