Jeannie Shen from the
city’s Department of Transportation fielded many residents questions
about what could be done to control speeds and reduce accidents on our
streets, especially Franklin Ave. and St. George Street. She pointed
out the intersection gets about 10,000 vehicles per day much of it
“cut-through” traffic seeking to avoid congestion on the few other
east-west routes through the area. She explained that because Franklin
Ave. is classified as a secondary hiway such so-called “traffic
calming” measures as speed humps would not be permitted. Several in the
audience spoke from personal experience about bad accidents and near
accidents from speeding and motorists failure to stop at the all-way
stop signs at the intersection. In May 2004 a speeding motorist crossed
over the median and totaled several parked cars…and the Median sign
One neighbor suggested that extending the guard rail on the north side
of the median would prevent a repeat of this accident in the future.
Shen promised to look at the traffic stats for the area to see what
might be done. LAPD Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki said LAPD would
intensify enforcement in the area, but that most of those cited would
likely be local residents.
Back by popular demand was LA Department of Animal Services wildlife
specialist Officer Gregory Randall who praised the FHRA for helping him
save the lives of over 300 animals, including four peregrine falcons on
the endangered species list. It was at our February Critters meeting
that Randall was introduced to representatives of a Camarillo based
wildlife rescue organization that has taken care of the animals.
|Randall discussed recent reports of a
mountain lion in Griffith Park and warned hikers not to go out alone,
to carry a cell phone and an air horn. He also suggested a walking
stick, golf balls or small rocks or just waving your arms can be used
to scare the lion away but you should never bend over or crouch down
because you might be mistaken for the lions’ desired diet of deer or
other four legged creatures. He explained to a resident who recently saw a pack of 7 coyotes on her
street that we are just past the breeding season so numbers are higher
than later in the year when most of the young will have died off from
the skin disease, mange…and from being hit by cars. The most deadly
street being Los Feliz Blvd.|
Board member George Grace reported the FHRA fund established to install
wildlife drinkers in Griffith park, so coyotes will not be forced to
migrate to the Franklin Hills, has already collected over $1,500. Grace
explained the goals of the program and asked those attending to sign a
petition in support of the project. He also asked for signatures to
retain the wildlife specialist position which is being eliminated from
the Department of Animal Services. Officer Randall, who has been so
informative, would be one of those to be reassigned.
GGPNC Board Member Mary Rodriguez
Mary Rodriguez presents certificate of appreciation to FHRA President
Charley Mims to honor the FHRA contribution to promoting art on the
King Middle School campus.
The meeting also had reports from several FHRA committees:
Councilmember LaBonge introduced the new commanding officer of the
LAPD’s Northeast Division, Capt. Morris Smith. The 23 year LAPD veteran
said the he is “real big on community policing.” And explained the
difficulties he has with the LAPD’s “very thin staffing.”
Senior Lead Officer Polehonki echoed that theme explaining there is
only one officer on duty for every 1,900 residents…”so that puts us in
a lot of hurt.”
Polehonki reported property crime in our area was down 11% from last
year and violent crime was down also, but only by 2%. He asked for
neighbor’s help in finding a suspect who used pepper spray to rob a man
coming home north of Franklin near Talmadge early in the morning on
June 8th. The suspect (black male about 6’, 200lbs, 35 yrs old) was
driving a 2000 year gray pickup truck with the partial license plate number
Treasurer, Bruce Carroll, reported the FHRA’s finances are in good
shape and that to earn more interest we had opened an account at the
neighborhood’s new CalNational Bank, but that the uncrowded bank
unfortunately was incompetent and had an unfriendly attitude toward new customers, leaving
unfullfilled their website's claim: “At Cal National, we have
R-E-S-P-E-C-T for you, your money, and your time.”
|New Community Garden
coordinator, Marcus Christian, reported the garden is thriving and will
be renamed to honor its founder the late Norman Harriton.
Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds showed off the design for the Hoover Street
mural. The painting along the stairs down from Prospect Ave. should be
done by this fall.
Eric Frase, the leader of FHRA’s graffiti abatement team, noted that
“things have calmed down in the neighborhood.” He also proposed that we
look into the possibility of decorating the many utility equipment
boxes on Franklin Hills sidewalks as other cities have done to beautify
the neighborhood and reduce graffiti.
Chris Boutelle plays the part of a human easel as Mary Francis
Smith-Reynolds explains that the design for the Hoover Stairway Mural
Project has been approved by the city.
Three days before the meeting the FHRA booth at the Los Feliz
Street Fair provided another avenue of outreach.
meeting elected by
acclamation new board member Anne Richardson and re-elected David
Campbell, Eric Frase, Charley Mims, and Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds…all
will serve two year terms. They were not the only winners...two lucky residents won the raffle and will be enjoying a
delicious prime rib dinner for two thanks to the generosity of the Dresden on Vermont.