Note from Councilmember Blumenfield- Concerns with RecycLA
I am very concerned about the problems with the RecycLA roll out and exorbitant increases in trash bills. Even though Waste Management (WM) won the franchise bid for our community and is now the exclusive hauler, bills should not be doubling or tripling.
The first thing I advise constituents to do when they experience a trash hauler problem is to reach out to WM about getting their property assessed for the new trash costs. Many found that when they do call, they can see their bills are substantially lowered by reducing the size of their trash bins and discovering how to divert more waste to the recycling bins. Waste haulers cannot charge you for recycling bins.
I understand and empathize with trash customer’s frustrations. Since the launch of RecycLA in July, there have been serious disagreements between the Mayor’s Office, LA Sanitation and the waste haulers including the use of fees for menial tasks. Essentially, the waste haulers have been accused of charging property owners for having to open gates, roll out bins to their trucks etc. They have said that the contract allows them to do so but the Mayor and Sanitation say they have abused a part of the agreement that was only to be used for specific situations.
I have also been concerned to learn that WM admitted to underestimating the work that needed to be done. We have had missed trash pickups, but they say that Sanitation didn’t prepare them for how much new work there would be. This is unacceptable. I have been working with Sanitation and WM to remedy the situation.
According to WM, as of a few weeks ago, they had only 8 missed pickups out of 12,000. That’s much better than it was but for those 8 ratepayers who didn’t get their trash collected, it is still unacceptable. I will monitor it closely so that the number of missed pickups does not increase.
If you have a concerns with RecycLA, please call my office at (818) 774-4330. Every call we get, we then work with Sanitation and WM to ensure those concerns are remediated. Additionally, on February 21st, at my request, a representative from WM will be coming to my District Office in Reseda to go over residents bills who have been impacted by RecycLA. Please call Veronica Vos at the number above or email Veronica.Vos@lacity.org to reserve your time. For efficiency, this event will be by appointment only.
The goals of RecycLA, to reduce waste and emissions, are worthy for the long term health of Los Angeles. My hope is that the exorbitant bills and poor service will be remedied quickly and consumer costs will return to reasonable level. This is a top priority.
Team Blumenfield Leads LAHSA Homeless Count
On January 23, Councilmember Blumenfield opened his office for the third year in a row to serve as a hub for the annual Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Homeless Count. Blumenfield, along with his staff and community members, spent the night canvassing neighborhoods and counting the local homeless in the West Valley. Each year, all around the county, LAHSA conducts this count to ensure they know accurately where the homeless are located and where services are most needed.
“The rise in homelessness has affected every neighborhood in Los Angeles and the West Valley has not been immune,” said Blumenfield. “Thanks to the thousands of volunteers throughout the city, we are able to help LAHSA gather specific insights to help each unique community deliver needed intervention and services.”
After last year’s count, LAHSA determined that homelessness had increased 20% citywide and 4% in the San Fernando Valley but decreased in the 3rd council district. The results from this year’s count will be compiled and announced later this year. Additionally, tax revenue from Measure HHH is finally accruing which has led to groundbreakings on permanent supportive housing facilities earlier this year throughout the city.
Blumenfield stated, “We are seeing more people living in vehicles and encampments and we must have every available option to get them off the streets and into housing- accurate numbers are essential.”
To learn more about how Blumenfield and the City are addressing homelessness in the West Valley as well as the City Council’s comprehensive homeless plan, please go to WestValleyChange.com.
Recreational Cannabis is Now Legal- Help Close Down Illegal Shops
In 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64 legalizing cannabis on the state level. This past March, 80% of Angelenos supported Measure M, which directed the City Council and Mayor to create a regulatory framework for this new industry. Over the last year the Council held many hearings on the issue and formally voted on the general regulations so businesses could start selling cannabis products as soon as it became legal.
Currently there are about one hundred cannabis shops, including eleven in the Southwest Valley, that have obtained their state and local licenses and have begun selling recreational cannabis to adults. But even though there are many stores abiding by the new laws, there are still illegal actors peddling cannabis in the black market. Some of the stores that look legitimate are not and the city needs your help to report shops that are illegally operating.
Please go to http://cannabis.lacity.org/legal-businesses to check if businesses in your neighborhood are following the new laws and learn how you can help eliminate the black market by reporting those that are open and not on the list. Also if you go to http://cannabis.lacity.org/ you can learn all about how the new industry will impact Los Angeles and find answers to all of your cannabis questions.
Reimagine Ventura Report is Here
Ventura Boulevard is the San Fernando Valley’s Main Street, and it is so iconic that it is referred to simply as “the Boulevard.” But the westernmost portion, near Fallbrook Avenue, has the potential to be even better. Councilmember Blumenfield is focused on helping it thrive with his “Reimagine Ventura Boulevard” initiative.
“My Reimagine Ventura initiative was born from community members concerned about the health and future of the western portion of the boulevard,” said Blumenfield. “I encourage everyone in our community to read the report and see how these modifications can spruce up and enliven our Main Street.”
The program seeks to “Reimagine Ventura Boulevard” as a neighborhood-scaled Main Street for Woodland Hills that supports local business and creates a better sense of place for nearby residents by providing additional parking, enhanced landscaping, and improvements for those who walk- even if just from a parking space to a local store or restaurant.
The project was sparked by community members who enlisted the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council and other groups to develop a clear vision for their main street. Councilmember Blumenfield was happy to secure City funding for an in-depth study of the half-mile stretch of Ventura between Royer and Sale Avenues to flesh out the community visions. The plan was the product of many private and public meetings and forums. It was informed by stakeholders and a formal traffic study.
To learn more about the proposed plan, please go to http://blumenfield.lacity.org/reimagine_ventura.
Safi Lodin is Back in the District
Councilmember Blumenfield is happy to welcome Safi Lodin back to the team in a new role. Safi, who previously served as Blumenfield’s Reseda and Public Safety Field Deputy, is now the Constituent Services Coordinator. In this role Safi has taken responsibility for problem solving many issues from bulky item pickups to infrastructure improvements. He’s out and about every day in the district, so please contact him at (818) 774-4330 or at Safi.Lodin@lacity.org if you see something that needs to be fixed in your neighborhood.
Blumenfield Offers State of the District with the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization
Councilmember Blumenfield joined the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization to discuss the issues facing the West Valley and Los Angeles including recreational cannabis, homelessness, and Warner Center. Blumenfield swore in the new board and fielded wide ranging questions from the issues property owners are facing with RecycLA to the potential impacts of the Reimagine Ventura report.
Blumenfield Keynotes Clean Tech Israel-California Forum
On January 25, Councilmember Blumenfield delivered the keynote address at the California-Israel Clean Tech Forum. The conference brought together hundreds of experts and entrepreneurs in the renewable energy industry and clean tech industry. Blumenfield’s remarks focused on the innovative efforts that the Los Angeles-Israel Task Force, which he founded three years ago, has under taken that are having a direct benefit on the health and wellbeing of local communities.
“The work of the task force has dovetailed both with my passion for a strong US-Israel relationship and my work both in the Assembly and here on the City Council to safeguard our environment and advance innovation and technology in government,” said Blumenfield. “One of the key takeaways from our task force has been the vital importance of connecting innovators with policymakers, and this has been especially true as we’ve worked to confront the challenge of California’s historic drought.”
Blumenfield was proud to announce the recent groundbreakings of several groundwater remediation projects that are on track to meet the July 1, 2021 Prop 1 funding deadline. This includes the $92 million North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project to clean up and restore the use of groundwater as a safe, high-quality source of drinking water in the San Fernando Valley. This project was supported by $44.5 million in state funding and it came from a Prop 1 grant awarded to LADWP from the State Water Quality Control Board. This is the first of four planned remediation projects in the Valley, and is expected to be completed by early 2020. These facilities are a key component of Mayor Garcetti and the City Council’s goal to source 50% of Los Angeles’s water locally by 2035. The Los Angeles-Israel partnership will hopefully help clean and save more groundwater for less money.
West Valley Animal Shelter Pets of the Month
Priscilla (ID # A1757662)- Priscilla is an amazingly friendly Maltese and is only 3 years old. Priscilla has lots of fun and a playful energy. She loves to go, go, go for walks! Just 13 darling lap-size pounds of soft curls, she loves to be held and give kisses. Priscilla gets along famously with her 3 little kennel mates too.
Adorable Priscilla will do great in any home! Her first available date for adoption is this Sunday, 2/18/18.
"APRIL" (ID # A1754960)- April is 8 years, with a beautiful, silky-soft coat you will love to pet. April is shy at first, and sometimes hides under her blanket. She will roll over on her back for a bit of belly rubs, and she loves to cuddle up. April will be a wonderful companion for a quiet home and might do best as your only cat. Beautiful and sweet April must be an indoor-only cat, to stay safe always. Come adopt this beautiful, adorably affectionate girl today!
Bring home forever love, smiles, purrs and wags -- come adopt a shelter pet today! Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, bunnies, all sizes, types and fur lengths, from playful youngsters to gentle, loving seniors -- they are waiting for you at your local CD 3 Animal Shelter! Come fall in love at the West Valley (L.A. city) Animal Shelter at 20655 Plummer St., Chatsworth, (818) 756-9325. See all the L.A. city shelter animals at http://www.laanimalservices.com/.
On January 18, Councilmember Blumenfield co-hosted a 'Homeless Connect Day' in Winnetka, bringing together homeless people and service providers to help get them off the streets. To learn more about Blumenfield’s homeless efforts and find out how you can help service providers in the West Valley, please go to WestValleyChange.com.
On February 2, Councilmember Blumenfield honored Corinne Ho of the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council for her years of service. From helping survivors of domestic violence, organizing community clean ups, and registering new voters, Corinne is an exemplary Angeleno who goes above and beyond to make the West Valley and all of Los Angeles a better place.
In a ceremony at City Hall, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield declared January 10, 2018 “Ed Begley Jr. Day” in the City of Los Angeles. Along with his wife Rachelle Carson-Begley and his daughters Amanda and Hayden, Ed was joined by friends and fellow environmental activists Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cheryl Hines as well as actor Jeff Goldblum.
“I have had the opportunity to help advance environmental efforts with Ed both on the state and local level for almost 20 years,” said Blumenfield. “He has inspired so many people through living by example and teaching us how we all can be more sustainable, making lifestyle changes, large and small, that have a positive impact on our environment.”
Throughout his career, Begley has been an environmental leader, activist and entertainment legend, helping Los Angeles become a cleaner and greener city. He has advanced energy conservation, showing how anyone can transform their home and lifestyle to reduce carbon footprints, use renewable energy and help eliminate the waste of electricity and energy. Begley is also an accomplished actor and filmmaker who has appeared in over 300 productions, including films such as Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and Pineapple Express as well as television shows like St. Elsewhere, Six Feet Under and Better Call Saul.
On February 9, Blumenfield joined hundreds of students as well as parents, educators and advocates for the 'Pony Up Cut-a-Thon' at Serriana Charter in Woodland Hills. During this outdoor assembly, thirty feet of hair was donated and will be made into wigs for people fighting cancer.