You Ask, We Deliver: Keeping the West Valley Clean and Green

Earlier this year, you let me and my team know that you wanted more dollars set aside for blight removal and community clean-ups, and I delivered. Last week, I headed out to Reseda to check out the incredible neighborhood beautification work being done by the LA Conservation Corps Clean & Green team, work I am pleased to be funding in the West Valley.

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In my annual budget survey this year I asked residents their top priority for the allocation of Council discretionary dollars in the district. The results were overwhelming: over 69% of respondents let me know that their top priority was the enlistment of Clean & Green to assist my Neighborhood Beautification Community Action team in beautifying local neighborhoods through clean-ups and blight removal. Consequently, I have brought on Clean & Green as part of my office's ongoing work to make the Valley and even better place to live, play, and do business.

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It's hot, hot, hot! Tips to stay cool and stay safe!

With extreme heat returning to the southland, I want to remind everyone of safety and health info for families as well as pets. -Bob

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the City of Los Angeles through 8:00 PM. Thursday, September 10, 2015. Expect dangerous heat across portions of Southwestern California through Thursday. Maximum temperatures will reach dangerous levels across much of Southern California this week. The peak of the heat event will be Wednesday and Thursday and Friday will only be a few degrees cooler. It will be cooler over the weekend although maximum temperatures will remain well above normal. Temperatures are expected to return to near normal by early next week. The coastal areas are not included in this warning since the temperatures will not meet warning criteria. Still high temperatures away from the beach areas will reach into 90s making it very uncomfortable for people who do not have air conditioning. While the afternoon temperatures will present the greatest danger, overnight temperatures will be quite warm as well and will not allow for much relief. 

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Costanso Fire Station 84 Park Dedication and Block Party

This weekend, I was joined by Costanso Street neighbors and West Valley residents who braved triple-digit temperatures to celebrate the opening of the new Costanso Fire Station 84 Park. We dedicated the park in honor of the brave men and women who served the San Fernando Valley from the small firehouse at the corner of Canoga Ave. and Costanso St. for more than 60 years.

Our friends at United Firefighters of Los Angeles City were on-hand with MOAB: the Mother of All Barbeques, to grill hundreds of hot dogs while families enjoyed the new park which includes a fire truck themed playground under the cover of newly installed shade sails.

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The Heat is On! Stay Cool and Stay Safe!

In light of extreme heat conditions, I want to remind community of safety and health info for families as well as pets. -Bob

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The National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Watch on the night of August 13, 2015. It has been upgraded to an Excessive Heat Warning beginning August 14th at 1:00 p.m. (1300 hrs) until Sunday, August 16th at 8:00 p.m. (2000 hrs) for the following areas: San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, lower mountain areas, Santa Monica Mountains, and Ventura County. The San Fernando Valley, specifically Woodland Hills, is currently experiencing temperatures of 104° F. Temperatures will be increasing tomorrow to 106° F - 107° F, with a possible high of 108° F. The lower mountain areas and the inland coast will also be affected. Downtown Los Angeles will experience highs in the lower 90s. Overnight lows in the Valley areas will be in the 70s. The surrounding Inland Area Empire will also be experiencing excessive heat.

Library Facilities

Hours of operation for libraries vary by facility. Visit www.lapl.org/branches or call (213) 228-7000 for specific hours of operation. 

Recreation and Parks (RAP) FacilitiesThe City will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure accessibility and effective communications for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Hours of operation for RAP facilities vary by facility. For more information, visit laparks.org, laparks.org/dos/senior/senior.htm or call 3-1-1 for specific hours of operation. The City will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure accessibility and effective communications for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

The following West Valley Recreation and Parks facilities will be operating with extended hours starting at 12:00 p.m. (1200 hrs) on Friday, August 14th and extending through 9:00 p.m. (2100 hrs) Sunday, August 16th.

Lanark Recreation Center
21816 Lanark St.
Canoga Park, CA 91304
(818) 883-1503

Canoga Senior Citizen Center
7326 Jordan Avenue
Canoga Park, CA 91303
(818) 340-2633

L.A. County Facilities

For information on cooling center locations outside of the City, contact L.A. County 2-1-1.

Tips to Beat the Heat

During periods of extreme heat, there is an increased risk of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and sunstroke. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself against extreme heat:

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Special Olympics Come to the West Valley

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In just a few short weeks, Los Angeles will welcome more than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister to President John F. Kennedy, the first Games were held in 1968 in Chicago. In that time, the Special Olympics has grown into the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes. This year is the first time the Special Olympics have been held in the United States since the 1999 Games in Raleigh, North Carolina and a chance to display the best of our city to the world.

As your Councilmember, I’m thrilled that not one, but 4 of our West Valley communities and their chambers of commerce have stepped up to the plate to serve as host towns, welcoming the world's athletes in to our neighborhoods as they compete on the global stage: the communities of Woodland Hills, Tarzana, and Reseda, along with the West Valley-Warner Center Chamber of Commerce will be welcoming the Greek delegation to the World Games, while the community of Winnetka will host the delegation from Venezuela.

How to get involved:

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Mid-Term Report

Friends-

July 1 marks the completion of my second year as Councilmember and the midway point of my first term in office. It has been a partnership, and I am grateful to you for making it possible. Together we have accomplished much, but many challenges remain.

Please take a look at my Mid-Term Report e-book. It outlines the accomplishments of the past two years and sets the course for an even greater future for the San Fernando Valley.

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Tackling LA's Broken Sidewalks

Today we delved into the issues surrounding our crumbling sidewalks as the City Council began an urgent conversation around sidewalk repair in the City of Los Angeles. For too long, LA neighborhoods have been strangled by broken, buckled, impassible, and dangerous sidewalks that have threatened safety and jeopardized economic activity due to decades of neglect.

Earlier this year, I was proud to play a role in pushing the City to resolve ongoing litigation that had previously hampered efforts to comprehensively address our sidewalk infrastructure. In settling, the City made a $1.4 billion commitment to sidewalk repairs and pedestrian improvements, the first $31 million of which are included in the recently passed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Today, in a special joint hearing of the Council’s Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee, of which I am a member, we took first steps toward bringing our sidewalks into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and making them passable and safe for all Angelenos. Several field hearings will be held throughout Los Angeles to follow up on today’s discussion.

We considered recommendations that include:

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Celebrating Innovation

Today we celebrated the hardworking, dedicated City employees who submitted the first round of funded ideas to the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is a City program that looks to our employees and commissioners to crowdsource new ideas to make government more efficient, responsive, and transparent.

Dr. Marc Eckstein, with the support of Councilmember Mitchell Englander, brought forward the concept of a nurse practitioner unit for the LAFD. The new unit will provide efficient and effective health services to vulnerable Angelenos while freeing up valuable resources for immediate, life-threatening emergencies.

Mark Nakata found a new way to bring Los Angeles into the 21st century by suggesting the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering utilize 3D printing technology to produce architectural models that will save many hours of staff time.

Sandip Soni, Arment Kamyshyan and Ken Husting conceived of the "Can I Park Here Now" idea that will simplify parking signs that have been known to confuse and confound drivers throughout the city.

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2015 Budget Survey Results

Earlier this week, the City Council's Budget and Finance Commitee, of which I am a member, concluded its deliberations on the Mayor's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Over the course of marathon hearings on the budget, my colleagues and I put in many hours reviewing documents, analyzing projections, asking questions of City departments and staff to make sure next year’s budget is fiscally sound and reflective of our shared values.

In a budget survey sent out last month, I asked you to let me know your priorities for the City’s upcoming budget. I received hundreds of responses, and despite a diversity of ideas, a clear consensus emerged: public safety must remain our top priority, and we need to remain focused on growing and improving the City’s physical and environmental infrastructure to make LA a safe, clean, green and friendly place for people and businesses while ensuring our long-term, fiscal sustainability.

A visual representation of what you told us can be found below.

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Blumenfield Community Budget Survey 2015-2016

While California's economy continues to experience a slow recovery, the City of Los Angeles continues to be challenged by a $165 million deficit. Addressing the structural deficit could require either or both increasing revenue and decreasing City services. This means that some of the services that are important to you may not be delivered or may not be delivered as frequently.

Please know that I am very focused on improving efficiency, increasing accountability and transparency. While we continue to make progress on those fronts, the decisions inherent in the annual budget process cannot be mitigated by efficiency alone.

The Budget and Finance Committee's deliberations on the 2015-16 budget begin on April 28, 2015. You can find a schedule of budget hearings hereHearings are broadcast live on the City’s public access network on Channel 35 and are streamed online here.

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