An earthquake rattled Southlanders from their sleep, Thursday morning. Did you feel it?
A magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck Southern California’s San Fernando Valley early Thursday morning. The United States Geological Survey reports the quake struck just before 4:30 a.m.
The quake was felt in Pacoima, and as far away as Oxnard, Irvine, and San Diego. It was quickly followed by more than 50 aftershocks, one as large as 3.8.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said it immediately implemented its post-earthquake protocols, with fire department vehicles and helicopters patrolling its 470 square-mile jurisdiction to look for damages or residents experiencing emergencies. About 5:30 a.m., the department said it had completed its protocols.
“The LAFD has concluded the systematic survey of the City of Los Angeles by ground and air, and is pleased to report that no major infrastructure damage was noted by our personnel in the City of Los Angeles and that there has been no loss of life or serious injury that we can directly attribute to the (magnitude) 4.2 earthquake,” spokesman Nicholas Prange said.
The Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments reported normal operations, but both strongly encouraged residents to be prepared in the event of a major earthquake.
Note: Fireworks complaints are accepted within the city limits of Los Angeles only. Incidents occurring in other areas should be reported to the law enforcement agency for that area. LAPD will not forward complaints to other agencies.
Friday afternoon, President Trump signed the CARES Act – a $2 trillion economic rescue package that will provide relief to many groups affected by the coronavirus. This plan will offer assistance to tens of millions of American households affected by the coronavirus by providing stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more. To learn more, click here.
Information about state information and resources for residents seeking financial assistance due to COVID-19 here.
On Tuesday, Governor Newsom announced many financial institutions will provide relief for a vast majority of Californians during the COVID-19 crisis in the form of a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments and more. To learn more, click here.
Information about county resources for residents seeking help due to COVID-19 here.
LA Metro buses and trains are running on a reduced schedule. Latest schedule here. Passengers are asked to board/exit buses from the rear doors only.
Metrolink schedule and service reduced. Latest schedule here.
Information about city resources for residents seeking help due to COVID-19 here.
Emergency eviction moratorium extended to April 19, 2020.
8 rec centers are up and running as temporary shelter for unhoused residents. 5 more estimated to come online by the end of the weekend. Hope of the Valley is the nonprofit partner helping to operate the Granada Hills and Northridge Park Recreation Center, which are both
Mayor Garcetti issues “Safer at Home” emergency order – ordering all residents of the City of L.A. to stay inside their residences and immediately limit all non-essential movement. Coronavirus.LACity.org
El alcalde Garcetti anuncia la orden de emergencia “Más Protegidos en Casa”, ordenando a todos los residentes de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles que permanezcan dentro de sus residencias y limiten de inmediato las actividades que no son esenciales. Coronavirus.LACity.org
These are challenging days, and there will be more ahead. We’re doing all we can to help the nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers on the front lines of this crisis.
At the same time, I want to make sure that everyone in the San Fernando Valley gets the information and support they need. I’m especially concerned about our seniors and others who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
With these regular updates, we hope to keep you informed about how our communities are addressing this outbreak, the services available, and suggestions to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe. If you have a specific question or concern, please click here to send an email for follow-up by my staff.
If anyplace knows how to handle a crisis, it’s the San Fernando Valley. We know that times can be hard, but we also know that challenges like these can bring out the very best in us. Let’s remember, we’re all in this together. — Bob Hertzberg
FIRST CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Los Angeles County Public Health Department has identified confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Northridge, Sherman Oaks and Encino. Officials reported a countywide total Monday of 94 cases, and of these, at least 15 likely due to community transmission. “We are seeing a significant increase in cases and evidence of community spread as more testing occurs,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “We are implementing more social distancing requirements and we expect everyone to do their part.” To see the breakdown of cases by city go to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus
LEGISLATURE TO ADDRESS EMERGENCY FUNDING
Lawmakers met Monday to consider setting aside $500 million to address the COVID-19 state emergency. Funds are expected to be used to lease and activate two hospitals, provide hotel beds for people experiencing homelessness, support local government efforts to reduce spread of COVID-19 among the homeless, buy hospital and public health surge equipment, assist hospitals and nursing homes, clean child care facilities so they remain open; and fund teams to support seniors during isolation. The Legislature is also expected to consider a measure providing $100 million to help schools address the emergency.
GOVERNOR CALLS FOR HOME ISOLATION OF SENIORS
Governor Gavin Newsom has called for those who are 65 or older and those with chronic conditions to isolate in their homes as they face the greatest risk from COVID-19. He also requested that visitation of patients in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior and assisted living homes be for “end of life” only.
VALLEY MEAL SITES FOR SENIORS CLOSED, MEAL DISTRIBUTION STARTING
While meal sites are closed effective Monday, packaged and frozen meals will be distributed at sites for older adults at some locations. See here for a map with detailed plans for each meal site. The Congregate Meal Program at the ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center, Canoga Park Senior Center and the Owensmouth Gardens Dining Center will hand out meals from noon to 1 pm. Learn more by calling (213) 482-7252 or at https://aging.lacity.org/
LOS ANGELES PARKS CLOSING ALL SENIOR CITIZEN CENTERS
Senior citizen centers are closed at all Los Angeles parks and recreation facilities. Dining centers for older adults will be contacting participants to provide information regarding meal distribution at the dining centers. Home delivered meals will continue to be delivered. Older adults can contact the centers they participate at directly or reach the LA City Department of Aging at (213) 482-7252.
Starting Wednesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District will open family resource centers weekdays from 6 am to 6 pm. While locations and details are still being finalized, several will be in the San Fernando Valley, providing supervised places where children can learn, receive a meal, and engage with peers. Space will be limited, and the centers will carry out recommended public health measures, including social distancing, and checking the temperatures of children who attend. LAUSD will establish some grab and go locations for food distribution. For additional information go to www.lausd.net or call (213) 443-1300.
CA ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUES PRICE-GOUGING ALERT
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has issued a price gouging alert. Under Penal Code Section 396, price gouging is illegal in all California communities during the declared state of emergency. California law prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations, and rental housing. Exceptions to this prohibition exist if the price of labor, goods, or materials has increased for the business. You can report price gouging to the Attorney General’s office at (800) 952-5225 or https://oag.ca.gov/consumers. More information is available here.
MAYOR ISSUES MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS
Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered a moratorium on evictions of residential tenants who demonstrate an inability to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include loss of income due to a COVID-19 related workplace closure, child care expenditures due to school closures, health care expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a household member who is ill with COVID-19, or reasonable expenditures that stem from government-ordered emergency measures. Tenants will have up to six months to repay any back due rent. Learn more at: https://www.lamayor.org/sites/g/files/wph446/f/article/files/Mayor%20Garcetti%20Emergency%20Order%20-%20March%2015%202020.pdf
STATE TAX FILING DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF
State Controller Betty Yee announced that individual taxpayers, partnerships and LLCs will now have until June 15 to file their tax returns and pay any taxes owed. Those who have quarterly estimated payments due on April 15 will now also have until Jun 15 to make those payments. Taxpayers filing under this extended deadline relief should note “Coronavirus” on top of the tax return. The Franchise Tax Board will also waive interest, late filing, and late penalty fees. Learn more at www.ftb.ca.gov.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, DISABILITY, AND PAID FAMILY LEAVE
The California Employment Development Department has developed guidelines for those who are ill, caring for sick family members, or whose job has been disrupted by the Coronavirus. The guidelines address quarantine-related reduction of hours, missing work due to school closure-related childcare needs, and work loss due to age/underlying health-related isolation, among others. Learn more at https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
PROTECTING YOUR COMMUNITY AND THE ONES YOU LOVE
Everyone has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense things you learned as a kindergartner:
Washing hands with soap and water.
Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Follow guidance from public health officials.
It is also important that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call their health care provider first before seeking medical care.
Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
REMEMBER, WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
If you have a specific question or concern, please click here to send an email or call my office at (818) 901-5588. And please connect with me on Facebook and Twitter as my office continues to provide more information regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Bob Hertzberg Representing the San Fernando Valley, CA District 18
If your mobile phone service provider is AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can now report spam texts by forwarding them to 7726 (which spells SPAM). A report will be automatically made to your carrier, who will handle it from there.
Residents & businesses impacted by the Saddleridge Fire: get recovery help & resources from the city, county, state, and other agencies now through Saturday October 26th at the Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342. Hours are 8am-4pm Sat/Sun and 9:30am-7pm Mon-Fri. Get help replacing lost records, filing insurance claims, applying for disaster assistance & info on cleanup/repair/rebuilding. Get full details by clicking below.
Mobile users in LA County now have the ability to send text messages to 9-1-1, giving hearing and speech impaired residents, or those in situations where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1, and making noise could put their life in jeopardy, a potentially lifesaving option. Read more »
Thousands of residents were able to return home as the Saddleridge Fire reached 41 percent containment.
As thousands of people returned to their homes and firefighters appeared to get the upper hand on the 7,965-acre Saddleridge Fire in the Northern San Fernando Valley, questions turned to the events Thursday night that sparked the deadly blaze in Sylmar.
Los Angeles Fire Department officials are investigating reports that the blaze began at the base of an electrical transmission tower. Southern California Edison opted not to shut off the power lines during the Santa Ana wind storm in the Sylmar region that has endured three catastrophic wildfires within 11 years.
The Los Angeles Times interviewed a Sylmar couple that said they watched flames burn at the base of the transmission tower from their second story-window. They called the fire department, but by the time the first engines arrived, the flames had spread rapidly. Edison officials cautioned against a rush to judgement. Read more »
The Saddleridge Fire is just 19 percent contained, but tens of thousands of people were allowed to return home Saturday.
Tens of thousands of evacuated Porter Ranch and Granada Hills residents are now able to return home even though the massive Saddleridge fire continues to rage, destroying dozens of homes and blackening more than 7,542 acres. Authorities lifted evacuation orders Saturday as the blaze reached 19 percent containment.
Gov. Gavin Newsom had declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles county (and Riverside county) where at least 31 homes have been damaged by the blaze and 100,000 people were forced from their homes since Thursday. The declarations free up local and state resources to aid in the firefighting effort.Police spent the night escorting residents back into their homes for five minute intervals, allowing them to collect the vital belongings they were forced to leave behind due to the fast-moving fire.
The Saddleridge Fire has created dangerously unhealthy air quality over a huge chunk of the Southland, which continues to pose concerns.
Officials said the blaze was 19% contained as of Saturday morning — which remains the latest update — and was burning in the areas of Sylmar, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch. Read more »
California officials evacuated roughly 100,000 people from their homes as a wildfire plows through the northern edge of Los Angeles, authorities said Friday.
The fire has burned more than 25 homes and 23,000 residences are ordered to evacuate, officials said. The fire began Thursday night and went on for over 7 square miles as of early Friday, Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said, according to The Associated Press.
Ten percent of the fire has been contained, AP noted. The evacuations came as the state’s public utility company began shutting off power to prevent sparking a wildfire.
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) cut off the power to 513,000 northern California homes and businesses Wednesday, with thousands more set to lose power. Additionally, California’s wind-swept terrain and dry grass is a tinderbox.
The Woolsey Fire was one of two wildfires that burned through Ventura County and Los Angeles County in 2018. The two blazes scorched tens of thousands of acres, reports that year show. More than 80 people were killed in the Camp Fire, which ripped through the northern part of the state at approximately the same time as Woolsey.
Southern California Gas Company officials shut down the Aliso Canyon storage facility as a precaution due to the fire threat Friday.
The Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility has been evacuated due to the Saddleridge Fire, authorities said Friday.
“All SoCalGas Aliso Canyon storage facility staff are safe, and the facility has been evacuated by fire officials,” utility spokesperson Melissa Bailey said in a statement.
“L.A. (city) Fire and L.A. County Fire have multiple fire engines and personnel fighting the fire in and around the Aliso Canyon facility,” Bailey said. “There is no known damage to our facility at this time.”
SoCalGas maintains a “detailed and systematic” brush-clearing program around its facilities to minimize the chances of a brush fire affecting storage wellheads, Bailey said.
“We do not anticipate any damage to our storage wellheads due to the fire,” Bailey said. “Once the facility evacuation is lifted, crews will assess any damage to the facility.”
Bailey cautioned residents whose natural gas service was shut off not to try to turn it back on themselves.
“Only a SoCalGas technician or certified contractors are authorized to operate the natural gas service shut-off valve,” Bailey said. “We urge customers to continue to report suspected gas leaks by calling 1-800-427-2200 or 911 after evacuating the immediate area.”
Check in on your neighbors and elderly loved ones as this heat wave creates “a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.”
Summer is almost officially over, and it’s going out on a dangerously hot note. Weather Service officials issued a heat advisory for the Los Angeles region, warning of “a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.”
Residents in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains should be particularly comfortable as Friday’s temperatures were expected to top 104 degrees in some valley neighborhoods. Temperatures inside vehicles parked in hot weather “can quickly rise to life-threatening levels” even with windows left open, meaning people and pets must not be left in such vehicles, warned the National Weather Service.
The advisory will be in effect from 11 Friday morning until 7 Friday evening, the National Weather Service said. Read more »