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Englander E-News: Community Care, Marijuana, and More ...

This is the weekly City Council District 12 newsletter.

COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS
Feb. 1, 2013

Community Care Facilities Ordinance...

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, acting Council President Tom Labonge moved to create a working groupto be chaired by me, along with Councilmembers Alarcon and Reyes. The working group will be supported by staff from the City Attorney, Planning Department, Building & Safety Department, and Chief Legislative Analyst, as well representatives from other City, State and Federal agencies as needed.

The group is to report back to the City Council in 90 days with recommendations on how to move forward with the Community Care Facilities Ordinance.

During the Council meeting, we heard verbal reports from the Police and Fire Departments, City Attorney, Planning and Housing Departments, about the need for improvements to the way the City approaches group living.

To read the Daily News editorial in support of the Community Care Facilities Ordinance, click here

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

No Vote on Medical Marijuana Proposals...

This week I voted against placing on the May ballot the three proposals to allow marijuana shops to operate in Los Angeles, which will appear on the May ballot.

All three proposals would allow storefront marijuana shops to continue to operate,withvarious conditions on them.Storefront marijuana shops, if they are not non-profit collectives, are in violation of both state and federal law.

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee and as an LAPD Reserve Officer, I know first-hand about the crime and other negative impacts on our neighborhoods that the illegal storefront marijuana stores have had. The City has struggled for years with the impacts, and has been unable to find ways to effectively regulate them. When California voters approved the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 legalizing medical marijuana, it is likely that they had clinics or pharmacies in mind, serving people withchronic debilitating illnesses, rather than the nearly 1,000 storefront marijuana stores that sprang up across L.A.

It has become commonplace for people as young as 18 years old to easily obtain prescriptions for ailments such as anxiety or insomnia and buy marijuana from storefront dispensaries for recreational drug use. Marijuana remains illegal at the Federal level for any use.

Since 2008, Police conducting raids of illegal marijuana businesses have made over 74 arrests citywide, and seized over $2 million in cash, assault weapons, nine kilograms of cocaine, and large amounts of other illegal drugs. Together with LAPD Narcotics Enforcement Officers, we shut down all of the more than 60 illegal marijuana shops that were operating in our District.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Working to Provide More Resources to Our L.A. Fire Department...

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I introduced a motion on Jan. 23 asking the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) to report on the feasibility of establishing a Reserve Firefighter program to utilize the services of retired Firefighters, and potentially other qualified individuals, who are willing to volunteer and contribute to LAFD.

The report will include best practices for reserve Firefighter and voluntary Firefighter programs in other cities and also describe how LAFD would ensure that its standards would be maintained in a reserve system.

The LAFD has initiated several efforts to modernize the Department and optimize its budgeted resources. These initiatives include shifting to a more data-driven deployment plan and pursuing implementation of technology to better manage fire resources, with the implementation of my FIRESTAT-LAplan. FIRESTAT-LA will create a systemmodeled afterthe Police Department's COMPSTAT system. These types of initiatives are critical to ensuring that LAFD can continue to be the greatest fire department in the country despite the City's ongoing budget shortfalls.

The Police Department has a highly successful Reserve Officer program, with volunteer Reserve Offices fulfilling a wide variety of Police functions, andoffering the Department an extremely valuable resource. As this process gets underway, additional opportunities to maximize LAFD's personnel resources should be explored.

Working to Crack Down on Hit-and-Runs...

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, I co-authored a resolution stating the City's support of Assembly Bill 184 (Gatto) which seeks to extend the statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses statewide.

It is a crime for the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person, to leave the scene of the accident.

However, under current law, if a motorist is not identified within three years of a hit-and-run collision, the motorist cannot be prosecuted. AB 184 (Gatto) would provide that, if a person flees the scene of an accident causing permanent, serious injury or flees the scene of an accident and is charged with specified types of vehicular manslaughter, charges may be brought either one or three years after the offense, or one year after the person is identified as a suspect in the commission of the offense.

The resolution, which was co-authored by Councilmember Joe Buscaino, is in response to reports that there are approximately 4,000 hit-and-run collisions every year in Los Angeles leading to injury or death. Most of the motorists are involved are never prosecuted, in part, because of the statute of limitations.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Interviews on NBC & CBS/KCAL On Motion Addressing the High Number of Hit-and-Runs in L.A...

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I seconded a motion by Councilmember Joe Buscaino last week requesting that the LAPD report to the Public Safety Committee on hit-and-run collisions on Los Angeles.

The motion was in response to recent reports about the increasing numbers of hit-and-run collisions on pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

To see a video clip of my interview with CBS 2/KCAL 9 on thehit-and-run issue, click here.

To see a video clip of my interview with NBC 4 on the hit-and-run issue, click here.

The report revealed that 48% of all reported vehicle collisions in the City were hit-and-runs, the highest rate in the nation. Of these, 4,000 resulted in the injury or death of the party abandoned at the crime scene.

We must do everything possible to keep our streets safe for all. The motion asks the Police Department to report to the Public Safety Committee about what efforts they are undertaking to curtail hit-and-run collisions and report on what additional resources, if any, would help reduce the number of these incidents in the City. Click here to see the motion.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

New Horizons Achievement Center Ribbon Cutting...

As a member of the Board and a true believer in New Horizons' services to help adults with developmental disabilities reach their potential and fulfill their dreams, I was proud to cut the ribbon this week on their new Achievement Center.

To see more photos, visit our photo galleries.

I have worked on this project since its inception in 2009 and I worked to secure over $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to get this wonderful project built. The Achievement Center offers hundreds of clients of New Horizons a place to grow and improve their life skills, including painting, community integration and computer skills. Great job and congratulations to Cynthia Sewell Kawa, and all of the New Horizons Board members, staff, volunteers and supporters on this great achievement!

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Earthquake Preparedness PSA Billboards...

You may have noticed a series of new billboards urging community members to get prepared for earthquakes. 

These billboards were not funded with taxpayer money. They are PSAs (Public Service Announcements), for which sign companies set aside a certain percentage billboard space every year. The PSAs sometimes carry anti-drunk driving or texting-and-driving messages, rewards to help catch violent criminals, or emergency preparedness information. 
 
Community preparedness requires building partnerships between government agencies, the community, and the business community. We were approached to partner on this billboard because of our work on our Year of Preparedness campaign, for which we had a new earthquake preparedness tip every week. 
 
To see all of our Year of Preparedness tips, visit http://tiny.cc/YearOfPrep.

Year of Healthy Living...

On Saturday, Jan. 26, we kicked off our CD 12 Year of Healthy Living with a Health Expo in partnership with the North Valley Family YMCA.

At the Health Expo, there were doctors and pharmacists on hand to provide free consultations, and booths with information about healthcare services and resources. There was also live entertainment, dance performances, healthy recipe ideas, free snacks and refreshments.

To see more photos,
 visit our photo galleries.

Every month in 2013, we have a community activity or event meant to offer families in the community a fun way to get healthy. The events range from community hikes, walks and bike rides, to informational events on nutrition, healthcare and financial health. Healthy living means more than just eating vegetables and exercising. It also means taking care of our community, our environment, our mental health and more.

For more information about our Year of Healthy Living, call (818) 882-1212.

Foster Homes Needed for Puppies & Kittens...

Foster homes are needed to care for newly born puppies and kittens from L.A. Department of Animal Services shelters. Fosters raise the puppies and kittens until they are 8 to 10 weeks old and are strong enough to be returned to the shelter to be spayed or neutered and placed in permanent, loving homes.

The application takes up to several weeks.Foster care for newly born kittens and puppies greatly ensures their survival rate, development and health throughout their lives. It can also provide a valuable educational experience for children.

You can also sign up to foster injured or sick animals and healthy adult animals, as wellas reptiles and exotic animals.

To sign upclick here. To see some of the animals that need foster care, or learn about other ways to volunteer or support shelter animals, visit the West Valley Animal Shelter, located at 20655 Plummer St. in Chatsworth.

Speaking at the Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council...

I was happy to speak on Monday, Jan. 28 at the Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council at the Rockpointe HOA Clubhouse. I gave updates and answered questions about the progress on clean-up of Chatsworth Park South, the status of my L.A. Street Repair Bond, and the motion with Councilmember Buscaino to address the increasing numbers of hit-and-runs in L.A.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Kiwanis Club of Northridge Hosting Mayoral Candidate Forums...

The Kiwanis Club of Northridge is hosting a series of discussions with the candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles at their regular Thursday meetings in Northridge.

The Kiwanis Club, a not-for profit organization, is not endorsing or supporting any candidate, but providing a forum to help the community learn about the different candidates and ask them questions about their policies and positions.

All of the meetings are on Thursdays at 12:00 pm. Parking at CSUN costs $6. Street parking is limited. There will be a buffet lunch available at the Orange Grove Bistro for $16.

The forum featured Councilmember Jan Perry on Thursday, Jan. 24 , and Kevin James, former Federal Prosecutor and Talk Show host, on Thursday, Jan. 31.

Thursday, Feb. 7: Councilmember Eric Garcetti
Thursday, Feb. 14: City Controller Wendy Gruel

At the Orange Grove Bistro at CSUN
Zelzah Ave. and Nordhoff St., Northridge

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis is an International service organization serving children around the world.

To make reservations, call Sharon Rose, President, Kiwanis Club of Northridge, at (818) 708-8596 or email SRKiwanis1@AOL.com.

Learn Ballroom Dance and Other Styles at St. Euphrasia...

Looking for a fun way to burn off those holiday calories and fulfill your New Year's resolution? St. Euphrasia Church in Granada Hills is offering ballroom, swing and fox trot dance lessons every Friday evening through Feb. 8.

Every Friday
Through Feb. 8
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
St. Euphrasia Church
Parish Hall
17637 Mayerling St.
Granada Hills

Registration is at 6:30 pm, and the classes start at 7:00 pm sharp. Single classes cost $10, and a six-week series costs $50.

For more information, call Susie Sempelsz at (818) 360-4611 or emailsusie@sarshop.com.

Ride On Pancake Breakfast...

Join Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship for their annual Pancake Breakfast and Open House on Saturday, Feb. 9. This fun, free, family-friendly event will include demonstrations by Ride On's talented students highlighting the programs that Ride On provides.

Ride On offers therapeutic riding and hippotherapy - physical therapy on horseback -for children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Saturday, Feb. 9
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship
10860 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Chatsworth

Come learn more about the unique services that are offered to children and adults with special needs. There will also be staff and board members on hand to talk about volunteer and involvement opportunities.

For more information call (818) 700-2971 or email Sara@rideon.org.

Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Workshops...

The L.A. Emergency Management Department offers a free program to help you get your neighborhood prepared for earthquakes and other disasters. By attending the workshop, you will receive a guide to building a Neighborhood Disaster Plan in five steps, with templates and instructions on how to plan, do outreach for, and conduct a neighborhood disaster preparedness meeting.

Tuesday, Feb. 12
Balboa Sports Complex
17015 Burbank Blvd.
Encino

The workshop in the San Fernando Valley is on Feb. 12. There will also be free refreshments and drawings for prizes. The event is free, but space and materials are limited so registration is required.To register for the Valley workshop, or any of the other workshops in other parts of Los Angeles, visit
www.constantassociates.com/disaster.

For more information, email aislynn@constantassociates.com or call (424) 247-1214 or TTY (213) 978-0463.

Bicycle Master Plan - Traffic and Safety Review...

The City is holding several public hearings on the 2010 Bicycle Master Plan. In Sept. 2012, the state enacted a law to exempt restriping of urban streets for bicycle lanes. In order to be eligible for the exemption, the City must conduct an assessment of traffic and safety impacts of the proposed projects that are part of the Bicycle Master Plan, hold public hearings and hear and respond to public comment.

The meetings will include presentations by the Department of Transportation (LADOT), Department of City Planning as well as a public hearing. Following the hearings, a written report incorporating and responding to the public comments will be presented to the General Manager of LADOT and will be made available to the public. There will be one hearing in the San Fernando Valley.

Valley Area
Thursday, Feb. 21
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
North Hollywood Regional Library
5211Tujunga Ave., North Hollywood

There will also be a webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For details about how to log into watch the webinar, visithttp://LADOTbikeblog.wordpress.com.

The Los Angeles Bicycle plan, approved by the City Council in 2010, lays out a long-term goal of 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways and calls for more than 200 miles of new bicycle routes every five years. It suggests that such major arteries get bike lanes in the near future, and sets goals to make bicycling in the City a safer, more convenient, viable transportation form that is incorporated into the overall traffic and transportation routes, plans and patterns of the City.

For more information,call David Somers at (213) 978-3307.

North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce Installation Luncheon...

Save the date for the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual installation luncheon on Friday, Feb. 15 in Granada Hills. The key note address will be given by CSUN's recently appointed President Dianne Harrison. The Chamber will also present Rickey Gelb with the 2013 CK Tseng Award.

Friday, Feb. 15
11:30 am
Odyssey Restaurant
15600 Odyssey Dr.
Granada Hills
Cost: $55

For more info or to RSVP, call Stephanie Schwinn at (818) 349-5676 or emailstephanie@nvrcc.com.

Free CERT Training...

There is a great opportunity coming up for families to learn how to get prepared for earthquakes, wildfires, floods or other disasters at the free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in Chatsworth.

These courses could make all the difference for you and your family before, during and after a disaster. We applaud Chatsworth Neighborhood Council for sponsoring this important public safety resource for the community.

Thursdays
Through Feb. 21
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Chatsworth Library Meeting Room
21052 Devonshire St., Chatsworth

CERT trains community members in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. You will learn how to prepare for emergencies, what supplies, food and water you should have in your home or office, and most importantly, how to protect your family and your neighbors.

For more information email cert@chatsworthcouncil.org or call Clara at (818) 773-9655.

Save the Date for the February "Year of Healthy Living" Event: The Wild West Chatsworth Community Bike Ride...

Save the date for the Wild West Chatsworth Community Bike Ride, a fun, free, family-friendly bike ride highlighting the sites, culture and history of the community, in partnership with CICLE (Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange).

On the approximately 7 mile ride, we will tour the Historic Olive Grove, the Homestead Acre and Chatsworth History Museum, Stoney Point Ranch, Mr. Ed's Barn, and the Munchbox, a 1950s burger stand which is a Cultural Historic Monument.

Saturday, Feb. 23
10:00 am
Chatsworth Depot Metrolink Station
Devonshire Parking Lot
10046 Old Depot Plaza Rd., Chatsworth
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/9vlBG

We will kick off the ride with a brief talk about bicycle safety, with free healthy snacks, coffee, juice and water donated by Alliance Beverage Partners of Chatsworth, Western Bagel of Chatsworth. There will be a drawing for a great prize donated by REI. Sales of tickets for the drawing benefitCICLE, which is a non-profit organization working to promote bicycling as a viable, healthy, and sustainable transportation choice.www.CICLE.org.

Please bring a bicycle in good working order. Participants should be able to ride a bike safely with the ability to brake, change gears, and balance while stopping and starting. We recommend all riders wear a helmet. All riders under 18 MUST wear a helmet and be escorted by a parent or guardian. Children under 8 years old should be on a tag-a-long, bike trailer, tandem, or other safe child-carrying device to participate in the ride.

For the Year of Healthy Living, we are holding a community activity or event every month to offer families in the community a fun way to get healthy. The events range from community hikes, walks and bike rides, to informational events on nutrition, healthcare and financial health.

For more information, email Julia@cicle.org.

Sign Up Now to Join the Crisis Response Team...

Our Public Safety Deputy Jim Dellinger is a former LAPD Officer with over 26 years on the force, and he has seen how important it is to offer support and counseling to victims of violent crimes and traumatic accidents. He reports this week on the Crisis Response Team Program, which is seeking civilian volunteers.

The seven-week training CRT training program runs from March 4 through April 17 on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the LAPD headquarters in downtown. Volunteers with bilingual capability in Spanish and Korean are particularly needed.

CRT consists of trained community volunteers who respond at the request of the L.A. Police andFire Departments where there are victims of violent crimes, accidents, and other traumatic incidents. CRT volunteers provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention, offer comfort to victims, act as liaisons between victims and emergency personnel, and give referrals to victims and their families to social services.

To apply online, click here. For more information, email Jeffrey Zimerman atLACRT@lacity.org.

Esoteric Knowledge February 02, 2013 at 06:09 PM
In My Opinion: Mitchell Englander: Well, I am so sorry you are Councilmember, and you voted no to marijuana. And I'm sorry you are an intolerant, prejudiced, bigoted person...I don't think that kind of person with those kinds of qualities--along with logic and cognitive troubles--should be in public office. At what age do you think people are allowed to be sick in your schizophrenic world?...about 45? And how many storefronts should be allowed so we can determine city planing based on how afraid you are? And what illnesses are actually illnesses? We know you think insomnia and anxiety are not, what others are there? And please write your local doctors and hospital so they can integrate your conservative, prejudice, and envious world view into their practice so you can keep denying, limiting, causing crime, and generally harming and destroying the lives of the people you are bigoted towards.

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