February 13, 2015

Contact Information

West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Boulevard,
Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(323) 866-1828

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

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.

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.

Budget season begins

There are few things as important to the life of a city as its budgetary process, during the course of which many crucial decisions are made.  On February 6, Mayor Eric Garcetti met with Councilmember Paul Koretz the Fifth District City Hall office to discuss the challenges, responsibilities, goals and reforms that may be considered during the months to come.  Councilmember Koretz, who is a member of the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee, expressed the importance of  neighborhood quality of life issues for the 5th District.  Constituent input regarding the budget is encouraged, and as the process begins to unfold, this newsletter will share surveys, information about important meetings, and other means for participating, as they are announced.

Traffic safety improvements for Beverlywood

On February 12, Councilmember Koretz helped unveil new beacon stop signs, curb bump-outs and crosswalks around Irving Schachter Park, as well as an improved student drop-off lane at adjacent Castle Heights Elementary School. These traffic safety improvements are being provided to the Beverlywood community by Crescent Heights – the firm delivering the nearby 10 Thousand project to Century City.  Among those joining Councilmember Koretz for the ribbon cutting were CD 5 Field Deputies Joseph Galloway and Chuy Orozco; Castle Heights Elementary School's principal, Sean Kearney; Jon Meir, the Senior Project Manager of Crescent Heights; Adam Tartakovsky, Vice President, Crescent Heights; Matthew Disney, Construction Manager; Craig Fletcher, Senior Project Manager, Swinerton Builders, and  local residents Joanna Taitz and her daughter, who are among the many people who use and enjoy the park.  The Councilmember thanked everyone, including the Beverlywood Homes Association, for the caring input and involvement they have provided in helping to make these improvements possible.

Junior League of Los Angeles

Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Tom LaBonge and Mitch O'Farrell were delighted, recently,  to honor the Junior League of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library in City Hall, in recognition of their crucial efforts and effectiveness in championing literacy. The Junior League of Los Angeles is a much-lauded women's organization that promotes volunteerism and takes on great educational and charitable causes, including by partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library to offer wonderful literacy events and programs that benefit many children and their families.

Rest In Peace, Rick Orlov

Journalists are often the unsung heroes of our city, nation and world, working tirelessly to get the full story and the facts to the public.

That’s among the reasons why so many people in Los Angeles City Hall and throughout our city were devastated by the passing of one of the greatest reporters who’s ever covered Los Angeles government and politics – Rick Orlov of the Daily News.  On February 9, the John Ferraro Council Chambers in City Hall were filled to Standing Room Only capacity, for a memorial honoring him, where speakers including Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson, former City Controller Wendy Greuel, top brass from the Daily News as well as that paper’s columnist, Dennis McCarthy.

Councilmember Koretz with Jerry Levey, president of JL Levey Associates; former Councilmember and now Congressmember Janice Hahn; and Rick Orlov.

Rick passed away on February 1, having suffered from diabetes and its toll for many years.  He was only 66, but had already long been known and respected as “the dean of the L.A. City Hall press corps.”  Born in Chicago, he and his family moved to Encino when he was young.  He attended Birmingham High School and then Cal State Northridge before going to work as a reporter, first for Copley News Service and then, in 1978, at the Daily News, where he stayed until his death.   He began covering local politics in 1988, when Tom Bradley was mayor – the first of five mayors Rick would write about.

He was a wonderful reporter.  Rick was smart, tough and brooked no nonsense, but he was also polite, thoughtful and considerate, and he had a very gentle spirit, a soft though at times raspy voice, and a great smile.  He would tell you what he thought, if he felt you were interested, and he certainly could be blunt, but he always listened with respect and objectivity to the views of others, and his reportage was as fair and honorable as it gets.

Councilmember Tom LaBonge and former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl with celebrated City Hall reporters, including Rick Orlov.

He also was considered a tremendously knowledgeable friend and mentor to others – he was a trusted veteran observer, in City Hall, full of institutional wisdom at a time when many had left the scene, either because of the onset of term limits or the simple fact that journalism has become an economically-challenged business.  Many a reporter has said that when they first arrived to cover City Hall, Rick would give them guidance and an approving word, and was always a friendly source of invaluable support.

For many years, on any Friday, people who wanted to stop by at his office in the City Hall press room were happily greeted, and could sit together, break bread, drink a beverage and talk shop and bring up any topic in a completely off-the-record setting.  The 5th Council District’s Director of Communications, Paul Michael Neuman, recalls such get-togethers from when he worked for Councilmember Joel Wachs:

“It was always fun, being there on a Friday, toward the end of day, after work was done.  You never knew who might be there or who might show up, in such gatherings:  suddenly a mayor or councilmember or legendary reporter might walk in, or some new face in awe of those around her or him.  The efforts and events of the day could be discussed, sometimes admiringly and sometimes scathingly, and theories might be shared and jokes told, perhaps leading to an amazing anecdote regarding a long ago incident.  One never knew quite what to expect in terms of the conversation and where it might lead, but Rick made sure that it happened in a gentle, civil setting, one that was no-holds-barred but always friendly.

“Rick made people feel welcome -- relieved and secure in the knowledge that this wasn't the place or time for spin, since nothing said was going to be quoted, anyhow.  I  believe he took quiet pride and joy in creating a space where veterans and newcomers, community leaders and journalists and governmental employees alike, could meet, learn, and develop relationships that weren't completely bound to the roles we play during work hours, but that could also benefit anyone eager to seek out the truth, or at least a better understanding.  As far as I know, he had an open door policy, and I'm sure anyone who did attend was honored and pleased to do so, but I think for anyone new to City Hall, it was a special treat, to sit there on equal terms with everyone else, drinking in the key insights and atmospheric stories being shared.”

Councilmember Nury Martinez with Rick Orlov

Rick was a true gentleman and an adroit reporter, and he will be much missed.  Of course we have lost other fine journalists, recently:  some due to terrorism and war, and others, like longtime L.A. Times columnist, Al Martinez, who lived long lives. They all are mourned.  Our condolences go to all the families.  In Los Angeles City Hall, the plan is to pay him a lasting tribute, by naming the City Hall press room after him.  What a fitting tribute.

Cleaning of debris on Benedict Canyon

Councilmember Koretz and his office thank the LAFD - Brush Clearance Unit for doing such a great job in cleaning up debris along Benedict Canyon between Cielo Drive and Hillgrove Drive. This is in a high fire zone, and there are few things as important as the work done by the LAFD, caring residents, and concerned community groups in partnering to keep our neighborhoods clean, beautiful and safe.

United Chambers Of Commerce Of The San Fernando Valley

The United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley recently held its annual Legislative Aide Luncheon in order to thank City and State staffers who work in the communities of the San Fernando Valley. CD 5 Field Deputy Gurmet Khara was among the dedicated public servants who enjoyed discussing issues that day with the many members of this fine community/business organization.

Chamber President Les Himes and Sponsor Ricky Geld with CD 5 Field Deputy Gurmet Khara.

CD 5 welcomes a new case worker

The 5th Council District Office has a new employee: Philip Bennett.  He is a case worker who, working out of the Westside Field office, will now be helping constituents on many individual and neighborhood matters.  Philip is a graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he studied political science and environmental studies, and before joining CD 5, he was a certification specialist working for the Minority Supplier Development Council.  He says that his top goal is to, "help improve the quality of life in CD 5."  Welcome, Philip! 

This message was sent to  by:

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