As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spike, Mayor Garcetti has asked us all to hunker down as the percentage of Intensive Care Unit capacity continues to climb into dangerously high levels. As a result, Governor Newsom announced a regional Stay-At-Home order shutting down bars, wineries, hairs salons and barbershops, as well as other personal service businesses, for a three-week period beginning tomorrow, Saturday 12/5. The order allows restaurants to offer take-out and delivery only, churches are limited to outdoor services and schools already open for in-person learning are not affected. In addition, retail stores and malls are allowed to operate at 20 percent capacity.
I know that these closures have a tremendous impact upon local community businesses and staff, and to that end, Mayor Garcetti has announced the Secure Emergency Relief for Food Service Workers (SERVE) initiative, a new partnership between the Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, to provide 4,000 local food-service workers (servers, wait staff, cooks, and others) who fuel Los Angeles’ food-service industry with a one-time $800 stipend. Applications will open on Monday, December 7, at 9:00 AM and will close at midnight on Friday, December 11th. For more information on eligibility, how to apply, and additional COVID-19 support, please visit our resources page at Coronavirus.LACity.org/SERVE.
As the surge continues to climb, I hope everyone will take seriously the Mayor's urging us to hunker down at this time. Each encounter with people outside your home is a chance of being exposed to COVID-19. So please do your best to avoid coming in contact with anyone outside of your household whenever possible even though the Safer At Home orders may “allow” you to do so. Please consider that If you need to run an errand or need supplies, first decide if it really is necessary to do so. If it is necessary please consider curbside pickup, online shopping, or even a few extra dollars for home delivery. Ultimately, we will get through this but it will take a commitment from the entire community to follow the state and local public health guidelines which are to avoid all unnecessary travel, to make sure to wear your masks, and to get together with only members of your immediate household.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
In the News
City News Service- LA Councilmember Seeks Report from Health Officials on COVID-19 Vaccines
LA Times - LA Councilmember Files Motion to Have City Make Emergency COVID-19 Plan
LA Times Letters to the Editor - Councilmember Paul Koretz has Harsh Words for People who Whine About COVID Restrictions
Beverly Press - Preparations for Vaccine Underway as Cases Surge
Huge Relief for Eastbound Ventura Traffic
Good News Valley Drivers! The Expansion of Peak Hour Restriction Signs for the eastbound side of Ventura Blvd. was installed on November 14th. This will keep the parking lanes open for moving traffic until 10:00 a.m. on weekday mornings. The segment involved approximately 120 sign locations from Hayvenhurst to the 405 Fwy. in the Encino neighborhood.
Additionally, more active lanes for an additional hour of the day means more visibility for pedestrians crossing Ventura Blvd. Consequently, this will be a huge relief to the Eastbound traffic. A big thanks to the LADOT, and the Encino Neighborhood.
Metro Service Changes
Metro is redesigning your bus system to deliver you a better experience. Starting on Sunday, Dec. 13th, Metro riders will enjoy realigned bus routes, better schedules, and more frequent service to get you to where you want to go in less time.
To find out about any changes to your bus line, please click here.
Important COVID-19 reminder: Metro requires everyone to wear a face covering for the safety of all passengers. To learn about what is being done to keep you safe when you ride Metro, please go to their guide.
7 Tips to Safely Decorate your Home for the Holidays
Candle fires causing home fires peak in December
Decorating with holiday candles? Consider the flameless kind — as December is the peak month for candle fires.
The risk is so common that nearly one-third of us have done this – left the room or fallen asleep while candles are burning, according to a 2020 national American Red Cross survey. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended, keep them away from anything that could burn, and place them out of reach from children and pets.
With Los Angeles County facing a three-week Safer at Home order, many more of us will be indoors and with a smaller group of loved ones. Therefore, the Red Cross Los Angeles Region urges everyone to follow these decorating safety tips to prevent fires and keep everyone safe:
Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of lights together — no more than three per extension cord. Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid electrocution or fire hazard.
Look for the fire-resistant label when buying an artificial tree. Keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat. Never use electric lights on metallic trees.
If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings on the mantel.
Check the labels of older decorations because some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Also, avoid breathing in artificial snow.
Have good, stable placement when using a ladder and wear shoes that allow for good traction.
Stay safe from home fires by testing your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.
Please visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).
Additionally, you can learn how to keep your family safe in the cooler months by joining Red Cross LA’s next Community Conversation: Home Fire Safety During Winter joined by the Los Angeles Fire Department on Dec. 2 and in Spanish on Dec. 9. For more information or to view past Community Conversations, please visit redcross.org/la.
Blood Donations Make A Difference - Give Blood Dec. 6th
The Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council is co-hosting a blood drive for Cedars-Sinai at Tree People on December 6th, and all donors get a free COVID antibody test! To sign up, please click here or go to cedars-sinai.org/giveblood, click "Locate a Blood Drive" and enter group code BABC. If you are not sure that you are eligible, you can find out here.
City Plants Webinar: Urban Heat - From Hazard to Hope
The City Plants team and partners would like to invite you all to the second installation of our exciting Growing Vibrant LA Communities webinar series! The session will be held on Tuesday, December 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Learn more about the threats of extreme heat in Los Angeles and engage with innovative solutions to keep our neighborhoods cool. All are welcome. RSVP here.
RSVP is mandatory. The maximum Zoom capacity is 500 participants. Webinar will be live streamed on Youtube if max capacity is reached.
Pets and COVID-19
To date in the U.S. there have been a handful of reports of animals testing positive for COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. It appears the virus can spread from people to animals in some situations, however, at this time, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that pets, including dogs and cats, can spread COVID-19 to humans.
Los Angeles Animal Services offers some simple steps you can take to protect the health of your pet(s) and family:
Keep your pet’s vaccinations current and use flea and tick control.
Wash your hands after handling your pet, its bedding and toys, or bowls.
If you are sick, keep your distance from other people and pets, and if possible, get another family member to take care of your pet to keep him or her from becoming a carrier to other family members.
If you can't find someone to care for your pet, continue to keep you and your pet in quarantine for 14 days after you are symptom-free.
And just like your family emergency plan, ensure your pets are part of your family emergency plan.
For more information on COVID-19 and pets, emergency preparedness, and how to keep you and your pets safe, please visit https://www.laanimalservices.com/keeping-your-pets-safe/.
Also, LA Animal Services invites you to join their next Doggy Dialogue via Zoom where Fosters and Adopters can ask questions and get advice from LA Animal Services staff and volunteers.
To sign up, please visit laanimalservices.com/about-us-2/calendar/ and once the calendar loads, click on the event for Doggy Dialogue on Saturday, December 12th at 10 a.m., and sign up using the form in the description.
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. 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.
This handsome fella is curious, takes treats well, loves attention, is very playful and obedient, knows his commands, and loves to pose for pictures! Wow! Bruno is 5-years-old and weighs 80-lbs. If you are interested in adopting or fostering Bruno, please contact our West LA Center at 888-452-731 and provide Bruno's animal ID (#A1864590).
Lovely Rita is looking for her forever home
This gorgeous gal is a total sweetheart! Lovely Rita weighs 5-lbs. If you are interested in adopting Lovely Rita, please contact our West LA Center at 888-452-7381 and provide her animal ID #A1956143
Did you know that roosters have unique personalities and make great indoor and outdoor pets? Stompy would make a great companion animal! Stompy is 3-years-old. If you are interested in adopting Stompy, our any of our other roosters, please contact our East Valley Center at 888-452-7381 and provide Stompy's animal ID #A1952622
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.