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Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
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July 21, 1994     Beverly Hills Weekly
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July 21, 1994
 

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1 PAGE 12 BEVERLY HILLS NEWS i ,i =, im i I ii i s the Pdice Depaztnant facing a major shake up? Did m outside audit fred our police pco- tec kkqum? Reading the heaciles, and the Irst pam- grapl of the news reports on an outside study of police services in  community newspa- pers, induing our own, you might well believe that the study commissioned the city was ve  of our police departmer Not exactly. These are the precise words ofthe first sentence of the audit prepared by Towers Perrin: "The residents of Beverly Hills are well served by their police departmenC" And does this sound like a recommenda- tion for a ".shake up?" "Department employees -- sworn and civilian -- share a strong com- mitmant to providing "high quality services to Beverly Hills residents." There were specific recommendons for changes, some minor, some serious and some questionable. But the main thrust of the report gave our police very high marks. These con- dusions can also be found in the report: "The overall professionalism of Department staff has been matched by few of the more than 200 police departments the conslants have stud- ied over the last 25 years." The report urged more dvilian employee support to free sworn officers from office rou- nes. Them were some recomndm on the use of tschnical services, advice on han- dling of poiloe reports and managemant struc- ture, but most of these could probebly havo been made to any police departmer Whet the repod did not evaluate was the problems we face, not as an isolated commu- nity, but as pat of an urban area Bt is seri- ously under-protected, Suggosa we havo too m.my police, as the report indcated, flies in the face of the r of the needs and atti- tudes of our community. When the audit daims we can save heady $1 million by reducing staff and changing patrols to one person units, during certain hours, a cash-strapped city becomes interest- ed. The response of the police administration has been yen/open, very willing to consider all the recommendations, includng deployment. But I would not want to stand for election having voted to reduce the number of police in the department or  frequency and strength of paV. I had some doubts about the advisability and timing of the audit. The study was approved in the middle of a city council elec- tion. The dominating issue in that campaign was the relationship between the police oflrv cer's associon and Robert Tanenbaum, for- met mayor and courd member. Moraie in the departmant was not high. There were some lingering frustrations over cenact talks, the battlo with Tanartaum had escalated into a nasty brawl and there was a pecept that some ative jobs co be in jeopardy. "The overall professionalism of Department staff has been matched by few of the more than 200 police departments the consultants have studied over the last 25 years.' Even in the best of drcumstances, person- nel morale can be affected by these kinds of audts or management evaluations, and the timing wasn great. Although the report was very ttedng, it missed some truths about the department. Unlike my cities, our community has the is a yen/excegant chief, Marvin women ofthe sety, town. We want to see want more, not less. As for other aud/report, that we are of an urban area The essay are vice" and "concerns notwithstanding, thiS excessive. But it is and community response that drives When  pies for us to corn The report where approwiate, and women who they have and work in our dry, llq ften rll be talking with someone, or meet someone for the first time, and the conversation leads to, "where did you grow up?" Many of these people who are now IMng in SoulJ'n California are actually transplanted from another city or state. Some- times, however, I come across a true native Angelino, or better yet a naWe of Beverly Hills. Of course I never let the conversation end there. I love finding out what the city was like to these individuals, what their memodes are, and hearing about their family's personal story. Everyone's memories are quite different and very individual, and I'm like a sponge -- absorbing all I can. Ie always loved looking at old photos and family albums, even when I didn't know any of the people in them. I,e encouraged friends and acquaintances to share their photos with me. Recently I got a call from Milton Weiss, s/ing he had come across a photo, drca 1935, of his mother's restaurant located on Rodeo Drive. Some of you might recall "Mrs. Weiss' Hungarian Restaurant." It was located on the west side of the street at 309 N. Rodeo Dr., (now occupied by Hammadler-Schlem- met). Milton Weiss told me that although out of range in thisphoto, he remembered an old hitching post that stood outside their restau- rant. He told of the heneysudde arbor he remembered that led to  door, and it's sweet smell. He recalled that on any summer night one could smell the fragrance of orange uu 21-27, 1994 blossoms waltzing in across the canyons. Milton said that the house to the north of theirs was lived in by two Bevedy Hills schoul teachers, aml even/ night Joe Gebhad, the cop on the beat, would rattte everyone's doors to make sure they were locked. In the photo, and next door to his mother's restaurant, can be seen the Tobias Jewelry Store. Milton said he was sure the photo was taken around 1935 because when they moved in around 1930, the Tobias store was a vacant lot and remained that way for about four or five years. In fact, Milton recalled that in that vacant lot sat an old car. He purchased that car for $25. It was a U.S. Grant automobile, and I gather he was quite proud of that purchase. He proceeded to drive it off the lot, got it as far as the end of the lot when it died, never to move again under it's own power. He recalled that his mother had to pay to have someone tow it away. Milton has many fond memories of his family and those eady days in Beverly Hills. His father had a custom furniture shop on Bevedy Drive. In the early 1920s they lived in the front bungalow of a five-bungalow ceurt on the east side of what is now the famous Rodeo Drive. In those days most of the structures on Rodeo were small bungalow courts and two- story, wood-framed, turn-of-the-century hous- es. Dudng the crash of "29, barfs were dos- i all over the coumy, and Bevedy Hi was no excepth. The failure of two banks in Bev- edy Hills had deputed  Weiss of their herd-earned monies, and  caused their custom fumiture shop to dose. The Weiss Family was broke. Mrs. Weiss, known as "mama" to Milton, his two brothers, and  of their friands, was a great cook in her own home. In an effort to heip support the family, (the boys were at that time, 6, 12, and 18 years of age), she went to an agancy looking for a job as a cook. She was sent to the Beverly Hills home of the famous playwright, S.N. Behrman, who imme- diately hired her. Mr. Belxman's home was the meeting place of the greatest theatricel and literary artists of the time. They all adored "Mama" Weiss and her cooidng. Her success there was short4ived though for when Mr. Behrman finished his work, he sold his Beverly Hills house, and "la" was out of a job. Ever resourceful, she opened a restaurant in their home, using  Wing room and dining room for guests, and cooking in her tiny domestic She  making her wondeeful Aus- trian and Hungarian redpes. At that time, a complete lunch was 35 cer; d,xr was 65 cents, and that irled an appetizer, soup, salad, the entree, beverage, and a homemade dessert, in 1930, they borrowed $300 from silent film star Mary Miles Minter and were ble to move to larger quarters acroas the street This second  for Mama Weiss' Restaurant was pedec It wes a lwo-ston/, wood-framed house. were below, and above. It became the Hills locals', Ws true that the the fanous  nl know was that feed entire families at that Some of the their restaurant were Norma Shearer, Tom Hopa (ll  'd ) flounshed for 24 Papa Weiss retired. In the summer Weiss Family back ness "Writers' Building* Boulevard, two doo The Rayers has a but still features as veal er schnitzel. itago cbtm', Mon and Is greetg guests and table. Once again dlon ca-das on. "locals" for faces in  Bevey H