SORO NC updates

Movie in the Park: Penguins of Madagascar

On Friday, September 25th, Council President Wesson, his staff, and SORO NC bring the delightfully wacky animated film Penguins of Madagascar to our own Reynier Park (2803 Reynier Ave.). Bring your family and friends for a beautiful night of movie-watching under the stars.

Spinning off the always-plotting penguins from the Madagascar films, our heros Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it. And along the way they unleash madcap mayhem and "a blizzard of puns" (LA Times).

Best part: it's free. All of it. Including the movie, hot dogs, candy, popcorn and a special raffle for the kids. (We do recommend bringing a blanket for the ground.) Festivities begin at 6pm and we'll start the movie as soon as it's dark enough.
 

2015 Susan Bursk Community Service Award winner: Bette Billet

The Susan Bursk Community Service Award is presented each June at the SoRo Festival to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods community. The award is co-sponsored by SORO NC and the SoRo Community Foundation, Inc.

This year's winner was Bette Billet. Bette served on the SORO NC Board from its founding in 2003 to April, 2015. During 12 years of incredible community service, she has conservatively logged close to 1000 hours of active community service. Bette has been responsible for identifying and bringing many other community leaders into the fold, and has worked tirelessly for the betterment of this community.

Bette has been fearless in reminding her NC colleagues and elected officials colleagues that we represent the whole community, and that our work should always strive to understand and be inclusive of ALL points of view. In 2008 she was recognized by then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo as the "LA Pearl of the Year"—an award that recognizes outstanding seniors who have made significant contributions to Los Angeles residents' quality of life.

Her mark on the community and the NC has been indelible, and richly deserving of recognition.

At our July Board meeting we will also recognize the other community members nominated this year:

  • Cristina Paul — Community volunteer and founder of the Helms Neighborhood Association
  • Leo Portal — Crestview Block Captain, SORO NC Organization Representative, and founder/chair of the NC's LGBTQ Committee

We're deeply grateful for the work all the nominees have done within SORO, and congratulate them on their nominations.

See all the past winners of the award.
 

2015 Outstanding Green Citizenship Award winners: Karen Laramay & Cristina Paul

Karen Laramay and Cristina Paul were this year's winners of the Outstanding Green Citizenship Award at the 2015 SoRo Festival.

Karen Laramay is Head of the Science Department at Hamilton High School. All one needs to do is to walk into her lively classroom to know that she is a friend of the earth and is guiding her students to accept personal responsibility for caring for their environment in the years ahead.

As the SORO NC Green Team's representative on the Hamilton High School campus, she has co-sponsored our yearly E-Waste Drives, hosted the committee’s meeting, and worked with the Green Team on the Hamilton High School Environmental Science Project, in which students produced a town hall meeting featuring a panel of eight experts to debate the pros and cons of Proposition 37, the California ballot measure that would have required labeling of genetically engineered foods.

As a result of her sponsorship of the student Environmental, Garden, and Vegetarian Clubs, there is a flourishing garden at Hamilton High School which focuses on organic vegetables and California natives. “The Hami Garden” is supported and maintained by over 150 student and neighborhood volunteers.

Cristina Paul noticed that the trees along Venice Boulevard, which runs through the center of SORO NC's Zone 6, had been cut down due to the construction of the Expo Line. She went door to door with her petition asking people to help bring back these beautiful and environmentally important trees. The City will ultimately replace the trees that they had removed, but Cristina pressed on. She forged a partnership between the Helms community, TreePeople, and The Koreatown Youth & Community Center to donate and care for neighborhood trees and orchestrated a tree-planting event in her own neighborhood. Her work brought the neighborhood together, motivating them to plant 26 additional trees within the Helms community.

Her petition became the gateway to form The Helms Neighborhood Association. Since then, HNA has conducted freeway clean ups to keep the neighborhood looking beautiful. Cristina continues to motivate and lead her community by example, cleaning up graffiti and being one of the first to plant a low water, California native garden and install a grey water system and rain barrels.

As always, our hope is that by honoring environmentally-friendly businesses and individuals like Karen and Cristina, it will encourage others to emulate their work by doing their part in caring for our environment.

See all the past winners of the award.
 

2015 SoRo Festival: June 7

SoRo Community Festival

Sunday, June 7 • 11am-4pm
South Robertson Boulevard between Beverlywood St. and Cattaraugus St. (just North of 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit)

Free and open to the public, the 18th Annual SoRo Festival features food trucks, a live music stage, tree adoption, and over 60 vendor booths highlighting neighborhood businesses, community information and a variety of merchandise. It also offers “Camp SoRo” Kids Zone with attractions, a rock-climbing wall and free arts and crafts for children.

This year, SoRo Festival is featuring some new and exciting attractions:
  • 1st Annual SoRo Car Show!
  • New entertainment acts (as well as traditional favorites!)
  • Great food trucks
  • Health Fair Pavilion featuring reduced cost/no cost health exams including mammograms
  • Emergency & Safety Expo
    • Shakey Quakey earthquake simulation schoolhouse
    • Jaw of Life search & rescue demo
    • American Red Cross puppet show
    • Emergency preparedness & safety supplies for sale
    • Meet your first responders
    • Enter to win a poster from the movie San Andreas and other great giveaways!

It's truly a fun-filled family day in the community and we hope to see you all there. If you're interested in submitting your car to the car show, you can send an email to organizer Terry Gomes. Entry fees are $20 per car and go to benefit education and community improvement projects in SORO.

Don't forget to stop by the SORO NC booth and say hello!

For more information, visit our full Festival page.
 

2015 Community Town Hall Meeting: Save Water–Save LA

SORO NC is hosting a town hall meeting, Save Water—Save LA, on the topic of water conservation. This program will educate people about the drought and present ways to get involved in the solution including meeting the 25% water reduction mandate.

Save Water—Save LA

Sunday May 17th, 12–3pm
Castle Heights Elementary School
9755 Cattaraugus, 90034 (map)

Activities include:

  • E-waste drive: Bring all your old electronics for proper disposal and recycling
  • Town hall panel discussion followed by question and answer period
  • Swag bags for first 150 attendees and opportunity drawing for great prizes
  • Free rain barrel rebate sign-ups and installation education
  • Food trucks
  • Kids Corner sponsored by Green Beginnings
  • Tables with one on one discussions on various water saving topics and services.

Click here for more information, or download the printable flyer.
 

Movie in the Park: The Lego Movie

On Saturday, September 6th, Council President Wesson, his staff, and SORO NC bring the family-friendly animated film The Lego Movie to our own Reynier Park (2803 Reynier Ave.). Bring your family and friends for a beautiful night of movie-watching under the stars. 

Don't mistake this for a toy ad. Released back in February, the Lego Movie is inventive, action-packed, smart, funny—and surprisingly will make you think. It's that rare film that both kids AND adults will love. In her LA Times review, Betsy Sharkey wrote that it was "strikingly, exhilaratingly, exhaustingly fresh." We couldn't agree more.

Best part: it's free. All of it. Including the movie, hot dogs, candy, popcorn and a special raffle for the kids. (We do recommend bringing a blanket for the ground.) Festivities begin at 7pm and we'll start the movie as soon as it's dark enough.
 

Seating the newly elected Board

At our General Board meeting on Thursday, June 19, SORO NC welcomed its newest Board members: Giovanni Ferdinand, Beth Hirsch, Sherilyn Correa, Leo Portal, Victoria Hope Martin, and Aimee Zeltzer. Congratulations to them, and to all our re-elected members.

More information about the election—including the new 2014 Board list—can be found on our full 2014 Election page.
 

2014 Outstanding Green Citizenship Award winner: The Green Truck

As the first and only environmentally sustainable Organic Gourmet Food service business, The Green Truck was this year's winner of the Outstanding Green Citizenship Award at the 2014 SoRo Festival.

Located in Los Angeles, they operate a solar powered production kitchen and alternative fuel catering trucks. 

  • The Green Truck only uses certified organic ingredients, without harmful pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMO). Going organic also keeps these harmful pollutants away from plants, animals, and waterways.
  • To cut down on harmful transportation byproducts such as greenhouse gas CO2, The Green Truck buys locally grown ingredients whenever possible.
  • Their solar powered commissary adds whatever clean energy they don't use to the city's power supply.
  • Even cleaning products are environmentally friendly, ensuring that we are not polluting our oceans with unnecessary chemicals.
  • All of their trucks run off of vegetable oil previously used by The Green Truck and other food service companies in the Los Angeles area. By using recycled vegetable oil, they not only help to keep grease from clogging the city's drainage systems, but utilize a fuel that creates no harmful emissions to the environment and definitely does not add to our dependence on foreign oil.
  • All food packaging containers, bags, napkins, and utensils are made from bio-compostable products rather than plastics and Styrofoam. This process generates zero trash and utilizes sustainable technologies that minimize pollution in the production process.

As always, our hope is that by honoring environmentally-friendly businesses and individuals like The Green Truck, it will encourage others to emulate their work by doing their part in caring for our environment.

See all the past winners of the award.
 

2014 Susan Bursk Community Service Award winner: Barbara Kaye

The Susan Bursk Community Service Award is presented each June at the SoRo Festival to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods community. The award is co-sponsored by SORO NC and the SoRo Community Foundation, Inc.

This year's winner was Barbara Kaye, a one-of-a-kind, phenomenal art teacher at Castle Heights Elementary School with an impact on hundreds of children, teachers, and parents. As a volunteer for many years, Barbara has donated thousands of hours in beautifying the school, teaching art of many genres, creating plays and displays, and infusing the curriculum with artistic elements.  She patiently engages children who think they can’t paint and helps them discover that they can, much to their surprise and delight.  Barbara is an inspiration to both teachers and students.

At our June Board meeting we will also recognize the other community members nominated this year:

  • Saran Kirschbaum — Community volunteer and docent for the Ballona Creek Wetlands
  • Karen Smith-Laramay — Head of the Science Department at Hamilton High
  • Barry Levine — Long-time Chair of SORO NC's Education Committee
  • Terrence Gomes — Treasurer of SORO NC and Co-Chair of this year's SoRo Festival
  • Doug Fitzsimmons — President of SORO NC

We're deeply grateful for the work all the nominees have done within SORO, and congratulate them on their nominations.

See all the past winners of the award.
 

2014 SoRo Community Festival: June 1

SoRo Community Festival

Sunday, June 1 • 11am-4pm
South Robertson Boulevard between Beverlywood St. and Cattaraugus St. (just North of 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit)

This year’s theme is “Many Neighborhoods Create One Great Community!”

Free and open to the public, the SoRo Festival features food trucks, a live music stage, tree adoption, and over 60 vendor booths highlighting neighborhood businesses, community information and a variety of merchandise. It also offers “Camp SoRo” Kids Zone with attractions, a rock-climbing wall and free arts and crafts for children.

In addition there will be a separate Public Safety Pavilion hosted by the SORO Neighborhoods Council with many exhibits and demonstrations by “First Responders” such as LAPD and LAFD.

For more information, visit our full Festival page.