FHRA XIX - Return to the Studio
The FHRA's 2007 return to The Prospect Studios was a big hit with Franklin Hills residents. After a warm welcome from studio Manager, Manie Ellis, the meeting began with an update from Councilmember Tom LaBonge on the task of helping Griffith Park recover from the May 2007 fire.

  He encouraged support for efforts led by FHRA board member George Grace to do the first comprehensive wildlife survey of the park, and post the results online later this year. LaBonge also had good news that a long awaited traffic light will soon be helping pedestrians at the dangerous intersection of Hyperion and Monon St. by Trader Joe's and Gelson's.

The crowd of about  140 area residents then got to meet Captain Jose Perez who is enthusiastic about his new assignment as area commanding officer of  LAPD's Northeast Division.

Perez, of Puerto Rican descent, grew up in Chicago, which he termed "the frozen tundra." He called the Northeast Division an "exciting area" with so many varied  features that it is "a city within a city."

He promised he'll be reaching out to the community and despite the fact he acknowledged he is "understaffed for the huge area," he promised to make Northeast "the preeminent division in the city."

His interest in communities and their history was demonstrated by his interest in some of the FHRA's collection of historic photos, which were on display and sale at the meeting. To get his officers thinking about the neighborhoods they work in he's going to adorn the drab institutional walls of the police station with photos depicting the rich history of the area.

Also with an eye to history, and the calendar, is ABC Broadcast Systems Engineering Manager, William Prestwidge, he made an appeal for those in the neighborhood who know bits of the studio's history to get in touch as they are preparing for the 100th anniversary of Vitagraph's entry into the Franklin Hills in 1912. If you have history to share you can e-mail us at FHRA@FranklinHills.org and we'll put you in touch.
Then it was time for a bit of entertaining history from the studio's past. FHRA board member Bruce Carroll showed clips from the 1921 slapstick comedy/action 2 reeler "The Bellboy" starring Larry Semon (the producer who almost bankrupted Vitagraph) and a young Oliver Hardy who lived at 1719 Talmadge. He's seen here on the right. Then scenes of adventure and romance from the 1926 feature "Sea Beast" where John Barrymore hunts Moby Dick from a whaling ship that sailed the seven seas in what's now the Prospect Studio parking lot.
When it was back to business. FHRA President Charley Mims gave his state-of-the-hill speech touching on the recent stairway cleanup, our median maintenance, efforts to get the LILA school to comply with its conditional use permit by reducing the number of students as well as off-hours noise. He also asked for volunteers to lead our graffiti abatement effort.

Senior Lead Officer Sam Salazar (left) reported on details of the May shootout along  Prospect which apparently resulted from relationship issues between the adult shooters' teenaged brothers. Two suffered bullet wounds and there were 2 car crashes during the getaway, but the District Attorney has told LAPD they don't have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki (right) talked about the increased graffiti activity, but had good news the day after the meeting when two 14-15 year old were arrested for covering much of the Franklin Hills area with their "23" tag and other acts of vandalism.

Next, George Grace reported on the project to catalog and create a database of Griffith Parks natural species. Donations to the wildlife project can be made though the FHRA.

After that another Grace (Li Qi Reynolds) gave the shortest speech of the night "Hi!"  while her mom Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds  reported that the Hoover Walk Mural should be installed this summer                                                  
One of the main purposes of the meeting was to elect new FHRA board members for the coming year and this year we had eight candidates running for six regular positions and one vacant seat. When the ballots were tallied three new board members were elected: David Holladay from Udell Ct. and Janice Hynek and Sheri Mobley, both Lyric Ave. residents. Board members Chris Boutelle, Bruce Carroll, George Grace and Carol Skinner were reelected.
But you don't have to be elected to be involved. If you see something you want to help improve in our community let us know and we'll work together to make the Franklin Hills an even better place to live.