Jun 302016
 

In A Nutshell Anything L.A. Magazine News Editorials

Anything L.A. Magazine didn’t necessarily plan this section. However some news should not pass by without being reflected upon. Only in the last few weeks, several such events – that called for an in depth reflection – took place.

  • The passing of Muhammad Ali
  • The mass shooting at Orlando’s Nightclub
  • Brexit (Great Britain’s decision to exit the European Union)
  • Victory of Texas abortion rights
  • The terrorist attack at a Turkey’s airport
  • The death of Pat Summitt

Granted, not all of them affect us in the same or even similar way, but each of them had a profound impact in its own way. I won’t trivialize the recent news in a brief summary, suffice to say: future events of significance will be acknowledged with Anything L.A. Magazine’s News Editorials.

An editorial expresses the magazine’s opinion. It is often easier to keep quiet to avoid controversy. But silence has a price tag. Not expressing an opinion on an issue or event can be mistaken for the incorrect one.

Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living”. And what’s life? Our precious slice of time and the events that affect us. As you may have noticed none of the events I listed above is actually local and yet, each is as meaningful in Los Angeles as elsewhere. So, bring on the fire and brimstone: from now on Anything L.A. Magazine has opinions AND editorials!

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

Jun 302016
 

Show L.A. Youth The Way

Hire LA’s Youth is one of the City’s most exciting programs to put young adults to work, ensuring they have “first time” job experience that will set them on the path of lifetime earners. This year we are committed to providing 15,000 jobs for young people ages 14 to 24 who live in the city of Los Angeles.

Become a Partner with the Hire LA’s Youth Initiative

  • SPONSOR employment for one or more youths – a $2,200 pledge to the program sponsors one youth
  • HIRE one or more young people at your workplace
  • GET SUBSIDIZED SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYEES by offering supervised work at your workplace
  • SPONSOR SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYEES and GET SUBSIDIZED SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYEES by offering supervised work at your workplace

This Program Benefits All Angelenos!
Thousands of motivated young job seekers apply each year hoping for a summer job opportunity and Mayor Eric Garcetti and our workforce partners are determined to put 15,000 young people to work this summer with the goals of:

  • Preparing young adults for the 21st Century workforce in the city of Los Angeles
  • Engaging youth in positive activities during summer
  • Partnering with the city’s business community
  • Developing long-term employment opportunities for L.A.’s youth

They are the future, let them know you care! Learn how to get involved in Hire LA’s Youth.

Your life is calling: Learn how to prepare for a job!

 

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Jun 292016
 

Up To Us Anything L.A. Magazine Editorial

Life can get busy. It can be overwhelming at times. When a natural or man-made disaster strikes, we can feel powerless. The Up To Us section of Anything L.A. Magazine is here to empower YOU.

No matter what comes our way, we are NEVER entirely helpless. There is always something that each of us can do to influence the outcome. The change may not be huge or fast, but sure enough if enough of us unite for a cause, change takes place eventually.

Everybody has a unique perspective on life and somewhat different priorities but there are some objectives we can all embrace.

  • Save the environment?
  • Help veterans recover?
  • Help animals?
  • Show kids the way into adulthood?

These are only a few causes most of us can rally around.

By introducing options for involvement in worthy causes, Anything L.A. Magazine will present you with choices. There will be one that speaks to YOU. Don’t let it pass you by!

Complacency, passivity and laziness are easy. Complaining requires no effort. Taking action requires guts. Exercise your power, make the world the way it could be: better, safer, healthier and prosperous. Don’t let faceless strangers “make” your world. Your life, your world. It’s not up to “others”. It’s up to YOU! The important question is: what can WE make better in L.A., today?

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

 

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Jun 292016
 

WESTWOOD GARDENS PARK RE-OPENEDThe Department of Recreation and Parks along with Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District, celebrated the re-opening of Westwood Gardens Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Located in Westwood next to the Westwood Library and near the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, the site was once a parking lot that was transformed into a neighborhood park serving an estimated 9,306 residents within a one-half mile walking distance. Community outreach led to a park improvement plan to make Westwood Gardens Park more active for nearby residents.

The new park design features include a playground, for youth ages two to five years, outdoor fitness equipment, new game tables, security lighting and a camera, new benches, and drought tolerant plant material. The community-driven project that led to improvements at Westwood Gardens Park has resulted in a beautiful, open green space for the community to actively play or to take a moment to relax and enjoy.

Westwood Gardens Park
1246 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024

The re-opening ceremony was attended by: Paul Koretz, Councilmember, Fifth District; Javier Solis, Superintendent, Department of Recreation and Parks Sylvia Patsaouras, Commission President, Board of Recreation and Park Commission Linda Blank, Vice President, Westwood Homeowners Association.

 

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Jun 282016
 

MetroGoldLine

End-To-End Seven-Minute Peak-Hour

Service improvements are on the way for commuters on the Metro Gold Line as Metro makes key schedule changes as a result of requests from the riding public.

All Gold Line trains will now run to the APU/Citrus College station every seven minutes in the morning and afternoon peak hours on weekdays. Trains previously ran every six minutes during peak hours between East Los Angeles and Pasadena and every 12 minutes between Pasadena and Azusa.

The service change will mean that riders bound for the new extension stations no longer have to spend extra time waiting at Union Station for an Azusa-bound train, nor will they have to switch trains at Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena.

Overall, service improvements will simplify the Gold Line schedule, reduce customer confusion, eliminate inconvenient transfers and even out passenger loads to help relieve crowding.

“The Metro Gold Line Extension has been a resounding success since it opened March 5, with trains consistently running at full occupancy,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “The line has been so successful, that it has pushed us to up our game in order to meet our riders’ expectations. Today, we are proud to report that we have heard the public’s call for better service, and we are delivering a schedule with even greater frequency.”

Metro has taken additional efforts to increase capacity on the Gold Line since the extension to Azusa opened. Metro has added three-car trains to the service during morning and afternoon peak hours. As more rail cars are delivered, longer trains will be run.

“These service improvements are just what we need to further increase ridership and service,” said John Fasana, Duarte City Council Member and First Vice Chair of the Metro Board. “Rush hour trains that operate every seven minutes and stop at all stations will help drive the ongoing success of this line and generate enthusiasm for its planned extension to more east San Gabriel cities.”

Metro will monitor this service change as a pilot program over the next year and will make any additional changes to improve on-time performance and customer satisfaction.

The Gold Line is now Metro’s longest rail line, logging 50,000 boardings on an average weekday.
About Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.4 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County. Through its oversight of one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is changing the urban landscape of one of the country’s largest, most populous counties.

 

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Jun 272016
 

FederalGrantsboost1

Millions in new federal grant dollars have been awarded to organizations in Los Angeles that are working to address challenges faced by people involved with the criminal justice system.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that a total of $2.36 million in U.S. Department of Labor grants — intended to help break destructive cycles of poverty, crime, and incarceration — have been won by the Youth Policy Institute and Volunteers of America of Los Angeles.

“People shouldn’t be defined by the past or their circumstances — we need to support them with a mind toward their future,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I’m going to keep pushing to make sure that everyone in L.A. has the opportunity to get good-paying jobs and build lasting careers.”

The awards were included in $64.5 million in grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program is part of a series of actions taken by the Obama Administration to reduce recidivism and promote reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.

“America works best when we field a full team, but far too many people who have been involved with the criminal justice system are being left on the sidelines,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants are an important step in fulfilling our promise as a land of second chances by moving beyond locking people up and instead working together to unlock their potential.”

As part of today’s announcement, Volunteers of America of Los Angeles was awarded $1.36 million for the Training to Work program, which will offer returning citizens in a state or local work release program an opportunity to participate in a career pathway program that includes education and workforce skills training. The program will serve individuals in high-poverty and high-crime areas, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-designated Promise Zones. Participants will also be offered case management, mentoring, and follow-up services.

The Youth Policy Institute received $1 million for the Pathways to Justice Careers program, which will provide mentorship and career training to youth ages 16-21 who are at risk of dropping out of high school, becoming involved in the criminal justice system, or are already hampered by juvenile records. Justice and emergency services personnel will mentor students to explore career paths as police officers, firefighters, lawyers, paramedics, and other related professions. Participants will be encouraged to graduate from high school or earn a high school equivalency degree and to either enter the workforce or pursue further pertinent training or post-secondary education.

Mayor Garcetti has put a special focus on assisting underserved populations in Los Angeles that include formerly incarcerated men and women. Last year, he opened an Office of Reentry that is creating opportunities for people who have served time in jail or prison and need help getting a new start.

In May, the Mayor’s Office of Reentry announced an $8.93 million agreement with Caltrans to connect 1,350 formerly incarcerated men and women to permanent employment. Mayor Garcetti has also signed an executive directive instructing City departments to prioritize L.A.’s most underemployed communities — including veterans, the formerly incarcerated and disconnected youth — in the hiring of more than 5,000 employees over the next three years.

“The organizations receiving these new grant dollars work tirelessly to give all citizens, regardless of their past, second chances to be their best selves,” said Kimberley Baker Guillemet, Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Reentry. “We are thankful for their partnership, and grateful for the Department of Labor’s efforts to give justice-involved people access to careers that are the gateway to upward mobility.”

 

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Jun 252016
 

LAPDBodyCamera

City Council announced today that it has approved the Body Worn Video Camera project to continue as planned by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The decision today by City Council to approve the LAPD’s contract to move forward with the purchase and deployment of nearly 7,000 cameras over the next 2 years, was received with welcoming arms.

“I am very pleased that we can now move forward with our plan to purchase and outfit our uniformed officers with Body Worn Video cameras”, said Chief Charlie Beck. This 21st Century policing tool is just another way that LAPD will enhance our ability to keep our communities safe as well as improve accountability. “We believe that use of body worn cameras will help to reduce the number of uses of force because the cameras can affect how people behave when they are aware that their actions are being recorded”, Beck added.

The Department currently has nearly 1,000 body worn video cameras deployed and plans to expand that deployment rapidly now that City Council has given the go ahead with the contract.

The fact that LAPD Body Camera Project Is Approved To Proceed, is meaningful to us all and will go a long way in protecting LAPD officers from unjustified accusations AND increasing the public’s trust in Los Angeles Police Department.

 

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Comments

Huge Victory.....

★★★★★
5 5 1
This is a huge victory for officers and the general public's safety! Thanks Anythingla.com Magazine!
Jun 242016
 

lapd05

The following Holiday Safety Tips were compiled, in cooperation with the LAPD Crime Prevention Section, to contribute to the safety and security of people during the upcoming holiday. The Independence Day is always a special occasion. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other crime. We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. The Los Angeles Police Department wishes you a safe, happy and peaceful 4th of July.

Driving

  • Avoid driving alone or at night.
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
  • Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
  • Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

Shopping

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
  • Always carry your California Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
    Keep cash in your front pocket.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
    Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.

Children

  • If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
  • Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
  • Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

At Home

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.

Hosting a Party

  • Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
  • Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.
  • Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.

Attending a Party

  • Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.
  • Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.
  • Know your safe limit.
  • Never drink and drive.

 

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Jun 232016
 

MarVistaFarmersMarket

Mar Vista’s certified farmers’ market offers fresh, direct-marketed produce from California farmers in Mar Vista’s transient Town Square. Open rain or shine, except major holidays.

Check it out: eating farm fresh produce is good for you. Buying farm fresh is good for California!

Mar Vista Farmers Market
Grand View Blvd and Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
9:00am 2:00pm

 

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Jun 222016
 

LAPDFocusesonEducationandEnforcementatDangerousIntersections1

LAPD’s Directed Enforcement Task Force (DETF) identified intersections in San Fernando Valley where most traffic accidents occur and is working on reducing the number of traffic collisions through education and enforcement. The goal being to end traffic deaths by 2025.

One of the primary duties of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is to facilitate the safe and expeditious movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. To enforce compliance with traffic laws and to develop driver awareness of the causes of traffic collisions, the LAPD appropriately warns, cites or arrests traffic law violators.

On June 17, 2016, the LAPD conducted a Directed Enforcement Task Force (DETF) at various intersections throughout Operations-Valley Bureau (OVB). The goal of the DETF is to reduce the number of traffic collisions at specific intersections that have the highest incident of fatalities, severe or visible injuries through education and enforcement. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and LAPD partner on safety programs throughout the City of Los Angeles as part of Vision Zero, a goal to end traffic deaths by 2025. The DETF is a data-driven effort that brings a laser focus to locations and causes of crashes, preventable through education, enforcement, and engineering.

The DETF will be comprised of officers from traffic divisions throughout the City of Los Angeles. Through a detailed analysis of reportable traffic collisions over the past year, the LAPD has identified the following intersections in OVB that the DETF will focus on:

•Victory Boulevard at Laurel Canyon Boulevard
•Coldwater Canyon Avenue at Vanowen Street
•Sepulveda Boulevard at Nordhoff Street
•Devonshire Street at Woodley Avenue
•Roscoe Boulevard at DeSoto Avenue

The DETF is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Remember, everyone is encouraged to help keep our roadways safe; Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911!

 

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Jun 212016
 

UniversalStudiosHollywood

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Plus experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ and Flight of the Hippogriff™ that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement.

Studio Tour
Go behind-the-scenes on the legendary Studio Tour to explore Hollywood’s most famous backlot in the world’s largest working movie studio.

Fast & Furious Supercharged
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the world-famous Studio Tour and hold on tight for the all-new grand finale, Fast & Furious – Supercharged!

King Kong 360 3-D
Don’t miss the award-winning King Kong 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson – The world’s largest 3-D experience, only on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour.

Nighttime Studio Tour
Experience Hollywood’s most famous Backlot like never before as you explore the magic of filmmaking by moonlight aboard the new Nighttime Studio Tour.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Join Gru, his daughters and the mischievous Minions on a heartwarming and hilarious 3-D ride.

Super Silly Fun Land
Super Silly Fun Land is an all-new elaborate play zone adjacent to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

Transformers™: The Ride-3D
Transformers™: The Ride 3D is an immersive, next generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality.

The Simpsons Ride™
The Simpsons™ are visiting Krustyland and you are there right alongside Homer, Marge, Bart…

Jurassic Park
Come face-to-face with ‘living’ dinosaurs, a 50-foot T-Rex, and a treacherous drop straight down an 84-foot death-defying raft plunge.

Revenge of the Mummy℠ – The Ride
If you dare, face heart-pounding special effects and unexpected twists at every turn as you escape the Mummy’s revenge in life-like horror.

Shrek 4-D™
Take adventure to the next dimension in Shrek 4-D™ — the attraction that puts you in the action with hair-raising, eye-popping, butt-busting effects so real, all your senses will be on ogre-time.

Special Effects Show
Don’t miss our enhanced Special Effects Show, where real Hollywood stuntmen and cutting-edge technology come together to recreate scenes from your favorite blockbuster movies!

Universal’s Animal Actors
Witness Tinseltown-trained critters putting pet tricks to shame with their animal antics!

 

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Jun 202016
 

MetrosProposedTransportationSalesTaxBallot

Metro’s transportation sales tax to support discounted fares, road repairs, bike lanes and better freeways flow. Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax ballot gains public support.

 

Following three months of public review and input that included public meetings and Telephone Town Halls that reached tens of thousands of L.A. County residents, a new poll shows that 72 percent of those surveyed would vote for a transportation sale tax measure with a sustained funding approach.

In a recent telephone survey conducted between May 20 and June 1 phone interviews were done with 2,125 Los Angeles County residents likely to vote in the November election, including new registrants.

Key findings showed that there were no statistically meaningful differences between a 50-year sales tax measure and a sustained “no-sunset” measure among those surveyed and initial support, after hearing just the ballot title and summary, was within the margin of error for passage. The polling also showed that after educational outreach, support increased above the two-thirds threshold needed for passage.

“These numbers are encouraging and show a strong desire of those surveyed to build and sustain a world-class transportation system here in Los Angeles County,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.

When asking about the various benefits that the plan would deliver, the strongest support focused on providing transportation options for an aging County population. The survey showed that 73 percent of respondents expressed a desire to keep senior, disabled and student fares affordable. Another top reason respondents would support the plan is its ability to create jobs, which also drew 73 percent favorability. Repairing potholes was supported by 70 percent of those surveyed with 69 percent supporting earthquake retrofitting of bridges and 67 percent wanting to improve the flow of freeway traffic as the most important features of the proposed ballot measure.

The proposed ballot measure is called the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan after the title tested best among several suggested options. The plan would devote billions of dollars to pay for and accelerate a wide variety of transit, highway, pedestrian and bike paths. It would also provide billions of dollars to commuter rail, transit operations and projects to keep buses, trains and facilities in good repair. The plan would return revenues to local cities on a per capita basis that could be spent on local transportation improvements like street repairs and fixing potholes. Broken down by sub-regions, the polling shows that in the central part of Los Angeles County, 77 percent support the measure.

In the San Fernando Valley, 70 percent of those surveyed would be more inclined or somewhat inclined to vote for the measure compared to 70 percent in the South Bay and 68 percent on the Westside. In Southeast L.A. County, 68 percent of respondents supported the measure with 65 percent of San Gabriel Valley voters inclined to vote yes and 63 percent of North County voters saying they too would vote for the measure.

Support for Metro’s ballot measure did not appear to be adversely affected by its placement among other L.A. County measures under consideration for the November ballot.

The foundation of the plan included a host of transportation improvements projects submitted by stakeholders across the county. Metro staff evaluated those projects against key performance metrics to determine how they would ease congestion and enhance mobility, provide better access to key destinations, improve safety, grow the local economy and enhance quality of life.

The new survey was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates, a public opinion research and strategy group under contract to Metro.

The new revised Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan is available at www.metro.net/theplan. The agency’s Board of Directors is scheduled to decide at their June 23 meeting whether to plan the plan before the voters of Los Angeles County in November.

 

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Jun 172016
 

 

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer praised the California Supreme Court’s refusal this week to review an appellate decision upholding Los Angeles’ landmark billboard ban.

“This was billboard company Lamar’s last gasp in its attack on Los Angeles’ billboard ban. Now the Supreme Court has made clear our billboard ban stands,” said Feuer, who had urged the Supreme Court to reject Lamar’s effort to overturn the appellate ruling. “This is a great victory for our neighborhoods, heading off what would have been a torrent of new billboards inundating Los Angeles.”

Lamar Central Outdoor v. City of Los Angeles is a lawsuit challenging the City’s authority to regulate outdoor signs and to establish specific sign districts and limitations on digital billboards. In March, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District upheld the City’s authority to set billboard regulations, reversing a Superior Court ruling. Lamar requested that the California Supreme Court review the Court of Appeal’s decision, but the Supreme Court refused, preserving the City’s ability to control the proliferation of new billboards.

 

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Jun 152016
 
Governor "Jerry" Brown

Governor “Jerry” Brown

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the following Governor’s Appointments:

Peter Cervinka, 44, of Sacramento, has been appointed chief deputy director at the California Department of Social Services, where he has served as program deputy director for benefits and services since 2009. Cervinka served in several positions at the California Health and Human Services Agency from 2007 to 2009, including assistant secretary in the Office of Program and Fiscal Affairs and assistant associate secretary in the Office of Legislation. He served in several positions at the California Department of Finance from 2002 to 2007 and from 1998 to 2000, including assistant program budget manager, principal program budget manager and finance budget analyst. Cervinka was a staff services manager at the State Water Resources Control Board from 2000 to 2002. He earned a Master of Science degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $156,372. Cervinka is a Democrat.

Vivien Avella, 48, of Calabasas, has been reappointed to the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, where she has served since 2013. Avella was senior managing director at FTI Consulting from 2000 to 2003 and director at Ernst and Young LLP from 1997 to 2000. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Avella is registered without party preference.

Donna Norton, 58, of Dixon, has been reappointed to the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, where she has served since 2014. Norton has been a licensed vocational nurse for Kaiser Permanente since 1989. She was a licensed vocational nurse at the Fairfield Medical Group from 1985 to 1989 and a licensed vocational nurse and phlebotomist at Oneida Hospital from 1984 to 1985. Norton was a licensed vocational nurse at Straub Hospital from 1981 to 1985 and for the U.S. Army at Tripler Army Hospital from 1975 to 1981. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Norton is registered without party preference.

Marq Truscott, 54, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the California Landscape Architects Technical Committee, where he has served since 2015. Truscott has served as a landscape architecture lecturer at the University of California, Davis since 1995. He was president at Quadriga Landscape Architecture and Planning Inc. from 1997 to 2015 and at Collaborations from 1991 to 1997. Truscott was an associate at the Austin Hansen Group from 1987 to 1991 and a landscape architectural designer at BSI Consulting from 1983 to 1987. He is chair-elect of the Urban Land Institute, Sacramento and a member of the Blue Line Arts Board of Directors, American Society of Landscape Architects’ Council of Fellows Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, Friends of Light Rail and Transit Board of Directors and the University of California, Davis Landscape Architecture Program Advisory Board. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Truscott is registered without party preference.

Robyn Fisher, 47, of Hayward, has been appointed to the California Reading and Literature Project Advisory Board. Fisher has been president and chief executive officer at R.T. Fisher Educational Enterprise Inc. since 1999. She was associate director of pre-college programs at San Jose State University from 1998 to 2001, where she was director of the San Jose California Student Opportunity and Access Program from 1996 to 2001. Fisher was a budget analyst in the San Jose City Manager’s Office from 1993 to 1996 and a legislative correspondent and community information coordinator in the San Jose Mayor’s Office from 1991 to 1993. She earned Doctor of Education and Master of Education degrees in educational leadership from Mills College and a Master of Public Administration degree from San Jose State University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Fisher is a Democrat.

David Dias, 55, of Pleasanton, has been reappointed to the California Contractors State License Board, where he has served since 2011. Dias has been a business representative at Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union No. 104 since 2005. He was an apprentice instructor at Foothill College from 1998 to 2005 and a field supervisor at Therma Inc. from 1997 to 2005. Dias was a sheet metal worker foreman at RH Tinney from 1990 to 1997, where he was an apprentice from 1986 to 1990. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Dias is a Democrat.

Susan Granzella, 65, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the California Contractors State License Board, where she has served since 2014. Granzella held several positions at Visa Inc. from 1996 to 2014, including senior director and vice president for technical publication and global development audit and compliance coordination. She is a member of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Sacramento Board of Directors. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Granzella is a Democrat.

Marlo Richardson, 37, of Playa del Rey, has been reappointed to the California Contractors State License Board, where she has served since 2015. Richardson has been a police lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department Airport Division since 1999. She is chair of public safety for the Second Supervisorial District in Los Angeles County and a member California Women Lead, International Association of Chiefs of Police and the California State Bar Ethics Committee. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Richardson is a Democrat.

Bill Nack, 68, of Menlo Park, has been reappointed to the 1a District Agricultural Association, Grand National Rodeo, Cow Palace Fair Board of Directors, where he has served since 2012. Nack was business manager for the San Mateo County Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL – CIO from 1999 to 2015. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Nack is a Democrat.

Justin Lawson, 41, of Bakersfield, has been appointed to the 15th District Agricultural Association, Kern County Fair Board of Directors. Lawson has been superintendent of operations at the Macpherson Oil Company since 2009. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Lawson is registered without party preference.

 

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Jun 142016
 

MetrosCEOUnveilsUpdatedLosAngelesCountyTrafficImprovement2

Metro’s CEO Unveils Updated Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan to Transform Transportation through a Possible November Ballot Measure.

On the heels of an aggressive public outreach effort, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) CEO Phillip A. Washington today unveiled a revised expenditure plan calling for a sustained funding approach for a possible November ballot measure that would accelerate and pay for a wide variety of transit and highway projects, roadway improvements and pedestrian and bike paths.

“We need to build and sustain a world-class transportation system here in Los Angeles County to accommodate our ever-changing and continually growing needs,” said Washington. “Working with our community stakeholders, this updated plan brings us a step closer in defining what projects are needed and where a sustained level of funding could come from to accelerate and complete those projects.”

The revision also has a new name: the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan. It would also devote billions of dollars to commuter rail, transit operations and projects to keep buses, trains and facilities in good repair. The plan would return revenues to local cities on a per capita basis — money those cities could spend on their own local transportation improvements.

In March, Metro staff presented a 40-year draft plan that would ask voters to increase the countywide sales tax by a half-cent and to continue the existing Measure R tax for 18 years, meaning both would run through 2057. In May, the Metro Board of Directors asked agency staff to model a sustained “no sunset” scenario to determine additional benefits that could be delivered if the tax continued beyond 40 years.

Under the new sustained funding scenario, nine projects could be accelerated for a combined 42 years earlier than previously scheduled for a savings of $9.4 billion. The revised plan also allows the Eastside Gold Line Extension to be built to both South El Monte and Whittier and would also fund the L.A. County section of a new freeway, energy and high-speed rail corridor between the Antelope Valley and San Bernardino County.

In addition, three projects would be upgraded later in the plan: a bus rapid transit project between North Hollywood and Pasadena could be light rail, a high-capacity transit project on Vermont Avenue between Hollywood and the Green Line in South L.A. could be a subway and a proposed bus rapid transit project on Lincoln Boulevard could be light rail.

 

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Jun 132016
 

MayorGarcettiLaunchesTheWelcomeHomeProject

Angelenos to host gatherings in their homes to discuss L.A.’s homelessness crisis and collect household supplies for people who have recently received housing

Angelenos can take meaningful, personal steps to address L.A.’s homelessness crisis through Mayor Eric Garcetti’s new Welcome Home Project. The effort aims to recruit 100 residents to host gatherings of friends, neighbors, and colleagues and collect household supplies for formerly homeless people who have been recently housed.

The Welcome Home Project aims to educate participants about the City’s homelessness strategy, and mobilize them to take action. To date, nearly 80 individuals, businesses, and community groups have registered to host gatherings in the coming weeks.

“Everywhere I go, people ask how they can help end the homelessness crisis,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I launched the Welcome Home Project to give Angelenos an opportunity to make a direct impact. The project reminds us that homeless residents are not statistics. They are people with stories, families, and dreams for their futures. The Welcome Home Project will provide basic necessities for our formerly unsheltered neighbors, encourage dialogue, and contribute to a cultural shift in the way we treat those experiencing homelessness. We can do this, but we must do it together. I am asking everyone to do their part.”

Residents are encouraged to sign up (lamayor.org/join-welcome-home-project) as volunteer hosts and invite guests to a gathering where they will guide a discussion about homelessness in L.A. The Mayor’s Office will supply talking points and reference materials to help hosts feel comfortable leading the discussion.

Before the event, hosts will coordinate with participants on items to bring — including an iron, dishes, bedding, kitchenware, personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies — from a checklist provided by the Mayor’s Office.

At the gatherings, participants will package the items into a laundry basket, and write messages for the formerly homeless individuals who will receive them.

Designated fire stations across the city (locations listed below) will accept the baskets on or before June 16.

Participants are encouraged to spread the word using the hashtag #welcomehomeproject on social media.

The City will follow up with participants on ways to continue to help, including:

  • Keeping up-to-date on homelessness news and Mayor Garcetti’s homelessness efforts
  • Connecting to volunteer opportunities
  • Supporting sustainable funding for housing and supportive services

Volunteers who want to help sort the baskets, to ensure that each one has the items it needs, can register here: http://lamayor.org/welcome-home-project-preparation-day. Preparation Day will be held on June 17.

Residents can also volunteer at http://lamayor.org/welcome-home-project-big-move to participate in the Big Move In on June 18, when they will deliver the baskets from fire stations to individuals and families who recently received housing.

Fire Stations for Welcome Home Basket drop-off:

Central Bureau

Station 3
108 N Fremont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Station 20
2144 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Station 29
4029 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

South Bureau

Station 64
10811 W 108th St, Los Angeles, CA 90061

Station 94
4470 Coliseum St, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Station 112
444 S Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA 90731

West Bureau

Station 27
1327 Cole Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Station 37
1090 Veteran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Station 59
11505 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Valley Bureau

Station 87
10124 Balboa Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91344

Station 88
5101 Sepulveda Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Station 89
7063 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood 91605

 

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Jun 122016
 

TeacherAssistantArrestedForSexualBattery

The Los Angeles Police Department Juvenile Division – Sexually Exploited Child Unit detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating additional victims of 34-year-old Pil Mendez who was arrested for sexual battery.

On June 8, 2016 around 9:40 a.m., Mendez was arrested for one count of 243.4(e)(1) PC and three counts of 647.6(a)(2) PC. In November 2015, a female student reported that Mendez inappropriately touched her and made sexual comments to her on multiple occasions. During the investigation, additional students disclosed that Mendez had also inappropriately touched them and made inappropriate sexual comments to them.
Mendez was a teacher assistant at Miguel Contreras High School. Mendez is being held on $50,000 bail.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Los Angeles Police Department Juvenile Division – Sexually Exploited Child Unit at (213) 486-0580 between 6:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

 

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Jun 112016
 

FirstMetroBikeShareStationInstalledAtUnionStation

In the latest major announcement designed to improve transportation options in the L.A. region, Metro and the city of Los Angeles today announced they will officially launch Metro’s bike sharing program in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, July 7.

Up to 1,000 bicycles will be available at up to 65 strategically placed downtown L.A. locations, serving Union Station, City Hall, Grand Park, the L.A. Convention Center, South Park, Chinatown, the Arts District, the Fashion District, Little Tokyo and more. Many bike share stations will be placed in close proximity to the Metro Rail and Bus network, giving transit riders direct access to Metro bikes to easily combine bicycle and transit trips.

“We are excited that L.A. will officially join the bike share revolution that is now giving city dwellers across the nation new ways to explore their urban communities,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “Marrying bicycle and transit trips will go a long way in supporting healthy lifestyles, easing traffic on downtown streets and, perhaps most importantly, getting Angelenos where they need to go in an efficient and affordable manner.” People who live, work and play in downtown L.A. are encouraged to sign up for a Metro bike share pass in advance of the launch at www.metro.net/bikeshare. The system will be accessible exclusively to pass holders from July 7 until August 1, 2016, when it will open for all users, including walk-up customers. People who purchase their pass early will get a limited edition Metro Bike Share Kit. The first 1,000 people to sign up will also receive exclusive Metro bike share pins.

The installation of bike share stations throughout downtown L.A. will begin in early June, with work expected to continue until the stations open to the public on July 7.

“We are always looking to help people explore our incredible city in new ways. Now, through Metro’s new bike share program, residents and visitors from around the world can to check out a bike and see downtown L.A. with a fast, fun and affordable system,” said Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Second Vice Chair. “Paired with our city’s new bicycle infrastructure, this is going to make it easier and safer to travel through our city on two wheels.”

Metro will become the first major transportation agency in America to offer a single card that allows access to both transit and bike share systems. To use the bike share system, customers can purchase a monthly or annual flex pass at http://www.metro.net/bikeshare. New customers will receive their TAP card in the mail. Existing TAP card holders have the option of registering their current TAP card in the system and simply adding bike share access to it.

Pass holders will use their Metro bike share-registered TAP card to access any Metro bike from a dock at a station. Bike share-registered TAP cards identify each user to both Metro bike share and Metro transit lines. As with all TAP cards, transit fares can be loaded onto the bike share-registered TAP card at any Metro ticket vending machine, online at taptogo.net or at any of the hundreds of TAP vending locations across the county.

The Metro bike share fare structure is designed to be flexible and affordable for all users. The agency has created three simple pass options:

• A monthly pass is $20 per month. All trips 30 minutes or less are free and $1.75 per 30 minutes thereafter. This pass option is best if the user expects to take more than five trips per month. People use their registered TAP card to get a bike.

• A Flex Pass is $40 per year. All trips 30 minutes or less are $1.75 and $1.75 per 30 minutes thereafter. This option is best if users expect to take two to five trips per month or want the convenience of using their TAP card to get a bike.

• A Walk-Up is $3.50 for 30 minutes. This option will be available starting August 1. All trips 30 minutes or less are $3.50, and $3.50 per 30 minutes thereafter. An introductory 50 percent discount rate will be offered in August-September. This option is best for tourists and visitors to downtown LA. Users can pay per trip using their credit card at any station kiosk.

Metro and the city of Los Angeles worked closely with downtown L.A. community stakeholders, taking into consideration crowdsourced public input to select initial station locations that will better connect people to key neighborhood destinations. Special consideration was given to locations that created better access to museums, libraries, schools, retail, employment, residential areas and transit hubs. A map of current station locations is now available at www.metro.net/bikeshare. Users are encouraged to check back often, as new station locations will be added regularly.

Metro is now offering an exclusive naming and branding rights partnership for its bike share program. The sponsorship opportunity will enable a single company to advertise its products on the bicycles on a 24/7, year-round basis with dense coverage in downtown L.A. and future expansion planned for Pasadena, the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, Huntington Park, East Los Angeles and elsewhere across the region.

The system will be operated by Bicycle Transit Systems, with bikes and stations provided by BCycle, a unit of Trek Bicycles of Wisconsin. These companies have successfully launched and/or operate more than 40 bike share systems in metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad.

 

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