On Thursday, November 15, Councilmember Koretz helped celebrate a reopening of the newly renovated Encino Park & Ride lot (located at 5174 Hayvenhurst Avenue). Among the officials joining the Councilmember for the ribbon-cutting were James Lefton and Tom Chang from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), LADOT, Rebecca Abano from the Bureau of Engineering and Charlene Lee Lorenzo from the Federal Transit Administration.
At the ceremony, Councilman Koretz said, “The renovations to this lot are a major improvement to a very important transit hub. Commuter Express riders use this lot as a convenient Valley parking location to go to Burbank, Pasadena and Glendale, to Downtown LA, to Century City, Westwood and to El Segundo and LAX. The old lot was often full, making it much harder for riders to find a place to park in order to use public transportation. It is also gratifying that this effort was the result of several different agencies working together for a common goal, in particular, LADOT, the Department of Recreation & Parks, the Bureau of Engineering, the Bureau of Contract Administration, Department of Recreation and Parks and the Army Corps of Engineers.”
The Encino Park & Ride lot serves riders of LADOT Commuter Express Routes 423, 549, 573 & 574. During the renovations, which began in November 2011, riders who used the lot were redirected to park at the Balboa Sports Complex.
The results of these renovations include a 50% increase in the Encino Park & Ride's parking capacity -- from 106 spaces to 160 spaces. In addition, two electric vehicle chargers were installed as well as new “bike lids” to allow bicyclists riding Commuter Express to safely store their bicycles. Another new feature to enhance the rider experience is the presence of two new electronic signs installed to inform customers of the next bus arrival in real time. The renovations also included upgrading landscaping and a new fence and new lighting fixtures to improve safety and security.
The project was completed within a year’s time. The total cost of the renovation was approximately one million dollars. Federal Transit Administration funding was nearly 30%, Federal Earmark funds provided another 30% and local Prop A matching funds covered the remainder of the project costs. Costs ran below original estimates.
A great ribbon-cutting event heralded the start of a major outdoor sculpture exhibition on the Avenue of the Stars in Century City, between Pico and Santa Monica boulevards. A series of 22 life-size bronze animals, created by Los Angeles artist Gwynn Murrill, will be on display until October 2013, fusing landscape, architecture and art into an environmental experience.
The sculpted animals on the street center median include wild coyotes, tigers, deer, panthers, big horn sheep, horse and an eagle shown in flight.
At the kickoff event, Councilmember Koretz saluted Ms. Murrill and all who made this possible, including the Century City Chamber of Commerce and its President and CEO, Susan Bursk; the Century City Chamber of Arts Council and its Chair, Jean Tardy-Vallernaud; L.A. Louver Gallery; Valley Crest Landscape Companies; Carl Schlosberg Fine Arts; Gainsborough Capital; the Century City Foundation; the Century City BID Association, and the Pollack PR Marketing Group.
We as a nation face a momentous decision; we as a state have many crucial matters to decide. Such things – and more, down to very local concerns – get determined Tuesday, November 6, Election Day.
There is an amazing spirit of resolve in this land that has people lining up, some of them waiting for hours, in order to vote. Even when we disagree, we share a common impulse to assert our stake in things, and that's what voting does, and that's why it feels good to vote, no matter the outcome.
Here in Los Angeles, where polls open at 7 a.m on Election Day and close at 8 p.m. that evening, voting should be comparatively easy and swift. If you are uncertain about your polling place, you can find it by visiting http://www.lavote.net/LOCATOR/. That link is part of the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's website, http://www.lavote.net/, where you can find answers to almost any question that might arise regarding voting in L.A. County.
Perhaps, like me, you've already voted by mail, or maybe you've even made the trek to the County Registrar's Office in Norwalk in order to vote early but in person. When and how you vote is not what counts – it's your vote that you cast that counts.
Of course, your voice and your views will continue to matter past November 6, and will always matter. My staff and I always want to hear from you, and always benefit from being in the community with you. Our 5th Council District is renowned for being extraordinarily involved not just on Election Day but every day. Voting every four years in our national elections is sweet and important, but so is your ongoing participation, which I value with all my heart. So I thank you mightily for your day-in, day-out civic patriotism.
Have a great Election Day!
Halloween is fun – scary fun.
It is also a crucial time to take advantage of good safety information that is especially valuable for those who are going trick-or-treating.
Below are tips provided by the American Association of Pediatricts, and by the Traffic Safety Coalition. Anyone planning to be out for Halloween, especially with kids, can benefit from reviewing these recommendations and by having a fun but safe Halloween:
The American Association of Pediatric's Halloween Safety Tips can be found at this link:
Here are the Traffic Safety Coalition's Halloween Safety Tips:
Happy Halloween! We hope you have your costume ready and your pumpkins carved because the scariest night of the year is almost here. While it’s important to have a fun holiday, the TSC also wants to remind you and your family to be safe this Halloween. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, the number of child fatalities occurring in pedestrian or vehicle incidents between the hours of 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm more than doubles on Halloween.
The TSC suggests talking to your kids and teen drivers before they go out on Halloween to ensure they practice safe and alert pedestrian and driving behavior. Safe Kids Worldwide recommends the following tips to parents and caregivers:
• Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
• Remember costumes can limit children’s visibility and also that these children may not be able to see your vehicle.
• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Our hopes and prayers go to those who have been harmed or placed in harm's way by Hurricane Sandy. This terrible storm has wrought untold devastation, and though our Californian skies overhead are sunny, we have all certainly shuddered and gasped at the shattering damage and tragic loss experienced by millions upon millions of people on the other side of this nation.
Our sympathies are tremendous and heartfelt. Many of us have personal or familial roots on the East Coast, or have family and friends living there now. For example, one member of my staff has a daughter and a sister living now in New York City, and another of my staff has experienced the whole of the storm first-hand, having arrived there last week on a long-scheduled family matter. Whether or not all of us feel that close to the storm, we are unified in our concern and in our best wishes for a speedy recovery for the people and communities that now need to rebuild.
One thing that will be talked about and studied, in the weeks and months to come, is whether this horrific weather was spurred on by climate change. I don't think we know the answer, yet, but Hurricane Sandy has made clear that concerns about climate must be treated with grave priority, because the costs of being ill-prepared can be especially calamitous.
Here in Los Angeles, climate of a different kind was a recent concern, and so a Red Flag Alert was issued due to the heat and dry gusty winds that can contribute to torrid fires. Needless to say, earthquakes are also an ongoing safety concern. While natural disasters are part of life, so too is our capacity to prepare ourselves, sensibly and in a community-friendly manner. That's why I urge you to go on-line to find a good preparatory checklist for home and family safety. You can find some very useful links. Also, consider joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. Whatever you do, please take smart measures to keep yourself well-prepared, and remember, when it comes to maximizing public safety, we're all in this together.
The City of Los Angeles has declared a "Red Flag Alert" to be in effect. It will remain in effect until further notice.
It is expected that the “Red Flag Alert” will stay in effect AT LEAST until 8:00 AM Saturday morning, and could last longer, subject to circumstances.
The following Information has been provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD):
A "Red Flag Alert" is called when the wind speed is 25 miles per hour or more and the relative humidity is 15% or less. History has proved that a combination of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.
For this reason, parking restrictions will exist on certain narrow streets in brush areas during these conditions. To determine current Red Flag Alert Parking Restrictions within the City of Los Angeles, please call 3-1-1 or visit: LAFD.org/RedFlag
Forecast models have been consistently advertising what looks to be one of the strongest Santa Ana events thus far this fall season. Gusty northeasterly winds (up to 45 MPH) and single digit relative humidity should bring a period of critical fire weather conditions to portions of Los Angeles. Tonight, winds are expected to sharply increase, peak Friday, and remain through Saturday. Unfortunately, overnight humidity recoveries will not help much and are expected to be poor.
These conditions, including strong winds and dry fuels, greatly compound wildfire danger. We therefore ask residents – especially those in foothill and wild-land communities – to ensure proper brush clearance and use caution. Those living near flammable vegetation should remain vigilant to the possibility of brush or structure fires.
Please heed the following six simple wind safety tips:
– Report nearby smoke and flames immediately to 9-1-1.
– Be watchful of toppling trees and wind-blown debris.
– Treat all non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop.
– Minimize the use of candles, lighters, fire pits, barbecues and spark producing equipment.
– Secure household items, such as outdoor furniture.
– If you encounter downed wires, assume they are energized & contact 9-1-1.
These winds could make travel difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. If you must get behind the wheel, Los Angeles Firefighters remind you: "Heads Up, Easy on the Throttle and Expect the Unexpected!"
As always, LAFD officials are keeping a close eye on wind speed and direction, high temperatures, dead fuel moisture reading and low relative humidity, along with all pertinent historical data.
President Barack Obama will be visiting the Greater Los Angeles area on Wednesday, October 24th. The good news is that traffic is expected to impact only the streets surrounding Los Angeles International (LAX) Airport, and the City of Burbank.
The following has been provided by the Los Angeles Police Department:
Los Angeles Police Department advises Los Angeles motorists to expect traffic delays during the anticipated visit of the President of the United States.
On Wednesday, October 24, 2012, President Barack Obama is expected to arrive in Los Angeles in order to attend several functions in the area. Although specific details about his destinations are not available for security purposes, the following information is provided to assist community members who may have a need to drivel in those areas where the President may be traveling.
Every effort will be made to minimize the traffic impact to the public while the President is traveling through the City. It is anticipated that the following streets may be affected and may experience temporary closures to facilitate the safe passage of the President. Motorists are encouraged to review the following information and make the necessary plans to avoid those areas during those time periods where traffic may be stopped or congested due to the President’s motorcade.
Time: 4:25 – 8:45 pm
Streets Likely To Be Affected: Streets surrounding Los Angeles International (LAX) Airport, and the City of Burbank
The above date, time and area is provided as a general guide and are subject to change without notice. It is our intent to provide the best possible information to the public without compromising the safety of the President. The public’s cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Councilmember Koretz and “Team Koretz” were proud participants in AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2012, which was held on October 14. The Walk was a huge success as once again, masses of caring people joined together for this annual occasion, to raise money and awareness while championing this powerful cause of transcendent significance.
Since 1985, AIDS Walk LA has drawn over a half-million participants who have collectively raised more than $72 million – and that’s not even including the 2012 AIDS Walk. Councilmember Koretz has taken part in this key event since the very first Walk, and many of his staff are longtime veterans, but it always proves to be a moving and fun time for those who do the Walk.
AIDS Walk LA benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles and more than 20 other L.A. County AIDS services organizations. For all the information you need to learn about AIDS Walk LA and how to sign up and participate in it in future years (as individuals or in teams), or to explore donating retroactively regarding the recent 2012 AIDS Walk LA on October 14, please visit the website at http://www.aidswalk.net/losangeles.
Councilmember Koretz praises AIDS Walk LA founder and producer Craig Miller and every single person, business and group responsible for making AIDS Walk LA such a massive and ongoing success – and that includes those who manage the effort and those who walk in it. In addition, he salutes all who are involved in seeking better treatments or cures regarding HIV/AIDS or any illness, or who are care providers. Health care isn’t just a national political issue, it is a matter of the most profound personal and moral dimension, and so thanks go to all who devote their lives to nursing, tending to and curing the sick and vulnerable amongst us.
The Encino Chamber of Commerce, along with great sponsors and volunteers, makes Taste of Encino a remarkable success every year. This year was no different.
Highlights of the 2012 Taste of Encino included restaurants offering a variety of ethnic and American food, a local business exhibition along with a home improvement section, arts & crafts vendors, a health and wellness pavilion with a disaster preparedness area, a kid’s corner (with such activities as a moon bounce, a slide & rock climbing wall, and a pumpkin patch), local schools and non-profits, live music and other entertainment, and a beer & wine pavilion. As always, Councilmember Koretz was among the many who enjoyed the festivities. He was proud to honor and thank this year's organizers for their dedication and work on behalf of the community.
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