August 16, 2013

In this issue:

Raoul Wallenberg – The Definition of Courage

National Night Out

A new Chief of Staff – Joan Pelico!

Changes for the 5th Council District

Sock it to me


Congratulations Andy

Encino Little League All Stars: victorious!

Since October 2011, designer drug "Bath Salts" are illegal in Los Angeles


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



The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will be hosting a Mental Health Summit on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm at the West Los Angeles VA, 11301 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90073

This event will help build and sustain collaborative efforts with community providers to enhance mental health and well-being for Veterans and their families.

For more information, please contact:

David Schafer
818-891-7711 ext. 9684


On Thursday, August 22nd, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, the Century City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Speed Networking Night!
Be sure to arrive a half an hour early at 5:00 pm for registration, and be ready to to speed network from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Take a look at this link for all the details!


Don't miss the film series this month that is put on by the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles!

Check out a new film or play during the month of August; time and date varies so take a look at their webpage for more information! These events take place at Freda Mohr Multipurpose Center at 330 N Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.


Pershing Square Free Summer Concert Series

From July to September, enjoy this series of free concerts at Pershing Square, an outdoor area in the heart of Downtown LA, featuring a variety of musical genres and performers. Relax on the grass or sit at one of the tables with umbrellas and enjoy a weekday lunch time show, an evening
swing, or a monthly Sunday afternoon performance.

Wednesdays Lunch Concerts 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m.

Thursdays Alternative Concerts 8:00 p.m.

Friday Nights Film 8:30 p.m.

Saturdays Downtown Stage Concerts 8:00 p.m.

All events are held at Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St.,Downtown Los Angeles

These events are sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
For more information, call 213-847-4970 or check out


Grand Performances Free 2013 Outdoor Concert Series!

Grand Performances’ summer series celebrates our city’s rich diversity through performing arts. Reflecting the best of global culture through an eclectic line up of world music, dance and theater at a stunning outdoor venue in Downtown LA,Grand Performances is where Angelenos make
summer GRAND. This series will be taking place through August 24, 8:00 p.m. at the location of 350 S. Grand Ave., Downtown Los Angeles. For more information, call 213-687-2190 or check out


Don't miss the Annual Los Angeles County Fair! At the granddaddy of all Southland county fairs, Los Angeles County will celebrate its annual fair with carnival rides and games that will flank the midway. Traditional exhibits that delve into fair main stays such as education, art, horticulture, agriculture, and livestock will be displayed as well.
The fair dates this summer are August 31 through September 29, Wednesdays and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 midnight, Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

The fair is located at Pomona Fairplex, 1101W.McKinleyAve., Pomona and the cost varies.
For more information, call 909-623-3111 or take a look at


Calling all golf enthusiasts! The 33rd Annual Century City Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, September 6, 2013.

This event will be located at Robinson Ranch, 27734 Sand Canyon Road, Santa Clarita CA 91387.

Enjoy a day on the course with your clients, colleagues and valued employees.  Registration begins at 8:30AM and the event ends with dinner and an awards banquet at 5PM. Please visit the event webpage for more information and instructions on how to sign up!


Join Heal the Bay for the biggest volunteer day on the planet! Thousands of Southern Californians will clean over 50 beach and inland locations in L.A. County on Coastal Cleanup Day, September 21, 2013.

Last year in California alone, nearly 63,000 volunteers removed over 871,580 pounds of trash and recyclable waste covering more than 1,500 miles!

It's easier than ever to personally fundraise for this Coastal Cleanup day. Once you sign up, you can create a fundraising page and share with friends and family. Volunteers who raise $100 or more get a Heal the Bay t-shirt!

Be part of the change and sign up now! 


       It was the world’s first…

It remains California’s largest…

AIDS Walk Los Angeles is coming up — register today!

Sunday, October 13 will be a powerful day of activism,
remembrance, and COMMUNITY spirit.

When you register and fundraise, you help AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) radically reduce the rate of new HIV infections, connect people living with HIV/AIDS to life-sustaining care, and fight the stigma and healthcare disparities that contribute to the epidemic.

By walking and encouraging those closest to you to join your efforts, you power the vital services of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) – its Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries that serve as a lifeline for many thousands who face HIV and hunger; its HIV prevention programs for youth and others at highest risk for HIV infection; and its bold public policy efforts to end AIDS in Los Angeles County and beyond.

Register today and get your spouse, partner, kids, parents, siblings and all your extended family of friends to walk for an AIDS-free generation!


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.



Motor Avenue Farmers' Market

Weekly community event featuring fresh produce, French crepes, hot tamales, and artisanal sauces, musical acts, vintage clothing, as well as handcrafted items by local artists and designers and children’s activities like pony rides and a petting zoo.

When: Every Sunday from 9am to 2pm, year-round, Rain or Shine

Where: National Blvd west of Motor Avenue

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.


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

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!


Call 5-1-1 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 5-1-1. You can also use this to report obstacles or hazards in the road, (but wait until you have stopped driving to call!). Calls to 5-1-1 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

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.orgto sign up for this newsletter.

Raoul Wallenberg – The Definition of Courage

Councilmember Paul Koretz with Holocaust survivors Erica Leon and Andrew Stevens in front of the statue of Wallenberg

Do you know who Raoul Wallenberg was or what he did?  

During World War II, when Jews in Budapest were marked with a yellow star and slated for extermination by the Nazis, Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat serving in Hungary, shielded and rescued them, which is why he has become known as "The Swedish Angel of Rescue," and "The Swedish Angel of Mercy." 

When Jews were sent on marches to their imminent death, he followed with food and water that gave them life.  When they were herded on trains on their way to concentration camps, he pulled them off, even with German soldiers aiming their guns at him and being ordered to shoot. He made up and distributed far more "Swedish protective passes" than were actually allowed, and even though those passes had little if any actual authority, he used them to bluff the Nazi officials and their collaborators, and thus saved countless lives. He created "Swedish houses" to shelter Jewish refugees. He said that he would never be able to go back home to Sweden if he didn’t know inside himself that he had done all he could do to save as many people as possible.  Unfortunately, he never made it back, because he was captured, ironically by Soviet forces pushing the German troops into total defeat, and was never heard from again, with rumored sightings reported over the years, but also rumors circulating of his eventual death.

On August 5th, 2013, Councilmember Paul Koretz hosted an event, in conjunction with Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, to rededicate the statue of Raoul Wallenberg that stands at the northeast corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The City of Los Angeles declared August 5, the day of the statue's rededication, as Raoul Wallenberg Day.  Over 200 people attended to hear from holocaust survivors who had been saved by Wallenberg, and from elected officials and many other dignitaries. 

As Councilmember Koretz said to mark the occasion, "Los Angeles is proud and privileged to honor Raoul Wallenberg, who at great risk to himself saved as many as 100,000 lives of innocent people during the Holocaust.  His transcendent humanitarianism shone bright even in the midst of unspeakable evil, and so he will forever remain an extraordinary inspiration.  Therein lies the lesson of his life; which is that it is not enough to simply to bear witness to man’s capacity for evil, but that it is essential that we have the courage to choose – and that we choose to do all we can do to summon inside ourselves our capacity for good.  As we rededicate the statue of Mr. Wallenberg in our great city, we reaffirm our duty that in the face of indifference let us choose compassion, in the face of intolerance let us stand against anti-Semitism and hatred in all its forms.  In the face of oppression, let us defend the universal rights of all human beings.  In the face of evil, let us refuse to be bystanders, and let us fulfill that solemn pledge 'never again.’”

The Councilmember also thanked religious and community leaders, organizations, institutions that made the statue and this event possible, with special gratitude being expressed for the particularly notable efforts of Stanley Treitel, CD5 staffer John Darnell, Jewish Family Service, and the Musem of the Holocaust.

August 4th, the day before the statue's rededication, would have been Raoul Wallenberg's 101st birthday.  The statue had been unveiled nearly 25 years ago, on December 4th, 1988, and was designed by the late Italian artist, Franco Assetto.  It features a bronze silhouette of a man with his hand extended, flanked by two stainless steel wings, symbolizing Wallenberg’s role as an angel of mercy.  The drive to create the monument was spearheaded by John Brooks, a Hungarian Jew who was saved by Wallenberg.  In the year prior to the statue’s erection, the street corner on which it now stands was given the name "Raoul Wallenberg Square."

National Night Out

Councilmember Koretz honors Officer Victor Perez

For thirty years, “National Night Out” events have been held in communities across the country, as a way to encourage a friendly spirit of community while promoting crime prevention.

This year, National Night Out was celebrated across our country on Tuesday, August 6th (though Texas communities are allowed to hold it at another time due to the potential, exceptional heat they experience).  Though the events might vary from community to community, the common thread is the pleasure felt throughout a neighborhood when people know it’s safe to go out and enjoy each other’s company. Often there is live music and other entertainment, and food is brought by local sponsoring restaurants and other businesses, or as “pot luck” contributions by local residents.

On August 6, over 1,000 people joined the Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch, LAPD Wilshire Division, Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Office of Councilmember Paul Koretz, for the 5th annual National Night Out at Poinsettia Recreation Center.  As always, the objective was to connect the community with the LAPD, and to have a good time while doing it.  The City’s Million Trees Program provided 100 free trees to residents, area restaurants generously provided food, there were animal adoptions and information from the City’s Department of Animal Services, and folks who came enjoyed a viewing of classic police cars.  Captain Eric Davis from LAPD Wilshire Division and Melrose Action founder, Peter Nichols, addressed the crowd to welcome everyone and wish them a good time.

In Mar Vista, as part of its National Night Out, a very special commemoration, "A Good Night to Get to Know Your Neighbors," was held.  Turnout that night at Mar Vista Recreation Center was incredible, with hundreds attending ready to partake in such attractions as a self defense class, BBQ, and a softball game, closing with a movie night. The evening was coordinated in partnership with the Mar Vista Neighborhood Association, Westdale Homeowners Association, the Mar Vista Community Council, Pacific Area Boosters and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.  LAPD Senior Lead Officer Juan Ceja helped coordinate a very special presentation honoring Officers Victor Perez and Marjorie Israel for their bravery and dedication in so ably helping to protect the neighborhood of Palms, a couple of months ago, when a routine pullover yielded a suspect now held in custody for the mass production of pipe bombs.

In the San Fernando Valley, National Night Out was quite the movie night for many parents and children at Randal Simmons Park, The Los Angeles Police Department, West Valley Division celebrated their 30th anniversary of National Night Out.  This NNO event, though not held in the 5th District, was close enough to many District residents who were welcome to attend.  Parents and children were able to enjoy free popcorn – along with a viewing of the film, Despicable Me – while nestled in their blankets. Many local community residents, along with Community Police Advisory Board members, served lemonade and warm chocolate chip cookies that were graciously provided by McDonalds. More than two hundred residents attended.

Councilmember Koretz and his staff congratulates, thanks and salutes everyone who made these and other NNO events such enjoyable successes!  NNO is incredibly helpful in creating positive and friendly bonds between neighbors, and between the community and law enforcement, and helps raise awareness about public safety, and that’s to everyone’s great benefit. 

A new Chief of Staff – Joan Pelico!

Chief of Staff Joan Pelico and LAPD Captain Eric Davis

The 5th Council District has a new Chief of Staff:  Joan Pelico.  She may be new to the post, but she’s a longtime and treasured presence in communities of the 5th District, having served as Councilmember Koretz’ district director for more than three years (she had begun with Councilmember Koretz as his senior field deputy).

As the new Chief of Staff, Joan’s responsibilities will still include overseeing both field offices, and she will undoubtedly spend at least 2 days a week in the district offices. Wherever she is, she brings an outstanding legacy and ongoing commitment of service benefiting our local neighborhoods and constituents.

Joan has a great history with the 5th District, working closely in the field with its communities and constituents.  She started with the office when Jack Weiss was Councilmember, serving as Valley field deputy and then Valley field director. She has won awards from many community organizations and also has a distinguished background working hand-in-hand with schools, including as the volunteer president and director of development of a school’s parents association.
She also has an extensive background in business, and was an innovator in the fitness field, creating safe practices and standards for exercise classes and personal training:  hers was the only school approved by the State of California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction to certify and train aerobic teachers and personal trainers.  She has served as a head judge and international judge of aerobics championships, has modeled and been president of the board of a CPR committee.  She worked with Cedars-Sinai and created their Senior Shape-Up Program, through which she taught exercise to seniors for 18 years until she started working with the Council Office in 2005.

Joan loves working with seniors and children, and is the devoted mom of her 19-year-old daughter, Rachel.  

Changes for the 5th Council District

Los Angeles City Hall is always a busy place of change, departure and opportunity, once an election cycle has been completed

That seems to be especially true this year, with the conclusion of L.A.’s recent municipal elections.  Seven of the fifteen Council districts have Councilmembers who were just recently sworn in for a first term on the Council. All three citywide offices – Mayor, City Attorney and Controller – have changed hands. Transition is omnipresent, with some people leaving city service behind, others coming in fresh, and many who were already serving finding new opportunities and challenges being offered.


Here in the 5th Council District, major changes have occurred.  Chief of Staff Rich Llewellyn was asked to run the transition team for Eric Garcetti, and Mayor Garcetti has now asked him to be Counsel to the Mayor, and so Rich is leaving the 5th Council District to provide legal advice and serve as a senior advisor to Mayor Garcetti on many issues. He will be much missed by Councilmember Koretz, CD 5 staff, and 5th District communities and constituents.  Also being much missed will be Office Manager Tammy Louie, who has joined CD 3 as its Office Manager; Legislative Deputy (and former Field Deputy) David Giron, who has become the Legislative Director for Mitch O’Farrell (Council District 13); Field Deputy Wesly Hernandez, who has joined the staff of Councilmember Felipe Fuentes in order to oversee the 7th District’s Sunland-Tujunga field office; and Legislative Deputy (and former field deputy) Sarah Mallory, who is now at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she will be gaining her MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Service.

Inside moves …

Along with Joan Pelico becoming the new Chief to Staff, there are other important changes:

David Hersch has been promoted to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff.  David has a wealth of legislative and governmental experience in City Hall, having worked for nearly twenty years for several council offices before coming to CD 5. David also has longtime experience working with Paul Koretz, for he served in a leadership role on then-Assemblymember Paul Koretz’ staff in Sacramento, and began his career in public service as his deputy in West Hollywood. David will work closely with Joan and continue to provide leadership to the City Hall staff on legislative, budgetary and planning issues, while also working in the field and meeting with key constituent leaders.

Gurmet Khara, Encino Field Deputy

Gurmet Khara joined the CD 5 staff as an intern, and she was of great help both in City Hall and at the Valley District Office. Soon after, she came on board as Council Deputy, and is now Field Deputy for the areas of Encino, Beverly Crest, and Bel Air.  Gurmet assists residents and community organizations by serving as a liaison to City Departments. She also represents the Council Office at local Neighborhood Council, Homeowners Association and Neighborhood Watch meetings. Gurmet was born and raised in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.  She graduated from Cal State Northridge with a major in Political Science and minor in Economics. During her time at Cal State Northridge, Gurmet was an active member of the Student Union Association where she helped coordinate special events.  Outside of council responsibilities, Gurmet enjoys trying out the local hangout spots on Ventura Blvd., occasional hikes, swimming and soaking in the sun.

Also, Field Deputy John Darnell has become Senior Field Deputy/Social Service Advocate; Executive Assistant and Scheduler Sheila Kouhkan has become Community Liaison; and Tania Bradkin has become Field Deputy for SoRo, Palms and Beverlywood.

And some new faces…

The 5th District has some great new staff members!

Elaine de Leon, Executive Assistant and Scheduler

Elaine De Leon
is the new Executive Assistant and Scheduler, having performed similar duties for City Controller Wendy Greuel.  Elaine served as director of scheduling and office manager before that, for Ms. Greuel when she was a Councilmember.  Prior to coming to City Hall, Elaine, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism, was an executive assistant, public affairs and international marketing, for the Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Brian Perry, Legislative Deputy

Brian Perry
joins “Team Koretz” after 12 years as Chief Legislative Deputy for Councilmember Dennis Zine, with previous experience working for the U.S. Congress and California State Senate, having earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  He will now help coordinate oversight of the following committees: Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and Rivers; Budget and Finance; Education and Neighborhoods; Public Safety; Trade, Commerce and Tourism; and Transportation.

He’s a member of the Magic Castle, and an avid baseball fan, (a 23-year Dodger season ticket holder who has caught 3 foul balls at Dodger Stadium), and was the 2006 National Winner of the Fantasy game, “Beat the Streak.”  In his spare time, he enjoys the beach, movies, plays, reality TV, and vacationing in the sun.

Katherine Hennigan, Ecomonic Development Director

Katherine Hennigan
is the Economic Development Director for Council District Five; her responsibilities include overseeing all field operations in the Westwood community and spurring economic development throughout CD5. She has served the City of Los Angeles for more than nine years, most recently as a Senior Policy Director in the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy, where she had responsibility for the Hollywood film and entertainment community. She is excited to rejoin the staff of Council District 5, where she previously served as the planning deputy.

Katherine shares Councilmember Koretz's interest in keeping entertainment productions, and the many jobs they create, right here in the entertainment capital of the world, and she enjoys working with the entertainment industry to make Los Angeles the most attractive location for film and television productions.

In addition to her work, Katherine is actively involved in the community. Among several volunteer positions, she previously served as Board Chair of Women Against Gun Violence, a nonprofit organization, and is a proud supporter of her alma mater, Loyola Marymount University.  Katherine earned her masters degree in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California, and holds a B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University.

Cara Goldman
 grew up in New York City and attended the United Nations School, until she moved to Los Angeles with her family. She went to Oakwood School in North Hollywood and Beverly Hills High School and graduated from UCSB.  She has been married for 17 years and has a teenage son and they live in West Hills. 

For most of her life she worked in the entertainment industry: at Paramount Studios for 20 years and MTM Studios (now CBS on Radford)  as a production and script coordinator on such shows as "Newhart", "Sister, Sister" and "Seinfeld".  For the last 5 1/2 years she worked for then Councilmember Dennis P. Zine as a Case Manager for Tarzana, Woodland Hills and Winnetka until he termed out in June, 2013, and she has strong relations with many city departments and agency leadership.  In her spare time she plays tennis and loves spending time with her friends and family.

Maria Aguiniga, Office Manager

Maria Aguiniga
is the new Office Manager for the 5th District Council Office.  She held the same post previously with the 3rd Council District, though she began her 12 years with that office of Councilmember Zine as a Council Aide.  This will not be her first time serving the 5th Council District, for she was a Council Aide back when Mike Feuer was 5th District Councilmember.

She has also been a mayoral aide for Mayor Richard Riordan, and a receptionist for the Board of Recreation and Parks. She was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, attended ELAC and CSUN, and loves spending time with her two girls, Leahanna and Justine, and reading, going to the theater, watching movies, and jogging.  

Rachel Koretz, Council Aide

Rachel Koretz
is a Council Aide, three days a week, serving in the field and in City Hall.  A graduate from UCLA, where she earned her BA in Psychology, she loves animals, movies and friends, and has been a volunteer in many political, governmental and community endeavors.

Sock it to me

City Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz, Herb Wesson, Curren Price, Nury Martinez, Mitch Englander, Mitch O'Farrell, Felipe Fuentes, Joe Buscaino, Bob Blumenfeild, and Jose Huizar

Councilmember Koretz and his office are delighted to join in a unique competition involving... socks!

In the next two weeks, all fifteen City Council Offices will vie to see which one can collect the largest number of donated new and used socks. Homeless men, women and children in Los Angeles will be the eventual recipients, for the drive runs until August 28, and all socks collected will be donated to the Midnight Mission in Downtown L.A.

Councilman Joe Buscaino came up with the idea, though he was inspired to do so by an unusual gift. On the opening day of the new Council session, Council President Herb Wesson gave each Councilmember a colorful pair of socks. Wesson jokingly suggested that Buscaino put together a “crazy sock day,” and the 15th District Councilmember took it to heart, and came up with a neat way to help people who are in need and can benefit from the simple addition of a pair of socks.

Socks are a humble yet valuable gift for homeless people, for currently, it can be surprisingly difficult to find socks amid donated clothing. That's because many kind people who donate to charity scour their closets and drawers for decent shoes, jackets, pants, shirts, and other garments to give, but think it's best just to throw the used socks away.

If you have any socks to donate, please bring them (washed, if possible) to either the 5th District's West L.A. Office (822 S. Robertson Blvd., Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90035; 310-289-0353), our Valley Office (15760 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1020, Encino, CA 91436; 818-971-3099), or our City Hall Office (200 N. Spring Street, Room 440, Los Angeles, CA 90012; 213-473-7005). We will be accepting socks between the hours of 10am and 5pm, Mondays through Fridays through August 28.


Left to right: Ron Gershman, Catherine Gershman, and Gregory Castle at the grand opening of the new NKLA Adoption Center

On August 11th, Councilmember Koretz attended the Grand Opening of the NKLA Pet Adoption Center in Council District 5.

NKLA, which stands for No Kill Los Angeles, is an initiative of the Best Friends Animal Society.  Best Friends currently runs a former city shelter in Mission Hills, and Councilmember Koretz is pleased that they have brought their compassion for animal welfare to the 5th District. At the Grand Opening, Councilmember Koretz was joined by Gregory Castle, the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society; Francis Battista, one of the founders of the organization, and Ron and Catherine Gershman, who donated the facility to NKLA. Lee Clow, the creative force behind the famous NKLA billboards featured throughout the city, was also in attendance. All of these individuals, plus the hundreds of people who came for this important "grand opening" event, have demonstrated through their commitment regarding animal welfare issues that Los Angeles is well on its way to becoming a No Kill city by 2017.
Please be sure to visit this new NKLA Adoption center at 1845 Pontius Avenue.  

Councilmember Koretz speaks at the NKLA grand opening

NKLA is a coalition of animal welfare organizations, city shelters and passionate individuals.  Led by Best Friends Animal Society, NKLA is dedicated to providing spay/neuter services where they are needed most so that fewer animals go into shelters, and more are adopted out of the shelters and go into new homes through the combined efforts of the NKLA coalition.  In 2012, the coalition's first year of existence, L.A. shelter deaths decreased 12 months in a row, culminating in 4,200 fewer animals killed than in the year prior. Also in 2012, the NKLA Coalition facilitated 23,421 adoptions and 4,458 spay/neuter surgeries were performed.

Congratulations Andy

Andy Shrader and Julie Fullerton

Councilmember Koretz and the Fifth District staff congratulate the office's Deputy of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, Andy Shrader, and his lovely bride and soul mate, Julie Fullerton, on the wonderful occasion of their recent marriage.   Theirs was a sublime wedding ceremony, held at Wishtoyo Village on the Pacific Coast.  Best wishes to Andy and Julie for all the joyous years ahead!

Encino Little League All-Stars:  victorious!

Congratulations to the Encino Little League's 10-11 Year Old All-Stars team for their recent BIG win in becoming this season's Southern California Champions, by triumphing over the Allied Garden's Little League in El Cajon on July 27th and 28th.

The Encino Little League and its winning team have come a long way on the road to this momentous championship win. Many of the players have been active in little league baseball since the age of six. The team was the first in the 58-year history of the Encino Little League to win the title. The Fifth District joins with the proud players, parents, families, coaches and the entire Encino community in applauding the great commitment and achievement of these young athletes and new Southern California champions!

Since October 2011, designer drug “Bath Salts” are illegal in Los Angeles

As you may have seen in newspaper and television news coverage this past week, the sale and use of the dangerous designer drugs known as “bath salts” became illegal in the City of Redlands in San Bernardino County, on Friday, August 16.  The Redlands City Council instituted such a ban because of significant loopholes in any state and federal regulations regarding the possession, use or sale of bath salts.
However, the City of Los Angeles already took such steps back in October 2011, when an ordinance proposed by Councilmember Koretz was approved by the City Council and signed into law by the Mayor. 

That law banned the sale or possession of the incredibly dangerous designer drugs misleadingly labeled as “bath salts.”  A rising tide of such substances had been sweeping across the nation and heading toward California, though up until that time, the worst reports of horrifically violent incidents and increased usage related to incidents in the southern and central states. Of particular concern to Councilmember Koretz was the lack of applicable laws, not just in Los Angeles but across the country, leading to the easy and legal availability of the drugs, which were marketed deceptively and sold at head shops and convenience stores, including to the unwary. 
Here in Los Angeles, as bath salts were
starting to appear, news reports even told of bath salts being given away as samples to innocent pedestrians passing by on Hollywood Boulevard.

Because of the attention raised by the Koretz motion, culminating in a new law in October, 2011, Southern California law enforcement, treatment providers and those who might use or sell such substances were placed on the alert about bath salts and what their usage might entail, including the symptoms, hazards and penalties.


Councilmember Koretz at the VICA annual luncheon

On Thursday, August 15th, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association – VICA – held its annual Local Officeholders Luncheon at the Beverly Garland Hotel in Sherman Oaks.  As always, it was a fun, informative and successful event.

Councilmember Koretz was joined by several of his Council colleagues, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, and Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin.  Each year the elected officials in attendance are asked a question that they must answer at the luncheon.  This year Councilmember Koretz was asked to address a question in regard to the city's budget shortfall.  The Councilmember stated "I’m a big believer that a lot has been achieved and can continue to be achieved through increased efficiencies and greater transparency and accountability.  But we also need to be better prepared, in the future, for when economic calamities hit, so that we can weather such storms without going through such an existential crisis." 

This message was sent to  by:

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