May 28, 2010
In this issue:
West LA Office
822 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
15760 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 971- 3088
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
On Sunday, May 30, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council will host "A Day in the Park" at the Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Memorial Park. Please visit www.shermanoaksnc.org/ or call (818) 503-2399 to learn more.
On Saturday, June 26, there is an opportunity to come out and "Discover Recycling" with the Department of Public Works' Bureau of Sanitation. This family friendly event will feature truck demonstrations, tours, free food, games and prizes. Click HERE to learn more.
The newly certified Westwood Neighborhood Council will have its first Board Member election on Saturday, June 26, at the Westwood Recreation Center. For more information, please call the Neighborhood Council Election Unit at (213) 978-0444
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Swift Response to Local Hit and Run
Councilmember Koretz at the podium with Gerta Zelman (the victim's mother) to his right, and Detective Alasea Jackson to his left, asking for
anyone with information to come forward.
After a hit and run incident at La Cienega Blvd. near Melrose Place left 22-year-old Benjamin Zelman critically injured and in a coma, local authorities worked quickly and, thanks to their concerted effort and a tip from the public, a suspect has now been arrested.
Councilmember Koretz praised the diligence and skill of the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department: "They have been extraordinarily sensitive and diligent in seeking to solve this case." The Councilmember also thanked the public, noting that, "we are grateful for the public’s help in coming forth with crucial information, and for its outpouring of concern. I know that many of us have Ben Zelman and his family in our prayers."
Mr. Zelman, a valet, was struck by an older model yellow Volkswagen black top convertible on the evening of Wednesday, May 19th at approximately 10:40 p.m. The driver continued on, but surveillance video from a nearby restaurant captured the image of that car.
On Thursday, May 27th, Councilmember Koretz joined West Traffic Division officers and members of the Zelman family in order to release video images of that car, and to ask the public for its assistance in finding any culpable party, and to announce rewards for information leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the injuries to Ben Zelman. (The family had offered a $10,000 reward; on May 26th, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Koretz authorizing a $25,000 reward.)
Within hours of the press conference, police announced the arrest of 74-year-old Michael Goodman of Los Angeles, after a tipster viewed the footage on a news broadcast and recognized the automobile.
Even though an arrest has been made, the LAPD is still asking for any witnesses to the crash who have not yet talked with police to contact West Traffic Division of LAPD at (213) 473-0238, or West Traffic Division detectives at (213) 473-0234. During non-business or weekend hours, call 1-877-LAPD-24-7.
Empowering the Good People of this City
Councilmember Paul Krekorian looks on as Councilmember Koretz
speaks about the importance of citizen activists.
Most people want their neighborhoods to shine – but too often, have felt frustrated and limited in what they can do to protect and improve the local quality of life. That’s why the two newest Councilmembers, Paul Koretz (District 5) and Paul Krekorian (District 2) joined together with the City’s Bureau of Street Services on May 22nd to co-host a code enforcement training workshop.
Close to one hundred community activists attended the event at Sportsmen's Lodge in the San Fernando Valley to learn how to work with the City in order to identify, report and resolve problems, including illegal signs, potholes, graffiti and other code violations.
The two Councilmembers described how beneficial it will be for neighborhood residents to help with such matters, especially in times of budgetary crisis when the City’s ability to enforce the code may be limited due to layoffs and other budgetary actions. But Councilmember Koretz also stated that empowering the community in this manner would have been a right and proper thing to accomplish under any circumstance.
Larry Morales then spoke – he’s Senior Street Services Investigator II for the Bureau of Street Services, and he gave a detailed presentation and answered many questions about problems people encounter in their neighborhoods, while letting the audience know how to help with code enforcement in a safe, knowledgeable, responsible and appropriate manner.
Larry Morales answers questions after his presentation.
Many in the audience shared their own ideas that are now being followed up on in City Hall.
Councilmember Koretz said afterwards, "I think this was an important effort and that people learned a lot of valuable information, and we are planning to do more such training events in the future."
Councilmember Koretz stays after to answer questions from community leaders like Jules Feir and Barbara Hand.
Recognizing a Local Green Business
Councilmember Koretz and Lee Wallach, Faith2Green president,
present the "Green Seal" to John and Moon Lee, Pants Cleaners owners.
Councilmember Koretz was delighted to join Faith2Green in recognizing a local business, Pants Cleaners, for doing its part to make our world cleaner and greener.
Faith2Green encourages Los Angeles businesses to become more environmentally conscious, and memorializes the stellar achievements of our most outstanding businesses through its "Green Seal" awards.
On this occasion, John and Moon Lee and Pants Cleaners, the company they own, were recognized for exceptional environmental practices and contributions. Pants Cleaners is a green cleaner, and does not use the chemical that’s commonly called perc, thus avoiding the health, safety and environmental risks associated with traditional cleaners and their reliance on perc, which is a petroleum-based product.
Thanks to the efforts and advances made by environmentally aware residents and businesses, Los Angeles is a city that is moving quickly toward a greener, happier and safer future.
Valley Power, Women Power
Last week, the Los Angeles City Council celebrated Pioneer Woman Day to honor those women who have made significant contributions to their community. Each councilmember had the opportunity to choose a Pioneer Woman who exemplified civic engagement, community pride and dedicated activism.
Pictured above are some of this year's honorees, all of whom are proud to call the San Fernando Valley their home. On the left, Councilmember Tony Cardenas (CD 6) stands with Lydia Mather, president of Van Nuys Neighborhood Council. In the center is Councilmember Koretz with Jill Banks Barad, president of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council. And on the right is Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD 2) with Judy Price, president of the Valley Glen Neighborhood Association.
Councilmember Koretz salutes these Pioneer Women and all women who make extraordinary contributions to their communities every day.
The intense work continues regarding fixing the City’s budget, and Councilmember Koretz is helping that along by championing audits and governmental efficiencies that will translate into significant savings.
At the same time, other legislative efforts still move forward – and four by Councilmember Koretz were recently approved, unanimously, by the City Council:
One resolution, co-presented by Councilmembers Koretz and Greig Smith, complements state and federal legislation condemning Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and seeks the cessation of business practices with Iran’s energy sector.
The Iran resolution was first announced at this press conference.
The Council also backed a Koretz motion to support state legislation authored by Assembly Member Lori Saldana to ban the open carrying of handguns in public places in California (by anyone other than law enforcement).
Councilmember Koretz, Assembly Member Lori Saldana and Women Against Gun Violence.
Another resolution addresses the Social Security Administration’s discriminatory policies which deny same sex couples access to the type of benefits available to heterosexual couples in the case of retirement, disability or death of a life partner. Even though Social Security was created to protect all Americans from financial insecurity, such discriminatory polices go against this principle.
Councilmember Koretz at rally for Social Security equality.
Another resolution supports state legislation making it illegal for a landlord to require declawing or devocalization of pets as a condition of tenancy in California. Along with the health and behavioral risks to dogs, devocalizing can also pose a threat to public safety officers, who may enter premises in danger if not alerted of a dog’s presence.
City Hall Welcomes Notre Dame Academy’s Championship Team!
Councilmember Koretz is joined by the championship-winning Regal Gryphons at City Hall.
One of this year’s great local sports stories was the triumphant season of the Notre Dame Academy soccer team, which surprised many by winning the 2009-2010 CIF Championship in March, culminating a tremendous season with a wonderfully played 2-0 win over South Torrance.
On May 28th, Councilmember Koretz was pleased to honor the team in City Hall. He said that "since we live in Los Angeles, we’re able to watch some of the greatest athletes and teams in action. But any true sports fan has a special place in their heart for the team of priceless character, that gives its all and that wins not just by talent, but by proving how essential it is to show grace and teamwork. These teams are often Cinderella teams, capable of surprising the powerhouses by virtue of their capacity to work in absolute harmony. I am so proud and happy to salute these champions of spirit, heart and soul – the Regal Gryphons of Notre Dame Academy."
Notre Dame Academy is a Catholic, private, fully-accredited college preparatory school for young women, established in 1949 by the Sisters of Notre Dame. Located in a residential area of the West Los Angeles portion of the 5th District, the Academy is a microcosm of the ethnically-diverse community it serves. Young women from throughout Los Angeles County with varied ethnic, social and economic backgrounds make up the progressive, talented and service-oriented student body.
Honoring our Fallen Heroes
Memorial Day is a time of magnificent importance. This holiday memorializes those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this nation and our transcendent values of democracy and freedom.
It is both humbling and inspiring to realize how much courage and humanity those men and women possessed. They risked everything for us. They gave all. They helped preserve not just our way of life, but our dreams and aspirations for a future that truly is a world at peace.
I am so proud – I know we are all so proud – of those we honor on this day.
And let us celebrate anyone who has been a part of our national defense, who has soldiered for the values articulated in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Emancipation Proclamation.
The people who have served in the United States military – in the past, today, or in years to come – deserve our enduring gratitude. They are heroes of a special brand, for what they do is done with full knowledge that they might be called upon to face unspeakable horrors. But they are remarkably valiant, those men and women who serve our cause.
Sadly, some lay down their lives, for the sake of duty and to protect the flag and the people for whom it flies. But because of such tragic sacrifice, our own everyday lives are touched with a sweetness and sorrow that make this land immeasurably beautiful and grand. We are so lucky that we live in a wonderful nation full of wonderful communities, but I do think the point of Memorial Day is that it is not simply a question of luck, but of the heroic service we honor on this day.