October 20, 2010

In this issue:

Not in my park!

Rain or shine: 30,000 strong

Pulling out the weeds

Consul Generals visit City Hall

In the community

Small business seminar

Sherman Oaks street fair

Shake, rattle and roll

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 National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles will present a free community event on Wednesday, October 20 about the prevention and prosecution of sexual predators. Click HERE for details.

On Thursday, October 21, Los Angeles will participate in the Great California Shakeout, an emergency preparedness drill. Click HERE to learn more.

On Thursday, October 21, the Century City Chamber of Commerce will host its 2010 Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon. Click HERE for details.

Please remember that President Obama is visiting USC on Friday, October 22. Since the last visit, efforts have been made to lessen the traffic impact of such a Presidential visit. Still, it is best to check your local news and traffic reports and allow extra time if possible for any commutes.

The Palms Neighborhood Council is having another Neighborhood Clean Up on Saturday, October 23 starting at 10am. Please visit their website for more details.

The Bureau of Street Services is planning on resurfacing Pico Blvd this coming weekend, October 23 and 24. The first section that will be done will be between Patricia Ave. and Manning Ave. from 6:30am to 4pm. Alternate routes will be posted. For more information, please call our West LA Office at (310) 289-0353.

Presented by the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and Westfield Fashion Square, LA Animal Services will host a Mobile Pet Adoption event this Saturday, October 23 from 1-4pm at the Westfield Fashion Square. 

The Mid City West Planning and Land Use Committee is beginning the process of creating a 3rd Street Neighborhood Plan. On Saturday, October 23, they will hold their first walking tour and planning workshop. Please click HERE for details.

On Sunday, October 24, Tikkunfest, a day of community service and social action will take place along 18 blocks of Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. For details on how to register and participate, please click HERE.

The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council will be hosting a Clean Up of Robertson Blvd on Sunday, October 24 from 9:30am to 12:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Paula Waxman for more details at home (310) 559-2552 or cell phone (310) 995-7163.

On Wednesday, October 27, the Van Nuys Area Community Police Advisory Board will host an Officers Appreciation Barbeque. Click HERE for more information.

The Century City Chamber of Commerce will hold a Halloween "Spook-tacular" Networking Night on Thursday, October 28. Click HERE for details.

Riverside Drive Elementary School will host its Fall Festival on Saturday, October 30. All ages are welcome and all proceeds benefit school programs.

Bring your unused cell phone to City Hall before Friday, November 12! Your cell phone from any service provider will be refurbished and sold for proceeds to be given  to victims of domestic violence through local domestic violence agencies. Just remember to erase your personal information first!

With any equipment that can't be refurbished, Verizon will recycle the phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way saving our landfills from tons of electronic waste (200 tons so far!). For more information please visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline

On Sunday, November 14, weSPARK Cancer Support Center
will host their 2nd Annual 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk at Lake Balboa in Encino. All proceeds will benefit the families of weSPARK, whose lives have been touched by cancer. Click HERE for details.

For the latest construction notices and closures along the I-405, please visit Metro HERE.

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.

Not in my park!

Signage like this would be a terrible eyesore in our parks.

Everyone is aware of the City's deep budget crisis and its impact on public services including our parks.  Despite this we all also know that the answer to staffing and monetary shortfalls at our parks is not to plaster them with illegal off-site advertising including billboards and supergraphics.  That is exactly what one corporation tried to do at CD5's own Holmby Park -- with the City's Recreation and Parks Commission granting its approval.

Councilmember Koretz stepped in to overrule the City's Recreation and Parks Commission by introducing a Charter Section 245 motion.  City Charter Section 245 allows the City Council to overrule certain actions by the various boards and commissions throughout the City.  Councilmember Koretz agrees that we all need to work together to raise money for our parks but the visual blight and conflict with the City's billboard rules presented in this proposal were simply unacceptable.

Once the item was scheduled for Council, the Recreation and Parks board reversed itself and canceled the advertising contract.  This is a victory for protecting our communities from illegal and intrusive advertising.  Councilmembers Koretz and Tom LaBonge also plan on introducing a motion offering protections from future proposed billboards that could otherwise inundate our parks. Councilmember Koretz looks forward to working with the community and the Los Angeles Parks Foundation to find more appropriate ways to raise money for our parks.

Rain or shine: 30,000 strong

On Sunday, October 17 Councilmember Paul Koretz addressed thousands of eager event participants before the start of the 26th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles. Sitting to his right are actor Drew Carey, founder and creator of AIDS Walk Los Angeles Craig Miller, and U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman.

The skies may have been gray and dismal this past Sunday, but that did not stop the more than 30,000 dedicated and excited participants who made this year’s AIDS Walk Los Angeles a tremendous success. The 26th Annual AIDS Walk LA was a remarkable event full of friendship, inspiration, determination and loving memories. Nearly 3 million dollars has been raised as a result of funds pledged for the 2010 walk. The money so generously contributed will help fund programs for prevention, advocacy, and much-needed services in the battle to fight HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles.

Councilmember Koretz with (from left) LA City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Tom LaBonge and Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles, Craig E. Thompson.

Councilmember Koretz salutes all of the walkers, volunteers and staff who made this great event possible. He also wants to thank all of the City departments who worked so hard in the planning and implementation of the walk, much of which took place in the 5th Council District. He and his office – “Team Koretz” – were honored once again to represent the LA City Council in this year’s walk, and look forward to next year’s effort.

Pulling out the weeds

After they were finished with the AIDS Walk, there was no rest for the weary for Councilmember Koretz and his Field Deputy, John Darnell. Once the Councilmember spotted this weed-infested median across from the Beverly Center, there was no turning a blind eye, and the two went to work until all of the weeds were pulled. Community groups throughout the 5th Council District are full of volunteers who participate in beautification efforts that help keep our neighborhoods pristine.

Consul Generals visit LA City Hall

Los Angeles is one of the great cities in the world and what we do here can have a positive international impact. That is why Councilmember Koretz was delighted to help arrange a friendly public meeting in Los Angeles City Hall of Egypt’s Consul General Ambassador Dr. Hesham Elnakib and Israel's Consul General Jacob Dayan. (The two are pictured together in that order, from left to right). 

As Consul General Dayan said, “Peace on the political level is important, but peace on a person-to-person echelon carries a grander weight and that is what we need to pass on to our communities."

In the community

Councilmember Koretz addresses the Westwood Gardens Civic Association.

Councilmember Koretz was very pleased to attend the annual meeting of the Westwood Gardens Civic Association.  He spoke about many key local and civic issues, including those caused by inefficiency in the city. He discussed potential solutions he is working on as Chair of the Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee and heard the questions and concerns of Association members. The Councilmember greatly appreciates being invited to important forums like this one, which provide his constituents with enhanced opportunities for neighborhood activism and civic involvement.  Thank you to the Westwood Gardens Civic Association!

Small business seminar

It’s no secret that small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, especially in Los Angeles. Anyone who owns or operates a small business in Encino or Sherman Oaks is encouraged to join Councilmember Koretz and Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton (pictured above) on Thursday, November 4th for an evening dedicated to providing resources to our small business community. The goal of the seminar is to connect business owners and operators directly with local, State and Federal organizations that will answer your questions about taxes, small business loans, City planning, building codes and a host of other issues. Food and beverages will be provided.

The event will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at the Encino Community Center (4935 Balboa Blvd., Encino). Doors open at 5:30, discussion starts at 6 PM.  Attendance is free.  Register online: www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/sbf.htm; by phone: 888-847-9652.

Sherman Oaks street fair

Sunday, October 17th was the 20th annual Sherman Oaks Street Fair, and everyone involved in this great tradition deserves a big round of cheers. As always, the festivities were fun for all, with crowds of local residents and visitors enjoying the offerings of local eateries, the wide variety of business booths and an Animal Services pet adoption booth.  

Councilmember Koretz surrounded by members of the Sherman Oaks
Neighborhood Council at Sunday's street fair.

Councilmember Koretz was delighted to participate: other elected officials present were Congressmember Brad Sherman and Assemblymember Mike Feuer. The Councilmember presented certificates of appreciation honoring Bob Cohen and the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, who organized the event; the Fair's Grand Marshal, Melissa Joan Hart, the actress/business person who is much adored for her many starring roles including as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and for her sterling sucess as co-owner of Sherman Oaks business SweetHarts; Carrie McDaniels, a longtime volunteer of the Street Fair; Senior Lead Officer George Aguilar; and distinguished teachers of the Sherman Oaks area.  Councilmember Koretz spoke about the strong sense of community in Sherman Oaks and the importance of the business community in promoting that spirit of community.  He also spent two hours happily walking around the fair, stopping at a variety of booths and discussing city issues with constituents.  So many folks there had a great time -- congratulations to all concerned for this tremendous annual happening!

Shake, rattle and roll

We can’t predict when the next earthquake will strike, but we do know when the next drill will take place. And that's important to know, because each time we participate in such a drill we improve our capacity to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones, our community and our region. That is a crucial goal because sooner or later, the next "big one" really will occur. In the meantime, the Great California ShakeOut is happening statewide on Thursday October 21st at 10:21am. The message is simple. To be safe during a major earthquake: 

  • “DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.”

By participating, we can raise awareness about earthquake safety and make sure that we have the necessary skills to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe when disaster strikes.

To find out more about earthquake safety including many other safety tips and facts, and to register your participation in the ShakeOut, please visit www.shakeout.org.

This message was sent to  by:

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