Aunt Bee's is 'Crushed' by Worchell Properties

'Infamous' Hollywood Developer Drops the Roof on Small AIDS Nonprofit



'We Feel Like We've Been Tied to the Railroad Tracks and the 'Orange

Blossom Special' is Barreling Down on Us'

- Miki Jackson, President, Aunt Bee's



Apr 20, 2001, 01:00 ET from Aunt Bee's

    LOS ANGELES, April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Aunt Bee's,
 which funds its services with a thrift store, is on the brink of closing after
 landlord and major developer, Larry Worchell, allegedly allowed the ceiling to
 collapse during a series of recent rain storms.  Worchell is a developer of
 the controversial "Costco" in Los Feliz and the recently failed "Glass Box"
 project at Hollywood and Orange.
     Following the ceiling collapse, a city inspector gave Worchell a deadline
 to fix the roof or face possible legal action only weeks ago.
     "Our sky really did fall.  If we don't recover some of these losses, and
 soon, it's all over for Aunt Bee's, and more importantly, all over for our
 help to clients.  We have tried to get Worchell to reimburse us for some of
 the losses, but he refuses and waves attorneys at us," said Miki Jackson,
 co founder and President of the 10 year old non profit.
     "It sounds like something out of an old movie, but right now we feel like
 we've been tied to the railroad tracks and the 'Orange Blossom Special' is
 barreling down on us.  Worchell raised the rent through the roof, then he let
 that roof collapse on us.  It's just too much to bear.  In a town where
 there's so much competition for the title, it's hard to distinguish yourself
 as a real 'Snidely Whiplash' of a landlord, but we have to hand it to him,
 he's managed," Jackson added.
     Worchell is no stranger to controversy.  His development of a Costco in
 Los Feliz on the old "Fransican" pottery factory site brought heated protests
 by neighbors.  The Los Angeles Independent covered Aunt Bee's protests of his
 initial attempts to prevent the AIDS agency from renting the Vine St. site
 some years earlier.
     Featured in coverage as the prime example of former Council Member Jackie
 Goldberg's breaking of her much publicized vow to refuse all developer
 contributions; Worchell was revealed to be the largest single contributor to
 her successful Assembly race.  He and a partner, were in the news again
 recently, when their "glass box" development at Hollywood Blvd. and Orange
 folded.  Currently, attempts by Worchell and Assembly Member Goldberg to block
 a pedestrian oriented overlay district at his still disputed "Costco"
 development has caused a commotion at City Hall and a renewal of community
 concern.
     Aunt Bee's was forced to flee to a new location at 7358 West Sunset Blvd.
 The small agency is struggling to survive there.  The large "flood" losses,
 crushing rent increases, debts from moving and the difficulties of getting
 established in a new location are proving overwhelming.
     "Unfortunately, the landlord at the new location changed his mind from the
 originally discussed plan and decided to divide the space in a way that made
 the front of the new location quite small.  Once people overcome their
 reluctance to come into a store they think is small, the universal response is
 'wow.'  It's huge, over 5000 sq. feet, with 2 story central ceilings and a big
 loft for the books and art.  We got very creative on no budget, with banners,
 vibrant colors and industrial style materials.  Everyone says we should run a
 salsa night club with this look," said Board of Director's Chair Bob
 Dallmeyer.
     "If anyone ever needed and deserved an 'angel' we certainly do now.  This
 project is unusual among AIDS assistance non-profits in that it neither seeks
 nor receives government funds.  It would be cruel irony indeed if its
 hardworking, self-supporting ethic provided the vulnerability by which the
 actions of others destroy it.  I am deeply saddened that the community may
 lose so vital and humane a project," stated co founder and Board of Directors'
 Vice Chair, Morris Kight.  Kight, founder of The Gay and Lesbian Center, as
 well as many other institutions in the Gay and Lesbian Community, has been
 instrumental to the agency he co-founded.
 
     Background
     Aunt Bee's was originally started to do laundry and house cleaning for
 homebound and bed bound People With AIDS.  After picking up and washing
 thousands of loads of laundry for L.A. PWAS the project had to give up that
 service because the new treatments changed the nature and funding of AIDS.
     In recognition of the changes the medications were bringing to PWAS lives,
 Aunt Bee's started "Project Return."  Project Return is dedicated to helping
 People With AIDS and other disabilities and "At Risk" populations to live as
 full a life as possible.  The project constructed it's "Incomplete Guide to
 Living With AIDS and Other Disabilities" guide.  The guide helps those who are
 disabled to navigate the labyrinth of the "system" in order to further their
 education, work and partake of other activities as much as possible, while
 retaining their necessary benefits to the greatest extent they are allowed.
     The agency has conducted an extensive advocacy program since its
 inception.  It is presently focusing on issues such as housing problems in the
 city and county and the continued spread of AIDS.  The thrift store is not
 only essential to the agency as the source of nearly all its funding, but also
 provides the basic goods for a unique program of giving away necessary goods
 to clients.
     The guide can be found at the web site: AIDS-projectreturn.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X38506324
 
 

SOURCE Aunt Bee's
    LOS ANGELES, April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Aunt Bee's,
 which funds its services with a thrift store, is on the brink of closing after
 landlord and major developer, Larry Worchell, allegedly allowed the ceiling to
 collapse during a series of recent rain storms.  Worchell is a developer of
 the controversial "Costco" in Los Feliz and the recently failed "Glass Box"
 project at Hollywood and Orange.
     Following the ceiling collapse, a city inspector gave Worchell a deadline
 to fix the roof or face possible legal action only weeks ago.
     "Our sky really did fall.  If we don't recover some of these losses, and
 soon, it's all over for Aunt Bee's, and more importantly, all over for our
 help to clients.  We have tried to get Worchell to reimburse us for some of
 the losses, but he refuses and waves attorneys at us," said Miki Jackson,
 co founder and President of the 10 year old non profit.
     "It sounds like something out of an old movie, but right now we feel like
 we've been tied to the railroad tracks and the 'Orange Blossom Special' is
 barreling down on us.  Worchell raised the rent through the roof, then he let
 that roof collapse on us.  It's just too much to bear.  In a town where
 there's so much competition for the title, it's hard to distinguish yourself
 as a real 'Snidely Whiplash' of a landlord, but we have to hand it to him,
 he's managed," Jackson added.
     Worchell is no stranger to controversy.  His development of a Costco in
 Los Feliz on the old "Fransican" pottery factory site brought heated protests
 by neighbors.  The Los Angeles Independent covered Aunt Bee's protests of his
 initial attempts to prevent the AIDS agency from renting the Vine St. site
 some years earlier.
     Featured in coverage as the prime example of former Council Member Jackie
 Goldberg's breaking of her much publicized vow to refuse all developer
 contributions; Worchell was revealed to be the largest single contributor to
 her successful Assembly race.  He and a partner, were in the news again
 recently, when their "glass box" development at Hollywood Blvd. and Orange
 folded.  Currently, attempts by Worchell and Assembly Member Goldberg to block
 a pedestrian oriented overlay district at his still disputed "Costco"
 development has caused a commotion at City Hall and a renewal of community
 concern.
     Aunt Bee's was forced to flee to a new location at 7358 West Sunset Blvd.
 The small agency is struggling to survive there.  The large "flood" losses,
 crushing rent increases, debts from moving and the difficulties of getting
 established in a new location are proving overwhelming.
     "Unfortunately, the landlord at the new location changed his mind from the
 originally discussed plan and decided to divide the space in a way that made
 the front of the new location quite small.  Once people overcome their
 reluctance to come into a store they think is small, the universal response is
 'wow.'  It's huge, over 5000 sq. feet, with 2 story central ceilings and a big
 loft for the books and art.  We got very creative on no budget, with banners,
 vibrant colors and industrial style materials.  Everyone says we should run a
 salsa night club with this look," said Board of Director's Chair Bob
 Dallmeyer.
     "If anyone ever needed and deserved an 'angel' we certainly do now.  This
 project is unusual among AIDS assistance non-profits in that it neither seeks
 nor receives government funds.  It would be cruel irony indeed if its
 hardworking, self-supporting ethic provided the vulnerability by which the
 actions of others destroy it.  I am deeply saddened that the community may
 lose so vital and humane a project," stated co founder and Board of Directors'
 Vice Chair, Morris Kight.  Kight, founder of The Gay and Lesbian Center, as
 well as many other institutions in the Gay and Lesbian Community, has been
 instrumental to the agency he co-founded.
 
     Background
     Aunt Bee's was originally started to do laundry and house cleaning for
 homebound and bed bound People With AIDS.  After picking up and washing
 thousands of loads of laundry for L.A. PWAS the project had to give up that
 service because the new treatments changed the nature and funding of AIDS.
     In recognition of the changes the medications were bringing to PWAS lives,
 Aunt Bee's started "Project Return."  Project Return is dedicated to helping
 People With AIDS and other disabilities and "At Risk" populations to live as
 full a life as possible.  The project constructed it's "Incomplete Guide to
 Living With AIDS and Other Disabilities" guide.  The guide helps those who are
 disabled to navigate the labyrinth of the "system" in order to further their
 education, work and partake of other activities as much as possible, while
 retaining their necessary benefits to the greatest extent they are allowed.
     The agency has conducted an extensive advocacy program since its
 inception.  It is presently focusing on issues such as housing problems in the
 city and county and the continued spread of AIDS.  The thrift store is not
 only essential to the agency as the source of nearly all its funding, but also
 provides the basic goods for a unique program of giving away necessary goods
 to clients.
     The guide can be found at the web site: AIDS-projectreturn.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X38506324
 
 SOURCE  Aunt Bee's