Paseo Market Place in Westlake Village is no longer just a high-end shopping venue it is now the location of a recital hall for the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. Grand opening weekend, beginning March 20 at 7 p.m. and continuing through March 22, will feature the Solo Recital 3 series featuring performances by young pianists ranging in age from 14 to 21. Some, like Somis resident Daniel Lessler, 18, have already performed with the Philharmonic while others will be making their public debut. The person who facilitated the transformation of a vacant storefront into a recital hall is Thousand Oaks Philharmonic board member, Klara Bergman, who also manages community relations for the Paseo Market Place. “I made the recommendation to the principals that rather than have vacant space, why not support the T.O. Phil which is so near and dear to my heart,” said Bergman. When they agreed, Bergman met with Dawn Demars who manages Keyboard Concepts in the Agoura Design Center to see if they would lend a piano for the hall. When Demars immediately agreed, Bergman was grateful, but when she found out exactly which instrument they’d be getting, she was awed. The German-made Schimmel concert grand piano is valued at more than $100,000. “I was blown away. It is so magnificent it’s like a work of art,” said Bergman. “It just goes to show you that when businesses work together and network together and include worthwhile organizations in the process, everyone wins.” Linda Coburn SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Workplace: Two of California’s Best Places to Work are right here in the San Fernando Valley. The Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Van Nuys, came in second place in the medium-size company category while Insomniac Games of Burbank took fifth place in that same category. The awards were presented by the Employers Group, a human resources consulting services business with offices throughout the state. This is the second year they have sponsored the statewide Best Places program. More than 490 companies responded to surveys about issues relating to work-life balance, pay, benefits, training and advancement opportunities, diversity programs, turnover, perks, employee voice and workplace culture, and community involvement. Having Insomniac’s work culture recognized and praised is gratifying, said founder and CEO Ted Price. “When we factor in the multitude of innovative companies populating the state, this honor becomes even more humbling and special,” Price said. Burbank Topped Off: Front Porch Active Adult Communities in Burbank announced a topping-off ceremony for the first tower in the Luma active retirement resort community in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. The company said it expects this first phase of the project, a 10-story building, to be ready for occupancy by the fall. A second tower is under construction as well. Recycled: The City of Burbank has made the use of recycled water mandatory for large irrigated landscaped areas. All properties with 2,500 square feet of landscaping, or using 50,000 gallons per year of water, and that have a recycled water main will be required to comply in order to continue to receive potable water service. The move should increase the amount of water recycled in the City to more than 1 billion gallons annually, said Joanne Fletcher, assistant general manager of Burbank Water and Power. Redesign: The Burbank HealthCare Foundation will be adopting a new logo designed by Woodbury University student Mindy Bortz. Every year graphic design students at the university create a comprehensive campaign for a non-profit organization and the Burbank HealthCare Foundation was the selected non-profit in 2008. Since 1991, the Foundation has distributed more than $3 million dollars to promote the health of Burbank area residents. Calabasas Wine: The Wine Cask of Calabasas is now offering weekly wine tasting events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For $15, participants can sample an international cast of wines and sample complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Each week a different wine growing region is highlighted. Coming up in March are French burgundies and Italian vintages. Upgrade: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has added detailed community guides to its californiamoves.com website. The online guides include links to local information and contact information for local utility companies, municipal resources and government agencies. Canoga Park Pickup: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne hosted a hazardous waste round up on Feb. 28 and March 1 for area residents to drop off used motor oil, electronic equipment and other items for safe and proper disposal. “As part of our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is proud to offer residents a safe, convenient and responsible way to discard of these products,” said Jerry Tucker, Jr., the company’s environmental manager. Fair: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne hosted more than 1,000 area elementary and middle school students and teachers at a three-day Science Expo earlier this month. The event included interactive demonstrations and hands-on experiments engineers, scientists and technicians from the company. Encino Upgrade: Orcutt Fasano Private Wealth Management Group, a part of UBS Financial Services, is unveiling a new state-of-the-art facility in its current Encino offices. Upgrades include sophisticated portfolio software and a multimedia presentation room. The group, founded in 1991, advises on $850 million of client assets. Glendale Franchise: Color Me Mine is expanding its franchise coverage to include territories in non-urban areas home-based field representatives. The new initiative is aimed at families who have been impacted by layoffs and the economic downturn. Field representatives living within 75 miles of an existing Color Me Mine studio will be completely supported by that franchise, said President Mike Mooslin. Color Me Mine has been in business since 1992 and now has 140 studios open or under development in 25 states and 10 countries. Studio City Berries: Berry Elegance has re-opened on Ventura Boulevard under the new ownership of Andreea Gaskin. The shop sells gourmet, chocolate dipped strawberries and other delectables. Customers can order baskets or a single hand-dipped strawberry to go. Gaskin will mainly specialize in local orders and delivery within a 30 mile radius of Studio City, as well as orders nationwide through the web. Van Nuys Plane: Van Nuys Airport unveiled Vinny’s Hangout, a child-proof, child-friendly educational airplane located at the public observation area at the east end of Waterman Drive. The hangout also features an aviation-themed, large-scale mural created by local students. A group of second graders from Gault Street Elementary School and Cohasset Street Elementary School, both in Van Nuys, attended the unveiling on Feb. 24 and then toured the airport. Sylmar Location: The Valley Fair will not take place this year to give more time to find a permanent location for the event. Since moving from the Los Angeles Equestrian Center more than 10 years ago, the fair has taken place in Sylmar, Castaic Lake and Saugus Speedway in the Santa Clarita Valley. The board of the 51st District Agricultural Association, the organization that puts on the fair, is now taking the time to find a Valley location for the fair. “We have a wonderful opportunity to focus all of our energy this year on the goal of obtaining a permanent home”, said board president David S. Honda. “Given that both the state and the private sectors are experiencing economic difficulties, we will sacrifice this year for the sake of returning to the San Fernando Valley in 2010 at a new location.” The board has several locations in mind and wants to get a long-term lease to secure the fair’s future growth both culturally and financially, Honda said. The 2008 fair drew an attendance of 35,000 people. Woodland Hills Lens: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences honored Steve Hylen and the Hylen System with a Technical Achievement Award for the ability to give on-set optical effects when the device is attached to a film or video camera. The academy’s Scientific and Technical Committee carefully dissected the patent on the device and looked at the lens focusing system. “I am very proud that they have endorsed the technology and its future possibilities,” Hylen said. CONEJO VALLEY Thousand Oaks Angels: Maverick Angels of Thousand Oaks has launched a virtual angel investor network called AngelLink. The program will enable members of the investment club to view pitches by companies seeking start-up capital from anywhere in the world.
AROUND THE VALLEYS