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Operation Clean Sweep – Week 29‏ Results

Saturday’s Clean Sweep along Devonshire Street can only be described as Educational and inspiring for the young and seasoned volunteers. This weekend was a great opportunity for the younger generation to absorb the teaching of the seasoned veterans. At one end of the project we had our Teacher/Engineer Ski working with one of our two star performing helpers (Sean & Malik) cleaning up the flood control entrance along the south side of Devonshire Street east of Melvin. Ski, his little helper Sean and his Mother Kathleen did a fantastic job removing all the junk and debris littering the flood control entrance. Their efforts were responsible for turning an eye sore into a spotless entrance that we were proud of. At the other end of the project we were honored to have the presence of Juativa and her son Malik sweeping and disposing all the debris on the sidewalks and gutters from Melvin to Tunney Ave. Their efforts were fast paced and furious leaving no speck of dirt to be found and transformed dirty weed infested sidewalks and gutters into immaculate paths of travel. These young individuals are part of our raising stars that will carry our legacy into the future.

Saturday’s efforts started off with Newbie Craig Byers Shucking shooters from the base of all the pine trees from Melvin all the way to Tampa Ave single handed. Watch out Edward scissor hands Byers is taking the lead. Northridge Rocks Teri Grossmen, Mrs. Bunion Marlene Wengler, and Delicate Glen Wilson were busy trimming up all the low hanging branches along Devonshire to ensure clear headway for those taller forks. While along Corbin we had Get it Done Yesterday Chris Williams & BSpice Johnson (minus her side kick Sammy J) packing mountains of dead leaves, branches, and debris into bag after bag of trash leaving Corbin just south of Devonshire one thousand percent cleaner and brighter. The Incredible Hulk Craig Michayluk and Dick the Donut Man Rippley both turned in an impressive showing carting close to 100 bags of trash into one staging area that grew the length of a football field. Our Energizer Bunny Sumeko Musasa maintained her going, going, going reputation along with our Ryobi Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw touting JoAnn Phillips in cleaning up the junipers east of Tunney Ave where years of debris was removed and disposed of. Tending to the big and tough to get shooters along the base of the pine trees was our very own Rick Mervis who the Craftsman he is found the right combination of appearance and style in trimming the pine trees in style and grace. Our Forever Young Martha Wilson put in an impressive showing sweeping sidewalks and gutters while son Robert tended to stock piling the large number of trash bags stacking up along Devonshire Street. Rounding out the team was Paul Bunion (Ron Wengler) who after rebuilding all our equipment placed the finishing touches on Devonshire and Corbin with his mean blasting leaf blowing machine leaving no morsel of dirt to be found.

This weekend thrusted us into the world of graffiti like we never encountered before. The bus benches, sidewalks, traffic light cabinets all exhibited the marks of taggers which is one of our biggest concerns. These senseless acts of vandalism are proving extremely challenging in attempting to remove. If anyone has the tried and true graffiti remover please forward us the name of the product or products so we can remove these unsightly appearances from our streets.

With the help of our newcomers, the young and inspiring and the dedicated regular volunteers that are stepping up and joining Operation Clean Sweep we are making our best attempt to meet the challenges facing our community while trying to stem the tide of blighted streets of Northridge. These volunteers are demonstrating that giving back to your community is fun, promotes unity and pride of ownership while also building new and existing friendships. These efforts exhibit a community coming together to achieve a shared goal of having a cleaner, greener and safer community where we can live, work, learn and play.

A special thank you to those unknown individuals that were responsible for cleaning up the east side of Wilbur north of Chatsworth and along Rinaldi. And for those forks responsible for cutting the grass along Tampa Avenue. These acts of kindness are commendable and reflect the pride of ownership that we take within our neighborhoods that make this city great.

A thank you to Jamie and Sherry Ramstead for their efforts to clean up the east side of Wilbur Street between Nordhoff and Plummer.

A thank you to the retirement volunteer group on Thursday lead by JoAnn Phillips the hardworking volunteers were amazing as usual. Everyone worked so hard, and now Lassen Street looks fantastic from Wilbur to Vanalden on both sides!   We were spread out all over the place.  Newcomer Jerry Sitko whom I’ve known since our kids were on Stingrays Swim Team together, helped me paint the two rusted trash cans on Lassen just east of Vanalden, now they are bright and white.  Jerry, thank you for joining us. Upon completing the painting project, Jerry and I joined Patti, Sumeko and the 3 Wilsons pruning 40-year old overgrown shrubs on the south side of Lassen while Ski, Ron, and Teri completed work on the north side pruning overgrown vegetation, sweeping, etc..   Ron put the finishing touch on the project with the leaf blower.  Lassen has never looked so good.  Yeah team!!!

Today was NWNC’s first painting project and it went very well.  I bought white paint made for metal, so keep your eyes open for ugly rusted trash cans as we spruce up Northridge.  These trash cans were not attached to the sidewalk so we moved them to little Lassen median for painting and drying.  NWNC, please buy disposable sponge brushes and inexpensive regular brushes — or ask LA City to give us these items.

See how you can become involved in helping to improve your neighborhood by going to our web site NorthridgeWest.org for all upcoming events. Thank you

Tom Johnson

Northridge West Neighborhood Council

PS: Frank Estrada of Safety 101 will be offering a great CPR and First Aid Class on Saturday, February 5th at the Flyaway Bus Terminal on the 2nd Floor in the Community Meeting Room.  Please see the attached flyer.  Frank is a great teacher, you’ll learn to save lives in many kinds of emergencies, and have a lot of fun in the process.  Be Ready — Sign up now — Go and enjoy! TJ

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