The passion about the park has spread through every corner of the Hollywood community and across the city of Los Angeles.
– State Senator Curren Price

 

Issue 7 | Fall 2015


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
  • Douglas Campbell
  • Heather Cochran
  • James Feldman
  • 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
  • Stacy Marble
  • Timothy McOsker
  • Susan Polifronio
  • Sharyn Romano
  • Marie Rumsey
  • Scott Rynders
  • Nicole Shahenian
  • Dixon Slingerland
  • Thaddeus Hunter Smith
  • Robert Soderstrom
  • Gary Taglyan
  • Adam Tartakovsky
  • Todd Warner
    • Laurie Goldman
      Executive Director
    • Alfredo Hernandez
      Program Director

 

2016 Gala Sponsorships

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Taglyan Cultural Center
Honoring
Mike Sullivan, Owner, LAcarGUY
Children's Hospital LA
Paul Hirsch, Prinicpal, STEM Academy @ Bernstein

 

FHCP received award for Public Open Space (in process) and People’s Choice Award at Westside Urban Forum’s Annual Design Awards Luncheon on June 5th.

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:

By Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz
The City of Los Angeles, like the rest of our state, nation and world, is facing a huge existential crisis – climate change. Plus, we are dealing with the immediate challenges and consequences of a horrendous, record-setting drought, which of course is significantly exacerbated by global warming.
 

By Gala Co-Chairs Dave Gajda and Jose Malagon
and Laurie Goldman, Executive Director

Did you know that civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia? Tradition dictates that the New Year is a time of rebirth, a time to start fresh.
 

By Philip Mershon
From the first moment that it was explained to me, I’ve been a huge fan, and supporter, of The Hollywood Central Park. I mean, what’s not to love?

 

And now, a word from our Sponsors ...
Aileen Getty Foundation

An early supporter of the Hollywood Central Park project, the Aileen Getty Foundation admired the vision for a shared space where those in the community could enjoy nature and each other. 

 

A series of interviews with the FHCP Board of Directors
Brian Folb, Founding Board Member and Vice President, Friends of the Hollywood Central Park.

 

Triple digit temperatures and a schedule packed with meetings awaited this year’s FHCP Sacramento Advocacy Delegation this past August. Little did we know the real heat would come from some of the most successful meetings we have ever encountered during any of our advocacy trips.

 

From Executive Director, Laurie Goldman
YPI is a visionary organization doing impactful work fighting poverty in Los Angeles, by serving the City’s most vulnerable families and elevating our young people through high-quality services and educational programing.

 


Global Warming … How HCP Can Help

By Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz

The City of Los Angeles, like the rest of our state, nation and world, is facing a huge existential crisis – climate change. Plus, we are dealing with the immediate challenges and consequences of a horrendous, record-setting drought, which of course is significantly exacerbated by global warming.

The good news is that we are taking many productive steps in order to do what we can to change those dangerous circumstances for the better. We can improve our quality of life while promoting a better way of doing things for the sake of the environment.

It’s in that regard that I want to list some of our current and pending actions. But first, I want to make clear that the Hollywood Central Park is a beautiful example of how we can build a better tomorrow through creative, visionary and practical proposals as well as common-sense improvements and solutions that allow for and embody smart growth and livable development.

The Hollywood Central Park is capable of inspiring people to delight in their city’s recreational capacity, in a way that celebrates healthy exercise and a happy community in a green and nature-friendly setting.

It is absolutely crucial that we not just support but create open spaces, with healthy trees and native plants that have a positive impact on the air that we breathe and the biodiversity that is essential for a healthy ecology.

Such endeavors can and do unite communities, bring people together harmoniously, and demonstrate examples of best practices in terms of urban planning.

Now, I would like to share some of the other things we are doing to help our city and planet survive and prosper, both in terms of the drought and also the complex and grim reality of climate change. As a lifelong environmentalist, a member of the City Council and its Energy & Environment Committee, and one of the Mayor’s appointees to the Metropolitan Water District Board, I’m proud of how our city is taking a leadership role in meeting the extraordinary challenges before us, through big efforts and modest ones, whether it’s by creating a true nexus of public transit, or by seeking to untangle the bureaucracy that can make it so difficult to install solar power in our homes, or promoting implementation and use of rain barrels, high-efficiency clothes washers, high-efficiency toilets, and a dramatic change in landscaping practices.

I have introduced a slate of motions dealing with the drought. One involves reuse of the 270 million gallons of water that flow out of our Hyperion Water Treatment Plant into the ocean every day. Another establishes a watershed approach to lawn removal so that we are achieving multiple benefits such as storm water capture and cleaning, and habitat creation. I have also introduced a motion for the City to address the L.A. Basin’s significant methane leak problem, which NASA discovered in the last year: methane is a 20 times stronger greenhouse gas in the short term than carbon dioxide. Lastly, I’ve introduced a motion to set an 80% reduction of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and 80% of the Department of Water and Power’s emissions by 2030, which will include when the city divests itself from its two coal-fired power plants.

Lastly, and most importantly, I was recently able to secure $20 million to begin the clean-up of the San Fernando Valley aquifer, which, when clean, can store and provide water for 800,000 people per year, nearly a quarter of the city.  We were also very involved with the Mayor's team in negotiating funds from November's state water bond that we can use toward the same purpose. 

Together, we can create change that is needed and beneficial. The great thing about a cap park such as the Hollywood Central Park is that it can illustrate the pleasurable benefits and improvements that are possible, and not just some of the limits that are also required for us to be responsible stewards of our city and planet.

For The Love of Hollywood Gala 2016

By Gala Co-Chairs Dave Gajda and Jose Malagon and Laurie Goldman, Executive Director

Did you know that civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia? Tradition dictates that the New Year is a time of rebirth, a time to start fresh. By celebrating the new year we acknowledge the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. It is for this reason that our annual For the Love of Hollywood Gala celebration is held a few days after the start of the new year, a magical and luminous time period where anything is possible.

While it may be superstitious on our part, each year our January Gala has grown in numbers and in revenue. We know with your continued support our lucky 7th Gala on January 7, 2016 will be no exception. For the Love of Hollywood returns to the Taglyan Cultural Center, home to four previous Gala events. While last year’s Gala at the Palladium hosted more than 800 guests and received rave reviews, it was the decision of the Gala ’16 Host Committee to return to the more intimate setting of the Taglyan Cultural Center to celebrate our accomplishments and continuous forward progress.

Do we owe our continued success to a supernatural dimension that brings us good fortune in the New Year? Well, maybe. Mostly, we attribute our success to the passion and enthusiasm the Hollywood Central Park inspires and to the unyielding belief that the Park will be built in the not too distant future. Our success is unmistakable in the hearts and minds of our countless volunteers from the Board of Directors to Hollywood stakeholders to businesses large and small and to the relentless Gala Committee, each of whom have stepped up to support the Park and are tireless in their efforts to bring much needed green open space to Hollywood. Here is what our friends say about Gala:

"The Hollywood Central Park Gala is by far one of the most important and fun events of the year!"
– Manny Rodriguez, Founder and Executive Director, La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center


"The Hollywood Central Park Gala is easily my favorite event of the year. I
can't wait." 
– Bernadette Jones, Community Activist 


“There is nothing I look forward to more after the holidays are over and the new year has begun than the For Love of Hollywood Gala.”
– Dixon Slingerland, Executive Director, Youth Policy Institute


"The Park Gala is the best event in Hollywood and starts the New Year with hope and joy."
– Gabriella Curon, Apartment Manager


"For the Love of Hollywood is a great event!  It brings together everyone who supports this park - from celebrities to community activists - for a fun and very entertaining evening."
Andrea Ceragioli, Paramount Pictures


We extend our gratitude to our distinguished honorees, the 2016 Real Stars of Hollywood, Mike Sullivan, Owner, LAcarGUY, Children’s Hospital LA and Paul Hirsh, Principal, STEM Academy @ Bernstein, who have helped to shape our progress and transform a dream into a reality.

In 2009, we chose to name our annual event For the Love of Hollywood because the Board was committed to creating the Hollywood Central Park for the love of Hollywood! And we named our new nonprofit organization Friends of the Hollywood Central Park because we knew that creating the Hollywood Central Park would be dependent on the initiative and dedication of all stakeholders … our friends.

Thank you for being our FRIEND – hope to see you at Gala, in the New Year, on January 7, 2016!

For sponsorship, tables and ticket information click here.

IOBY (In Our Back Yard)

By Philip Mershon

From the first moment that it was explained to me, I’ve been a huge fan, and supporter, of The Hollywood Central Park. I mean, what’s not to love? Desperately needed green space in a park-deprived area that enables and supports active recreation for our youth and an entertainment stage, eating establishments and activities for all. No-brainer, slam-dunk, must-have and let’s-go were some of the phrases racing through my mind.

But there’s another, quieter, simpler benefit that I want to talk about here.

I (and a lot of other folks I know) work for myself. I work from my home. What this means is that I spend waaaay too much time alone. To break up that monotony I am engaged with social media. I have a Facebook business page. The words “like” and “share” involve metrics and mean something very different now than they did when I was a kid. I am virtually in touch with many. I am physically in touch with few. I have talked myself into believing that I live a well-rounded, balanced life. Not true. All too often my outings are involved with running errands to the grocery store, drug store, cleaners. There is a destination involved and the destination is to get back home!

So, for me, the chance to have a park where I can go and stroll, or just sit, and enjoy small talk with members of my community, in person, is very exciting idea. I can see going there several times a week. I already envision myself enjoying trees and flowers and birds and squirrels and people without a single electronic device involved!

About 25 years ago a TV program debuted called, “MTV Unplugged”. It featured popular music that had been stripped of its amplification and studio tricks down to the rich essence of song and performance. Well, for me, The Hollywood Central Park aside from all its other gifts will be “Hollywood Unplugged” and I can’t wait to meet you there.

Philip Mershon Bio

A life-long fan and 30 year resident of Hollywood, Mershon is the owner/operator of an historic walking tour that explores the first 100 years of the entertainment industry in Hollywood. The Felix In Hollywood Tour (www.felixinhollywoodtours.com) is like a 90 minute live action PBS documentary and has been named the best Hollywood tour by both LA Weekly and Time Out Los Angeles and is enjoyed by locals as well as visitors. Mershon is a stakeholder of the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council.

And now, a word from our Sponsors ...
Aileen Getty Foundation

An early supporter of the Hollywood Central Park project, the Aileen Getty Foundation admired the vision for a shared space where those in the community could enjoy nature and each other. Few projects have such potential to transform the city of Los Angeles—both in terms of the physical landscape as well as the enhanced quality of life that will follow from such a thoughtful investment in our community.

It was with great joy that the Aileen Getty Foundation provided early funding to complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), a necessary step to move forward with planning for the Park. We are grateful to all of those who have been working to make the Park a reality, particularly FCHP Executive Director Laurie Goldman and the FHCP Board of Directors, all of whom are working toward a beautiful shared vision, which will have a transformative impact on our city.

The Aileen Getty Foundation supports organizations and endeavors that enhance the environment, our communities, and the lives of individuals through innovation, preservation, connection, and kindness.

Getting to Know You: Brian Folb

A series of interviews with the FHCP Board of Directors


Brian Folb, Founding Board Member and Vice President,
Friends of the Hollywood Central Park

Brian Folb & the Folb Family have been involved in the development and management of commercial office buildings, single/ multi-family housing and retail centers in the City of Los Angeles and particularly Hollywood for the past 50 years. Brian’s father Stanley has been considered a pioneer in bringing modern commercial office buildings to Hollywood in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

For over 3 decades, Brian has personally involved himself in just about every aspect of community service in Hollywood. He’s enjoyed working on numerous committees and special events with his colleagues at the Hollywood Chamber, the Sunset & Vine BID, Hollywood Police Support Association and the Hollywood Central Park project.

Brian also loves to support local Hollywood charitable organizations like Hollywood Police Activities League, LACER, the Hollywood YMCA, Los Angeles Youth Network, Hollywood Arts and he’s firmly committed to working with the community to end homelessness in Hollywood.

Brian was born in Los Angeles and has lived there his entire life. He currently lives in Toluca Lake with his beautiful wife Kate and their two Pomeranians Popcorn and Sadie. They have two adult children Aaron and Olivia who they love dearly and who also live and work in Southern California.

Executive Director Laurie Goldman sat down with FHCP founding Board Member and Vice President, Brian Folb on all things Hollywood:

LG: Brian, you are Vice President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, a member of FHCP Board, a member of Hollywood PAL Board, among so many other organizations – what drives you to be so involved in your community?

BF: Hollywood is my home. I may spend the nights at my residence with my family in Toluca Lake, but I’ve spent almost all my waking hours over the past 35 yrs working with my dad (Stanley Folb) and later with my brother (Brad Folb) in our family business, which happens to be the management of the commercial office buildings my father built here in Hollywood in the 60’s and 70’s. During this time I’ve met numerous other property owners and community leaders like you, who like me, have fought hard to bring Hollywood back to her glory days. Working with others who share the same passion and enthusiasm is what drives me and today, seeing the fruits of our efforts come to fruition, is something that gives me a great deal of pride and satisfaction.

LG: As a founding Board Member, please share with our readers how and why you chose to get involved with the Hollywood Central Park?

BF: I didn’t realize the idea of capping the Hollywood freeway to create an urban park in the heart of Hollywood was an idea that had been getting knocked around for almost 40 years as the brain child of long term resident, architect and fellow founding board member Edward Hunt. The first time I heard about it was at a Hollywood Chamber board meeting about 9 years ago when another Hollywood Chamber board colleague asked me what I thought of the idea and whether I thought the Hollywood Chamber would get behind it. I told him, without hesitation, I thought the idea was brilliant. The idea of utilizing the space over the freeway to create an urban park where people could escape the bustle of the concrete jungle, a place to relax and recreate, I knew would be the centerpiece of Hollywood’s revitalization. I told him on the spot I would be willing to assist in any way possible to move the idea forward. Of course, it wasn’t until several years later when you established the Friends of Hollywood Central Park entity and invited me to become a founding board member that this project truly became a reality.

LG: The primary goals of the Hollywood Central Park are to unite communities separated for more than 60 years by the construction of the Hollywood Freeway and to provide the disadvantage communities surrounding the freeway with green open space. With your extensive background in real estate, how do we simultaneously preserve affordable housing, create new affordable housing and stimulate the local economy through development?

BF: Great question. In order to accomplish these important goals, it’s going to take some careful and calculated advance planning and a tremendous amount of political will. Development around the park will happen organically. It’s been proven time and again that urban park projects stimulate development, create jobs and increase property values. This is why politicians love urban parks. They are a win/ win. The difficult part of the equation, of course, is the preservation of affordable housing and the drive to create new affordable housing and this is where there must be staunch political will to ensure that this will happen. The good news is, this is one of the highest priorities of the Friends of Hollywood Central Park. We have been working from the very beginning with our local, state and federal government officials to ensure this park will be accessible to everyone without forcing the people who live here now to have to relocate away from the park and to make certain any new residential development around the park has a legitimate affordable housing component built into the development approvals where lower income people who currently live in buildings that might be candidates for redevelopment, will be given first priority. There further needs to be incentives specifically for families with children and senior housing.

LG: The Folb Family has been part of the Hollywood Community since the early 1960’s, what changes have you seen in Hollywood that are worthy of celebration? What changes have yet to be realized? And, as a community of residents and businesses, what can we do to create a common vision for the future of Hollywood?

BF: I’ve seen a lot of changes in Hollywood over the years, a lot of ups and downs. However, the most noteworthy celebratory events, those that truly changed the game for Hollywood were the Hollywood and Highland project, the subway and the establishment of the business improvement districts. The Hollywood and Highland project was the first major new development in Hollywood in over 20 years. The area was terribly depressed and run down. It may have been a little bit before it’s time, but this was still the trigger for the massive re-development that is going on today. Bringing the subway to Hollywood was probably the biggest game changer. Development of a comprehensive mass transit system in Los Angeles was inevitable and the majority of the redevelopment projects are focused around the 4 metro rail stations placed in Hollywood. Hollywood now has 5 business improvement districts (BID’s) working to update and maintain the public access areas of the community and providing extra security- all funded by the business community to the tune of more than $6 million annually.

What changes have yet to be realized? Hollywood is evolving into a true live, work play community with thousands of new residential units coming on line every year. With more people, we are seeing lots of new restaurants, boutique shops and entertainment venues. This results in a vibrant, more pedestrian-oriented community with a lot more people on the streets. We need to ensure that our public safety systems keep up with the influx of incoming residents. Of course, the biggest change yet to be realized is the Hollywood Central Park. Hollywood is the most park deprived area in the city. We have over 40,000 children with no open space place to play. The Hollywood Central Park will bring people from all over the city, as well as tourists. But more important, it will be a place for the residents of Hollywood to relax and recreate.

What can we do to create a common vision for the future of Hollywood? When I first heard about the Hollywood Central Park, I thought this would be the key component to the success of Hollywood’s redevelopment and defining the future of the community. The park will be the place where everyone feels welcome. It will allow people to realize how people of all different walks of life can live together. Parks heal the wounds caused by the intensity of urban living. Great cities are defined by their parks. The Hollywood Central Park will bring this community together in a way that nothing else will be able to accomplish.

LG: Your passion as an advocate for protecting the environment is well known, what are the essential ingredients in making Hollywood a livable and sustainable community?

BF: I believe we are heading in the right direction, but it’s going to take time for people to learn that making our community more pedestrian friendly, utilizing the mass transit system and minimizing access to vehicular traffic is going to be in the best interest of everyone. The Hollywood Central Park will help to change the mindset, as the design will allow for pedestrians and cyclists to have easy access from every direction. The park is also being designed with renewable materials and sustainable systems for power and irrigation. I expect it will be one of the most sustainable projects in Hollywood and one of the most innovative and environmentally friendly parks in the world. I am so proud to be connected with this project, as I believe it will define the future of Hollywood in the best way possible.

Sacramento Success


L-R Edward Hunt, Laurie Goldman, Senator Bob Hertzberg, Jason Brandman, Martha Hunt, Alfredo Hernandez and Doug Campbell

Triple digit temperatures and a schedule packed with meetings awaited this year’s FHCP Sacramento Advocacy Delegation this past August. Little did we know the real heat would come from some of the most successful meetings we have ever encountered during any of our advocacy trips.

FHCP’s third annual Sacramento Advocacy trip included board members, Hollywood community members, and FHCP staff who traveled to Sacramento to update legislators and agencies, learn about new funding opportunities and garner more support for the Hollywood Central Park. Of special note was a meeting with Senator Bob Hertzberg, who was captivated by our presentation and declared it “… a perfect project.” His enthusiasm and energy left the entire delegation buzzing for the next two days.

Sometimes the best meetings happen in the hallways of our State Capitol. As was the case when we bumped into Assembly Member Mike Gatto and his Chief of Staff John Ferrera just outside of his office. Although brief, the impromptu meeting with the Assembly Member was most successful as he assured us his commitment to FHCP remained as strong as ever and that he would continue to work on our behalf with his colleagues in both the Assembly and Senate.

Another of HCP’s representatives, Assembly Member Richard Bloom, has become a recurring highlight for our delegation as he welcomed us into his office with open arms… literally. Assembly Member Bloom and his legislative deputy Guy Strahl always have wonderful and creative problem solving ideas and a vision not only for the creation of the HCP but beyond just ribbon cuttings. He has us looking into the future with the possible 2024 Olympics and perhaps using the Park for the marathon, cultural events and competition viewing parties.

The FHCP delegation had the opportunity to present the park to our newest State Senator, Ben Allen. An extremely engaging meeting, Senator Allen has us thinking outside the box with construction scenarios and community engagement. While this project is new to Senator Allen, his eagerness to absorb and process as much information we could give him was encouraging and we no doubt have a strong supporter to add to our ranks.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with our newest supporter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, Robbie Hunter. His support is essential for FHCP and we look forward to continue our strong relationships with our local unions as we move closer and closer every day to building a park for our community.

Other important meetings included key staff from Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon’s office as we work towards including specific cap park language in upcoming legislation, Deputy Director of State Natural Resources Brian Cash, who continues to be a wealth of knowledge for us to tap into, as well as meetings with Senator Ricardo Lara, California State Parks and fantastic legislative staff from the offices of Senators Holly Mitchell, Ben Hueso and Assembly Member Ed Chau.

We also have come to realize that Sacramento is quickly becoming a foodie city with many delightful options to choose from as well as very friendly locals who went out of their way to welcome us into their city and make our stay great.

Message of Promise

from Executive Director, Laurie Goldman

As many of you know, FHCP has a close relationship with Youth Policy Institute and its Executive Director Dixon Slingerland. YPI is a visionary organization doing impactful work fighting poverty in Los Angeles, by serving the City’s most vulnerable families and elevating our young people through high-quality services and educational programing. YPI serves more than 100,000 youth and families every year with 125 Program sites and more than 150 organizational partners. Since 2013, YPI and partners have brought $130 million in new federal resources to LA and Hollywood through the place-based approach to fighting poverty of the Promise Zone and related initiatives. Our Hollywood community has benefited from YPI’s incomparable work on our behalf. That is why it is my pleasure to invite you to join me on October 7 at Paramount Pictures for a gala evening under the stars to benefit the Youth Policy Institute. You can purchase a ticket, sponsor a table, take out a program ad – or make a contribution if you’re unable to attend http://www.ypiusa.org/gala. I hope you’ll join me in supporting this very special organization. 

HONORING
FRED ALI, Weingart Foundation
SPECIAL GUEST
Mayor ERIC GARCETTI

OCTOBER 7, 2015
6:30pm Reception – 7:30pm Dinner
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

RSVP by September 28.
Please click here for sponsorship/tickets or contact MTA events at 818-906-0240 or ypi@mtaevents.com.
For sponsorship and advertising opportunities contact Adia Smith: asmith@ypiusa.org.


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