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Special Public Safety Meeting Today to Discuss Boarding Houses

Englander E-News: This is the weekly newsletter of City Council District 12.

COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS
Dec. 7, 2012

Special Public Safety Committee Meeting on the Need to Advance Community Care Facilities Ordinance...

In response to the quadruple homicide at an unlicensed boarding house in Northridge, I am holding a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 10 of my Public Safety Committee to discuss the need to advance my Community Care Facilities Ordinance (CCFO).

Monday, Dec. 10
9:00 am
City Hall
Council Chambers, 3rd Floor
200 N. Spring St.
Downtown L.A.

The tragic murder of four people on Dec. 2 at an unlicensed boarding house in a residential neighborhood of Northridge underscores the need to regulate such facilities. The home had up to a dozen people, some of them disabled, living in filthy, dangerous conditions. The doors and exits were blocked, and rooms were cramped and filled with dirty mattresses, urine and feces, and there were unsafe, unpermitted structures on the property.

I led development of the CCFO. It is common-sense legislation, carefully crafted to not discriminate against any groups. It will enable licensed, well-run group homes to continue providing their services. The CCFO will give the City the tools to ensure that vulnerable people including people with disabilities, seniors and Veterans are not victim to the overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary conditions like those seen in the home where the quadruple homicide took place.

It will also address the proliferation of unlicensed, illegal nuisance group homes and boarding facilities that have had a huge negative impact on single-family neighborhoods across the City. It would regulate unlicensed facilities operating as businesses in residential areas with up to 50 people crammed into a single home, often without any supervision, programs or security, or adequate kitchen or bathroom facilities.

To see the Community Care Facilities Ordinance, go to http://tiny.cc/CCFODraft.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Resolution Calling for Change in State Re-Alignment Law in Response to Northridge Quadruple Homicide...

In response to the quadruple homicide at an unlicensed boarding house in Northridge, I introduced a resolution on Friday, Dec. 7 calling for amendments to the California “Public Safety Realignment” laws that are moving criminals from state prisons into county jails.

The alleged killer had a long criminal history, including violent crimes, and the fact that he was out on the street and not behind bars underscores the dangers posed by re-alignment. The Realignment laws must be amended to protect our community from violent crime.

My resolution seeks to amend the Public Safety Realignment (AB 109 and AB 117) to require that offenders with prior convictions of violent and/or serious crimes be subject to stricter supervision and sentencing requirements. Three Police Officers and three former California State Legislators were among the signers of the resolution. It was seconded by Councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Dennis Zine, Joe Buscaino, Paul Koretz, and Herb Wesson.

To see the resolution go to http://tiny.cc/Realignment_Reso

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Preserving Funding for Civilian Police Work Force...

As Vice-Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, I advocated strongly for and voted to use savings in the LAPD's current year budget to avoid a proposed layoff of civilian Police workers. This action will keep more Police Officers on the street protecting and serving our community, preventing crimes and bringing criminals to justice.

The LAPD is the best Police Department in the nation, and we need our Police Officers to be doing what they are trained for, not working at desk jobs that should be done by trained civilians at a much lower cost to the tax payer.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Progress on Fire Response Time Reporting Issues...

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I had requested that Fire Chief Brian Cummings come before the City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 5 to report on progress in the Department's efforts to address issues related to reporting response times.

We asked tough questions about the accuracy of response time data and the steps Chief Cummings has taken and plans to take to address this serious issue. 

I was pleased to hear that the Department under Chief Cummmings' leadership had made significant progress. The Chief had formed a Task Force on Data Analysis with assistance from data experts at the Rand Corp. and USC. At the Dec. 4 Council meeting, the Task Force presented a report that acknowledges the past shortcomings and explains how they happened.

Most importantly the report offers a working plan to implement a more technologically advanced management and deployment system, including the Advanced Vehicle Location Systems (similar to GPS) and a computer-aided dispatch system. It also embraces and incorporates my FIRESTAT -LA proposal.

I introduced FIRESTAT-LA in Feb. 2012, and it was approved by the City Council in April 2012. FIRESTAT-LA is a new system modeled after the LAPD’s highly successful COMPSTAT. It incorporates leading-edge technology and innovative management techniques to improve deployment and operational efficiency. FIRESTAT-LA will use real-time, centralized data collection and mapping, rapid and concentrated deployment of resources and constant follow-up and assessment. It will help the Fire Department find efficiencies and improvements, and create clear communication among all levels of the Fire Department. To see my FIRESTAT-LA motion, click here.

While good progress has been made, there is still much work that needs to be done. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Chief and the Department to help make the best Fire Department in the nation even better. The City has the best-trained Firefighters and Paramedics in the nation, and they have my full support.

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Robbery Victims Can Claim Stolen Property...

The LAPD has created a system to allow victims of burglaries and theft to see photos of 11,000 stolen items that Police recovered after burglars were arrested, and make claims to recover their property. Many of the items were recovered when the LAPD made numerous arrests in the so-called Knock Knock Burglars that had been robbing homes in hillside areas of the San Fernando Valley, including communities in Council District 12.

Photos of the property are available for viewing online at http://tiny.cc/khivow. If you believe your property is depicted in any of the photos, you can send an email to lapdvctf@lapd.lacity.org or leave a message at (818) 644- 8091.

In your email, include a brief description of the item, the item number written on the yellow tab in the photograph, the name listed as the victim on your burglary report, the report number, the address where the burglary occurred, the date of the crime and a callback number.

High Schools in Robot Competition at CSUN This Weekend...

Don't miss the action this weekend as teams of students from 70 high schools across Southern California compete in the Regional Robotic Competition this Saturday, Dec. 8 at CSUN.

Regional Robotics Competition
Saturday, Dec. 8
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
CSUN Redwood Hall
University Student Union
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge
 
The schools competing include Reseda High School, Chaminade High School in West Hills, Granada Hills Charter High School, Monroe High School in North Hills, El Camino High School in Woodland Hills, Champs Charter High School in Van Nuys, Viewpoint High School in Woodland Hills, Holmes Middle School in Northridge, and Grant High School in Valley Glen.

This event is free and open to the public, but parking on the CSUN campus is $6. Spectators will see the robots, completely designed and built by these talented young students, compete and perform against each other. The competition is based on the VEX Educational Robotic Design System.

Participating in robot competitions offers students the opportunity to learn highly advanced science, engineering and computer skills that will help them excel in college and in today's labor market.

Granada Hills Baptist Church Beauty Extravaganza to Help Victims of Domestic Violence...

Granada Hills Baptist Church will hold its third annual Beauty Extravaganza to provide hope, comfort and loving care to victims of domestic violence in the San Fernando Valley, on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Saturday, Dec. 8
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Granada Hills Baptist Church
10949 Zelzah Ave.
Granada Hills
(2 blocks south of San Fernando Mission Blvd.)

Professional beauticians will offer their services free of charge, providing women who live in shelters with complete beauty makeovers. The women will also able to choose clothing for their families, donated by church and community members. Their children will be offered special programs and will receive a holiday gift. A delicious meal will be served to all.

If you would like to sign up as a volunteer, or donate clothing or money to this great cause, please contact Debbie Dullabaun at (818) 516-2420 or ybeeme@aol.com.

Valley Youth Chorus Holiday Performance...

The San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus, under the musical direction of Yohan Partan, invites the community to celebrate the holidays at a concert on Saturday, Dec. 8 in North Hills.

Saturday, Dec. 8
5:30 pm
The Onion Church
9550 Haskell Ave., North Hills


The evening includes performances by Primi Cantores (grades 3 to 5) and Melodia Nova (grades 6 to 12). Both concerts will feature secular, sacred, and seasonal choral songs and music from Spain, Wales, Finland, Germany, England, Israel, South Africa, and the United States.

The San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus is a non-profit choral program founded in 1992 to offer musical education to young singers and bring choral music to the community. Tickets are $5 and may be reserved by calling (818) 212-9356 or purchased at the door. 

For more information, contact Holly Rasey at (818) 943-0596 or hsrasey@gmail.com or Sue Saper at (818) 212-9356 or info@valleyyouthchorus.org or visit www.valleyyouthchorus.org.

Chatsworth Kiwanis Holiday Parade, Festival and Car Show...

Get ready for the 29th Annual Chatsworth Holiday Parade, featuring hundreds of floats, marching bands, clowns, horse teams, live music, food, booths, arts and crafts, games, photos with Santa Claus, a Kid's Zone and more! The theme this year is "Under the Sea."

Sunday, Dec. 9
9:00 am
Car Show Check-In
1:00 pm - Parade Begins
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm -
Festival
Canoga Ave.
Between Devonshire St.
and Lassen St.
Chatsworth

Click here for the sponsorship and entry form for the Holiday Parade.

This year the Chatsworth Holiday Parade will also feature a car show! Hundreds of cars will be on display, including trophies for categories including Best Classic, Best Hot Rod, Best Muscle Car, Best Paint, Best Domestic, Best of Show, and People’s Choice. The event will feature lots of food vendors and entertainment. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy or gift card to donate to the toy drive benefiting Project Living Hope. No burnouts, pop-up tents, trailer parking or alcohol allowed.

For more information, please call Larry Stein at (818) 800-3287 or email larry@thegoldhillgroup.com.

PALS Holiday Toy Drive for Kids...

 Join us in helping to ensure that at-risk kids in our community can have holiday gifts by donating to the Devonshire PALS (Police Activity League) Youth Center Toy Drive.

You can drop off new, unwrapped toys, books or gift cards to our Community Service Center in Chatsworth, at Devonshire Community Police Station, or at the Devonshire PALS Youth Center. The toy give-away is on Saturday, Dec. 15, and you can drop off donations directly at the PALS Youth Center in Northridge until Thursday, Dec. 13.

Nov. 9 through Dec. 13
Drop Off Locations
Council District 12 Community Service Center
9207 Oakdale Ave., Chatsworth
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday

PALS Youth Center
8721 Wilbur Ave., Northridge
Monday - Thursday
9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Devonshire Community
Police Station
10250 Etiwanda Ave. (at Devonshire St.)
Northridge

All donated gifts go to kids who participate in PALS programs. PALS offers valuable after-school programs, including sports, education, and mentoring with LAPD Officers to give at-risk youth in our community positive alternatives to crime, gangs and drugs.

To learn more about Devonshire PALS, visit www.devonshire-pals.org.

Chabad of Chatsworth, Northridge & Porter Ranch Community Chanukah Menorah Lighting Event...

Don't miss the Chabad of Chatsworth, Northridge & Porter Ranch Community Chanukah Menorah Lighting Event on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Porter Ranch Town Center. The lighting of the Menorah signals the beginning of the eight days of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights.

Tuesday, Dec. 11
6:00 pm
Porter Ranch Town Center
(Northwest corner of Corbin Ave. & Rinaldi St.)
Porter Ranch

This fun, free community celebration is open to families of any denomination and features live music, hot potato latkes, doughnuts, Chanukah craft activities, face painting, drawings for prizes, special performances for kids, and a special tight-wire act.

For more information call (877) 44Chanukah or visit www.ChanukahatPorterRanch.com.

Live Holiday Music at El Rancho...

Bring your family for an evening of live music, dance and culture at the Noche Buena Mayan Concert on Dec. 15 at El Rancho Cordillera Del Norte in Northridge. Composer Elisabeth Waldo leads a talented company of artists performing a delightful line-up of Indo-Hispanic and Mayan Indigenous music, song and dance.

Saturday, Dec. 15
Reception - 5:30 pm
Dinner Concert - 7:00 pm
Rancho Cordillera del Norte
9015 Wilbur Ave.
Northridge
Price: $65 / $75

Reservations are required. To reserve tickets or for more information, call (818)993-1669 or email manager@elisabethwaldomusic.com.

Used Book Sale...

The Friends of the Northridge Branch Library are holding a used book sale on Saturday, Dec. 15. There will be many books , hardcover and paperback, non-fiction and fiction in great condition for sale at very low prices. Proceeds go toward purchasing new books and the library's free programs and activities.

Saturday, Dec. 15
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Northridge Branch Library
9051 Darby Ave., Northridge

For more information, call (818) 993-9848 or email
friends.nrlibrary@gmail.com.


Coat Drive to Benefit Homeless & Struggling Families Over the Holidays...

The Granada Hills Woman's Club is holding its annual Warm Coats Warm Hearts Coat Drive in partnership with Burlington Coat Factory through Dec. 31.

Please bring new or used coats (in good condition, without stains or holes) to the two drop-off locations to help provide warm coats to homeless and struggling families in Los Angeles during the cold winter months.

Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce
17723 Chatsworth St.
Granada Hills
11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Thursday
12:00 pm to 7:00 pm Friday

Bicycle Den
16908 San Fernando Mission Blvd.
Granada Hills
11:00 am to 4:00 pm, 7 days a week

CD 12 Community Service Center
9207 Oakdale Ave., 2nd Floor
Chatsworth
9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday

For more information email skilos1234@aol.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
Jan. 10 to Feb. 21, 2013
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 .

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 45: Prepare Yourself Mentally for Disasters...
Keeping track of the huge amount of information about emergency preparedness can be overwhelming. Panic and stress are your enemy. The Department of Mental Health offers some clever tips to keep it simple so that you can stay calm.

Preparedness Tip: Pick a place to meet after a disaster. Designate two meeting places. Choose one right outside your home, in case of a sudden household emergency, such as a fire. The second place you choose needs to be outside your neighborhood, in case a disaster makes it unsafe to be near your home, or forces you to leave your entire neighborhood. 

To see more tips like this, visit http://dmh.mo.gov/docs/diroffice/disaster/30Tips.pdf

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

New Videos Added to the Video Page on Our Website...

Our Communications Director Matt Myerhoff is constantly working to ensure our website has up-to-date information about recent legislation, community news, events, photos and videos every week. This week he reports on several new videos posted in the video gallery of our website.

Please visit our video gallery on our website at cd12.org/Videos/index.htm to see all of our videos. You can also subscribe to our Youtube channel, so that you will receive a notification every time we upload a new video. To subscribe, click here and then click "subscribe."

Here are links to several of our recent videos

Launch of OK/HELP Earthquake Window Sign

NBC Interview on LAFD Response Problems & Englander's FIRESTAT-LA

YMCA & Councilmember Englander's CD12 Staff Distributing Thanksgiving Dinners to Valley Families

Monique Bryher December 09, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Regulation of these groups homes is long over-due and the City Council, Building & Safety and the City Attorney are collectively to blame for this sad event by doing absolutely nothing for years and allowing the problem to perpetuate. The current CCFO as written will create more problems for owners of homes by expanding numbers and sizes of sober living, eldercare and other group homes into single-family residential neighborhoods. The City has neither the manpower nor the will to regulate these facilities, all of which have a negative impact on the peace and property values of neighbors. I sincerely hope that when this matter is taken up, it is not written so broadly as to infringe on the rights of homeowners who are simply renting their spare bedrooms out in order to be able to make their mortgages or to help out friends who have lost their jobs. There is quite a difference between the latter and profiteers who set up these group homes at the expense of neighbors. Our justice system adds to the problem when judges dump dangerous criminals into boarding houses in our neighborhoods. What is surprising is not that this horrible event occurred but that it didn't happen several years ago.
Wendy Martin, MSW December 09, 2012 at 11:39 PM
This is so wrong. The councilman has no idea about what he has done by incorrectly reporting the "poor conditions" of the property. As a matter of fact Monique, the landowner of the Northridge property was renting out his rooms to make his mortgage and to help out some of the homeless people who work at his church and needed a place to stay. Councilman Englander is committing an injustice by going in and imposing ridiculously high fines for renting out his rooms, and the housing department is trying to make him pay tens of thousands of dollars to the people who were living there for almost nothing. Of course these people are going to take advantage of this and take the money with complete disregard for the fact that the landlord was kind enough to allow them to live there for free. I hope that Councilman Englander has the intelligence to take another look at the property that he so quickly made judgements about. I know for a fact that the man never saw inside the house other than the front room where the killer was living with his girlfriend. I know this because I live there. The conditions that Councilman Englander described about the property are completely false. Get off your high horse Mr. Englander and take a better look at things rather than make accusations and statements about a place you know absolutely nothing about. I know that I will make sure not to vote for you in the next election for city council.
Paul Dumont December 16, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Once again, Englander has it wrong. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-realignment-northridge-shooting-englander-20121211,0,678878.story

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