June 05, 2015

Contact Information

West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(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

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.

The Westwood Branch Library

The Westwood Branch Library recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the community celebrated because it a treasured neighborhood resource and a welcome place for reading, education, relaxation and fun activities.  The Councilmember Koretz was there to offer the City's congratulations, and on behalf of the people of Los Angeles he thanked the staff, volunteers, Friends of Westwood Library, and the patrons of all ages who have made the Westwood Branch Library such an exceptional, invaluable, fun and heavily used branch library and community centerpiece.

Sunset and Hilgard traffic alert

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will begin theCharingCross and Hilgard Regulator Station Bypass Line Project on Monday June 15, 2015. The project will take place at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Hilgard Ave. This project is of crucial long-term significance by helping to ensure deliverance of water to surrounding communities during times of maintenance or emergency, but for several months to come, commuters will face inconveniences and delays during the hours of work.

The 5th District Council Office has been working diligently with LADWP, LADOT, UCLA, METRO and all the various community leaders to ensure that all major concerns of this project have been addressed. LADOT Traffic Officers will be on Sunset Blvd. to manage the traffic flow and to make sure the traffic signals are timed accordingly. Message boards will be placed this week in areas surrounding the project location and also on the 405 freeway to advise drivers. Work hours will be Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm, with some work days until 9:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Work days are extended until 9:00pm during the week, so that the project can be completed before the anticipated finish date of January 2016.

Below, you will find a fact sheet of the project and the details of the (3) phases - please study it carefully IF you travel through that area at all - during the duration of the project, expect delays and plan accordingly.

A wonderful park gets some key improvements

The Encino Park sidewalk repair project was finished toward the end of May. The project, which is part of the Mayor's sidewalk program, took one week to complete and looks great. There were around nine sidewalk portions redone, in locations all around the park, including sections of Genesta Avenue,  Addison Street and Ventura Blvd, (the largest area involved and including an ADA curb cut).   Councilmember Koretz and the 5th District Office thank all the workers who made this possible - and the many people who use this park for fun and recreation!  

Before and After

West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

Councilmember Koretz was pleased to come to address the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce at a June breakfast meeting. He informed the group about the City's budget determinations and municipal services, and enjoyed the Q&A that followed.  He also expressed his appreciation for the Chamber's hard work in promoting economic initiatives that benefit the community and city.

Westwood HOA

The Westwood Homeowners Association recently held its annual meeting, with Councilmember Koretz on hand to give an update about citywide and local issues, and to take questions and listen to ideas. The Councilmember discussed improvements being made at Westwood Gardens Park with the input of the HOA. He thanked all of the involved local residents for their participation, and saluted Steve Resnik, Debby Wagger, Antonio Braga, Dara Williams, Jack Hileman, John Heidt, Linda Blank, Michael Zarrabian, Melody Simnegar and the entire board for their leadership.

Thank you, Council for Watershed Health!

There's a wonderful song sung by Otis Reading and others - "You don't miss your water ('til the well runs dry)" - and that could be the new state anthem, the way things are going in California.   Water has always been a monumental issue for Los Angeles and California, but without a doubt, this year it's been on pretty much everyone's mind, as the full extent of dealing with the drought and its massive consequences increasingly shaped decision making and our daily lives.  A tremendously important event was held by the Council for Watershed Health, with experts, key departments and interested parties on hand for vital presentations and robust discussions that were incredibly pertinent for anyone interested in water and the future of Los Angeles.  As part of the event, Councilmember Koretz was honored to receive an award,  the 2015 Healthy Watershed Award, from the Council for Watershed Health:  it reads, "In appreciation for your distinguished service to the region's watersheds, leading the way to an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable Southern California."  The Councilmember was very appreciative - for the award, but especially for the activism and resolve that people across our city and state increasingly show in protecting our water quality and supply.  

In memory of Irene Epstein

Every year, some great scholarships are given at Fairfax High School, in memory of Irene Epstein. The Office of Paul Koretz, this year represented by Chief of Staff Joan Pelico, always enjoys the awards event because they show the great talent and character of so many of our young students who aretomorrow'sleaders, and because these awards are such a meaningful gesture in memory of Irene Epstein.  The Councilmember and his staff salute George Epstein and his late wife, Irene, and applaud all the students who work so hard and accomplish so much.  Here is information about this year's recipients - be impressed!:

 So Yeong Lee will graduate as the top student in the class of 2015, with all A's in her academic studies, including many AP classes.  She was born in South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. just ten years ago.  She will attend USC to prepare for her career to do research in human biology.  So Yeong’s goal is to help cure people who suffer from severe medical problems.  While in high school, she has participated in stem cell research at USC.  In recognition of her academic accomplishments, she was selected for the Fairfax High School High Honor Roll and as an AP Scholar with Distinction.  In 2013, she was a semi-finalist in the USA Biology Olympiad.

Among her extracurricular activities, So Yeong has served for four years as news editor of the Fairfax High School newspaper;  and volunteered in Teens for Teens, raising funds to support impoverished children in our community.  Currently, she is a candidate for the Presidential Award in volunteer service.

 - Samarjit Kalra plans to attend UCLA to study applied mathematics with a minor in statistics.  He will graduate in the top two percent of his class, earning almost all A’s during high school, including many AP courses.  His educational goal is to earn a M.S. degree in mathematics.

Born in India, he came to the U.S. with his family when he was in the 8th grade. Samarjit has outstanding work experience.  During summer and winter breaks, he holds a demanding and highly responsible position for a global shipping company in the Los Angeles Jewelry District.  Among his extracurricular activities, he is a member of the school’s Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team, involving one-on-one debate on topics of special interest.  He is one of the founders of the Fairfax High School Scholarship Federation, providing community service, and mentoring/tutoring for needy students.

- Bianca Gonzalez will attend the University of California-San Diego.  Her goal is to become a neurosurgeon.  She was born in Honduras, and immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and two older brothers when she was eight years old, seeking a better life for the family.  She ranks in the top 8% of her class.

Since August 2013, while attending the Fairfax Senior Visual Arts Magnet, Bianca has worked part-time at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the Youth Employment and Development (YED) Academy.  She enjoys being able to help others, and has volunteered at the Children’s Hospital, the public library, the Hollywood Book Fair, and Run for Her to help support research and treatment of ovarian cancer.  Bianca was on the school’s tennis team for two years before joining the YED Academy.

- Mildred Perez who will graduate in the top 6% of her class at Fairfax High School, plans to attend the University of California-Irvine.  She will major in engineering, focusing on computer science, in preparation for attending graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley. She is proud of her diverse ethnic background:  Her father is from Mexico;  her mother, from Guatemala;  while Mildred was born in the U.S.

Mildred has been extremely active in after-school programs, including Girls Inc. (helping girls to realize their full potential), the Junior ROTC, KYCC Bridge (summer tutoring of kindergarten students).  For two years, she participated in Students Run LA (SRLA), completing two marathons and other foot races.  Competitive in spirit, during the past two years, Mildred participated in the Los Angeles History Day contests. She won an award each year for:  (1) an exhibit on Women’s Equal Rights, and (2) an exhibit on Merle Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.  To earn spending money, Mildred often works with her mother, assisting her at her jobs.  In addition, her mother and she often provide care for elderly people.  She also spends much time helping her younger brother, age 7.

Raising awareness about gun violence

On June 2nd, more than 200 organizations, cultural influencers, and elected officials participated in the first annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange and speaking up on the issue.

The Day was inspired by a group of Chicago teens, who asked their classmates to commemorate the life of a friend – 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton - who had been gunned down, killed, just one week after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade, which had been a great highlight of that young life, now forever stilled.

Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Paul Koretz join Executive Director Margot Bennett and leaders of Women Against Gun Violence

To commemorate the Day, the Los Angeles City Council joined with Women Against Gun Violence, locally, and others across our nation, to call for the prevention of gun violence (which includes both intentional and accidental acts) and the stemming of the epidemic that takes so many lives, leaves so many wounds, and inflicts catastrophic damage on families and communities throughout our country, every single day.

The message includes advocating for gun safety legislation, keeping firearms out of the wrong hands, and calling for responsible gun ownership, which certainly includes keeping guns locked and stored safely and securely away from children, who so often are the ones who are the victims of gun violence.  

Hot and saucy!

For barbecue lovers and some fine family fun, Woodbine Park is a happening place!  On May 27th, more than 500 people, including Councilmember Koretz, where there to delight in the friendly company and the great eats.  This LAPD BBQ Event was hosted by the West Bureau of LAPD.  The Councilmember and community thank all the LAPD officers involved, both for the wonderful time AND for their never-ending devotion to public safety and protecting people.  

Councilmember Paul Koretz with Captain Alberca, Daniel Tamm of the Mayor's Office, Chief Girmala

On June 6th, from 11am - 2 pm, another barbecue will be held at the park, as part of the "Celebrate Woodbine Park" festivities.  Please look at the following flyer for info - another terrific crowd is expected to come and enjoy all the entertainment, activities - and food!

LADWP Warning: Mylar Balloons Can Pose Serious Safety Risks & Cause Power Outages

With graduation season upon us, LADWP is warning customers about the dangers of Mylar balloons, which look great as decorations but are dangerous if they come in contact with power lines.

Each year, thousands of LADWP customers experience power outages caused by Mylar balloons coming in contact with electrical equipment.  Stray Mylar balloons cause approximately 200 power outages a year - about one Mylar-related outage every other day in the City of Los Angeles. On Memorial Day weekend, 923 customers in the Sherman Way/Coldwater Canyon area of the San Fernando Valley lost power for the entire day due to Mylar balloons that were released and came into contact with high-voltage power lines.  The metallic balloons caused an electrical arc involving more than 34,000 volts of electricity, causing four spans of electric wires – one over 1,500 feet in length – to fall to the ground.  Last week, two Mylar balloons contacted even higher voltage power lines, causing those lines to be taken out of service to remove the balloons.

“If Mylar balloons are going to be a part of your celebrations, make sure they are tied down,” said Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, Chair of the Council’s Energy & Environment Committee. “Balloons that aren’t safely secured could cause injury to LADWP customers and to employees working on equipment. It only takes one balloon to cause a power outage or cause a power line to break.” He added, “Let’s enjoy this special time of year and protect power reliability in Los Angeles by keeping Mylar balloons away from power lines.”

“They look harmless, but they wreak havoc on our Power System and pose a threat to public safety,” said LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards. “Letting go of a Mylar balloon can cause more than a power outage for hundreds and oftentimes thousands of customers.  They can pose a deadly risk to the public when the power lines they come in contact with fall to the ground.  Our preference is that customers don’t use them outdoors at all. The risks are just too high for the system and our customers.”

In the last three years, 587 power outages were caused by Mylar balloons in the City of Los Angeles.

Mylar balloons have a silvery metallic coating which is a conductor for electricity. When the balloons float to the sky and make contact with power lines, they can short transformers, cause power outages, melt electrical wires and cause them to fail. They can even spark an electrical surge that can potentially destroy home electronics.

“It’s not an understatement when we say just how dangerous these balloons can be,” Edwards added. “They are one of the most common causes of power outages in Los Angeles. We don’t want to see fun celebrations for our customers turn into a disaster.”

Here are the safety precautions LADWP recommends for handling Mylar balloons safely:

Always attach a weight to Mylar balloons

  • Never release a Mylar balloon outdoors
  • Keep Mylar balloons away from power lines
  • Never use metallic ribbon with Mylar balloons
  • Always deflate Mylar balloons completely and dispose of them properly

If you see a Mylar balloon that has contacted a power line, keep yourself, your equipment, and all other items and people, at least 20 feet away. Do not attempt to climb the pole or try to retrieve the object. Call the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at 1-800-DIAL DWP. Always assume the power lines are energized.

California law requires that all Mylar balloons - single or in “bouquets” - are anchored with a weight to prevent travelling up into the power lines. The law also prohibits metallic ribbon from being attached to helium-filled balloons. Florists and other merchants should always make certain that Mylar balloons are properly weighted, and should remind their customers not to release them outdoors.

Applauding Telecare

Health care is one of the most crucial industries in our city and nation and recently, one of its stalwarts, Telecare Corporation, celebrated its 50th anniversary, with many people coming to thank them for the important services made available because of Telecare.

Founded in 1965, this privately held, employee-, family- and woman-owned business provides behavioral health services for individuals and families facing the challenges of serious mental illness and comorbid complex needs, primarily through contracts with County and State agencies in California and 7 other states.

Telecare began providing services in Los Angeles County in 1986 and Telecare’s strategic partnership with Los Angeles County continues to grow. This includes more than 35 programs ranging from acute and subacute in-patient care, to Full Service Partnerships, Prevention and Early Intervention services, UrgentCare, and other community alternatives to institutionalcare. Services are targeted primarily to adults and older adults with serious mental illness and complex needs. Telecare also provides services to persons with serious mental illness on probation and on parole, with the latter funded through the California Department of Corrections.  In addition,Telecare provides services to LA County residents through coordinated care programs (mental health/physical health) for Kaiser Permanente members. 

While Telecarehas enjoyed monumental growth and evolution the past half-century, it has stayed true to its founding vision – that clients can achieve better results when receiving services that are individualized, focused and provided in a more home-like setting, within an organizational culture in which employees and clients are supported in reaching their full potential.  Thus, a profound, five-decade track record of success has been achieved, and so Councilmember Koretz was among the many to express thanks for the half-century of helping people in need. 

Up Coming Events:

18th Annual SoRo Fest and 1st Annual SoRo Car Show

Starbucks Ribbon Cutting

Cheviot Hills Movie Night in the Park

This message was sent to  by:

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