December 22, 2017   

Dear friends,

During this season of remembering those who make the holidays meaningful, I would like to take this opportunity to send a special thank you to all of the first responders, including the LA Fire Department, LAPD, and outside agencies, and volunteers who have worked – and continue to work – around the clock to protect lives and property due to the Southland fires.

Thousands have been impacted by wildfires whether they’ve lost homes, have been evacuated, lost power, or are dealing with poor air quality, school closures, or traffic and road closures around fire zones. As Mayor Garcetti said, “These are times that can break your heart," but I will add that it is also during these times when we find the best in our neighbors.

As I was reminded repeatedly at the Command Post at the Skirball/ Bel Air fire, Los Angeles is full of incredibly generous people. The wealth of volunteers and first responders, who have donated so abundantly and continue to give their time and services to the well-being of fellow Angelenos and Californians, is awe inspiring.

My family, staff and I send you warmest wishes for a joyous and healthy holiday season.We hope that 2018 brings you peace, love and laughter in all the days of this New Year.

Read on for some news you can use and holiday tips.

Happy Holidays,

Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District



Final Segment for SoCal Gas Project in Encino to Commence January 8th

SoCal Gas has been placing a new pipeline along Sepulveda Blvd for many months now. The last stretch of this project will begin in Encino on the northbound lanes of Sepulveda Boulevard between Valley Meadow Road and Royal Woods Drive. This work will begin January 8th and continue for approximately 8-10 weeks.

Northbound lanes will be reduced to one lane as construction will be taking place on the far-right lane. Additional activity will also take place just north on Valley Meadow as seen by the construction cones above.

Work hours:

Monday through Friday: 9:00am – 3:30pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 6:00pm

Duration of work:

Approximately 8-10 weeks (other factors and weather permitting)

What to expect:

  • SoCalGas vehicles and its contractors’ trucks along with heavy equipment will be in the area.
  • Expect lane reduction on Sepulveda Boulevard for the duration of the construction project.
  • No interruption of gas services is anticipated to your home or business.

According to SoCalGas, this project involves testing the integrity of the pipeline by filling it with water and increasing the pressure to a level that is higher than the pipeline’s normal operating pressure. If the pipeline holds the pressure without any leaks, the pipeline will be returned to service. If the pipeline leaks during the test, SoCalGas will repair the pipeline and retest it, or replace it with new, pretested pipeline.

At times, you may smell the odor of natural gas. Although this is normal when crews are working, we encourage anyone who has concerns about the smell of gas to call SoCalGas from a safe location at 1-800-427-2200 anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Recycling Over The Holidays and All Year Round

As we head into the holiday season, it is a time to celebrate with our friends and family with festivities, gifts and great food. This is also a time to remember the gift of maintaining our sustainable community.

There are many items that can be recycled rather than thrown into the trash. For example, holiday packaging, foam blocks and cardboard can be recycled. Also, all plastics with a 1-7 chasing arrow symbol can be recycled in the City of Los Angeles.

This also means foam takeout containers, cups, water bottles, aluminum cans and much more can be placed in your BLUE bins. Whether you are recycling plastic or glass, make sure to wipe your product if it has held any food.

All of us together doing our part to recycle can make a difference this holiday season and throughout the year to help us get closer to a zero waste community. And while we’re at it, how about that Christmas Tree? Fear not, LA Sanitation has solutions:

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…Safety First

Fresh trees are beautiful and they smell good but they can be a fire hazard so please consider the following tips:

  • Buy a freshly cut tree as they retain moisture longer.
  • Keep the tree no less than three feet from heat sources.
  • Water the tree on a daily basis.
  • Remove the tree from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry and place it in your GREEN bin or curbside next to the GREEN bin.  LA Sanitation has curbside collection for Christmas trees to make it convenient to properly and safely recycle your tree. There are several options.

Collected Christmas trees will be recycled into compost and mulch that is available to residents for free.

How to Recycle your Christmas tree and put in the GREEN bin:

  1. REMOVE all ornaments, decorations, tinsels and stand from the tree.
  2. CUT the tree pieces before putting them inside the GREEN bin for regular pick-up on collection day. PLACE the tree pieces inside the GREEN bin. Please try to put the pieces in the bin so the lid can be fully closed.
  3. If your Christmas tree is too big to cut and place inside the GREEN waste bin, simply place the tree next to your GREEN waste bin on collection day.
  4. Flock or artificial trees can’t be recycled, place them in the BLACK container.

In addition, holiday wrapping paper, cartons, cardboard, Styrofoam® and other expanded polystyrene products, plastics and gift boxes are also recyclable and should be placed in the BLUE bin. However, it is illegal to place household hazardous waste, such as electronics (i.e. televisions and computers) and batteries into the collection bins. Please take those items to one of seven S.A.F.E. Centers for safe disposal and recycling.

Multiple parks and fire stations will also allow you to drop off your Christmas trees.
Visit for a complete list of locations and hours.

Adopt Some Love

Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Dogs and Cats of the Week from both the East and West Valley City Animal Shelters. Please come meet our dogs and cats – they need homes now. The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday 8 am to 5 pm; Sunday 11 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays). Click on any photo below for details:

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Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005