IN THE MARCH NEWSLETTER:
Crime in the Miracle Mile • Gone Hollywood; How the Hollywood Plan Threatens the Miracle Mile • Miracle Mile Restaurant Guide & Map
Crime in the Miracle Mile
Crime is always at the top of the list of concerns for residents of the Miracle Mile. The Miracle Mile Residential Association has long maintained an active engagement with the Wilshire Division of the Los Angeles Police Department via the Wilshire Division Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB). MMRA Vice-President Alice Cassidy served as our CPAB representative for many years; currently, board member Ken Hixon represents the MMRA.
The Wilshire Division encompasses nearly 14 square miles with a diverse residential population of just over 250,000 people. It is divided into nine “Basic Car” or patrol areas. The Miracle Mile is in Basic Car 7A33, which is bounded by Beverly Blvd. on the north, San Vicente Blvd. to the south, Fairfax Blvd. on the west, and roughly follows LaBrea Ave. to the east. Our Senior Lead Office (SLO) is Perry Jones.
The Miracle Mile has benefited from the overall drop in violent crime that the city at large has seen in the past decade. In 2012 the Wilshire Division experienced a 5% decrease in violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault). Of the nine homicides, one was gang related and the others were of a domestic nature. There were 34 rapes, two that were classified “stranger rapes” and the others were spousal or date rapes.
Residential and auto burglaries are the top crimes in the Miracle Mile. The week of January 7 through February 2, 2013 represents a typical snapshot of crime in our "Basic Car" area: There was one residential burglary; a home on the 6000 block of Drexel was broken into – the suspect entered through an unlocked rear window and escaped unnoticed. There were three burglary thefts from motor vehicles on the 800 block of Ridgeley, the 7000 block of Beverly Blvd., and the 5000 block of Wilshire. The latter two incidents involved cars that were not locked. There were no violent crimes or grand theft auto crimes (stolen vehicles) reported in this time period.
Burglaries are always crimes of opportunity. Although many burglary thefts from autos occur late at night, the majority of residential burglaries occur during the day when residents are at work. Thieves seek easy targets. Unlocked vehicles and homes are the most vulnerable – but even locked cars are at risk when valuable items such as ipods, cell phones, and laptop computers are left in plain view.
Burglars don’t want to be caught. They typically knock on front doors or ring doorbells to see if anyone is home. If someone answers the door they come up with some excuse and move on. Last year a female resident of the Miracle Mile was home during the day when there was a knock on her front door. She was busy and not in the mood for company, so she ignored the knocking. A few minutes later she heard the sound of breaking glass and discovered a burglar attempting to enter her house through a side window. The startled burglar quickly fled leaving behind a very frightened homeowner. The moral of this incident is make your presence known if someone knocks on your front door (and, of course, check before you open the door).
Burglars don’t want to be heard or seen. While most of us routinely think to lock our doors, we frequently forget to check windows – but the first thing a burglar looks for are unlocked windows, which allow for silent entry. Burglars like tall bushes or fences to hide behind while they are breaking into your residence. Think like a burglar: stand on the sidewalk and survey your own property. Where would you conceal yourself if you wanted to break in? Are there first floor security bars that could function as a ladder to unsecured second floor windows? Pet doors that would accommodate intruders or allow them to unlock doors? Are there garden tools left around your yard – shovels, hoes, or rakes – that a burglar could borrow to help themselves leverage open a door or window?
Your neighbors are one of your best defenses against burglars. Know your neighbors. Let them know when you are out of town. Keep an eye on each other. Use your common sense – if something seems unusual or suspicious make a note of it. Just a few weeks ago a resident on the 1200 block of South Sierra Bonita Ave. noticed two men knocking on front doors. He wrote down their license plate number and called the police. The LAPD apprehended the suspects later that day and it was learned that they had been involved in as many as ten burglaries in the Wilshire area.
What else you can do to keep your neighborhood safe. Follow us on Twitter. The MMRA uses Twitter to update the community on the crime alerts we receive from the LAPD and other sources.
Who to contact. Obviously, in an emergency call 911.
The Senior Lead Officer for the area including the Miracle Mile Residential Association is Perry Jones. Officer Jones is deeply committed to the safety and well being of our community. If you have questions, issues, or concerns contact Officer Jones at 213-793-0782 or email him at 27507@LAPDLACITY.ORG.
If you are interested in the activities of the Wilshire Division Community Police Advisory Board contact our MMRA representative, Ken Hixon.
For additional information on crime in the Miracle Mile:
How the Hollywood Plan Threatens the Miracle Mile
A Message from Jim O'Sullivan, President of the MMRA:
Like many of you, we lost power at my house during the two wind events last week. I say “wind event” rather than wind storm because occasional wind gusts do not equate to a full-fledged storm. I have no idea what exactly caused these particular power outages – but I’m sure it has something to do with our aging and neglected infrastructure in Los Angeles. Our sidewalks are being buckled by untrimmed trees, our streets are an obstacle course of potholes, our aging water mains have become time bombs, hit and run accidents go uninvestigated for lack of properly trained traffic investigators, and budget cuts have slowed the response times of paramedics – the critical systems that support the quality of our lives are in a free fall.
Why would those of us who don’t live in Hollywood get involved in criticizing and/or opposing the recent update of the Hollywood Community Plan? The answer is: infrastructure. Because what happens in Hollywood doesn’t stay in Hollywood. Mayor Villaraigosa calls the super-sized developments recently proposed for Hollywood “elegant density,” but the residents call the plan the “Mahattanization” of Hollywood and find very little elegance in a plan that calls for adding an additional 50,000 residents without addressing the strain it will impose on the already collapsing infrastructure.
The new Hollywood Community Plan does not allocate funds to pay for fire and police services, water main and sewer maintenance, street and sidewalk repair, tree trimming, and the like. The City will have to borrow from Peter to maintain Paul, so to speak. In lieu of sensible long-term budgeting and planning the City will continue to deal with our infrastructure needs on a crisis basis: deferring routine maintenance and repairs in the Miracle Mile and every other community in Los Angeles to deal with the problems of the hour.
High-density-mixed-use-development-along-mass-transit-corridors is the new mantra of city planners and private developers. Build it big, the bigger the better; don’t sweat the details, it will work out somehow. The residents in the Miracle Mile are all for development, more jobs, reduced carbon footprints, subway extensions, and bike lanes, too – but we also like good old fashioned infrastructure. Infrastructure is the foundation of our city and it is folly to renovate, remodel, or expand a structure with a sinking foundation.
Like Hollywood Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard is a mass transit corridor. In the years to come, the Miracle Mile will have two subway stations and the city planners and private developers already have visions of yet another Manhattan dancing in their eyes. They will want to do to the Miracle Mile what they are doing to Hollywood and, once again, they don’t seem inclined to let the lack of funding for proper infrastructure impede their goals.
Many of us love the real Manhattan (I do), but the real thing has a public transit system that actually takes you where you want to go and its famous density is a result of being an island. Manhattan is also a very expensive city with an ever-shrinking middle class being squeezed out by the high cost of living. Development and gentrification in Hollywood has already driven away thousands of working class Latino families. (LA Weekly; Hollywood’s Urban Cleansing.)
All this brings me back to the so-called “wind events” which seem to constantly knock out our power in the Miracle Mile. Councilman LaBonge has told me he will find out what happened and I know he will, but that won’t solve a basic question I have, which is: Where does all the money go?
Los Angeles has a $7 billion budget (which doesn’t include the Department of Water and Power, LAX, or the Port of L.A.), so what are they spending that $7 billion on and why do they keep wanting to increase our fees and taxes? Something very wrong is going on here and before the City turns Los Angeles into Manhattan they need to explain how they are going to fix our infrastructure – or, in other words, how they will keep the lights on at my house.
(Above illustration: Artist's rendering of a proposed highrise project near the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. Courtesy of Handel Architects.)
Miracle Mile Restaurant Guide & Map
What are you hungry for? The Miracle Mile's got it...
The Miracle Mile offers a wide array of foods and dining experiences – from four-star squid ink pasta at Ray’s on the LACMA campus to a genuine Philly cheesesteak sandwich served from a Wilshire Boulevard food truck.
We’ve done our best to list not only all the restaurants in the Miracle Mile but also the nearby restaurants that are popular with our residents – as well as the establishments that deliver to the Miracle Mile. If we missed your favorite, drop us a note and we’ll update the list. The Miracle Mile Restaurant Guide & Map will be a regular feature in this newsletter.
We also want to give a special shout out to Black Dog Coffee, 5657 Wilshire Blvd. They generously provide us with a free supply of their great coffee at our annual membership meetings.
WARNING: Do not click on these links if you're hungry…
MIRACLE MILE RESTAURANT GUIDE
MIRACLE MILE RESTAURANT MAP
And all of you food truck fans can help us generate a list of food trucks that frequent the Miracle Mile by sending us your recommendations. Meantime, here are some links to fine mobile dining in the Miracle Mile:
Yelp – Food Trucks in the Miracle Mile
Gourmet Food Trucks in Los Angeles
Find LA Food Trucks
Coming in the April Newsletter:
Miracle Mile Pet Watch
and Pet Resources Guide
Next month we will be launching the Miracle Mile Pet Watch which will utilize our Twitter account (@MiracleMileMMRA) to help find lost pets and to locate owners of found pets. But right now we need your help identifying the dog pictured here. He is an unneutered male small mix with a rust colored coat and white paws. He was found near Curson and 8th St. on Saturday, February 18th. If you have any information about his identity or who he belongs to, please contact the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.