West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles,CA 90048
15760 Ventura Blvd., Suite 600
Encino, CA 91436
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
UPCOMING EVENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS
Traffic alert :
The City's Resurfacing Division has scheduled resurfacing for Sunset Blvd from Ladera Drive to Beverly Glen Blvd for the following two weekends:
Saturday June 18, 2016 to Sunday June 19, 2016 &
Saturday June 25, 2016 to Sunday June 26, 2016.
The resurfacing crew will begin working from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm both weekends. Traffic will be reduced down to one lane in each direction during the scheduled working hours. Message boards will be placed next week so that drivers are aware of the upcoming resurfacing. The department will be advising drivers to use Wilshire Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd as alternate routes.
As always, any emergency response vehicles will be given full access to their destination. The department expects to complete this project within the days indicated. The City of Beverly Hills is also working with the City of Los Angles to do outreach.
"Dodge for Dog, Catch for Cats" Dodge Ball Tournament at Pan Pacific Park pet adoptions
Play dodge ball and find a new companion animal playmate in the same location.
When: Sat, June 18, 12pm – 3pm Where: Pan Pacific Regional Park, 7600 Beverly Boulevard, LA
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If you or your community group have any upcoming events that you would like to see featured in our next newsletter or on my website, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to send this newsletter along to your friends and neighbors and tell them to visit the CD 5 website at http://cd5.lacity.org to sign up for this newsletter.
| Energy Conservation Alert |
With Hot Weather Coming, LADWP Urges
Customers to Save Energy While Staying Safe
Gas Shortage From Aliso Canyon Heightens
Possibility of Outages this Summer
LOS ANGELES — With near record heat expected to hit Los Angeles this coming Sunday and Monday, June 19-20, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urges customers to be especially vigilant in reducing their energy use where possible while not putting their health or the health of their pets at risk.
“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their health,” General Manager Marcie Edwards said. “Doing simple things such as turning up your thermostat to 78 degrees and turning off your lights will save electricity use and reduce the risk of outages,” Edwards said.
The likelihood of a power outage during a heat wave this summer is heightened because of the gas leak that occurred at the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility and resulting moratorium on new gas injections at Aliso Canyon. LADWP and other utilities serving the greater Los Angeles area depend upon this facility to maintain power reliability when energy use spikes during hot weather. Gas is used not only in homes and businesses, but is also primary fuel for gas-fired electric power plants. Aliso Canyon is the only gas storage facility that can immediately respond to rapid changes in gas supply for 17 gas-fired generating plants, including four generating stations operated by LADWP in the Los Angeles basin.
Extreme heat can also impact power reliability as more residents and businesses crank up their air conditioners all at once, causing other appliances to work harder in order to perform and increasing the strain on neighborhood power distribution equipment.
The most effective time to save energy is between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. when energy use is typically the highest.
To help reduce energy use, LADWP recommends the following as highly effective conservation measures:
- Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
- Be smart about lighting. Turn off unnecessary lights.
- Adjust your water heater down to 120 degrees.
- Use your major appliances late in the evening or early in the morning.
- Turn off your pool pumps.
LADWP also offers a number of rebates and programs that can help residential and commercial customers reduce their energy use this summer. For example, LADWP offers rebates of up to $1,000 for a variable speed pool pump, up to $120 per ton for an efficient heating or air conditioning system, and $50 per unit for an efficient room air conditioner.
For more energy-saving tips, visit www.ladwp.com/EEtips. For more information on energy efficiency programs please visit www.ladwp.com/rebatesandprograms.
How to Prepare for a Power Outage
Following are ways that customers can be prepared for possible power outages:
- Store flashlights and batteries in easy-to-reach places around the home. Make a mental note to know where they all are.
- Keep a battery-operated radio nearby for updates on power outages.
- Ventilate your home in the evening by opening doors and windows to clear out heat and circulate air.
- Always have a phone charger in the car. Having a fully charged phone to speak with friends and family during an outage can be both comforting and informative.
- Keep non-perishable food handy. If food in the refrigerator does spoil, you want to be sure and have plenty of alternatives nearby.
- Keep a cooler nearby to transfer food, using whatever ice you have before the outage.
- If you are medically dependent on critical equipment, consider purchasing a gasoline-powered backup generator.
LADWP urges customers to pay attention to and follow instructions when Flex Alerts are issued during peak energy use periods. For the latest information regarding power outages in Los Angeles, follow LADWP on Twitter @LADWP. Customers may also sign up for LADWP email notifications on www.ladwp.com and www.ladwpnews.com.
What happened in Orlando, Florida on early Sunday morning, June 12, was a viciously senseless and violent crime of terror and hate. Forty-nine innocent people were murdered at that city's Pulse nightclub, many others were injured, including critically, by the horrific gun fire, and families, friendships, loving relationships and an entire community were devastated.
The whole world, including Los Angeles, mourns. Here in Los Angeles, on the evening of June 13, a vigil was held in front of City Hall. The area known as the South Lawn, and the 1st Street Steps that lead to it, were packed with people of extraordinary diversity. Tears were shed and great sadness was expressed over the immeasurable losses suffered, but what was also expressed was solidarity with Orlando's victims and survivors, anger over this nation's continuing epidemic of gun violence, determination that the LGBT community will never be broken or intimidated into silence, and tolerance that no scapegoating of a minority community occur. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles sang.
There were speakers, and their ranks included activists, a rabbi, and some elected officials. Some roared in outrage over the terror that had transpired; others spoke in a quiet and solemn tone; all seemed both shaken and determined. The names of the slain were recited, by Lady Gaga, Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, City Controller Ron Galperin, former Assembly Speaker John Perez, and Richard Zaldivar, founder and executive director of The Wall Las Memorias project. It is difficult if not impossible to convey the extraordinary depth of the heartbreak, but also the firmness of hope and commitment, evident in the faces and voices of those who were reciting, singing and speaking -- those feelings were mirrored and echoed in the vast audience. Here are a few photos:
Lady Gaga reading names and ages of victims.
As the news spread of the Orlando killings, people in various cities holding "Pride" events later that day suddenly faced the question of whether such events should be cancelled -- but in L.A. and elsewhere, it was decided, emphatically, to continue on with heightened resolve. The huge crowds that attended mourned what had happened, and were outraged by the terror and violence, but refused to be intimidated or deterred from a celebration of LGBT heritage, community, and human and civil rights. Councilmember Koretz, a participant in nearly every such L.A. Pride march, was proud to be again among the many taking part.
The shooting at UCLA
A tragic event on June 1 united so many of us in sorrow – it was the shooting that took the life of UCLA Professor William Klug. It was grimly ironic that LA Councilmembers first heard of the UCLA shooting, and talk of a possible active shooter on the university campus, while in the middle of a City Council presentation about Gun Violence Awareness Day, during which Councilmember Paul Krekorian noted that each year, 30-40,000 American lives are lost to gun violence. The City Hall presentation continued: one representative of the organization, “Women Against Gun Violence,” recalled that the last time she had been involved in a City Council meeting, their discussion was similarly interrupted, by news about the San Bernardino mass shooting.
Councilmember Koretz went directly to UCLA to see if he could, in any way, be of help, and was gratified to see hundreds of law enforcement officers, not just from the LAPD but from other cities, Los Angeles County, and federal agencies such as the FBI. It was a unified and well-coordinated show of force, for they were determined to protect students, faculty and anyone in harm’s way, and to restore the peace. It turned out that the murderer, a former doctorate student with a grudge, had also killed himself, but he had come armed with two semiautomatic pistols, multiple ammunition magazines and loose rounds of ammunition, indicating that he was prepared for further slaughter.
It's also well worth mentioning that a quick-thinking professor may have prevented that kind of increased mayhem. Upon hearing gunshots, Professor Chris Lynch held the door to Professor Klug's office shut. One witness thought this may have frustrated Professor Klug's murderer into taking his own life.
William Klug was a 39-year-old engineering professor at UCLA, who specialized in computational biomechanics and the mechanics of biological systems, such as cancer cells, and most recently worked with the UCLA Cardiac Modeling Group, using biometrics to help understand the electro mechanics of the heart. He was also a visiting scholar at both Caltech and USC, and director of the Klug Research Group, and had received much career recognition, including a very substantial National Science Foundation Career Award. He previously worked on a project aimed at creating a better picture of the physics of cells, thereby helping to understand the life cycle of viruses, including HIV. We'll never know how many lives might have been saved, in years to come, if he and we had been spared this violence, and his life and work had continued, and if his teaching of others had continued.
Professor Klug was described by UCLA Chancellor Klug as "a respected, dedicated and caring faculty member" with "wonderful gifts and talents" that he shared, generously, at UCLA. A fellow UCLA professor called William Klug "one of the most talented, intelligence and caring of people, a dear friend" and a great mentor to students. The night after the shooting, Councilmember Koretz attended a candlelight vigil, joining students and staff but also mourners from across L.A. Over and over again, he heard similar tearful words of loving appreciation and loss regarding Professor Klug. The next day, at the June 3 City Council meeting held at Van Nuys City Hall, Councilmember Koretz adjourned the meeting in Professor Klug’s memory.
On June 10th, Councilmember Koretz attended a press conference organized by UCLA students and staff, and honoring Professor Klug.
Short-Term Rental Ordinance heads for City Planning Commission hearing
The controversial Home-Sharing Ordinance, which proposes to regulate the international short-term rental phenomenon in Los Angeles, will be heard before the City Planning Commission on Thursday, June 23rd. The hearing, originally planned to be held at the Van Nuys Municipal Center, now will be held in the City Council chambers in City Hall due to the large number of people expected to attend.
A revised version of the draft ordinance is supposed to be available by Wednesday, June 15. Visit the City Planning Department's website to view it:
On Monday June 13, The Office of Councilmember Koretz and the Department of Public Works held a special "town hall" style Board of Public Works meeting at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. Attendees had the opportunity to meet the members of the Board and ask them to address their concerns or questions at this meeting.
From a historical outlook, the first attempt to create a board of public works in our municipality was in 1872, when the City of Los Angeles created a five member committee. Today, the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works is a five-member executive team that administrates the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. The Department of Public Works consists of over 5,400 employees who are responsible for design, construction, renovation and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants and libraries; curbside collection and graffiti removal; and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights and street trees. Unlike other departments that have a General Manager, or a Chief, this department is run by a board.
Perhaps fifty percent of the calls CD 5 staff receive from constituents are related to public works. Most are specifically related to streets, trees, and sidewalks, but there are many other public works--related concerns that also get raised and addressed.
At the town hall meeting, good news was delivered about budgeting, with Public Works thanking Councilmember Koretz for his role in budgetary deliberations -- as a member of the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee, he has successfully advocated for such things as increasing the funding for graffiti abatement in this year’s budget by almost one million dollars. and spending far more over the next three decades to fix our sidewalks, as well as to bolster other city services.
Councilmember Koretz also took the opportunity of this meeting to honor Pacific Graffiti Solutions, who work tirelessly to remove blight in the Westside portion of the 5th Council District. It is a rare opportunity for the public to be able to meet, in one fell swoop, all of the leaders of one department, and so this event offered great value, especially because the Department of Public Works is certainly one of the most crucial. Councilmember Koretz thanks all the folks from Public Work for giving of themselves in this way, as well as well as all the constituents who came to take part.
Councilmember Koretz recognizes Pacific Graffiti Solutions.
Los Angeles is a city that is happy to celebrate its diversity, for diversity is one of the city and region’s foremost core strengths, and so on June 10th, Councilmember Gil Cedillo led an Immigrant Heritage Month event, with each Council District represented by one honoree a piece. This year’s theme involved restaurants, and so the Fifth Council District’s selected honoree was Roozbeh Farahanipour, who Councilmember Koretz recognized not only for his entrepreneurial success as owner of the Westwood restaurant, Delphi Greek, but also for his advocacy work and his devotion to empowering others in their civic engagement.
In 1999, in Iran, he had been imprisoned for his key role in speaking out for basic freedoms during Iran’s path toward democratization. Mr. Farahanipour escaped Iran and came to the US where he sought asylum. Since then, he has resided in the Westwood community, while continuing his activism in order to help others to improve their lives. He is the President of the West LA Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council and of the Rotary Club, LA County Business Federation and several Boards throughout Los Angeles. In addition to all of his other accomplishments, just this year he celebrated the 30th Anniversary Celebration of his restaurant, the Delphi Greek.
Councilmember Koretz and honoree Roozbeh Farahanipour at the Council Presentation.
LGBT Heritage Month
June 8 marked the start of 2016 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Heritage Month. Leading that day's opening ceremony were Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Controller Ron Galperin, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr., and Council Members Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin. Additional thanks go to the Department of Cultural Affairs and the 2016 LGBT Heritage Month Committee.
The opening ceremony was a time of much celebration of social change and human understanding as well as discussion of challenges still ahead. LGBT Heritage Month is also an opportunity for recognizing and saluting leaders and legends in the LGBT community. Councilmember Koretz congratulates this year's honorees: Bamby Salcedo, Drian Juarez, Riku Matsuda and Jaden Fields!
The Los Angeles River
June 1st was the Third Annual Los Angeles River Day. The theme of the event was, “Our River, Our Future,” and while the day showcases what the river means for all of Los Angeles, there was a special emphasis given to the way in which the L.A. River is a treasured part of the San Fernando Valley.
Hosted by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the River Day festivities each year take a fun but also visionary look at what the L.A. River means to this city, now and in the future, in terms of environmental, wildlife, recreational and economic virtues and benefits. This year’s sponsors included Friends of the Los Angeles River, Warner Bros., Comcast/NBC Universal, SoCal Gas, and Councilmember O’Farrell. Special guests included Congressmember Lucille Roybal-Allard and Lewis MacAdams, the poet, journalist, filmmaker and activist who co-founded Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) back in 1985. The much-acclaimed MacAdams has received many awards for his community involvement, including, in 1991, the San Fernando Valley Audobon Society’s annual Conservation Award.
Honoring, helping and protecting our senior citizens
On May 31, Councilmembers Paul Koretz and David Ryu were joined by Assistant General Manager James Don, from the Department of Aging, and many senior citizen activists, to celebrate Older Americans Month.
Older American’s Month was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Also celebrated was the 51stanniversary of the Older Americans Act, which was signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1965. This Act was the first federal initiative aiming at providing comprehensive services for older adults. The Act remains absolutely essential to our communities and people across this land. Recently, Congress has reauthorized this legislation, but has not yet funded it to reflect the current needs of our older Americans -- hopefully, that will be rectified, soon.
Councilmember Koretz said, "It has been a great pleasure of mine to work with the Department of Aging, and with many of our local activists as we battle each issue facing our older adults. Those issues include: housing, homeless seniors, older adult education, senior fraud and abuse, senior hunger, and transportation, just to name a few.
"We as a city have been affected by many cuts that came from the federal level, especially the federal sequester which started in 2013. This would have had a huge impact to our senior meals program. We were looking at an approximate cut of $2 million dollars and over 2,000 seniors cut from the program. We chose not to stand idly by and wait for more funding, and instead, put our own funding in the program so that not one senior would be cut. We have continued to do for a 4th straight year in 2016. I would like to recognize those on the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee for their help and leadership on this as well: Councilmember Blumenfield, Councilmember Bonin, Councilmember Englander, and Chair of the committee, Councilmember Krekorian. I would also like to recognize Council President Herb Wesson for his leadership.
"During the past 12 months, we have made great strides in providing funding for many programs, and we’ve worked at reprioritizing policies to make sure seniors are included at the table. These include newly added staff for the Age Friendly Cities Initiative and Senior Safety and Community Education unit, and exploring options for a sustainable long-term funding plan for the Evidence-Based Wellness Program. I've also Introduced a motion asking that our Comprehensive Homeless Strategy include seniors as a priority, given the unique needs they face, and have introduced motions, along with Councilmember Gil Cedillo, asking the city to review and report back on strategies to help address problems for seniors with evictions."
A heinous and despicable act of animal cruelty
On May 14, at 1:30 pm, a gruesome incident of animal cruelty resulted in the brutal attack on, and murder of, a small dog, who was bludgeoned against a Boyle Heights sidewalk by a man who had been driving a vehicle from which the dog had emerged.
Several animal advocacy non-profits – Davey’s Voice, Social Compassion in Legislation, and PETA -- teamed to offer rewards for information leading to arrest and conviction in this matter. On May 31, Councilmember Koretz introduced a $10,000 reward motion, seconded by Councilmember Jose Huizar, which was unanimously approved by the Council. Additional rewards have been offered by rock group Black Sabbath member and animal advocate Geezer Butler, and by Councilmember Koretz himself.
Among those attending a press conference held to promote awareness of these rewards, and hopefully facilitate the apprehension of the guilty party, were Councilmember Koretz, Detective Alfredo Reyes (LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force), and Commander Mark Salazar and Derek Brown, Assistant Manager (City of L.A. Animal Services). Representing non-profits were, from Davey’s Voice, Gretchen Lieff (Founder) and Laura Jones (Boardmember); from Social Compassion in Legislation, Judie Mancuso (President), Simone Reyes (Vice President), Katie Cleary, and Jane Velez-Mitchell; and from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Lisa Lange (Senior VP Communications).
Councilmember Koretz said, "It’s important to catch someone who is capable of such a despicable act, and to send a message throughout the city that animal abuse, particularly on such a horrific scale, will not be tolerated – plus, it is well-understood that those who are cruel to animals are often capable (or become capable) of barbaric acts aimed at humans. "The incident reportedly involved a man beating a small dog after it jumped out of a Dodge Caravan on the 1600 block of East First Street. The driver allegedly chased the dog, punched it and flung it on the sidewalk, then reportedly returned to his vehicle and drove off. A witness did photograph the vehicle. The driver has been described as a balding, gray-haired male Caucasian, between 50 and 60 years old, approximately 6’2”, 280 pounds. The silver or gray Dodge Caravan, 1996 to 2000 registration plate, with an off-color rear bumper. Anyone with information about driver or vehicle should call LAPD Animal Cruelty taks Force Detective Alfredo Reyes, 213 486 0450. Tipsters can also call the LAPD's 24-hour tipline at (877) LAPD-24-7 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. All tips can be submitted anonymously.
Supporting anti-BDS legislation
On June 14, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed to support anti-BDS legislation authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom. BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions,” and currently, there is a BDS effort targeting and aimed at punishing Israel. Assemblymember Bloom’s legislation, “The Combatting BDS Act of 2016”, if and when approved, will discourage such a BDS effort being pushed by anti-Israel groups. That’s because the bill will protect the rights of California’s state and local governments to disassociate governmental pensions and contracts from entities that boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel, one of our nation’s closest allies.
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield authored the City Resolution in support of the Bloom bill. Paul Koretz spoke out strongly in favor of the Resolution and the Bloom bill. The day of the vote, the Council chambers were packed with supporters of the City Resolution and “The Combatting BDS Act of 2016” – many of those individuals came to the podium one after the other, and stood in front of the Council to explain, often quite emotionally, their strongly held views, and after the unanimous vote was taken, the Chambers rang with cheers. The Bloom bill is expected to be voted on in Sacramento before the end of the month.
Congratulations, Century City “Citizens of the Year!”
City National Bank and Scott Johnson are honored.
Each year the Century City Chamber of Commerce selects a company and/or individual to bestow its highest civic recognition award, “Citizen of the Year,” recognizing excellence in corporate and community relations and their intense commitment to serve the community.
On June 2, the Chamber presented two such accolades. City National Bank was named “Corporate Citizen of the Year.” The honoree is a premier private and business bank that offers a full complement of banking, trust and investment services. It was founded in 1954 and has since grown to become one of L.A.’s biggest bank with $35.6 billion in assets. Operating nationwide, City National has locations in Century City to provide total financial solutions for entrepreneurs and professionals. Known as the “Bank to the Stars,” more than a quarter of City National's loans are still made to the entertainment industry. The bank helps finance about 50 films a year and, by its count, is providing banking services to 14 of the 28 current shows on Broadway, including the smashes "Once" and "The Book of Mormon." Recently acquired by Royal Bank of Canada, it continues to donate more than 115,000 books to California, New York, Tennessee, Georgia and Nevada schools and classroom libraries through its literacy program. City National Bank is a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and a staple in the Century City community.
Scott Johnson was acclaimed by the Chamber as “Citizen of the Year.” He is co-founder and design partner of Johnson Fain, an international architecture, planning and interior design firm located in Los Angeles with projects worldwide. In Southern California, he designed Century City’s Constellation Place (former MGM Tower), Sun America Center, and Fox Plaza. Currently, the office is designing and master planning projects in California, Oklahoma, Texas, Japan and China.
Educated at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Johnson is the author of several books, including The Big Idea: Criticality & Practice in Contemporary Architecture and Tall Building: Imagining the Skyscraper. He has lectured widely on architectural topics and has taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Southern California (USC) where he was, from 2003 to 2006, the Director of the Master of Architecture Programs. He is member of the Century City Chamber of Commerce, and his creative impact is seen all over the Century City community.
On June 5th, 2016, Councilmember Paul Koretz and Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas were among the 10,000+ on hand to enjoy the 19th annual South Robertson Festival.
The SoRo Community Festival – SoRo Fest – has been held since 1997, and it’s always been a wonderful means for bringing together and building bridges between residents, neighbors, local businesses and public service organizations, all with a fine spirit of friendly fun. This year’s fest was no different, with great music and other entertainment, food trucks, and lively atmospherics. Many thanks go to the SoRo Community Foundation, Inc., and all the sponsors, participants and attendees for helping to make this possible, and for helping to make it such a tremendous success.
At the event, many individuals were recognized for their invaluable service to the South Robertson community.
Barbara Mendes, whose artwork at 2711 S. Robertson was commissioned by the City of Los Angeles last year, was recognized with 'Barbara Mendes Memorial Square' at the intersection of Gibson St. and South Robertson. Her incredible creativity and innovation continues to inspire many in the South Robertson community and, because of that, she was recognized by Councilmember Koretz and Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas as "one of the most remarkably colorful personalities you will ever have the pleasure of meeting."
The festival celebrated Saran Kirschbaum, a veteran of environmental affairs and an advocate for energy efficiency, with the Green Citizenship Award granted by the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council, Councilmember Koretz, and Assemblymember Bloom. "The earth is our community, and we are all part of it. Without the seas, the land, and the sky, we would have no community," said Kirschbaum upon receiving her award.
Of course, what would the SoRo fest be without its founder and former South Robertson Neighborhood Council President, Susan Bursk, who awarded Terrence Gomes, former Treasurer of the South Robertson NC, with the Susan Bursk Award of 2016. "Terrence has shown tremendous support for the community, and for that, we recognize his awesome hard work with this year's Susan Bursk Award," said Susan.
Last but not least, this year's SoRo fest was grateful to be in the presence of a hero of South Robertson and the City of Los Angeles. LAPD's Officer Donald Thompson was recognized by Councilmember Koretz and Assemblymember Richard Bloom for his outstanding leadership and dedication to his community. In 2013, Officer Thompson rescued a man from a blazing vehicle after a car accident on the 405 freeway during Christmas day. "The heat was unbearable," Thompson recalled. "I knew what needed to be done, and when you do, you cannot hesitate in the moment." Earlier this year, Don Thompson was awarded the Medal of Valor by President Obama, one of the highest honors an American civilian can receive, for his bravery three years ago.
From left: Susan Bursk, Councilmember Koretz, Officer Don Thompson and Assemblymember Richard Bloom.
California Country Club Homes Association
The California Country Club Homes Association had its annual meeting, and Councilmember Koretz was honored to be a part of the proceedings.
Among the topics discussed were the opening of the Expo extension, the new city budget and its positive impact on the Los Angeles Fire Department, filming in the area, and development.
The Association, a member of the Westside Civic Federation and one of the groups that worked together to help form the Westside Neighborhood Council, has long been recognized for its significant record of advocating for the community on an array of issues, including reducing commuter traffic through the local neighborhood, promoting safety, increasing security, fighting aircraft noise and pollution, implementing custom neighborhood signs, and beautifying the area. The Councilmember thanked everyone in attendance for their tremendous community involvement.
Councilmember Koretz presents certificate of appreciation to Allyson Saunders, President of the California Country Club HOA.
The Beverly Glen Fair
Councilmember Koretz was, as always, delighted to attend the Annual Beverly Glen Fair. The Fair has been a magnificent achievement for fifty years now, and has many great features, including – of course – a lot of food, entertainment, and kid- and family-friendly activities.
Councilmember Koretz commends Residents of Beverly Glen and the various event sponsors, and everyone else involved. The Beverly Glen Fair is a special occasion every year, for it brings folks from around the area together in happy harmony while giving them a vivid sense of community pride. The people, groups, schools and businesses who put so much time and energy into such an event truly make a difference for the better.
Councilmember Koretz on stage with the Flatland Band – Dennis Aigner.
Beverly Glen Blvd.
The City's resurfacing Division last month finished the final phase of resurfacing for Beverly Glen Blvd from Greendale Drive to Sunset Blvd. Councilmember Koretz thanks the crew of workers for their dedication and professionalism, and the public for their patience and support while this important project was being accomplished. Good job, everyone!
Fairfax Bike Lane Ribbon Cutting
A bike lane project, culminating with a recent ribbon cutting event, represented a true collaboration and partnership between the Cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles. When West Hollywood was ready earlier this year to move forward with bike lines on the portion of Fairfax within their jurisdiction, it made great sense to continue those lanes the two additional blocks to the south between Willoughby Avenue and Melrose Avenue.
This adds to a growing network of bicycle lanes and bicycle friendly streets that will eventually include an east/west Rosewood Avenue corridor two blocks south of Melrose, and another north/south pathway along Formosa Avenue. Councilmember Koretz thanked Mid-City West Neighborhood Council for their leadership in developing these plan and for helping to write the grant proposal that has received funding, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation for working with the Council office to coordinate this effort.
Photos courtesy of Joshua Barash
Valley Beth Shalom
Los Angeles City Hall was delighted to welcome third graders from Valley Beth Shalom Day School. Those young students, and their accompanying parents and teachers, seemed riveted by a Council debate and vote that they witnessed. Afterwards, they posed for photos – at one point, Valley Beth Shalom alumnus and current 5th District Council staffer Jeff Ebenstein happily joined in. Councilmember Koretz and his staff applaud those students and their teachers and families, and all schools and students who come to visit and observe their local government in action.
Irene Epstein Scholarships
Something tremendous that happens every year is the presentation of the Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship awards to some wonderfully accomplished Fairfax High School seniors. The amount of the scholarships has been increased to $2,500 each. In addition, two other Fairfax High School seniors will receive College Book Awards of $1,000 each.
The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of the international Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) selected this year's recipients. Dr. Howard Katzman of The Aerospace Corporation, as the Education Chairman of the Los Angeles Chapter of SAMPE, announced the names of four seniors deemed most worthy of the award. The scholarship awards were presented during the annual Awards Dinner at the Hunan Tasty Restaurant in Los Angeles; each awardee also received a special commendation scroll from the City of Los Angeles and Councilmember Koretz, presented by 5th Council District Chief of Staff Joan Pelico.
The Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship program was initiated in 1996 shortly after the death of Irene Epstein, to recognize her strong desire to assist financially-needy, academically-deserving students to attend college to study engineering, science, mathematics, or medicine. This is the 20th year that these scholarships have been awarded. The scholarship program was initially funded by contributions from The Aerospace Corporation and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). It is also supported by the Air Force Space Systems Manufacturing Problem Prevention Program (MP3). In addition, many individuals and companies have generously contributed to help the fund grow so the amount of the scholarship awards has increased five-fold since it started. The special Book Awards, introduced three years ago, will help the selected students in the purchase of their college textbooks.
Here are the four 2016 Scholarship recipients:
- Se Jung Lee will graduate as the top student in the class of 2016, with a cumulative GPA of 4.0. He has earned grades of A in Advanced Placement (AP) classes including Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Psychology, Calculus, Statistics, Macro Economics, World History, and English Language. (Note: Last year, his sister received an Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship.) Se Jung plans to study human biology at the University of Southern California. His goal is to become a cardiologist. At Fairfax High School, Se Jung was responsible for starting the school’s “Net Project” that combines community service with global health issues, focused on fighting malaria. The club has expanded and is now sponsored by Good Neighbors, a global humanitarian organization. Se Jung also participates in a USC research program studying stem cells. In addition, on Sundays, he works for the Melrose Trading Post, located on the high school’s campus.
- Marquez Balingit ranks in the top 5% of his class, and will graduate with a near-4.0 GPA. He plans to attend UC San Diego where he will major in nano-engineering. Marquez’ goal is to become an engineer and contribute to improving our world. As a sophomore at Fairfax High School, Marquez became active in the Robotics Club, where he designed and built competitive robots. Today, he is the co-president of the Club. Seeking to enable other minority students to pursue professional careers in science, mathematics, or engineering, he is helping to organize a chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. According to G.J. Waddell, the highly regarded Fairfax High School science teacher (now retired), Marquez stands out for his innate “curiosity, deliberativeness, doggedness, politeness, thoughtfulness, good humor, and high intelligence.”
- Luis Mejia Ojeda plans to attend UC Santa Barbara with a major in Mathematical Science. He ranks in the top 5% of the graduating class, with a GPA of over 4.0. Luis has earned the Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists for “outstanding academic achievement and potential to serve humanity.” As a member of the Robotics Club, MESA extolled his team for “Best Oral Presentation.” He is also a member of the Debate Team; the NET Project to fight malaria in Africa; and the Architecture Construction, and Engineering (A.C.E.) Club. As a member of D.O.O.R, Luis helped young children with homework and enrichment, and participated in debates about racism and mankind. Raised by his mother, he made time to perform many household chores and contributed to the family. According to his math teacher, Stephen Ishii, his family’s uneasy financial situation motivated Luis “to work even harder to succeed in reaching his goals.”
- Jessica Saucedo will attend UC San Diego, majoring in biology. She ranks in the top 5% of her class, with a GPA of 3.92. Her goal is to become a medical doctor. She credits her parents for encouraging her in her education, volunteer activities, and musical endeavors. She has been active in Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) for nine years, playing the clarinet. For several years, Jessica was part of the Disney Orchestra and the YOLA Mentor Program, helping younger students learning to play the clarinet. She also volunteers at a pet shelter. According to Young-mi Kim, math/physics teacher at Fairfax High School, Jessica “has excellent work habits,” earning top grades in the AP Physics and AP Computer Science classes despite spending so much time in the Disney Orchestra. Often, she stayed after school to help other students. “Jessica is absolutely brilliant in her insights in problem solving and understanding concepts.”
Here are the two Fairfax High School seniors who received the 2016 College Book Awards
- Paul Moreno-Santiago plans to attend UCLA, majoring in Applied Mathematics. He ranks in the top 5% of his class, with a GPA 0f 4.03. His parents migrated from Mexico with limited education; both hold low-paying jobs, motivating him to seek a college education, and ambitious to succeed. He seeks a career in engineering and computer science. Paul is the president of the Fairfax High School Mathematical Modeling Club which he founded as a sophomore. He also volunteers for the Upward Bound program and at his local library and recreation center. For the past two years, Paul has been on the track team, running in the Students Run LA (SRLA) marathon competition.
- Byron Corado will attend UC-San Diego with a major in General Biology. With a GPA 3.7, he ranks in the top 15% of his class. His goals are to do research in biology or microbiology, and then become a pathologist. He hopes to help find a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Byron was raised by his mother who had to work extra shifts to provide for him and his older sister. After school, he rushes home to do chores around the house. Motivated to succeed, he recognizes that he “was not the brightest student, but never discouraged from giving (his) best effort to understand the coursework.” Often he helped other struggling students. Byron works at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, as part of the high school’s Youth Employment and Development Program. Because of his love of photography, he often takes his camera on hikes in beautiful and quiet areas outside of the city. He also works on many community service projects helping younger children, and serves as the treasurer of the LAUSD KIWIN’s Crystal Division.
Congratulations, this year's honorees, and thank you, George Epstein, the late Irene Epstein, SAMPE, and all involved, for this magnificent scholarship program -- and thanks, also, to Fairfax High School, for being such a fine school capable of producing so many wonderful students!
Chief of Staff, Joan Pelico with a few scholarship recipients and families.
June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month
Cats are COOL and we can prove it!
This beautiful, seven-year-young Domestic Shorthair named Shaina is looking for a second chance in a loving home. She was surrendered by her owner to the West Valley Animal Shelter. She enjoys cuddles and gets along with most cats. You can meet Shaina at Petco, located at 19869 Rinaldi St., Porter Ranch, CA 91326, with some other great feline companions from the West Valley Animal Shelter. Adoption fees are waived for all cats 4 months old or older at the City of LA animal shelters courtesy of a generous ASPCA grant. To see available cats for adoption, visit LAAnimalServices.com.
Cats adopted from any of the six Los Angeles City Animal Shelters are vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered. PLUS adoption fees for cats four months and older are 100% underwritten by an ASPCA grant. Adoption fees for kittens are reduced to $50.50 every weekend through the end of June.
Cats are COOL and we can prove it.
- You don’t have to take cats for a walk (unless you want to). They use a litterbox.
- Cats don’t require expensive toys. Throw a balled up piece of paper or open a paper bag and let your cat entertain you.
- Cats don't need a bath. They bathe themselves.
- Cats can relieve stress with their soft purr and snuggles.
- Cats are the new dog! That’s right. You can clicker train cats or even teach them tricks including doing agility just like dogs.
- Cats can stay home alone while you are at work. We do recommend two cats so they have a feline companion.
- Exercise buffs, want to strengthen your abs? Okay, then a cat is the answer. Just purchase 40 pound containers of cat litter and don’t stop by just lifting it into the cart and then the car. Do a few extra lifts and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make in your core!
“Please visit any of our six LA City Animal Shelters and meet some of our fabulous felines,” says Brenda Barnette, General Manager of LA Animal Services. “We have large variety of wonderful cats in all sizes and colors. We offer playful kittens, mellow adults cats, social butterflies and even wall flowers who are anxious to meet you. Stop by soon and take a chance on falling in love with your new furry family member.”
To view some of the adoptable cats and to find your closest City animal shelter, please visit LAAnimalSerivces.com.