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Tom LaBonge's Beautification Team Cleans Up Ventura Boulevard

Projects include sprucing up the area in front of the La Reina shops and prepping for the Sherman Oaks Street Fair Sunday.

If you've noticed the median in front of the La Reina Theatre shopping complex looking a little more sparkly this week, that's because it's been cleaned up by Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge and his beautification team.

Dave Ahern, the chief of field operations for the councilman, was part of the clean-up team that worked all day Friday to remove the dead plants and shrubs that were cluttering the median.

Ahern said that the project was one of several in LaBonge's district, of which Sherman Oaks is now a part.

"The councilman has a three-member beautification team, and he's the only one to have such a team in the city," said Ahern. "We engage in special beautification projects like this to help the community, at the councilman's direction."

The clean-up is the first phase of the process; the next stage is for the local merchant's association to replant it.

"And we'll help them with that. It's not a lush garden yet by any means," Ahern said.

Next on the list is some street cleaning on Friday, in preparation for the street fair Sunday, followed by some "routine maintenance" around parks and high schools in CD4.

Ahern added that he worked with various local groups in Sherman Oaks, including the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association.

"It's nice for us to work with people who are so engaged in the community," said Ahern.

Dick Carter October 17, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Why do so many retail shops and restaurants rely on their 10-20 year old paint job, when they could be seen as being brand new, or at least caring about getting new customers while retaining the existing ones, with just a coat of a different color paint, and maybe a new awning, or even cleaning the existing one? Other ideas, yet hardly new or revolutionary: Cleaning sidewalks, keeping trees trimmed up so pedestrians can walk underneath them, keeping those same trees pruned so they look good, keep the tree wells/bases free of weeds and trash. Provide sufficient trash bins and collect said trash on a regular basis, meaning at least every day. With the street fair this weekend, a good time to impress many potential new customers, yet how many merchants will clean up their places in time to impress? Doubt any will do it, based on past performance.
Leslie Elkan October 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Thank you, Tom and staff and crew! The Village at Sherman oaks Business Improvement District is grateful, as is all of Sherman Oaks! In 2013, the BID renews and we will continue the improvements! Tree trimming, sidewalk cleaning and many, many other improvements are in store for the Village. The Village website, www.villageatshermanoaks.com, will be updated soon. Best, Leslie Elkan President Village at Sherman Oaks BID 818-326-0273
Admin October 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Thanks Tom, I do wonder about the decision to contract out the median islands and lay off the city workers who were doing the job several years ago, this has not been anything like what the community was promised, I hope before any further median islands are installed, that the council district be required to make an escrow account holding at least 10 years worth of cleaning and maintenance costs in that account fund to prevent the merchants from falling prey to b.i.d.s. or the mismanagement of city funds leading to neglect and decay. If you can't afford the upkeep, Don't build IT!
Leslie Elkan October 19, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Dear Admin,No one was laid off so that the median could be built privately. There would be no median there at all if it weren't for the BID. It is surprising to some of us that the businesses behind the median didn't adopt it and take care of it during the interim.I do think, however, that your idea of an escrow account holding maintenance and upkeep funds is worth exploring, but I'm not sure if it is legal. I will look into it. Best, Leslie Elkan
Marty Vergari October 20, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I hope he can clean up the human homeless in doorways as well as the crack heads and other dopers who break into our autos when we shop in the area. Where's the LAPD??? Writing traffic tickets on poor people who can't pay their rent or buy food! I see the motorcucle cops siting on their butts by stop signs trying to sand-bag a decent citizen cause his tires did not completely stop at the sign"! Enough already. These motorcycle cops are so bad for PR in Sherman Oaks,.

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