Community News


Dear Friends,

I want to wish you all a safe, meaningful and fun 4th of July.

As always, Independence Day is an opportunity not just for relaxation but also for reflection on our heritage and understanding of our nation's birth and history.

The past couple of weeks have been an amazing time, full of thought-provoking and heart-wrenching moments. Let’s contemplate the greatness of our nation's enduring flag and what it stands for, even as the flag representing rebellion against this nation and support for slavery and racism is suddenly fast disappearing. As evidence of our resilience, communities victimized by violence and hate show the power of their peaceful and forgiving resolve. The Supreme Court decision on marriage equality gives added and crucial substance to our guiding principles of liberty and justice for all. A more secure health care system lessens the likelihood of individuals and families being devastated by illness, and that is as essential to our safety as a strong national security.

Although these are challenging times, I look forward to an optimistic future. Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Councilmember Fifth District


In advance of the 4th of July holiday and its celebrations, the Los Angeles Fire Department is providing crucial information about fire works. The goal is to discourage their illegal purchase and gravely hazardous use, while letting the public know where to go to observe safe, legitimate fire works shows that are held as part of the Independence Day festivities.

Inevitably, people maim and otherwise hurt themselves and other people through the dangerous use of illegal fireworks. Along with the terrible accidents that so frequently occur, there is also the all-to-real risk of starting fires, which is a transcendent concern at a time of record temperatures, unprecedented drought and ultra dry fire conditions. By way of example, on June 25, a palm tree caught fire in the West Valley. Firefighters rushed to the scene and where able to contain the blaze, which threatened nearby homes: the cause was illegal fireworks. It is worth noting that there will be extra LAPD squad cars patrolling Los Angeles neighborhoods over the July 4th holiday weekend in order to ensure greater safety, but you can do your part by reading the information contained in this link. Here is a link to our LAFD post about fireworks safety, which includes a listing of all legal, public shows in the city and county of LA. As a reminder, ALL personal use fireworks are illegal in the city of L.A. and residents are encouraged to call (877) ASK-LAPD to report illegal fireworks, or 911 if they sense immediate danger.


Pet Safety Tips for 4th of July -- provided by City of Los Angeles Animal Services:

Make this Independence Day fun and SAFE for your pets! Some people love big gatherings and loud noises - but that can be very frightening for our pets.

Here are some Pet Safety Tips for Independence Day:

Make sure your pet is microchipped and that the registration has your current address. In addition, make sure your dog is wearing a license tag. These two simple steps help us reunite families if a pet does get lost.

You can contact any of our L.A. Animal Services Shelters and schedule an appointment to have your companion animal microchipped. The cost of for the public is $25.00 per animal. Most veterinary clinics also offer microchipping.

Keep your pets inside. If you are having guests over, keep pets in a room that is off-limits to guests, with plenty of water and food.

Surround pets with their favorite toys and other familiar objects. Play soothing music and keep the room as quiet as possible by closing doors, windows and blinds.

Even if your pet does not seem obviously upset by fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets. Avoid potential burns, injuries, or possible ingestion by keeping all pets out of the vicinity of fireworks.

ADOPT NOW and Help Us Save MORE Animals
The fourth of July is a time shelter staff knows that we will have a sudden influx of lost and frightened animals. Our shelters are already over crowded. If you are considering adopting, please visit our shelters and adopt NOW or consider fostering a great dog or cat! They are counting on us. We are all they have.


The following information has been provided by the Los Angeles Police Department after being approved for release by the United States Secret Service:


Traffic Advisory for Presidential Visit

Los Angeles: In an effort to assist the public in avoiding possible traffic congestion during the visit of the President of the United States, June 18 & 19, 2015, the following areas of the City should be avoided when possible to prevent travel delays for community members:


Thursday June 18, 2015

The area around Sepulveda Boulevard between Lincoln Boulevard and Century Boulevard between 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The area around Pico Boulevard and 23rd Street between 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The area around Barrington Avenue and Palms Boulevard between 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The area around Centinela Avenue and Bundy Avenue between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The area around Bundy Avenue and Interstate 10 Freeway between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The area around 405 Freeway and Sunset Boulevard between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The area around Evans Road and Monorca Drive from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The area around Napoli Drive and Sunset Boulevard from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The area around Sunset Boulevard and 405 Freeway from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The area around 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive 3:00 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The area around Mulholland Drive and Coldwater Canyon 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The area around Coldwater Canyon and Beverly Drive 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The area around Beverly Drive and Sunset Boulevard 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The area around Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Note: Merv Griffin Way between Wilshire Boulevard and North Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed between2:00 p.m. on June 18, 2015to12:00 p.m. on June 19, 2015.


Friday June 19, 2015

The area around Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around Century Park East and Pico Boulevard from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around Pico Boulevard and Overland Avenue from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around Overland Avenue and National Boulevard from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around National Boulevard and Interstate 10 Freeway 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around Interstate 405 Freeway and Centinela Avenue 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The area around Arroyo Boulevard and Mountain Street 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The area around Mountain Street and the 210 Freeway 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The area around 134 Freeway and Colorado Boulevard 8:00 to 12:00 p.m.

The area around Colorado Boulevard and Figueroa Street 8:00 to 12:00 p.m.

The area around York Boulevard and North Avenue 51 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The area around Yosemite Drive and North Avenue 56 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Notes: The following are road closures in the City of Pasadena;

Seco Street between West Drive and Lincoln Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Rosemount Ave between Prospect Terrace and North Arroyo Boulevard from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

West Drive between Linda Vista Avenue to Salvia Canyon Road from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Rosemount Avenue between North Arroyo Boulevard and Seco Street from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


The following flights/operations are not permitted within the 30NM radius Temporary Flight Restriction unless authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration after consultation with the United States Secret Service (USSS):


















This information has been provided to the public with the approval of the USSS. Any additional questions related to the visit of the President will be referred to the USSS.


The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will begin theCharing Cross and Hilgard Regulator Station Bypass Line Project on Monday June 15, 2015. The project will take place at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Hilgard Ave. This project is of crucial long-term significance by helping to ensure deliverance of water to surrounding communities during times of maintenance or emergency, but for several months to come, commuters will face inconveniences and delays during the hours of work.

The 5th District Council Office has been working diligently with LADWP, LADOT, UCLA, METRO and all the various community leaders to ensure that all major concerns of this project have been addressed. LADOT Traffic Officers will be on Sunset Blvd. to manage the traffic flow and to make sure the traffic signals are timed accordingly. Message boards will be placed this week in areas surrounding the project location and also on the 405 freeway to advise drivers. Work hours will be Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm, with some work days until 9:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Work days are extended until 9:00pm during the week, so that the project can be completed before the anticipated finish date of January 2016.


On June 2nd, more than 200 organizations, cultural influencers, and elected officials participated in the first annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange and speaking up on the issue.

The Day was inspired by a group of Chicago teens, who asked their classmates to commemorate the life of a friend – 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton - who had been gunned down, killed, just one week after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade, which had been a great highlight of that young life, now forever stilled.

To commemorate the Day, the Los Angeles City Council joined with Women Against Gun Violence, locally, and others across our nation, to call for the prevention of gun violence (which includes both intentional and accidental acts) and the stemming of the epidemic that takes so many lives, leaves so many wounds, and inflicts catastrophic damage on families and communities throughout our country, every single day.

The message includes advocating for gun safety legislation, keeping firearms out of the wrong hands, and calling for responsible gun ownership, which certainly includes keeping guns locked and stored safely and securely away from children, who so often are the ones who are the victims of gun violence. 

The Westwood Branch Library recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the community celebrated because it a treasured neighborhood resource and a welcome place for reading, education, relaxation and fun activities.  The Councilmember Koretz was there to offer the City's congratulations, and on behalf of the people of Los Angeles he thanked the staff, volunteers, Friends of Westwood Library, and the patrons of all ages who have made the Westwood Branch Library such an exceptional, invaluable, fun and heavily used branch library and community centerpiec

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

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