Category: Public Safety

Turning Down the Volume on Party Houses

Wendy Moore steals images

L.A. City Council to impose new fines in crackdown on ‘party houses’

On Wednesday, February 21st, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to rein in out-of-control party houses in Los Angeles. The ordinance creates a series of escalating fines against the homeowners or those who rent from them, who use their homes for massive gatherings that disturb neighbors, block the public right-of-way, and threaten public safety. It includes increasing fines of up to $8,000. The ordinance also requires those who violate the ordinance to post a public notice for 30 days notifying neighbors of their unlawful conduct.

The new law, first proposed by Councilman David Ryu in 2016, expands the definition of “loud and unruly conduct” to include loud noises, obstruction of a street or public right-of-way, public intoxication and more.

The ordinance, which was supported by a variety of neighborhood councils and community organizations, is meant to dissuade property owners from renting out their homes to professional party-throwers and reduce the likelihood of future violations, freeing up law enforcement personnel for other purposes.

“Too often, we have seen people renting out their homes for the express purpose of turning it into a venue for elaborate events,” Councilmember Paul Koretz noted. “These aren’t barbeques or birthday parties, these are massive events with cover fees and throngs of people tossing cigarette butts in fire prone areas. Trying to control them has been a challenge for the City because the laws and jurisdictional authority have not been clear. This ordinance changes that.”

The new ordinance provides the City with a focused set of procedures and punishments to better address the phenomenon.

“With this new ordinance, the party is over for these completely out-of-hand neighborhood headaches,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “With escalating fines into the thousands of dollars, this ordinance has the teeth to help us continue our house party prosecutions with greater effectiveness.”

Apologies in advance to party fans Chad Kroeger and JT Parr.

Granada Hills Emergency Plan Event

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GRANADA HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS

THIS MEETING COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE BIG ONE?

(EARTHQUAKES, FIRE, AND OTHER DISASTERS)

February 1, 2018 at 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Our Granada Hills Emergency Plan Event will be held at Granada Hills Charter High School located

10535 Zelzah St. in Rawley Hall.

This meeting will help you to save lives including your own, your families, and your neighbors.   The Granada Hills Emergency Plan is dedicated to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible.  During the meeting, you can hear local guest speakers and government officials present helpful information about the following:

  • Instruction Slideshow on Earthquakes
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Local Shelter Locations
  • Local School Pick Up Instructions
  • Utility Controls/Fire Instructions
  • Food and Tool Supply Check List
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
  • First Aid
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Map Your Neighborhood

Your Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Alliance (NCEPA) tells us that during a major catastrophe we will all be on our own for 3 to 14 days or more; our emergency responders (LAPD and LAFD) do not have the resources to take care of all of us.  It is up to us to take care of ourselves and each other!

For more information please call Mike Benedetto (818) 723-8087 or visit www.GHSNC.org

Mailing Address: 11024 Balboa Blvd., Box 767; Granada Hills, CA 91344

24 Years Later, the Lesson Remains the Same

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It was this week 24 years ago that residents of Los Angeles awoke to one of the most severe earthquakes to ever strike our region. The Northridge Earthquake resulted in 57 lives lost, over 8700 injuries, tens of billions of dollars in damage, and reminded us all of the precarious geography of our city.

It was in the wake of this destruction and terrible loss that Los Angeles came together like never before. We rebuilt, strengthened our building codes, instituted mandatory retrofits, and developed partnerships with the scientific community to keep residents safe in the event of the next earthquake. However, no matter how much we do collectively to prepare, recent events have shown that there is no substitute for individual preparation when it comes to protecting your home and family during natural disasters.

It is incumbent upon each of us to prepare a disaster kit, listen to emergency notifications, and have a plan in the event of an evacuation. 24 years later, the lesson remains the same: disaster preparedness is an endeavor in which we all must take part.

Visit readyla.org to learn more about how you can prepare your home and family.

– From Councilmember Mitchell Englander’s weekly newsletter

SoCal Edison Investigated for its Possible Role in CA Wildfires

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Fire Investigators may be looking at the role Southern California Edison utilities could have played in the region’s wildfires.

Southern California Edison on Tuesday said it believes fire officials are investigating the company for its possible role in the catastrophic wildfires raging across the region.

About 250,000 acres have been burnt by multiple wildfires since last week, triggering some of the largest fire evacuations in the region’s history. Nearly 1,000 structures have been lost, and one person died in the fires.

The largest of the blazes, Ventura County’s Thomass Fire, continues to rage and is now the fifth largest in state history. The fires broke out during an intense Santa Ana windstorm that downed power lines across Southern California. The cause remains undetermined for most of the wildfires with the exception of Bel Air’s Skirball Fire, which investigators traced to a homeless encampment cooking fire.

In a press release, SCE officials said they believe CAL FIRE investigators are looking at the role of its utilities.

“The causes of the wildfires are being investigated by CAL FIRE, other fire agencies and the California Public Utilities Commission. The investigations now include locations beyond those identified last week as the apparent origin of these fires,” the company stated. “SCE believes the investigations now include the possible role of its facilities. SCE continues to cooperate with the investigations. The wildfire investigations may take a considerable amount of time to complete. SCE will provide updated information as circumstances warrant. ”

It’s not the first time this year that a utility has been investigated for its role in California’s wildfires. Authorities have been investigating Pacific Gas & Electric as a potential factor in the wine country fires that killed dozens of people.

Creek Fire: 95 Percent Contained; 60 Homes Lost

Creek Fire

Firefighters continued to make progress overnight, bringing the 15,600-acre Creek Fire to 95 percent containment

The Creek Fire was 95 percent contained Monday after destroying dozens of homes and scorching more than 15,600 acres, and full containment was expected later in the day, authorities said.

The upgraded containment figure from 90 to 95 percent was reported by Cal Fire Sunday night.

The wind-driven blaze broke out at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday. Over the weekend, more than 1,700 firefighters continued to patrol the area in Sylmar and improve lines of cleared vegetation.

The fire has destroyed 60 homes and 63 outbuildings, damaged another 55 homes and 26 outbuildings, and scorched 15,619 acres, Cal Fire reported. Currently, 2,500 structures continue to be threatened.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries Tuesday.

On Friday, all evacuation orders were lifted at 6 p.m. Evacuation orders first issued Tuesday affected about 150,000 households citywide, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said “thousands upon thousands of homes” had been protected over the past few days.

All roads have reopened, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Virginia Padilla, whose family owns a ranch in Sylmar, told reporters the fire killed at least 30 of the ranch’s horses.

Padilla said she and her family were able to get out of her home just in time Tuesday morning but were not able to take their horses with them.

All Los Angeles Unified School District schools in the San Fernando Valley and some on Los Angeles’ Westside — a total of 265 district schools and charter schools — were closed through last Friday. They have re-opened today.

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