“These messages are clearly hateful, but make no mistake about it, they are messages of intimidation,” Weiss said during an afternoon news conference outside his Ventura Boulevard office. “Well, please make no mistake, I will not be intimidated. My office and my staff will not be intimidated.” Weiss, who is Jewish, said he was at a meeting at the Israeli Consulate when he got a call from Police Chief William Bratton about the incident. The Anti-Defamation League and Rabbi Abraham Cooper with the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the vandalism. “It’s an attack not only on the councilman but also something that hits survivors here in the Valley and the Jewish community as a whole,” Cooper said. SHERMAN OAKS – In an incident being investigated as a hate crime, the local office of Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss was plastered early Thursday with images of swastikas and anti-Semitic rantings. LAPD Capt. Jim Miller said the office was vacant at the time of the incident and police were searching for a suspect who had contacted Weiss’ office in recent days. Miller said a witness reported seeing someone pasting three letter-size sheets of paper emblazoned with swastikas to the glass door of Weiss’ office about 6 a.m. Two other computer printouts contained anti-Semitic statements, including references to “mein fuhrer” and “die office official of Natziesque Extraordinaire.” Police said the perpetrator could be prosecuted for felony vandalism with an enhancement for a hate crime. Weiss said his office has not been targeted like this before. “In this line of work, you do encounter irate people every once in a while, but nothing that looks like this,” he said. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was in Mexico on a trade mission, also issued a statement. “The signs found at council member Jack Weiss’ office should serve as a tragic reminder that racism, prejudice and intolerance still exist in our city,” he said. “These deplorable acts threaten the values of liberty, justice and equality that define our society.” email@example.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
SOUTH EL MONTE – It took an Eagle Scout three days to dig out a buried pond at the Whittier Narrows Nature Center, but already it has become a watering hole for a variety of critters. El Monte High School senior Glen Maldonado decided to rehabilitate the pond, which had become choked with plants and debris over the years, as his Eagle Scout project. Three years ago it was filled in with rocks, bricks and mulch to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and spreading the West Nile virus. The pond has now been stocked with mosquito fish to eat mosquito larvae, said Nature Center superintendent Colleen Mackay. Mackay said when more vegetation is planted, the added cover will attract more birds. “It’s really a special place,” she said. Building a crescent-shaped wooden railing around the pond will be the next project for another Eagle Scout. Maldonado, who plans to go to Cal State Los Angeles in the fall, said he became interested in civil engineering after playing The Sims, a computer game in which players create characters and design entire cities. “You build houses, buildings, bridges,” he said. “I started learning more about that type of career.” firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Maldonado said one reason he worked on the pond was that it’s next to to a handicapped-accessible concrete trail. “I chose that spot because all the seniors who go there walk by on the cement trail, so they could have some scenery,” said Maldonado, who plans to become a civil engineer. His family often comes to Whittier Narrows to walk and relax, he said. Maldonado and a group of volunteers pulled out 9-foot-high thistles, mulefat and mustard plants overgrowing the pond, and shoveled out the rocks and dirt. Within an hour one warm recent morning, observers spotted several bird species: a house wren, California towhee, house finch, hummingbird, mockingbird, black phoebe, lesser goldfinch, phainopepla and a woodpecker. “Out of nowhere, things have starting coming out towards the water,” Mackay said.