June 11, 2010

In this issue:

Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit

Bundy Village

Earthquake Safety

Medical Marijuana

SoRo Festival

Israel Rally

Adopt-a-Cat Month

Saying Goodbye to Coach Wooden

Contact Information

West LA Office
822 S. Robertson Blvd.
Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 289-0353

Valley Office
15760 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 1020
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 971-3088

City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Room 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005


The fun and exciting Palms Neighborhood Council Bike Rodeo will be held Saturday, June 12 at Palms Elementary School. This event is FREE to Palms residents and children ages 7-12 attending Palms area schools. Click HERE to learn more.

The 40th annual Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE Celebration takes place this weekend, June 12-13. The festivities culminate with the PRIDE Parade on Sunday. Click HERE to learn more.

Interested in learning more about the Westside Subway Extension? Before the release of the draft Environmental Impact Report, the final round of community update meetings begins on Monday, June 14 at LACMA West. Click HERE to learn more.

The 2010 Valley Fair runs from June 17-20 at Birmingham Community Charter High School in Lake Balboa. Click HERE to learn more.

On Saturday, June 19 the Found Animals and L.A. Animal Services hosts the "Better with a Buddy" event, offering a great opportunity to adopt a pet from one of the City's shelters. Click HERE to learn more.

Metro is holding four public hearings on the proposed Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit project and the Recently released Draft Environmental Impact Report. The first meeting will take place Monday, June 21 at Westwood Presbyterian Church. The event is open to all who want to learn more about the proposal and voice their concerns. Click HERE to learn more.

The Westside Leadership Summit will take place on Thursday, June 24 at the Fairfax High School Auditorium.

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.

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.

Interested in learning more about the Westside Subway Extension? The final round of community update meetings before the release of the draft Environmental Impact Report contines on Monday, June 28 at Westwood United Methodist Church. Click HERE to learn more.

Send us your news and events!
If you or your community group have any upcoming events that you would like to see featured in our next newsletter or on my website, please e-mail me at paul.koretz@lacity.org.

Please feel free to send this newsletter along to your friends and neighbors and tell them to visit the CD 5 website at http://cd5.lacity.org to sign up for this newsletter.

Voice Your Concerns!

The Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) has been released concerning the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit Project, and should be available on-line at http://www.metro.net/projects/wilshire/, and at public libraries in the area. Public meetings will also be held, and times and places will be noted in this newsletter and at the Metro website. Public comments on the Draft EIR/EA will be accepted through July 22, 2010. You may submit your comments by e-mail to: wilshirebrt@metro.net or by US Mail to: Martha Butler, Project Manager, Metro, 1 Gateway Plaza, 99-23-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Protecting the 5th Council District from Bundy Village Overdevelopment

Current site of the proposed Bundy Village project.

Overdevelopment and poorly planned development can have a very negative impact on life in the 5th Council District – even when the massive project in question is not located within the boundaries of our district, but just outside.

That’s why Councilmember Koretz has been quite concerned about the traffic and quality of life impacts posed by the proposed Bundy Village project, located at Bundy and Olympic (in Council District 11).

Very productive meetings have been held with Councilmember Bill Rosendahl (CD 11) who shares many of the same concerns.

Bundy Village is an enormous medical, retail and residential project that would add more than 20,000 cars daily to the already congested Westside.  The proposed project includes over 384,000 square feet of medical office, 68,000 square feet for retail and restaurant, a 51,000 square foot supermarket and 177 condos.

Councilmember Koretz is dismayed that during the bureaucratic planning process, intersections in CD 5 were left out of the traffic study. He also feels that this project is not consistent with its surroundings, and full public review needs to be a critical portion of the approval process.

Both Councilmembers, Rosendahl and Koretz, are working with community groups as this proposal is scrutinized and debated.

Councilmember Koretz took office determined to ensure that decisions about proposed projects involve careful planning, tough thinking and full public input, and that involves any project that might impact the quality of life in CD 5.

Earthquake Safety: Protecting Homes from Quakes AND Higher Property Taxes!

Calamitous earthquakes – such as the recent one that shook Haiti and caused devastating loss of life – have demonstrated what can go tragically wrong, on a massive scale, when buildings are not constructed safely enough to withstand the tremors.

That’s why it’s critically important that seismic retrofitting be encouraged without imposing a financial penalty –and why California voters are to be applauded.

Until now, making your home sturdier might have led to your property tax being increased. But in this past Tuesday’s June 8, 2010 election, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, known as the “Seismic Retrofitting Amendment,” with 84.5% voting “Yes."

L.A. City Councilmembers Koretz and Greig Smith (pictured above) had co-presented a successful City Council resolution in support of Proposition 13, urging approval at the ballot box.

Prop 13’s passage means that property owners will be able to seismically retrofit an existing building and make it safer, without triggering a reassessment of property tax values.

Councilmember Koretz says, “The Prop 13 win is a big victory for earthquake safety, California, the City of Los Angeles and taxpayers. It’s absolutely crucial that we empower people to make their homes, businesses and communities safer, and so we’ve removed a financial disincentive. This is a true win-win for the public, our region and the state.”

If you would like to learn more about earthquake preparedness and what you can do to make your home as safe as possible, please see the Los Angeles Fire Department's Emergency Preparedness Booklet.

Most marijuana Dispensaries Have Closed or are Closing, Due to New Ordinance

Two of the hundreds of dispensaries that have been ordered to shut down.

In the 5th Council District, and across the City of Los Angeles, the introduction and implementation of the new City Ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries has led to many if not most of them closing down, with more to follow.

California voters had approved the use of medicinal marijuana because there are ill people for whom it can be greatly beneficial. The Ordinance is intended to protect access for those in true need, while eliminating the nuisances and the overabundance of dispensaries that had become the rule and not the exception.

A Great Time Was Had by All

At this year's SoRo Festival were (from l-r) Carlos Illingworth, Vons Manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations; Assemblyman Mike Feuer; Charlene Renhult, Vons Store Manager; Councilmember Koretz; State Senator Curren Price; and Martin Jon Liberman.

This year's annual SoRo Festival, put on by SoRo, Inc. and supported by the South Robertson Neighborhood Council, was a resounding success, full of fun, food and community-based informational outreach. SoRo and Councilmember Koretz recognized a local Vons grocery for "Outstanding Green Citizenship." City of Los Angeles Police Officers and Firefighters were among those on hand, schools participated in an art competition, and, as always, Councilmember Koretz delighted in meeting and talking with constituents.

Rally for Israel

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Councilmember Koretz, Congressmember Brad Sherman, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Assemblymember Mike Feuer and many Rabbis and leaders of other faiths were among the thousands of people who attended this recent rally, held in the mid-Wilshire area in support of Israel.

American Humane Association and “Adopt-A-Cat” Month

Sadly, approximately
4 million cats end up in shelters every year. Councilmember Paul Koretz heartily encourages the spaying, neutering and adoption of cats from our city shelters –his periodic “Feline Friday” presentations at City Hall have spread the word and led to adoptions, with 13-week-old Abigail, pictured here, being the latest offering.

Councilmember Koretz and Abigail were joined by Jone Bouman (pictured above) of the American Humane Association, who designate each June as “Adopt-A-Cat” month. For more than 130 years, American Humane has been a great source of loving effort and care, helping not just cats but all animals, and not just animals but also children, by actively protecting animals and humans from cruelty, abuse and neglect. American Humane works in neighborhoods and communities across the nation, with government and non-profits, in compassionate efforts on the ground and through federal and state legislation.

Jone Bouman has a special role, for she is head of Communications for the American Humane Film & Television Unit, located here in Los Angeles. They help monitor over a thousand productions a year, with Safety Representatives present to ensure each animal's well-being, making certain that safety guidelines are met or exceeded, and that no animals are harmed. Indeed, the Los Angeles regional office is the authority behind the "No Animals Were Harmed" credit disclaimer that we so often see at the end of movies and TV shows that have lived up to American Humane standards.

To adopt an animal from any one of our shelters, interested parties can start the process by calling 1-888-452-7381 to reach any one of our six animal care centers. In addition, photos of our available animals and information on all of our shelters can also be viewed on our website,
www.laanimalservices.com. Once a member of the community is interested in a particular animal, they should plan on visiting the shelter to meet the animal and to speak to one of our qualified shelter representatives.

Saying Goodbye to a True Champion

John Wooden showed us all how to be champions, not just on the scoreboard but in all aspects of life. Coach Wooden was a remarkable man, a coach for the ages and the kind of person that inspires a city, a nation, and generations of people to excel. He taught through example that true winning isn’t just about achievement, but about teamwork, self-discipline and good sportsmanship.

He meant the world to his players, but he also had an incalculable effect on any of us who grew up while his teams were thrilling us and winning title after title.  Obviously, he was a huge hero to me personally, since I had the privilege of attending UCLA and rooting for the team while John Wooden was still coaching the Bruins. But any fan across America, of any age, who watched those teams win under Coach Wooden received a college education in what it means to provide dignity, grace and intelligent leadership.

Every city, every person, benefits when we have teachers, coaches and mentors who embody the best work ethic and values:  for Los Angeles, John Wooden was the exemplar – the person who gave us priceless knowledge by dint of his wisdom and character.


This message was sent to  by:

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005