|City Bans Medical Marijuana Storefronts
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously last week to ban storefront medical marijuana dispensaries, citing the adverse impacts resulting from an explosive growth of pot shops, now estimated to be around 1,000.
The 14-0 vote to ban the dispensaries would allow primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana. Small collectives of up to three patients would be able to grow and share cannabis, but not distribute it in storefronts.
The measure includes exemptions for hospices and licensed clinics, as well as facilities and home health agencies where patients get medical care or supportive services.
"The ordinance we enacted today preserves safe access to medical marijuana for those who need it, while also eliminating the outrageous explosion of storefront dispensaries in Los Angeles," Councilmember Paul Krekorian said. "This city has twice as many marijuana dispensaries as Starbucks Coffees, and that oversaturation clearly has impacted the quality of life in many of our neighborhoods. The Council's action will finally reign in the storefront dispensaries, without limiting safe access for medical use in healthcare settings."
Once the ordinance is signed into law by the Mayor, which should happen within 10 days, the city will send out letters to each dispensary, alerting them to the new regulation during the 30 day period that will precede the effective date of the ban.
Once the ordinance becomes law, the LAPD will begin the process of enforcing it against the 762 clinics that have registered with the city. An additional 100 to 200 unregistered dispensaries are thought to be in operation across Los Angeles, according to the City Attorney's office.
The council also agreed to advance a plan by Councilmember Paul Koretz that could eventually allow some of the 182 dispensaries that existed prior to 2007 (when the council placed a moratorium on new dispensaries) to operate under tightened regulation and would close all other dispensaries.
Council Approves Economic Stimuli
LOS ANGELES - A pair of motions designed to create jobs by giving a boost to the television production and broadcast industries were approved by the City Council last week. Councilmember Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Paul Krekorian introduced the motions, seeking to waive fees for television pilot production within city limits and to restructure the city's taxing system for radio and television broadcasting industries.
In more productive years, the city captured more than 80% of all television pilot production. Last year, though, only 51% of all television pilots were filmed here, according to FilmL.A.
"We've seen success in fighting runaway production in feature films through steps that government has taken in recent years, most notably the $500 million production tax incentive that I authored as a member of the State Assembly," Councilmember Paul Krekorian said. "However, TV production has continued to suffer as other jurisdictions have more aggressively fought for new pilots."
"Measures like these motions will encourage more TV pilot production within Los Angeles, creating long-term jobs and sending an important ripple effect across all sectors of our local economy. These are targeted and cost-effective steps that will be very impactful in making LA more competitive with surrounding areas for this important job-creating industry."
Closures Scheduled for Second
Phase of 405 Widening Project
LOS ANGELES - Carmageddon is back for round two and Metro advises motorists to plan ahead, avoid the area or stay local.
The next iteration of the project to widen the 405 freeway near the Sepulveda Pass is scheduled to begin Friday, Sept. 28 and last until Monday, Oct. 1. Crews from the L.A. Department of Transportation are slated to begin ramp closures as early as 7 p.m. and individual freeway lane closures are set to start at 10 p.m. en route to a full freeway closure by midnight. The freeway is scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday morning and continue until 5 a.m. Monday morning. Ramps and connectors will be reopened by 6 a.m. During this closure, the Mulholland Bridge and access ramps will be closed.
During construction, crews will demolish the second half of the Mulholland Bridge and two sets of 80-foot columns, a more intensive project than last year, when one column was razed.
The Metro website provides maps for alternate routes during the closure, which you can find here. Alternate freeways, including the 5, 15, 23, 55, 57, 101, 118, 126, 210, 605 and 710, can be used to avoid the area. However, be warned that all freeways have limited capacities to accommodate the diverted traffic.
Schedule of closure times:
Friday, Sept. 28
7 p.m.: Ramps along 10-mile stretch begin to shut down
10 p.m.: Individual lane closures begin
Saturday/Sunday, Sept. 29-30
I-405 closed in both directions
Monday, Oct. 1
6 a.m.: Ramps and connectors scheduled to reopen
National Night Out Returns
LOS ANGELES - North Hollywood, Studio City, Sun Valley, and Valley Village are all slated to participate in this year's National Night Out (NNO)
, an annual event held across the United States to raise crime and drug prevention awareness while strengthening ties between the community, local groups, police and officials.
The 29th annual event is set for Tuesday, Aug. 7 and celebrations will include block parties, cookouts, visits from local police and sheriff departments, parades, exhibits, flashlight walks, contests and youth programs.
But the overall goal is to bring communities together. In 2011, 37.1 million people in 15,325 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide participated. More than 15,300 communities are expected to take part in National Night Out 2012.
Here are the details for East Valley neighborhoods participating in this year's event:
North Hollywood Park, from 5 to 9 p.m
1430 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601 [map]
Church of the Nazarene, from 6 to 8 p.m.
12120 Strathern St., North Hollywood, 91605 [map]
Valley Village Park, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
5000 Westpark Dr., Valley Village, 91607 [map]
Van Nuys Government Center/ Erwin Street Mall,
from 6 to 9 p.m.
14410 Sylvan St., Van Nuys, 91401 [map]
Will you attend a National Night Out? Send us your pictures by email, Facebook or Twitter and we'll include it in our newsletter!
Revamped Valley Village Park
Set to Reopen
Photo/Juan Carlos Chan, L.A. Dept. of Rec. & Parks
VALLEY VILLAGE - Ten months after breaking ground on a slew of improvements to Valley Village Park, the community and city officials are slated to celebrate its restoration Aug. 7 during a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Last October's ground breaking ceremony paved the way for needed improvements in the park in which a stretch of underutilized open space will now include new walkways, shade structures over the play area, and a chess and checkers table. Various picnic tables were replaced and lights around the restroom were also repaired.
The office of Councilmember Krekorian in conjunction with the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Neighborhood Council Valley Village and the Valley Village Homeowners Association helped bring this project to fruition.
"This project could not have been completed without the sustained efforts of the Neighborhood Council Valley Village and the Valley Village Homeowners Association, each of which dedicated many months to ensuring our children will have a place to play," Councilmember Paul Krekorian said. "Creating, preserving and expanding recreational opportunities in our council district has been a top priority of mine. This is another positive step in that direction and one I know will serve the community well for years to come."
The improvements were made possible by $400,000 in funding from two programs: state Proposition K fund and Quimby funds, which are taxes paid by new construction projects and designated solely for park improvements. Councilmember Krekorian and the Department of Recreation and Parks, in addition to the NCVV and homeowners group are slated to take part in the park dedication ceremony, marking the culmination of this project.
The ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, at 7 p.m., on 5000 Westpark Dr., Valley Village, 91601 [map] and all are invited.
Want to Beautify Your Community?
LOS ANGELES - The Office of Community Beautification is looking for a new community improvement project to fund and your neighborhood could be next.
is a resource for community improvement programs throughout Los Angeles and is designed to improve and empower neighborhoods and community groups. The office is currently accepting applications for its 2012-13 Keep Los Angeles Beautiful
grant and wants community organizations to submit their project proposals.
Recently, the OCB helped fund Studio City's Radford Art Walk, which features a walking path designed by local landscape artist Francesca Corra of Dirt Diva Designs and a sculpture garden by local artist Karl Johnson - each aided by a community beautification grant.
The competitive matching grant is awarded to community groups that fund neighborhood beautification projects.
To be eligible for funding, projects must be submitted by a recognized community-based organization, have public access, be within the city of Los Angeles' boundaries, have a nine-month completion timeline and include a match that equals or exceeds the amount requested.
The deadline for proposal submissions is Sept. 21, 2012. You can find the application and detailed information/instructions on the Board of Public Works website.
Crews Continue Efficiently Energizing City
NORTH HOLLYWOOD - Every day, for the past three years, six, two-person crews have quietly worked to make Los Angeles among the most energy efficient cities in America.
Councilmember Paul Krekorian got a first hand look Thursday at the Bureau of Street Lighting's program to outfit 140,000 lights with LED fixtures they say will eventually save $10 million a year.
[See an infographic of the city's green efforts here]
The program, which started in 2009, is nothing less than ambitious. Los Angeles currently maintains the country's second largest number of municipal streetlights behind New York but is a national leader in implementing wirelessly controlled LED technology.
"Los Angeles is widely known as a center of innovation with a forward-looking commitment to sustainability, and this project is a great example of how we've earned that reputation," Councilmember Paul Krekorian said. "The Bureau of Street Lighting's LED conversion program will save taxpayers money and enhance public safety, providing better lighting at less cost, while at the same time significantly reducing our carbon footprint. Los Angeles is the global leader in this innovation, and what we are doing today is a model for cities across the United States and around the world. It is an inspiring example of how, even in difficult times, we can find creative solutions that allow city government to provide better services while still reducing costs."
[see more photos here]
Each light alerts city officials of outages and has a shelf life of up to three times as long as current fixtures. So far, 64,500 street lights have been affixed to existing poles on every residential street with major thoroughfares next on the to-do list en route to a planned June 30, 2013, completion.
The program has so far exceeded expectations. Officials set a goal years ago of achieving a 40 percent reduction in energy and as of February, the city has maintained energy savings of 61.2 percent. When complete, the LED lights will collectively save 40,500 metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 6,700 cars off the road.
City, Country, World Call on Olympics
to Recognize Massacre
Recently, the XXX Olympiad opened its games with a flash. As England showcased its illustrious history to a billion viewers around the world, there was one thing missing from the commemoration.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 games in Germany.
Israel, Germany and the United States have repeatedly called on the International Olympic Committee to observe a moment of silence to honor the tragedy, something the IOC has repeatedly failed to recognize in its opening ceremony.
Before the games began, the White House, and many other groups and people around the country, including the City Council, asked the IOC to reconsider.
"One of my earliest Olympic memories was Mark Spitz' extraordinary success in the Munich Games, a brilliant and inspiring moment that was quickly overshadowed by the horror of the terrorist massacre of Israeli athletes," Councilmember Krekorian said.
"It is inconceivable to me that the International Olympic Committee has refused to mark this 40th anniversary of the darkest chapter in Olympic history with a simple moment of silence in remembrance of the athletes who were murdered. That tragic incident of hatred and violence was not only Israel's loss, it was the world's. A moment of remembrance would send a moral message that the Olympic movement rejects hatred and bigotry, and that the world will always remember and reject terrorism."
Mobile Billboard Update
STUDIO CITY - Some of you have asked about the large mobile billboards that have popped up near Moorpark and Laurel Canyon attacking Councilmember Krekorian and Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield. Here's the backstory:
For years, Valley resident were frustrated by the proliferation of "mobile billboards"- those unsightly trailers bearing large and usually garish advertising signs that could be found on virtually every major boulevard. These trailers made neighborhoods appear blighted, endangered traffic safety and took up valuable parking spaces that our small business owners depended upon.
Fortunately, through years of diligent effort by many on the Council, including Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the city enacted a new ordinance last year that effectively barred most of these mobile billboards. The improved ordinance was enabled by changes in the state vehicle code authored by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield. The Valley has already seen an enormous reduction in the number of these signs.
One of the last remaining mobile billboard operators was angered by the leadership of Councilmember Krekorian and Assemblymember Blumenfield in limiting the scourge. His response has been to attack both officials on the enormous mobile billboards in front of his business in Studio City that some of you have been wondering about.
"One of the things that makes our country great is our right to speak freely and to criticize our government and the people we elect," said Councilmember Krekorian. "But political attacks against me will never deter me from my continuing efforts to protect our neighborhoods and stamp out mobile billboards."
If you would like to report an illegal mobile billboard, you may contact the Dept. of Transportation's Parking Enforcement Division at (818) 752-5100 or my office at (818) 755-7676. You may also take a photo of the offending billboard and submit it to my office through Twitter or by email at Councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org.
Volume 3, Issue 9
August 1, 2012
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To see a complete list of neighborhood council and community meetings, please check out our
|Cooling centers in the San Fernando Valley:|
Beeman Park (A.K.A. Studio City Recreation Center)
12621 Rye Street
Studio City, 91604
8851 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Sun Valley, 91352
North Hollywood Senior Center
5301 Tujunga Ave
North Hollywood, 91601
North Hollywood Recreation Center
11430 Chandler Blvd.
North Hollywood, 91601
North Hollywood Pool
5301 Tujunga Ave.,
North Hollywood, 91601
North Weddington Recreation Center
10844 Acama St.
North Hollywood, 91601
Studio City Recreation Center
12621 Rye Street
Studio City, CA 91604
Sun Valley Pool
8123 Vineland Ave.,
Sun Valley, 91352
Valley Plaza Recreation Center
12240 Archwood St
North Hollywood, 91605
Valley Plaza Pool
6715 Laurelgrove Ave.,
North Hollywood, 91606
Valley Therapeutic Recreation Center
11430 Chandler Blvd
North Hollywood, 91601
Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Senior Center
5040 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, 91423
Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Pool
14201 Huston St.,
Van Nuys, 91403
Victory-Vineland Recreation Center
11117 Victory Blvd.
North Hollywood, 91606