Friday, December 21, 2018

Body of Gingerbread Man Found In Over-Crowded, Illegally-Converted Cookie Garage

By Jingle McSprinkles, special to the Quilt.


Authorities with the Los Angeles Department of Holiday Baking, responding to potential zoning violations at a Canoga Park residence, uncovered tragedy when they discovered a body, broken into several pieces, among a baker’s dozen of gingerbread men living in cramped, crumby conditions in an illegally converted garage made of substandard graham crackers behind the main gingerbread house.

Warning—Delicious Content: The body of a broken gingerbread man found in Canoga Park. Photo: LAPD.

“I can confirm that we do have a fatality,” says department spokesperson Roxanna Panettone. “However, this is an ongoing investigation so I can’t say anything more. Except Merry Christmas!”

Neighbors say they’ve been complaining to various city entities including the LAPD since the problems — including noise, the smell of rancid nutmeg, and unregistered sleighs blocking neighboring driveways — began shortly after Thanksgiving when the large group moved in. But, according to residents, neither the police nor any municipal agency has responded until now. 

“It’s been a nightmare,” says Cinnamon Pfeffernusse, who lives next door. “Wassailing at all hours of the night, half-eaten mini-marshmallows tossed over the fence into my yard. The fellow two doors down came out one morning to find one of them trying to break into his little cookie car with a candy cane. 

Crowded House: The illegally converted garage was home to a tasty baker's dozen of mischievous
little gingerbread men including one who likely crumbled due to overcrowded conditions. Staff photo.

“And the drugs! Not only are these people dealing confectioner’s sugar — a diabetic OD’d in front of my house last week! — we can smell that they’re cooking caramel in there, too. Forget visions of sugarplums. The only thing dancing in my head at three a.m. is the worry that there’s going to be some massive explosion and the whole block goes up in flames. 

“But of course the City of LA only reacts after the problem gets way out of control. And I still doubt they’ll actually do anything.”

When asked about the situation, Mayor Eric Garcetti said all cookies should be treated with compassion and empathy, lauding both the landlord and his garage residents for their irresponsible resourcefulness before segueing into yet another pitch for his enormously unpopular Gingerbridge Housing for the Homeless initiative.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Record-Breaking Heatwave During Peak Moving Season Renders Canoga Park Sidewalks Impassable With Deserted Furniture

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff


The normal summer increase of apartment residents moving from one home to another combined with the proliferation of cheap, disposable home furnishings, a general apathy towards civic pride and perhaps most significantly, the intense heat wave affecting the West Valley area since the beginning of the month has resulted in a ‘perfect storm’ situation, with thousands of pieces of perfectly good, shitty furniture being abandoned along the sidewalks of Canoga Park.

A selection of low-cost used home furnishings abandoned on, where was this?, Valerio. Staff photo.
“We’re seeing an unprecedented uptick in the number of discarded chairs, love seats, headboards and miscellaneous IKEA furnishings lining our curbs and sidewalks,” says Dev Noorvash who tracks furniture migration for the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council. “Canoga Park streets generally have an average of thirty-two old sofas per block. Since August first, that number has climbed to well over seventy-five.”

 Bed frames, chairs and more left by former residents of...hmm...Valerio Street, probably. Staff photo.
“I was helping my cousin move last week an’ shit...?” says Radek Murta of Blythe Street “And we started early but even by eleven an’ shit, it was so hot that after we got his bed and TV and some boxes of his clothes an’ shit on the truck, we looked at the rest of his furniture and we were like ‘fuck it!’ and just left it there.”

Similar scenarios played out throughout the West Valley area. 

“My sister was moving into her own place, right?” explains Nicolas Varga of Remmet Avenue “And our Mom gave her an old couch that I had to pick up at the house in Chatsworth, lug it down the front walk, load on the roof of my car, tie it down and drive it to the new place — then drag it up two flights of stairs. By myself. By the time I get there, it’s 110º and I’m already doing this shit since eight a.m. So I just said ‘fuck it!’ and left it on the sidewalk. I mean, I’m not jack-assing that thing up a narrow outside staircase with two turns in this weather!”

An apartment's worth of furniture sits roadside, well, if not on Valerio, then likely nearby. Staff photo.
Across town, Nadia Nogueira says a friend from work promised to help her move but never showed up. “So me and my boyfriend ended up moving a lot of my [belongings] ourselves. But there was just too much stuff, it was too heavy and it was so effing hot, I couldn’t deal with loading up my Explorer for even one more trip  — not in this heat! — so I just decided ‘fuck it!’ and left the dining room table and the chairs. I always eat in front of the TV anyway.”

These four chairs have left the dining room for greener pastures on, let's see, oh yes, Valerio. Staff photo.
Her boyfriend Alex agrees. “She just bought a new entertainment center three months ago. But it was too big for me to move alone. What the hell happened to this asshole friend of hers from work?!  It took me an hour to get it out her door and down the stairs and already I was sweating like a pig,” he says, “By the time I managed to drag that thing out the security gate of the building, I thought I was having heatstroke and, fuck it!, that was it, I was done! Goddamn thing is probably still there.”

(Reached for comment, Nadia's co-worker, Ted Pasternak, told the Quilt, “Yeah, I know I said I’d help [Nadia], but I barely know her and she only asked me because I have a pickup truck. When I woke up that morning, it was already 98º in the shade, so I was like ‘fuck it!’ and just blew her off.”)

A handsome arrangement of tasteful furnishings seen here on Sati— Correction! Valerio.  Staff photo.
Traditionally, cast-off furniture left by the side of the road becomes the responsibility of the LA Department of Sanitation’s Bulky Item Collection service after the department has logged a minimum of eighteen increasingly desperate or angry calls per item, pile of items, or address. “Then, eh, maybe we’ll send someone out to take a look,” says department spokesman Albert Sousa. “But usually, we get about a dozen requests before whoever is reporting it just says ‘fuck it!’ and gives up.”

RELATED: Canoga Park Sidewalks A Scavenger’s Paradise For Perfectly Good, Shitty Furniture

Monday, June 11, 2018

Inclusiveness, Acceptance Celebrated At Diverse West Hills Gay Pride Festival

Staff photo.
By Blythe Moorcraft, Quilt staff


West Hollywood may be the epicenter for LA-area LGB 'pride' events, but don’t count West Hills out!

The second weekend in June is traditionally Pride Weekend here in the West San Fernando Valley and this year’s LGBT festivities didn’t disappoint.

Men, women and others of all shapes and sizes, clad in everything from oiled leather to cozy flannel, from tight tank-tops to loose overalls, flocked to the undisputed gay mecca of the West San Fernando Valley — Pride Center at Victory and Fallbrook, in West Hills’ inclusive, diverse, accepting Victorbrook neighborhood — to take part in a three-day celebration of inclusiveness, diversity and acceptance.

One of the event’s most popular venues was the main vendor tent — an outdoor marketplace where attendees could take a break from the hot sun, enjoy browsing or just see & be seen while shopping for unique items — many not available elsewhere and geared specifically for the area’s lively LGBTQ crowd.

“Check out these clamps,” one burly, bearded fellow said to an interested buddy. “Four bucks? Hell yeah — I got plans for these!”

At a nearby table laden with unusual wares and various esoterica, a woman contemplated a purchase with her gal pal. “Hey, Joyce, I think these attachments might fit your variable speed oscillating multi-tool.”

Pavilion of Pride: The event's popular vendor tent, offering gear for most every interest. Staff photo.
New connections within the LGBTQI community were made, too: A vendor personing the register at the festival evidently saw something he liked in a rugged, older gent buying a leather apron. "Can I have your phone number, please?" he asked as he began to ring up the sale. (Good news for romantics: the feeling was mutual because the attendee offered it up without hesitation.)

The three-day event of acceptance, inclusiveness and diversity celebrating the LGBTQIA community kicked off Friday afternoon and continued throughout the weekend, finally drawing to a close at six pm on Sunday, with the ceremonial taking down of the tent.

Though West Hills Pride may be officially over for another year, the lessons learned, the values embraced and the new friendships forged by the area’s LGBTQIAP population will last a lifetime.

Correction: What we presumed was a celebration of diversity, acceptance, and inclusiveness for the gay, lesbian, transgender and et cetera community was in fact Harbor Freight Tools' bi-monthly parking lot sale. We regret the error.

Monday, May 28, 2018

5th Annual Coverage of the 29th Annual 2018 Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade

By Quilt Staff

WEST VALLEY residents lined Sherman Way from Topanga Canyon Boulevard to Winnetka Avenue this morning to watch the 29th Annual Canoga Park Memorial Parade go by. However, as the parade route extended only from Owensmouth to Mason, spectators respectively west and east of those intersections were staring at mostly empty streets.

In all, about exactly forty-nine different groups, organizations, associations, and organized groups of associations— numbering nearly fifty in total — participated in the slow-moving flash-flood of memorialable patriotism, awashing eager parade-watchers in wave after wave of salty, refreshing civic pride. 

Everyone and everything from not-yet-disgraced local politicians to lively marching bands, from high-kicking tae-kwon-doers to manure-strewing prancing horses marched, cavorted, pooped and waved to those along the route in a magnificent spectacle not seen in Canoga Park since the 28th Annual Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade approximately a year ago.

The parade’s theme this year was “Memorial Day,” and parade participants, or paradcipants, included a number of veterans and others involved in military service.

Conspicuous by its absence was the inaugural appearance of The Canoga Park Quilt float, which was to debut this year for the first time. 

“We spent $1200 on a custom-made Junior News Possum walk-around costume and like an idiot, I let [feature writer] Ingomar Schoenborn borrow it this past weekend for a ‘Furries’ convention in Palm Desert,” lamented Quilt editor Owen Smouth. “He gets back late this morning, the costume smelled all funky and no one wanted to wear it.  And without the damn possum, our float is just another 1998 Toyota Tacoma with cheap mylar bunting from 99¢ Only. We bowed out.”  

Despite the lack of the Canoga Park’s only online newspaper on both the internet and the world wide web traversing the arduous 1.2 mile route while its myriad of editors, photographers and graphic designers tossed handfuls of uncirculated 1964 Kennedy half-dollars to the crowds, the parade was a success, as these magnificent photos will attest.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Clearance Prices At Closing Grocery Store Still Nowhere Near Regular Prices At Other Nearby Supermarkets

By Nita Keswick, Quilt staff


Excited shoppers with an eye for discounts scoured the quickly emptying aisles of Canoga Park’s Vons supermarket, loading cart after cart with canned goods, meat, frozen items and liquor, seemingly unconcerned that the beloved overpriced grocery store was offering very little in the way of savings compared to its local competitors.

Staff photo.
Vons #1673 at 8201 Topanga Canyon Boulevard at Roscoe, in Canoga Park’s bustling Roscopanga shopping district, advertised “storewide savings of up to 10-90% off” the prices of its waning inventory. But even at Monday’s rate of 25% off, most items were still above the non-sale price at other nearby stores.

That didn’t stop Téodor Pasternak, who was loading a cart up with Keystone beer and Marie Callender’s Creamy Parmesan Chicken pot pies. “I usually do my shopping at Ralphs and 99¢ Only,” he explained, “but who can say no to these clearance prices?” When told that the items he was buying were still priced 18% higher than Ralphs, he seemed annoyed. “Well, the idea that I’m saving money helps justify these purchases despite my struggles with alcohol and poor diet choices," he snapped. "What else have you got to ruin my day? That I need a club card to get these savings?"  [Yes. —Ed.]

25% off a $5 bottle of Thousand Island?! Salad season is just around the corner. Just sayin'. Staff photo
Many in the area have lamented the impending closure of their neighborhood Vons. “It was a neighborhood icon,” says Gretchen Bierly of West Hills. “If you had to run out for something quick, you didn’t have to go to some filthy convenience store. You could go here instead and knew you were paying filthy convenience store prices.”

According to AisledLA, an online internet web-based ‘blog’ that covers Los Angeles area grocery stores, a Vallarta supermarket will take over once the soon-to-be vacant retail space. While a number of residents west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard are concerned by the chain — which caters to a growing Latino population — opening a store in the area, many insist it’s only because they have difficulty pronouncing the double-L in its name correctly. 

However, Russ Hickert, senior editor of West Valley Grocery & Supermarket Trends Daily predicted the neighborhood will soon embrace the Hispanic chain. 

“Oh, I think they’ll be fine with Vallarta once they realize they’re actually surprisingly expensive, too,” he said.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Wings Over Wendy’s Gets Its Marching Orders As Platt Village Fast-Foodery Closes

By Brennan Callicott, special to the Quilt


Popular quick-serve restaurant Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers permanently closed the doors to its Platt Village location in West Hills last week, leaving customers not with a Frosty reception — but no reception at all.

Where's the Beef? Along with the rest of the food and all of the fixtures: shipped back to a distribution
warehouse, probably. Also, that caption is just as clever today as it would have been in 1984.  Staff photo.
Despite all signage having been taken down or blacked out, and the entire order box having been removed, Wendy’s still had a surprisingly constant stream of hungry, hopeful would-be customers as recently as yesterday afternoon. Evidently not dissuaded by the completely vacant restaurant, no less than four vehicles were seen slowly negotiating the drive-thru lane during the two minutes our photographer was there.

The hamburgery’s closure left “Wings Over Wendys” — a social group comprised of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans who convened for coffee, breakfast nuggets and camaraderie in the restaurant’s dining room each Monday morning — briefly without a meeting place. 

However, “new digs” for the tight-knit group of retired flyboys has been found, according to a post on the group’s Facebook page. Just a few dozen yards from their old stomping grounds, the new location — in the same shopping center —  couldn’t be more convenient.  “Attention members: As of next Monday, we are now officially known as Wings Over The Rite Aid Pharmacy Prescription Waiting Area,” reads the announcement.

Correction: Turns out Wings Over Wendy’s is now meeting at the Woodland Hills Wendy’s, 22611 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. We regret the error.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Canoga Park Responds to Flourishing Homeless Population With New 24-Hour Resource Centers

By Charlotte Rudnick, Quilt staff


Homeless people in the West Valley will soon have two new local options for getting much-needed assistance to help cope with life on the streets.

A 7-11 convenience store in the space previously occupied by Duke of Bourbon Liquor in Westridge Plaza, in the hustling RoscoSoto neighborhood is due to open “any day now,” according to sources, while just down the street, at Roscoe and Canoga, in the bustling RoscoNoga neighborhood, a Chevron gas station featuring a large mini-mart is on track to open its doors in the near future as well. 

Both will offer microwaveable burritos, nachos and heat lamp dogs, among other goods and services.
A Chevron gas station and a 7-11 (inset) are two new businesses slated to open in the Canoga Park area in
early 2018.  Residents and others who just kind of hang around here are excited by the news.  Staff photo.
“I can’t wait,” says Ernie ‘Nalgas’ Holvik, wearing an overstuffed backpack while carrying another as he awkwardly rides your bike on the way back to his camp beneath an LA River tributary overpass along Canoga Avenue. Tired from a busy day in West Hills where he works as a freelance Amazon Prime package re-acquisition specialist, Holvik looks longingly at the gas station, still under construction. “I really gotta take a dump.”

RELATED: Panic ensues as Santa Ana riverbed encampment eviction mistaken for walker herd.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Dubious Charity Naively Expects Apathetic Residents To Eschew Curbside Disposal And Instead Lug Old Electronics To Inconvenient Parking Lot Collection Site

By Ingomar Schoenborn, Quilt staff


Civic-minded folks of the West Valley can finally get rid of that enormous broken television, or TV, set, those facsimile, or fax, machines obsolete since the early 1990s, their top-of-lap computers, or laptops, that they brought home from work but reported stolen after they didn’t know how to completely remove all the porn they downloaded onto the hard drives, or any other electronical junk, or e-waste, items they may have lying around.

“In the past, Canoga Park residents have had to deal with the back-breaking, interminable hassle of placing any bulky electronics out by the curb where they’d be picked up by local scavengers or eventually the Sanitation Department,” says Bert Frankel, president of US Pals Chamber of Commerce, a vaguely philanthropic-sounding organization that raises money for something or other.

Canoga Park residents tired of paying the high cost of dragging their shit out to the curb for free can
now recycle their electronics at no cost by lugging it over to a busy parking lot instead.  Staff photo.
“But with our two-day event, they need only drag the items out to the car, realize the trunk is already filled with other crap, pull all that crap out of the trunk and into the garage to make room, lift the item or items into the trunk, drive over to Big Lots, mention to our collection specialist they have electronics to donate, wait for the collection specialist to look up from her phone, mention again to our collection specialist they have electronics to donate, watch where our collection specialist briefly points before going back to her phone, and then lug said electronic items out of the trunk and over to the directed area,” he adds. “What could be easier?”

Frankel notes that US Pals will be accepting all kinds of e-waste items except for whatever you specifically show up with.  “No, I’m sorry, we don’t accept those,” he says.

The collection center will be in the Big Lots parking lot in the space formerly occupied by the half-dozen donation “sucker boxes” that were finally hauled off after the vandalism and trash caused by them became far too much trouble than they were worth. 

“We’re excited about raising money for, eh, ‘charity’ tomorrow and Sunday,” says Frankel, “and delighted that Big Lots is donating the use of their parking lot to do this.” 

Says Canoga Park Big Lots manager Esther Galinda, “Wait, who’s doing what here this weekend?”