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Sunday, December 17, 2006

As The Woodshed Turns

We've reported here and here on the situation with Kulak's Woodshed a "performance venue" in North Hollywood that has allegedly run into zoning and other violations with the city and with their very prominent neighbor, former porn star Jeff Stryker AKA Charles Peyton.

The owner of the venue, Paul Kulak, has engaged the support of Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and has appealed to the artists and audiences who frequent the place to give him financial, moral and political support.

However one artist is speaking up and telling Kulak that his problems are of his own making and that he is attempting to use his supporters to bail him out of his current situation.

The Sister City has obtained that email to Kulak by musician Heather Waters. Waters' comments are insightful and give yet another perspective on the Woodshed issue.
From: Heather Waters
Subject: Re: New Woodshed Information
To: Paul Kulak

Hi Paul -

I've read your letters over the years and have been keeping up with the current state of things. I've also been chatting with Charles Peyton as well. I know the two of you have a very contemptuous relationship, but I've found him to be very articulate and polite. It's a shame that this whole situation couldn't have been worked out to everyone's benefit.

After considering both sides of the issue, I think there are too many unanswered questions regarding building repairs, soundproofing, how money is spent (as a member, I should know where MY money is going), why a 501 c 3 application was never filed, etc. Long before I ever knew about Charles, I wondered how a business could continue to pay rent, make necessary repairs, and pay musicians without a viable revenue stream. I'm still wondering.

Years ago when I first learned about your situation and the calls for donations went out... I have to admit, I was turned off. It is YOUR business after all. As such, it behooves you to have a viable business plan and be on top of these sorts of things. It shouldn't be up to the community, especially one made up of musicians who struggle as it is, to bail you out. If you were a nonprofit I would have an entirely different opinion, but that's not the case.

I have two very dear friends who have been operating a successfully listening room/music store outside of Chicago for over a decade. There were some very, very lean years, but they made it work and they never once asked the community for help. They adhered to building and safety codes. They even managed to compromise and come to a meeting of the minds with their grumpy neighbor who called the police regularly to complain about noise levels. In addition to manging this business, they're also raising 5 children. They are not wealthy people; in fact, quite the contrary. They are, however, resourceful, proactive and prepared. I bring this up, because like Kulak's they are an income generating business. They have employees, a handful of volunteers and they pay EVERY musician who plays there. They get a cut of ticket sales, but the artists still get paid. EVERY artist. I'm not talking about $50 throw-away gigs either.

To me, there is a huge disparity between what I've seen at Front Porch and what I'm seeing with The Woodshed. I don't see the dots connecting. I love music. I love that other people love it enough to want to open places like Kulak's and Front Porch and similar listening rooms. I don't think, however, that a love of music supersedes the law, respect for your neighbors, or having your shit together.
Forgive my bluntness, but if I'm going to help out, whether its with money or time spent writing letters, I want all the cards on the table. I have the distinct impression that the wool is being pulled over my eyes AND I don't like it.

I have nothing to gain by not lending my support. As a musician, I want as many places to play as possible. But I don't see how sticking by you when you continue to fail to hold up YOUR end of the bargain makes any sense.


Heather Waters


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow, when a patron (ex patron) saw the light and shared it, I had to investigate.

It is true, the rude Peyton site does show proof Wendy Greuel aided a criminal in continued violations of a court order not to operate (since 1/12/05).

The site claims Kulaks Woodshed operated 5 nights a week and Wendy Greuel did hold special meetings to allow this despite the Van Nuys criminal court orders and later she presented the variance to city council for approval "while Kulak and the woodshed" were on probation and a criminal court order not to operate.

Upon further investigation I was shocked to see windows media files showing Dale Thrush (representing Wendy Greuels office) standing before the valley village neighborhood council stating "kulak had charges pending and Mrs. Greuel did hold a downtown special meeting with Police chief, Fire marshall and Building and Safety Heads, to allow Kulaks Woodshed to continue operation despite these pending charges.
The proof is there Wendy Greuel knowingly went against court orders and allowed it anyway?
I agree, like him or not, Mr. Peyton has rights.

Please Mayor Sam, take this to the Major news papers, Los Angeles Times, CNN and expose our city council womans criminal activity.
We have to live in Valley Village.

December 18, 2006 7:08 PM  

Anonymous Heather Waters said:

Um, I'd love (LOVE) to know just where you "obtained" this letter from, seeing as how I didn't send it to you. I doubt very much that Paul sent it, so... where? DO TELL, Sam.

December 18, 2006 10:37 PM  

Anonymous Heather Waters said:

Still waiting Sam...

December 22, 2006 10:43 AM  

Blogger ScottyFerguson said:

Wow. As this post was to show how Kulak has been shady Mayor you seem shady too. How did you get that letter? It does not seem like something Kulak would post on a site and since it was sent directly to him from Heather it seems unusual you would have it. Please tell us how you came about this letter.

December 26, 2006 11:58 AM  

Anonymous ANTI Paul Kulak Patron said:

You better think twice when printing bad lies about Paul Kulaks Woodshed... Mayor Sam, see how the Daily news is being treated...
Paul Ashley Kulak has a MOB and they will send you a ton of email and letters so you better stop printing the truth... you hear me, stop it, Look how Greuel ran to his aid, do you want to mess with the rath of Kulaks MOB??? SINGERS, SONGWRITERS< THEY WILL ALL HATE AND EMAIL YOU< http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/songwriters-network/message/5286

December 26, 2006 9:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Attorney Victor Jacobovitz to file claim against the city begining of Jan 2007, Kulaks Landorld also being sued as is Paul Ashley Kulak.
Mrs. Greuel has robbed over 209 businesses of street parking and don't try to visit your poor old folks living on Laurel canyon after 7PM because there is no PARKING!


This is another case of my rights being ignored because i have been in Gay porn, the city councilwoman (Wendy Greuel) has disregarded my rights to have an office and has allowed an illegal club to open up because she hates Gay Porn. As sick as it is, reminds me of another case where tey let a murderer go free rather then free Jesus.
Enough of our rights being stepped on, it is clearly a case of gay bashing and has been for years.
Look at this, how many families have went hungry so Kulak can take his tax free cash in? Not only is Gay bashing taking place but anyone who sides with a Gay Porn star starves too.
People are really hurting because they can't have business on Laurel Canyon Blvd, see what the City Council woman has over-looked.

December 31, 2006 4:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Case filed,,,,

December 08, 2007 12:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Why doesn't Paul Kulak do this . . . why doesn't Paul Kulak do that like those OTHER people."

Simple: Paul Kulak is NOT those other people. If you believe in what he is doing, support him. If you don't, then DON'T support him (which this lady may not be doing anymore).

Whining at him is annoying, unhelpful and wastes everyone's time.

And by the way, how DID the blog owner get ahold of this email? Wait, let me guess . . .

March 31, 2009 7:30 AM  

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