Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mangled West Hills Mailbox Result Of Comical Misunderstanding, Not Theft

By Brennan Callicott, special to the Quilt

DATELINE: FANCY-SCHMANCY WEST HILLS

A public USPS mailbox located in the Platt Village Shopping Center in West Hills that was mangled beyond repair was the result of a comical misunderstanding and not due to traditional mail theft, according to police.

Staff photo.

“We know that thieves try to break in to these mailboxes to get checks, credit card info,  anything they can use to steal identities or gain access to bank account information,” says Officer Reed Malloy, head of the LAPD’s West Valley Mail Theft & Thievery Task Force, Public Mailbox Division. “However, in this case, it was just a loud-mouthed but generally lovable schlub who had heard only part of a conversation at work and believed he was about to be fired.”

Despite the objections of his wife, the accused angrily fired off a blistering letter to his boss and mailed it, only to learn he was not being terminated but instead getting a raise.

At that point the accused, determined to get the letter back, enlisted his best friend, bosom buddy and lifelong pal to help him retrieve it before the mail was collected and delivered. The crude (and illegal) attempts to recover it resulted in the destruction of the mailbox.

While the pair were briefly arrested, no charges have been filed since the offender has agreed to pay the cost of replacing the box using his share of the prize money from next week’s big bowling tournament “that [they’re] a cinch to win” or the profits of another hare-brained get-rich-quick scheme that his long-suffering wife will try in vain to talk him out of.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Canoga Park Tackles LA Housing Shortage

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff






DATELINE: COHASSET STREET

Continuing its role as trend-setter for Southern California, Canoga Park has taken aim at  — and perhaps solved — the housing shortage that bedevils the sprawling metropolis that is the Los Angeles area.

Following a rare emergency meeting of the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council (CPFNC) on Tuesday, a resolution was put forth to approve a pilot program whereby new homes will be built directly on the street.

“With such a limited supply of viable real estate and its corresponding skyrocketing cost, it just makes sense to use land already available — public roads,” says CPFNC Vice Chaircommissioner of Housing and Houses Philbert Cheung.

“It’s an idea that just makes sense,” Cheung says. “Across the greater LA area, people are living on the streets in greater number than ever. Some roads in Woodland Hills are starting to look like 1980s KOA campgrounds with all the 30-year-old RVs. So instead of forcing these folks to push their broken-down Winnebagos down the block every few days, why not just move them into permanent housing where they already are anyway?”

Home, Home on the Road: Canoga Park's first three street-houses are already under
construction on Cohasset Street at Jordan, in the tight-knit Jordasset neighborhood.
While the project will result in narrow one-lane roads that would negatively impact traffic enormously, some say doing so would actually help to acclimate the Canoga Park / Woodland Hills community to the total gridlock coming to the area once the nearby Rocketdyne site is developed into a proposed 4,000+ apartment/condo sprawling mini-megacity.

Creating sturdy, subterranean foundations for these street-homes wouldn’t be a problem, either, Cheung explains. “With L.A. roads being in such dismal shape and never, ever to be repaired despite how many new taxes people foolishly vote for, in many areas you need only kick away the chunks of broken pavement with your foot to get to virgin topsoil, ready for easy excavation.”

The measure passed nearly unanimously 17 to 0, with the one uncast vote belonging to CPFNC Supervisor of Roads and Roadways Bernice Knudsen. “I hoped to be there for the vote but there was a Coachmen Cadet parked in front of my house and I couldn’t get out of my driveway.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tagger Profile: Emerging Artist ‘Kruger’ Makes His Mark On The West Valley

By Charlotte Rudnick, Quilt staff

DATELINE: EVERYWHERE
Staff photo.
UR over, UREK! Make way, ReKay! All hail the new tagger in town!

Up-and-comer ‘Kruger’ has been painting the town red...and black and blue and purple, embellishing everything from pieces of discarded furniture to alley walls, with his signature tag — the name “Kruger” — and making quite a name for himself in the process.

We met with the mysterious Kruger as he squirmed through the mud under a fence surrounding a locked construction site in Canoga Park. The tagger says he named himself after Otto Kruger (who died in nearby Woodland Hills in 1974) citing the prolific actor of the 30s and 40s as both an influence and inspiration.
Recent masterworks include this food-service trailer located in a West Hills parking lot: "No one
was around so I hit it an' shit." Kruger considers himself the namesake of actor Otto Kruger (inset).
“I really appreciate his body of work, an’ shit, particularly his earlier films. I count ‘Paris Interlude’ among my favorites, an’ shit. Pardon, there’s a portable toilet I’d like to spray paint my name on.”

Catching up with Kruger again later, as the ubiquitous artiste crawled — with the nimble agility of a lively cockroach — out of a garbage dumpster after tagging the inside, we asked him what keeps him up at night. 

“'What keeps me up at night?' Well, I drink a lot of cans of Venom Energy — watermelon-strawberry’s a delight — if I’m going out on a frolic [tagger lingo for ‘an evening of vandalism’ —ed.] and—

“...Oh! You mean if anything, like, worries me an’ shit. Sure — it's that people think I’ve named myself after either Herr Major Bernard Kruger or the accomplished Fredrich Wilhelm Kruger, two celebrated Nazi officers from World War II,” he says. “The idea, eh, sickens me — and any and all people who think I’d name myself after them should be rounded up and immediately and mercilessly exterminated like the subhuman vermin they are.”
"I feel my work transcends earthly confines," says Kruger. "There's a certain spirituality to what I do."
Here, a mural on the property of a Canoga Park church, his second there in two weeks.   Staff photo.
“He’s got an innate talent that I haven’t seen for some time, an’ shit. I’d put his stuff up there with some of GNAR’s best work or even early LeKoR, opines Canoga Park official tagger laureate DAИK, “And he works fast an' shit. One time I was taking a dump in a bathroom at Lanark Park and when I came out, the stall door had been Kruger’d. I didn’t even hear him! Though to be fair, I’m usually pretty noisy when I shit. An' shit.”

Kruger, who declined to be photographed for this article says that "...my work in fact speaks for itself.
It defines me. I am my artwork." Above: A pile of worthless garbage featuring the iconic 'Kruger' logo.
Even by his own estimates, Kruger has a busy future. While his immediate plans will continue to focus on defacing public and private property, Kruger’s figuring on eventually getting into the correctional industry, and, later, pursuing a career in the lucrative world of public assistance.

“But who knows,” he says, pondering the road ahead. “At some point, I may even try to get a job at Lowe’s or Home Depot in the paint department...just long enough ‘til they trust me with the keys to the spray paint cage.

“Or in the tool department. Get me some bolt cutters an’ shit — then who needs keys, right?”

Friday, May 12, 2017

Reminder: Tomorrow Is 'National-Get-Rid-Of-Canned-Corn-Left-Over-From-Thanksgiving' Day

By Quilt Staff

This Saturday, May 13, the United States Postal Service will be doing its part to help folks across America unclutter their pantries with the 25th annual Get Rid Of All That Canned Corn Left Over From Thanksgiving And Anything Else You Won’t Miss food drive. 

Earlier this week, those with street addresses here in Canoga Park and across the country received a brown paper bag in their mail box. Residents are encouraged to simply fill it with grocery items they no longer want, have no intention of ever eating and are cluttering up their kitchen but would feel guilty about just throwing in the trash. They can leave the filled bag by their mailbox on Saturday and mail carriers will do the rest.
  

Last year’s collection drive netted more than 150 tons of off-brand creamed corn, canned pumpkin, freezer-burnt chicken breasts purchased on sale that no one ever got around to doing anything with, and unappealingly flavored tea bags from cheap Big Lots holiday gift baskets, thus helping millions of American households with their spring cleaning by decluttering countless cupboards, cabinets and refrigerators.

Correction: It seems we’ve somehow misconstrued the entire purpose of this annual event, which, turns out, is aimed at soliciting donations of non-perishable food items to be delivered to local food banks. We regret the error.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Forthcoming Winnetka Starbucks Evokes Mixed Feelings from Local Indigents, Middle Schoolers

By Jumilla Lubao, special to the Quilt.



DATELINE: SHERMAN WAY

A Starbucks café slated to open on the corner of Winnetka Avenue and Sherman Way, in Winnetka’s bustling Shermetka neighborhood, has some locals expressing mixed feelings about the chain’s newest location even before the first pot of coffee is brewed.

“Aw, hell no, man — not Starbucks,” says Ernie 'Nalgas' Holvik as he notices the 'Coming Soon' banners on the building currently under renovation, “They’re too expensive!”  

Winnetka’s first Starbucks will be located in a building formerly occupied by Burger King. Despite managing to screw up over 98% of drive-thru orders and 76% of dine-in orders, the fast-food restaurant, which closed earlier this year, was much loved by the community.

Winnetka's beloved Burger King is being renovated and retrofitted to reopen as the area's first
Starbucks, a change that could impact both local pre-teens and various hangers-around. Staff photo.
“It's right at four different bus stops so me an’ my old lady spent a lot of time here," says Holvik, who currently works part-time in and around Woodland Hills as a residential Amazon package acquisition specialist. "You position yourself behind one of the columns in the front of the dining area and whoever’s at the register can’t see you, so you could hang out all day sipping your Four Loko. The trick is to crack open the can before you come in. Because you can’t do it quietly.”

Says John A. Sutter Middle School student Carmen Bailor, “I was like oh no BK is closed, that totally sucks!” The seventh grader explains that she and her friends would go there after school and purchase a small order of fries. “Then we’d like all ask for water cups and sneak soda from the soda machine when [the counter staff] wasn’t looking.

“I guess we’ll do the same thing at Starbucks when it opens, only with coffee. Or those unicorn drinks I heard about. So, yeah, it’ll be cool. They have a dollar menu, right?

Nalgas, too, is starting to see the glass — or coffee cup — as half-full: “Well, I don't think [Starbucks] is gonna to sell me a big wad of chicken nuggets for a buck. But on the plus side, with the guilt that comes along with spending $6 on a cup of coffee, I’m guessing the panhandling’s going to be pretty good.”

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Canoga Please: Dots A Good Question!

Canoga Please! Like many of my neighbors, I’ve embraced the urban folk art, or tagging, with which our local artists have thoughtfully and thoroughly decorated so much of Canoga Park and the surrounding area. Why, just this morning, I see that my brand new red cedar fence has been graced by an original Oblek! Through the sheer ubiquity of magnificently defaced public and private surfaces here in the West Valley, I’ve become something of an authority on all things tagging, though there is one bit of knowledge that still eludes me: Many of the tags feature three dots, and I was wondering what significance this mysterious detail might have.  —Luis N., Eccles Street
Staff photos.

Dear Luis,
Ah, bless our hardworking local taggers who — with can of Krylon and pen of paint — tirelessly embellish and adorn every square inch of available surface with their fanciful and often intricate inscriptions. And yes — the three dots you so often see do in fact have special significance: It identifies the vandal— ...er, artiste as a fan of wholesome, fresh-faced 50s/60s singer-actress Doris Day. The dots, of course, symbolize her adorable, iconic freckles. Congrats on your new back fence masterpiece — but don’t look now — it’s just been overpainted by a common ReKay. Oh well — que sera sera!

•   •   •   •   •

Canoga Please! Yo! When the next season of Narcos coming out on Netflix an’ shit? I’m-a f_ckin’ binge-watch that shit, yo!  —ReKay, via spray-painted message on a fence in an alley behind Eccles Street

Dear ReKay,

No official release date for season 3 of Narcos has yet been announced but rumors suggest it’ll “drop” in August or September. 
Images courtesy Netflix.
In the meantime, why not enjoy The Pajama Game, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, or Pillow Talk, instead — all available to stream instantly!

—Burton Cantara

Do you have a question about Canoga Park? Email it to us at CanogaPlease@gmail.com and it may be answered here. Questions may be edited for brevity or to accomodate photos we’ve been looking for an excuse to run. Sorry, but due to the volume of mail we receive, we cannot respond to every inquiry.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

West Valley Students Eerily Sedate, Well-Behaved Today, Reports LAUSD

By Jordan Covello, Quilt staff




DATELINE: WEST VALLEY SCHOOLS, 4/20



High school students in the West San Fernando Valley were remarkably and inexplicably well-behaved today, notes an official with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Havemeyer. Photo: LAUSD
“Usually I get reports of fights, insubordination, vandalism, truancy — the ‘Big Four’— but today was particularly light in all those areas,” says Dr. Ernest B. Havemeyer, superintedistrator of LAUSD’s West Valley district.

“There was significant tardiness, yes. Most students meandered in at their leisure and didn’t seem to be particularly worried about the consequences. But aside from a few other unexplained incidents, it was a good day, albeit a strange one.

Teachers at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills reported a lot of eating in the classroom — despite rules to the contrary — and occasional and sustained outbursts of giggling among some students seemingly unprovoked by anything the teachers or anyone else did. 

Says Chatsworth High physics teacher John Russo, “I was explaining the Twin Paradox and everyone in the class was just completely enraptured and fascinated by the concept. We spent forty-five minutes discussing it, and then someone noticed a fly buzzing against the inside of a window and [the class] fixated on that for the rest of the period. Which was fine by me, because I had some more levels of Word Cookies to complete.”

Across the West Valley, the school day ended as it began, with students lazily drifting out of school anywhere from ten minutes to more than an hour after the last bell. “I had to literally beg a group of students to leave a classroom so I could mop the floor,” says Reseda High School custodian Frank Helupka. “They were just staring at a pencil sharpener.”

Whoa. Whoooa, man. Whoa — seriously. Wow, right?  Image: Huh? Like Whoooa. 
High school sports, too, were affected by the students’ unexplained behavior. The Canoga Park Hunters baseball team had a game against Sylmar at Lanark Park today at 3 p.m. 

“It was the strangest thing,” notes Berta Dorchek, who was being walked by her pit bull through the park. “I don’t know who was winning or losing or what, but at exactly twenty minutes after four, both teams just sort of wandered off the field to the skate park area and started hanging out with the kids there.”

“It’s just nice to see everyone getting along, you know?”