The world in general, and even our small corner of it, has been a very busy place for the last week. Like most of our readers, we at the Buzz have been largely focused on the local demonstrations and unrest resulting from George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. But it’s also worth pausing for just a moment to catch up with some other noteworthy local news. In case you missed it…
Limited Relaxed Parking Restrictions Extended to July 6
Due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis (yes, it’s still here), and the city’s Safer at Home restrictions (ditto), LADOT has extended its relaxation of certain parking restrictions until July 6.
According to the DOT’s website, no tickets will be issued for:
- Residential street sweeping (though sweepers will still visit on the usual schedule)
- Expired registration on a vehicle
- Peak/rush hour and gridlock zone parking restrictions
- No ticket/tow for abandoned vehicles and oversized/overnight parking
- Vehicles displaying recently expired permits within preferential parking districts will have a two-week grace period following the expiration to renew
- No parking fine increases until after July 6
- Extended grace period for people dropping off or picking up
- Immediate extensions on all deadlines for payments until July 6
- LADOT will supply a temporary, print-at-home permit to residents within a preferential parking district who have renewed their permit but will not receive the new hangtag before their current permit expires
Note, however, that enforcement CONTINUES for:
- Metered parking
- Time limits within preferential parking districts for vehicles without a valid or recently-expired permit
- Posted time limit zones in residential and commercial areas
- All posted Temporary No-Parking signs
- No blocking emergency access (alleyways, fire hydrants, etc.)
- Colored curb zones
- Parking restrictions for City-owned lots
TOC Small Business Recovery Loan Program Extended
Also relating to COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Development Authority has extended its Transit Oriented Communities Small Business Recovery Loan Program, funded by Metro, which provides loans up to $20,000 in operating funds for small businesses that have suffered business losses due to the pandemic.
To give applicants more time to apply for funds, the online application portal will be be open from 12 p.m. on Monday, June 8th to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19th.
Eligible businesses must be located Los Angeles County, within a ¼-mile of a Major Transit Stop. For more information, see the loan program link above, or contact [email protected] or (626) 943-3818.
Taste of Larchmont Cancelled
A while back we conveyed the sad news that there will be no Larchmont Family Fair this year, due to the COVID-19 crisis…and recently we were equally sad to learn of the cancellation this year’s Taste of Larchmont, the second of Larchmont’s two biggest annual events and a major fundraiser for HopeNet, a local non-profit that provides a variety of food-related services to those in need.
HopeNet’s Executive Director, Levi Webb, told the Buzz that the cancellation is especially troublesome because the current health crisis has left more Angelenos than ever in need of food. Since the city’s shutdown in March, he said, “we have seen…the number of people seeking services at HopeNet pantries increase by 300%. The demographics of those seeking assistance have changed and not only include the most needy and the working poor, but families from lower and middle class income households.”
So Webb said the Taste of Larchmont cancellation was an especially difficult decision. “It is important to know that the Board and myself labored over this decision. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t a kneejerk reaction, that it was in the best interest of our TOL partners while promoting health and safety in the community.”
The Taste event provides about 40% of Hope Net’s annual operating budget, which will now have to be raised in other ways. Webb said the group will be reaching out to supporters about the need, and also planning other kinds of fundraising activities. We’ll definitely keep in touch and will pass along any further news.
LACMA Demolition Continues
For better or worse, however, many other local events are continuing without pause, including the ongoing demolition of several major buildings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is preparing space for what has become a rather controversial remodeling effort.
According to LACMA, this week’s work (documented in the video above by Greg Goldin, from the Citizens’ Brigade to Save LACMA), includes:
- Abatement and interior demolition in the Ahmanson Building will be completed.
- Structural demolition of the Art of Americas Building will continue.
- Structural demolition of the Hammer Building will begin.
- Installation of the construction fence to the south of the Pavilion for Japanese Art will continue.
- Work on temporary utilities connections will continue.
- Installation of the western construction fence and access gate at the Spaulding Lot will continue.
Goldin’s video of the demolition work was shot on Tuesday, which was designated as Blackout Tuesday, a day in which many businesses (especially those in the music industry) paused their operations to provide an opportunity for the amplification of African American voices.
Citizen’s Brigade to Save LACMA Survey Results
And speaking of the Citizens’ Brigidade to Save LACMA, we reported in April that the group, which opposes the LACMA remodeling project because it will reduce the museum’s overall gallery space and prevent it from exhibiting much of its priceless permanent collection, was running an alternate design competition to help imagine new ways for the museum to move forward with both a strong architectural statment and adequate size.
This week, the Citizens’ Brigade announced that in a poll presenting its six finalists in the design competition, only 5% of of 2,746 respondents preferred LACMA’s currenty-approved design by architect Peter Zumthor to any of the designs submitted to the competition…and 85% of respondents favored the general idea of a design that would allow the museum to keep its “encyclopedic” collection in a single location. (LACMA’s current plans will rely on a number of satellite galleries around the county to help display the museum’s artworks to the public.)
Also, in a press release about the poll results, the Citizens’ Brigade said 50% of respondents agreed that the museum’s existing buildings “should have been preserved” or “renovated, upgraded, and used as the base for an expanded” museum, while another 35% said they either “did not care if existing buildings are reused” or “prefer a new building” as long as LACMA’s main campus remains large enough to
contain the collections.
“It’s evident that the art‐ and architecture‐loving public finds LACMA’s plans sorely lacking the requisite space to honor the museum’s encyclopedic collection,” said Joseph Giovannini, co‐chair of The
Citizens’ Brigade, in the statement about the poll.
As for the new designs themselves, two designs – Vienna‐based Coop Himmelb(l)au’s “LACMA Wing” (upper left in the photo above) and Los Angeles‐based Paul Murdoch Architects’ “Unified Campus” (top row, middle photo above) – tied for respondents’ favorite in the “from the ground-up” category…and “Reimagining/Restructuring” by Kaya Design of London (in the lower right-hand corner of the image above) was the clear favorite in a second category based on using all or some of LACMA’s existing buildings. Each of those “People’s Choice” selections will receive $500 from the Citizens’ Brigade.
“The response to the survey shows how invested the public is in the cultural life of Los Angeles,” said Greg Goldin, the Brigade’s other co-chair. “We are hopeful that the County Board of Supervisors will take this into account and reconsider their monetary support for LACMA’s insufficient and unpopular plan.”
LAUSD Summer School Options & Registration
A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that due to the COVID-19 crisis, it has significantly expanded its summer school offerings this year, with both enrichment and for-credit options available to all LAUSD students. (In recent years, summer programs have been available only for a select group of academically at-risk students.) Last week, the district opened registration for the programs, most of which will begin on June 24.
Some of the programs are self-paced, some are instructor led to various degrees, and some are offered in conjunction with outside partner groups such as the Columbia Memorail Science Center, musical instrument company Fender, the Los Angeles Chargers, and others.
Academic instruction is available in English Language Arts, Math, and English Language Development, and enrichment options include a Summer of STEM program, sports medicine, coding and gaming, animation, and more. There are also options for credit recovery, independent study, transition programs for students moving from elementary to middle school, and middle to high school…and a summer leadership program.
See the above links for more information, registration, and even more links to other summer education and enrichment options for K-12 students.