November 07, 2014
West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
15760 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91436
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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.
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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On November 4th, many supportive neighborhood activists came to City Hall, as the City Council took an important step forward in stopping what has been a growing epidemic of mansionization.
Mansionization occurs when homes are torn down to make way for larger, indeed often enormous, boxy “McMansions.” With these new mansions towering over surrounding homes, many local residents feel that the historical character of their neighborhood has been altered, perhaps even irreparably. Some communities in particular have experienced a major loss of smaller, older houses, bought to be razed and replaced with newer structures occupying the maximum available lot space.
One of the key sources of abuse has been the so-called “bonuses,” enabling developers to build using an additional 20% more space. These bonuses were adopted half a dozen years ago, when size limits based on lot size were being set for both new and renovated homes. Councilmember Koretz strongly believes that allowing such large bonuses has undermined the effort to protect neighborhoods from overdevelopment, and that’s why he’s calling for significant limits on such bonuses or their outright elimination, as part of the Council’s effort to pass a citywide mansionization ordinance.
Deliberations on how best to strengthen anti-mansionization regulations, including by tackling the problem of these large bonuses, won’t be completed quickly – complex issues and challenges are involved, and the process may take an estimated 18 months. In the meantime, the city has agreed to take some swifter action to protect some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods from rampant out-of-scale development.
That’s why on November 4th, the City Council unanimously agreed to create rules that temporarily protect some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods from the flurry of demolition. Those areas, to be protected through the establishment of an Interim Control Ordinance (ICO), include Sunset Square, Carthay Square, Holmby-Westwood, Oxford Square, El Sereno-Berkshire Craftsman District, South Hollywood, La Brea Hancock Neighborhood, North Beverly Grove, The Oaks, Valley Village, Faircrest Heights Neighborhood, Old Granada Hills Neighborhood, and Larchmont Village. Under the ICO, various temporary remedies regarding tear-downs and replacement homes may be applied to these neighborhoods, to curtail large, out-of-scale development there, while we move toward adoption of a permanent, citywide ordinance.
These temporary measures will help neighborhoods knee-deep in mansionization, which is why neighborhood activist join with Councilmembers Koretz, Blumenfield, LaBonge and Krekorian in celebrating after the November 4th vote, but the long term solution will be through a citywide mansionization ordinance that recognizes the need for changing the current system of bonuses that encourages out-of-scale McMansions.
Happy Birthday, Norman Lloyd!
On November 5, Councilmember Koretz honored Norman Lloyd in City Hall. This was three days before Saturday, November 8th - Norman Lloyd’s 100th birthday!
What a life that has involved! Norman Lloyd has had – and is continuing to have – an extraordinary career, as a producer, director, writer and actor, with a dazzling array of affiliations with the foremost giants of film, television and theater, including Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Renoir.
You may know him from the final scene of Hitchcock's 1942 wartime thriller, Saboteur, with Lloyd in the title role, dangling from the fingertip grasp of Robert Cummings, near the top of the Statue of Liberty; or from another Hitchcock film, Spellbound; or in Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight with Chaplin and Buster Keaton; or as the kind and wise Dr. Daniel Auschlander, Chief of Emergency Services, in the acclaimed TV series, St. Elsewhere; or as the autocratic foe to Robin Williams in Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society; or with Daniel Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence.
The list of astonishments goes on and on – Norman Lloyd has produced memorable portrayals and magnificent drama in shows as varied as The Twilight Zone, Murder She Wrote, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Modern Family. If you visit the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills, and ask to see the earliest filmed record of an American Television drama, you’ll see a five minute silent kinescope of the Streets of New York, which was presented live in 1939, and Norman Lloyd is in that. He was in the original company of the Orson Welles-John Houseman Mercury Theatre. He was an associate producer and director on TV’s long-running Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He’s still very active on screen - he’s in an upcoming Judd Apatow movie. Perhaps his greatest contribution of all will be the amazing assortment of interviews he has granted and continues to grant – you can see many of them on Youtube – explaining, in detail, his eyewitnessing of cinematic, theatrical and television history, whether it’s letting us know how that scene at the Statue of Liberty was shot, or what it was like to work with Orson Welles, or to play tennis three times a week with Charlie Chaplin.
Norman enjoyed a wondrous life with his beloved wife, Peggy, whom he met when they were co-starring in a play. They became known for their joint appearances in the Federal Theatre Project, run by the Works Progress Administration. They shared many pursuits, including social activism and progressive politics. This was a much-revered marriage that lasted until Peggy’s passing in August, 2011, two months after their 75th wedding anniversary.
Norman Lloyd is extraordinarily kind, insightful, funny and talented. He is also an outstanding actor, producer, director, and mentor. Councilmember Koretz presented Lloyd with not one but two proclamations – one from Zev Yaroslavsky and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, and one from the Los Angeles City Council saluting Lloyd’s momentous career and life to wishing him the happiest of birthdays on November 8, 2014, which the Los Angeles City Council declared to be “Norman Lloyd Day” in the City of Los Angeles.
Phase II of Beverly Glen resurfacing
The Resurfacing Division of the Bureau of Street Services has scheduled Phase II of resurfacing for Beverly Glen on Saturday November 15, 2014 and Sunday November 16, 2014. The 1.6 mile segment will be from Beverly Glen Place to Greendale Drive. The department will be profiling on Saturday the 15th and will repave the following day on Sunday the 16th, with an estimated 4100 tons of asphalt. The resurfacing crew will begin at 6:00am and will be done before 5:00pm on both days.
The department will allow local traffic but no through-traffic between Greendale Drive and Beverly Glen Place, as they will have many trucks and heavy equipment working within the narrow roadway. This is especially true on Sunday, November 16 when they pave. In the week leading up to the resurfacing, message boards will be placed at Mulholland Drive and Sunset Blvd. to inform residents and motorists of the road construction and intended street closure, also advising all to use an alternate route.
As always, any Emergency Response Vehicles will be given full access to their destination. With high expectations the department expects to complete this project within the two days. The 5th District Office will also inform and work with the local Homeowner Associations, Neighborhood Watch groups and Neighborhood Council to help spread the word.
L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been a remarkable paradigm of effective and dedicated leadership serving Los Angeles, but he is now in the home stretch of completing his final term as a Los Angeles County Supervisor, which is why Councilmember Koretz and the City Council, joined by Mayor Garcetti, City Attorney Feuer and City Controller Galperin, honored the Supervisor recently. It was a special treat seeing the three past and present Fifth District Councilmembers together: Yaroslavsky, Feuer, and Koretz. The ceremony took place in Los Angeles City Hall – the very place where Yaroslavsky, then councilmember
representing the 5th District, first held elected office.
During a career in public life spanning nearly four decades, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been at the forefront of our biggest issues, from transportation to the environment to health care to public safety to the arts. He has been a pioneering advocate for the region’s homeless population and has played a key role in efforts to reform the county’s law enforcement agencies.
He was born December 21, 1948 in Los Angeles, the son of David and Minna Yaroslavsky, Jewish immigrants from Russia. He attended Melrose Avenue Elementary School, Bancroft Junior High School and Fairfax High School before earning an M.A. in British Imperial History and a B.A. in Economics and History, both from UCLA. At UCLA, he became renowned as a champion for the rights, liberty, security and well-being of oppressed Soviet Jewry.
While a student at UCLA, he would meet Barbara Edelston, whom he would later marry, and she, too, has led an exemplary career in public service. Barbara and Zev Yaroslavsky have two children, David and Mina, and two granddaughters, with a grandson on the way.
Zev Yaroslavsky was first elected to office in 1975, stunning the political establishment by winning the Los Angeles City Council’s 5th District seat at the age of 26. On the council, Yaroslavsky honed his fiscal skills as chairman of the Finance Committee and earned a reputation as being unafraid to tackle controversial issues, including the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of excessive force and its improper spying on law-abiding residents. He co-authored two landmark initiatives with his colleague, the late Councilman Marvin Braude: Proposition U, which cut in half the size of new commercial developments near residential neighborhoods, and Proposition O, which banned oil drilling along the city’s shoreline. As the Los Angeles Times said of his City Hall tenure: “Yaroslavsky was more often than not a dominant player in virtually every municipal initiative of note since he joined the City Council.”
In 1994, Yaroslavsky was elected to the five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the western part of the county and a constituency of two million people. He is now serving his fifth term as the board’s Third District representative. Because of term limits, he will leave office at the close of 2014. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Yaroslavsky quickly emerged as a leader on fiscal, health care, transportation, cultural and environmental matters. He authored the 1996 Proposition ‘A’ park bond, which resulted in the preservation of a broad swath of rural open space and the development of urban parks throughout the county. He also authored the 2002 Proposition ‘B’ trauma tax, approved by more than 73% of county voters – a measure credited with saving two public hospitals from potential closure and keeping the county’s emergency services intact.
Yaroslavsky was the driving force behind the hugely successful Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley, which opened in 2005 to record ridership, and he pushed hard for creation of the new light rail Expo Line, which, when completed by 2015, will travel to Santa Monica from Downtown Los Angeles. (The current terminus is in Culver City.) At the same time, Yaroslavsky, a member of the Metro board of directors, has been among those leading the drive to bring a subway – the Purple Line – to the Westside.
In the area of social and human services, Yaroslavsky has launched a series of groundbreaking initiatives that have measurably improved life for individuals and families on the margins of society. For example, he has been bringing innovative school-based health clinics to largely working-class neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley, where many residents are living below the poverty line and rarely seek medical attention. One of those is based on the Sun Valley Middle School campus, while two more are being constructed at Monroe and San Fernando high schools. Yaroslavsky also has been credited with helping to restore the lives of the region’s chronically homeless through his widely praised Project 50 program and its spinoffs, which have provided permanent supportive housing for hundreds of people who’ve been identified as otherwise most likely to die on the streets.
In the arts, Yaroslavsky championed efforts to rebuild and modernize the world famous Hollywood Bowl amphitheater and was instrumental in the development of architect Frank Gehry’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also helped fund major investments in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Valley Performing Arts Center.
More recently, Yaroslavsky is credited with playing a leading role in the sweeping reforms now underway in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In 2011, he authored the board’s motion to create the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, a blue-ribbon panel that investigated alleged deputy brutality in the nation’s biggest county lockup and suggested dozens of measures to restore the department’s integrity.
Beyond his work with Los Angeles County, Yaroslavsky has long been associated with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a non-governmental organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that promotes the development of democratic institutions in burgeoning democracies. He has monitored four elections for NDI: Romania (1990), Mexico (2000), Ukraine (2004) and Nigeria (2011). He has conducted seminars on democratic institution-building in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bosnia/Herzegovina.
At the City Hall ceremony which was held on October 31, the Supervisor and Barbara Yaroslavsky were joined by some of his staff, many of whom have been on his staff going back to when he was on the City Council. After all the speakers were done praising him and thanking him for his leadership and service, Supervisor Yaroslavsky talked briefly, with gruff humility and grace. The City thanks him for what he has meant and done.
When Los Angeles Council meetings end, they are often adjourned in memory of someone who recently passed away, but the focus is usually on how such persons lived their lives, and on what contributions they made to their communities, this city, and the world. On November 7th, Councilmember Koretz asked that the Council adjourn for Brittany Maynard, whose most lasting contribution may be how she faced death, because in the relatively public manner of her passing, she advocated, with clarity and humanity, for people to have more rights about how and when they die.
Brittany Maynard lived a life of warmth and vitality. She was a UC Berkeley graduate with a Masters in Education from UC, Irvine. She was a world traveler and a volunteer at a local animal rescue organization, and was married with a loving family. But then she received a diagnosis of stage IV gliobastoma multiforme, an aggressive, terminal brain cancer, which amounted to a death sentence. In discussing her situation, she became a globally recognized spokesperson for the “death with dignity” movement, which wants terminally ill people to be allowed to receive medication letting them die on their own terms. A video in which she explained her own personal decision, was viewed by more than 9 million people on Youtube. On October 30th, at a press conference at the 1st Street Steps of City Hall, the organization Compassion & Choices released a new video showing Brittany describing the joy she had experienced in life, but also the growth of her sickness.
Faced with terminal brain cancer, which is a terrible, painful and incurable disease, she moved from California to Oregon, one of five states where she would be allowed to take her life, and on November 1st, took medication to end her life under Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act.” While she had wanted children of her own, she said she had no regrets on time spent, places she had been and people she had loved in her years on this planet. She was 29, and in a final message, she said, “It is people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks who are happiest. If we change our thoughts, we change our world! Love and peace to you all.” May she rest in peace.
The Talk Project
In this year alone, in the United States, more than five children a month under the age of 12 have been killed by guns that were improperly stored and secured. All of these deaths were avoidable. That's why a new program called "The TALK Project" is so essential. "TALK" stands for:
Talk with your kids about guns
Ask family, friends and neighbors if their guns are locked up
Lock your guns up safely and securely
Keep our children and communities safe.
A project of the organization Women Against Gun Violence, The Talk Project puts life-saving information in the hands of over 500,000 Southern California elementary school families -- printed materials that help parents and caregivers talk with their children about guns and, more importantly, help parents and caregivers talk with their friends, neighbors and family about guns and safe gun storage, with free gun locks also distributed upon request.
Public education campaigns like this one work and save lives, and The Talk Project is going into schools to help spread the word.
On November 7, Women Against Gun Violence and this key program were highlighted at the city council meeting in a presentation aimed at letting city government know more about this effort, and Councilmembers Koretz, Krekorian, Blumenfield and Martinez helped lead the presentation.
UFLAC Contract Reached
On Friday November 7th, the City Council of Los Angeles and the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) reached a 2 year agreement, which includes a two percent increase starting next fiscal year. The increase will bring UFLAC members up to par with Police Protective League (PPL) members.
Mayor Garcetti said, "This is a responsible contract that respects the bravery of our firefighters and the budget realities we face".
Highlights of the agreement include timely and thorough post-incident investigations, options to use personal physicians, and a non-discrimination clause for LGBT members.
At a media briefing that followed the reaching of the agreement, it was pointed out that as recently as a week ago, eight firefighters were injured battling a fierce fire in the Venice area of Los Angeles. Councilmembers Koretz and Krekorian spoke out in favor of this reasonable contract benefiting such heroes.
NKLA Adoption Weekend
Saturday November 8 and Sunday November 9together are NKLA Adoption Weekend! It's your chance to go to the La Brea Tar Pits (5801 Wilshire Blvd.) and bring back a living breathing animal... There's free admission and 1,000-plus dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. Adoption fees as low as $50 include spay/neuter, shots and microchpping. NKLA is the "No-Kill Los Angeles" coalition of organizations and individuals that through such events, finds wonderful homes for animals who in turn are sources of joy and love for their new people friends, So journey forth, this Adoption Weekend, and delight in the food trucks, vendors, animals and fun!