November 27, 2019   

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Please be aware that the powerful winter storm is on the menu to last through Thanksgiving week with continued heavy winds and rain.  Therefore, the Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA) has placed staff on “standby” at the end of shift starting this evening. They will be called if the need arises to respond to clear roadways, remove debris or other storm related issues. StreetsLA will continue to closely monitor this storm while remaining in constant contact with the Emergency Management Department. They have also prepared all equipment and vehicles for the wet weather, and have made sure emergency supplies are stocked and for deployment. Moreover, LA Sanitation has issued a Wet Weather alert and will be working around the clock to ensure that catch basins are clear and functioning. 

Finally, Mayor Garcetti has announced that more than 500 emergency shelter beds were opened today at various City Recreation and Parks facilities ahead of the storm, building new capacity to protect homeless Angelenos from harsh weather conditions.  LAHSA’s winter shelter program will formally open on December 1, and is expected to provide 1,232 beds at 16 locations throughout L.A. County through the end of March 2020.

Also, Thanksgiving is always a very busy travel time so plan extra time so you have a safe and rewarding Thanksgiving with your friends and family. One option is to check out the LAX Holiday Shuttle and increased Flyaway Bus Service during peak hours. More information about these programs are below among the latest “News You Can Use” in this latest newsletter. 

Sincerely,

Paul Koretz

 

IN THE NEWS


LA Times Editorial: Tiny Houses? Safe Parking? Let’s Give Homeless People Alternatives to Sidewalk

City News: Councilman Says Outdoor Shelters, Shared Housing Could Aid Homeless

Los Angeles Times: LA’s Free Tree Giveaway for Yards and Streets Hopes to Bring 90,000 New Plantings

City News Service: LA Councilmen Call on City to Boycott Brazilian Products over Amazon Wildfires

 

LEGISLATIVE NEWS


Wildlife Pilot Study Workshop & Inter-Governmental Wildlife Corridor Connectivity

 
  Andy Shrader, Councilmember Koretz’s Director of Environmental Affairs kicks off LA City Planning’s Wildlife Pilot Study town hall meeting and discusses CD5’s work with various departments, agencies and non-governmental organizations to protect wildlife habitats and wildlife corridors throughout Los Angeles, starting with the eastern Santa Monica Mountains.

The eastern Santa Monica Mountains (between the 405 and 101 freeways) are habitat to a wide variety of native wildlife among a mix of residential lots and large, undeveloped open space and natural areas. In 2014, Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion calling for a wildlife habitat linkage ordinance that could protect the hillside areas between the 101 and 405 freeways. The motion was passed unanimously by the City Council in 2016, and since that time CD5 staff has been working with the LA City Planning Department, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and wildlife advocacy organization Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW), to study the area and look at regulation options to implement the ordinance. 

For those who were unable to attend, the workshop presentation, display boards, and survey are available on the LA City Planning website here under "Wildlife Pilot Study" and there's still time to provide feedback. 

In addition, Councilmember Koretz's environmental staff initiated an inter-agency meeting with City, County, State and Federal government officials from Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including members of our own Biodiversity/ LA Sanitation and LA City Planning offices, to discuss our hillside Wildlife Pilot Study plans and get guidance and expertise on similar projects.  The hope is to continue to expand the project to eventually connect wildlife habitats throughout all of our hillside areas.  Last Saturday, the public was invited to learn about the latest updates to the Wildlife Pilot Project, and provide feedback, as well. The community input will directly influence and support the ordinance that will be drafted in the next few months and will then return to the City Attorney and then full Council for a vote of support.

 
  Representatives focused on wildlife habitats, connectivity and biodiversity gathered from various government agencies, teams and elected officials’ offices at the Japanese Garden for a Regional Wildlife Connectivity meeting working together to help protect and improve biodiversity within Los Angeles.

 

HONORING LOS ANGELES HEROS IN CITY COUNCIL


Honoring UCLA Prof. John McNeil & Veteran of the Year

Every year City Council hold an annual Veterans Day commemoration in City Council chambers. This event honors a "Veteran of the Year" in each of the 15 council districts.  It is an opportunity to say thank you to all veterans, and also to hear amazing stories of our honorees' service to country and their continuing service to our community.

This year Councilmember Koretz and staff were proud to recognize and honor Professor John McNeil, US Navy World War II Veteran and Emeritus Professor of Education at UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Professor McNeil is 100 years old and still teaches at UCLA.

In 1943, John McNeil was assigned to the USS Achernar, an attack cargo ship that was deployed to Europe to lead Operation NEPTUNE. He served on board as a gunnery officer when the ship was headquartered for the Allied Forces’ invasion of Omaha Beach on the Normandy coast of France on June 6, 1944 - D-Day.

John McNeil's contributions to our City and Country exemplify the embodiment of true valor, integrity, service, and excellence throughout his life and for the past six decades at UCLA where he continues to teach with a steadfast commitment to social justice by preparing his students to teach in urban communities.



Honoring the Pet Care Foundation in Paula Kent Meehan’s Memory

  Councilmember Koretz was joined by LA Animal Services' Annette Ramirez to recognize and honor the Pet Care Foundation, founded by the late Paula Kent Meehan. Representing the honorees were Pet Care Foundation's Director Bill Crowe (center), Board President Marcia Hobbs (R) and volunteers.

This week, Councilmember Koretz hosted a special City Council presentation to honor and recognize The Pet Care Foundation, a wonderful non-profit organization that has changed the lives of many animals in Los Angeles.

The Pet Care Foundation was founded in 2003 by the late Paula Kent Meehan to create an animal shelter for Beverly Hills. In 2004, Bill Crowe was hired as the Director of the Foundation and for 15 years they worked tirelessly to reduce the euthanasia rates in City shelters.   

Ms. Kent Meehan, was also co-founder of the Redken haircare products line and the owner of the Beverly Hills Courier, but her lifelong devotion to working with animals and her commitment to animal welfare has paid dividends to the betterment of Los Angeles as a whole. 

Since it began, Pet Care Foundation has found homes for more than 35,000 cats and dogs through adoption events, “Adopt a Pet Today” television show that appears monthly on LA City Channel 35, in addition to grooming programs in L.A. and Pasadena shelters.  The Pet Care Foundation makes a life-saving difference for the fantastic dogs and cats in our LA City Animal Care Centers every single day.

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE


LAWA LAUNCHES NEW 'LAX HOLIDAY SHUTTLE' TO SANTA MONICA & CENTURY CITY, INCREASES SERVICE FOR THE FLYAWAY, GREEN LINE & METRO SHUTTLES FOR THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.

Just in time for what is projected to be record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday passenger levels, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has announced new public transportation options and expanded service for guests going to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during the holiday season.  

Earlier this month, Councilmember Paul Koretz introduced a motion requesting the airport reinstate the taxi stands at the terminal curbs.  Councilmember Koretz believes that while this holiday plan may temporarily improve the recently implemented “LAX-it Pickup Lot” program that moves taxis (and rideshare) away from the curb, he is still determined to fight to return taxis curbside.  So far, the LAX-it implementation has already revealed itself to be a notable inconvenience and disservice to seniors, the disabled, and families with children. In addition, Councilmember Koretz believes that LAX-it will be the nail in the coffin of the taxi industry that according to the UCLA Labor Center, has lost 70% in ridership, 35% in fare revenues and 32% in numbers of drivers and are now substantially dependent on income derived from the now-inconvenient pickups at LAX.  

In the meantime, below are further details for LAX holiday shuttle and Flyaway Bus Service.

LAX HOLIDAY SHUTTLE -- DIRECT TO SANTA MONICA AND CENTURY CITY: 

Starting this Sunday, November 24 at 4:00 a.m., and continuing through the end of the day on Monday, December 2, the LAX Holiday Shuttle will take guests directly between LAX and locations in Century City and Santa Monica. It will operate between 3:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., and pickup and drop-off guests once per hour per location. At LAX, the holiday shuttle will pick up passengers from the dedicated bus lane on the inner curb of the lower/arrivals level at the "Pink" LAX Shuttle stops. At the Santa Monica and Century City locations, guests will find the shuttle stops at a parking lot, with a dedicated staff member to help them find and pay for their shuttle ride. The fare for a ride is $10 each way and a schedule for the service from each location will be shared on social media and at www.flylax.com.

  • Santa Monica: 1925 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 
  • Century City: 11620 Wilshire Blvd, Century City, CA

FLYAWAY BUS SERVICE – INCREASED FREQUENCY TO ALL ROUTES: 

Also during the busy Thanksgiving holidays, LAWA is increasing the frequency of FlyAway bus service during peak hours. The increase will nearly double the service to Hollywood and Long Beach while providing more buses per hour on the Van Nuys and Union Station routes during the busiest times of day, between Sunday, November 24 and Tuesday, December 3.

  • Van Nuys: Four buses per hour from Van Nuys to LAX from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily; four buses per hour from LAX to Van Nuys from 11:00 a.m. to midnight daily. The Van Nuys route operates 24/7, with hourly service in the early morning hours (12:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.). This is doubling frequency during peak hours.
  • Union Station: Three buses per hour in each direction from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. The Union Station route operates 24/7, with regular service every
  •  half hour except hourly in the early morning hours (1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m.).   This is an addition of one trip per hour during peak periods. 
  • Hollywood: Two buses per hour in each direction between noon and 9:00 p.m. daily. Buses operate from 1627 N. Vine St. in Hollywood to LAX starting at 5:15 a.m. until 9:15 p.m., and travel from LAX to Hollywood starting at 6:15 a.m. until 10:15 p.m., and will continue to operate hourly during non-peak times. This is a doubling of service during peak hours. 

Fares range from $8 to $9.75 one way. Service from Union Station and Van Nuys is available 24 hours a day, with parking available at both locations. At LAX, the FlyAway buses pickup from the new dedicated inner lanes on the Lower/Arrivals Level. For more information on FlyAway, including a real-time bus tracker, visit www.LAXFlyAway.org



Emergency Renters Relief Program

The Los Angeles City Council approved the Emergency Renters Relief Program to assist renters facing exorbitant rent increases to prevent displacement of renters and families by providing a temporary subsidy to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent through December 31, 2019.  Beginning on January 1, 2020, the Tenant Protections Act of 2019 will protect renters from excessive rent increases. The Emergency Renters Relief program is intended to prevent tenant displacement until the new law becomes effective. 

Who is eligible to receive the rent subsidy?

Tenants who reside in the City of Los Angeles that live in rental properties that have a Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety (LADBS) between October 2, 1978 through December 31, 2004, are eligible to receive a rent subsidy if they received one or more rent increase notices totaling more than 8% since March 15, 2019, and have household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). To find out if your unit was built before January 1, 2005, click here.



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, November 29 through December 1.

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 www.laanimalservices.com or call 888-452-7381.



Green Your Home with Free Trees from City Plants

Free yard trees and street trees are available to residents of the City of Los Angeles through an energy efficiency program in partnership with LADWP.  

City Plants partners with various community organizations to host tree giveaways or “adoptions” throughout the City of Los Angeles multiple times a month. Check their calendar to find the next tree adoption event closest to you. We recommend you check back once a week, as the team works hard to provide all Angelenos access to adoption events.

If you are interested in partnering with City Plants to host an adoption event, please submit an inquiry here! City Plants staff will be in touch.



December 10 - Festival of Lights

Join Councilmember Koretz and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles at City Hall for the annual Festival of Lights Chanukah Celebration on December 10 at 9:00 a.m. We also hope you will join us on November 30th at 9:00 a.m. in the 3rd floor rotunda, at City Hall for candle lighting, music and chanukah treats.

In addition, we encourage you to donate to the annual Festival of Lights Toy and Book Drive through our Amazon Wishlist found here: http://bit.ly/JFedToyDrive 

JFS will be accepting toys and books until November 30, 2019.

 

IN THE COMMUNITY


Remembering Traffic Victims with a Rainbow Halo

On Friday, November 15, Councilmember Koretz’s staff participated in a dedication ceremony to mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and observe the installation of the City’s sixth Rainbow Halo: a multicolored disc art installation series meant to commemorate those killed during traffic collisions.

This latest memorial, placed at the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Louise Avenue in Encino, honors the memory of Yana Lavrenteva, a special education teacher and mother of two who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on October 14, 2018.

The dedication was sponsored by Southern California Families For Safe Streets and Los Angeles Walks, in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT).  Yana's family and numerous friends attended the dedication of this rainbow halo.  Councilmember Koretz’s Chief Transportation Deputy Jay Greenstein spoke to those gathered to extend condolences to Yana's family and to plead with drivers to recognize the dangers of driving motor vehicles which when operated unsafely can be a lethal weapon. He stated that "we hope that someday there will no longer be these tragedies that add to the number of activist families who have lost family members in these tragic accidents."



Midtown Homeless Coalition

Councilmember Paul Koretz and staff met with representatives of the Midtown Coalition, a local organization dedicated to providing resources to the homeless community in the region.  The discussion included ways to work together and support the organization's services as well as solutions for homelessness that could include locating a one-stop center (not currently available) in Midtown Los Angeles.



Welcome Pacific Kitchen to Century City

Pacific Kitchen held its ribbon-cutting at Fox Plaza in Century City.  Restaurant leadership and Fox Plaza management were joined by Nancy Wood from the Century City Chamber of Commerce and Debbie Dyner Harris, Councilmember Koretz’s District Director.  We are excited about this fresh and healthy new restaurant choice in Century City!



Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Getty Fire Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Getty Fire Town Hall to learn from City and County officials, especially public safety department leaders, and discuss the Getty Fire, the lessons learned and how residents can be better prepared.  Special thanks to Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council for hosting and CD5 Coalition of Homeowners Associations Founder Marcia Selz for emceeing the informative talk.  Special appreciation to Los Angeles Fire Department's Deputy Chief Armando Hogan and LAPD - West Los Angeles Division Captain Vic Davalos and MRCA Ranger Walt Young for your keen strategy and tireless leadership.

 
  Councilmember Koretz’s staff joined colleagues, first responders and public safety experts at the November 25th Getty Fire Town Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Members of my staff joined LA City, County, and State agency officials along with representatives of all of the LA City Public Safety departments sharing lessons learned from the most recent fire and tips for residentials to be better prepared. 



Another Resurfaced Alley

Thank you to the Bureau of Street Services for resurfacing the alley on South of Pico Blvd between Holt and La Cienega.



Adopt Some Love

Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Dogs and Cats (and Rabbit) of the Week from the West LA & East Valley City Animal Shelters. Please come meet our dogs and cats – they need homes now. The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed Mondays). Click on any photo below for details.  Note: LA Animal Services is offering reduced and waived adoption fees on cats, kittens, dogs and puppies Friday, November 29 through December 1.

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Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
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