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The Grammy Museum Awards Culver City High School its Signature Schools Enterprise Award

Image is of a red, white, and blue ribbon with a gold number one in the centerFor those parents and students interested in access to one of the best high school music programs, Culver City High School is the place to be. The GRAMMY Museum recently announced that Culver City High School has earned the GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award for 2017.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor is not surprised that Culver City High School was honored.   Culver City Real Estate encompasses some of the best schools in California.

The GRAMMY Museum is a non-profit organization that was established in 2008. According to its website, it is “dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music.” In 2017 the Museum integrated its sister organization, The GRAMMY Foundation, in order to broaden its reach in music education and preservation initiatives.

The GRAMMY Museum’s mission is to “explore and celebrate the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the creative process; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the GRAMMY Awards, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment.”

The GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award will give $5,000 per year for three years to the Culver City High School music program.   This money will go to support those professional teaching artists who work with music students in the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. On top of that, the program will get an additional $2,500 per year for three years to go towards field trips and other program needs.

Culver City High School music teacher Tony Spano said, “We are honored to receive this special recognition by the Grammy Foundation. In order to provide the opportunities our students deserve, it takes a variety of support – from grants, fundraising and donations. It takes the school, district, Culver City Education Foundation and partnerships to help us sustain an active music program. With this grant, we can continue to be an innovative and challenging arts education program.”

Image is of a line of musicians with a saxophone player in focus in the frontAlong with the monetary award that goes to the school program, the GRAMMY Museum also provides a full-tuition scholarship for one student to attend GRAMMY Camp this summer, a $2,500 value. Freshman Rowan Adams Waters was chosen to represent Culver City at the camp this year.

Waters expressed gratitude for the chance to attend the camp and said, “I am very excited and looking forward to everything that I will learn this summer. We’re very grateful to have the support of the Grammy Foundation to help continue what we’re doing in the music program.”

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, would like to offer congratulations to other area high schools also honored by the GRAMMY Museum. These include Huntington Park High, Manual Arts High and Robert Fulton College Preparatory School, all of which are in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

L.A. Reid leaves Epic Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

One of the benefits of Culver City Real Estate is the community’s connection to the entertainment industry. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, has always appreciated the way the association benefits the area and its residents.

Culver City is known as “The Heart of Screenland” thanks in part to its relationship with Sony Pictures. However, it’s not just television and film that the area is known for. Sony Music Entertainment also has a large presence in the community, and a division of Sony Music—Epic Records—is going through some changes this month.

Music producer L.A. Reid is no longer head of Epic Records according to multiple media reports. Reid had been with the label since 2011. He had previously made a name for himself as a drummer in an R&B band in the 1980s.

During Reid’s time at Epic Records he signed many acts including Meghan Trainor and Fifth Harmony. He was also instrumental in bringing Mariah Carey back to Sony.   Besides that, Reid strengthened Epic Record’s presence in the Hip Hop world by signing Scott, Future, Khaled, Tribe, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross and French Montana.

The news that Reid had left Epic was first reported by Variety and came just weeks after Rob Stringer became Sony Music Entertainment’s new CEO. Before joining Sony Music Stringer was chief of Columbia Records.

Image is black and white picture of headphones hanging on a microphone on its standThere is no news on where L.A. Reid is headed after leaving Epic, nor is it clear who will be handling the transition or replacing him. Typically Reid’s job changes have come with announcements of new positions, according to Billboard Magazine.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, wishes L.A. Reid much success on his future endeavors.

Southern California Gas Company Bills in Question

Image is of a woman sitting in front of a laptop with an accounting program open, holding a calculatorIf some Culver City residents found themselves questioning the accuracy of their Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) bills over the last couple of years, there might have been good reason.   State regulators are considering possible fines against the natural gas company for purported faulty billing practices.

According to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the problems mostly occurred between June 2015 and May 2016.   The allegedly affected area involves a large portion of southern California, including all areas of Culver City Real Estate. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is interested in learning what the investigation discovers.

The inquiry will specifically look into whether SoCalGas violated billings regulations. The CPUC believes that the company repeatedly failed to deliver timely monthly bills to 47,000 customers during the winter of 2015-16. It also believes that they extended the billing period for almost 140,000 customers in November and December 2015, and to over 13.57 million customers from 2014 to 2016.

Besides that, the CPUC also alleges that SoCalGas estimated 9.29 million gas bills between 2014 and 2016 rather than billing for actual usage. The practice of estimating large numbers of bills is contrary to the CPUC’s desires for customer service.

The CPUC relates that the penalty consideration case against SoCalGas stems from the conclusions of a commission staff investigation. The investigation was started after the commission received almost 700 billing-related consumer complaints.

SoCalGas spokeswoman Melissa Bailey said that the company is cooperating fully with the investigation and expects to be found innocent of any wrongdoing. She states, “SoCalGas is committed to providing our customers with timely and accurate bills. We have been notified of the CPUC’s order and will cooperate with the investigation. The investigation concerns a small percentage of bills during a specific time period.”

She goes on to say, “Although we are still in the preliminary stages of review, SoCalGas expects to present facts and arguments demonstrating that SoCalGas did not violate its tariffs, that fines/penalties are not warranted, and that other proposed corrective actions are not necessary.”

An administrative law judge will listen to testimony from everyone involved in the case and will prepare a recommendation for consideration by the CPUC’s five commissioners. If necessary the recommendation could include fines and penalties of up to $50,000 per each day of a continuing violation of the law.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, hopes that the issue can be resolved quickly and fairly.

Image is of the Los Angeles skyline and surrounding area with blue sky and clouds

Culver City gets new Mayor

Image of a government building labeled City Hall used to denote Culver City government building

May doesn’t only bring warmer weather to Culver City. It also brings changes to the Culver City Government.

The Culver City Council’s annual reorganization occurred at the end of April, electing Jeffrey Cooper to serve as mayor and Thomas Small to serve as vice mayor.   Last year Jeffrey Cooper served as vice mayor under Mayor Jim Clarke.

Clarke’s one regret from his year in office was that it was over so quickly. He stated, “About the time you get the hang of the job, the job is over. So it is really good to have someone who has done it before, like Jeff Cooper. And, Thomas Small is coming in with new ideas and new energy, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they will do.”

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is eager to see what Jeffrey Cooper will do for the community. Culver City Real Estate has benefited from dedicated mayors in the past.

Cooper is excited for the new opportunity granted to him and spoke about the issues weighing on his mind this coming year. They include revamping the city’s general plan, dealing with over-flights from the nearby Los Angeles International Airport, and the findings of the city’s Marijuana Task Force.

He also thanked fellow city council members for their commitment and hard work. “Whether we are agreeing or disagreeing, we always treat each other with respect,” Cooper said. “Everyone here has passion, but no one has an agenda. The City Council’s only agenda is to do the best for the city of Culver City.”

Lastly, Cooper had words of praise for former Mayor Clarke. “Former Mayor Clarke has done tremendous work in helping Culver City become a ‘city of kindness,’ and that starts here on the dais.”

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, wishes Jim Clarke well in his next endeavors.

Image of a multicolored word cloud in the shape of a heart with the words community, work, giving, life, and love most prominent

Jeffrey Cooper is in his second term on the city council. Small was elected to the council in 2016. He says, “Jim Clarke, Jeff Cooper and Meghan Sahli-Wells are tough acts to follow; the bar has been set very high. This past year has been a tremendous learning experience for me. I personally want to thank Jim for the guidance and the example he has been for me. I am looking forward to a great year.”

Cooper and Small will also serve as chair and vice chair of the city’s Financing Authority, Housing Authority, Parking Authority and the Successor to the Culver City Redevelopment Agency Boards.

Culver City Celebrates International Compost Awareness Week with Free Giveaway

Next Monday is the start of International Compost Awareness Week and the Culver City Public Works Environmental Programs and Operations Division, along with American Organics, is giving away free compost in celebration.

The giveaway will take place this Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 noon in the parking lot next to the Bone Yard Dog Park.   The Dog Park is located at the top of Bill Botts Park.

Like many of you, Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was not even aware that International Compost Awareness Week existed, but free compost is always a good thing. Compost can improve the quality of soil or keep high quality soil in good shape. It can also aid in the growth of healthy plants while reducing the use of fertilizer and pesticides. Keeping gardening organic improves water quality and helps to protect the environment.

Culver City Real Estate is lucky to include many communities that care about the environment and being good stewards.

Be aware that this is labeled a “self-haul” event, meaning that shovels won’t be provided. Residents should bring their own tools and compost carrying containers. Garbage bags, yard waste bags, reusable containers, truck beds, or trailers are all acceptable.

It is recommended that compost be mixed together with top soil or other gardening fill—60% top soil and 40% compost—for best results.   The compost in this event comes from American Organics, which is part of a recycling loop. A.O. receives local Culver City organic material and creates the compost on site.

According to A.O. “the compost material is OMRI Listed® (Organic Materials Review Institute) and licensed by the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture. It is approved for use in agricultural operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program.”

For more information call Public Works Environmental Programs and Operations Customer Service at 310-253-6400. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, hopes many will take advantage of this opportunity.

Culver City’s Tito’s Tacos Wins Recognition

Culver City Real Estate offers access to many fun activities, including things to do and places to eat.   This year the area has the added distinction of being home to the 2017 Restaurant Neighbor Award recipient, Tito’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant.

Tito’s Tacos, which has been serving award-winning food prepared fresh daily since 1959, was presented the award by the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF). Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, offers his congratulations.

While most restaurant awards are given for the quality of food, this honor is different. According to CRAF Executive Director Alycia Harshfield, this award “recognizes and honors the generosity and diversity of our industry. Each award winner enriches their community in meaningful ways.” Harshfield says of Tito’s Tacos specifically, “we work with the best restaurant and hospitality companies in the world and we are proud to honor them.”

In the last year alone Tito’s Tacos has contributed to numerous local community groups and non-profit organizations, including: The Arthritis Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Culver City Centennial Celebration, Culver City Homeless Count, Culver City Public & Private Schools, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Fiesta La Ballona, Culver City & Los Angeles (Pacific Division) Police Officer Associations, Saint Augustine Catholic Church, Toys for Tots, the Veterans Administration for Greater Los Angeles, and more.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, agrees that Culver City has benefited greatly from Tito’s Taco’s generosity.

Owner Lynne Davidson is grateful for the recognition. “Tito’s Tacos is sincerely honored to have been recognized by the California Restaurant Association Foundation for our ongoing efforts to help make our beloved community an even better place for our customers and employees to raise their growing families.” She goes on to say, “And, what really makes this accolade even more special is the fact that Tito’s Tacos was nominated for this Award by a longtime Culver City resident, Ms. Andi Philips, who also happens to be an acclaimed ProStart Culinary & Hospitality Management Instructor with the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies”

The ProStart Program, which is sponsored by CRAF, is a two-year program for highly motivated high school juniors and seniors who want a career in the restaurant industry. It is operated by CRAF in 127 public high schools and reaches over 9,000 students all over California. Local restaurateurs such as Tito’s Tacos donate time and resources to help students succeed in the roles they choose to study and practice.

Culver City Car Show Coming this May

Culver City’s yearlong Centennial Celebration is in full swing as it enters its fifth month, and this year’s Culver City Car Show will continue the celebration. The 14th annual Culver City Car Show will be held on Saturday May 13th—the day before Mother’s Day—from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will happen rain or shine, and Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, hopes many will attend.

The Culver City Exchange Club hosts the Culver City Car Show each year. According to their website the CCEC is “an all-volunteer, national service organization of men and women who serve their community, develop leadership skills and enjoy new friendships.”

Members of the club live and/or work in Culver City and are committed to making the area a better place to live by funding community-based organizations. They are one of the many groups that help make Culver City Real Estate highly sought after.

Due to the renovation of Downtown, the Car Show will be moved to Vets Park, at the intersection of Culver Boulevard and Overland Avenue. It will also start a little later and end a little later than usual in order to give people more time after the awards ceremony to look around and enjoy the festivities.

The Car Show will feature a beer garden, gourmet food truck court and other vendors. Lynda Kay, Christopher Ameruoso’s Swamp Rock, and The Red Surf Band will provide live entertainment.   The show’s theme this year is the long relationship Culver City has had with the film industry; over 400 classic cars and hot rods are registered to attend.

Both the event and parking for the event are free (parking will be available in the Sony Studio’s parking structure on Overland) to the public. However, Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is excited to see that money raised by the show will go to support more than 16 different groups and organizations.

For more information call 310-499-4840 or visit www.culvercitycarshow.com.

Danger Zone Dance Company Performs in Culver City

Culver City High School’s Danger Zone Dance Company is presenting its spring concert this week, entitled “Across the Universe: Without the Frost, We’re Outta Space.” The presentation will run from Thursday to Saturday at the Vets Auditorium at 7 p.m. There will be a matinee on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Danger Zone Dance Company (DZDC) was temporarily displaced earlier this year after its longtime home—Robert Frost Auditorium—was closed for repairs. The building was built in 1963 and had not been renovated for 17 years. With a lack of dance space and major structural problems, it was time for the dance company to move on, but that was easier said than done.

Though the Robert Frost Auditorium renovations sent all departments of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) in search of new homes, Danger Zone had an especially difficult time finding temporary space that was dance-friendly. They were forced to use a variety of classrooms, gyms, and cafeterias, which was not always easy.

According to Creative Director Julie Carson, “We have sought out any room across the high school and Middle School campuses, full or empty, clean or unclean, and continued to dance.” She went on to say, “This year truly tested our commitment to AVPA dance, and to dance in general, and DZDC prevailed to create Across the Universe.”

The spring concert represents a true perseverance and devotion to dance which Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor applauds. Culver City Real Estate provides excellent access to such opportunities.

Advanced students as well as AVPA dance faculty choreographed this week’s presentation. It will feature dance styles spanning from Bollywood to Ballet to Hip-Hop. Students from the AVPA’s Theater Lighting Class, which is led by professional lighting designer Joey Guffman, will light the concert.

Tickets for the show will be sold at the door and are $12 for general admission, $8 for high school students/senior citizens/faculty and $5 for ASB sticker holders and children under 12. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, reminds everyone that space is limited so arrive early. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each show.

Culver City Schools earn Gold Ribbon Schools Award

The Culver City Middle School and High School got some good news this month when they learned that they were among the 275 schools being honored under the Gold Ribbon Schools Award program.

The Gold Ribbon Schools Award replaced the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is currently on hiatus while the state creates new assessment, accountability, and improvement systems. The award program allows schools to continue to be honored for good work and high standards while the previous award system is being re-worked.

According to State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, “these terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards. They are showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college.”

Culver City Unified School District Superintendent Josh Arnold stated, “We know our schools are amazing, and this recognition validates the efforts made on a daily basis. I am so proud of everyone at all of our schools for the new and innovative ways in which they teach and collaborate to improve the educational environment for our students.”

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, is also happy to acknowledge both schools’ commitment to Culver City kids. Culver City Real Estate offers access to excellent academic opportunities and these awards illustrate that.

The Culver City Middle School was recognized for its Panther Achievement Workshops. These are self-selected learning opportunities that students can choose three times each week. Every student participates in Panther Achievement Workshops each week.   They enhance student engagement and have been shown to increase achievement in all measured areas.

The Culver City High School was recognized for its Centaur Plus program. This is a twice-weekly program that allows teachers to spend additional learning time with students throughout the week. Any student with grades lower than a C at any given time is automatically enrolled in that course’s corresponding Centaur Plus class.

All Gold Ribbon schools, along with the Exemplary Program recipients, Title I Academic Achieving Award Schools, Green Ribbon Schools, Civic Learning Award Schools, and National Blue Ribbon Schools from 2016, will be honored in May in ceremonies held in Costa Mesa, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Visalia, and Sacramento.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, congratulates each award recipient.

Culver City Residents Due Unclaimed Money Held by the State

Now that tax season is drawing to a close it’s time to make sure that you have received all of the county and state money that you have coming to you. Thousands of dollars in unclaimed money stays with the state each year.  This is usually due to incorrect address information or mail that isn’t forwarded to the correct person.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, knows that every dollar counts and there is no reason not to seek out money that is legally owed.

According to the consumer financial advice website SmartAsset.com, the latest data available suggests that there is approximately $49.5 billion worth of unclaimed property in the United States. Culver City residents will be interested to know that a large portion of that belongs to Californians.

The California State Controller’s Office confirms that the state currently has over $8 billion in unclaimed property belonging to around 32.5 million residents and organizations. The state is required to hold the items and money until the rightful owner can be found, but they would appreciate it being claimed sooner rather than later. The unclaimed property ranges from 401(k) accounts to payroll checks, safe deposit box contents, and mineral interests.

For those who are interested in checking to see if any of this property might be theirs, the office has an unclaimed property website with a searchable database.   People should go to www.claimit.ca.gov to be able to contact the business holding their property or to reclaim it directly from the state.   The Controller’s Office recently expanded the database to include property held in bank safety deposit boxes, savings bonds, and military medals.

“Each day, my team is returning hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who had not known it was missing. Expanding the unclaimed property database provides greater opportunity for U.S. savings bonds and military awards to be returned to their rightful owners,” California Controller Betty Yee said.

Los Angeles County, which includes all areas of Culver City Real Estate, has its own website, but it is only for unclaimed checks issued by that county. Those unclaimed monies are mostly in the form of property tax refunds and refunds for the overpayment of services.

The amounts owed to individuals and businesses go from $30,291.36, owed to MBC c/o Steve Hassan CPA, to $5 owed to the Law Office of Margo Bouchet. Several Culver City residents and businesses are included in the database.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, encourages all Culver City residents to check both the state and county government databases to ensure that they are not missing out on money owed to them.

To check the Los Angeles County database visit http://onlineapps.auditor.lacounty.gov/uncashed/uncashed_checks.aspx.