October 19, 2012

In this issue:

AIDS Walk LA

25th Annual A TASTE OF ENCINO

Attention, people of Palms!

Beverly Glen HOA

Westwood Disaster Preparedness Fair

Drop, Take Cover, Hold On

CERT

Speaking of CERT...

Campanile

Billboard Update

Not a time for puckish wit


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


UPCOMING EVENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS

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The Women's Business Council of the Century City Chamber of Commerce proudly presents its popular Poolside Mixer!

Thursday October 25th from 6:00-8:00 pm at The Peninsula, 9882 Santa Monica Blvd., 90212.

Enjoy an evening of networking, complimentary appetizers and a glass of wine amid a glorious city view from the poolside rooftop!

RSVP at
www.centurycc.com or by calling 310.553.2222

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Kaiser Permanente will host its 10th Annual Women's Health Seminar on Saturday, October 27th from 8:00am to 12:30pm

1515 North Vermont Avenue
Conference Center, 1st Floor

No fee, but you must register to attend. Continental breakfast will be served.

To register or for more information, please call Health Education at (323) 783-4472.


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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!

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Coyote Alert!

Living safely with the Wildlife that shares our City

Coyotes are wild animals and can pose a risk to people and pets. The goal of Los Angeles Animal Services is to educate the public fostering a relationship of mutual respect between wildlife and the community so we can live together safely.

Here are a few guidelines for how to have a safe community for you and for the coyotes:

-Do not approach or feed wild animals, including coyotes. It is unsafe and a violation of the law. Never leave small children and pets unattended outdoors even if your yard is fenced.

-Remove pet food dishes when your pet has finished eating and do not leave food outside. Pick ripe fruit and clean rotten produce off the ground.

-Walk your dog on a leash at all times, not only is it the law, but it will keep your pet safe. Do not allow your dog to interact or “play” with a coyote.

-When you are walking your dog in areas known to have coyotes, you can carry a loud whistle of even an umbrella that you can open and close rapidly to scare them away. Unlike the approach with an aggressive dog, you can raise your arms above your head and stomp your feet while shouting at the coyote to scare them away.

-Put all trash bags inside trashcans and keep all outdoor trashcan lids securely fastened on the containers. Ammonia or pepper sprinkled in the trash may also discourage a scavenging coyote. Keep your property well lit at night especially when you go out with your dog for the last potty break before bed.

-Trim hedges from the bottom and keep brush cleared to limit hiding places for coyotes.

-Close off crawl spaces under porches, decks and sheds. Coyotes use such areas for resting and raising young.

Share this information with your neighbors to keep your neighborhood safe. If you belong to a neighborhood association, call Los Angeles Animal Services to schedule an educational presentation for your next meeting.

If you have coyotes near your home, please call (888) 452-7381 for non-lethal assistance.

The Los Angeles Animal Services Department has a Wildlife Expert and several very knowledgeable speakers. You can arrange for them to attend Neighborhood Council or other neighborhood meetings to talk about wildlife and to answer questions about wildlife.

Please click here for more information.


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AROUND TOWN

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.

MELROSE NIGHT

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


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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 http://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!

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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.


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LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REVAMPS FACEBOOK PAGE FOR ADDED CUSTOMER SERVICE

LAX Facebook Page Increases to More Than 28,300 Fans

Recent improvements to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Facebook page increased the numbers of its fans and followers.  The Los Angeles International Airport Facebook fan page, which first launched in April 2009, now has more than 28,300 fans.

LAX operated two Facebook fan pages under two accounts – one under “Governmental” and the other under “Places”.  Fans did not have the option to “check-in” under the governmental fan page.  Now with one LAX primary page, under a new URL, 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.


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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.


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The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to unveil LAFDmobile, a free application for iPhone and Android smartphones. For more information, please click
HERE.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

AIDS Walk LA



Councilmember Koretz and “Team Koretz” were proud participants in AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2012, which was held on October 14. The Walk was a huge success as once again, masses of caring people joined together for this annual occasion, to raise money and awareness while championing this powerful cause of transcendent significance.
Since 1985, AIDS Walk LA has drawn over a half-million participants who have collectively raised more than $72 million – and that’s not even including the 2012 AIDS Walk. Councilmember Koretz has taken part in this key event since the very first Walk, and many of his staff are longtime veterans, but it always proves to be a moving and fun time for those who do the Walk.

AIDS Walk LA benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles and more than 20 other L.A. County AIDS services organizations.  For all the information you need to learn about AIDS Walk LA and how to sign up and participate in it in future years (as individuals or in teams), or to explore donating retroactively regarding the recent 2012 AIDS Walk LA on October 14, please visit the website at
http://www.aidswalk.net/losangeles.

Councilmember Koretz praises AIDS Walk LA founder and producer Craig Miller and every single person, business and group responsible for making AIDS Walk LA such a massive and ongoing success – and that includes those who manage the effort and those who walk in it. In addition, he salutes all who are involved in seeking better treatments or cures regarding HIV/AIDS or any illness, or who are care providers.  Health care isn’t just a national political issue, it is a matter of the most profound personal and moral dimension, and so thanks go to all who devote their lives to nursing, tending to and curing the sick and vulnerable amongst us.



25th Annual A TASTE OF ENCINO


From left to right: This year's Taste Directors being honored by Councilmember Koretz - Mark Levinson, Law Office of Mark Levinson, Vahid Khorsand, BWS Financial, Inc., and Karie Purcell, KSA Management, Inc.

The Encino Chamber of Commerce, along with great sponsors and volunteers, makes Taste of Encino a remarkable success every year. This year was no different.

Highlights of the 2012 Taste of Encino included restaurants offering a variety of ethnic and American food, a local business exhibition along with a home improvement section, arts & crafts vendors, a health and wellness pavilion with a disaster preparedness area, a kid’s corner (with such activities as a moon bounce, a slide & rock climbing wall, and a pumpkin patch), local schools and non-profits, live music and other entertainment, and a beer & wine pavilion. As always, Councilmember Koretz was among the many who enjoyed the festivities. He was proud to honor and thank this year's organizers for their dedication and work on behalf of the community.


Attention, people of Palms!

A great neighborhood cleanup is taking place this Saturday, October 20th at 10:00am – and you are invited to join in!

Come and meet your fellow community-concerned activists, who will be gathering behind Fire Station #43, at 3690 Motor Avenue.  The Palms Neighborhood Council will provide the necessary supplies... Just bring comfortable shoes, clothes that can get dirty, and a positive attitude. Students will get community service credit!

For more information, please email secretary@palmsla.org or visit their website.


Beverly Glen HOA



Councilmember Koretz was delighted to attend the recent annual meeting of the Residents of Beverly Glen Homeowners Association, one of the oldest and longest-running HOAs in the City. As always, a friendly and dynamic discussion took place on a wide variety of issues.

In his presentation and during the subsequent Q&A, the Councilmember detailed how he and his staff had expedited the permanent repair of the water main that had burst at Corfu and Beverly Glen. He talked about plans for the future repaving of all of the Glen, and explained comprehensive improvements for improving the flow and safety of traffic in the area. He also described the success in keeping the traditional polling place at the community center.

Congratulations to HOA president Tensie Palmer and all the leadership and membership of this exemplary HOA, for through their efforts, much good is achieved!   


Westwood Disaster Preparedness Fair

The Westwood Disaster Preparedness Fair will be held Saturday, October 20th, from 12-4 pm on Broxton Ave (the same area where the Westwood Farmer's Market is held).  Free parking (for two hours) is available at 1036 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024, immediately adjacent to the fair. 

The main attraction is the "Big Shaker", an earthquake simulator that can give you an expectation of what a real earthquake might feel like. 

But wait, there's more!  Learn important lifesaving information.  Buy the emergency supplies you'll need (or get ideas about what to buy).  Participate in several interactive displays, including a fire extinguisher simulator.  There will be stuff for the kids to do, too. 

This collaboration brings together the LAFD, the LAPD, the Westwood Neighborhood Council, the Westwood Community Council, the Westwood Village Rotary Foundation, the American Red Cross of Greater LA, the CERT program, and several other partners.  Target and the office of Councilmember Koretz have been instrumental in providing financial support for this fair.

This is a fun event, and you never know what a difference it might make for those who attend and for their families and friends.


Drop, Take Cover, Hold On

The 4th annual ShakeOut was held on Thursday, October 18th, starting at 10:18 a.m. What started in California is now a multi-state and global event, and everyone involved is to be congratulated and thanked. 

The ShakeOut is an annual earthquake safety awareness and education day.  It's a chance to practice what to do in your office or class, to hold an earthquake drill, to hold a seminar in your office/department, and to dust off/acquaint yourself with your earthquake response plan.  

If you worked on or participated in this year's ShakeOut, you are to be applauded, because the more people who are prepared for our inevitable earthquakes, the better and safer we are. 

It's never too early to start preparing for future ShakeOuts, as well as for earthquakes and other emergencies, so here are some great links. For ShakeOut info:
http://www.shakeout.org/california/.  To register yourself, your family, your office/department, or community group in a ShakeOut effort: http://www.shakeout.org/california/register/index.php. To connect into the comprehensive Southern California ShakeOut scenario (developed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and practitioners): http://urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu/shakeout/
http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1324/
 


CERT


Councilmember Koretz attends a CERT meeting this past September

CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) teaches and empowers ordinary "civilians" how to respond, safely and effectively, to a disaster or a major emergency. Responsible and safety-minded people learn how to help take care of loved ones, friends, co-workers, and even strangers, when facing such circumstances.  While CERT does not train people to become or replace first responders, CERT training can help you provide invaluable assistance when first responders are busy with a larger emergency or are delayed.  That can be especially valuable and even life-saving when city and regional public safety personnel are responding to a crisis, such as a massive earthquake, of such an overwhelming magnitude that local response times might vary (for example, because access by road may be gravely hindered). 

CERT classes are offered periodically in various locales and are open to residents eager to play a productive part in times of need.  A series of CERT classes is currently underway at UCLA  (during a past series of classes held at the university, a UCLA staff member learned how to use a fire extinguisher in just such a class...and a few weeks later, she was able to use a fire extinguisher at her own apartment building for a real fire!).

The current UCLA CERT classes are being held Thursday nights, 6-9 pm, at Hedrick Fireside Lounge at UCLA.  The first class was already held on 10/18 (Lessons 1 and 7), and while one must learn all the lesions to earn a certificate, missed lessons can be made up in a future CERT class.  The remaining schedule is as follows: 10/25 - Lesson 2; 11/01 - Lessons 3 and 4; 11/08 - Lesson 5; and 11/15 - Lesson 6.

Here are relevant links, to the CERT syllabus: http://www.cert-la.com/cert-syllabus.pdf; to CERT info: http://www.cert-la.com/whatiscert.htm; and to sign up for a class:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Agu3M-gqiUbOdEI3THpOMjNESExVYkgwdDd5R2FENmc.



Speaking of CERT...

The quarterly CERT Battalion 9 community meeting will be on Thursday, October 25, from 7-9 pm. 

By special request, a class will be redone from about two years ago on radio procedures and use.  While some people are very familiar and practiced with radios, others who haven't regularly used them are not, so the subject will be revisited. There will be other agenda items, too (and Diddy Riese cookies). This meeting will be held at Fire Station 59 Community Room, 2117 Butler Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90025. You can park inside the fire station's yard, but go directly to the community room at the rear of the property – not the actual fire station up front.



Campanile


From left to right: Campanile Pastry Chef Michael Luna, Campanile Chef d' Cuisine Christopher Eddy, Councilmember Paul Koretz, Campanile Executive Chef/Owner Mark Peel, Campanile General Manager Johann Droishagen (in rear), Vivien (daughter of Mark Peel and his wife, Daphne Brogdon), Daphne Brogdon, Councilmember Tom LaBonge.

Councilmember Koretz joined Tom LaBonge in saluting Campanile, the revered Los Angeles restaurant that is closing the doors to its La Brea site at the end of this month after a remarkable and lasting run of commercial and critical success. 

Even with the ongoing accolades and crowds, it was deemed time for a change.  A new Campanile will be opening up at Los Angeles International Airport in 2013, and Executive Chef/Owner Mark Peel will no doubt be searching for other new opportunities in the months and years to come. 
Campanile opened in 1989, and was immediately acclaimed as one of the nation’s great restaurants – and this happened before L.A. became the foodie capital of the world.  Campanile has had a monumental impact on restaurants and restaurateurs throughout this city and indeed globally, by pioneering California cuisine’s emphasis on the expert and delectable use of market fresh and seasonal ingredients.  The restaurant’s menu, especially famous for grilling, has changed daily to make the most of current harvests and the freshest produce, herbs and spices, while favoring products from the best farmers and reflecting Mediterranean sensibilities about ingredients and proportion according to weather, climate and calendar.  From its inception, Campanile supported and collaborated with local purveyors who provide the finest naturally raised meats and organically grown produce available, and by example inspired many other restaurants to do the same.

Campanile and those who it taught and influenced have brought much tourism, jobs and revenues to the 5th Council District and Los Angeles as a whole.  Campanile and its staff have also been a constant participant in, and supporter of, charitable, community and civic causes.  For all those reasons, and for the joy and nourishment brought to countless diners, the City thanks Campanile and wishes everyone there the best. 


Billboard Update

At the Tuesday, October 16th City Council meeting, Councilmember Koretz, joined by Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge voted against a proposed billboard "study group" that morphed on the floor into what is called a "staff review and recommendation."

The bottom line is that a "No" vote such as the one Councilmember Koretz cast was to keep the existing sign rules (including a ban on digital billboards) remaining in place.  A "Yes" vote was intended to start the process of lifting the ban on digital billboards. To the dismay of those who care about eliminating billboard blight, the majority of the City Council, through the "Yes" vote, requested a staff investigation and consideration of new billboard regulations including both new signs and new revenue to the City. 

Eventually, such staff deliberations and recommendations will be presented to the Council's Planning & Land Use and Budget Committees.


Councilmember Koretz, joined by community leaders and billboard blight activists, at a 2010 press conference in Westwood

The history of this issue is complex, full of twists and turns usually related to litigation involving the billboard companies.  In 2000 and 2002 the City passed ordinances banning new "off-site" signs and billboards. As part of that action, the City also enacted an Off-Site Sign Inspection Program requiring existing billboards to pass an inspection and pay a nominal fee to the City. This program led to years of protracted litigation from the billboard companies. In 2006, the City entered a settlement agreement regarding litigation with two huge billboard companies, Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor. That settlement agreement required that the City issue ten monthly permits to "modernize" off-site signs by replacing them with digital billboards. The settlement agreement only applies to CBS and Clear Channel:  a separate agreement with Regency exists but was never utilized. This led not only to tension with residents about light, noise and safety distractions from digital boards but also led to unfair competition complaints from competing outdoor advertising companies such as Van Wagner and Summit Media.

By 2008, the City was facing 15 different lawsuits pending against it, including two critical cases from Summit Media. The Summit Media case filed in state court ultimately led to a ruling in 2009 that the City's settlement agreements with Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor were illegal. The court ruled that the City could choose to allow or not allow digital billboards but that those decisions had to be made in the open and through ordinance rather than in a closed-door settlement negotiation.

Pursuant to that ruling and conflicts with Pedestrian Design Overlays, three billboards were appealed in 2009 within Council District 5:  at 1333 South Westwood, 2131 South Westwood and 10333 West Santa Monica Boulevard. Then-City Council candidate Paul Koretz testified in support of the community in requesting that the City order these taken down. Ultimately the zoning administrator issued a split decision on these billboards but the Area Planning Commission in 2010 ordered all three billboards be taken down after the testimony of Koretz, who was by then the sitting City Councilmember.

By 2010, CBS and Clear Channel had filed litigation challenging the three billboard take-downs mentioned above, and had also appealed the 2009 trial court decision invalidating their settlement agreements. Litigation regarding the three CD5 billboards has stalled, pending the outcome in the Court of Appeals regarding all the digital billboards in the City. The arguments before the Court of Appeals are scheduled for October 30th.

The City Council motion that promoted creating a working group for signs was also seen as an attempt at legislating a solution in order to avoid a court-ordered action. While the motion’s purpose was widely described as gathering input and finding a win-win solution, it was clearly aimed at avoiding or delaying a ruling in the Court of Appeals in the Summit case. It is likely that the Court of Appeals will affirm that the settlement agreements were illegal and that in fact digital signs have been illegal since 2002 and are today. For those seeking to end billboard blight (including CD5 activists and Councilmember Koretz), a loss in the Court of Appeals is a win.

Though Councilmember Koretz and his allies lost the Oct. 16th Council vote, he promises to do everything in his power to make certain that the staff review fully include neighborhood concerns and that, regardless of any court-related schedules, adequate time is provided for forming a consensus recommendation that truly takes into account community input. The Councilmember says he will vote against – and actively seek to defeat – any ordinance that ultimately results in more digital signs in CD5.


Not a time for puckish wit


Councilmember Koretz and the Stanley Cup

Not to mix metaphors, but the Stanley Cup made a pit stop in City Hall on Friday, October 19th.

The start of the 2012-2013 NHL season has been delayed – players have been locked out since September 15, and games have been cancelled in the midst of labor turmoil – but thankfully, there's no way that the Kings first championship title can be cancelled, and so the Stanley Cup, the trophy that is kept by the current champions, was a welcome presence in City Hall.  Congratulations once again to the Kings and all of the faithful fans! 


This message was sent to  by:

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