March 17, 2015
West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
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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Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Irish Day Civic Ceremonies have been held annually in the City of Los Angeles since 1875. This year's ceremonies took place in the John Ferraro Council Chambers in City Hall (four days in advance of the March 17th St. Patrick's Day holiday).
These Civic Ceremonies are full of music, speeches and fun, and this year was no exception but was particularly exceptional, because 4th District Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who helps present this event, was honored by the Irish Fair Foundation as Irishman of the Year. Noted restaurateur Geraldiine Gilliland was named Irishwoman of the Year.
Brigid and Tom LaBonge
Community leaders and other community members saluted the Councilmember for his lifelong public service. Included among the many on hand to join in the celebration were Brigid LaBonge, the Councilmember's wife, as well as Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. Because Councilmember LaBonge is "termed out" of office, O'Farrell will be taking over his City Hall St. Patrick's Day role and responsibilities, next year. What's guaranteed is that Tom LaBonge will always be held dear to the heart of this community and the city.
Celebrating Ringling Bros. announcement re phasing out of use of elephants in its circuses
On March 5, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that it will phase out its use of elephants. L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz and local animal welfare advocates were quick to applaud.
The Circus says it is phasing out its use of elephants by 2018, due to ever-increasing public concern about the harsh conditions and punishing treatment accorded elephants, and because new and restrictive municipal ordinances make circus operations related to elephants more difficult. Los Angeles legislative efforts led by Councilmember Koretz regarding elephants and circuses, including specifically the ban on the horrific use of bullhooks on elephants, are widely considered to have been crucial in influencing the current course of events.
At a press conference held after the announcement, Councilmember Koretz was joined by Cheri Shankar, Humane Society Legislative Fund Board Member; Michelle Cho, Vice President, Los Angeles Humane Society; Catherine Doyle, Director of Science, Research and Advocacy, Performing Animal Welfare Society; David Casselman, founder, Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary; Pam Casselman; Mariana Tosca, a Board Member of Born Free USA; Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette, and past and present 5th District staffers Sheila Kouhkan and Jim Bickhart (who were very involved in the legislative process).
Councilmember Koretz praised the animal welfare activists as “people who have put in literally thousands of hours of extraordinary effort, shifting the legislative landscape, touching hearts and influencing public opinion mightily. Without a doubt, our City of L.A. policy, which they helped craft, made a huge difference in public opinion, not just here but nationally, and was instrumental in what has transpired today.”
The animal welfare advocates who were present rejoiced over the day’s news while expressing their continued hopes that the circus would move up its timetable and stop using/abusing elephants now. (There are successful circuses today that operate without elephants.)
In a written statement released earlier in the day, Ed Stewart, the president of the Performing Animal Welfare Society – PAWS – said “The Los Angeles bullhook ban was really the tipping point for elephants in circuses,” and called it a “game-changing ordinance.”
After the news about circus elephants, Councilmember Koretz and Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, joined host Tony Valdez for a taping of the weekly public affairs show, Midday Sunday.
12th Annual VANC Mixer
The Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) provides key and commendable leadership, bringing together more than 30 neighborhood councils to share issues and ideas in the spirit of local neighborhood, San Fernando Valley and City of Los Angeles betterment. Councilmember Koretz attended the recent VANC Anniversary mixer - it is always beneficial to be in the company of so many dedicated community activists and leaders.
Councilmember Koretz with City Controller Ron Galperin and City Attorney Mike Feuer at the VANC Annual Mixer.
L.A. methane effort looking to lead megacities in national and international climate efforts
On March 12, Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Tom LaBonge, joined by representatives from environmental/activist organizations including the Environmental Defense Fund, Climate Resolve, SCOPE (Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education), LAANE (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy) , and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), helped kick off a major methane symposium featuring NASA and CalTech scientists.
NASA has found that L.A. basin methane emissions are 61% higher than what had been estimated.
Scientists are determining that cleaning up methane is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to start solving the climate problem. This summer, the federal government will release new regulations to slash methane from oil and gas, followed by much anticipated late-2015 International Climate Accords in Paris, France. California’s bold goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 80% cannot be achieved without identifying the sources of emissions.
The methane symposium helped focus on where Los Angeles must look and how we should take action, including through the launch of a focused new multi-sector effort to reduce the unexpectedly high methane emissions in the Los Angeles basin. Also discussed were the health and environmental impacts of these emissions, and why this effort is vital to support national and international action on climate change.
Councilmember Koretz said, “One of the least-addressed but most significant and insidious contributing factors to climate change is our high level of methane emissions. LA must become a leader in the global climate fight, and so we start our focused effort to reduce methane emissions in Los Angeles today.”
Info on the March 12 symposium can be found at http://climateresolve.org/california-methane-symposium/.
Century City's launches second major public art exhibition
Throughout this month, bold abstract sculptures have been sprouting up around Century City as part of a unique year-long public art exhibition that celebrates the powerful encounter between art and the public realm. The Century City Sculpture 2015 features 19 installations — chosen for their intense physical presence and their ability to engage passers-by — by 10 nationally and internationally renowned artists.
In order to help launch this great effort, 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz was joined by a much beloved predecessor in that same office, former 5th District Councilmember and newly appointed L.A. County Arts Commissioner Roz Wyman, along with numerous community leaders. Koretz and Wyman were each introduced by Century City Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Susan Bursk. Councilmember Koretz said, "I truly love public art, and I treasure its immense value to our people, city and society." Commissioner Wyman spoke in wonderment about how Century City has evolved since 1963, when Gateway West Building was completed - this was the first building in what was conceived to be a city within a city known as Century City, and Roz Wyman, then the 5th District Councilmember, was on hand for the dedication.
The Century City Sculpture 2015 is organized by the Sculpture Committee of the Century City Chamber of Commerce Arts Council and the Century City Arts & Culture Foundation, which are committed to promoting a diverse and inspiring cultural environment that enriches the lives of Century City’s residents, visitors and workforce.
“The mission of the exhibition is to bring to the public a sense of spirit, to provoke their imagination and arouse their curiosity,” said Carl Schlosberg, the exhibition’s curator and Chair of the Sculpture Committee.
Schlosberg, a longtime Century City resident, spearheaded Century City’s first public art exhibition, “Gwynn Murrill on Avenue of the Stars” — a collection of 22 life-size bronze animal sculptures, created by Los Angeles artist Gwynn Murrill, on display for one mile from Santa Monica Boulevard to Pico Boulevard.
The 2015 exhibition is more expansive and will be visible throughout the community, including in front of office buildings, plazas, parkways and green belts. “The intention is to blend art, architecture and the landscape,” Schlosberg said.
Avenue of the Stars will feature Jeffery Laudenslager’s three soaring, 22-foot kinetic works of titanium and stainless steel. Propelled by air and wind currents, the sculptures create unlimited shapes and forms. Marlene Louchheim’s two-part polished bronze and silver nickel sculpture, Full of Nature, and Bret Price’s galvanized, painted steel Roll-Up and his 30-foot tall High Hopes, also will enhance the median. While at the Irvine Company’s Fox Plaza (2121 Avenue of the Stars), Price’s painted steel Zig Zag will grace a section of grass.
The Hines property (10100 Santa Monica Boulevard) has been selected as a perfect setting for minimal art. The front grass area will feature two bronze and steel sculptures, Diamaru XVI and Mia’s Enso, by Michael Todd. In the west garden, installed on an intriguing base of weathered wood, is Irondress, a cast iron sculpture by Peter Shelton, courtesy of L.A. Louver Gallery. The lobby is the setting for four abstract sculptures: mixed media works, Blah, Blah, Blah and The Tornado by Mark Lere, and Matt Wedel’s ceramic works, Gem, 2007 and Rock, 2010, courtesy of L.A. Louver Gallery.
Nearby at the Equity Office building (1999 Avenue of the Stars) will be South African sculptor Edoardo Villa’s abstracted female reclining figure, set in a dramatic garden of succulents. Bret Price’s bright red Godot will stand in front of the Constellation Place building (10250 Constellation Boulevard). Price’s steel Ball of Chain will be installed on Century Park East, in front of the circular driveway of Watt Plaza (1875-1925 Century Park East), along with David Buckingham’s colorful steel Big X. Further down the street, on a gentle knoll in front of the Century Plaza Towers (2029-2049 Century Park East), visitors can view Ken Bortolazzo’s stainless steel Hexad, 1999.
This exhibition is being supported and funded solely by many of the stakeholders of Century City, including businesses, residents and individuals: Century City BID Association; Carl Schlosberg Fine Arts; Constellation Place; DiMascio & Berardo; InterContinental Hotel; L.A. Louver Gallery; Leslie Sacks Contemporary; Watt Plaza;Bank of America; Century City Homeowners Alliance; Century Park; Charles Schwab; Gainsborough Capital; Greenberg Glusker; Irvine Company’s Fox Plaza; Los Angeles Modern Auctions; Lee Bronson; Loeb & Loeb, LLP; U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; ValleyCrest Landscape Companies;CDG LA; Denenberg Fine Arts; Dr. & Mrs. Hamlin Emory; H.S. Consulting; and Georgina & Alan Rothenberg.
Sculpture tours, lectures and events will be available to the community, and announced at a later date. For more information: www.centurycitycc.com or (310) 553-2222.
On March 11, the Motor Avenue Improvement Association, Motor Avenue Farmer's Market and Urban Garden Network held a delicious dinner under the stars to support a splendid community garden. Live music and local restaurants helped make it a truly special and memorable night contributing to an interconnected system of six urban gardens. The event was hosted by Councilmember Koretz, Len Nguyen, Sara-Jean and Eli Lipmen, Jill Volat, Nikki Parrish, Kalissa Krejcik and Lee Wallach. The Councilmember salutes all involved for their wonderful work, community involvement and grand vision.