It's the first day of school for most of the students in Studio City. Because of budget cuts, the public schools are starting a few weeks later than usual, and it's a beautiful day.
The temperature is expected to warm up to about 82 today.
This is your Studio City Patch, and every day my team of reporters and I will be bringing you news, features and important information about your neighborhood—and you can chime in, too.
As far as the schools go today, a new culinary academy and environmental study program are starting for about 130 students at Walter Reed Middle School, and the principal at North Hollywood High School made the first day only a half-day so nothing gets started until 10:30 a.m. Rio Vista Elementary plans to re-schedule their welcome picnic that was canceled over the weekend, and Valley View Elementary School still has Principal Harold Klein at the helm after the parents kicked up a fuss over the summer and got him reinstated, for now.
A second grade teacher at one school has a great trip to tell about after taking a cruise in the Mediterranean, a PTA mom started her own line of jewelry, and a teacher at Colfax Elementary spent the summer teaching children who were robbed of summer school in a new program she started called Turning Pages.
Meanwhile, Principal Joe Martinez spent the summer transferring Carpenter Elementary into a new charter school, and we're doing a three-part series about the process.
Private schools Campbell Hall and Harvard-Westlake started at the end of August, and nearby Burbank School District is ending their first month of school. We have footage of both the Campbell Hall and Harvard-Westlake football teams already on the site. (A statue of a school mascot was unveiled the first day of school at Harvard-Westlake, click in the video links on the right underneath the pictures.)
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents a big chunk of Studio City, will join police officials this morning at a press conference discussing school safety.
Inevitably, people will be asking all day today, "What did you do this summer?"
Well, Lisa Cahan Davis and members of the Studio City Neighborhood Council put together a celebration coming up this month commemorating the 75th anniversary of Republic Pictures at the same backlot where Studio City got its name. Esther Walker and members of the Chamber of Commerce helped put together a day of fun events once again leading up to a spectacular Independence Day fireworks show that is shot from the CBS Radford Studios (see the video above). The new neighborhood council was sworn in and is trying to put past animosities behind them.
Famous locals made news this summer. William Shatner landed a new TV show, Zac Efron landed a movie and Britney Spears decided to move away. The trial investigating Anna Nicole Smith's death is in its seventh week and bringing up testimony by a few of her neighbors in town, and photographer Larry Birkhead just celebrated their daughter Dannielynn's 4th birthday. Local resident Cathy Guisewite, who created the comic book character of Cathy decided to retire her strip in October.
The Great Wall of Studio City is still shrouded in pink like Studio City's own Christo tribute, and the Studio City Residents Association is ready to kick up their activism again. The Colfax Avenue Bridge is still being built and residents have to deal with construction on Saturdays and leaf blowers still disrupt some neighborhoods.
Some businesses along Ventura Boulevard were asked to take down their signs this summer. Chi Dynasty opened up, Rafael's got community approval for a liquor license and about 1,500 people took to the streets of Studio City on Sunday to walk for Ovarian Cancer.
Tragic circumstances have led to community protests for two locals: Zach Champommier was shot by a local law enforcement officer and Chere Osmanhodzic was killed by an intruder in Valley Village. And, local broadcast journalist Dan Avey died this summer.
What did I do this summer?
I helped plant the seeds for a new Patch, and I have an amazing group of reporters and columnists on my team.
- Susan McMartin on Mondays will write about being a Studio City Mom and in her first column shares insights on how the welcoming smiles on the faces of Trader Joe's checkout guys should be used as a primer for all men.
- Don Helverson discusses his Pet Peeves on Tuesdays. He's a middle school teacher, but also an animal lover, and he's got great insights into the dog parks, animal businesses and pet people in the area. He will also weigh in on things Things Heard Around Town, and his seventh grade artist Rio Rojas will help illustrate the comical scenarios he overhears.
- Karen Young on Wednesdays will Shop & Dine for us, and give us the insights she's gained from living and working in Studio City. She covers a lot more on her lifestyles website MyDailyFind.com, too.
- Linda Rubin gives insights on Thursdays for the Faith & Charity column where she will not only explore the events that go on in the local churches and synagogues, but tell us about the many charitable organizations as well, and inspiring stories like the mom who just published a book about her Holocaust experience.
- AnnMarie Baranik writes the Police Blotter that will also be published on Thursdays, and she already has covered important issues going on in the area. This week, look at the map with all the car break-ins in a small area.
- Inside scoops about the famous locals in our neighborhoods will be discussed by Mr. Studio City in a weekly column every Friday, and there's a Twitter feed to follow all the latest gossip. Already, people have sent in photos of themselves with celebrities and their shots of famous people hanging out in the neighborhood. You can be sure that locals like Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Britney Spears and Joe Jonas will be regulars in that column.
- Fred Topel is one of the reporters who is writing about things filmed in town for the Scene in SC column, and he also wrote a series of articles about the Most Wanted Criminals in the Studio City area which will roll out every Monday for the next few months.
- Nicole Kristal will also cover community issues, and sometimes write about local spots with her own brand of insights, like she did recently on the Laurel Canyon Dog Park and the Ovarian Cancer Walk.
- Gerry Gittelson will cover sports, and he already interviewed teams at Harvard-Westlake and Campbell Hall.
- Where is That? is a regular column where we focus on an interesting detail in town and ask you to figure out where it is. There will be funny billboards, or fascinating items, like the 9/11 memorial plaque that you probably never knew about in our very neighborhood.
Jazerai Lord explores the nightclub life and videographer Jason Schwab helps me take a look at the unique Studio City Farmers Market on a series that is launching this Saturday, and there are more writers coming up in the future who will be contributing to the Studio City Patch.
Lots of other community leaders, local writers and people with opinions will be encouraged to write in regularly and contribute to the Studio City Patch.
Eric Gallagher details the benefits of the Cadet program at Walter Reed.
Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents the east side of our Patch, sat down to discuss the local issues coming up in the area.
Also, we'll have an Environmental Check-in with Ed Begley Jr. with the world-renown activist/actor who lives locally. He was a bit surprised with the report Patch discusses about the high levels of radon in our area. We are breaking a big story today about those levels from a state report, and what you can do about it.
How appropriate that on this first day of school, when everyone is getting reacquainted and catching up with what we all did over the summer break, you can all get acquainted with the new Studio City Patch in your neighborhood.
To stay completely informed, sign up for free for a daily feed and follow us on Twitter to find out about what's going on at the Studio City Patch, or a weekly feed if that's too much for you (sign in on the bottom right). You can find out a little about me in my Introduction video.
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Make the Studio City Patch part of your every day routine—but hey, go pick up your kids from school! Then, come back, get a cappuccino and explore the site.