Above: left to right, Angela Durrant, Maritza Rodriguez, Nora Nicosia, Beverly Pazuk and Barbara Fier.
Beverly Pazuk and husband Steve hosted the meeting at their home, providing a warm atmosphere and excellent drinks and edibles. Nora Nicosia, Block Captain Chair, began the meeting by bringing up the forthcoming Annual Block Party to be held on the weekend of August 24,2013. SSMHOA President, Fred Karlsen said that he is reviewing the list of realtors who have expressed interest in sponsoring the event. Last year’s party was sponsored by Berman & Kandel. The plan is to rotate sponsors every year. Block Captains were asked to talk about what worked in 2012 and what didn’t. While 2012 was very successful, the most serious issue was the need for more than one food truck to handle the crowd. A suggestion was made about food being offered from “stations” scattered around the party site and that the offerings should be more varied. There was also a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of using tables rather than a more informal arrangement of chairs. The idea of the party is for residents to make new acquaintances, but the tables tend to encourage close friends to bunch up together in small groups. Jennifer Manoogian, Chair of the Block Party, was not able to be present, so Fred will relay all the Block Captains’ suggestions to her when they next meet to start working out the details of this year’s party.
Above, left to right: Sandra Starr, Cindy Carlin and Penny Akashi
Nora then brought up her plan for 5 “Mini-Block Parties.” These will be pot-luck events, each a collaboration between two adjacent Malls, to take place over the year. The Block Captains from the two Malls will organize and send out flyers for their party and decide what date and form it will take, i.e. brunch, lunch, cocktails or progressive dinner. They can invite friends from other Malls if they choose and will orchestrate the food and beverages. The events will be announced in the blog and homeowners are welcome to attend the parties in Malls other than their own as long as they contribute to the pot-luck. Beverly Pazuk has agreed to be the overall supervisor.
Marilee Karlsen, co-Chair of the Silver Strand Art Group, talked about upcoming tours. The first is on Saturday, February 23, 2013 for “Bridging Homeboy Industries,” a tour of the famed Homeboy Industries in Westchester and downtown Los Angeles, sponsored by Otis College of Art and Design. Ten members of the Silver Strand Group will be given a docented tour. This event is FULLY BOOKED.
The next tour will be on Thursday, April 4, 2013. The group will travel to Torrance to visit the Chen Art Gallery, a private, non-profit gallery displaying the collection of Dr. Tei Fu Chen. Dr. Chen has spent the last 25 years collecting over 1000 artifacts which illustrate 5000 years of Chinese history from the Neolithic era to the Ming and Qing imperial palace collections. We will provide more details closer to the date, but if you would like to sign up now, leave a comment below.
Above: left to right, Angela Durrant, Harryot Best and Richard Lylse.
Nora Nicosia, Chair of the Landscape Committee, reviewed accomplishments to date and reported on the constraints of working within a limited budget which include reducing the number of flowering annuals and filling bare spots with perennials, shrubs and divisions from existing plants. Maritza Rodriguez, who is charge of irrigation, has supervised the repair and/or replacement of sprinklers on all the 4′ strips in front of Mall homes. She will next inspect the sprinklers in the central area of the Malls. This has already saved money on the water bills, one of SSMHOA’s largest expenses, and will continue to do so. Maritza urges Block Captains and residents to report broken sprinklers or those which need adjustment. If you see a problem, you can leave a comment below and it will be forwarded to her.
Sandra Starr talked about the Welcome Packet for new homeowners saying that she and Debbie Schneider are coordinating information about changes in ownership in SSMHOA. Once a home has sold, Sandra informs the Block Captain. Ten homes sold between July and December, 2012 and Block Captains are now up to date on delivery of the Welcome Packet.
Nora also discussed Emergency Preparedness. As first responders in the event of an earthquake, Block Captains have collected emergency contact information from most homeowners. However, an effective SSMHOA Board Committee has yet to be formed. It was suggested that the next person elected to serve on the Board be responsible for doing so. Michael Greenberg, past Chair of the EP Committee and a certified emergency responder, has said that he would be glad to provide as much information as he can on what is needed.
Barbara Fier kept the discussion moving right along by using her cell phone alarm. At the end of each person’s or subject’s allotted time, it produced a noise which sounded like something between a squawking crow and a quacking duck, two of the most prominent avian species in the Silver Strand. The effect was laughter followed by total obedience from the participants.
Thanks to Marilee Karlsen for all photographs.