May 7, 2013

In this issue:

Environmental update

Budget mania!

City Council unanimously approves Koretz motion concerning recent “swatting” crimes

Surviving, and remembering

SoRo Tree Planting

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu visits Melrose!


Legislative Update



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 Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Department of Aging, Jewish Family Service, and Olympia Medical Center will be presenting a two hour seminar in recognition of Older Americans Month on May 8th, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

The event will be held at Olympia Medical Center, Pavilion Conference Room, 5900 W. Olympic Blvd, 90036

Topics include:
-Identity Theft
-Home Safety
-Emergency Preparedness
-Elder Abuse

RSVP Olympia Public Relations
(323) 932-5970


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The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation presents Salute, Salud, Sante to the LAFD, a wine tasting fundraiser on Thursday, May 9th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at an exclusive Los Angeles venue.

For ticket information please visit
www.supportlafd.org/shop.


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Host a bicycle pit stop on Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16, 2013!

Metro will be sponsoring bicycle pit stops all across the county on Bike to Work Day – to encourage everyone to give bicycling a try. They have great giveaways lined up, such as Clif Bars, RydeSafe reflective decals, patch kits, and more. At Union Station, there will be free bicycle repair services and breakfast available for bicyclists.

Bike Week LA events:

Monday, 5/13 – Fix Your Bike Day
Hold a bike repair workshop or event (sign up)

Wednesday, 5/15 – Guided Ride Day - Lead a guided ride along bike lanes or routes in your community (sign up)

Thursday, 5/16 – Bike to Work Day
Put on a Bike to Work pit stop (sign up)

Friday, 5/17 to Sunday 5/19 – Bike Local Weekend

Be a bicycle-friendly business and provide a discount to bicyclists who mention “Bike Week” (sign up)

Contact bikeweekla@metro.net or call 213.922.5634.


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Lange Foundation Kicks Off Fundraiser to Help Abandoned Animals with Special Needs

The Lange Foundation specializes in helping abandoned pets in need that other shelters especially have trouble placing.  Established in 1993, the Lange Foundation has saved over 20,000 cats, dogs and horses that otherwise would have been lost.

The unique organization will kick-off its annual Lange Foundation Estate Sale on May 17th with a special invitation only VIP event from 4-6pm.  All proceeds will go towards a Special Surgical Needs Fund to support extensive reconstructive surgeries and long term medical rehabilitation.

The estate sale which opens to the general public on May 18th will feature offerings from some of the most elegant homes in Los Angeles, including antiques, furniture and designer clothing.

Both the VIP event and sale will take place at 11040 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90064.

For more information please visit the Lange Foundation website.


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The Palms Neighborhood Council and the LAPD Pacific Division Presents:

2013 Bike Rodeo, a ZERO WASTE Event! Bicycle Safety Course and Inspection, Radar Speed Test, and a *Bike Giveaway*

Saturday May 18th, 10am - 2pm at Palms Elementary School, 3520 Motor Ave

Kids bring a reusable beverage container and get a 2nd ticket for bike giveaway

Adults bring a reusuable beverage container or used bike part and get a ticket for a used bike giveaway

For more information please email:
palmswest@palmsla.org

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The City of Los Angeles through its Bureau of Sanitation will hold FREE Used Tire Recycling Collection Events

Each person who brings tries will receive a coupon for 15% off your next purchase of Firestone and Bridgestone tires.

Properly dispose of used and old tires from 9am - 2:30pm at the locations listed below:

Saturday, May 18, 2013
West Valley District Yard
8840 Vanalden Avenue
Northridge, CA 91324

Saturday, June 1, 2013
North Central District Yard
452 N. San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Saturday, June 8, 2013
So. Los Angeles District Yard
at The Expo Center
3990 Menlo Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Harbor District Yard
1400 N. Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

Saturday, June 29, 2013
West Los Angeles District Yard
2027 Stoner Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90025


RESTRICTIONS

• City of Los Angeles RESIDENTS ONLY
– No tires from businesses (To verify
residency, bring your current DWP bill and
California Driver’s License)
• Maximum of nine (9) tires per person
per trip. Contact (213) 485-3568 for
additional information
• Passenger and light truck tires only
• Tires on rims will not be accepted


***

The Century City Chamber of Commerce will be hositng its 31st Annual Citizen of the Year Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 23rd.

Honorees being recognized this year are Carl Schlosberg, Fine Arts Dealer and Curator, "Gwynn Murrill on Avenue of the Stars" Sculpture Exhibition and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P.

Time: 11:30am - 1:30pm

Location: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Plaza Pavilion, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Century City

To reserve a seat, please call the Chamber at 310.553.2222 or visit their website.


***

On Thursday, May 23rd, the Freda Mohr Center will hold its 3rd Annual Senior Health Fair from 10am to 1pm.

• Learn about Good Dental Hygiene
• Learn How to Lift and Carry Items Safely to Prevent Injuries
• Attend a Lecture on Improving Driving Skills
• Receive a Nutritional Assessment and have your Body Mass Index Read
• Blood pressure,Vision and Posture Screenings
• Enjoy a Delightful Chocolate Tasting Experience

Sign up at the Freda Mohr reception desk in person
or call 323-937-5900 by Friday, May 17, 2013


Lunch will be provided by the Hirsch Family Café for a suggested donation of $2.25. You must be signed up to receive a lunch meal on the day of the event.


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Pet Safety in EXTREME Heat,
a message from the Department of Animal Services

According to composer George Gershwin, Summertime means “the livin’ is easy, fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high”.This special season can also mean we need to protect our companion animals from extreme heat.

Keep in mind that when it is hot for you, it is even hotter for them.Dogs and cats do not sweat through their skin.They cool themselves by panting or rapid breathing, which means animals must work hard to stay cool.

Too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal.If your best friend has a shorter nose, like Persian cats and bulldogs, he is more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses.

If your dog or cat begins very rapid, noisy breathing, has trouble swallowing, and looks very distressed, she could be having a heatstroke.Heatstroke is an emergency.Get the animal out of the heat.Apply cold, wet towels to the back of the head.Place cold packs wrapped in towels or plain wet towels between the back legs and on the belly.Cool off your furry friend and then take her to the vet immediately.

The best plan is to keep your dog and cat protected from the summer heat.

- Always make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of fresh water to drink.A bucket that holds a gallon or more of water will stay cool longer than water in a shallow pan.Some dogs consider ice cubes a treat, and you can add a few to the water bowl.

- Dogs and cats do sweat a little through the pads of their feet.The cats I know do not appreciate water added to any part of their body, but dogs often enjoy having cool water on their feet.Some dogs enjoy walking through or even lying in a child’s wading pool.

- It is dangerous to leave your dog or cat in a car for 5 minutes.If he cannot go inside at every stop with you, he is safer at home on hot days!Car interiors heat very quickly in the hot sun, even with the windows open.If it is 85 degrees outside, it will climb to 102 degrees inside your car within ten minutes.In half an hour, it will reach 120 degrees or more!If it is 90 degrees out, temperatures can top 160 degrees faster than you can walk around the block.

- While walking your dog outdoors, play particular attention the hot pavement or sidewalks that make your dog’s lower to the ground walking space hotter and can even burn their feet.Early morning and later evening walks will be more comfortable for you both!

- Animals who go outside need access to shade.Dark coats absorb heat.Lighter coated animals, especially white ones, are at higher risk for skin cancer from exposure to the sun and they are more susceptible to sunburn.

- Longer coated dogs and cats who are brushed regularly have natural insulation from the heat.However, if the coat has gotten matted, a summer clip will make your buddy much more comfortable and allow you a new start at keeping him brushed.Remember, newly clipped animals can get sunburned.

- If your dog spends time in the yard, make sure she has access to shade.Shade trees, a covered patio, or a cool spot under the porch can help keep her comfortable.

Companion animals want to be with you. They will be safer and cooler inside with you, where they can spend their time doing what they do best: being your best friend!

***


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


***

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.


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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.


***

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.

Environmental update


Councilmembers Jose Huizar, Richard Alarcon, and Paul Koretz welcomed environmental activists on April 23rd

On April 23, the day after Earth Day festivities, the City Council took a historic step forward, voting for L.A. to become the biggest city in the nation to get off of coal power.  This will reduce the City's carbon footprint significantly by 2025, lowering DWP carbon emissions by 59 percent and citywide emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels.  Los Angeles has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 28%, more than any other U.S. city.  Congratulations and thanks go to the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, the Los Angeles Business Council, and many other local clean energy advocates, some of whom are represented in the pictures above and below. A special tip of the hat to Mayor Villaraigosa, DWP head Ron Nichols, and the Council’s Energy & Environment committee chair Councilmember Jose Huizar.



That same day, the City Council approved a resolution by Councilmember Koretz addressing the ailing nuclear power plant at San Onofre, a little over sixty miles to the south of Los Angeles. The plant leaked radiation last year and has been shut down ever since, but the utility that owns it has been making plans to restart it this summer.

Even though the City of L.A. is officially (barely) outside of the fifty mile danger zone, Councilmember Koretz, along with many environmental organizations and other concerned groups throughout the Los Angeles region, thought it was prudent for the City Council to weigh in. The Koretz resolution calls on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to make no decision about restarting San Onofre until it has fully reviewed public safety through a transparent and precautionary process that provides independent experts and the public ample opportunity to comment.


Budget mania!


Councilmember Koretz and his staff, including Leana Scott pictured above, spend hours upon hours poring over charts and graphs in order to help produce the final budget 

It’s that time of year again – budget season!  Throughout Los Angeles City Hall, huge volumes full of facts, figures, proposals and projections have been distributed, with analysis, discussion and debate already well underway.

For those of you who are curious about L.A.’s budget process, here are some of the basics:

The City Charter mandates that the mayor submit a proposed budget to the city council on April 20th. This year, that date fell on a Saturday, so the mayor’s proposed budget was made public on the following Monday, April 22.

The budget includes general funds that the council and mayor have discretion over, as well as special funds that are charter-mandated to fund certain city services (such as library and recreation and parks).  By June 1st of every calendar year, the council and mayor are mandated to have passed a budget for the following fiscal year, so shaping and adopting the budget is essentially a month-long process that takes all of May and must be completed by June 1.

Starting on April 30th, the city’s Budget and Finance committee began deliberations in public meetings regarding the mayor’s proposed budget.  Many times, these days of meetings, which begin in the morning, go late into the evening. After the committee has done its work, including receiving and considering input from the public, the budget goes to the full council to be discussed, contemplated, potentially changed, and voted upon, after which the budget goes to the mayor for approval (or possible veto or change).  The City Charter allocates five days for the Council (needing a supermajority) to overturn any vetoes or changes (if there are any) from the mayor.   After the five days have passed, the City has its new budget.

Throughout the budget process, this Hi 5 newsletter will carry updates. Your questions and comments regarding the budget are always welcome, and you are encouraged to explore the Council file where many pertinent documents are available:

http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=13-0600

Those are the basics about the budget process, but one of the unusual things happening this year is the proposed consolidation of the Building & Safety and Planning departments into one department, called “Planning & Development.” This is in response to complaints from the public that going through the entitlement and permitting process is an overly complicated and customer-unfriendly experience.

Also being brought under the same roof will be the “Plan Check” divisions of other departments that are essential to the permitting process – the goal being to reduce redundancies, promote higher efficiencies, create a better customer experience and minimize conflict and confusion that may currently exist between some departments.

The proposed department is still being discussed and has yet to be formally approved, but the budgeting process is underway, and the potential “Planning and Development” department is being taken into account.  If the budget for consolidation is approved, then implementation will be determined over the next six months, with public input a significant part of that process.


City Council unanimously approves Koretz motion concerning recent “swatting” crimes

Recently, a plethora of "swatting" incidents has occurred in the city.

"Swatting" refers to the making of false 911 calls that claim that a robbery, hostage situation or other serious crime is happening: the intent is to draw a strong police response to the home of the alleged victim.  Though swatting perpetrators use sophisticated means to obscure their identities, they are actually seeking attention and notoriety, and LAPD SWAT teams have been called to the homes of various celebrities based on these prank 911 calls.

Recently, in the space of less than a week, police responded to at least four such "swatting" incidents involving homes of various celebrities. The LAPD went to the home of Sean Combs based on a false 911 call that an assault was occurring.  The next day, a caller falsely reported that a shooting had occurred at Rihanna's home.  The following day, police were summoned to Selena Gomez's home, based on a deceitful call that a murder had occurred inside her house and that there was a threat to burn her house down. Two hours earlier, an incident of shots being fired at Justin Timberlake's home was falsely reported and police responded only to find nothing out of the ordinary. 

These swatting incidents pose a threat to public safety, not only because they tie up much needed LAPD resources, but also because officers responding to these fake incidents have been injured.  Sources inside the LAPD feel it's only a matter of time before an officer or a member of the public gets killed as a result of a swatting incident.  While legislation has been introduced in the State Legislature to increase the penalties for swatting, it was important that the city council support our police department to address this problem.

That’s why the council unanimously approved a motion by Councilmember Koretz, authorizing several steps to help crack down on swatting.  The motion calls for the LAPD to report on potential solutions, and for the City Attorney to draft an ordinance requiring that perpetrators of these swatting incidents pay restitution to the LAPD for all costs incurred responding to these false alarms. The City Attorney is also being asked to report on the feasibility of a second ordinance authorizing a reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of swatting perpetrators. Lastly, the City’s Chief Legislative Analyst will report to the Public Safety Committee with a review of any comparable ordinances in other jurisdictions.


Surviving, and remembering


Left to right: Holocaust survivor Morris Price, Armenian Genocide survivor Rose Garjian, and Paul Koretz

On April 19th, Councilmember Koretz led a Holocaust Remembrance event in City Hall that also commemorated the key anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

The day was marked by remarkably inspiring stories of survival – of the horrors of the Holocaust, but then also of the Armenian Genocide.

Councilmember Koretz’ honored guests were Holocaust survivor Morris Price; his wife, Shirley; and Elana Samuels, the director for Museum Volunteer Services at the Museum of Tolerance.

Morris Price spoke movingly before the City Council about his experiences.  He was born in Poland in 1927.  Like so many others, he and his family suffered death and separation after Nazi Germany occupied Poland in 1939, when Morris was 12.  During the months and years that followed, he lost many of his closest family. He was sent to a labor camp but was able to sneak away to warn both of his sisters and one cousin.

In March, 1943, Morris was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.  While arriving there, he made a decision that saved his life.  Having been told to remain on the truck, he noticed that people who were in their 20s and 30s were getting off the truck, so he decided to jump off the truck when the guard wasn’t looking, and was able to join those young adult prisoners. Had he stayed with the original group, he would have been sent directly to the gas chamber.

Morris told the City Hall audience that, while he was in Auschwitz, “we had to watch public executions and the prisoners would say, ‘don’t forget us, remember us.’  Every time I speak at the Museum of Tolerance, I have the opportunity to make sure that no one forgets.”

With the Soviet Army approaching in October, 1944, he was transported to Dachau Concentration Camp, and then, as the American Army neared in April, 1945, he and other Dachau prisoners were sent on a Death March, but he managed to survive and was freed by American soldiers on May 1 of that year.  Subsequently he found that one of his sisters and both of his brothers had survived, and they all came to the United States.  He would serve in the U.S. Army before moving to California where he would meet and marry his wife of 52 years, and they would raise a family. He speaks at the Museum  of Tolerance, at schools, and in front of other audiences, and finds it especially meaningful to share his testimony with younger people who may not have previously known about the Holocaust:  “My story and my life show how the human spirit can survive… the Museum of Tolerance makes sure that message is spread.”


Left to right: State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Shirley Price, Morris Price, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Rose Garjian (sitting), Tereza Yerimyam of the Armenian National Committee, Elana Samuels, Councilmember Paul Koretz

Elana Samuels supervises the “Witness to Truth” speakers program at the Museum of Tolerance, and works with Holocaust survivors who share their personal testimony at the museum.  After Morris Price told the Council his story, she spoke and said that she was honored to represent the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance in the City Council’s commemoration of Yom Hashoa, Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, during which Jewish resistance fighters fought off the Germans for one month. She said that the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance “preserve the memory of the Holocaust and its terrible lessons, in order to promote respect for human dignity and social justice, as we build a more hopeful world.”

Coincidentally, after the ceremony had ended, another was held, this one led by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, to remember the Armenian Genocide on its 98th anniversary. In attendance at City Hall was Rose Garjian, a 104-year-old survivor of the genocide. Born in 1908 in the historic Armenian town of Kilis (now located in a part of Turkey), Rose and her family escaped the massacre in 1915, making their way to modern day Lebanon before landing in Syria. Throughout her life, Rose has been committed to helping others through volunteer work and her involvement with Armenian-American institutions in Los Angeles, including the Massis Church, Marash Women's Group, and the United Armenian Congregational Church.

Morris Price and Rose Garjian came to City Hall on the same day to say “Never again,” to such colossal tragedies as those they had each personally experienced – the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. Meeting for the first time, they embraced, honored each other, remembered those so tragically lost, and embodied the human capacity for spirited survival, resilience and hope.


SoRo Tree Planting


Thank you to Paula Waxman, Larry Hess, Ellen Lanet and all the volunteers who came out to SoRo's 2013 Community Enhancement Project!

On Sunday, April 28th, the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council 2013 Community Enhancement Project planted nine 15-gallon Koelreuteria Bipinnata trees on Pico Boulevard between Robertson and Beverly Drive.  Research shows that tree-lined commercial corridors can increase sales by as much as 12%. The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council not only provided the new trees, but will also be providing ongoing tree maintenance for the next two years (!) to ensure that the trees are well-established.  Congratulations and thank you for your hard work!


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu visits Melrose!


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu being honored by Council District 5 Field Deputy John Darnell, and District Director Joan Pelico

Many Japanese tourists make a point of visiting Melrose Avenue, drawn by its tremendous reputation for cutting-edge fashion and entertainment.

Similarly, a fashion district in Tokyo’s Shibuya District called “Harajuku” attracts young, fashion-conscience tourists and designers from all over the world. One case in particular would be Gwen Stefani’s fashion enterprises, which are not only Harajuku-inspired but are named after the district.

In recent years, Japanese fashion and popular culture have taken the world by storm. In an attempt to harness this boom and deepen understanding of Japan among young people around the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan appoints a young leader to serve as “Kawaii Ambassador” (Ambassador of Cuteness). This person’s role is to represent Japan’s vibrant popular culture overseas.

In April, the current Kawaii Ambassador – one of Japan’s biggest pop stars, 20-year-old Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – toured Melrose Avenue, accompanied by Japan’s national media, the Office of Councilmember Koretz, and representatives from the Melrose Avenue Property Owner’s Association. The Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles then hosted a press event to highlight Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s visit to Melrose Avenue. A huge room packed with Japanese TV crews and other reporters (and some Los Angeles tourism, music and fashion experts) heard from Kyary, as she narrated a slide show of images taken when she visited various stores on Melrose and ate at Pink's Hot Dogs!



This media event was viewed, listened to and read about by millions of people in Japan, and it is said that adoring fans will now be eager to come and shop at the sites that were publicized during this pop star’s fun journey along Melrose. Kyary, who headlined in a show at Nokia Theatre the next night, was presented with a certificate of commendation from the City of Los Angeles in order to welcome her and help forge a lasting relationship: Kyary’s team is contemplating establishing operations in the United States, and in particular on Melrose Avenue.



This is particularly exciting and timely for all concerned.  That's because, during the past two years, the Melrose Avenue Property Owner’s Association has worked with the Fifth Council District to create a Business Improvement District. Soon, ballots will be mailed to property owners so that they can vote on this proposal. If it is enacted, the operations of the Business Improvement District will begin in January 2014, and a major focus will be on marketing and promotions.  Councilmember Koretz is always eager to find innovative ways to boost the 5th District’s business centers, and so he looks forward to working with both the country of Japan and the property owners of Melrose Avenue to bring more tourism to the City, and thus improve our local economy.

If you have any questions about the Melrose Business Improvement District, please contact John Darnell at john.darnell@lacity.org or (310) 289-0353.


Legislative update

Last month, Councilmember Koretz introduced a City Council resolution, seconded by Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, that if approved would place the City of Los Angeles in opposition to California State Assembly Bill 343.

The Koretz resolution was referred to the Council’s Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations committee, but before the committee could consider the matter – great news! – AB 343 was withdrawn by its author, State Assemblymember Jim Patterson of Fresno even though it was supported in Sacramento by major agribusiness groups such as the California Cattlemen’s Association, a trade group representing ranchers and beef producers.

Patterson’s proposed legislation, if turned into law, would have required anyone who videotapes, photographs or records incidents of animal cruelty to turn over the evidence to authorities within 48 hours – or face prosecution. Since it can take several weeks to document a pattern of animal abuse, AB 343 would have effectively hampered animal welfare undercover investigators and employee whistle-blowers who are collecting information on systemic animal cruelty at meatpacking plants, slaughterhouses, livestock ranches and farms. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said of this bill, “whistleblowers would have been dissuaded from turning over evidence after the prescribed period of time for fear of prosecution.” Kevin O’Neill, senior director of the ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region, noted that there was “no question about the motives behind the bill: to allow agriculture operations to neglect their responsibility to the American public and end investigations into animal cruelty and food safety.” The bill had been opposed by a widespread coalition of animal welfare, public safety and news organizations.

This message was sent to  by:

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