Friday, September 22, 2017

Explosion Rocks Canoga Park Parking Lot

By Burton Cantara, Quilt staff.



DATELINE: SHERMAN WAY

An explosion blew open the door of a donation box in a parking lot in Canoga Park on Wednesday, spreading soiled, unfashionable clothes and other unwanted secondhand goods over an enormous “crap perimeter” across the surrounding area.

“We were walking by when it went off and next thing I know I was hit by a Von Dutch hat from 2003,” says Bryan Rauschebart of DeSoto Avenue. “My girlfriend was blinded by a flying pashmina. Well, until she pulled it off her head.” 

Rauschebart noted that “something yellow flew by [his] face at the speed of light.” Investigators with the Canoga Park Fire Department later found a ‘Livestrong’ bracelet embedded in the trunk of a nearby palm tree.

Staff photo.
The force of the blast was strong enough to send some of the outdated clothes far across the parking lot, leaving a counterfeit “Jimmie Chew” [sic] left shoe and an oil-stained right Ugg boot with the lining “all matted and pilled” in the back of a pickup truck. A greasy plaid fedora, the type very briefly made popular by Justin Timberlake some years ago, was found dangling on the antenna of a Toyota Camry. 

It was unclear exactly how far the effects of the explosion reached, however, since it was impossible to determine where the debris field ended and the sidewalk inventory of Fallas Paredes began. 

Investigators are baffled by the event and have already ruled out a meth lab explosion, a honey oil lab explosion, a gas leak explosion, a kids-playing-with-fireworks explosion and many of the other usual conditions and factors that regularly cause explosions in Canoga Park.

Correction: Turns out there was no explosion at all, but rather the effects of homeless people tearing open the plywood box and rooting through the soiled garments inside. 

We regret the error.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Spike in West Hills Crime Predicted For Today

By Brennan Callicott, special to the Quilt.

DATELINE: FANCY-SCHMANCY WEST HILLS

A significant uptick in the daily amount of burglaries, mail theft, porch piracy and other crimes the West Hills area experiences is expected today, according to experts.

“We anticipate an increase in all of the problems West Hills has recently become famous for,” reports Senior Lead Officer Gus Lerner. “Expect the escalation to begin at approximately 9:05 a.m and continue until 11:43 a.m., with most of the incidents likely to occur specifically on or around 10:20 a.m.”
Image courtesy NASA.
A spokesprowler with the Association of West Valley Package Pilferers and Home Burglars confirmed the impending crime surge.  “Our members will be out in force [on Monday],” he says. “We figure there’s no better time to get in, get all that jewelry, electronics and credit cards — and then get out while everyone is outside gaping up at the sky. The diminished daylight can only help.

“Incidentally, that whole ‘don’t look directly at it’ crap is, uh, fake news. To truly enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event, we encourage everybody in West Hills to go outside and just stare at that eclipse. Really drink that bastard in with your eyes. Take your time — when you gonna see another one? And leave the front door open.”

Friday, August 18, 2017

West Valley Taggers Seek Funding For Innovative Startup Business

By Charlotte Rudnick, Quilt staff



DATELINE: DESOTO AVENUE

Canoga Park tagger BИW had just about enough. 
Ubiquitous local tagger BИW.

“What the f_ck, yo? They forgot the f_ckin’ eggrolls,” said the spray paint artiste as he rooted through a plastic bag from local business leader Mr. Stir Fry, a Chinese takeout restaurant on DeSoto Avenue at Nordhoff, in Canoga Park’s bustling DeSordhoff neighborhood. “This is like the fifth time they screwed up my order. Plus it took them for-f_ckin-ever to deliver an’ shit. How long does it take to drive from their f_ckin’ restaurant to the third telephone pole after the first dumpster next to the second feces-smeared mattress in the back alley behind the used tire place on Roscoe?  F_ck!”

That’s when a little lightbulb went on above his head.

Mr. Stir Fry, purveyor of fine
food — as well as inspiration. 
At first he thought it was the property owner of the back fence he had just defaced turning on a floodlight. But thankfully, before he and his pals prematurely scattered like cockroaches, he realized it was an idea.

“Like, why don’t we just directly tag the businesses that we don’t like an’ shit?” proposed the 22-year-old entrepreneur to the others in his tagging coterie. It seemed like a solid, viable business plan, since vandalizing public and private property is tacitly allowed if not encouraged in the West Valley; indeed, Canoga Park’s popular summer “Third Thursday” artwalk event holds graffiti workshops as well as vendors selling tagging supplies.

And thus a new startup venture, TagDatShit, was born. 

Startup company 'TagDatShit' hopes to use an exciting new interface to bring customer
 reviews directly to brick & mortar businesses and directly on brick & mortar businesses.
Getting investors likely wouldn’t be a problem, as many local hardware and paint supply stores would be eager to showcase their wares to a young, demographically-desirable customer base that seems to grow exponentially with each passing year. Plus having those involved in TagDatShit agree to not to deface investors’ buildings would constitute a further incentive.

So it seemed only fitting to use the Chinese restaurant that inspired the new crowd-sourced concept in on-site reviews for their presentation to attract both local and corporate sponsors.

Tag, You're Hit: Mr. Stir Fry is being used as a presentation building to fund the ambitious
and unique startup venture,  showing potential investors the value of having,  say, a yellow
donut permanently spray-painted on what was previously natural brickwork.  Staff photos.
Says Kevin Stirfry, the eponymous owner of Mr. Stir Fry as he surveys the extensive damage to his building, “I wish they hadn’t done this. I apologized for the screw-up and I told [BИW] I’ll give him a free order of crab rangoons next time. Cleaning, neutralizing, painting over all of this will be a nightmare.  All of the windows will just have to be replaced. This is easily going to cost me thousands of dollars.

“That said, this is actually less damaging to my business and easier to remove than a one-star review from Yelp.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Art-Themed Summer Street Fair & Breakdancing Symposium A Success in Canoga Park

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff



DATELINE: OWENSMOUTH AVENUE 

The numbers are in and last week’s Third Thursday was a success.

The trimonthiel event — a celebration of art, food, tagging workshops, fellowship, and people carrying little dogs so they don’t get accidentally kicked across the street by someone doing windmills in front of that tire place — is held in Canoga Park on the first full Thursday that follows the second Friday (so long as both Fridays had been preceded by a Thursday in that month) during months ending in an ‘e’ or a ‘t’; and/or any month ending in a ‘y’ that specifically falls between ‘e-’ and ‘t’-ending months. 
Staff photo.
For the 2017 “Third Thursday” schedule, the event’s dates had been predetermined to occur on June 15, July 20 and August 17.

Murla Havemeyer. Staff photo.
“It was a great night,” says Murla Havemeyer, head of event organizement for the Canoga Park Summer Event Series: Third Thursdays ArtWalk and Collective of Artists & Local Raw Artisanal Honey Sellers. “We had a lot of people come by this month. Sure, it meant that I had to stand in line a little longer for my sisig fries at the food truck, but it was worth it.” 

While specific numbers haven’t been released for this year's second Third Thursday, most agree that attendance was up significantly from the event in June, the first Third Thursday event of 2017, nearly matching that of September 17, 2015, the fourth Third Thursday event of the third year the Third Thursday annual street festival was held.

“Yeah, it was real busy,” says local artist Brian Rauschebart, who sold unlicensed “Rick & Morty” religious candles at his booth. “I think it was just as hot and muggy as [the Third Thursday event] in June was, but people came anyway because we’d all just gotten used to the never-ending, stifling heat by now.”
Getting The Word Out:  Locals were made aware of the event by these cards, left on the wind-
shields of Canoga Park's myriad of permanently parked RVs as well as other vehicles. Staff photo.
Havemeyer, however, attributes the increased attendance to handbills advertising the event. “We came up with a really clever idea — to have thousands upon thousands of these little cards printed up — then had volunteers put them on all the car windshields in the downtown Canoga Park area,” she says. “That really got the word out and made the night a triumphant smash.” 

Not one to rest on her laurels, Havemeyer, who keeps busy on many local committees, hopes she can duplicate her “Third Thursdays” success on other projects. 
Staff photo.
“I also head up the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council’s ‘Tidy Neighborhoods’ initiative,” the civic-minded Wyandotte Avenue resident says, “and currently we’re looking at ways to clean up the trash in our streets.”  

Sunday, July 9, 2017

DWP Restores Power Before Entire West Valley Begins To Stink

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff

DATELINE: NORTHRIDGE

A massive power outage affecting over 100,000 residents in the west San Fernando Valley narrowly avoided becoming catastrophic when electricity was restored to remaining customers still without power this morning just ahead of an odor-based “point of no return.”

“We knew we were racing against time,” says LADWP spokesman Mitchell Dianis. “With this heat we’ve been having, things were about to get bad. Real bad.”

A Winnetka neighborhood during last night's power outage. Or perhaps Woodland Hills. No, no,
wait — this is definitely Tarzana.  Or possibly West Hills.  Could be Reseda, maybe.  Staff photo.
Sustained triple-digit temperatures coupled with an inability for residents to sufficiently cool down via air conditioners would have resulted in an enormous, life-choking haze of apocrine-secreted particulate, or sweat cloud, that would have hovered over the western part of the San Fernando Valley indefinitely before settling and permanently seeping into clothes, structures, even concrete.

Dr. Morris Detzer.
Photo: Mimi Detzer
“140,000 people, many of whom are unfamiliar with modern methods of personal hygiene to begin with  — if the people in front of me in line at Dollar Tree yesterday are any indication — without any means of bringing body temperatures down for twelve-plus hours would have been cataclysmic,” explains Dr. Morris Detzer, professor of osphresiology, or stink, at Pierce College Winnetka.  “Had we gone on much longer, in this weather, the resulting funk would have made much of the Valley completely uninhabitable for future generations.  ...Well, more so.”

A sense of impending panic was starting to rise among residents, as well.

“I was driving through Chatsworth last night during [the outage],” says Canoga Park resident Teodor Pasternak. “And you could tell it was already starting to turn. At first I thought it was the horses out there. But no, it was definitely [human] b.o.  I can’t imagine what Reseda would have smelled like.”

Thankfully, work crews at the affected DWP Receiving Station J were able to perform the necessary repairs in time and get transformers, turbines and generators humming again — before residents began to.

“I mean, it’s not as bad as it could have been, but even this morning, eugh, you can still smell it a little bit,” says Pasternak. “I think it’s wafting up from Valerio and...  ...snff...snff...  Holy crap, that’s me.”

“...Actually, snnfff, that’s not bad, huh?”


RELATED: Area Pets Really Digging Your Pheromones

Friday, June 30, 2017

Your Canoga Park Quilt Guide To Illegal Fireworks

By Quilt staff.

AS A PUBLIC SERVICE to our readers, we’d like to offer our recommendations for the best in illegal fireworks here in the West Valley. We’ve tested each one dozens of times — often after 2 a.m. and in various neighborhoods — and rated them on the following criteria:  
  • Noise
  • Potential for physical injury to the individual lighting it
  • Hearing loss for those in the “blast zone”
  • Potential for damage to surrounding property / collateral damage
  • Noise
  • Potential for physical injury to active spectators
  • Noise
  • Potential for physical injury to innocent bystanders
  • PFQ, or pet freakout quotient (an average comprised of number of pets who frantically run from their homes trying to escape the noise, or shake uncontrollably for extended periods of time)
  • Noise
  • Posts complaining in vain about previous night's fireworks on Nextdoor.com and Facebook's local crime-reporting group in a desperate hope that those who are lighting fireworks are inexplicably civic-minded enough to be members of said online communities, will read such posts and adjust their behavior accordingly
  • Noise

Based on those scores we have rated the following fireworks, available from your favorite illegal fireworks dealer, as the best of the best.



Victory Over Victory
Turn your neighborhood into a warzone with this 9-missile cluster. Light the fuse and watch the lights go on in houses down the street!



Owensmouth Explosion
Laffs galore when set up in the middle of that 4-way stop at Valerio! Potential for causing dangerous traffic accidents! Fun!



LA River Basin Reverberator
Powerful enough to shake loose the homeless folks from under the overpasses along the bikepath every time!


Riot at Rocketdyne
Solemnly remember Canoga Park’s legacy in the aerospace industry by giving those poor security guards something to do at 3 a.m. — chase after people old enough to know better — in underpowered golf carts!

Saticoy Salute
Shoots high into the air with a satisfying, spark-showering bang even if you can’t see the colorful explosion through all the dry, brittle leaves of the trees overhead!





Lanark Park Bombardment
160-shot repeater rains down lights, sparks and burnt paper casings everywhere! They'll be cleaning it out of the municipal pool through Labor Day!


Big Noise From Winnetka
Huge explosion accompanied by jazzy, whistling report! A delight for fans of both unnecessary noise and obscure references to 1940s songs!


Blowin’ Up Vanowen
Sends local cats under beds for weeks!  They won’t be coaxed out until the first week of August!




Warner Epi-Center
Condo-rattling boom spontaneously triggers bladder evacuation of small- to medium-sized dogs and the elderly!



The Carnage At Topanga
Extra gunpowder plus extremely short fuses guarantee a trip to the emergency room for you & all bystanders within a blast radius of 15 feet. Tissue loss has never been so patriotic!



Roscoe Racket
Powerful enough to make even the largest dog breeds instantly lose large patches of fur from stress up to a half-mile away!




Strathern Strafer
Unbalanced 60-shot bottle rocket blaster designed to fall to one side and shoot out horizontally!  Easily damages cars, private property, passersby. 




Corbin Calamity
Guaranteed to fly erratically and take out at least one eye!




Chatsworth Conflagration
They practically seek out wood-shingle roofs!





DeSoto Detonation
Amputates thumb and cauterizes the wound in one loud bang!




Sherman Way Shitstorm
An explosion of light, sound, and, if timed right, swerving cars!




Fallbrook Finger Remover
Who really needs all ten?


No Sleep ‘Til Northridge
You don’t have to work tomorrow — what do you care about anyone else? 



Reseda Ruckus
Fills the neighborhood with brief flashes of light, enormous noise, and noxious smoke that seems to hang in the air for hours!



• • • Remember, except for shows run by professional, licensed, permitted "pyrotechnicians" or fireworkologists, personal fireworks are illegal to own or set off in our little corner of Los Angeles County, can be extremely dangerous in a high density urban area such as ours, and cause untold amounts of frustration to people who actually work for a living and enormous distress to pets. However, this is the San Fernando Valley in 2017; civility was blown up and killed by a box of M-80s years ago (and it probably looked really cool) and thankfully we now live in an era where immature selfish entitlement reigns supreme.  

What's more, by the time anyone complaining actually gets through LAPD’s non-emergency line and speaks with Dispatch, you’ll be long gone, probably off carving donuts into the pavement of Platt Avenue near Pomelo in West Hills!  • • •  

Happy Fourth of—  ...Happy Months-Long Fireworks Season!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Canoga Park Participates In Bold New Pilot Program To Help Acclimate Seniors To Extreme Temperatures

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff


DATELINE: JORDAN AVENUE


In addition to offering a cool, air-conditioned retreat to help escape the effects of the current heatwave, the Canoga Park Senior Citizens' Center is launching a new pilot program that may help seniors deal with high temperatures in other ways.

“Summer just began today and already the West Valley's a blast furnace” says Jeanette Ulichny of LA's Department of Age & Age-Related Aging. “It’s only going to get worse and we’re guaranteed to get no relief until November. That’s why we’re exploring new approaches to help seniors deal with the heat.”

According to Ulichny, when the Senior Center reaches capacity, three seniors will be selected at random, escorted outside and directed to climb into one of three large cardboard boxes sitting on the sidewalk in the hot sun. The boxes will then be duct-taped shut and the seniors will endure invigoratingly stifling heat for five to seven minutes.

Hot Flash of Genius: By temporarily moving seniors into cardboard boxes out front, the Canoga
Park Senior Citizens' Center helps condition the elderly to extreme temperatures while preventing
overcrowded conditions inside.  Seniors could reap heat-related health benefits, too.  Staff photo.
“Once we let them back out, the outside temperature, no matter how high, will seem delightfully refreshing by comparison. Then, after another ten minutes standing on the sidewalk in the hot sun, slurping steaming hot mugs of Pepsi Fire, they’ll be allowed in the Senior Center again and three other guests will be moved outside and into the boxes," says Ulichny, who developed the practice, known as "cartoning," when she worked as the activity director for a now-defunct chain of low-cost nursing home facilities.
A favorite with seniors, Tuscan
Pops were discontinued in 1983.

Extreme heat on the body often can result in lowering blood pressure and increasing circulation — two positive effects that many elderly folks may benefit from. Additionally, the "cartoning" experience could potentially help aged persons on hot days when they can't make it to the Senior Citizens' Center or any of LA's other cooling centers.

"Where they otherwise might sit in their homes thinking 'Christ almighty, this heat is unbearable,'" explains Ulichny, "Now they might think 'Wow, yeah, this heat's a real bastard, the a/c hasn't worked in years, I'm out of Tuscan Pops and I'm stuck to this vinyl-backed chair — but at least I'm not in The Box.'"

Ulichny notes that if successful, the program may be extended to allow for additional boxes.  “My husband and I just bought a new stove, so I may bring the carton with me tomorrow.”
•    •    •    •    •
Correction: Whoops!  Turns out the Canoga Park Senior Citizens' Center is in no danger of overcrowding and is a marvelous place for those who need to cool down in an air-conditioned environment to spend the day. We regret the error. For a complete list of LA County Cooling Centers click here, or dial 311 from your telephone.