September 8, 2011

In this issue:

Remembering 9/11

Emergency preparedness events

Encino movie in the park

Banning single use bags

The legacy of Dorothy Frisch

New LAFD Chief named

10th annual Little Ethiopia Festival

Festive police occasion

In the community

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


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.


The I-405 Contractor will begin pouring the new roadway for the westbound 10 to northbound 405 connector starting Thursday,September 8 from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am.    Night time work is required due to the need for the connector closure.  The connector ramp will be closed nightly from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am for three weeks.  Some day time work will take place behind k-rail and will not require the connector to be closed.


Councilmember Koretz and the Encino Community Center will be presenting a Free Movie in the Park on Saturday, September 10 at 6pm in Encino Park (AKA Genesta Park). The featured movie is "Shrek." For more information, please click HERE.


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.


LADWP Reopens Solar Incentive Program and Hosts a Workshop to Discuss the Feed in Tariff Program

On August 2, 2011, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved revisions to the LADWP Solar Incentive Program (SIP), which allowed LADWP to reopen the SIP on September 1st. Click here for information regarding the re-opening of the SIP.

Solar Incentive Program Re-launch Board Briefing - August 2, 2011

The revised Solar Incentive Program Guidelines and Summary of Program Revisions are available for your review.

The LADWP will host a public workshop at the LADWP headquarters building in Downtown Los Angeles, Thursday, September 15 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. To RSVP, please click HERE.

This workshop will be an opportunity for stakeholders and customers to discuss the changes that have been incorporated in the DRAFT Feed-in Tariff Demonstration Program Guidelines based on the feedback that we’ve received.


In recognition of the long holiday weekend and the time necessary to review major projects, the comment period for the Century Plaza Hotel Environmental Impact Report has been extended to Friday, September 16.  If you have any
questions please contact Christopher Koontz on my staff at


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


The first annual Van Nuys Car Show and Festival will take place Saturday, September 17. For details, please click HERE.


The  Annual  Congress of Neighborhood Councils is taking place in Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday, September 24. This free event, paid for with Neighborhood Council funds, is an opportunity for all community members to learn “How Neighborhood Councils Work” in one session and  “Land Use and Research Tools.” in another session. They are also offering  workshops regarding the City  Budget,  Emergency Preparedness, Effective Outreach and many more. An appearance by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is among Public
Officials expected to help kick off this event.
To register for the Congress, please go HERE.
A dedicated group of Neighborhood Council leaders have been meeting to plan this Congress. If you would like to join the planning group and help volunteer your expertise, services, and ideas contact:
Cindy Cleghorn, Chair, Congress Planning Group
818-429-6699 or e-mail:
To keep up with the what's going on, you can follow at:


On Monday, September 26 at 7:00 pm, Battalion 18 will be hosting a Community Meeting at Fire Station 59 (11505 W. Olympic Blvd, 90064) to which all interested persons are invited. The topic will be how to prepare for and make use of alternative power, heat and light sources in the aftermath of a disaster. Parking is on the street or in the Station's parking area.


Council District 5 has secured a grant through DWP and the U.S. Department of Energy to offer a workshop where you can save money by learning solutions to today's greatest environmental challenges! SustainableWorks will be hosting a six-week long Green Living Workshop (each 90 minutes) throughout West Los Angeles. There are three locations each on a different day:

THURSDAYS - Starting Thursday, October 13 at the Westside Pavilion.

TUESDAYS - Starting Tuesday, October 18 at Fairfax High School.
MONDAYS - Starting April 16, 2012 at Temple Isaiah.

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


Update on Copper Wire Theft in our Street Lights

Sept. 1, 2011 - -   On both sides of Robertson Blvd. multiple streets have been recently targeted by copper wire thieves, which causes malfunction of street lights, leaving the streets dark for many days until the wires are replaced by the City of Los Angeles.


This illegal and dangerous activity is taking place all over Los Angeles, the state of California, as well as the nation!


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.

Remembering 9/11

This month holds special significance for our nation because of the solemn remembrances we will each make of what happened ten years ago on 9-11, when the United States of America was struck by terrorist attacks that claimed thousands of victims and harmed us all in innumerable ways. 

Certainly, on and around September 11 2011, there will be many 10th Anniversary ceremonies and other reminders of the tragedies that took place a decade ago, and there will be added scrutiny of the values and issues that were seen in a new light as a result of our suffering such vicious assaults on innocent life. 

For anyone who lost friends or family, this is a time of particular, personal poignancy – but we all share in lamenting the damage done to good people, just as we share in our spirit of community, hope for peace, and dedication to providing safety and security for all who love and live in freedom. 

Ten years ago, the nation as a whole quickly came together. Our rallying unity was wholly evident and stood as a clear benchmark of our common beliefs.  The path since then has not always been brightly lit, and few would argue that there haven’t been missteps along the way, but we remain driven by the core values we hold to be dear, in wanting liberty and justice for all as well as economic prosperity in challenging times.

I urge everyone to take some extra time, this September, to contemplate and honor the sacrifices of ten years ago, and the risks taken by all who step forward to protect the vulnerable and endangered. How can we not think of firefighters and police officers who gave all in those burning, suffocating falling towers, or who emerged but still pay a horrid price in their health?

It is democracy’s greatness that our societal decisions and choices continue to be debated, especially as we approach next year’s presidential election, but the simple truth is that countless decisions and choices are made every day in which we seek to make ours a safer and more harmonious world.  And that is what so many tremendous people and groups in CD 5 are all about, in their ceaseless efforts, and that is why I am so delighted by our partnerships together.  Whether it’s an emergency preparedness event or a fun event that brings neighbors and a community together, we continue to have an open and thriving council district that allows people plenty of opportunities to chime in with their views and to take action to make a difference. 

Here’s to safe, peaceful and happy times for all! 

On Sept. 11, Councilmember Koretz to hold 5th District's First Annual Emergency Preparedness Events

On Sunday, September 11th, Councilmember Paul Koretz will present his Council Office’s First Annual Emergency Preparedness Events – one for Valley constituents, one for Westside constituents.  Both events, free to the public, are to help inform and empower constituents as to how to prepare themselves and their family, including pets, in case of an emergency.

The Valley event in the Sherman Oaks Galleria (15301-15303 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, by the fountain) will be this Sunday, Sept. 11 from 10:30am-1:30pm.  The Westside event at the Westfield Century City Mall (10250 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. 90067, at center court by the children’s play area) will be later that same day, from 2:00pm-5:00pm. Joining Councilmember Koretz and his staff will be the American Red Cross, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams), Animal Services, CPAB (Community Police Advisory Boards), local Neighborhood Council (including the Sherman Oaks and Westside Neighborhood Councils) and Chambers of Commerce (including the Encino Chamber of Commerce), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Southern California Gas Co., V5 Watch (Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Watch Group), and others dedicated to ensuring public safety in the face of emergencies.

Councilmember Koretz says, “Everyone knows that earthquakes and fires occur in Southern California and can be deadly, and everyone needs to be prepared so that we might all minimize the risk, limit the damage and hopefully escape calamity entirely. Natural disasters, such as the recent horribly costly Hurricane Irene on the East Coast, may not be avoidable but adequate preparation can certainly help keep people safe from harm.  I hope people will join us to learn some great tips and basic steps to enhance public safety and to better protect ourselves and each other. At our events, we’ll be joined by invaluable efforts and crucial groups that do so much good work for the cause of public safety.  I think spending some time on September 11 visiting our events may help local residents enormously, when a future emergency arises.”   

For more information, please call Joan Pelico:, (310) 289-0353

Shrek is not drek

On Saturday, September 10th, Councilmember Paul Koretz and the Encino Community Center will present a evening of food, folks and fun, including kids activities and public safety booths – and a free screening of that family classic,  Shrek! 

The event, which begins at 6:00pm, is co-sponsored by Friends of Encino Park; contributing sponsors include the Encino Neighborhood Council, the Encino Chamber of Commerce and Van Nuys airport.  Various other people, groups and businesses have put in tremendous effort to make this a great success (to name just a few, we want to thank Steven Ho, Lee Marks and Stacie M. de Armas), and of course all who show up and have fun will be the stars of the night! 

If you want to enjoy the festivities, go to Encino Park (AKA Genesta Park), 16953 Ventura Blvd. As Councilmember Koretz notes, “We are delighted to help present an evening of free family fun – the kind of event that people enjoy and that brings a community together in a positive public setting."

For more information, contact Jeff Ebenstein at,  (818) 971-3088 or click HERE.

Banning single use bags

Neither Mother Earth, nor our own dear city, should be buried under a mountain of trash.

And yet, that's alarmingly becoming the state of affairs, with our landfills overwhelmed, our oceans deluged with trash, and sea creatures, and birds and all kinds of life feeding, choking and dying on the toxic garbage we dump their way. Certainly, a great many Angelenos have gracefully embraced recycling, but our society institutionally has been slow to catch up with our forward-thinking citizenry.

That's why Councilmember Koretz has proposed a ban on grocery stores using plastic and paper bags to "bag" groceries.  Instead, they would do what many do already -- sell or give away reusable tote bags, which of course leads to customers coming to the store with their own reusable bags.  (Stores could still use small plastic bags to wrap such products as raw vegetables, meat and fish, so the Councilmember's motion addresses and clearly avoids any possible risks associated with cross-contamination and spoilage that might otherwise occur.)  

The Bureau of Sanitation has reported that  approximately 2.3 billion plastic bags are used annually in Los Angeles with only 1 out of 20 being recycled, and that 400 million paper bags are used each year with a recycling rate only slightly above 20%.  

"Councilmember Koretz's idea of a ban on single-use bags is a bold and necessary solution that will help keep our streets and oceans clean, lessen our reliance on landfills and incineration facilities, and move the City closer to achieving its Zero Waste goals," said Hillary Gordon of the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter's Zero Waste Committee -- like so many environmentalists, Ms. Gordon is also a 5th Council District resident.  She adds:  "The Sierra Club Angeles Chapter's Zero Waste Committee applauds Councilmember Koretz for his leadership and we look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure his colleagues on the City Council understand the importance of this issue."  Kirsten James, water quality director for Heal the Bay, declared, "We're thrilled.  We're hoping that more of these local policies will be a wake-up call."

Past history suggests that some special interests such as the plastics industry could lobby heavily against passage, but environmentalists and much of the public at large may signal strong support.  Many environmentally conscious customers and stores are increasingly accustomed to the everyday use of reusable tote bags.  Additionally, stores can experience savings when they don't have to supply single use bags, and and customers may hopefully then be spared such costs as a built-in part of their grocery bills. In the end, the major challenge may be the inevitable transition we are making anyway, to remembering to bring tote bags when we shop, and that's a small price to pay for becoming more responsible stewards of our planet.  

The Koretz motion was referred to the Council's Energy and Environment Committee, and estimates are that the entire process leading to the possible creation of an ordinance, including public hearings and the writing and review of that ordinance, could easily take at least six months.  

Never to be forgotten

Councilmember Koretz is joined by (left-right) Debbie Epstein and Diana Plotkin of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association as well as Martin Gomez, the City Librarian as they honor the memory of Dorothy Frisch.

On September 6th at the Downtown Central Library, people gathered to honor the memory and living legacy of a very caring and compassionate human being, Dorothy Frisch, and to celebrate her extraordinary service to this city. 

This event celebrated her love of books and thanked her for her parting gift:  her estate’s bequeathing crucial funds to help the Central Library’s Children’s Literature Department.

Ms. Frisch dedicated much of her life to bettering the community through all kinds of compassionate endeavors, including by volunteering at the Fairfax Library, where she shared her devotion to reading with countless 5th District residents. She also assisted in the clean up of books damaged in a major fire that struck the Central Library. She always encouraged people to be literate, and delighted in education and knowledge.  

Among those at the event were Councilmember Jan Perry; City Librarian Martin Gomez; Madeline Bryant and the staff of the Children’s Literature Department; Dorothy Frisch’s friend, Debbie Epstein, who is a board member of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association, and who was instrumental in this celebration of Dorothy; and Diana Plotkin, President of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association, which represents the residents of the neighborhood that surrounds the Fairfax Library (the neighborhood where Ms. Frisch resided). This neighborhood, and so many people in the 5th District, were blessed and remain blessed by the good work and deeds of Dorothy Frisch – and by the joy of reading.

Keeping us safe

The dire, disastrous fires burning in Texas and the recent extreme heat in Los Angeles certainly should remind all of us that we all have to be constantly vigilant about the dangers of fire but especially so during such times -- and that our Los Angeles Fire Department is of paramount importance to any Angeleno in our lives, homes and communities. 

That's why Mayor Villaraigosa's choice of Brian L. Cummings to be the next permanent chief of the LAFD is of critical significance.  Chief Cummings, 52 years young, served as interim chief after Chief Millage Peaks stepped down, grew up in Los Angeles and gained vast experience serving in various positions in the department in his rise through the ranks: his nomination by Mayor Villaraigosa requires the approval of the City Council. In the meantime, the City has every reason to be grateful for his distinguished service, and to wish him and all the LAFD the very best in the days, weeks, months and years ahead, as they work with utmost valor to protect and assist us all.

10th Annual Little Ethiopia Cultural and Street Festival - Enkutatash!!!

Councilmember Koretz and Controller Wendy Greuel present certificates to Nikki Legesse, President of the Little Ethiopia Cultural and Resource Center of Los Angeles (left), and Berhanu Asfaw, President of the Little Ethiopia Business Association.

Enkutatash means ‘Happy New Year’ in Amharic, which is the official language of Ethiopia.  On Sunday, September 4, 2011, the Little Ethiopian Business Association hosted the 10th Annual Cultural and Street Festival.  The Ethiopian New Year starts on September 11, 2011.  Traditionally, the street festival is on the second Sunday in September, but out of respect for the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, they decided to have it a week early.  Councilmember Koretz attended this event and presented a certificate of recognition to the Little Ethiopia Business Association, Little Ethiopia Cultural and Resource Center, Pico Neighborhood Council and the LAPD.

Every year hundreds of residents and business owners, as well as many other people, attend this fantastic event in the heart of Little Ethiopia.  While this is a celebration of the New Year, it is also a great opportunity to celebrate diversity with the City of Los Angeles being the most diverse city in the United States.

Festive Police Occasion

Every year The Los Angeles Police Protective League holds its prestigious “Eagle and Badge” event, providing a showcase where crucial police efforts, heroic law enforcement personnel and invaluable youth programs are honored. This year, those on hand to praise and support these key activities included Mayor Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Beck, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, City Controller Wendy Greuel, and several City Councilmembers including Councilmember Koretz.  As always, immense gratitude and respect was displayed for our Officers in blue.

In the community

Councilman Koretz had the pleasure of attending a wonderful dedication at Vista Del Mar school this past week.  Mr. Azus and his wife have a long history of community activism and outreach, and indeed their amazing donation of one million dollars puts a huge exclamation on that point.  The Al and Hedi Azus School Services Building was made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Azus, and should be an example of what it means to give back to your community!

This message was sent to  by:

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