Planning for the North San Fernando Valley BRT Project is Moving Forward

Planning for the North San Fernando Valley BRT Project is Moving Forward

The Measure M sales tax initiative, approved by voters in 2016, included funding for a bus rapid transit (BRT) project in the North San Fernando Valley.  Planning for the project began in July 2018 with the initiation of an Alternatives Analysis (AA) that evaluated three alternative routes stretching from the Chatsworth Metrolink Station to either the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station or the North Hollywood Red/Orange Line Station.

Metro recently completed the Alternatives Analysis Report for the North San Fernando Valley Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which will be presented to the Metro Board of Directors Planning and Programming Committee this Wednesday, June 19 to seek approval before the Metro Board of Directors Regular Board Meeting on Thursday, June 27.

The Alternatives Analysis Report recommends that the Nordhoff-North Hollywood Route move forward to be evaluated during the next phase of environmental review. This alternative received the highest level of public support as it serves the CSUN Campus and connects to the regional rail system in North Hollywood. The use of Parthenia to pass under the 405 Freeway was also supported by the public because it would avoid traffic congestion on Nordhoff or Roscoe at the freeway, and it would serve multi-family residential areas in Panorama City. The Nordhoff-North Hollywood route also had higher ridership forecasts than the Nordhoff-Sylmar or Roscoe-North Hollywood routes.

What’s next?

At the Metro Board Committee and full Board meetings, the Directors will review the Alternatives Analysis Report and recommendations and provide staff with direction on how to proceed with the environmental review on the recommended route(s) and potential variations to the route(s). Please be on the lookout for our next e-newsletter that will include information on the Metro Board of Directors Meeting. Following Board approval, Metro intends to hold public meetings in the community in early August. These meetings will allow the public to comment on the scope of the project and to identify issues to be evaluated in the environmental review. Metro values your input.

Contact Metro

Phone: 213-418-3082
Email: [email protected]
Web: https://www.metro.net/projects/north-sfv-brt/

Thank you again for your participation in the North San Fernando Valley BRT Project. We will keep you informed when the community meetings are scheduled.

Read more »

Valley’s Record Heat Wave To Continue

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A ridge of high pressure will continue to keep temperatures above normal Monday, but relief is in sight.

A weekend heat wave is expected to continue to scorch the Los Angeles region with above average temperatures Monday.

Sunday saw record heat in parts of the city and triple digit temperatures in the valleys. A ridge of high pressure is to blame, and it will remain in the Los Angeles area Monday. Expect above-normal temperatures to most areas, especially the valleys. However, the hot weather won’t challenge records as they did Sunday, forecasters said.

It was a strange kind of heatwave. An offshore flow blowing warm air from the deserts to the ocean helped the high pressure “squash” the marine layer that normally keeps temperatures down in June, Kittell said. But a shallow marine layer remained along the coastal plane and inland, so while Burbank temperatures hit 100 degrees the high in downtown Los Angeles was 82, he said.

The Sunday temperature in Burbank surprisingly hit 100 degrees, which tied a 1979 record for June 9 and a 101 in Woodland Hills and 102 in Van Nuys failed to break records, National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Kittell said.

Expect more of the same on Monday with valley temperatures in the mid-90s to 100 but highs downtown and other inland areas in low to mid 80s and mid-70s along beaches, Kittell said.

He did not expect records to be broken Monday because they are higher for this date.

A gradual cooling is expected to begin Tuesday, with valley temperatures in the low to mid-90s, inland temperatures remaining in the low to mid-80s and beach temperatures in the 70s, he said.

The marine layer will thicken and temperatures are forecast to decline Thursday and Friday with valleys in the 80s, inland areas in the 70s and beaches in the upper 60s to 70s, Kittell said.

“This is June Gloom season,” he said.

Citrus Sunday – June 2, 2019

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Councilmember Greig Smith, Neighborhood Councils of CD12, Temple Avahat Shalom, and Food Forward invite you to join us for Citrus Sunday.

A fresh fruit drive to benefit struggling San Fernando Valley families served at food banks.

It’s easy to participate!

  1. Pick oranges, grapefruits or other citrus fruit from your trees.
  2. Drop off between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm at:

Northridge South & East NC & Sherwood Forest HOA

Dearborn Park
17141 Nordhoff Street

Temple Ahavat  Shalom
18200 Rinaldi Pl

North Hills West NC
Mid Valley Library
16244 Nordhoff St

For more information please call (818) 882-1212 or email [email protected].

Who Won?! Find Your Neighborhood Council Election Results

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Find out who won your Neighborhood Council election by visiting the City Clerk’s results page at https://clerk.lacity.org/elections/neighborhood-council-elections/2019-nc-election-results. Click the green button at the top of the list that includes Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council to see results. Or just click here for the unofficial results: https://clerk.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph606/f/Region%202_Unofficial_Results.pdf

When are election results available?

Ballots are counted by the City Clerk one business day after Election Day. Unofficial results are posted up to 3 days after Election Day; official results up to 10 days after Election Day.

Want to watch the ballot counting or have questions? Call City Clerk Elections team at (213) 978-0444 or write to them at [email protected]

LA’s Green New Deal Launched This Week

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled LA’s Green New Deal this week – a series of practical steps toward creating a more sustainable Los Angeles by the year 2050. The Green New Deal LA will also serve as a global model for upholding the terms outlined in the Paris Agreement in a way that contributes significantly to equitable local economic growth. Points include:

  1. Creation of 400,000 new green jobs by 2050. Since taking office, Mayor Garcetti has already helped create over 35,000 of these new green jobs.
  2. 100% renewable energy by 2045 – LA will move away from our current dependency on natural gas power by not re-powering three coastal power plants and instead investing those funds in our grid. The process of moving LA toward a carbon-neutral future will underwrite 45,000 jobs by 2022.
  3. 100% wastewater recycling – and local sourcing of at least 70% of water used in the City – by 2035
  4. zero waste future, beginning with eliminating all single-use straws and styrofoam containers by 2028, and culminating in no trash being sent to landfills by 2050
  5. Plant 90,000 trees on LA’s streets in the next three years, which will help beautify the city; clean the air; renew our urban forest; and create 2,000 local jobs.
  6. zero carbon buildings mandate, to ensure every public and private building in the City is emissions-free by 2050. The process of achieving this will also support 175,000 jobs locally.

Read more about Mayor Garcetti’s #GreenNewDealLA at http://plan.LAmayor.org Read more »

Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council Election is This Saturday, May 4

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Dear Neighbors and Stakeholders of Granada Hills North:

You may have heard of our upcoming Neighborhood Council Elections for Granada Hills Neighborhood Council.  The Neighborhood Council is your liaison with City Hall. We are your voice for issues that affect our community. This is an opportunity for you to engage in the process of electing the members of our wonderful Neighborhood Council.

The elections will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Knollwood Plaza, 11850 Balboa Blvd, Granada Hills, CA (Between Lorillard and Midwood). The polls open at 10:00am and close at 4:00pm. Read more »

Get Free Trees from City Plants + Read Their Urban Forestry Report

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It’s easy to be green thanks to the work of organizations like City Plants, a non-profit running a public-private partnership between the City of LA and six other non-profit organizations. Together they work with Neighborhood Councils, community groups, residents, and businesses to coordinate tree planting and care throughout LA.

Spring is the perfect time to plant a tree and City Plants offers free trees for your street and yard – order your free trees today!

Speaking of trees, are you curious about Los Angeles’ urban forest policies and management? Check out the recently released City Plants and Dudek report, “First Step Toward an Urban Forest Management Plan for the City of Los Angeles” to learn about the steps needed to achieve a sustainable and equitable urban forest.

New Way to Report Suspicious Activity in Our Neighborhood on LAPD Website

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Hello stakeholders, we learned of a new feature on LAPD website when I’d to call non-emergency LAPD for another issue. The helpful dispatcher informed us about this new feature, iWatchLA and we wanted to share with our neighborhood: “http://www.lapdonline.org/iwatchla” –> then click “To file an online report click here.”

You can also download the iWatchLA app on iOS/Android. Let’s be vigilant in our neighborhood for suspicious activities.

LAUSD District 5 Board Election Could Shift Balance Of Charter Power Today

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As voters head to the polls to fill the vacant LAUSD board seat today, the board’s pro-charter majority’s power hangs in the balance.

Ten candidates will be vying Tuesday to fill a vacant seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in an election that could again shift the balance of power on the seven-member panel.

The vacancy was created last July when board member Ref Rodriguez pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges for laundering campaign donations from family and friends. He resigned from his board seat the same day.

The vacant District 5 seat represents areas including Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Mount Washington and Silver Lake.

The LAUSD Board of Education is evenly split between pro-charter forces and those aiming to check charter expansion head.

Jackie Goldberg, 74, a former teacher, LAUSD board member, Los Angeles City Council member and Democratic state legislator, is widely considered a front-runner in the race. Two LAUSD board members last year unsuccessfully tried to have her appointed to the seat to serve out the balance of Rodriguez’s term, which runs through next year. But the proposal was rejected in favor of calling the special election.

Goldberg is heavily backed by United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing the district’s teachers. The union has been pouring money into Goldberg’s campaign, hoping to undo a board majority that generally favored expansion of charter schools in the district. Rodriguez’s departure left the board with a 3-3 split on the issue, and a Goldberg victory would swing the panel back in UTLA’s favor. Read more »

Improving Local Air Quality through the Lawn and Garden Equipment Exchange Program

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Improving air quality of our neighborhoods requires everyone to step up. To that end, the Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has begun an equipment exchange program. Commercial gardeners and landscapers, local government agencies, school districts and colleges, and non-profit organizations are eligible to participate in cleaning up our air while saving money and upgrading their equipment.

The goal of the program is to improve air quality by exchanging older, polluting gasoline- or diesel-powered commercial lawn and garden equipment for new zero emission, battery electric commercial grade equipment for operation within SCAQMD four county region. One equivalent operable gasoline- or diesel-powered piece of lawn and garden equipment must be scrapped to qualify for incentive funding towards battery electric replacement equipment.

For more information please visit the SCAQMD website.

Did you feel the earthquake this morning?

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Light shaking could be felt across the San Fernando Valley Wednesday morning.

The temblor was a magnitude 2.8, and its epicenter was roughly a mile from North Hills, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Residents felt the shaking at about 9:46 a.m. According to the USGS, the quake was close to the surface, comparatively shallow at a depth of 6.8 miles. Light shaking was felt across the San Fernando Valley, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The small quake was the largest felt in the region over the last 10 days, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Teachers Approve Deal To End Strike

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“A vast super-majority” of teachers have voted to to accept an agreement reached Tuesday, ending LA’s teacher strike.

“A vast super-majority” of teachers have voted to approve the tentative agreement, ending the strike, United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl said. Teachers will return to their classes Wednesday, Caputo- Pearl said.

Union leaders and administrators with the Los Angeles Unified School District announced a deal Tuesday that could send teachers back to the classroom Wednesday, ending the first Los Angeles teachers strike in 30 years.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl joined Mayor Eric Garcetti at a morning news conference at City Hall to announce the breakthrough, which Garcetti said came after “a 21-hour marathon session that wrapped up just before sunrise this morning.”

UTLA teachers went on strike Jan. 14, calling for smaller class sizes and the hiring of more support staff, such as nurses, counselors and librarians, and a pay raise. Beutner said during the standoff with the union that its demands would cost billions of dollars and bankrupt a district already teetering on insolvency.

The new proposal was voted on by UTLA members on Tuesday, and teachers will return to work Tuesday. The LAUSD Board of Education also needs to formally approve the deal.

“The strike nobody wanted is now behind us,” Beutner said at the City Hall news conference, reflecting confidence that the deal will be approved.

But he also cautioned: “We can’t solve 40 years of under-investment in public education in just one week or just one contract. Now that all students and our educators are heading back to the classroom, we have to keep pour focus and pay attention to the long-term solutions. … The importance of this moment is public education is now the topic in every household in our community. Let’s capitalize on this. Let’s fix it.”

Caputo-Pearl said the tentative agreement addressed the union’s core issues.

“We have seen over the last week something pretty amazing happen,” Caputo-Pearl said. “We went on strike in one of the largest strikes the United States has seen in decades. And the creativity and innovation and passion and love and emotion of our members was out on the street, in the communities, in the parks for everyone to see.”

The deal includes a 6 percent pay raise for teachers, with 3 percent retroactive to the 2017-18 school year and another 3 percent retroactive to July 1, 2018. It also includes provisions for providing a full-time nurse at all schools, along with a teacher-librarian. The proposal also calls for the hiring of 17 counselors by October.

The proposal also outlines a phased-in reduction of class sizes over the next three school years, with additional reductions for “high needs” campuses.

Caputo-Pearl said the issue of class size is a key element of the pact. He said the district agreed to eliminate contract language he dubbed an “escape clause” that would allow the district to increases class sizes in the future.

A main thrust of the union’s strike was a call for increases in the number of nurses, counselors and librarians at campuses. According to the district, the proposed agreement’s provisions for reducing class sizes and hiring nurses, librarians and counselors will cost an estimated $175 million from 2019-21, and $228 million for 2021-22.

It was unclear exactly how the costs will be covered. Garcetti said the deal’s various provisions will include a combination of funding or other support from the state, county and city.

The county Office of Education, which oversees the district and has raised questions in recent weeks about the LAUSD’s financial stability, will have to review the proposed deal.

“Our obligation is to ensure that the district has a funding plan in place to cover the costs associated with this agreement, and thereby able to remain fiscally solvent,” county Superintendent Debra Duardo said in a statement. “Now that a tentative agreement is in place, the Los Angeles County Office of Education has the legal obligation to review and provide comments before the LAUSD governing board takes action.

“While the statute provides a window of 10 working days, we intend to provide these comments as soon as possible once we receive the relevant data,” Duardo said.

The proposal also calls on the district to support a statewide cap on charter schools and to provide regular reports on proposed co-locations of charter and public school campuses. The deal also calls on the mayor to support a ballot initiative going to voters in November 2020 that would roll back Proposition 13 property tax limits on commercial buildings to increase state tax revenue for public education.

“We have seen over the last few weeks the way that the city has rallied around public education, and quite frankly it’s been breathtaking; it’s been inspiring to see,” Garcetti said.

Just before the strike began, Beutner said the district’s latest contract offer to the union “represents the best we can do,” but of the new deal, he said Tuesday that “this does even more” than the previous one.

The union had vocally disputed the district’s claim that it could not afford more extensive investment in school staffing, pointing to what it called an estimated $1.8 billion reserve fund and insisting the district has not faced a financial deficit in five years. The district contended that reserve fund is already being spent, in part on the salary increase for teachers.

Caputo-Pearl, who stood next to Beutner during the news conference, was asked about his past comments in which he harshly criticized the superintendent while accusing him of lying about the amount of money the district has available, and being dedicated to privatizing schools. The UTLA president was also asked if he could trust Beutner to follow through on the deal.

“We have, Austin Beutner and I, we certainly have our differences, and we’ve expressed those, and I think we will continue to express those. But what we’ve been able to do over the last chunk of days is work together with a bunch of partners and a bunch of help to forge an agreement that we are both committed to making sure is implemented, to make sure that our students are served and our schools are improved,” Caputo-Pearl said.

He added, “We are building trust, and the last several days have helped on that.”

Garcetti quipped that “I’m not saying that everybody is going to go and have a beer today, but I do think that this is a new chapter.”

The second-largest school district in the nation, the LAUSD covers 710 square miles and serves more than 694,000 students at 1,322 schools, although 216 schools are independent charter schools, most of which were being staffed with non-union teachers unaffected by the strike. The district says about 500,000 students have been affected by the walkout.

District officials said the UTLA strike, which kept teachers out of classrooms for six school days as of Tuesday, had cost the LAUSD at least $125 million in attendance-based state funding. That amount is partially offset by an estimated $10 million per day by the salaries that were not paid to striking teachers.

Candidate Workshop 2019 Neighborhood Council Elections (1/19/2019 in Van Nuys)

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Date and Time

Sat, January 19, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Location

Marvin Braude Building
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91401

Description

At our Neighborhood Council Candidate Workshop, you’ll learn tips for:

  • running a successful campaign
  • connecting with voters
  • advocating for issues you’re passionate about
  • writing your personal statements

You’ll also be able to register as a candidate during the workshop, either online (if you bring your own tablet or laptop) or on paper.

Please make sure to RSVP, to make sure we have enough space for everyone. Read more »

LA Teachers Strike Postponed

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Less than 24 hours before the possible strike of 33,000 LA teachers, the union announced plans to hold off for a few more days.
United Teachers Los Angeles is delaying the start of a possible teachers strike until Monday, union leaders announced Wednesday.

Thursday was the original strike date publicly set by the union weeks ago, but the Los Angeles Unified School District has challenged that date in court, contending it was not given official 10-day notice, as state law requires. Although the legal challenge is still playing out in Los Angeles Superior Court, UTLA leaders announced the new strike deadline at a news conference outside district headquarters just before entering into another round of bargaining with LAUSD leaders.

“While we believe that we would eventually win in court against all of (Superintendent) Austin Beutner’s anti-union, high-priced attempts to stop our legal right to strike, in order for clarity, and to allow members and our communities to plan, UTLA is moving the strike date to Jan. 14,” UTLA Vice President Gloria Marinez said.

Should more than 30,000 teachers, nurses, librarians and counselors strike, it would be the district’s first walkout in 30 years, impacting 600,000 students.

LAUSD officials have tried a number of legal maneuvers to delay the strike, but the district’s efforts to date have been unavailing. On Tuesday, no hearing took place after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samantha Jessner denied a motion by UTLA for an exemption to the electronic filing rules that would have allowed a hearing to occur.

Before the delayed strike date, the union’s goal in court gas been preempt the district from going to court on the same issue after a strike begins; if that occurred, a judge could shut down the strike for several days, dampening its momentum.
No court rulings are expected to be made Wednesday, and both sides are scheduled to be back in court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The LAUSD case scheduled to be heard Thursday before Judge Mary H. Strobel seeks a delay of a matter of weeks based on grounds that UTLA did not comply with a requirement that its members not encourage a strike for a 10-day period after the Jan. 3 announcement of the walkout.

UTLA’s case, which maintains the union indeed gave the LAUSD a legally required 10-day notice that its members would stop working under the existing contract, is currently before another judge. The union attorneys will try Wednesday afternoon to get their case before Strobel to be heard Thursday morning as well.

The LAUSD Board of Education passed a motion Tuesday that eases background check requirements for some parent volunteers in anticipation of the need for help in the event of a strike. Those volunteers will not need to pass a full federal background check but will still be checked against a national database of sex offenders. The less-restrictive policy would kick in only if the superintendent declared an emergency. A volunteer would then simply fill out a form and the district would check a database to make sure the person was not a registered sex offender.

The district has 12,000 volunteers who have cleared background checks, said district spokeswoman Shannon Haber.

The board Tuesday also passed a resolution that directs Beutner to create a three-year “enterprise plan” aimed at bringing in more money. The resolution states that the district faces a structural budget deficit that requires the district to cut costs and generate additional revenue, and sets a March 18 deadline for creating a plan that could include parcel tax and school bond measures, as well as strategies for increasing enrollment.

“We recognize that Los Angeles Unified needs more resources, and this resolution confirms our commitment to work with families, labor partners, and the communities we serve to achieve this,” Beutner said.

No one issue separates the two sides. They have been negotiating for nearly two years without coming close to a resolution. They’ve already gone through mediation and a fact-finding session in recent months. The fact finder’s report was issued last month, and it sparked more verbal sparring between the two sides.

The LAUSD said it brought forward a new proposal Monday that would have added nearly 1,000 additional teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians, which the UTLA rejected. UTLA President Alex-Caputo Pearl told reporters he had several problems with the proposal and was surprised the district had “so little to offer.” He said, “Unless something changes significantly there will be a strike in the city of L.A.”

Caputo-Pearl said the district’s latest proposal was inadequate for several reasons, including that a potential raise for teachers would be contingent on cutting future health care benefits, that it actually increases class size instead of lowering it, and would not add enough long-term nurses, counselors, and librarians.

With about 900 schools in the district, Caputo-Pearl said the offer would only amount to about one additional employee per school. He added that it was not clear if the 1,000 positions agreed to by the district would be new hires or the result of the district shuffling around employees.

For its part, the district has insisted that its contract offer to the union incorporates many of the recommendations set forth in a previous fact- finding report, such as a 6 percent pay raise, a $30 million investment in hiring of professional staff, reducing class sizes and elimination of a section of the labor agreement that the union claims would allow the district to unilaterally increase class size.

UTLA officials have said many elements of the district’s offer remained “unclear,” suggesting that the 6 percent salary increase being offered still appears to be contingent on cuts to future union members’ health care and contending the offer also appears to maintain the contract section allowing increases in class size.

The union is also continuing to push for increased district investment in hiring of counselors, nurses, librarians and other professional staff, saying the $30 million proposed by the district would have a negligible impact on only a small percentage of LAUSD campuses.

The union has been pushing the district to tap into an estimated $1.8 billion reserve fund to hire more staff and reduce class sizes. LAUSD says the staffing increases being demanded by the union would cost an estimated $786 million a year, further depleting a district already facing a $500 million deficit.

Beutner told reporters the district simply did not have enough money to address all of UTLA’s demands.

“There’s no more than that, so the notion that we are hoarding reserves, the notion that more money exists somewhere else to give more to reduce class sizes at this time, is not accurate,” Beutner said. “We are spending more than we have in service of our students.”

Despite the absence of a consensus between the district and its teachers, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has no formal role in education issues, was relatively upbeat about Monday’s talks. He was involved in separate phone conferences with both sides, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Yesterday was really a very positive sign that they’re at the table,” he said Tuesday. “An agreement won’t get finalized in the street or in a press release but in face-to-face conversations.”

He added: “There’s not a lot that separates them. People want lower class sizes. People want fair pay. People also want to make sure that there’s support in our schools.”

But could this be a long strike?

“It could be,” the mayor said. “It really depends on the leadership, both sides, the union and of the administration. Without betraying any of the confidential negotiations, I think real progress was made yesterday (Monday). Still many steps to go, but after a long time with them never really talking to each other for months, I think that conversation has finally started.”

Community Meeting- Naming of New Porter Ranch Park (1/14/18)

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The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks enlists your support in the determination of a name for a new 50-acre park in Porter Ranch.

On January 14, 2019, L.A. City Parks and Council District 12 will meet with the community at the Chatsworth Recreation Center (22360 Devonshire St., Chatsworth, CA 91311) from 6-8 pm to receive input in the naming process.

Get Your SHAKEALERTLA Phone App

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L.A. County earthquake early-warning app is now available on iPhone and Android devices through the Apple APP Store and Google Play Store.

This phone app alerts Los Angeles County residents to earthquakes, possibly giving critical seconds of warning before shaking starts. You may receive the alert before during or after shaking.

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