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Englander E-News: Pensions, Green Jobs, Burglaries, and More ...

This is the councilman's weekly District 12 newsletter.

COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS

Sept. 21, 2012

Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Mitch_Englander

Working To Bring Meangingful Pension Reform to the City of Los Angeles...

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, I was proud to join Council President Herb Wesson, Mayor Villaraigosa and Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana to announce progress on a major pension reform proposal for the City of Los Angeles.

Every dollar that we save on pensions today is a dollar that we can spend on the city's core services: Police, Fire, streets, sidewalks, tree trimming, parks, and libraries.

The Pension Reform Package comes before the City Council next week. To see the LA Times story, click here.

The Basics of the Pension Reform Proposal
1. Moving the retirement ages up from 55 to 65 years to reflect
trends that people are living longer and able to work longer.

2. Capping the maximum retirement allowance at 75% of an employee's
final compensation instead of up to 100%.

4) Eliminating pension spiking by setting an employee's pension on a
3-year salary average rather than one year.

5) Modifying disability retirement benefits to avoid spikes in the
number of disability retirements.

6) Eliminating the current 50% survivor continuance benefit and
providing employees with an option to purchase a continuance for
their surviving spouse or domestic partner.

7) Capping future retiree annual cost-of-living adjustments to 2% with
the option for the employee to purchase up to 3%.

9) Controlling retiree healthcare costs by limiting the benefit to retirees only, not their dependents.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Working to Support Jobs in a Green Economy...

This week, I voted for an ordinance to extend the City's Green Retrofit and Workforce Program, Green Retrofit Development Interdepartmental Task Force, and Green Retrofit Development Advisory Council. To see the motion, click here

Established in May 2009, the Green Retrofit and Workforce Program was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was meant to identify resources and implementing environmental retrofits to municipal buildings to save water and energy while providing training to workers who were displaced by layoffs during the recession, or come from high unemployment areas of the City. This vote was to extend these programs for a second time. 
      
- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Appointment of CD 12 Resident to L.A. Human Relations Commission...

We were proud to re-appoint Dr. Yasmin Delahoussaye to the Human Relations Commission this week in City Council. Yasmin lives in the CD12 portion of North Hills and is the Vice President of Student Services at Los Angeles Valley College.  

She holds a Bachelors degree in history from California State University, Los Angeles; a Masters degree in educational psychology from California State University, Northridge and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was also appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California State Student Aid Commission.

The Human Relations Commission works to improve the lives of all residents of Los Angeles by listening to their needs, researching and identifying potential sources of conflict and working toward resolutions. The Commission identifies and discusses the City's changing ethnic , demographic and economic landscape, acts as community advocates, offers training programs, and facilitates dialogue.

To learn more, visit http://hrc.lacity.org/commission.html.

Working to Bring Companies to Los Angeles to Create Jobs and Boost the Economy...

The City Council approved the motion I co-authored to extend the business tax "holiday" for new businesses starting up in L.A. and existing businesses relocating to the City for another three years to help create jobs and boost the economy.

This is exactly the kind of tool that the City can and should be using to encourage start up businesses and attract them to re-locate in L.A. so we can help create jobs and get our economy back on track.

The motion, which was co-authored with Councilmember Eric Garcetti, would allow new businesses that open in, or existing businesses that relocate to the City of Los Angeles to not have to pay the business tax, or gross receipts tax, for their first three years of operation. The tax holiday would be extended for another three years.

The City must do more to compete with other cities, states and even countries that have are making major efforts to lure away companies from Los Angeles. The high cost of doing business in Los Angeles is commonly cited as a reason that companies leave the City. The three year extension of this program was set to expire on December 31, 2012, at a time when Los Angeles has an unemployment rate of 12.2% (as of May 2012), well above the county, the state and the nation as a whole.

To see the story on KPCC 89.3 FM click here.

The motion returns for a final vote in City Council next week. To see the motion, visit click here.

Police Make Significant Arrests in Knock Knock Burglaries...

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee and an LAPD Reserve Officer, I was extremely proud to join the LAPD at a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 19 as they announced breakthroughs in the so-called "Knock Knock" burglaries.

At the press conference, the LAPD announced the arrests made through intense cooperation and investigation by their special burglary task force, with the Glendale Police Department, the Burbank Police Department, the L.A. County Sheriff, the Beverly Hills Police Department, the District Attorney and the IRS. They arrested 59 suspects, including four pawnshop owners where the stolen goods were sold.

Knock Knock burglars have been robbing homes in hillside residential neighborhoods, including in the San Fernando Valley, for more than eight months. They would cruise through neighborhoods, seeking out homes that look like the residents are not home. They would knock on the front door, and if no one answered, they would force entry through doors or windows on the side or back of the home. The Police urge residents to keep their doors and windows locked.

Update on Porter Ranch School Parking...

Significant progress was made in untangling the traffic mess at Porter Ranch Community School at a meeting that I hosted with representatives from L.A. Department of Transportation, LAUSD, LAUSD School Police, Renaissance Home Owners Association, Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council, and a parent representative.

Community members and parents had been highly concerned about traffic congestion and parking tickets at the recently opened K-8 school, because LAUSD had not built adequate parking facilities to accommodate pick-up and drop-off of students. The situation was particularly difficult for parents of kindergartners because they had to park and escort their young children into the school.

Our meeting was a success, and all parties were able to come together to find mutually agreeable solutions so that we can ensure the safety of the kids, and address the concerns of the community.

At the meeting, LADOT agreed to install 25 mph speed limit signs on the roads surrounding the school. In the meantime, I am having speed trailers deployed to both Sesnon and Mason to remind drivers to observe the speed limit. I am also looking into ways to address the immediate question of how to ensure that the 150 kindergartners can be safely escorted into the school.  LAUSD will be conducting studies into long-term traffic, parking and circulation solutions. Any permanent solutions would require traffic and engineering studies, which take time but should be done properly.

I will also be introducing a motion that will allow the City to implement some interim traffic measures to provide immediate relief to the situation. In addition, the school is looking at ways to improve its own management of the drop-off system on the school site.  

Free Waste Collection Events...

The City is holding two free waste collection events up in the San Fernando Valley to offer residents a convenient place to safely and properly dispose of waste items that are illegal to throw away in the regular trash.

Motor Oil, Used Filters, and Electronic Waste
Saturday, Sept. 22
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Anheuser-Busch
15800 Roscoe Blvd., Van Nuys

Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics
Saturday, Sept. 29 
Sunday, Sept. 30
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
CSUN
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge
(Parking Lot F-10, at Lassen St. & Lindley Ave.)

For more information and future waste collection events and locations click here

Get Ready for Citrus Sunday!!!

Get ready for our 7th Annual Citrus Sunday coming up this Sunday, Sept. 23! This volunteer fruit drive brings tens of thousands of pounds of fresh oranges and grapefruits to food banks that serve struggling San Fernando Valley families.

Join Northridge West, Northridge South, Granada Hills North, Granada Hills South, West Hills and  North Hills West Neighborhood Councils along with Temple Ahavat Shalom for this great event!

Sunday, September 23
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

 
Participating is easy!
1. Just pick oranges, grapefruits or other citrus fruit from your trees, or ask your neighbors if you can pick from their trees. 
2. Drop them off at participating locations between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm on Sunday, Sept. 23. Our partner organization, Valley Interfaith Council (VIC) will collect all the fruit and distribute it to families served at VIC food pantries in the San Fernando Valley.

Drop off locations:
North Hills West NC
Fire Station 87
10124 Balboa Blvd., North Hills

West Hills NC
Field’s Market
23221 Saticoy St., West Hills

Granada Hills South NC
Granada Hills Charter High School
10533 Zelzah Ave., Granada Hills
 
Northridge West NC &
Northridge South NC
Wilkinson Senior Center
8956 Vanalden Ave., Northridge 

Temple Ahavat Shalom
18200 Rinaldi Place, Northridge
(8:30 am – 12:00 pm)

Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council
Knollwood Country Club
12040 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills

New Horizons 11th Annual Golf Classic...

Don't miss the New Horizons 11th Annual Golf Classic on Monday Sept. 24, at Porter Valley Country Club in Porter Ranch. Enjoy a fun day of golf and support a great cause!

Monday, Sept. 24
Porter Valley
Country Club
19216 Singing Hills Dr., Northridge

Registration &
Contests  - 9:00 am
Shotgun Start - 11:00 am
Cocktails - 4:00 pm
Awards Dinner - 4:30 pm

The grand prize is a six day stay at a luxurious vacation home in Palm Desert. Sedond prize is a $500 Apple gift card. Third prize is a Kindle e-reader.

For more information, to register as a play or as a sponsor, visit www.newhorizons-sfv.org.

 

Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Reseda

Join the Reseda Centennial Celebration hosted by the Reseda Neighborhood Council, and help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the community of Reseda, on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Saturday, Sept. 29
10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Reseda Park
18411 Victory Blvd., Reseda

There will be live music and entertainment, an artists pavillion with live interactive art, rides, games, food vendors, and booths from local businesses and community organizations.

For more information, visit their Facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/ResedaCentennial.

 Get Involved in Your Community! Participate in the Upcoming Neighborhood Council Elections...

Looking for a chance to get more involved in your community? Participate in the upcoming election for Neighborhood Council Board Positions in the Northwest San Fernando Valley.

Joining your local Neighborhood Council is a great way to make a meaningful, positive contribution to your community, meet others who are engaged in the community, and get involved in rewarding community projects and events.

Each neighborhood council will conduct their own election with various processes. For more information about the Neighborhood Council you're interested in, see links below and contact them directly.

Sept. 29, 2012 elections for:
West Hills Neighborhood Council
(polls are open until 8:00 pm)
http://empowerla.org/whnc/west-hills-nc-elections/

Reseda Neighborhood Council elections
http://empowerla.org/rnc/reseda-nc-elections/

For complete rules and guidelines, information about acceptable forms of ID, candidate guidelines and frequently asked questions, visit the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment's website at http://empowerla.org/elections or call (818) 293-8683.

 Join Ride with Pride’s Concert in the Canyon...

Ride with Pride will be hosting the 3rd annual Concert in the Canyon on Saturday, September 29. Enjoy a fun filled evening with community members while helping to raise money for Ride with Pride's programs.

Saturday, Sept. 29
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Browns Canyon Ranch
12051 Browns Canyon Rd.,
Chatsworth

Ride with Pride offers therapeutic horseback riding to enhance the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

For more information please visit http://www.ridewithprideth.org/newsRoomUpcomingEvents.html
For sponsorship information contact Pat UpdeGraff at (818) 885-8138. 

West Hills 25th Anniversary Community Picnic and Elections...

We are proud to co-sponsor the West Hills 25th Anniversary Picnic and Neighborhood Council Elections at Shadow Ranch Park in West Hills.

West Hills 25th
Anniversary Picnic
Saturday, Sept. 29
1:00 pm to 6:30 pm
West Hills Neighborhood Council Elections
2:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Shadow Ranch Recreation Center
22633 Vanowen St., West Hills


The event is hosted by the West Hills Neighborhood Council and co-sponsored by West Hills Hospital, Grossman Burn Center, Fairwinds West Hills Retirement Center, The Boeing Co., Foundation for Arts and Community Events (FaCE)/Cinema Heritage Project and the Department of Recreation and Parks.

There will be live rock and roll bands, picnic games, a community resource fair, petting zoo, bouncers, health screenings, and gourmet food trucks. At 7:00 pm, there will be a free outdoor screening of the classic film The Wizard of Oz.

For information or to reserve a booth, please call Ed Young at (818) 704-1505 or email Ed19357@Yahoo.com.

Plan Ahead for 405 Freeway Closures,
Sept. 29 & 30...

As part of the Sepulved Pass Improvement Project, the 405 Freeway will be closed in both directions from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.

The closure will affect approximately 500,000 commuters in the L.A. area, but as with the previous 405 Freeway, closure, if we all plan ahead and eat, shop and play locally, we can prevent a traffic nightmare in Los Angeles.

On Friday, Sept. 28, ramps along the 10-mile closure area will start to close as early as 7:00 pm, and closure of freeway lanes will begin at 10:00 pm to ensure full freeway closure by midnight. The closure will continue until the morning of Monday, Oct. 1, 5:00 am, and ramps and connectors will be reopened by 6:00 am. During the closure, the Mulholland Bridge, 405 Freeway and access ramps will be closed.

During "Carmageddon II" weekend, crews will remove the last-standing part of Muholland bridge and two column sets, work that will require a full 53 hours to complete. For a listing of daily closures and latest updates visit Metro's website at www.metro.net/405 or follow Metro on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/I_405 and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/405project.

Eat, Shop and Play Locally During "Carmageddon II"...

Metro has partnered with almost 300 local restaurants, stores, museums, venues and tourist destinations to offer discounts during "Carmageddon II." Metro hopes to encourage the public to "Eat, Shop and Play Locally" Sept. 29 and 30 to help avoid severe traffic congestion during the 405 Freeway closure. 

Carmageddon II special discounts range from 10% to 50% and are part of Metro's Destinations Discounts Program for Metro public transit riders. You must show your Metro Tap card to receive the discount. To see a map showing all of the discounts available in the San Fernando Valley, and throughout Los Angeles, click here.

For more information about the 405 Freeway closure, visit www.metro.net/405.

Workshops for Disability Rights, Education and Advocacy...

The Family Focus Resource & Empowerment Center  in partnership with Gold Standard Advocates is offering several workshops for community members, focusing on children with Special Education needs and their families.

Family Focus Resource & Empowerment Center (FFREC) assists families of children who have special needs.  FFREC is a non-profit organization and is a sponsored project of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education at California State University, Northridge. For more information, visit http://familyfocusresourcecenter.org/.

Gold Standard Advocates is a Los Angeles-based Special Education Advocate group specializing in individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit  http://www.theiepadvocates.com/

"Insurance Coverage for Autism-Related Services"
Thursday, Oct. 4
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Councilmember Mitchell Englander's
Community Service Center
9207 Oakdale Ave., Chatsworth

For questions or to RSVP to any of the workshops, contact Theresa Quary at (818) 677-6854 or Theresa.quary@csun.edu

Support the Granada Hills Rotary Foundation Blood Drive...

Give the gift of life! Give blood! The Granada Hills Rotary Foundation is holding a blood drive in two locations in Granada Hills on Saturday, September 29 in an effort to raise at least 500 pints of blood. Free lunch will be provided to all donors. 
 
Saturday, Sept. 29
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Granada Hills Recreation Center
16730 Chatsworth St.,  Granada Hills
North Valley Youth Sports Complex
13100 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills


An appointment is required. To make an appointment visit www.rotarygivesblood.org
 
For sponsorships opportunities and additional information email John Weitkamp at jweitkamp@aol.com 

5th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair...

Come learn how your family can get prepared for major earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and other disasters at the 5th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair, on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Fire Station 87 in Granada Hills.

Saturday, Oct. 6
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Fire Station 87
10124 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills

We are proud to co-sponsor this terrific event, together with Northridge South, Northridge East, and Northridge West Neighborhoor Councils.  Granada Hills North, Granada Hills South, North Hills West, Porter Ranch, and Chatsworth Neighborhood Councils are also participating. The Neighborhood Councils will be giving away 400 Emergency Preparedness Starter Kits (1 per family). 

There will also be drawings for a backpack filled with emergency supplies, the Yogi Bear Shakey-Quakey School House and Free Child IDs provided by Granada Hills Masons. There will be demonstrations and booths from HAM Radio Operators, LAFD's Jaws-of-Life, LADWP Safety Demonstration, Civil Air Patrol Van Nuys, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Red Cross, a Kids Safety Puppet Show, LAPD Mobile Command Post, Southern California Gas Company, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Northridge Hospital Trauma Department and more.

Pioneer Day at the Homestead Acre in Chatsworth... 

Pioneer Day at the Homestead Acre in Chatsworth is coming up on Sunday, Oct. 7, so save the date for this great Northwest San Fernando Valley tradition.

Sunday, Oct. 7
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Homestead Acre
Chatsworth Park South
10385 Shadow Oak Dr.
(At the west end of Devonshire St.)
Chatsworth

This wonderful, family-friendly event celebrates the rich history of our community, and includes tours of the Virginia Watson Chatsworth Historical Museum and the historical Minnie Palmer Cottage. There will also be the famous Chili Cook-Off, a bake sale, and demonstrations of wood-carving, arrowhead making, weaving, panning for gold, quilting, blacksmithing, Native American artifacts, and more. 

There is free parking and a shuttle service to and from the park at Chatsworth Depot Metrolink Station, located at 10038 Old Depot Plaza Rd. (Enter from Devonshire St. between Canoga Ave. and Owensmouth Ave.). 

$5 donation for adults. $1 for kids. Proceeds support the Chatsworth Historical Society. 

For more information, visit  http://www.historicalsocieties.net.

Darby Elementary School Fundraiser to Support Goodwill...

Please donate unwanted or used household items, electronics and clean clothing in good condition to Darby Elementary School's 5th Grade Class for their Goodwill donation drive. Darby has partnered with Goodwill Southern California to raise funds as well as support Goodwill’s mission of enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities through education, training and job placement services. 

This event is a win-win! For every trailer full of donated items, Darby Elementary's 5th Grade Class earns money to help pay for school supplies for students, and Goodwill receives donated items that will go to struggling families in our community.

Saturday Oct. 13
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Darby Elementary School
10818 Darby Ave., Northridge
Teacher's parking lot on southwest corner.

To see the list of accepted and not-accepted items, click here.
To have items picked up please call (818) 319-7139.

Honor a Hero/Hire a Vet Job and Resource Fair...

Businesses from across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties will come together on Thursday, Oct. 18 for the 7th Annual Honor a Hero / Hire a Vet Job and Resource Fair at Warner Center. This is the largest regional job fair aimed at helping returning war veterans, National Guard members, and reservists who need to find jobs as they return to the San Fernando Valley community. 

The Job Fair serves as a one-stop opportunity for entry, middle, and upper- level career opportunities. Come dressed for success and bring multiple copies of your resume.

The Job Fair is co-presented by The Valley Economic Alliance and the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Thursday, Oct. 18
11:00 am to 1:00 pm - Open for Veterans
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm - Open to the General Public
Warner Center Marriott Hotel
21850 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills

For more information please call The Valley Economic Alliance at (818) 379-7000 Ext. 110 or email egass@economicalliance.org. Job Seeker Hotline - (818) 596-4498.

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 34: Cash...
Hopefully, everyone has a survival kit in each car, in their home and in their office. One important item you should consider for your survival kit is cash. After a major earthquake, power outages could last for days or weeks. That means that many stores might not be able to process credit card purchases. It's a good idea to have cash in your survival kit so that you can buy necessary items without relying on credit cards, ATM machines, debit cards, or checks. 

To see our printable Emergency Preparedness Checklist, with every week's entry, click here or visit our website at www.CD12.org.

Volunteers Needed for the City's Crisis Response Team...

Our Field Deputy Semee Park works on community emergency preparedness issues for our office. She reports this week on a great opportunity for community members looking to make valuable contributions by volunteering for the City's Crisis Response Team.

The City is seeking volunteers to serve in the Crisis Response Team (CRT) Program. The CRT is composed of professionally trained community civilian volunteers who respond to traumatic incidents at the request of the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments all across the City.

CRT volunteers provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention, provide comfort to victims of traumatic accidents, disasters and crimes, act as liaisons between victims and emergency personnel, and give referrals for counseling to victims and their families.

The CRT program is managed by the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security & Public Safety in collaboration with the City’s Fire and Police Departments. The seven-week training course is Oct. 15 through Dec. 5, 2012 and every Monday and Wednesday evening at the L.A. Police Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The program is especially in need of volunteers who are bilingual in Spanish and Korean.

For more information or to apply, click here or email LACRT@lacity.org.

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