Phone: 310-729-6573
Email: martin@martinfeinberg.com

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CC Strummers Provide the gift of Music at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA

Image is a close up of a ukulele against a wood floor.The CC Strummers, a Culver City Real Estate area ukulele group headed by Cali Rose, visited the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA on January 23 to performed for patients and their families. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, noticed that the visit was one of many bimonthly trips to the hospital that began in 2016.

Michael Kohan explained how the group initially got involved with volunteering at the Mattel Children’s Hospital. After receiving a donation to help with the tech needs of the group, Kohan decided, “it should be used for charitable purposes.”

“Following discussion it was turned over to the Ukulele Kids Club (theukc.org). Following the donation I was contacted by Corey Bergman, who initiated the club after his young son died,” Kohan continued. “Mattel was one of the places he suggested where we could entertain sick children.”

The Ukulele Kids Club’s mission is to harness the healing power of music by supporting music therapy programs. It provides ukuleles to hospital-based music therapy programs so that children in need can be sent home with the gift of music for life. To date over 5,000 ukuleles have been gifted to hospitalized children.

Participating with Cali Rose and Michael Kohan during the January 23 visit were Ed Daniel, Mollie Wine, Ann Cooper, and Barbara Kernochan. Jenna Bollard, the hospital’s music therapist, joined the group once they arrived.

The CC Strummers don’t touch the child or allow the child to touch their personal ukuleles. All interaction is between the music therapist and the children.

The Ukulele Kids Club program includes instrument lessons, sing-alongs, live music, and music improvisation. The music therapists who assist are board-certified members of a multidisciplinary care team working to achieve specific clinical goals aligned with the children’s care plans. Jenna Bollard can be reached at (310) 267-9426 and jbollard@mednet.ucla.edu,

Kohan commented, “I find it to be an immensely gratifying experience because in most cases we’re brightening the day for kids who are going through some very traumatic circumstances. Almost always the children get a big smile on their faces, especially when we hand them their own ukulele.

“Not only does it uplift the child but we also see how it lifts the spirit of the family members who are there. I’ve had a good amount of experience in hospitals for my own ailments, so I’m able to look past what the kids are going through and focus on the greater good we’re doing.”

Cali Rose also explained, “in addition to the bimonthly stint at Mattel every other month we play for the seniors at Opica Adult Day Care Center in West Los Angeles. With the help of the able staff we get folks dancing and singing along in a very robust way. We are doing music therapy. The seniors experience rhythm, melody, harmony and the blessings of community because we all sing and dance together! Several of our members also volunteer at the Marina Del Rey Middle School.”

Image is a cartoon of a male nurse with two injured but smiling children behind him.“As of August 2017 we have donated over $1,000 to the Ukulele Kids Club. That’s a lot of ukuleles . . . and a lot of smiles. And I must mention that we owe our lives to the Culver City Senior Center and especially our fiercest advocate there, Debbie Cahill, Senior Program Specialist, for supporting us and our work in the community.”

“We know how music heals,” Rose added. “It may not cure, but it changes something inside and that gives us a chance to ‘be’ with ourselves – and the world – in a different way. It gives us a second wind, a fresh start, new eyes to see and an open heart to feel and love.”

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, appreciates the service the CC Strummers provide for the Culver City community.

The Miss Los Angeles County & Miss Culver City Pageant is Coming

Image is a golden tiara.This year’s Miss Los Angeles County & Miss Culver City Pageant will be held at the Kiyoto Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena on February 24, and Culver City is gearing up for the big event.

The biggest part of the pageant, which represents those living within the Culver City Real Estate area, is its scholarship program. The Miss California Scholarship Organization (MCSO) manages this program. In the past the MCSO has provided monetary scholarship awards ranging from $600 up to $1,500.

Scholarships won by pageant contestants can be applied to trade schools, colleges, or universities. Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, appreciates how the scholarships give recipients options in achieving their personal goals.

Besides the scholarship money received by pageant winners, financial assistance is also provided to many contestants. The Miss Los Angeles County & Miss Culver City Pageant gives away thousands of dollars in scholarship assistance to pageant participants annually.

Glenn Mitchell, the Miss Los Angeles County & Miss Culver City Pageant Program coordinator, explained that this pageant is often a contestant’s first step toward becoming Miss America.

Mitchell stated, “A lot of girls come from other pageants because they may be first runner-up in one pageant and then come to our pageant and then become a winner and then go on to compete for the Miss California crown and then those winners go on to compete for Miss America.”

Mitchell also acknowledged that this would be the first year that the pageant will not be held at the Morgan-Wixson Theater in Santa Monica.

“[Morgan-Wixson theater in Santa Monica] is a children’s theater and the board of directors decided that they had too many children’s programs online and that they could no longer allow us to use the theater because [the pageant] is an adult program,” Mitchell said.

Image is of Miss America pageant contestants.The Miss California Scholarship Organization was established in 1945. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that without it the Miss Los Angeles & Miss Culver City Pageant Scholarship Program would likely not exist.

For more information on the Miss Los Angeles County & Miss Culver City Pageant or on the scholarship program, please visit www.misscalifornia.org.

City of Kindness Initiative Begins in Culver City with Free Posters

Image is a chalk drawing on asphalt that says Be Kind.Free posters proclaiming Culver City as a City of Kindness are now available to all Culver City businesses. The posters are a part of a new initiative recently approved by the City Council and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office.

Culver City Mayor Jeffrey Cooper promoted the new posters. He hopes that they will generate increased dialogue in the Culver City Real Estate area. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, noted that the posters are specifically aimed at promoting tolerance and helping people to embrace diversity within the community.

Mayor Cooper stated, “I brought this item to my colleagues on the City Council, because I think it is important for everyone who comes to Culver City to shop in a store, eat in a restaurant, or visit any of our service related-retailers to feel that they will be treated equally.”

This new initiative is a part of achieving the broader goals outlined in Culver City’s 2016-2021 Strategic Plan.

Per the City’s website, “The City of Culver City is committed to achieving its goals set out in the 2016-2021 City Council Strategic Plan adopted by the City Council on November 14, 2016. Goal Number Six of this plan is to enhance the City’s reputation as a City of Kindness by creating a coalition of individuals, organizations, and City officials to work together and inspire kindness in Culver City. By implementing a kindness strategy within City Government, conducting outreach to schools, organizations and businesses, and officially becoming a City of Kindness with the help of http://cityofkindness.org/, Culver City can make great strides in enhancing its reputation as a city that both values and exemplifies kindness.”

Other initiatives and official positions meant to make Culver City a City of Kindness include, a 2016 City Council resolution to condemn violence and hate speech, expressing solidarity with Muslims and others targeted because of their ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation, and a 2017 resolution declaring the Culver City as a Sanctuary City.

In the future, the City Council is planning to conduct further outreach to businesses to “promote the practice of kindness.”

Any Culver City business interested in picking up the free 13” x 19” City of Kindness poster for display in its storefront should visit the City Clerk’s Office on the first floor of City Hall at 9770 Culver Blvd. Posters are available while supplies last so Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, encourages business owners not to delay.

To find out other ways to participate in the community’s City of Kindness programs, please visit www.culvercity.org/cckind.

Image is a chalkboard drawn of colorful people on top of the word Teamwork.

Culver City Receives Grant to help with Food Waste

Image is the produce section of a grocery store.Culver City was awarded almost $500,000 in grant money on Monday to help fight climate change. Specifically, the money will go towards eliminating food waste. Ironically, the Culver City Real Estate area is located in Los Angeles County, which is known for being the most food scarce county in the country.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, learned that seven Los Angeles charities along with Culver City were awarded a total of $2.1 million from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The money came from the department’s new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program.

Each organization that received a grant has been asked to find and implement strategies for getting rid of the estimated six million tons of food waste that ends up in California landfills each year. At the same time, each organization must find ways to get more food onto the tables of those in need.

The new program is a part of California’s plan to fight climate change. It provided 31 projects with more than 9.4 million from CalRecycle to eliminate food waste and therefore cut down on those greenhouses gases caused by decomposing food.

According to Feed America, 12.2% (or nearly 1.3 Million) Angelinos go hungry each day. They also discovered that there are more children in Los Angeles County living without adequate food than anywhere else in the United States.

CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline stated, “Bolstering California’s food recovery infrastructure will help feed communities in need, create new jobs, and result in significant greenhouse gas reductions. Our hope is that these programs will inspire similar efforts throughout California.”

Image is a bulldozer working in a landfill.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that the other Los Angeles County grant recipients are:

  • — Food Finders Inc., $100,000
  • — Food Forward, $500,000
  • — Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, $386,960
  • — St. Francis Center, $100,000
  • — The Midnight Mission, $100,000
  • — City of Culver City, $497,144
  • — Los Angeles Conservation Corps, $375,206
  • — Strong Food/L.A. Kitchen Inc., $389,387

New Veterans Memorial Park Playground Equipment is Officially Open

Image is of playground equipment.The new playground at Veterans Memorial Park officially opened last Wednesday January 17. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by members of the public as well as several city officials and Culver City Mayor Jeffrey Cooper and former Mayor Jim B. Clarke.

The new playground was funded with money from the Proposition and Maintenance and Servicing Funds. It includes a butterfly helix tower and slide as well as a Kidnetix Twirl—a climbing and spinning structure that enhances a child’s balance and coordination. The new playground is suited for children five to 12, but the adjacent playground for ages two-five is also open for play.

According to Corey Lakin, director of the Culver City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services, reaction to the new playground has been positive. “The first couple of weeks, the playground was absolutely packed. If you drive by on the weekends, it’s been slammed the last few weeks, weather permitting.”

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was interested to learn that once the parts were delivered it only took a little more than a week to install the new equipment. The project cost $160,000.

“Anytime you’re able to upgrade and replace dated equipment, one, its beautification for the park, for the neighborhood, two, hopefully more modern equipment means safer equipment and for me playgrounds are an opportunity for kids to really use their imagination and interact with other children,” Lakin said.

Patrick Reynolds, Parks Manager/City Landscape Architect for Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services, first went to his park commissioner after multiple repairs were needed on the old Veterans Memorial Park playground.

“We were not happy with the number of repairs we were constantly experiencing with it,” Reynolds said. “[The playground equipment] turned out to be substandard from a durability standpoint.”

Reynolds stated that the public has been very happy with the new improvements. He said, “Everyone who has driven by here has seen nothing but kids swarming on it like kids on an anthill. They’re just all over it, which is great to see. They’re stretching the limits of what their body can do to try to figure out ways to climb on the stuff, it’s hilarious.”

The next park slated to receive new playground equipment is Blair Hills. After that it will be Tellefson Park. Reynolds plans on getting all the improvements done by the end of 2018.

Cartoon of little kids happily playing on a green lawn.Veterans Memorial Park is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Overland Avenue and Culver Boulevard.  Free parking and the new playground are accessible via Culver Boulevard.

Veterans, along with Blair Hills and Tellefson, are all within the Culver City Real Estate area. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is pleased to see community parks being so well taken care of.

For more information on the new equipment at Veterans, call the Culver City Parks and Recreation Department at (310) 253-6655.

Tesla Crash on the 405 Freeway in Culver City gets Feds Attention

Image is a fire truck.Federal authorities are investigating a crash on Monday that involved a Tesla Model S on Autopilot. The Crash occurred on the 405 Freeway within the Culver City Real Estate area.

The Tesla crashed into the back of Culver City Fire Department’s Engine 42 on Monday morning as it was working on a freeway incident. The vehicle was going approximately 65 miles per hour when it hit the fire truck but the driver was not injured. The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the driver and the vehicle.

Tesla released a statement after the crash stating, “Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver.”

According to Tesla the Autopilot feature is supposed to keep the vehicle centered in its lane at a preset distance from vehicles in front of it. It is also supposed to change lanes and break automatically.

The Tesla Model S, noted Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, is a level 2 on a self-driving scale of 0-5. Level 2 automation systems are typically limited to use on interstates and freeways where there are no intersections. Drivers are supposed to continuously monitor Level 2 vehicles and be prepared to resume control if necessary.

In Monday’s crash, the California Highway Patrol stated that the southbound Tesla hit the rear corner of the Culver City fire truck as it was parked at an angle in the carpool lane. Fire fighters were working on a crash that had occurred earlier on the opposite side of the freeway and the truck was unoccupied at the time. No injuries were reported.

According to Tesla’s website, vehicles with automation systems measure the amount of torque applied to the steering wheel and also send visual and audio warnings. If those warnings are ignored long enough, the vehicle will not allow the automation system to be turned on any longer. This is to help keep drivers from misusing the Autopilot feature.

Image is a Tesla on a lawn.Monday’s Culver City crash was the second Tesla Autopilot crash in ten days. Last week a Tesla crashed on the Bay Bridge. In that case it is suspected that the driver was passed out drunk behind the wheel.

Both crashes are being investigated by the NHTSA, which warns automakers not to treat semi-autonomous cars as if they are fully self-driving. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, looks forward to reading their findings.

Musk’s Boring Company Seeks Culver City Approval

Image is the inside of a concrete tunnel used for trains.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was interested to learn that a representative from Elon Musk’s Boring Company met with the Culver City City Council to seek permission to dig a tunnel under the community. The tunnel would be a part of Musk’s dream of easing traffic congestion in urban areas by moving people underground and transporting them on special trains called Hyperloops.

On Monday night Jehn Balajadia, Boring Company Operation Chief, met with the Culver City Council for 45 minutes in an attempt to secure Council approval for Musk’s project. Boring Company has already created a test trench under SpaceX headquarters after getting permission to build underneath the city streets of Hawthorne. Now the company is seeking permission to expand and create a “proof of process” tunnel under Culver City.

The tunnel would be approximately 6.5 miles long and would run between Los Angeles and the Culver City Real Estate area. The goal, as outlined by Balajadia, is not just to prove it could dig the tunnel but to also show that the company could navigate the challenges of building across jurisdictions.

Balajadia explained that the company was already working with the city of Los Angeles to get an excavation permit and was working with Caltrans (the state transportation agency) to secure right away underneath roads. Not everyone on Culver City’s City council was on board.

Balajadia explained that the small pods used to transport multiple passengers along tracks at speeds of up to 150 miles an hour would compliment the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s public transportation network and be roughly the same price. The project would also not require any taxpayer money. Not everyone on the City Council responded favorably though.

Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells expressed her worry that the private transportation company would ultimately compete with public transit systems saying, “I don’t really trust a private company to watch out for equity [in transportation system options] because I haven’t seen it happen. It looks super sexy and super easy but it’s half-baked from a public perspective.”

Culver City Mayor Jeffry Cooper was more supportive however, stating, “I think there’s still so much to vet out and so much technology that’s going to move forward, but we’re a very forward thinking city. I think it would be foolhardy of us to just say no.”

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, noted Mayor Cooper’s suggestion that Boring Company needed to present a more solid proposal to the City Council in the future though.

Balajadia did reveal more details about Boring Company’s technical plans, explaining the tunnel system would have entrances and exists but unlike subways, each passenger pod would have only one stop rather than stopping multiple times along a predetermined route.

According to Boring Company, “The electric skates are faster than conventional subway cars, and are autonomous vehicles. Most importantly, [Hyper]Loop is an ‘express’ public transit system… Therefore, unlike trains, the skate’s average speed is very close to its maximum speed.”

Tunneling experts are skeptical of Musk’s ability to bring his dream to fruition however, expressing concern not only in the technology of the Hyperloop but also in the company’s ability to construct the tunnel.   Skeptics also doubt the company’s ability to get the permits and hire the contractors necessary for such a project. That was a concern that the Culver City City Council shared.

Image is a red and blue sign that reads "underground."City Manager John Nachbar stated that the project “would require significant staff investment.” Nachbar noted that the city would likely have to hire consultants to guide the city and the company through the process. He stated, “This would be, for us, a rather monumental effort.”

For her part, Balajadia stated that Boring Company would be willing to pay for the added consultants needed.

Apple will soon be Coming to Culver City

Image is the Apple logo in rainbow colors.Thanks to a change in HBO’s plans, Apple will soon be moving to Culver City. The tech giant is slated to lease Lincoln Property Co.’s 128,000 square-foot building at 8777 Washington Blvd. That site had previously been scooped up by HBO but those plans fell through, opening the way for Apple.

The new space, once completed, will include both retail and “creative office space.” It will replace the previous Surfas site.

According to Mayor Jeffrey Cooper, “Culver City is looking forward to Apple growing its operations in our community. The creative economy has played an important role in Culver City since the City’s incorporation in 1917. Culver City motto is “The Heart of Screenland” and this was relevant 100 years ago, when the first movie production studio opened here and continues today as the screen you view your creative content ranges from the movie theatre to your iPhone.”

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, is excited for the substantial economic impact that Apple will likely bring to the Culver City Real Estate area. 2014 data showed that creative industries comprise over 14% of total employment across all industries in the City. With Apple and Amazon moving into the area, that is likely to increase.

Due to the positive impact on the economy, Culver City has invested significant resources into the area near Apple’s new building.

Per Mayor Cooper, “This site is located at the corner of Washington and National, the heart of the City’s Transit Oriented Development District (T.O.D.), which is anchored by Culver City’s Metro Expo Line station. With the recent opening of The Platform and the future Ivy Station, this area will no doubt be further transformed into a vibrant, walk-able destination in a few short years.”

Image is the outside of an Apple office building with logo.Besides the new office space on Washington, Apple is also said to be leasing the 85,00 square-foot campus at 5500 Jefferson Blvd. Though not technically within the Culver City limits, it is adjacent to the community.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was interested to learn that Apple had originally planned on leasing space at The Culver Studios before Amazon acquired it. Now both companies will have a presence in Culver City.

Dunwoody Gains Endorsement of Americans for Democratic Action

Image is of scrabble tiles spelling the word Politics.Americans for Democratic Action of Southern California (ADA SoCal) has officially endorsed Steve Dunwoody in his run for the California State Assembly. Dunwoody had previously announced his intent to become the representative for the 54th Assembly District following the surprise resignation of Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that the 54th Assembly District includes the Culver City Real Estate area as well as parts of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, and View Park-Windsor Hills.

Clifford Tasner, President of ADA SoCal, stated, “Steve Dunwoody is exactly the kind of activist that ADA SoCal admires. He’s a veteran who has used his voice to speak out on environmental issues and economic justice. He went up and down the state with Bernie Sanders trying to help pass Prop. 61, which would have reduced the cost of prescription drugs for Californians. He’s an example of someone who talks the talk and walks the walk. He campaigns for this assembly seat not out of any sense of long-held desire for the seat, but because he sees a deep societal need and wants to help fill it. ADA SoCal looks forward to working with Steve Dunwoody when he gets to Sacramento, to continue building a more equitable, sustainable, just society and world!”

Dunwoody, for his part, graciously accepted the endorsement, stating, “I’m beyond humbled to have the support and endorsement of the ADA, here in Southern California, as we continue to show that our campaign is the leading progressive voice in the race. For decades, the ADA has been the tip of the spear on progressive solutions to the issues that face us. From Eleanor Roosevelt to today’s leaders, the ADA has been the home of America’s most stalwart progressive voices. It is my hope that our campaign will follow in the tradition of those leaders, and I look forward to fighting alongside the ADA in this campaign, and in Sacramento.”

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, is excited to see how the election plays out over the coming months and wishes all the candidates luck.

Image is the California capitol building.

Culver City Bicycle Action Plan to be Updated in 2018

Image is a silhouette of a man with a helmet riding a bike.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is glad to see that the City of Culver City is updating its Bicycle Action Plan and is seeking input from residents. The current plan was adopted in 2010, and at the time, featured many important improvements, including new crosswalks, five miles of new bike lanes, and safer routes to school. The Culver City Real Estate area has continued to grow however, and a new plan is needed to accommodate all of the changes that have happened and will continue to happen.

According to the Culver City’s website, “Changes have occurred in our community: the Expo Line opened to Downtown Los Angeles and was extended to Santa Monica, we have recovered from a recession and are seeing new jobs and housing growth in many parts of the city, and biking and walking to school and work have grown too. To accommodate all of these changes and prepare for the future, we need a new plan. To help us with this effort, the City has hired a team led by Alta Planning + Design to engage our community and develop ideas to take Culver City’s walking and biking infrastructure to the next level. At the direction of Council, we are also exploring Vision Zero, which is an international initiative to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in traffic collisions.”

Image is a yellow caution sign with a picture of a bike on it and a "share the road" sign underneath.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, encourages concerned citizens to make their voices heard. To participate in revising the Bicycle Action Plan, residents should visit culvercity.bikepedplan.com.

Per that site, “Throughout 2017 and 2018, we are asking for the public’s input and inviting residents and visitors to help shape our plan in a variety of ways. The project includes identification and prioritization in the winter of 2017, followed by conceptual planning in the spring and summer of 2018. The plan will be finalized and adopted in December 2018. This project depends on community feedback and support for successful.”

Those interested in more information can also check out bikeculvercity.org or watch a YouTube video here.