Monday, December 22, 2014

Women’s Club Gives The Gift Of Music And More To Surrounding Neighborhood For The Holidays

By Ingomar Schoenborn, Quilt staff


Music and other sounds of the season will be filling the air throughout the holidays - at least during the evenings (and in most cases, well into the early morning hours) - in the area surrounding the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women’s Club, according to the club’s Vice President In Charge of Neighborhood Cacophony Doreen Farber.
Doreen Farber. Photo: Fred Farber.

“My my my, we’re pretty much booked solid from now to the end of the year. We’re calling it our Holiday Concert Series,” laughs the feisty octogenarian while thumbing through a thick stack of hundred dollar bills - rental fees paid by those who have recently secured the clubhouse’s facilities for various celebratory affairs. “Pity the poor bastards who live nearby,” she adds with a chuckle.

Unlike professionally-run venues, there will be little or no security at the ‘holiday concert series.’ And while most performance and reception spaces enact various rules and restrictions as terms of their rental, the vice president insists that isn’t the case with her club. “As long as they pay us and re-stack the folding chairs when they’re done, aah, they can do whatever the hell they want,” says Farber as she uses her foot to move a copy of Tom Brokaw’s best-seller ‘The Greatest Generation’ on her coffee table out of the way to more easily spit her chewing tobacco, or chaw, into an empty Big Gulp cup a few feet away.

The clubhouse of the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month
Women's Club, or as it's known locally, "Studio 7401." Staff photo.
The local Women’s Club, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, was originally a traditional service organization but eventually abandoned all but the thinnest shred of such pretense and now operates almost exclusively as a private nightclub, though many in the area surrounding the property have noted that ‘private’ may be a bit misleading: Most of the festivities are indeed quite public due to the use of a magnificently oversized sound system, back doors that - in a marvelously 'welcoming' gesture - remain open throughout even the most boisterous events, and guests and their children who are encouraged to carry on, no matter the time, in the parking lot.

“Fact is,” smiles Farber in her lovely Winnetka home, tobacco juice dribbling down her chin, “we’re not exactly renting to the sort of people who just forgot to reserve the banquet room at the Calabasas Country Club. No, we cater to the local riff-ra-- eh, to the east of Topanga set, let’s say.”

Some miles away in Canoga Park, near the Women’s Club itself, a local resident is unsurprised by news of the impending events at the location in the middle of this residential neighborhood. 

Staff photo.
“Oh, their holiday parties are legendary around here,” notes area neighbor Téodor Pasternak, as he flips through a thick, overflowing file labeled ‘Complaints About Canoga Park Women’s Club, Vol. II’ and pulls out a heavily-notated sheet of paper. “Ah, here’s one: Christmas Eve 2011. That was particularly memorable. The usual open doors, no security anywhere, blasting music, pointless calls made to the LAPD, adults drunk off their asses, oh, and children who were not nestled all snug in their beds as much as running around and screaming on the top of their lungs in the parking lot until, let’s see here, ah yes, 1:53 a.m.” 

Told of Pasternak’s comments, the affable president of the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s club dismisses them with a good-natured flick of her hand.  “Oh, that asshole again. Well, we've still got over a week left to 2014. Believe me, bub, he ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club is located at 7401 Jordan Avenue at the corner of Valerio, in Canoga Park’s otherwise quiet Jordalerio neighborhood. Monies raised by renting the club facilities go “right back into the immediate community” by being put towards upkeep of the clubhouse itself, with leftover funds financing an annual Women’s Club luncheon where members congratulate themselves for giving a $25 savings bond to an underprivileged grandchild.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Canoga Park Quilt's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

The yuletide season is finally upon us and whether you celebrate Christmas or even some other holiday, it's the time for remembering others. We sent our own army of "Santa's Helpers" into local Canoga Park businesses to uncover this year's best ideas in gift-giving for you, our readers - and they didn't disappoint. Fantastic, imaginative possibilities abound throughout our local boutiques, restaurants and specialty shops with countless ways to say "Merry Christmas" (or even some other sentiment) with just the right remembrance for friend, neighbor, husband - little ones, too! You'll find all these marvelous items and more as well as knowledgeable, friendly sales-help at each of the businesses listed below, so head over to any (or all) of these stores and cross items off your Christmas (or even some other holiday) list by shopping locally, right here in Canoga Park.

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WHIMSICAL OWLS ask "Whooo's calling?" on this delightful, colorful case that fits your mobile telephone. Sturdy plastic case snaps onto telephone, stays put. Dozens of other styles available. $5.99. Barsamian Cell Phone Accessories 4 Less, Kiosk 6 (Across from Kinney Shoes). Westfield Topanga Indoor Shopping Mall, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd.

GRANDDAD WILL DELIGHT in this duo of sweet treats he'll remember from the "good ol' days" of his youth - and probably be surprised to learn they're still available today. Pearson's Salted Nut Roll, in the bigger King Size, features shelled Virginia peanuts rolled around chewy nougat. Iron Man 3 Strawberry Bubble Gum Rollz has over 48 inches of bubble gum plus a free tattoo, packed inside a handsome carrying case sure to be passed on to future generations as a cherished heirloom. $1 each. Dollar Tree, Inc., 20936 Roscoe Blvd.

EVEN EBENEEZER SCROOGE will appreciate a visit from this Christmas spirit. Opulent Vodka, a taste as exquisite as its name implies, available in the handy 50 ml size for just $1.49. Concoct a Christmas cocktail "on-the-fly" by adding it to a bottle of Strawberry Nesquik for a drink as merry and pink as Santa's rosy cheeks, or just pound it straight while waiting for the bus. Liquor Mart, 7547 Topanga Canyon Blvd (at Saticoy).

A HANDYMAN is only as good as his tools, and the "do-it-yourselfer" in your life will certainly appreciate adding this collection of helpful implements - in darling miniature - to his tool shed. Set of four tools includes hatchet, pick-axe, crosscut saw and spade all in adorable pastel colors. Dainty in design yet easily hacks, picks, cuts and digs its way through the waxy "chocolate coating" of cheap dollar store Swiss rolls. Made of durable plastic. Just 89¢ for the set. Kake Kreations, 18986 Sherman Way.

LUCKY IS THE GUY OR GAL on the receiving end of these of yuletide delights. Available in charming polar bear and penguin motifs, "Happy Holidays" lottery tickets offer the chance at winning $2, $10, even $500. Simply use the edge of a coin or small plastic pick-axe to scrape off "magical" coating to reveal prizes beneath - three of a kind's a winner. As much fun to play as win. $1 each. • Chewy, delicious 3-1/2" Snack Stick comes individually packaged in festive evergreen-colored plastic wrap, sealing in flavors and oil. Made from meat and other ingredients. 39¢ each or purchase three for $1.17 Available at many 7-Eleven Convenience Markets including 21618 Roscoe Blvd., C.P. Calif.

'HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY DONUT' you'll sing as you give this delicious pastry along with warm yuletide wishes to your paperboy, milkman, or postman. Or leave one atop your blue bin as a "holiday hello" to the woman who goes through your recyclables at three a.m. the night before garbage day. Available in a myriad of flavors and colors. 70¢ each; discounts when purchased in multiples of 12. Jolly Donuts has two Canoga Park locations to serve you: 7249 Topanga Canyon Blvd. and 20901 Roscoe Blvd.

BEHOLD THE THOUGHTFUL party guest who brings her (oft-harried!) hostess a little something extra for the hors d'oeuvres platter: she's secured her place at the top of the guest list for all future functions. Hand-butchered salmon head perfect for the fondue pot, sliced thinly atop butter crackers - even breathes new life and flavor when added to a waning punchbowl. Why not bring two - one for the soiree, and one for your hosts to enjoy afterwards? $1.29 per pound. Island Pacific Supermarket, 20922 Roscoe Blvd. Canoga Park.

TIDE-INGS OF GOOD CHEER are just three coins and a lever pull away. Your choice of laundry detergents clean, remove stubborn Snack Stick stains and lingering salmon head effluvia odor, leaving clothes looking and smelling holiday fresh. New "Ultra" Tide still has its fragrant Original Scent; Cheer imbues fabrics with a pleasing Fresh Clean Scent. Each convenient single-load box will launder a Santa's sack-size load of laundry. 75¢ apiece at Tu Casa Coin Laundry, 20907 Roscoe Blvd (behind Popeye's).

A TRIO OF THOUGHTFUL GIFTS await milady under the Christmas tree. New Choice brand Vagi-Cure Anti-Itch Cream offers fast relief from everyday itch. Freshens, too. • Made from genuine mechanically separated chicken, nourishing Crider Chicken Bologna, in the generous 11-ounce can, saves her time in the kitchen and makes holiday meals a snap. • She'll turn heads at your company Christmas party with these chic earrings in the shape of a man's mustache. By the fashion experts at Fashion Jewelry. All are 99¢ each at 99¢ Only Store, 20914 Sherman Way at DeSoto.

REMEMBER THOSE WE'VE LOST be they friends, relatives or, in the spirit of the season, even members of rival gangs. Charming 8-1/4" Sacred Heart of Mary candle burns for hours. Perfect for roadside memorials or overly religious home window display/fire hazard. $1.99 or 2 for $3. (Other saints available, too.)  • You'll save with - and savor - popular Swisher Sweets cigarillos, available in a multitude of aromatic flavors starting at just $1.19 for the handy two-pack. Walgreens Drugs, 7560 Topanga Canyon Blvd.

WHAT BETTER WAY to celebrate the birth of the our Lord than by nasally aspirating your own blessed child with this top quality Baby King Nasal Aspirator? Soft, pliable latex tip inserts easily in your choice of Baby's nostrils. Simply release pressure on the bulb and gentle suction action draws mucus, other fluids out of tot's nasal cavity. Dislodges stuck Legos and tiny mustache-shaped earrings, too. Available in both pink and blue. $1.10 at Pay 99¢ + or Less, 21828 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, Calif.

SANTA DOESN'T HAVE A MONOPOLY on elf helpers - Keebler's put their magical tree elves to work this season, too, crafting a delicious "snack pack" featuring eight delicious Cheese & Cheddar Sandwich Crackers. Made with real cheddar cheese, this is one gift that's sure to please even the 'Bah Humbug' crowd. 79¢ at Food Mart, 76 Gas Station, 21403 Saticoy Street.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE...but good enough to drink? Worry no more about rust particles the size and color of Cheese & Cheddar Sandwich Crackers plunking from faucet to the drinking glass via Los Angeles's charmingly quaint century-old waterworks and 7,200 miles of deteriorating pipes; say goodbye to drinking water with a layer of sediment at the bottom of the glass that looks like someone scratched a dozen "Happy Holiday" lottery tickets over them. Delicious flavorless water - remarkably harvested from LA DWP's own supply, but made perfectly potable through a secret filtration process - will be the talk of the season. Marvelous novelty gift that you "personalize" yourself by using your own empty milk or Tampico jug. And at 30¢ a gallon, you'll want one to keep in your own refrigerator! Glacier Water Machine (outside Vallarta Supermarket), 21555 Roscoe Blvd.

A FLAT TIRE can really take the air out of holiday festivities - the last thing anyone needs with a Christmas list a mile long and the nagging concern that the store'll run out of infant nasal aspirators before you can get there. Treat yourself to the gift of worry-free motoring with a gently used tire. Guaranteed 70% or more remaining tread ensures steady, safe driving on winter's slickest roads. Practical round shape fits easily on rim; lovely matte black color compliments most every vehicle. Eliminates painful embarrassment of changing tire in drive-thru line at El Pollo Loco while diners inside point, mock. And with prices starting at under $30, you don't have to be a "big wheel" to own one. Oaxaca Tires, 8313 De Soto Avenue, Canoga Park.

POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS with handsome, sturdy cardboard boxes from your local box retailer. Available in "over 2,000 sizes" from the very small up to those roomy enough to accommodate used automobile tires. And assembly couldn't be easier: simply fold, press flaps down and secure with tape or mucilage - then fill with your choice of contents. 65¢ and up. Box City, 7008 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Pk. 4, Calif.

HE NEEDN'T HAVE A VIOLENT STREAK to look good in a smart, stylish "Wife-Beater" shirt - nor even be married. (Many gents of the single persuasion are said to enjoy wearing them also.) 100% preshrunk combed cotton sleeveless A-shirt by Pro Zone can be worn as an undershirt below his button-down Oxford, as well. Generous length stays tucked in no matter how low he wears his pants. $1 each and available in all sizes from small to large. • Cool and refreshing with a clean, masculine scent, Men's Choice Arctic Blue After Shave is the choice of men. Pinhole pouring stopper prevents waste (and is easily removed for those who prefer a more concentrated, heady musk). Comes in the handy 5-ounce gift bottle. Only one dollar + tax. Super Dollar 7025 Topanga Canyon Blvd.

SANTA WILL SAY 'NAMASTE' (the word clever Indians use for 'thank-you') when he finds a cold, crisp bottle of Maaza lychee juice drink waiting for him on the hearth this Christmas Eve. Sophisticated glass bottle filled to the brim with 11.19 ounces of the exotic, never-too-sweet liquid - naturally chock-full of beneficial vitamins and proteins - made from lychee puree and other natural flavors. Imported. $1. India Sweets & Spices - "Spices of Your Life," 22011 Sherman Way.

BEFORE YOU BRING OUT the platters heaped high with rare, tender roast beef, spiced & glazed baked ham, and moist, delicious turkey, the first course, of course, in any holiday meal is soup. And who other than Amy's Soups to offer a wonderful base from which to start? There's none better than her low-fat "No Chicken Noodle" variety - a light, tasty and comforting "cure everything" soup in the handy 14.1 oz pull-tab can. Just add one 1/2 pound (or more) cooked chicken meat (or mechanically-separated canned chicken bologna), heat and stir - and you've got a hearty, satisfying "starter" everyone will enjoy. Or toss in a handful of 7-Eleven Snack Sticks for a new twist on an old favorite. Available for $3.29 in the soup aisle at Follow Your Heart, 21825 Sherman Way.

GIFTS OF TASTE AND DISTINCTION are what's in stock at Goodwill. In the bric-a-brac department, a wintery scene plays out in this Texas-themed snow-globe when you shake up a mini-blizzard and watch delightful and realistic "snow" flakes fall on the diorama within. Built-in plug at bottom slows remaining water from evaporating completely. Made of break-resistant plastic for years of enjoyment. $2.99. • A personalized mug fashioned in fine ceramic is just the gift for Murelle, featuring her name in classy, "old-time" lettering, and much of the rim still gaily trimmed in gold paint. A marvelous buy at just $1.99 - look for it in Housewares. Goodwill Industries, 7107 Owensmouth Ave.

IF PIPE-SMOKING POP is like most men, he'll occasionally put down his cherished briar for a bit and enjoy showing off cigarette-rolling skills he learned when he was his boy's age - just as his own dad did with him. Futurola brand medium size cigarette rolling papers are "super-thin"; yet burn slowly and evenly. Hand-crafted under the highest quality control standards and are a smart, economical gift at just $1.50 for the book of 50. Available from Lion's Lair, 22053 Sherman Way.

CURLING RIBBON may not be out but "curly" fries (the unique new spiral-shaped take on the popular French-fried potato) are definitely in this season especially when adorned as a festive, decorative spray atop a gift-wrapped package. Purchase small order for petite gifts, medium for mid-sized packages, large to accommodate your biggest presents. Hint: Order a larger size if unsure; extra coils can be draped on Christmas tree as a delicious and savory deep-fried garland. $1.89 to $2.69 plus tax. Arby's Restaurant, 7011 Topanga Canyon Blvd. "Roast beef sandwich a specialty."

POLLY WANT A RHOMBUS? Or a parallelogram? Or a trapezoid? Elegant pine blocks come in bright, gay colors and a host of fun geometric shapes. Pre-drilled holes allow wood to be strung quickly, easily on bird rope toy in an endless variety of different combinations, keeping Pretty Bird (and his strong, sharp beak) happily occupied for hours - while saving grandkids' precious fingers. Medium size blocks 50¢ each or 2 for $1. Discount Birds, 21731 Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

A LADY WITH A FLAIR for fashion knows it's the shoes that make the outfit. Fabulous black leatherette studded wedges by Alba feature hundreds of tiny metallic studs to glint, gleam and catch the customer's eye; no-scuff heels won't mar the stage. Sprained ankles and inadvertent appearances on "Ridiculousness" are a thing of the past: Wedge-style sole provide larger, sturdier base than traditional stilettos to land on at the end of a pole routine, yet are light enough that they won't inhibit throwing a leg - or both! - up into the air. Already broken-in and oh-so comfortable she won't even change out of them when she takes her fifteen and runs over to the pizza place next door for a quick slice. Available for $5 in Ladies Footwear Dept., Salvation Army Family Thrift Store, 21381 Roscoe Blvd.

A BOULDER GIFT IDEA you're not likely to find than this magnificent sedimentary rock, hewn by innumerable particulates and rushing waters of perhaps centuries in a river. Unbelievably beautiful with rich, exquisite detail; one-of-a-kind rock will complement the decor in any large fish tank, fresh or salt water. For the holiday season, put it to work on the appetizer tray, letting guests enjoy mashing salmon head into paté themselves, or glue on funny craft-store googly eyes and substitute for traditional Christ-child figure in the manger for a modern, avante-garde take on the traditional Nativity scene. Many sizes, colors and geological classifications available, starting at $1.89 per pound. Aquarium City, 21723 Sherman Way, Canoga Pk.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIMELY GIFTS is sure to include this pair of men's underpants smartly fashioned by the experts in masculine underthings at Fruit of the Loom. Woven from 100% cotton and imported from faraway Honduras, these briefs feature an "elasticized" waistband that fits snugly around the mid-section - never pinches! - as well as a double layer of material in the front to cradle and absorb. Sold singly on oversized hangers, each pair of briefs features its own individual imperfections as well as a hand-written black 'X' across the company logo inside - making every one a truly a one-of-a-kind present. Available in the following sizes: XL. 99¢ at Fallas Paredes, 21035 Sherman Way.

PUSSY WILL PURR in eager anticipation of a fancy salmon dinner (in sauce!) formulated just for her. Purina brand Friskies Buffet cat food in the single-serving can is a busy hostess' lifesaver as well when used to extend the paté - party guests won't suspect a thing and we won't say a word! Many varieties available, each only 79¢ for the 5.5 ounce can. • You'll feel like you're "puttin' on the ritz" without putting out your pocketbook with Payaso - the Mexican snack cracker with the funny clown on the package. Over four ounces - that's 40 crackers - and all for just 69¢. Try sesame variety too, for that distinctly "south-of-the-border" flavor. De Soto Plaza Market, 8935 De Soto Avenue.

THE FRESHEST IDEAS IN GIFT-GIVING are often the most obvious. What more appropriate present to bestow on friend or loved one this season than one of Car-Freshner Corp.'s Little Trees™ air fresheners? Aromatic, regal 'Royal Pine' is truly the scent of the season, all bedecked in Christmas green. Fragrance aplenty so it lasts weeks. Use handy attached string and hang as an ornament to imbue an artificial tree with the pleasing smell of the real thing without messy falling needles, pine borer infestations. Or dangle on rear-view mirror to eliminate the odor of the salmon head left in the car the night before the neighbor's party. $1 in coin at Fiesta Car Wash, 21403 Saticoy Street, Canoga Pk. (Look for the dispenser with the pretty blonde gal on it.)

WHAT'S CHRISTMAS WITHOUT COOKING? And this time of year, she'll be doing plenty of it, so she'll appreciate either (or both) of these indispensable cookbooks. "Too-Good-To-Be-Leftovers" helps the lady of the house turn even last night's missteps into tonight's masterpieces. (We know a lot of husbands who will appreciate that!) "Quick & Easy Cookbook" gives her more time for shopping, cleaning, decorating the house - and less time in the kitchen - with tasty recipes designed with simplicity in mind. • The bar-b-q season may be far away, but hubby will be all set to take over (outdoor) cooking chores next summer with this unusual gift: a set of ten corn-on-the-cob holders. Exquisitely detailed corn cob design in rugged plastic with two sturdy metal prongs ensure corn stays put. Comes in handy see-thru carrying bag. Cookbooks, 50¢. Corn cob holders, $1/set of 10. Assistance League of San Fernando Valley Thrift Shop, 22335 Sherman Way, #B, Canoga Park. "In the Ralphs Shopping Plaza."

Attention Retailers! If you've a product that you'd like to see showcased in next year's edition of the Canoga Park Quilt 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, please send a sample of the item along with product specifications (including price), your business name and street address to Canoga Park Quilt Holiday Gift Guide Editor, Canoga Park Quilt Holiday Gift Guide, Dept. CPQHGG,, Canoga Park, Calif. For perishable food items, please send at least three (more if particularly delicious), and attach sufficient dry ice to email to prevent spoilage.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Safety First: Safety Tips For Being Safe As Wet Weather Comes to Canoga Park

While the much-needed rain that continues to beshower itself across Canoga Park is indeed cause for celebration, it’s also important to keep in mind safety issues that, when kept in mind, will keep all of us safe across Canoga Park, while much-needed rain continues to beshower itself. On Canoga Park.

The LAPD West Valley Bureau’s Topanga Division Traffic & Weather Unit’s Weather & Traffic Support Officer in Charge of Press Releases About Traffic and/or Weather Captain Reed Malloy issues these tips:

• Give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination and drive slowly. Remember, if you find you’re running late, you can always speed up to make up for lost time.
Drivers can improve fuel efficiency by limiting the use of gas-guzzling windshield wipers. Staff photo. 
• Using your windshield wipers while you drive unnecessarily wastes gas, makes it difficult to concentrate on the road, and often lulls drivers to sleep with a constant, unwavering rhythm. Leave them off. Only turn them on briefly - one or two wipes - after you’ve reached your destination to confirm that you’ve arrived at wherever it is you were trying to get to. And don’t forget: It’s against the law to use your headlights during daylight hours unless you’re in a funeral procession.

• Remember, especially in wet, dangerous driving weather: The other guy is trying to get to where he’s going to, just as you are.  ...And just who the hell does he think he is? Is his time more important than yours?  You’re trying to get to El Taco Llama before they close; he’s toddling along in an LA DWP truck with stacks of traffic cones on the bumper and orange lights spinning - probably looking for a strip club, like in that CBS Special Report. Goddamn unions. Aaah, cut the bastard off!

• Street surfaces can be slick. When someone up ahead is flagging you down to purchase a cold, wet, roasted ear of corn or one of those bags of duros you’ve got tied to the handle of your push cart, be sure to give yourself enough time to bring your walking speed to a slow, measured stop. You don't want to skid and fall on your ass.

• Flooded intersections near crowded bus stops, such as Saticoy at Canoga, offer an ideal, earth-friendly way to wash the undercarriage of your vehicle, especially if approached at speeds higher than 30 mph to really get that water kicking up into the wheel wells.
There's no better time than a rainy day to get swept away by the beauty of the LA River. Staff photo.
• Explore our magnificent LA River but do so with caution: If there have already been two or more rescues of people being carried away down the river in your area, rescuers may be tired and not operating at peak life-saving performance. Before jumping the fence, head up the river a few miles first, where different emergency personnel will likely answer the call.

• Even though this desperately needed rain is reason to celebrate, it is not one of Canoga Park’s 27 annual holidays or events for which firing guns into the air is approved. Please limit your celebrating to drinking. If you must drive after drinking, do so when the rain is at its heaviest with the fewest number of other drivers on the road. And drive fast, so you’re off public streets as quickly as possible.

By remembering these safety tips and using common sense, we can work together to make it a happy and safe rainstorm for everyone in Canoga Park. You people in Winnetka are on your own though. Technically, you shouldn’t even be on this site.

Monday, December 1, 2014

News In Brief: December 1, 2014

Canoga Park Elementary Unveils New Schoolyard Security Pilot Program
New for the 2014-2015 academic year, a series of industrial boom lifts placed strategically inside the tall, chain-link fence perimeter of the Canoga Park Elementary School playground are the brainchild of music teacher Judy Maxwell. “I caught some of ‘Escape from Alcatraz’ on Turner Classic Movies back in July, and it got me thinking.” She wrote up a proposal with her ideas and submitted it to the LAUSD Security and Corrections Advisory Committee who voted for it immediately. Each of the lifts is manned by a teacher, teacher’s aide, or parent volunteer responsible for maintaining a grim vigil overseeing a section of the schoolyard (or ‘yard, in student vernacular) grid during recess periods. If the results show promise, permanent guard towers may be installed where the rented lifts now sit as early as September 2015. “Inappropriate jumprope chants are down 18% this year already,” beams Maxwell from her perch high above the hopscotch courts and tetherball poles. “Eventually we hope to make inroads against gang recruitment as well.”

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Proposition to “Optionalize” All Stop Signs Within Canoga Park Narrowly Loses
A bill making all stop signs in Canoga Park optional lost by a vote of 8 to 9 at an emergency meeting of the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council last week.
The proposed new law would have allowed drivers to choose whether or not to obey local stop signs based “on how much of a hurry they're in; their attention being otherwise occupied by texting, ‘dicking around’ on their phones, eating or other non-driving distractions; or to simply exhibit vehicular dominance and/or extreme indifference, disregard and apathy to anyone else on the road, whether other drivers or pedestrians.” Proponents of the bill have argued that it's only legalizing what most local drivers do anyway. The bill’s defeat was another blow to its co-authors, Friendly Neighborhood Councilmembers Marisol Mendez-Purcell and Daniel Iverson, who already had their share of bad luck that day when they were involved in a head-on collision with one another at the corner of Vassar and Wyandotte while rushing to get to the meeting to vote. “I’m not giving up,” said Mendez-Purcell from her bed at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center. “Once I’m able to walk again, I’m going to bring it up for another vote - well, as soon as I settle with that asshole Daniel, or, as it looks now, his estate.”

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Confusion at Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Nearly Ends In Joyous Ecstasy
Two men smashing a section of brickwork and concrete of the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women’s Club nearly got some unwelcome help when a neighbor spotted them and attempted to join in. 
“I saw these guys taking a pick axe and a jackhammer to the clubhouse and I’m all ‘Holy crap, finally! It’s about damn time!’” says Téodor Pasternak, who ran home to get a sledgehammer and join in the destruction. “On the way back, I rounded up my neighbors and told them our long neighborhood nightmare was finally over.” Many came with crowbars, masonry saws, and one nearby resident was even ready to rent a bulldozer - but it was all for naught:  Turns out the two men - actually volunteer workers affiliated with the club - were merely trying to dislodge the building’s cornerstone containing a time capsule for an anniversary event, not permanently demolish the erstwhile Women’s Club (now operating as a weekly nightclub) as many in the clubhouse's immediate vicinity had hoped.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Teamwork Credited In Resolving Two-Car Pileup Outside Women's Club Without Bothering Police

By Ingomar Schoenborn, Quilt staff


Festivities at the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club weekly nightclub, the Cocanoga Grove, ended with a bang Saturday night when two patrons were involved in a fender bender while leaving the premises. 

“It was a relatively quiet night for the club - either that or I’ve suffered so much hearing loss from being subjected to years of their blasting music that I just don't notice it as much as I used to,” notes neighbor Téodor Pasternak. “But suddenly, after midnight, there was a terrific crash, and then a lot of shrieking and swearing.” 

Concerned that someone might be hurt, Pasternak hurried to the popular venue at the corner of Jordan and Valerio where just up the street he saw people stumbl milling around a late model SUV completely blocking Jordan Avenue diagonally and an older sedan near the club parking lot's east exit. 

The peaceful appearance of the Jordan Avenue exit of the club's parking lot on Sunday morning
belies the frantic hullaballoo of an accident that occurred less than twelve hours earlier. Staff photo.
“There was broken glass on the street, and someone had evidently made a point to unload a case of Corona out of one of the vehicles onto the lawn after the accident - I can’t for the life of me imagine why,” the civic-minded area resident says. Pasternak notes that despite obvious damage to both vehicles, the two drivers handled the pileup without incident and specifically did not want the police involved, adding “again, I just can’t imagine why.” Instead, those in the crack-up focused on sweeping up the mess and “getting the hell out of there fast,” he says. 

Other residents along Jordan Avenue, alerted by the noise of the impact, came out to look and were seen rolling their eyes, shaking their heads and muttering phrases such as “Here we go again.” It’s unclear whether the evening’s festive bash & crash were part of the ongoing schedule of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the beloved local women’s club.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dozens of Improbably Colorful Cars Simultaneously Break Down On Sherman Way

By Ingomar Schoenborn, Quilt staff

It was a scene of utter chaos in Canoga Park today when dozens and dozens of wildly decorative vintage-looking automobiles all broke down simultaneously causing a severe traffic jam and complete gridlock along Sherman Way from Topanga Canyon Boulevard all the way to Jordan Avenue. 
From where did they come from? In Canoga Park, Canoga Park residents wander about the mysterious
vehicles that appeared on Sherman Way in Canoga Park on Sunday morning in a daze. Staff photo.
Drivers were seen abandoning their vehicles and standing idly in the street. Many popped open their cars’ hoods, as though to check for engine trouble or perhaps to let overheated engines cool, but no signs of steam escaping radiators nor of mechanics repairing broken motors was evident along the two city-block stretch. Local pedestrians, well-known for their practice of eschewing sidewalks for busy roadways were out in force as well, strolling along the curiously immobile automobiles as they went about their normal walking-in-the-streets business.
Dr. Morris Detzer.
Photo: Mimi Detzer

“Those cars, oh my! It was truly remarkable - something I'd never seen before. A phenomenon for which I simply have no frame of reference,” says Dr. Morris Detzer, head of Latino and/or Hispanic Cultural Studies at Pierce College Winnetka, who had come to the area to enjoy a “Día de los Muertos,” or Coupla Days After Halloween, Festival reportedly held somewhere nearby but was initially unable to reach it because of the blocked roadway.

“Evidently there was some sort of localized nuclear weapon attack resulting in an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which disabled all of these vehicles at the exact same time, like that scene in ‘The Day After,’” the professor explained. “As to where all these anachronistic vehicles came from in the first place, my guess is some sort of time-traveling device along the lines of whatever they used to get the aircraft carrier to 1941 Pearl Harbor in ‘The Final Countdown,’ or more likely, DeLorean-based technology involving flux capacitors. Only in reverse, and on a much larger scale. There was some crazy bastard at Pierce who was working on something like that my first year there, in ‘85, but they let him go after he kept burning the pavement in the employee parking lot.”

In a daze, Canoga Park residents wander about the mysterious vehicles that appeared locally on Sunday
morning on Sherman Way in Canoga Park. From where did they come, many wonder, from? Staff photo.
The stalled vehicles were all elaborately and intricately decorated, in a veritable rainbow of colors with many featuring extensively detailed designs in their paint jobs as well as enormous amounts of highly-polished chrome - rather unlike what one might presume to have rolled off assembly lines.

“Yet clearly they did,” insists Detzer. “They’re obviously from an alternate universe where such fantastically decorated vehicles are factory-standard. We got their cars and they got ours. It’s like that episode of ‘Star Trek’ where Spock has the goatee.”
The mysterious vehicles that appeared in Canoga Park on Sunday morning on Sherman Way.
Many wondered, while wandering, dazed, about the cars: 'From where did they come from?'
and 'Holy Christ, the delicious aroma of carne asada - where's that coming from?'  Staff photo.
However, residents needn’t be concerned of the otherworldly, motionless vehicles permanently blocking the street, Dr. Detzer notes.

“Based on my extensive knowledge of sci-fi television and movies, these things have a tendency to clear themselves up on their own after 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes, depending on the format. I just hope they’re still doing the skeleton face-painting by the time I make my way through this mob over to Remmet.”

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Women's Club Celebrates Centennial In Grand Style

By Burton Cantara, Quilt Staff


It was a century ago today, October 30, when handsome L.C. Kimball, known locally as “the firebrand of Farralone Avenue” gathered up the constricting burlap of her signature hobble skirt from around her ankles, and stamped her sensible high button shoe on the plank sidewalk lining Sherman Way outside the 9¢ Only store (today, 99¢ Only) and announced “Ladies! What we need here is a Woman’s Club! And by Edison’s talking-machine, I’m just the woman to found it!  That way, we’ll have something to do while our husbands are out shopping for spats and buggy whips.”
A vision in gossamer and ostrich feathers:
Women's Club Founder L.C. Kimball.

Whether it was her rousing speech or the sharp, gunshot-like report of the Bakelite heel of her Sears Roebuck-bought patent leather Storm Queens slamming down on the wooden walkway (Kimball played the pump organ fourteen hours a day and was said to have calves the size of Virginia hams), the female contingent of the local populace agreed and the Owensmouth (later Canoga Park) First Wednesday of the Month Women’s Club was formed.

“The local ladies club was essentially born that very day in October,” says Bob Farrell of the Owensmouth / Canoga Historical Society. “And it continued to flourish as an important and beloved part of the Canoga Park community for the next seventy-five years or so, my goodness, well into the early 1990s.”

Today, the club still exists, such as it is. 

Last week, Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women’s Club Vice President In Charge of Neighborhood Cacophony Doreen Farber made a rare non-First Wednesday of the Month appearance at the clubhouse on the occasion of the Club’s impending 100th anniversary to attend to matters in her other official capacity, Chief Financial Officer.

Passing a last-minute yet earnest tribute set up on a rickety TV tray in the foyer on her way to the club’s money-counting area, Farber shrugged, “Oh, right, that’s today, huh? Well, anyway, I better get to work.”

The venerable headquarters of the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women's
Club, or as it's better known by the surrounding neighborhood, The Copacanoga. File photo.
While she pulled on sleeve garters, donned a green visor, lit up a stogie which she clenched between her teeth, rubbed her hands together excitedly and began “counting up last weekend’s take” - profits from the women’s club’s main source of income: a lucrative reception hall rental business - three other veteran club members milled about and discussed the makeshift centennial shrine.
Flossie Brown donated a lovely balloon to
the gala celebration. Photo: Walter Brown.

“That’s from me,” says Flossie Brown, the club’s Vice President in Charge of Saving Twist Ties from Bags of Bread, pointing to a deflated mylar balloon. “It was Walter and my fiftieth anniversary three weeks ago. My daughter brought that to the party - such a pretty design! - so I saved it. Pretty clever, eh?”

“I put out the pastel mints,” smiles the Women's Club's recently appointed Sciatica Czar, Gertie Johnson. “I found them way in the back of a bottom drawer in the club’s kitchen, although I don't know what I was thinking getting down on my hands and knees like that - I very nearly couldn't get up. Anyway, the bag says they’re from 1983, but I’m sure they’re still good.  They’re kind of clumped together, so if you want one you have to bang the whole wad against the candy dish until a piece breaks off.”
“You’re probably curious about the pretty curls of ribbon on the table and I’m going to tell you all about that,” confides Myrtle Hipkins, the club’s Grand High Exalted Forwarder of Cautionary Emails. “Well, I used to work in the May Company gift-wrapping department when I was a teenager. And we would curl the ribbon as a decorative embellishment on the packages--”
Pulling Out All The Stops: Members outdid themselves with this astoundingly elaborate display
celebrating 100 years of the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women's Club. Staff photo.
“Oh, goodnight, Irene - here she goes with the ribbon story again,” whispers Brown to the others.

“--And it’s a trick: here I’ll show you. You hold a length of ribbon against the edge of a scissor and you pull it a across like this...  Oh!  Oh dear. Gertie, be a lamb and run and get me a Band-Aid.”

“Did you want a pastel mint? They’re from 1983 but that’s only last year so they’re still good!”

“Has anyone seen my Jitterbug? I had it a minute ago; I swear, I’d lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on.”
100 Years and Counting: Gertie Johnson donated a slightly used '1' candle from her 81st birthday
party, while Myrtle Hipkins, who recently turned 90 saved the '0' from her cake. Ever-resourceful
Flossie Brown drew the additional '0' on an old AARP envelope she had in her purse. Staff photo.
Back at the money-counting area, Doreen Farber deftly jabs the keys on an adding machine, pulls the crank, and tears off the paper tape that ratchets out. Looking over the top of her glasses, she compares the result at the bottom of the paper to that on scribbled on her blotter. Satisfied, she notes the total on a deposit slip and with that, finishes her financial duties for the day. “Well, another week, another big wad of cash. I need to go to the bank and deposit this before they close.”

Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-
Month Women's Club member Doreen
Farber. Photo: Fred Farber.
“But Ethel [Hepplewhite, the Club’s Secretary in Charge of Watching Wheel of Fortune and Notifying Other Members If Their Spin ID Is Announced] dropped off cake and ice cream!  We were going to celebrate our big anniversary!” exclaims Hipkins as she carries a tray from the kitchen with bran muffins and small Melmac dishes of Light ‘n’ Lively ice milk.

“Knock yourselves out, ladies. Just clear out before five because this place is rented tonight. There’s going to be a Who Can Scream the Loudest contest in the parking lot and, dear God, I don’t want to be anywhere near this place when those kids start shrieking.”

Asked what founder L.C. Kimball might think of how the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women’s Club has evolved into the proud, money-making nightclub-based entity it is today, Doreen Farber, hurrying to her car suddenly becomes pensive - almost lost in thought for a moment - while rifling through her purse for her keys.


Congratulations to the Canoga Park First Wednesday of the Month Women’s Club on their hundred year anniversary, and here’s to another seventy-five years of magnificent community service and relevance!