Letter From a Neighbor to Councilwoman Nury Martinez


My neighbor, who has lived in Van Nuys since 1979, is aghast at its condition and appalled at the utter lack of leadership in correcting its continuing decline. She wrote a letter, intended for Nury Martinez our Councilwoman and now the President of the City Council. I agree with everything in it. Our community is…

Beware of Big Promises: 1963


Community leaders, developers, planners, business people, and boosters are forever promising a brighter day tomorrow. So it was in Van Nuys nearly 60 years ago. The new police station, a striking piece of $5 million dollar architecture, whose inspiration appears to be many vertically positioned Philco televisions, was nearing completion on March 29, 1963. The…

Hot Prowl on Hamlin.


Sunday morning, I woke up with a text from a neighbor.  Someone had ransacked his converted garage, recently remodeled for reality TV. He wondered if I heard anything or thought who might be responsible. He later sent me a video from his next-door-neighbor showing a masked, gloved, backpack wearing prowler at 2am.   He said…

Single Family Home Protest.


Recently, our neighborhood found out that the owner of a vacant parcel of land wants to construct a single-family home in our area of single-family homes. Frightened, angered, upset, scared were many longtime residents who saw the picture of the house with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage. And rightfully so, for they…

1956: Crazy Times


These are a selection of violent news stories from just a few months in 1956, mostly related to people in Van Nuys, but also in Canoga Park and Burbank. It is common to look back at the 1950s, especially in Los Angeles, as a less violent and less chaotic era. Old-time residents of the San…

Neighborhood Safety Meeting.


Last night, I attended a small neighborhood safety meeting with a group of perhaps seven neighbors and our LAPD Senior Lead Officer. It was held at a home of the new liason between the cops and the community, a woman who speaks up and speaks often on issues affecting her street such as lighting, crime…