Posts Tagged ‘news’

Do you know your numbers?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Here is a little help about the numbers we can call for may things in Los Angles.

About 211

LA County links ALL Los Angeles County residents to services that strengthen families and improve their economic success; equips them to prepare their children for school; helps them find and keep jobs with opportunities for advancement; helps them identify and gain access to public benefits and subsidies; and increases their access to quality health care. Professional community resource advisors help callers with critical issues such as health care and substance abuse, domestic violence, shelter, food, legal and financial assistance, programs for children and seniors and different types of mental health services. Our community resource database contains information on over 49,000 programs and services and is continuously being updated to ensure that we provide the most current and accurate information possible.

If your organization would like a presentation on how clients can access 211 LA County for health and human service providers in their communities, please e-mail your request to Mary@211LA.org

About 311

Now Los Angeles residents can simply dial 3-1-1, toll-free, everyday (8am to 4:45pm), for information and access to more than 1500 non-emergency City
services, including: A message from Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa City Services
• Sanitation/Special Item Pick-up
• Graffiti Removal
• Street Light Service
• Pothole Repair
• Building & Safety
Inspections
City Phone Numbers,
Office Hours,
Locations & Events
Public Meeting
Schedules
Senior Services
Voting Information
Educational &
Recreational
Resources
Volunteerism

About 411

In telecommunications, directory assistance or directory inquiries is a phone service used to find out a specific telephone number and/or address of a residence, business, or government entity.

About 511

Southern California 511 is a free traveler information service that gives you live traffic reports, transit planning and commuter service information in the Los Angeles area via a toll-free phone number and website. Call 511 or visit Go511.com to check real time traffic speeds, find traffic alerts, view live traffic cameras, plan a trip on a bus or train, and even find a carpool or van-pool partner. 511 will help improve your commute and keep you informed about Los Angeles area traffic before leaving the house and while on the road.

About 611

It is the abbreviated dialing telephone number used to report a problem with telephone service, or with a payphone.

About 711

Do you know what this number does in Hollywood, CA?

About 811

Smart digging means calling 811 before each job. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees and shrubs

About 911

It is your connection to police, fire and paramedic services. Our Communications Operators are highly trained, dedicated professionals who will assist you in getting the help you need. Please remember these tips whenever you call 911. It is of critical importance…

You should take the time to learn more about these functions.

When is Enough Ever Enough? …

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Los Angeles’ Neighborhood Councils have now been around since the late 1990s and there are now 95 of them. Some have been part of the system from the beginning and some are new to the city’s family. But all of them have to follow city and state laws as well as their own bylaws.

So why is it that some NCs in Hollywood don’t grasp that idea that they are not here to please individual board members, individual stakeholders or individual businesses? Is it really that hard to follow simple rules that even the LA City Council has to follow?

In Hollywood we have six Neighborhood Councils: Central Hollywood (CHNC), Hollywood Hills West NC (HHWNC), East Hollywood (EHNC), Greater Griffith Park (GGPNC), Hollywood United (HUNC) and Hollywood Studio District (HSDNC). CHNC was one of the first ones certified and currently is one of the NCs that do not like to follow the city’s posting requirements for Neighborhood Councils.

The citywide plan requires that NCs post at a minimum of five posting locations and these locations are listed on most, if not all, agendas of this NC. So it should be pretty easy to find out what is going be discussed at an upcoming NC meeting, right? Wrong! Information about the CHNC meetings is very hard to come by these days.

First they don’t post online much and second, one can never find any of the posted agendas at their listed locations.

Community stakeholders were in for a shell-game when they went ahead on Sunday, November 11, 2012 to find the CHNC PLUM Meeting agenda for its Monday, November 12, 2012 meeting. The locations listed on an older agenda might give you the names of the places and the address that goes with it, but once you got to the Frances Howard Goldwyn Library at 1623 Ivar Ave for example you wouldn’t have been able to see the agenda even if the gate to the main door was open. Yes, the gate was closed and hence the agenda was inaccessible if it was even posted.

Now you can march or drive on to the next location, let’s say the St. John’s Armenian Church, which is located at the corner of Vine and Lexington, but you would have been disappointed here, too since their gates were closed as well and no agenda was visible at any of the doors either.

Third time is the charm you say? Well, not in this shell game if your next stop was the Corner Restaurant on Highland and it is located at 1156 N. Highland Ave. First of all the restaurant was closed by the time the stakeholders arrived. What a shocker. After inspecting every door and window you wouldn’t have been able to view the agenda from the outside either since it wasn’t posted there. Taking a chance of asking the employees who were leaving the joint one was given the answer that the CHNC does post inside the restaurant, but no current or new agenda was available. They even went ahead and suggested to go to the Hollywood City Hall, which for sure would have the agenda there.

Given the option to go to the Hollywood City Hall, which is roughly 0.6 miles away from the Corner Restaurant or making the next stop at the Hollywood Schoolhouse, which is just up the street on Highland and only about 0.1 miles away, the stakeholders decided to go the shorter distance since it was closer and it was cold outside.

Having visited three sites without any posting this one had to have it, right? Wrong again! – The truly shocking part though is that this location belongs to one of the CHNC board members! Why she couldn’t post it’s beyond anybody’s imagination.

No luck at four out of the five locations does discourage many, but not these stakeholders who were determined to find the agenda that evening. And what do you know? It was posted at the Hollywood City Hall location on Fountain Ave. WOW!

So, one NC did post at ONE location, even though the charter and the Citywide Plan says they have to post at FIVE. Let’s see how the other NC did for that weekend, shall we?

The Hollywood Studio District NC (HSDNC) had had its problems in the past when it comes to postings, but they did okay for a couple of times, so why was this month’s agenda yet another concern you wonder? Well, if you have three pages of an agenda ALL three pages need to be clearly visible or easily accessible to the public.

Having only the first page of the three page agenda posted from the inside of a window at a business that is not open the entire 72 hours prior to the meeting does not qualify for that reason.

Again, the HSDNC has to post its agenda in its entirety at five locations and this means that all three pages need to be visible at all times.

How else can the public review the content of the items that might be voted on at the board meeting?

When our stakeholders located the agenda at the Produce for Less Market on Melrose it was clear that there were more things listed on the agenda than just the first page said, especially since the first page indicated the very same info at the bottom of the page: Pg. 1 of 3.

But the remaining two pages were neatly tugged away behind page one, which is clearly not something one could read unless you have x-ray vision.

This happening at one location might be something to overlook, but having this situation reoccur at two other locations might be more than a coincidence and more a total disregard to the Brown Act and the public and the citywide plan.

Okay, so three out of the five posting locations had the improperly posted agenda, but what about the remaining two locations?

You would be out of luck if you went to Lemon Grove Rec Center, one of the first original posting locations for the HSDNC. No agenda was posted here at all, even though this would be prime location for it, since it is available to the public’s review 24/7.

The fifth and final location our stakeholders marched over to is the Tidal Wave Restaurant on Sunset Blvd within the Gower/Gulch shopping area. Again, this location is one of the original posting locations, but NO agenda was posted here either.

The windows of this restaurant are accessible to the public 24/7 and yet nobody went to post the three page agenda here … not even the first page.

Granted that the CHNC did post their entire agenda at one location which happens to be the location of the meeting itself, they could be considered to be in compliance with the Brown Act but not with the citywide plan.

The HSDNC did not have that luxury, so the inquiring public attended their meeting, even though the NC was put on “alert” about the non-compliance with the Brown Act via e-mail correspondence prior to the meeting.

To the public’s surprise the HSDNC did the right thing! They did hold the meeting, which gave the attending public a chance to meet the board, meet some of their Senior Lead Officers and mix and mingle over a slice of pizza, but the Board did not vote on any of the listed items, even though some of them were truly time sensitive. In fact, the HSDNC is calling a special meeting to be held as a joint meeting with its Bylaws and Election Committee. This shows that there is room for improvement and that the HSDNC is doing the best they can to correct the matter and therefor the HSDNC deserves a big pad on the back and big thank you.

So, why should we all care in the first place? Simple! The NC’s use public funds which is your money! Shouldn’t you be kept informed about where your money is being spent on? Or what development goes up in your neighborhood? Or what type of neighborhood events through the NC are coming to a neighborhood near you?

Do you know what your NC is up to these days? Do you know who your NC reps are? Here is a link to the NC data base page from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE):

http://done.lacity.org/ncdatabase/nc_database_public/

The troublesome part of it all is that some NC’s do not seem to care and DONE does not interfere nor does the City Attorney give a ….

Playing a shell game like this is something one would look forward to in New York City, but being a pawn in the game of hide and seek is not anything anyone of us here in Los Angeles has signed up for.

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This article is strictly the author’s opinion …

Our LA City Council throws in the towel before the fight even begins

Monday, October 8th, 2012

by: Bob Blue and Doug Haines *

Tuesday, October 9 is your last opportunity to convince the Los Angeles City Council to reverse last week’s political decision to repeal the ban on marijuana dispensaries and not place the issue on the March, 2013 General Election.

Last Tuesday, in response to petitions submitted by marijuana advocates, the City Council eliminated all regulation of marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles.  The council voted 11 to 2 to repeal the “gentle ban,” an ordinance enacted amid much publicity this summer after recent court decisions determined that a city can ban dispensaries but not regulate them.  By repealing the ban, the City Council has left our police and City departments powerless to control marijuana dispensaries, meaning that a dispensary can open anywhere in the City of LA at any time with no laws to prevent it and no laws to regulate it.

On Tuesday October 9, the City Council is required to have a second vote on its decision to repeal the “gentle ban” ordinance.  The City Council is taking this second vote because last week’s vote was not unanimous.

Placing this matter on the March, 2013 General Election would cost taxpayers absolutely nothing, despite erroneous comments by some council members and the media claiming otherwise.

Because of the City Council’s failure to uphold the ban, the Police have no authority to enter marijuana dispensaries and the City Attorney has no authority to prosecute them.

This was a political decision by members of the City Council to avoid controversy during the March 2013 City-wide election, which would have potentially endangered their re-election bids by upsetting the well-financed marijuana lobby.

The Los Angeles City Council is the highest paid City Council in the United States, with members earning almost as much as US Senators.   Yet Los Angeles is the only City in California incapable of controlling Marijuana Dispensaries. In contrast,

San Francisco has 23 dispensaries, West Hollywood has 4, while Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, and Pasadena have none.

The City of LA has an annual budget of almost $7 billion, maintains a police force of over 9,000 officers, and has 500 attorneys in the Office of the City Attorney.  Yet our Councilmembers now claim that their hands are tied when it comes to marijuana dispensaries, that they are powerless to shut them down, and that their only option they is to appeal to the State legislature for help — even though the state’s legislative session is over and no changes to State marijuana regulations would occur for a year.

Don’t be fooled by the political hacks that have created this mess in the first place.  Contact all Councilmembers now and insist that the ban be placed on the March, 2013 ballot so that the people of Los Angeles can decide whether or not marijuana dispensaries should be controlled. Nothing is lost by placing the measure on the ballot, with everything gained to protect our neighborhoods from the criminals who actually own and operate these dispensaries.

Right now there are over a thousand dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles.  How many more do we need before our highly paid council members stop playing politics and instead start representing the people who elected them?

Contact all Councilmembers at the following link: http://www.lacity.org/YourGovernment/CityCouncil/index.htm

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* Editor’s note:

The article was authored by guest writer Bob Blue, who is one of the founding members and past chair of the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council. He can be reached at Bob.Blue@live.com.

The article was co-authored by Doug Haines, the Planning and Land Use Committee Chair of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council.

 

Hollywood Cop Fired

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Coming soon!

The Michael Slider story…