Concerned that the San Fernando Valley’s last citrus orchard could be sold and lost to development, on July 3, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion for the LA City Council to consider designating the Bothwell Ranch, straddling between Tarzana and Woodland Hills, as a City Historic-Cultural Monument. The Bothwell Ranch has been part of the West San Fernando Valley since owner Lindley Bothwell purchased the lot in 1926 to grow Valencia and Navel oranges for residents of the community to enjoy.
“For nearly a century, the Bothwell Ranch in Tarzana and Woodland Hills has been a family-operated enterprise that has captured the spirit of the West Valley,” said Blumenfield. “As a representative of our community, it is my duty to help retain our Valley-identity and preserve its history where we can. That starts by holding onto our special landmarks like the Bothwell Ranch.”
Much has changed since the Bothwell family first bought the originally 100-acre site almost a century ago. Los Angeles’ agricultural parcels gradually have disappeared as local needs shifted. The Bothwell Ranch now stands at about 13 acres of land with rows of beautiful orange trees.
“If the City does not take steps today to preserve the last remaining citrus grove, it will likely be lost forever,” said Blumenfield. “We cannot afford to lose the orchard and all that comes with it-- from its lush, open green space, to its thousands of trees that reduce the City’s carbon footprint—the Bothwell Ranch is both an ecological asset and a piece of Valley history. What used to be a farming community is now largely gone. Who will remember it if we don’t stand up to preserve this historic agricultural orchard?”
If this property becomes a City Historic-Cultural Monument, developers will be required to go through a City review process before making any changes to the property.
With the introduction of the motion, the Planning Department has halted any potential demolition and will prepare an application for review that will be considered by the Cultural Heritage Commission before coming back to the City Council.
Learn more about this effort in this recent LA Daily News article.
As a strong advocate of emergency preparedness throughout the City of Los Angeles, Councilmember Blumenfield secured funding for the LAFD to train new members for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in his District Office in Reseda. People of all ages signed up for this exciting course, learning valuable skills to handle any type of emergency including an earthquake or a large scale fire, which started on July 9 and will go on until August 20.
“CERT empowers our community by training folks to be more prepared for future disasters and learn how to assist in triage, fire containment, and many other vital services before first responders get to the scene,” said Blumenfield. “CERT-trained residents are volunteer leaders who have helped keep the West Valley safe through recent emergencies such as the Woolsey Fire. Their services are incalculably important to keeping the West Valley safe and my hope is that this training session will spur new growth in the CERT community and inspire residents to get involved.”
The CERT program is led by LAFD CERT Instructor Randy Opperman, who has been with the department for 18 years. He will teach attendants on the basics of earthquake readiness, triage, fire containment, handling survivor stress, responding to a terror attack, and many other vital lessons. These classes will take place every Tuesday morning from 9:00am-11:00am from July 9 to August 20. Registration is now closed but to find other CERT classes please click here.
In the City's 2019-20 Budget, Blumenfield secured additional funding for LAFD to eliminate the backlog in requested CERT training city-wide.
On Independence Day, Councilmember Blumenfield sponsored his annual 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza at Warner Ranch Park. This special West Valley tradition brings in over 60,000 Angelenos each year to celebrate America’s independence and to come together as a community.
Blumenfield was joined by Keyes Motors to help the Valley Cultural Foundation make this event possible. Before the fireworks, musician Ryder Green performed as part of the Concert on the Green summer music series.
The LAPD is seeking civilian hearing examiners to judge cases for officers facing serious misconduct allegations. Due to a measure passed last April, police officers are given the option to have three civilians judge a misconduct case. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are interested in helping out the community and wish to assist in a fair review of police discipline cases. Please submit your applications to the LAPD starting July 9th. Hearing examiners will earn $900 for a full day hearing and $450 for a half-day hearing. To learn more, please click here.
On June 30, Bob Blumenfield joined the Valley Cultural Foundation for their Concerts on the Green, featuring the Young Dubliners, who flew in from Ireland for this special performance thanks to an Olympics 2028 grant. Concerts on the Green take place Sunday evenings from June 9-August 18 and last from 5:30pm-8:00pm. Entry is completely free to this great summer outdoor event. To see the list of artists who will be performing next, please visit Valley Cultural Foundation’s website here (https://www.valleycultural.org/conce…/concerts-on-the-green/).
Join us this Friday, July 12th, at 7pm at the Sherman Oaks Galleria for the Lights for Liberty: San Fernando Valley. Folks from across the region will be gathering to call for the end of the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. From separating families, to overcrowding detention centers, to denying refugees’ simple necessities like a place to sleep, tooth paste, or soap, what we are seeing along the southern border is sickening. People escaping violence and persecution deserve to be treated like human beings and I ask everyone who can to join us and demand an end to this horrible chapter in our history.
If you can't make the vigil in the Valley, there are many more happening all over the region. Find out more here.
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
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Blumenfield is proud to support Summer Night Lights, a summer-long outdoor program organized by the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD Foundation) to build trust between at-risk youth and local law enforcement. Last year alone, almost 700,000 Angelenos visited the 32 parks that host SNL to eat, participate in sports, enjoy art workshops, and learn about local job training. This year, SNL kicked off at Lanark Park with special events including traditional Indian dance performances and the announcement of a brand new cricket league. If you are interested in attending the next SNL, stop by Lanark Park between 7pm-11pm Wednesday through Saturday. Follow this link to learn more.