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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LABJ’s LA STORIES / OUT OF THE PAST

LABJ’s LA STORIES





Homeless Hopefuls

Not only do the homeless have all the problems associated with being on the streets, some of them have arrest warrants.

That’s where L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan (photo) steps in. For two years, the court’s supervising judge of drug cases has presided over a monthly “homeless” court. The goal is to assist homeless people who sign up for a drug treatment program by clearing their records.

“These people are awfully fragile,” Tynan said. “Two or three days in jail can almost destroy a month’s worth of treatment.”

Many of the crimes are minor misdemeanors, such as jaywalking and sleeping on the sidewalk. Most get dismissed.

Tynan created the homeless court in collaboration with the L.A. City Attorney’s Office, Public Counsel and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson. Last month, People Assisting the Homeless, a non-profit organization that houses one of the courts, dedicated its courtroom to Tynan.

“He understands the importance of having this ability to start fresh when you’re on a path of recovery and self-sufficiency,” said Maggie Willis, chief development officer for PATH.

Amanda Bronstad

Flexcar Parks

A Honda Civic Hybrid will be stationed in the garage of the Venezia Apartments on Sixth Street in Santa Monica as part of the Flexcar car-sharing program.

This is the first time a Flexcar becomes part of a residential complex in the Los Angeles area and officials are hoping it will spur interest in the idea. Up to now the cars could only be found around metro stations or in downtown garages.

“The whole movement is to provide housing to invigorate areas to become active, not just used by office workers during the day,” said Craig Jones, owner of the Venezia. “But it’s affecting the affordability of housing to provide that much parking.”

Flexcar, based in Seattle, works like a cooperative car-rental agency. The Civic can be used by any Flexcar member. Members pay an annual fee of $25, plus additional use charges, calculated by the hour or by mileage, depending on their plan.

Members can reserve a car at various locations, which include Washington, D.C., San Diego, Seattle and Portland.

Kim Holmes




Barbie’s Beau

Barbie’s single-girl status couldn’t last.

After a publicity campaign breakup with Ken last February, Barbie spent the last few months cruising around in her Chevy SSR, soaking up the sun and spending time at the surf and skate shop, according to toymaker Mattel Inc., in El Segundo.

But now, Barbie gets a new man. An online poll on Barbie.com in May and June asked whether the doll should remain single, get back together with Ken, or date Australian boogie-boarder Blaine, African-American doll Steven or Hispanic doll Diego. The winner was Blaine, a doll that began shipping July 1 and retails for $14.99.

Two million girls worldwide voted, but the reasons for Blaine’s success are unclear.

“One of our hypotheses is that there are a lot of Australian hunks here in Hollywood,” said Audrey Henderson of Ketchum, the public relations agency for Mattel. “That may have tipped the scales in Blaine’s favor.”

Rebecca Flass

Market Market

Brad Saltzman and Stephen Bikoff have put Pure Foods, their Santa Monica low-carb market, up for sale on eBay for an opening bid of $150,000 with hopes of netting as much as $240,000.

Saltzman likes to chat about the weight he lost on the Atkins diet 25 pounds and how it changed his life. But he doesn’t like to chat about it all day long. It seems Pure Foods clients were too high maintenance for his taste.

“Running a low-carb market is different than any other market.” Saltzman said. “Customers have so many questions, they demand more attention.”

The pair are leaving the retail side of the business they’ve already sold the Beverly Hills market to concentrate on marketing their low-carb frozen dinners.

Kim Holmes

OUT OF THE PAST

Bite of L.A.

The Business Journal Gourmet was once a feature of the paper, a critique penned by “an anonymous, world-traveled writer.”

Of the many restaurants whose dishes were described, few remain open. One surviving establishment, Gardenia, seemed like one of the more eccentric, according to a Nov. 15, 1982 review.

“Gardenia is a boldly experimental restaurant, and most of the risks pay off. The look is a harmonious cross between art deco and sleek modern The final effect is that of a speakeasy in a time warp. Black track lighting with pink frosted lights repeats the color scheme on the walls. The pianist enhances the ambience with a repertoire of ’20s jazz.”

The Gourmet noted the unusual entrees: “When was the last time you ate at a restaurant whose appetizers included deviled marrow bones ($6), consisting of baked bone marrow with a ‘spicy topping’?”

Gardenia has replaced the bone marrow with tamer fare. The restaurant now sticks to traditional meat and pasta dishes and appetizers such as salad and stuffed grape leaves. Diners are still treated to nightly lounge-style musical entertainment.

Another Gourmet review from 1982 described Jimmy’s in Beverly Hills this way: “The country is in a recession, but the large parties of businessmen at this very expensive restaurant suggested that not all firms are suffering at least not their expense accounts.”

Jimmy’s closed in 1998 but owner Jimmy Murphy’s children reopened it as Jimmy’s II in 1999, but it closed a short time later. One of the sons, Sean Murphy, runs Jimmy’s Tavern on Pico Boulevard. in West L.A.

Rebekah Sanders

“Out of the Past” is published each week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Business Journal.

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