Community News


08
Dec

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will hold “Customer Service Saturday” at four of its Customer Service Centers on December 13, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Customers who attend Customer Service Saturday can expect assistance from staff who are able to take payments, process service order requests, answer billing questions and resolve billing issues. There will be informational tables and displays with helpful information on LADWP programs and services available to customers, as well as sign-up materials.
Locations of the customer service centers (CSCs) are:


Crenshaw CSC
4030 Crenshaw Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90008


Van Nuys CSC
6550 Van Nuys Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91401


Watts CSC
1686 E. 103rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90002


West Los Angeles CSC
1394 S. Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025


LADWP has held Customer Service Saturdays in Spring 2014 and again in Fall. More Customer Service Saturdays will be announced in 201

17
Nov

L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been a remarkable paradigm of effective and dedicated leadership serving Los Angeles, but he is now in the home stretch of completing his final term as a Los Angeles County Supervisor, which is why Councilmember Koretz and the City Council, joined by Mayor Garcetti, City Attorney Feuer and City Controller Galperin, honored the Supervisor recently. It was a special treat seeing the three past and present Fifth District Councilmembers together: Yaroslavsky, Feuer, and Koretz. The ceremony took place in Los Angeles City Hall – the very place where Yaroslavsky, then councilmember
representing the 5th District, first held elected office.

During a career in public life spanning nearly four decades, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been at the forefront of our biggest issues, from transportation to the environment to health care to public safety to the arts. He has been a pioneering advocate for the region’s homeless population and has played a key role in efforts to reform the county’s law enforcement agencies.

He was born December 21, 1948 in Los Angeles, the son of David and Minna Yaroslavsky, Jewish immigrants from Russia. He attended Melrose Avenue Elementary School, Bancroft Junior High School and Fairfax High School before earning an M.A. in British Imperial History and a B.A. in Economics and History, both from UCLA. At UCLA, he became renowned as a champion for the rights, liberty, security and well-being of oppressed Soviet Jewry.

While a student at UCLA, he would meet Barbara Edelston, whom he would later marry, and she, too, has led an exemplary career in public service. Barbara and Zev Yaroslavsky have two children, David and Mina, and two granddaughters, with a grandson on the way.

Zev Yaroslavsky was first elected to office in 1975, stunning the political establishment by winning the Los Angeles City Council’s 5th District seat at the age of 26. On the council, Yaroslavsky honed his fiscal skills as chairman of the Finance Committee and earned a reputation as being unafraid to tackle controversial issues, including the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of excessive force and its improper spying on law-abiding residents. He co-authored two landmark initiatives with his colleague, the late Councilman Marvin Braude: Proposition U, which cut in half the size of new commercial developments near residential neighborhoods, and Proposition O, which banned oil drilling along the city’s shoreline. As the Los Angeles Times said of his City Hall tenure: “Yaroslavsky was more often than not a dominant player in virtually every municipal initiative of note since he joined the City Council.”

In 1994, Yaroslavsky was elected to the five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the western part of the county and a constituency of two million people. He is now serving his fifth term as the board’s Third District representative. Because of term limits, he will leave office at the close of 2014.  As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Yaroslavsky quickly emerged as a leader on fiscal, health care, transportation, cultural and environmental matters. He authored the 1996 Proposition ‘A’ park bond, which resulted in the preservation of a broad swath of rural open space and the development of urban parks throughout the county. He also authored the 2002 Proposition ‘B’ trauma tax, approved by more than 73% of county voters – a measure credited with saving two public hospitals from potential closure and keeping the county’s emergency services intact.

Yaroslavsky was the driving force behind the hugely successful Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley, which opened in 2005 to record ridership, and he pushed hard for creation of the new light rail Expo Line, which, when completed by 2015, will travel to Santa Monica from Downtown Los Angeles. (The current terminus is in Culver City.) At the same time, Yaroslavsky, a member of the Metro board of directors, has been among those leading the drive to bring a subway – the Purple Line – to the Westside.

In the area of social and human services, Yaroslavsky has launched a series of groundbreaking initiatives that have measurably improved life for individuals and families on the margins of society. For example, he has been bringing innovative school-based health clinics to largely working-class neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley, where many residents are living below the poverty line and rarely seek medical attention. One of those is based on the Sun Valley Middle School campus, while two more are being constructed at Monroe and San Fernando high schools. Yaroslavsky also has been credited with helping to restore the lives of the region’s chronically homeless through his widely praised Project 50 program and its spinoffs, which have provided permanent supportive housing for hundreds of people who’ve been identified as otherwise most likely to die on the streets.

In the arts, Yaroslavsky championed efforts to rebuild and modernize the world famous Hollywood Bowl amphitheater and was instrumental in the development of architect Frank Gehry’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also helped fund major investments in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Valley Performing Arts Center.

More recently, Yaroslavsky is credited with playing a leading role in the sweeping reforms now underway in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In 2011, he authored the board’s motion to create the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, a blue-ribbon panel that investigated alleged deputy brutality in the nation’s biggest county lockup and suggested dozens of measures to restore the department’s integrity.

Beyond his work with Los Angeles County, Yaroslavsky has long been associated with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a non-governmental organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that promotes the development of democratic institutions in burgeoning democracies. He has monitored four elections for NDI: Romania (1990), Mexico (2000), Ukraine (2004) and Nigeria (2011). He has conducted seminars on democratic institution-building in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bosnia/Herzegovina.

At the City Hall ceremony which was held on October 31, the Supervisor and Barbara Yaroslavsky were joined by some of his staff, many of whom have been on his staff going back to when he was on the City Council.   After all the speakers were done praising him and thanking him for his leadership and service, Supervisor Yaroslavsky talked briefly, with gruff humility and grace.  The City thanks him for what he has meant and done.

17
Nov

On Friday November 7th, the City Council of Los Angeles and the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) reached a 2 year agreement, which includes a two percent increase starting next fiscal year. The increase will bring UFLAC members up to par with Police Protective League (PPL) members.

Mayor Garcetti said, "This is a responsible contract that respects the bravery of our firefighters and the budget realities we face".

Highlights of the agreement include timely and thorough post-incident investigations, options to use personal physicians, and a non-discrimination clause for LGBT members.

At a media briefing that followed the reaching of the agreement, it was pointed out that as recently as a week ago, eight firefighters were injured battling a fierce fire in the Venice area of Los Angeles. Councilmembers Koretz and Krekorian spoke out in favor of this reasonable contract benefiting such heroes.

17
Nov

Mansionization occurs when homes are torn down to make way for larger, indeed often enormous, boxy “McMansions.”  With these new mansions towering over surrounding homes, many local residents feel that the historical character of their neighborhood has been altered, perhaps even irreparably.  Some communities in particular have experienced a major loss of smaller, older houses, bought to be razed and replaced with newer structures occupying the maximum available lot space.

One of the key sources of abuse has been the so-called “bonuses,” enabling developers to build using an additional 20% more space.  These bonuses were adopted half a dozen years ago, when size limits based on lot size were being set for both new and renovated homes. Councilmember Koretz strongly believes that allowing such large bonuses has undermined the effort to protect neighborhoods from overdevelopment, and that’s why he’s calling for significant limits on such bonuses or their outright elimination, as part of the Council’s effort to pass a citywide mansionization ordinance.

Deliberations on how best to strengthen anti-mansionization regulations, including by tackling the problem of these large bonuses, won’t be completed quickly – complex issues and challenges are involved, and the process may take an estimated 18 months.  In the meantime, the city has agreed to take some swifter action to protect some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods from rampant out-of-scale development.

That’s why on November 4th, the City Council unanimously agreed to create rules that temporarily protect some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods from the flurry of demolition.  Those areas, to be protected through the establishment of an Interim Control Ordinance (ICO), include Sunset Square, Carthay Square, Holmby-Westwood, Oxford Square, El Sereno-Berkshire Craftsman District, South Hollywood, La Brea Hancock Neighborhood, North Beverly Grove, The Oaks, Valley Village, Faircrest Heights Neighborhood, Old Granada Hills Neighborhood, and Larchmont Village.  Under the ICO, various temporary remedies regarding tear-downs and replacement homes may be applied to these neighborhoods, to curtail large, out-of-scale development there, while we move toward adoption of a permanent, citywide ordinance.

These temporary measures will help neighborhoods knee-deep in mansionization, which is why neighborhood activist join with Councilmembers Koretz, Blumenfield, LaBonge and Krekorian in celebrating after the November 4th vote, but the long term solution will be through a citywide mansionization ordinance that recognizes the need for changing the current system of bonuses that encourages out-of-scale McMansions.

09
Oct

Los Angeles: In an effort to assist the public in avoiding possible traffic congestion during the visit of the President of the United States, October 9 & 10, 2014, the following areas of the City should be avoided when possible to prevent travel delays for community members:

Thursday October 9, 2014
The area around Centinela Ave between Ocean Park Bl & Olympic Bl from 1:30pm - 3:30p.m.
The area around Lincoln Boulevard between Pico Bl & Wilshire Bl from 1:30p.m. - 3:30p.m.
The area around Santa Monica Bl between btwn 26th St. & Ocean Ave from 3:30p.m. - 5:00p.m.
The area around Ocean Avenue between Pico Bl & San Vicente Bl from 3:30p.m. - 5:00p.m.
The area around San Vicente Bl between Ocean Ave & Bundy Dr. 5:00p.m. - 7:30p.m
The area around Sunset Bl between Allenford Ave & Barrington Ave from 5:00p.m. - 7:30p.m.
The area around Sunset Boulevard between Allenford Ave & Roxbury Dr. 5:00p.m- 7:30p.m.
The area around Beverly Glen Bl between Sunset Bl & Santa Monica Bl from 7:30p.m.-9:00p.m.
The area around Wilshire Bl between Sawtelle Bl & Santa Monica Bl 7:30p.m- 9:00p.m.

Friday October 10, 2014
The area around Wilshire Bl between Veteran Ave & Comstock Ave from 9:00a.m.-11:00a.m.
The area around Beverly Glen Bl between Ashton Ave & Bellagio Rd. from 9:00a.m.-11:00a.m.
The area around Sunset Bl between Hilgard Ave & Carolwood Dr. from 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m.
The area around Beverly Glen Bl between Bellagio Rd. & Pico Bl. from 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m.
The area around Pico Bl between Prosser Ave & Century Park East from 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m.

A Hard Closure will occur along Hilgard Ave between Le Conte Ave & Weyburn Ave from Thursday October 9th, 8:00a.m. thru Friday October 10th, 6:00p.m.

Metro Bus Orange Line route 302/2 on Hilgard Ave between Le Conte Ave & Weyburn Ave will be cancelled from 11:00a.m. on October 9th through 4:00p.m. on October 10th.

This information has been provided to the public with the approval of the United States Secret Service (USSS). Any additional questions related to the visit of the President will be referred to the USSS.

06
Oct

Los Angeles:  In an effort to assist the public in avoiding possible traffic congestion during the visit of the Vice President of the United States, October 6 & 7, 2014, the following areas of the City should be avoided when possible to prevent travel delays for community members:

Monday October 6, 2014
The area around the 405 Fwy and Santa Monica Blvd. from 3:00 pm to 6:00 p.m.
The area around Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The area around Sunset Blvd between Barrington Ave & Mandeville Cyn. from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday October 7, 2014
The area around Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The area around North Broadway between 19th Ave. and Daly Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The area around Spring Street between 18th Ave. and Arcadia St. from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The area around Cesar Chavez and Grand Ave from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The area around Grand Ave. between Cesar Chavez and Olympic Blvd. from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


BUS STOPS AFFECTED

We do not anticipate that bus routes will be impacted by the movements of the Vice President except for short durations.  Alternate routes are available and riders should utilize Metro.net for  alternate bus routes if they are on a tight travel schedule.

This information has been provided to the public with the approval of the United States Secret Service (USSS). 

16
Sep

The heat has been horrendously stifling, and everyone in Southern California is feeling it.  The massive use of electricity is unprecedented.  Throughout the city, thousands have lost power, including hundreds in Encino, where the estimated time of return of service is shortly after midnight . though hopefully, power will be back sooner -- before the end of today (Tuesday).  To call the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to report an outage, or to request a callback about the status of a situation, call 1-800-DIAL-DWP.  You can also check out LADWPnews.com for information.

The City's Emergency Management Department has issued a bulletin that contains the following information about "cooling centers" open to the public:

The following City of Los Angeles facilities are utilized as “Cooling Centers” during extreme heat conditions to provide the public with relief from the heat. These City facilities are always open to the public during regular business hours.

Library Facilities

Library facilities will be operating during their normal posted hours today and tomorrow. The general public should visit http://www.lapl.org/branches or call (213) 228-7000 for specific hours of operation.

Recreation and Parks Facilities

Normal Operating Hours

To access the list of facilities with locations and operating hours go to:

http://www.laparks.org/dos/reccenter/reccenter.htm.

L.A. County Facilities

For further information on cooling center locations outside of the City, contact L.A. County

2-1-1 or go to: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/coolingcenters-7-14-14.pdf.


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has put out the following comprehensive information regarding the heat:
The Department of Public Health would like to remind everyone that precautions should be taken, especially by individuals who participate in outdoor activities, older adults, caretakers of infants and children, and those sensitive to the heat. This alert may be extended if weather conditions do not improve.

“When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Others who are frail or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days,” said Jeffery Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer, Los Angeles County. “Thus, it is critically important to never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor without air conditioning, make sure that they get to a cooling center or other air conditioned space between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.”

For a list of Cooling Centers and information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, please visit the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, or call the LA County Information line at 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone within the county. The posted Cooling Center list is effective through Wednesday, September 17. Call your local Cooling Center for hours. To view a map of the nearest cooling centers, go to: http://bit.ly/BeatTheHeat2014.

“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out to those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of extreme heat, including children, the elderly, and their pets,” said Dr. Gunzenhauser. “Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous and even deadly, but we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated.”

Schools, day camps, and non-school related sports organizations or athletes should take extra precautions during extreme heat. Practices and other outdoor activities should be scheduled for very early or very late in the day in order to limit the amount of time spent in the sun and heat.

Additional tips for those who must work or exercise outdoors:

Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.
Pay attention to signs of dehydration which include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. Individuals with these symptoms should be moved to a cooler, shaded place, and given water or sport drinks. More severe signs of heat-related illness may include diminished judgment, disorientation, pale and clammy skin, a rapid and weak pulse, and/or fast and shallow breathing.
Coaches, teachers, and employers should seek immediate medical attention for those exhibiting signs of heat-related illness.
Avoid unnecessary exertion, such as vigorous exercise during peak sun hours, if you are outside or in a non-air conditioned building.
Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions:

During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
Do not rely only on open windows or a fan as a primary way to stay cool. Use the air conditioner. If you’re on reduced income, find out more about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, by calling (866) 675-6623 or contacting your utility provider.
Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sun screen and to wear sunglasses.
Infants and Children:

It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.


Pets:

Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows ‘cracked’ or open.
Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation.
Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat Cramps:

Symptoms include muscular pains and spasms, usually in the stomach, arms or leg muscles.
Heat cramps usually result from heavy exertion, such as exercise, during extreme heat.
Although heat cramps are the least severe of all heat-related problems, they are usually the first signal that the body is having trouble coping with hot temperatures. Heat cramps should be treated immediately with rest, fluids and getting out of the heat.
Seek medical attention if pain is severe or nausea occurs.


Heat Exhaustion:

Symptoms include heavy sweating, pale and clammy moist skin, extreme weakness or fatigue, muscle cramps, headache, dizziness or confusion, nausea or vomiting, fast and shallow breathing, or fainting.
First Aid: Heat exhaustion should be treated immediately with rest in a cool area, sipping water or a sports drink, applying cool and wet cloths and elevating the feet 12 inches.
If left untreated, victims may go into heat stroke.
Seek medical attention if the person does not respond to the above, basic treatment.
Heat Stroke:

Symptoms include flushed, hot, moist skin or a lack of sweat, high body temperature (above 103ºF), confusion or dizziness, possible unconsciousness, throbbing headache, rapid, or strong pulse.
Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness and occurs when a person’s temperature control system, which produces sweat, stops working.
Heat stroke may lead to brain damage and death.
First Aid: Call 911. Move victim to a cool shaded area. Fan the body, and spray body with water.

11
Sep

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will hold “Customer Service Saturdays” at four of its Customer Service Centers on September 13, 20, 27 and October 4, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Customers who attend any of the planned Customer Service Saturdays can expect assistance from staff who are able to take payments, process service order requests, answer billing questions and resolve billing issues. There will be informational tables and displays on customer-relevant issues like water conservation, which is of increased urgency during the current statewide drought, and energy efficiency, which is especially important during hot months like September. There will also be information on helpful LADWP programs and services available to customers, as well as sign-up materials.

Locations of the customer service centers (CSCs) are:

Crenshaw CSC
4030 Crenshaw Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Van Nuys CSC
6550 Van Nuys Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91401

Watts CSC
1686 E. 103rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90002

West Los Angeles CSC
1394 S. Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025

View, download and print the Customer Service Saturdays flyer here.

Earlier this Spring, LADWP opened these four customer service  centers on Saturdays for two months to assist customers experiencing billing problems. Customer Service Saturdays are a continued effort to be more responsive to our customers and the Department is considering opening on additional Saturdays throughout the year as well.

08
Sep

LADWP water system crews continue to make repairs on a 16-inch cast iron water main pipe that ruptured earlier today at approximately 9:40 AM at 17949 Karen Drive, located just south of the intersection of Zelzah Avenue and Valley Vista Drive in Encino.  Approximately 60 customers are currently without water service and two homes were evacuated as a precaution by LAFD. Water and mud also flowed across homeowners lawns and into swimming pools in the immediate area.  When excavating the area around the pipe, crews discovered a damaged sewer line that must also be repaired.  As a result, the current estimated time for completion of repairs to both pipes and restoration of service to customers is 10 pm.  Street repairs will follow.
The 66-year old water pipe was under relatively high pressure due to its' hillside location and crews had to work carefully to shut down the pipe slowly to prevent creating a water hammer that could have led to other pipe breaks in the area.  Positive water flow through the pipe also needed to be maintained to protect water quality and avoid having to issue a boiled water notice for the area.  The pipe is part of 7,200 miles of water mains and larger-diameter trunk lines that form a network across the city, delivering water 24/7 to four million customers.


For updated information on the status of repairs, please visit www.ladwpnews.com or follow us on Twitter at @LADWP.

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