Valley Residents Snubbed Again For North Hills residents, it was the ultimate snub. After waiting 90 minutes to testify at a Los Angeles city planning commission meeting last month, the residents were informed that the gathering was cancelled because only two of the five commissioners bothered to show up. The no-shows included Commissioners Nicholas Stonnington, Anthony Zamora and Marna Schnabel. Stonnington, it turned out, was on vacation and had permission to be absent. As for the others, Zamora was sick, but hadn’t bothered to tell any of his colleagues. And Schnabel, who had been sent a notice about the meeting, just failed to show up, according to one commissioner. Schnabel did not return phone calls for comment on the matter. When it was clear that there wouldn’t be a quorum, the meeting was rescheduled. Valley residents were at the meeting to oppose a proposed condominium complex and they were enraged. Homeowners said the actions of the inconsiderate commissioners once again add fuel to arguments that Valley concerns are being ignored. “It was very depressing,” said Sal del Valle, a North Hills resident who attended the meeting. “It is just one more reason why we need to separate.” Wolverine to the Rescue The Wolverine, a character in the Marvel Comics series, usually spends his time battling evil mutants. But on a recent afternoon he literally came to the rescue of some hungry diners at Marvel Mania, a new restaurant at Universal CityWalk that combines dining with a parade of live “superheroes” from the comic book world who stroll around the restaurant and talk to diners. Here’s what happened: the Wolverine came running up to a waitress who had just finished taking an order and, with urgency in his voice, said, “Excuse me, is that your table over there with the four people?” “Yes,” the waitress answered. “Well, you should get over there,” the Wolverine warned. “They say they’ve been waiting for 20 minutes to order.” Thanks to the King If not for a royal decree by the King of Thailand, there might be one less furniture store in the San Fernando Valley. For more than 30 years, Joe and Nora Werner had a furniture store in West Los Angeles called The Rosewood Place Inc. because it specialized in importing items made of rosewood. But in 1992, the two were forced out of the business by a moratorium the King had placed on cutting down rosewood trees in Thailand, where the wood for their furniture was grown. Unable to continue importing rosewood furniture, the Werners decided to refocus their business. They switched to importing furniture made of teak wood, which is grown in Burma and, along with that change, they decided to move their West L.A. store to Chatsworth, closer to their Woodland Hills home. “The king put us out of business,” said Joe Werner, who owns the 33-year-old company with his wife Nora. “But it worked out well because we have a new business and we don’t have to fight the freeway traffic any more.” An American Dream The honoree at the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s Robert E. Gibson Corporate Award for excellence was the Department of Water and Power. But the featured speaker at the gala dinner, California Assembly Speaker Antonio R. Villaraigosa, D-Los Angeles, had little to say about the agency, which is undergoing a painful restructuring. Instead, Villaraigosa gave a heartfelt nod to his own version of the American dream in a rambling speech that began with the importance of politeness and ended with his personal pledge to make a difference. In between, Villaraigosa managed to remind the group assembled that he had been raised by a single mother and kicked out of college before he landed in government. “No place else could a guy like me get elected,” he said.