Tag Archives: foreclosure

Save the puppets!

Don\'t be scared; it\'s just a puppet!
Don't be scared; it's just a puppet!

Legendary Puppeteer Bob Baker needs your donations to save his theater from foreclosure.

I know, things are tough all over, but this is a particularly sad story.

WHAT: Emergency Campaign to generate funds to save The Bob Baker Marionette Theater from Foreclosure

DEADLINE: $29,000 needed by December 3 or Bob Baker’s theater and home will be sold

For more that 60 years, puppeteer Bob Baker has brought delight and amazement to children of all ages with his innovative marionette performances. Through shows at his Bob Baker Marionette Theater, located just west of downtown LA, and his huge list of film and TV credits, he has entertained millions of people. Today Bob Baker’s puppet theater continues to operate on a daily basis with a crew of young puppeteers trained by the master.

But unless you help, this magical theater will disappear in a matter of weeks. Bob Baker, a proud man and a humble artisan, has no choice but to reach out to his public for a lifeline.

Two years ago, Bob Baker was the victim in an elaborate mortgage fraud operation bent on stealing his theater and home. This outrageous mortgage, written under threatening and deliberately misleading conditions, has left him owing ever increasing payments that are beyond his ability to pay.

This week the situation has reached crisis point, and Bob quietly reached out for help. Many talented people have responded to his call. A plan for improving the theater’s financial prospects is being formulated by the Valley Economic Development Center and many of Bob’s friends and fans are working behind the scenes to protect Bob and his theater and home from the sharks. The theater has enormous potential, Bob wants everyone to know that he is not going out of business.

But time is of the essence, and right now, Bob Baker needs your donations if he is going to be able to keep up with his mortgage payments long enough to get the loans modified.

As of today, Bob needs $23,000 for past due mortgage payments on the theater, and $6,000 for past due mortgage payments on his home. The deadline for payment in December 3, or the buildings will be sold and Bob and his thousands of puppets will be homeless.

If you have been entertained by Bob Baker’s Marionettes, if you love the spirit of old Hollywood creativity that he embodies, if you want to reach out and help someone wonderful who has been terribly wounded by the mortgage crisis and outright fraud, please open your heart and give to Bob Baker at this difficult time. The children of Los Angeles are not ready to be without this great entertainer, who has many more years of magic before him.

Tax deductible donations can be made to “The Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts.” Send your check to 1345 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 or call 213-250-9995 to make a donation by credit card.

Puppeteer Bob Baker is available for interviews. Contact Richard at
[email protected], or call 213-250-9995.

Her Name Was Wanda Dunn, And We Let Her Die

You may have missed a story in yesterday’s Times about a woman named Wanda Dunn in Pasadena that set her house on fire and shot herself because she was being evicted due to foreclosure.

This follows the earlier tragedy from just a week ago, where Karthik Rajaram of Porter Ranch, distraught over finances, killed his entire family before turning the gun on himself.

They are both heartbreaking stories that are becoming more common as the foundation of our global economy continues to crumble. Stories like these should serve as a wake-up call to all of us, as friends, as co-workers, as neighbors. We have an obligation as Americans – as humans, to help each other in a time of need. It could be an earthquake, a fire, a hurricane, or a foreclosure.

It’s too late to help Wanda Dunn or the Rajaram family. I can’t help but think we all failed them when they needed us most.

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, start by calling the Los Angeles County hotline at 2-1-1.

CBS2 has a list of contact numbers for foreclosure prevention resources at six area WorkSource Centers. I re-posted them after the jump.

Continue reading Her Name Was Wanda Dunn, And We Let Her Die

64 Worst: Cost of Rent vs. No NFL Team

64 Worst Things About LA - click here for more!

Which is more ridiculous, the cost of rent in L.A., or the absence of pro football?

The economy is in shambles. Or, as President Bush calls it, in a “slowdown.” The housing crisis has littered the SoCal landscape with signs of foreclosure. Yet, with home prices falling, rents are going up. nfl.gifAnd half the time, you still have to bring your own refrigerator.

There have been arguments that professional sports teams can be a boon to a city’s economy. They can also be a source of civic pride, if they’re not a joke on the playing field. Los Angeles has been home 3 different NFL teams: the Raiders, the Rams, and the Chargers. Now, two years after Governor Schwarzenegger told the league he wanted 2 teams, L.A. is still home to none.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.