Articles written by David W. Myers


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  • Real Estate Corner

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Nov 8, 2018

    Some colleges and universities consider a parent’s home-equity when doling out loans or grants for incoming students, but others don’t even ask. DEAR DAVE: Our son is a senior in high school and plans to go to college next fall. We don’t earn a lot of money, but our home is worth about $170,000 more than we paid for it five years ago. Will the equity that we have in our home affect his ability to get financial aid? ANSWER: It largely depends on which college or university that your son plans...

  • 'Hot Wheels' Collector Tracks Back to Westside

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 25, 2018

    Larry Webb, who grew up in Culver City during the 1960s and '70s before fleeing to picturesque Northwest Oregon, finally came back to L.A.'s Westside this month. He didn't return to stroll our local beaches: The waters near his family's current home in Oregon's capitol of Salem are just as pretty and a whole lot cleaner. He didn't come back here for the air, either, because it's nicer to enjoy the Northwest's fresh breezes rather than choking on L.A.'s smog. And, he certainly didn't return for...

  • Updates on some Infamous Haunted Properties

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 25, 2018

    DEAR DAVE: Is the house that was the setting for “The Amityville Horror” movie still standing? ANSWER: Yes, the three-story Dutch Colonial is still standing in the village of Amityville in the southern part of New York’s Long Island. The Amityville House, of course, is known as the home where 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr. went on his renowned killing spree in 1974 after claiming he was urged to commit the murders of his six family members by disembodied voices. The really strange stuff, thoug...

  • Limits on Flags at Home Raise Legal Issues

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 18, 2018

    DEAR DAVE: I live in Orange County but read your newspaper on the internet. I put a large American flag on my front-lawn earlier this month to mark Columbus Day but was soon issued a citation from our local Sherriff’s Department that ordered me to remove it because my flag “exceeds local limits.” Isn’t that a violation of my Constitutional Rights of “Freedom of Speech”? ANSWER: Maybe yes, but maybe no. You can probably fly your U.S flag, as I do, on your front lawn or on a metal holder that...

  • AVOID THESE 'TOP 10 BUYER TURNOFFS'

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 11, 2018

    Homeowners who want to sell quickly and for top-dollar should first clean up their house, a survey says. Other big turnoffs include uncontrolled animals and odors from last night’s dinner. DEAR DAVE: We have been looking to buy our first home. Some of these homes are pig sties! We’ve been to open houses that had dirty dishes in the sink, dogs running loose inside the home and even a pile of soiled baby diapers. If these homeowners really want to sell, they should “clean up” their act! ANSWER:...

  • Culver Icon Frank Russell Parker Passes at 79

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 11, 2018

    Frank Russell Parker, a longtime Culver City resident whose heartfelt version of the National Anthem stirred the hearts of thousands of attendees at Culver's Fourth of July fireworks show over the years, has passed away from complications of Parkinson's Disease and dementia in Vacaville. He was 79. Though an accomplished singer, Mr. Parker was even better-known as a fine actor. His most famous role was that of "Grandpa Shawn Brady" in the daily soap opera Days of Our Lives, on which he appeared...

  • Big Rush for Cannabis Retail Permits

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 4, 2018

    Twenty-three applicants filed to obtain one of three coveted permits that Culver City officials will issue to open the first retail cannabis-selling storefronts within City boundaries. The deadline to file completed application packages was Thursday, Sept. 27. Though applying to get one of the three cannabis permits could be a lucrative proposition, it's also a risky one. The initial application process alone cost each applicant up to $20,000 or more to pay for Department of Justice background c...

  • Tips for Owners with Loved One Afflicted by Dementia

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 4, 2018

    Real Estate Corner Tips for Owners with Loved One Afflicted by Dementia By David W. Myers DEAR DAVE: I quit my full-time office job last year and started working from home so I could care for my mom, who has been diagnosed with dementia. Everything had mostly gone OK until recently, when I started to find her walking around the house, garage or even lawn while I was working in my home-office and couldn’t hear her get up from her bed or chair. What can I do? I am afraid that she might get hurt, b...

  • Renovated Robert Frost Opens to Huge Crowd

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Oct 4, 2018

    More than 200 Culverites and others attended a gala event Saturday to celebrate the opening of the lavishly remodeled Robert Frost Auditorium, a multimillion-dollar project that has turned the venerable but aging icon on the Culver High campus into a state-of-the-art performance center. Visitors dined on appetizers and sipped champagne outside the 35-year-old building on Elenda Street as they anxiously waited to get their first glimpse of the remodeled interior. They weren't disappointed. The...

  • City Cuts Tax Deal with Airbnb

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 27, 2018

    Who Use Nearly 75 local residents showed up last week to discuss possible new regulations on short-term rentals with City officials. Most of the attendees said they were already renting out all or part of their homes or other property, most of them to vacationers who stays for only a few days or weeks. Most also sang the praises about companies such as Airbnb but also addressed some of the concerns that many homeowners have raised about the impact short-term rentals have on their neighborhoods....

  • Culver Weighs Regulations on Short-Term Rentals

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 20, 2018

    Culver City officials and local residents were gathering at press time this week to begin formulating a plan to regulate short- term vacation rentals in Culver, fresh on the heels of a study by a consumer watchdog group's warning that allowing more of them through fast-growing companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway could exacerbate the community's already chronic shortage of affordable housing. Airbnb WATCH, the consumer group that also promotes affordable housing, released a report last week...

  • Culver Weighs Regs on Short-Term Rentals

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 20, 2018

    Culver City officials and local residents were gathering at press time this week to begin formulating a plan to regulate short- term vacation rentals in Culver, fresh on the heels of a study by a consumer watchdog group's warning that allowing more of them through fast-growing companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway could exacerbate the community's already chronic shortage of affordable housing. Airbnb WATCH, the consumer group that also promotes affordable housing, released a report last week...

  • Homeowners, New Buyers should Double-Check Insurance

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 20, 2018

    DEAR DAVE: We received a letter from the company that provides our homeowners insurance policy, urging us to upgrade our current “actual cash value” coverage to something called “replacement cost” coverage. The letter doesn’t make much sense, and our insurance broker hasn’t returned the three calls that we have made to explain the difference. Can you? ANSWER: Sure. But first, you should seriously consider looking for a new agent. If he or she won’t return repeated telephone calls to answer a b...

  • Emblem Club Holds Fashion Show

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 20, 2018

    Nearly 75 members of the Culver City Emblem Club and their friends attended the organization's annual charity fundraising fashion show and lunch this week at the local Elks Lodge, dining on gourmet food and then previewing the dresses, pants, business attire and accessories that promise to be among the trend-setting styles this fall and winter. Seven models, most of them Emblem members, strutted through the crowd to show-off the latest designs. The clothes were provided by dressbarn (www.dressba...

  • City Hikes Efforts to Curb Coyote Invasion

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 20, 2018

    Culver officials are ramping up their efforts to curb the City's growing problems with coyotes roaming local neighborhoods, including the establishment of a "dedicated coyote hotline" to report sightings or incidents and the placement of permanent warning signs in public parks. "We documented 50 deaths of animals where there were still enough of the remains so that we could identify them," said Gelli Harris of the group Save Our Pets. Though coyote sightings have been reported across the City,...

  • Time to get Ready for Colder Months Ahead

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Sep 13, 2018

    With Autumn almost here, homeowners should act now to make sure that their property is ready to “weather” the rain that (hopefully) lies soon ahead. DEAR DAVE: I recently noticed that the paint is blistering on one of my home’s exterior walls. What causes this? ANSWER: Blistering or bubbling is triggered when the paint’s adhesive qualities begin to deteriorate, causing the paint to separate from the wood or other type of construction material that it’s covering. I’m glad that you found the b...

  • Residents Asked to Increase Another Sales Tax Hike

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 30, 2018

    Culver City officials have set Oct. 22 as the deadline to register to vote in the crucial Culver special election on Nov. 6 that could result in higher local sales taxes and, possibly, another major change in the City’s 100-year-old Charter. Properly-registered Culver voters will be asked to vote on two key measures. The proposed sales-tax increase that will be on the November ballot is part of the City’s Measure C. It would hike the local rate to 10.25 percent from the current 10 percent, wit...

  • Real Estate Corner

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 30, 2018

    DEAR DAVE: My husband and I are getting divorced. He has a good job and wants to keep our house, so he says that he’ll make all of the future mortgage payments if I agree to sign a “quitclaim deed” that would give my half-interest in the home to him. This seems OK to me, but what do you think? ANSWER: I don’t know how much you trust your husband, nor the future of his job that would be needed to make the payments on the house. For legal purposes, though, the lender on the home that you and your...

  • Drones Heading to Culver City

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 30, 2018

    Dozens of Culver City residents showed-up recently at the Seniors Center to learn more about the Culver City Police Department's controversial plan to launch a fleet of "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles." More simply put, drones. The City Council approved a plan earlier this year to purchase a handful of drones. They are about the size of a small microwave oven and can be operated by a police officer sitting at a desk, rather than walking the streets or driving a patrol car Police say that the drones...

  • Details Emerge of Shooting Death in Culver

    David W. Myers, Managing Edito|Aug 23, 2018

    Law-enforcement officials have identified the knife-wielding man that was shot and killed last week in Culver City by officers as Michael Harrison, age 30. The shooting occurred shortly before 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, in the 4100 block of Mentone Avenue. Deputy Marvin Crowder of the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department confirmed that Harrison was pronounced dead later that day at a hospital. The bizarre incident apparently began a few blocks away from the deadly shooting. Culver Police...

  • 'COMFORT LETTER' MAY SMOOTH LOAN PROCESS

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 23, 2018

    DEAR DAVE: My employer was nice enough to give me a full year off of work when my husband and I had our first baby in April of last year. Now I am back at work and we want to buy our first home, but the bank is giving us a hard time because I was out of the workforce for an entire year. I explained to the loan officer the reason for my absence, but he won’t approve the mortgage unless I put the whole thing in writing and also obtain a letter documenting my situation from my supervisor. Is this t...

  • State has Limits on Small Claims Lawsuits

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 9, 2018

    DEAR DAVE: How much can I sue a real estate contractor or other person for in Small Claims Court? ANSWER: Limits vary from one state to the next. In California, it’s generally capped at $10,000 but there are lots of technicalities and exceptions. For example, the $10,000-limit generally applies—but only if you have not filed a suit of more than $2,500 more than twice a year. Additional limitations are placed on government entities and businesses that want to sue a homeowner or other ind...

  • 'National Night Out' Draws More than 1,000 Visitors

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 9, 2018

    More than 1,000 Culver City residents and other Westsiders joined dozens of local police officers and firefighters this week to celebrate "National Night Out," the annual countrywide event that's geared toward making communities safer and strengthening the bond between the public and law-enforcement agencies. Visitors at the free event at Veterans Memorial Park perused dozens of community booths, chatted with police officers and watched demonstrations that included an impressive showing of the C...

  • 'Birdwatchers' Flock to See Demo of New Scooters

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Aug 2, 2018

    Dozens of Culver City residents and other Westsiders flocked to The City's main transportation facility on Jefferson Boulevard this week to learn more about Bird, the rent-a-scooter company that's getting raves from many Culverites but derided by others. Importantly, City officials also clarified the rules for those who can legally ride the popular scooters and those who cannot. As previously reported by the Observer, Santa Monica-based Bird Inc. is the first company to participate in Culver's...

  • Culver Police May Get Rid of its 'Boneyard'

    David W. Myers, Managing Editor|Jul 26, 2018

    By David W. Myers Managing Editor After weeks of debate, the Culver City Council has approved the Police Department's request to spend up to $650,000 to outfit its Duquesne Avenue headquarters with some new office furniture and to fix some of its dilapidated old ones. The Council's unanimous vote seemed to be swayed by a slide-show presented by a Police spokesman. The pictures showed office chairs that were missing a leg or arm, computer and telephone power cords strewn about because there was...

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