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Englander E-News: 911, Potholes, LAFD Data, and More ...

The Council District 12 newsletter is issued weekly. Chatsworth, Northridge and parts of Encino are within the district.

COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS

April 20, 2012


Safeguarding Our Public Safety Infrastructure...

We introduced a motion on Wednesday, April 18 requesting that the General Services Department (GSD), Information Technology Agency (ITA), and the LAPD report on the status of the Valley Communications Dispatch Center (VCDC), efforts that are underway to bring it back online, and a detailed work plan for its restoration to service.

The VCDC and the Metropolitan Communications Dispatch Center (MCDC) at Mt. Lee are the two 911 Dispatch Centers in the City. Having two Dispatch Centers provides a back-up system so that our public safety and emergency response systems will be operating at all times. This is crucial to protecting the public safety of the citizens of Los Angeles.

On April 3, the entire citywide Police dispatch system was shut down for 12 hours when GSD conducted a power test that shut down the MCDC  system. This occurred while the VCDC had been out of operation due to electrical problems for nearly a week. All 911 calls at the time were being handled by the MCDC, and when it also went offline, it left the City completely without its dispatch capabilities.

GSD knew that Valley Communications Dispatch Center was not functioning, and did not check in with the Police Department before it conducted its test on Mt. Lee. Thanks to the excellent capability of our Police Department, all 911 calls were still answered and handled, and fortunately, no large-scale emergencies took place that day. However, it did leave the public and officers in the field vulnerable to unacceptable risks because dispatchers no longer had the ability to directly communicate with officers.

The Valley Communications Dispatch Center is still off line. Not having a system of redundancy puts the people of Los Angeles and our public safety personnel in serious jeopardy. Those that are responsible for maintaining this system need to be held accountable. 

To see the motion visit http://tiny.cc/yye1cw

Protecting Our Street Infrastructure...

On Wednesday, April 18, the City Council approved our motion to ensure that street repairs done by outside contractors are up to the City's quality standards.

The City issues over 10,000 permits for utility installation and repairs, many of which are done by contractors on public right-of-way. This often requires removing then repaving large sections of City streets. Although contractors are required to obtain permits and have inspections of the work to ensure traffic safety and quality control, it rarely happens.

It has become an epidemic to see extremely shoddy re-surfacing work after a contractor has finished a job, and with no inspections and no permits, there is no one to hold accountable and the City is left with the cost of re-doing the shoddy work.

Our motion calls for implementing bonding and insurance requirements for contractors and sub-contractors (but not City agencies), as has been done successfully to address similar problems with sewer construction work. We would also want to implement a prohibition on contractors who violate the policy from working on City streets for up to three years. The Bureau of Engineering is to report back with recommendations on how to implement the measures.

To see the motion, visit http://tiny.cc/hoa1cw.

FIRESTAT-LA Approved by City Council...

On Tuesday, April 17, City Council approved our motion to begin implementation of FIRESTAT-LA, a new system modeled after the LAPD’s highly successful COMPSTAT. FIRESTAT-LA will enable us to use today’s leading-edge technology and innovative management techniques to make the best Fire Department in the country even better.

Since 2002, LAPD has applied technology and management accountability to address crime. COMPSTAT is founded on the principles of accurate and timely intelligence clearly communicated to all, rapid concentrated deployment of resources using the most effective strategies, and relentless follow-up and assessment, to constantly find efficiencies and make improvements. This system has proven highly effective in New York, Washington D.C. and has helped reduce crime rates in Los Angeles to their lowest levels in decades.

Near real-time data collection and mapping of incidents would be key components of FIRESTAT-LA, as well as frequent meetings to open more dialogue between all levels of the Fire Department.

Under Chief Brian Cummings’ outstanding leadership the Fire Department has already made great strides in incorporating technology to improve deployment and operational efficiency. FIRESTAT-LA will take this to the next level.

The motion requests that the Fire Department report to the Public Safety Committee in 60 days on the capabilities of the technology platforms currently being used by the LAFD, an analysis of the solutions that would be necessary to meet the operational objectives of the Department in the context of “FIRESTAT-LA,” an operational plan for frequent management meetings and a timeline for implementation.

To see the motion visit http://tiny.cc/gxc1cw.



Work On Canoga Ave. Orange Line Extension Nearing Completion...
With construction nearly complete on the Canoga Ave. Orange Line Extension, MTA is now working seven days a week including some evenings. Paving, utility, traffic signal and other work is being done on each street along Canoga Ave. from Vanowen St. to Devonshire St. Some traffic disruptions and congestion can be expected between now and the end of May.

When the Canoga Orange Line Extension is complete, it will provide a fast, safe connection between Chatsworth Depot Metrolink Station and the endpoint of the Orange Line Busway at Warner Station in Woodland Hills. It will provide Northwest Valley commuters vastly greater public transit options and alleviate traffic congestion on our streets. 

For further questions, please call (818) 701-2827 or email molextension@metro.net. 


April Pothole Project...

Cracked, broken-down streets are something that affects every one of us every day and repairing and maintaining them is a core City service.

We have made it our top priority to work to bring the City back to its most essential core services. That is why we launched a special April Pothole Project. The Bureau of Street Services usually fills potholes within 24 hours, but they need to know where they are. We want to engage and empower the people in our community to help identify the worst potholes in our District.

We have a special interactive form on our website at http://tiny.cc/CD12Potholes where you can report the location of potholes in Council District 12. The information will go directly to the Bureau of Street Services. Please report exact address or exact intersection only, otherwise it will not get entered into Street Services' list.

We will track its progress and send you a notification when it has been completed. We will post reports and photos during the month here in our newsletter.

If you have any questions about the April Pothole Project, please call us at (818) 882-1212.

The Northridge Public Art Project...

We are proud to announce the launch of the Northridge Public Art Project, a series of art partnerships and events meant to bring together community building, public art, creativity, and volunteerism to make Northridge a more beautiful community. The first events related to the Northridge Public Art Project are the CSUN Art Walk & Gallery Opening and the CSUN Art Gallery Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition on Friday, April 20.

We are proud to be partnering with the Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Northridge South Neighborhood Council, CSUN, local Northridge artists, and many community volunteers who are dedicated to bringing more art into the daily life of our community.

CSUN Art Walk & Gallery Opening
Friday, April 20
This fun, easy self-guided campus tour features docents at each campus art stop. Tours start in front of the Valley Performing Art Center between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm to ensure ample time to tour the campus before the CSUN Gallery Opening. Valley Performing Arts Center is on the corner of Lindley Ave. and Nordhoff St.  Map - http://g.co/maps/kw9g6

CSUN Art Gallery Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition
Opening Reception
Friday, April 20, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
This major art exhibition is the year-end culminating event for both the CSUN Art Department and Art Galleries. The exhibition includes a broad range of student works in disciplines including painting, sculpture, animation, video, web design, photography, drawing, printmaking, graphic design, textiles, ceramics, and mixed media. The CSUN Art Galleries are located at 18100 Plummer St., between Lindley Ave. and Etiwanda Ave.
Map - http://g.co/maps/r45wj

For more information about the Northridge Public Art Project, call Semee Park or email Semee.Park@lacity.org

For more information about the CSUN Art Galleries, visit: http://www.csun.edu/artgalleries/


Neighborhood Picnic in West Hills...

Don't miss the annual Valley West Hills Owners Association Picnic at Castle Peak Park on Sunday, April 22.

Bring your family, picnic lunch, chairs and blankets and join your fellow community members from West Hills for this fun community picnic. This picnic is catered by In-N-Out Burger, and the Firefighters from nearby Fire Stations 105 and 106, and Police Officers from LAPD Topanga Station will be attending.

Sunday, April 22
11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Castle Peak Park
7401 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills
Map -
  http://g.co/maps/pcdx5 

There will be a moon bounce, entertainment, facepainting, cotton candy, dance contests, as well as information booths from Neighborhood Watch, West Hills Neighborhood Council, and emergency preparedness programs.

For more information, call (818) 716-1444.

Chatsworth Day of the Horse...

We are proud to co-sponsor the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's 9th Annual Chatsworth Day of the Horse on Sunday, April 22 at Stoney Point Ranch in Chatsworth.

Sunday, April 22
11:00 am to 3 pm
Stoney Point Ranch
10861 Andora St., Chatsworth

Don't miss this great tradition celebrating the history and culture of our vibrant equestrian community. There will be displays about equestrian safety, riding demonstrations, arts and crafts, activities for kids, food vendors and more.
"Sheriff George" will be on site with his fun jail game, where you can have someone thrown behind bars for a donation, with proceeds benefiting the Chatsworth Historical Society.

For more information call Mary Kaufman (818) 326-5772.


Join Northridge West Neighborhood Council's "Clean Sweep" Weekly Clean-Up and Help Make Northridge Shine!

Join Northridge West Neighborhood Council's Clean Sweep community beautification project every Thursday!

April 26 - northwest corner of Kenya St. & Wilbur Ave.

At 8:00 am the crew will review the game plan with free refreshments provided by Northridge West Neighborhood Council. Bring gloves if you have them, sunscreen,a sunhat and appropriate shoes for outdoor work. Northridge West Neighborhood provides the refreshments and tools.

For more information contact Jo Ann Phillips at (818) 304-4989 or japhillips1@yahoo.com or visit www.NorthridgeWest.org.

Free Tire Collection Days in the San Fernando Valley...

Bring your old tires to have them safely and properly disposed of and recycled for free at the upcoming tire collection days in the San Fernando Valley.

Saturday, April 28
11050 Pendleton St., Sun Valley
9:00 am to 2:30 pm

Saturday, May 19, 2012
West Valley District Yard
8840 Vanalden Ave., Northridge
9:00 am to 2:30 pm

Every person who brings in tires will receive a coupon for 15% off their next purchase of Firestone or Bridgestone tires. This event is limited to City Los Angeles residents only. The collection event will not accept tires from businesses, tires on rims, tires for large trucks, or more than nine tires per person.

For more information, call (213) 485-3568.

Chatsworth Historical Society's Garden Festival...

Don't miss the Chatsworth Historical Society's annual Garden Festival on Sunday, April 29 at the Homestead Acre.

Sunday, April 29
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Homestead Acre
Chatsworth Park South
10385 Shadow Oak Dr., Chatsworth
(at the far west end of Devonshire St.)

Parking and shuttle service at Chatsworth Depot Train Station, located at 10038 Old Depot Plaza Rd.

This wonderful San Fernando Valley tradition has lots of great family-friendly activities, including the famous Duchess Afternoon Tea from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. There will also be blooming rose gardens on display, a quilt display from the Veteran's Quilt Project, arts & crafts and demonstrations by garden clubs, tours of the Chatsworth Historical Museum and the Minnie Palmer Cottage, food vendors and more.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Chatsworth Historical Society. For more information, call (818) 882-5614. 


Join the Relay For Life and Help the Fight Against Cancer...

Save the date for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Chatsworth High School on April 28 and 29. There are 17 local teams participating in this 24-hour walk/run to raise funds for cancer research, treatment and programs.

April 28, 9:00 am through April 29, 9:00 am
Chatsworth High School
10027 Lurline Ave., Chatsworth

Community members, schools, Neighborhood Councils, businesses, houses of worship and other community-based organizations form relay teams to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The event celebrates those who have survived cancer and remembers loved ones lost to cancer. It raises funds for American Cancer Society's programs and services, and helps fund research into cancer treatment. It also raises awareness about what we can do to help fight cancer and support those affected by it. The teams' members take turns walking around the track for a full 24 hours. There are somber memorials and educational activities, but also fun, booths, food and more.

To support or join any of the teams, or to learn how to form your own Relay Team visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=36478.

Bureau of Sanitation Open House...

Don't miss the Bureau of Sanitation's annual open house at their maintenance yards. Kids love this fun, free event, with hands-on trash truck demonstrations, sanitation facility tours, and educational information and demonstrations about recycling and the environment.

Saturday, April 28
9:00 am to 2:30 pm
East Valley District Yard
11050 Pendleton St., Sun Valley
Click here for the flyer.

Saturday, May 19
9:00 am to 2:30 pm
West Valley District Yard
8840 Vanalden Ave., Northridge
Click here for the flyer.

For more information, click here.

Help Send the PALS Kids to Camp!

You can help make sure the PALS kids can go to camp this summer, while helping a great cause! The LAPD Devonshire Youth Center is holding a clothing drive to collect clothes to go toward struggling families served by the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

Please bring clean, used clothing, in good condition, in a trash bag, to the PALS Youth Center.

Monday, April 30
10:00 am
8721 Wilbur Ave., Northridge

If PALS reaches their goal of collecting 200 bags of donated clothing, then Hope of the Valley will donate funds to help pay for PALS kids to go to summer camp. PALS offers at-risk kids in our community positive alternatives to gangs, crime and drugs through after-school activities including mentoring, sports, tutoring and arts and it builds positive relationships between the community and the Police.

For more information call Sue Bruno at (818) 885-6432.

Brush Clearance Deadline - May 1...

The Firefighters who protect our community remind homeowners in hillside areas to be ready for the May 1 brush clearance compliance deadline.

To learn everything you need to know about how to comply with Brush Clearance requirements and other useful information to keep our community safe from wildfires click here.

On May 1, the enforcement period begins, and LAFD will begin inspecting those properties. If they find that a property is out of compliance, the property owner could receive a citation. Be sure to have your property inspected and have the fire hazards abated to avoid the citation.

Devonshire PALS Art Exhibition...

The LAPD Devonshire Youth Center will be hosting its first PALS Art Exhibition and Reception on Friday, May 4 at the Youth Center in Northridge.

Friday May 4
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
LAPD Devonshire
Youth Center
8721 Wilbur Ave.
Northridge

The exhibition will feature art work by kids participating in the PALS (Police Activity League Supporters) after-school program at the Youth Center. This exhibition of over 100 pieces of original artwork is being directed by PALS art instructor Ingrid Skillman-Hudshon.

Ingrid is a resident of Northridge and accomplished artist whose work has been displayed at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the California State Senate First Contemporary Art Collection, and in solo and group exhibitions. She has volunteered her time and talents at the PALS Center for two years to teach young people basic skills and a love for fine art.

The PALS programs at the Devonshire Youth Center offer at-risk kids in our community after-school mentoring, educational, artistic and sports activities, and helps create positive relationships between the community and the Police.

For more information about the art exhibit, or about how you can volunteer or donate to support the Devonshire PALS program, call Sue Bruno at (818) 885-6432.

Shepherd of the Hills Car Show...

Come check out the hot rods, motorcycles, race cars, classics and other rare and beautiful vehicles at the Shepherd of the Hills Car Show on Saturday, May 12 in Porter Ranch. The event, co-sponsored by Galpin Motors, Just Dashes, California Car Cover Co., and Cooner Wire & Cable, is also a fundraiser to support a project to build water wells in a village in Africa. There will also be live music, food trucks, and lots of fun activities.

Saturday, May 12
8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Shepherd of the Hills Church
19700 Rinaldi St., Porter Ranch
Admission is free.

For more information on participating in the show, call (818) 831-9333 ext. 401 or email carshow@theshepherd.org.

Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive...

The downturn in the community has forced many residents in our community to have to choose between putting food on the table or paying their bills. More and more people depend on food banks. A simple way to help is to participate in the National Association of Letter Carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger National food Drive on Saturday, May 12.  

On May 12, leave non-perishable food items outside by your mail box and your Postal Service Letter Carrier will collect them and deliver them to local food banks. The best food items to donate are canned goods such as vegetables, soups, beans, chili, or proteins, or dried goods such as rice.

For more information visit
www.helpstampouthunger.com.

If you are organizing a food drive, or know of one in our community, or are seeking information about food banks or other resources for struggling families in our community, please call Melody at (818) 882-1212 or email Melody.Jaramillo@lacity.org.

SOLID Pancake Breakfast...

SOLID's annual All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast is coming up on May 19, so save the date! Proceeds benefit SOLID (Supporters of Law Enforcement in Devonshire), which provides non-City supplied materials and equipment needed by the Police Officers at Devonshire Division.

Saturday, May 19
7:30 am to 1:30 pm
Devonshire Community
Police Station
10240 Etiwanda St., Northridge
$7 per person.

Regency Theatres in Granada Hills has generously donated 25 pairs of movie tickets to be given away to guests in a prize drawing. Free child photo-IDs are provided by Hollywood-West Valley Masonic Lodge. Free facepainting for kids!

For more information, visit http://soliddevonshire.org.

St. Nicholas Valley Greek Festival...

Don't miss the 39th Annual St. Nicholas Valley Greek Festival, the biggest Greek festival in all of Los Angeles, coming up May 26 to 28 at St. Nicholas Greek Church in Northridge.

May 26, 27, 28
1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
St. Nicholas Greek Church
9501 Balboa Blvd., Northridge

This San Fernando Valley tradition features Greek music, dance, food, culture, games, booths and more.

For more information, call Info: www.valleygreekfestival.com(818) 886-4040

Save the Date for the Valley Family Festival...

Get ready for a day of family-friendly fun in the park at the Valley Family Festival and Movies Under the Stars, coming up on Saturday, June 2 at Northridge Park. 

We are proud to host this event in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Northridge and L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. There will be live music and dance performances, vendor booths, food, games, and a free outdoor screening of the animated family film Puss in Boots.

Saturday, June 2,2012
3:00 pm to  9:00 pm
Northridge Park
18300 Lemarsh St., Northridge

Call for Performers and Booth Sponsorship for the Valley Family Festival...

You can be part of making our Valley Family Festival happen! We are seeking musical, dance and other performances by talented community members for this wonderful family event. 

If you are a community member, cultural organization or school group and would like to preform on stage at the Valley Family Festival, please contact Semee Park at semee.park@lacity.org or (818) 882-1212.  

We are also offering opportunities for local businesses, non-profit organizations and other community groups to help support this great event and be part of the celebration. For information on booths, sponsoring, or donating to the event, please contact Megan Cottier at megan.cottier@lacity.org or (818) 882-1212. Click here for the sponsorship and booth forms.

9th Annual Still Saving Lives Car Show...

Jim Dellinger, our Public Safety Deputy, is a former LAPD Police Officer with over 26 years on the force, and is still an active duty Reserve Officer. He reports this week on a great event coming up - The 9th Annual Still Saving Lives Car Show & Family Traffic Safety Fair is coming up on Saturday, June 2 at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills.

Saturday, June 2
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Warner Center Park
5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills

This annual free event is sponsored the LAPD Valley Traffic Division and the Valley Traffic Advisory Council. There will be over 300 classics, hot rods, race cars, motorcycles and other beautiful and rare vehicles, as well as food trucks, games and vendors. The LAPD's SWAT, K-9 Unit, Motorcycle Drill Team and Bomb Squad will have demonstrations and vehicles on display. 

For more information, visit www.VTAC-VTD.org.

A Year of Emergency Preparedness...

On January 17, the 18th anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, we kicked off our Year of Emergency Preparedness in Los Angeles.

Throughout 2012, we will be working on legislation, programs and public awareness efforts to help the residents of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley be prepared for natural or man-made disasters.

Every week, our newsletter will feature a new item in an Emergency Preparedness Checklist. These are simple steps that everyone in Los Angeles should take in order to be prepared for any disaster. If you follow each item on this checklist, you will be highly prepared at the end of the year.

Week 13: Remember to Change Water & Batteries Every 6 Months
Once your family has assembled your earthquake/disaster survival kits, it is easy to get complacent and forget to make sure that the batteries and water that you store are always fresh. 

Many people don't realize that batteries and most drinking water stored in plastic bottles do have expiration dates. After sitting for too long, batteries will die out. Water stored in plastic bottles over long periods can absorb chemicals from the plastic or even through the plastic. It's a good idea to mark your calendar so that every 6 months, you swap out all of your batteries and water for fresh supplies.

To see our printable Emergency Preparedness Checklist, with every week's entry, click here or visit our website at www.CD12.org.

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