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Friday, Jun 2, 2023

Around the Valleys

Thousand Oaks Budding rockers can now pursue their dreams in three Conejo Valley locations with the expansion of Rock And Roll High School into Calabasas and Agoura Hills. The Thousand Oaks-based school, which operates out of teen centers in all three cities, provides an eight-week course that covers everything from songwriting to promotion geared to kids from elementary to high school. “They learn to cut a song, record a CD in a studio. We bring in a professional photographer and they do a photo shoot,” said Aaron Burch, Rock And Roll High founder who got the idea for the venture while a marketing director for the Boy Scouts. “They break into bands and they learn the different things that a band has to do.” The idea for Rock And Roll High grew out of Burch’s own passion for music. He started up the program about one-and one-half years ago with just six students and now trains about 50. Younger kids play covers while the older ones write their own material. Everyone ends the semester with a live performance. “We have groups doing full albums of original material,” Burch said. “With the kids, we keep them on covers for a while and do a bunch of games and physical activities to get them moving on stage and learning how to play the instruments.” The teachers are pretty young (in some cases, teens 18 years old) themselves, but the school also brings in successful performers such as Joe Holmes, former lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. Burch said that the traditional avenues for taking music lessons don’t help to develop social skills. “I’ve always had a problem with how we drop kids off at the music store and they take a lesson,” he said. “So kids who play music do it alone. This is a way to help kids come out of their shell and feel like they own something and they belong somewhere.” Whatever the reason, participants are responding. One grad, writing on myspace.com, called the program “the coolest program ever. I don’t know how to thank you guys.” Along with the fee, $200 for about one- and one-half hours of classes once a week, Rock And Roll High provides most of the instruments (drums are not available in Thousand Oaks), but the kids are encouraged to bring their own instruments. “We wanted to make something that was affordable that a lot of students could take and that was fun,” Burch said. “Right now, we’re trying to build up a program and a good base of people that believe in what we’re doing.” Kids can register for the current session up until next week. SANTA CLARITA VALLEY Santa Clarita Move: State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth has moved his district office from Granada Hills to Santa Clarita. The new office, at 23734 Valencia Boulevard near City Hall, is more centrally located to serve the 38th Assembly District, Smyth’s office said, which includes Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Glendale and the northern portion of the San Fernando Valley. Valencia Build: Construction is expected to finish by May on the $11 million new headquarters of Mechanix Wear, a maker of industrial gloves. The structure on five acres at 28525 Witherspoon Parkway will include 20,000 square feet of office space. Sylmar-based Sheridan Ebbert Real Estate Development is the developer. The company is currently based on Anza Drive. Kudos: The city’s Transit Maintenance Facility has earned top honors for its eco-friendly design. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the facility a leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold rating for its use of unconventional building techniques, including straw-bale construction and on-site storm water collection and treatment. Completed in May, the $20 million facility in the Rye Canyon Industrial Park includes a 22,000-square-foot-administration building and 25,000-square-foot maintenance center to service the city’s fleet of compressed natural gas vehicles. Sweat: A new women-only fitness and health center had a grand opening Jan. 4. Liberty Fitness Women’s Health Club opened at 28132 Newhall Ranch Road. The facility offers fitness equipment and nutritional services and is geared for women. It is the first Northern Los Angeles County location for the Texas-based company, which has more than 60 gyms across the country. CONEJO VALLEY Camarillo Rose by Any Other: Spire Equity has changed its name to GroundWork Equity to better reflect the company’s focus. GroundWork specializes in early stage technology companies, providing strategic planning and execution services and access to investment capital. The firm was formed last year. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Burbank Grant: We Care For Youth, Inc., a not for profit providing leadership and employment training for high school students, received a $7,500 grant from AT & T; to purchase computer equipment for its retail store, Bliss Unlimited, located at the Burbank Town Center Mall. The new equipment will be used to improve the ability to develop products sold at the store, such as gift cards and to publish a book of student writing, said Jose Quintanar, a co-founder of the organization. “We are very grateful AT & T; was able to offer this to us,” Quintanar said. Calabasas Retire: Arlene E. Bernholtz has stepped down as marketing director of the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce. She will be retiring after 13 years at the end of January. A search for her replacement is underway. Chatsworth Flowers: The National Notary Association walked away from the 118th annual Rose Parade with a special honor. The association, which represents 4.5 million notaries across the country, was awarded the Fantasy Trophy for its themed float, “Signed, Sealed and Delivered.” The 35-foot tall, 55-foot long float depicted a family of squirrels moving in their new home as a “notary” rabbit made sure the correct paperwork was in order and notarized. The award recognizes floats with the most remarkable display of fantasy and imagination. The float is the association’s first entry in the parade. It is part of a year-long celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. North Hollywood Delivery: The new AT & T; Yellow Pages directory serving the east San Fernando Valley is now being delivered. About 430,000 copies of the book will serve residences, businesses and government offices. Gracing the cover of the new directory is a photo of the Metro Orange Line. A version of the directory with a bilingual section will be delivered to neighborhoods with a heavy Hispanic population. It is estimated that Yellow Pages directories serving the east San Fernando Valley are referenced about 95,000 times each day. Studio City Finally: The long-anticipated Asian fusion restaurant Zen Chi has finally opened after more than two years of construction. The eatery, at 11334 Moorpark St. just east of Tujunga Avenue, is the brainchild of Nick Cavanaugh, a Seattle restaurateur who moved to Los Angeles to open his first eatery. Cavanaugh closed on the property, formerly occupied by Studio Bar-BQ, in November 2004 and spent the next 25 months gutting and rebuilding it, he said. “I worked every day for two years,” Cavanaugh said. “I did 80 percent of the work myself. It takes a long time to build.” It opened last month, and Cavanaugh said business is building, especially after a lunch menu was introduced Jan. 8. “Business is moving along,” he said. “Moving along as it should.” Van Nuys Posters: The Mid-Valley Chamber of Commerce has employer poster sets available for businesses to stay in compliance with posting requirements. Several new laws on the books require changes to state and federal employer notices this year and businesses with out-of-date employer posters can be subject to fines for not having current posters displayed. Updated for 2007, this 28-by-53 poster contains all current state and federal required notices on one door-size sheet. Also included is a step-by-step checklist to make sure your business and branch offices display the poster correctly. Poster sets are available in English and Spanish. To order call (818) 989-0300 or visit www.chamberstore.com.

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