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November 21, 2013     Beverly Hills Weekly
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November 21, 2013
 

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Beverly High's choral program unique. "I've never had anyone come up to me after a concert and say, 'I love the way your sopranos lifted the soft palette on the ah vowel,' even though that's something we spend a lot of time with. They'll come up and they'll say, 'You brought tears to my eyes' or other things to talk about the emotion of the piece, the connection of audience and performer. That's something that we empha- size and I have had judges who have heard us at numerous festivals say, 'This is one of the special things about your choir.' It's not unique, but it is rare," Pressman said. Pressman was the first and only K-12 edu- cator admitted into the Beverly Hills High School Alumni Hall of Fame. Pressman was a 1967 graduate of Beverly High and held Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from USC. Pressman had been battling cancer and retired in June. "I want to be remembered as somebody who really cared -- sometimes, too much -- and who made a difference, whatever that is," Pressman said in the Weekly interview. Survivors include his children, Aviva Pressman and Elijah Pressman; his parents, Rabbi Jacob Pressman, Rabbi emeritus at Temple Beth Am, and Marjorie Pressman; and siblings, Rabbi Daniel Pressman and Judith Pressman. Funeral services are private, however a public memorial will be scheduled in the future. Pressman's cover story can be read at http://www.bhweekly.com/pdfs/714.pdf City Council votes against changing permit zone on 300 block of El Camino The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously not to change the preferential permit parking zone C to a separate zone BT on the 300 block of El Camino at their meet- ing on Tuesday. Such a change, initiated by a petition in August 2013, aimed to mitigate potential misuse by South Beverly Drive employees and/or residents from neighboring blocks with a Zone "C" permit. The 300 block of El Camino is one block from Beverly Drive and shares a C permit with 400 other households. A C permit allows residents to park on the block adjacent to their home or a block adjacent to a home of another resident who resides in the same preferential parking zone who one is visiting. In August 2013, 15 of 24 homeowners on the block signed a petition seeking to change the zone. "We have people who come from other areas of the C zone to do their post office, coffee shop, nails, restaurants, and they park, which is much more difficult to document because they come and go and they come and go and unless you had a video camera there all day, you wouldn't be able to see the com- in and going," the lead petitioner, former Board of Education member Myra Demeter, spoke at the meeting. "But I live there and I'm in and out all the time and I do see it." A decision to change the C zone on the 300 block of E1 Camino went before the Traffic and Parking Commission on October 3. Options included changing the zone to D, creating a two block zone with the 200 block of El Camino, changing the zone to BT, cre- ating a smaller zone, or retaining the existing zone C. According to a staff report, two Traffic and Parking commissioners voted in favor of changing the zone to BT and two against. Two voted in favor of maintaining the C zone and two against. None supported changing it to a D zone. At the Tuesday meeting, residents of the 300 block of E1 Camino spoke in opposition to the change, referring to studies presented during the meeting regarding parking on the 300 block. According to Deputy Director of Transportation Aaron Kunz, there were four citations for misuse of permit between July and September on the block. Parking counts conducted on September 19 at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. found that of the 35 spaces available, there were 25 total parked vehicles identified: 12 vehicles with a zone C permit assigned to the 300 block, 2 vehicles with zone C from other blocks, 3 cars with dis- abled placards, 5 service/construction vehi- cles, and 3 with no permit. "If occasionally a resident from the C zone parks, so be it," another 300 block resident, Jeff Berkett, spoke at the meeting. "It's not an imposition. We're neighbors. If that were a big issue you would see more than perhaps two vehicles out of the potential 35 parking spaces being an issue. It's not. The old saying is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Stuart Rosen, who has lived on the 300 block for 40 years, initially signed the peti- tion in August, but changed his mind when he considered the potential consequences of a changed zone - not being able to park and visit a friend in the C zone. "Where is the neighborliness and the mobility of being in the neighborhood?" Rosen said. "It's gone. We didn't spend all this money for these houses to go through this. We'd be prisoners on our own block'. I came down to this area because it's a neighborhood. I want it to remain a neigh- borhood." Councilmember Willie Brien expressed concern with the potential for a slippery slope, should the zone be changed. "I struggle with having more and more individual street permits," Brien said. "Because I'm afraid we're going to go to a time where every individual street within an area has got its own permit on that street, and I think that becomes very challenging for oversight and enforcement. Having said that, right now, I would not move forward with the change. City Council considers enlarging Public Works Commission and extending their terms The Beverly Hills City Council voted against expanding the Public Works Commission and increasing their terms at their study session on Tuesday, instead agreeing to discuss commission reform as a whole at an upcoming meeting. An item from Tuesday night's formal meeting regarding expanding the respon- sibilities and terms of the human relations commission was removed from the agenda, to be discussed later as well. The study session item comes as follow up to the Public Works Liaison Committee's meeting on Sept. 17, in which Councilmember Nancy Krasne proposed considering enlarge- ment of the Public Works Commission from five to seven members, an increase in Public Works Commissioner's overall term of ser- vice from six to eight years, and an extension to Public Works Commission Chair Barry Pressman's second term of service as chair - with Mayor John Mirisch in agreement. It was expressed at the liai- son meet- ing that the Public Works Commission would benefit from a broad membership with diverse points-of- OarryPressman view, along with creative analytical and problem solving skills, accord- ing to a staff report. "There are so many different areas we're involved in," said Public Works commission chair Barry Pressman. "We have a number of subcommittees and with a commission of only five, these multiple subcommittees are hard to staff because you can't have more than two on a subcommittee. And it could become burden to get it all done if several of us had to serve on several subcommittees." The Public Works Commission makes recommendations to the director of public services or other staff on the planning, evalu- ation, and delivery of public works systems and programs such as the city's water, waste- water, storm drain, street lighting, refuse management, and other infrastructure sys- tems. However an expansion in the member- ship is in contradiction with recent efforts by the City Council to reduce commission sizes - all of them down to five members -- for efficiency, cost savings, and consis- tency purposes. After a City Council meet- ing on January 4, 2012, The Traffic and Parking, Fine Art, Architectural, and Human Relations Commissions were reduced from seven to five members. "If they were to decide to increase Public Works, then the question would be what other commissions should be increased?" Pressman said. Pressman said the Public Works Commission has been experiencing a rapid rate of turnover in recent months, while there is a steep learning curve and a good deal of technical knowhow in order for commission- ers to effectively participate in topics and projects involving the City's infrastructure. A six year term may result in the loss of "advise of experienced and knowledgeable commissioners who have spent years acquir- ing knowledge of the City's infrastructure," according to a staff report. To reconcile this issue, the liaison com- mittee proposes extending the current six years to eight years, by increasing the length of second terms from four years to six years. The liaison committee also recommends briefs cont. on page 4 is Thanks November 21- November 27, 2013 ,, Page 3