Thursday, December 29, 2016

Topanga Canyon Water Main Break Has Devastating Consequences For Canoga Park

By Charlotte Rudnick, Quilt staff.


Cast Iron Water Main Burstage Floods Topanga Canyon at Gault Street
Topanga Canyon Boulevard Closed at Site of Pipe Enbreaktion
Section of Rte 27 Also Closed Due To Broken Pipe
Wait, Wait — Turns Out Topanga Canyon Boulevard & Rte 27 Are The Same Thing
Nearby Canoga Park High School Closed During Pipe Repairment
Water Main #CP-4268-32: Just One Of Many Legendary Water
   Mains We've Said Goodbye To In 2016 [Slideshow]
Celebrities React To Loss of Canoga Park Water Main on Twitter

The closed section of Topanga Canyon Boulevard on Wednesday.  While DWP crews worked
tirelessly to repair the broken pipe and replace the road, many citizens questioned their own faith,
wondering how such a tragedy could occur in the shadow of a church at Christmastime. Staff photo.
A WATER MAIN BREAK below a busy thoroughfare in Canoga Park forced the closure of a northbound section of Topanga Canyon Boulevard on Tuesday, likely resulting in devastating long-term economic, cultural and psychological consequences for the area and its residents.

Staff photo.
Local boot business leader Boot Barn, located along the now-closed section of Topanga Canyon, has reported a marked decrease in sales of Kiwi brand 36” brown & yellow round nylon work boot laces. “We sold two pair last week. This week — well, since Tuesday — we haven’t moved any,” says Carl Zapatos-Botas, a sales representative with the store. “Of course we sell mostly non-lacing boots to begin with, and people can still get to us from the back alley, so, eh, maybe take all that with a grain of salt.”

Further up the street — yet still affected by the closure — a popular storefront was shuttered. “Back In 10 Minutes,” reads the sign on the door of ABC Party Rental & Sales, “Went to Boot Barn to buy new laces for my workboots.” It’s unclear when — if ever —  the business will open again, since there was no way to tell when the announcement had been posted. Two, five, six, seven minutes before? The terse, impassive hand-written note yielded no clue.

Another 'sign' of the devastation the broken pipe wrought. Staff photo.
The failure of the ancient 6-inch cast iron pipe and resulting road closure has taken an emotional toll on the people of Canoga Park, as well.

“Christ almighty! You know, I usually avoid Topanga altogether,” says Téodor Pasternak, who had to traverse a circuitous detour to get to his home on Vassar Avenue. “But the one time of the year — the one goddamn week — between Christmas and New Year’s — when it’s not wall-to-wall goddamn traffic out here, when things lessen a teeny-tiny bit because so many people are out of town, and this shit happens. And this is after I just spent six minutes negotiating the clusterf_ck of traffic cones, rent-a-cops, and slow, stupid, stupid drivers, none of whom ever heard of a turn signal, all the way from Erwin, up past Victory, along the frickin’ gridlocked entrance to Westfield Topanga — who even goes to that mall anymore? — and up to Vanowen.
The scene facing Canoga Park resident Téodor Pasternak and others as they reached the closed
section of Topanga Canyon Blvd and had to take alternate routes to their destinations. Staff photo.
“And I get through all that, go one more block and the goddamn road’s blocked off,” Pasternak continues. “I could really use a Mint Chocolate Swirl Shake to calm the f_ck down, but I’m damned if I know how I can even get to Arby’s now. And those things are only available for a limited time!”

Other area residents have been similarly bothered by the closure.  “Shit, man, that’s not cool, you know?” says Davtak ‘Davvy’ Barsamian, one of the most popular up-and-coming stars of Canoga Park’s fast-growing sport of illegal street racing. “Two, three a.m., I’m usually tearing up and down Topanga, you know? I guess I can just go against traffic for the north run, but they better fix that shit soon, you know?”
Illegal street racing is increasingly popular in the West Valley.  Road closures such as the one
caused by the broken water main could have a negative effect on the growing sport. Staff photo.
The pipe breakage is “typical for this time of year,” says Dr. Morris Detzer, Professor of Hydraulic Pipery at Pierce College Winnetka's Municipal Engineering Department.  “When you take LA’s horrendously crumbling infrastructuve and couple that with the fact that we’ve recently had rain, giving all of Southern California an enormous surplus of water, you’ve already got a problem. Then factor in the DWP’s decrepit waterworks and add the fact that everyone’s out of town and therefore not using water: the pressure builds up and the water’s got to go somewhere. These pipes are 98 percent rust at this point.” he says. “Most of them have the consistency of a deep-fried tortilla from a soft, flaky José Olé Microwave Chimichanga. Pardon, I haven’t had lunch yet.”

Dr. Morris Detzer, left, likened the LA DWP's system of disintegrating pipes to the outside of
a delicious chimichanga, right. Photos: Morris Detzer: Mimi Detzer. Chimichanga: José Olé.
Detzer went on to note that he wouldn’t be surprised to see many more pipe failures over the next few days “with water mains popping, perhaps somewhat suitably, like corks from champagne bottles on New Year’s Eve. This being Canoga Park, André champagne bottles.” 

With the broken pipe occurring at Topanga at Gault Street — the location of Canoga Park’s Firestone franchise — the well-liked tire retailer & automotive garage, now completely cut off from its customer base, has permanently closed. “Such is the catastrophic impact of an incident such as this,” notes Mariel Coleman of the Canoga Park Chamber of Commerce. “And look next door. What used to be a bustling BMW dealership is now nothing more than an empty lot. This road closure is sure to have enormous effects on the Canoga Park economy and beyond. Will the West Valley recover? Will we ever be able to return to our way of life? It’s much too early to tell.”

Canoga Park's former Firestone Complete Auto Care Shop had the misfortune of being located
on the very corner where the water main burst.  It is now permanently closed.  Staff photo.
While officials with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power claim to have the repairs completed by Thursday, many are less optimistic. No one knows exactly when the three-tenths of a mile stretch of Topanga Canyon Boulevard between Hart Street and Sherman Way will reopen, with some predictions putting it as late as June 2018 and—

Update: Well, it’s all fixed and Topanga Canyon Boulevard’s open again. Thanks to the hard-working DWP employees who fixed the problem in record time.Turns out Firestone had already closed before the pipe burst, Bob Smith’s dealership relocated to Calabasas years ago, those shakes at Arby’s are still available, Boot Barn is the place for Western wear, boots of all kinds plus hard-to-find laces; and we challenge you to find a better $3.99 bottle of champagne than André. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Canoga Park Quilt's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the 'Park
Not a creature was tagging
(Except on Lanark)

Christmas in Canoga Park is a festive time for all and once again, we've sent our merry band of elves into the finest local businesses to seek out only the best in gift-giving ideas for the holiday season. You'll find unique items from old favorites as well as from shops making their debut appearance in the CPQ Gift Guide. We hope you'll like what we've found — and we think friends and loved ones receiving any of the marvelous gifts listed below will have their own Christmas wish come true!

All items are available as listed as we went to press, and all of our local merchants included are good folks, no foolin', so shop locally and tell 'em you saw it in the Quilt!

Oh — and be sure to click on the photos to see each gift in exquisite enlarged detail!

SPICE UP CHRISTMAS this year with a Hot Jalapeño Flavored Snack Stick from your friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven. Three and a half inches of beef and mechanically-separated chicken never tasted so good — and they're still a holiday bargain at just 39¢ each. • Coconut Lime After Sun Aloe Gel helps moisturize dry, sun-damaged skin and it's the soothing secret of those who’ve enjoyed a few too many Hot Jalapeño Flavored Snack Sticks — apply liberally to outer anal tissue as necessary. $1.99 on the 7-Select endcap. 22215 Sherman Way, Canoga Park.

TAKE THE STRESS OUT of a hectic holiday season with nature’s relaxer, marihuana-weed. In fact — not a “weed” at all, but a cultivated plant known for its therapeutish, relaxious and encalmatative properties—and very popular with Canoga Park’s “teen-age” crowd. Choose from such varieties as Sherman Way Sherbet, CPA Topshelf,  Valerio Amnesia, EBT Kush, Saticoy Gold, many others. From $15 to $250. Must suffer from “extreme anxiety" as attested by scrawled note from Medi-Cal-licensed physician's receptionist to purchase. High AF Collective, 420 Deering Avenue, Canoga Park, CA

POINSETTIAS ARE WONDERFUL, but a bit monochromatic. And they tend to lose their impact after December. This spring, plant colorful, climbing Sweet Pea flowering vines. Burpee’s Galaxy® mix yields large blooms in a rainbow of colors. What’s more, their robust fragrance is a gift indeed — helps mask the pungent odor of that rank skunkweed constantly wafting over the fence from your  extreme anxiety-ridden neighbor. Just $2.29 on the seed packet carousel at Green Thumb Nursery, 21812 Sherman Way, C.P., Calif. 

VAPING MAY BE ‘IN’ THIS YEAR but clothing decimated by pesky moth larvae is never in style! Keep your colorful Christmas sweater in tip-top condition and be part of the fashionable vaping revolution with the Apex Moth Vaporizer. Kills destructive moths by continuous penetrating poisonous vapors of toxic paradichlorobenzene; keeps garments hole-free and ready for jolly holiday entertaining. $5.50 at the Salvation Army Family Store, Boutique Section, 21375 Roscoe Boulevard, Canoga Pk., Calif.

IMAGINE THE LOOK OF DELIGHT on the faces of your hosts as you drop by their annual holiday party with the thoughtful gift of sauerkraut. A Christmas favorite well-known for its laxative properties, all-natural Lowell sauerkraut — made from only the highest quality cabbages — is best served hot or cold and pairs well with most anything. Versatile, too — looks magnificent draped on the tree as a fragrant tinsel or placed on the buffet table to be enjoyed as a finger food right from the jar! Imported. $2.50 at Big Lots, 21910 Sherman Way, Canoga Pk., California.   

GIVE YOUR PERRY COMO CHRISTMAS ALBUM A REST during this joyful season and why not give another beloved Italian singer a spin? ‘Connie Francis Sings Jewish Favorites,’ from High Fidelity MGM Records, offers a dozen peppy songs to be sung during “Hannukah” — the Yiddish word for Christmas. Lovely shikse Connie throatily warbles, burbles and caterwauls her way through the most requested tunes, from “Mein Shtetele Belz” (Carol of the Bells) and “Oiren Prepetchik” (O Christmas Tree) to even “Havah Negilah” (Holly Jolly Christmas), guaranteed to have you up off your tuches and dancing a good old-fashioned Christmas Horah under the mazeltoe $3. National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Shop, 21716 Sherman Way in Canoga Park’s bustling thrift district.   

WHETHER YOU'RE HEADING to an all-night blowout at Canoga Park's beloved Women's Club, or you're lucky enough to live in its vicinity, one thing's for sure — it's not going to be a "Silent Night!" For the Women's Club partygoer, she'll want to douse herself with plenty of this classy sailor tattoo-inspired value-priced perfume (an  "impostor" brand — but we won't tell!) all but guaranteeing a late-night drunken parking lot assignation with her cousin in the back of an unlocked 2005 Ford Expedition. • Women's Club neighbors will appreciate this bottle of sleeping pills to help get some much-needed shut-eye despite the never-ending blaring music. 3-oz. bottle of perfume / 30 caplet bottle of sleeping pills are enough for almost an entire weekend of typical residential area revelry. $1, your choice, at 99¢ Only Store (north), 20914 Sherman Way, Canoga Park.

IT’S JUST NOT THE HOLIDAYS without the great taste of Master brand Fish N’ Nuts, a modern tradition that traces its origins to the very first Christmas, with some Gospel translations describing the three wise men presenting the Christ-child with gold, frankincense and fried sardines with peanuts. $1.19 for the convenient 155 gram can. Island Pacific Supermarket, 20922 Roscoe Boulevard, Canoga Park 12. 

CHRISTMAS AND MUSIC GO TOGETHER like fish n' nuts. And to make your holiday merrier, twenty of the most popular songs of the season are available in one definitive collection on Compact Disc. From the holy Vivas Equivacado to joyful Canchis Canchis; from the traditional carol Linda y Mentirosa to the jolly La Fronterita, all of your holiday favorites are on "Radio-Papi.Com: Cumbia Sonidera - 20 Hits" to be enjoyed year after year. Just 50¢ at Pay 99¢ + Or Less, 21828 Sherman Way in the heart of Canoga Park.

IT’S A SAFE BET NAT KING COLE would have given chestnuts the ol’ heave-ho and ‘The Christmas Song’ would open a bit differently had he tasted the hot & spicy goodness of El Sabroso Pork Cracklins. Fried-out pork fat with attached skin is a must for every holiday dinner table, but why not start a new tradition this year? Gather the gang together and, with needle & thread, string a gay garland of the delicious crispy wads in place of humdrum popcorn! $1.39 at TIP Mini Mart, 7300 Topanga Cyn. Blvd #1. “Next to Subway.”

GIFT CARDS ARE TOO IMPERSONAL. And cash always just seems so crass. Good thing there’s one thing everyone likes getting: the gift of cheese. Tasty 1 oz. Cracker Barrel Cheese Stick wrapped in shiny Christmas red — perfect for the holidays. Convenient, too. Just slip one into your Christmas cards this season: The mailman, the gardener, the fellow who comes by twice a week to paint over the gang tags on your back fence will think it’s an idea as sharp as the tangy cheddar inside! $1.19 at AM/PM Minimart, 22375 Sherman Way at Shoup.

NO ONE LIKES BEING SICK during Christmastime — or any time! And if illness strikes late at night or on the weekend when Canoga Park’s many storefront urgent care clinics are closed, it’s good to be prepared! Here’s Walgreens to the rescue with the latest in technology: A new-fangled electronic thermometer. Simply insert into rectum, clench and wait 30 seconds for an accurate reading. May also be used orally. $6.79. Walgreens — “at the corner of happy & healthy & Topanga Canyon & Saticoy.™”

TODAY’S HUSTLE-BUSTLE HOLIDAY SEASON simply doesn’t allow for such time-consuming traditions as baking delicious treats as Grandmother did in her day. But Christmas cookies with that personal touch are still within reach thanks to 99¢ Only stores. Sprinkle festive, red Cielito brand Extra Hot Chili Powder atop Lil‘ Dutch Maid sugar cookies for that homemade, Canoga Park taste that’ll fool even ol’ Saint Nick himself! 99¢ each at 99¢ Only Store (south), 6420 Desoto Avenue. "On the Winnetka border." 

SHE MAY NEVER KNOW who left it on her desk, but she’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness of the “Secret Santa” who gives her the gift of self-assurance with Personal Care Feminine Hygiene Spray. Hypo-allergenic and offers all-day freshness control, too! Generous 2 oz. aerosol can packed with enough spritzes to neutralize more odor than even eight maids-a-milking can emit.  •  There’s nothing fishy about the good taste of Beach Cliff Sardines in mustard sauce — the savory snack chock-full of protein in the handsome keepsake tin. Have a gift-wrapped supply by the front door as last-minute gifts for the postman, carolers and Canoga Park's ubiquitous Mormon missionaries, or to throw at package thieves. $1 each at Dollar Tree, 20936 Roscoe Blvd, C.P., Calif.

WHETHER YOU GIVE OR RECEIVE these spirited holidays gifts, you’re sure to get a warm glow! Classier than chugging off-brand Nyquil, this 50ml ‘mini’ of UV Cherry Flavored Vodka looks and tastes just like cough syrup. $1.50  •  Pound this trendy “Fireball” Cinnamon Whisky and the bridge you’re squalidly living under along the LA River is transformed — if just for a little while — into something a little less squalid out of a Florida Georgia Line song. $4.00. Find both & more at Papa Mac’s Liquor, 8219 Canoga Ave., C.P., California.

CHRISTMASTIME BOOTY CALLS are much easier when your holiday hook-up has his own key!  And starting at just $3 each, you’ll want to get plenty of spares to hand off as thoughtful remembrances to friends new and old — from that handsome security guard patrolling the parking lot behind the laundromat, to that sketchy guy who smells of Red Hots candy and unwashed hair and keeps singing shitty bro-country music but appears to be hung like a pony, to the entire hot, sweaty fútbol team practicing on the field at Lanark Park. Jay-Jay Lock & Security, 7138 Owensmouth, Canoga Park.

WITH TIES TO CHRISTMAS going back as far as the timeless poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” is there any ‘Moore’ appropriate gift than the versatile kerchief? Whether used as a decorative accent in the breast pocket (or even as a tiny reindeer blanket!), displayed in the back pocket to subtly indicate homosexual availability and preference, wrapped around the head for a handsome ‘old-school’ gangsta look, or even as a receptacle for nasally-propelled mucus during cold and allergy seasons, this handy handkerchief fits the bill. Available in a rainbow of colors, and with prices ranging from $1 to just $2.50, you’ll want to pick one up for everyone on your list, from the well-dressed watersports enthusiast to the CPA member afflicted with hay fever. T-Mart, 20924 Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

THINGS CAN GET LONELY for Mrs. Claus this time of year, with overworked Santa spending more time filling stockings than his wife’s ...needs. Her solution? A delicious, fat lollipop that stands proudly at the ready to satisfy her sweet tooth ‘til the Christmas rush is over. Hard candy sucker is a sweet substitute in festive holiday colors — a thick, sticky mouthful of fun she’ll enjoy for hours and hours! And no worries, St. Nick — at 4” it’ll never replace the real thing. $3.95 at Private Moments, 8223 Canoga Ave., Canoga Pk. California.

SHE’LL ENJOY TRANSFORMING herself from an abominable hair monster into a vision of yuletide loveliness with the Xtra Care Cream Hair Remover Kit. Slather onto legs, upper lip or groin, wait, then scrrrape off with spatula (included). Voila — hair’s gone and her tips at the club will rise like the Christmas star.  •  From Bokados, the first name in tortillas de maíz sazonadas, come Enre-2 — mini rolled corn tortillas with the Extreme flavor folks love. Enjoy at home, on the go, while working the catwalk at the club. Enre-2 tortilla snack or Xtra Care Hair Remover, your choice, $1 each at Super Dollar, 7025 Topanga Cyn Blvd in Canoga Park.

YOU'LL FIND A FANCIFUL WONDERLAND 'neath most every tree and leading the toy parade at better homes will be this year's hottest plaything: Item 11-982 PLUSH FROG (PURPLE). Lovable, huggable and surface washable, this funny amphibian is resplendently decked out in royal purple with yellow stars — and will fill a lucky tots' eyes with Christmas wonder. From the good folks at Peek-A-Boo Toys (maker of fine, polyester fiber-filled playthings since 1995) and available for just 50¢ and a steady hand from the 'Hot Stuff' steel claw game in Lavaderia El Gringo, 21720 Sherman Way in Canoga Park's bustling shopping district.

Merry Christmas
From The Canoga Park Quilt!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Canoga Park Library Gets New Bookmobile

By Blythe Moorcroft


The Canoga Park branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, located at 20939 Sherman Way, is pleased to announce the acquisition of a bookmobile designed to help bring the library’s materials and resources to the neighborhood a few yards outside of the actual library building.
Staff photo.
“With the addition of the new bookmobile, we’re excited to further offer library services, learning opportunities, support and of course books to areas we were previously unable to reach,” says Bob Harland, Canoga Park library’s head of community outreach services and free bookmarks.

The spacious vehicle, designed as a perambulating addition to the brick-and-mortar structure, will be parked alongside the library on Sherman Way as a means for those who might otherwise not have the means to access the library entrance another twenty-five feet or so down the sidewalk.  

The Canoga Park Bookmobile is not a static ‘annex’ permanently fixed to one location. As its name implies, it is of course mobile, and will be moved around the corner onto Independence Avenue on Wednesdays, from 8 am to 10 am, to avoid street sweeping ticketing. (If no spots are available, special permission has been arranged allowing the vehicle to be stationed temporarily in the CVS / Fallas Paredes / Rent-A-Center parking lot.)

It will also occasionally be driven over a storm drain to facilitate the emptying of its waste tank and to dispose of discarded books.
Staff photo.
“The addition of our new bookmobile is an enormous boon to the Canoga Park community that can’t be overstated,” says Harland. “It’s almost as important as the time when we got a new box of pre-sharpened golf pencils for people to jot down call numbers when looking something up in the online card catalog.”

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Local Possum Believed Responsible For Destroying Alpaca Sweater

By Marlin Gault, staff writer


A Canoga Park possum, suspected to be P-4589 — one of roughly 4,800 possums tracked by the Canoga Park Department of Wildlife & Vermin — is the prime suspect in the rending of an alpaca sweater accidentally left outside overnight by a Glade Avenue resident.

Devastated by loss of sweater, Berta
Dorchek demands justice. Staff photo.
“I was carrying in groceries the other night and I had to juggle those stupid reusable bags from one arm to the other [while] trying to get my house key out of my purse and that's when I must have put it down on the patio table outside the back door,” says Berta Dorchek of the garment. “The next morning when I was going to work, there it was, all chewed to hell. It’s ruined.”

Known as nature's garbage disposals, possums are generally peaceful creatures and are revered in Canoga Park for their habit of eating the area's abundant feral cat feces. They are not known for destroying clothing.

“The described behavior [of tearing apart fabric] is more along the lines of what we’d see with a squirrel or a rat gathering material for a nest,” says Pierce College Winnetka professor of possumology and possumography, Dr. Morris Detzer. “I probably wouldn’t blame a possum for this.”

But Dorchek, a traffic violations proof-of-completions clerk at the Chatsworth Municipal Building, insists it was a possum, and adds that she may have inadvertently laid the sweater over a street taco that she’d just purchased “but was going to throw out because it smelled funny.” 

A familiar sight to locals who benefit from his feline coprophagia, P-4589 finds himself at the
center of a controversy due to a shredded alpaca fleece sweater like the one shown. File photos.
“Oh, food was involved? That changes everything,” concedes Detzer when notified of the additional information. “Yep, that was a possum then, trying to get to that taco. Probably ol’ P-4589, too — that little dickens just loves rancid meat.”

Dr. Morris Detzer.
Photo: Mimi Detzer.
Biologists believe P-4589 is one of just 2,467 breeding-age male possums in the area and that Canoga Park’s fragile ecosystem depend on the nocturnal, creepy-looking mammals. “If we want to continue to enjoy the privilege of littering and throwing trash on the street, and not constantly stepping in cat shit, we do need these creatures,” Detzer says.

Dorchek, however, has other concerns.

“I’m really pissed. I got that sweater in that Peruvian imports store in the Stratosphere in Vegas this summer,” she says. “It cost me $85 and I was excited to finally be able to wear it now that it’s chilly at night. That possum needs to pay — with its life.”

According to experts, it would be days before the local possum population, or possulation, would recover from the culling of the creature, but as hunting is not allowed within Canoga Park — with gunfire strictly limited to approved gang violence and celebratory discharging of firearms into the air on holidays — P-4589’s future seems safe for the time being.

Note: This is a developing story and the Canoga Park Quilt will update as more information and/or feral cat feces becomes available.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Local Apartment Dweller Gives Thanks For Colder Weather, End Of Interminable Swimming Pool Season

By Nita Keswick, Quilt staff


Despite rising fuel costs, Ron Milanek couldn’t have been happier when he finally turned the heat on in his one-bedroom apartment last night. 

“The lower temperatures should mean that a lot of the bullshit around here, if not over, is at least going to be quieter than it usually is for the next few months.”
Ron Milanek.

Cooler weather traditionally means that Canoga Park’s boisterous populace will be spending more time inside which may result in fewer people congregating below Milanek’s balcony around his apartment complex’s pool — an outcome that this Thursday, he’ll be thankful for.

“I actually moved here for the pool,” he admits. “It’s kind of ironic because I’ve never gotten to enjoy it.” 

Photo courtesy Ron Milanek.
Milanek notes that during warmer weather, despite the pool’s posted hours of nine a.m. to nine p.m., “people are out there from about seven a.m. until well after two a.m., blasting music, cursing and fighting.  Kids are screaming constantly. Constantly. I think the capacity for the pool area is 22...? There’s usually about sixty people there on any given day. Or night.”

“All of the patio furniture ends up in the deep end pretty much every weekend,” he reports. “And almost none of these people even live here — I have no idea where they come from.”

“Two weeks ago I woke up and looked out the window to see some guy giving himself a 'Reseda bath' [cleaning one’s anus with a damp shop rag —Ed. ] in the shallow end. I watched him go out a side entrance to the RV that’s been parked in front of the place for the last three months.”

The 38-year-old Walmart shift manager thought he’d seen it all until late September when “there was some crazy standoff involving a guy with a gun down there. Not only could I not use the pool, the cops made everyone stay inside. I got written up at work for being three hours late.”
Standoff Room Only: Vassar Avenue was crowded with both helpful lookee-loos
as well as a bevy of emergency response professionals in September — thanks to an
old-fashioned summer poolside standoff, inconveniencing one and all.   Staff photo.
“The only time I’ve ever been able to use [the pool area] was one morning in August. I went down there at 9:30 when it was somehow empty,” says Milanek, originally from Chatsworth. “I wasn’t there for two minutes before I cut my foot on a broken beer bottle and then as I was stumbling around trying to stop the bleeding, I burned my other foot on a pile of hot charcoal from a barbecue that someone dumped out by the side of the pool the night before.”

Alcoholic beverages, glass containers and grills are all prohibited in the gated pool area, though, to be fair, copious graffiti on the heavily-vandalized Pool Rules signs does make it hard to decipher.

Some argue pool rule violations are forgivable since signage may be difficult to read. Staff photo.
Despite the drawbacks of living by a pool he's unable to enjoy, Milanek admits — in the spirit of the holiday — he’s still grateful about his situation. “Those poor bastards who live near that piece-of-shit women’s club have it much worse,” he notes, referring to Canoga Park’s infamous anything-goes night club. 

And as for his ‘Turkey Day’ plans?  “I had to put in a request months in advance but I managed to get the day off and I’m looking forward to a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. My girlfriend and her parents are coming over so that should be nice. I’m doing all the cooking,” he says, opening his refrigerator to show off a large turkey and all the fixings of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. “Look at all this stuff! I spared no expense this year. I’m nervous but excited.”

Heading outdoors to the walkway outside his apartment door, a rare pre-holiday calm has settled on the usually noisy complex, further improving Milanek’s already pleasant mood.  “Tomorrow should be good, though. No one at the pool — and the unit next door is vacant, so that means peace and quiet. At last.”

The pool area as depicted on the rental ad Milanek answered versus a photo of the pool
on a normal afternoon. "I don't know where they got that thing," Milanek says of the top
image. "It doesn't even begin to resemble this place." Images:, R. Milanek.
Suddenly the quiet is punctured by the arrival of two men piloting clanking handcarts laden with cases of beer and oversized stereo speakers as they round a corner and roll down the walkway to stop at the adjacent door. 

“F_ckeen, we can move in the furniture an’ shit on Friday — after the housewarming party an’ shit. Man, this Thanksgiving is going to be off the f_ckin’ hook! Here, hold the lease so I can open the door an' shit,” one of them says to his friend while fiddling with a single key on a key ring. 

“Yo, what the f_ck you lookin’ at, homie?” he barks at Milanek.

Ron Milanek sighs, then calmly pulls his phone out of his pocket and Googles the number for Norm’s Restaurant in Van Nuys.

“Uh, hello.  Are you guys open tomorrow?”

Friday, November 4, 2016

News In Brief — November 4, 2016

A bountiful harvest of important news, in
easy-to-digest pellet form. Now gluten-free!

•   •   •   •   • 

Controversial 'Dia De Los Muertos' Festival Returns To Canoga Park
The polarizing, family-friendly Día De Los Muertos festival will take place on Sunday November 6, from 10 am to 5 pm. The event will feature a beer garden, a children's art pavilion, vendors and food concessions. Live music, Aztec dancers, chalk artists, and many unflattering effigies of Donald Trump are scheduled to appear. The annual street fiesta and classic car enclogment of Sherman Way has been a source of friction since its inception due to its controversial name. "Technically, it should just be Día De Muertos. The 'Los' in this case is completely unnecessary. Christ almighty, that 'Los' drives me up the wall every year," says Dr. Morris Detzer, head of Spanish Language Studies at Pierce College Winnetka. Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council festival organizement chairperson Murla Havemeyer explains that "whoever filled out the Special Event Permit Application with the City of LA Bureau of Street Services back in 2000 must have thought ['Los'] was correct so that's why it's there. And I just re-submit the same application every year." Havemeyer suggests those bothered by the inclusion of the extraneous article "pull the stick out of their ass and find something worth complaining about. Like how China Buffet's been closed for the past month or so."

•   •   •   •   •

Popular Chinese Food Buffet-Style Restaurant, China Buffet, Closed For The Past Month Or So
China Buffet, a restaurant offering Chinese food in the buffet style, has been closed since sometime in late September. The eatery, at the corner of Sherman Way and Jordan Avenue, has been popular among locals for its $4.99 all-you-can-eat weekday lunch special. "But the thing is, you had to buy a drink, too, or they charged you $5.99. So it wasn't really $4.99. That's how they got you," explains local gourmand Téodor Pasternak. "What I would do is go up [to the buffet] like six times. I was useless the rest of the day, but by God, I got my so-called '$4.99' worth." A sign in the foyer of the locked restaurant announces that it is temporarily closed for remodeling although no such activity has been noticed by hungry passersby who have pressed their dirty hands and greasy faces up to the windows to peer inside.
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Civic Media Organization 'Voto Latino' Tailors Message For Canoga Park
Voto Latino, a non-partisan organization aimed at encouraging young Hispanic men & women to exercise their right to vote, has erected a large sign specifically tailored to one of Canoga Park's largest demographics. The billboard, located at the northwest corner of Roscoe and DeSoto Boulevards, in Canoga Park's civic-minded Roscosoto neighborhood, depicts a normal campaign sign designed to appear altered to promote the organization's message. "We wanted something that would really resonate with the typical Canoga Park resident," says Voto Latino director of Hispanic cultural outreach, billboard division, Colleen Chang-Schultz. "And what better way to promote the ideals embraced by Canoga Park's enormous tagger population than the concept of a billboard illegally defaced with spray-painted graffiti?"

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Fans of McMuffins, Illegal Street Racing Excited For Time Change
The Canoga Park Department of Clocks and Time-Keeping announced that Daylight Savings Time is upon us once again. Or will soon end. No one is sure which. "What's important is that residents remember to turn their clocks ahea—  no, wait, back one hour on Saturday at two a.m. Those with grandparents living nearby should expect calls asking them to come over and reprogram the clock on their microwaves," says department head Donald Kronester. The archaic clock rejiggering, a semiannual tradition for as long as most can remember, has ceased to serve any useful purpose since the advent of electric lights in the late 19th century. Adds Kronester, "The good thing is with McDonald's finally serving breakfast all day, you're not going to get screwed out of an Egg McMuffin if you forget about it and show up late. Or would that have happened in the spring when we lose an hour? I can never remember." The additional time will be put to good use by some as street racers will have an extra hour tomorrow night to enjoy Canoga Park's fast-paced and increasingly popular sport of illegal street racing. "Yo, I heard that we can f_ckeen tear up Topanga [Canyon Boulevard] between, f_ckeen two and three a.m. an' shit — and since that hour don't technically exist an' shit, the LAPD can't f_ckeen legally touch us," says illegal street racing enthusiast Davtak 'Davvy' Barsamian, "an' shit."

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Nearby Areas
West Hills' Stolen Taxco Trails Park Sign Replaced
West Hills 'Exclusive' Neighborhood Council president Bob Rawlins announced this week "that our long neighborhood nightmare is over — the [Taxco Trails Park] sign has been replaced." The approximately one-acre neighborhood park, located at the corner of Platt and Saticoy, in West Hills' exquisite Platticoy neighborhood, has been missing its sign since late September when it mysteriously disappeared overnight. In an unrelated story, James "Jimmy" Tasko, 16, of Reseda publicly thanked his friends on Facebook "for helping me with that crazy shit we did a few weeks ago" and inquired if anyone knows how to secure a heavy eight-foot long piece of wood to a bedroom wall.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Canoga Park 2016 Trick-or-Treat Map

By Quilt staff.


As an important member of the Canoga Park area, we make it a practice to give back to the community, like, for instance, eh, this thing here — where through careful research, we drew up this Trick or Treat map so you and your many, many children aren’t wasting time ringing doorbells of homes that yield no candy, and you’re not heaving good 2-ply Cottonelle and rotten eggs at those who do!

Happy Halloween, Canoga Park!

Canoga Park Official Trick or Treat Map.
Click to enlarge if there's some reason to.
7103 Bassett Street
Cheap bastard handing out stale, dessicated, dubiously edible made-in-China gummy candy body parts bought at deep discount from 99¢ Only on November 1st, 2015.

21219 Chase Street
Not giving candy out but unlocked car in driveway has handfuls of change in front seat center console.

7121 Jordan Avenue
Resident has no patience with “Dancing with the Stars” being interrupted every two minutes and has naively placed completely unguarded “Take ONE Candy ONLY Please” bowl on porch. Govern yourself accordingly.

7908 Loma Verde Avenue
Family carved jack-o-lantern four days too early and is now a hideous rotting mess, just begging to be violently kicked off the front stoop.

21216 Valerio Street Unit 17
Spooky candlelight ambience inside doorway is for expected erotic massage in-call appointment — not trick-or-treaters.  Escort—, “massage therapist” likely to hand out dollar bills just to get kids out of there.

7425 Vassar Avenue
Killjoy dentist giving away toothbrushes and mini tubes of toothpaste. This is who you’ve been saving those eggs for.

21379 Roscoe Boulevard Apt 12-B
Tragic, drunken, childless middle-aged woman with bowl of loose candy corn mixed with slightly melted, misshapen Hershey’s kisses, encouraging each visitor to “go ahead, sweetie, take a handful” and taking pictures of them with her smartphone while muttering “Adorable!”

Hey, they look just like candy. Fun!
21114 Osborne Street
Well-meaning homeowners have sprinkled tiny novelty witch, ghost, and pumpkin latex erasers among large bowl of candy; offers potential choking lawsuit for ambitious, litigious parent.

7103 Gault Street
Offering hard-as-a-rock Mary Janes and those godawful tiny boxes with two Jujubes in them. Pass.

21327 Parthenia Street
Doorbell sends quartet of out-of-control little yappy dogs inside into a frenzy; single Fun Size packet of Sugar Babies not worth the wait while owner corrals them away into side room to open the door.

21826 Wyandotte Street
Angry resident anxious to engage any accompanying parents in unwelcome political discussion and then adding insult to injury by doling out cement pellets of Dubble Bubble from economy-sized pail purchased in "break room" aisle of Staples. Keep walking.

The delicious treat that ends up costing you! Image: Wendy's
9029 Eton Avenue Unit B
Parents beware: Tenant giving “Free Frosty” coupons, redemption of which necessitates taking family to Wendy’s resulting in unexpected outlaying of cash for all the other food you’ll end up buying.

8426 Independence Avenue
Forgot about Halloween until last minute and trying to get away with handing out twist-tied baggies of Cheerios. Children should make a statement by accepting them and then sneaking back to empty contents on windowsill to attract possums and other vermin.

7656 Moorcroft Avenue, #118
Severely confused elderly woman with dementia can be convinced to hand out credit cards, cash and blank checks with little effort.

20927 Rodax Avenue
Resident stuck in traffic coming home from long weekend in Las Vegas. First come, first served with regards to Amazon Prime boxes at front door.
The vintage soundtrack to your better
Halloween installations.   © Disney.

21221 Community Street
Early 30s man experiencing second childhood and who has, against wife’s wishes, spent a fortune turning entire front yard into a dry-ice-misted, “Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of The Haunted House”-blaring graveyard, and paid a professional makeup artist to turn him into a zombie. Offering King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to anyone willing to spend at least twenty minutes admiring his handiwork.

21342 Bryant Street
Giving out little Halloween bags of gluten-free Snyder’s pretzels that even IBS-suffering precious little snowflake children of helicopter parents don’t want.

Important: West Hills "Fancy” Neighborhood Council reminds Canoga Park residents with an eye towards getting better candy that West Hills addresses are accepting West Hills trick-or-treaters only again this year. Non-resident children found west of Shoup will "have the garden hose turned on them."