Friday, August 29, 2014

What's Doing in Canoga Park - Labor Day Weekend

Pit Bull Apologist Group Meeting Friday Night
PARGA, Pitbulls Are Really Gentle Animals, is meeting on Friday evening at the home of club president Dawn Haberlind on Eton Avenue to "mobilize in advance of the next pit bull attack that hits the news in our tireless fight to defend the gentle pit bull." Attendees are encouraged to bring hackneyed talking points, dubious pro-pit bull statistics, or an appetizer. Box wine from Costco will be served. All pit bull owners are welcome, especially slightly chubby women with long, washed-out blonde hair in their late 30s wearing dirty jeans and who are starting to let themselves go. Those attending "should leave their own pits at home - Marauder can be really territorial sometimes. But he's actually really sweet. I mean, he's super-gentle, especially with Jayden, our five year-old," insists Haberlind. A donation of $5 is requested "which will go towards reconstructive surgery on our two year-old's leg. Casey crawled towards Marauder's food bowl when he was eating - which she now knows is a no-no! They're really gentle dogs, though." PARGA, Haberlind Residence, 8534 Eton Ave., 7 pm Friday
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Photo: Trenice Campbell, Canoga Park Salvation Army
Salvation Army Announces Sale of Collectible Horse-Racing Mugs
A "decent" amount of santanitabilia, or Santa Anita memorabilia, is currently being offered for sale at the local Salvation Army thrift store, available to shoppers on a first-come, first-served basis. Mostly giveaway commemorative steins, the merchandise also includes an ashtray and a 2004 Christmas tree "bulb" ornament still "mint in package." Prices range from $1.95 to $4.95; the items can be found in the housewares section. "Check the Boutique section, too, sometimes things get shuffled over there," advises Donation Intake Coordinator Trenice Campbell. "But you can't bring your cart into the Boutique 'cause you people knock sh_t over. Tired of sweeping up broken ceramics an' whatnot!" Salvation Army Family Store, 21375 Roscoe Blvd, open all weekend.
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Warehouse Shoe Sale to Hold Parking Lot Sale in Warehouse Shoe Sale Parking Lot
Warehouse Shoe Sale will be holding a parking lot sale in their parking lot this weekend featuring a selection of their merchandise moved from the pleasant, air-conditioned interior of their Warehouse Shoe Sale store into the blazing hot Warehouse Shoe Sale parking lot, under heat-absorbing black canopies. Shoppers are encouraged to do their best to search for bargains among displays of sneakers, various women's tops, and racks and racks and racks of men's tank tops, each with the curious designer conceit of a tiny buttoned pocket over the left breast. WSS, 20900 Sherman Way, open all weekend 9 am - 9pm.
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Photo: Erik O'Sullivan / Lanark Pool
Last Chance to Enter Lanark Pool Band-Aid Contest
Lanark Pool head lifeguard Erik O'Sullivan reminds us that this weekend is Canoga Parkians' last chance to enter the Summer 2014 'Guess The Number of Bloody Band-Aids' contest. "Each night, after the pool's closed, we empty the filters from the scuppers along the sides of the pool and we've been putting all the Band-Aids we find into a big jar," says the 20 year-old summer hire. Contestants can write down their guess as to the total number of used Band-Aids (and Curads and generic bandages) that'll have been harvested throughout the entire season, ending at the close of the pool on Labor Day, on an entry form located in the pool's entrance lobby. Grand Prize for whoever's closest: A $5 gift card for Arby's. Runners-up will be rewarded with a chance to grab an item from the Lost & Found box or 5 minutes of unsupervised horseplay in and around the pool (redeemable during the 2015 summer season). The winner will be announced next week once all the disposable plastic, fabric, Phineas & Ferb, sheer, Spider-Man and latex bandages have been counted and donated to charity.  Lanark Pool, 21817 Strathern St, Sat - Sun - Mon, 1 pm - 5pm.

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If you have a Canoga Park community event you'd like to have included in the Weekly Roundup of Events, or whatever it is we're calling this, please email Event Section editor Nita Keswick at 818-TIP-LINE with the name of the event, the description of the event, the date or dates of the event, the time of the event, the address of the event, a contact number for whoever's in charge of the event, the name of that person who's in charge of the event that you just gave the number for, any photos of the event (in the event the event is an annual event and you have event photos from the previous year's event), and a completed photo release for the event photos (downloadable in PDF format here) at least six months in advance of the event. Space is limited. In the event there is no room to run your event for the date you have requested, we will make all possible efforts to run your event eventually.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

News In Brief - August 20, 2014

Canoga Park Sand Mound Takes 'Ice Bucket Challenge'
Photo courtesy Sand Mound.
The Canoga Park Sand Mound, the municipally-protected landmark located on the southeast corner of Valerio and Vassar, joined the ranks of thousands of others nationwide on Tuesday afternoon in participating in the "ice bucket challenge," the social media-driven fundraising stunt that raises money for ALS research. The popular activity, which over the last week has gone viral, or quickly become a widespread phenomenon, involves the overturning of a bucket or similar receptacle containing a mixture of ice and water on oneself. In doing so, the feat is accomplished and the subject can dare someone else to do the same. While it is unclear exactly how the Canoga Park Sand Mound - a large, amorphous pile of sand - was able to perform the challenge, it is further puzzling how in doing so, money is raised in the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease, yet multiple sources have confirmed both as having occurred. Having accomplished the "Challenge," the Sand Mound has thrown down the gauntlet at the roots of another local municipally-protected landmark, the Canoga Park Nude Palm, which has 24 hours to comply.

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One Year Later, Assistance League Thrift Store Volunteers Admit To Being No Closer To Mastering Needlessly Complicated Cash Register
A sign at the thrift store operated by the Assistance League of San Fernando Valley asking customers to please be patient as the volunteers who work there are "being trained to use the new computerized cash register" remains taped to the counter since the thrift store opened over a year ago in the Ralph's shopping center on Shoup and Sherman Way, in Canoga Park's bustling Shoupman neighborhood. "I found this amazing buffalo plaid 50s Pendleton there the other day, and I see this monstrosity of a cash register - it's like a Macintosh Performa from about 1995 that they retrofitted with a cash drawer," says vintage flannel shirt fancier Brian Rauschebart, 28. "And I'm like, 'whoa.' That thing scared me and I'm totally into old-school technology. It took like fifteen minutes to ring me up. They somehow managed to charge me sales tax three times on one item, but it's all good." Says Joan Mitnick, a volunteer at the store, "Oh, that God-blessed computer! Last week I just gave up and started figuring out the totals on a piece of scrap paper. And I told Annette I'm going to stop coming in if she puts me on the register again!"

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Photo: Judy Maxwell
Canoga Park Elementary Introduces New Classrooms To Address Overcrowding
Students at Canoga Park Elementary started the school year with a slightly larger campus thanks to the addition of three new classrooms, each an individual shipping container located in the playground area, the result of an LAUSD pilot program to ease overcrowding. The repurposed steel boxes measure 20 feet long by 8 feet wide by 8 feet tall and feature a front entrance that can be locked from outside, but no windows, which according to 3rd grade teacher Judy Maxwell "cuts down on distractions."  Since the units - whose manifests indicate were most recently used to transport drums of industrial lubricant, Happy Meal toys and bulldozer treads from Qingdao, China - can be hoisted onto tractor trailer trucks and transported, "field trips will be a breeze. Lock the door, put it on a truck, and then a half-hour later they're at Leonis Adobe and no one goes anywhere until I get there with bolt cutters to snip the cable tie on the latch," Maxwell said. The sturdy, rectangular boxes will soon be an economical answer to crowded classrooms at many schools across the city, according to the LAUSD website. Says Kayla Pfeiffer-Gonzalez, 6, of her new classroom, "I like it. It smells like new tires." 

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Local Misanthrope 'Positively Gleeful' Over Anti-Noise Quality-of-Life Program
Recent news of the Los Angeles Administration Citation Enforcement has at least one Canoga Park resident excited. Téodor Pasternak, 44, who has been described by neighbors "a troublemaker," "an inveterate complainer," "a jerk," "a pain-in-the-ass," "a real dickwad," "a jackass," and "a nasty, miserable son-of-a-bitch," among other things admits to being "thrilled, just - just positively gleeful" over the program that will enable police to issue citations for such quality-of-life disturbing incidents as barking dogs, gas-powered leaf blowers, and loud music. Standing on his back porch and pointing in various directions, he laughed, over the din of barking dogs, gas-powered leaf-blowers and loud music, "You're gonna pay, you're gonna pay, you're gonna pay, and oh ho ho, you people, you're just going to get shut down for good." Pierce College Winnetka's professor of municipal political science Dr. Morris Detzer cautions that Pasternak's optimism may be a bit premature. "The legislation as it stands essentially requires residents to be held accountable for their own actions or be fined. As such it makes perfect sense and therefore will never, ever be implemented in LA. Frankly, I agree with his neighbors. Why doesn't this asshole just move?"

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Nearby Communities

Production Company In Talks To Buy Nestlé Chatsworth Location
News of Nestlés impending relocation of its local manufacturing plant to Kentucky has been especially hard to bear for the surrounding Chatsworth community which stands to be severely impacted by the closure, but film production company "Girlz-On-Girlz Filmz" - which according to its DBA filing, specializes in "adult films starring an all-female cast" - is already in talks to purchase the 184,000 square-foot facility. Though the plant will eventually have its machinery dismantled and removed so the new owners can transform the building into a state-of-the-art video production studio, a spokesperson for Girlz-on-Girlz Filmz insists that they intend to continue to refer to the property as the "Hot Pockets Factory." 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Canoga Please! Theater District: A Load Of Bunk?

Canoga Please!  I keep reading about Canoga Park’s “theater district.” Theater district this! Theater district that! A theater district? C’mon, get outta here! Where is there a theater district in Canoga Park? A thrift store district, sure. A discount birds district, of course. But a theater district? Just what are you people trying to pull here?! --Mark H., Vose Street

Dear Mark,

Heavens to Helen Hayes, friend - don't worry, you’re not going crazy! Canoga Park’s magnificent Theatre District does exist and it’s located in the heart of our downtown area, starting at the end of 21620 Sherman Way and extending west approximately forty feet all the way to the beginning of 21626 Sherman Way. 
Ground Zero for Canoga Park's Theater District:  The "New" Madrid Theatre, built in 1873 in the
baroque style,  has played host to such luminaries of le théâtre as Sarah Bernhardt, William Charles
Macready and Little Egypt - who is said to have invented her signature "Hootchee-Coochee" dance
here when an adventurous crane fly fluttered up under her skirt while she was on stage.  Staff photo.
Canoga Park old timers remember when the theatre district was roughly double the size it is now, and was comprised of twice the number of theaters, for a total of two. 

Back then, Canoga Park's theater-going-crowd had their choice of the Park Theater or the First-Run Theatre, with the latter's fancy r-before-e spelling of "theatre" implying a somewhat more sophisticated menu of offerings such as "Orgy Machine" and "Lollipop for Judy."
A trio of ads from the Golden Age of Canoga Park's Theater District, including
two that ran side by side. The third proudly announces "a staff of Canoga Park
Residents proficient in their service to our Patrons." And how, brother! And how!
While the monicker "theater district" has stuck, the original theaters themselves sadly are long gone. Today, those looking for similar entertainments and frivolities have to travel all the way down to Van Nuys and Victory and visit Adult World for a more intimate, booth-based experience. Or you can simply log onto any of the thousands of such websites right in the comfort of your home or workplace like Ingomar Schoenborn does here in his office here at the Quilt, often forgetting to turn down the volume or close the door.

L. Sol Bunk, furniture tycoon. Staff photo.
Canoga Please! I was walking down through Canoga Park’s magnificent theater district recently and happened past the recently defunct El Sol Furniture Gallery. I tried jimmying open the lock to see if they had maybe left behind one of those leopard print chairs shaped like a high-heeled shoe that I could lug home (so I'll have a matching pair for after Labor Day) and that’s when I noticed the plaque by the edge of the door. Who is this distinguished gent, please? Is he available?  
--Miranda S., Elkwood Street

Dear Miranda,

Canoga Park old timers recognize the genial countenance on the bronze plate as none other than L. Sol Bunk, founder and proprietor of his eponymous El Sol Furniture Gallery, and, incidentally, inventor of the Bunk bed - not the vertical tandem version, but rather one comprised of the four folding chairs that went to an inexpensive bridge table set (purchase of which came with a free deck of Huckleberry Hound Go Fish cards, bridge still being illegal west of DeSoto at the time). Sol used to arrange the chairs just so - roughly in a pattern describing a straight line - and stretch out on same to take an afternoon nap in the lull during afternoon matinees at the theaters on either side of his store. (Business usually picked up during the intermissions, when folks would come out into the daylight to see who’d they’d been groping inside, and if things worked out, maybe start picking out furniture together.)
Recently Gone But Not Forgotten, Recently: Former local business leader El Sol Furniture Gallery,
above, was located smack-dab in the middle of Canoga Park's magnificent theater district.  Staff photo.
Leroy Solomon Bunk ran the store for nearly 64 of his 58 years and was tragically killed in 1972 when, as fate would have it, the race-car bed he was driving home one night hit a truck carrying a delivery to his own store. It was determined that poor visibility was a factor when Bunk struck the vehicle, as it was loaded with clear Lucite dining room furniture which was quite trendy at the time but difficult to see. 

Lights were dimmed along Canoga Park's magnificent theater district the next evening although it is lost to the annals of time whether it was as a tribute to Sol or in response to a crackdown on certain movie parlors by the local vice squad.

But to answer your original question: Your plaque, manufactured by Peppy Engravers on Strathern between 1948 and 1984, is an excellent example of mid-to-late century bronze ElSol-abilia. In good condition it is valued at $329,499 attached to its original building. Pried free from its brickwork it is worth considerably less, approximately $1.80 - $2.65, depending on its precise weight and the current price of scrap bronze, though this does not take into account the costs associated with an arrest for defacing and/or pilfering private property. A complete deck of vintage 1961 Huckleberry Hound Go Fish cards, by comparison, recently went for $6.43 on eBay.

--Burton Cantara

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

Friday, August 8, 2014

Former Actress Hopes To Open Possum Sanctuary In Canoga Park

By Blythe Moorcraft, Quilt staff


In her bright pink hat bedecked with artificial flowers, Evelyn McMartin is a familiar sight every evening at the corner of Jordan and Cohasset in Canoga Park’s tight-knit Jordasset neighborhood. And she’s been coming for over six years now, rain or shine, through winter chill and stifling summer heat, to see her friends, talk with them, even have dinner with them. Though they don’t know her by name and can’t talk to her, they’re always glad she came. 

You see, Evelyn McMartin’s friends are possums. 

A sexy "glamour shot" from
early in McMartin's career.
Photo: Evelyn McMartin 
“I love ‘em. They’re my special friends,” says the 83-year old former actress whose most recent role was that of a crowd scene extra in a 1988 "Charles In Charge" episode. “I take care of the possums, my babies I call them, and they take care of me, by making me happy. And being happy keeps me young.”

It all started nine years ago when McMartin was living in a little bungalow a few blocks away on Remmet. 

“Oh, I’d been there for years. And I had a number of cats - both my own, and what I call community cats. They don’t belong to anyone. Some people call them feral cats, but I call them community cats because it’s up to us to take care of them.”

“Well, I’d put out food for my kitties. And then one day I noticed a possum was out there eating the food,” smiles McMartin, who counts her scene as panicked diner patron #3 in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” as a high point of her career. “And the next week, there were two.  Soon the possums outnumbered the cats - and between you and me and this No Trespassing Sign - they’re quite a bit cuter than the cats.”

Unfortunately, neighbors didn’t agree with the early ‘60s starlet. Someone filed a complaint first with the landlord, and then with Animal Control.  “Oh, I know who it was, too - that awful Téodor Pasternak. He’s always complaining about something - what a miserable, nasty person he is.” 

The 83-year old actress says that her part as Panicked Diner Patron #3 [circled in red] in the 1963
Alfred Hitchcock horror classic "The Birds" was "really the role of a lifetime." Image: Universal
Since Canoga Park falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles - where due to a resolution passed by the LA City Council, renters cannot legally be held accountable for anything whatsoever regardless of how irresponsible, intrusive, malicious or dangerous their actions or behavior may be - nothing was done. It wasn’t until McMartin’s toilet stopped working and a plumber had to be called to fix the problem that the landlord saw evidence of a chronic hoarding problem. Eviction proceedings were begun against McMartin, and three years later, the property owner gave up and offered the veteran actress a sizable cash settlement to move.

“The day I got the money, I was at the library checking my email and a wonderful opportunity presented itself: a chance to invest my windfall and help a deposed leader of a West African nation. He’s worth trillions, and once he cuts through the red tape to free up his cash, I’ll be sitting pretty.”

In the short term, however, the investment left her completely broke - and without a place to stay.

But thanks to the help of her one living relative - a nephew in Long Beach who declined to be interviewed for this story - McMartin, who never married and doesn’t have children of her own, managed to secure Section 8 subsidized housing just around the corner at the Carriage Wheel apartment complex.

“They allow you two cats. Don’t tell anyone, but I have six now.”  But she needs them, the retired thespian insists. “The possums love cat poop.”  As though to prove her point, she reaches into the blue plastic bucket she’s been carrying, grabs a handful of litter-studded dried cat feces, and flings them over the fence into the vacant lot.
In her signature floppy pink hat and colorful wardrobe, Evelyn is a well-known
presence to both humans and possums alike in the neighborhood. Here she throws
desiccated cat feces over the fence to feed the local possum population. Staff photo.
“Here, babies! Time for dinner! Bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip!” she calls out in what she says is an approximation of the chittering sounds a mother possum uses to call her babies, or possumlets.

When none show, she tries another tack. “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true,” she sings. “They love when I sing ‘Bicycle Built For Two,’” she quietly confides, but after two complete choruses and still no possums, she shrugs. “They’re notoriously shy.  Oh, so very shy. With you here and the photographer, oh, no, they’ll stay hidden until we leave.”
A 'Sign' of Things To Come? Evelyn McMartin worries for
"her babies" should the lot be sold and developed. Staff photo.
While she’s not too concerned that they don’t show tonight, she is worried for their future: A realtor’s For Sale sign has gone up on the lot recently, and she doesn’t know what will become of them if the lot is developed. “This is the only home they know. If they build something here, where would they go?”

That’s when she got the idea of turning the lot into a possum sanctuary. “The Cohasset Preserve” would protect the current population of possums living there as well house, feed and care for up to 10,000 more, she says. 
The vacant lot as it currently appears.  Image: Google.
“There’ll be a visitor center, of course, so people can come and see my babies, and little possum houses like this one, only nicer,” she says as she gestures with her foot to the formerly wall-mounted cabinet she found in an alley three blocks away and dragged to the curb of the lot. “I couldn’t get it over the fence.”

The only thing standing between her and realizing her dream is something she doesn’t have a lot of: money. The block-long lot is listed for $379,000 and McMartin unfortunately comes up short. “I usually have about eight dollars left over each month from my Social Security check after I do my shopping. So I can swing it, only it’s going to take a little time. I was hoping maybe they’d come down a bit since it would be non-profit and it’s for the possums....Oh, here comes one now!  Bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip...  ...No, wait, it’s a rat."
Artist's conception of the proposed "Cohasset Preserve" possum sanctuary. Image courtesy Evelyn McMartin.
The Quilt contacted the listing agent for the lot, Joyce Holliman of Canoga Park Premiere Properties, to inquire as to the viability of turning the area into a wildlife refuge. “Is she over there again throwing cat crap?" Holliman demanded. "We’ve had her cited twice for littering. She needs to stay away from that property. The owner’s about ready to get a restraining order or have that woman arrested.”

Meanwhile, it’s hard to restrain let alone arrest McMartin’s enthusiasm for her proposed sanctuary. 

“There’s going to be a pool with a grotto, in case the possums want to go for a swim, and then I’m thinking about a little train to go around the perimeter, possum-sized of course, for my babies to ride, and a little millinery where we’ll make hats for the possums to wear and--” she stops mid-sentence as she squints in the waning light at a plastic bag tumbling across the ground in the breeze.  “Oh, that’s one heading over here now. C’mere sweetie! Bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip...”

Friday, August 1, 2014

News In Brief - August 1, 2014

BREAKING: It's Motherf***ing Hot
Canoga Park and surrounding areas have been experiencing unseasonably hot weather for over a week now, according to local weather reports. Dr. Morris Detzer, Professor of Weather at Pierce College Winnetka states that "whatever those jackasses on TV say is the high for the Valley...? Yeah, add, like another ten degrees to it, because they never actually come out here and see for themselves. It's hot. It's motherf***ing hot! Now get the hell out of my office! You're using up all the a/c." Reached later by email, the uncharacteristically cranky, irritable head of the university's meteorology department noted, "It's never going to end, not ever. It's just going to go on like this, and it's going to get worse and worse and worse. Remember that episode of 'The Twilight Zone' when the Earth flew out of orbit and was hurtling toward the sun? That's what we're looking at. And stop emailing me. You're overheating the processor on my laptop." While merchants in the area have noted an increase of sales and thefts of ice cream and cold drinks, deodorant purchases remain at their usual low, possibly accounting for the odor along sections of Valerio Street.

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Local Bank Replaces Tellers With In-Branch ATMs
Following an extensive renovation, the Chase Bank located at Vassar and Sherman Way, in Canoga Park's bustling Vassman neighborhood, this week unveiled a suite of in-branch automatic teller machines equipped to perform most of the basic functions used by busy customers heading inside. A spokesperson for the bank noted that the new time-saving kiosks were designed with "an eye towards efficiency," freeing up former tellers who have been retrained to grab customers out of line, sit them down in cubicles and spend a minimum of fifteen to twenty minutes "reviewing their accounts" while encouraging CD, IRA and money market investments as well as offering additional financial services. Said local resident Téodor Pasternak, "I just went in to get change for this twenty and next thing I know it's forty-five minutes later. I finally signed paperwork for a second mortgage just to get the hell out of there. And I'm a renter!" 

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Scott Baio Visits New Canoga Park Eatery "Dog Haus"
Actor and 70s-80s heartthrob Scott Baio dropped by the newly-opened Dog Haus hotdoggery on Topanga Canyon Boulevard recently, enjoying a delicious meal and later tweeting about the occasion. In related news, rival hot dog chain Wienerschnitzel, located on the corner of Loma Verde and Sherman Way in Canoga Park's derlicious Shermaverde neighborhood, announced via press release that "this dude Larry who attended a taping of a season four episode of 'Charles In Charge' back in 1988 comes through our drive-thru like all the time."

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Enthusiastic IWAG Beckons Shoppers to Buy HDTVs
Travelers along Canoga Boulevard are the target of a yellow Inflatable Wavy Arm Guy, or IWAG, who has been using the thrashing, spastic movements of his ripstop nylon limbs and tube-like trunk to encourage passersby to "come on in" and look at his employer's selection of quality high-definition televisions, or HDTVs. The frenetic and erratic spasms of the peppy 20' tall fellow - originally seen curbside but eventually moved off the street, possibly after lurching unpredictably into oncoming traffic - caught the eye of DeSoto Avenue resident Brian Rauschebart who runs "at least three times a week" along the bike path parallel to Canoga Avenue. "Yeah, forget Amazon and Best Buy and Fry's, I'm going to buy my high-end electronics from a generic character that has the letters 'HDTV' half-assedly [sic] spray painted on it," he said. While it was unclear whether Rauschebart was serious, information gathered by the Quilt confirmed that whatever business is being advertised by the IWAG is indeed a magnificent choice for purchasing all your home theater needs.

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CPZ: Canoga Park Sand Mound Throws Sand In Justin Bieber's Face
Celebrity news outlet CPZ reported Wednesday that municipally protected landmark the Canoga Park Sand Mound recently got into a tussle with pop star Justin Bieber at popular hotspot Club Vivé located along Canoga Park's fabled Topanga Canyon Strip. According to one unidentified witness, "this one said something, and then that one said something else, and next thing you know, the Sand Mound is flinging sand at Bieber. Everyone cheered." This marks the latest in an ongoing series of troubles for the Canadian singer, 20, but the first brush with notoriety for the Sand Mound, which heretofore had been described as a large, inanimate pile of sand that had been mysteriously dumped at the corner of Vassar and Valerio four months ago. "You make this regrettable decision to always include a Sand Mound blurb in these 'News In Brief' posts, but eventually the ideas start drying up," reports an anonymous source who further admitted feeling conflicted about "whether this one is too, eugh, 'meta.'"