Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Granada Hills Neighborhood Council Members "Jumped" Into Board In Violent, Gang-Style Ritual

    Granada Hills Charter High School's normally peaceful Rawley Hall erupted in terrifying violence last night as members of the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council performed the annual ritual of beating new board members as a test of loyalty.

    In the melee, pictured at left, board members were given their gang names and forced to swear  allegiance to the organization for life.

   "The only way outta this sh_t is in a muthaf__in' box," said departing President Dave "Boo Boo Bear" Beauvais. "But they also give you a nice plaque."

The new Neighborhood Council Officers are:

Secretary: Anthony "Shrimp Boy" Matthews

Treasurer:  Brandon "Flash Dolla" Schindelheim

Parliamentarian:  MC Funkadelic

 Vice President: Jerry "Askew"

 President: Brad "Miget Killa" Smith

Read the complete, and somewhat more factual, list of election results here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Saturday: The Best Possible Reason To Get Drunk And Eat Sausage

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are You Ready To Rumble? Earthquake Prep, Demos, And Burgers This Saturday At The Disaster Preparedness Fair

Guest post by Bill Hopkins, GHNNC Emergency Preparedness Chair

Ever been curious to see the fire department dismantle a car with the Jaws of Life?

Visitors to this Saturday's Disaster Preparedness Fair can also go for a ride in the Shakey-Quakey Schoolhouse earthquake simulator, learn about preparing pets for disasters and emergencies, walk through the LAPD Command Vehicle, learn about free Community Emergency Response Team classes, and get preparedness information from the Red Cross, the Gas Company, LADWP, and other organizations.

 "The first 72 to 96 hours after a disaster, emergency services will be overwhelmed handling priority emergencies, requiring residents to be self-sufficient during that time," says LAFD Battalion Fire Chief Gerry Malais. "Having three or more days of food, water, medical, and pet supplies is imperative so that you’re not dependent on overwhelmed city services."

Volunteer emergency response organizations like Citizens Emergency Mobile Patrol and Civil Air Patrol will be on hand, as will an amateur radio ham radio station (call sign: K6D) and representatives from CHP, LAPD, LA Sheriff's Department, animal rescue organizations, and emergency preparedness product vendors.

The family-friendly event will also include a Fire Department open house, a puppet show, and a sparking electric diorama from LADWP to demonstrate of electrical safety.

How-to demonstrations include "sidewalk CPR" and how to use a fire extinguisher, and event freebies include emergency preparedness kits for the first 500 attendees and free burgers and hot dogs, and a drawing for an EP backpack filled with emergency supplies.

The free event is sponsored by Valley Neighborhood Councils, Earthquake Country Alliance, local merchants, and Councilmember Mitchell Englander, with various City, State, and Federal agencies. For further information, please email

Sixth Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair 
Saturday, October 5, 2013, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm 
Fire Station 87, 10124 Balboa Blvd., North Hills (between Devonshire St. and Lassen St.) Preparedness information, demos, activities for kids, free food 
Admission is free

Monday, September 23, 2013

Love Me, I'm Naked: Artist Nate Page Drops The Façade

California Living, by Nate Page (select raw footage) from machine project on Vimeo.

In a neighborhood not known for having a vibrant street life, or even particularly chatty neighbors, on Thursday night, artist Nate Page brought everyone out onto the sidewalks, feeling friendly, open, and proud.

"Felt almost like Halloween!" noted one resident on the lively, street-party-like atmosphere in Balboa Highlands that began at 8pm and ran until 11.

Page, in conjunction with art collective Machine Project and as part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture In L.A., created an installation in which he projected video footage of the homes' residents, going about their daily lives, in 15-minute loops onto the houses' exteriors.

Through Page's piece intended, in part, to be a commentary on suburban isolation with a tad of peeping Tom voyeurism thrown in, in practice, the feeling was neither of those. By essentially stripping their houses naked and exposing the lives inside, revealing little more drama than piano playing and cake slicing, the feeling was one of gleeful nudity. Not of the exhibitionistic variety, but the kind that says, "Look at me -- I'm just like you are."

A cluster of viewers peers inside a home on Lisette Street.
Cape Cod houses feature plenty of front-facing windows from which to view (perhaps imperiously) the world without. Craftsman houses make the front porch a central asset, the better to wave hello to neighbors from.

By contrast, while open and airy inside, but with a blank and windowless exterior face, it seems clear that Eichler homes are more about bringing the outdoors in -- so that you don't really ever have to go fully outdoors -- than in communing with the neighborhood. The Eichler house even goes so far as to include an interior buffer zone between its occupants and the outside world. The negative read is that it's isolating, the positive is that this creates a heightened sense of sanctuary. But whichever camp you fell into hardly mattered on Thursday night, when California Living lit up the faces of Eichler homes and neighborhood viewers alike.

By bringing art out of the gallery and into a neighborhood as far from artsy enclaves like Venice or Silverlake as you can get, Page brought out a groundswell of community connection, with everyone dropping their façades and mingling, feeling engaged with the life around them. In a group of houses chosen, ironically, for their blank, "unfriendly" exteriors, Page's installation made for a thrilling contrast.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two Subs Enter, No Subs Leave: Giga Granada Hills Pits Togo's Against Jersey Mike's In A Sandwich Death Match

Balloons and streamers heralded the opening of a new Togo's restaurant in Granada Hills in the OSH shopping center last month -- right across the street from the Jersey Mike's opened in 2010.

But does new interloper Togo's pose a threat to Jersey Mike's sandwich supremacy? Giga Granada Hills pitted sandwiches from both stores against each other in a salami-to-salami face off to see which sub Granada Hillsians should let into their hearts and mouths.

Sadly, it was no edge-of-the-seat contest, as one combatant's the victory was swift and decisive. Seems that the new sub in town just couldn't hold off the Jersey boy.

Our panel of six tasters -- which included a new mom eager to shake off the shackles of her pregnancy-proscribed cold cut drought -- quickly came to unanimous consensus that Jersey Mike's Number 13, the "Original Italian" bested Togo's Number 16, simply called "The Italian."

Taster comments on Togos: 

"It's bland, but salty." 
"The bread is soggy." 
"It's kind of flavorless." 
"It's not bad, but it doesn't compare." 

Taster comments on Jersey Mike's: 

"There's more meat, with more texture." 
"The bread is crustier." 
"There's more vinegar, which makes it tangy." 
"It's spicier." 

The main downside to Jersey Mike's: the significant improvement in taste comes at a significantly higher price. Mike charges $7.75 for a regular, versus $5.75 for the regular size at Togo's. True, the Jersey Mike's regular is 1.5 inches longer than the 6 inch Togo's sub, but two bucks seems like a big jump just for an extra inch and a half. 

Bottom line: if you want a perfectly serviceable, and far cheaper sub, go to Togo's. But if you want a Jersey Shore-style party in your mouth, walk across the street. 

Stay tuned: Next up, Giga Granada Hills stages a food fight between Jersey Mike's and the grandaddy of all Granada Hills sandwich shops, Italia Deli. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Album From Shoegaze Progenitors Medicine Out Today

Medicine, fronted by Granada Hills resident Brad Laner, is described by Anthony Gonzalez of M83 as "one of the most underrated bands from the 90's and  also one of my favorite Shoegaze bands. They represent everything I love in music. Distorted and bendy guitar riffs mixed with beautiful airy vocal melodies." 

The band's reunion album,  "To The Happy Few," their first in nearly 20 years, is out today. 

The trio of Laner, Beth Thompson and Goodall will be playing two special shows: an August 11th date at The Echo in Los Angeles and an August 16th show at Music Hall Of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.