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When the Beijing Olympic organizing committee and the Beijing’s Mayor’s office contacted Thinkwell Design & Production in Burbank to come up with ideas on what to do with the lake at the main public gathering area, the instructions to the company were not to build a fountain show. Instead, Thinkwell designers and engineers spent six months sketching out a sculpture of the Olympic rings that would make gentle movements during the day and become part of a water, light and fire show at night. The rings were designed to be 51 feet in diameter and attain a height of 75 feet. Through the use of real-time data from the sporting events fed through motion control devices, the ring sculpture would become a visual interpretation of the action taking place at the games themselves. As big events came to an end, the rings would move faster. In between sporting events they would have slowed down and become more passive. “Those (rings) would have been moving by the athletes performances themselves,” said Craig Hanna, chief creative officer for Thinkwell. “We worked out how to move that data into a signal that would be able to converted into the (sculpture).” Due to Olympic committee constraints, Thinkwell’s design remains just that a concept that was never built. Yes, it was disappointing for the company but it wasn’t as though Thinkwell had lost a competition with its design, Hanna said. A positive for the company is that the technology of inputting real time data into motion controllers devised for the ring sculpture can be used for other moving sculpture or fountain shows. “Light, water, video: all can be interesting new display mechanisms based on real time data generated by sporting events or game or other production,” Hanna said. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY D.I.S.A.R.M.: Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich joined Chief Probation Officer Robert Taylor and Jack Simms, director of Developing Increased Safety through Arms Reduction Management (D.I.S.A.R.M), in holding a press conference discussing the ongoing success of D.I.S.A.R.M. The D.I.S.A.R.M unit was created by Supervisor Antonovich following the August 1999 shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. The D.I.S.A.R.M program entails pairing deputy probation officers with local law enforcement personnel to perform unannounced searches of probationers and their homes. It targets the confiscation of guns, drugs, and other contraband. The program has resulted in the seizure of 4,275 weapons and nearly $300 million in illegal drugs and drug money. Pictured (l to r): Robert Taylor, Chief Probation Officer; Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County Supervisor; Jae Chong, Deputy Probation Officer (center); Jack Simms, D.I.S.A.R.M Director; Milton Robinson, Deputy Probation Officer. Glendale Excellence: DreamWorks Animation SKG CEO Jeffrey Katezenberg will receive the International Honour for Excellence from IBC for his efforts in promoting 3D feature films. Katzenberg will be given the award in September during the annual IBC entertainment technology conference in Amsterdam. Katzenberg will be interviewed via a 3D television hook-up from Los Angeles with equipment provided by 3Ality Digital based in Burbank. DreamWorks Animation is grateful to IBC for acknowledging its efforts in producing 3D films, Katzenberg said. Starting next year, the studio will release all its animated films in a 3D format. “As we enter the year of 3D, I have never experienced a more dynamic and exciting time within the film industry than right now,” Katzenberg said. IBC International Honour for Excellence recognizes an individual or body which has made an outstanding contribution to advances in technology, creativity or productivity in electronic media. Studio City Apple: Media Distributors started a new division to provide Apple post-production products to the entertainment industry. The Workflow and Technology Solutions Group will design, sell, install and provide service and support for clients in the post-production and broadcast industries. Among the products the group will make available are Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Apple’s Mac Pro. Media Distributors is an Apple valued added professional video partner with the ability to provide support for the complete line of Apple products, editing systems, network-based solutions and an expansive line of shared storage solutions, said President Richard Myerson. “This was a logical next-step in the evolution of our company, as we continue to focus on the needs of our clientele,” Myerson said. SANTA CLARITA VALLEY Santa Clarita Award: The College of the Canyons Foundation Board of Directors has named Harold and Jacqulyn Petersen recipients of the college’s “Silver Spur” Community Service Award for 2009. Since 2001, the couple’s support for College of the Canyons has revolved around several key projects, including the Dianne G. Van Hook University Center capital campaign and the annual Silver Spur celebration. In addition, the Petersens belong to the President’s Circle, a group of community leaders, alumni and corporations dedicated to the success of the college. For more information about how businesses and individuals can participate in the 2009 Silver Spur celebration, contact the College of the Canyons Foundation at (661) 362-3434 or visit the Foundation’s Website at: www.canyons. edu/Foundation. Valencia Arrival: Kabuki Japanese Restaurant announced the opening of a Valencia location at the Bridgeport Marketplace on Aug. 6. Kabuki, a casual dining Japanese restaurant, will open for lunch and dinner daily and has a menu of more than 150 items. Kabuki’s newly-arrived Sake Sommelier Yuji Matsumoto features cocktails on the beverage menu such as a Saketini and Tokyo-style Mojitos made with Sake and Soju. Kabuki also hosts a happy hour featuring a special lower priced menu of sushi, appetizers, and cocktails, Monday through Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. The Bridgeport Marketplace, where the Valenica Kabuki is housed, is a new lifestyle center at the intersection of Newhall Ranch Road and McBean Parkway. ANTELOPE VALLEY Lancaster Walk: Lancaster held “Walk with the Mayor” activities Aug. 5 and Aug. 7, 8 to 9 a.m. at Lancaster City Park. The program not only provides for ongoing public access to the mayor, city officials, and city management, but also reinforces the city’s stance on building a healthy community. The biweekly walks help participants improve their physical fitness and overall health and give residents a chance to talk one-on-one with city officials and staff about issues affecting them. Fitness instructor Laura Wright supervises the walks and also teaches senior-targeted stretch and tone classes at Lancaster City Park from 9 to 10 a.m., Mondays through Thursdays. For more information about this program, contact Lancaster Recreation Supervisor Angela Riley at (661) 723-6074. Graffiti: In order to make graffiti reporting easier and more convenient for residents, the City of Lancaster has added an online reporting feature to its Web site. A Release from Liability form, which is required before the city can remove graffiti from private property, is also available for download on the site. “We are working to make the city and its services more accessible to our residents,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The capability to report graffiti online is just one more way we at City Hall are reaching out to the community and attempting to make their lives easier.” The online reporting tool and the Release from Liability form can be found at www.cityoflancasterca.org under “I want to ” then “Report Graffiti.” Residents may also call the Graffiti Hotline at (661) 723-5985. Palmdale Ceremony: A ribbon cutting ceremony for Ginza Restaurant was recently held at the restaurant, 1215 Rancho Vista Blvd. Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford and other city officials as well as Ginza’s owners Fei Fei and Michael McAlinden and members of the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce participated. The restaurant features a Japanese-style menu, including a sushi bar. Launch: A grand opening ceremony for Whispering Palms Senior Apartments was recently held at the complex, located at 38290 9th St. Mayor Jim Ledford and other city officials participated. Whispering Palms offers affordable senior apartments to seniors earning 50 percent of the area median income. CONEJO VALLEY Thousand Oaks Opening: California’s first Massage Heights, a membership-based, therapeutic massage clinic, has opened in Thousand Oaks. Massage Heights of Thousand Oaks differentiates itself from other massage establishments through its affordable, multi-tiered membership program, according to the company. Established as a way to develop long-term guest relationships and to offer consumers cost savings, the monthly fee starts at $49.99, which includes a monthly complementary, one-hour massage, and each additional one-hour massage is $39.99.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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