Four Want to be Chief

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

    At least four Culver City police officers, and possibly a fifth — among them several surprising names — this week are chasing the most elusive prize in Westside law enforcement, becoming the chief of the Police Dept.
     Unsurprisingly, the drama surrounding the I Wanna Be Chief Derby one month before the filing deadline is thicker than the belly of an oldtime Irish police chief.

George Laase: The Way It Was in ’03

George LaaseOP-ED

     In the School Board election two years ago for two seats, Roger Maxwell, a parent from Farragut School ran against the incumbents Marla Wolkowitz and Stewart Bubar. The two Board members ran their ;pw-key campaigns as if they felt quite assured of the outcomes until about a month before voters went to the polls.  It was publicly disclosed that some Board members were taking more than twice the legal limit in healthcare benefits.
     When confronted with the fact at two public meetings of the School Board, members remained silent, not even acknowledging the truth. They did not offer any public explanation, remaining unresponsive. I guess they thought it would better for them politically to maintain silence since it was so near to Election Day. 

Passionately, The Page Returns

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     In this final week of December, The Front Page resumes its quest to become the No.1 community journal in America, introducing an imaginative, full-service news concept for West Los Angeles,
     Sassy, irreverent and responsibly provocative, The Page, a literary-oriented journal, will pioneer another breakthrough for our town daily online updates.
     Distinguishing itself from more than ninety-nine percent of thecommunity newspapers in this country, The Page is committed to scrutinizingand reporting objectively, aggressively, passionately  the daily political life in Culver City and West L.A.

Culver City Father Shot in Front of Child

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     A thirty-year-old Culver City father who had gone shopping with his young daughter on Sunday morning, Dec. 11, was shot numerous times in front of his horrified child by an enraged gang member, Culver City police said.
     Officials asked that the father¹s identity be withheld for safety reasons. He is reported to be recovering from his wounds. Steven Hernandez of Los Angeles, the twenty-two-year-old suspect, was captured later the same day. Lodged ever since in the County Jail, downtown Los Angeles, police said that he has been charged with attempted murder.
     The frightening 11:30 a.m. shooting grew out of a parking lot brouhaha near the Bed Bath & Beyond and Target department stores on Jefferson Boulevard, across from a U.S. Post Office. According to police, Mr. Hernandez, described as an "off-duty gang member," was with a woman friend when he "began behaving inappropriately."
     With his daughter at his side and shopping on his mind, the father took umbrage at the gentleman¹s actions. Apparently concerned about the effect such conduct would have on his child, the shooting victim sternly began scolding Mr. Hernandez.
     Heated words sailed in both directions.
     With that, police said, an irate Mr. Hernandez stalked back to his car, withdrew a handgun and quickly began firing at the father. By early evening, within eight hours of the shooting, police had the suspect in custody.

Remembering Ralphie

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

     A slender but steady rainfall at mid-day melted noiselessly into the vast, sloping, hungry green grass of Holy Cross Cemetery on the early November day that Ralph Vera, the elder son of the mayor, was buried.
     The inclemency signaled a fitting, if not ideal, backdrop of lamentation for the overflow crowd attending Mr. Vera¹s funeral at the crest of the cemetery, one of the highest landmarks in Culver City.
     For the hundreds of mourners entering Risen Christ Chapel, they traded dreary wet weather for the traditional religious majesty of a solemn Catholic ritual framed in a marble and stone setting. An artful ceiling that seemed to nearly reach the belching clouds was brightened by stained-glass etchings.
     All who led, sadly participated or stonily watched were bathed whitely in the glow of brilliant electricity.

     Amidst the traditional architectural curvature of the Catholic church, every spoken word caromed inside a huge echo off the marbled walls, as if

the walls formed a vertical pool table.

Emily Fisher’s Valiant Fight

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

One of the truly snapshot moments in the modern history of the City Council was essayed in the week before Thanksgiving by the Bentley Avenue activist Emily Fisher.
     With the unusual co-operation of Mayor Albert Vera as a co-conspirator, Ms. Fisher spoke brilliantly on behalf of her neighbors, against building a four-story Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel on Sepulveda near Venice.

Your Life or Your Car? That’s Easy

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

Near the end of our daily telephone call the other morning, my father said that after lunch he was going to drive to the pharmacy for a prescription and downtown to City Hall to pay a bill. He is ninety and a half years old. He should not be driving. Only when his fingers are cold, though, will they be able to peel his firm grip from the steering wheel.
     As long as he can walk to the car, he can drive — that is Pop’s credo. My stepmother, who will be ninety-one in February, purchased a new car not long ago. That, Murgatroyd, is optimism.

In Mary Pickford’s Time

Ross HawkinsOP-ED

    For many years, the home at 10865 Pickford Way was known as the Mary Pickford House. Mxs. Pickford never lived there. But, according to eighty-seven-year-old Betty Lehman, her uncle, Col. William H. Evans, who built the house, named it the Mary Pickford House because he was a great fan of hers. He also named the street, "Fairbanks Way" because he was a fan of Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

Frederick Sisa: No Sacred Cows

Frédérik SisaThe Recreational Nihilist

sisa.jpg     Happy Holidays!
     There. I¹ve offended you. Mortally wounded you, even. On this day after Christmas, I¹ve just wished upon you a horrible, gruesome, drawn-out, agonizing, torturous death. A plague on your house both of your houses, actually.
     Oh, wait. Scratch that. Sorry. I wrote "Happy Holidays," not "Drop Dead."

Newsflash 1

Ari L. NoonanOP-ED

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