March 7, 2013

In this issue:

Election Day 

Back in business!

Support for Senator Boxer's Line Act and other voter-friendly measures

Coldwater Canyon Avenue alert

Share in the EXPO experience!


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

***

The National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles will be hosting The Future of Healthcare in California... How to Build on the Affordable Care Act.

This is a free community event taking place on Wednesday, March 13th, from 11:30 am - at the NCJW/LA Council House located on 543 N. Fairfax Avenue
 
For more information and to RSVP please email Ruth Williams at ruth@ncjwla.org or call 323-852-8503.

***

The Century City Chamber of Commerce presents Let's Get Physical Solutions to Shaping Up Your Life!

The event will be held on Wednesday, March 27th from 6:00-9:00 PM at Equinox Century City, 10220 Constellation Blvd., 90067.

- Hear from our expert panelists about simple, effective ways to get your mind, body and your finances fit.
-Network with new friends and professional contacts
-Enjoy a Silent Auction
-Appetizers will be provided by Seasons Fresh Grill.

To register please visit www.centurycitycc.com or call 310.553.2222.


***

The ONEGeneration Senior Center is partnering with Neighborhood Councils in the Southwest San Fernando Valley, Heritage California, and the Los Angeles Jewish Home to present the 5th Annual Senior Symposium.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 20th from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center on 18255 Victory Blvd., Reseda, CA 91335.
 
To register please call 818-705-2345


***

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!

***

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.


***

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


***

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!

***

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.


***

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.


***

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.


***

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

***

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

***

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

***



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

***



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

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

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

Dear Friends,
 
Tuesday, March 5th, was Election Day throughout the City of Los Angeles, including, of course, within our own 5th Council District.

 It is with heartfelt humility that I thank everyone who participated with their vote. I am deeply honored to have received the support of so many people in the 5th District, and to have been granted the privilege of another term in office.  Whether you voted for me or not, please know that I am profoundly grateful for your involvement in our community and in our electoral process.
 
I salute my opponent.  We agreed on some things and disagreed on others, but by offering his time and effort as a candidate, he helped promote a dialog about civic priorities, and that’s a discussion well worth having.
 
As always, my staff and I look forward to hearing from you and to joining in the community meetings and neighborhood endeavors that protect and improve our local quality of life.  The people of the 5th District truly know their stuff and are incredibly aware, shrewd and sensible about the challenges and opportunities before us, and eagerly share their wisdom, and deserve to be applauded.  We happily welcome your questions, suggestions and views, and honor your participation and your voice.

Sincerely,

 PAUL KORETZ


Back in business!

During the past few months, more than a few people have asked us why they weren't receiving any more "Hi 5" newsletters.  The reason is simple, though it might come as a surprise to many. 

In the months before a City of Los Angeles election, the offices of certain elected officials – those who are candidates seeking reelection, or election to a different City office – are prohibited from mass mailing newsletters:  that prohibition extends to electronic distribution through email.  The period of time during which such distribution is prohibited is called the "blackout period."  Now that the election has been decided for the 5th Council District, this office can resume its newsletter.  So once again, the Hi 5 will be heading your way.  As always, we encourage you to read it, share it, and send your suggestions, including about potential stories and regarding calendar items on upcoming events.

Council District 5 welcomes your ideas and suggestions, please stay connected with us by visiting our website and by emailing our office at paul.koretz@lacity.org. If you have not had the opportunity to subscribe to our district newsletters, you may do so here.


Support for Senator Boxer’s Line Act and other voter-friendly measures


Senator Barbara Boxer

Los Angeles voters who participated in this past Tuesday’s primary election were reminded that the physical act of voting requires some effort, whether it’s in casting a ballot by mail or going to a polling place.  The good news is that for pretty much every one of our city’s voters, voting proved generally relatively painless to accomplish and hopefully well worth the effort – maybe even fun!

Judging from numerous reports regarding last year’s November federal election, voters in many other areas across the country did not have it so easy:  indeed, there were a lot of horror stories involving voters being forced to wait in line up to seven hours or more.  That’s why several members of Congress have called for federal election reforms and improvements, and have offered legislation which the City of Los Angeles is now supporting through resolutions written by Councilmember Koretz. These resolutions were approved, coincidentally, on Tuesday, March 5 – the same day as L.A.’ s municipal elections. 

In his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama spoke of 102-year old Desiline Victor, who was sitting in the audience that night with Michelle Obama.  Back in November of last year, she waited on line for three hours in Florida in order to vote, only to be told to come back later that day, before finally being able to vote.  The president said of Ms. Victor that “when she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours, and as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say.”

Reportedly, numerous Americans had to wait in line for five, six or even seven hours or more.  Think of the horrible burden this would place on any American, but especially for those who are physically frail, ill, or who can ill-afford a day away from desperately needed school study, or work and income. One academic study estimated that in Florida alone, at least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration this past federal election, due to lines lasting many hours.  All this occurred at a time of significant concern about voter suppression, and much speculation about political forces actively discouraging certain constituencies from participating electorally. 

The Line Act, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer of California, gives us hope and a remedy, for if made law, it will set national standards and require action by states where voters have previously had to wait for hours, in line, just to vote.
 
The Line Act would require the Attorney General, in consultation with the U.S.Election Assistance Commission, to issue new national standards by January 1, 2014, requiring the minimum number of voting machines, election workers, and other election resources that are necessary to conduct Federal elections on Election Day and during early voting periods.  The bill explicitly states that the goal of minimum standards is to prevent a waiting time of more than one hour at any polling place.
 
Those states where a substantial number of voters had to wait more than 90 minutes to vote in 2012 would be required to implement remedial plans, in order to fix the problems before the next federal election.
 
On March 5, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Koretz resolution to make support of the Line Act part of the City’s official package of recommended federal bills. At the same time, the Council approved another Koretz resolution that supported two more voting-related bills:  the Voter Empowerment Act and the Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act, to ensure that citizens can freely exercise their most fundamental right of voting.  The Voter Empowerment Act has been reintroduced in 2013, with leadership coming from Civil Rights icon Representative John Lewis in the House, and New York’s  Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate.   The Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely Voting Act, known as the FAST ACT, is sponsored by U.S. Senator Chris Koons of Delaware.

The Voter Empowerment Act is intended to improve the nation's voting processes and standards, in order to restore access, integrity and accountability to the election system.  The measure includes provisions to modernize the voter registration system, ensure access to online voter registration and allow same-day registration. When voters move, their registration would move with them and they'd be able to correct their information at the polls.

The Voter Empowerment Act will create a national voter hotline to make sure problems are reported, corrected and prevented in real time.  It would also require that registered voters be notified of changes in polling place location, and that provisional ballots be available and counted at all polling places, and that deceptive electioneering practices designed deliberately to impede or mislead citizens on their way to the polls be clearly defined and criminalized, and that standards for voting machines be set and paper ballots for verification be provided.

The FAST Act will create a competitive grant program to encourage states to speed much-needed election reforms, including by making voter registration easier; providing early voting; providing more assistance to voters with disabilities, and effective access to members of the armed services; auditing and reducing waiting times at the poorest performing polling places, and creating contingency plans for voting in the event of a natural or other disaster.

Both Acts offer great reforms and protections benefitting voters.

As Congressmember Lewis has said, "The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. Too many people in this country had to give their lives to exercise a right already guaranteed them by the Constitution. Outlawing the poll tax 49 years ago does not mean we are finished protecting democratic freedom.  New challenges to equal access still arise today. To be a credible voice for equal justice abroad, we must be watchful here at home to alleviate every historic and current impediment to the democratic process."

The Line Act, the Voter Empowerment Act and the FAST Act all face Congressional committee consideration, and with today’s Congress, their fates are uncertain, but President Obama has moved forward on identifying and implementing various election protections and reforms, so there may some dynamic, joined endeavors, aimed at making certain that citizens of the United States are able to vote without being given grief and facing undue burdens.


Coldwater Canyon Avenue alert!

A 99-year old pipeline under Coldwater Canyon Avenue is being replaced with a new welded steel pipeline that is expected to last for another century.  That's the good news, because improving L.A.'s water system is always a crucial priority.  The bad news is that local residents and businesses, as well as many motorists traveling through that area, will experience a significant impact while work on the pipeline takes place.  

Starting March 9, 2013, there will be no left turns from Coldwater Canyon Avenue, north or south onto Ventura Blvd.  Starting March 23, 2013, Coldwater Canyon Ave. will be closed from Ventura Blvd. to Mulholland Drive, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  These restrictions will last through April 25, 2013, or such time that the work is completed.  Alternate routes include Cahuenga Blvd./Highland Ave., Laurel Canyon Blvd., Beverly Glen Blvd., Sepulveda Blvd., and Interstate 405. 

The LADWP is working with the City Council Office that represents that immediate area, as well as local residents, community groups, schools, churches and businesses, to help minimize the strain on that neighborhood.

For additional email updates on this project, please visit the LADWP's online newsroom at http://www.ladwpnews.com/ and click on "Get Updates."  Select "City Trunk Line - Coldwater Canyon Construction" in the sign-up form. 


Share in the EXPO experience!

The American Diabetes Association will be holding an important community event to heighten awareness on diabetes.

The Los Angeles EXPO is FREE and includes health screenings, cooking demonstrations, product and service exhibitors and leading experts talking about diabetes management and prevention for Seniors, Youth and all ethnic populations.

Saturday, May 4, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Convention Center
South Hall HJ
1201 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Free Health Screenings
• Dental Screenings
• A1C (measure of estimated avg. blood glucose.)
• Cholesterol
• Blood Pressure
• Foot Screenings
• Blood Glucose
• Eye Screenings
• Hearing Screenings

Getting to the EXPO/Los Angeles
http://www.lacclink.com/

Transportation Details:
Go Metro and enter a drawing to win fabulous prizes! Show a valid Metro pass or Metro Rail ticket at EXPO Registration. Metro provides Bus and Rail transportation to the Los Angeles Convention Center. For your best route or more information, visit the Metro Trip Planner at www.metro.net or call 323-Go-Metro (323-466-3876).

More Information:
For more information, call us 1-888-DIABETES ext. 7503.

Online Registration:
Attendance to the EXPO is FREE, please register now to join us! You can also registered at the event on May 4, 2013.







This message was sent to  by:

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