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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

You can check out but you can never leave...


My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mail Thieves Running Loose in Los Feliz (L.A.) & LAPD won't handle it? WTF?!

To view the ABC7 Story about Hollywood Mail Theft Yesterday:

The madness continues. Thieves are running loose around L.A. scooping up mail and packages using skeleton postal keys that open doors and banks of mailboxes in apartment buildings. They robbed our building's bank of mailboxes at 3:45 a.m. March 22. We have it on security tape. Now the manager tells me that he tried to give that tape to our police and make a Complaint, and guess what? They said it's not their jurisdiction. That it's a federal matter. Let USPS handle. Now I see online that ABC7 Eyewitness News, Melissa MacBride ran a story last night about the same thing happening in Hollywood, next door to us. Their manager got it on tape, ABC broadcast it and on top of that, THEIR LAPD in Hollywood says they are all over it. WTF?

Ever since this happened, I've been in touch with the Los Feliz Post Office Supervisor, Greg Anderson. We had communications last year when I had an altercation with our mail carrier and then had no mail for a week (coincidence?). A few days after we were robbed, I was walking on our street and found a postal box full of opened mail (the contents still in the envelopes) wedged into a couple low tree branches. I only looked at the top envelopes but the mail appeared to be for other streets in the Los Feliz area.

I carried the box back to my building, wrote a note explaining where I found it (in front of 1717 1/2 Winona Boulevard) with my name and contact info. I left the note on top of the mail in the box, and gave it to the manager, who said he'd give it to our mail carrier.

Yesterday, March 28, I was walking home on Winona and found a half-opened flat box. It appeared to have the contents still in it. A receipt was half sticking out of it with the intended recipient's name and contact info. I contacted Mr. Anderson and he said he would personally pick it up and take it to the recipient. I also contacted the recipient (who lives on an adjacent street) by email. Mr. Anderson kindly came by and took it personally. However, when I asked him if he knew about the box of mail I found, he said no. He thought maybe he had not come in to work on that day (might have been last Friday).

So I had to pause this blog entry to talk with our manager who just stopped by to discuss all this. He said that he gave the postal box of opened mail that I gave him to Rudy, our mail carrier, and Rudy said he'd give it to his supervisors, naming two people who were not Mr. Anderson (maybe because it's his day off?).

I took some time to do a little research this evening, and last August 33 California postal workers were indicted for mail fraud and theft.

Anderson told me that there's a "black market" online that sells postal master key copies and there's nothing that anyone can do to stop it, or very little, I guess.

I also stumbled upon a USPS free option that anyone with the right zip code can use, called "Informed Delivery." It's supposed to keep me informed of what mail was scanned for my address and apartment number, by sending me the scanned (I guess pdf?) copies of the front of the envelope or package. The scanning happens anyway, but using Informed Delivery will keep you informed of what you missed, if there is a theft.

None of this sits too well with me. I hate the idea of renting a private mailbox (for one thing, how can I trust THEM?), but there's this super nice older Armenian woman who runs a little shop in Los Feliz, and she charges $20/mo. with a mandatory 6 month advance payment to start. I don't even know if I'll be still in L.A. in 6 mos. or even in this neighborhood, but I am considering going with her service. Oh, and packages? They are $2.00 if she has to hold them for you.

Well, to paraphrase Lily Tomlin's Telephone Operator:

"We may be the only Post Office in town, but we SCREW everybody!"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

UCET Conference Presenter Colvard Learning Offers Free Trial Apps for Utah Schools

On Friday, March 17 at 8:45 a.m., Melinda Piña, Director of Implementation and Professional Development of the Los Angeles-based edtech publisher, Colvard Learning (CL), will take the podium at the annual Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) on the University of Utah campus to introduce the startup’s successful early-literacy interactive apps: “Pup’s Quest for Phonics®” and “Professor Pup’s Phoneme Farm®.”

Throughout the two-day conference, which begins Thursday, March 16, Piña and the CL team—which includes Robert Ketterer, CEO—will be on hand at the Colvard Learning booth to meet and greet UCET attendees and answer any questions.

“We are excited to offer all Utah School Districts the opportunity to try both of our early-literacy curricula on a free trial period through the end of this school year,” said Ketterer. “Over 30 years of studies show literacy education needs a breakthrough technology, and our blended curricula engages visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners by using cutting edge technology.”

“Pup’s Quest for Phonics®” features voice and handwriting recognition software and Colvard Learning’s patented “Touch Text to Sound”— that enables a set of letters to blend sounds into a word when a finger moves across them.

Six years ago, Michael Colvard, M.D.—a practicing eye surgeon who grew up in the rural South—teamed up with early-reading specialists, animators, songwriters and programmers to build “Professor Pup’s Phoneme Farm.®”

“We start by teaching kids to recognize the 44 individual sounds of English called ‘phonemes,’” said Colvard. “Then we teach them to associate these sounds with combinations of letters that make words, and that’s where the ‘phonics’ comes in.”
Colvard sees decoding as essential to the early-literacy process: “We’ve found the decoding approach is easily understood and effective. So kids don’t see English as a chaotic mess, but a code that can be mastered.”

For the past four years, the Colvard Learning programs have been successfully utilized in private and public schools. “Their lessons are lively and enjoyable,” said Catherine Carvalho, Principal of St. Bruno School in Whittier, Calif. “They eliminate distractions for the children because they are so engaging."

Dr. Colvard, who was named Super Doctor by “L.A. Magazine”, regularly takes leave from his Encino practice to treat African tribespeople who might otherwise go blind from cataracts. Now he sets his sights on helping children to read, no matter what their economic background.

"Studies show that many children from disadvantaged homes come to kindergarten with a 'word poverty,'" said Colvard. "For various reasons, many are not exposed to the same number of words as children from upper class homes, so they are behind the 8-ball when they start school."

Ketterer will be personally reaching out to Utah school superintendents and welcomes all inquiries from administrators, as well as teachers and parents: “We’re here to help.”

For more information: 

2017 Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference
March 16-17, 2017
University of Utah Campus
Salt Lake City, UT
Website: UCET Conference Website

Contact Colvard Learning:
E-Mail: info@colvardlearning.com
Website: Colvard Learning

#UCET #UtahEducaton #ColvardLearning #EdTech #Early Literacy

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