September 27, 2011
In this issue:
Happy Rosh Hashana!
Update on ACE
LA Congress of Neighborhoods
South Robertson tree revitalization
UCLA Volunteer Day
Avoiding a strike
Mayor's new Chief of Staff
Fashion's Night Out
Officer Aguilar retires
Giving peace a chance
West LA Office
822 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
15760 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91436
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
UPCOMING EVENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS
The second meeting of the Office of Public Accountability's Citizen Committee for the selection of the Executive Director will be held on Wednesday, September 28 at 3:00pm in City Hall Room 1060. Details can be found HERE.
Starting Friday, September 30 the east bound Sunset Bl to south bound 405 on-ramp will be closed 24/7 for intersection reconstruction. The traveling public should anticipate delays and is encouraged to plan ahead when traveling through an active construction zone. For the latest closures and news, please click HERE.
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.
The Sherman Oaks Chamber Street Fair will take place on Sunday, October 16 from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Ventura Blvd between Van Nuys Blvd and Kester Avenue. For more information, please click HERE.
To view the 2011 Jewish High Holiday Parking Relaxation Memo, please click HERE.
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.
NEWS FROM CITY DEPARTMENTS
Check out the latest newsletters from City of Los Angeles departments:
Department of Building and Safety - September 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)
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
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
LAFCU Announces New Shop LA City Visa® Card with Triple Rewards
Shop LA City, in partnership with Los Angeles Federal Credit Union (LAFCU), is proud to announce the new Shop LA City Visa Platinum Plus credit card. The card, available to all Southern California residents, is the first of its kind to offer triple reward points for all purchases at merchants in the city of Los Angeles and single rewards points in other cities.* The rewards can be redeemed for travel, merchandise or gift cards through CURewards, or used for consumer loan rate discounts at LAFCU.**
The card also has a six-month 0% introductory rate (for new LAFCU credit card holders) then variable rates as low as 9.90% APR.*** This is almost 50% lower than the average rewards card rate of 17.27% APR**** and could save thousands of dollars in interest charges. Cardholders can save even more by transferring their higher-rate balances from other cards to their new Shop LA City Visa.
Besides earning triple rewards, cardholders will also help the city of Los Angeles. For every $10 in sales tax paid in the city, the city earns one dollar to help support services like police, fire, libraries and parks.
Applying for the new Shop LA City Triple Rewards card is quick and easy at www.LAFCU.org or by calling (877) MY LAFCU (695-2328). The website also has details about this exciting new card, and LAFCU’s range of beneficial, low-rate or free financial products and services.
Cool Tips for Hot Days
How to Stay Cool and Conserve Energy as Summer Heats Up
With temperatures rising over the next few days in Los Angeles, the LADWP offers these tips to help customers stay cool while conserving energy. Energy conservation during high temperature summer days helps prevent strain on power system infrastructure while also helping customers save money on power bills.
These simple tips are easy to implement in daily routines and are highly effective conservation measures:
Tips for the Home
Adjust thermostat to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day when air conditioning systems have to work hardest to cool.
Limit the use of appliances during peak hours of the day- use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during evening hours.
Try to avoid using your stove or oven during peak hours of the day since it will add to the heat inside the home.
Ventilate your home at night and early morning by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate.
Turn off lights and equipment when they are not in use.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) wherever appropriate.
During the heat of day, close draperies, shades, or blinds to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight.
Check your home for adequate insulation and for proper sealing of windows and exterior doors.
Plant shade trees to reduce heat gain inside the house.
Install / use ceiling fans or whole House fans for comfort cooling. A whole house fan will cool down your house early evenings and early mornings for a fraction of the energy cost of operating an A/C unit.
Install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature automatically and maximize your energy savings.
Clean or replace air-conditioner filter(s) every month to maintain efficiency and air flow.
Regularly brush or vacuum the condenser coils at the bottom or rear of your refrigerator and check door gasket for tight fit and adjust if necessary.
When buying appliances, choose energy-saving EnergyStar-rated models.
Limit the time you run your pool pump during Summer to six hours a day, and schedule the run time to avoid operation between 1 pm and 5 pm.
Unplug "energy vampires" like cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when turned off or in sleep mode.
Tips for the Workplace
Turn off your desk and overhead lights, and meeting room lights, if they are not needed, or install motion detector switches in each room.
Keep personal appliance use to a minimum.
Turn off all computer equipment when you leave the office or when they are not in use for long periods of time.
Be sure your computer equipment goes into sleep mode when temporarily not in use.
Go paperless when possible. Reduced printing and copying translates into reduced energy use.
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REVAMPS FACEBOOK PAGE FOR ADDED CUSTOMER SERVICE
LAX Facebook Page Increases to More Than 28,300 Fans
Recent improvements to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Facebook page increased the numbers of its fans and followers. The Los Angeles International Airport Facebook fan page, which first launched in April 2009, now has more than 28,300 fans.
LAX operated two Facebook fan pages under two accounts – one under “Governmental” and the other under “Places”. Fans did not have the option to “check-in” under the governmental fan page. Now with one LAX primary page, under a new URL: www.facebook/LAInternationalAirport.com, fans and followers can now check-in, receive up-to-the-minute information on airport conditions, videos, photos, flight delay, travel-related news, and much more.
LAX’s social media websites are designed to provide real time announcements including airline fare deals, new passenger services and amenities; flight status, current airport conditions, and developments on various modernization projects. LAX’s Twitter site at www.twitter.com/LAX_Official increased to more than 7,100 fans since its launch in February 2009. LAX’s YouTube, the newest edition social media site, at www.youtube.com/LAXairport1 is a channel that provides videos of recent events, construction, and airline news, which reached more than 12,400 video views since its launch last year.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Happy Rosh Hashana!
As we approach the beginning of the Jewish year, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy and sweet new year. Rosh Hashanah is a time when many of us celebrate the creation of humanity. It is a time when we can reflect on what we learned the previous year and grow as individuals.
I am honored and humbled to represent many diverse and active Jewish communities in Council District 5. When we hear the iconic sound of the shofar this year, I know that I will be thinking about how lucky I am to be a part of such a vibrant and growing Jewish population in this City. Council District 5 would not be the same without you and I look forward to many more years of working together.
I would like to wish you, your families and friends and all the people of Los Angeles a happy and sweet new year!
Shana tova umetukah!
Update on ACE
The City’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously endorsed Councilmember Koretz’s and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s joint proposal to bring Los Angeles into the modern era by creating an administrative code enforcement (ACE) program.
The City Attorney’s Office was asked to prepare a final program and ordinance for consideration by the Budget Committee on Monday, October 3, with full Council consideration scheduled for Wednesday, October 5.
The present system simply does not work. Currently, quality of life infractions are dealt with as misdemeanors and take forever to wind their way through our overcrowded judicial system. If and when a court date finally arrives, the judge may just toss the complaint because it takes up precious court time but doesn't rise to the level of a violent criminal offense. So there is no final enforcement, the system is easily gamed, and quality of life goes unprotected. ACE can change all that, by instituting an efficient and practical system for ensuring that your complaints about quality of life transgressions are dealt with conclusively and effectively.
Councilmember Koretz is grateful to the many community activists who spoke up in favor of ACE, either at the meeting or through emails, faxes, phone calls, letters and even neighborhood council resolutions.
While there is basic consensus that the City should start ACE with a relatively small pilot program to make certain that any kinks can be identified and corrected early on, many in attendance – including Councilmember Mitch Englander – said that the time is long overdue for a vigorous ACE program and called for expansion as soon as practicable.
The City Council's work isn’t done yet, for it needs to get ACE passed once and for all next week. But the work of the Budget and Finance Committee this past Monday meant that an important milestone was cleared this week.
Thanks again to everyone in CD 5 who attended the hearing and/or reached out to the Council. Your presence and support made (and will continue to make) a critical difference.
Day after day, our Los Angeles firefighters serve with courage, integrity and pride.
On September 11, 2001, Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 1, based out of Fire Station 88 in Encino, demonstrated those gallant virtues in abundance, by heading in our nation's time of need to Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers had fallen earlier that day. Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 1 was the first team from our state to arrive at Ground Zero and in fact was the only plane in the air over Ground Zero on the evening of September 11, 2001, other than military aircraft.
On the recent 10th Anniversary of that grim day, Councilmember Koretz attended a memorial service at Fire Station 88.
Councilmember Koretz paid tribute to the victims of 9/11 and their families as well as the first responders who that day displayed remarkable heroism in the face of dreadful calamity. He also took a moment to thank Joe and Debbie Lanza, Art Grenci, and all the benefactors who helped make the 9/11 memorial fountain at Fire Station 88 possible. This fountain, which was completed in 2004, includes a 750 pound piece of steel from the World Trade Center as well as a 100 pound piece of limestone from the Pentagon. Councilmember Koretz also expressed his gratitude to local community leader Carrie Konjoyan for her leadership and help in organizing the memorial service.
From left to right: Port of Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director of Finance and Administration Molly C. Campbell, Port of Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director of External Relations Cynthia Ruiz, Councilmember Paul Koretz and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz.
Because the City of Los Angeles is so geographically sprawling and diverse in its topography and landscape, and because we are famed for our desert climate, sunny beaches, busy road traffic and entertainment landmarks, many people never think about the immense importance of the Port of Los Angeles and its place in the scheme of things, and yet the port is an invaluable economic engine for not just the entire region but the nation as a whole. The port serves as a huge and essential part of the nexus of transit that allows for goods to be shipped across the nation and worldwide. The port's performance, capabilities and environmental standards are of critical significance to the present and future nature of Los Angeles, which is why Councilmember Koretz traveled to San Pedro, toured the harbor and met with top officials and staff to review the port's current status and future plans.
As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. Councilmember Koretz is especially pleased by Trade Connect, the Port’s successful export education and outreach program, which he hopes to help promote in the 5th Council District in order to encourage new business opportunities and wordwide connections for 5th C.D. businesses.
There's a lot of great news coming out of the harbor these days. Major environmental reforms and the implementation of new green technologies has cut pollution substantially, making our port a leader among ports wordwide. Efficiencies and focused management have kept the port's financial situation in good form despite the downturn in the regional, national and world economies and how that impacts upon trade. Infrastructure improvements are always being explored in order to enhance harbor capacities and links to trucking and rail corridors that are vital to shipping.
Still, shippers have options and certainly weigh factors such as the price and speed of each transportation choice, and the port faces much competition and many challenges, due to such varied factors as changes underway at the Panama Canal, diminished shipping from Japan due to the horrendous damage on that nation wrought by the May 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Canadian tax policies, and industry-accommodating rules governing ports and pollution in the Southeast United States, any and all of which can affect use of the port.
The progress report for the port is great, but a lot of work and important decisions are still to come, in order for the City to maximize the benefits of being a world capital of commerce and industry.
LA Congress of Neighborhoods
September 25 was a special occasion for city government and Los Angeles as a whole, because on that day, City Hall was filled with more than 600 neighborhood activists, there to participate in the 2011 Congress of Neighborhoods, presented by Neighborhood Councils of the City of Los Angeles.
Councilmember Koretz is pictured here with Cindy Cleghorn of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council. Cindy chaired the Congress of Neighborhoods and did a magnificant job of organizing and coordinating the Congress, supported by a valiant cadre of neighborhood council leaders who volunteered to work on this event and by staff from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.
Councilmember Koretz was privileged to participate as a speaker. He discussed the Administrative Code Enforcement program and the problems associated with the city's changing policies toward apron parking, as well as the need to maximize key services despite reductions in related city departmental funding. Neighborhood Councils have actively spoken out and even passed resolutions on all these issues.
While NC board members hold many strong opinions, all involved grapple with the fact that this is still a new system of volunteer activism, and that it has had both triumphs and gliches, and that it is especially important for progress to made due to the City's dwindling resources and the related stress and strain on neighborhoods and city services.
Many constructive panels and forums were held on a wide variety of topics, all of which offered valuable information and insights, as well as clues to the future of neighborhood councils, covering such rich and varied issues as ethics and open government; dealing with difficult people and board conflicts; working with city departments; creating community partnerships; and green technologies, sustainable living and community gardens. One panel, headed by Jill Banks Barad, President of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and Founder and Chair of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, highlighted the increasing importance of neighborhood council alliances which bring together representatives of different councils to focus on shared concerns and forge a strong, unified voice. Councilmember Koretz is especially proud of neighborhood councils and alliances that serve the people and communities of the 5th Council District, and applauds all the stakeholders who are involved, across the city, in the work of neighborhood councils.
Councilmember Koretz was honored to attend Karma Rescue's Annual "Create Karma" Fundraiser. Karma Rescue saves at-risk dogs from the Los Angeles area shelters. Karma gives a second chance at life to such dogs by providing them with training and further providing them with loving home environments through a dog fostering program. Karma Rescue also has instituted an informational outreach program, to educate communities on the ethical treatment of dogs, thereby reducing dog fighting, neglect, and abuse. Councilmember Koretz presented Karma Rescue founder Rande Levine (pictured here) with a certificate of appreciation to thank her and Karma Rescue for their efforts. Karma Rescue holds adoption events at PETCO on Westwood Blvd. on Saturdays between 11 am and 3 pm. Please support local rescues!
South Robertson tree revitalization
A unique coalition has formed between Council District 5, Council District 10 and the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council to replace dead and dying trees along South Robertson Boulevard. Many of the current Chitalpa trees along South Robertson have died, are stunted or have grown at strange angles. Initially, the plan was to simply replace the trees that were lost. However an LA City tree specialist confirmed that the trees are no longer deemed suitable because their roots will lift the surrounding sidewalk. As a result, all the Chitalpa trees along South Robertson will be replaced in phases. The South Robertson Neighborhood Council Green Team is currently researching suitable tree replacements, sizes, numbers of trees needed, placement, proper maintenance practices and the overall cost.
"Valley Vista is one of the most heavily traveled streets in Sherman Oaks. It was desperately in need of repair." Those were the words of a grateful and pleased Councilmember Koretz in acknowledging the efforts of the Bureau of Street Services and its personnel in resurfacing that important boulevard.
Mayor Villaraigosa held a press conference at Valley Vista off of Fulton and pointed out that this street work was made possible thanks to economic stimulus funds provided through ARRA (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act associated with President Obama).
The mayor also said that the resurfacing of Valley Vista marked the completion of "all 57 miles of resurfacing in the San Fernando Valley that we pledged to complete." He said that he would continue to lobby Washington D.C. for more funds to accomplish more such work
Councilmember Koretz praised all in the community who have called for more funds and programs to fix our local streets. In Sherman Oaks, that has included the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association, the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce and countless local residents and businesses. The Councilmember added, "fixing potholes and making our streets safe and whole remain among my greatest priorities and our city's foremost goals."
UCLA Volunteer Day – Making an Impact in CD5!
CD 5 Westwood Field Deputy Sarah Mallory (in yellow) lending a hand at Emerson Middle School.
Before incoming UCLA freshmen attended their first college course this week, they worked with fellow students, alumni, faculty and staff on a wide range of community service projects across Los Angeles for what is known as UCLA Volunteer Day. Coordinated by UCLA Volunteer Center, volunteers assisted on projects at 25 sites in every Council District within Los Angeles, thereby participating in the nation’s largest community event for new students. Each year, over 7,800 Bruins help with this event, producing immediate and lasting improvements within the City. This year, one site located within Council District 5 was Emerson Middle School, where Bruins and representation from the Council Office joined together to paint classroom buildings, paint basketball backboards, and complete a general clean up of the location. Councilmember Koretz is happy to see such a great turnout for this incredible event and is already looking forward to next year’s. Go Bruins!
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
On Sunday, September 18, Councilmember Koretz joined many grocery store workers and their supporters in a candlelight vigil and march, calling for a settlement of disagreements over health benefits for 62,000 grocery store clerks in Southern California.
Mike Shamrock of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 said, "We just want to work hard. We just want to be able to take our kids to the doctor when they get sick. We don't want to go on strike but we have to stand up to these hugely profitable corporations that are trying to destroy healthcare for people that are scraping by, paycheck to paycheck."
Hold on to your hats, everyone! The vigil and march worked -- or at the very least, the vigil and march helped encourage productive negotiations for, within hours, terms for an agreement were reached, and a strike was averted. And that is great news for everyone, including those who remember 2003, when a four-month strike and lockout cost grocery chains billions of dollars and made life painful both for the workers on strike and for the people of Los Angeles.
So next time you wonder why someone might be holding a candle, joining in a march or otherwise speaking up for the sake of a cause or people in harm's way, remember that, sometimes, it works.
Mayor's new Chief of Staff
Gaye Williams, Mayor Villaraigosa's newly appointed chief of staff, recently paid a friendly visit to Councilmember Koretz. They discussed key issues facing CD 5 and Los Angeles, especially in the realm of transportation, ranging from the proposed subway station in Century City (at Constellation) to apron parking. Williams is no stranger to municipal government -- she was a deputy mayor when Richard Riordan was in office. These are very challenging times for Los Angeles and the nation, and we wish Ms. Williams the best during the final two years of Mayor Villaraigosa's administration.
Fashion's Night Out
Fashion's Night Out celebrated at the Beverly Center
The world of fashion is crucial to the economy and culture of Los Angeles, just as our City and region are key to the industry and trends of fashion. That's why the annual Fashion's Night Out is held here, with events taking place in L.A. malls, on ritzy local boulevards and at high design boutiques.
Baseball and dogs are among the great sources of joy for millions of Angelinos, including Paul Koretz, and so the Councilmember was thrilled by two special guests who were honored on September 16.
It was exactly thirty years ago that Los Angeles was enthralled with the phenomena known as "Fernandomania." Countless fans breathlessly followed the exploits of Fernando Valenzuela, a humbly modest yet intriguingly charismatic young lefty hurler from Sonora, Mexico who became the first player in Major League history to win both the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. His incredible pitching (and fine hitting and fielding) led the Dodgers to the 1981 World Series in which they defeated the Yankees; Fernando remained a star with the Dodgers throughout the 1980s, and currently is a Spanish-language commentator with the Dodgers.
Cesar Millan is the celebrated dog behavior expert known as the "Dog Whisperer," who has helped and inspired television fans worldwide. Through his hit television series, writings and personal work (including as the founder of the Dog Psychology Center, in South Central Los Angeles), he teaches people to interact with their dogs harmoniously and effectively to encourage the best and most civil behavior on the part of both humans and canines. Known as a child as "the dog boy," because of his early ease and skills with dogs when he was growing up in Sinaloa, Mexico, he is now partnering with Yale University to come up with a curriculum for children that incorporates the principles of his work.
Valenzuela was receiving the Hope of Los Angeles award and Millan the Spirit of Los Angeles award as part of a Latino Heritage event, "Celebrating a Culture of Hope and Progress."
Officer Aguilar retires
It is with a heavy heart that we must bid a fond farewell to one of our community partners, Senior Lead Officer George Aguilar. After 31 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, Officer Aguilar is retiring. He has been a staple of the Sherman Oaks community and a friend to the Fifth Council District for many years. As a community partner, Officer Aguilar has gone above and beyond the ordinary call of duty to provide the highest standard of police services. His involvement with the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, and various neighborhood watch and business watch organizations has helped make Sherman Oaks a better place in which to live. Although he is retiring from his senior lead officer duties, he will be staying within LAPD-Van Nuys Division as a reserve police officer for the next two years to train incoming senior lead officers. We wish him a happy and healthy retirement and hope that he spends it well with his family and friends.
Giving peace a chance
The 5th annual South Robertson Peace Picnic, held at Robertson Recreation Center, celebrated the United Nations "Day of Peace." This wonderful event, filled with food, music and joyous friendship, is a collaboration between the Coptic Church, the Sikh community, the Crestview Neighborhood Association and the South Robertson Neighborhood Council. Councilmember Koretz and CD 5 staffer David Giron were delighted to be on hand. Peace, out!