Friday, December 25, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The other smaller news is that it looks like P'Sketti has finally ended the experiment of having a drive thru Italian Restaurant in a community full of Italian Restaurants.
Having sampled dishes from so many restaurants in the area that serve Italian dishes, I think we can all agree that P'Sketti's food was nothing to write to Italy about.
This blog dealt a few weeks about about a supporter of Bob Bisno's who went on to get elected to the city council of Rancho Palos Verdes.
I hope he serves the residents and businesses in that city well.
There are two other former supporters of Bob who are wonderful patrons of the art and deserve special mention for their thoughtfulness to OUR community.
Herb and Arlene Zimmer did not agree with those of us on our side of the issues surrounding Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
Herb and Arlene actually live in Rancho Palos Verdes.
The couple can be found attending concerts and theatre all over San Pedro and they have been gracious enough to donate to the arts in OUR community.
Herb and Arlene own a local print shop and if you need printing work done, you probably can't find friendlier folks to provide you printing needs.
Arlene and I served on Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Project.
Ms. Angela Romero has a marvelous Web site dealing with her walks through the San Pedro community.
Her blog is San Pedro Block by Block and you can find it at: http://www.sanpedrobxb.com/.
She has already placed her feet on every street in northwest San Pedro, including S. John Montgomery, inside the fences of Ponte Vista.
You can read the archives of her blog to read about her adventures in northwest San Pedro.
She is currently strolling the area closer to Mary Star of the Sea as she heads ultimately to the coast.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The banner for the high school is still strapped to the fence, but the billboard has been gone for some time, as expected.
Ms Elise Swanson's voice can still be heard on the Outreach Team's voicemail at 310-241-0699.
I did see at least one police agency training on the site and that is wonderful that first responders continue to train there.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
A new post from Your Ponte Vista is offered below.
What I found interesting about the site is what is on it and what is gone.
The post below is a wonderful reminder of some of the very valuable events that have been held at the site.
The site may still contain far too much blight in my opinion, but I appreciate that Bob and now Ted offer part of the site for law enforcement training. It has been very helpful to a great number of Agencies and Departments to have training sessions among the duplexes, yards, and abandoned neighborhood.
I have seen a large number of parked cars on the property at times and I appreciate the explaination provided by the Outreach Team for why those cars are where they are and what the drivers of those cars are doing when the vehicles are stowed.
I will offer more comment below the post.
Although plans for the revised Ponte Vista Residential Community have not been finalized, Ponte Vista has been busy with activity. Last week, Camp del Corazon, a nonprofit organization that provides a free summer camp for children ages 7-17 with heart disease, stored their cars at Ponte Vista while staff worked on Catalina Island. By providing free parking for the Camp’s staff and counselors, Ponte Vista was able support the organization efforts by saving them parking fees.
Camp del Corazon started in 1995, with summer camps consisting of just 50 campers. Over the years, the camp has grown to two five-day sessions with close to 300 campers. Camp del Corazon is staffed completely by volunteer counselors, nurses, and physicians who give of their hearts to help these special kids, and Ponte Vista is happy to have been able to help! To find out more about Camp del Corazon, visit www.campdelcorazon.org.
The Ponte Vista site is also still active with law enforcement training. Every month, law enforcement agencies such as the LAPD, CHP, DEA, ICE, LA County Sheriff’s Department, and other police agencies from various cities throughout LA County come use the facilities and empty homes at Ponte Vista for training purposes. They are able to use the structures to play out various real life scenarios and to do movement training, and they also use the empty streets at Ponte Vista for training as well. Ponte Vista has provided this service to law enforcement agencies for over 4 years, and is proud to be able to continue to do so.
Apparently the elephant has left the trailers of the Outreach Team.
The Outreach Team has not offered any comment about their former boss' recent filing and whether it has little or no effect on plans or operations at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
What I did find on the site is what I no longer can view on it. Any and all mention of the name "Bisno" has been stricken from view on the home page of the site.
It looks like there was an edit of the site by its Webmaster and a hastily done one at that. I can't find the copyright information stating 'Bisno Development Co' any longer, even in its tiny print. The copyright information is underneath the calendar and it now appears to be "Copyright 2009" "Ponte Vista Partners, LLC".
So perhaps Bob is really, really gone from anything and everything 'Ponte Vista'.
It still will be interesting to take a look at Bob’s Chapter 11 filing to see is any assets and liabilities are claimed in dealings with Ponte Vista after December, 2008.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I don't know yet if this week brings to a close the odds and ends of Bob Bisno's involvement with Ponte Vista at San Pedro. However, I feel the odds part will remain in place no matter where Mr. Bisno attempts to develop larger residential sites.
I think it will be revealing to learn about his recent assets and liabilities that he took into Chapter 11.
Below is a simple explanation of Chapter 11 Law Group and it came from the Moran Law Group:
"Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy reorganization available to individuals, corporations and partnerships. It has no limits on the amount of debt, as Chapter 13 does. It is the usual choice for large businesses seeking to restructure their debt.
A creditors committee is usually appointed by the U.S. Trustee from among the 20 largest, unsecured creditors who are not insiders. The committee represents all of the creditors in providing oversight for the debtor's operations and a body with whom the debtor can negotiate an acceptable plan of reorganization. The debtor usually remains in possession of its assets, and operates the business under the supervision of the court and for the benefit of creditors. The debtor in possession is a fiduciary for the creditors. If the debtor's management is ineffective or less than honest, a trustee may be appointed.
A Chapter 11 plan is confirmed only upon the affirmative votes of the creditors, who are divided by the plan into classes based on the characteristics of their claims, and whose votes are a function of the amount of their claim against the debtor.
If the debtor can't get the votes to confirm a plan, the debtor can attempt to "cram down" a plan on creditors and get the plan confirmed despite creditor opposition, by meeting certain statutory tests.
Chapter 11 is probably the most flexible of all the chapters, and as such, it is the hardest to generalize about. Its flexibility makes it generally more expensive to the debtor. The rate of successful Chapter 11 reorganizations is depressingly low, sometimes estimated at 10% or less."
Reaction to the news about Bob's filing was much lower than I had thought it would be.
The most animated response came from someone I never thought would be all that concerned about Ponte Vista as we have never really spoken about that subject at any length. Go figure.
I've heard or read nothing from the Outreach Team about the news and how it probably has no impact, in their opinion, on current plans.
It may take until Sunday until we read a letter to the editor in the Daily Breeze if anyone is really interested in writing a letter in the first place.
I don't intend on writing a letter to the editor concerning Bob at this point. That all may change if it comes out in filings that Bob has remained with some interest in the Project beyond last December when the new development team claimed Bob was out of the picture.
Fall will fall into place around September 20 or 21 and I hope the Outreach Team brings out to the public the newest plans for Ponte Vista.
It has been many months since we got a glimpse (in writing) dealing with plans for 1,395 units at Ponte Vista.
But I am getting 'vibes' that the newest plan will have a lower number of total units in the package.
All the time between last December and now need not be considered wasted though. I still can't see any developer pushing plans hard to get construction underway in this economy.
Whatever the newest form of an application to change the current zoning on the site are, it appears that there will be a 45-day circulation period for the new EIR before it goes back to the Planning Department, for what I hope is a lengthy, accurate, and complete review.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Real estate developer Bob Bisno, who last year failed in an attempt to build a large redevelopment project in Baldwin Park, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Los Angeles developer owes his largest 20 unsecured creditors more than $250 million, according to an Aug. 31 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. His largest creditor is listed as commercial real estate investment firm iStar Financial, which is owed $109 million.
His company, Bisno Development Co., has suffered a series of setbacks, including slow sales at luxury condominiums constructed in Santa Ana. He also withdrew plans last year for a controversial redevelopment of 109 acres in downtown Baldwin Park that would have relied on eminent domain to clear the land.
Bisno’s plan called for thousands of homes, a school and a hotel, but it reportedly ran into financing problems. The city is now moving forward with a much smaller plan.
Bisno recently listed his mansion in the hillside North Beverly Park neighborhood above Beverly Hills for $29 million, according to Orange Juice Blog, a political blog covering Orange County, where many of his developments are located.
Bisno was among the defendants in North Beverly Park sued by adjoining South Beverly Park for prohibiting their guests and household workers from using the north neighborhood’s streets to reach their homes. The dispute was later resolved.
Bisno could not immediately be reached for comment. Phone calls to Bisno Development, headquartered in Century City, went unanswered.
The news about Bob is not funny and I did not smile or smirk or chuckle or even make a remark other than to tell Terri who the person involved in this article is.
Times are tough all over and it is not unexpected that a Developer who probably should never have been attempting to develop large residential projects with such little experience in that type of building, would fall into this situation.
It is believed by some that Bob only invested somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 Million Dollars of his own money with his dealings with Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
I consider much of Bob's current situation was brought on by Bob himself and not the problems with the housing industry during the last year or so.
Bob had more than enough chances to remedy much of the problems he himself created with his marketing and management of the Ponte Vista as San Pedro Project.
I don't believe that Bob's current problems will have any real impact on Ponte Vista UNLESS we were given misinformation about whether Bob still continues to be a player in the project.
If he is truly gone, then I think Ted and Tim and the Outreach Team will continue to move forward this month, with launching the 'new' plans for Ponte Vista to the public.
Bob and "The Bob Years" provided many of us the opportunity to learn about developers and developments and what is good and very, very bad. For that, I think I thank him for the education we all got.
Now when folks attempt to come to OUR community and change it because they believe they know what is best for OUR community, whether we already know it or not, we can point to the mountain of information that is still being created related to Robert H. Bisno and those individuals and groups it is not nice to fool with OUR community.
Bob will probably be back out of bankruptcy at some point and he will probably work on future developments. But Bob and others know that those developments will not be in OUR community and we will be watching no matter where he goes and what he tries to do with other communities.
"Bob Bisno is going to save San Pedro!" That was a statement almost shouted out by one of his supporters during a CAC meeting. I don't think any of us want Bob to do anything in OUR community other than what he finally did.........left.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
- Large rocks were found in the soil, which were not revealed by the initial soil samples. These had to be broken up so they could be removed by the excavating equipment.
- The presence of unrecorded electrical lines under the street which had to be avoided or relocated.
- A revision to the design of the forms for pouring the eastern wall of the chamber, which lies right on the boundary of Western Ave.
- Coordination with other agencies for the diversion of traffic on Western Ave. to allow excavation for the main chamber and the new tie-in into the sewer line.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
At this moment I hope to get this post done before the power goes out again.
I don't know if the Ponte Vista site is on the same power grid lines we are on, but if it is, I hope they can use their influence to finally correct a decades long problem.
We lose power on our side of Trudie Drive while the other side keeps its light on. It has been this way for as long as I can remember.
Unless there is a large area power outage, our side of the street along with other places local to Western Avenue, but not necessarily everywhere, lose power.
It happened four times today. That is unusual. The first one cost me my 1TB external hard drive. Ouch! I lost all the videos I was working on editing. I'll have to go back to upload them from the DV tapes.
But that is not about Ponte Vista.
Really, I have nothing new to offer about Ponte Vista directly.
I do like the paint now all along Western Avenue where it was resurfaced. I think the project is just about finished.
I had a dream where I drove south along Western Avenue at Avenida Aprenda and I didn't see any work being done on the sewer system. Sadly it was just a dream and the fencing and workers are still there. Perhaps they never intend on leaving.
As many of you were watching the sky and/or TV on Thursday, you probably saw the glow of a fire burning. It is a scary sight to see the glow and smell the smoke.
Where the Ralph's Supermarket now stands there once was a canyon that stretched from just about Western Avenue all the way to almost Gaffey. It was only bisected by a street connecting Park Western Drive with a part of the Channel Heights housing project.
Each and every year that I was alive and the canyon had not been filled, it burned.
There were other brush fires along Western Avenue and the photo of our Western View Homes was taken just after a fire burned the brush to the north and south of the homes.
Fires are not new and it looks like they will not go away.
Keeping our eyes open when we pass brush filled areas like Ponte Vista and the Defense Fuel Supply Point could help keep homes from burning if some idiot decides to light a match.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Little support for Ponte Vista
Once again the Ponte Vista project is lurking around the corner for yet another attempt to crowd San Pedro. This project has been denied at least a half-dozen times. When will they get the message that it's just not wanted, no matter how you design it. Please go away. I ask that our city Councilwoman Janice Hahn would finally put an end to this fiasco and go with the majority of us that oppose the project.
Did anyone else happen to see Peck Park this past weekend?
Hundreds of out-of-towners and numerous cars parked in the park. If Ponte Vista plans to build a park that the "public" can also enjoy, God help the north end of San Pedro.
- Carlos B. Trevino
Mr. Trevino is the father of an acquaintance of my, also named Carlos. Both father and son share their opposition to having condominiums built at Ponte Vista.
This was the first letter to the editor concerning Ponte Vista that I have seen in many months and I find it refreshing that there are folks other than us 'regulars' who keep the Project in their minds.
I hope we do get our first look at the artist's depictions of the 'new' Ponte Vista Project next month.
When we learn what the developer and Outreach Team think the site could look like and have written statements about the buildings, amenities, retail space, and other things that are being planned to put forward through the new EIR process, it will allow all of us a chance to reevaluate our thinking on the project.
With that written, I am still going to find it almost impossible to keep me from continuing my call for the dwelling density equivalent to that of The Gardens. I will continue to hold for no more than about 832 dwelling units at Ponte Vista.
Remembering that the 1,100-units on 80 acres at The Gardens still allows residents living in that condominium project easy access to both Western and Gaffey, it still doesn't seem wise at all to allow for greater dwelling density for a development with only Western as an access route.
The group called Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount College (CCC/ME) still continues to call for the expansion of the Palos Verdes Drive North off-campus housing site for Marymount College.
This is just somewhat important because the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council is now working towards final action granting or denying the College's Facilities Expansion Project.
CCC/ME wants new Marymount athletic facilities, large field and expanded off-campus on the Palos Verdes Drive North site even though the city of Rancho Palos Verdes has no say about what can be done with the off-campus student housing site, known as Palos Verdes North.
The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council will take up the matter CCC/ME's appeal of plans approved of by the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission regarding the College's Expansion Project on Saturday September 12, 2009 at Hesse Park, beginning at 9:00 AM.
Hardly anything was heard from by San Pedro residents concerning plans the College has and how those plans may effect both the Palos Verdes North facility and the off-campus housing apartment building at 24th and Cabrillo, in San Pedro.
Though nothing should really change at the two locations, the College is hoping to expand its enrollment with the new Project and many of the new students will be coming from outside the local area and will need a place to live.
The 'Pacific Heights' building at 24th and Cabrillo may be already completely filled and the College has made claims it would close that facility, but it never did what it promised.
There could have been San Pedrans who feel that having off-campus housing in San Pedro for a Rancho Palos Verdes College is not fair, but they didn't speak up to support on-campus housing when they had so many chances.
But for now, it is expected that the approved plans for the Facilities Expansion will 'only' add another additional 1,567 vehicle trips along Western Avenue between Trudie Drive and P.V. Drive North, each and every day Marymount is in session.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Aug 14th, 2009 by Ponte Vista
On August 13th, Los Angeles City Planner, David Olivo, presented a status report to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission on the Ponte Vista residential community.
Mr. Olivo informed the Commission that discussions between the planning department and the developer have been successful since the last Commission meeting on Ponte Vista in April of 2009. The planning department and the Ponte Vista team have made progress towards the development of a revised plan. He also told the Commission that he expected that a Revised Specific Plan for Ponte Vista would come together within the next 60 days.
The Revised Specific Plan for Ponte Vista will be amended to reflect the changes to the residential community as well as to the park, trails, and retail areas. The Revised Specific Plan once approved will guide the future build-out of Ponte Vista. The Specific Plan includes architecture, landscape design, color palette, building heights, circulation, parking, Mary Star access, water elements, and open space features and design.
Mr. Olivo told Commissioners that he believed that a revised DEIR would be circulated for 45 days on the revised project for public review and comment.
Commissioners were further informed that the planning staff would be back to them within 90 days with another progress update and that the overall project would be back to the Commission for consideration in about 9 months.
Representatives for the development team were in attendance at the meeting and told the Commissioners that they look forward to returning to the Commission at the first meeting in November to present the project timeline, which would include the schedule for the recirculation of the revised DEIR.
The Ponte Vista development team will begin to prepare the Recirculated Revised EIR for the Ponte Vista Specific Plan immediately after the revised development plan is formulated and ready for presentation to the community.
Ponte Vista is a planned residential community that features a two-acre village green with adjacent retail shops, walking trails and open space, workforce and senior housing, and town homes and courtyard homes in a sustainable, high-quality, energy-efficient design.
The development team plans to release a schedule to the community for the revised plan in September 2009.
"Anonymous" left a comment with the article apparently from The Daily Breeze dealing with the same meeting:
Revised Ponte Vista plan under discussion
From staff reports
Posted: 08/13/2009 06:06:29 PM PDT
Los Angeles planners reported Thursday that progress was being made in discussions with the developers of San Pedro's Ponte Vista housing plan.
A revised plan, however, probably won't be ready for formal consideration and approval for another six to nine months, said Betsy Weisman, principal planner for the city.
The report was made at a meeting of the Los Angeles Planning Commission.
"Staff has been meeting with the applicants every two weeks," Weisman said after the meeting. The discussions have been focused on "very general concepts," she said, with a follow-up report scheduled at the Nov. 12 meeting of the Los Angeles Planning Commission.
The private meetings will continue as more details are worked out for the development proposed for the 61.5-acre parcel on Western Avenue across the street from Green Hills Cemetery.
The big sticking point remains the number of homes and the project's effects on Western Avenue traffic.
The status report presented Thursday, Weisman said, "was all very low key," with no questions posed by commissioners.
I am still expecting to learn that the revised plan includes 1,395 units.