Hollywood will soon get a needed scrubbing as an army of volunteers sets out to sweep, clean and paint about 40 streets in the area.
City Councilman Michael Woo has gathered Hollywood businessmen, community groups and residents for the three-weekend cleanup project. One hundred volunteers will move from block to block sweeping sidewalks and gutters, bagging trash and covering over graffiti.
A city dump truck will cart away refuse, and street-sweeping trucks will wash many of the avenues.
"The whole idea is to try to get some kind of awareness and try to get rid of the filth," said Arland (Buzz) Johnson, a Hollywood restaurant owner who has been active in planning the cleanup. "There are a lot of people here who are enthusiastic and want to do something."
The cleanup, dubbed "Give Hollywood a Birthday Bath," will take place Saturday and Oct. 4 and 10. Workers will canvass one square mile of central Hollywood, from La Brea Avenue in the west to Western Avenue in the east, and north to south from Franklin Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard.
The cleaning will bring some inconvenience to shoppers and residents. Temporary "no parking" signs will be posted on streets that run north and south.
On Saturday, streets from Cherokee Avenue to Gower Street will be closed to parking. On Oct. 4, streets from La Brea Avenue to Cherokee will be posted, and on Oct. 10 Gower Street to Western Avenue will be marked.
Any cars parked in the temporary no-parking spaces will be towed, said Bill Chandler, a spokesman for Woo.
"We expect there will be people whose feathers get ruffled as a result of the restricted parking, but we have to do it to get the street-sweeping trucks in and out of those streets," Woo said.
Streets that run east and west--like Hollywood and Sunset boulevards--are more regularly cleaned by the city and will not get special sweeping.
Woo said he organized the birthday bath after a number of residents and businessmen in the community expressed interest in policing their town.
"There was a lot of hoopla earlier this year about the 100th birthday of Hollywood," Woo said. "We came up with the idea that it was time to give the area a bath."
The project is intended to inspire merchants to renovate and maintain their storefronts, Chandler said. And, he said, businesses have responded enthusiastically.
A Hollywood fried-chicken stand and a major developer in the area donated 400 T-shirts for volunteers and two hardware stores offered paint trays and rollers. Many other businessmen pledged to take up brooms, rakes and shovels, Chandler said.
"If everyone sees Hollywood as a trash bin, that is the way it will stay," said Dr. Paul First, an eye surgeon who practices on Hollywood Boulevard and who will participate in the cleanup.
"We want to make this place better," First said.
The city has also kicked in with support. The Department of Water and Power printed posters to advertise the cleanup, and RTD buses will display the posters on bus lines running through Hollywood.
Each City Council district receives $10,000 a year for cleanup projects, and Woo is spending $5,000 of that for city trucks and drivers that will be used to help the volunteers.
Johnson and others working on the project are hoping for additional city offerings, such as more scheduled street sweepings and more trash cans on Hollywood Boulevard. They also say that cleaning must become a frequent activity on Hollywood's streets.
"If this is a one-shot deal, it's not going to do any good. Two weeks later we could be back to where we were before," Johnson said. "This has to be an ongoing project."
The birthday bath will begin at the Palace nightclub, 1735 Vine St., Saturday at 10 a.m.
Volunteers are welcome.
"I'll be out there with my broom," Woo said.