August 26, 2011

In this issue:

Roscomare resurfacing

Apron parking

Encino Chamber of Commerce

National Night Out

VICA Luncheon

Protecting our hills

Westwood FlyAway

Northeast Animal Shelter

Palms Cleanups

I love Lucy

Bark for Life

Camp Ruach

Westside Village Neighborhood Watch

New committee assignments

Sierra Club

In the community: SFVBJ

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


Brush Fire Clearance in the Hollywood Hills Starts Saturday, August 13. 

As many of you are already aware, the trees along Laurel Canyon and many other hillside streets in the Hollywood Hills have become dangerously overgrown causing a canopy affect in this Very High Fire Severity area.  In the event of a brush or wind driven fire, these canopied trees can cause a fire tunnel, much like the Oakland Hills Fire preventing resident's passage to evacuate and firefighters to access the area.

Commencing on Saturday, August 13, the LAFD Brush Clearance Unit will be addressing the overgrowth of the canopy on the vital Emergency Response Routes within the Hollywood Hills area.  The main arteries of Laurel Canyon and Lookout Mountain will be addressed on the weekends due to traffic issues.  The side streets will be cleared during the weekdays from 10am to approximately 2pm to lessen the impact on residents.  This project will continue for approximately twenty five days. LADOT and DWP will be posting limited parking and access signage in the area.   

Streets scheduled for brush clearance:  Laurel Canyon - Kirkwood Dr - Lookout Mountain Ave - Wonderland Ave and Willow Glenn

For more information, please click HERE.


The I-405 contractor is anticipated to begin drilling pile west of the I-405, and north and south of Ohio Av, on Thursday, August 25 for one week.  Thedrilling of pile will create new abutments that will allow for the widening of the 405.  Drilling will occur during the day and excavation of new drilling holes will occur at night.


The Encino Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a CPR Training and Certification Class on Saturday, August 27 from 9:00 am to 12:00pm at 4933 Balboa Blvd in Encino. To register, please call (818) 789-4711.


The I-405 contractor will begin driving pile west of Sepulveda Bl, just north of Wilshire Bl, starting Monday, August 29 for two nights.  Night time activities will take place from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am.  Night time work is required due to lane closures on Wilshire Bl. 


Reduced Mulholland Bridge Capacity

The Mulholland Bridge is currently under construction and has reduced capacity. As the summer season ends, you should expect major traffic delays for morning commuters traveling across the Mulholland Bridge. In particular, morning commuter traffic from the San Fernando Valley will experience severe congestion. Because of these conditions, the Mulholland Bridge should be utilized for local access.

What:  Reduction of lanes and reduced capacity on the Mulholland Bridge due to reconstruction; only one lane in each direction is accessible

Where: Local area near the Mulholland Bridge

When: Starting Monday, August 29 during weekday morning commute hours

What to expect: Increased traffic delays for morning commute routes involving travel across the Mulholland Bridge; Mulholland Bridge will be used for local access

For more information, click HERE.


As part of the widening of the Olympic undercrossing, the I-405 contractor will erect precast girders to allow for the widening and construction of an HOV lane.  The contractor will also be installing the work and overhead decks.  This activity requires the full closure of Olympic Bl, from Cotner to Beloit, on Monday, August 29 for five nights, from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am. 


Don't Miss Council District Five's Emergency Preparedness Fair on Sunday, September 11 at:

Valley: Sherman Oaks Galleria (by the fountain) 10:30am-1:30pm

Westside: Century City Westfield Shopping Center (center court by the play area) 2pm-5pm

Join Councilmember Paul Koretz,  LAPD, LAFD, American Red Cross, DWP and many more....

Meet and greet your Councilmember and learn about Emergency Preparedness.


The Angeles Chorale, in partnership with the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, will perform a memorial concert remembering the 10th anniversary of the devastating 9/11 attacks. The concert will take place on Sunday, September 11 and is free and open to the public.

The Angeles Chorale and Cathedral Choir will perform pieces selected by noted choral conductor John Sutton, including the Faure "Requiem."

For more information, please click HERE.


The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting with Mayor Villaraigosa on Monday, September 12 starting at 6:30pm at the Felicia Mahood Senior Citizen Center (11338 West Santa Monica Blvd, LA 90025). All Westside neighbors, stakeholders and other members of the public are welcome to attend this forum.


The Rotary Club of Sherman Oaks Sunset presents their Second Annual Dance Marathon to raise funds for Polio immunizations on Saturday, September 17 from 7-10pm. For more information, please contact Mel Powell at


Save money by learning solutions to today's greatest environmental challenges! SustainableWorks will be hosting a six-week long Green Living Workshop starting Thursday, October 13 from 7:00-8:30pm at the Westside Pavilion Community Room B (10800 W. Pico Blvd, LA 90064). This workshop series is FREE to residents of Council District 5. To sign up and for details, please click HERE.


To view the 2011 Jewish High Holiday Parking Relaxation Memo, please click HERE.



Check out the latest newsletters from City of Los Angeles departments:

Department of Building and Safety - August 2011

Planning Department - Summer 2011

"LA Stormwater" - Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation - Summer 2011

Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering - August 10, 2011



Melrose Trading Post

Described as a cool, eclectic gem of a place to find treasures and rare goodies, the Melrose Trading Post is a great Sunday destination.  You can expect to find something to make you say "wow" every single time you visit.   Enjoy the food court in the beautifully landscaped upper quad.  Relax to the live jazz band's melodic vibes.  Treat yourself to a different kind of day. 
When: Every Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Rain or Shine.

Where: Located in the parking lot of Fairfax High School (Corner of Fairfax and Melrose Avenue)

Cost: $2

The Westwood Village Farmers' Market

When: Every Wednesday from 2-7pm.

Free Parking at the Broxton Avenue Structure.

Sherman Oaks Community Farmers Market

When: Every Saturday from 8:00am-1:00pm "Rain or Shine"

Where: Sepulveda Blvd. & Camarillo St. (North of the Sherman Oaks Galleria)

Electronic Waste Recycling Drop Off

When: Every last Saturday of the month from 9am to 1pm

Where: IMAN Center Parking Lot at 3376 Motor Ave, LA 90034

Westwood LIVE

Showcasing the city's rich creativity and diversity in the community, Westwood LIVE brings together music, art, theater, shopping, and dining. Located in Westwood Villgage, shops, bars restaurants and more will provide guests with live performances by resident musicians and artists along with special happy hour offers, discounts and screenings.

When: Every 3rd Thursday of the month starting at 5pm


Popular food trucks and shops open late as well as offer promotions.

When: First Thursday of every month

Where: Melrose Avenue between Ogden and Stanley



Reynier Village - - Last Wednesday at 4:20 a.m. thieves broke into the electrical boxes of City street lights on David Avenue and stole all the copper wires.

One savvy resident took video of the event and turned it over to the Commercial Crime Division of the LAPD.

The next night,  FIVE residential streets went completely dark for at least four nights.  Some streets still do not have power yet although the Bureau of Street Lighting is working diligently to restore the wires for all streets affected.

The streets that went dark were:
David Avenue
24th Street
25th Street
Beverlywood Street
Gibson Street
(between Robertson & Shenandoah)

We received a report this afternoon that parts of Halm may also be affected.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT for copper wire thieves.  If you see anyone tampering with the street lights before 8 am and after 3 pm, CALL THE POLICE,  they will not be city workers!


The copper wires are located below the sidewalk in a box next to the street light.  City workers, after repairs, are now using an epoxy to seal the boxes.

IF YOUR STREET LIGHTS GO OUT,  CALL 3-1-1  OR STREET LIGHTING DIVISION AT  323-913-4744 or fill in a request for service at

ALSO SEND AN EMAIL TO SOUTH ROBERTSON NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL  SAFETY COMMITTEE  to; and let your council office know about this problem.   And of course contact the LAPD if you have witnessed anything!

The Bureau of Street Lighting has indicated area wide outages "as a direct result of the escalating wire theft epidemic."

They will attempt to make repairs in a timely manner but please be patient.


Nature's Path Organic Foods, maker of organic breakfast foods and snacks, has announced a Facebook contest to give away $65,000 for urban farming ideas. Gardens for Good 2011 will award the grant money to help urban farms and community gardens produce fresh, organic food. The goal of the contest is to promote healthy, organic, local food systems as a means to food sustainability. Applications are now being accepted at


Jewish Family Services is offering an educational workshop / support group for family members impacted by domestic violence. For more information, please call Vivian Engle, M.A. at 818-789-1293 x1215.


The Bureau of Sanitation's Lifeline Re-certification project has come to an end. 22,851 customers failed to provide evidence of eligibility and will be removed from Lifeline effective 8/12/11.  These customers will need to contact Office of Finance if they desire to submit a new application.  Please be aware as stated in ordinance 181410, there is a limit of 58,910  customers that may receive a solid resources fee (SRF) subsidy.  Once that number is reached, Lifeline customers receiving a discount on their electric (water) bill will be charged the full SRF amount. For more information, please click HERE.


Call 3-9-9 for Non-Emergency Roadside Assistance on the Highway...

If your car breaks down on the freeway and there is no Call Box in sight, you can use your cellphone to get non-emergency roadside assistance quickly and easily by calling 3-9-9. You can also use this to report obstacles or hazards in the road, (but wait until you have stopped driving to call!). Calls to 3-9-9 are connected to Call Box operators who can Metro Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) tow trucks to your location.  If you are covered by AAA, the dispatcher can patch your call straight through to AAA. FSP help is free of charge, and is funded by an additional $1 on every Vehicle Licenses Fee in the State of California. In emergencies, you should still always call 9-1-1.


LA Stormwater,
the new e-newsletter of the City of Los Angeles' Stormwater Program, is now available online or as a pdf download. To read further and to sign up, please click HERE.


With the resumption of
seasonal rain, the Los Angeles Fire Department is encouraging local residents to take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from injury and their property from storm damage. When rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, flood control channels, rivers, and arroyos can quickly fill with fast-moving water, creating a potentially life-threatening danger to anyone who gets caught or swept away. It is against the law to be inside a flood control channel in Los Angeles, regardless of the weather.
We urge you to visit the EDIS website
and listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for the latest weather or emergency information.


The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to unveil LAFDmobile, a free application for iPhone and Android smartphones. For more information, please click HERE.


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


For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and how it can affect California citrus, please click HERE.


Shopping within the City limits of Los Angeles not only supports local businesses, it also supports City services, its neighborhoods and the well-being of all Los Angeles residents. For every $10 you spend on taxes - $1 goes back to the General Fund! Whether shopping along Melrose or grabbing some food in Encino, every dollar we spend within the city is an investment to the future of Los Angeles. Details HERE.


iWATCH is a community awareness program created to educate the public about behaviors and activities that may have a connection to terrorism. It is a partnership between your community and the Los Angeles Police Department. For more information, please click the logo above.

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

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

Roscomare, in need of resurfacing no more

It’s no secret that many L.A. streets are in worsening condition, with potholes and other problems in need of repair.  The City and its Bureau of Street Services (BSS) scramble to fix as many streets as possible as quickly as possible, but in an era of severe budgetary constraints, tough decisions must be made in prioritizing which streets must get immediate attention and which ones can wait. 

Take Roscomare, for example.  For years, dating back to when a prior Councilmember was representing the 5th Council District, this well-traveled road was among those submitted to the resurfacing division of the Bureau of Street Services as a candidate for repair, but even though parts were in horrible condition, it did not make the approved list. When Councilmember Koretz came in, things started to change.  Utility clearance was accomplished on the street, making it “shovel ready,” which meant that last year, when the submission for funding was made, the street could be eligible for American Recovery Act federal funds.  A project that would cost in the estimated range of $600,000 became doable.

And now, the two-week project has been completed.  Street Services used what’s called a profiler to grind the street and get it to its bare bones, and then hot mix asphalt was applied.  Speed humps were removed as part of the process, but Metro is in the process of installing two new speed humps, as well as two speed feedback signs.  

Councilmember Koretz went to the site while work was still underway, to thank the workers as well as to learn firsthand about the work involved. Yes, the Councilmember wielded the asphalt rake and rode the paving machine! He thanked the workers as well as the local residents, whose patience was outstanding throughout the completion of the project.

Ultimate praise for a smoothly done job in resurfacing Roscomare goes to crew 256 in the Resurfacing Division of the BSS and to Nazario Sauceda, the Interim Director of Street Services who has been incredibly helpful to the 5th Council District in getting so many of our streets repaired, though of course he’s also responsible for a wide array of matters, ranging from urban forestry to investigation and enforcement to street cleaning. He has tremendous organizational and leadership skills and was mentored by Bill Robertson (one of the savviest and community-friendly department heads in the history of Los Angeles).   Hi 5 asked Nazario to answer a few brief questions and here’s what he had to say:

Hi 5:  The work on Roscomare took place during some of the hottest days of summers, and it seemed like grueling, difficult, exacting work.  What can you tell us about how many people worked on it, what kind of equipment was involved, how much advance planning occurred and was any of the work dangerous or surprisingly challenging?

Nazario Sauceda:  Due to the uniqueness of this project (narrow, windy, isolated street) and in order to minimize the impact to the residents, the work was performed by crew 256 which is an elite "combination crew"; that is, this a crew that is capable of performing the cold milling of the street (preparation phase) and the paving of the road (final phase). The specialized equipment utilized to complete the project included big profilers, small profilers, skip loaders, dump trucks, pavers, and rollers among others. Meticulous planning takes place before a resurfacing project is scheduled; for example, each project has to be coordinated with over 200 utility companies to ensure that once the street is resurfaced, no utility company will show up later to trench it. 

Hi 5:  What is your background – how did you come to this work?

Nazario Sauceda: I have an Engineering background and a Master Degree in Public Administration but what I value the most is that I came through the ranks of the BSS. During my 23-year career, I paved miles of streets as a worker, I swept streets, I ran equipment, I supervised numerous Bureau maintenance and resurfacing crews, I had the opportunity to be in charge of the resurfacing operations in the Valley and later of the entire City as a Division Manager. For seven years I had the opportunity to serve as one of the BSS Assistant Directors and, most recently, the Mayor has granted me the privilege and honor to serve the city residents at the helm of this admirable organization. 

Hi 5.  In these days of terrible budgetary challenge, in a city of aging infrastructure and very modern equipment, what are the kinds of criteria you think we need to apply to protect and improve our communities and their quality of life?

Nazario Sauceda:  Indeed, these are historical times and historical decisions must be made. We all need to understand that we must balance our budget and that means tightening our belts. Like every other City Department, the BSS has seen an understandable reduction in the number of employees but I am on a mission to "hire" what I call "Honorary Employees of The Bureau of Street Services." I am dedicating numerous hours attending Neighborhood Council meetings to explain the ways in which neighborhoods and government can collaborate to get the services that residents need. By becoming the eyes and the ears of the BSS, neighborhoods can "walk" their streets and assess their infrastructure needs. I have created special service request forms that residents are using to report needed services and this kind of partnership has generated very successful results.

Update on apron parking

Residents all over the City are learning what too many in Westwood and all over the Fifth Council District already know – that the City needs a new policy on “apron parking.”

The apron is the portion of the driveway between the sidewalk and the street.In many parts of Los Angeles, particularly older multifamily neighborhoods, the sidewalks are fairly close to the buildings and residents have parked for many years on the aprons of their driveways between the sidewalk and the street. In years past, regulations against apron parking largely have not been enforced. 

Unfortunately, that changed this year.Law suits were filed against the City claiming, among other things, that apron parking interfered with the mobility of disabled residents. Partially in response to this litigation, the City Attorney’s Office instructed the Department of Transportation to enforce existing prohibitions on apron parking. This abrupt elimination of many parking spaces all over Los Angeles is causing great hardship in many neighborhoods.

Councilmember Koretz has a long history of support for the rights of the disabled and differently-abled and continues to strongly advocate for justice for the victims of disability discrimination.Nonetheless, Councilmember Koretz believes that the City can develop an apron parking system which fully protects the rights of the disabled and addresses the legitimate parking needs of neighborhood residents (some of whom are in fact disabled).

One issue is whether Sacramento must pass legislation before the City can act to meet the needs of all of its residents. The California Vehicle Code is silent on the issue of apron parking.Some have interpreted this silence as a prohibition on the development of a Los Angeles City apron parking altogether unless and until Sacramento revises the Vehicle Code to expressly provide for such a program.

The Councilmember therefore authored a proposal, which was adopted by the full City Council, to direct the Department of Transportation and the City Attorney to report on a dual strategy regarding apron parking – both the immediate development of an apron parking plan and also the development of a Sacramento legislative strategy. Again, either strategy should and in fact must fully protect the rights of the disabled. Councilmember Koretz has already begun seeking legislators willing to explore possibly writing and carrying any appropriate legislation, and has also urged the Department of Transportation and City Attorney’s Office to begin the necessary work leading to a report.

Encino Chamber of Commerce Day in the City of Los Angeles

Do you remember Al Jolson, who starred the very first feature length “talkie?” He was also the founder and very first president of the Encino Chamber of Commerce.  Recently, in a City Council meeting held in Van Nuys City Hall, Councilmember Koretz was privileged to celebrate the Chamber’s historic 75th Anniversary, by declaring that day to be “Encino Chamber of Commerce Day” in the City of Los Angeles. Over all these many years, the Chamber has done incredible work, providing formidable leadership benefiting Encino and Los Angeles.  Also, this Chamber is an inspiring example of an organization that goes above and beyond standard roles and duties to provide stellar service, including with its health and wellness committee (which produces a complimentary senior services directory) and the emergency preparedness committee (which takes a leading role with earthquake preparedness to make sure businesses are ready when an earthquake inevitably occurs).  Each year, the Councilmember looks forward to the Chamber’s big “Taste of Encino” event which is scheduled this year to take place in early October. 

For all the great years of promoting a prosperous, happy and safe community and city, Councilmember Koretz was thrilled to pay homage to the Chamber and its board of directors, staff and membership. 

A tremendous time was had by all!

Councilmember Koretz is flanked by (from left to right) LAPD Sergeant A.J. Kirby, LAPD Senior Lead Office Arthur Gallegos and LAPD Lieutenant Bryan Wong.

On August 2, people came together to join in the annual “National Night Out” festivities held in neighborhoods across Los Angeles and throughout the USA.

As always, National Night Out prompted wonderful summertime celebrations full of friendliness, food, games and music.  Each year, the particulars might differ a bit from place to place, but what stays remarkably constant is how local residents and businesses enjoy getting together, often joined by law enforcement personnel, to support the related causes of neighborhood harmony and public safety from crime.

Once again, Councilmember Koretz and staff were delighted to attend and participate in National Night Out events.  CD 5 was represented at the following gatherings: Poinsettia Park, Stoner Park, Hollywood LAPD Station, West Valley Division and Van Nuys LAPD. Congratulations and thanks go to the neighborhood groups, community activists, local businesses and everyone else who volunteer their time and effort to make National Night out a big success. 

VICA Luncheon

Councilmember Koretz addresses the audience with David Adelman, co-chair of the governmental affairs committee of VICA, in the background.

VICA – the Valley Industry & Commerce Association – is a vital organization that provides much leadership energy and wisdom in order to further the goals and interests of the San Fernando Valley and its communities and businesses. Each year, as part of its ongoing activities, VICA holds its annual officeholders lunch to meet with and hear from local elected officials from throughout Los Angeles, and to ask one question apiece to each of them.  As always, Councilmember Koretz was delighted and honored to attend.  He was asked about the Hospitality Express program – a pilot effort by the Department of Building and Safety aimed at restaurants.The program streamlines the permitting process in order to make it more easily understandable, gets rid of unnecessary red tape, allows the process to take place in a more timely manner, and gets the County and City to work together more cohesively on such matters. Councilmember Koretz explained that he wants to expand this pilot program. As always, through this and other interactions, the VICA event proved to be fun and informative.

Protecting our hills

The City of L.A.’s new Hillside Ordinance, which became effective on May 9th, was a tremendous step forward in protecting one of our greatest natural resources – our hillsides. But the Ordinance was not intended to be the one and only action taken in this regard. One lingering problem has been that development at the very top of a hill is not specifically addressed by the Hillside Ordinance – and too often in recent times, our majestic hills have been despoiled and decimated by developers who chop off the tops of hills to build mega-mansions.

That’s why, on August 17th, Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion to create a Ridgeline Protection Ordinance. When approved, this will help stem the tide of development that destroys our natural ridgelines.  In a month’s time, the motion will be heard in the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee.

Westwood FlyAway

As you may have read in our last newsletter, there was a possibility that the Westwood FlyAway that serves the UCLA and Westwood communities would be cancelled. Councilmember Koretz understands that the Westwood FlyAway is an important service for the Westwood community and has been working hard to keep things moving.

So far, with UCLA offering dedicated FlyAway parking spaces, additional financial resources and marketing help, the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) has agreed to extend the service for the next 6 months. BOAC also implemented a fare increase to $10 for a one-way trip to reduce the service's deficit.

Now, after a meeting with neighborhood activists, and through the work of Councilmembers Koretz and Bill Rosendahl, more steps have been made to save the Westwood FlyAway.

Following a meeting between Council District 5, Council District 11, representatives from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), and neighborhood lobbyists, additional changes were made to increase ridership for the Westwood FlyAway. Effective immediately, the additional hour of evening service for the Westwood FlyAway (10pm and 11pm, departing Westwood and LAX, respectively) has been restored.

Expect further steps to be made by Councilmember Koretz to save the valuable Westwood FlyAway. Remember to encourage friends, neighbors, students and out-of-town visitors to use the line as much as possible when heading to and from the airport. It is also a great way to commute to work, if your job is located near LAX. Additionally, Metro’s EZ Pass 4 is accepted for service. It is up to the community to show that this service is a vital asset, so make sure to use the Westwood FlyAway for your next trip!

Northeast Animal Shelter update

Earlier this year, during the heat of the budget crisis, two of the city’s animal shelters were threatened with closure, which would have resulted in the deaths of thousands of animals deprived of the necessary, temporary care and housing given at shelters, and would have put a further burden on the remaining shelters.  Councilmember Koretz immediately led the successful charge to save one of the shelters, and since that time has worked closely with the City’s Chief Administrative Officer to try to achieve a public-private partnership capable of saving the remaining shelter. That has now been accomplished:  the Best Friends Animals Society is the organization that will be taking over the Northeast “Mission” Shelter with Animal Services providing any needed assistance. 

Very appreciative thanks go to Best Friends, the Mayor’s Office and Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette for their combined effort.

Palms fire station and park cleanup

Palms has been a continuing hotbed of cleanup and community beautification activities. The latest organized outburst of civic pride involved maintenance, green waste removal, trash pickup and even a bit of good old fashioned scrubbing at the old Fire Station 43 and – one block away – Woodbine Park.  The station is not currently in use but is the subject of significant discussion regarding potential future applications. In the meantime, the 5th Council District office, the Los Angeles Corps’s Clean and Green division, the Palms Neighborhood Council and various devoted community activists have been involved in the sustained effort to help make Palms shine with renewed splendor.  Hats off to all involved!

I love Lucy (and Lucie) and she loves me

It’s hard to imagine anyone who has brought as much laughter and joy into people’s lives as did Lucille Ball.  Los Angeles is lucky to be home to the entertainment industry, but the world is lucky to have enjoyed the work she did as a beloved part of that industry.  That’s why Councilmember Koretz was so thrilled to join numerous dignitaries and celebrities and countless other fans in honoring Lucy on what would have been her hundredth birthday, at the lavish ‘I Love Lucy' at 60” festivities held at the Hollywood Museum.

At this wonderful event, Councilmember Koretz was especially pleased to give a special commendation to Lucie Arnaz, daughter to those entertainment legends and creative geniuses, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jr.  Lucie Arnaz has herself been a shining light of stage, film, television and song, for she has charmed audiences wordwide as a tremendously talented performer who is also an acclaimed writer, producer, director and lecturer, and is the recipient of an Emmy Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, the Sarah Siddons Award and a Golden Globe nomination. A formidable champion of many charities, Lucie has also done the world a magnificent, lifelong service by being a passionate and distinguished caretaker and tireless advocate for her parents’ amazingly rich and beloved creative legacy, which dazzles and enthralls fans of each and every generation – a reality that is certain to continue for eons to come, putting sweet smiles and gut-splitting gales of uproarious laughter into the lives of millions upon millions of people. Happy Birthday, Lucy, and thanks for doing what you do, Lucie!

Bark for Life

The American Cancer Society has a wonderful fundraising and awareness raising program called Relay for Life, which is held in communities across the nation and which involves countless participants and volunteer staff.  One of the amazing aspects of these events is the moving presence of survivors and also the family members of those who have faced cancer, as everyone joins together in a walk of unity in which pledged funds are also raised.

If Relay for Life is a phenomenally positive and moving event for human beings, it also offers the chance for dogs to be involved. Or to put it differently, sometimes people who love to walk with their dogs aren’t able to do so on particular paths that may have been chosen for a Relay for Life. Consequently, separate events have sprung up where people walk with their dogs – for example, here in Los Angeles, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council was given an award by the American Cancer Society for its “Bark for Life” effort involving that community’s dog park population, and other Los Angeles communities are now following that example.    

Cheviot Hills has now done its first Bark for Life event, and it was a “doggone” good time!  Close to 100 people and a like amount of canines chivalrously showed up and showed their moxie, moving at diverse paces around the fields of Cheviot Park.  Despite the name of the event, more dogs panted than barked:  none howled. Some performed tricks before appreciative audiences. Needless to say, funds were raised for cancer research and care (over $11,000 gross).  The 5th Council District office was honored to support the event. Animals Services was there to provide animal adoption and Petco, Animal Surgical and Emergency Center and MyEcostand were among the key sponsors.

Camp Ruach

“Ruach” means “spirit” in Hebrew – and the girls of Camp Ruach sure have spirit, which was on vibrant display during their recent visit to City Hall.

Councilmember Koretz was delighted to greet them and answer their intriguing questions about city and local issues.  Reflecting on one of the hot topics of times, many of the questions had to do with the red light camera program.

Besides lunching with the Councilmember and quizzing him about issues as well as what brought him to a life of public service, the two dozen or so campers and their adult supervisors toured City Hall and went to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s 9-1-1 Call Center.

The Councilmember often meets with groups of young people from Council District 5 to hear their views and encourage their interest and participation in improving their community and city.  If you are part of a student or youth group that would like to visit City Hall, please feel to contact the Office of Councilmember Koretz at (213) 473-7005.

Westside Village Neighborhood Watch

Westside Village has come out in force to deal with the recent uptick in burglaries around the neighborhood.  Senior Lead Officer Juan Ceja was the invited guest to this meeting of the Neighborhood Watch, organized by Grant and Vanessa Jue.  Held at St. John's Presbyterian Church, the event was full of concerned and active residents -- neighborhoods needs more events such as this one where people get together, meet and discuss the safety of their neighborhoods, homes and community. Neighborhood watches also empower the neighborhood by teaching people to be the eyes and ears of your community in reporting potential criminal activity.

LAPD Senior Lead Officers are community relations experts for the police force.  They often sit in unmarked cars and patrol your neighborhoods discretely to ensure public safety.  Together with Field Deputy David Giron, Officer Ceja was front and center at Westside Village to talk crime, safety and ways to make the area a better place.

After an informative 3 hour session, the event ended with people being better educated about safety tips...and hopefully making a new friend or two!

New Council committee assignments

It’s that time of year again – the City Council will soon be returning from its brief summer recess, and with that will come some modest changes in the makeup of some Council committees, since Council Presidents historically make use of this time to do some reshuffling. In this instance, current Council President Eric Garcetti also has had to take into account the fact that the 15th Council District seat is vacant and will stay so until a new member is elected to replace Janice Hahn, who left the Council upon her election to Congress.

Councilmember Koretz will continue to serve as Chair for the Personnel committee and will return to Audits & Governmental Efficiency as its Vice Chair – as always, he looks forward to championing efficiencies, finding savings, and eliminating waste, fraud and red tape.  He will also be a member of Budget & Finance, Transportation (which has crucial significance for the 5th Council District), and the Ad Hoc Renew LA committee (with zero waste).

While City Council members are mostly known for their votes in Council meetings and their appearances in the community, some of their most important work takes place in committee sessions, which of course are subject to rules ensuring transparency and public access. 

If you want to see who serves on any Council committee, please look HERE.

Sierra Club honors Greig Smith

Greig Smith (pictured above on the far right) recently left the City Council, where he had represented the 12th Council District and its northwestern L.A. portions of the San Fernando Valley.  One of his first major appearances after leaving government was to be honored by the Sierra Club because, as a city official, he had helped lead the charge when it comes to improving our recycling practices and technologies.  Councilmember Koretz, a past Sierra Club honoree, was asked to introduce the former Councilmember and present him with the annual award: with it, Councilmember Koretz gave his personal thanks for the great work done for the sake of the environment.

In the community

In these tricky economic times, businesses and communities greatly benefit from timely reportage of breaking business news.  In the San Fernando Valley, one essential source of such information is the San Fernando Valley Business Journal (SFVBJ), which is why Councilmember Koretz was pleased to join with fellow Councilmembers Krekorian and Englander and (not pictured) Dennis Zine in thanking and saluting this publication. Pictured from left to right are SFVBJ Staff Member Jamie Chien, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Publisher Pegi Matsuda, Councilmembers Mitch Englander and Paul Koretz and Editor Jaclyn Giovis.

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