September 04, 2014

Contact Information

West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 866-1828

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


Friends of the Roberston Library Used Book Sale - Two Days Only!

Monday September 8th 10 am - 7:30 pm
Tuesday September 9th 12:30 - 7:30 pm

Robertson Public Library
1719 S. Robertson Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035


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

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.


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.

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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 to sign up for this newsletter.

Stand Up To Cancer on, Friday, September 5th at 8pm

On August 27th, Councilmember Koretz was once again delighted to help lead a media event honoring Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) in advance of one of SU2C’s global telecasts:  the 4th such telecast will be held Friday night, September 5th at 8pm, and will feature many stars while airing on a vast array of major broadcast and cable TV outlets, live and commercial-free.

Joining Councilmember Koretz in honoring Stand Up To Cancer on Aug. 27th were Mayor Eric Garcetti, as well as Joan Pelico, the Councilmember’s Chief of Staff and a cancer survivor. On hand representing Stand Up To Cancer were SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors members Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Ellen Ziffren, Pam Williams and Kathleen Lobb, and SU2C Ambassador Marg Helgenberger and Italia Ricci, star of ABC Family’s “Chasing Life.”

The day of the media event, Councilmember Koretz introduced a City Council motion that declared September 5 to be “Stand Up To Cancer Day” in the City of Los Angeles.  He noted that, “Stand Up To Cancer strives, tenaciously and heroically, to rid us of the scourge of cancer…Stand Up To Cancer raises immense funds, and supports and leads extraordinarily dynamic, scientific collaborations and boldly innovative research - in so doing, offering hope, easing pain and anguish, and ultimately saving untold numbers of lives.“

Stand Up To Cancer was founded in May 2008, and its first three telecasts took place in September 2008, September 2010 and September 2012. They were viewed in more than 190 countries, generating an amazing 261 million dollars in pledges, with 100% of public funds going directly into research grants.  This has made possible a dazzling surge of cancer research. 

What's especially exciting is that Stand Up To Cancer research is often of a high-risk, high-reward nature meant to deliver results quickly, so that we all might benefit speedily and so that other breakthroughs might be sparked synergistically, helping the medical community as we leapfrog towards the most effective therapies, remedies and cures.

Much of the volunteer effort that makes this vital research possible is undertaken and accomplished by people and businesses right here in Southern California, including, in particular, the entertainment industry.

Councilmember Koretz said, “We often discuss how much this great industry means to our city and region artistically, culturally and economically, but the industry's contribution through Stand Up To Cancer is absolutely breathtaking.  It is magical.  Of course, we should applaud the stars who take part in the telecast but also there are the behind-the-scenes executives and networks and studios and frankly everyone from all ranks of the industry who give of their time, effort and resources.  But whether we're talking about the scientists, or the entertainment industry, or founding donors like Major League Baseball, or other crucially significant donors like the Los Angeles Times, this is a team effort… Stand Up To Cancer will empower and inspire countless people across the globe on September 5th, giving us all a great way to support the fight against cancer, while providing essential knowledge in the form of stirring messages and images of hope, scientific and medical progress, individual heroism and united activism." 

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Paul Koretz and Chief of Staff Joan Pelico help promote Stand Up To Cancer

Fire and Tragedy

On August 28, two people lost their lives in a fire in Encino. They were a mother, 98 years old, and her son, age 74. 

Those lives might not have ended that Thursday night, if there had been working smoke detectors in place to sound the alarm.

The complex where the fire happened contained privately owned condominiums. There were no smoke detectors in the hallways, and while there were a small number of detectors in some of the residencies, those detectors weren't in a functioning state. This dangerous state of affairs had tragic consequences.

And so, two human lives ended.  Six other people – including one firefighter – were injured, and one dog died from smoke inhalation.

The good news is that there are programs underway or soon to be underway in Los Angeles, aimed at increasing the number of (working) smoke detectors in the city. One such program is called SAFE, which stands for Smoke Alarm Field Education.  After incidents such as the one in Encino, where lives were lost to fire or were at grave risk, SAFE gives out as many as 25-30 smoke alarms in the neighborhood where the tragedy or near-tragedy occurred.  In addition, from time to time, selected blocks are canvassed, in order to distribute detectors. Also, firefighters often carry detectors with them, so that when visiting a home, perhaps to deal with a medical emergency, a firefighter might notice that a detector needs a working battery and provide one, or if there is no detector might offer one.  Plus, smoke alarms may be available for free at fire stations until they run out - if interested, call your local fire station to see if they have any available. This vital program is sponsored by First Alert, which gives LAFD 500 smoke alarms a month.  But that can only go so far, in a city as large as Los Angeles.  

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion to explore ways to provide more smoke alarms, raise awareness about fire safety, and better identify missing or non-working smoke alarms at multi-family residential buildings:  the same motion also addressed the issue of carbon-monoxide poisoning – the silent killer – and the importance of having carbon-monoxide detectors. Hopefully, there will come a time when the City is able to help everyone have the detectors they need, but in the meantime, people are well-advised not to wait, but to make sure to have working smoke alarms in place.  

There were many reports of the heroic efforts by LAFD firefighters, who quickly came to the site of the fire in Encino to put the fire out, save lives and keep people safe.  There are high density condominium buildings in that area, and so the toll of the fire could have been even worse, but LAFD personnel from different stations rushed there to help, and went in and evacuated people in the midst of the blaze.  Councilmember Koretz salutes and thanks the LAFD, as well as the LAPD officers who were likewise quickly on the scene. They save lives, but so, too, do smoke detectors.

Firefighters put out the August 28th Encino blaze

An arrest made

On August 22, a bank stick-up in Beverly Hills was alleged to be the 11th such hold-up by a serial bank robber dubbed the “purse packing bandit” and active in the Westside area. The crime spree is said to have started in 2012.  This time, though, a suspect believed to be the “purse packing bandit” was arrested, and Brianna Clemons Kloutse now faces up to 14 years and four months in state prison, if convicted. 

Ten days earlier, Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Paul Koretz, joined by LAPD Captain William Hayes, Commanding Officer, Robbery Homicide Division, and FBI Supervisory Special Agent Joseph Brine, had held a press conference to raise public awareness about the crimes and publicize a reward offer for the “purse packing bandit,” who gained that moniker because of the large handbag she was said to carry - with a handgun inside, until the gun was taken out and pointed.

At the press conference, Councilmember Koretz said, “what we’re concerned about here are dire acts of murderous potential and rank criminality.  The suspect is wanted for numerous bank robberies, including in my 5th District, and that’s bad enough, but what must cause extraordinary alarm is how these crimes involved the brandishing of a handgun, threatening mayhem and placing everyone present at the scene at grave risk.”  Hopefully, the series of bank hold-ups has now come to an end, and the public is much safer as a consequence. 

Reward press conference concerning the purse packing bandit

ACE update

At a special August joint meeting, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee and the Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee moved forward what has been a long time coming – the creation of an “ACE” pilot program.  The L.A. City Council had already approved ACE in concept, so what is currently under consideration is the specific ordinance language, drawn up by the City Attorney’s Office, as it goes through the committee process to the full Council for what should be final approval, and then actual implementation. 

“ACE” stands for Administrative Citation Enforcement (though it has also been called Administrative Code Enforcement).  It promises to be a great tool for the city and everybody who cares about protecting our communities from those “low level” quality of life violations that distress constituents and degrade neighborhoods. 

Programs like ACE have worked very successfully in other cities like San Diego and Sacramento, where matters such as loud party houses are taken care of swiftly and effectively:  violators are handed tickets to be paid (or appealed) promptly, and with each repeat violation, the sum of the ticket escalates significantly. The message quickly gets across and the problem stops. Here in L.A., however, such quality of life violations are still enforced by sending them to the jammed court system for resolution, where they may not get heard for a year or more, if at all: meanwhile, many of the violators continue, unfazed, and L.A.’s local neighborhoods pay the price. 

It’s taken years, but with Councilmember Koretz taking the lead – working hand-in-hand with dedicated community groups, the City Attorney’s Office and various city departments – ACE, on a pilot program basis, may soon be a reality. By the end of the year, LAPD and Animal Services should have ACE available as an optional tool, for dealing effectively and expeditiously with such matters as loud party houses, endlessly barking dogs, unleashed dogs, illegal leaf blowers, drunk and disorderly misconduct, and many other violations.  Already existing options – which can result in probation, fines and jail – will still remain in the arsenal of enforcement tools, perhaps applied in particular regarding the more persistent and extreme cases.  

If the pilot program – which will pay for itself – is deemed to be a success, it may well be expanded to other departments, for use on other kinds of quality of life violations.

Joint committee meeting on ACE

Metro Fare Restructuring

Beginning September 15, 2014, Metro fares will change. Under the new fare structure, the regular fare will rise from $1.50 to $1.75. The cost of a day pass will increase from $5 to $7, the weekly pass from $20-$25, and 30-day pass from $75-$100 and the EZ pass from $84-$110. However, the new fares will include free transfers for two hours for those using TAP cards. Information on applying for reduced fares can be found at Fare charts and other information (senior/disabled/student rates) are at

Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness

The City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department has announced its "Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness" program, an easy-to-use guide for creating a neighborhood disaster preparedness plan. 

The program will be introduced at a series of identical community preparedness workshops to be held throughout the City during September.

Each community workshop offers free attendance, and refreshments will be provided. There will be a raffle with door prizes. Registration is limited!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Cheviot Hills Recreation Center
2551 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Register now for this workshop

Thursday, September 18, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Alpine Recreation Center
817 Yale Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Register now for this workshop

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Sunland/Tujunga Municipal Building
7747 Foothill Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91042

Register now for this workshop

Thursday, September 25, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Crenshaw Christian Center
7901 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044

Register now for this workshop

At the core of the award-winning program is the Five Steps Toolkit, which enables residents to define their neighborhood, rally and engage community members and build a customized disaster response plan. This toolkit is inclusive of people with disabilities, those whose primary language may not be English, and others who may need extra help after a disaster.

"All of us are greater than any one of us," said James G. Featherstone, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. "The Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness program is designed to empower communities to not only address the unique issues they may face in case of an emergency, but create a plan to manage an emergency situation safely and effectively."

For more information on the Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness program, including the Five Steps Toolkit - or to register for one of the four free workshops - please visit:

This message was sent to  by:

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