|Councilmember Blumenfield addresses reporters a July press conference on Orange Line improvements.|
The Orange Line is the valley's only dedicated transit way and every day thousands of people rely on it to get to work, school, and home. Making the Orange Line faster and more efficient for riders is a priority for me. Yesterday, Metro Board staff presented some immediate, short, and long term options to improve this service. I'm very encouraged by their recommendations for the near future and will continue working with Councilmember Krekorian and the growing coalition of Valley stakeholders for the long term.
Metro's The Source reports:
The Orange Line is Metro’s second-busiest bus line behind only the 720, the Rapid bus service along Wilshire Boulevard. With the Orange Line often crowded at peak hours, the Metro Board in July approved a motion asking Metro to investigate short-term fixes to speed up the Orange Line and add capacity, the feasibility of a possible bus rapid transit line between North Hollywood, Bob Hope Airport and the Gold Line in Pasadena and a possible conversion of the Orange Line to rail.The above Metro staff report explains how the agency plans to go forward.The gist of it: as for the question of rail conversion and extending bus rapid transit to Burbank and Pasadena, Metro plans to have those issues studied as part of an ongoing “mobility matrices” process. Yes, that’s a mouthful. In plain English, the matrices are evaluating potential transportation projects around Los Angeles County to see which should be included in an update of Metro’s long-range plan.
In July, I testified to the Metro board in support of a package of proposed improvements along the Orange Line--improvements that will make a huge difference in my West Valley council district, where each of my five communities touch the Orange Line.
Today the Metro board received a staff report on that package, the first step in turning that plan into action.
I'm happy to see some service level improvements that can be implemented in the short term while we await the February study on big impact changes. I will continue to push forward on these critical needs to make the Valley's most important public transit resource even better.Read more
Did you know that each year the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) resurfaces more than 2,400 lane miles of road? Here are the Council District 3 streets scheduled for resurfacing in September and October 2014.Read more
The following Recreation and Parks facilities will be operating with extended hours Monday and Tuesday, September 15th-16th:
Lanark Recreation Center
21816 Lanark St.
Canoga Park, CA 91304
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center
11075 Foothill Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
Noon to 9:00 p.m.
North Hollywood Recreation Center
11430 Chandler Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sepulveda Recreation Center
8801 Kester Ave.
Panorama City, CA 91402
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sherman Oaks/East Valley Adult Center
5060 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunland Park Senior Center
8640 Fenwick St.
Sunland, CA 91040
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
LADWP has prepared for the high temperatures by scheduling additional crews to respond, should any power outages occur. In the event of a power outage, customers are urged to report the outage immediately by calling 1-800- DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) so that a crew can be dispatched to make repairs. When calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP, customers should choose “Report Power Outage” in the automated phone system in order to be connected right away to a live operator.
To help reduce your energy use, LADWP recommends these tips:
- Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day, 11:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m., when air conditioning systems have to work hardest to cool.
- Visit your local library, mall, movie theater or other air conditioned gathering places and give your air conditioner a rest by adjusting the thermostat to 78 degrees.
- Limit use of major appliances during peak hours of the day- use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during evening hours, after 6:00 p.m.
- Close draperies, shades or blinds during the heat of the day to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight through windows.
- Ventilate your home in the early morning and evening by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate.
- Turn off lights and other electrical equipment when they are not in use.
- Unplug "energy vampires" like cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when they are not in use.
This morning, I was pleased to join with my fellow Councilmembers in moving forward a plan to free nearly $90 million in unused CRA bonds for the purpose of economic development in Los Angeles, some $20 million of which will go directly to my West Valley district.
I’m proud that this has been made possible in part by a one-two punch I helped deliver, first as an Assemblymember and now as a Councilmember.
Under the original state dissolution authority of the CRA, former redevelopment properties and bond proceeds were to be expeditiously sold and paid off. As Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, I worked to change this, authoring the trailer bill AB 1484 that amended the previous dissolution legislation to allow for eligible successor agencies to utilize unobligated pre-2011 tax allocation bond proceeds.
As a Councilmember, I believe it is critical that we take advantage of this opportunity in a thoughtful and deliberate manner to deliver on the promises to these communities.
It is one reason why last week I traveled to Sacramento to meet with the Director of the Department of Finance and the Governor’s Office. I wanted to stress how important it is for our City to use these bonds to invest in our communities.
The proposed Bond Expenditure Agreement and Bond Spending Plan between the CRA/LA and the City would allow the City of Los Angeles to utilize $86.4 million of existing unused CRA bond money to improve public infrastructure, support affordable housing, invest in catalytic investments, and provide business assistance.
The City Council action today, created the City mechanism to make the plan a reality. The next step will be approval by the CRA/LA successor agency and oversight board.Read more
Supporting job creation and business development in the City is one of my top goals as a City Councilmember. To help grow the jobs of tomorrow, the City Council's Budget Committee on Monday discussed my measure to explore a continuation of the reduced gross receipts tax rate for internet based businesses which otherwise will expire on December 31.
Internet based businesses are a growth area in the local economy, and the technology industry is constantly evolving and changing. Attracting and retaining these businesses and jobs has been and will be good for the city and neighborhoods. This week’s measure will have the Office of Finance report on the economic impact of the current rate and provide recommendations for continuing the ordinance. The report on the economic impact of this tax rate is likely to come back to the Committee within the next month. Our Committee also directed that the City Attorney begin work on an ordinance to continue the rate beyond the sunset date.Read more
Good morning. This morning, as a fragile ceasefire continues to hold in the Middle East, the elected leaders of Los Angeles are coming together with one voice to stand with Israel in her pursuit of peace and hopeful that today’s ceasefire will hold.
Let me be clear: we are not against the Palestinians, nor the residents of Gaza, both of whom have suffered needlessly in this conflict. Their suffering is not taken lightly, and it is heartbreaking to all of us. But we do stand with Israel against with a Hamas regime that in its own charter celebrates a day when its followers will “fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees,” and writes that Peace is “contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.” A Hamas that terrorizes Israelis from the skies and now, from beneath the ground. A Hamas whose primary commitment is not, as it should be, to the security, safety and advancement of the Palestinian people, but to the destruction of the State of Israel. This regime willingly sacrifices innocent Palestinians and rebukes attempts to find peace.Read more
While Los Angeles is known as the nation’s car capital, that reputation is changing thanks in large part to the good work of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro). The visionary passage of Measure R has enabled transit, bicycling, and walking to become viable alternatives to driving in many areas of the County. Locally, Mayor Eric Garcetti has set out a course toward Great Streets, and I am proud to partner toward a healthier and more sustainable transportation vision in my district and the region.
That’s why I appreciate the effort led by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, with Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Director John Fasana and Director Ara Najarian to enhance service and ridership on the Orange Line by studying improvements including a possible conversion to rail.Read more
The proposed parklet at the former Fire Station 84 site has already been the subject of the most extensive community outreach program ever undertaken for a project of this scope and scale.
Today, I am asking the community to pitch in once again, and help us name the park.
Last year, I conducted an extensive outreach effort to determine the future of the former Fire Station 84 site at the corner of Canoga Avenue and Costanso Street.
Hundreds of people gave feedback, both from mailed and online surveys as well as in person. Dozens of community volunteers joined the me and my and staff for a series of neighborhood canvasses that involved door knocking and tabling at a local grocery store.
There was overwhelming support to convert the property into a small park or “parklet”.
Following this important community decision, I hosted a design charrette to allow the community to work collaboratively with the City to mold and shape the plans for the future park and to hear and address issues and concerns.
Now, with the design stage well under way and a Draft EIR completed, it is time to choose a name.Read more
Councilmember Blumenfield authored an op-ed in the Daily Bruin, written in response to disturbing reports of bullying and harassment on UCLA's campus as a result of the so-called "ethics pledge," which was distributed during the recently concluded student elections.
I was dismayed to read reports of a so-called “ethics pledge,” circulated during the Undergraduate Students Association Council election, which sought to pressure candidates for student government office to promise they would not take educational trips to Israel offered by some of the most well-regarded Jewish community organizations in the country.
In response, I offered a resolution with the support of six of my City Council colleagues, urging the University of California to develop policies to ensure that no student will have to live in fear of bullying for his or her beliefs.
As an elected official, I feel a strong responsibility to lead the charge for social justice, fairness and dialogue. I believe that an essential part of my job is to educate and enlighten. This “ethics pledge” is particularly insidious because it is falsely couched in words like tolerance and transparency when in reality it promotes the opposite. At the same time, its proponents have utilized tactics of bullying and intimidation to promote a version of events that ignores basic facts in favor of politically expedient narratives.
The pledge singled out groups that include a pro-Israel mission and mischaracterized them as promoters of intolerance and discrimination. I have worked with these organizations for decades and know that they have actively helped lead the charge against discrimination and intolerance worldwide.