January 13, 2018   

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Council started back again this week and we had quite a few issues to start off 2018. Please be advised that our offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As you know, the rain has taken quite a toll on the Southland and our hearts and prayers go out to all who continue to contend with the mudslides so soon after the wildfires and all of its destruction. One of the issues that came out of the Skirball/ Bel Air fire was the imminent danger that homeless encampments can cause in our canyons and hillsides, and to continue to do so on a permanent basis. The LAFD has informed us that fires starting at homeless encampments in the hillsides is not uncommon. Moreover, because there is no longer such thing as a “fire season,” our hillside communities are on high fire alert all year long.

That is why I introduced a motion instructing City departments and agencies to coordinate immediate search and removal of all homeless encampments in our canyons and hillsides. Traditionally, the City’s homeless serves agency monitored homeless people in hillside encampments and encouraged them to voluntarily move. My motion more urgently instructs all of the agencies from LAPD, LAFD, and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to work with all City, County and State agencies to cooperate between jurisdictions to ensure that all hillside fire zones are cleared of homeless encampments. I am requesting better technology (such as drones used in a pilot program during the Skirball/ Bel Air fire) and services to find hidden encampments, better notifications of trespassing and more urgent implementations to remove the hillside encampments for the safety of the homeless as well as the safety of neighborhood to avoid future wildfires.

You can read the motion by clicking here (Council File 17-1386-S1)




Councilmember Koretz Says, “Enough With The Terrible Waste-Hauling Service!”

On the heels of the news that there have been 28,000 complaints about missed collections and 1,500 bill inspections revealing 1,000 inaccurate bills in the City’s new commercial waste-hauling program, Councilmember Paul Koretz introduced a motion this week calling on LA’s Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN) to report to the City Council within thirty days on the specific RecycLA service providers who are not delivering on their contractual obligations with the City. Many service providers have missed collections, have questionable billing practices and inaccurately charged customers, have provided inadequate customer service and have caused traffic disruptions from dumpsters left in the street. The motion then goes on to ask LASAN to recommend to the City Council whether or not to proceed with taking the necessary steps to terminate individual contracts for substantial failure to perform. And, at that point, the City Council will decide whether to revoke the contracts of our least effective vendors.

The RecycLA commercial waste-hauling system was originally conceived as a response to the then-pending 2013 closing of the Puente Hills landfill; statewide mandates for increased citywide recycling and reducing waste-to-landfill; inadequate protections for waste workers in one of the most dangerous industries; air and climate pollution from diesel waste trucks and landfills; and, broken streets and alleyways from the ubiquitous 9-ton waste trucks that were used under the old commercial system.

In July 2017, the Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN) initiated the RecycLA Program that provides recycling and waste collection services for all commercial, industrial and multi-family customers in the City, a globally unprecedented transition in both size and scope. The Program is designed to significantly increase recycling throughout the City in order to obtain zero waste goals and improve service levels, ensure fair pricing, provide worker protections, reduce traffic, reduce wear and tear on our roads and alleyways, and improve air quality. The RecycLA Program consists of eleven zones with each zone serviced by one service provider. The transition period ends February 1, 2018.

Watch Councilmember Koretz  discuss these issues with CBS2 Los Angeles Consumer Reporter Kristina Lazar: http://cbsloc.al/2D2rW1Y

COMPLAINTS / DISPUTES: Click on the following link to fill out a form about trash pickup complaints and for billing disputes: www.lacitysan.org/recycLA

Once you submit the form, LA Sanitation will create a Service Request Ticket that will be forwarded to your designated recycLA service provider for handling.

NOTE: If you are disputing your bill, you must continue paying it during the dispute process to ensure continued collection service.

If you are experiencing difficulties submitting this form, please call the 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489. For general information about the recycLA program, please refer to the recycLA Home Page (www.lacitysan.org/recycLA).

LA City Council Recognizes Ed Begley, Jr. Day in LA

On Wednesday, Councilmember Koretz was delighted to declare Ed Begley, Jr. Day in Los Angeles with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (CD3).  Both Councilmembers have long considered Ed Begley, Jr. as a dear friend and admired him as a model for environmental advocacy and leadership over the years.  Also in attendance were family and friends including notable figures such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jeffrey Goldblum and Cheryl Hines.

Edward James Begley Jr., an American actor and environmentalist, has appeared in hundreds of films, television shows, and stage performances for more than 50 years when he first appeared on the television show "My Three Sons" in 1967.



Disaster Relief

As Los Angeles County residents begin to clear the debris following the rain storm earlier this week, the LA County Assessor would like to remind affected property owners of property tax relief that is available to them.

Any property which sustained a minimum of $10,000 in damage in current market value may qualify for misfortune-and-calamity tax relief. Claim forms must be received by the Assessor within 12 months. These can be accessed online, by mail, and in person:

Online – Click here or visit the Assessor's Disaster Relief page.

By Mail - Call the Disaster Relief Hotline at 213-974-8658 and provide your mailing address.

In Person - Drop by any of the 7 locations across the County. Click here to find your nearest office.

Final Segment for SoCal Gas Project in Encino Began This Week

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

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

Work hours:

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

Duration of work: Approximately 8-10 weeks (weather and other factors permitting)

What to expect

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

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.


Canter's Deli Turns 70 as We Mourn the Loss of Gary Canter.

This week, Canter’s Deli, a staple in the community since it opened in the 1930s in Boyle Heights and later moved to its current location on Fairfax, celebrated its 70th anniversary this week. Councilmember Koretz was happy to join in on the festivities - you could get a pastrami or vegetarian Reuben sandwich with a homemade pickle, chips and chocolate chip rugulah – all for just 70 cents.

However, it was also a bittersweet occasion as Gary Canter, grandson of Canter’s Deli founder Ben Canter past away only two weeks earlier. On Wednesday, Councilmember Koretz honored Gary in a City Council adjourning tribute noting that Gary lit up whatever room he walked into with his charisma, his generosity and kindness. Gary’s love for his friends, his family and Canter’s Deli was profound.

Team Koretz Wears Blue to Observe Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. On January 11th, CD5 staff wore blue to recognize "Wear Blue Day" for the National Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign to pledge solidarity with victims of human trafficking. In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also held a “Wear Blue” campaign on that same day.

Torah Procession for the Chofetz Chaim L.A. Inauguration of their New High School

Councilmember Koretz was honored to join Chofetz Chaim L.A. for the dedication of their new Yeshiva Ohr Canoch high school campus and a torah procession.


Adopt Some Love

Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Dogs and a Bunny of the Week from the East Valley and West LA 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