July 18, 2014

Contact Information

West LA Office
822 S. Robertson Blvd.
Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 289-0353

Valley Office
15760 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 600
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 971-3088

City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Room 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005


Get Water Quality Grades on the Go

Beachgoers can now check the latest water quality grades at 650+ West Coast beaches via Heal the Bays 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!


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.


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


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

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

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

Mayor Garcetti appoints Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas to be next Chief of L.A. Fire Department

At a July 15 press conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he was appointing LAFD Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas to be the next Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department.  Joining the Mayor for the announcement were Terrazas and L.A. Fire Commission President Delia Ibarra.

Terrazas' nomination is subject to confirmation by the City Council (which returns from its summer recess on July 28).

Terrazas has served 30 years with LAFD, including 21 years as a Fire Officer and 14 years of major command experience as a Chief Officer.  "Reforming the fire department is vital to the safety of our families and to my back-to-basics agenda," said Mayor Garcetti. "After an exhaustive nationwide search, I have decided there is no better person to cut response times, improve technology, and bring reform to the Los Angeles Fire Department than Chief Ralph Terrazas."

Commission President Ibarra described Terrazas as “the ideal leader to shape a strong future for the Los Angeles Fire Department through a rare combination of field experience and management skill.”

Chief Terrazas prioritizes “transforming the LAFD into a metric driven, technologically sophisticated, community-focused organization that is reflective of the communities we serve. I want to thank Mayor Garcetti, and I believe this is confirmation for his trust and confidence in the men and women of the LAFD."

Terrazas established the Professional Standards Division and was responsible for all aspects of the LAFD disciplinary system.  He was also instrumental in the passage of Proposition F, a $532 million bond for 19 new fire stations.  He holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Public Administration, as well as a U.S. Patent.

Pick Pico

Without a doubt, a time of special fun in the 5th District is the annual Pick Pico event – the official Westside Neighborhood Council Street Fair!

This year, according to LAFD Station 92, there were around 2500 attendees on hand to enjoy the live entertainment, sample the food of local restaurants and view the work of local artists. A wonderful atmosphere of happy people and delightful activities abounded. Congressmember Karen Bass and Councilmember Koretz were among the elected officials so very pleased to make the rounds – indeed, the Councilmember rocked the house by singing “Pico and Sepulveda,” a song until now most closely associated with Freddy Martin (under the alias, “Felix Figueroa”) and his orchestra, with their rendering played frequently on the Dr. Demento radio show in the 1970s.

Councilmember Koretz thanks all who made the Street Fair possible, including the Westside Neighborhood Council, bands from Westwood Charter and Overland Elementary Schools, Little Village People Band, Adam’s Music, Westside Tavern, Station 92 and many, many more.  

A boon for Bel Air

For the community of Bel Air, July 15 was a day of important rulings.

That morning, the City of L.A.'s Building and Safety Commission held a hearing regarding a haul route application for the 10697 Somma Way project in Bel Air.  After listening to the concerns of Councilmember Koretz and the community, ranging from street safety to the amount of dirt being removed, the Commission accepted the request of Councilmember Koretz and granted a continuance of 45 days, while instructing the developer and community to work with the council office on formulating potential conditions that might be applied for the duration of the haul route.

Later that afternoon, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety issued a “Notice to stop all construction and notice of intent to revoke building permits” related to the 901 Stradda Vechhia project in Bel Air. This action followed directly on the heels of a letter sent by Councilmember Koretz to department general manager Ray Chan, urging him to “put a hold on all project permits and order all work at this property to cease so your Department has an opportunity to study the issues raised by community members.”

In that letter, the Councilmember noted that, “Compelling evidence has been brought to my attention indicating that a massive residential project under construction at 901 Strada Vecchia may have evaded multiple required entitlements and California Environmental Quality Act review as a result of misrepresentations in the project’s permit plans.”  The Councilmember added that the developer has appeared to ignore Orders to Comply issued by LADBS.  The letter also mentioned unpermitted grading and demolishing as well as the possibility of excessive numbers of retaining walls on the property, and indicated that the site’s natural grade may have been misrepresented in order to permit a project that exceeds the Code’s height limit. 

Councilmember Koretz additionally cited slope failures and landslides, and said, “It is hard to believe that a project that looks more like the Getty Center than a home could have been built without a single discretionary entitlement or public input…Before the aesthetics and safety of the surrounding community are further compromised, all construction activities in the property should cease,” while evidence is being carefully studied:  “It is one thing for a developer to build a large home because the Code allows him to do so.  It is altogether a different thing when the Code may have been skirted, with an entire community’s way of life in jeopardy.”

Building and Safety’s Notice, issued hours later, stated that “The Height of the single family dwelling exceeds the height limit as permitted by the Los Angeles Municipal Code,” and that “As per the inspection records, as built construction does not reflect the approved construction shown on the approved set of plans.”  All construction work approved under the pertinent building permits was therefore ordered stopped immediately.  Procedurally, the developer has until July 30, 2014 to call the appropriate people at Building and Safety to address this matter and provide reasons why these permits should not be revoked; otherwise they are to be revoked on that date. 

July 15 was important for Bel Air because of what transpired that day, but it is important to note that there have been months and years of crucial effort, as development has intensified due to the improving economy and the extraordinary desirability of homes in that community. Ongoing construction too often results in a neighborhood being flooded with  illegally parked cars, so the Councilmember sought and achieved an increase in the amount of red curbs near active construction sites, plus the parking patrol was increased to 3 times a week throughout the Bel Air community and parking signage around construction sites was improved. When one project deviated from its haul route, the Koretz office, with the help of Building and Safety, was able to gain suspension of all activity to that site for one week – a substantial, costly penalty for the developer and one that led to corrections.  The 5th District office also achieved an increased presence of the LAPD Commercial Unit that inspects and monitors all commercial activity taking place in Bel Air. The California Highway Patrol has also visited Bel Air, per the request of CD 5, to inspect the haul routes and the trucks. 

Throughout such efforts, the Councilmember and his staff have worked closely with the Neighborhood Council, the Bel Air Association, and other involved constituents. Councilmember Koretz thanks the community and the many who been engaged in these key issues.

Chinese delegation

The City Council is in its summer recess through July 25, but there continue to be meetings of all kinds taking place in City Hall and in the district.  On July 11, Councilmember Koretz met with a delegation that consisted of many officials and other dignitaries from Shenzen, a major city in Southern China's Guangdong Province.   The delegation, which came to Los Angeles as part of the University of Southern California's International Public Policy and Management Program, spent much time enthusiastically discussing trade, transportation, economic and environmental issues and opportunities with the Councilmember.

It's Century Crunch time!

The “Century Crunch” will take place the weekend of July 25-28 to allow for future construction of a new light rail station at Century/Aviation.

This key intersection near an entrance to LAX will be CLOSED for 57 hours beginning 9 p.m. Friday, July 25 until 6 a.m. Monday, July 28 in connection with construction of the Crenshaw/LAX project.

Century Blvd. is a major artery leading into LAX, and the closure is occurring during one of the busiest travel times of the year. It also will restrict traffic on Aviation Boulevard. An estimated 92,800 motorists travel through the intersection on a daily basis; the message is: Plan Ahead, Use Public Transit or Stay Away!

Voices of LA:  The Krupnick Festival off the Arts

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles is a 5thDistrict mainstay that’s quite crucial to the City of Los Angeles.  For 60 years, The Foundation has helped individuals, institutions and professional advisors have the greatest possible impact on both the Jewish community and the community at large.  The Foundation currently manages assets of more than $900 million and ranks among the 11 largest Los Angeles foundations (based on assets). In 2013, The Foundation and its more than 1,000 donors distributed $65 million in grants to hundreds of organizations with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving.

One lovely initiative that’s taking place in 2014, thanks to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, is Voices of LA:  The Krupnick Festival of the Arts.  This is a citywide collaborative series bringing Jewish artists together with artmakers from diverse communities across Los Angeles to create original works featuring musicians, dancers, spoken word and visual artists.  The first events have already taken place, but a number more are still scheduled throughout the City, leading up to the “Culminating Festival” which will take place Sunday, September 14 at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.  All events and performances are FREE and open to the public, but an RSVP required.  For more information, please visit http://www.voicesoflafest.com/.

Summer fun

Close to 200 people came to Palms Recreation Center for the July 9th screening of the Disney film, Cool Running.  Young and old alike were delighted by this 1993 movie that is based on the true – but seemingly improbable – story of the Jamaican bobsled team and the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Councilmember Koretz thanks the Westside Neighborhood Council for joining him in co-sponsoring this family fun event.  Also much appreciated is Laura Canfield of the Palms Recreation Center, which did a great job of hosting this screening.  Upcoming flicks at the Rec Center include Matilda on July 23rd and (the original movie version of) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, on August 6.  

Summer of Learning

This summer, thousands of young Angelenos are able to enjoy a unique opportunity with a splendid endeavor known as the 2014 Los Angeles Summer of Learning.

Young learners age three to twenty-four can participate in online and in-person programs offering opportunities to earn digital badges in topics ranging from swimming to robotics and writing to fashion. Best of all, most of the programs are free! The Los Angeles Summer of Learning is a collaboration of Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, parks, community-based organizations, museums and many others throughout Los Angeles.

In-person classes are offered at some of Los Angeles’ biggest cultural institutions such as the L.A. County Museum of Art, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Getty Center, in addition to classes at city parks, schools and libraries.  Online opportunities and sign up happen via summeroflearning.la.

Students can enroll now through the end of July on summeroflearning.la and choose topics they are most interested in. Once they complete a program, the student is awarded a
badge.  For every badge earned another class will be suggested, giving youth the opportunity to “level up” or continue on their personal pathway to success. 

Students also have an opportunity to get a jumpstart on their professional dreams. To gain the Workforce Readiness Badge, students must earn five badges, such as Basic Job Skills and Build a Resume. Achieving these five badges unlocks the City of Los Angeles & LAUSD/Beyond the Bell's Workforce Ready Badge. Completing this also unlocks the LA Chamber of Commerce’s Work Ready Certification Badge to open up a world of professional possibilities. For more information on this, see: http://summeroflearning.la/workforce-readiness-challenge.

The Los Angeles Summer of Learning is inspired by the idea of Connected Learning, a national movement based on the idea that learning happens anywhere and everywhere.  The program started in Chicago in 2013 and has since grown nationwide in cities such as Dallas, Columbus and Washington, D.C. This year’s Los Angeles program is the most ambitious endeavor yet, as not city has yet partnered with their school district to access as many learners as possible.

The program is made possible by private donations, including $500,000 from JPMorgan Chase, and $200,000 from the California Endowment. The MacArthur Foundation, which helped Chicago pilot the program last summer, has also provided valuable technical assistance in designing the program, the website and digital badges.

Puckish in Encino

A Midsummer Night's Dream has dazzled and delighted countless audiences, and so the night of August 7th looms special for Encino.  From 7-9pm, Shakespeare By the Sea, joined by Valley Cultural Center, Encino Chamber of Commerce and Encino Community Center, will be presenting – free to attend! – that wondrous comedy at Encino Park (formerly Genesta Park), 16953 Ventura Blvd. in Encino.

This marvelous theatrical presentation is sponsored by Councilmember Koretz, Encino Neighborhood Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks, IMT Residential, and McDonald's of Encino.  As has already been proclaimed, but is always great news to announce, admission is free.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase, though folks can bring their own picnic.  Of course, everyone is also invited to bring friends and family, plus lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

Come, and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5 – National Night Out!

For many communities throughout this nation, August 5 is "National Night Out” – a time when a joyous spirit of community is celebrated, and the right of people to enjoy safety from crime is honored.  These events may differ from place to place, and some are on the scale of a block party while others might be more massive community endeavors. "National Night Out" festivities might include some food and entertainment, perhaps even a speech or two, but whatever the night offers, the most precious benefit is that it is a splendid opportunity for neighbors to come together, often through a neighborhood watch and with our police invited to join in the friendly fun of such a community get-together.

As we get closer to the Tuesday, August 5th date, this "Hi 5" newsletter will give more detailed informatiom about various National Night Out happenings, but you might want to take early note of the following two:

From 5:30-8pm that August 5th night, the LAPD & Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch National Night Out will be held at Pointsettia Recreation Center (Sports Field), 7341 Willoughby Avenue.  This is always a massively attended blockbuster event!

At 6pm, National Night Out and the LAPD West Valley Division will present "Movie in the Park" -- with the feature presentation being, The Sandlot.  This will take place at LAPD Swat Officer Randal D. Simmons Park, at the corner of Vanowen Street and Wilbur Avenue, next door to West Valley Station (19020 Vanowen Street, Reseda).  Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic basket.

This message was sent to  by:

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