Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council September 2022: Issue #9
Back to School
Welcome to the September 2022 edition of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council's (SONC) newsletter, the Ziff Flyer.
Message from the President
Lindsay Imber

As school returns and we turn the calendar to hopefully cooler days not too far ahead, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council has a few updates to share.
SONC President Lindsay Imber
Wildlife Ordinance
On August 23, the Los Angeles City Planning Department joined the SONC Government Affairs Committee to give a presentation and answer some of your questions on the Draft Wildlife Ordinance that will affect the hills of southern Sherman Oaks. The presentation and Q&A spanned approximately one hour and can be accessed via video archive by clicking here.

SONC Events and Upcoming 20th Anniversary Celebration
We are pleased to join in two community celebrations this fall, both in October. First, the Sherman Oaks Street Fair will take place on Ventura Blvd between Van Nuys Blvd and Kester Ave on Sunday, October 16—come visit the SONC tent as you participate in various exhibits, play different games, experience live entertainment, ride a few rides, and sample a variety of different foods. We hope to see you there!

Did you know the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council will turn 20 this year? Save a place on your calendar for our 20th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for Saturday, October 29, 2022, at Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park. If you attended our Movies in the Park this past summer, the October event will take place in the same location on the west side of the park near the softball fields. We're still sorting out the final details, but anticipate a Halloween-themed movie along with various other holiday events and activities. More details will follow in our October newsletter so stay tuned!

Studying Goats for Brush Clearance?
During our August Board meeting, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council took positions of support for several City Council items, including the City Administrative Officer seeking to update the Los Angeles Administrative Code to feature inclusive, gender-neutral language (the document the City seeks to update previously referred to several important city officials, only, as "he").

SONC also voted to support a pilot program to study whether goats and similar grazing animals can be used in the future to help with our fire brush clearance efforts, and voted to support a city council motion seeking to identify "sensitive places" and uses for common sense concealed carry of weapons restrictions.

Attend Our Meetings and Make Your Voice Heard
SONC invites all community stakeholders to attend Board and Committee meetings, which are open to the public. Click here for our Calendar and information on how to attend and submit public comments. We presently are meeting virtually, online via Zoom or by telephone.

Stay safe, keep cool, and be kind to one another,
Upcoming SONC Meetings:
To view webinar details, please visit the SONC calendar.
September 6th, 2022, 6:00pm

September 7th, 2022 9:00pm

September 12th, 2022, 6:30pm

September 13th, 2022, 6:30pm

September 21st, 2022 9:00pm

September 15th, 2022, 6:30pm
September 19th, 2022, 6:30pm

September 20th, 2022, 7pm

September 21st, 2022 6:30pm

September 28th, 2022, 6:30pm

October 6th, 2022, 6:30pm

October 25th, 2022, 7pm

page links for meeting agendas and to confirm dates & times.
SONC September BOD Meeting Monday the 12th
Sherman Oaks Area Map displaying 7 areas
Not sure what area you live in and who your
Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council representative is? Email with your address or cross-streets with the navigational direction --
we will help you out!

Virtual SONC Meetings – Join Us

On March 12, 2020, the City of Los Angeles, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, suspended all meetings, activities, and events of SONC. In May 2020, SONC began to hold “virtual” meetings. These “virtual” meetings are held by way of video teleconferences using the Zoom platform. 

Information about the meetings and how to “join in” is available on the SONC website: Please give us your feedback and comments. 
Donna Archeta Los Angeles 311 Support Management Director
Monday, September 12th, 2022 -- SONC Board Meeting

Donna Arrechea, 311 Director for the City of Los Angeles ITA - 311 Contact Center will be our special guest at this meeting. Donna has 40 years of experience in the Contact Center business -- from technician to technical support engineer, then from Contact Center Manager to 311 Director.

The full agenda for this meeting will be available on September 9th, 2022 on the SONC website, A physical copy can always be found on display at the Sherman Oaks Public Library.

To join SONC's monthly virtual board meetings:

By Telephone:
1-669-900-6833, enter 85140543942 #

By the Internet:
(1) Follow the link:
(2) Press “Enter”

Or from a Zoom “Enter the Meeting” Screen:
(1) Enter the Webinar ID: 85140543942
(2) Press “Enter”
(3) Enter your Email Address and Your Name, and
(4) Press “Enter”

Should you have technical questions or issues, please email

Did you miss a previous SONC Meeting
that you wanted to attend?
SONC meetings that are conducted using the Zoom Video-teleconferencing platform are now being recorded for playback. All recorded meetings are playable by clicking the associated meeting date links found on the committee page on the SONC website.
SONC Committee Updates
SONC Outreach Committee
Harold Shapiro, Chair
Harold Shapiro Area ^ Community Interest Advocate
Movies in the Park
The 2022 SONC Summer Movie Series concluded on August 20th, with a screening in the park of the Universal Studios and Illumination Productions 2021 Animated feature "Sing 2". The free screening of this PG-rated film brought out a good-sized crowd of Sherman Oaks families. Congratulations to the Outreach Committee and all the Council members who volunteered their time to make this year's series a huge success.

The Outreach Committee is in the process of developing plans for a community celebration to commemorate SONC's 20th Anniversary in October. One idea being assessed is to hold another Movie in the Park event on the Saturday evening before Halloween. Last year, SONC held an alfresco screening of "Hocus Pocus" on the Saturday closest to that annual day of trick or treating, and it was very well attended. While all the details are still being worked out, the film shown will definitely be something scary and fitting for the holiday, and a costume for the event will be a necessity.
Coordinating the SONC Summer Movie Series Screening of "Sing 2" (L to R standing) Howard Katchen, Neal Roden, Susan Collins, Lisa Petrus, Pamela Harris, Jeffrey Hartsough (kneeling) Sarah Manuel, and Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger.

Sherman Oaks Street Fair
Another big community event coming up in October is the Sherman Oaks Street Fair on Sunday the 16th. This popular neighborhood happening, could not be held the past 2 years, but always brought out huge crowds of Sherman Oaks residents, when it did take place. The event always features live musical and dance performances, great food, as well as a petting zoo, entertainment, and rides for the kids. SONC will have a booth at the fair and is looking forward to having the opportunity to greet our stakeholders face to face again.

SONC's 20th Anniversary
October 29th marks the 20th anniversary of certification for the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council as part of the City of Los Angeles' Neighborhood Council system. Neighborhood Councils are the closest form of government to the people. They are advisory bodies that advocate for their communities with City Hall on important issues like development, homelessness, and emergency preparedness. Neighborhood Council board members are City officials who are elected by the members of their local communities, but they donate their time as volunteers.

Neighborhood Council Elections
Planning efforts for conducting the 2023 Neighborhood Council elections that kick off in November are continuing. SONC is seeking a slate of interested community members to run for the 10 available council seats across areas 2, 4, and 6 as well as 1 currently vacant seat in Area 1. If you are interested in running for a seat, please let us know. In 2022-23, the City Clerk will be using a hybrid election model for NC elections that provides for both in-person polling place voting as well as the option to Vote-By-Mail. The voting deadline for SONC elections will be Thursday, June 22, 2023.

General Elections
Speaking of elections, the November 8th General Election date is fast approaching. If you are not currently registered, the last day to register to vote in the November 8, 2022 General Election is October 24, 2022. Those who are already registered will automatically receive their Vote By Mail ballots and election materials via US Mail. These mailings begin on October 6th and continue through October 10th. Early in-person voting begins on October 29th and continues through election day, November 8th. Voters can visit any Vote Center to cast their ballot. Voters also have the option to receive their ballot and election materials in the preferred language of their choice. Besides English, ballots are available in 18 other languages.

The General Election ballot will include:
  • 7 State Ballot Propositions
  • Statewide candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Member of State Board of Equalization, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • U.S. Representative in Congress, State Senator, State Assembly Member
  • Supreme Court Justices, as well as other local candidates and local measures.
  • 2 LA County Ballot Propositions
  • City of LA Mayor, Controller, and Attorney
  • City Ballot Measures (dependent on where you reside)

For more information about the upcoming General Elections, please visit Please make sure to cast your vote and let your voice be heard!

The SONC Outreach Committee meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month. Please join us for our next virtual meeting on September 20th. For details on how to access the virtual meeting on the Zoom Platform, please visit the SONC Outreach Committee web page.
SONC Planning & Land Use Committee
and Vision Sub-Committee
Jeff Kalban, Chair
Proposed Upzoning In Sherman Oaks

The state requires that each CA city’s planning department must prepare a document called the Housing Element that identifies enough local zoning capacity to accommodate the state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) quotas. RHNA quotas cover an eight-year cycle from 2021 to 2029 and are based on population growth, vacancy rates, and housing affordability requirements at every income level.

The current RHNA quotas are controversial because they hugely increase every city’s quota from the previous cycle. In light of our state’s population decrease, many cities are questioning the accuracy of the state’s data and are threatening lawsuits. Nonetheless, the City of LA must identify enough zoning capacity for more than 460,000 units of new housing over the next eight years. This is more housing than built during our boom years in the 1960s and 1970s.

In Sherman Oaks, we could be required to accommodate upwards of 9,000 new housing units over the next eight years. The current Housing Element map for Sherman Oaks (included here) adds density in several of our single-family neighborhoods through housing “overlays” that allow apartment houses next to single-family homes. The state has already rezoned our neighborhoods to allow four housing units on a single-family lot, including Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs or granny flats). We don’t need more density in our single-family neighborhoods.
LA City Planning Housing Element map for Sherman Oaks
The Vision Committee and members of SOHA’s Legislative Committee formed a committee to study our community and find sufficient zoning capacity without the need to up-zone single-family or existing multi-family neighborhoods. We found more than enough housing sites to achieve that goal. Our map placed more density in commercial areas throughout our community. We stayed away from rezoning any multi-family neighborhoods because our older apartments are more affordable and, in many cases,
rent-stabilized. The areas we identified would enrich Sherman Oaks by creating density while making a more walkable and greener community. We took our findings to the LA Planning Department, which was very supportive of our approach.

We then formed an ad hoc committee with Encino and Studio City, encouraging them to look at the Housing Element up-zoning requirements that they might be forced to accept. Both communities also came up with better solutions. The Ad Hoc Committee presented our findings to Councilmember Raman who eventually must approve the final Housing Element map. The three communities represent 60 percent of the councilmember’s district. During this initial meeting, she praised our work and its thoroughness but wasn’t sure the state would allow the removal of the proposed overlays in our single-
family neighborhoods. We contacted the state’s Housing Authority and were told there are no mandates that required overlays in our single-family neighborhoods, as long as the sites identified are appropriate and follow fair housing practices. Our selected sites follow these guidelines.

We will continue to have meetings with Councilmember Raman and hope she will support our community plan. We will keep you informed on our progress.

The next Planning and Land Use (PLUM) meeting will be on September 15, 2022 at 6:30 PM.

Please join us and attend our virtual meetings. The Vision Committee meets at 6:30 on the first Thursday of the month (but will be dark in September) and PLUM meets at 6:30 on the third Thursday.

To access the next virtual meeting on the Zoom Platform,
please see the PLUM/Vision Committee web page for updates and agendas.
SONC Public Safety Committee
Christy Adair, Chair
Our August meeting included Carolina Goodman and Alejandra Aguierre of Community Alternatives to 911-San Fernando Valley (CAT911-SFV) who highlighted successful programs nationwide with unique ways to approach community safety in neighborhoods.

To better serve Sherman Oaks, they have compiled a short, anonymous survey to understand our concerns regarding public safety.
If you are interested in participating in this survey, here is the link:

Our September meeting will include helpful tips on social media misinformation, an update on COVID-19 and, as always, an update on local crime and safety.

Our October meeting will host renowned speaker, Christina Shareef, who will explore and explain the meanings and importance of the use of Gender Pronouns.
  • How to become comfortable destigmatizing the use of pronouns 
  • Ways to approach common situations in a gender-inclusive manner
  • Practice effective ways to recover when you don’t get it right

Note: these conversations will be uploaded to

To access the next meeting:
Online from a PC, Tablet or the Zoom App on your smartphone: Click or Cut and Paste
Press “Enter”

By Telephone: Dial 1-669-900-6833, Enter Webinar ID 842 7040 8817, and Press #

Or on the Zoom join meeting screen enter Webinar ID: 842 7040 8817

If you have any questions, please email us at:

The Public Safety Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 13th, 2022 at 6:30pm.

For more details on how to join the virtual video teleconference meetings, please visit the SONC Public Safety Committee web page.
SONC Finance Committee
Jeffrey Hartsough, Treasurer
Thank you for being an engaged and supportive member of our Sherman Oaks community and of the San Fernando Valley.

Elections and Funding
General Elections are coming up on November 8th. Funding for services important to the livability of our Sherman Oaks community is determined by elected individuals who represent us. By voting, we elect those individuals. Please learn about the candidates and vote in November.

The SONC Finance Committee meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be on September 28th at 6:30pm. Please visit the Finance Committee web page for more details on how to participate.

As we continue to confront the ongoing pandemic and all the daily challenges and complexities of life in Los Angeles, please be respectful and kind to others. Kindness is important.
Stay safe. Pray for Ukraine.
Jeffrey Hartsough
SONC Human Services Committee
Pamela Harris, Co-Chair
Sarah Manuel, Co-Chair
SONC Human Services Committee Co-Chair Pamela Harris
The Human Services Committee has hit the ground running but needs your help! Between helping our underserved, and hosting presentations and drives, we need volunteers to help us in all aspects. We normally meet on the first Monday of the month, but for September we are meeting Wednesday, September 21st at 6:30p.

This past month, the HS committee collaborated with SONC's Outreach Committee, CD4 & LAUSD in efforts to collect backpacks filled with school supplies. We successfully collected 50 bags and couldn't have done it without our community. Each bag has spiral-bound notebooks, paper, pencils, crayon boxes, and other supplies for the new school year. The donations will be given to Kester Elementary, Chandler, and Van Nuys Middle School. If you would like to contribute, please contact the President of the PTA and ask how!

Should you have any questions, please visit the Human Services Committee Page on the SONC website. Our meetings are recorded, please watch them via Zoom.

We want to hear from you! Please fill out the questionnaire if you are interested in joining the committee and helping the underserved in your community.

Visit Human Services Committee page for more information.
Subscribe to SONC's 
Early Notification System via the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to receive all agendas for council meetings and committee meetings.
This next section contains information from CD4, LAUSD, Sherman Oaks Library and all our partner organizations that are seeking volunteers. Stay informed and share!
Here is what's happening in the neighborhood
Join our office, the Los Angeles Fire Department, LADWP, and MySafe LA for a Wildfire Safety Fair, with food, music, and activities for all ages on Saturday, September 17 from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM at Lanai Road Elementary. Participants will be able to hop from booth to booth to learn about wildfire safety and preparedness and gather stamps for their ‘Safety Passports’ — prizes will be given to those who get all stamps! For more information and to RSVP, click HERE.
The Office of District 4 Councilmember Nithya Raman provides Sherman Oaks with a dedicated field deputy to handle resident and business owner issues at the city level. Ryan Ahari is the Sherman Oaks Field Deputy, and also services Van Nuys. If you need assistance with City services, agencies, and departments (graffiti, trash, abandoned properties, and more), you can always reach Ryan through his CD4 web page here or call (213) 424-2412 and Ryan's email address is:

In addition to contacting Ryan, for any issues related to homelessness anywhere within Council District 4, you can contact Senior Homelessness Deputy Sarah Tanberg ( or Homelessness Deputy Josh Scarcella (
Los Angeles Unified School District Office of Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson
Honoring Our Teachers of the Year
This past June, LA Unified School District announced their teachers of the year. Rhoda Ekmekji from Kester Avenue Elementary was one of 22 teachers who were awarded that honor.

LA Unified Responding to Excessive Heat Warning
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through September 5th for Los Angeles County. On very hot, humid days, school administrators and employees pay attention to weather conditions and use common sense and good judgment to modify activities. Heat mitigation measures include:
  • Keeping doors and windows closed in air-conditioned classrooms
  • Reporting HVAC equipment malfunctions
  • Using air-conditioned classrooms as much as possible
  • Considering moving students to cooler rooms or other appropriate areas
  • Encouraging students to drink water
  • Observing students during physical activity periods and modifying and/or limiting activities as necessary
  • Adjusting programs to use cooler early hours for physical activity
  • Limiting the use of asphalt, concrete, playground equipment, and artificial turf surfaces to cooler early hours if these surfaces are too hot
  • Establishing a "cool room" for use by students showing early signs of heat stress

August 30th School Board Meeting Highlights
LAUSD will be offsetting the costs of purchasing 30 electric school buses through vouchers granted by the California Air Resources Board. These new buses will replace the oldest diesel buses in the District’s fleet, which will then total 71 electric buses. The electric buses emit zero emissions and are equipped with the latest safety features. They have a capacity for 42/75 passengers and an operating range of 125 to 155 miles with a full charge. This purchase aligns with the Healthy Breathing Initiative adopted by the Board of Education.

A contract to provide various vegan products for the District’s student meal programs is underway. I know how many students have long awaited this!

A resolution was proposed declaring the month of September as Child Welfare and Attendance Month and the last Tuesday of September as Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors Day. I'm honored to support our Pupil Services Counselors and joined Board members Goldberg and McKenna in co-authoring this resolution.

LAUSD stakeholders are invited to share suggestions for topics they would like the Board of Education's Special Education Committee to address during the 2022-23 school year. Please submit your topic ideas here.

The District has unveiled its 2022-26 Strategic Plan. You may learn more and review by visiting

Please direct any questions or scheduling inquiries to (213) 241-8333. And for regular updates, you may sign-up for Board District 3’s newsletter, which is available in English and Spanish. Click here to view the latest edition.
Wishing you all a safe and joyful summer
Sherman Oaks Martin Pollard Branch Public Library Updates:
The County has designated the Sherman Oaks Martin Pollard Branch Library at 14245 Moorpark Street as a "cooling center": the Library is a public indoor, air-conditioned space for stakeholders seeking a break from the heat.

Used Book Sale Saturday, September 10, 2022
Join us at the monthly used book sale at the Sherman Oaks Branch Library on the second Saturday each month. The proceeds will benefit our local branch. The book sale will be held outside on the patio and inside the multipurpose room at the library.

Select from a large assortment of quality children's books (picture books, chapter, and young adult), fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, education, graphic novels, classics, poetry, plays, art books, CDs, and DVDs. Most books are $1 or less.

We pause all donations on the Wednesday before the book sale and resume on the following Monday after the sale. Thank you for your generous support.
Anime Your Way With Carlos Nieto III
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Join Carlos and learn to draw your favorite anime character or draw your own. No drawing experience is needed! All materials are provided and participants are encouraged to bring their preferred materials.

Teen Council and Teen Volunteer Orientation
Tuesday, September 06, 2022
Teen Council is back at the Sherman Oaks Branch Library! Teens ages 11 to 18 can attend to learn how to get involved and make a difference at the library.

Meet other teens in the community, have a say in teen programming and develop your leadership skills.

STAR Stories With Ronnie
Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.
Children are invited to share the joy of storytelling and reading with our special STAR volunteer, Ronnie. Take home a free book after coming to three STAR events at our branch.

Craft Time on the Patio With Donna
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Join Donna and Christie for fun arts and crafts on the patio!

Questions? - email the branch at, or call 818-205-9716.

Throughout the summer the library will continue to conduct its monthly calendar of events for children, teens, and adults.

Here is the link for our branch happenings:

For more information contact Meredith McGowan, Senior Librarian
Los Angeles City Planning
Wildlife Ordinance
At its August 23rd meeting, the SONC Government Affairs Committee hosted members of the LA City Planning Department who presented an overview of the proposed Draft Wildlife Ordinance and spent some time fielding questions from committee members and some Sherman Oaks stakeholders. This meeting was recorded and is available for playback here.

The Draft Wildlife Ordinance proposes new development standards for lot coverage, setbacks, landscaping, and fencing, as well as grading and height limitations. If the ordinance is approved by the LA City Council, it would create a new Wildlife Supplemental Use District (WLD) and apply those supplemental regulations to any properties located in the area of the Santa Monica Mountains approximately bounded by the 405 and 101 freeways and Ventura Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.

The deadline for submission of public comments on the proposed ordinance was August 22 at 5 p.m. The next step in the process is for the City Planning Commission to consider the comments submitted on the proposed ordinance, and to present their findings to the LA City Council before the end of 2022. Please visit the project website here for the latest developments, to read the draft ordinance, and for more information.

Proposed Oil & Gas Drilling Ordinance
The Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance has been prepared in response to City Council File No. CF 17-0447, which amends the Los Angeles Municipal Code to prohibit all new oil and gas drilling activities and make any existing extraction a nonconforming use in all zones of the City. On August 9, Los Angeles City Planning released a draft of the proposed Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance and on August 30, City Planning held a virtual presentation, question and answer session and public hearing on the proposed ordinance. City Planning would like to thank everyone for their attendance, feedback, and testimony. If you were unable to attend or have more to share, please be reminded that there is still an opportunity for your comments to be heard.

Public comments will inform City Planning's recommendation to the City Planning Commission, which will hear the ordinance this fall and make a recommendation to City Council. In order to ensure that your comments are included in the staff recommendation report to the City Planning Commission, please submit written comments by email to or by hard copy to the mailing address below by September 2, 2022 at 5 p.m. Any written communication must include case number CPC-2022-4864-CA.

Please visit City Planning’s website to view the proposed Draft Oil Ordinance and Fact Sheet containing frequently asked questions. If you have any questions or would like to sign up for updates and/or provide feedback, please email or send correspondence to the following mailing address:

Jennifer Torres, Department of City Planning
200 North Spring Street, Room 701
Los Angeles, CA, 90012
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project
Metro continues to plan in its attempts to discover viable transit option solutions that will make it easier to get from/to the San Fernando Valley and LA's Westside. The natural barrier created by the Santa Monica Mountains makes traveling between the Valley and the Westside challenging and as we all know, the 405 freeway is one of the worst places to be in your car during morning and evening rush hours. Metro is working to evaluate the impact of a high-quality, reliable transit service option using a high-speed rail system connecting the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

The project is currently in the environmental review phase which will consist of two components: 1) preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and 2) preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

For more information about feedback received during the project scoping period, view the project’s Scoping Summary Report. Metro plans to host a community update in Fall 2022 focused on alignments and station locations.

To learn more about the project, visit the website
Free Sustainability Webinars From
the Los Angeles County
Dept. of Public Works
The LA County Dept. of Public Works is still offering its series of free webinars to beautify your home and garden through September 2022. The Smart Gardening Webinars are approximately 45 minutes long followed by a 15-minute period to answer questions and take orders for compost bins. For those who are unable to attend, they have posted videos of the sessions. There are four core subjects being offered:

Intro to Composting: Learn about backyard and worm composting to create a rich soil amendment to nourish your garden.

Water-wise Gardening: Create a beautiful drought-tolerant landscape and learn about grasscycling to fortify your lawn.

Organic Gardening: Build healthy soil, grow herbs and vegetables, and address plant pests and diseases using organic methods.

Small-space Gardening: Learn to grow plants in containers and set up a small-space worm composting system.

For more information and to register online, visit their website:
Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power is Offering Free Landscaping Design Services to Transform Your Turf
Are you interested in saving water and money on your bill? The LADWP turf replacement program is offering homeowners a rebate of $3.00 per square foot for up to 5,000 square feet of converted yards per year. As an LADWP customer, you can get free landscape design services for transforming your landscape to be more drought tolerant. The design can be submitted along with your turf replacement rebate application. Planting and irrigation plans are provided at no cost to LADWP customers who wish to remove turf and replace it with low-water use California Friendly® and native plants. The rebates for removing lawns and water-hungry plantings are still in effect. With the coming hot summer months, and new watering rules going into effect, the time is right to replace.

The provided plans can be given directly to a licensed contractor for installation and also included is a simple guide on how to best hire a landscape contractor. The plans will include a stormwater capture feature, such as a rain garden, in the design. Irrigation plans include the use of water-efficient drip irrigation systems.

Your newly installed garden will capture and reuse stormwater, recharge groundwater, prevent polluted runoff from flowing into the rivers and ocean, and provide food and habitat for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Once your newly installed plants have been established, you will see the savings on your water bill.

To learn more about this free design program and to apply, visit the LADWP website at:
LA Residents Cut Water Use Record 11% In July
Los Angeles-area residents set another water-conservation record in July, cutting use by 11 percent, according to the LA Department of Water and Power. This beat a 9-percent reduction in June, which was also the lowest water use for any June on record. The reduction is largely attributed to new water restrictions implemented June 1 that now only allow outdoor watering just two days per week. There also was an increase in complaints about potential water waste, an indicator of increased water-use consciousness.
Volunteer Opportunities:
Volunteer with NHIFP

Take advantage of helping out your community.

North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry is looking for volunteers.

To sign up, please visit:
LA Regional Food Bank

If you are interested in volunteering with the LA Regional Food Bank, please visit this link.
Questions, concerns, please email: 
L.A. Works

Join L.A. Works and learn about all the volunteer opportunities available here in our great City of Los Angeles!

Facebook - @laworks 
Twitter - @LAWorksNow 
Instagram - @laworksnow
Please visit
Volunteer with
The Valley of Change

Sherman Oaks Community Cleanup - September 11 @ 8:30-10 AM. Come meet up on Sepulveda Blvd & Ventura Blvd for a neighborhood clean-up! Gloves and trash bags will be provided — bring a push broom if you have one!

Email Contact:

For more information please visit:
Stay connected:
IG: @TheValleyofChange
Twitter: @ValleyChangeg!"
Van Nuys Neighborhood Watch news
Get Involved In Your Community
If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain and starting a Neighborhood Watch Program in your neighborhood, please contact your Senior Lead Officer at the email addresses or phone numbers listed below to obtain further details. There are 4 senior lead officers assigned for all of Sherman Oaks:

Jose Saldana
(818) 731-2565

Mariana Romo
(818) 731-2563

Joel Gutierrez
(818) 731-2560

Kristan DeLatori
(818) 731-2562

Please sign up on to receive current updates about crime trends and events in your community.

You can contact Alan Scher for more information about the Neighborhood Watch Program.

The September edition of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Watch News is available to read online here.
Interested in Joining the LAPD Volunteer Program?

Make a difference as an LAPD volunteer and be the change you want to see in your community. Volunteers represent a broad range of ages, from teenagers to senior citizens. As a volunteer, here are some of the available opportunities:

  • Promoting Safety within business communities
  • Front Desk Operations
  • Traffic Safety Outreach
  • Clerical and administrative support
  • Safe Passage to Schools
  • Community Members on Patrol
  • Vacation Checks
  • Detective Support
  • Variety of other important functions

For information on volunteer opportunities with the LAPD, email Officer Jason Jimenez in the Community Relations Office at, or call (818) 374-5420. You can also get more information about the LAPD Volunteer Program by visiting this link.
The La Reina Theater when it opened in 1938
Then & Now... the Changing Face of Sherman Oaks
The address 14626 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks is a building that today houses several retail businesses. When it was originally constructed and opened in 1938, it was a magnificently styled movie theater, designed by noted architect S. Charles Lee. Lee was very well known for his memorable Art Deco-style theater designs during this era. The initial design for the La Reina was created by Lee for the Fox West Coast Theater chain in 1937. It was a very classy theater, as most movie houses of this period were, that featured 900 plush seats all situated on a single level, terrazzo entryway floors, and a highly styled marquee and façade with neon lighting.

Lee moved to Los Angeles in 1922. The first major movie palace he designed was the Tower Theatre (1927), which launched a career that would make Lee the principal designer of motion picture theaters in Los Angeles during the 1930's and 1940's. Lee is credited with designing over 400 theaters throughout California and Mexico - 250 in the Los Angels area alone. His palatial and Baroque-style Los Angeles Theatre (1931) on Broadway in downtown is regarded by many architectural historians as the finest theater building in Los Angeles. Lee was an early proponent of the Art Deco and Moderne styles. The Bruin Theater in Westwood (1937) and the Academy Theatre in Inglewood (1939) are among his most characteristic. Lee also designed several prominent structures around Los Angeles, including the Max Factor Building in Hollywood (1935) that currently houses the Hollywood Museum, the Hollywood Melrose Hotel (1927), and the Hollywood & Western Building in Hollywood (1931).
The la Reina theater in the 1930s and 40s
S. Charles Lee fashioned his movie theaters as striking advertisements, not only to garner attention from passing automobile traffic but to draw in pedestrians by using the sidewalk itself as part of the design. He famously claimed, “The show starts on the sidewalk.”
La Reina Theater at night
Fox West Coast house later became National General and eventually Mann Theatres. The La Reina continued its operations under that ownership, during which time, the theater was equipped with 70mm projection in the early 1980s.

Not only was the theater used for screening movies, but the exterior of the theater was also used in several films itself (and TV Shows too), especially when cinematographers were attempting to depict sites hosting ‘World Premier’ gala events with crowds of fans (movie extras) flocking to see their favorite stars walk a red carpet, and blazing searchlights roaming the skies. These included such films as “the Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood”, “Coming Attractions”, “Hop”, and the TV show “The Greatest American Hero”.
Indiana Jones screened at the La Reina movie theater
Eventually, the taste and desires of movie viewers began to change. Technologies were emerging that allowed for 'home theaters' and the palatial and stylish Hollywood movie houses began to fade away in favor of the multiplexes and cineplexes that the theater chain owners believed would counter the public's desires to not go out to watch the movies as much.

The La Reina theatre closed in 1984. Mann Theatres was the last operator. The final screening was a double feature of "The Robe" and "There's No Business Like Show Business". After it closed down, for a brief period the theater facility was used as a retail clearance outlet store.
La Reina closed permanently in 1984
In 1985 developer Dennis Bass, who was in the process of buying the building from Mann Theaters, proposed to demolish the 46-year-old La Reina theater and construct a complex of retail stores and restaurants using the theater's land as well as some adjoining properties. A group in opposition to the plan emerged called Save the La Reina, headed by Sherman Oaks resident Lee David. David filed an application with the city's Cultural Heritage Board, asking that the art deco theater be declared a historic monument. The group initially had wanted the building maintained as a movie or performing arts theater, or developed into a restaurant and retail complex with the exterior left intact.

Eventually Bass agreed to try and preserve the neon marquee, the tower, and the façade and incorporate it into his proposed project design, after conferring with the theater's architect, S. Charles Lee. The auditorium, lobby, and projection booth were all demolished in 1988 and the space was renovated into the retail facility that exists today. The façade, marquee, entrance, terrazzo, and original box office are all that remain. In 1995 the tower and the vertical sign had to be removed after suffering damage in the Northridge earthquake. Initially, the anchor tenant was The Gap. The spa currently advertised on the marquee opened in 2001.
The La Reina theater as it appears today
Thankfully, many of the theaters that S. Charles Lee designed are still in existence and actively screening films or hosting live entertainment. These include the Bruin Theater in Westwood and the Saban Theater (originally The Fox Wilshire Theatre) in Beverly Hills. Like the La Reina, many others have become designated as historic landmarks and have been preserved or repurposed. In June 2021, the Tower Theatre in downtown LA was adaptively reused and reopened as a new Apple store. Unfortunately, many of Lee's theaters have been demolished, and the face of the city has changed.
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