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Community Meeting Friday – Help Name the New 50-Acre Park in Porter Ranch!

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Park Community Meeting

Councilmember Englander and The Department of Recreation and Parks invite you to join us on Friday, November 16th at 4:00PM at the Granada Hills Charter High School to assist in the naming of a new park in Porter Ranch!

The park, located at 11900 MASON AVENUE, is planned to offer outdoor pavilion, splash pad, courts, hiking trail, and great views of Los Angeles.

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More info:
https://www.dailynews.com/2018/10/10/this-new-porter-ranch-park-will-be-named-after-la-councilman-englanders-mom-sister/

https://urbanize.la/post/50-acre-park-coming-porter-ranch

A Bridge Home: FAQ for LA’s Temporary Homeless Housing Initiative

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Mayor Garcetti’s temporary homeless housing initiative – called A Bridge Home – has begun rolling out across LA, with the first site already open in the historic city center district near El Pueblo.

Many Neighborhood Councils have been fielding questions and concerns from their stakeholders about the impact this program will have on their community. The Mayor’s office has created the following FAQ, to answer the most commonly-asked questions about A Bridge Home.

Please feel free to share this information with your neighbors. If you’d like to download or share a printable version of this FAQ, here’s the link to do so: http://tiny.cc/BridgeHomeFAQ

FAQ in Spanish: https://www.lamayor.org/bridge-home-spanish

FAQ in Korean: https://www.lamayor.org/bridge-home-korean

To learn more about A Bridge Home, please visit LAMayor.org/bridge-home

FAQ: ANSWERS ABOUT BRIDGE HOUSING FROM THE MAYOR’S OFFICE

Why was my neighborhood selected for bridge housing?
If we’re going to end homelessness, we need to create solutions in every community — which is why the Mayor’s budget funds temporary emergency housing in all 15 Council Districts. Each temporary emergency housing site will be selected based on its proximity to dense homeless encampments. These sites are specifically designed to serve the homeless population that already lives in your community, and will help clean up encampments in your neighborhood. Every Council District that builds temporary emergency housing will receive additional sanitation and LAPD HOPE Team funds to restore spaces that were previously encampment sites into safe, clean, public passageways.

Who is going to live in the new housing?
The City is deploying teams of outreach workers to engage homeless Angelenos who live around the A Bridge Home site to ensure that people moving into the temporary emergency housing are already residents of the neighborhood. The only qualification for people to move in is their proximity to the site. Each site is specifically designed to support the needs of the population nearby — whether they are women, men, or senior citizens. Everyone will have their housing needs assessed as they come on-site, and their case manager will work with them to move them into a more permanent solution.

Will A Bridge Home bring homeless people into my neighborhood?
No. This temporary emergency housing is designed specifically to serve people who live in encampments in the community surrounding the site, who will be pre- identified during a period of outreach. The City is bringing in additional sanitation and enforcement services to ensure that the streets surrounding the sites remain safe and clean.

How are you deciding where to put the bridge housing?
The City is primarily looking at lots it already owns — that are at least 20,000 square feet in size and located near dense homeless encampments. But before a site is officially chosen, it is assessed by engineers to ensure that it’s an appropriate place to put temporary housing, and that it’s equipped with the necessary water, power, and sewage connections.

What will the sites look like?
Each council district is committed to creating a site that reflects the spirit and aesthetic of the neighborhood where it stands. They will be designed to incorporate the input of service providers, to
optimize access to services and create a comfortable community space that helps clients stabilize and get back on their feet. The structures themselves will be trailers or platformed spaces covered in canvas.

How long will they be open?
Three years.

What are the hours of operation for A Bridge Home sites?
The sites are operated 24 hours a day; 7 days a week, with staff and security on site at all times.

How long do you expect people to stay in the bridge housing?
Our goal is to move people out of the shelters and into more permanent housing as quickly as possible — meaning that beds could turn over as many as four times in a year. But how long someone stays in the temporary emergency housing is based on their need. The sites will be staffed with housing navigators, mental health professionals, and anti-addiction specialists who will help clients get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Will our neighborhood be less safe with this bridge housing?
No. All of the sites will be fully staffed with 24/7 on-site security, and City staff will closely monitor each site to help ensure safety and cleanliness. Our County partners are ramping up the deployment of outreach workers and supportive services to local homeless residents, to help them transition into the temporary emergency housing, and later into permanent homes. With the City’s additional funding for sanitation services, existing encampments will be converted into clean, safe public spaces for all residents to enjoy.

Are you going to have services on site?
Yes! The City and County have partnered to fund services for all residents of A Bridge Home sites that will help people move out of the temporary emergency housing and into permanent housing as quickly as possible. Each resident will have a case manager, as well as mental health, housing, and substance abuse support — not to mention three meals a day, storage, showers, restrooms, a place for pets, and 24/7 security.

Are residents of A Bridge Home sites required to be sober?
No. Entry to the site is determined by how close someone’s tent is to the site — not whether they’re sober. However, each site will be fully equipped with mental health and anti-addiction specialists who will help new residents start on the path to sobriety.

How are you going to make sure the encampments don’t come back?
The City is committed to making sure that the streets surrounding new A Bridge Home sites stay safe and clean. Homeless Angelenos will still be able to put up their tents between the hours of 9pm and 6am, but during the daytime, the City is establishing special enforcement zones to ensure that tents are taken down.

Are you criminalizing homelessness?
This effort is in no way intended to criminalize people who live on the streets. We cannot — and will not — arrest our way out of the homelessness crisis. People in desperate need of help should not be punished for their circumstances. The City’s priority is bringing people indoors — not issuing citations. However, if homeless residents choose not to take down their tents during the daytime, and receive citations as a result, the Mayor’s Office will connect them with the HEART program, which gives homeless Angelenos the option of doing community service or participating in substance abuse counseling in lieu of paying fines.

This doesn’t sound like a permanent solution. What about everyone who doesn’t get into A Bridge Home site?
Thanks to the voters of L.A., the City is getting to work building thousands of units of supportive housing for our most vulnerable homeless neighbors over the next decade. But people who are living on the streets tonight can’t wait for new housing to come online. They need help now. That’s why A Bridge Home is helping connect people to permanent solutions today.

How else can I help my homeless neighbors?
No one can do everything to solve homelessness, but everyone can do something. The most important thing you can do is say “yes” to supportive housing and bridge housing in your community, and help educate your neighbors about the critical importance of this work. You can also learn more about how you can help at LAMayor.org/HelpHomelessAngelenos

Today Is California’s Last Day To Register To Vote in the 2018 Election

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If you aren’t registered to vote by Monday night, you’ll have no say on the gas tax, daylight savings time, the governorship, or Congress.

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in California, and here are just some of the ways the Nov 6. Election will affect you: it will determine whether you have to change your clocks twice a year and set your alarm earlier, how much you pay at the gas pump, and whether or not your city can enact rent control. It’s also going to determine which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives. California voters will have a major say in the matter because this year, the Golden State holds the key to the House.

You can register to vote here before the Monday deadline at 11:59:59 p.m. — it only takes a minute. If you aren’t sure if you’re registered at your current address, you can check the status of your voter registration here.

LA City Councilman Mitchell Englander to Vacate His Seat December 31 to Join Oak View Group

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A Personal Statement from CD12 Councilmember Mitchell Englander

Dear [constituent],

Serving on the Los Angeles City Council has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life and has gone way beyond a career. I truly love what I do and who I work with.

Recently, I was presented with an amazing opportunity in the private sector to work with some of the most brilliant and well-respected leaders in their industry. While I didn’t seek this out – sometimes tremendous opportunities find you.

Second only to my marriage to Jayne of 25 years and the pride of raising my two daughters, Lindsey and Lauren, serving as Councilmember for the area I grew up in will forever be one of my life’s most significant and gratifying experiences. Given the joy I have received in serving the people of the 12th Council District, it is with great difficulty that I am announcing that I am vacating my Council seat as of December 31, 2018.

Together, we’ve weathered horrific emergencies and tragedies from fires, to train collisions, the largest gas blow-out in U.S. history, and more. Throughout these crises, our community always came together – never running away from, but always toward danger in order to help each other. We became even stronger.

We have accomplished so much together to improve our community and the lives of all residents for generations to come. Together, we have rebuilt parks and opened new ones. In fact, it was just last week that we broke ground on our new Bloom Park in Porter Ranch. We have opened new pools, established at-risk-youth facilities, expanded hospitals, fought to protect our neighborhoods from overdevelopment, protected horse-keeping, created a first-of-its-kind rescue mission shelter for homeless families, opened new veterans’ housing, completed massive community improvements and created new programs like Making Movies that Matter, Clean Streets – Clean Starts, Neighborhoods FIRST, E12 Student Leadership Academy, the City’s first ever Great Street, and so much more.

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I am so proud to have helped transform the Los Angeles Fire Department with the implementation of FireSTAT, which has improved response times, saving countless lives every day. We created new programs like our LAFD Fast Paramedic Response and Nurse Practitioner Unit (NPU), which completely revolutionized our fire department now and forever. We were also the largest police department to fully deploy on-body cameras to make sure we remain accountable to the public and to ensure our officers are even more protected. We have also eliminated our backlog for processing rape kits, a priority I set as mission critical.

This is only a fraction of what we have achieved together. The greatest gift has been working with the incredibly engaged and passionate people throughout the 12th District. My family and I are truly honored to have worked with thousands of volunteers who give selflessly to improve our neighborhoods and have forged lifelong relationships with so many.

I am also incredibly blessed to have worked with my fellow elected officials. While we didn’t always agree, I genuinely believe that each one of them has brought their own lifelong experiences to the table and will continue to fight hard for what they believe in. We’ve always shared a common goal – to leave the City and our community better than we found it. I will forever treasure the relationships I’ve shared with my colleagues and so many City staff over the last 15 years.

The most difficult part of this decision will be leaving my team that serves the 12th District every day. The staff of CD12 has been much more than just staff to my family and me. I consider each and every one of them family. I have been incredibly blessed with the best team in the entire City of Los Angeles. Their tremendous work on behalf of our constituents is unmatched, and their never-ending creative ideas and massive achievements are extraordinary. We have also been there for each other for so many milestones in our personal lives – celebrating weddings, funerals and newborns and so much more. My CD12 family will always be part of my family!

If I ever dreamed of fulfillment beyond what being a Councilmember has brought me, it would be to make a significant difference in many more lives and communities. This new endeavor will give me just that. The remarkable people I am joining are not only passionate about their work, they care deeply about improving lives in every community they work in – and they do. They have helped completely turn neighborhoods around, created tens of thousands of good paying jobs, invested significantly in community programs that make a difference, all while creating memories and bringing joy to millions of people throughout the world.

I will be staying on in my position as Councilmember until the end of this year and will remain laser-focused on continuing to represent my district as I have always done. My family and I will also remain deeply involved in all of our non-profit partnerships and volunteer programs for years to come.

It is with tremendous gratitude that my family and I thank you for giving us this opportunity to accomplish so much together over the past decade.

With sincere appreciation,

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LADWP Approves New Community Solar Power Program for Renters

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Pilot Program Targets Areas with Low Solar Penetration

LOS ANGELES (September 26, 2018) – Recognizing that a large segment of the city’s population is unable to benefit from solar power, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners voted September 25 to launch a new community solar program to improve solar equity for renters and to expand geographic diversity of solar projects in Los Angeles.

The pilot Shared Solar Program stems from LADWP’s Equity Metrics Data Initiative, which identified the need to expand the benefits of solar to renters as well as improve the geographic solar diversity in Los Angeles, bringing clean energy to more vulnerable communities.

The program will bring the economic and environmental benefits of this clean sustainable resource to customers who live in multifamily buildings and cannot participate in traditional solar programs. To broaden the geographic equity of local solar projects, the solar power will come in part from new projects built by LADWP in areas identified as having a lack of installed solar. These include economically disadvantaged communities as well as those designated by the city as “Clean Up Green Up” neighborhoods—Pacoima-Sun Valley in the East San Fernando Valley, Boyle Heights near downtown, and Wilmington in the Harbor area. If green-lighted by the City Council, LADWP expects to launch the program in January 2019.

“Every Angeleno should have access to clean energy, and you shouldn’t have to be a homeowner to be part of L.A.’s sustainable future,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Shared Solar Program will make that possible for more people in our communities — and progress today will keep us on the path to a tomorrow powered by 100 percent renewable energy.”

“The shared solar program gives my constituents in the Sixth District the right to access clean energy,” said Councilwoman Nury Martinez, Chair of the City Council’s Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice Committee. “There should not be economic barriers to saving our environment. This program makes solar power affordable and also creates good, clean energy jobs that our community need most.”

Under the pilot program, participating customers will be able to purchase blocks of solar power—up to 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month—at a 10-year fixed rate, enabling customers to better manage their electricity bill. LADWP has committed to providing up to 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power under the pilot program. LADWP will build new local solar on rooftops of LADWP and City-owned buildings, parking lots, and other structures. Part of the solar power for the program will also come from a large-scale 90 MW solar project due to be completed in 2019 in the Mojave Desert.

“Los Angeles is already America’s No. 1 Shining City, and now thousands more Angelenos will be able to enjoy the benefits of solar power,” said Mel Levine, President of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “At the same time, the program will help us achieve the Sustainable City pLAn local solar goals and our aggressive renewable energy targets.”

Expanding community solar has been an important component of Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn. Shared Solar is another example of LADWP’s commitment to delivering on the goals of that plan.

“We are absolutely committed to reducing economic barriers to solar power in Los Angeles, and so we are initially giving priority to customers who rent and live in areas that have not benefited from solar through other LADWP solar programs,” LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said.

Wright said the Board’s action today is just a first step. “The program’s end goal is to carve out a reduced rate for Shared Solar to make it affordable for income-qualified and disadvantaged customers,” he said. Toward that end, LADWP is working with community partners to obtain external funding, such as grants, to offset the cost of a discounted low-income rate. The Shared Solar program was crafted to be revenue neutral for non-participants, so that the proposed rate covers the cost of procuring, building, operating, and maintaining the solar projects along with program administration.

“What we won today is one of the nation’s first community solar programs that prioritizes reducing inequities while setting the course for a meaningful transition to renewables,” said Allison Mannos, Director of the RePowerLA Campaign at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). “Since 2014, Repower LA has organized for a new clean energy future at LADWP that benefits low-income ratepayers and could grow over time.”

Shared Solar is part of LADWP’s umbrella of Community Solar Programs. LADWP launched the first Community Solar Program in February 2017—the pilot Solar Rooftop Program (SRP)—which also prioritizes customers who reside in areas of low solar penetration. Under this program, customers receive a fixed payment from LADWP to lease their roof space for a solar system that LADWP installs at no cost to the homeowner. Participating customers receive an annual $360 check for the year for 20 years. Currently, 43 homes have been approved for the Solar Rooftop Program, representing about a total of 110 kilowatts of new clean solar energy for customers who couldn’t install solar on their own.

LADWP is also developing a pilot Virtual Net Energy Metering Program (VNEM) as part of community solar. A VNEM program enables customers in multifamily housing to receive a credit on their bill for solar that is installed on their building. “LADWP’s efforts toward solar equity are growing and so is the Community Solar Program,” Wright said.

Under a Board resolution in June 2018, LADWP committed to accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from its power facilities while expanding energy efficiency and community solar programs that primarily benefit renters in multifamily housing. That action led to an increased investment of $10 million in Community Solar Programs to launch Shared Solar and started the development of the new VNEM Program.

http://www.ladwpnews.com/ladwp-approves-new-community-solar-power-program-for-renters/

Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 x CicLAvia

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On Sunday, September 30th, CicLAvia is partnering with the LA Phil and Community Arts Resources (CARS) and clearing the roadways between Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood, transforming them into an auto-free zone where you can walk, run, skate, scoot, bike, and wander however you like! Six hubs along the route will feature art, food trucks, screen-printing, kid-friendly fun, and dancing, as well as live music from LA’s best musicians. Think of it as an eight-mile free space saved just for you – do with it what you will!

Los Angeles May Make Businesses Disclose NRA Ties

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The LA City Council will consider a motion requiring businesses wishing to contract with the city disclose their ties to the gun lobby.

Saying the National Rifle Association is one of the biggest roadblocks to gun safety reform, a Los Angeles city councilman introduced a motion Friday that would require city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the organization.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s motion, if passed into law, would not ban NRA-connected contractors from doing business with the city, but require them through a new ordinance to disclose any contracts or sponsorships they have with the gun rights advocacy group.

The City Council approved a similar ordinance last year that requires contractors or prospective contractors to disclose that they have placed bids on President Donald Trump’s border wall. Although it did not place a ban on them working with the city, the ordinance sent the message that Los Angeles would be unlikely to hire a contractor with ties to the wall.

“The National Rife Association (NRA) has been one of the most significant roadblocks to sensible gun safety reform at every level of government across the nation,” O’Farrell’s motion states. “In Congress, next to nothing has been done due to the NRA’s stranglehold and propaganda machine. According to an audit obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA’s spending on political activities from 1998-2017 aggregated to over $200 million.”

The motion says the city of Los Angeles historically has enacted ordinances in support of gun safety.

The motion notes there have been more than 1,600 mass shootings in America since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which quantifies a mass shooting as when four or more people are wounded or killed in a shooting, not including the shooter.

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

“For the sake of transparency the city’s residents and stakeholders deserve to know how the city’s public funds are being spent, and whether taxpayer funds are being spent on contractors that have contractual or sponsorship ties with the NRA,” the motion states.

Following a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14, a number of corporations that had offered discounts to NRA members cut ties with the organization, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and the Hertz rental car firm.

O’Farrell’s motion does not state if the city currently has any contractors with ties to the NRA.`

Southland Choked by Unhealthful Air Levels 87 Days Straight

EPA Tightens Air Pollution Limits For First Time In A Decade

It was a summer of unprecedented bad air for the entire Southland.

LOS ANGELES, CA — A thick layer of unhealthy smog blanketed the Southland for an unprecedented 87 days in a row this summer. The region endured 87 straight days of unhealthful air, violating federal smog standards almost every day this summer, it was reported Friday.

It was the longest stretch of bad air in about 20 years, according to state monitoring data show. The streak is the latest sign that Southern California’s battle against smog is faltering after decades of dramatic improvement, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some regulators suspect global warming may play a role because higher temperatures speed the photochemical reactions behind ozone.

“This is one example of the close ties between air pollution and climate change, which makes meeting air quality standards even more challenging and illustrates the urgency for addressing climate change at all levels of government in the U.S. and globally,” Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, an atmospheric chemist at UC Irvine told the Times.

Air Quality officials, however, warn not to read too much into the record stretch of bair air. It’s the level of pollution to be worried about, not the duration, officials told the newspaper.

The spell of bad air started June 19 and continued through July and August, with every day exceeding the federal health standard of 70 parts per billion somewhere across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, The Times reported. It didn’t relent until Sept. 14, when air pollution dipped to “moderate” levels within federal limits for ozone, the lung-damaging gas in smog that triggers asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

It’s not unusual for Southern California summers to go weeks without a break in the smog, especially in inland communities that have long suffered the nation*s worst ozone levels. But environmentalists and health experts say the persistence of dirty air this year is a troubling sign that demands action.

“The fact that we keep violating and having this many days should be a wake-up call,” Michael Kleeman, a UC Davis professor of civil and environmental engineering who studies air pollution, told The Times.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which is responsible for cleaning pollution across the region of 17 million people, said that consecutive bad air days is an inappropriate way to gauge progress curbing ozone, that this smog season was not as severe as last year’s and had fewer “very unhealthy” days, The Times reported.

“By all accounts this year is not great, but it’s a little better than last year,” Philip Fine, deputy executive officer for the South Coast air district, told The Times.

Click here for the full Los Angeles Times article.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Plan to Steer Air Traffic over the Valley Hits Turbulence

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Residents in western San Fernando Valley are trying to halt FAA plans to direct more air traffic over the neighborhood.

More than 1,900 residents have signed a petition against an FAA plan to allow more passenger flights from Hollywood Burbank Airport over several San Fernando Valley communities, it was reported Friday.

The group, called Studio City for Quiet Skies, launched the petition in response to Federal Aviation Administration plans to move departing flights on a trajectory farther south over Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Encino, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. The petition was on the online site Change.org.

Residents say the changes would bring more noise, traffic and pollution to the area, and they slammed the plan in a series of comments on the petition, according to the Daily News.

“We object to flight paths that expose residents and visitors, our school children, student athletes and people seeking recreation in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, to constant jet noise and pollution,” according to the petition.

“I don’t understand why commercial air traffic is not being directed over the San Fernando Valley’s commercial and industrial zones, or above our numerous freeways,” a Studio City resident wrote. “Our residential neighborhoods are under constant assault with traffic from major thoroughfares being redirected to side streets where people live and children play by Google Maps and Waze. Now the FAA wants to direct planes over our homes and playgrounds as well. Why?”

Airport officials are also concerned about the change, and the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and the Studio City Residents Association have both opposed it, the Daily News reported.

Patrick Lammerding, deputy executive director of planning and development at the airport, wrote a letter to FAA officials on Aug. 21, noting his office “cannot express support for the proposed” plan, according to the newspaper.

“It is equally important to us that we act as a good neighbor to the surrounding communities that we serve and who support us,” he wrote.

A spokesman for the FAA said in a statement that the federal agency “is proposing to update two existing routes for aircraft that depart off Runway 15 at Hollywood Burbank Airport. The purpose of the updates is to keep Burbank Runway 15 departures better separated from LAX arrivals to the south and from aircraft that are arriving to Burbank’s Runway 8.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, whose district includes North Hollywood and Studio City, said in a statement in August that the new paths will “focus more noise over a smaller area, including over schools and quiet residential neighborhoods.” He added that “the FAA’s unwillingness to be transparent about this process and its complete inability to articulate a true public benefit to be derived from the new flight paths wrongly shuts the public out of the discussion,” the Daily News reported.

https://patch.com/california/northridge/plan-steer-air-traffic-over-valley-hits-turbulence

Welcome the New Senior Lead Officer to Our Neighborhood!

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Devonshire Community, I would like to announce the selection of Devonshire’s Newest Senior Lead Officer, Police Officer III Phillip Sellers.

Officer Sellers will be working Basic Car 17A49, filling the position left by retired Senior Lead Officer Jannie Angeles. He was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates. Officer Sellers has served the Devonshire community for many years. He will be an asset to the Devonshire SLO office as he continues to serve the community.

Thank you.

BRYAN D. LIUM
Commanding Officer
Devonshire Area

State and SoCal Gas Settle Over Aliso Gas Leak for $119.5 Million

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The news of an tentative settlement between state officials and SoCal has many residents involved in a class action suit nervous.

A $119.5 million settlement agreement was announced Wednesday to resolve claims by several governmental bodies stemming from the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak — the biggest in U.S. history — that sent more than 100,000 tons of natural gas into neighborhoods around Porter Ranch.

According to a statement released by Southern California Gas Co. just before the start of a news conference to detail the agreement, the settlement with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the County of Los Angeles, the California Attorney General’s office and the California Air Resources Board resolves “all outstanding claims by those government bodies against the company related to the 2015-2016 natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.”

“Under the terms of the $119.5 million settlement agreement, SoCalGas will, among other things, reimburse city, county and state governments for costs associated with their response to the leak; establish a program with the California Air Resources Board to mitigate the methane emissions from the leak; and fund local environmental benefit projects to be administered by the government parties,” according to the statement.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Mitch Englander and county Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis were scheduled to discuss the settlement at a 10 a.m. news conference.

The gas stemmed from an underground storage facility owned by the company.

Officials said the invisible gas was flowing for about four months in what is being called the worst methane leak in history. An estimated 8,000 residents evacuated their homes, and people from the area said they experienced health issues such as headaches, nosebleeds and nausea.

A class-action suit involving around 9,000 plaintiffs has been filed again SoCalGas. People affiliated with the suit said they resented reports of a settlement since it indicated that a state investigation of the leak will end even though, they claim, the leaking has not stopped.

Bret Lane, the utility’s president and chief operating officer, said SoCalGas “is delivering on our commitment to the governor and the people of California to fully mitigate the methane emissions from the leak at our Aliso Canyon facility.”

“The settlement will also help California meet its ambitious climate goals by advancing projects that capture methane from dairy farms and waste and convert that energy into renewable natural gas for use in transportation,” he said. “SoCalGas is pleased to have worked with the Attorney General’s Office, the Air Resources Board, the Los Angeles City Attorney and the County of Los Angeles to resolve these matters for the people of California.”

The gas leak, which was discovered in October 2015 and continued emanating methane until February 2016, poured an estimated 109,000 tons of methane into the air and forced an estimated 15,000 residents to temporarily relocate.

Limited operations resumed at the facility in late July 2017 with the blessing of state regulators. Efforts by Los Angeles County officials to block the resumed operations failed in court.

Last year, SoCalGas reached an $8.5 million settlement with South Coast Air Quality Management District over the leak, which included $1 million in funding for an SCAQMD-sponsored health study on the impacts of the leak, although county health officials said that $35 million to $40 million would be needed for an adequate study.

Los Angeles County Launches Homeless Outreach Portal Online and Through 2-1-1 Phone

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Did you see someone experiencing homelessness who needs help? Notice a homeless neighbor who seems to be struggling with their physical and/or mental health? You can help them by filling out an outreach request at www.la-hop.org or by dialing 2-1-1 and reporting any specific concerns you may have regarding the person’s well-being.

LA-HOP (Homeless Outreach Program) is a service designed to assist people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County with outreach services. Calling LA-HOP will dispatch a homeless services outreach team to the area. Homeless individuals or others may call the line when seeking help for themselves or others. This program is funded by Measure H, the County of Los Angeles special sales tax increase passed by the voters in 2017 that specifically funds services, shelter, and permanent rental subsidies for people experiencing homelessness.

211 LA is the central source for providing information and referrals for all health, human services and social services in LA County. The 2-1-1 phone line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, with trained Community Resource Advisors prepared to offer help with any situation, any time. If you are calling from outside Los Angeles County or cannot directly dial 2-1-1, call (800) 339-6993.

Workshop: Great Green Space for a Climate-Smart LA

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Want to help your neighborhood maximize green space and be more climate resilient? Want to make the best and most equitable use of Measure A and Prop 68 funds for local parks?

Join us for a hands-on workshop with Fernando Cazares of the Trust for Public Land on how to make the most of your neighborhood green space—and add to it where it’s needed most. We’ll also have updates on our committee work on community oil drilling, trees, water, environmental health, and more, plus time to share what YOU are up to!

The Trust for Public Land has created a user-friendly tool to help city leaders and residents design, fund, and build climate-smart parks and green spaces where they can provide the most equitable and environmental bang for the buck.

Learn to use this tool to design and enhance your neighborhood “green infrastructure” serving four objectives: Connect (trails and transit lines to connect us), Cool (provide shade in key areas), Absorb (reduce flooding and recharge drinking water supplies while saving energy for water management), and Protect (strategically place green space to buffer cities from climate hazards). Check out a preview here!

BYOB—bring your own reusable water bottle or coffee mug

Connect with others to carpool to the event! https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/x5zas4

Saturday, August 25 from 10 am to 1 pm

Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center
1600 E 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

RSVP at https://www.ncsa.la/great_green_space

Discuss NC Reform & Community Interest Stakeholders with the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners: July 23 (Valley) / Aug 7 (East LA) / Aug 15 (location TBD) / Aug 20 (DTLA)

Commission-town-halls-on-NC-Reform-July-August-2018-newsletter-graphic-1200×400

As part of their next few meetings, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners will hold town hall style discussions of the City Council’s Neighborhood Council Reform motion (CF 18-0467). You are invited to join their conversation, and help shape the future of the NC system.

One key part of the discussion will focus on Community Interest Stakeholders. Community Interest Stakeholdership of a Neighborhood Council is currently defined as engaging in “ongoing and substantial participation” in the community that NC serves, but what does “ongoing and substantial” mean as a qualification?

Community Interest Stakeholders are just one item on the list of reforms proposed for the Neighborhood Council system. If you haven’t yet read the entire NC Reform proposal, please read it here: http://tiny.cc/NCReform

Here are the upcoming Commission meeting dates where you will be able to share your feedback on these NC reform-related issues:

Special Meeting – Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Kaiser Permanente Panorama City
Medical Office 2 – Classroom 1 + 2
13730 Roscoe Blvd Panorama City, CA 91402
(free on-site parking available)

Get the 7/23 agenda: http://ens.lacity.org/done/agendas/doneagendas197123085_07232018.pdf

Regular Meeting – Tuesday August 7, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Boyle Heights City Hall
2130 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 
(free on-site parking available)

Special Meeting – Wednesday August 15, 2018
time & location TBD

Regular Meeting – Monday August 20, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
City Hall
10th Floor Conference Center (Room 1050)
200 North Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(street parking only)

New Tree Removal Notification for Neighborhood Councils

New-Street-Tree-Removal-Notification-System-for-NCs

The Bureau of Street Services’ Urban Forestry Division (UFD) is now copying EmpowerLA when a permit has been filed with UFD and has been deemed complete to move to the notification phase.  Once EmpowerLA receives a notification with the address of the tree to be removed, staff will identify which Neighborhood Council the tree(s) is located in and forward the notification to the board.

A Neighborhood Council can weigh in on the removal of the tree(s) in the following way:  

If the removal is for 1 or 2 trees, the UFD provides a 3 day notice to the affected Council District, the Community Forest Advisory Committee and the affected Neighborhood Council.  If no objections are raised within the 3 days, the tree(s) will be removed shortly thereafter.  The board members should contact their City Council Office if your Neighborhood Council has any concerns about the tree(s) removal.  

If the removal is for 3 or more trees, the UFD provides a 3 day notice to the affected Council District, the Board of Public Works, the Community Forest Advisory Committee and the affected Neighborhood Council.  The UFD is also required to submit a report to the Board of Public Works for review, and the proposed removal must be posted for 30 days prior to removal in order to allow for public comment.  In addition to contacting the City Council Office if your Neighborhood Council has any concerns about the trees removal, board members will also be able to provide public comment with the Board of Public Works within the 30 days.

Please note that if your board has not taken official action on the tree(s) removal, board members can only speak in their individual capacity.

For more information about the tree removal process, click here for the information sheet and click here for the Tree Removal Permit Application.  For a list of the proposed removals, click here for the Tree Removal Notification System.

If you have any questions about this tree removal application list, please contact the Urban Forestry Department directly by calling 213-847-3077

Review and Comment on the CAO’s 2018-19 Appropriation Limit Report for the City Budget

CAO-2018-19-Budget-Appropriations-Limit-Report

The CAO (City Administrative Officer) has released the Neighborhood Councils’ review of the 2018-19 Appropriation Limit Report for the Gann Initiative, a California state law that limits the amount of revenue which can be appropriated in any fiscal year for publicly-funded programs.

This report is provided to the public for review at least 15 days before adopting the appropriations limit, in accordance with Section 7910 of the Government Code. If your NC would like to issue a CIS on the CAO’s report, the associated Council File is the one for the 2018-19 City budget, CF 18-0600. CIS should be submitted by Friday, August 3rd, to ensure your letter is received within the 15-day public review period.

See the full CAO report, including attachments, at http://empowerla.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/20180719-CAO-2018-19-APPROPRIATION-LIMIT-CF-18-0600.pdf

Share Your Opinion on the City’s Trees & Help Shape LA’s Urban Forest Management Plan

City-Plants-Trees

The City of Los Angeles is in the initial stages of developing an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) funded by a grant from CAL FIRE. The goal of the UFMP is to help guide the planting, care, protection, and sustainability of the City’s urban trees. LA’s Urban Tree Canopy cover is only 21% – lower than the national average of 26%, which makes the health and sustainability of the City’s park trees critical.

To ensure this plan for managing the City’s trees considers and incorporates resident priorities, the following survey is provided, so you may tell the City how you feel about local trees.

This survey will be collecting responses through Wednesday August 15, 2018. We appreciate you taking part in this important process! Click the links below to take the survey:

Link to English survey: http://tinyurl.com/UFMPsurvey
Link to Spanish survey: http://tinyurl.com/UFMPencuesta

http://empowerla.org/urban-forest-management-plan-public-input-survey/

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