Councilmember Paul Koretz's Newsletter

All the latest news from CD5, which includes Encino.

Get well soon, Bill!

Councilmember Koretz and his 5th Council District staff – and countless constituents from the 5th Council District – wish 11th Council District Councilmember Bill Rosendahl the best of health and a happy and swift recovery from the cancer he is presently facing. 

Councilmember Rosendahl recently announced that he is being treated for the illness and the pain involved, but that he is eager to continue serving his constituents and the city as a whole throughout his recovery and then during the remainder of his present term and for a term to follow.

Councilmember Rosendahl is treasured by his many friends and supporters due to his staunch advocacy of constituent interests, neighborhood priorities, community causes and humanitarian goals and principles.  He has always been among the first to speak up for human and individual rights, and is especially renowned as activist and leader on LGBT issues.

A U.S. Army veteran, he joined theLos Angeles City Council in May 2005 after a celebrated tenure as a journalist, producer and host of much acclaimed public affairs programming.  Producing more than 3,000 programs over 16 years, the key to any show with Bill Rosendahl's name attached was that that all views were represented, not just the status quo. He would invite and involve every candidate involved in elections, even the most obscure, and would give valuable exposure to all kinds of issues, as well as activists, business leaders and clergy.  His shows always embodied and exemplified the fairest and most scrupulous tenets of reportage, and so he won a Cable Ace Award, the Diamond Award, the Freedom of information Award, the Los Angeles League of Women Voters Public Service Award and the Beacon Award for Cable's Free Air Time Project.  Bill Rosendahl's profound commitment to raising awareness about key issues and giving all people access to decision-makers has continued on throughout his years on the City Council, and we all look forward eagerly to future, shared endeavors marked by his passionate and inclusive leadership.

This year’s local National Night Out events on August 7th promise special fun and value!

This year’s National Night Out (NNO), the 29th annual, will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 7th.  Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, there will be community-based festivities held throughout the U.S. where Residents, law enforcement agencies and firefighters, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials will come together for food and fun activities while strengthening neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and generating support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs.

Councilmember Koretz was joined by LAPD Senior Lead Officer Arthur Gallegos (left) and LAPD Captain William Hart at last year's successful National Night Out event in 2011

More than 37 million people participated throughout the nation in National Night Out 2011! This year, there will be NNO events held in over 15,000 communities across the United States.  That’s a staggering number, but what’s key is that each NNO event, while being great fun, also gives people tools to prevent crime, including learning what we can and should do, and whom to contact, whenever something suspicious seems to be occurring nearby.  NNO events in the 5th District will be held at Poinsettia and Encino Parks.

Poinsettia Park’s National Night Out 2012: In the 5th Council District, one such NNO gathering will be held at Poinsettia Park (7341 Willoughby Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046).Councilmember Paul Koretz, the LAPD, Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch and hundreds of local residents will join together for the festivities, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The main stage will be near the Willoughby Avenue entrance, at Fuller Avenue.  There will be free food, giveaways, and face painting for the kids.  There will also be a giveaway of free street trees as part of the city’s “Million Trees Initiative” (one tree per L.A. resident).  Attendees will be able to visit community booths for many local organizations and talk to their representatives to find out what’s going on in the Melrose neighborhood, and beyond.  Many have already donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time to stage this big National Night Out event, which has become known as one of the best in all of Los Angeles.  There will be food and refreshments from local restaurants and businesses, giveaways including free popcorn and balloons for kids, safety demonstrations, self defense lessons, live music, free men’s haircuts, classic cars, on-site blood donation services (Cedars-Sinai) and of course, friendly public safety personnel.  Councilmember Koretz thanks all the sponsors and everyone involved. It will be a great evening in the park for the whole community! 

Poinsettia Recreation Center Improvements – Dedication Ceremony preceding NNO:  Over one million dollars has gone into a huge revitalization at Poinsettia Recreation Center.  Moments before National Night Out is to begin, a dedication ceremony will take place to recognize the hard work of everyone involved that made it happen.  Councilmember Paul Koretz will join the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Bureau of Engineering, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Poinsettia Park Advisory Board, and many from the community at Poinsettia Recreation Center on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.  The ceremony will take place next to the children’s playground, on the north side of the gymnasium.  Over the past four years, the city and the community have worked very hard to make long lasting improvements at Poinsettia Recreation Center.  The park now boasts a new children’s play area, new community room, new indoor gymnasium floor, repaved outdoor basketball court, upgraded two baseball diamonds, better outdoor lighting, new jogging path, new outdoor adult fitness equipment, among many other improvements.  The park has gone through a huge revitalization and the new improvements will make it an even more wonderful place to bring kids, family, and friends!!!

Encino Park's National Night Out 2012:  This event will take place from 6-8pm that night, at Encino Park – 16953 Ventura Blvd. Joining Councilmember Koretz as event co-presenters are the Los Angeles Police Department, West Valley and Encino Senior Lead Officer Rob Trulik.  Additional support is being provided by the Encino Chamber of Commerce, the Encino Neighborhood Council, the Royal Woods Neighborhood Watch, Encino Watch.com, the Ballina Canyon Neighborhood Watch, LAPD B.O.O.S.T.E.R.S., Congressmember Brad Sherman and State Senator Fran Pavley.

Among the night’s special features will be police officers, firefighters and a fire engine from Fire Station 83, gourmet food trucks, ice cream, live jazz music, balloons, face painting, emergency preparedness kits, and a gift certificate raffle with offerings from local restaurants (such as Uncle Bernie’s, John O’Groats, Buca di Beppo, Tony Roma’s, Gigio Cucina Napoletana, and The Gate to the Mediterranean).

Through National Night Out, people share food and fun activities while also gaining invaluable safety tips about how to stay safe from crime. Local residents are not just welcome but essential, because NNO is all about forging bonds between people who support public safety. Those who come for the fun meet old friends and make new ones – and neighbors who know each other are more likely to react knowledgeably when something of concern is happening just down the street. Knowing one’s own neighbors, neighborhood and police officers, and knowing how to react responsibly when the potential for trouble arises, can prove invaluable and even life-saving!   Of course, National Night Out is also the perfect opportunity to thank our local police officers who are our public safety champions.   So if you can, please come by and say hi!

Coming our way:  Carmageddon II

Councilmember Koretz urges the public to avoid the 405 during Carmageddon II weekend

Carmageddon II will be happening in the not too distant future – the weekend of September 29 and 30, 2012. 

Just as happened during Carmageddon I, people will be urged to keep out of their cars and/or to steer clear of the 405 – to stay close to home and "shop locally."  To help get the word out to the public, a press conference was held at the site of the work.  Participating were Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Koretz, and other governmental officials, public safety coordinators and transportation experts.

Carmageddon II, like Carmageddon I, involves closures of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass for a time period sufficient to do an incredible amount of work, including bridge demolition and construction work geared toward adding a northbound car-pool lane on the 405.  Although the construction itself makes for temporary havoc, the transit improvements should benefit commuters for years to come. 

This year, closures of freeway ramps will begin there around 7pm, Friday. September 28, with lane closures beginning about 10pm and the whole section shut down by midnight. The closures should cease by 5am Monday, Oct. 1, with ramps and connectors due to open at 6am.

A year ago, the first "Carmageddon" was deemed a spectacular success, because people in massive numbers stayed out of their cars and away from the 405.  Monstrous traffic tie-ups were therefore averted and the work was finished so quickly that significant taxpayer savings resulted.  (Councilmember Koretz rode his bicycle to the construction site to help review the project: expecting heavy traffic en route, he saw none, and was pleased to hear not horns honking but crickets chirping during his bike ride over Mulholland.)  This time around, the work may take longer to accomplish, simply because more is being attempted than during the first Carmageddon, and also, ironically, because some of the public might be lulled into complacency due to the success of last year's outreach and public response.  That's why at the recent press conference, Councilmember Koretz once more uttered his Carmageddon battle cry:  "Stay the hell away from the 405!"  

Councilmember Koretz closed by praising the media for their great role in the effective outreach last year, but pleaded with them to do everything possible to avoid the excessive use of helicopters. Throughout Carmageddon I, helicopters were a constant presence and non-stop nuisance over local neighborhoods.  He urged the news stations to instead show some decency, discretion and sensitivity in limiting the hours and numbers involved, and to try to plan and coordinate to minimize the extent and impact.  He will continue his outreach to the media in seeking their cooperation.

Additional information on Carmageddon II can be found online at www.metro.net/405, twitter.com/I-1405, and facebook.com/405project.

Yet Lock

From left to right: Yet Lock's nephew, Steve Tao; CNS Chief Editor Lori Streifler, Councilmember Koretz, Yet Lock, Yet's wife, June Kyoto Lu; and CNS President, Douglas Faigin.

Councilmember Koretz recently honored, in City Hall, a towering figure in local journalism who is revered by reporters but not that well-known to the public at large.

The person being saluted was Yet Lock, the recently retired executive vice president of City News Service. City News Service (CNS) is the nation’s largest regional wire service, and Yet’s legendary, gentlemanly and wise leadership has been a profound part of the CNS success story for the past forty years.

Yet Lock joined City News Service in 1972, having come to CNS from the post he held as press secretary in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty.  Now, possibly ranking as the longest-serving news executive in Southern California, Yet leaves behind him an enduring, living legacy, a robust and vibrant journalistic enterprise that bursts forth with news each day, 24 hours a day, for CNS has fulltime reporters at all major beats in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties, along with its 24-hour editing desk in West Los Angeles. Almost all major media – TV, radio, print and Internet – in Southern California subscribe to this wire service, as do most national and international broadcast, print and internet media that cover Southern California.  

Even while Yet has been a key part of helping CNS grow in these challenging times for media businesses, he has also been a kindly mentor to CNS reporters, many of whom have gone on to work crucial journalistic beats for the New York Times and other industry giants.  Yet Lock was also instrumental in setting up and coordinating with the courts the media coverage of the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials and the Robert Blake trial, and for the O.J. trial he put together what may have been the nation’s first setup taking the court reporter’s real-time work and sending it to a bank of modems in the CNS office, thus allowing major media from around the country to receive real-time transcripts.  This was a tremendous achievement in the relatively early days of computerization, with Yet the impeccable go-between for the media and the judges and their courts. 

During his years with CNS, Yet has also been regularly involved in community service, including by serving as president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce in Downtown Los Angeles and working with the Asian American Journalists Association, which has honored him for “paving the way for Asian Americans.” Along with his beloved wife, actress June Kyoto Lu, Yet was one of a handful of people who launched the East-West Players.  He has chaired the Asian Pacific American Friends of the Center Theatre Group, and has served on various boards and in leadership roles with the Music Center.  The City has benefited from the efforts and leadership of this true journalistic professional and civic leader, and we wish him the best.

Marsia February 23, 2013 at 02:33 AM
I live in the Encino section of the San Fernando Valley and thanks to redistricting got Paul Koretz who doesn't know the Valley exists. I say this as he won't respond to emails, calls or even contacts via his site. Website says he has a Valley newsletter yet after three requests none have been received. He doesn't use Twitter or Facebook either so no way to be updated about what's happening in the area by him. But he can find me to mail a request to give him money for his re-election. How can I get my house back into a real Valley district?


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