June 5, 2012

In this issue:

Presidential visit, traffic alert

Honoring Dean Aimée Dorr

UCLA basketball great Jamaal Wilkes honored in City Hall and by basketball Hall of Fame

Pick Pico

LGBT Heritage Month

Saving History!  

Four Fairfax High Seniors Receive Epstein Scholarships

Melrose Area Town Hall Meeting

Palms Bike Rodeo!

15th Annual SoRo Festival!

Put down that cigarette

Plastic bag literature

LAneXt™ Airport Modernization To Begin Affecting Central Terminal Area Roadway Traffic

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


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!


The Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) announced that the City of Los Angeles will host a series of 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, 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


The Encino Neighborhood Council is offering a FREE Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes on June 11th.

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


The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education is coordinating:
KIDS OCEAN DAY, Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up on Thursday, June 7th 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: volunteer@kidsoceanday.org


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:


The LAPD and LAFD are hosting the 3rd Annual
Safe Summer Tip-off Youth Basketball Event on Saturday, June 9.

The event will feature a basketball game between LAPD Officers and LAFD Firefighters, activities to build unity among the youth, appearances by celebrity guests, entertainment, a complimentary lunch, and opportunities to learn more about the two departments and youth programs championed by the City and the community.

Questions? Please call (213) 486-5919 or visit


Nomination forms for the Century City Chamber's Women of Achievement event will be accepted until Friday, June 15.

The event will be held on October 18th at the Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90210 from 11:30am - 1:30 pm.

For more information, please visit:


On Wednesday, July 25, the Century City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its Summer in the City Networking Fiesta from 5:30 - 8:00 pm at Pink Taco, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City.

Please click
here for more information.



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 http://www.ladwp.com 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



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


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 http://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 http://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 Service 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
http://cd5.lacity.org to sign up for this newsletter. 

Presidential visit, traffic alert

President Obama is returning to Los Angeles late in the afternoon on Wednesday, June 6.  His estimated arrival time at LAX is 4:20 p.m. -- from there, he will head to an event at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, in Beverly Hills.  He'll return to LAX on Thursday morning.   Due to presidential security considerations, the Secret Service only provides minimal public information regarding route details (leaving and returning to the airport), and may always adjust the exact specifics, both in terms of where and when.  For now, the best advice is to prepare for possible street closures and extra traffic in portions of the Westside, both on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning; it might be a good idea to leave earlier than usual, if you are planning to travel by road in those areas during those times. Hopefully, more information will become available, to be released to the media and also to be found at the Councilmember Paul Koretz website

Honoring Dean Aimée Dorr

Councilmember Koretz honors UCLA Dean Aimée Dorr at City Hall

A city can only be as good as its schools, and in UCLA, we have one of the world's very best.  UCLA's greatness can be attributed to its traditions and innovations, the wonderful campus and facilities, and its tremendous students, but perhaps more than anything UCLA is revered because of its remarkable educators.  Councilmember Koretz was delighted to honor one of the very special ones, Aimée Dorr, as she prepares to end her extraordinary service as a dean this  June 30, 2012.

Aimée Dorr has served with much distinction and dedication as professor and dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, where she has taught, guided and inspired countless students for the past 31 years.  It's amazing to think of all those students who have in turn become educators:  collectively, that's the  glorious, spreading, positive impact that one educator, such as Dean Dorr, can have on so many families, students, lives and whole generations.

During her tenure, Dean Dorr has worked tirelessly to establish the pre-eminence of this Graduate School in the areas of equity, access and multiculturalism in K-12 and higher education, and in library, archival and information services.  She has led the school in enhancing, significantly, the diversity of its faculty, students and staff.  Under her direction, this graduate school has also  also taken the lead at UCLA in creating and supporting the UCLA Community School, an LAUSD K-12 pilot school that serves a primarily low-income, immigrant community in the Pico-Union/Koreatown area and simultaneously addresses the University of California’s commitments to teaching, research and service. 

Dean Dorr has also headed the effort to establish and grow TIE-INS, which is a UCLA-wide program that brings increased UCLA engagement to a family of nearby K-12 schools that, in exchange, enroll children of UCLA's academic and staff employees. 

Among Dean Dorr’s other accomplishments is her resourceful stewardship as co-chair with the vice chancellor for student affairs for UCLA’s Academic Preparation and Educational Partnership programs. Also, she was co-founder of the L.A. Basin Education Deans group and a member of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Education Advisory Group. She currently serves as chair of the Institutions of Higher Education Collaborative of the Los Angeles Compact. Aimée has held leadership positions within the UC system, including chair and vice chair of the UC Academic Senate and faculty representative to the UC Board of Regents.  Dean Dorr hasn't limited her focus on students to the time they spend in the classroom, for she is also an expert on how young people make sense of, utilize and are affected by electronic media, and indeed she has served on important governmental panels concerning national policies regarding children's television and advertising to children. 

On Friday, May 26, Councilmember Koretz and the entire City Council saluted Aimée Dorr for her dedicated service and visionary leadership as a professor and dean at the University of California, Los Angeles, and wished her the best in years to come in all avenues of professional and personal pursuit.

UCLA basketball great Jamaal Wilkes honored in City Hall and by basketball Hall of Fame

Councilmember Koretz honors Jamaal Wilkes

L.A. City Hall was visited, recently, by former UCLA basketball hero Jamaal Wilkes -- and in early September, he heads for Springfield, Massachusetts to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  The honors are richly deserved for his remarkable career on the basketball court, and for his leadership and character in all aspects of life. 

A California native, Wilkes played his entire high school, college and professional career in this state.  At UCLA, he was a key part of two NCAA Championship teams and the historic 88-game winning streak.  As a senior, he co-captained the team with Bill Walton.  A forward, the 6' 7" Wilkes was a two-time All-American in basketball -- and a three-time GTE Academic All-American who would end up being named to the CoSIDA Academic Hall of Fame!  UCLA's legendary coach, John Wooden, very possibly the best coach ever, was asked to describe his ideal player: he said, "I would have the player be a good student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive player and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter.  Why not just take Jamaal Wilkes and let it go at that?" 

In his illustrious career in the National Basketball Association with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, Wilkes played with four championship teams, making the finals six times. He was Rookie of the Year in 1975, and three times an NBA All-Star.   He has followed up his playing career by proving to be a top success in business, and is extremely popular as a motivational speaker with national organizations and big corporations, He has also stayed active in charitable and civic efforts, serving on boards for the Western Region United Way, the UCLA Foundation and the Los Angeles Urban League.  This basketball and academic Hall of Famer is also a member of the Boys and Girls Club of America National Hall of Fame!  The recent City Hall salute to Wilkes was hosted by Councilmembers Jan Perry and Bernard Parks, but all of Los Angeles can take pride in everything Jamaal Wilkes has accomplished.  Needless to say, Councilmember Koretz, a UCLA alumnus, was especially pleased to be able to congratulate Wilkes for his triumphant years as a Bruin and for his upcoming entry into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame! 

Pick Pico

Councilmember Koretz joined by students from Westside Charter Elementary School at the first annual Pick Pico event

The first annual Pick Pico event was a tremendous success.  Thanks again to the Westside Neighborhood Council for its fantastic leadership role in making this possible!  More than 75 stores and restaurants in the area offered great deals and discounts in order to promote shopping locally.  To start the event, a total of 150 parents and children, wielding brooms and trash bags, cleaned up Pico Blvd. between Sepulveda Blvd and Patrica Ave.  Councilmember Koretz thanked everyone for their hard work.

Then the Pico Prize Patrol went into action!  Lisa Morocco from the Westside Neighborhood Council, joined by other neighborhood activists, Councilmember Koretz and a number of 5th Council District staff members, walked up and down Pico Blvd., passing out gift certificates to customers, including kids.  For example, one young person received a $50 gift certificate to Children’s Book World. The Councilmember didn’t just preach the virtues of shopping locally – he joined in shopping locally, by making a purchase at Kirby’s Pet Store. In the course of the day, hundreds of participants received free reusable Pick Pico bags.  A big shout out goes to the local businesses on Pico Blvd for their efforts, and thanks to the Westside Neighborhood Council for being so productively involved in their community.  See you next year!

LGBT Heritage Month

Councilmember Koretz speaks at the LGBT Heritage Month presentation at City Council

On Friday, June 1, a ceremony was held to kick off LGBT Heritage Month festivities. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl honored individuals, businesses and organizations that have provided leadership and activism in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. Councilmember Koretz was privileged to lead the salute to Frontiers Magazine, which this year is celebrating its 30th Anniversary.  During that time, Frontiers has provided exemplary journalism covering some of the most crucial issues of our times, including HIV/AIDS and health care, policing and civil rights, and marriage equality.   The Councilmember was also pleased to join in the tribute to a longtime friend, actor/activist George Takai (most well-known for his role on Star Trek).  Certainly, 2012 has been a "tipping point" in many ways, in terms of public perceptions and policy trends related to issues and concerns of the LGBT community, and Councilmember Koretz thanks all involved who have spoken up in order to make a difference for the better.

Councilmember Koretz with actor George Takei celebrating LGBT Heritage Month

Saving History! 

Councilmember Koretz, with the assistance of the Department of Recreation and Parks, found funds to fix a piece of history for the Carthay Circle neighborhood. 

This marker at the intersection of Crescent Heights and Wilshire Boulevard was a standing testament to the people that have called Carthay home -- that is, it was a standing testament until an unfortunate accident this past December, when an out-of-control vehicle rammed into it.

One of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Carthay Circle was originally built in the early 1900s, and has grown into a beautiful community with active, involved and certainly preservation minded people!  Unfortunately, the damage done by that hit-and-run motorist threatened to deprive this community of an important piece of cultural and historic identity.  That's why the Council Office moved quickly to restore this fine symbol. 

Councilmember Koretz gives special thanks to the Department of Recreation and Parks' Planning and Maintenance Division, and specifically, Ramon Barajas and Javier Solis, for their help. These people care for thousands of acres throughout the City, including major parks, and still take on issues that may be smaller in scope, but just as important to local neighborhoods and constituents.  So thanks go to Rec and Parks, as well as the many involved people of Carthay Circle, and also to John Darnell, the CD 5 staffer who serves that area and who was a point person on this matter. Go Carthay!

Four Fairfax High Seniors Receive Epstein Scholarships

Council District 5 District Director Joan Pelico joins this year's Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship awardees

Few things inspire as much hope for the future as news of young people working hard and achieving much while striving to make a difference.  That's why this year, as with every year, the awarding of Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship awards was cause for optimism, pride and delight.

The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) announced the recipients of the Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship awards for 2012.  Dr. Howard A. Katzman of The Aerospace Corporation, chairman of the SAMPE Education Committee, named the four Fairfax High School seniors who have been selected. The awards were presented during an Awards Dinner at the Hunan Tasty Restaurant in Los Angeles; each awardee received a special commendation from the City of Los Angeles and City Councilmember Paul Koretz, presented by his District Director Joan Pelico.

This is the sixteenth year that these scholarships have been awarded.  Past recipients have gone on to medical schools, and have earned advanced engineering and science degrees.  The Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship program was initiated in 1996 shortly after the death of Irene Epstein, to recognize her strong desire to assist financially needy students to attend college. 

The scholarship program was originally funded by contributions from The Aerospace Corporation and the International Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE).  Since then, many individuals and companies have contributed generously to help the fund grow so that the amount of the scholarship awards has steadily increased to four times the amount when it was first awarded.

These were the four Scholarship awardees:

Michelle Schafieh will attend UCLA, majoring in biology to start on her career in medicine.  She will graduate with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.350, ranking 3rd in her class of 568 students, and earning all As during her four years at Fairfax High School, including nine Advanced Placement courses.

Familiar with the suffering experienced by her parents in Afghanistan, Michelle created an organization called H.O.P.E. to provide educational opportunities for Afghan children.  She co-founded Young Women in Power to help teenagers with self-esteem problems.  Michelle serves as a volunteer at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, an experience that has motivated her to seek her career in the medical field as a clinical endocrinologist.

While in 10th grade, Michelle won the prestigious Warren Christopher Academic Scholarship, a cash prize of $20,000 for her dedication in serving the people of her community.  In addition to the Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship of $2,000, she will receive a scholarship from UCLA and Federal and California grants toward her college education.   In her application, Michelle made a very profound statement that is so appropriate in our world: "Growing up as an Afghan girl in America has made me fortunate to live a life where opportunities are endless... The one thing I cherish most in America is something everybody in the world wants: the freedom to choose."

Jocelyn Orellana was born in El Salvador, migrating to Los Angeles at age 14, with her parents and a brother.  An A-student, she will graduate in the top 5% of her class with a GPA of 4.027, and will attend the University of California - Berkley, pursuing a career in medical research. She is a co-founder of the Peace and Love International Club (PAL-IC) at Fairfax High School.  The group works with ESL students to improve their English language ability and to enjoy social experiences so they can feel a part of the school.  She also participates in the Change for Alzheimer’s Club.  She helps her mother in her house-cleaning and baby-sitting work.  Jocelyn  thanks her dedicated teachers and her mother, a single parent, for helping her to achieve these academic accomplishments.

Jeffrey Franco plans to attend the University of California - San Diego (UCSD) to study mechanical engineering/science.  He ranks in the top 5% of the graduating class, with a GPA of 4.030.   In addition to the Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship, he will receive an award from UCSD and Federal and California grants and subsidized loans to help finance his college education.  From a single-parent home, his mother has encouraged him to work hard and get a good education. Currently, she is unemployed.  Jeffrey participates in sports, and is active in several school clubs and volunteer activities.  He is a member of the Hands for Change Club. He has volunteered at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and participated in the Lupus Walk and Feeding the Homeless.   

Eric Chaim Amzaleg plans to attend the University of California - San Diego (UCSD) to study computer science and engineering.  With a GPA of 4.153, he ranks no. 11 in his graduating class of 568 students at Fairfax High School.  He will be the third child in his immediate family attending college at the same time, which places a significant financial burden on his family.  In addition to the Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship of $2,000, he will receive a grant from UCSD to help finance his college education.  Eric participates in many extra-curricular activities.  He is a co-founder of the ACE Mentor Program at Fairfax High School to help students in pursuing engineering as a career, and collaborating on various engineering projects.  He is active in the Robotics club, including helping to build a robot that won the top award in the Institute of Navigation Mini Urban Challenge.  To help resolve problems at his synagogue, Eric takes an active role in its services.  He also tutors struggling students in math.  Eric hopes to use his education to "be a better person and make a large impact in the world."

Councilmember Koretz joins in saluting these young men and women who are already so accomplished, congratulates them on being named Irene Epstein Memorial Scholarship awardees, and wishes them the best in the years to come.

Melrose Area Town Hall Meeting

No one wants to hear about crime in their neighborhood but one of the best ways to respond is to band together and prevent future incidents. On May 30, the Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch hosted a Town Hall Meeting at the National Council of Jewish Women on Fairfax Avenue.  In attendance, were LAPD Wilshire Division Captain Eric Davis, Senior Lead Officer Art Gallegos, and CD5 Field Deputy John Darnell.  About 100 residents attended this meeting.  Also in attendance were detectives from LAPD who gave updates on their investigations and how residents can protect themselves from crime.

Many residents in the Melrose community have concerns about recent criminal activities, and different types of Community Care Facilities in the area. For over 40 years, state and federal governments have favored de-institutionalizing persons with disabilities and encouraged their placement in homes in residential neighborhoods.  Such policies are implemented in California through the ‘Community Care Facilities Act of 1973’.  The State Act regulates facilities for persons with special needs who require personal service, supervision, or assistance essential for sustaining the activities of daily living. 

A big concern for residents in neighborhoods across the city, including in the Melrose area, is sober living homes and other Community Care Facilities. Issues and possible issues range from parking, noise, density, zoning, nuisance abatement and even criminal activity. While a great many people in Los Angeles strongly support appropriate and safe facilities and helpful programs, there is much concern over whether some programs are ill-conceived, poorly sited, improperly managed and laxly-regulated and monitored, and certainly some instances have involved major transgressions. Councilmember Koretz’s Field Deputy, John Darnell, explained how the Councilmember is in favor of a proposed city ordinance that would regulate Community Care Facilities in the City of Los Angeles.  This proposed ordinance would bring the municipal code into conformance with State Law and bring important protections to communities.  The proposed ordinance recognizes the importance of balancing the goals of the Community Care Facilities Act while maintaining the quality of life in single-family neighborhoods.  For more information on this proposed ordinance, please visit:  http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=11-0262 or contact Mr. Darnell at our office at (310) 289-0353.

Palms Bike Rodeo!

Councilmember Koretz races young cyclists at the Palms Bike Rodeo

Councilmember Paul Koretz visited the annual Palms Bike Rodeo, sponsored by the Palms Neighborhood Council, where 26 bikes are given away to young kids from elementary to middle school from the Palms neighborhood.  Some bicycles are won in a drawing, and others are awarded on the basis of academic improvement and accomplishment. Councilmember Koretz gave away a few bikes, honored long-time volunteer Willie Bell, and also had time to run a race against a few kids... no word yet on the outcome of the great Koretz race of 2012, but we hear it was a photo finish!

THANKS and appreciation to the Palms Neighborhood Council for its steadfast leadership in holding this community event each year, and for highlighting the stellar achievements of many young students while promoting bicycle riding in Los Angeles! 

15th Annual SoRo Festival!

Councilmember Koretz with community members at this year's SoRo Festival

Councilmember Paul Koretz was privileged to make an appearance at the 15th annual SoRo Festival, which is held on the first Sunday of June of each year.  The Councilmember formally saluted Ms. Beth Ryan, President of Crestview Neighborhood Association, for her tireless efforts in the community and for being honored as this year's Susan Burske Award recipient.  The SoRo festival is a wonderful event that brings together communities from all over SoRo: Beverlywood, Crestview, Castle Heights, and Pico-Roxbury just to name a few.  THANK YOU to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council and SoRo INC for holding this event and for making it a huge success!! 

Make sure to mark this on your calender for 2013, because this extravaganza happens only once a year!

Put down that cigarette

In case you missed it, "World No Tobacco Day" was May 31, 2012.

Even if you missed it, you don't have to wait a year to seek help, if you are a smoker, or to talk with friends or relatives who may smoke or be at risk of smoking.  It's an especially important conversation to have with kids, if you haven't had it yet -- letting them know that you care and that smoking carries with it horrible risks is a message that needs to be shared with young people.

Plastic bag literature

There were a lot of interesting articles to be read following the L.A. City Council's recent vote to introduce a ban on single use carry out plastic bags. Headlines blared across the nation, in publications such as The Washington Post and USA Today, announcing that a ban by a city this size spells inevitable change in favor of multi-use canvas bags.  Those same news articles quoted people from smaller cities where bans are already in place, such as in Santa Monica where one family reflected on what it was like before their city's ban:  "'We used to see just so much plastic bags and trash on the beach,' said David Schwartz of Santa Monica as he sat on a blanket overlooking the ocean with his wife, Jennifer, and their baby."

But not all the reading to be found was in newsprint.  Not long after the Council vote, CD 5 staffer was doing some late night reading, and on page 83 of a critically acclaimed book (by Colson Whitehead), "The Colossus of New York," he read the following:  "Buy anything in this city and it just adds up to empty plastic bags.  Empty plastic bags accumulate in soft white mountains.  Where is the vigilante or rogue cop who will rid our streets of these empty plastic bags.  Husks of need. Crumple them into each other to save space.  Mash down all your unruly things.  Make them into wine."  It is interesting to see how those environmentally destructive, neighborhood degrading bags can infiltrate not just our communities, but also the imaginations of award-winning writers.

LAneXt™ Airport Modernization To Begin Affecting Central Terminal Area Roadway Traffic 
Impacts To Begin Tuesday, June 5 and Last Over Two Years
Beginning Tuesday, June 5, the first of several temporary lane closures will take effect within the Central Terminal Area roadways at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) -- marking the start of vehicular traffic impacts expected over the next two years from various construction projects that are part of the current $4.1-billion LAneXt™ airport modernization program.  Passengers, motorists, airport workers and vendors should plan accordingly and allow more time to get to/from LAX.  Up-to-date construction traffic alerts related to LAneXt™ can be found at
www.la-next.com and at LAX’s social media sites at www.Twitter.com/LAX_Official and www.Facebook/com/LAInternationalAirport.
The following Central Terminal Area roadway and pedestrian alerts will begin at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5, and end as noted:

The three curving inner lanes on the Lower/Arrivals Level between the west end of Terminal 3 to the north end of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) will be closed to traffic.  Motorists at Terminal 3 will be required to leave the inner lanes via the exit lane on the west end of the terminal.  They can enter the inner lanes to pick up TBIT passengers via the entry lane on the north end of TBIT.  Pedestrians can still access the sidewalk around a construction barrier wall.  Taxi cab and shared-ride van (Prime Time and SuperShuttle) services that normally operate at this location will be temporarily suspended.  Terminal 3 passengers looking for taxis and shared-ride vans will be directed to Terminal 2.

1.     All other types of public ground transportation that stop at the islands in front of each terminal are not affected.

2.  The curving curbside lane on the Upper/Departures Level between the west end of Terminal 3 to the north end of TBIT will be closed to traffic through July 2012.  Pedestrians can still access the sidewalk around a construction barrier wall.  Media broadcast-equipped vehicles, even those with valid LAX Media Parking Permits, will not be allowed to park at this curb during construction. 

3.  Escalators and stairs on the north side of TBIT (between the north end of TBIT to the northside terminal doors) on both the Upper/Departures and Lower/Arrivals levels will be closed through September 2012.  Pedestrians can still access the sidewalks on both levels around construction barrier walls.  The escalators and stairs, as well as an elevator, on the south side of TBIT will remain open.  Each TBIT entry has more than one set of doors.  While some terminal entry doors will be closed during construction, at least one set of doors at each entry will remain open.

4.  Lane restrictions on Lower/Arrivals Level will occur nightly through June 2012.  Intermittent lane restrictions will occur in front of Terminal 7 (United Airlines) through Friday, June 8; in front of Terminal 4 (American Airlines) from Monday, June 11, through Friday, June 15; and in front of Terminal 5 (Delta Airlines) from Monday, June 18, through Friday, June 22.  Little to no traffic impact is expected as these lane restrictions are scheduled from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.         
The closure of the inner lanes between Terminal 3 and TBIT is due to the $438-million Central Utility Plant (CUP) Replacement Project.  This project will replace the 50-year-old existing CUP with a modern, energy-efficient facility featuring state-of-the-art computerized management systems that will provide heating, air conditioning and electricity to the nine passenger terminals and other buildings in the Central Terminal Area.  Future lane closures are expected as 8.7 miles of distribution and plant piping are installed between the new CUP and terminals.
The closures of the escalators and stairs and Upper/Departures Level curb between Terminal 3 and TBIT are due to the $43-million TBIT Front and Canopy Project that will modernize the front of the international terminal and replace current glass entrance canopies with sleek, modern ones that offer improved lighting.  This project is in addition to the on-going $1.545-billion New Tom Bradley International Terminal, which will feature 18 new gates (nine of which will handle new-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380); 150,000-square-foot Great Hall for shopping, dining, airline lounges and other passenger amenities; new passenger security screening station; and upgraded customs and immigration inspection areas.  Phase I of New TBIT (the west gates and Great Hall) will open Spring 2013 and the rest of the terminal a year later.  Replacement of the escalators in front of TBIT is part of a $270-million Elevator, Escalator and Moving Walkway Modernization Project to be completed in phases by 2016. 
According to airport officials, up until now, LAneXt™ airport capital improvement projects did not impact vehicular traffic on the Central Terminal Area roadways because the projects occurred on the airfield, inside the terminals, or on the sidewalks.  Some of the major  earlier projects include the $737-million renovation of the current Tom Bradley International Terminal completed March 2010; $333.8-million South Airfield Improvements completed June 2008; $13.5-million replacement Los Angeles Fire Department LAX Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Station 80 completed November 2010; $12.3-million renovation and seismic retrofitting of the iconic LAX Theme Building completed June 2010; $13.9-million LAX Airport Response Coordination Center completed December 2010; $82-million Crossfield Taxiway completed June 2010; the $175-million Taxilane S Project completed September 2011; and the $238-million renovation of Terminal 6 by Alaska Airlines completed March 2012.     

Airport personnel are carefully coordinating closures to ensure vehicular traffic flows as smoothly as possible.  The following tips will help passengers plan their next trip to LAX:

1.     Before driving to LAX, check for construction-related alerts at
http://www.la-next.com/ and for real-time traffic conditions at

2.     Take public transportation to/from LAX, including the inexpensive and convenient LAX FlyAway® nonstop bus service at Union Station, Van Nuys, Westwood and Irvine Station.  

3.     If picking up passengers, park and wait in the LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot until your arriving party calls to say they are waiting terminal curbside.  The cell phone waiting lot is located at the northwest corner of 96th Street and Vicksburg Avenue, adjacent to the entrance of LAX Economy Parking Lot C at 96th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard.

3. If picking up passengers, save gas and reduce traffic congestion by parking your vehicle and waiting inside the terminal for your party.

A 2011 study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation found that the LA NeXt™ modernization program, comprised of nearly 25 individual projects, is having an enormous impact on the local economy by creating nearly 40,000 jobs and generating $2.62 billion in worker wages.  In addition, operations in the completed facilities are expected to create thousands of permanent jobs, ensuring LAX will continue to be a regional economic engine for years to come.

This message was sent to  by:

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