Paul Koretz: Marathon, Mensch List, San Onofre and More ...

This is the City Council District 5 newsletter.

LA Marathon advisory

Councilmember Koretz and his staff would like to remind Council District 5 residents and community members of the annual ASICS LA Marathon taking place this Sunday morning, March 17th.  As in years past, the race route will cover a total of 26.2 miles, as thousands of marathon runners and spectators will line the iconic course stretching between Dodger Stadium to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.

LA Marathon race officials have posted a comprehensive list of street closures which can be found at this link. No freeways will be closed on Sunday; however some freeway ramps will be restricted, information on these closures can be viewed here.

The Councilmember encourages you to review the information below to allow you to plan ahead in regards to how the race may impact driving and parking in CD5.

- Streets closures will be in place between 4:45 am and 3:00 pm on race day.

-  Please adhere to all parking and tow away zone signs. Parking restriction signs along the course will be strictly enforced and clearly marked 72 hours before race day.

- Those who plan to attend the start (approx. 7:25 am) should keep in mind that the Golden State Gate via the 5 Freeway will be the only entrance to Dodger Stadium.

Street Closures in West Los Angeles: Santa Monica Blvd. will be closed from Wilshire Blvd. to Sawtelle Blvd. from 5:00 a.m. to 2:04 p.m. Sepulveda Blvd. will be closed from S. Santa Monica Blvd. to Wilshire Blvd. from 5:00 a.m. to 2:04 p.m. Ohio Avenue will be closed from Veteran Avenue to Sawtelle Blvd from 5:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Sawtelle Blvd. will be closed from Santa Monica Blvd. to Dowlen Drive from 5:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Dowlen Drive will be closed from Bonsall Avenue to Wadsworth Pl. from 5:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Bonsall Avenue will be closed from Dowlen Drive to Eisenhower Avenue from 5:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Eisenhower Avenue will be closed from Bonsall Avenue to Bringham Avenue from 5:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Street closures in Hollywood: Hollywood Blvd. will be closed from Hillhurst Avenue to La Brea Avenue from 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Orange Avenue will be closed from Hollywood Blvd. to Sunset Blvd. from 4:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Street closures in West Hollywood: Sunset Blvd. will be closed from Highland Drive to Doheny Drive from 5:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. San Vicente Blvd. will be closed from Sunset Blvd. to Melrose Avenue from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Santa Monica Blvd. will be closed from La Cienega Blvd. to the Sierra Drive from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Doheny Drive will be closed from Nemo Street to Wilshire Blvd. from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more updated information please visit the LA Marathonwebsite, or call (213) 542-3000.


 The Jewish Journal’s annual Mensch List

For the past seven years, the Jewish Journal has published an annual Mensch List.  Dictionary definitions say that a mensch (which is a Yiddish term) is a person of integrity and honor, possessing admirable characteristics such as fortitude and firmness of purpose.   A mensch radiates a fundamental decency, and is outstanding and worthy, and each year, the Jewish Journal identifies and salutes local mensches particularly worthy of celebration.
This past January, the Jewish Journal released the Mensch List 2012, which is why Councilmember Koretz was delighted to invite the Jewish Journal and its current honorees into City Hall to get civic recognition for their good deeds.
Among those on hand for the ceremony was Rob Eshman, the Jewish Journal’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, who came up with the idea of making such an alternative year-end list, specifically aimed at recognizing under-the-radar people who do good through amazing acts of kindness.  Others in City Hall representing the Jewish Journal and its parent company, Tribe Media Corp, were Executive Editor Susan Freudenheim, photographer Dan Kacvinski, and Associate Editor Ryan Smith.  (The president, David Suissa, and writer and editor Julie Gruenbaum Fax were unable to attend that day.) 

The mensches honored in the City Hall ceremony were:
- Paulinda Schimmel Babbini, who is the founder and president of the Ovian Cancer Circle, a foundation she started in 2010 in memory of her daughter, Robin, who in 2006 lost her life after a heroic battle with that disease.  She had been diagnosed two years earlier at the age of 16.  The Circle, which includes 12 members, all mensches, has raised much awareness and more than $35,000 to fight ovarian cancer, and to help spare others in the process.
- Georgia Freedman-Harvey, who curates art exhibitions that promote healing, for example, working with hospitalized teens to create art and poetry so that their spirits might be uplifted. Ten years ago, she was a bone marrow donor for a stranger.  Georgia and her husband, Gary, led a fight for their son, Ezra, and other children with disabilities, to be fully included in their school district.  She founded One in a Million Kids, a support group for families with children with rare diseases. Next she created Come Walk in My Shoes, a one-day interactive fair for schoolchildren, parents and teachers to learn about disabilities. After that, it was Kacie’s Kloset, which fills cabinets in hospitals with wonderful things for young patients.  And she is involved in numerous other great endeavors.
- Sara Loew, who created the Loew Vision Rehabilitation Institute to improve the lives of people with permanent Vision Loss.  With the help of her parents and that of a devoted eye surgeon, Dr. Glenville March, she founded this wonderful nonprofit organization, which has helped many patients since opening its doors this past year.  Never turning anyone away, they have provided specialized examinations and tremendous therapy, counseling and care. 
- UCLA junior Ashton Rosin. Ashton is the director of UCLA Hillel’s Bearing Witness program, a two-month weekly workshop pairing students with Holocaust survivors for intimate discussion and reflection.  Ashton found a friend in survivor Eva Brettler, but also took the program to a broader UCLA audience, including by inaugurating UCLA’s first ever Yom HaShoa Week with a series of events addressing the Holocaust. She organized a film screening, panel discussion and mid-campus Holocaust vigil, and personally reached out to disability-advocacy groups, the LGBT community and other organizations for whom the notion of struggle and suffering would have special resonance. 
- Joel Lipton,  a great photographer but also a terrific human being who often donates his time, services and skills as a photojournalist to help a good cause. That’s profoundly evident at the Big Sunday events, where Joel takes portraits of people, which he gives to them on the spot -- those photos illuminate the humanity that is truly special about each person. Throughout the year, Joel helps out that way for various organizations and causes.
- Dr. Matthew Lefferman and Eric Weissman, two members of the Modern Orthodox congregation, B’nai David-Judea in Pico-Robertson.  They have worked tirelessly to ensure the presence of Sunday sports games locally.  They are coaches with the American Youth Soccer Organization.  They have helped create, structure and run a Little League Sunday division, and sit on its board. They also formed the nonprofit Maccabee Athetic Club a year ago, giving Jewish youths more opportunity to play soccer, basketball and flag football. Through these and other efforts, they give young people in the city more opportunities to play and benefit from team sports. 

Not all of the mensches honored by the Jewish Journal were able to make the trip to City Hall, but deserve mention.  Connie Lapin and Harvey Lapin are parent activists regarding autism,  and have been remarkable productive in many efforts.  Frank Nikbakht is an unflinching voice for Jews in Iran, and spends up to 20 hours each week as the volunteer head of the Committee for Minority Rights in Iran, which raises awareness about the ongoing discrimination and persecution faced by various religious minorities in Iran.  Orna Eilon works tirelessly as the unpaid CEO of the MATI Israeli Community Center, which helps Israelis in Southern California stay connected to their faith, roots, traditions, culture and language, while promoting a spirit of community.  Lastly, Al Ashley has devoted thousands of hours of volunteer effort over 30 years working with Builders of Jewish Education:  by sharing his formidable fiscal expertise, Al has had a profound and lasting impact on Jewish schools and education throughout Los Angeles and beyond.
The Jewish Journal’s annual Mensch List commemorates the efforts of remarkable civic heroes who, through compassionate accomplishments, have changed the world for the better. The Jewish Journal thusly inspires a profound generosity of spirit among all people.

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

As the Los Angeles Times revealed in a front page headlined breaking story on March 9th, serious questions raised by Councilmember Koretz regarding the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, located fifty miles to the south of Los Angeles, are well founded. In January, 2012, the power plant turned off its two steam generators due to a radiation leak in one, which led to the disclosure that both relatively-new generators were showing much-greater-than-normal tube wear.  Several months ago, Councilmember Koretz introduced a resolution calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and plant owners Southern California Edison (SCE) to use the safest possible process and complete public transparency in assessing any future plans concerning San Onofre.  The resolution was approved by the City's Energy & Environment Committee last week and will be voted upon by the full LA City Council in the coming days.  Councilmember Koretz also sent a member of his staff to testify before the NRC twice in the past two months in order to emphasize, as the NRC deliberates, consideration of the safety of the residents of Los Angeles, the safety of the Los Angeles Port, of Interstate 5, of our neighbors living around San Onofre and, especially of the plant workers. 
In the intervening weeks, more information about the ailing power plant has been coming forward.  The Root Cause Analysis Report for tube wear identified in the Unit 2 and Unit 3 Steam Generators of San Onofre Generating Station from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) indicates, according to a letter from Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Congressman Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), “that SCE and MHI were aware of serious problems with the design of San Onofre nuclear power plant’s replacement steam generators before they were installed, rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process.”   Councilmember Koretz and his staff will continue to closely monitor the situation and ensure the safety of all concerned.

 Coldwater Canyon Avenue alert!

Work began last weekend on a project to replace a 99-year old pipeline under Coldwater Canyon Avenue with a new welded steel pipeline that is expected to last for another century.  That's the good news, because improving L.A.'s water system is always a crucial priority.  The bad news is that local residents and businesses, as well as many motorists traveling through that area, will experience a significant impact while work on the pipeline takes place.  

Beginning this past Saturday, March 9, 2013, no left turns are permitted from Coldwater Canyon Avenue, north or south onto Ventura Blvd.  Starting March 23, 2013, Coldwater CanyonAve. will be closed from Ventura Blvd. to Mulholland Drive, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  These restrictions will last through April 25, 2013, or such time that the work is completed.  Alternate routes include Cahuenga Blvd./Highland Ave., Laurel Canyon Blvd., Beverly Glen Blvd., Sepulveda Blvd., and Interstate 405. 

The LADWP is working with the City Council Office that represents that immediate area, as well as local residents, community groups, schools, churches and businesses, to help minimize the strain on that neighborhood.

For additional email updates on this project, please visit the LADWP's online newsroom at http://www.ladwpnews.com/ and click on "Get Updates."  Select "City Trunk Line - ColdwaterCanyon Construction" in the sign-up form. 


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