September 20, 2013

In this issue:

Fracking

Seniors united

Koretz motion on e-cigarettes

Hesby Oaks

Russian regression


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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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 www.lacountyfair.com

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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!


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The Port of Los Angeles
and Councilmember Paul Koretz invite all to attend a Free Export Workshop on Tuesday, October 1st from 1:30pm - 5pm

Location:
Our Lady of Mount Lebanon Cathedral
333 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Experts include:

Trade Development, Port of Los Angeles, US Department of Commerce, US Small Business Administration, Center for International Trade Development, Export-Import Bank of the United States, LA Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association, and the Consul General of Lebanon will be present to discuss:

- How to Export
- Identify Markets
- Financing & Insuring Overseas Sales
- Documentarian & Logistics
- Sea and Air Cargo Services

Light refreshments will be serves at the event.

RSVP: Jean Coronel at jcoronel@portla.org

To register please visit this link.

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How to Participate
in the October 6th
CicLAvia - Heart of LA

Oct. 6, 2013:
CicLAvia -
Heart of LA
Click here for
route details

So... No Cars on the Street. Now What?

CicLAvia - Heart of LA will have 7.5 miles of car-free streets ready to roam in downtown Los Angeles on October 6. Shoes will hit the pavement, tires will roll down the road, music will fill the air and food... oh all the food! But, how does one begin to plan their CicLAvia Day?

Bring out a bike or walk the route? Drive to a nearby parking structure or take public transit? Wear a fluffy pink boa or something from your CicLAvia t-shirt collection? The choices! The pressure!

CicLAvia event orgainzers want to make your day easy. Easy like Sunday morning. That's why they created a fabulous "How to Participate at CicLAvia" page. Here you will find all you need to know about individual and group participation, ways to enjoy the route, suggestions for businesses and for shoppers, ideas for families, and guidelines for disabled participants.

You can also participate in CicLAvia by making a donation to help fund the logistics of putting on the best free community event in LA. Click here to make a donation or text SMILE to 85944 to donate $10.

Make sure to RSVP on Facebook to be kept up-to-date on all CicLAvia - Heart of LA news and share the event with your friends. Thanks, and see you downtown!


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Whether you’re eight or eighty, an individual or with a group, there are many ways for CicLAvia fans to donate a few hours to the event. Every single volunteer plays a vital role in making CicLAvia the amazing car-free, event that Los Angeles loves.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please click here.

Before the event, these passionate people help us:

- Engage the community along each route
- Inform residents and businesses how to participate
- Organize our day-of logistics

On CicLAvia day, enthusiastic supporters help:

- Work side-by-side with Department of Transportation and LAPD officers to manage the flow of traffic on the route and direct car traffic crossing the route
- Provide participants with route and activity information
- Assist with managing the merchandise and materials at Hubs
- Provide free bike repair at Hubs
- Serve as Route Angels – the eyes and ears of CicLAvia within the action of the route

If you are part of a group and would like to bring your group to volunteer, please email volunteer@ciclavia.org and include your group name, number of volunteers, and a number to reach you. 


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       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!

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Coyote Alert!

Living safely with the Wildlife that shares our City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please click here for more information.


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AROUND TOWN

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.

MELROSE NIGHT

Popular food trucks and shops open late as well as offer promotions.

When: First Thursday of every month

Where: Melrose Avenue between Ogden and Stanley


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Get Water Quality Grades on the Go

Beachgoers can now check the latest water quality grades at 650+ West Coast beaches via Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card mobile app for the iPhone or Android, at http://www.beachreportcard.org/.

The new, free Beach Report Card app provides the only access anytime and anywhere to a comprehensive, weekly analysis of coastline water quality. The mobile app delivers A through F grades, weather conditions and user tips throughout beach locations in California, Oregon and Washingtonto swimmers, surfers and anyone who loves going in the ocean water.

In addition to discovering which beaches are safe or unsafe, beachgoers can look up and save their favorite local beaches, as well as learn details on beach closures.

Know before you go!


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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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fracking


Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin and environmental leaders speaking in support of motion regarding fracking

You may have been heard the term “fracking” in the news recently, and wondered what it is and what if anything it might have to do with Los Angeles.   

The answer is unsettling – but first, the good news: Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin have introduced a City Council motion to place a moratorium on fracking in our city. That's because here in California, where our biggest concerns include earthquakes and water, companies are fracking:  pumping unknown chemicals underground to destabilize the rock that makes up the earth beneath us!

Fracking is a process used by oil and gas companies to drill down into the earth and extract oil and gas – mostly from wells that are otherwise depleted. 

Now, here comes a more technical definition: fracking (also known as “hydraulic fracturing”) is an oil and natural gas well stimulation process that involves the very highly-pressurized injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids – containing a mixture of water, sand and unreported amounts of unknown chemicals – into underground geologic formations.  This is done to fracture the rock in the ground, thereby increasing flows to – and furthering the production of – oil or gas from a well.

Other non-conventional methods of well stimulation that are currently at use in the Los Angeles region include “acidizing,” in which large volumes of hydrochloric acid or a hydrochloric/hydrofluoric acid blend are injected into a well in order to dissolve the rock and increase flows, and “gravel packing,” which requires a slurry made up of sand or gravel to be pumped into the well to filter out sand from the stream of oil or natural gas.


Actor and activist Esai Morales exhorts

Despite how concern has been spreading nationwide about any and all of these extraction processes, the state agency charged with overseeing fossil fuel extraction in California – the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) – has not put into place any kind of oversight or regulation to protect the people who live here.  Concerns include the leaching of undisclosed chemicals into the water supply; the leakage of methane gas, which is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide; and, particularly in earthquake-prone California, indications that earthquakes might be made more likely due to wastewater disposal.  The United States Geological Survey has traced earthquakes in Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas to fracking wastewater disposal.  The process in California has remained unregulated, unmonitored, and in the opinion of Councilmembers Koretz and many others, unsafe.

At first, it was hard or impossible to find out where fracking was taking place in Los Angeles, but the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) now tracks much of it. Fracking certainly happens in the City of Los Angeles, but not necessarily in the 5th District.  That doesn’t mean 5th District residents should ignore the risk and damage done to people in nearby local communities – or that earthquake safety and water supplies aren't everyone's concerns. Plus, taxpayers and ratepayers can get stuck with an enormous bill when and where cleanup becomes necessary.  Water contamination due to the leakage of fracking chemicals could pose a tremendous financial liability for taxpayers and ratepayers.  Certainly, the future of Los Angeles depends greatly on a healthy, safe, secure and reliable water supply. 

Due to all of these concerns, Councilmembers Koretz and Bonin co-introduced their motion calling for a moratorium in the City of Los Angeles on these types of extreme well-stimulation processes, until public health, seismic stability and environmental quality factors are all adequately addressed. 

The morning the motion was introduced, a press conference was held to express grave concerns about fracking and support for the motion.  Participants included Councilmembers Koretz and Bonin; actors/activists Ed Begley, Jr. and Esai Morales; Brenna Norton of Food & Water Watch; Al Sattler of the Sierra Club; Angela Johnson Meszaros of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Paul Ferrazzi, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community.

The motion was sent to be heard in the City Council’s Planning & Land Use Management committee. 


Seniors united


Those who came to City Hall in support of the Koretz resolution to protect seniors included people of all ages. Joining them in this picture are Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, and Bob Blumenfield, and Koretz staffers John Darnell and Joan Pelico.

Leaders of senior citizen organizations, along with many seniors and people of all ages who support their cause, recently joined together at L.A. City Hall to cheer on a Paul Koretz City Resolution.

The Resolution, which is to be heard in the City Council’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations committee, supports federal legislation and/or any administrative action aimed at reinstating Older Americans Act funding cut as a result of sequestration.

Months ago, sequestration cuts related to federal funding and programs threatened the well-being of many Los Angeles seniors, and devastating cuts were to have taken place, but the City of Los Angeles, at the prompting of Councilmember Koretz, filled in the gap to protect our seniors. Temporary funding solutions were achieved – otherwise, about a thousand of our most vulnerable L.A. seniors would no longer have received home delivered meals (and/or been removed to waiting lists), due to a cut of approximately 1.6 million dollars that was to be a consequence of sequestration.  Furthermore, over 2,000 seniors would have been turned away at city dining facilities (in multi-purpose and senior centers).  For many of these seniors, the Older Americans Act provides the only hot meal for the day, human interaction and a daily safety check. 

Councilmember Koretz told the City Council and its audience, “We did the right thing to help protect seniors in the face of these cuts, but funding for the Older American Act needs to be restored because that’s what our seniors and this nation deserve.  I want to thank the Department of Aging and its General Manager, Laura Trejo, as well as many senior organizations for their caring leadership and compassionate actions."

Paul S. Castro, CEO, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, noted, “JFS is deeply appreciative of Councilmember Paul Koretz and the Los Angeles City Council’s efforts to protect funding for senior meals. Without it, frail older adults would be at risk of malnutrition, isolation and severe medical complications.  We should not balance the federal budget with cuts that reduce essential services for senior citizens in need of assistance."

Barbara Schulman, a JFS Freda Mohr Home Delivered Meal participant, said, “These meals are a life saver for me. Without them I would be in a nursing home. I have many health issues and I am quite disabled. I cannot stand up to cook or shop. I am grateful for this program, its services and the delicious meals it provides. Thank you all so much." 

Others present to lend support included members of the Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, and the City of Los Angeles Council on Aging.


Koretz motion on e-cigarettes

Councilmember Koretz recently introduced a motion, seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, regarding the growing use of electronic cigarettes by adolescents and young adults.

The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is on the rise among adolescents and young adults. According to recent studies, this trend has captured the attention of public health authorities across the United States.

An alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices to convert nicotine-laced liquid into vapor that is inhaled by the user. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who claim to have used e-cigarettes rose from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% in 2012. Although federal law prohibits the sale of traditional tobacco products to minors, there is no such federal oversight with respect to the sale of e-cigarettes. As a result, more than two dozen states have moved to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors since the year 2010.

In late August of this year, the City Council of Seal Beach, California slotted a 45-day period in which to collect information and conduct studies on the effects of the use of e-cigarettes, at the end of which period of time that city may take action.

The Koretz motion would have the Los Angeles City Attorney prepare and present a City of LA ordinance either establishing a moratorium on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, or extending the City’s current restrictions on the selling of cigarette and tobacco products to the sale of e-cigarettes.  The Councilmember’s motion has been sent to the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging & River committee for its consideration.


Hesby Oaks


Councilmember Koretz and Hesby Oaks Principal David Hirsch at the mural unveiling ceremony on campus

Councilmember Koretz was delighted to participate in a recent, special event at Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter School celebrating the unveiling of a newly painted mural, as well as the unveiling of newly planted trees.

Such school beautification efforts provide wonderful benefits to a school, its students and the entire community, and may have a greatly positive impact on the young people, teachers and everyone else who spends time on campus.

Parents of Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter School students have always put much time, attention and resources into school beautification, with the Hesby Involved Parents (HIP) board regularly devoting some of its budget to making the school ever more friendly and welcoming, including by planting small garden areas and acquiring useful equipment

Because of recent short falls in the district budget, funding at Hesby Oaks that in the past would have been applied to beautification has instead been used to supplement academics. That’s why, when it was learned that Westfield Fashion Square was offering a grant for school beautification, HIP immediately swung into action and submitted an application for a mural, and that application won the grant. At the same time, HIP was able to get ten new trees planted on the Hesby campus, thanks to the City of L.A.’s Million Trees LA program. Councilmember Koretz congratulates HIP and its board; Principal David Hirsch and his school administration and staff; Westfield Fashion Square; Million Trees LA and LA Corps (who planted the trees); the Student Council (which helped raise funds); the entire student body, and all the families and community. 


Russian regression


Councilmembers Bonin, O'Farrell, and Koretz were among the many who spoke out at the sister cities monument

Since the start of 2012, anti-gay laws have been introduced in Russia, including specifically in the City of St. Petersburg, which enjoys “Sister City” status with Los Angeles.

These laws have targeted public displays of affection by people of the same sex, as well as public expressions of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) equality, and even the wearing of sympathetic symbols such as rainbows.

Such oppressive laws, and related harsh crackdowns, have been intolerant and vitriolic, and have placed countless innocent people in danger – not just of judicial torment, fines and imprisonment, but of violent and hateful acts, including physical attacks by members of a public spurred on by the legally sanctified demonizing of individuals guilty only of being themselves.

News of these destructive acts has galvanized people into protest worldwide. Here in Los Angeles, the City Council has felt a special added responsibility because of our “Sister City” relationship with St. Petersburg, and various Council resolutions from the likes of Councilmembers Bonin, O’Farrell and Koretz and former Councilmember Rosendahl are headed toward the Council’s Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations committee.

One Koretz resolution, seconded by Councilmembers Gilbert Cedillo and Paul Krekorian, used the Council’s authority to call for a mayoral letter to the Governor of St. Peterburg, expressing the City’s deep concern over the recent persecution of gay people in Russia, and sought opportunities for dialog using the unique connections provided by “Sister City” status to exchange views on this important matter. Another Koretz resolution, seconded by Councilmember Krekorian, would support legislation urging California's two largest pension plans, CalPERS and CaISTRS, to cease making direct future investments in Russia, and would encourage companies in which employee retirement funds are invested and that are doing business in Russia not to enable human rights violations.

The O’Farrell and Bonin resolution, seconded by Tom LaBonge, detailed oppressive actions aimed at LGBTQ persons in Russia but also in other nations, including in many nations where homosexuality is officially a crime – in some places, such as Uganda, something for which the death penalty has been urged The O’Farrell-Bonin resolution calls on the City to support any legislation and/or administrative effort that would make it easier for the federal government to expand and grant expedited asylums to refugees who are fleeing persecution in another country because of their sexual/gender orientation or identity, or because they oppose anti-gay legislation, discrimination, or violence against LGBTQ persons.

Councilmembers Bonin, O’Farrell, LaBonge and Koretz were among a group of people who joined together last month to unveil a rainbow flag across the street from City Hall.  The flag was paced on the Sister City Monument where it points toward St. Petersburg, and news of this fact was relayed to our Sister City.

 


This message was sent to  by:

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