LA police and city leaders are brainstorming ways to combat the rising gang problem in west San Fernando Valley.
A Los Angeles City Council committee Monday discussed ways to combat three years of rising gang-related crime in the west San Fernando Valley.
Although the west valley enjoys a reputation as a quiet area low in crime, it is home to 16 gangs, according to a report produced by the Los Angeles Police Department and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, or GRYD.
“There are a lot of people out there who think that the west valley is gang-free; they are deeply mistaken. Not only must we fight those gangs head-on, but we must ensure that our children have good prevention programs and healthy after-school opportunities that divert kids from becoming gang members,” said City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents part of the area and introduced a motion calling for the report.
In 2014, 177 violent gang-related crimes were logged in the area. The number jumped to 288 in 2015, then 289 in 2016, according to the report. Read more »
The location of the City Hall chambers for the annual speech is a departure for Garcetti, who last year delivered it at an LED maker near the Port of Los Angeles, at the Valley Performance Arts Center at Cal State Northridge in 2015, and at the Wallis Annenberg Building at the California Science Center in 2014.
George Kivorik, Garcetti’s press secretary, declined to give any preview of what the mayor might discuss. A top focus of last year’s speech was the city’s improving employment numbers.
One topic likely to receive attention is President Donald Trump’s actions and rhetoric on immigration.
The president has threatened to cut federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, and although the mayor has resisted calling for the city to embrace the term, L.A. could be a target for a loss of funds due to the police department’s limited cooperation with federal authorities on immigration.
Two local issues that could be a focus are housing and transportation, as city voters in November approved a measure that aims to raise $1.2 billion to construct housing for the homeless and country voters approved a measure that is projected to raise $120 billion over 40 years for transportation projects.
Garcetti, who was re-elected for a second term in a landslide in March, is set to deliver the speech at 10 a.m., and at 11 a.m. his proposed budget for 2017-18 will be released.
Over the objections of the oil industry, Council President Herb Wesson wants to eliminate oil drilling in neighborhoods where people live.
City Council President Herb Wesson plans to introduce a motion Wednesday to eliminate oil drilling in Los Angeles near homes, schools and other facilities.
The motion calls for a study on the proposed restrictions, which would also include parks, churches and health-care facilities.
Wesson’s motion does not state how far a drilling operation might need to be located from protected facilities, but it calls for the Department of City Planning, with the assistance of the city attorney and the city’s petroleum administrator, to report back within 90 days with an analysis of possible changes to the city’s zoning code that drilling operations be located within “a certain setback proximity” of residential facilities.
Residents who live near drilling sites have been speaking out in recent years and complaining of health complications they believe are connected to the local oil fields. Read more »
The Los Angeles Police Commission Wants Your Input
If an LAPD officer shoots a civilian, should video of the incident be released to the public? If so, when? And who should make the decision?
The Los Angeles Police Commission wants your input.
Please go to www.LAPDVideoPolicy.org to take an online questionnaire and help shape the LAPD’s policy on this important issue.
And please share the URL with your members and friends. The Police Commission wants to make sure it hears from all of the City’s many communities, and needs your help to get the word out.
The Commission is gathering public input with the help of the Policing Project at NYU Law, UCLA School of Law, and UCI Law. In addition to the questionnaire, there will be community forums in different parts of the city that you could attend to provide input in person.
The Executive Order maintains that wasteful water practice prohibition should still remain in place.
Citing the success of unprecedented conservation efforts and a wealth of recent precipitation statewide, Gov. Jerry Brown ended the drought state of emergency in most of California on Friday. Emergency restrictions will remain in place in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne counties to help address diminished groundwater supplies in those areas.
The executive order issued by Brown effectively terminates the state of emergency implemented in January of 2014. However, it also keeps a focus on conservation efforts. The order states that water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices — such as watering during or right after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians — will remain in place.
There have been more than 1,400 residential burglaries in the Valley so far this year, a 25 percent increase in such crimes.
A spike in “knock-knock” burglaries plaguing the San Fernando Valley prompted City Councilman Mitchell Englander Wednesday to call for a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits.
So far this year, the San Fernando Valley has been home to the bulk of LA’s burglaries with more than 1,400 residential burglaries in the Valley. The region has experienced a 25 percent spike in home burglaries. Citywide, there have been more than 1,700 residential burglaries in 2017.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Knock-Knock Burglary Task Force, “Knock-Knock Burglars are organized and target affluent single-family residences located within the San Fernando Valley. The members of these Knock-Knock criminal groups are usually comprised of criminal street gang members who claim territory in the South Los Angeles area. They select homes based on the likelihood of having money, jewelry, and/or firearms within the residence. They are known to knock on the front door to determine if the residence is unoccupied. Once they determine the residence is unoccupied, they gain entry through a rear door, side door or second floor balcony and have been known to disable the alarm.”
“`Knock-knock’ crews are very sophisticated, they know exactly what they are doing,” Englander said at a news conference at City Hall. “They knock on the door and then somebody else will wait on the side of the house.” Read more »
The LAPD is reconsidering its policy to keep body camera footage from the public, and is asking for community input on a new policy.
The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and Chief Charlie Beck outlined plans Thursday for seeking community input on establishing policies for the release of body camera footage taken during critical incidents.
Input will be gathered in community forums around Los Angeles and through a questionnaire available online or on paper.
Speaking to reporters at a new conference at the Police Administration Building downtown, Beck said the resulting policy will likely be a compromise that will please no one.
“This is a balancing act that will have an end result that will be the best servant of everybody’s needs, recognizing that probably no one will get exactly what it is they think should be the perfect policy,” Beck said.
The City Council approved a $59 million plan last June to equip Los Angeles Police Department officers with body cameras, and the department plans to issue the cameras to all patrol officers by the end of this year. Read more »
The City of LA’s Emergency Management Department encourages you to sign up to receive free emergency alerts from the NotifyLA program.
NotifyLA is a free emergency alert system that sends you life-saving safety information during emergencies and disasters. NotifyLA also keeps you up-to-date with relevant information about local emergencies and hazards like earthquakes, floods, fires and evacuations. It is the city’s best tool to send you emergency alerts and provide you with the information you need to keep yourself and your family safe.
Signing up is quick and easy!
Simply text NOTIFYLA (one word) to 888-777 right now to register your cell phone. Be sure to sign up on every cell phone in your family, and tell your friends to sign up too! You can also visit emergency.lacity.org/notifyla to register your home phone, additional cell phones and your email address.
On March 1st, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt an update to the existing Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO). This vote, in effect, establishes new development standards for single-family zoned properties citywide. The changes, as recommended by the City Planning Commission, incorporate additional protections to further limit large-scale homes and related construction impacts. Leading up to Council adoption of the ordinance, the Department of City Planning held public hearings with the community over the course of a six-month period to garner input. Since the adoption of the 2008 BMO and 2011 BHO, the City Council has approved several Interim Control Ordinances (ICOs) to temporarily limit the construction of over-sized homes in certain single-family neighborhoods. With the new amendment in place, the integrity and character of single-family homes citywide will be better preserved.
Some of the adopted changes to the BMO and BHO regulations include the following:
Establishment of new development standards for single-family zones, including the usage of angled encroachment plane and side wall articulation requirements to reduce the visual impact of building mass;
Modification to the definition of Residential Floor calculations to further reduce the impact of out-of-scale homes;
Elimination of nearly all exemptions, which created the big, boxy homes;
Counting of grading under a house to prevent what was previously an unlimited amount of hillside grading and
Reduction of Floor Area Ratio for single-family homes in R1 zones.
The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is tomorrow! The “Stadium to the Sea” 26.2 mile course takes runners throughout our great City past many iconic landmarks. Various streets along the marathon route will be closed by 3:15 a.m. on March 19, then reopen as early as 10:15 a.m., depending on the location. Streets will reopen by region because of the size and complexity of the event route. Numerous agencies, including the California Department of Transportation and the City of Los Angeles Police and Fire departments were consulted in the planning process and agree that the finalized plan is the best way to accommodate all of the parties involved. Come out to cheer on the runners and enjoy the community aspect of this 32 year Los Angeles event!
From our friends at the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council:
We Need YOUR Help to Tell Senate Committee Members to Support SB 57 WITHOUT Amendments
This Tuesday (March 21), the State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications will vote on Senate Bill 57 (SB 57), which calls for holding off on the re-opening of the Aliso Canyon facility until the cause of the catastrophic well failure in the fall of 2015 is known and made public.
SB 57 is an urgency measure by State Senators Henry Stern and Bob Hertzberg to hold off on the re-opening of the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility until state regulators have completed an investigation to determine the root cause of the leak.
WHAT: Senate Committee Meeting and Vote on SB 57
WHEN: 9:00 AM; Tuesday, March 21, 2017
WHERE: State Capitol, Room 3191
SB 57 has broad bi-partisan support including State Senators Ben Allen (D) and Scott Wilk (R), Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R), the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles City Council.
However, amendments that are clearly pushed for by the Gas Company are being inserted into the Bill that would basically render it meaningless. The amendments would remove the need to know the cause for the well failure before the field opens, and would leave it solely to DOGGR and PUC to make the call on the re-opening of the field and the amount of gas they can inject into it.
It is IMPERATIVE that the Bill passes through the committee without these amendments, and we need YOUR HELP to make that happen.
PLEASE CALL THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND URGE THEM TO VOTE “YES ” ON SB 57 WITHOUT THE GAS COMPANY’S AMENDMENTS:
The following are the committee members and the phone numbers to their offices:
Please call as many of the committee members as you can, and impress on them the need to support SB 57 without the absurd amendments. Let them know how it is unconscionable that this facility can re-open before they know what went wrong! Let them know that there are real people and real families that continue to be affected by this leaking facility.
Beginning in the 1940s the federal government conducted rocket and nuclear testing activities at the Santa Susana Field Lab in Ventura County with substantial disregard for the environment. One of its nuclear reactors experienced a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959, and two other reactors experienced accidents with significant fuel damage, causing releases of radioactivity into the air.
In addition to napalm and dioxin incineration in open-air burn pits, dumping of over 500,000 gallons of trichloroethylene and perchlorate, and other contamination from over the 50 years of operations, the site has been left highly polluted with radioactive and chemical contaminants. The parties responsible for cleaning up the Santa Susana Field Lab are: The Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Boeing Company.
In 2010, a legally binding cleanup agreement called the Administrative Orders on Consent (AOC), were entered into by NASA and the Department of Energy with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The AOC requires all of the detectable radioactive and chemical contamination at their Santa Susana Field Lab operations be cleaned up to background levels similar to those before the site was contaminated. Read more »
On Tuesday, March 7, another important local election will take place. LA area voters will head back to the polls to cast ballots on city and county measures, and Angelenos will vote on citywide offices, on City Council races in odd-numbered districts, and for Los Angeles Unified School District board members and Los Angeles Community College District trustees. The people we elect and the issues at stake will impact the future of our neighborhoods now and in the years to come.
What’s on the Ballot?
At the County level, voters will decide on Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund supportive services for the homeless. In the City of Los Angeles, there are a number of ballot measures on which we must vote, including Proposition M (to enact a regulatory and enforcement framework for commercial cannabis activity), Charter Amendment P (to increase the maximum term for franchises, concessions, permits, licenses and leases that may be entered into by the Harbor Department) and Measure S. Click here for a list of all the March 7 ballot measures.
If you intend to cast your ballot in-person on Election Day, click here to find your polling location www.lavote.net/Locator. The link also takes you to sample ballots in a host of different languages. Remember, polls are open on March 7 from 7 am to 8 pm.
Your Vote Matters
Please go out and vote. It matters. Our democracy relies on the participation of all of its members to thrive and survive. This election presents another vital opportunity for the people to shape the future of our great city.
The contest to host the 2024 Summer Olympics is down to two contenders — Los Angeles and Paris — after Budapest withdrew its bid Wednesday, according to international media reports. Long thought to be the top contenders, Los Angeles and Paris will continue vying for the honor.
Budapest has had waning public support for the bid in recent weeks whereas Los Angeles has gone full court press in the effort to impress the selection committee.
“As LA 2024 enters the international campaign, it’s important for us as a city to remember just what we’re bidding for: the world’s greatest sporting event, significant economic benefits, and a chance to place L.A.’s extraordinary creativity and innovation at the service of the Olympic Movement,” Mayor Eric Garcetti has said. “But perhaps above all else, Los Angeles is bidding to unite the youth of the world in friendship and peace through sport in 2024.” Read more »
For the third straight year, the crime rate is rising in LA, and, despite having more officers, fewer are actually on patrol
Amid a rising crime rate and officer complaints that response times are slower, a City Council committee Tuesday advanced a motion that would direct the Los Angeles Police Department to look at increasing its regular patrols.
The motion forwarded by the Public Safety Committee also calls on the LAPD to consider dismantling some specialized units and hire more civilians to move officers off desk duty to help increase patrols.
The motion submitted in January by Councilmen Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino and seconded by Councilman Mitchell Englander, all of whom are on the committee, will now be considered by the full council. Read more »
Tuesday, February 21 is the deadline to register to vote in the March 7th Election. March 7th’s Municipal Election has important LAUSD Schoolboard, Los Angeles Community College, County, and City measures on the ballot. In order to participate you must be registered to vote by Tuesday, February 21.
Click here for more information on how to register.
Click here to view your sample ballot and polling location.
Click here for information on how to vote by mail.