Community News


A recent horrible earthquake struck Nepal, and while we hold the people of Nepal in our hearts, we also need to remember to do what we can to be well-prepared for L.A.'s inevitable earthquakes and any other potential disasters. 

Not everyone is willing or able to spend what it might take to be optimally prepared with all the latest and greatest emergency equipment and supplies, which is why the City's Emergency Management Department (EMD) has provided this list of the uses of common household items immediately following an earthquake:
• Water heater: A typical home water heater can provide 30 or more gallons of clean drinking water. To use the water in your tank, first turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater. Then, close the supply valve to preserve the cleanliness of the water in the tank. Next, get the air out of the tank by opening any hot water tap such as the kitchen sink. (Caution: the water coming out of the tank may be very hot.) You can use a short water hose (e.g., the supply hose to a washing machine) to drain the water from the tank. Use a screwdriver or coin to operate the drainage valve. If you do not have a hose to transfer the water to jugs or pots, use a shallow pan to collect the water. Allow the tank to fill before restoring power to the water heater.

• Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers filled with ice can prolong the shelf life of meat and dairy products if your refrigerator is not operating because of a power outage.

• Use insulated lunch bags with ice to keep temperature sensitive medications cool if power is out.
• A bucket with a lid can serve as a portable toilet.

• Household chlorine bleach can be used as a disinfectant (dilute 9 parts water to 1 part bleach) to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners. 

• Trash bags make good ponchos. Remember to poke a breathing hole over the mouth and nose before putting the bag on. Trash bags are also useful for sanitation and separating dry goods from wet ones.

• Use sticky notes and markers to notify family members where to meet, or to inform rescue workers that the home has been evacuated.

• A tape and ruler splint can temporarily immobilize an arm. Alternatively, cardboard and nylon socks ora book and tape can immobilize a limb.

• Hydrogen peroxide or vinegar can be used to clean wounds. Clean water can also be used to clean wounds.
• Diapers and sanitary pads can be placed over wounds. 

• Holding a scarf over your mouth will reduce smoke inhalation in the event of a fire. 

• Baking soda helps to neutralize acids.

• Use plastic wrap to dress burn wounds. The wrap prevents infection.

• Do not forget can openers if relying on canned food. Granola bars, dry unsalted nuts, seeds and dried fruit (like raisins) are all options when refrigeration is unavailable. Avoid foods with high salt content.

• CDs or other shiny objects can be used as mirrors. Their reflections in the light can also be used to signal for help.


Earlier this year, your Los Angeles Fire Department implemented one of the most significant organizational changes in its 128-year history. In January, the command structure of the department divided into four bureaus across the city, allowing firefighters to deliver a more effective and responsive business model and to bring Department leadership closer to the community.

Since then, bureau commanders in each community have attended more neighborhood council meetings and community events while still continuing the life-saving work of the LAFD. Today, the Department continues to provide services directly to the community it serves.

The LAFD Operations Central, West and Valley Bureau is now on Facebook and Twitter, updating information about the communities of Council District 5 and beyond. They're on Twitter (@LAFDcentral; @LAFDwest; @LAFDvalley) and Facebook (LAFD Central; LAFD West; LAFD Valley)and will update news, events and details about the San Fernando Valley, mid-city and beyond. The LAFD is "inviting all stakeholders to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and become digital partners throughout the neighborhoods we serve in the city we love."


Because of the record drought here in California, people across the state are learning to be increasingly smart, disciplined and principled about water usage.

But even while it’s vital that we conserve our water supply and stop wasteful practices, it’s absolutely essential that we remember to use water where it’s needed – to keep our trees healthy.  Having healthy trees is an essential priority for anyone who cares about the well-being of Los Angeles and the entire planet.

We must do everything in our power to slow our greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change because they are huge factors in this drought disaster (and many other catastrophic ecological trends), but we must also engage in climate resilience – which means we need to protect our trees.  Trees offer shade and keep the heat down in our neighborhoods.  Trees sequester carbon dioxide and actually fight global warming.  Trees clean and retain a huge amount of water and hold soil in place.  Deforestation, on the other hand, leads to soil erosion, which leads to the dust bowl effect.  Trees are not just critically important.  Trees are vital.

That’s why, on April 17, Councilmember Koretz introduced a comprehensive motion on tree health in Los Angeles.  This motion (Council File: 15-0467), which is heading for a City Council committee hearing, asks our Bureau of Street Services Urban Forestry Division to work with groups like TreePeople and WaterLA, and report back on the state of our trees and how to improve it.  A key goal is to develop an urban forest management plan with strategies to protect and enhance our urban forest, to reduce heat-island effect and address new pests and diseases.  You can find the entire motion on line at


In honor of Israel's 67th Independence Day the Celebrate Israel Festival will take place on Sunday May 17th, 2015 at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center with an expected attendance of 20,000 community members.

The festivities will begin at 11 a.m. with many new exciting attractions throughout the festival.  Tickets are sold online at $6 each for both adults and children. Door prices for both kids and adults will be $10. This year all food at the festival will be Glatt Kosher under the strict supervision of RCC and Kehila.

This year’s theme - Jerusalem of Gold  - will give attendees the opportunity to visit various sites of Jerusalem, learn about the Old City, participate in various hands–on projects and experience the city’s magic.

•Kotel Tunnels  - Take a tour through the Kotel Tunnels and learn about the history of Jerusalem and the many hidden gems of one of the oldest cities in the world. At the end of the tunnel, meet the Kotel Tunnel guide from Israel who will explain the history of the Tunnels and Jerusalem.

•Western Wall (Kotel) – Visit our 32ft-long Kotel where you can put your note that will be delivered to the Holy Land this summer!

•Headliner Performances by Israeli megastar Shlomi Shabbat on the main stage and Dod Haim on the kid’s stage. Please visit our website for the complete lineup and schedule for the kids stage and main stage.

•Shuk Machane Yehuda – Take a stroll through one of the most colorful spots in Jerusalem. Walking though the Shuk, you will feel right at home with artists from Israel and local vendors selling art, jewelry, Judaica, home goods and gifts.

•Technology Pavilion –Stop by to see the latest Israeli innovation and ideas at our festival! Ted-style presentations will take place throughout the day. Visit our website for the full schedule.

•Community Mural – We are excited to have Los Angeles based artist extraordinaire Tomer Perez back again. Stop by the large-scale community mural that Tomer will create, and grab a paintbrush to add your personal touch. We can’t wait to see the finished masterpiece.

•Places & Faces Photography Exhibit – Stop by our photography exhibit to see some of today’s talented photographers and their view of Jerusalem. 

•CreateLAB – Design, build, create and be inspired at our famous CreateLab, open all day with multiple FREE art projects for the entire family. Express yourself and enjoy arts and crafts with our entire community.

•“Ahava” Art Installation – We love Jerusalem so much that we decided to recreate the famous “Ahava” statue from the Israel Museum. Stop by and take your photo there and show us how much you love Israel by posting your photos on Instagram and hashtag #CelebrateIsraelFest

•Amusement Park and MORE – Throughout the park, there will be many other arts and crafts projects, amusement rides, face painting, glitter tattoos and so much more. See you at the park!


The Armenian Genocide Centennial March for Justice took place in Los Angeles, and in places around the world, on April 24.  In this city, more than 100,000 people marched on the Turkish Consulate to protest the lack of acknowledgment of responsibility for that horrific, murderous tragedy.

The marching took place to memorialize and honor the 1.5 million Armenians who were killed 100 years ago, to demand acknowledgment of what had happened, and to say never again to genocide.  It has often been studied and remarked upon that the Nazis, specifically including Hitler and Himmler, were emboldened to commit genocide because they were aware that the world had largely looked the other way while genocide was being inflicted upon Armenians.

Among the marchers were Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Mitch O'Farrell and Nury Martinez. City, county, state and federal representatives were in attendance. Mayor Eric Garcetti was a special speaker.


Though not directly in Council District 5, this event may cause traffic congestion throughout the immediate area, including areas of the District.

The Los Angeles Sheriff Department has released the following advisory:

The following West Hollywood streets will be closed to accommodate this event between 6:30 am and 2:00 pm:

- Sunset Boulevard between North Havenhurst Drive and Doheny Drive. (Sunset Blvd. is closed through LAPD territory to La Brea Ave.)
- North San Vicente Blvd. between Sunset Blvd. and Beverly Blvd.
- Santa Monica Blvd. between Robertson Blvd. and La Brea Ave.
- Melrose Ave. between Robertson Blvd and La Cienege Blvd.
- Beverly Blvd. between La Cienega Blvd. and Doheny Drive.
- La Cienega Blvd between Melrose Ave and Beverly Blvd.

Parking will not be allowed along the race course. "No Parking" signs will be posted before the event. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense.

For additional street closure information:


That's a great step forward in protecting and saving the 24-hour coffee shop that's housed n one of the best and last remaining examples of Googie-style architecture, and it's clearly what the Los Angeles public wants - Richard Barron, who heads the commission, said that this matter of saving NORMS La Cienega has gotten more of a public outpouring than anything else in his decade on the board.  Here are the L.A. Times and Beverly Press articles about the Commission.

While the commission's vote was quite significant, the Historic-Cultural Monument designation still has to be approved by the Los Angeles City Council within 90 days of the commission's vote (though an additional 15 days can be sought, if necessary), plus other things will have to fall into place, so there is still progress to be made.

On March 26, some longtime restaurant regulars (including Matthew Weiner of Mad Men fame, and actor/singer James Darren) gathered outside of NORMS La Cienega to celebrate the commission's vote and to urge the public to sign the Los Angeles Conservancy's "no demolition" on-line petition.

Also participating in the March 26 gathering were Councilmember Koretz, Los Angeles Conservancy President Linda Dishman, Norms Restaurants president Michael L. Colonna, and waitresses, cooks and busboys - including two waitresses who have served NORMS La Cienega patrons for 30 and 40 years!  

To see and hear Matthew Weiner speak, visit this link:

To see and hear James Darren speak, visit this link:

Additional video of March 26 will soon be available for your viewing.  In the meantime, you can sign the Los Angeles Conservancy on-line petition by going to this website.


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.”


The Los Angeles City Council annually honors fifteen women of achievement, one from each of the fifteen Council Districts, who have made exceptional contributions in the service of the community.  These women of leadership and women are named that year's "Pioneer Women."

This year, Councilmemember Koretz was proud to honor Terry Tegnazian!

Terry Tegnazian is the president of Aquila Polonica Publishing, an award-winning independent publisher based in Westwood, lives and works in Westwood and is an active community volunteer who has contributed much to her local community.

Terry has been president of the Westwood Hills Property Owners Association for the past seven years, and a member of its board for several years prior. She created and is co-moderator of the neighborhood’s email network, which has grown to 800 members since its inception fourteen years ago.

An avid champion of libraries, Terry was one of the founding directors of the Friends of Westwood Library, and was instrumental in establishing and raising funds for that organization in the year before the library opened.

She is also president and a founding director of the Los Angeles Musical Salon, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Westwood which, among other things, has sponsored many free music programs at the Westwood Library for children, teens and adults. In 2014, Terry conceived, raised funds for and ran a Quartet in Residence series at the Westwood Library. The Fiato String Quartet, an official ensemble of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, was appointed as the library’s Quartet in Residence. In its first season, the Quartet’s four free public concerts at the library proved to be extremely popular, with more than 100 people attending each concert. Terry has raised funds again to enable this concert series at the library to continue in 2015.

Before forming her publishing company, Terry practiced law in Los Angeles for twelve years. She specialized in complex transactions of motion picture financing, both U.S. and international, before leaving to pursue other business and creative endeavors.

She is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. Subsequent to her professional legal career, Terry was Co-Executive Producer of a feature film, an experience which led to pursuing her own creative writing projects, which eventually led to forming her publishing company.

In addition to being a hands-on publisher involved in all aspects of each Aquila Polonica title, Terry has written for the Wall Street Journal Europe and the Warsaw Business Journal, she's been interviewed on national television, and has presented numerous live programs in a wide range of venues, including museums and libraries, universities, and consulates and embassies in the U.S. and Canada. Terry has received a number of awards related to her publishing work, including most importantly the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by a decision of the Polish President.

Terry and her husband, Scott Whittle, attended the March 27 City Hall event.  Thank you for all you do, Terry!


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

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