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Drop, cover, and hold on
Thursday, October 15 is the day of the 2015 Great California ShakeOut, when a great many people throughout California, and millions worldwide, will study and practice what to do when an earthquake occurs. The ShakeOut, first held in this state in 2008, is a great way for individuals, families, businesses and organizations to learn more about, and rehearse, the steps to be taken to prepare for and survive the bigger and lesser quakes that inevitably occur. To find out more about the Great California ShakeOut and how you can participate, please visit The Great Shake Out.
Traffic and transportation alert!
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will be having an upcoming Water System Infrastructure Project on Mulholland Drive between Beverly Glen and Nicada Drive. This project will be a take place on Friday, October 16, 2015 to Sunday, October 18, 2015. The project will require a FULL 3-DAY CLOSURE of the aforementioned segment. Upon completion of the project, the 5th District Council Office will work with Bureau of Street Services to repave the segment.
The Council Office has been working diligently with LADWP and LADOT to ensure that all major concerns of this project have been addressed. The hours of work will be Friday through Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The traffic will be directed to Nicada Drive and Beverly Glen. Message Boards are currently being placed along Mulholland Drive and surrounding streets to inform drivers of this closure. Notices will also be sent out to the community this week regarding this upcoming project. As always, emergency vehicles and local residents living along the road will be given full access to travel through. Click here to view map of closure.
Councilmember Koretz was delighted to attend the Comstock Hills Homeowners Association block party on Sunday, October 4th. The theme of the party was "The Wizard of Oz," with red sparkly slippers for the center pieces and residents dressed up as Dorothy and The Tin Man. This tremendous event is always a fun gathering full of community spirit and friendly neighborliness. The party was generously catered by Clementine, a wonderful "go to" café that is very neighborhood involved, and that caters amazing seasonal offerings and baked goods with a huge fan base of not only Comstock Hills but also notables of the entertainment and business world. Jan Reichmann, President of Comstock Hills HOA, was among those honored at the block party for outstanding leadership and commitment to the betterment of the community.
LAFD Annual Memorial Ceremony
This weekend the Los Angeles Fire Department held their annual Memorial Ceremony honoring and commemorating fallen firefighters. The ceremony was held at the LAFD Museum and Memorial in Hollywood. In attendance were families, friends, and dignitaries including former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Councilmember David Ryu, and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. During the two hour service, many personal and inspiring stories were shared. LAFD Captain II Cheyenne Caldwell, the keynote speaker for the ceremony, shared a personal story of facing the reality of death on the line of duty. Councilmember Koretz thanks all those who have given or risk giving their lives for the sake of the people of Los Angeles.
10th Annual Peace Picnic in South Robertson
The Palms community celebrated its 10th annual Peace Picnic, hosted by Guru Ram Das Ashram. As always, a diversity of community and neighborhood groups and religious organizations was present, and the entire public was welcome. Councilmember Koretz was on hand to thank everyone involved for providing this great event and demonstrating once again how cultures and communities work together to promote peace and prosperity.
Councilmember with Peace Picnic Director, Mrs. HarSimran Khalsa
Two key housing-related motions, introduced by Counclmember Koretz back in June, look at some pertinent housing issues involving the rights and needs of tenants as they relate to the state Ellis Act. The Act was approved in 1985 to establish a procedure by which landlords could take buildings off the rental housing market.
The first of the two Koretz motions approaches the current tenant eviction crisis from a general angle, asking the Housing and Community Investment Department to review the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and how the City implements the state Ellis Act (which allows landlords to take units off the market and evict tenants). The motion recommends technical amendments and updates responding to changes in state law, changes mandated by case law, and market conditions, as well as fees, rents, and amendments to state law the Council might want to pursue.
At an October 7 hearing held by the Council’s Housing Committee, the Councilmember offered some specific suggestions as to what he meant in the original motion. They included tightening up the Ellis-related tenant notification procedures with regard to eviction and relocation assistance, making eviction deadlines more favorable to tenants and potentially seeking state legislation to discourage the use of Ellis by speculators and developers to facilitate clearing the way for new, expensive housing at the expense of rent-controlled units and their tenants – Ellis was originally passed to help “mom-and-pop” landlords who wanted to get out of the rental business, but contained a major loophole that is now being exploited in this way by developers.
The second motion focuses on several specific ideas for protecting rent-controlled apartments, which generally are the ones most at-risk in the current over-heated real estate market. Among the ideas the Councilmember suggests for a multi-department study are limiting the number of rent-controlled apartments that can be demolished each year, and making sure those apartments aren’t demolished until the City knows for sure that a project has been approved that requires the demolition. He also seeks to find ways to replace any rent controlled units that are lost in new projects that cause them to be demolished, and wants to address some technical glitches in the “small lot subdivision” law that have provided developers with a loophole for evading one of the few tenant protections in the Ellis Act (the one that says if you replace or re-rent rent controlled units within five years you have to do so at the rent controlled rates).
The motions were approved by the City’s Housing Committee and sent to the full Council where they also are expected to be approved. Both call for the departments to report back to the Council with reports and recommendations within 120 days.
This property on Edinburgh Street in CD 5 was recently subjected to application of the Ellis Act.