I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
– Thomas Jefferson

Issue 3 | Summer 2014


Friends of the Hollywood Central Park Board of Directors

FHCP Staff

  • Philip E. Aarons, Chairman
  • Alfred Fraijo, Jr., President
  • George Abou-Daoud, Vice President
  • Jeffrey Briggs, Vice President
  • Brian Folb, Vice President
  • Scott Campbell, Treasurer
  • Christi Van Cleve, Secretary
  • Christopher Barton
  • George Brauckman
  • Douglas Campbell
  • Heather Cochran
  • James Feldman
  • Kate Folb
  • Betty Fraser
  • Craig Fry
  • David Gajda
  • Terri Gerger
  • Aileen Getty
  • Bradley Glenn
  • John Goodwin
  • David Green
  • Phil Hart, PhD
  • Ed V. Hunt
  • Tricia LaBelle
  • Jacob Lipa
  • Jerold B. Neuman
  • Susan Polifronio
  • Scott Rynders
  • Nicole Shahenian
  • Sam Smith
  • Thaddeus Hunter Smith
  • Robert Soderstrom
  • Gary Taglyan
  • Todd Warner
    • Laurie Goldman
      Executive Director
    • Alfredo Hernandez
      Program Director

I ♥ Hollywood Central Park

Show your support for your Hollywood Central Park Give us a positive review at: Great Non-Profits

spacer.gif In this issue:

A Message from the President

A few days ago the City of Los Angeles' Department of Recreational and Parks hosted a scoping meeting for the Hollywood Central Park.

 

Laurie Goldman, FHCP Executive Director

Late August may not be the best month for a visit to our State Capitol with temperatures looming in the high 90’s, but for the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park Delegation it was the best month because it was the end of the legislative session and EVERYONE was in town.
 

Six years ago, the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP) gave a gift to Hollywood that will be remembered for generations to come.

 

Executive Director Laurie Goldman sat down with founding FHCP Board Member Edward V. Hunt for a discussion on all things Hollywood.

 


Hollywood Dreaming

A Message from the President

A few days ago the City of Los Angeles' Department of Recreational and Parks hosted a scoping meeting for the Hollywood Central Park. A significant milestone for the project. I had the special privilege of speaking with the media about our organization's efforts and the purpose of scoping. The more I discussed the benefits of this phenomenal community-driven project and the importance of soliciting community input, the more inspired I became to share with Angelinos what I know will become an iconic development for the City and the region. Los Angeles, especially Hollywood, was built by people who had the courage to dream big. In its scope and ambition, the park exemplifies our City of Dreams.

So many people from all over attended the scoping meeting. Close to 200 people were milling around stations designed by the City to present the full range of environmental issues to be analyzed. Public comments were recorded and will be used to guide the City's review.


l-r: Elza Ventura, Lizette Cruz, Alfred Fraijo, Edith Ayala, Dennis Dominguez, Melissa Aguilar, and Rosa Ramos

People with small children, whole families and their pets attended. All ages and generations were represented. It was a community affair just as we had hoped for. What I shared with the media and what I believe deeply is that the project has and will continue to be driven by community. At the heart of the project, is people's love for making our city better and greener.

I also was so impressed by the large number of high school students in attendance. They were incredibly engaged in the process and even dressed-up for the occasion. I was approached by a group of bright-eyed students from the STEM Academy at Bernstein High School. Their assignment was to study the technical components of the project, including design and engineering. They asked about public safety and the design of the deck over the freeway. Their curiosity gravitated to the range of activities proposed and the facilities and amenities to be built like the small amphitheater for local musicians and artists. They want to know the total number of trees to be planted. As we talked, I imagined them jogging or riding their bikes on the park and playing on acres and acres of new green space within walking distance from their school.

After the scoping period ends, the hard work begins to prepare an environmental report that fully and accurately analyzes the scope of project. A team of extraordinarily capable and equally passionate professionals have been engaged by the City and will be analyzing air quality, traffic, water quality, geology and many more state-mandated areas of analysis. I know we will have a robust and thorough vetting of the environmental issues. The feasibility studies, like the design and construction, will meet the highest standards worthy of support by the community and City leadership.

Toward the end of the conversation, one of the students with smartly framed glasses and a smile full of promise asked rather shyly but with excitement, "Do you think we can have our high school graduation in the new amphitheater?" A new park fan was born then and there. Of course, I responded, it is your park.

Alfred Fraijo, Jr.
President

Sacramento, the City of Trees - California Begins Here!

Laurie Goldman, FHCP Executive Director

Late August may not be the best month for a visit to our State Capitol with temperatures looming in the high 90’s, but for the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park Delegation it was the best month because it was the end of the legislative session and EVERYONE was in town.

FHCP’s second annual Sacramento Advocacy trip included delegates from the FHCP Board of Directors, community leaders and business owners  who traveled to Sacramento to brief legislators and agencies on the Park’s progress and to learn what legislation might be applicable to the Park.  From meetings with Senators Kevin De Leon and Ricardo Lara to Assembly Members Richard Bloom and Ed Chau to Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriguez and Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Brian Cash, the Hollywood Central Park was received with enthusiasm and support.  


Back row l-r: Jacob Lipa, Jason Brandman, Scott Campbell, Todd Warner, Edward Hunt and Alfredo Hernandez

Front row, l-r: Sharyn Romano, Alfredo Fraijo, Jr., Senator Kevin DeLeon, Laurie Goldman, Brian Folb and Martha Hunt


Back row l-r: Alfredo Hernandez, Brian Folb, Jason Brandman, Jacob Lipa, Michael LoGrande, Sharyn Romano, Scott Campbell, Edward Hunt and Martha Hunt

Front row, l-r: Assembly Member Richard Bloom, Laurie Goldman and Todd Warner

Two days of meetings yielded practical information, such as how recent Cap and Trade legislation could benefit the Park, how the Conference Center in Salt Lake City was built with a soil that is 50% more light weight than traditional soil and how to preserve affordable housing along the edges of the Park.

The delegation was pleased to discover in our meetings that public officials immediately understood the value and countless benefits of the Hollywood Central Park -- and maybe that is because Sacramento, the City of Trees, is an urban forest and a park rich environment.    

In a meeting with Sacramento City Council Member Steve Hansen, delegates learned that Sacramento is a Sterling Tree City USA and is rated one of the top ten urban forests in the country.  Sacramento’s parks and urban forest are the building blocks for their sustainable and healthy communities.  When touring the Capitol grounds and surrounding areas, FHCP delegate Sharyn Romano, Los Angeles Beautification Team, provided the delegation with a lesson of how urban forests provide multiple environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits.  How trees provide shade and reduce energy consumption.  And, how trees improve air and water quality, provide habitat value and impart a distinct character in the environment.

We also learned that Sacramento is a spectacular city. FHCP suggests that you look again: you will find arts and culture to inspire you, “farm-to-fork” cuisine to excite you, and history to enrich you. Why not join us for our next Sacramento ’15 Advocacy trip!


l-r: Jacob Lipa, Todd Warner, Brian Folb, Jason Brandman, Laurie Goldman, Edward Hunt, Michael LoGrande, Martha Hunt and Scott Campbell


Back row l-r: Brian Folb, Edward Hunt, Martha Hunt, Alfredo Hernandez and Jason Brandman

Front row, l-r: Sharyn Romano, Todd Warner, Laurie Goldman, Scott Campbell and Alfred Fraijo, Jr.

An Message From Tom LaBonge

Six years ago, the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP) gave a gift to Hollywood that will be remembered for generations to come. The Hollywood Central Park will empower the City of Los Angeles and when completed, this incredible dream of 38 acres of urban green space will become a reality.

Every year, I am honored to participate in the “For the Love of Hollywood” gala, in support of the Hollywood Central Park. As a part of my commitment, I have truly believed in, from its inception, the Park’s vision to utilize space above the Hollywood Freeway, linking communities that had been previously separated by this structure that runs throughout the heart of Hollywood. Just as other cities such as Seattle or Dallas have done with the capping of a freeway, this Park not only provides impressive positive health impacts, but also, an economic stimulus to one of Los Angeles’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods.

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the leadership Laurie Goldman, FHCP Founding President and Executive Director and the FHCP team who had this revelation to change the landscape of an entire region for the better. It is truly an inspiration for all to see local heroes that exhibit their commitment and dedication in making this unbelievable dream into a reality.

Getting to Know You: Edward Hunt

The first in a series of interviews with the FHCP Board of Directors

click to play
l-r: Lucy Hunt Wiedenmann, Adelaide Wiedenmann, John Wiedenmann, Martha Hunt, Edward V. Hunt

Edward Villareal Hunt, AIA, ASLA

Executive Director Laurie Goldman sat down with founding FHCP Board Member Edward V. Hunt for a discussion on all things Hollywood:

LG:  Ed, your Chairman of the Melrose Hill Neighborhood Association, a member of FHCP Board, former member of HSDNC among so many other organizations – what drives you to be so involved in your community?

EVH: First, I don’t think my involvement is any more than so many others in and around my neighborhood and community.  It has to be a team effort to get anything done.  As you know our neighborhood is primarily poor and minority with many families struggling.  Even so, large numbers of them find time to try to make their neighborhood a better place to live and raise a family.

LG:  As a community, we just came through a bruising and bitter battle over the Hollywood Community Plan update.  How do we create a balance between economic development and quality of life issues?

EVH: Wish I knew. At this point, I think it is best to work closely with the judge in a transparent process to revise the plan as quickly as possible so we can move forward.

LG:  I know you to be a committed preservationist, what is the secret to preserving our history while building for our future?  

EVH: Without our past, how do we know who we are?  For residential areas, place more emphasis on expediting Historic Preservation Overlay Zones.  For Commercial Areas, a fair program of transfer of development rights is one strategy.  Helpful would be to publish the languishing Hollywood portion of the City-wide Historic Survey promised for three years ago.

LG:  As a landscape architect by profession, what do you see as opportunities to greening LA?  What are the barriers?  

EVH:  I could write a lengthy book on this, but start by getting rid of every illegal scofflaw residential front yard bootleg parking lot.  Ensure green shady residential front yards throughout Hollywood and East Hollywood.  In fill and properly maintain street trees with emphasis on large native trees.   Support green roofs and roof top parks on large buildings like the 4-acre Target store.  Require landscaping in dedications beyond the required sidewalks until they are needed for street widening’s.  Expedite the construction of the 38-acre Hollywood Central Park over the recessed portion of the Hollywood Freeway from Santa Monica to Bronson.  

One of the many barriers is no enforcement of quality- of-life zoning laws and ordinances, especially by the Housing Department.

LG:  What are the essential ingredients in making Hollywood a livable and sustainable community?

EVH: Start by preserving, protecting and revitalizing Hollywood and East Hollywood residential neighborhoods with the idea of making them safe, green, shady, quiet, peaceful places to live and raise a family.  Insure infill development is compatible with existing.

For Commercial areas emphasize open space, good landscaping, protected bike lanes and respect views and access to sun.  Personally I would rather see a tall slender building with open space and landscape areas than a short fat one that leaves no space for the public and landscaping other than the minimum City sidewalks.