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Census Safety – Good Info to Share with People

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

The big question is – how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:

** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home.

** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information.

Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census.

REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ASK, YOU REALLY ONLY NEED TO TELL THEM HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE AT YOUR ADDRESS. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION.

The Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Any one asking for that information is NOT with the Census Bureau.

THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THIS INFORMATION. No Acorn worker should approach you saying he/she is with the Census Bureau.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

City Announces Prescription Savings Card

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has launched the LARx Prescription Savings Card Program. The purpose is to provide prescriptions at a lower price. The card will offer prescriptions at a 5% to 40% discount. There are no age, income, or other restrictions on the card – and no enrollment fees.

The card and discounts will be offered at http://forlarx.com

Public Libraries, Recreation & Parks facilities and Senior Centers including those operated by the Department of Aging will have the cards readily available.

For a list of participating locations in Granada Hills, go to our LARx Info page.

Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Approves GHNNC Boundary Petition

To All Interested Stakeholders –

We are pleased to report that, at Monday October 19th’s 11:30am meeting in City Hall, BONC approved the Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council’s Boundary Adjustment Petition.

This means that the GHNNC’s western boundary now extends to the western edge of Aliso Canyon, overlapping the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council’s boundary, which reaches the eastern edge of the canyon.

Despite the extremely short notice, four GHHNC Stakeholders managed to make it to the meeting. A big “thank you” to Eric Rosenberg, Sue DeVandry, Kim Thompson, and Barbara Iversen for their time and essential support!

We’re confident that all GHNNC Stakeholders look forward to collaborating with the PRNC on issues that affect both of our Neighborhood Councils, and believe our respective organizations have been strengthened by this alliance.

The bottom line is that Aliso Canyon wins, now having the formal oversight of two Neighborhood Councils.

DWP Info Phone Line and Web Site Now Active

DWP LogoThe DWP has activated its special phone line and website to allow residents to find out what their water usage allotment is. This will allow residents to determine if they need to conserve more water to avoid the higher rates under the DWP’s water shortage measures.

DWP Phone Line: (800) Dial DWP
www.LADWP.com

Los Angeles is suffering a serious drought plus significant water supply shortages.
To boost conservation, DWP has implemented higher water-shortage rates and lawn watering restrictions. About 85% of single-family homes and 99% of apartment buildings in the 12th District will remain in the lowest water usage tier, so their rates won’t go up.

Single-family households are allocated a certain amount of water at the lowest rate – Tier 1. This allotment is determined by three things: lot size, location and number of household members. The higher rate is for every additional gallon of water used above that. This means that you will not be penalized if you have already been conserving water, because the Tier is not set based on your own use.

“Los Angeles: Structure of a City Government” online download now available for free.

LA Book CoverEverything about L.A. city government‑‑from who fixes potholes to how people run for city Council‑‑can be found in the new edition of Los Angeles: Structure of a City Government, published by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles. To commemorate the publication, the League donated a total of 6,800 copies to the city of Los Angeles during a presentation in City Hall council chambers on November 7, 2006. It has distributed the remaining 7,200 copies to civic groups and residents throughout Los Angeles.

Written by Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein of California State University, Fullerton, and recently appointed Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Review commission, the publication is an entirely new and expanded version of a book first published by the League in 1964 and most recently updated in 1986. The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation funded the book.

Dr. Sonenshein’s edition adds a new chapter to the long and valued history of the League’s published guides to the government of Los Angeles. with his invaluable experience as Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Appointed Charter Reform commission, his book aptly serves as an introduction to this new governing document for the 21st century.

Los Angeles: Structure of a City Government includes sections on departments, commissions and agencies that did not exist prior to the passage of the 2000 charter. Other features of the 208‑page book include a newly revised city organizational chart, a recommended reading list, website resources, and an index, weaving the history of Los Angeles’ civic infrastructure throughout, it serves as an invaluable educational resource for people of all ages.

Click here to download your copy of the book.

GHNNC is represented well among Valley Regional Congress award winners

Scott ManattBudget & Finance Chair of the Year
Scott Manatt, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council
Sue DeVandryOutreach Chair of the Year
Sue DeVandry, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council

Thank you for all the hard work that you have done as well as the work that you are currently doing for our council.

The city of Granada Hills (including the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council and the Granada Hills Rotary Club) took 5 awards out of 18 across the entire San Fernando Valley, so we did very well.

These award winners were honored at the Valley Regional Congress Event luncheon on Saturday, May 30th.

GHNNC is sponsoring Citrus Sunday this Sunday, May 3!!!

Citrus Sunday Logo

Citrus Sunday is coming up fast, and the Neighborhood Councils, community groups, Fire Stations and hundreds of volunteers that are joining our effort are preparing for a record harvest on Sunday, May 3.

Northridge East, Northridge West, Granada Hills North, Granada Hills South, West Hills, North Hills West, and Chatsworth Neighborhood Councils, as well as the San Fernando Valley Jaycees have agreed to “adopt” Fire Stations that will serve as fruit drop-off locations. Volunteers from the Neighborhood Councils will be on hand to assist people arriving to drop off citrus fruit picked on Citrus Sunday, and ensure that the operation goes smoothly.

Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council has adopted Fire Station 18, and we encourage you to bring as much citrus fruit as you can to the fire station on Sunday. flyer

Fire Station 18
12050 Balboa Blvd.
Granada Hills, CA 91344

Please be part of this effort! Together we will bring tens of thousands of pounds of fresh, nutritious fruit to needy families served at local food banks operated by the Valley Interfaith Council (VIC).

Participating is easy:
1. Pick oranges, grapefruits, or other citrus fruit (up to three days in advance of Citrus Sunday).
2. Wash them and put them in plastic bags.
3. Drop them off at participating Fire Stations between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 3, and VIC will distribute it at their food banks.

If you can’t pick the fruit on your own, call (818) 756-8501 and we will try to assist you.

For a list of participating Fire Stations, and other information on Citrus Sunday, visit www.CD12.org and click Citrus Sunday or call (818) 756-8501.

Big Sunday Weekend: May 1 and 2

Big Sunday Weekend is coming soon! There are so many opportunities nearby to make a positive difference in your neighborhood. For your convenience, GHNNC has searched through all 450+ projects across Southern California and listed the local ones on our Event Calendar.
log-bigsunday2From the Big Sunday website:
Big Sunday’s mission is to build community through community service. Volunteers come from all kinds of neighborhoods, and work in all sorts of neighborhoods, too. The idea is that everyone has some way that they can help somebody else.

Their biggest event each year is Big Sunday Weekend—always in the spring, usually in late April or early May. That’s when thousands of people from Southern California, of all ages and all backgrounds, work together at hundreds of nonprofits, schools and other agencies that need their help. Last year on Big Sunday Weekend, 50,000 volunteers turned out—some as individuals, others with their families, still others as part of a class, church, synagogue, mosque, business or club—to lend a hand at more than 500 different projects from San Diego to Solvang, making Big Sunday Weekend one of the largest regional community service events in America.

On Big Sunday Weekend there are opportunities for every passion, talent, skill and age. Projects are scheduled throughout the weekend, and can last anywhere from one hour to two full days. Big Sunday Weekend also includes special events such as art shows, sports days, yard sales and blood drives. Plus, last year on Big Sunday Weekend, we gave away more than 85 truckloads of clothes, books, food, furniture, musical instruments, luggage, toys and other items.

For many people, Big Sunday Weekend is just the beginning of an involvement that continues throughout the year. Many volunteers build lasting relationships with the nonprofits they first help on Big Sunday Weekend. All year long—and for years to come—they continue to volunteer, mentor, serve on boards and contribute goods, services and money to support these worthy causes.

By the way, Big Sunday is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Big Sunday projects have no religious or political agenda, and there is never any charge for volunteers to participate. Big Sunday is completely underwritten by cash and in-kind donations.

Earthquake Preparedness

On July 29th, the Los Angeles region experienced a 5.4 scale earthquake. It was a reminder and a warning that we live in earthquake country and we need to be prepared for the big one. Luckily, it was uneventful compared to the 6.6 Sylmar earthquake in 1971 and the 6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994. Both quakes claimed many lives and caused billions of dollars in property damage. It’s been over ten years since the Northridge earthquake and experts regularly say it is not a matter of if, but when another earthquake of this magnitude will occur. Take a moment to click on the links and read through all the earthquake preparedness tip sheets. Requires Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader (Free download).

Having the right information and being prepared means that we are saving lives.

Massive Las Lomas Development Blocked in City Council

Councilman Greig Smith’s motion to have the City make a policy decision to stop the Las Lomas development, stop the annexation of the land into City of Los Angeles and reject the Supplemental Fee Agreement to allow the developer to expedite the project, was approved by the City Council today. The Las Lomas project was too big, too dense, and couldn’t be planned in a worse place. It would have a devastating effect on traffic and the environment, and would unacceptably strain our water, infrastructure and public safety resources.

The huge coalition of opponents to Las Lomas who came together to say no to this project have our gratitude and praise for stepping up to the plate to defend our community. Residents, community groups, elected officials, Neighborhood Councils, and environmental groups took official positions of opposition to Las Lomas, wrote letters of opposition, and made public comments against the development at Neighborhood Council meetings, City Council meetings and Planning & Land Use Management Committee meetings.

Today was a big victory for the San Fernando Valley in the fight to protect our quality of life and ensure that we focus on the needs of our communities.

Councilman Smith Introduces Motion to Kill Massive Las Lomas Development

Los Angeles – Councilman Greig Smith introduced a motion Wednesday, Feb. 6, signed by seven Councilmembers, the maximum allowed, to make a policy decision to stop the massive Las Lomas development. It allows the City to dictate its future land use, and not leave it up to developers to determine.

“This project has been lurking in the dark corners of City Hall for nearly a decade,” said Councilman Smith, whose District is next to the proposed development site and would suffer immeasurable negative impacts from it. “It’s time to finally take them out of the shadows and stop this project for good.”

The motion states: Las Lomas Land Company wants to expand the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles by annexing County-Unincorporated territory, 2/3 of which is located outside the City of Los Angeles’ Sphere of Influence (SOI) in order to build a massive development at the confluence of five major freeways.

Unlike proposed projects located within the boundaries of the City, whereby the City must process the project, proposed projects outside of the City boundaries require a policy decision pursuant to the City Charter.

In six years since the project surfaced, the City has not made a formal policy decision on whether it wants to expand the City of Los Angeles in order to build the Las Lomas project and provide the necessary resources to service this new “mini-city.” These resources include, but are not limited to: water, sewer, police and fire, power and public works services.

In light of the information presented to the Budget & Finance Committee that questions the appropriateness of a supplemental fee agreement prior to a policy decision being made by the City;

I THEREFORE MOVE that all work on the proposed Las Lomas project stops until the aforementioned policy decision is made by the City Council.

I FURTHER MOVE that the Council pursuant to the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) section 12.35, which states: “.The Council may establish specific zoning by ordinance for land or territory to be annexed.” make the policy decision whether or not to pre-zone the land area before any supplemental fee agreement be considered.

I FURTHER MOVE that if the Council votes not to pre-zone the land portion within the City’s Sphere of Influence that all City Departments immediately cease and desist all work associated with the Las Lomas Development by the Las Lomas Land Company, LLC and return all materials submitted by the Developer.

I FURTHER MOVE that if the City should decide to move forward with the Las Lomas project then prior to negotiating or entering into a supplemental fee agreement, the City shall obtain an opinion from all relevant governmental agencies to determine; (1) if the City is the proper lead agency for the entire proposed project; (2) if the City can legally process an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) outside of its jurisdiction in this particular case; and (3) if the City can pre-zone outside the City’s Sphere of Influence.

New LAPD Bomb Squad Facility Opens in Granada Hills

New LAPD Bomb Squad Facility Opens in Granada Hills

The new facility is LEED certified, meaning it is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. It was funded by Proposition Q, a $600 million Public Safety bond, which voters approved in 2002 to build and repair police facilities.

It includes a 120-person classroom with interactive computer stations, an explosives robot training arena, a vehicle storage bay, laboratory and other features.

It is located at the LAPD’s Edward Davis Training Facility on in Granada Hills, where the 5 and 405 freeways meet, providing the Bomb Squad excellent access to respond to calls across the Valley.

GHNNC Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council (GHNNC) obtained certification from the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC) on September 10, 2002. After two years of discussing the NC system, our community decided it would be a great idea and would eventually be a very useful tool. We  held our first organizing meeting in June, 2001.  It was a long and arduous process and there were many community members who contributed hours upon hours of volunteer work to get every aspect of the expectations and procedures of BONC completed, organized and done properly.  We felt then and still feel that our community is special; therefore we took time to try and make it the most fair and best Neighborhood Council we could be.

There are many stakeholders and board members or former board members who should be thanked for being there from the very first organizing meeting and worked so incredibly hard; without them it wouldn’t have been able to happen. In alphabetical order, these people were the most instrumental in starting this brand new City branch of community-based government – they were either on the steering committee, quickly took over other committees, and helped get the word out to everyone within our boundaries and to other citywide NC’s.  Some of them got elected to the first board and others either still sit on the board or have stayed involved:  Wayne Aller, Teresa Anderson, Becky Bendikson, Dave Bendikson, Patrick Casparian, Greg Chaussee, Karen Chaussee, Mary Ellen Crosby, Rick Driscoll, Mary Edwards, Ginger Fong, Sid Gold, Michael Greenwald, David Hood, Harriet Hood, Wayde Hunter, Joshua Jordahl, Mary Anna Kienholz, Frank Kiesler, Vaune Kirby, Ralph Kroy, Scott Manatt, Sharon Manatt, Cherie Mann, Dave Parikh, Ben Pedrick, Bob Ricketts, Sheva, Susan Tipton, Kim Thompson, Joe Vitti, Nicole Wilkin, Donna Zero, Tony Zero, and Anne Ziliak in addition to all of the former and current board members.

At the BONC meeting on December 2, 2008, we were given our 5-year certificate from BONC (one year late). At the meeting, Leon Marzillier and Kim Thompson reported on Best Practices learned from other NC’s, what we feel we’ve done successfully and where we felt we were lacking. Some members and stakeholders were there during the meeting. Congratulations to everyone involved in GHNNC!

GHNNC accepting our award

Certificate

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