We have been notified by the Los Angeles Fire Department that scammers are going to people's houses in the Studio City area, representing themselves as members of the LAFD, asking for donations for the family of the LAFD Firefighter who died February 18th after being injured in a Hollywood Hills house fire. THIS IS A SCAM!
There is NO such request by the LAFD or any authorized organization. North Hollywood LAPD as well as Mike Lewis and the local LAFD Battalion Chief, have all been notified.
If someone comes to your door, simply say no and then call North Hollywood Police Station at 818-623-4016 or LAPD Communication at 818-734-2233.
An authorized donation request will probably come out after the funeral on Friday.
The time is NOW to be heard on the proposed expansion of Universal Studios. The Public Comment Period ends on February 4th. Take your opportunity to comment on the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Everybody deserves an opportunity to be heard on this massive project, with more than two-million square feet of new development. All comments that are received before February 4th -- written or verbal -- must be responded to in the Final EIR. For many of us, the main issue is TRAFFIC. I certainly have concerns about the plan's impact on traffic in the area. I believe good development can occur and I would support NBC Universal's project, IF and only IF, the project mitigates traffic. There are opportunities to get a bikeway along the Los Angeles River. Pinch-points in the Cahuenga Pass must be resolved, and it's extremely important to get a Hollywood Freeway southbound on-ramp at Universal Studios Boulevard. And certainly, improvements to the Hollywood Freeway interchange should occur sooner rather than later. If you have any questions about how to submit your comment before February 4th, please contact our office at 213-485-3337.
The Cahuenga Boulevard area of Studio City/North Hollywood was named the safest big city neighborhood in the United States this week. Research combining crime and neighborhood statistics on the personal finance blog WalletSpot found that Cahuenga Boulevard area residents have a 1 in 1,042 chance of being a victim of a crime in that neighborhood.
That makes it safer than 98% of all neighborhoods across the nation--from the smallest towns to the biggest cities.
"Los Angeles is full of great neighborhoods and some of the best neighborhoods are right here in District Four," Councilmember LaBonge said. "I'm proud of our neighborhoods and it's clear that efforts of my office, the LAPD and the Studio City and Hollywood Hills West neighborhood councils have maintained a stable, safe community for so many people."
To see more statistics about the nation's safest big city neighborhood, please click here.
Councilmember LaBonge attended a sold out luncheon held by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) on Thursday. The annual meeting is held between elected officials and members of the San Fernando Valley business community in order to discuss business sustainability and growth.
"VICA is an important organization for Los Angeles," Councilmember LaBonge said. "They work to promote the businesses that serve the over 40 percent Angeleno population residing in the San Fernando Valley. Today, we're going to open the discussion about what other avenues the City can take to champion business growth in the Valley."
About VICA VICA is widely considered one of the most influential business advocacy organizations in Southern California. With its knowledge of the legislative process and economic issues, VICA's access to public officials ensures that the San Fernando Valley's business perspective will be heard in the interest of improving our business climate and quality of life. With input and guidance from its members, VICA maintains a regular presence at all levels of government to effectively represent Valley businesses.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge joined skateboarder Rob Dyrdek - star of MTV’s Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory – along with 7-Eleven® stores representative Koorosh Sharhokh and hundreds of skateboarders to celebrate the grand opening of a new state-of-the-art Skate Plaza at North Hollywood Park.
“Parks are extremely important, but I’m following my 12-year-old son Charles who was a community activist for this park,” said Councilmember LaBonge. “We are very grateful to Rob Dyrdek and 7-Eleven for their passion, energy and commitment to this great addition to North Hollywood Park.”
The Rob Dyrdek Safe Spot Skate Spot in North Hollywood officially opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 18. Dyrdek and friends demonstrated street skateboarding moves for students from nearby East Valley High School to inaugurate the Skate Plaza. Visitors also scored free exclusive 7-Eleven Wild Grinders giveaways like cups, T-shirts, key chains and more.
A $250,000 donation from 7-Eleven to the Rob Dyrdek Foundation helped Dyrdek realize his vision for this skate park. Councilmember LaBonge and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks worked together to secure an additional $250,000 in funds to complete construction and landscaping improvements for the new public facility. The Recreation and Parks funds came from Quimby funding from developers of nearby condominium projects.
Kevin Regan, Assistant General Manager for the Department of Recreation and Parks and Cynthia Ruiz, Chair of the Board of Public Works, were also on hand for the ribbon-cutting.
To promote clarity and understanding of the issues surrounding the proposed Metro Universal project on Lankershim Boulevard, Councilmember LaBonge met with Metro officials at the site on Monday.
The Councilmember wanted to be clear about why he is opposing the project, as it is now proposed.
"I can't support it because it's too tall, too dense and would create too many negative impacts on the community," Councilmember LaBonge said.
The Councilmember drove the local streets with Metro CEO Art Leahy; the agency's Chief of Real Property Management & Development Roger Moliere and Executive Director for Highway Programs Doug Failing.
The 1.47 million square-foot Metro Universal project, planned for 3875 N. Lankershim Boulevard, would include over 600,000 square feet of office space, a hotel, media production facilities, retail space, residential units and parking for more than 3,000 vehicles.
Councilmember LaBonge is concerned about the traffic it would generate on already overtaxed freeways and streets, among other things.
For more information on this project, click here.
In an effort to determine the cause of the burst water lines over the past ten days, Councilmember LaBonge contacted earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones to ask if seismic activity could be to blame.
“We have to do everything we can to determine how these ruptures happened to prevent another surprise,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “We had two extreme incidents over the weekend, but smaller leaks are occurring all over the city, several in my district alone. If one of those leaks is going to cause a flood, I want to know so that we can take precautionary measures now.”
Two separate water lines burst within two miles and three days of each other in the San Fernando Valley. The first break occurred on Sept. 4th and sent mud and water into the streets, homes and businesses of Studio City. The second break in Valley Village on Tuesday morning caused a sink hole large enough to engulf a fire truck.
Dr. Lucy Jones, Chief Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, told Councilmember LaBonge that seismic activity cannot be blamed for the ruptures.
"There has been no unusual seismic activity anywhere in Los Angeles that could explain the water main breaks," Dr. Jones said. "The earthquakes are monitored jointly by Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey. We distribute all our data openly on the Internet. You can see all the earthquakes recorded in the last week by clicking here."
On Wednesday, the City Council had an in-depth briefing from top-level officials from the Department of Water of Power on the causes of and response to the ruptures.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge called on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to scale back the Metro Universal development project that is proposed for Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.
“I’m calling on the Mayor and the Metro board to do the right thing and reduce the density of this project planned for my district,” the Councilmember told reporters at a press conference near the proposed development site this morning. “The MTA’s mission is provide public transit, not to develop overly dense speculative projects.”
The Councilmember presented a letter to the Mayor that outlines his objections to the proposed 1.5-million-square-foot commercial development. The Councilman has received an overwhelmingly negative reaction from the public on this proposal, which would include taking land from neighboring Weddington Park South by eminent domain. Phase I of the project would include a 22-story office tower, studios and parking lots.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report for this project is available online by clicking here. The Councilmember urged residents to respond to the Draft EIR before the Nov. 24 deadline. He called on the Mayor and the MTA board to renegotiate the development deal, reduce the size of the project and limit it to the parcel already owned by the MTA.
Joining the Councilmember were community activists from several area neighborhoods, including Roy Disney and Richard Bogy of the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce; and Terry Davis, president of the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council.