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Monday, December 31, 2018

Thanks to outgoing City of Los Angeles Councilman Mitchell Englander - Friend of The Museum SFV

On behalf of the entire current and former Museum of the SFV board of directors and advisors, we say, "Thank you and all the best" in Councilman Englander's next endeavor.

Council District 12, for which The Museum SFV currently resides in has been a partner and supporter for our events throughout Councilman Englander's tenure.

On December 13th, there was an emotional farewell, hosted by PALS (thank you Sue Bruno and staff), with former councilmembers such as Dennis Zine, current and former staff members, City of LA employees, LAPD officers, many supporters from local neighborhood councils, Museum board members, Northridge chamber members and many others whose lives were touched by Councilman Englander.

Councilman Englander's mentor Greig Smith will be taking over the position on an interim position January 15th until an election will occur in June.  Former Councilman Smith (with Michel Stevens) and staff members such as John Bwarie were instrumental in assisting The Museum launch way back in 2005.  

In one of the many memorable moments, current County of Los Angeles 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Councilman Englander praised one another on their work to support their constituents in the city and county.

Many friends and community members were in attendance.

John Lee, former Chief of Staff and a potential candidate for the council position was on hand to say goodbye to his boss too.

Nicole Bernson, current Chief of Staff and Semee Park, now Director of Operations for Neighborhood Councils were both in attendance.

The councilman singled out Millie Jones, Director of External Affairs who is retiring.

The Museum's long time friends from Wings Over Wendy's were in attendance too. Paul and Howard share a light moment with Michel Stevens, President of The Museum SFV.

For those that missed it, here is Councilman Englander's farewell to constituents from his weekly e-newsletter.

A Fond Farewell...

This final newsletter of 2018 -- my last as your Councilmember -- is more bittersweet than other holiday newsletters of previous years. The decision to leave City Council was one of the most difficult I've had to make in my lifetime. And while I knew saying goodbye would not be easy, in the period since I made this announcement, you, along with the constituents, friends, colleagues, and staff that I have worked with all these years have only made it more so.

Simply put, I've been overwhelmed by the memories and relationships that we have built together in the 15 years that I've served the 12th Council District. Whether as a Chief of Staff or as a Councilmember, service is a privilege unlike any other. Second only to marrying my wife and raising our two daughters, my time serving the 12th District has been my life's proudest achievement.

Never in a million years would I have thought my life would be so blessed. As a child, I was just a punk kid from the Valley who could have easily ended up on the wrong side of life. My family had little in the way of money and, for a time, we didn't even have a place to call home. It is only thanks to the love and support of my mother, brother, sister, uncles, a few kind mentors, and a community that saw more in me than I saw in myself that I was given the opportunity to be more than what my circumstances might have allowed.

This is the life experience that I brought to bear during my time on Council. I devoted myself to ensuring that families across Los Angeles could feel safe in their own communities and that youth who did not have the most support or resources at home could be given an opportunity to succeed. And, because of hard work -- not just my own -- but of staff and colleagues and the community which supported our efforts, we have made progress on every front.

We've founded and expanded the Devonshire PALS Youth Center which every year provides programming and opportunity for thousands of at-risk youth turning kids who might end up in gangs or on drugs into community leaders in their own right. Our partnerships with non-profits such as the North Valley YMCA have raised millions to provide families programming and opportunities to thrive. We grew our police force and equipped them with the modern tools such as on-body cameras that help them build trust and keep communities safe. We transformed our Fire Department into a metric driven agency and reduced response times for emergencies because, when it comes to matters of life and death, seconds matter. We passed legislation that will retrofit and improve tens of thousands of structures so that when the next earthquake strikes, our residents will be safe. We pioneered new park designs to make them accessible to all children regardless of ability, cleaned up and re-opened Chatsworth Park South, funded the reconstruction and repair of our pools, acquired and opened a new park at the historic Oakridge estate, and broke ground on a brand new 50-acre park in Porter Ranch which will serve as the gathering point for visitors and community members alike. We founded Clean Streets-Clean Starts which has expanded from a small, single pilot project in Northridge to a city-wide program that allows individuals experiencing homelessness to work with community beautification teams and do clean-ups of their local neighborhood while receiving job counseling and connection to services that put their lives back on track.

I could go on and on with this list of achievements. However, all of this is to make one point: nothing happens because of one person. Everything we've accomplished has come to pass because we as a community made it happen. The 12th Council District has among the highest rates of volunteerism, engagement, and civic participation of any area in the City of Los Angeles.

It is only because I am confident in the durability of this progress that I am able to make this decision to move on to the next chapter of my life. There will not be a single moment when the 12th District is without representation on the Los Angeles City Council. My staff will remain in place to ensure that we don't miss a beat when it comes to serving the people of our district. What's more, my colleagues on Council have agreed to take the historic step and hold a vote to seat a new Councilmember to serve the 12th district until a special election can be held. The individual nominated is no stranger to the 12th district. Greig Smith was my predecessor on the City Council and was already twice elected by the voters in 2003 and 2007. There is no person who can match his knowledge and experience in serving the communities of the Northwest Valley.

It is thanks to Greig, his wife Christine, and my staff that I leave my position on Council confident that the progress we've made will continue. And while I am proud of all we have achieved, it is not without sadness that I step away from the work and the relationships that have defined and enriched my life for the last 15 years. The experience is something I will always carry with me and treasure.

As we settle in for the holidays and prepare for the New Year, I look forward to spending more time with my family and the new opportunities that life provides. However, though I am moving on to a new chapter, my devotion, love, and gratitude for the community which has given me everything in life will always endure.

However you celebrate, I wish you the best for a holiday season filled with family and friends. May the New Year bring you blessings and joy and, until we meet again, my deepest gratitude for all the love and support you've given me and our community.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Campo de Cahuenga annual live re-enactment of Articles of Capitulation - Attend this event


This is an important FREE event that is for adults, families and students.

Sunday, January 13, 2019
Campo de Cahuenga
11:30 am - :3:30 pm
Free event

Campo de Cahuenga offers annual live re-enactment of Articles of Capitulation that occurred 172 years ago.

Experience where the Mexican American War ended in California which led to its eventual inclusion as the 30th State of the United States.

There will be a firing of an actual canon (four times - a record!), Mexican fiesta dancers, military encampment, food and beverages.

There will be various organizations with booths on site too.

City of Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian, District 2 and David Ryu, District 4 are expected to attend and speak.

Tell your fellow students, friends and family members!

Support Campo de Cahuenga.

If you can, take the Metro Red Line to the Universal City station. Campo de Cahuenga is only steps away from the station!

FREE Parking in the Universal City Metro Red Line parking lot.

Donations and membership to Campo de Cahuenga is greatly appreciated.

Campo de Cahuenga is located at:
3919 Lankershim Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

Brief history of Campo de Cahuenga...

In a serene park of native plants, within the heart of the ever burgeoning entertainment industry of the San Fernando Valley, sits an amazing treasure in California history, Campo de Cahuenga. It is the perfect place to reflect on the storied roots and romantic beginnings of the American West. Once nearly lost to history, the Campo is now recognized and protected by the city of Los Angeles, the State of California and the nation. It is the very birthplace of California as we know it.

The Campo is a place of celebrations. Each January, for more than half a century the events of 1847 are celebrated anew. In a reenactment of the signing of a document by representatives of Mexico and the United States that became known as the Treaty of Cahuenga, signatures of General Andres Pico and Lt. Col. John C. Fremont ended hostilities in the state, creating Peace with Honor. In two years, without first becoming a U.S. territory, California was fast-tracked into the Union. Manifest Destiny was realized. We were one nation from sea to shining sea. All Californians became one people-Americans. To this day, Campo de Cahuenga is a place for celebrating our multi-cultural contributions.

An adobe-like museum building dedicated by Los Angeles in 1951 serves the Campo today. Outside, a display of the latest excavation of the original adobe is on view, one that extends under busy Lankershim Boulevard. All around are the footprints of history. Native Tongva peoples knew this site at the strategic ford of the Los Angeles River. The first Californios walked here. Missionaries, rancheros, gold seekers, pioneers crossed paths here. The Butterfield Stagecoach once stopped at the Campo. A Civil War encampment was erected here. By stepping into Campo de Cahuenga today, on its grounds or through our website, visitors become the newest chapter in the hallowed Campo legacy.

Welcome to the Campo de Cahuenga. Bienvenidos a la Campo de Cahuenga. Managed by the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association under the auspices of the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation for future generations. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 valley event highlights - Community Chevrolet Burbank Classic Car Show

The 2018 Community Chevrolet Classic Car Show in Burbank was held on November 4th.

Owned by the Fred Bell family since 1959, Community Chevrolet has always provided excellent new and used cars to citizens of Burbank and surrounding communities in the Valley, Glendale and Los Angeles.

Museum board members and friends attended and talked to classic Chevy car owners and spread the word about The Museum SFV.

Enjoy the cars!

Community Chevrolet is located at 200 W Olive Ave. in Burbank. 
Tel: (866) 456-3689 or visit

2018 Speaker Event Highlight - WWII history and special guest speakers

We are catching up on some of the many events of the last quarter of the year... enjoy and get ready to participate in ongoing worthwhile events and programming in 2019.

October 27, 2018

Franky Ortega, a National Board-Certified Teacher at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, presented a terrific overview of Birmingham General Hospital and how it has been transformed today.

He tied in several valley landmarks with historical perspective on WWII covering Lake Balboa Park, Birmingham General Hospital, Van Nuys Airport and Jue Joe Ranch.

A packed house listened intently to Franky discuss aspects of WWII.  

Several special guests spoke at the event, one of which is the granddaughter of Soo-Yin Jue. She walked attendees through the history of the Jue Joe Ranch, an old ranch with roots in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Portions of the ranch are still visible today off of Vanowen just east of Balboa. The Museum was very appreciative of her presentation, which is a big part of valley history.

Also speaking was a WWII Lieutenant Colonel Richard Kinder, a former prisoner of war, aftern being shot down on his 13th mission and was captured by the Third Reich!

(The Nazi rise to power brought an end to the Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in Germany after World War I. Following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor on January 30, 1933, the Nazi state (also referred to as the Third Reich) quickly became a regime in which Germans enjoyed no guaranteed basic rights. After a suspicious fire in the Reichstag (the German Parliament), on February 28, 1933, the government issued a decree which suspended constitutional civil rights and created a state of emergency in which official decrees could be enacted without parliamentary confirmation). 

Head of Wings Over Wendy's spoke too about the incredible heroism of veterans during this time. 

Wings Over Wendy's social group of WWII, Korean, Vietnam and other veterans meet every Monday morning in Woodland Hills. This incredible group also offers free speaking events about WWII history to any school or group in the valley.

A number of Birmingham High School graduates also attended and enjoyed reminiscing about the good ol' days while in high school and in this portion of the valley.

Additional photos of the event. Paul Denztel, (below right), who is also a historian really enjoyed the event too.

All in all an incredible event!

Thank you to everyone who participated and attended.

The Museum SFV - Please donate today to support history, art and culture of the valley

As we approach the end of the year, The Museum board would like to thank all of the existing and new members and donors to The Museum family.

For those that would like to join as a member and donor (and assist us with completing a modest $2,500 matching donation opportunity), please click on one of the links below.


Did You Know?

Unlike other organizations, 100% of your donations will go toward support programming, events and exhibits for The Museum SFV.

Please consider donating or becoming a member today.

Thank you,

Michel (Michael) Stevens
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley board of directors and advisors wishes everyone the safest and happiest of holidays and the best in the new year!

The Museum has robust schedule of events with some very exciting and intellectually stimulating exhibits in 2019.

Based on enjoying the holidays and spending time with our families, The Museum SFV will be....

Closed on Tuesday, December 25th


Closed on Tuesday, January 1st

The Museum SFV will be open on Thursday, December 27th.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Luminaria Today - Campo de Cahuenga 3:00 - 7:00 pm Free family event; please attend

The Studio City Neighborhood Council is pleased to present LUMINARIA.

A free, family festival of light with live music, arts, crafts and history for all ages.

Sunday December 2, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Campo de Cahuenga, 3919 Lankershim Blvd, 
(across the street from NBC Universal)

Join us for an Evening of live music, arts & crafts, Cider, hot cocoa, Cookies, and the Luminara light show!

FREE parking in the METRO lot is in the Northernmost end of the parking lot you must display a LUMINARIA bookmark or eventbrite ticket on your dashboard.

This is a public event so the ticket is used to track how many guests we will be having, you don't need a ticket to get in.


Thank you.