December 23, 2014
West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Blvd.
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.
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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Councilmember Koretz spoke before a packed meeting of the Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch. He was there to discuss his leadership efforts, aimed at stopping the epidemic of mansionization that is having a major impact on many neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.
On December 14, the Palms Neighborhood Council held a mixer to celebrate the holidays and its 10th Anniversary. Councilmember Koretz and his staff congratulate the Palms NC on this landmark anniversary, welcome the PNC's new Business Representative, Faye Johnson, and thank all of this Neighborhood Council's fine members, past and present, for their tremendous dedication, effective leadership, and the many good efforts over the years, including their participation and leadership with the January 28th Homeless Count. Palms is a great community, and the Palms NC is one of the key reasons why.
Throughout the years, Friends of West L.A. – FOWLA – has been a great of inspiration and activism benefiting the 5th District, because of its tremendous support for many West L.A. schools, parks, libraries, police and firefighters. That support has totaled more than $300,000 in 2014 alone!
For example, FOWLA, a 501C(3) non-profit organization, has provided crucial equipment and numerous essential amenities to make fire stations more livable for our brave firefighters, at a time when budget cuts have limited the city’s capacity to purchase replacement equipment and supplies.
Thanks to the generosity of community and corporate sponsors, FOWLA contributes to: Fairburn, Overland, Westwood Charter and Castle Heights Elementary Schools, and Emerson Middle School; Rancho Park, Palms Park and Westwood Recreation Center (where FOWLA also supports the Dream Games); Palms Library and Westwood Library; West Los Angeles Police Department; and Fire Stations 37, 43, 59 and 92.
You can find out more by visiting the website (www.fowla.org) and/or by following FOWLA on twitter at @friendswla. While FOWLA was founded by Homeowners Associations which are listed on the website; FOWLA operates with an independent board of directors. Councilmember Koretz and the 5th District Council Office thanks and salutes FOWLA and all involved!!!
California Country Club HOA President Allyson Saunders presents new equipment to FS43 on behalf of FOWLA.
CD 5 Chief of Staff Joan Pelico presenting a check to Fairburn Elementary for almost $38k on behalf of FOWLA.
That's like an A-plus-plus!
Encino's Lanai Road Elementary School recently received the National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education, proclaiming it to be one of the best schools in the country. Only 337 schools in the nation received such recognition in 2014, with Lanai being the only one representing LAUSD. Councilmember Koretz was delighted to recognize Lanai and many of its high-achieving students for being so honored.
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW/LA) held its annual Clothing Giveaway & Community Resource Fair in early December, and as always, it was a tremendous success. More than 80,000 articles of clothing were given away for free to thousands of at-risk and in-need recipients. In addition, other items such as children's books were distributed, as was important information regarding various quality of life topics. Among the many great volunteers there to help was famed NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman, who handed out clothing and also presented a check for $5,000 from NBC. Councilmember Koretz and staff are greatly appreciative to NCJW/LA and all the volunteers and donors who make this event a holiday classic.
Important repaving on Highland Ave.
Highland Avenue is a heavily used north-south corridor, so the recent repaving of Highland between Melrose and Wilshire was of great benefit to all who travel it, including the people who live in that largely residential section of Highland. This particular stretch of Highland touches on both the 4th and 5th Council Districts, and both Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Tom LaBonge are grateful to the city workers whose dedication and expertise were involved, as well as to the constituents and travelers who were so patient throughout the course of the work.
Thank you, LAPD
To help celebrate the holiday season, the Los Angeles Police Department has partnered with various donors and supporters to give back to the community they serve. One such local effort culminated on Saturday, December 20th at the Wishire Area Station (4861 Venice Blvd., L.A., CA 90019). On that day, from 10am-12pm, having collected toys all year round, the Wilshire Area officers and civilian employees distributed toys and gifts to families in need. CD 5 thanks everyone involved at the Wilshire Community Police Station, and salutes all LAPD personnel and donors throughout the city, for their compassion and activism in making such efforts possible.
Success on Beverly Glen
The many motorists and bicyclists who travel through the canyon on Benedict Glen Blvd. are safer now (as are pedestrians in the area), because of a recently completed resurfacing/restriping/marker installation project covering a 1.6 mile stretch from Beverly Glen Place to Greendale Drive. This joint effort involving the Bureau of Street Services and LADOT was undertaken for the sake of improving overall safety and the condition of the street. The repaving utilized an estimated 4100 tons of asphalt, and the new thermoplastic striping has increased street visibility, especially at night. Councilmember Koretz was there to thank hardworking crew members and to lend a helping hand! He and his office also thank local residents for their patience and support regarding this successful project.
Poll workers needed
You can volunteer, but you can also get paid for supporting your community by becoming a poll worker in the 2015 City elections. The upcoming primary and general elections will be held on March 3 and May 19, 2015, and you can make a difference by calling the poll worker recruitment hotline, at (213) 978-0363 or (866) 899-8683. The multilingual hotline is (888) 873-1000. The poll worker recruitment section of the City Clerk-Election Division is eager to hear from any interested person! To be a poll worker, you must be all of the following: at least 18 years old; a United States citizen; a registered voter; able to speak, read, and write English or be bilingual (read/speak the second language); and recruited through the Election Division.
The Councilmember thanks and salutes all who have given of their time in the past, or who may do so in the future, in order to graciously assist voters and make our elections possible.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is a members-based non-profit organization, and one of its stellar programs, called Operation Firefly, is an educational and safety effort aimed at people who currently ride bicycles at night without lights. The office of Councilmember Koretz worked with Operation Firefly in holding a December 10th bike light distribution event, at the intersection of Venice Blvd. and Motor Ave. Cyclists without lights were flagged down, and most agreed to have the lights installed and to take lessons from staff or volunteers regarding their use. Such safety measures are essential to the well-being and safety of cyclists and all who use our city streets. Councilmember Koretz and his staff thank the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and its Programs Director, Colin Bogart, and everyone involved with Operation Firefly.
Encino Chamber party
Through its always important and often fun efforts, Encino Chamber of Commerce benefits the the people and businesses of the Encino community year-round -- and the perfect example, capping off this year, was the Chamber's annual Holiday, Party, Toy & Book Drive. On behalf of Councilmember Koretz, CD 5 Field Deputy Gurmet Khara presented a special certificate of appreciation to Seven and Helen Ho, who operate McDonalds in Encino, for their extraordinary involvement in the community.
CD 5 Field Deputy Gurmet Khara second from left, and the Encino Chamber’s Lou Woolf, Joel Simon, and Diana Donovan Duenas.
When the gift bag is all full and not empty
On December 8, a fire, now known to be caused by arson, destroyed the Da Vinci apartment complex being constructed at 900 West Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Nearby, the Harbor Freeway and some buildings were also damaged. Luckily, no lives were lost. One of the saddest stories involved the damage done to the City's Department of Aging, located in one of those buildings - the destruction done there included the total loss, due to the red-hot heat as well as the flooding caused by emergency sprinklers, of 2,000 gift bags intended for senior citizens served by that Department. Those bags had been collected through donations, including from Councilmember Koretz.
The great news is that Mayor Eric Garcetti and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, and the Mayor's Fund Los Angeles, immediately stepped forward to raise funds (more than $225,000 in less than a week) to generate more Holiday Gift Bags and, with the help of the Department of Aging and hundreds of volunteers, now are able to provide bags for every one of the 4,500 senior citizen recipients of the Department's home-delivered meals. The bags include such personal items as blankets, socks, toiletries and stamps. Our thanks go to the Mayor and First Lady of this city, as well as to all the donors and volunteers -- among them CD 5 Chief of Staff Joan Pelico and CD 5 District Director John Darnell -- who together made this holiday a season of joy and not loss for so many senior citizens.
On December 17, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo drew national headlines by banning hydraulic fracturing in his state, citing environmental and public health concerns that had been mentioned in a long-awaited, recently released report. The decision by Gov. Cuomo will likely have implications throughout the nation. Hydraulic fracturing is the controversial drilling practice more commonly known as fracking. Here in Los Angeles, Councilmember Koretz, along with Councilmember Mike Bonin, authored a motion in September 2013, calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the City of L.A., unless and until health and environmental concerns were eliminated. That motion was approved and a resultant report, generated by the Planning Department, is currently coming before the Planning and Land Use Management Committee. In the meantime, as Governor Cuomo's recent action and the related New York report make clear, concerns about fracking have deepened. The good news is that across the country - and certainly, here in Southern California - environmental organizations, neighborhood groups and elected leaders such as Councilmember Koretz are working together to craft protections for their cities and communities.
Throughout 2013-14 Councilmember Koretz and environmental leaders have spoken out regarding fracking.
A garden is honored
The Palms Elementary School Garden has been given a very special honor, for it has been named 2014's La Victoria School Garden Makeover honoree!
Councilmember Koretz thanks La Victoria for its commitment to this city and its gardens, and congratulates the Garden and all of the volunteers, organizations, businesses and institutions, including Palms Elementary School, the Motor Avenue Improvement Association, the Motor Avenue Farmers Market & Urban Garden Program, Faith2Green, the IMAN Cultural Center, My Baby Jo, Barbri Preparatory, and the offices of Councilmember Koretz and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who have worked together with utmost dedication and harmony to make this remarkable endeavor possible. Receiving this prestigious award is a tremendous achievement for Palms Elementary School, its administration, faculty and staff, the students and their families, and all involved. This garden -- along with what the La Victoria School Garden Makeover grant award and related initiative have enabled -- provides remarkable educational and public health benefits, delightful nourishment and joyous inspiration, thereby bringing community and generations further together.
We have ourselves a winner
The City of Los Angeles has been named a 2013 “Digital Cities Survey winner.” This accolade was given to those cities which were top-ranked in the 2013 Digital Cities Survey conducted by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and the Digital Communities Program. The annual survey is a part of the Digital Communities Program and is open to all U.S. cities. The survey criteria focuses on results achieved by cities - via the use of technology - in such categories as operating efficiencies, realizing strategic objectives, innovative or creative solutions or approaches, effective collaboration and transparency measures. Congratulations go to City Controller Ron Galperin, Deputy Mayor Rick Cole and the City’s Information Technology Agency which, in recognition of its role in helping the City of L.A. achieve this honor, was saluted in a City Council meeting by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and the rest of the Council.
Crazy Tie Day
Lost to the haze of history is who came up with the idea, but members of the Los Angeles City Council decided to wear crazy, ugly, silly or funny ties or scarves for their final council meeting of the year. It turns out that Councilmember Koretz has a sizable array of quirky and questionable ties: he considered many, but ultimately, he went with one that featured images of The Three Stooges. Perhaps defying the circumstances, the meeting itself was very productive and exhaustive in polishing off a very extensive agenda.