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May 30, 2013     Beverly Hills Weekly
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I've run businesses and I invest in busi- nesses and I have different technologies that I invest in. I have a very diverse back- ground. I've been an entrepreneur for all my life. I'm very qualified to look at what we can do and what we should do here in the city to attract, retain, and engage local businesses and help the residents to partici- pate in the shop local program. Your philanthropic efforts include contributions to the Heart Stem Cell Center at Cedars-Sinai. Yes, I'm on the board of trustees [at Cedars-Sinai] and I'm on severaI other boards. I'm on the board of directors of California Republic Bank, which is locat- ed on Crescent and Wilshire. I've 'been on the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission. I Was chairman for four years. I'm on the USC Board of Leaders for the Marshall School [of Business] and several other different committees at Cedars-Sinai, which I love and a couple of other boards I'm involved in that are both public and private. What attracted you to the Heart Stem Cell Center? The most amazing part of the center is that Cedars-Sinai brought in a doctor named Eduardo Marbfin.. He came from Johns Hopkins. We brought him and his wife over to start the .Heart Stem Cell Institute where basically he'll take your stem cells, put them in his lab and put them back into your heart and regener- ate your heart. Hopefully, one day he can win the Nobel Prize. If his research is proven successful, this will be-a major game changer in the healthcare arena. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and Women and the Cedars- Sinai Heart Stem Cell Institute will save millions and millions of lives. I'm not a doctor but anybody would be so excited to see that and we have many friends that have blockage -- 20, 30, 50 percent block- age -- of their heart and some of this can really help them. You've established the John Bendheim Executive in Residence Program at the USC Marshall School of Business. Tell us about that. I wanted to give the students at USC a different perspective of business and some of the great speakers and business people in Los Angeles. One of the big ones we did was with Rob Lowe and Tom Barrack -- they bought Miramax -- and we had them come speak. We've had several other speakers: Chris DeWolfe of Myspace and Lynda Resnick. These people all have great perspective on entertainment and business. The one that wedid with [Low. e and Barrack] -- I think there were 1,500 people in the Bovard Auditorium. A lot of people can really listen and learn from the ventures these people have gone through or the adventures, I should say. So it's a lecture series? It is a lecture series and we do it about four times a year. We had Bob Iger from Disney come in and speakers of that cali- ber. What they'll do is they'll come and teach a class before the lecture series and then go into some more detail with the lecture series. Tell us about your family. I have my wife, Cathi, and my daugh- ter Alexandra who will be a junior at University of Pennsylvania. She just declared her major in urban studies and she has a great internship with Rick Caruso of Caruso Affiliated, so we're very proud of her. In what area, does the chamber need the most improvement? I think in attracting membership to the organization. Why do people want to join the chamber now? I think in the past the reason to join has not been as compel- ling as it will be in the future. I believe now we have an innovative and exciting opportunity to participate in an organiza- tion that can deliver world class events as well as advocate for the business commu- nity within the city. That's going to be the key -- that we have to make this chamber desirable for people inside and outgide the city to join. briefs cont. from page 5 teach the course with each working no more than 12 hours in a given week. Hunt-Coffey said she had been contacted by the current ESL teacher at the district and that she had said the 12 hour cap was unrealistic. A majority of council "members sup- ported the recommendation and directed staff to explore increasing the hours to 18 per week. Councilmember Nancy Krasne wanted one full time position. "If no one is really in charge of the program of ESL, then we have a problem because i: will fall apart and it won't be any good," said Krasne. "Somebody has to be held accountable at all times to monitor [and] evaluate." Two to three courses are proposed to be offered in the summer with the rest initiat- ing in the fall or winter. The starting fee is proposed for $85 with a 70/30 percent split between the instructor and the city, 70 percent going to the instructor. City Attorney Larry Wiener said, he would sit with Hunt-Coffey and explore what the risk to the city might be if the hours were expanded to 18 per iristructor. Mayor John Mirisch said he hoped they would be able to expand to other languages if the program is successful. Board approves bidding process for replacement projects at various campuses The Board of Education unanimously approved the bidding process for equip- ment and infrastructure replacement at three of the school sites on Tuesday night. "These are all items that we've talked about before but they're only needing to be done because the buildings have not had really any maintenance done on ~emi" said Board President Jake Manaster, The repairs include replacement for elec- trical distribution at Hawthorne .with a project budget of $405,000, and sewer system at Hawthorne for $33,700. At E1 Rodeo, the board approved the bid- ding process for replacement of a chiller and cooling tower, replacement of sewer pipes, and a replacement of selective elec- trical and lighting system, with a pro- jected budget of $595,000, $145,800, and $207,968, respectively. The repairs also include chilled water pumps at Beverly Vista for a budget of $202, 500. "I just want to say that as time goes on -- this is going to be our future: spending a lot of money on band aids and I think we should all be thinking about that," said Board memberLisa Korbatov. In March, the board approved agree- ments with Henrikson Owen Group and BP & Associates to prepare engineering design for the projects. Staff will also submit design for electri- cal and lighting system replacement af E1 Rodeo to the Division of State Architect approval. City Council provides cost of living adjustment for City attorney services The Beverly Hills City Council voted 4-1 to provide a cost of living adjustment with Richards Watson and Gershon for City attorney services. Councilmember Nancy Krasne dissent- ed. The resolution agreed upon by the coun- cil sets a cost of living adjustment of one percent effective on July 1, 2013, plus a one-time payment of $10,000. The one percent constitutes an additional annual expense of $11,300. The City's current agreement with the f'nan states thatthe city will provide a cost of living adjustment of no less than one percent and no more than three percent. A resolution to provide a one-year compensation to the City manager was removed from the agenda. Fine art commission discusses fine art ordinance, proposal for artwork relocation at Two Rodeo The Fine Art Commission met on May 22 to discuss the fine art ordinance and a proposal for a relocation of artwork from Two Rodeo. The commission has been working to revise th~ existing Fi.ne Art Ordinance to make it clearer, to developers and to clarify what constitutes fine art and how to remove a piece of art if something is no longer an appropriate piece for the City. "We were very, very happy to have a meeting with our liaisons, which is Dr. Julian Gold and Mrs. Lili Bosse," said Fine Art Commission Chair Fiona Chalom. "At this juncture, my understanding is that it will be going to the city attorney's office for their review, so that it could be further refined and hopefully then brought back to city council." The commission was also offered a donation to the City by an anonymous donor of a sculpture by the artist, America Martin, to be placed on BurtOn Way. "The Fine Art Commission at this time felt that we would rather decline that very generous donation given the limited spaces along the street," said Chalom. The commission had been notified of a missing art piece at Two Rodeo Drive in October, which has since been identified as two sculptural columns. The columns originally "fulfilled the fine art obligation for the property. The commission had a representative from Two Rodeo speak to the commission informing them that he had been misin- formed regarding the ability to remove the piece, which they did. The missing art piece is now in storage. "Right now, we're in the process of try- ing to decide what would be best. Should they bring it back 0r would it be better for them to pay out the portion of what would have been owed?" said Chalom. "We're going to have more conversation with regards to what's the best option for all concerned." The commission will soon have a prior- ity exercise where the commissioners will review and discuss possible suggestions for artists thai the commission is interested in considering over the next few years. The city's newest piece was the Jaume Plensa's Endless V, which was installed in January. Krasne, Bosse block proposed Crescent Street closure The Beverly Hills City Council heard a presentation for a proposed Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia Beverly Hills Bike Ride Event to be held November 2 to 3. Liaisons Councilmember Nancy Krasne and Vice Mayor .Lili Bosse said the recommenda- tion in the report had not been consistent with what the liaison had discussed in their meeting. "It sounds like what the liaison recom- mended and was discussing is not what is reflected here," said Mayor John Mirisch. "We'll ask to go back and get it right next time and maybe have another meeting, so that the staffreport accurately reflects what the liaisons discussed." The event is part of a worldwide series of biking events. A "gran rondo" is a recreational bike event that starts with a festive launch and concludes with a festi- val. Bosse and Krasne saidthey were both under the impression that Crescent Drive would not be closed during this event. "I 'was trying to keep the flow of traf- fic available and open to the public," said Krasne. "I hate closing the street and inconveniencing everybody when we have the entire Beverly Gardens Park." As proposed in the staff report, a bike expo would be held in the Beverly Canon Gardens on Saturday, November 2 and on Sunday, November 3, the bikes would kick off from the 300 and 400 blocks of North briefs cont. on page 8 May 30- June 5, 2013 Page 7