April 27, 2012

In this issue:

The Israel Festival – and where visitors should park

It is budget time again

Subway update

Protecting our water

Help make Old Man River feel
young, again!

Less car use means better air, better health, less congestion

Encino Chamber

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide

LADWP community meetings

Darling Companion

New Animal Commissioners

Workplace safety at LAX

Greening the City one building at a time

Remembering eight heroes and Operation Eagle Claw

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



Big Sunday is coming up on May 4th, 5th, and 6th.

Thousands of people from California, of all ages and all backgrounds, work together at hundreds of nonprofits, schools and other agencies that need their help.

Last year on Big Sunday Weekend, 50,000 volunteers turned out—some as individuals, others with their families, still others as part of a class, church, synagogue, mosque, business or club—to lend a hand at more than 500 different projects from San Diego to San Francisco, making Big Sunday Weekend one of the largest regional community service events in America.

The Sherman Oaks Beautification Committee will be working to make the wonderful Village of Sherman Oaks more beautiful. They’ll be repainting benches and street poles and repotting bedraggled flower pots. The goal is to get rid of graffiti and to bring back to life street furniture that is simply dingy from wear and tear. They’d love to get scout groups involved, so feel free to sign up your troop!

To find out more information, please visit:



10th Annual Los Angeles HPOZ Conference, Saturday May 19, 2012 from 8:30am to 4:00pm

Join the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning and the Los Angeles Conservancy for a day of workshops, tours, and networking to learn more about how to protect the unique character of Los Angeles' historic neighborhoods known as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs).

The HPOZ Conference will feature your choice of a walking tour in Hollywood Grove, Melrose Hill, or Whitley Heights HPOZ.

The conference will take place at Celebrity Centre International, the former Chateau Elysee, Historic-Cultural Monument #329, 5930 Franklin Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029.

Register by May 13th at www.laconservancy.org/neighborhoods

or contact Flora Chou at fchou@laconservancy.org


Mulholland Educational Corridor Association will be holding a FREE Electronic Waste Recycling event 

May 19th from 9am to 2pm at the Bel Air Presbyterian Church (Parking Lot), 16221 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Bring your broken or outdated electronics: Computers, TVs, Monitors, Laptops, Cellphones, VCRs, DVD Players, Radios, VHS tapes, DVD's, CD's. Small Electric Appliances, and Alkaline Batteries

Paint, CFL bulbs, car batteries, washer, dryers, and refrigerators will not be accepted.

Learn more at: www.facebook.com/


Greenway Arts Alliance is pleased to announce the extension through May 20th of the critically-acclaimed world premiere play, "The Bewildered Herd," by local playwright Cody Henderson. 

Please visit http://www.greenwayarts.tix.com/ and enter the code: TWOFOR for your discount.

See what the critics have been saying thus far:

"Herd" finds fertile ground exploring the insidious ways in which people convince each other on the most intimate of levels.” – LA Times

“An amazing night of theatre, punctuated by head spinning dramatic action, and the birth of a very sinister character, Bingo.   This is definitively one theatrical event not to miss.”  – Joe Straw #9

 “You’re guaranteed to be talking about what you saw long after the curtain has fallen on this heady game of psychological revenge.” -StageSceneLA


LAPD West Valley Division is holding its Open House on Saturday May 5th from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Visitors can tour the station, meet officers and check out some of their police vehicles. There will also be informational booths on Neighborhood Watch programs, C.E.R.T., and youth programs.

The station is located at 19020 Vanowen st Reseda Ca 91335.


The Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) announced that the City of Los Angeles will host six BOS Waste Tire Drop-off Collection Events that will allow city residents to cleanup and eliminate used/waste tires from their homes.

The FREE Waste Tire Drop-off Collection Events will take place in conjunction with the Sanitation’s annual Open Houses. The dates and locations are:

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
East Valley District Yard, 11050 Pendleton Street, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
West Valley District Yard, 8840 Vanalden Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324

Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
North Central District Yard, 452 N. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031

Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
South Los Angeles District Yard at The Expo Center, 3990 Menlo Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  90037

Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Harbor District Yard, 1400 N. Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA 90731

Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
West Los Angeles District Yard, 2027 Stoner Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025


NBCLA & Subaru Team up to Help Shelter Pets!

"We're raising $20,000 for LA Animal Services and we need your help! For every "LIKE" we get, we'll donate $1 – and Subaru will match it" said NBCLA spokesperson.

Click here and “Like”: http://4.nbcla.com/PetChrty

Enjoy this fun ad announcing the campaign: http://bit.ly/FOmUn9


Sustainable Works Los Angeles Energy & Water Green Living Workshop

Sustainable Works will offer another Los Angeles Green Living Workshop on Sunday, April 29th, from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at Colfax Elementary School, 11724 Addison Street, Los Angeles, CA 91607.

The Valley Village Green Living Energy & Water Workshop is an action oriented 2 hour Workshop.  Participants will learn about environmental problems related to Energy and Water on a global, national and local scale then they will be given solutions they can implement right after completing the workshop which will help them to conserve water, become more energy efficient and save $ on utilities. 

The workshop is FREE to residents of Council Districts 5 & 11

Funding provided by LADWP through a grant from the US Dept of Energy

To sign up or learn more about this event, please visit: www.sustainableworks.eventbrite.com


The Century City Chamber of Commerce will hold its 30th Annual Citizen of the Year Awards Luncheon on June 7th, at the Hyatt Regency Plaza, 2025 Avenue of the Stars.

For registration, honoree information, and ticket prices, please visit: http://www.centurycitycc.com/events/?event_id=298


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.


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 Thursday from 12 -6pm.

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 www.beachreportcard.org.

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 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.



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.


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 paul.koretz@lacity.org.

Please feel free to send this newsletter along to your friends and neighbors and tell them to visit the CD 5 website at http://cd5.lacity.org to sign up for this newsletter.

The Israel Festival – and where visitors should park

The Israel Festival is happening Sunday, April 29, from 9AM to 6PM, at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. Full of meaningful activities and fun festivities, the Festival is a community-wide event celebrating Israel’s 64th Independence Day and sponsored by the Israeli Leadership Council.  Information about registration, directions, parking and pre-purchased tickets can be found at www.celebrateisraelfestival.com.

Many people will come and have a great time, but it is VERY IMPORTANT that those who go to the Festival show great respect for the surrounding residents and neighborhoods.

FESTIVAL PARKING:  to maintain the flow of parking near the festival and surrounding areas, visitors should follow festival parking signage and directions and only park in the designated parking structures provided for festival attendees, at $10 per car.  Please be respectful to the neighbors and refrain from parking on the streets around the park and in the neighborhood.  Here are the locations of the five pertinent parking structures – the first four are in walking distance to the festival, and shuttles to and from all the structures are available all day.

(directions to the garages can be found at

  • Fox Studios Lot (or Gate) Number 7, at 10210 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90067
  • Fox Studios Lot (or Gate) Number 4 at 4000 West Galaxy Way, Los Angeles CA 90067
  • Century Park West Garage, 2030 Century Park West, Los Angeles CA 90067
  • Constellation Place Garage, 10250 Constellation Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90067
  • Avenue of the Stars Garage, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles CA 90067

WHAT WILL THE ISRAEL FESTIVAL BE LIKE?  Here is their press release that describes what will be taking place:


Day will start with a 1.5-mile “Salute to Israel Walk” escorted by the “9/11 Tribute Cars” at 8:30am. 5 stages with performances throughout the day; “Positively Israel” pavilion showcasing Israel’s innovations in technology; massive 5-foot art installations; official ceremony with local and state dignitaries at 1:00PM hosted by Michael Medved of KRLA kicked off by the skydiving team. Kids Amusement park, Vendors, Café Tel Aviv

WOODLAND HILLS, CA (April 19, 2012) – Thousands are expected to attend the highly anticipated, community-wide “Celebrate Israel Festival” sponsored by the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC) on April 29, from 10:00am-6:00pm. The event will be held at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center park, 2551 Motor Ave. in Los Angeles.

The day begins at 8:30am with a 1.5-mile free “Salute to Israel Walk” presented by StandWithUs. Hundreds will walk from the park to the Museum of Tolerance and back to show solidarity with the State of Israel. A salute to Israel drive-by will herald the start of the walk with the 9/11 Tribute Cars “Fueled by the Fallen.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Golden Stars Skydiving Team will kick off the official ceremony on the main stage at 1:00PM. Dignitaries include: State Assemblyman Mike Feuer, Council General of Israel David Seigel, Councilman Paul Koretz, LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca, Councilman Dennis P. Zine, LA Controller Zev Yaroslavsky, City Controller Wendy Greuel, Congressman Brad Sherman, among others including Festival Chairs Debby and Naty Saidoff and ILC chair Shawn Evenhaim. Syndicated radio talk show host Michael Medved will emcee.

Israeli star Eyal Golan toplines the Festival’s 5 stages with performances throughout the day including folk dancing and DJ Dance Party.

The pinnacle of the festival, “Positively Israel,” pavilion will showcase the small state’s leading innovations in technology; a massive 5-foot art installation and tents featuring Spirituality, Judiaism and a Genealogy database to store the family history. Kids will frolic in the KIDZONE Amusement park and everyone will enjoy Café Tel Aviv with ethnic Israeli foods, world music, drum circles, folk dancing and a 200-vendor village showcasing Israeli artwork, paintings, sculptures, fine arts, jewelry, Judaica gifts and much more.

Pre-purchased discount tickets are available online at $9 for kids and $15 for adults. Door prices are $12 for kids and $19 for adults and kids under 3 are free. Family packs are available online only. There are designated parking structures. Registration, directions, parking, and pre-purchased tickets are at: www.celebrateisraelfestival.com for the morning “Salute to Israel” walk registration click on the “walk” tab. The Walk is free, but tickets must be purchased for the Festival beginning at 10am.

Co-sponsors of the “Celebrate Israel Festival” include: Debbie and Naty Saidoff ,StandWithUs, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, Jewish National Fund, Jewish Life Television, Mati Israel Community Center and Hidbaroot Los Angeles.

Israel’s myriad technological innovations will be showcased at the “Positively Israel” Pavilion, an interactive space spearheaded by Jewish National Fund (JNF). It highlights imaging, renewable energy and energy conservation, sustainable agriculture, water management, medical technology advancement, integrated photo swapping applications, digital product placement, and the newest in “windows” car technology, to name a few.

One of the Festival’s goals was to engage the community through art. The Youth Art Expo features 5-foot art pieces by the four finalists from My Israel Art Installation competition depicting their interpretation of the Star of David and the Menorah. Art installations are funded by the ILC. TheYouth Art Expo is an initiative of the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles to engage young artists.

The Digital Jewish Genealogy Database is presented by the Museum of the Jewish People, (Beit Hatzfutzot). A high-tech, multi-faceted database will give attendees the opportunity to enter their family’s history via iPads and laptops where the data will be collected and preserved for generations to come.

The KIDZONE area will include an amusement park with rides for all ages, free arts and crafts area, kids stage with live entertainment all day, face painting, stilt walkers, a petting zoo, juggling acts and more.

Spiritualism and Judaism tent is offered by Hidabroot Los Angeles with lectures and information from renowned Rabbis, a stand-up comedian and kosher food dedicated to Orthodox guests.

Bringing a slice of Israel to the Southland, the Festival includes Café Tel-Aviv where visitors will indulge in ethnic Israeli foods, world music, drum circles, folk dancing. Don’t miss vendor village featuring over 200 vendors showcasing Israeli artwork, paintings, sculptures, fine arts, jewelry, Judaica gifts.

It is budget time again

The Mayor released his proposed budget last week.  The Council's Budget and Finance Committee (including Councilmember Koretz) begins hearings on the Mayor's budget on Friday, April 27.  The Budget and Finance Committee will discuss the budget for each department and then request various reports back from City staff.  The hearings likely will continue for the next week.  The Budget Committee then will recess while City staff prepares its responses to the various questions raised during the hearings.

It is going to be another difficult budgetary year.  Despite constant belt tightening over the past three years, the Mayor has proposed still further belt tightening including hundreds of layoffs.  Councilmember Koretz will join his colleagues in reviewing the Mayor's proposals, and will do all he can to maintain important city services while also always ensuring fiscal stability for the City.  Of course, he always welcomes your questions, views and ideas and all public input.

Subway update

Councilmember Koretz testifying at a METRO hearing in support of the Westside Subway Extension

On April 26, Councilmember Koretz was proud to testify at a historic meeting of the Metropolitan Transit Administration (Metro) as it approved moving forward on the first phase of the Westside Subway Extension to the westside.  After more than two hours of public testimony, the board voted 11 to 1 (with one member abstaining)  to approve the project and the first three stations to La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills along with stations at Fairfax and La Brea.

Councilmember Koretz spoke in favor of the project and the Metro staff's station recommendations, which included a centrally located station in Century City at the intersection of Constellation Blvd. and Avenue of the Stars. There is widespread support for that station, as was highlighted at a recent rally led by the Century City Chamber of Commerce. Rally participants included Councilmember Koretz, homeowner group and neighborhood organizational leadership, businesses and their spokespeople, transportation experts, workers, religious leaders, student group representatives, and even supporters from Beverly Hills, all of whom spoke eloquently about the obvious advantages of having this station in the heart of Century City near bustling businesses. Achieving that goal will create the greatest possible access and subway usage for the huge numbers of residents, workers, shoppers and others who travel to and from Century City on a daily basis.

In addition, nearby residents, surrounding neighborhoods and all communities in the area will benefit when massive numbers of commuters visiting or leaving Century City leave their cars at home and therefore off local roads and freeways.

 Councilmember Koretz and Century City Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Susan Bursk

Unfortunately, opposition to the Constellation & Avenue of the Stars site has come from some within the City of Beverly Hills regarding tunneling that would happen under the Beverly Hills High School campus as part of the routing to get to the Constellation station.  Independent scientists and experts have testified to that route's safety, but the opposition has continued to simmer, with Beverly Hills calling for an alternative station situated next to a golf course. Ironically it is this alternative station site that has been deemed to have major safety issues due to seismic concerns about the routing that it would require. The City of Beverly Hills was able to find a very old and obscure legal code that requires a delay in order to hold a hearing.  Metro board chair Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Director and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky pledged to hold this hearing within the next 60 days, as is required before they could move forward with approving the additional two segments to Century City and to Westwood.

Some time after this hearing, the Metro board will take up the issue and will then hopefully vote to move forward with approval of the environmental document for the remainder of the project to the Westwood Veteran's Administration site.  In the meantime, Mayor Villaraigosa and Supervisor Yaroslavsky along with Metro Director and former Assemblymember Richard Katz crafted a motion that allowed for the approval for this first segment to be constructed so that it can move forward immediately.  Councilmember Koretz remains optimistic that the additional segments to Century City and Westwood will follow shortly. Councilmember Koretz thanks the many individuals and businesses from the Century City community, the Comstock Hills neighborhood, organized labor and others who came to the meeting to speak in favor of the project and for the Constellation station.

Protecting our water

Robert Kennedy, Jr. welcomes the City of LA resolution in support of the Clean Water Act

In honor of the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, Councilmember Koretz introduced a resolution in support of strengthening the Clean Water Act to pre-2001 levels. The Clean Water Act was one of the three ground-breaking federal acts that arose from that first Earth Day, but it is an act that corporate polluters are currently trying to weaken. 

The first Earth Day in 1970 inspired the bipartisan Congressional creation of the Clean Water Act as well as that of the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency, all of which were approved by President Nixon. 

(For more about the importance of Earth Day, please visit http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement.)

The Clean Water Act resolution authored by Councilmember Koretz was approved by the Los Angeles City Council on March 28th and signed by Mayor Villaraigosa on April 4th. It was presented to Robert Kennedy Jr., chair of the Waterkeeper Alliance by the 5th Council District's Environmental Deputy, Andy Shrader, at the 1st Annual "Stand-Up for Clean Water" SPLASH Series Event -- an Earth Day Weekend Celebration that was held Saturday, April 21 at Santa Monica Beach.

Help make Old Man River feel young, again!

 Earth Day 2012 (held on Sunday, April 22) is now behind us, but helping to protect and preserve the environment is a wonderful thing to do throughout the year – including Saturday, April 28, from 9AM to Noon, when volunteers are invited to help clean the Los Angeles River at 15 locations across Los Angeles County.  It’s the Friends of Los Angeles River’s 23ard Annual La Gran Limpieza:  The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp. 

For more information about Saturday’s event, including regarding registration and parking, please visit FOLAR at http://folar.org/?p=1079.  To find out more about FOLAR, please visit http://folar.org/.

Less car use means better air, better health, less congestion

UCLA has been working together with their students, employees and visitors to reduce car trips to and around the campus
Getting out of your car, even one day a week, even for a single trip, is one of the most powerful things an individual can do to reduce congestion, keep our air and water clean and prevent global warming.  In one example of great leadership, UCLA has been working together with their students, employees and visitors to reduce trips to and around the campus.  The University recently conducted its annual travel behavior audit and counts and found impressive news: only 52.9% of employees traveled to work alone, well below the countywide average of 72%. Among students the results are even better with only 25% driving alone to campus. Years of work promoting ridesharing, transit (technologies and methodologies for avoiding single passenger car trips and congestion), walking and bicycling have resulted in a doubling of the number of UCLA commuters using transit since 2000 and eight consecutive years of falling traffic numbers coming in and out of campus.
While UCLA can serve as a model for what is possible, it is not the only leader in reducing vehicle trips. In Century City, an area-wide Transportation Management Organization (TMO) is pulling together resources from hundreds of firms for thousands of workers to offer better ride-share matching, transit information and transportation alternatives to the 44,000 workers in Century City. The TMO has a large task in front of it but is exploring many tools and expects to dramatically improve the commuting patterns in and out of Century City over the next five years.
The Westside subway extension, bus service enhancements and hundreds of miles of bicycle lanes will all improve Los Angeles’s transportation choices and environment in the years to come. Today, however, more and more people are already experiencing, or exploring how to experience, the pleasures and benefits when one rideshares, rides the bus, walks, skips or bikes to work, the store or the neighborhood restaurant. You can find out more about transit offerings around the region at http://www.metro.net/.  If you are interested in technical assistance, tax incentives or other support for an employer-based trip reduction program, please contact Christopher Koontz at the CD5 City Hall Office, at chris.koontz@lacity.org or 213-473-7005.

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide

Councilmember Koretz joined the Armenian National Committee of the San Fernando Valley -- West and the Encino Armenian-American community for their Armenian Genocide commemoration.

Memorial events were held this past week, as they are annually, to acknowledge the grim facts of the Armenian Genocide, honor those people whose lives were destroyed and pledge, "Never again" should we ever allow such a calamity to occur.

The Armenian Genocide is generally considered an early example of modern genocide, in which whole populations are targeted for annihilation.  During the first World War and in its immediate aftermath, the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was systematically killed. It is estimated that between 1 and 1 1/2 million Armenians died.  Of course, many of those who survived did so by escaping to places such as the United States.

Southern California's Armenian community -- the largest concentration of Armenian-Americans is in the Greater Los Angeles area --  includes many people whose families suffered grievous loss because of the Armenian Genocide:  for that community, recalling the Armenian Genocide is a time for much sorrow, pain, reflection and resolve.  And, as is the case with Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is an opportunity for all people to join together in renouncing such horrors and to say, "Never Again," to any such unspeakable assault on any people.

LADWP community meetings

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has begun holding a series of regional community meetings to educate and inform customers regarding proposed power and water rate changes needed over the next two years. The following meetings will be held will be held in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles:

Central Valley

Thursday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
LADWP Van Nuys Service Center
14401 Saticoy Street
Van Nuys, 91405

West L.A

Thursday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Stephen S. Wise Temple, South Taub Annex
15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive
Los Angeles, 90077

General Manager Ronald O. Nichols and LADWP Senior Managers will present the proposed power and water rate changes during the meeting, answer questions and take comments.  According to the LADWP, the proposed rate changes will allow the department to meet regulatory mandates affecting much of LADWP’s existing energy and water supplies, and will enable the department to invest in replacing aging infrastructure and maintain reliability for LADWP’s 1.4 million electric customers and 657,000 water customers.

For more information about the rate proposals, please click here.

Encino Chamber

Councilmember Koretz tees off at the Encino Chamber's annual miniature golf event

The Encino Chamber of Commerce does a magnificent job helping local businesses and serving the community -- but it still finds time and ways for its members to have fun!  Councilmember Koretz was delighted to take part in the Chamber's annual miniature golf event.
Darling Companion

From left: Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard, Meg Kasdan, Councilmember Koretz, Lawrence Kasdan at the Los Angeles premiere of the film Darling Companion

As a city councilmember, and as a fan of cinema, Councilmember Koretz is always delighted to champion motion pictures because they mean so much to all of us, culturally and aesthetically as well as in terms of jobs for the people of Los Angeles. 

But he has been especially pleased to talk about a new film, "Darling Companion." That's because “Darling Companion” was inspired by a dog, Mac, and what happened after he was adopted, seven years ago, from a Los Angeles animal shelter, by Lawrence and Meg Kasdan.  (Lawrence Kasdan directed "Darling Companion" and co-wrote it with his wife, Meg. Lawrence Kasdan's credits include directing "The Big Chill," "Body Heat," and "Grand Canyon," and writing "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and a number of the "Star Wars" films.)   The movie's stars include Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Sam Shepard, Dianne Wiest, Elizabeth moss, Mark Duplass, Richard Jenkins and Ayelet Zurer -- and Kasey, a dog who was also adopted from a shelter.

It is amazing to think of how Mac being adopted years ago led to a Sony Pictures Classics film being made, with such magnificently talented participants involved and countless people in audiences around the world waiting to be entertained and enthralled – yet that extraordinary sequence of events illuminates what happens every single day at our city shelters:  animals are adopted, and then loved, and the caring relationships that develop end up transforming lives forever.

Councilmember Koretz and The Amanda Foundation at the Darling Companion premiere 

The recent Los Angeles premiere event, held at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, was also a benefit for animal welfare and animal adoption advocacy organization the Amanda Foundation:  indeed the Foundation had lovely animals from Los Angeles shelters on hand at the Egyptian that very night, to adopt out that evening. Councilmember Koretz was delighted to attend the event, where he congratulated Sony Pictures Classics, the Kasdans – including Mac! – and all who made this movie possible, and thanked them for making a film that celebrates relationships, including those we can and do have with animals who are rescued.

New Animal Commissioners

Councilmember Koretz and the newly appointed Animal Commissioners Lisa McCurdy, Jim Jensvold, and Alana Yanez

Workplace safety at LAX

Councilmember Koretz joined Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, airport workers and clergy concerned about poor working conditions at LAX and the high rate of injuries for those workers.  Of special concern were the airline service contractors hired by the airlines.  Councilmember Koretz called on the airlines to insist that their contractors provide acceptable and appropriate workplace conditions. It was noted that these problems, if they are allowed to linger, could lead to labor tensions, with a related impact on the city and its economy. The two Councilmembers, therefore, advocated for greater enforcement when contractors do not meet the proper standards, and have called for the airport to explore methods of accountability used elsewhere, such as in Boston and at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

Councilmember Koretz joined Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, airport workers and clergy concerned about poor working conditions at LAX and the high rate of injuries for those workers

Councilmember Koretz explained, "The airport is crucial to our regional economy and quality of life, and we rely on the people who work there to provide many essential services that are key to any commuter.  It is absolutely fundamental that we have safe and appropriate working conditions at the airport: otherwise, people may be in jeopardy, and that includes workers and travelers alike.  Airline service contractors need to bear responsibility for ensuring acceptable working conditions at the airport, and if they fail they should face severe consequences, certainly including potentially losing their continued right to operate at the airport.”

Greening the City one building at a time

Solar panels at the Los Angeles Convention Center
When we think of cleaning the air and saving the planet, we often think about our cars, trucks and power plants — but in fact, at least 35% of greenhouse gases come from buildings, be they your home, office or neighborhood pub. Buildings create greenhouse gases indirectly through energy consumption and also directly through chemicals found in everything from light fixtures to air conditioners.
Los Angeles is one of the nation’s leaders in green buildings. Beginning in 2008, the City of Los Angeles required all new large buildings and large additions to meet United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy Efficient and Design (USGBC LEED) standards. The state subsequently followed Los Angeles’ lead and adopted statewide standards known as CalGreen.
This year the City has taken steps to streamline the building permit process for installing solar on new and existing buildings, as well as continuing a system of incentives for solar installation through the Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The City is also studying a long-term plan to offer “feed-in tariff” whereby a home or other building with solar panels could sell that excess electricity back to the grid.
Many property owners have taken steps far above and beyond governmental requirements to address sustainability. JMB has been a major property owner and community stakeholder in Century City for more than 30 years, most recently having developed both the SunAmerica Center and Constellation Place, formerly MGM Tower. In 2008 Constellation Place became the first high rise office building in Los Angeles to receive the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED® Silver certification in the existing building category. Constellation Place has since gone through the recertification process and achieved LEED Gold Certification. JMB is also home to one of the largest urban solar power installations in the country (atop their parking structure); an innovative system to cool and conserve water; perfectly timed lighting to conserve energy, and other innovations that have cumulatively lessened CO2 emissions by over 3,528 metric tons - equivalent to emission from 692 vehicles, 395,541 gallons of gasoline, 8,205 barrels of oil or the electricity from 440 average homes.
JMB is just one example, though quite impressive: there are many businesses, residents and buildings (large and small) doing their part to create a more sustainable Los Angeles. (The accompanying photo shows solar panels at the Los Angeles Convention Center). To find out how you can help and what incentives are available for energy and water conservation, please contact your Council District field office.

Remembering eight heroes and Operation Eagle Claw

On Tuesday, April 24th, the Los Angeles City Council paid brief but moving homage to eight American servicemen who lost their lives many years ago.

The formal remembrance by the Council occurred on the 32nd Anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw – the heroic but failed effort by the then–recently created Delta Force to rescue 53 Americans held hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

Attempts at negotiating the release of the captives had been unsuccessful, so Operation Eagle Claw was launched.  It involved complex coordination, in nighttime conditions, of helicopters, other equipment and personnel.  Difficulties with several of the helicopters, including problems caused while flying through a sand cloud, led to the order by commanders on the ground to terminate the mission before it ever reached the embassy.  That was on April 24, 1980.  Tragically, while preparing to leave Iran, one of the helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft that contained fuel and a group of servicemen, and so the eight perished.
Those eight were Sergeant John D. Harvey, Corporal George N. Holmes, Jr., and  Staff Sergeant Dewey L. Johnson of the United States Marine Corps, and Major Richard L. Bakke, Major Harold L. Lewis, Jr., Major Lyn D. McIntosh, Captain Charles T. McMillan, and Technical Sergeant Joel C. Mayo of the United States Air Force.
Eventually, the hostages were released, but the eight who died for their sake are gone forever.  The hope and determination is that their memory lives on.  That’s why one of our city’s most veteran news reporters, Pete Demetriou, mentioned the looming anniversary to a 5th Council District staffer, and why Councilmember Koretz followed up by asking the entire City Council to join in remembering those men.
In recent times this nation has expressed tremendous pride over the military heroes who participated in the raid that put an end to Osama Bin Laden, and we have justly recognized the countless brave men and women who serve this nation in uniform while facing life or death challenges and enduring grueling tours of duty. But it is the nature of military service that not all efforts will end in triumph, even when they are made on behalf of our great and powerful nation. On April 24th, the Council honored the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives 32 years ago in Iran while trying to liberate fellow Americans. 

This message was sent to  by:

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