August 21, 2015
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.
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 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.
Encino’s Annual Disaster Preparedness Community Drill
On Saturday, August 1st, the Encino Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Disaster Preparedness Community Drill at two places simultaneously:(1) Encino Park (aka Genesta Park) and (2) West Valley Medical Center.The emergency team usually meets once a month and does a practice drill at Encino Park with just the members of its team.During the annual drill, the chamber invites the California National Guard, CERT members from throughout Los Angeles, licensed Ham Radio operators, hospitals, and many others who normally aren’t part of the team.The team also practices Ham Radio communication with others in the San Fernando Valley.This year, as part of the exercise, there were people at LAPD’s West Valley Police Station communicating with the Encino Emergency Team about pretend disasters like gas line leaks, burning buildings, bus crashes, or anything else that could happen during an earthquake or other disaster.There were also team members at the West Valley Medical Center communicating back and forth about incoming patients, as well as the status of the center.The goal was for the emergency team to be able to practice obtaining this information so that in a real disaster, they might be ready for effective communication and successful handling of crucial information under difficult and challenging circumstances.
The chamber formed the Encino Emergency Team many years ago, and during that time many people have joined – residents, businesses, neighborhood council members, and of course, chamber members.Councilmember Koretz is very supportive of the Encino Emergency Team and encourages you to join if you are in Encino!Or, join your community’s emergency team, or help form one.For more information on emergency preparedness in Encino, or anywhere in the City, please contact John Darnell at email@example.com, or by phone at (323) 866-1828.John handles emergency preparedness for the Fifth Council District and is happy to help you.Or, visit the Emergency Management Department’s website at:http://5steps.la/
City Controller Galperin
Neighborhood and community organizations often invite elected officials and their staff to come to meetings to both speak and listen.Councilmember Paul Koretz and his office truly appreciate the frequent opportunities they are given to attend and participate in such forums, including when other elected officials are guest speakers.The resultant exchange of information and ideas is always of crucial value to constituents and governmental officials alike.
Such was the case at the recent Encino Chamber of Commerce luncheon, where Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin spoke for about 45 minutes and then took questions. He described his website, http://controller.lacity.org/index.htm, and how best to access and use it to learn more about such things as city expenditures.Controller Galperin discussed how he wants L.A.'s residents to be able to see everything the City spends its money on.Councilmember Koretz thanks both the Encino Chamber of Commerce and the Controller for doing all that they do to make government more transparent and accessible.
The City of L.A.'s Bureau of Street Services (BSS) recently worked weekends in the 5th District to help repair and improve alleys north and south of Beverly Blvd. between Fairfax to La Cienega, and north and south of 3rd Street, also between Fairfax and La Cienega.A pleased, proud and grateful Councilmember Koretz was there, both to observe and join in and do his part.
Four BSS crews were involved, working up and down the alleys, resurfacing and fixing potholes with great dedication on what were some very hot days!Not all alley segments needed work:the alleys had been already been inspected, and so a plan was in place in advance and well utilized to optimize resources.There may still be some work to be done in that broad swathe of territory.
The Bureau of Street Services manages the largest street network in the nation, consisting of approximately 28,000 lane miles.In recent years, BSS has completed resurfacing of the street network in excess of 2,000 lane miles, but has only completed minimal work relating to resurfacing of improved alleys due to funding limitations. Alleys are an important component of the City infrastructure, providing a means for delivery goods, disposal of waste, and parking for both commercial and residential properties with limited access on the frontage of the property.Resurfacing the alleys helps enhance public access.
Fixing our streets and alleys is in some ways the nitty-gritty of municipal governmental services – literally, where the rubber meets the road.That's why Councilmember Koretz is always very grateful to our city personnel who work with great dedication under what may be intense circumstances, including the baking heat of a summer day, intensified by the proximity to hot material being poured to fill potholes where asphalt's been broken.
Honoring Deputy Chief Bob Green
LAPD Valley Bureau Deputy Chief Bob Green was honored on August 20th by the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, and the 5th District Office was proud and delighted to join in the salute.Councilmember Koretz thanks Chief Green and the United Chambers of Commerce for their leadership!
Open house in Westwood
On Thursday August 6th, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation's Parking Violations Bureau hosted an open house, having relocated to a new office at 1575 S. Westwood Blvd.Being ticketed is nobody's idea of a fun time, but this office will make life easier for those on the Westside who have been ticketed, by serving as a customer service center for people to make payments, purchase permits, and contest tickets.At the open house, 5th District Chief of Staff Joan Pelico, District Director John Darnell and Field Deputy Jasmine Shamolian joined LADOT's General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Chief of Staff Bridget Smith in taking a tour of the new facility and talking with its staff.Refreshments were provided to all in attendance and Ms. Reynolds thanked city employees who made this relocation possible. For more information, go to www.lacityparking.org/laopm/pvb_home.html or call the office at (866) 561-9742.
On Saturday, August 15, a fun, free "Movie Night" was held at Encino Park, thanks to the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Encino Community Center, Friends of Encino Park, the Encino Neighborhood Council, and 5th District Councilmember Koretz. "Despicable Me 2" was the cinema attraction that delighted the evening's audience, who also roamed about to enjoy the food trucks; the Encino Community Center had a booth with Emergency First Aid kits and face painting, and the 5th District Office had a booth where recyclable bags were distributed. Councilmember Koretz thanks everyone who showed up and all involved for making this nice event possible.
Pets for Life
Councilmember Koretz was the special guest at a recent event held by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, as part of a series of such events held during August in five cities across the nation, in order to raise awareness about the wonderful Pets for Life program.
Active in the City of Los Angeles for the past 3 1/2 years, Pets for Life goes door-to-door in underserved areas to reach people and pets and build trusting relationships while offering a multitude of pet care services, including spay/neuter.
Councilmember Koretz thanked Pets for Life and all involved.
After August, the national tour known as "A Humane Society Starts with You" will continue through the rest of 2015, featuring other HSUS / HSI initiatives including wildlife, cosmetic and toxicity testing, global animal cruelty and farm animal protection.
El Nino may or may not be in our immediate future, but it certainly is a major concern of potentially disastrous proportions. That’s why, on August 19, Councilmembers David Ryu and Paul Koretz copresented a motion to make sure that the City of Los Angeles is as ready as possible, just in case El Nino does strike L.A. and with a vengeance.The motion highlighted the potential risks to hillside communities and other areas “subject to flooding, mudslides and debris.”
The motion, which was seconded by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, states that, “According to meteorologists and oceanographers, a major El Nino condition is developing off the western coast of South America. In past years, the warming of the Pacific Ocean has been linked to massive winter storms affection California.
“Past El Nino related storm systems have been responsible for devastating flooding, as well as, significant wave damage along coastal areas. Given the potential danger that El Nino storms pose to the City, all City departments must be prepared to respond to and recover from such hazardous weather conditions. It is appropriate that all City departments take the necessary steps to prepare emergency preparedness plans for multiple eventualities, such as flooding, mud and debris, to ensure the safety of all City residents.
“It is equally as important that hillside communities and other areas subject to flooding, mudslides and debris, are provided the necessary information as they prepare for anticipated El Nino storms. Also, the City has experienced an unprecedented drought which could exacerbate potential damage from El Nino storms. The forthcoming El Nino could result in 19 to 30 inches of rainfall.”
The motion, which will be heard in the Public Safety Committee, concludes by asserting “that the Emergency Management Department, in conjunction with the Department of Public Works, the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, be directed to prepare and present an El Nino Emergency Preparedness Plan for the City of Los Angeles that also provides informational guidelines and instructional material to assist hillside property owners, and others, in their own preparation for potential flooding and mud/debris flows resulting from winter storms; such report to be submitted within 60 days, including what steps need to be taken before the arrival of the winter storm season, and the current state of City preparedness.”
In celebration of an effort to catalog the biodiversity in Los Angeles, City Councilmember Paul Koretz and the LA County Natural History Museum (NHM) co-hosted #BioBlitzLA at City Hall on a recent Saturday morning. A BioBlitz is a focused, several-hour endeavor intended to explore and document wildlife and plant life (such as on the grounds of Los Angeles City Hall and Grand Park). Volunteer “citizen scientists” were trained and set loose with their phones to photograph and share what they found on social media, so the scientists at the NHM might better understand the nature we have here in LA.
Additionally, Councilmember Koretz and Dr. Brian Brown, NHM’s Curator of Entomology, announced their month-long BioSCAN Project installations at City Hall, aiming to survey the insect biodiversity in the urban corridor, including through use of malaise insect traps, which are large, tent-like structures used for trapping flying insects. Dr. Brown is hoping to make another discovery like the 30 new species of phorid flies he and his team found in March of this year, or the ant-decapitating fly he found in Glendale in 2013.
Councilmember Koretz explained, “As a changing climate becomes more and more apparent – through the drought, wildfires and increasing extreme storm events – it is vital to catalog the plants and animals with whom we share Los Angeles, so we know what else we have to lose if we do not take action more quickly.”The Councilmember expressed his tremendous appreciation to all the volunteer citizen scientists who were present, as well as to Dr. Brown, Lila Higgins (Manager, Citizen Science for NHM), and Citizen Science Coordinators Richard Smart and Miguel Ordenana, all of whom helped make the event a wonderfully rewarding and meaningful happening.
'Bobcat' legislative update
On August 5, the California State Fish & Game Commission adopted what was known as "Option 2" in order to prohibit commercial trapping of bobcats in the state of California. (Option 2 is a total ban; Option 1 would have been a partial ban.)
Bobcats are an important but threatened part of California’s wildlife ecosystem. Commercial hunting, driven by the current demand for bobcat pelts in China and other foreign markets, is decimating our state’s bobcat population and causing significant negative consequences, not just for the bobcats themselves but to the natural ecosystem in California, including regarding the natural control of the rodent population in undeveloped areas of Southern California.
Councilmember Koretz had earlier authored a Los Angeles City Council Resolution in support of Option 2.Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), a California nonprofit organization involved with animal welfare and protection issues, mounted a vigorous “Ban The Trap” grassroots effort and social media campaign calling for approval of Option 2, and many voices from across the state were heard calling for approval of Option 2.The Commission's vote possibly took on added meaning and intensity because of the global news coverage of the slaying of Cecil the lion.