January 26, 2020 Your Source for Brentwood News

Brentwood’s Top Stories of 2019

From a devasting wildfire to a growing homelessness crisis, 2019 was at times a sobering year in the Brentwood news cycle. But the news was not all gloom in 2019: from the touching story of a local family to a nearly complete shelter for unhoused veterans, take a look back on the highs and lows of the past year in Brentwood.

Federal Court Grants U.S. Citizenship to Twin son of Brentwood Gay Couple

By Staff Writer

Originally published February 26, 2019
A federal judge in California ruled Thursday, Feb. 21 that a son of a gay married couple in Brentwood has been an American citizen since birth, despite only his twin brother receiving citizenship at birth in 2016.

Each boy was conceived with donor eggs and sperm samples from the two different fathers — one an American, the other an Israeli citizen — but born by the same surrogate mother minutes apart. The government had only granted citizenship to Aiden Dvash-Banks, who DNA tests showed was the biological son of Andrew, a U.S. citizen. Ethan was conceived from the sperm of Elad, an Israeli citizen. Full article here.

Five Historic VA Buildings to be Restored

By Kai McNamee 

Originally published June 13, 2019
Five early 20th century buildings on the West Los Angeles VA Campus will soon be getting some love.  

With planning beginning as early as 2015, the 1887 Fund, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization, has been working to restore five historic buildings on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ West Los Angeles campus. The buildings scheduled for renovation, including the famed Wadsworth Chapel, will be restored as close as possible to their original condition while being repurposed for 21st-century use. The project is part of the VA’s broader efforts to revitalize the campus and offer permanent housing to L.A. veterans, but land misuse and delays in construction have set the project back several years. Full article here.

Brentwood’s Beloved Trees Face Uncertain Future

By Kai McNamee

Suffering neglect and disease, Brentwood’s coral trees face an uncertain future.

On July 10, Brentwood Community Council held a meeting to discuss the fate of the San Vicente Corridor’s Coral trees. The trees, towering above traffic from the boulevard’s median, have suffered from neglect, unfavorable weather and disease infestation. Full article here.

Solar Powered Emergency Wifi for Mandeville Canyon

By Sam Catanzaro

Originally published September 4, 2019
In a big win for public safety in Brentwood as fire season approaches, the City of Los Angeles’s Innovation and Performance Commission voted in favor of a Solar Powered Emergency Wifi network pilot program that will allow the City’s entire emergency response infrastructure — including Shake LA and Notify LA — to communicate with residents via wifi during a power outage. Full article here.

Brentwood Resident’s Heirloom Ring Survives Getty Fire

By Keldine Hull

Originally published November 11, 2019
As Brentwood residents cope with the aftermath of the Getty Fire, an unlikely discovery offers a glimmer of hope to one resident in particular: an heirloom ring that survived both the 1961 Bel Air Fire and the recent Getty Fire.

Patty Shales lost everything, including her home, in the fire until an assistant chief found a jewelry box on the ground outside where Shales’ home once stood. Inside the box was Shales’ mother’s wedding ring, virtually untouched. Shales’ mother passed away last November. Full article here.

Billionaire Wants to Build Think Tank in High-Risk Fire Zone

By Sam Catanzaro

Originally published November 14, 2019
Opponents of a proposal to construct a campus for a think tank in the hills of Brentwood argue it would establish a dangerous precedent for commercial development in a high-risk fire zone. Backers, however, contend the campus is more environmentally friendly than many large mansions that may otherwise be constructed. Full article here.

Brentwood is Most Expensive Place to Buy Home in LA

By Sam Catanzaro

Originally published November 22, 2019
It is no secret that real estate in Brentwood is pricey and according to a recent survey Brentwood’s 90049 zip code is the most expensive place to buy a home in Los Angeles and one of the top-50 most expensive places to buy a home in the United States.

On Monday, November 18 PropertyShark released a survey of the 100 priciest zip codes in the United States. Los Angeles County contained 21 zip codes to make the top-100. According to the list, Brentwood’s 90049 zip code has a median home sale price of $2.08 million. Full article here.

Brentwood Homeowners File Suit Against LADWP for Getty Fire

By Sam Catanzaro

Originally published December 6, 2019
Brentwood homeowners who suffered losses in the Getty Fire are taking legal action against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), seeking monetary damages for the fire, which burned more than 700 acres for over a week in late October. Full article here.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case on Law Punisning Homeless Sleeping in Public Places

By Sam Catanzaro

The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a case surrounding a Boise, Idaho law that would have made it illegal to sleep in public places, a setback for many West Coast cities grappling with a growing homelessness crisis.

The decision, issued by the court without comment Monday, leaves in place earlier rulings by the 9th Circuit appeals court, in the case Martin v. Boise, that homeless persons cannot be punished for sleeping outside on public property in the absence of adequate alternatives. The ruling is binding in the 9th Circuit, covering nine states including California, a state home to 1/4 of the nation’s homeless population. Full article here.

Brentwood Bridge Housing Construction Goes Vertical

By Sam Catanzaro

A membrane structure that will house up to 100 veterans at the West Los Angeles VA Campus was recently erected Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced.

Once complete, the site will include two 40’ x 120’ tension membrane structures and modular trailers, which will be located within the VA campus near existing buildings and services. Full article here.

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