THE VIEW FROM BLAIR HILLS
The Blair Hills Association September, 2005 Edited by Bobbi Gold
BLAIR HILLS GENERAL MEETING
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
OHR ELIYAHU ACADEMY
5950 STONEVIEW DRIVE
Our outgoing President, Mary Ann Greene, has worked hard on behalf of our neighborhood for many years. It's time for others to pitch in as officers. A nominating committee composed of Joyce Guinyard, Rosalie Kirsch, Mason Frazier, Gennie Hogg and Rosie McCann has come up with the following slate of candidates (see attached sheet of statements and photos):
President (4 candidates for co-presidents; all will serve)
Siggi Busha (Vicstone), Cheri Sakai (Blairstone),
Joddy Boyer (Perham) and Don Napier (Lenawee)
Vice President: Michael Colby (Wrightcrest)
Secretary: Robert Charney (Vicstone)
(Our current treasurer, Elizabeth Dixon, has agreed to continue serving in that position.)
Please note the following:
ˇ Nominations from the floor will be taken for all positions.
ˇ Voting will by paper ballot.
ˇ Ballots will be counted and winners declared the night of the election.
ˇ Members must be present to vote; absentee ballots will not be available.
Following the elections we can have discussions to help the new board decide on policies and activities and how to address the issues and challenges of the present and future. Please come to vote and to meet the officers who are willing to serve to help us keep Blair Hills as we want it to be. This will be a most important meeting!
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
On July 11, Barney Matsumoto of State Parks gave a presentation to some Blair Hills residents and other interested persons regarding the plants to be installed as the Overlook park is developed. Barney first briefly reviewed the initial improvements to be made- the access road, parking areas, visitor center building with a small garden surrounding it, and trail system. This first phase, which has a budget of $7 million, is nearing the end of the working-drawing stage, to be followed by a review and then going out to bid. Barney expects groundbreaking to be in late spring or early summer, 2006, and construction to last about a year. This first phase will also include a border strip of trees and large shrubs adjacent to Blair Hills, to protect us from adverse impacts from park visitors.
Information on the "plant palette" was then presented by Suzanne Goode, State Parks Resource Ecologist from the Angeles District, and Margot Griswold of Earthworks, the landscape restoration consultant. Landscaping on the rest of the 68 acres will not be part of the first phase. The plans, which emerged from the two public workshops a couple of years ago, call for restoring the hill to a natural area, removing invasive "exotic" non-native plants and restoring native plants which can tolerate the climate. Suzanne and Margo pointed out that the dead brown grasses and weeds we see on the hill now are actually non-natives which cannot tolerate six months of no water. The native plants will be generally green or gray or other natural colors most or all of the year even without artificial irrigation, and when winter rains arrive, wildflowers will explode in a riot of bloom. Most of the plantings will be from seed. Trees to be planted include Coast Live Oak, toyon (which has bright red berries around Christmas), California Walnut and some California Sycamore. Restoring native plants and trees will also restore habitat for the native birds and other animals and insects that used to dwell in these hills.
So don't expect grass lawns and manicured gardens, but do expect a different kind of beauty. And you'll be able to walk or hike through it.
Safety matters. A couple of residents have complained about aggressive dogs while hiking on the Overlook property. In at least one case, they were wild dogs, with no owner present. The Rangers are rarely in their office on Hetzler Road because they have to patrol not only this park but several others as far away as downtown Los Angeles and even Whittier. The following phone numbers can be used to report problems (please correct/add the phone numbers on the front of your Blair Hills directory):
ˇ Ranger staff : (310) 558-4566 ext 105 (checked every day)
ˇ Supervising ranger: (310) 558-4566 ext. 104 (checked Monday-Thursday)
ˇ Emergency: (951) 443-2969 (in Riverside, but they will contact local rangers by radio).
In case of fire, you can call 911 or else Culver City Fire Department, which has keys to all gates.
Blair Hills Gets Younger
The average age in Blair Hills has gone done recently with the arrival of two new residents: Delilah, born in December to Aaron Brumer and Laurie McLaughlin of Stoneview Drive; and Michelle, born in June to Leonardo and Kathey Wilborn of Blairstone Drive. Michelle is the third generation of Wilborns to live in Blair Hills. Congratulations and much happiness to all the parents and families!
Blair Hills Web Site and E-Mail Lists
Jon Melvin maintains the Blair Hills website: ( http://www.blairhills.org ) which has lots of information about our neighborhood. For example, it now contains a link to photos and information about common birds of the Baldwin Hills and Blair Hills. Scroll down the home page to the line that begins: "For nature lovers...."
Jon also now maintains two Blair Hills e-mail lists, an announcement list and a discussion list. Only three people (the newsletter editor, webmaster and BHA president) can send messages to the announcement list. However, anyone on the discussion list can also send messages to that list. You can join either or both lists; we recommend that you join at least the announcement list for occasional messages of interest to Blair Hills residents. If you like to participate in discussions and put in your opinions, join the discussion list also.
To join, email your e-mail address to Jon Melvin. We promise not to sell your e-mail address to spammers! If you are dissatisfied, you can always ask Jon to remove you. If you have information or a question you would like to direct to the announcement list, please send it to Jon or to Bobbi Gold via email.
Bird-Watching Walks in the Baldwin Hills
The Audubon Society leads beginning bird-watching walks in the Baldwin Hills on the third Saturday of each month, starting at 8 AM and lasting 1-2 hours. Location: the Olympic Forest Parking Lot in the Baldwin Hills State Recreation Area (first lot on the left after entering the park). Bring binoculars, hat and sunscreen. $4 Parking fee on weekends, so carpool! (Or walk in from Blair Hills.) Info:
(323) 876-0202 Tuesday thru Saturday 10 AM -4 PM, or on the web at www.laaudubon.org.
In case you haven't noticed, there is often a motorcycle policeman lurking on Vicstone Ct, waiting to nab motorists who slide through the stop sign on Lenawee. If you've developed lax habits about stopping completely there, be forewarned!
Homeless Encampments and Dumpster Diving
A few months ago some Blair Hills residents noticed homeless people camping not in Blair Hills but on nearby streets, possibly living in vehicles. Also, there have been instances of people going through our trash and recycables containers, which is illegal. Removing recyclables deprives the City of revenue. Going through the trash could lead to identify theft if account records are found.
If you see anyone either camping nearby or going through our black/blue/green bins, please contact Culver City Police ASAP with the location and description of the individuals involved. Shred discarded documents with your name, address, phone number and financial information, and don't leave outgoing letters in your open mailbox if they contain information you want to protect.
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