Does Silbiger Benefit the Most?

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     With the extended filing deadline for City Council candidates having passed without change, the hottest political question being bandied about in Culver City this week is:

     Which of the three current candidates will benefit most from Mayor Albert Vera’s withdrawal?

     In the wake of Mr. Vera’s decision last Friday afternoon to retire, the early responses centered on members of the present City Council.

Three Show Nights at Culver High

Ari L. NoonanA&E

     An intimate setting and entertaining music – an appealing combination for starting the new year.

     For three days, Thursday, Jan. 19, Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21, Culver City High School’s
     Academy of Visual & Performing Arts’ will present "Cabaret Night – The Great American Songbook."
     Students and faculty will sing the greatest hits from America’s early popular songs to audiences seated in a cozy cabaret atmosphere on the transformed stage of the Robert Frost Auditorium.

The Return of Michael Dukakis

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     The severe shrinkage of largely forgotten Michael Dukakis, from heavily favored Democratic Presidential candidate to obscure, ordinary citizen, played well on Wednesday evening.  
     From belated arrival to regretted departure, the chastened 1988 contender was loudly cheered by the Democratic Club of Culver City.

Rose Warns RV Owners

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     Owners of recreational vehicles caught an unanticipated break at the last City Council meeting, winning deferment on the implementation of a controversial parking regulation.
     But Councilman Steve Rose is planning to reverse the owners’ momentum when the code change is brought back for another possible final vote.
     “People who own RVs need to take responsibility for their lifestyle,” Mr. Rose said.

Why Vera Quit Council Race

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     Mayor Albert Vera, who probably had more compelling reasons for retiring from politics than anyone in Culver City history, but insisted he never would, reversed himself last Friday afternoon and abruptly quit his bid for re-election.
     He cited the seriously impaired health of his wife Ursula as the mainspring behind his decision.
     The call by Mr. Vera, who is in his early seventies, was surprising if not shocking.

A Winning Night for Teachers?

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     The mismatch of rivals at Tuesday night’s historic School Board meeting in the sprawling Robert Frost Auditorium reminded some people of other famous lopsided battles, like the Indian wars of the nineteenth century.
     The perceived bad guys were wildly outnumbered in both cases. Everybody knows that the Indians lost. But nobody will know the final score from the School Board meeting for weeks to come.

Finally, a Proper Day for Dr. King

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     Congratulations to Ms. Hyacinth McLeod, chair of the Planning Committee, for creating the first-ever Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebration that Culver City can be proud of.
     Marty Nicholson of the Parks and Recreation Dept. also has earned a major bow from for helping to drive the planning troops to what looks and feels like a huge civic triumph.
     The first of its kind.

Obituary: Frank Wilkinson, 91

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

      What is vitally important to know about Frank Wilkinson, a genuine civil liberties hero who died last week at ninety-one, is that he lived his courageous philosophy privately as well as publicly.

     By day, he rigorously advocated for underdogs and for First Amendment free speech rights. By night, when he went home to his family, it was to a hearth in the kind of culturally mixed neighborhood that he regarded as a social ideal. Throughout his adult life, Mr. Wilkinson lived in neighborhoods that some colleagues would have shunned because they were not white enough.
     And then he wore out.

Youth Shot, Killed in Hayden Tract

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     The murder of a partying teenager last Sunday morning in the Culver City-adjacent Hayden Tract has spurred anxious city officials to prepare to meet with business owner Debbie Allen and the Tract’s largest property owner, Frederick Smith.
     One primary focus of the summit meetings, it was learned, will be the reported ongoing friction between Ms. Allen, owner of a prestigious dance studio bearing her name, and City Hall.

Clever Tactical Move by Vera

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     Following Monday night’s City Council meeting, the hardy Friends of Culver City Animals issued a good-news bulletin to pastry lovers:
     It is possible to have your cake and eat it, too. It is possible to lose a decision to the City Council and still score a triumph in the same evening, without ever budging.