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Englander E-News: Paving, Pets, MLK, Hams and More ...

This is the weekly newsletter for City Council District 12.

COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS
Jan. 18, 2013

More Community Input Sought on Proposed LA Street Repair Bond...

Councilmembers Mitchell Englander and Joe Buscaino proposed to hold the $3 billion L.A. Street Safety and Traffic Improvement Bond for a future ballot. It will not appear on the May 2013 ballot.

This will give the proposal more time for consideration by all Los Angeles stakeholders and to engage in a massive public outreach effort.

The Councilmembers asked the City Attorney to advise on draft language for a future ballot measure and referred the Street Repair Bond to the Public Works Committee, which Buscaino chairs. As part of a planned massive public outreach effort to offer all L.A. stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in, the Public Works Committee will be holding a series of public meetings across the regions of Los Angeles.

Providing for safe, well-maintained streets is one of the most basic core functions of city government, and is crucial to our economy and our daily lives. We are excited to have started this important public discussion about investing in improving our City infrastructure to benefit Los Angeles now and in future generations. We want all stakeholders - community members, Neighborhood Councils, chambers of commerce, community-based organizations and businesses - to have the opportunity to give their input, and that has always been one of the central goals of the street repair proposal.

Councilmembers Englander and Buscaino had proposed placing on the May ballot the General Obligation bond to repair and rebuild all the failed and poor condition streets in Los Angeles in 10 years. Los Angeles streets are in the worst condition of any major U.S. city, costing vehicle owners about $750 in additional maintenance every year. Chronic under funding of street maintenance from the 1950's to the 1990's led to the deterioration of 8,700 miles of city streets which now must be completely reconstructed. Budget constraints only allow for a very small number of streets to be reconstructed every year. At the current rate of repair, it would take 60 years to reconstruct all 8,700 miles of failed streets.

Once the backlog is gone and the failed streets are rebuilt, they can be slurry- sealed and maintained at a much lower cost, so the City will be able to maintain them in good condition on an ongoing basis. When they are reconstructed, the streets would be re-configured to improve traffic safety and traffic flow, which would improve 911 response times. Improved crosswalks and implementation of bicycle master plan features would make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well.

The improvement to our streets would boost property values and generate jobs and economic benefit. The funds from the bond could not go toward any other purpose than the designated street repair, and would be placed in a trust fund with a Citizens Oversight Committee to ensure transparency and accountability.

An informational website has already posted with detailed information about the Street Repair Bond, including an FAQ page, a PowerPoint presentation, and links to several studies and reports about the condition of L.A. streets and the benefits of investing in infrastructure.

To see the Street Repair Measure website, click here.
To see the Daily News editorial click here.
To see the L.A. Times editorial click here.

Sign Up Now to Offer a Foster Home to Kittens or Puppies...

You can sign up to offer a foster home to kittens and puppies from L.A. Department of Animal Services shelters. Animal Services needs people willing to raise the puppies and kittens until they are 8 to 10 weeks old and can be returned to the shelter to be spayed or neutered and placed in permanent, loving homes.

The application takes up to several weeks to process, so sign up now! Kitten and puppy season is usually from March through October, and hundreds of kittend and puppies in Los Angeles will need foster care. Foster care for newly born kittens and puppies greatly ensures their survival rate, as well as their development and health throughout their lives.

You can also sign up to care for injured or sick animals, healthy adult animals to offer a "break" from the shelther environment, reptiles and exotic animals.

Fostering is highly rewarding, and is a great way for families to teach children about responsibility, compassion and nature.

To sign up to become a foster family for shelter animals, click here.

Help Operation Blankets of Love Provide Comfort to Animals in Shelters...

During the cold winter months, you can help keep cats and dogs in City Animal Shelters warm and comfortable by supporting the efforts of Operation Blankets of Love. The San Fernando Valley-based non-profit organization gathers donated blankets, towels and pet beds and distributes them to animal shelters.

You can drop off your donated items at Pet People, located at 18040 Chatsworth St. in Granada Hills.

You can also donate money to support Operation Blankets of Love. To make a monetary donation, or for more information, click here orcall Brad Smulson at (818) 402-6584.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service…

HOPE Worldwide and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains invite all community members to help clean up the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park for their Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Volunteers will help remove invasive plants, maintain trails, install posts for park signs, and paint over graffiti. You can also help clean up the historic Old Stagecoach Trail. Special activities are planned for kids younger than 12.

Every year volunteers and community-based organizations across the nation undertake efforts to improve the community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s contributions. HOPE Worldwide is an international non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and needy through sustainable, community-based services, including healthcare, nutrition, housing and education.

Saturday, Jan. 19
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
Andora Ave. at Andora Place
Chatsworth
Click here for a map. 

All adult volunteers will meet at 8:00 am at the Andora Ave. entrance to the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, next to the Oakwood Cemetery in Chatsworth. Volunteers with children will meet at 8:00 am at the entrance to the park on Lilac Lane at Santa Susana Pass Rd. Park in the dirt parking lot west of the park kiosk. Please wear sturdy close-toed shoes, long pants, and long sleeves for working around brush. Light breakfast will be provided for all volunteers.

For more information, please call Susan Knudsen at (818) 357-0161
or email knudsenpurdy@aol.com.

Ham Radio Exam & Informational Overview...

The Valley Public Response for Emergency Preparedness (VPREP) is offering a Ham radio exam and informational overview on Saturday, Jan. 19 in Woodland Hills.

Our office is proud to support this event, together with Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, the California Highway Patrol, and community-based emergency preparedness organizations.

Saturday, Jan. 19
California Highway Patrol West Valley Station
5825 De Soto Ave.
Woodland Hills
(Between Burbank Blvd. & Oxnard St.)

In times of disaster, when regular communication channels fail, amateur Ham radio operators can play an important role in assisting emergency communication efforts and working with public service agencies and the community.

There will be an Amateur Radio Entry Level FCC-License Test at 8:00 am. RSVPs are required because space is limited, and applicants need to receive exam study materials in advance. There is a $5 administrative fee for the exam. At 11:00 am there is an informational presentation on Ham radio, where you can learn more about the Ham radio system, and how you can become a Ham radio operator.

Please RSVP to Erik Rodriguez at (818) 904-3840 or emailErik.Rodriguez@asm.ca.gov. Upon RSVP, you will receive detailed instructions on the exam and the study guide.

Chatsworth Library Used Book Sale...

The Friends of the Chatsworth Branch Library are holding a used book sale on Saturday, Jan. 19. There will be a wide range of used books in good condition, including paperbacks, hardcovers, fiction and non-fiction from many genres.

Saturday, Jan. 19
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Chatsworth Branch Library
21052 Devonshire St., Chatsworth

Paperback books: $0.50. Hardcover books: $1. Children’s books: 3 for $1.
All proceeds benefit the Chatsworth Branch Library.

For more information, call (818) 341-4276.

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.

Thursday, Jan. 24: Councilmember Jan Perry
Thursday, Jan. 31: Kevin James, former Federal Prosecutor &
Talk Show host
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.

San Fernando Valley High Schools Competing in Robot Challenge...

Several San Fernando Valley high schools have teams competing in the L.A. Pierce College Invitational Robotics Competition on Saturday, Jan. 26. Robot competitions offer a fun, exciting, rewarding way for students to learn valuable computer, engineering, math and science skills.

Saturday, Jan. 26
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Pierce College
Great Hall
6201 Winnetka Ave.
Woodland Hills


Schools including Reseda High, Westlake High, Van Nuys High, Louisville High, Cleveland High and Magnolia Science Academy have teams of students who will be competing with robots that they have designed and built. This exciting event is free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

Call for Volunteers to Help Prune Park Roses...

The Southern California Garden Club in partnership with the San Fernando Valley Rose Society and the West Valley Garden Club are organizing a volunteer rose pruning event in one of our local parks this month.

Saturday, Jan. 26
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Homestead Acre
Chatsworth Park South
10835 Shadow Oak Dr., Chatsworth

There are nearly 600 rose bushes at Orcutt Ranch and over 300 rose bushes at Homestead Acre in Chatsworth Park South that need pruning. You can volunteer for this fun event and help maintain these beautiful gardens. A short pruning tutorial will be provided and refreshments will be served. Bring clippers and gloves if you have them. The flowers harvested during the rose pruning events will be donated to the Los Angeles Zoo for their primate and reptile program.

For more information, call Albert Change at (818) 363-5925 or email afchangusa@gmail.com.

Kicking off Our Year of Healthy Living...

This month we are kicking off a new initiative - the CD 12 Year of Healthy Living! Every month, 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.

Saturday, Jan. 26
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
North Valley Family YMCA
11336 Corbin Ave.
Porter Ranch
(at Rinaldi St.)

To start off the Year of Healthy Living, our January activity is a Health Expo in partnership with the North Valley Family YMCA on Saturday, Jan. 26 in Porter Ranch. At the Health Expo, there will be doctors and pharmacists on hand to provide free consultation, and there will be booths with information about healthcare services and resources. There will also be live entertainment, healthy recipe ideas and free snacks and refreshments and more!

For more information about this event call the North Valley Family YMCA at(818) 368-3232.

Board of Equalization Small Business Seminar...

Councilmember Englander will be speaking at "Strategies for Success in Today's Economy," the California Board of Equalization's (BOE) next Small Business Seminar at CSUN on Jan. 30.

He will join the BOE Chairman Jerome E. Horton as well as State Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield at the free seminar, which is part of a series of educational events meant to help small businesses create quality jobs and prosper in California. The Small Business Seminars, in partnership with the Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, Internal Revenue Service and a host of other service providers, seek to help small businesses minimize the frustration of taxation and thrive to help spur economic growth in California.

Wednesday, Jan. 30
9:00 am
CSUN
University Student Union
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge
Parking on campus costs $6


The Small Business Seminars are also designed to raise awareness of BOE's Taxpayers Advocacy and Use Tax Programs and increase voluntary compliance. Up to 250 small business owners, tax practitioners, inspiring entrepreneurs, members of local Chambers of Commerce and students of the College of Business and Economics are expected to attend. The event is free, but space is limited, so RSVPs are required.

New business owners, entrepreneurs considering starting a business, professionals currently operating a business who want to learn about state or federal tax laws, or those who want to improve their business knowledge are encouraged to attend.

To RSVP online, click here. For more information, please call (888) 847-9652.

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.

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 great prizes, with proceeds benefiting CICLE, 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 age 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.

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 worked 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 during the year, our newsletter featured a new item in anEmergency Preparedness Checklist. These are simple steps that everyone in Los Angeles should take in order to be prepared for any disaster. If you followed each item on this checklist, you would be highly prepared at the end of the year.

Week 51: Anniversary of Northridge Earthquake...
We kicked off our Year of Emergency Preparedness on the anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake one year ago. The anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake is a good reminder to check the expiration dates of the food and batteries in your disaster kits. It is also a good time to change out the water to ensure that your disaster kits always have fresh, clean water. Stored water should be replaced every six months. 

To see our updated, printable Emergency Preparedness Checklist, with every week's entry, visit our website at www.CD12.org and click "Year of Preparedness."

Street Closure on Haskell Ave. for Resurfacing...

Our Senior Planning and Transportation Deputy Hannah Lee keeps up to date on all traffic and transportation issues affecting our community. She reports this week on a street closure announced by the Bureau of Street Services on Haskell Ave. from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20. 

Haskell Ave. will be closed from Superior St. to Nordhoff St. in North Hills in order to prepare the street for resurfacing. Street Services recommends that Woodley Ave. be used as an alternate north/south route.

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