CALIFORNIA FORWARD: Free and citywide Wi-Fi in Los Angeles may be closer than you think

By Matthew Grant Anson

It’s not every day that proposals in the Los Angeles City Council get talked about in media outlets like LA Weekly and Salon, but it’s also not every day that councilmembers seriously discuss bringing free citywide Wi-Fi to one of the largest city's in the country. The impact on not just the local economy but to government transparency could be huge.

That’s just what the Council has been grappling with since Councilmember Bob Blumenfield first introduced his proposal back in August, and while some pointed at the idea as a symbolic and altruistic pipe dream that would go nowhere, Blumenfield recently told the California Forward that that’s not the case.

The City Council agreed. Earlier this month, the Council unanimously directed the city’s Information Technology Agency to draft a Request for Proposals for the service, a key move forward if Los Angeles is to join other California cities like San Jose and Riverside in offering free Wi-Fi.

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Realizing the Future of the Former Fire Station 84: Parklet Design Charrette

Over 65 neighbors and community leaders turned out yesterday for a design charrette at the former Fire Station 84 site in Woodland Hills. The charrette process is designed to ensure that the community’s vision is represented in the final project’s design. It was a great opportunity to hear from so many neighbors and community members about what they would like to see at the park, and to continue a productive dialogue with the residents about the future of their community.

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Support Local Arts and Culture: Apply Now to be a Panelist for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs's Cultural Grant Program

Each Fall Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) grants staff convenes discipline-specific teams to review, compare, and score proposals for an array of arts and cultural activities that will benefit Los Angeles residents and tourists. DCA is currently seeking artists, arts administrators, educators, historians, cultural professionals, and art enthusiasts to serve as panelists for this process.

Applications are due December 1. Are you interested? Check out how to apply after the jump:

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In Case You Missed It: Councilmember Bob Blumenfield's Community Broadband Initiative Receives First Hearing Before Full Los Angeles City Council

At Tuesday's Los Angeles City Council Meeting, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield's initiative to increase access to high speed and wireless internet across Los Angeles received its first hearing before the Los Angeles City Council. 

Less than 4 months since it was first introduced, Councilmember Blumenfield's push to bring community broadband to Los Angeles has worked its way through major milestones of the City process at “breakneck speed.”

Speaking in favor of the proposed broadband initiative on Tuesday were Councilmembers Englander, Krekorian and LaBonge who cited the proposal's benefits to public safety and workforce development in Los Angeles. Kevin Taylor, Chairman of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, which has adopted a motion in support of the proposal, also spoke in favor. The Council voted 13-0 to direct the City's Information Technology Agency to draft a request for proposal for release.

Please find relevant information, including press releases and select articles, below:

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Moving Beyond "There It Is: Take It" - Environmental Accountability for the Next 100 Years"

On November 5, Los Angeles will celebrate 100 years since water began flowing into Los Angeles from the Owens Valley via the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Speaking at the Aqueduct's opening that day, the City's Chief Engineer William Mulholland remarked as water began flowing into the San Fernando Reservoir, "There it is. Take it." Last week, our Policy Director, Stephanie Magnien-Rockwell took a two-day long tour along the Los Angeles Aqueduct and through the Owens Valley as part of ongoing commemorations ahead of the November centennial. Stephanie shared her reflections on the trip for our first guest post.

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Policy Director Stephanie Magnien-Rockwell visits the Middle Gorge Power Station in the Owens Valley as part of a two-day tour of the LA Aqueduct.

This past Friday and Saturday, I was privileged to attend a tour of the LA Aqueduct led by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) as part of LADWP’s commemoration of the centennial of the aqueduct’s first delivery of water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles, observed on November 5th.  Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is the vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, the committee that deliberates policy decisions relevant to the LADWP prior to being considered by the full LA City Council.  As the Councilmember’s Policy Director and his lead staff member for this committee, I took advantage of this opportunity to gain a better understanding of one of Los Angeles’ most important pieces of infrastructure.  

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Halloween Safety Tips and Activities in Council District 3

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Follow these easy safety tips to ensure that your Halloween celebrations are safe and fun:

  • Make sure children’s costumes are flame retardant and provide adequate vision. If they’re carrying props, check that the edges are flexible enough to avoid injuries.
  • Have an adult or responsible teen accompany children. If they’re going without you, ensure they’re traveling with a group and agree on a time for them to return home. Provide a watch for them to wear to keep track of the time.
  • Fill kids up with dinner before they leave, which will make them less likely to snack on their candy before you have a chance to look it over.
  • Give children a flashlight to carry, and ask them to only approach houses with lit porch lights.
  • Consider having them bring along an ID, which includes their home address and telephone number.
  • Apply reflective tape to children’s costumes and bags. You might also want to add glow-in-the dark makeup.
  • Remind children to stay on sidewalks, walk facing traffic and never cross the street between parked cars.
  • Be careful with the little ones when carving pumpkins! Small children should never handle knives, but can still be incorporated in the fun. Let them draw a face on the pumpkin to be carved by an adult, or let them scoop out the insides.
  • Use caution while driving—stay alert and watch for children running into the street.
  • If you plan to display pumpkins or candle in the area you hand out candy, set them far enough out of the way to avoid fire or injury.
  • Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun at the time, but they should understand the damage and cost such destruction can cause others.

The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks has compiled a list of Halloween events in Council District 3. Check out the list after the jump:

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Former Fire Station 84 Community Walk

Yesterday, as part of a massive community outreach effort, my staff and I were joined by community volunteers as we went door-to-door collecting input on the future of the former Fire Station 84 at 5340 Canoga Ave--City owned property that is now vacant.

We'll be at it again on Saturday and we'd love to have your help. To RSVP, click here.

If you'd like to voice your opinion on what you'd like to see in our community, please take the survey available at http://blumenfield.lacity.org/5340_canoga.

A photo gallery from yesterday's walk can be found after the jump.

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Red Flag Parking Restrictions in Effect

Today is a Red Flag Day. This means that fire dangers are high for the day.  As such, certain neighborhoods, usually narrow streets in the hillsides, are deemed high risk and are subject to Red Flag parking restrictions. These restrictions leave roads clear for LAFD access and also allow for easier evacuation if needed.  We understand that sometimes these parking restrictions are hard or inconvenient for neighbors, but they are necessary to maintain public safety.  

Beginning at 8pm this evening, cars parked on narrow streets where Red Flag Warnings are posted will be ticketed and towed. A map of impacted streets in Council District 3 can be found here

For additional information please visit the Los Angeles Fire Department website at: http://www.lafd.org/redflag OR call 3-1-1.


Call for Wall Art

The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is seeking artists and artist teams interested in creating a permanent and/or temporary art projects for large scale, outdoor walls in the City of LA. This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is open to professional artists working with any medium, style or technique –i.e. murals, aerosol, mosaics, paints, stencils, stickers, wheatpasting, woodblocking, light and/or video projection. 

This RFQ is open to professional artists and artist teams living and working in the County of Los Angeles. Artists must demonstrate the vision, past experience and professional qualifications required to create public art for City walls–a process that includes public presentations, production oversight and execution of artwork in the public realm.

For details and the complete Request for Qualifications, please go to http://culturela.org/publicart/DCA_RFQ_CALLFORWALLARTISTS.pdf

The deadline is Monday, November 4, 2013.


re:CodeLA

The City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning is currently seeking applicants to participate in a Zoning Advisory Committee as part of re:CODE LA, a 5 year effort to update our zoning codes. 

This will have a tremendous impact on our City and it is crucial that the Valley is adequately represented.

The deadline to apply is October 18. More information on how you can apply after the jump:

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