July 4th is one of the best days of summer, and Los Angeles offers many ways to celebrate Independence Day.
Whether you take your party to the beach or are planning a family gathering at home, remember that fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles. In fact, a citywide collaboration exists to educate, enforce, and change the culture of fireworks. Not only can fireworks cause serious injury or death to people, but they can cause damage to homes and property, and even potentially start brush fires. So, please leave fireworks to the professionals.
The following video was made by the Los Angeles Fire Department which is tasked with responding to emergencies caused by illegal fireworks whether it be injuries or fires.
Also, if you are headed to the airport this week, please be aware that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) officials are forecasting record breaking travel from Friday, June 29th through Monday, July 9th. Therefore, they recommend that guests plan ahead and be prepared for crowded terminals and traffic congestion on the roadways in and around LAX. Airport officials suggest departing passengers arrive in their airline terminals at least two hours prior to boarding time for domestic flights and at least three hours before boarding time for international flights. Also, the public is being reminded that LAX’s multi-billion-dollar modernization program is still on-going so motorists and pedestrians should be prepared to encounter additional delays due to construction work.
Finally, the LA Department of Animal Services would also like you to know that they are preparing for their busiest time of year!
The loud sounds of July 4th fireworks frighten dogs and cats. If they get out of the house or yard, they run in fear. Then these frightened pets can’t find their way home and end up at our City shelters.
Your help is needed to make space in our crowded shelters for the influx of terrified lost pets by fostering a pet for four days or more. If you won't be in town or can't foster at this time, please help us spread the word!
Wishing you a relaxing and safe holiday,
Michel Moore Is Los Angeles’ New Chief of Police
||Councilmember Koretz with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Ret. (left) and Chief Michel Moore (right). |
This week, the LA City Council voted unanimously to confirm Michel Moore as the new Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. The City Council also held a special presentation to honor Chief Charlie Beck who announced his retirement last month after 40 years of service.
Chief Moore is a 36-year veteran of the LAPD. He has risen through the ranks of the department as a police officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain before taking on various high command roles.
Serving as Assistant Chief for the Office of Operations under Chief Beck, Michel Moore has already proven himself as a driving force for positive change and community building. He's built his career on a mission of honoring his uniform by treating all he encounters with respect, dignity and compassion, and he has earned the full faith and trust of the rank and file.
Helping Tenants Combat Unfair Evictions
On June 29th, Councilmember Koretz proposed that the City of Los Angeles create a “Tenants’ Right to Counsel” program to provide apartment renters faced with eviction or landlord harassment with legal assistance they might not otherwise be able to obtain. The proposal calls for City staff to make recommendations on developing the program, including prospective costs and funding sources, and report back to the Council within 120 days.
“With the apartment rental market going crazy, evictions and harassment both have risen,” Koretz said. “It’s a known fact that tenants who have legal representation are better equipped to fight for their rights and less likely to actually be evicted.”
The recently released Homeless Count numbers showed that nearly 10,000 people experienced homelessness for the first time in 2017 and many of them were among the approximately 30,000 L.A. renters who received Unlawful Detainers (final eviction notices) last year.
With vacancy rates running well below 5% around the city, rents continuing to rise, incomes continuing to stagnate, and a strong real estate market, thousands of rent-controlled units are being vacated and demolished for redevelopment or converted to condominiums. The pressures on tenants are as powerful as they’ve ever been.
“Helping people keep their homes reduces homelessness,” Koretz added. “To the extent that some evictions, or landlord-tenant disputes leading to loss of tenancy can be stopped, I think we can provide representation and stop evictions.”
Koretz credits a meeting on homelessness last fall with UCLA students with giving him the idea for this proposal. Additionally, New York City created a Right to Counsel program last year and San Francisco voters mandated the establishment of a Right to Counsel program in this month’s primary election.Koretz’s motion, which was seconded by Council President Herb Wesson, was referred to the Council’s Housing Committee for further consideration.
LA Moves to Ban Fur
More than fifty million animals, including foxes, chinchilla, minks, raccoon, dogs and rabbits, are killed for their fur every year. The fur industry has consistently been associated with inhumane practices. Factory fur farming and wild animal trapping is not only cruel, but fur is also damaging to the environment and contributes to water and air pollution. Earlier this month, Councilmembers Koretz and Blumenfield introduced a motion requesting the City Attorney to prepare and present an ordinance which would prohibit the manufacture and sale of fur products in the City of Los Angeles. This would include apparel or accessory made with fur, including but not limited to handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, jewelry, and key chains, with exceptions for the sale of used fur products beginning January, 1, 2020.
In recent decades, Los Angeles has shown itself to be a world-leader in animal welfare. The state legislature has also considered various animal production measures including prohibiting the sale of products that are not cruelty-free. By eliminating the sale of new fur products, Los Angeles has the opportunity to promote a community awareness of animal welfare and to continue to lead in the field of progressive animal welfare reform.
Upon the introduction of the motion, Councilmember Koretz condemned the practice of maiming and/or killing animals for vanity as not only cruel but also senseless. ”Today’s motion to stop the manufacturing and retail sales of animal parts is long overdue,” he said. ”These beautiful animals deserve better than the cruel treatment they receive at the hands of fur ranchers, especially if it is to create trivial fur fashion items. The world looks to Los Angeles for fashion trends and this will be one for which we can be proud.”
Closing the Remodel Loophole
For far too long there has been a gaping loophole in LA City Building and Planning codes that has allowed builders or developers to pull “remodel” or “major renovations” permits, with the full intention of actually building a brand new house, thereby avoiding all of the rules, fees, and requirements that go with adhering to LA's building and planning codes. The way that they have been able to get away with the large discrepancy has been to retain a fraction of the original home’s foundation and a single supporting wood stud.
Last month, the LA City Council passed a motion introduced by Councilmember Koretz that instructs the Planning Department, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to prepare a report that highlights the differences between a remodel and a demolition project in current code. This will also improve notification requirements to neighbors, and review all applicable building loopholes in the City’s codes that may negatively impact neighbors.
2018 Pride Honoree Will Hacker
This month, the City Council celebrated LGBTQ Pride at the LA City 2018 Pride Commemoration, and recognized those who are leading the change to make Los Angeles a more welcoming and inclusive place. Each Councilmember chose a person in their district who has made actionable change for the LGBTQ community. Councilmember Koretz was honored to recognize Will Hackner, founder of Varsity Gay League, the largest LGBTQ recreational sports league in the nation.
In addition, Councilmember Koretz supported the Varsity Gay League, the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Dodgers and the West Hollywood Gateway shopping center by offering to match $5000 toward a “Drag Ball” kickball game to raise money to support the league and to safely improve security at Poinsettia Recreation Center. The event was a huge success, raising more than $16,000. According to Will, the event brought “200 fans, 30 queens and kings, 2 amazing half time performances and not a broken heel in sight!”
Alert: Scammers Posing As LADWP Employees
The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is warning the public that there are various types of scams in which people posing as LADWP employees are contacting customers and attempting to sell energy or water related products, or demanding payment for non-existent water and power bills. The scammers may use strong sales tactics or even threaten to shut off services. What can make the scheme even harder to detect is the increasing use of sophisticated communication technology that mimics phone numbers, making the caller ID appear to be from a trusted source. Here are some tips that might help you determine whether the call is legitimate or a scam.
Know that LADWP will NEVER:
- Allow you to provide your credit card to a live LADWP operator to make payment;
- Accept pre-paid cash cards (e.g. Green Dot) as tender for payment; or,
- Call customers threatening to immediately disconnect their water or power service unless the customer makes a prompt payment over the phone.
What can you do if you get a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from LADWP?
- NEVER give out any personal information including credit card or banking information to the caller; and
- Hang up and dial 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) directly.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from potential scams, go to UtilitiesUnited.org.
Pre-4th of July Free Concert at Westwood Library is Fun for the Whole Family this Sunday, July 1, 2:30 pm
The upcoming third concert of the Westwood Library’s 2018 season features the virtuoso Swing Band of the Los Angeles Police Department Band. Under the baton of Maestro Richard Allen, the 10-person swing band will play an array of American popular classics and patriotic favorites in a lively Fourth of July celebration. The library garage and doors open Sunday, July 1 at 2:00 pm at the Westwood Library, 1246 Glendon Avenue. The concert starts at 2:30 pm and lasts approximately one hour, with no intermission. After the concert, stay and meet the musicians and enjoy refreshments hosted by FELLOW Restaurant in Westwood Village and the Friends of Westwood Library. Parking and admission are free.
School's Out for Summer
Summer is here. Congratulations to all the 2018 graduates! As the school year has come to an end, CD5 is ramping up our community outreach through the schools in our district. To that end, Councilmember Koretz promoted our own Monica Molina to serve as School Liaison. Monica’s role is to connect with the school community, teachers, administrators and students to bring together the resources available through non-profit organizations and corporate opportunities available to our schools.
|Pictured above: Mrs. Laura Goldin, 7th grade student participants, and Councilmember Koretz’s School Liaison, Monica Molina |
For example, one program that our office has brought to Palms Middle School is "Arts Bridging the Gap," founded and directed by Georgia Van Cuylenburg. This organization and arts initiative program has facilitated the design and completion of two murals on campus that are visible from Palms Boulevard (heading East.) The murals were created by the 7th and 8th grade students in Ms. Laura Goldin’s art class to beautify the schools and reflect their collective inspirations. The students spent an entire semester drawing, designing, and prepping the mural. On painting day they were joined by LAPD officers from Pacific Division who worked with the students to help bring life to their ideas while fostering positive relations with law enforcement. Next year, the students in Ms. Goldin’s class will work to create another eight walls throughout the Fifth Council District.
|Pictured above: Mrs. Laura Goldin, Mr. Florentino Jauregui, Assistant Principal, and 7th grade student participants |
Meanwhile, on Thursday, May 10, CD5 Chief of Staff Joan Pelico, once again, had the honor and privilege of presenting a commendation to four high school students from Fairfax High School. For the past 22 years, the L.A. SAMPE (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering) Board has selected four outstanding senior students to receive the Irene Epstein Scholarship Award.
|Top left to right - Dr. Howard Katzman, COS Joan Pelico, George Epstein; and Student honorees: Michelle Zvansky, Annie Chantasirivisal, Aston Niane and Ho Jin Choi . |
The Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship program was initiated in 1996 shortly after the passing of Irene Epstein, to recognize her strong desire to assist financially challenged, academically deserving students to attend college to study engineering, science, mathematics, or medicine. Congratulations to the winners.
Finally, last week Mrs. Deborah Shannon’s third grade class at Palms Elementary took the opportunity to address various concerns and share with the Councilmember what they had discovered after their focused study this year on sacrifices. The students had made observations from their neighborhood and saw the need to reach out to the Council office and we made sure their voices were heard. Monica Molina and Joseph Galloway, our field deputy for the area, made a personal visit to the students and presented them with certificates of recognition for their civic participation and answered questions the students had.
|Left to right - CD5 School Liaison Monica Molina, Mrs. Deborah Shannon, and CD5 Field Deputy Joseph Galloway. |
Congratulations LAFD Graduating Recruit Class
Congratulations to the most recent graduating recruit class of the Los Angeles Fire Department. These women and men took an oath and have chosen to be the first ones in and last ones out of a burning building or disaster. We owe them our sincere thanks and appreciation for their call to service to our City. Representing the Councilmember was CD5 Chief Deputy of Public Safety Gregory Martayan, pictured here with Fire Marshall Deputy Chief Kristen Crowley, Operations West Bureau Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, and Operations Central Bureau Deputy Chief Ronnie Villanueva.
Proud to Celebrate Pride 2018
Another successful LA Pride parade full of friends and fabulous fun.
|Councilmember Koretz rides the Stonewall Democratic Club Float and celebrated the day’s events with Congresswoman Maxine Waters.|
Hollywood Celebrates 70th Birthday of Israel
This month, Councilmember Koretz and staff were proud and honored to stand with the Consul General of Israel to celebrate the 70th Birthday of Israel at the Hollywood Celebrates Israel gathering at Universal City. It was a time to reflect on Israel and how far the country has come in a relatively short period of time. The event included highlights of the contributions of Israel and its people.
|Koretz and staff photographed with Jane the Virgin's Yael Grobglas, LA Laker's Metta World Peace and Kelsey Gramme|
Mid City West Movie Night in the Park
Thanks to everyone who came together to launch the first Mid City West community Movie in the Park and social services fair. More than 200 people turned out to picnic, learn about local services and enjoy Disney’s Moana. Thank you to all of the hard working organizers and volunteers. We look forward to this becoming an annual event.
Fun at the Glen Fair 2018
Thanks to the The Residents of Beverly Glen for hosting another wonderful Glen Fair. Huge thanks also goes to the Flatland Mountain Rock Band for letting Councilmember Koretz join in on their set and perform.
Councilmember Koretz attended the 21st annual SORO Fest. Joined by Senator Holly J. Mitchell, the Councilmember recognized the efforts of the South Robertson Neighborhood Council and its Secretary, Beth Hirsch, for organizing the annual event and bringing the community together.
|Councilmember Koretz at SOROFest with (Left to Right) Senator Holly J. Mitchell, Doug J Fitzsimmons and Beth Hirsch. |
Thank you to the LA’s Bureau of Sanitation Clean Streets LA initiative for cleaning Lindley Ave in Encino last week. Clean Streets LA is a city-wide effort to clean our neighborhoods. Call 3-1-1 or use the MyLA311 app if you need bulky item pickup or to report abandoned waste and illegal dumping in the public right of way near you. When making a report, please provide as much detail about the location and debris as possible so the appropriate level of resources can be directed to the site.
Adopt Some Love
Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Dogs and Cats of the Week from the West LA & East Valley City Animal Shelters. This Friday, June 29th through Sunday, July 1st, and Tuesday, July 3rd, all dogs at all six LA Animal Services Centers will be free for adoption. Please come meet our dogs and cats – they need homes now. The regular shelter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays). Click on any photo below for details.