Friday, February 24, 2017

Local Teen Inspired By Anaheim Incident Hopes To Parlay Bruises Into Bucks

By Jordan Covello, Quilt staff.


A Canoga Park middle-schooler, inspired by a recent fracas in Anaheim between a group of teens and an off-duty police officer, is hoping to parlay a few potential bruises into an enormous pay day.

Jarik Murta. Photo: R. Murta
“Yeah, there’s this cop that like lives down the street an’ shit...?  So a bunch of us [are] gonna go over to his place and like walk all over his lawn an’ shit, and then when he comes out to stop us an’ shit, my homies [are] all gonna have their phones ready to like record him!  ...An’ shit!” says an enthusiastic Jarik Murta, one of the scheme’s creators and its planned victim.

The hope is that the resident, Téodor Pasternak, will manhandle the teen, resulting in visible injuries that the young man's family can use to then sue the City of Canoga Park, the LAPD and Pasternak himself — and most importantly, to launch lucrative crowd-sourced fund drives.

The teen and his family were further motivated by not one but two crowd-funding campaigns for the teenaged boy involved in the occurrence in Anaheim, which as of press time, had raised a combined total of over $26,000.

“Ohhh shit! I’m-a win the lottery, yo!” adds a giddy Murta, 13.
The cash that's been rolling in to allow the boy at the center of the Anaheim incident "to be a kid
again" and to pay "many legal fees" has inspired the entrepreneurial spirit in a Canoga Park teen. 
Says local injury attorney Lou Steinmart of the firm Steinmart, Marshall & Korvette, “It’s a good plan, yes, but not fool-proof. First off, you can’t sue ‘the City of Canoga Park’ because Canoga Park isn’t a city. Secondly, by laying out their plans like this in advance, the argument could be made that it would be a set-up — you know, fraud — especially since the plan is to incite some sort of violent behavior. Still, we are living in an age where most people who should know better are free from personal responsibility or any consequences whatsoever of their actions, no matter how ill-advised, so I can see a jury siding with the the boy. ...Eh, you should have him give me a call.”

Reached for comment, the intended assailant, Pasternak, 46, seemed blindsided by the whole ordeal. “Wait-wait-wait — Who’s going to do what now?” he asked when told of the plan. "I'm not even a cop!"

“I work for a pool filter manufacturer in Chatsworth," Pasternak insisted. "I don’t know where they got the cop thing. Oh...wait... A couple of years ago I went to a Halloween party dressed as [Sheriff] Rick Grimes from ‘The Walking Dead.’ Maybe they saw me leaving the house that night. And I think I handed out some candy to a few trick-or-treaters in costume before going out.

Left: A licensed 'Rick Grimes' costume "similar to what I wore one Halloween, but I'll admit,
I do have a little bit more of a gut than that guy," says Pasternak.  At right, a chicken pot pie.
“Also, I’m a renter, so if they do anything to the lawn here, I guess the company that manages this place would take it up with them, if they want to. But it’s not something I’d even go outside to bother with, let alone fight a bunch of kids over. I’m not a violent person. Now if you’ll excuse me, my chicken pot pie is getting cold,” Pasternak added before calmly closing the door.

The teen’s mother is not letting the lack of incident go without a fight. “It’s outrageous that this man refuses to throttle my child,” says a hysterical Anna Murta. “By not scarring my child for life, he has cost us thousands of dollars [that] my child and me was expecting — which has scarred my child for life! We’re gonna show him this community won’t stand for his bullshit!”

A disorganized anything-goes protest for the general neighborhood surrounding Pasternak’s home has been scheduled for seven p.m. tonight. Participants are asked to bring spray paint, rocks, glass bottles and illegible picket signs, and be prepared to chant hyperbolic, meaningless slogans. Cash donations will be accepted by the family in a large plastic jug that recently held Market Pantry cheese balls.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Grammatically Incorrect Graffiti Underscores Need For Stronger Focus On Syntax In English Classes At LAUSD Schools

By Charlotte Rudnick, Quilt staff


A series of spray-painted messages found along Strathern Street and Alabama Avenue, in Canoga Park’s industrial Strathabama neighborhood, is being regarded as a “much-needed wakeup call” among the area’s teaching professionals.

Initially "Prump Fuck," the artist went over the T numerous times to correct his error on this
apartment's garage on Strathern Street. Multiple exclamation points are a bold choice!!! Staff photo.
The graffiti, which reads “Trump Fuck!!!,” can be seen on an apartment building, the wall enclosing a parking lot and other privately-owned buildings, is presumed to be the work of an unknown former Los Angeles Unified School District student or students. 

“It’s extremeling disturby,” notes Betty Winslow, who teaches AP English at Canoga Park High School. “It’s clearly we’re going to has to work very harder to reachify these kids before they drop ou—, before they graduating.”

A near-matching pair of Trump Fucks bookend the wall surrounding a private parking lot. 
According to LAUSD-approved textbooks on traditional grammar and English usage, in basic sentence structure, the subject “Trump” would come before the predicate — here, “fuck.” However, in this case, such a sentence  — constructed properly as “Fuck Trump” — would be an indirect directive using an implied reflexive pronoun with the subject and verb reversed.

 A big, audacious Trump Fuck. By choosing a contrasting color for the background, in this case a white
expanse of wall recently repainted to cover previous tagging, the artist's message stands out clearly.
Expressed syntactically or not, the vandalism has sent a powerful message to the community. Blythe Street resident and former Canoga Park High junior Radek Murta, who was in the vicinity of the graffiti, crouching down alongside his car with a can of black Krylon “uh...just touching, uh, tires, yo,” described the writings as “like, important because of, like, freedom an’ shit...? An’ like empower an’ shit...? An’ know, like um, society an’ shit...?” 

Havemeyer.  Photo: LAUSD
Most agree that such ideals as these, dramatically illustrated by the painted messages, are almost as valuable as the time, materials and labor necessary to eradicate the inspiring defacements, plus the potential cost of added security to prevent future thought-provoking commentary — all costs which will be proudly borne by the property owners whose structures were so affected. 

Yet some are not so easily swayed. 

“I don’t care what the so-called message is,” declares Dr. Ernest B. Havemeyer, superintendistrator of LAUSD’s West Valley district. “This graffiti is absolutely unacceptable.

“Backwards phrasing, horrendous punctuation, and sloppy spraypaintmanship — dear God, I hope this isn't one of our kids. It’s poor performance like this that’ll cost us even more federal funding.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Days Numbered For Canoga Park Public Art Space Due To Ongoing Construction

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff


The Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council convened for a rare emergency meeting last night to discuss the future of a popular public art space just off Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Hart Street.

Located on the north side of a privately owned building, Canoga Park Tagging Wall #44265 has been legally recognized as a public art space “designated specifically for the purposes of illegal tagging, prohibited graffiti and other unlawful defacement(s)” for close to a year now since the building on the adjacent lot, an abandoned car dealership and popular tagging spot itself, was demolished. 

While still currently visible to passersby, the future of Tagging Wall #44265 is in jeopardy
due to ongoing construction that will ultimately block it from the public's view. Staff photo.
But ongoing new construction on that same lot threatens to compromise the wall's visibility for its intended audience: those who happen to glance over to the left for a second while driving southbound on Topanga Canyon Boulevard. 

“Like technically an’ shit...? We could probably still keep tagging it an’ shit,” says Canoga Park's official tagger laureate, DAИK, “But if a building goes up there an’ shit, no one’s going to see our tags an’ shit. And that’s just unacceptable an’ shit.”
pOOpyPantz keeps in practice by tagg-
ing one of his cans. Photo: pOOpyPantz.

A number of Canoga Park tagging and graffiti artists took the podium to speak about the importance of keeping CPTW #44265 accessible to area artists and visible to all. 

“Its like proximity an’ shit...?  To Canoga Park High School an’ shit...? Is like important, you know, for up-and-coming taggers an’ shit,” explains street artist pOOpyPantz. “Like if someone wants to hit it, they only have to cut one class, instead of cutting all day, ‘cause it’s so nearby an’ shit. So it’s good for, like, education an’ shit.”

The owner of the building to which the wall is an integral part briefly took the podium himself to voice his opinion but was quickly shouted down. “How is wall recognized as public art space?!” demanded an angry Razmik Barsamian. “Is private property! Is on my building! My insurance premiums go up with boolshit like this! I am tired of painting over this crap!”

[Barsamian’s outburst was not well received and the building owner was forcibly removed from the meeting by police. —Ed.]
Canoga Park's dearth of Starbucks
will soon be slightly less dearthy.
According to paperwork filed in early 2016 with the Canoga Park Department of Building Construction and Construction of Buildings, coffee powerhouse Starbucks as well as a self-storage company are planning to open businesses on the lot adjacent to the wall. Construction is already well underway.

Despite Canoga Park’s commitment to public art and youth empowerment, members of the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council voted 9 to 8 to allow construction to continue, with the two members who did not vote, Vera Morris and Jim Gutierrez, having gone on a coffee run for the rest of the council. 

Reached later for comment, Morris said, “See, now if we didn’t have to go all the way to the Starbucks on Canoga Avenue, we would’ve been back in time for the vote [and] could have put a stop to this construction.” Added Gutierrez, another opponent of blocking wall access, “If only there was a closer Starbucks, we could have prevented this nightmare.”

With the injunction not passing, construction will continue and unfettered enviewability of the wall will come to an end within the next few months.

Mural, Mural On The Wall: The artist responsible for one of the wall's largest pieces has reacted to
news of its impending obscurement with a resigned sense of dispassionate indifference.  Staff photo.
Local artist 'Apathy,' whose 20-foot piece will soon be hidden from view by the self-storage building, summed up the morose, defeated feeling shared by a number of his fellow taggers by the meeting's end. “Who gives a shit anymore? Really, what difference does any of it make?” he shrugged. "I just don't care."