November 5, 2012

In this issue:

Election Day

If you’re a foe of billboard blight, then October 30th 2012 was a great day!

TLT Food: From Food Truck Success to Westwood Village

For a better and more tolerant future



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 Government Affairs Council of the Century City Chamber will host its Election Night Mixer on Tuesday, November 6th at 5pm at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, 2025 Avenue of the Stars.

This is an opportinity to network while watching the election results in this year's race for The White House.

RSVP by Friday, November 2nd at www.centurycitycc.com or call 310.553.2222.


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New Westwood Branch Library Hours

As of last month the Los Angeles Public Library restored service on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings at all 73 libraries as a result of Measure L, which so many of our Friends supported and was passed by voters last year.

Westwood Branch Hours have been extended to 10am - 8pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and 10:30 pm - 5 pm on Fridays!  The regular hours listed below will remain in place for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.


Monday        10:00am 8 pm
Tuesday       12:30pm- 8 pm 
Wednesday   10:00am- 8 pm 
Thursday      12:30pm- 8 pm 
Friday          10:30pm 5:30pm 
Saturday      10:00am- 5:30pm 
Sundays      Closed 
Holidays      Closed


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The Friends of the Encino-Tarzana Branch Library will hold its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 28th at 1:00pm at 18231 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, 91356

Los Angeles City Librarian John Szabo will be the Guest Speaker

For more information please visit: www.ETLibraryFriends.org or call: 818.343.1983

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Get your Fall shopping done at the Farmers' Market at Motor & National every Sunday!

Now that the weather is starting to feel a little like fall, make sure to cozy up with some hot coffee from The Bean Coffee Co, and perhaps a pastry or two from Bistro Laurent or Sunflower Baking!

Did you know you can also recycle your old cell phones at the farmers' market? Just drop them off at the collection point atthe information booth.

Forgot your bag? No worries -- pick up a free reusable shopping bag at the info booth.

Please visit the Facebook page for more information.

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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.

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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.

Election Day



Dear friend,

We as a nation face a momentous decision; we as a state have many crucial matters to decide.  Such things – and more, down to very local concerns – get determined Tuesday, November 6, Election Day.

There is an amazing spirit of resolve in this land that has people lining up, some of them waiting for hours, in order to vote.  Even when we disagree, we share a common impulse to assert our stake in things, and that's what voting does, and that's why it feels good to vote, no matter the outcome.

Here in Los Angeles, where polls open at 7 a.m on Election Day and close at 8 p.m. that evening, voting should be comparatively easy and swift. If you are uncertain about your polling place, you can find it by visiting http://www.lavote.net/LOCATOR/. That link is part of the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's website, http://www.lavote.net/, where you can find answers to almost any question that might arise regarding voting in L.A. County.

Perhaps, like me, you've already voted by mail, or maybe you've even made the trek to the County Registrar's Office in Norwalk in order to vote early but in person.  When and how you vote is not what counts – it's your vote that you cast that counts. 

Of course, your voice and your views will continue to matter past November 6, and will always matter.  My staff and I always want to hear from you, and always benefit from being in the community with you.  Our 5th Council District is renowned for being extraordinarily involved not just on Election Day but every day.  Voting every four years in our national elections is sweet and important, but so is your ongoing participation, which I value with all my heart.  So I thank you mightily for your day-in, day-out civic patriotism.

Have a great Election Day!

PAUL KORETZ


If you’re a foe of billboard blight, then October 30th 2012 was a great day!
 
That’s when California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal announced a tentative ruling, proclaiming that permits for over 100 digital displays in the city should be invalidated, and also that an agreement allowing for more than 700 additional digital signs should be void.
 
The Court’s final ruling will likely be delivered within the next three months, and legal experts expect it to echo October 30th’s tentative ruling and repudiate an agreement made in closed session by the City Council, City Attorney and billboard companies Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor back in 2006 (several years before Councilmember Koretz took office on the Los Angeles City Council).
 
Even before October 30th, a lower trial court ruling had already specified that the City could choose to allow or not allow digital billboards – but that any such decision had to be made in the open and through an ordinance, rather than in a closed-door settlement negotiation.  In effect, the October 30th tentative ruling from the Court of Appeals affirms the standing of ordinances passed by the City in 2000 and 2002, banning new öff-site” signs and billboards.
 
For those seeking to end billboard blight – and there are many tremendous activists and concerned residents involved in that cause – a loss by the City at the Court of Appeals is therefore a win.
 
The 2006 agreement that the Court of Appeals is invalidating allowed Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor to “modernize” a certain number of off-site signs, to be replaced with digital billboards.  This led to complaints by residents about light, noise and safety distractions stemming from those digital signs, and also led to unfair competition complaints from competing outdoor companies, including Summit Media, whose suit targeting the City helped trigger the appellate court’s October 30th tentative ruling. 


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

 
The issue is especially important to 5th Council District constituents, because some of the district’s neighborhoods are particularly beset by invasive digital billboards.  In some cases, the recent fate of such billboards has been decided on a case-by-case basis – for example, in Westwood, where Councilmember Koretz, community groups and neighborhood activists were successful in calling on the Area Planning Commission to order three such billboards taken down.
 
Meanwhile, on October 16 – two weeks before the Court’s October 30th ruling, and obviously in anticipation of an adverse ruling by the appellate court – the majority of the City Council requested a staff investigation and consideration of new billboard regulations, including both new signs and new revenue to the City.  Councilmembers Koretz,Tom LaBonge and Eric Garcetti all voted NO, in order to preserve the prevailing sign rules dating back to 2000 and 2002 (including the ban on digital billboards).    Eventually, any new staff deliberations and recommendations will be presented to the Council's Planning & Land Use and Budget Committees.  Councilmember Koretz has pledged to work with anti-billboard blight activists, to ensure that the staff review includes neighborhood concerns – and he has also promised to vote against and actively seek to defeat any ordinance that ultimately results in more digital signs for the 5th Council District.



TLT Food: From Food Truck Success to Westwood Village

Foodies, delight!  You now have yet one more reason to love the 5th Council District, which is home to so many great eateries.

That's because TLT Food has arrived!  This restaurant, located at 1116 Westwood Boulevard, has its roots in The Lime Truck, winner of The Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race" (Season 2, back in 2011). TLT Food will bring The Lime Truck’s award-winning street food and new American cuisine to the cultural gem that is Westwood Village.


The TLT FOOD team, left to right: Zachary Wishengrad, General Manager; Daniel Shemtob, Co-Owner and Executive Chef; Sue Wishengrad, Mom-in-Chief; Councilmember Paul Koretz; Jason Wishengrad, Executive Vice President; Murray Wishengrad, President and CEO

Councilmember Koretz was pleased to join the TLT Food team for the restaurant's recent grand opening.  He enjoyed everything he tried and especially recommends the quesadilla, which he found to have the perfect combination of spices.  Congratulations to TLT Food on opening its first brick and mortar restaurant, and doing so in Westwood, which is always a great place to shop and dine! More information can be found here: http://tltfood.com/.


For a better and more tolerant future


Councilmember Koretz with members of the American Jewish Committee in the Bradley Tower at the top of City Hall

The world is a most challenging place, with the challenges faced by humanity almost certain to increase in enormity in the years to come.  That's why the American Jewish Committee (AJC) is to be congratulated for an enlightening program aimed at teaching, informing and bringing together future leaders from many nations.

The Promoting Tolerance Program, a joint effort of AJC and the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, identifies emerging leaders and opinion-shapers in the new democracies of Europe and Eurasia:  this year, they were selected from the Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Kosovo.  The objective is to introduce participants to American initiatives aimed at fostering pluralism and respect for diversity in the United States – and to inspire similar efforts in the participants' respective countries.

On October 29, Councilmember Koretz was honored to join approximately 15 of these great young men and women, who came to City Hall to learn about and discuss the advances and challenges experienced by Los Angeles throughout our City's history and in present times. It's telling that the AJC saw Los Angeles, a place of such diversity, as a perfect place to study for the sake of promoting peace, cooperation and tolerance. Thanks to the AJC, and its Assistant Director of International Relations, Gosia Szymanska Weiss, for putting together this fine effort and event!


This message was sent to  by:

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