May 11, 2012

In this issue:

Happy Mother's Day

Big Sunday

Roxbury-Beverwil Alliance


The Coptic Carnival

Hillside Federation

Mother's Day (in case a gift is involved)

Westwood WOMP!

Baisakhi Day

Keeping Shopping Carts at the Store

Condition Compliance Unit

Officer Mike Toth 

Wilshire ramp closure

Israel Fest

Vidal Sassoon

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



Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) has greeting/tribute cards that are an ideal way to send a special greeting AND bring comfort to homeless animals in shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries and fosters.
Send one for Mother's Day, Father's Day or Graduations.
In lieu of gifts or flowers make a monetary donation to OBOL.   
Send a greeting/tribute card to someone special or a special pet whIle helping to save homeless animals' lives.
Operation Blankets of Love provides aid and comfort to 2,000 homeless animals a month in shelters and rescue groups that are dependent upon us for their survival, health, safety and happiness. The comfort items provided by directly increases those animals' chances for adoption which saves lives.

To learn more, please visit:  or call: (818) 402-6586


Jumpstart and the UCLA Center for Community Learning present a Literacy Fair @ UCLA on Saturday, May 12th from 10am - 2pm at UCLA Wilson Plaza (past the Bruin Bear near the Janss Steps)

Fun for the whole family!

Games! Books! Crafts!
Raffle! Food!

Questions? Contact:


This Saturday, May 12, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. the Fire Chief Brian L. Cummings and members  of the Los Angeles Fire Department will gather for the opening ceremonies of Fire Service  Recognition Day at Fire Station 27 in Hollywood.

At 11:00 a.m. the Fire Chief will then visit Fire Station 88 for the North Division Ceremony in Encino.
At 2 p.m. the Fire Chief will visit  Fire Station 65 for the South Division Ceremony. 

Fire Service Recognition Day welcomes the public to neighborhood fire stations, as we hold  our annual “Open House” in observance of National Fire Service Recognition Day. All  Los Angeles Fire Stations will have “Open House” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The theme for Fire  Service Recognition Day 2012 is “PREPARE, RESPOND, RECOVER”. 

On Fire Service Recognition Day, six major sites will provide informational booths, blood pressure  checks, CPR information, a display of fire apparatus and rescue equipment, along with  special demonstrations of vehicle extrication, the air rescue cushion and aerial ladders. 


Sherman Oaks -Fire Station 88 5l0l N. Sepulveda Blvd. Page 431, H-3 

Pacific Palisades -Fire Station 69 15045 Sunset Blvd. Page 631, B-5 
Silver Lake-Fire Station 56 2759 Rowena Ave. Page 594, D-3 

Wilmington – Banning’s Landing 100 E. Water St. Page 824, E-1 

Hollywood – Fire Station 27 1327 N. Cole Avenue Page 593, F-5 

Watts – Fire Station 65 1801 E.
Century Blvd. Page 704, G-4 

The Los Angeles Fire Department initiated fire station “Open House” over 47 years ago. The  focus is to invite the public inside their neighborhood fire station, visit with local firefighters  and see the equipment that serves their community. 


The Encino Neighborhood Council is offering a series of FREE Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes on the following Monday mornings:

May 14th, May 21st, June 4th and June 11th (no class on Memorial Day, May 28th)

All are welcome, participants will receive one free Disaster Preparedness Kit (limit one per family)

To register, please call: 818-817-6998 or email:

Classes will be held at:

4935 Balboa Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316



Join thousands of kids and their parents throughout California and bike to school any day in May.

Pick a safe route to school with your parent’s, get your parents permission, wear a helmet and be a part of a healthy and fun way to get to school.

For more information: Contact Safe Moves at (818) 786-4614

The School Bicycle Safety and Transit Education Program is sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.


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

or contact Flora Chou at


Liberty Hill Foundation is offering a  free downloadable 80-page resource guide to help L.A. City businesses become more sustainable. Go green while saving money.

Check it out!


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:


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 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


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, 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


On Tuesday May 22nd, The Century City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Los Angeles County District Attorney Candidates Forum from 7:30-9:30am at Century Plaza Towers - Conference Center, Concourse Level, 2029 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067

For registration and more information please visit:


The West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and New Directions, Inc. will be holding their 2nd Annual Walk for Warriors.

Walk for Warriors is a
fun, community-oriented 5K run/walk to take place on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 at the West LA Veterans Affairs Campus.

Proceeds from Walk for Warriors will help New Directions provide
transitional services for returning veterans. By participating in Walk
for Warriors, you will help support our nation’s veterans and the
thousands of men and women who are currently serving our country.

For more information about this event, please visit:

The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education is coordinating:
KIDS OCEAN DAY, Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up on Thursday, June 7, 2012 to bring elementary students together for a beach clean-up and Aerial Art.

When: Volunteers are needed  from 7:30 am - 1:30 pm to greet, guide and mentor students throughout the event. Volunteers will greet students as they arrive and lead them through the clean-up and into the Aerial Art. Volunteers must have a willingness to help out at the event in any way, as needs arise - a team effort. Without volunteers this event would not be possible.

Where: Dockweiler State Beach (The end of Imperial Highway between Playa del Rey and Manhattan Beach)

Training: A training session will be held for volunteers at 7:30 am on the day of the event.

Contact: Jennifer Cohen, Volunteer Manager by phone: 310-570-5577 or email:


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:



Reduced Snowpack & Increased Water UseCall for Increased Conservation

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) today reminds customers that Mandatory Water Conservation remains in effect and urges customers to increase their water conservation efforts where possible.  Overall, water conservation in Los Angeles has been remarkable over the past five years, but recently customer use has been on the rise.

Since 2009, when Mandatory Water Conservation took effect, LADWP water customers have successfully reduced water consumption citywide by nearly 20%. Though overall water use continues to be significantly lower than it has in the past, water use in recent months has risen sharply since January. Year-to-year trends are more modest, but are still cause for concern with overall water use from July 2011 to March 2012, up nearly 3% when compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. Single-family residential customers alone have demonstrated an increase in water use of more than 5% for the same period, while multi-family residential customers are up just over 1%.

LADWP urges all customers to keep saving water, and money, by continuing to abide by Mandatory Water Conservation measures put into effect in 2009.  Reducing water use is as simple as checking sprinkler timers, checking indoors for leaky faucets and toilets, and using a hose fitted with a shut-off nozzle when watering landscape or washing your car.

“In 2011, our customers reached a per capita water usage of 123 gallons daily – the lowest in Los Angeles in more than 40 years and the currently the lowest among any U.S. city with a population over one million,” said James McDaniel, Senior Assistant General Manager, LADWP Water System. “Still, even with this remarkable achievement, recently we’ve noticed water use on the rise and with temperatures climbing and summer coming, we’re asking our customers to once again take a look at their water use and see how they can use less.”

The recent uptick in water use this fiscal year is especially concerning following a dry winter and a below-normal snowpack this year. Dry years require increased purchases of expensive imported supplies from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to supplement Los Angeles’ water supply, resulting in higher costs for customers. LADWP customers can curb the impact of the dry winter by increasing water conservation efforts to reduce the city’s overall water demand and thereby reduce the amount of purchased water needed. Since LADWP customers pay only for water used, without any fixed water charges, any additional reduction in water use will result in direct savings on their water bills compared to what they would have paid without conservation.

In June 2009, the City of Los Angeles instituted Mandatory Water Conservation, which restricted outdoor watering and prohibited certain uses of water. The outdoor watering restrictions currently in effect allow customers to use sprinklers three days a week based on their street address. Customers whose address ends with an odd number – 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 – are allowed to use sprinklers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Customers whose addresses end in even numbers - 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 – are allowed to use sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Watering with sprinklers is allowed before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. only, regardless of the watering day, for a maximum of eight minutes per station.

Mandatory Water Conservation also places restrictions on specific water uses, which also remain in effect. Restrictions include prohibiting customers from hosing down driveways and sidewalks, requiring all leaks to be fixed, and requiring customers to use hoses fitted with shut-off nozzles only, among other measures. 

To assist customers in conserving water, LADWP offers numerous rebate programs and incentives for switching to water-efficient devices as well as tips for easy ways to reduce water use. Information on the water conservation rebates, as well comprehensive information on Mandatory Water Conservation, is available at  or by calling 1-800-DIAL DWP.


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

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 HERE.


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


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


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


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

Send us your news and events!
If you or your community group have any upcoming events that you would like to see featured in our next newsletter or on my website, please e-mail me at

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

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Friends,

Sunday May 13th is Mother's Day, and I hope that for all of you, it is a wonderful and meaningful time of remembrance, appreciation, love and thanks.

There are countless variations of what a family can be like, but it is a given that every mother will face awesome responsibilities. On Mother's Day, we celebrate the tenderness, strength and devotion that is involved, as well as the person herself.  Of course, we should honor and cherish such magnificently caring people year-round, but I'm glad that we have a special day for taking stock about such things, and for personal gratitude and reflection.

I will always cherish and treasure what my mother meant to me, both during her lifetime and forever after.  I likewise have marveled at the ceaseless dedication and boundless heart of my wife, Gail, who is a fantastic mom for our beloved daughter, Rachel.     

Happy Mother's Day!   



Big Sunday

Thousands of volunteers gathered throughout California during the May 4-6th weekend to celebrate Big Sunday in their neighborhoods. Big Sunday Weekend is all about building a shared spirit of community through community service. The Sherman Oaks Beautification Committee (SOBC) hosted a painting day on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and spent the day cleaning graffiti and painting benches and lampposts. Day in and day out, SOBC works with community volunteers as well as the CD5 office to make Sherman Oaks a better place in which to work, play, and live. Special thanks to the Office of Community Beautification and New Directions for Youth for providing our paint supplies and tools and for pitching in to clean up graffiti. Thanks to all the volunteers who donated their time today for the good of the community and for living by the notion that if everybody helps out, everybody wins.

Roxbury-Beverwil Alliance

The Roxbury-Beverwil Homeowner's Alliance had its very first annual meeting not long ago, and Councilmember Paul Koretz was honored to have been invited.  This new organization serves a neighborhood of beautiful historic homes as well as a crucial stretch of Pico Boulevard.  This homeowners association is an active partner with the Council office in ensuring that developments in the area are done carefully and methodically, in balance with the needs of this neighborhood.

Councilmember Koretz was pleased to attend and participate in this landmark first annual meeting. Congratulations Roxbury-Beverwil!


Councilmember Koretz welcomes community volunteers and supporters to PLANT SORO

The SoRo Neighborhoods Council, which has done so much good for the South Robertson area, recently held a huge tree planting event on Robertson.  With the help of Million Tree's Los Angeles, the Mayor's Office and Council Districts 10 and 5, the SoRo Neighborhoods Council planted approximately 20 trees on Robertson and plans on doing many more in the coming years.  Councilmember Koretz and Council President Herb Wesson helped with the digging! A big THANK YOU goes to the wonderful supporters and volunteers who came to participate in the planting, which will help beautify the South Robertson corridor. 

In the Community

Councilmember Koretz attends the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association's annual meeting

Councilmember Koretz was pleased to be the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association, which is one of the oldest HOAs in the City of Los Angeles. In addition to discussing issues like street repair and tree trimming, the Councilmember addressed the City’s current budget deliberations and efforts to prioritize public safety and help get the city on a good financial footing. Also in attendance were LAPD Senior Lead Officer Chris Ragdale and Bureau of Street Services Assistant GM Ron Olive.  Councilmember Koretz salutes the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association and thanks its Board of Directors and the entire HolmbyHills community for a great evening. 

The Coptic Carnival

Councilmember Koretz with Father Raphael and Father Cyril of St. Mark's Church

The Coptic Carnival was recently held at Robertson Recreation Center, and featured food, games, a choir and other entertainment as well as a ceremony that reflected the Egyptian-Christian heritage of the Coptic Church. At one point many years ago, this carnival was an annual event that drew people from all over Los Angeles.  Now, thanks to the leadership of Father Raphael, Father Cyril and others of St. Mark's Church, the Coptic community has once again begun to organize this wonderful free event that is open to everyone and that especially serves the South Robertson area.  The Coptic congregation has deep roots in Los Angeles, and the current location of the Church is spiritual home to the second oldest Coptic community in the United States!

Councilmember Koretz had a great time meeting everyone and even played a carnival game or two.  Watch out for this event which will happen each year at the beginning of Spring -- all are welcome!  Food, games and more!

Hillside Federation

Councilmember Koretz presents a certificate of commendation to Guest of Honor Kent McCord for his work with the Hillside Federation

Councilmember Koretz was thrilled to join the Hillside Federation for its 60th anniversary celebration, where he saluted six decades of tremendous accomplishments and thanked all those with whom he has partnered in order to further crucial Federation causes.

The Federation helps protect the property and the quality of life of the residents of the Santa Monica Mountains and other hillside areas of Los Angeles and its environs, and encourages and promotes those policies and programs which will best preserve the natural topography and wildlife of the mountains and hillsides of all the people of Los Angeles.

The Federation honored some key community leaders for their work, and Councilmember Koretz offered them City recognition: architect and author Alan Hess, architect Eric Lloyd Wright, landscape architect Melinda Taylor, actor Kent McCord and LAPD Captain Bea Girmala. Congratulations to the Federation and the honorees!

Mother's Day (in case a gift is involved)

People can celebrate Mother's Day without feeling an obligation to give a card or a gift -- but it certainly can be nice, and fun, to give a present, and Mother's Day can be a fine occasion for gift-giving!  Which means many people may still be shopping around up to and including May 13 -- Mother's Day.

Councilmember Koretz often encourages readers to shop and dine in the 5th Council District, and that might be something to consider for anyone looking to buy a Mother's Day present. There are plenty of additional criteria that potential gift-buyers might consider, including whether a product was made in the United States, though that is just one factor out of many that buyers might or might not grant priority.  Hopefully it is fun, and not frustrating, to use such guidelines.

For those who like to buy union products, here is a link that was just sent our way: it lists products (many of them traditional Mother's Day presents) that are fully in keeping with union principles and practices.  It is an interesting list and might be worth a look:

Westwood WOMP!

Councilmember Koretz speaks to an enthused crowd at the third annual WOMP Community Cleanup

Councilmember Koretz joined more than 700 UCLA students, faculty, staff, alumni, Westwood neighbors, Village merchants and Target volunteers on April 28th, as they worked together at the third annual WOMP Community Cleanup to make Westwood Village and the nearby North Village a safer and more beautiful place for all.

WOMP, which stands for the Westwood Organized Mega Project, allows many within the community to collaborate on improvement projects in the Westwood neighborhood. This year’s projects were aimed at enhancing the safety and appearance of the Village, including but not limited to planting new landscaping, bringing a bright new coat of paint to street fixtures and even creating hygiene kits to donate to PATH (People Assisting The Homeless), an organization that has been doing great things in the Village.

Young volunteers working together to beautify the Westwood community

It is always fun and inspiring to see a community come together with such a strong spirit of dedication and good will.  On this particular day, throngs of Westwood stakeholders met old friends and made new ones while joining forces to improve the quality of life in the Village. Special thanks go out to the event’s organizers, the UCLA Volunteer Center and the Westwood Community Council, as well as to all the generous supporters, such as the Westwood Neighborhood Council, who donated both their time and financial resources. Although red isn’t often a favorite color in Westwood, it was also great to see many volunteers wearing the color of our new community partner (even though it will not actually open up until the summer) – Target!

Baisakhi Day

Councilmember Koretz speaks at the annual Los Angeles Baisakhi celebration

Councilmember Paul Koretz attended the largest get-together for Sikhs in the Western United States:  the annual Los Angeles celebration of Baisakhi (the birth of the Khalsa, their spiritual beliefs).  The Sikh community has a large presence in CD 5, with an ashram just off of Robertson Recreation Center on Robertson and Pickford.  At this event, he was warmly greeted by thousands of Sikhs, and was even invited to have lungar (a lunch eaten together in community) in the communal hall. 

The Councilmember was honored to be invited to this event that featured live music, amazing food and an inviting atmosphere that is a trademark of the Sikh people. 

Keeping Shopping Carts at the Store

This shopping cart has been in the same spot, close to Downtown L.A., for weeks now, and people use it as a dumpster

On May 8th, with adoption of a new Shopping Carts Ordinance, the City Council took another step forward when it comes to keeping neighborhoods clean and beautiful.

All too often, throughout Los Angeles, shopping carts can be found abandoned on city sidewalks and elsewhere in our neighborhoods, causing degradation of communities as well as the time and expense involved in removing those shopping carts from where they never should have been in the first place.

The ordinance will help make sure that carts can't be removed from the stores and their parking lots, by mandating that new stores with six or more carts, as well as major remodels of existing stores, include shopping cart locking and containment devices in the design of the premises. This will mean that carts will remain on the premises of the store and not end up as eyesores and blight, on street corners, in parks or wherever else they might be ditched.

Obviously this is a problem that needs to be addressed. In a pilot program of picking up all the carts from the streets of a single district (Council District 6) the city retrieved 5,340 carts in just six months.

This type of cart locking system approach is used by the City of Glendale and has dramatically reduced the number of carts found on the streets there – it is hoped the same positive result will occur here in Los Angeles. Addressing new stores and stores that are remodeling is just the beginning: there are over 10,000 existing stores with six or more carts and they represent the heart of the problem. While most stores do address their cart problems, the bad operators are ruining the business environment and city for everyone.

Deserted shopping carts are a problem for many communities across the United States. This group of carts was seen on a Santa Fe, New Mexico sidewalk

Now that the ordinance for new construction and remodels is done, the City of Los Angeles will continue working on regulating existing stores. Many cities require stores to hire a cart-retrieval service that removes any lost, stolen or abandoned carts within 24 hours. This approach and others will be explored in the months to come as the City Planning Department, Council Offices, neighborhood and community organizations and industry representatives all meet to explore potential solutions.

Condition Compliance Unit

Councilmember Koretz and Los Angeles Planning Director Michael LoGrande

The City is in the midst of a crucial, annual ritual of sorts -- it is budget season in Los Angeles. This process has become gloomy and painful given the city’s budgetary woes and the still suffering economy, but Councilmember Koretz firmly believes that the City needs to be innovative and not merely reactive. 

One particular innovation, creation of a Condition Compliance Unit within the Planning Department, is coming up for a Budget Committee vote this Tuesday, May 15 and a full Council vote as early as Friday, May 18.  It would be invaluable for City Councilmembers to receive grassroots feedback before then – especially because community advocacy is playing an increasingly robust and vital role in the City's governance and decision-making.

Establishing a small but effective Condition Compliance Unit would provide enforcement staff within the City's Planning Department so that planning conditions, including those sought by community members, are fully enforced.  

Neighborhood councils, homeowners associations and other concerned stakeholders currently devote countless hours to the planning process. Through their valiant and unstinting efforts, the City of LA gains crucial local input about proposed projects, which in turn allows for important conditions to be suggested, stipulated and agreed upon before a project is ever approved.  Communities have every right to expect that such efforts pay off, and that any resultant conditions will be enforced.  Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.

Presently, building code violations are enforced by the Department of Building and Safety, but there is oftentimes no one to enforce conditions that have been imposed by the Department of City Planning. (Most of the time, the lack of enforcement by Planning has to do with a business that is failing to meet its conditions, but sometimes a residential property is the faulty party.) 

This situation results in an unacceptable and deplorable situation where businesses ignore planning rules and communities are stuck unprotected due to a bureaucratic distinction between departments. Neighborhoods suffer, as do businesses that follow all the rules at considerable expense only to have their economic competitors operate with blatant disregard for the regulations that are supposed to apply.

Councilmember Koretz discussed this problem with Michael LoGrande, Planning Director for the City of Los Angeles, and asked him for a solution.  What LoGrande suggested, and what the Councilmember has now formally proposed for inclusion in the budget, is the creation of a Condition Compliance Unit that will operate within the Planning Department to enforce conditions on various Zoning Administrator cases ranging from restaurants and private schools to coastal development permits and yard adjustments. 

This proposal does not require any new ordinance or laws; it simply requires hiring three individuals to do the work. These positions are not paid for out of the City’s General Fund -- in fact, every cent of their salary and benefits will be paid for out of development application fees and any fines or penalties from violators.

As you may know, Councilman Koretz has also proposed a comprehensive revision to code enforcement within the city, known as Administrative Code Enforcement (ACE). ACE is not connected to the newly proposed Condition Compliance Unit, though both are meant to protect neighborhoods from the degradation that occurs when there is a significant lack of enforcement of adopted standards. ACE is still being discussed in City Hall, and while it may become the means for providing long-term reforms, it is important to provide communities with immediate protection:  hence, this effort.

If you are among the many neighborhood activists who have taken part in a meeting out of concern about some local land use issue, you deserve to know that what you did actually mattered. The proposed Condition Compliance Unit could be one key step forward. 

Please feel free to contact Councilman Koretz at and any other councilmember to share your views about this proposal.

Officer Mike Toth

Officer Mike Toth of the LAPD West Bureau Traffic Division

One of LAPD’s finest was seriously injured this past Monday in an on-duty single vehicle motorcycle accident. Officer Mike Toth, who works for the LAPD West Bureau Traffic Division, is still hospitalized and is recovering from the accident and surgery to address a broken leg, broken ribs, a punctured lung and other injuries. Mike Toth is the West Traffic Division Investigative Officer assigned to an area bounded by the 405 freeway on the west, Santa Monica Blvd. on the south, Mulholland on the north and the Beverly Hills city limits on the east.  If you live in this area you may have seen him on occasion as he patrols on his motorcycle, primarily citing motorists for speeding and other traffic related violations. Many of the community members who work with him have found him to be very responsive to their concerns, at times meeting them out in the field to fully understand and discuss the traffic safety issues that have been raised by residents.

Fortunately, since the accident Officer Toth while hospitalized has been surrounded by his immediate family and many of his extended LAPD family.  We are told that cards and other messages with good wishes will be welcomed by Officer Toth and his colleagues at West Bureau Traffic.  Please send any get well wishes to LAPD West Traffic Division at 4849 W. Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019.

The Fifth District Council office has found that Officer Toth is one of the great community-minded officers of the LAPD who believe and live their motto to protect and to serve. We wish for Officer Toth our best for a complete and speedy recovery.

Wilshire ramp closure

Metro has announced the date for the beginning of the temporary 90 day closure of the first two ramps at Wilshire Blvd. as part of the I-405 freeway project.  Councilmember Koretz, along with Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, had requested that Metro hold off on these closures until the beginning of summer break for LA Unified School District campuses, UCLA and other private schools in the area.  Metro has been responsive to these concerns and announced that the closure will begin on Friday, June 22, after nearly all schools have commenced summer break.  This start time will also be advantageous because commuting numbers drop for workers as families begin to take their vacations. The first two ramp closures will involve the on-ramp from westbound Wilshire Blvd. to the northbound 405 freeway and the northbound 405 freeway off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Boulevard.

Although this is a freeway project and therefore is not being managed by the City of LA, it is important to understand that the impacts of the closures upon roadways under City jurisdiction will be significant. These impacts are of great concern to Councilmember Koretz and his staff and are likewise a great concern to the Department of Transportation. All have worked closely for many months with Metro, the contractor and others to plan and prepare for these closures.
These closures will be challenging for commuters and some of the adjacent neighborhoods. Councilmember Koretz asks that commuters in the areas around Westwood respect residential neighborhoods and not use them as speed alley short-cuts to get around traffic.

LADOT and the others will be ready if any adjustments need to be made to help traffic move better and to protect our residential communities as best we can. This newsletter will carry updates on these closures as more information becomes available.

Israel Festival

Councilmember Paul Koretz on stage at this year's Israel Festival

On April 29th, the Israel Festival took place at Cheviot Recreation Center, and approximately 15,000 people came and enjoyed the food, music, art and festivities. There was also a walk on Pico through the heart of the community. Councilmember Koretz and his staff were pleased to be a part of this fun, informative and inspiring event.  

The 5th District Council Office wants to express its tremendous gratitude to those from the community who worked so hard to ensure that traffic and parking impacts on the surrounding neighborhood were minimized. Your patience and leadership are greatly appreciated!

Vidal Sassoon

From left to right: Ronnie Sassoon, Vidal Sassoon, Councilmember Koretz at City Hall Council Chambers last summer

The 5thCouncil District and the entire world lost a legendary figure on Wednesday, May 9th, when Vidal Sassoon passed away at his home at the age of 84.

Last year, Councilmember Koretz was proud to honor Vidal Sassoon for his brilliant professional achievements and many good deeds and charitable endeavors. Sassoon led an extraordinary life and had an equally extraordinary effect on the world.  He was known mostly for his fantastic career in the world of hairstyling, and certainly, he changed how women look and how they feel about themselves, with exciting hair styles that famously did NOT demand endless care.  But he was also an important supporter and champion of many humanitarian and artistic causes, including in the 5th Council District.

He spent years of his childhood in an orphanage, and grew up in poverty, as well as in the midst of war. He survived the bombs of the London Blitz even while apprenticing to learn the tools of the trade he would eventually master. Feisty and defiant, he joined a British Anti-Fascist organization and eventually fought in Israeli's War of Independence.

A champion of numerous causes, he spearheaded a campaign, “Hairdressers Unlocking Hope,” that raised millions of dollars to help Habitat for Humanity build many homes in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina had tragically dispossessed so many people.  In 1982, he founded the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Related Bigotries, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Center engages in research on Anti-Semitism throughout the ages, focusing on relations between Jews and non-Jews, particularly in situations of tension and crisis.  He also provided aid for the elderly and medical aid for the underprivileged, and was a staunch advocate for the arts, whether by helping to mount a ballet for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, or by promoting educational programs at museums and other cultural institutions, including the Geffen Playhouse.

Vidal Sassoon is survived by his wife, Ronnie, and three children, and he leaves us all with an enduring legacy.

This message was sent to  by:

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