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Hope Urban

Birds of Delay

MORE THAN 280 SPECIES of birds have visited Hansen Dam, which holds the record for most varieties seen in a day in the San Fernando Valley at 120 different kinds. And now one of those species -- the least Bell's vireo, a tiny, gray bird no bigger than a pocket......

Van de Kampus

After a nearly two-year battle, it appears that community activists have won their David-and-Goliath fight against a large development company’s effort to demolish a historic building and put up a big-box structure. Senator Richard Polanco said last week that the state has come up with $3 million to help the......

The Cuban Plaza Crisis

Cuban patriot Jose Marti has been dead for more than 100 years, but he can still inflame passion and controversy in Echo Park. At issue is a proposal by Los Angeles’ outgoing Cultural Affairs general manager, Al Nodal, to construct a 2,800-square-foot plaza dedicated to the memory of Marti, the......

Turning Up the Heat

John Brunold has worked on more than 600 film and video shoots. There is one job, however, he‘ll never forget. The 43-year-old film technician was on location at the vacant Van de Kamp’s Bakery building in April 1998, working on a video for the Atlanta band Big Hate. ”The whole......

Unbroken Will

Community activist Miki Jackson heard a loud crashing noise in the front part of her Highland Park home. She found that a rock had shattered the stained-glass portion of a large leaded-glass window of her 1938-era house. It was about half past midnight on June 5. While waiting for police......

Cooked Bakery

Friends of the former Van de Kamp�s bakery will find no comfort in the news: HomeBase is out, and Lowe�s will be moving into the historic building with the famous Dutch facade. Developer Larry Cimmarusti made the announcement last week at a town hall meeting sponsored by the Atwater Village......

Jay’s Last Stand

Photo by Virginia Lee Hunter Two weeks ago, the owner of Jay’s Jayburgers thought he had a big problem when his supplier stopped carrying the large size of a strawberry jam he had served for breakfast the past 32 years. But Jay Coffin soon had a more pressing crisis. On......

Spoonful of History

Sixty demonstrators, including more than a dozen former employees, protested the proposed tear-down of the old Van de Kamp‘s Bakery headquarters last Saturday afternoon. Developers Larry and Ralph Cimmarusti want to raze the historic structure to make room for a HomeBase and a Burger King. The 1930 factory’s Dutch facade......

In Search of a Home

The swath of land at the corner of Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard, home of the stately Mulholland Fountain and a popular spot for wedding photographs, is a possible site for a new L.A. Children’s Museum. The private, nonprofit museum has been located in a space intended for a......

History in the Baking

It has been nearly 10 years since the once-grand Van de Kamp’s Bakery at the corner of Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road shut its doors. The 1930 factory, the only example of Dutch Renaissance Revival architecture in Los Angeles, now languishes in decay amid a sea of broken glass,......