September 22, 2010

In this issue:

Drug House Bust

Senior Lead Officers

dineLA and Restaurant Week

Action After Audits

Republic Pictures

Shanah Tovah

Moving On


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


UPCOMING EVENTS

On Wednesday, September 22, Los Angeles Animal Services will hold a Town Hall meeting about the proposal to increase the pet limit in the City. All are welcome and invited to express their opinion. Click HERE for details.

Metro will hold a series of public hearings on the Draft EIS/EIR for the Westside Subway Extension. The next hearing will take place Wednesday, September 22 at LACMA West. Click HERE for details.

On Saturday, September 25, a special celebration of Republic Pictures 75th Anniversary will be held at the CBS Studio Center. See our story below or click HERE for more information.

On Sunday, September 26, the Motion Picture & Television Fund will host its Walk For Rides event at the 20th Century Fox Studios Lot in Century City. The walk will raise money to support transportation services for senior citizens. Click HERE or call 818-876-1950 for details.

On Tuesday, September 28, the Century City Chamber of Commerce will host a Power Breakfast with First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner. Click HERE for more information.


Don't forget! Found Animals, an animal adoption advocacy group, is partnering with Los Angeles Animal Services to present the Summer Buddies program. Now through September 30th if you adopt one cat Found Animals will pay the adoption fees for a second cat. If you have always wanted a cat, the Summer Buddies program provides an excellent opportunity to get two for the price of one.


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.

Drug House Bust


Councilmember Koretz with Senior Lead Officer Arthur Gallegos at
this year's National Night Out in Poinsettia Park.

In August, the 5th District Council Office received a call from a Melrose area community leader who has worked very successfully with the Council Office on past neighborhood issues. This time, the constituent was quite concerned about possible drug dealing at a house just off of Melrose Avenue.

The Council Office immediately brought in Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Arthur Gallegos, and a community meeting was arranged with SLO Gallegos and local residents. The LAPD got key information because of input shared during that meeting, and LAPD Narcotics officers began an investigation, ending up with the issuance of a search warrant for that location.

On September 2, three arrests were made during the evening hours, including for possession of methamphetamines as well as for possession of drug paraphernalia. One of those arrested was a parolee at large. The police have confirmed that the house was used for the selling of narcotics. The owner of the property didn’t know that the house was being used for dealing: it is currently being refurbished and painted, hopefully to be rented out again.

Congratulations and thanks to all involved in this community-police public safety partnership. The Melrose area is truly blessed to have so many wonderful community leaders and effective neighborhood activists and organizations such as Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch. Equally essential and valued are the officers of LAPD who serve this area.  By working together, the community and the LAPD are doing a remarkable job of cracking down on crime and preserving public safety. A special salute goes to Senior Lead Officer Arthur Gallegos, who is greatly appreciated for his profound knowledge and dedication in keeping people, homes and businesses safe from crime.


What is an SLO anyway?

A Senior Lead Officer is an officer in charge of a basic car area within a geographic division. Senior lead officers provide a link that help unite the LAPD with the communities it serves.

The Senior Lead Officer program is vital to community policing, because the SLO is often the main liaison for problem solving between the Department and the resident.

There are 168 SLOs across the City. Each of the 18 LAPD Divisions is subdivided into several Basic Car Areas, and your SLO oversees one neighborhood Basic Car Area.

You'll want to find out from the LAPD Division that serves your area the name of your Senior Lead Officer and keep his or her cell phone number handy. Then give him or her an introductory call.

NOTE: Each of LAPD's 18 community police stations has a Community Relations Office. The officers there will be happy to help you determine the phone number for your SLO.

Senior Lead Officers are the pivotal element in the LAPD's effort to prevent and deter local crime. SLOs provide the vital link for local problem solving, public safety efforts and quality of life issues.

Among other things Senior Lead Officers are responsible for:

- Monitoring crime trends in their Basic Car Areas - since each Division has several of these, the SLO supervises a relatively small geographic region;

- Working with the Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) and residents to develop goals to be accomplished through the efforts of all officers assigned to the Basic Car;

- Acting as liaisons with the Division's detectives in order to keep them informed of crime trends and special problems within the Basic Car Area; and

- Continuous interaction between police and local residents. This is essential for enhancing a neighborhood's quality of life and deterring crime. Senior Lead Officers take the lead in establishing and maintaining local community policing partnerships.

Senior Lead Officers regularly attend Neighborhood Watch meetings and are happy to coordinate setting up new ones.

They are eager to serve the community.


Eat, drink and be merry


Councilmember Koretz joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a
number of our city's best chefs for the dineLA launch.

There are a lot of fantastic restaurants in our 5th Council district -- on Melrose and on Fairfax; in Westwood and Century City; on Ventura Boulevard and throughout the San Fernando Valley. Indeed, on any major street and sometimes in quieter settings, in community after community of the 5th District, you can find an intriguing and often amazingly delectable culinary experience.

That's why Councilmember Koretz was so pleased and proud to join Mayor Villaraigosa, celebrity chefs and community leaders in hosting the dineLA Restaurant Week kickoff event at Napa Valley Grille, in Westwood.
DineLA Restaurant Week gives our residents and visitors a real opportunity to support many of our City's restaurants at an affordable range of prices.

And that’s crucial to all of us, because our city’s restaurant community is vital to the entire Los Angeles economy, producing jobs, revenues and a fine reason for anyone to head out for a memorable dining experience. And when people go out for a splendid meal they often also end up shopping at other businesses, so this is incredibly beneficial to our economic recovery.

One PS. We want the economy of the entire region (and the entire nation) to improve, so we hope many of the participating restaurants see increased business. But the best restaurants in the region are right here in the City of LA. So when you go out, check out that City of LA restaurant you always have wanted to try!



No more dilly-dallying with ARRA!

One reason the City is in a financial mess is that too often in the past, proposed remedies that could have saved taxpayers many millions of dollars have been ignored. Audits that contain corrective measures have been shelved, succeeding only in collecting dust when they might have helped balance the budget, if used.

Councilmember Koretz has aggressively sought to change all that. As chair of the City Council's Audits and Governmental Efficiency (AGE) committee, he is doing his utmost to change the culture of City Hall by establishing and maintaining very productive working relationships with City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, and by partnering with them to ensure the prompt consideration of audits and swift implementation of their recommendations.

Take, for instance, what is currently happening with the City’s expenditure of federal funding from President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus grants. As of this month, we have received approximately $630 million of the over $1.7 billion the City has requested for Environmental, Housing, Economic Development, Public Safety, Public Services, Transportation and Infrastructure projects. That’s great, because this money couldn’t have come at a better time, as the City faces one of its most dire budget seasons in decades, City services are being jeopardized, and our unemployment rate is in the double-digits.

ARRA dollars awarded to Los Angeles need to be spent expeditiously, since swift and well-targeted expenditures help jumpstart the local economy by creating and retaining jobs at a time of true need. Indeed, ARRA funding stipulates that expenditures occur without unnecessary delay. So it is absolutely essential that City implementation of these funds be evaluated, including determining whether those funds are being employed on a timely basis.

That’s why City Controller Wendy Greuel recently issued two audits assessing the expenditure of over $141 million in ARRA funds – dollars intended for use by the Departments of Transportation and Public Works to enhance our City’s transportation and physical infrastructure. Such funding has been provided those departments to help the City resurface streets, improve our bridges and rail grade crossings, provide clean buses and protect the safety of our bike riding public – and while those are always crucial objectives, Controller Greuel’s audits were to make certain that the ARRA funds are being spent not just wisely but swiftly, when they can do the most good.

Instead, her audits found that these two departments were often acting sluggishly – for example, taking seven months to put a contract out to bid when it could be done in one. Too often, these departments took the slow track simply because they were following the same bureaucratic processes they normally use for ordinary procurement of goods and services and for contracting out projects. As a result, they weren’t living up to the spirit of ARRA, which is to boost the local economy by promoting immediate job creation and retention.

Because Councilmember Koretz wants the Controller’s audits to have maximum impact without any delay – because he’s not content to let City audits gather dust – he immediately had his Audits and Government Efficiency Committee focus on these two audits. The Controller's office was invited in to explain the audits to the Committee and the public. Councilmember Koretz then asked the departments to explain how they will implement solutions to the issues flagged by the Controller. He also requested information on how the City could streamline its contracting processes to ensure the immediate expenditure of these precious federal dollars.

According to the Controller’s findings, when it comes to the ARRA funds, the City may be putting any current and future funding at risk because departments are not expending the money in the spirit it was granted. It is truly urgent that all city departments learn from the audits and make any and all appropriate adjustments, without delay. The good news is that the City of Los Angeles is now taking its audits seriously and acting on them, not sitting on them.


Republic Pictures turns 75


An aerial view of the Republic Pictures studio lot in the 1940s. (Photo courtesy of Fred Godlash)

This year marks the historic 75th Anniversary of the founding of Republic Pictures, which became known for low-budget films that delighted audiences and left a mark on cinema history.

That's why, on Saturday, September 25, 2010, from 11am-5pm, there will be a free celebration at CBS Studio Center (Republic studio facilities were located on what is now part of CBS Studio Center), at 4204 Radford Avenue in Studio City. The festivities will include screenings, speakers, celebrities, live music, memorabilia, food, a kids art corner and panels featuring many stars and the children and other relatives of stars associated with the Halcyon days of Republic Pictures and the Golden Age of Cinema.

Republic Pictures was particularly identified with Westerns and was home to such stars as John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Along with its frequent “oaters” about cowboys, Republic produced and distributed all kinds of "B movies" including mysteries, serials and action adventures, satisfying countless Saturday matinee moviegoers while also producing or distributing classics such as The Quiet Man, Johnny Guitar and Orson Welles’ Macbeth and showcasing the talents of filmmakers such as Welles, John Ford and Nicholas Ray.  Republic also had a significant presence in the early days of television. Truly, there is a tremendous legacy of entertainment and accomplishment much worth commemorating and still charming viewers worldwide, as Republic, now under the auspices of Paramount Motion Pictures Group, turns 75.

Which is why the Studio City Neighborhood Council has helped spearhead an extraordinary celebration of this landmark Anniversary occasion. The Republic Pictures Event Committee has demonstrated impressive dedication while making a great idea an even greater reality, full of fun happenings, grand entertainment and classic memories. Represented on the committee are the Studio City Neighborhood Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Cinecon, Casting, CBS Studio Center, CBS Television City, Paramount Pictures, UCLA Film and TV Archives, Academy Film Archive, American Cinematheque, Hollywood Heritage and Friends of Studio City Library.

By treasuring and honoring the remarkable people and achievements of Hollywood’s past, the people of this city recognize and cherish what the Hollywood film and entertainment industries and studios have meant to Los Angeles: artistry, professionalism, jobs and an unmatched, global reputation for stellar creativity and exemplary storytelling.


Shanah Tovah CD 5!

Councilmember Koretz joined Jews the world over in celebrating the High Holidays. Luckily, Council District 5 offers one of the most robust Jewish communities on the planet in which to observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This year, Councilmember Koretz was grateful for the kind welcome he received at Leo Baeck Temple, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Temple Beth Am, Congregation Kol Ami and Nessah Synagogue. Each synagogue experience was unique, and the diversity illustrated the richness and vibrancy of the Los Angeles Jewish community.  May 5771 be a year of blessings, sweetness and peace.


Moving on

For the past 2 1/2 years, since he started with the City of Los Angeles, Mark Davis has been a key member of the 5th Council District's West Los Angeles staff.

As a hardworking and dedicated field deputy, Mark has been devoted to helping constituents. Time and again, he has informed and assisted local residents, inspiring positive results by bringing a very friendly and spirited outlook and valuable ideas to any situation.

Mark has been a constant presence at community meetings, but he's also someone who many CD 5 constituents talk to on a daily basis to hear the latest news. Mark has always been happy to have those conversations, to reach out and be accessible and work hand-in-hand with people seeking a better quality of life. That's why, even in the midst of any tough challenge or tricky issue, he's been a very steady and calming field deputy.

Who knows, maybe he learned to be that way from surfing!  Mark is from the South Bay area -- yes, he has surfed. He graduated from American University then interned for Congressmember Jane Harmon, before starting with the 5th Council District for then-Councilmember Jack Weiss, by sitting at the front desk in the West L.A. office, where he took constituent phone calls and greeted visitors. Since then, he has become an essential ambassador and problem solver in the field, visible throughout the Westside, delighting constituents and Councilmember Paul Koretz alike.

Now, though, the 5th Council District is losing one of its stellar advocates and public servants to the private sector, for he is joining a firm that specializes in public affairs, public relations and advertising. At least Mark will not be going far as his new employer is located in CD 5. We wish Mark the best while knowing that his commitment to service and his fondness for the people and communities of the 5th CD will continue undiminished.

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This message was sent to  by:

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