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Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
June 17, 2010     Beverly Hills Weekly
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June 17, 2010

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~qi~l:~llilll~tllll~ ~i ~ ! I |~l~JA,|,llll LIiI~,,|FL~pI~UII.ILI .,|JlJIIIIplllllH|~- ------- -- --- -- - -- -------- -- --- - ~--- ~- I And other notes of interest By Rudy Cole This week's sermon is about the people who served with some contentious colleagues. have made important contributions to our com- Jimmy Delshad, as mayor, leads with munity. Some you may admire, others you restraint and openness. L'dlian Raffel, as board could have fought on some earth-shattering president, showed great respect for the school's political or civic issue, and I have too, but they professionals and then-Mayor Ben Stansbury did give back to a city they love. was the council intellectual. The most gentle SOmetimes people ask me whom I consider giant at the podium was Ben Norton, even who was the "best" mayor or our most "impor- when wife Rose made appearances to disagree tant" civic leader. Despite assumptions to the with him. contrary, I am not quite old enough to have Our school boards always seem to find rea- actually known our first mayor, SM Spalding, sons to squabble, and this one carries on that 1928, or honorary mayor Will Rogers, 1926- tradition. But as individuals, they too bring spe- 28, who put us on the map by convincing the cial talents to the education process. In fact, a government to give us our own post office, meeting early this month was a good example But I've known quite a few, and if pressed, of being able to focus on critical needs while my choice would have to be George Slaff, 1968 putting aside personal divisions. and 1975, with a lot of close seconds. The issue was school security. It was encour- There is a very special knack to wielding the aging to listen to new high school principal gavel at public meetings, often requiring put- Carter Paysinger explain that this was one of ting aside personal likes and prejudices to his top priorities; and kudos to Lisa Korbatov maintain order, decorum and fairness. Slaff did for coming prepared and doing her homework, this well, as did Hugh Darling, 1960. and to her colleagues Myra Lurie, Jake As frequent readers know, I am not always in Manm~ and Brian Goldberg for sending the agreement with Barry Brucker. However, as education community a united message: our board president and mayor, he was always con- school must be safe. sistently fair, courteous and prepared, and he Even though this meeting, and many recent- NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING DATE: June 24, 2010 TIME: 1:30 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard LOCATION: Council Meeting Room 280A Beverly Hills City Hall 455 North Rexford Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210 The Planning Commission of the City of Beverly Hills, at its REGULAR meet- ing on Thursday, June 24, 2010, will hold a public meeting beginning at 1:30 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard to consider: Discussion and approval of revised traffic thresholds of significance for the purposes of evaluating traffic related impacts of projects subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The adoption of revised traffic thresholds of significance does not have the possibility to result in a significant effect on the environment and is therefore exempt from environmental review pursuant to Section 15061 (b) (3) of the State CEQA Guidelines. Any interested person may attend the meeting and present written or oral comments to the Commission. If there are any questions regarding this notice, please contact Aaron Kunz in the Transportation Division at 310.285.2452, or by email at Relevant materials are on file in the Transportation Division, and can be reviewed by any interested person at 345 North Foothill Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Approved as to form: Aaron Kunz Deputy Director of Transportation erly ly, ran far too long, Board President Steven Fenton has grown into a positive leadership role. He now manages to put aside some per- sonal differences with colleagues and use rea- son and logic to build consensus. Fenton's pre- siding job at the last meeting could be a model for others to follow. As for bringing legal skills to public service, the board is fortunate to have Myra Lurie and Jake Manaster serving. Both are sharp lawyers who help sort out the legalistic challenges the district faces. Interestingly, the board has two lawyer members, the city council none. Women have played such a critical role in community leadership that I had the idea of writing a book on the subject: "The Women of Beverly Hills." As I began my research, I dis- covered a terrible loss of historical material in our library: back copies of many of our long- gone community newspapers. (Not the fault of our great, reasonably new librarian Nancy Hunt-Coffey). More on this later and how my readers could actually help by digging through attics for old newspapers I still want to try to complete the work.) Some of these Beverly Hills women greats are on the list below, lVhreella Rahwin and Betty Wilson dragged our city into supporting the best public education possible. Phyllis Seaton did her magic for our schools as a board member and later as the first woman mayor of Beverly Hills. Lili Bosse, the mostly reserved giant of charities and leadership, carried on that tradition, and, of course, made my list. However, if I had to single-out one person, male or female, who had the greatest impact on the civic, education and cultural life of our city, that would have to be the legendary Sooky Goldman, who, quite fortunately, is still with us. In the same breath, you would have to add her spouse, main supporter and best friend, Sam Goldman. Contact action I Sort of a long introduction, but here's my first installment, and yes, there will be a sequel for those I missed and readers nominate, of some of our past and present greats and a sam- piing of what they did for your community, in no particular order: Donna Ellman Garber, Mayor, 1976, 1981: Our outstanding, model setting senior housing project on South Crescent, trolley buses for seniors and shoppers. Dr. Charles Aronberg, Mayor 1974, 1979: Conceived the city funding Joint Powers Agreement for our schools that literally saved our education system's tradition of demanding excellence, and broadening the paramedic serv- ices. Ken Goldman: homeowner leader, activist and organizer of Police and Community Together (PACT) that backed our finest when they needed it most. Vield Reynolds, Mayor, 1991, 1994, 2000, who would not give up on her dream of creat- ing a cultural center, now brought to reality as the Annenberg. (A special nod to Wally Annenberg for her enormous generosity and pace setting donation too.) Brain Goldsmilh, chair, City National Bank, who sets the example for corporate responsibil- ity in community support and has been the leader of the Annenberg's incredible board and professional staff. Judie Fenton: Her group's constant support of the police and fire association events and programs have set the highest standards for community involvement. Allan Alexander, Mayor 1990, 1995: He led the effort for outdoor dining that changed the look of our business district, created many new city commissions that helped bring more lead- ership and involvement to city government, and has been the local maven on the subway to the sea. (On the latter, with big help from former Mayor Mark Egerman.) Maxwell Ilillary Salter, Mayor 1989, 1993: Showed city staff how much we appreciated their work and taught the importance of treating citizens as customers we need. (Janet not only I our Page 4 Beverly Hills Weekly