November 23, 2011

In this issue:
Keep Los Encinos State Historic Park Open

The View From the Summit

What's New, Pussycat?

Apron Parking Update

Students Active for a Better Environment

Robertson Recreation Center

A Change in Council Leadership

Tellus About Recycling

A Nice Neighborhood Improvement

Welcoming a New SLO


Emergency Preparedness

Crisis Averted!

Pizzeria Mozza celebrates its 5th Anniversary

Rooting for the True Blue and Gold!

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


It is the busy holiday season, the time when LAAS has the most adoptions of the year.

Volunteers will be needed at Unleashed on Saturday, December 3 from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM. Please arrive at the event by noon to set up, or at the shelter prior to and after for loading / unloading.

On Sunday, December 4 there will be an outdoor event at Roxbury Park from 11 AM to 3 PM. Loading begins at the shelter at 9:30, and help will be needed afterwards, too.

Of course, with all these events, there will be bathing every Friday at the WLA shelter. Please come in or just help with any of the following:
Bathing dogs
Lifting dogs into and out of the sink / tub
Walking dogs before or after their baths
Blow drying
Grooming (nail trimming, etc.)
Getting clean towels
Assisting other volunteers with their tasks
Doing Laundry
Applying bows to clean animals (bring ribbon)
Donating or obtaining donations of pet-safe shampoo, cologne, conditioner, detangler, etc.


Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association Holiday Toy Drive


Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) will join the low cost vaccination clinic at the Sepulveda Basin Off Leash Dog Park on Sunday, December 4 from 3:30-5:00pm. LAAS Officers will be available to collect new and renewal applications for dog licensing. The cost to license a spay/neutered dog is only $20. The fee is discounted for low income seniors (62 +)/disabled persons licensing a companion dog. Licenses must be renewed annually. Please remember to bring a check with you to cover the cost of the license, cash is not accepted.

All dogs over four months of age and kept within the City of Los Angeles must be licensed (LAMC 53.28) and must be spayed or neutered (LAMC 53.15.2(b)). A dog license is valid only when the required rabies vaccination certificate, issued by a licensed veterinarian, is provided to the Department and only as long as the rabies vaccination is effective. (LAMC 53.51)

Officers will also available to discuss Los Angeles’ mandatory spay/ neuter law and talk about free to low cost sterilizations options that your pet may qualify for.

The Sepulveda Basin Off Leash Dog Park is located at 17550 Victory Blvd., Encino, CA 91406 (White Oak & Balboa). The park is segregated into three separate enclosed areas for the dogs: under 20 lbs, small/ timid and large dogs. Here the dogs can come to socialize and exercise in a fun and safe environment. All dogs outside of the enclosures must be leashed at all times. All dogs entering the park must be licensed (including spayed/ neutered), current on their vaccinations, both dog and people friendly.

For more information about Los Angeles Animal Services, licensing or required vaccinations contact the West Valley Animal Shelter at 818.756.9326.

For more information about the Sepulveda Basin Off Leash Dog Park please contact the Valley Region Office of the Department of Recreation and Parks at 818.756.8185.


Studio City Residents Association Winter Family Festival


LADWP provides rebates of up to $2,000 to residential customers who purchase or lease a qualifying electric vehicle (EV) and install a rapid, Level 2 charger and a separate time-of-use meter at their home. The rebate is also available to residents living in apartment buildings or condominiums as long as they receive permission from the property owner and or homeowner association.

The rebate is designed to cover “out-of-pocket” charger and installation expenses, after other discounts and incentives are deducted, for the first 1,000 customers that submit a completed application. Out-of-pocket expenses include the customer’s final cost for the charger and related equipment, and installation performed by a contractor.
To obtain more information on the new rebate program and download an application, please go to Residential Electric Vehicle Home Charger Rebate Program

For more information on the rate options available for EV customers view the Residential Electric Rate Options for EV Owners webpage.


The Century City Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a very exciting “Beer Tasting” business networking mixer for Thursday, December 1 from 5:30-8pm at BruHaus. For more details, please click HERE.


The Westwood Branch will be hosting a used book sale on Saturday, December 3 from 10:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m.  A thrifty way to add to your personal book collection AND contribute much needed funds to the Friends of Westwood Library!  You might find a few great gifts for your friends, family and co-workers!


Want to share your practical, creative and insightful ideas that will keep Los Angeles moving in the 21st Century?

Check out the City's new mobility plan effort HERE.



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

Los Angeles World Airports



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


Get Water Quality Grades on the Go

Beachgoers can now check the latest water quality grades at 650+ West Coast beaches via Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card mobile app for the iPhone or Android, at

The new, free Beach Report Card app provides the only access anytime and anywhere to a comprehensive, weekly analysis of coastline water quality.  The mobile app delivers A through F grades, weather conditions and user tips throughout beach locations in California, Oregon and Washingtonto swimmers, surfers and anyone who loves going in the ocean water.

In addition to discovering which beaches are safe or unsafe, beachgoers can look up and save their favorite local beaches, as well as learn details on beach closures.

Know before you go!


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 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.



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/, 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 increased to more than 7,100 fans since its launch in February 2009.  LAX’s YouTube, the newest edition social media site, at 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.


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


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


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


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


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.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Dear friends,

My staff, my family and I want to wish you a truly wonderful Thanksgiving, full of joyous harmony, tasty food and all the blessings that surround us.

I know I am personally thankful for so much – for my family and staff, and the remarkable strength, character and commitment of countless leaders, activists and neighborhood groups throughout the 5th Council District and across Los Angeles.

Every day I am incredibly heartened by the interest and devotion shown towards this city and our local communities by so many of our caring residents. We live in tough times and times of change, and your compassion and concerns make a huge difference in helping to unite this city and guide us toward what I hope will be a great future for all of us.

The grace, dignity, charity and kindness of countless Angelenos are evident in community-based efforts as well as personal gestures shown by people helping others. On this Thanksgiving holiday, I thank you for that, and wish you the very best.


Paul Koretz

Keep Los Encinos State Historic Park Open

Parks and other open green spaces are a precious and too rare commodity in the City Los Angeles. One of our most wonderful parks is Los Encinos State Historic Park, because it gives Encino, the San Fernando Valley and all of Los Angeles a beautiful recreational and educational space that is also a place of immense history. Unfortunately, the site, which includes a famed duck pond, is among the 70 state parks currently scheduled to close to the public, in July 2012, due to state budget cuts.

That's why State Senator Fran Pavley, joined by Councilmember Koretz, key officials from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, members of the Encino Neighborhood Council and Encino Chamber of Commerce and numerous other concerned residents, participated in a public community "brain-storming" session in the park, to share information, come up with ideas and help launch efforts to keep the park open.

Earlier, Councilmember Koretz introduced a Los Angeles City Council resolution calling for the keeping of Los Encinos State Historic Park to remain open to the public.

Senator Pavley has said, "Los Encinos is a jewel for our community and its closure would be a tremendous loss." It is estimated that the park costs $210,000 annually in expenses, and that approximately $150,000 needs to be raised before the July closure date in order to keep the park open. During the brain-storming session, people discussed possible sources of public and private funding, and private sponsorships were mentioned along with public-private partnerships and public-public partnerships (involving both the City and the State). Councilmember Koretz described various fundraising strategems and committed his energies and leadership to working with State Senator Pavley and all the involved community groups, businesses and activists.

For hundreds or perhaps even several thousand years, the tribe now called "Fernandeño", "Gabrielino" or Tongva lived at this site and delighted in the natural spring water found there, which also brought animals from miles away. Over the course of time, the land became identified as Mission, Californio, French and Basque, and has seen countless changes due to the course of human events as well as earthquakes and other natural occurrences. One of the great things about the park is that so much of that history is remembered, respected, revered and shared, including through the tours given by historically costumed docents and offered (by appointment only) of the newly-refurbished De la Ossa Adobe. Councilmember Koretz said, "The green space component of this historic park is a refuge for countless visitors, from small children to their great grandmothers. The loss of this critical green space and closure of this unique historic monument would be devastating to the Encino community and the entire San Fernando Valley."

If you are interested in finding out how you can help keep this park open, here's an important website link:

The View From the Summit

The first annual Valley Mobility Summit is now a thing of the past, but the discussions that took place during the summit will have a positive impact for the foreseeable future. The event, which was hosted by the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments (SFVCOG), resulted from a suggestion by Councilmember Koretz. The Councilmember strongly believes that solving complex transportation issues requires good communications, cooperation and coordination between all levels of government, and that often the best way of achieving success is in a face-to-face meeting. SFVCOG Executive Director Bob Scott organized the unique occasion and brought together various elected representatives, local agencies and transit advocates to focus on the future of transportation throughout the region.

At the summit, traffic and transportation challenges and dilemmas were exhaustively scrutinized and crucial rail and road programs were described in detail. The most up-to-date information was shared regarding current projects and looming issues, while new technologies and unfamiliar transportation methodologies were also highlighted for how they might successfully transform Los Angeles. For example, one possible solution that summit attendees heard about – Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT – features small automated vehicles operating on a network of specially built guide ways. Already used in London's Heathrow Airport, Abu Dhabi (the United Arab Emirates' capital) and South Korea. PRT could prove to be a productive link here in Los Angeles, potentially filling in gaps in our regional transportation nexus. Learning about such options was among the key benefits of holding this transportation summit, and so the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments is to be applauded for this fine event.

What's New, Pussycat?

Councilmember Koretz with Christi Metropole, Executive Director of Stray Cat Alliance

The Stray Cat Alliance is the cat's meow! That's because the Alliance's crucial leadership and activism helps our city address its cat overpopulation crisis. Sadly, our animal shelters are overwhelmed and our local neighborhoods swamped because too many cats and dogs are never spayed or neutered. The Alliance provides incredible volunteers and services to the City of Los Angeles and specifically Council District 5, and encourages and enables spay and neutering in order to assist anyone with a cat and also to diminish the numbers of feral cats in our city.

The Alliance recently presented Councilmember Koretz with a special award honoring him for his legislative record and achievements on animal welfare issues. He was proud to accept that award and happy that progress is occurring on these issues precisely because of the great efforts of all those who care for and about animals and their well-being.

Apron Parking Update

Activists Liz MacDonald and Wolfgang Veith at the latest committee hearing on apron parking

At the request of Councilmember Koretz and City Council, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) submitted a report of recommendations regarding apron parking to the City Council and the City Attorney's Office. LADOT recommended allowing apron parking with no permit required for (1) cars parked entirely in the apron, and (2) cars parked into the apron and sticking out into the curb parking lane. LADOT also suggested that a permit system be created for cars parking in the curb parking lane parallel to the curb in front of their own driveways.

Councilmember Koretz and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl of the Transportation Committee supported the LADOT recommendations, which are now headed to the City Attorney’s Office, where an ordinance will be drafted, and also to a vote in full City Council. This is a big win for many neighborhoods in CD 5 and Councilmember Koretz is happy to return parking to the neighborhoods where it is so desperately needed. Please make sure to keep an eye out for apron parking on the City Council's upcoming agendas!

Students Active for a Better Environment

Day to day, it is becoming increasingly clear that today's generation of students are actively interested in championing a better future, and Councilmember Koretz was proud to join many involved students at a press conference held by the University of Southern California students' branch of CALPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group). The USC students, who often work with their UCLA counterparts, were speaking out in support of the Councilmember's proposed single use bag ban. They were also joined by Bag Ban organizer and former Mar Vista community councilmember Andy Shrader and local environmental activist Jordan Howard.

As the USC CALPIRG spokespeople noted, "the people of Los Angeles use more than 2.3 billion plastic bags and 400 million paper bags in a year, and less than 5% of the plastic bags are recycled, creating significant environmental consequences for years to come – a vast majority of these bags end up in landfills, clogging storm drains or polluting our oceans." The students additionally pointed out that California spends $25 million annually just to clean up bags from public places, storm drains and waste systems." The bags also have a destructive impact on sea life and the food chain.

The Koretz motion incorporates recommendations by the City's Bureau of Sanitation and Public Works to promote multi-use canvas bags and ban single use bags at many markets and retail stores (with reasonable and appropriate exceptions provided – for example, to allow safe and sanitary handling of fish and meat, etc.). More than 20 neighborhood councils have already taken stands in support of a bag ban. The Koretz motion will continue to be discussed in many such community meetings and public settings for months to come before being heard in the City Council's Environment and Energy committee.

Robertson Recreation Center

A dynamic town hall meeting was recently held by the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council, and Councilmember Koretz was pleased to attend and participate. The chief topic of discussion was a project that has been under consideration for many years – how best to renovate the Robertson Recreation Center.

Among many interested local organizations and constituencies that have long followed this matter are SORO NC, Crestview Neighborhood Association, Beverlywood Homes Association, Sikh Ashram, the Coptic Church, and a large Jewish community including YULA Girls School across the street from the Center. Many in the community have wanted a smaller recreation center with more green space than the one that was originally proposed, which would have included 30 parking spaces and an 11,000 foot building recreation center with community rooms, workout rooms, office spaces and a high school regulation basketball court.

During the town hall event, the City's Bureau of Engineering gave a 20 minute report which was followed by 90 minutes of Q&A. Various constituent groups asserted that they’d like to be partners every step of the way as the planning and decision-making process continues. Councilmember Koretz promised more community meetings in the future – more than are normally the case regarding such proposed facility renovations. The Councilmember supports funding the project in accordance with the wishes of the community. Depending on the ultimate size and scale of renovation, the entire project is expected to cost between six and eight million dollars using Prop K named funds, Prop K inflation funds, some Quimby diverted funds as well as sites and facilities funding, and should take two to three years to complete, including actual construction lasting a year to a year and one half. The end result will be a recreation center that is greatly appreciated by the community and well used for years to come.

A Change in Council Leadership

The Los Angeles City Council today voted on a motion introduced by Council President Eric Garcetti to elect a new Council President and President Pro Tempore. Councilmember Herb Wesson, Jr. was unanimously elected to succeed Councilmember Garcetti and becomes the first African-American President of the Los Angeles City Council when he officially begins his duties on January 2, 2012. Additionally, Councilmember Ed Reyes was selected to succeed Councilmember Jan Perry as President Pro Tempore and Councilmember Tom LaBonge was chosen to take over as Assistant President Pro Tempore after Councilmember Dennis Zine stepped down.

Councilmember Paul Koretz thanks Councilmembers Garcetti, Perry and Zine for their dedication and guidance, and looks forward to working with the new Council leadership.

Tellus About Recycling

The Don’t Waste LA Coalition has released a national report linking increased recycling to the creation of jobs, reduction of climate change and improved public health. The report, prepared by the Boston-based Tellus Institute, calls for strategies to transform the nation’s “waste sector” into a “recycling sector” in order to meet the economic and environmental crises of unemployment and climate change.

The report was released at a press conference: those participating included Councilmembers Koretz, Richard Alarcon and Jose Huizar, Don’t Waste LA Coalition Director Greg Good, Adrian Martinez of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ananda Lee Tan of the Global Alliance Incinerator Alternatives, and Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer o the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

Locally, the City of L.A. is considering changes to its commercial and multifamily waste system (which currently relies on myriad private companies and their mishmash of often redundant and inefficient truck routes). Those sectors currently send over 3 million tons of waste to overcrowded landfills every year while leaving many Angelenos with no option to recycle at work, or at home if they live in a multifamily apartment building. The City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Waste Reduction and Recycling have recently voted to support what is called a 5 year notice, allowing the city the option of having a regulated trash and delivery system for those sectors (not one in the hands of the private waste industry) – such a notice does not necessarily mean that the system will be switched over, only grants the City that option.

A Nice Neighborhood Improvement

Councilmember Koretz recently joined members of the Westside Neighborhood Council and other community leaders to celebrate the placement of a new bus shelter. The bus shelter is on the northwest corner of Pico Blvd. and Veteran Ave., where a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus stop had been located until moved a number of years ago. Westside Neighborhood Council business seat representative Lisa Waltz Morocco has been leading the neighborhood council effort to re-utilize Pico Blvd. as a pedestrian corridor, and saw an opportunity to bring the bus stop back to the preferred location. With the support of Westside Neighborhood Council chair Terri Tippit, Lisa approached the City bus shelter vendor, CBS De Coux, and got them to agree to place the shelter design as part of the Pico redesign.

It took a team effort to realize this vision and complete the process in just a few short months. Councilmember Koretz and his office, the neighborhood council and the vendor advocated for the proposed shelter, and the new corner property owner agreed to support the project. This is the location of the new Menorah Housing Yaroslavsky Apartments, which opened early this year for low-income seniors. Menorah Housing gave its blessing to the project as a way to make bus travel even more convenient to its tenants.

With the support of the community, Menorah Housing and the vendor, the City Council office was then able to go to LADOT and to Santa Monica Big Blue Bus so that they might enable the expeditious relocation of the stop and placement of the shelter. Councilmember Koretz was delighted to join many of the key players in a celebration as the shelter was officially opened, and he salutes everyone involved – any and all individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies – for their diligent and caring efforts in making this improvement possible.

Welcoming a New SLO

In case you haven't heard, we have a new Senior Lead Officer (SLO) for Sherman Oaks! Senior Lead Officer Ron Carter was chosen to take the place of recently retired Senior Lead Officer George Aguilar. As some of you already know, during the absence of SLO Nate Banry in late 2007 until January 3, 2009, SLO Carter was working in the East Sherman Oaks area.

Council District 5 is happy to welcome back SLO Ron Carter who has already established strong ties with local community organizations, businesses and stakeholders. We wish him all the best and know that he will be an outstanding community partner.


The birth of a new company is exciting, and that was certainly the case with Winnol, which through its interactive methodologies may possibly transform the Internet and the way we do business. The Winnol launch event was held in the 5th Council District, at the SLS Hotel. Good luck to Winnol and all visionary businesses, old and new.

Emergency Preparedness

Councilmember Koretz congratulates the Westwood Neighborhood Council for organizing and conducting its first Disaster Preparedness Expo. This recent family-friendly event made preparedness fun, and it was a one-stop destination to learn about disaster preparedness and buy everything you need. Over 300 stakeholders and community members participated in the day's success, which included hands-on learning, demonstrations, a puppet show for children, and “The Big Shaker” – an earthquake simulator that lets people experience the shaking of an 8.0 earthquake. There were also six different disaster supplies vendors (all of them small businesses from the LA area).

Co-hosted in part by the Friends of Westwood Library and the Westwood Public Library, this important effort marked the first use of Westwood Gardens Park for a public community event since it opened. Many partners helped make this Disaster Preparedness Expo a tremendous success, including the LAFD, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the LAPD. Wonderful staffing was provided by members of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, CERT volunteers and American Red Cross student volunteers from UCLA and the Greater Los Angeles chapter. The dedication and resolve that made all of this possible offered attendees an immediate reward – a fun happening at the park – but the biggest payoff may come in years to come, because so many people are now better prepared to cope with emergencies and stay out of harm's way in case of disaster.

Crisis Averted!

The last issue of this newsletter detailed a potentially devastating blow to California's adult day health care (ADHC) centers. Due to the state's fiscal crisis, the state was readying to eliminate ADHC as a Medi-Cal state plan options benefit. The resultant lack of funding likely would have forced the closure of many centers.

The good news is that with time fast running out, state officials and disability rights attorneys crafted a legal settlement preserving the current system until the end of February, 2012, at which time, many of the elderly and those with disabilities currently assisted at the centers will shift into a similar system of center-based services, and the rest will receive intensive care management to help them stay in their homes.

While eliminating center care as an optional Medi-Cal benefit would have saved the state an estimated $160 million in the near future, the consequences for many individuals and families would have been catastrophic, and as Councilmember Koretz pointed out, the long-term impact for the state's finances would have been "penny wise but pound foolish" – that's because the centers play a crucial role in helping vulnerable people, including low-income seniors, function productively and with some real independence: without these centers, many of those same people would likely be institutionalized.

The centers provide medical services; nursing and personal care services; physical, occupational and speech therapy; psychiatric and psychological services; social services; therapeutic activities; hot meal and nutritional counseling; and transportation to and from centers.

Pizzeria Mozza celebrates its 5th Anniversary

These are tricky times for many businesses, so it’s always great to salute huge success stories whenever they occur. In the very challenging restaurant trade, one of the best success stories, located in the 5th Council District or anywhere in the world of exquisite dining, is that of Pizzeria Mozza, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary.

Pizzeria Mozza was originally meant to be a perhaps more modest sibling restaurant to Osteria Mozza, which opened next door several months later (Osteria Mozza is on the southwest corner of Melrose and Highland, and Pizzeria Mozza is just to the south, on Highland). But critics and customers immediately flocked to Pizzeria Mozza (and later, as well, to Osteria Mozza, and still later, Mozza2Go). They were drawn by the sensational media buzz and the public’s rave responses to the pizza and many other splendid dishes, but also because the Mozza establishment is the brainchild and creation of some remarkably renowned talents: Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.

Nancy Silverton (pictured here with executive chef Matt Molina and Councilmember Koretz) is a true child of the 5th Council District, having grown up in Sherman Oaks and Encino, but she is revered globally as a transcendent bread baker, cookbook author, founder of La Brea Bakery and former co-owner of Campanile – and winner of many awards including James Beard Best Pastry Chef of the Year and the Southern California Restaurant Writers’ Restaurant of the Year & Restaurateur of the Year Awards: indeed, The Los Angeles Times named her one of the city’s most influential people for “changing the way that Angelenos eat.” For Mozza, she has teamed with Mario Batali, the famed New York-based chef considered by some to be the foremost maker and master of Italian cuisine in the world, as well as acclaimed New York restaurateur Joe Bastianich.

Councilmember Koretz helped recognize Pizzeria Mozza on its 5th Anniversary, and also thanked Nancy Silverton and all involved for championing Meals-on-Wheels and the Los Angeles Garden School Project, and for employing “green restaurant” environmental practices. Successes like those of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza are especially important because of L.A.’s restaurant and hospitality initiative, which by promoting our fine eateries has helped make Los Angeles – and in particular, the 5th Council District – a premier culinary attraction for tourists and “foodies” from around the world, generating jobs and revenue for this city. Congratulations to Pizzeria Mozza!

Rooting for the True Blue and Gold!

CD 5 District Director Joan Pelico and staff members Sheila Kouhkan, Eric Weiser, and Sarah Mallory attended UCLA’s homecoming football game to support the Bruins as they took on the California Golden Bears. The up and down Bruins found their way back up against Cal at the Rose Bowl, beating the Golden Bears 31-14. Council District 5 had a wonderful time cheering on the team and look forward to their contest against archrival USC this Saturday night. Go Bruins!

This message was sent to  by:

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