Calling All Kids
By Brentwood Beat by Jeff Hall | March 18, 2012
Bill Rosendahl and Charlie Horowitz
Today’s kids are pretty amazing.
The other day I attended the unveiling of the solar-powered sign that will now remind motorists on Sunset when they’re driving too fast (see story, page 10).
These signs represent the latest developments in the “Slow Down for Julia” movement that began two years ago when Julia Siegler, 13, was tragically killed by a car as she was trying to cross Sunset. She was trying to catch the bus that would take her to school.
Julia’s mom was there the other day, as was Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who did a wonderful job overseeing what can only be considered a bittersweet event.
But the real standouts were Brentwood resident Charlie Horowitz, 13, and Max Thoeny, from Santa Monica. These guys were friends and fellow students of Julia. Today they are still working to keep her memory alive.
Charlie, as part of a bar mitzvah project, raised $18,000 toward the purchase of the new electric lights. But it was clear from his humble remarks he isn’t seeking any personal glory in any of this; he just misses his good friend, Julia.
We will all benefit from the good works of Charlie and his friends. The Archer School for Girls has embraced the “Slow Down for Julia” campaign. We can honor these kids (and Julia) best by driving more carefully, on Sunset – and any other street.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Cameron Cohen, 14, also at Harvard-Westlake. He had a scare a few years ago when doctors thought he had cancer in his thighbone. It turned out to be benign, but a major surgery was still required to remove the tumor.
As a way of not thinking about the upcoming surgery, Cameron spent a lot of time on his computer. But he noticed other kids in the hospital weren’t so fortunate; they couldn’t afford the same gizmos Brentwood kids can.
So he invented an iPhone app called iSketch, and a big chunk of the proceeds generated now go toward purchasing devices for kids in cancer wards. The Brentwood News will do a big story on Cameron next month.
Last month, our “Teen Talk” columnist, Bella Nalle, wrote about an all-day conference held at Brentwood School, celebrating the power of young women to change the world. Lady Gaga made a surprise visit.
The younger kids at Brentwood Science Magnet School kept muralist David Legaspi pumped up while he worked on that project (see story, pages 14-15). The kids will help paint the next mural that’s planned.
The point is, today’s kids are amazing. They are talented, they do a lot to improve the planet – and they do it all very quietly. It’s difficult to imagine that, when this next generation grows up, they’ll pursue war, engage in silly partisanship, pollute the environment or scam one another out of their life savings.
For one thing, they will have their hands full solving the problems we will leave them; if our generation kept kicking the can down the road, this next generation won’t have that luxury. The sooner these guys take over, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
The Brentwood News has always enjoyed a good relationship with local kids, from junior high school through college. Every summer we get a good crop of interns who help us put out the paper, improve our website and do all the little things that otherwise might never get done.
If you know any kids out there who want to intern for us, I’d love to hear from them. Have them drop me a line at email@example.com.
This summer, in addition to the Brentwood News, I’ll be asking interns to help me with a separate project called “TheLatest.com,” a website all about “the latest.”
We would love to hear from kids who are smart about computers, design, video production, Facebook, Twitter – the whole shooting match.
Here’s to the kids; they are our future. Hang out with them – they’ll keep you young.
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