Editor's Note: This story was updated Monday at 10:45 a.m. with an email response from Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council Vice President Jeff Ebenstein.
It was about 90 minutes into the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council meeting on Monday when she walked in.
A woman entered with a small dog on a leash and sat down in the middle of the front row of the auditorium at Sherman Oaks Elementary School. I wondered to myself if dogs were even allowed at a meeting on a public school campus, but no one said anything.
The woman sat patiently for about five minutes.
As an editor for Patch, I have attended many neighborhood council meetings. There is always important community information being discussed and some are filled with high drama, but a great deal of the proceedings can someitmes be routine and mundane.
And then there are moments like Monday night when this woman spoke which can be filed under "surreal."
As the council was discussing some internal proceedings, the woman with the dog spoke up.
"Yes, excuse me," she said loudly. "I have four concussions."
There was a long pause of awkward silence in the auditorium.
"I have four concussions, I'm not going to remember any of this when I walk out of here," she continued. "But it's important you know what is happening on Dickens. There is a problem with pit bulls. Two dogs have been killed already."
Council President Jill Banks Barad then interrupted her.
"Yes, OK, but you understand we are in the middle of a meeting here. If you want to fill out a speaker card--"
The woman continued.
"I just was walking by and I thought you should know," she said. "Like I said, I have four concussions so I won't remember any of this as soon as I leave. But it's a serious problem. Women have started carrying baseball bats."
Banks Barad interrupted her again, asked Council Vice President Jeff Ebenstein—who was sitting closest to the exit—to help her fill out a speaker card. The woman got up and Ebenstein spoke to her at the door for a few minutes before she left.
"When I spoke to her, she said she couldn't recall anything right now. I gave her my contact, the council office and the number for [Los Angeles] animal services," Ebenstein said in an email to Patch.
If there are any Patch readers who are aware of a problem with pit bulls on Dickens Street, please let us know.