COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS
February 3, 2012
NO Vote on DWP's Proposed Water Quality Factor Increases...
This week, I voted NO on the Department of Water and Power's (DWP) proposed water quality factor increases. The vote for the "emergency" increase came only two days after the independent Rate Payer Advocate was appointed by the Council, leaving no opportunity for him to review the proposed increase first.
According to DWP, the increase was needed to maintain the City's water supply and comply with federal environmental standards. Voters approved creating a Rate Payer Advocate and Office of Public Accountability last year in order to scrutinize proposed increases before they come to the Council. I will not support any proposed increase that has not first been examined and approved by the Rate Payer Advocate.
The Rate Payer Advocate is a positive step toward increasing the DWP's transparency and accountability as the citizens have demanded, and we must let him do the work that the position was created to do.
- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District
Last Marijuana Store in District 12 Closed Down in Police Raid...
As an LAPD Reserve Officer, and Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I was proud to be on hand as a team of Devonshire Division Narcotics Enforcement Officers shut down the last remaining storefront marijuana business operating in the Northwest Valley in a raid on Monday, Jan. 30.
To see more photos, visit the photo gallery on our website.
"Herbal Medicine Care" on Topanga Canyon Blvd. near Devonshire St. made over $600,000 in profits last year, and was the last of 60 pot shops that were once operating in the Devonshire Division area, according to the LAPD.
The Devonshire Police conducted an extensive investigation of the business. During the raid, the Police arrested three people and seized over 50 lbs. of marijuana ready for sale, 156 plants, extensive equipment for the growing and processing of marijuana, and thousands of dollars in cash.
When California voters approved the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, the intention was for dispensaries to operate as non-profit collectives that would help sick patients share resources and access to medical marijuana. What we have seen in Los Angeles is an out-of-control explosion of storefront marijuana stores where recreational drug users can get marijuana prescriptions for anything from headaches to insomnia.
The storefront pot shops have become a nuisance that attract crime to our neighborhoods. At one point, there were more pot shops in L.A. than Starbucks stores, with over 200 in the Valley alone. Since 2008, Police conducting raids of illegal marijuana businesses have made over 74 arrests citywide, and seized over $2 million in cash, assault weapons, 9 kilos of cocaine, and large amounts of other illegal drugs.
- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District
A Year of Emergency Preparedness...
On January 17, the 18th anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, we kicked off our Year of Emergency Preparedness in Los Angeles.
Throughout 2012, we will be working on legislation, programs and public awareness efforts to help the residents of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley be prepared for natural or man-made disasters.
Every week, our newsletter will feature a new item in an Emergency Preparedness Checklist. These are simple steps that everyone in Los Angeles should take in order to be prepared for any disaster. If you follow each item on this checklist, you will be highly prepared at the end of the year.
Week 4: Locate Your Gas Shut Off Valve
Natural gas leaks can occur inside or outside the home during an earthquake, landslide or other disaster. This can cause fires and explosions. It's important to know where your emergency gas shut off valve is so that you can turn it off after an earthquake.
If you hear or smell gas or find a broken gas line, or suspect a gas leak: Find your emergency gas shut off valve and turn if off using an open-ended wrench. Open all doors and windows. Make sure that all electrical appliances are turned off. Do not turn on light switches.
The gas shutoff valve is located on the gas line leading into your gas meter, normally located on an outside wall in a side yard or back yard. Sometimes they are found in an outside closet. This valve, about 6 to 8 inches above the ground, runs parallel with the meter pipe, and is bright red. With a wrench, give the valve a 1/4 turn in either direction until the valve is crosswise to the pipe.
Do not attempt to turn the gas back on. Call your utility company to do this. To learn more about your gas shut off valve, visit ReadyLA, the City's official emergency preparedness website.
To see our printable Emergency Preparedness Checklist, with every week's entry, click here.
Redistricting Meeting in the West Valley...
The City Redistricting Commission is holding a public meeting in the San Fernando Valley on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Pierce College.
Saturday, Feb. 4
6201 Winnetka Ave.
Every 10 years following the U.S. Census, the City Charter requires that the Council Districts be re-drawn by the independent Redistricting Commission. They make recommendations on a redistricting plan to the City Council on the District boundaries. The testimony and input of Los Angeles residents is critical to creating a redistricting plan that provides fair and effective representation for all citizens of the City.
On Jan. 25, 2012, the Redistricting Commission released its Draft Maps for public comment. Over the first two weeks of February, the Commission will be holding seven Public Input Hearings. The meetings are open to the public, and there will be a public comment period. Click here to see the agenda for the Feb. 4 meeting.
For more information, visit http://redistricting2011.lacity.org/LACITY/default.html.
Free Community E-Waste Collection Event...
Lorne St. PTA, Lorne St. Elementary School and California E-Waste are holding their Second Annual E-Waste Collection event on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Northridge.
Saturday, Feb. 11
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Lorne Elementary School
17440 Lorne St., Northridge
Bring your unwanted electronic devices such as TVs, computers, small appliances and toys to be safely and properly disposed of for free. It is illegal to throw away electronic devices in the regular trash. They contain toxic substances that can leach into the environment when they end up in landfills.
The event also raises funds for the YMCA Psychomotor Program at Lorne St. Elementary School.
For more information, call Pam Richman at Lorne Elementary School at (818) 342-2063.
Rotary Club E-Waste Collection Event in the San Fernando Valley...
On Saturday, Feb. 18, Rotary Club of West San Fernando Valley, Rotary Club of Van Nuys, and Rotary Club of North Hollywood are sponsoring a major E-Waste collection event at three locations in the San Fernando Valley.
Saturday, Feb. 18
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Woodland Hills: Pierce College. 6201 Winnetka Ave., Parking Lot 7. Enter on Victory Blvd. at Mason Ave.
Valley Village: L.A. Valley College, Parking Lot B, at Fulton Ave. and Oxnard St.
North Hollywood: St. Charles Borromeo Church Service Center, 10850 Moorpark St., at Lankershim Blvd.
The three Valley Rotary Clubs are working together to coordinate this opportunity for you to drop off unwanted electronics such as computers, TVs and small appliances so they can be safely and properly disposed of for free. It is illegal to throw away electronic devices in the regular trash. They contain toxic substances that can leach into the environment when they end up in landfills.
Join Northridge West Neighborhood Council's Weekly Clean-Up and Help Keep Northridge Clean and Green!
On Thursday, Feb. 9 join Northridge West Neighborhood Council for their weekly clean up project.
Thursday, Feb. 9
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Meet up at Chatsworth St. and Vanalden in Northridge
At 8:00 am the crew will review the game plan with free refreshments provided by Northridge West Neighborhood Council. Bring gloves if you have them, sunscreen,a sunhat and appropriate shoes for outdoor work. Northridge West Neighborhood provides the refreshments and tools.
For more information contact Jo Ann Phillips at (818) 304-4989 or email@example.com or visit www.NorthridgeWest.org.
Avat Shalom's Day of Service Community Clean-Up This Sunday!
Join Northridge West Neighborhood Council's Clean Sweep Campaign and Temple Ahavat Shalom for their Sunday of Service this weekend.
Sunday, Feb. 5
12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
They will be working on the parkways along Tampa Ave. from Devonshire Street to Chatsworth Street in Northridge.
Northridge West Neighborhood Council and Temple Ahavat Shalom, with support from Councilmember Mitchell Englander's office, are partnering for this special effort to help keep the streets and sidewalks of Northridge looking beautiful. Please bring water, sunscreen, work gloves if you have them, and shoes and clothes appropriate for outdoor work. All tools, as well as light refreshments will be provided.
For more information or to RSVP, call Shellie Turer at Temple Ahavat Shalom at (818) 993-2255 or email PetsRPeopleToo@att.net.
Valley Business Expo...
Save the date for the Valley Business Expo, on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Mariott Hotel at Burbank Airport. Get face-to-face consulting advice for your business from experienced small business bankers from top financial institutions.
Thursday, Feb. 23
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Marriott Hotel, Burbank Airport Tickets: $10
There will be one-on-one consultations on how to do business with large private sector companies and public agencies offering contracting opportunities. Companies offering consultations include NBCUniversal, Walmart, Port of LA, Republic Services and Los Angeles World Airports.
There will be over 100 exhibitors showcasing business resources and support services, drawings for valuable prizes, and professional networking among hundreds of attendees and exhibitors.
For more information, visit http://www.thevalley.net/expo.
Northridge Hospital Trauma Center Annual Champagne Brunch...
Save the date for the Northridge Hospital Trauma Center's Annual Golden Guild Champagne Brunch, on Sunday, March 25 at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills.
What happens in the first 60 minutes after traumatic injury is critical to one’s survival. That is why paramedics and trauma doctors call it “The Golden Hour.” The Golden Hour Guild is a volunteer fundraising group dedicated to supporting the Northridge Hospital Trauma Center.
Sunday, March 25
This great annual event helps raise funds to support the Pediatric and Adult Trauma Centers at Northridge Hospital. There will be drawings for prizes, including a $1,000 cash, women's jewelry donated by Gold Rush, and a two night stay at the Luxe Hotel, City Center at LA Live. Their 2011 event raised almost $60,000, which helped the Trauma Center purchase much-needed equipment for Northridge Hospital.
If you are interested in sponsoring or donating toward this event, please call the Northridge Hospital Foundation at (818) 885-5341, ext. 2.
ONEgeneration's 8th Annual Hearts Across the Valley Gala...
As Honorary Chair of the ONEgeneration 8th Annual Hearts Across the Valley Gala, I encourage you to attend, and enjoy a fun evening of elegant dining and entertainment for a great cause.
ONEgeneration is a San Fernando Valley-based non-profit organization that offers multi-generational daycare for low-income, special needs, and disabled adults and children. Proceeds go to helping ONEgeneration provide items, from can openers to wheelchairs, to go to homebound seniors.
Saturday, Feb. 25
Warner Center Marriott
This year's gala will honor LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore and his wife Cindy Moore, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield and Carol Zimring, founder of ONEgeneration's SHARE (Sending Help And Real Essentials) program. The evening will also feature silent and live auctions, award presentation, dancing, dining and entertainment.
To RSVP or for information on sponsorship opportunities, call (818) 708-6626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about ONEgeneration, visit www.ONEgeneration.org.
Children's Car Seat Check-Up Event...
Be sure to sign up for the free Children's Car Check-Up at Northridge Hospital on February 25, 2012.
The California Highway Patrol in coordination with Northridge Hospital Medical Center are hosting a Car Seat Check Up Day.
Saturday, Feb. 25
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
By appointment only. To make an appointment, call (818) 885-8500 ext. 3437.
Car seat check-ups teach parents and caregivers, hands-on in your own car how to correctly use a child’s car seat or seat belt. Trained and certified child passenger safety technicians work with parents to ensure car seats: have not been recalled; do meet federal safety standards; are installed correctly; are appropriate for the child's age, weight and height.
Studies show 72% of children's car seats are not properly installed or used. California has new booster seat laws in effect as of January 1, 2012. Come learn about the new laws and the best ways to keep your children safe in the car.
January 29 Community Clean Up a Tremendous Success!
Thanks and congratulations to the 250 volunteers from Church of God together with Northridge West Neighborhood Council's Clean Sweep volunteers for a hugely successful community clean-up effort on Jan. 29.
The volunteers trimmed many overhanging trees, mowed and pruned weeds and bushes, installed two Devonshire Country Estates signs, got DWP to re-paint fire hydrants, and made the streets of Northridge sparkle!
We applaud this effort to bring together the community and help keep Northridge clean and beautiful.
Free Business Workshop for San Fernando Valley Restaurants...
Our Field Deputy Erik Richardson, who serves as our business liaison, reports this week on a great resource to help small, start-up or struggling restaurants in the San Fernando Valley.
The City's new South Valley BusinessSource Center is offering a Restaurant Cost Structure Workshop on Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Marvin Braude Constituent Center in Van Nuys. This free workshop, offered in English and Spanish, outlines simple and effective tools to help a small restaurant keep operating costs, food costs and labor costs on track.
Thursday, Feb. 9
7:00 am to 9:00 am
Marvin Braude Constituent Center
6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Room 4B
The workshop is hosted by Initiating Change in Our Neighborhoods Community Development Corp. (ICON CDC), a San Fernando Valley non-profit organization that was recently selected to operate the South Valley BusinessSource Center. Breakfast will be provided. The workshop is free, but RSVP's are required.
For more information, or to RSVP, call (818) 899-3636 or email Deborah Helt at email@example.com.