November 21, 2018   

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful, a time to remember and to embrace those who enrich our lives.  These past few weeks have certainly been a trying time as Southern California has endured tremendous loss from the Hill and Woolsey wildfires (and the Camp wildfire in Northern California) that came on the heels of the horrendous massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.  And yet, our friends, families and neighbors rose to face the devastation with duty and selfless courage. From the ashes has already risen an incredible force of humanity that has stepped up with generosity beyond compare.

This Thanksgiving, whether we are gathering around a bountiful feast or dining alone far from our loved ones, let us take a moment to find gratitude for what we have, while we think of those who are hungry or lonely and those who have lost their homes or their loved ones.  

I, for one, am most grateful for all of the first responders who put their service before themselves every day.  The Borderline shooting and the fires provided far too many first hand views of their tremendous sacrifice and service and I wish for them a well-deserved rest. Finally, thank you to all of those who give of themselves as volunteers or through random acts of kindness. You are an integral part of an incredible community for which I am truly grateful.

May you have a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving.


Paul Koretz

P.S. The City will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and will re-open, Monday, November 26th.  


Legislative Fix to Revitalize Westwood Village

From the time he first joined the City Council, the revitalization of Westwood Village has been a priority for Councilmember Koretz. In fact, he took the step to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) and over time, the BID has spruced up the area and added safety and access conveniences like crosswalks and an app to find available parking.

Included in the BID was an assessment to discern some of the possible reasons that Westwood Village has experienced a steady vacancy increase of both commercial and retail business; and with it a steady decline in local and tourist patronage. One of the determinations pointed to development standard limitations of the 30+ year old Westwood Village Specific Plan. Among the limitations it was discerned that the current restaurant/food and commercial/retail restrictions have not kept time with the changing consumer demands. For example, there is no place in the Specific Plans for terms like “fast casual” that describe restaurants that offer real tableware but do not include table service. However, “fast casual” has evolved into some of today's most trendy restaurants and offer a higher quality food than fast food restaurants, with fewer frozen or processed ingredients. It is an intermediate concept between fast food and formal dining, and usually priced accordingly. So restaurants and shops that are popular and drive businesses elsewhere in the City don't fit into the limitations of the current Westwood Village Specific Plan.

So in an effort to stimulate the local economy both for adjacent UCLA campus as well as the larger Westwood neighborhood, and in preparation of the 2028 Summer Olympics, Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion that instructs the LA City Planning Department to identify options for amending the Westwood Village Specific Plan to revise definitions of food related establishments; the restrictions on the types and number of such establishments; and parking requirements within the Plan.

Honoring Hospitality Training Academy and UNITED HERE Local 11 Apprenticeship Program

Last week in recognition of National Apprenticeship Week, Councilmember Koretz held a special City Council presentation to recognize an incredible program that is helping to forward reliable positions for workers in the hospitality industry. The non-profit Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) and UNITE HERE Local 11 have combined forces to offer culinary and room attendant apprenticeships that prepare workers for housekeeping and line cook positions at a variety of Local 11 hospitality establishments.  The program not only up-skills existing employees that are represented by Local 11, but also provides a variety of workforce development, apprenticeships and training programs that are funded by federal, state and local government agencies and foundations to train underrepresented and marginalized adults and youth for jobs in the hospitality industry. At least 70% of apprentices in HTA’s programs end up with a permanent union job.

Among the honorees, Councilmember Koretz recognized five of those successful apprentices who have already completed more than 1,000 hours of work after initial training and recognized the employers who have provided these incredible union apprenticeship positions in the culinary and room attendant fields, including The Beverly Hilton, Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport, Levy Restaurants, The Jeremy Hotel, Viceroy Hotel Group, and SLS Beverly Hills Hotel.

Councilmember Koretz was also joined at the podium by Greg Irish, Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development Board and Heather Rozman, Executive Director of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles to offer their commendations.


Join Us for A Chanukah Celebration at City Hall

Councilmember Koretz will be joined by several Council colleagues, City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Controller Ron Galperin in partnership with the Jewish Federation for a Festival of Lights Celebration at City Hall.  We hope you will join us on November 30th at 9:00 a.m. in the 3rd floor rotunda, 200 N. Spring St. for candle lighting, music and chanukah treats.

Please RSVP by email at

In addition, you are encouraged to bring a toy or book to donate to Jewish Federation’s Toy and Book Drive. Or, you can order directly through their Amazon Wishlist found here:

Holiday Construction Schedule for Sepulveda-Venice Water Pipeline Connection Project

Construction on the Sepulveda-Venice Water Pipeline Connection Project is currently taking place on Sepulveda Blvd, south of the intersection with Venice Blvd. Construction is in the middle of street in front of the MWD Building and will continue through the end of the year.

Construction will NOT take place on Thursday, November 22nd through Friday, November 23rd nor Monday December 24th through Wednesday December 26th. Working hours will be 8:00am to no later than 7:00pm.

Although the work is entirely in Culver City, CD5 commuters need to be informed. As a reminder, this is an active construction site. Construction signage is installed for the safety of pedestrians, motorists, and construction crew. Please adhere to all construction signage including sidewalk closure signs, use caution when walking or driving through the area.

f you have any questions, please contact Deborah Hong at or 213-367-5204.

Thanksgiving Weekend Adoption & Pet Safety Tips

This Thanksgiving weekend could be the perfect time to visit your local animal shelter and fall in love with a furry friend. LA Animal Services is offering reduced and waived adoption fees on cats, kittens, dogs and puppies Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd through the 25th.

All six LA Animal Services Centers have adoptable pets that would love to spend the holiday weekend getting to know their new families and homes.

Adoption fees include the pet's vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, and microchip. While dog adoption fees are reduced, there will be a $20 dog license fee applied for LA City residents. What better way to give thanks than to give an orphaned shelter pet a home? You'll be repaid with unconditional love and laughs for years to come!

Holiday Pet Safety

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends, but it also can carry some hazards for pets.

  • Overindulging in the family feast can be unhealthy for humans, but even worse for pets: Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet's digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets. If you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet, make or buy a treat that is made just for them.
  • Put the trash away where your pets can't find it. All scraps, bones and packaging should be covered and tightly secured in a trash bag placed in a closed trash can outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
  • Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn't have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Visitors can upset your pets. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. This will reduce the emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury.
  • Watch the exits. Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely, especially when people are entering or leaving your home. We don't want your four-legged family member to make a break for it out the door and become lost.
  • Identification tags and microchips reunite families. Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information on their microchip and license. If they do sneak out, they're more likely to be returned to you.

For more information go to or call 888-452-7381.


Woolsey and Hill Fire Community Contributions

Thank you to all of the generous people that came out to contribute items to help the victims of the wildfires. 

There was an enormous outpouring of support from all over Southern California, from San Bernardino to Bakersfield.  For example, in the first few days the Encino Neighborhood Council and neighboring residents, came forward to help donate more than 6,500 bottles of water, hygiene supplies, toys, and food. Through steadfast ways and caring deeds, the selfless acts of the community are continuing to help those in this time of need.

In addition to these generous contributions, sincere gratitude goes out to our local Firefighters at Fire Station 83, LAPD and our Emergency Management Division. In the face of extreme danger, they saved many lives and are to be commended on their acts of bravery as they worked timeless to control the fires.

As a community we pulled together, and It is so wonderful to see how our strength prevailed and will continue in the aftermath of such a tragic time.

Smoothing Over CD5

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services (BSS) is working hard to improve the quality of our streets in the Fifth Council District.

In West Los Angeles, BSS completed a major asphalt repair after grinding large roots under Motor Place making for a much smoother ride between Forrester & McConnell.

And it is now smooth driving in Encino on Palora Street between Ensfield Ave & Newcastle Ave. from a new coat of slurry seal.  Thank you BSS.



California Environmental Quality Act & Transportation Update

The City of Los Angeles is updating the Transportation Section of the Los Angeles CEQA Thresholds Guide to comply with State legislation (Senate Bill 743). State guidelines require all cities to update their transportation impact analysis metrics to vehicle miles traveled (VMT) before July 1, 2020. This approach prioritizes the safety and access of all street users. The State is also proposing a comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines. Accordingly, the Department of City Planning is updating its CEQA significance thresholds as part of the State’s 2019 update to CEQA.

Next week, Open House events will be held that are intended to allow the community to learn more about and review these updates, provide public comment, and to ask questions of Department of City Planning and Department of Transportation staff. There will be public hearings at each Open House, where oral testimony will be recorded. To view the official notice for the open house and public hearing, click here.

You are invited to an Informational Open House and a Public Hearing regarding updates by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning and Department of Transportation to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. The next two Open House and Public Hearings will be held:

Wednesday, November 28th, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
City Hall East, 200 North Main St. 3rd Floor, Room 351
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Transit: Metro Red/Purple Civic Center Station, Gold Line Little Tokyo Station, and bus lines Parking: Paid parking is available at nearby parking lots.

Thursday, November 29th, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center
6262 Van Nuys Blvd., 1st Floor Meeting Room
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Transit: Metro Orange Line Van Nuys Station and bus lines Parking: Free and metered street parking on Van Nuys Blvd. and Sylvan St.

NCJW | LA Annual Clothing Giveaway

Once a year, on the first Sunday in December, NCJW | LA provides free clothing to over 2,500 individuals through our Annual Clothing Giveaway. At the Clothing Giveaway NCJW | LA also hosts a community resource fair to connect participants to additional local resources and services.  This year, the event will be held Sunday, December 2nd, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 pm, at 543 N Fairfax Ave., (1 block south of Melrose at Clinton.) For more information, call 323-852-8500 or visit

Valley Community Plans Update Workshops

The City Planning Department has initiated a series of updates to nine community plans, as part of an ongoing citywide effort to update all 35 by 2024.

There are scheduled several new “concept” workshops to unveil conceptual changes to the Community Plan. You are encouraged to attend and learn about the Community Plan affecting your community’s blueprint for growth and land use and to provide feedback. The Department of City Planning wants to hear from you.  For Encino residents who wish to learn more about the Southwest Valley Community Plans Update and how to get involved, please visit:

Upcoming meetings for Encino:

Thursday, December 6, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Marvin Braude Building (Conference Room 1B), 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard, Van Nuys, CA 91401.

Westside JCC’s 3rd Annual Run & Walk

Please join the Westside Jewish Community Center's Third Annual Run & Walk to support community health and wellness. It will be hosted on Sunday, December 9th, at 5870 W. Olympic Blvd.

The Health & Wellness Expo will be from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. and the 5k Run & Walk begins at 8:30 a.m.

Find out more information at


Adopt Some Love

Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Pets of the Week from the West LA & East Valley City Animal Shelters. Please come meet our pets – they need homes now. The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm and 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