Category: GHNNC

Bee Canyon Children’s Playground Undergoing Renovation

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The children’s playground in Bee Canyon Park will be closed and remain fenced off from March 10 until April 10, 2014 while undergoing extensive renovation and improvements courtesy of the Patriot Oil Community Benefit Trust Fund administered by the North Valley Coalition.

Among the improvements will be the removal of outdated play equipment (rocking bulldozer and whale) which will be replaced by a new home/rescue climbing unit, the installation of new curbing, rubberized matting and a new smaller sand box to replace most of the existing sand which created a daily maintenance nightmare sifting for potentially harmful objects that might injure the children. The installation of new shade structures to protect the existing climbing structure and slides (also a part of the project) will occur about 1 month after the park reopens and before the hot weather.

The Recreation & Parks Department will also be adding additional benches which are more strategically located, and adding pads for existing benches that currently don’t have them.

While not a part of this project Patriot Oil has also funded the replacement of the existing drinking water fountain located at the bridge leading into the playground with a combination water fountain/pet watering station after observing residents permitting their animals to drink directly from the faucet mouthpiece. This replacement should be completed in the next month or so.

Wayde Hunter,
President NVC/Patriot Oil Community Benefit Trust Fund

Interested in Making a Difference in Your Community? The Candidate Filing Period Is Open!

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If you wish to promote your community, the opportunities are endless.

The Candidate Filing Period began December 16, 2013 and ends January 15, 2014.

The easiest way to file as a candidate is online.  Here’s how:

  1. Go to http://empowerla.org/ghnnc/granada-hills-north-nc-2014-elections/
  2. Click on File Online tab in the right-hand column
  3. Fill out the online form and click Submit.

We look forward to seeing as many of our Granada Hills North stakeholders running for a position on our board as possible.

Remember, Election Day is Saturday, March 1, 2014.

We are better when we are connected.
Happy Holidays!

Stakeholder Definition Changes

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On Wednesday, December 18, 2013, LA’s City Council voted unanimously to approve CF 12-1682, changing the name and definition of the Factual Basis Stakeholder to Community Interest Stakeholder, defined as those who have a “substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries.”

The ordinance now goes to the Mayor for his signature and then must be posted before it becomes effective, anticipated to be around the end of January, 2014, which is in advance of any of the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections scheduled to take place in March, April, and May of 2014.

In preparation for the transition from the current Factual Basis stakeholder definition to the impending Community Interest stakeholder definition:

The EmpowerLA website has been revised so that this statement appears at the top of each Neighborhood Councils 2014 Elections page with asterisks on the Board Seat, the Candidate Qualifications, the Voter Qualifications, the Elections Manual, and the Acceptable Forms of Documentation:

*Pending legislation may result in a revision of the definition of the Factual Basis stakeholder, which may impact the qualifications to run and to vote for Factual Basis seat(s).

The City Clerk and the Independent Election Administrators will advise all Candidates filing as Factual Basis Candidates that the open seat’s name and qualifications are subject to change when the Ordinance becomes effective, at which time they would have three business days to offer additional documentation, if necessary, in order to qualify for the newly defined seat.

The City Clerk, when certifying Candidates, will offer two forms of certification; one for Candidates that are certified and one for Factual Basis Candidates who are “Certified pending anticipated Ordinance which may require additional documentation.”

Vote-by-Mail voters that file as Factual Basis Voters will be notified that the pending change in the definition of the Factual Basis Voter may impact their qualifications as a VBM voter.

The LA Times writes, “The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to tighten the rules for who can vote in neighborhood council elections after complaints that an overly broad definition of community stakeholder had allowed outsiders to manipulate results.

The new rules mark an ongoing attempt to refine the neighborhood governance system, struck in the late 1990s after the San Fernando Valley secession movement to give residents a stronger voice in city politics.

Previously, anyone could vote in a neighborhood council race just by displaying a receipt for a latte from around the corner, as proof of having a vested interest in a community — a “Starbucks stakeholder.”

Now voters must either work, live, own property or show membership in a community organization within council boundaries. The new language changes the voter definition from someone who “owns property” to someone who “owns real property.”

The City Attorney writes, “On October 1, 2013, City Council requested that our Office amend the definition of a “Stakeholder” in the Neighborhood Council system. City Council asked that we
change the definition to reflect that membership will be open to anyone who lives, works or owns property in the neighborhood and also to anyone who declares a stake in the neighborhood as a Community Interest Stakeholder. “Community Interest Stakeholder” is defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries and who participates in community organizations with areas of focus that include, but not limited to, educational, non-profit or religious. In addition, City Council requested that the term “own property” be defined to mean “own real property.” The requested change is reflected in LAAC Section 22.811 (a)(2), which states:

“that neighborhood council membership will be open to everyone who lives, works or owns real property in the neighborhood and also to those who declare a stake in the neighborhood as a community interest stakeholder, defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the neighborhood council’s boundaries and who may be in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, non-profit and/or religious organizations;”

In addition to changing the stakeholder definition, City Council also asked for certain changes to the Neighborhood Council board structure. Specifically, City Council asked that any at-large positions on the Neighborhood Council Board be open to all stakeholders and not simply community interest stakeholders. Thus, City Council asked to remove the requirement that Neighborhood Councils provide governing board positions reserved for Community Interest Stakeholders provided that there is an at large position for which all stakeholders may vote and run. In addition, City Council requested that Neighborhood Councils be allowed to “determine the number of governing board seats that will be allocated to the Community Interest Stakeholder.” City Council also requested that the affirmation of those Community Interest Stakeholders proposed in the Neighborhood Councils by-laws be consistent with and equal to the affirmation required of stakeholders who live work or own property. The requested revision is reflected in LAAC Section 22.810.1 (b)(2)(C)(iii)(1), which states:

“The governing body must, to the extent possible, reflect the diversity of the neighborhood council’s stakeholders. All stakeholders must be eligible to vote and run for at least one board seat. Neighborhood councils may allocate their board seats to specific stakeholder categories and establish stakeholder eligibility requirements in voting for the board seats. If a neighborhood council allocates its board seats to specific stakeholder categories, then the neighborhood council must include at least one seat for which every stakeholder is eligible to vote and run. Neighborhood councils may not allocate a majority of their board seats to a single stakeholder group, unless approved by the Department upon a showing of extenuating circumstances. The election procedures created by the Department or City Clerk pursuant to Section 20.36 shall require, in a situation where neighborhood council requires that a stakeholders to provide proof of eligibility, that proof of stakeholder status for community interest stakeholders must be consistent with and substantially equivalent to the evidentiary proof required of stakeholders who live, work or own property.”

For more information on Stakeholder definitions, how to run as a Candidate, serve as a Volunteer, or participate as a Voter in the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections, visit EmpowerLA.org or email [email protected] or call 818-293-8683 (vote).

To file as a candidate, contact LA’s City Clerk by emailing [email protected] or calling 818-293-VOTE (8683) or visiting their office at 200 N. Spring Street, Room 360 Los Angeles, CA 90012.

North Valley Coalition Awards Environmental Citizen Of The Year Award To Bill Hopkins

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North Valley Coalition of Concerned Citizens has been committed to protecting the health of families and the environment in the Los Angeles area for over 20 years

The North Valley Coalition of Concerned Citizens (NVC) has selected Bill Hopkins of Granada Hills as the recipient of their Environmental Citizen of the Year award for 2013, recognizing his support for environmental issues, and his efforts promoting Emergency Preparedness in the community. Wayde Hunter, President of the NVC, says that “selecting Bill as this year’s honoree was an easy decision for our Board of Directors, due to his strong support for the environment, emergency preparedness, and his deep concern for our members.”

Bill regularly attends the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Community Advisory Council meetings, composed of a diverse group of citizens, Los Angeles City, County, and state agencies, and representatives of the landfill to address the multitude of landfill issues affecting the health and welfare of the local community. Bill says that: “I’m honored to receive this award, joining a select group of like-minded citizens promoting responsible stewardship of our environment while also addressing local concerns. By my actions, I strive to inspire others to consider our environment in all that we do.” Bill is a charter member of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s and Bureau of Sanitation’s Recycled Water Advisory Group, known as RWAG. He installed solar electrical panels on his home 10 years ago, which helps LADWP meet their renewables mandate and that can provide power whenever utility power is lost; diverted all downspouts to beneficially use rainwater, thus reducing urban runoff; replaced a thirsty lawn with drought-tolerant landscaping; and adopted other conservation measures, including driving an all-electric vehicle. He is a strong advocate for solar electrical power and alternative energy production.

In addition, Bill is a community-elected member of the Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council (GHNNC), and is their Emergency Preparedness (EP) Chair.

Environmental issues are but one of Bill’s passions. He continues to help the community prepare for the next major disaster by having relevant and topical speakers at monthly EP meetings, presenting the Map Your Neighborhood program to help residents prepare their immediate neighbors for disasters, working with community partners and other interested parties in pre-staging emergency supplies for public use, and as a coordinator for the Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair. Bill reports that: “Regular EP meetings are open to everyone, and are held on the first Tuesday of the month, 7:00 pm, at 11139 Woodley Avenue, Granada Hills.” He is also a regular contributor to the Granada Hills Life and Porter Ranch Life magazines, writing about Emergency Preparedness topics.

For the third year running, Bill has coordinated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes in Granada Hills supported by the GHNNC, and for the last two years it has been conducted with the Patriot Oil Community Benefit Trust Fund, administered by the North Valley Coalition, as a co-sponsor. Bill states that: “We all know we should protect the environment and prepare for a disaster. Working together with community organizations like the NVC and neighborhood councils, we can learn how to incorporate easy habits into our daily lives, resulting in a brighter, safer, and cleaner tomorrow.”

The NVC regularly participates in the annual Granada Hills Street Parade, this year being held on December 8. Their entry is a 1923 Ford Model T antique automobile, owned and driven by Ralph Kroy, which will carry their Environmental Citizen of the Year awardee along the parade route on Chatsworth Street, from Petit Park (Petit Avenue) to Granada Hills Charter High School (Zelzah Avenue), starting at 1:30 pm and ending at approximately 4:30 pm. For parade information, contact the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce at (818) 368-3235, [email protected], or web: granadachamber.com.

About the North Valley Coalition
The North Valley Coalition has been committed to protecting the health of families and the environment in the Los Angeles area for over 20 years. They got their start as Dump-the-Dump, and later incorporated under the NVC banner. Their accomplishments range from preserving parklands to helping stop toxic waste incinerators. Of utmost importance to all of their members is their ongoing fight to oppose the various expansions of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, to hold the various owners BFI/Allied Waste/Republic Industries accountable for ongoing violations of their Solid Waste Facilities Permit (SWFP) and the County Conditional Use Permit (CUP). For the past four years, the NVC has been working to require the City, County, and State to take action against the landfill for odor problems that impact the community on a daily basis. The North Valley Coalition is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization of dedicated volunteers who receive no compensation for their labor and involvement.

NC Plan Review Survey for Stakeholders

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https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9motions

This survey has been created by the Neighborhood Council Plan Review committees to provide you with an opportunity to weigh in on a number of current Neighborhood Council policy issues. Your time and attention is valuable and greatly appreciated.

Over the last half year, Neighborhood Council Plan Review committees have been carefully considering many of the laws which govern the Neighborhood Council system. A number of their recommendations have now gone before the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. Before voting on the recommendations, the Commission would like your input. By filling out this survey, you will be providing the Commission with valuable feedback.

The committees have proposed motions recommending to amend the City’s Administrative Codes which touch upon numerous topics and would ultimately require City Council action. In some cases, the changes (or reaffirmation of current policy) can be effectuated at the Commission or Department level.

The nine topics that you’ll see addressed in the motions presented in this survey include:

  1. NC subdivision/boundary adjustment policies
  2. Grievances and complaints policies and procedures
  3. Rules for governing board selections
  4. Election policies and procedures; term limits
  5. Brown Act and posting policies
  6. NCs and rule formulation; appointments of General Manager, Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
  7. Creating and maintaining information and communication network for public use
  8. Duties of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
  9. Exhaustive efforts process

If you would like to view the worksheets and related documents that the NC Plan Review committees used as they deliberated on these issues, you can do so at www.empowerla.org/ncplan. You can also leave comments on the webpage.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your input is valuable to the Commission and to the Neighborhood Council system.

GHNNC 2013 Summer Social FIESTA – Saturday, July 13

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¡Hola!  ¡Es tiempo para fiesta!

Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council is having our 3rd Annual Summer Social and you, our Stakeholders, are invited for an evening of food and fun—fiesta style. We’ll have authentic Mexican food by Custom Caterers, live music and dancers by Azteca Mexico, piñatas, sombrero games, Magic Castle magician Mark Paskell, trivia games, cactus ring toss game, and a special Macho Nacho eating contest.

GHNNC board member and Educational Representative Steven Steinberg will be teaching the Mexican Hat Dance, Salsa, and other fun dances. Come for the excitement, have a nice meal, meet your neighbors, talk with your elected board members, and have a wonderful evening.

Come join us Saturday, July 13, 2013, from 6pm to 10pm at the

St. Euphrasia School Hall
11766 Shoshone Ave
Granada Hills, CA 91344

See you there!

The Fastest Route to City Hall

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In a city the size of Los Angeles, one of the fastest routes to City Hall is the internet. In the time it takes to find your car keys, you can be online and communicating with the Mayor and the City Council.

Effective Neighborhood Council advocates typically know three things; they know the issue, they know what they want, and they know who can help them.

Then they do something about it. Here are a few tips for effective email advocacy, followed by the email addresses of the Mayor and the City Council, complemented by a simple link that allows you to email the Mayor and the City Council with one click.

Identify yourself and your Neighborhood Council. Let them know that you are a voting resident or a taxpaying business owner or an active parent volunteer.

Be polite and professional. You can disagree, you can be firm and forceful, but always remember that you are creating a public document and your objective is to persuade.

Be clear and state your objective. You can complain all day long but if you don’t get to the point and ask for help, compliance, or support,  you won’t get what you want.

Look for common ground. We live in a great city and we’re all partners in making it even better. Let people know that you want to help them help you.

Encourage others to join you. There is strength in numbers and if you take to time to write a persuasive email, share it with others so that they can support you.

Be grateful. Take the time to write, even when you aren’t asking for something or opposed to something. Become the memorable constituent by noticing the good and by thanking your leadership when they get it right.

Contact the Mayor and City Council:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – [email protected]

Click HERE to determine your Council District and contact your councilman below.

Ed Reyes, CD 1 – [email protected]

Paul Krekorian, CD2 – [email protected]

Dennis P. Zine, CD 3 – [email protected]

Tom LaBonge, CD 4 – [email protected]

Paul Koretz, CD 5 – [email protected]

vacant, CD 6 – [email protected]

Richard Alarcon, CD 7 – [email protected]

Bernard Parks, CD 8 – [email protected]

Jan Perry, CD 9 – [email protected]

Herb J. Wesson, Jr. CD 10 – [email protected]

Bill Rosendahl, CD 11 – [email protected]

Mitch Englander, CD 12 – [email protected]

Eric Garcetti, CD 13 – [email protected]

Jose Huizar, CD 14 – [email protected]

Joe Buscaino, CD 15 – [email protected]

To contact the Mayor and ALL Councilmembers, email [email protected]rLA.org which will forward your email to ALL emails above.

Mayor to Eliminate Neighborhood Council Election Funding

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This week neighborhood councils were blindsided by the Mayor’s office.  The Mayor said that because the Proposition A sales tax measure failed to pass, he will not include funding for 2014 neighborhood council elections in his proposed budget.  If neighborhood councils want elections, they will need to collectively surrender 20 percent of their proposed $37,000 allocations to pay for it.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich sent the Mayor a message yesterday, March 14, (with copies to Herb Wesson, Paul Krekorian and Miguel Santana, the City’s financial chief ) saying that cutting neighborhood council funding to a level where they could not perform their function could violate the City Charter.

Trutanich urged the Mayor to “provide full funding to all neighborhood councils” so they can do what the Charter asks them to do.

Here’s the letter in full.

The City Attorney’s letter is the result of requests for support and action from the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, chaired by Jay Handal.

L.A.’s Neighborhood Councils Flex Their Muscles

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From the L.A. Daily News, January 24, 2013

A recent fight over a proposed $3 billion bond issue for street repairs illustrated the growing influence of neighborhood councils in Los Angeles City government, as they exerted enough influence to keep the measure off the ballot for now.

The success in that case represents an evolution for the councils, which at their inception a dozen years ago were seen as potentially powerless because they held no real voting authority in city matters. But through wider participation and exerting a louder voice, observers say, they are now fulfilling the influential role envisioned for them when voters revised the City Charter in 1999.

“This is what it was meant to be,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles, and who served as the top aide to the appointed Charter Reform Commission.

“They were meant to be a strong community voice and weigh in on major issues. It might be annoying (to the City Council, but the whole idea was to create a different form of review and allow the community to weigh in.”

The street bond proposal from Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino provided the perfect vehicle for neighborhood councils to weigh in.
Englander and Buscaino proposed on a Friday afternoon to have the council vote the following week to place the bond on the May 21 ballot, without any formal staff reports and only sketchy details on the cost for the public.

Neighborhood council groups, starting with the Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, and supported by the Valley Alliance and others, called for a 60-day delay to allow time for review of the proposal. City Council offices began receiving telephone calls of protest from homeowners. The public outcry forced the council to Read more »

OK/HELP Post-Earthquake Window Sign Program Launched

OK/HELP Post-Earthquake Window Sign Program Launched

On Monday, Oct. 15, Councilmember Mitch Englander and his Council District 12 staff held a press conference to introduce the new OK/HELP post-earthquake window signs, and gave a live demonstration of how this valuable community preparedness tool will be used.

OK/HELP is a window sign with clear, simple instructions provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department, American Red Cross, and the U.S. Geological Survey on what to do immediately after a major earthquake.

After a major earthquake, the user tears off the sign and posts it in their front window indicating to emergency personnel, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) or neighbors if they are “OK” or need “HELP.”

To see a graphic of the OK HELP sign online at http://db.tt/wJra70QV
To see more photos of the demonstration, visit http://tiny.cc/OKHELPphotos.

After the press conference, a live demonstration was staged showing how to use the OK/HELP sign. Several houses posted the sign up in their windows. The CERT volunteer team swept the street, checking the status of all of the houses. When they located the house that needed “HELP,” they radioed the location to the Firefighters, who responded
with a Fire Engine and simulated giving aid to the injured resident.

50,000 OK/HELP window signs will be distributed for free to LA residents, first in the San Fernando Valley and eventually city wide. As part of a broader outreach effort to increase community engagement in emergency preparedness, they will available at LAFD Fire Stations, Recreation Centers, libraries, and will be handed out at Neighborhood Council meetings, Neighborhood Watch meetings, and will be mailed out.

Granada Hills-Knollwood Community Plan Update Moves Forward

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The draft of the new Granada Hills-Knollwood Community Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) are now available for community members to review.

The Community Plan is the long range land use plan for the area that will shape the future of the community, guide future growth, protect neighborhood character, and enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and invest in the area. Having a strong and updated Community Plan will ensure that we can preserve the character and quality of life in Granada Hills that we place such a high value on.

To see the proposed plan, map showing all of the recommendations, the DEIR and related materials, visit https://sites.google.com/site/granadahillsncp. A printed copy of the DEIR is also available for review at the Granada Hills Branch Library, located at 10640 Petit Ave., Granada Hills.

We encourage you to give your input on the new Plan and the DEIR by email, mail or fax to: Anna M. Vidal, Granada Hills-Knollwood Planner. Los Angeles Department of City Planning, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Room 430, Van Nuys, CA 91401. [email protected]. Phone: (818) 374-5043. Fax: (818) 374-9955.

Include “Granada Hills-Knollwood Community Plan” in the subject line. All comments on the DEIR must be received by Monday, Nov. 26. There will also be other opportunities to comment on the plan and proposed land use recommendations before they are adopted by City Council.

Please check the project website for the upcoming open house and public hearing coming this winter. Once this event is scheduled, the date and time will be posted on the website, and people who have subscribed to the notification list will receive a notice as well.

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