Community News


Friday, Jul 25, 2014

The “Century Crunch” will take place the weekend of July 25-28 to allow for future construction of a new light rail station at Century/Aviation.

This key intersection near an entrance to LAX will be CLOSED for 57 hours beginning 9 p.m. Friday, July 25 until 6 a.m. Monday, July 28 in connection with construction of the Crenshaw/LAX project.Century Blvd. is a major artery leading into LAX, and the closure is occurring during one of the busiest travel times of the year. It also will restrict traffic on Aviation Boulevard. An estimated 92,800 motorists travel through the intersection on a daily basis; the message is: Plan Ahead, Use Public Transit or Stay Away!

Friday, Jul 25, 2014
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles is a 5thDistrict mainstay that’s quite crucial to the City of Los Angeles.  For 60 years, The Foundation has helped individuals, institutions and professional advisors have the greatest possible impact on both the Jewish community and the community at large.  The Foundation currently manages assets of more than $900 million and ranks among the 11 largest Los Angeles foundations (based on assets). In 2013, The Foundation and its more than 1,000 donors distributed $65 million in grants to hundreds of organizations with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. One lovely initiative that’s taking place in 2014, thanks to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, is Voices of LA:  The Krupnick Festival of the Arts.  This is a citywide collaborative series bringing Jewish artists together with artmakers from diverse communities across Los Angeles to create original works featuring musicians, dancers, spoken word and visual artists.  The first events have already taken place, but a number more are still scheduled throughout the City, leading up to the “Culminating Festival” which will take place Sunday, September 14 at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.  All events and performances are FREE and open to the public, but an RSVP required.  For more information, please visit http://www.voicesoflafest.com/ .
Friday, Jul 25, 2014
This summer, thousands of young Angelenos are able to enjoy a unique opportunity with a splendid endeavor known as the 2014 Los Angeles Summer of Learning. Young learners age three to twenty-four can participate in online and in-person programs offering opportunities to earn digital badges in topics ranging from swimming to robotics and writing to fashion. Best of all, most of the programs are free! The Los Angeles Summer of Learning is a collaboration of Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, parks, community-based organizations, museums and many others throughout Los Angeles. In-person classes are offered at some of Los Angeles’ biggest cultural institutions such as the L.A. County Museum of Art, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Getty Center, in addition to classes at city parks, schools and libraries.  Online opportunities and sign up happen via summeroflearning.la. Students can enroll now through the end of July on summeroflearning.la and choose topics they are most interested in. Once they complete a program, the student is awarded a badge.  For every badge earned another class will be suggested, giving youth the opportunity to “level up” or continue on their personal pathway to success. Students also have an opportunity to get a jumpstart on their professional dreams. To gain the Workforce Readiness Badge, students must earn five badges, such as Basic Job Skills and Build a Resume. Achieving these five badges unlocks the City of Los Angeles & LAUSD/Beyond the Bell's Workforce Ready Badge. Completing this also unlocks the LA Chamber of Commerce’s Work Ready Certification Badge to open up a world of professional possibilities. For more information on this, see: http://summeroflearning.la/workforce-readiness-challenge . The Los Angeles Summer of Learning is inspired by the idea of Connected Learning, a national movement based on the idea that learning happens anywhere and everywhere.  The program started in Chicago in 2013 and has since grown nationwide in cities such as Dallas, Columbus and Washington, D.C. This year’s Los Angeles program is the most ambitious endeavor yet, as not city has yet partnered with their school district to access as many learners as possible. The program is made possible by private donations, including $500,000 from JPMorgan Chase, and $200,000 from the California Endowment. The MacArthur Foundation, which helped Chicago pilot the program last summer, has also provided valuable technical assistance in designing the program, the website and digital badges.
Friday, Jul 25, 2014
A Midsummer Night's Dream has dazzled and delighted countless audiences, and so the night of August 7th looms special for Encino. From 7-9pm, Shakespeare By the Sea, joined by Valley Cultural Center, Encino Chamber of Commerce and Encino Community Center, will be presenting – free to attend! – that wondrous comedy at Encino Park (formerly Genesta Park), 16953 Ventura Blvd. in Encino. This marvelous theatrical presentation is sponsored by Councilmember Koretz, Encino Neighborhood Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks, IMT Residential, and McDonald's of Encino. As has already been proclaimed, but is always great news to announce, admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, though folks can bring their own picnic. Of course, everyone is also invited to bring friends and family, plus lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Come, and enjoy!
Friday, Jul 25, 2014
For many communities throughout this nation, August 5 is "National Night Out” – a time when a joyous spirit of community is celebrated, and the right of people to enjoy safety from crime is honored. These events may differ from place to place, and some are on the scale of a block party while others might be more massive community endeavors. "National Night Out" festivities might include some food and entertainment, perhaps even a speech or two, but whatever the night offers, the most precious benefit is that it is a splendid opportunity for neighbors to come together, often through a neighborhood watch and with our police invited to join in the friendly fun of such a community get-together. As we get closer to the Tuesday, August 5th date, this "Hi 5" newsletter will give more detailed informatiom about various National Night Out happenings, but you might want to take early note of the following two:  From 5:30-8pm that August 5th night, the LAPD & Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch National Night Out will be held at Pointsettia Recreation Center (Sports Field), 7341 Willoughby Avenue. This is always a massively attended blockbuster event!  At 6pm, National Night Out and the LAPD West Valley Division will present "Movie in the Park" -- with the feature presentation being, The Sandlot. This will take place at LAPD Swat Officer Randal D. Simmons Park, at the corner of Vanowen Street and Wilbur Avenue, next door to West Valley Station (19020 Vanowen Street, Reseda). Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic basket.
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nearly 12,000 Firearms Removed from the Streets Since Program Began in
2009*

*LOS ANGELES* - Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that people will be
able to turn in firearms -- no questions asked -- in exchange for up to
$200 in Ralphs grocery cards at four Los Angeles locations on Saturday, May
31.

"The tragedy in Santa Barbara reminded us of the horrors of gun violence,"
said Mayor Garcetti. "The Gun Buyback gives Angelenos the opportunity to
help make our city safer by taking these guns off the street so they don't
fall into the hands of criminals or children."

Mayor Garcetti also announced he has appointed Anne C. Tremblay as Director
of the Mayor's Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD).   She
has been serving as Interim Director since December and was previously an
assistant city attorney for the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney
where she supervised the Anti-Gang Section. Tremblay has conducted training
for GRYD staff and gang intervention workers on gang injunctions and the
gang injunction removal process.  She has also conducted training for the
GRYD contractor staff as part of their Summer Night Lights training.  Over
the last several years, she has also co-taught the training block on legal
liability at the Advancement Project's Los Angeles Violence Intervention
Training Academy for gang intervention workers.

The Gun Buyback is an initiative of GRYD and has taken nearly 12,000 guns
off the street.  The Buyback also involves LAPD and victim advocacy
organizations, faith-based groups, and other community organizations.

The amount exchanged per firearm will depend on its type -- up to $200 for
assault weapons as specified in the State of California and up to $100 for
handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit will be on site to
determine the types of firearms surrendered.

Media Partner KCAL9/KCBS 2 are joining numerous community groups in
spreading the word about the buyback.

People can surrender their firearms between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on May 31st
at:

Central Los Angeles
Los Angeles Sports Arena
3939 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037

South Los Angeles
Park & Ride Parking Lot
1300 West Pacific Coast Highway
Wilmington, CA 90744

West Los Angeles
Parking Lot
2379 West Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Valley
Van Nuys Masonic Temple
14750 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91405

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014
The City budget is a crucial component of our municipal governance.The more you understand the budget and how it is put together and used, the easier it becomes to have an impact on issues and decisions that are important to Los Angeles. Knowledge is power.

That's why we hope to see you tonight -- Wednesday, February 26 -- when you are welcome to join Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin at "City Budget 101," from 6-8pm at Mar Vista Recreation Center (11430 Woodbine St., L.A. CA 90066). You can use this link to RSVP: http://www.lamayor.org/westsidebudget101 . Hope to see you there!
Monday, Feb 03, 2014
The closure consists of a partial daytime lane reductions (three out of five lanes) and a full nighttime closure of northbound freeway lanes. Motorists are strongly advised to reduce delays, avoid driving or stay away from the area to help prevent multi-hour freeway delays. For more information please visit the Metro website by clicking on the link below.
http://www.metro.net/projects/I-405/intermittent-80-hr-closure/
Friday, Dec 13, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council has begun the process of addressing public health and regulatory issues posed by electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

E-cigarette devices contain many chemicals, along with nicotine, including volatile organic compounds such as benzene and toulene; heavy metals such as nickel and arsenic; tobacco specific carcinogens; and carbon compounds such as formaldehyde and acrolein.
 
For too many people but especially the young, e-cigarettes are marketed in fruit flavors and understood as being without any health risks attached, and that could end up being hazardous or even calamitous, given all the many chemicals contained in electronic cigarette devices.
 
That’s why the Council approved an ordinance making the laws governing sales of e-cigarettes consistent with the rules and frameworks that govern the sales of traditional tobacco cigarettes. This ordinance was the result of a motion authored by Councilmember Koretz, who was particularly concerned about young people currently being able to easily purchase e-cigarettes – a trend that has been commented on by concerned school principals who know of students smoking e-cigarettes on their campuses.
 
The Koretz motion was seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell; the legal language of the resultant ordinance was crafted by the City Attorney’s Office.
 
Councilmember Koretz said, “The City of Los Angeles is doing exactly the right thing, by creating a sound and logical regulatory framework for e-cigarette sales and use. I’m especially concerned that many people and businesses presently think it’s perfectly OK for young people to purchase and try e-cigarettes.
 
"Some people believe that e-cigarettes are a possible tool for cigarette smokers who want to wean themselves off of regular cigarettes, but that’s not applicable to young people for whom e-cigarettes are not a gateway off of regular cigarettes, but a potential gateway toward them.”

The same day the ordinance was approved, another e-cigarette-related motion was introduced in order to address usage-related issues. This motion by Koretz and O’Farrell (and seconded by Bernard Parks), which needs to go through the committee process before returning to the council for a vote, notes that “the prohibition of electronic smoking devices in areas where tobacco smoking is prohibited would protect youth from harmful health effects and exposure to the use of these products in places such as public parks, playgrounds, beaches, libraries.”
 
Councilmember Koretz said, “These motions help ensure consistency in governmental policy and practices, and offer reasonable protection for the sake of the public’s health and well-being.”

Lastly, a Koretz-O’Farrell resolution (Parks seconding) was introduced, urging the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assert authority over the ingredients in e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices. The motion support efforts by The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which has called on the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes to protect public health, including through further research on the contents and the setting of standards on such ingredients.
Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013

At a recent City Council meeting held in Van Nuys, Councilmember Koretz honored a wonderful organization, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), as well as a key JVS program called "BankWorks."

For 82 years, JVS has been dedicated to doing something that sounds simple but is really quite challenging: providing opportunities for people to find jobs at all stages of their lives. Founded in response to the Great Depression, JVS has been working ever since to provide opportunities to those who face obstacles to entering the workforce. JVS opens its doors to all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, military service or religion. The JVS BankWorks program prepares job seekers for positions in the financial services industry. Through targeted job training, placement support and post-employment coaching, the eight-week intensive course prepares individuals with the necessary skills for success in the world of banking and finance. Councilmember Koretz saluted BankWorks for having celebrated its 40th graduating class and its 500th job placement with partner banks including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. BankWorks recently won the Project Collaboration Award at the 2013 Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Award. With Career Resource Centers and Worksource Centers across Los Angeles, including in the Fifth Council District, JVS continues its long tradition of empowering individuals to achieve dignity and independence through gainful employment. JVS offers a wide range of programs that further the goal of workforce development, job training, job placement and mentoring for veterans and the disabled. JVS effortsinclude LeadingHire.org, a free online service that connects job seekers with employers, and HealthWorks, which partners with the American Red Cross to train individuals for entry level careers in the healthcare industry. Those on hand for the City Council ceremony included Claudia Finkle, Chief Operating Officer, JVS; Karo Jerejyan (Wells Fargo) and Samuel Ybarra (B of A), who are graduates of the BankWorks program; John Sotoodeh, Regional President for L.A. Metro/Orange County, Wells Fargo; and John Montes, Senior VP for Los Angeles East Region, Bank of America.

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