Councilman Englander’s E-News March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013




Cracking Down on Driving Under the Influence…
This week I introduced a City resolution supporting a bill that w
ould amend the State Vehicle Code to include a zero tolerance policy, making it a crime for an individual to operate a vehicle if their blood contains any detectable amount of a drug listed in the California Uniform Controlled Substance Act.

As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and an LAPD Officer, I am committed to finding law enforcement tools to address the public safety threat posed by people driving under the influence of drugs.

Senate Bill 289, authored by State Senator Lou Correa (D – Santa Ana) has the support of state-wide law enforcement and victims’ rights groups. Current laws forbid driving under the influence of a controlled substance, but there is no effective way to measure whether a person is impaired by drugs, making it difficult for law enforcement officers to prove that someone is under the influence. 

Law enforcement groups believe that a zero tolerance policy, which would criminalize driving if a driver’s blood contains any detectable amount of a scheduled drug is an effective tool to address the public safety threat posed by people driving under the influence of drugs. 
Click here to see the resolution.

              – Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District

Working to Stop Parolees from Removing Ankle Bracelet Monitoring Devices…
This week, I introduced a City resolution supporting a Senate Bill 57, which would make the unauthorized removal of a parolee’s ankle-mounted monitoring bracelet a felony. 

The vast majority of individuals ordered to wear an ankle-mounted
monitoring bracelet are on parole after being convicted of a sex offense. These devices are essential tools for law enforcement to monitor parolees, in order to maintain public safety and to ensure that individuals on parole do not offend again. An increasing number of parolees required to wear monitoring ankle bracelets have removed the devices, making it difficult for law enforcement and parole officers to track them. This poses a signficant public safety threat.  Click here to see the resolution. 

            - Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District


Nearly 100 Community Members Join Wild West Chatsworth Community Bike Ride…
We were proud to have nearly 100 community members join us and CICLE for our Wild West Chatsworth Community Bike Ride on Saturday, Feb. 23. We toured some of Chatsworth’s most iconic sites, highlighting the pioneer era history, Western film history, and the equestrian community that thrives today. Thank you to CICLE ( a non-profit organization that promotes bicycling for health, transportation and the environment and as a way to build community for leading the ride and keeping it safe and fun; Starbucks for donating free coffee; Western Bagel for donating free bagels; REI for donating a great backpack for a raffle prize; Alliance Beverage for donating water; and the community members who hosted us on our visits to Homestead Acre, Mr. Ed’s Barn and Stoney Point Ranch.

Click here to see the video.

Click here to see the photo gallery.

Battle of the Badges Blood Drive…
I was proud to join Los Angeles Firefighters, Police Officers and the Red Cross for the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive on Thursday, Feb. 28. For the Battle of the Badges, the L.A. Police Department and L.A. Fire Department engage in a friendly competition to see who can donate the most blood.

I donated blood to help the Red Cross have enough blood supplies to save the lives of people in need of transfusions. I encourage all citizens to donate blood. It saves lives, and there is a chronic blood shortage in the United States.

To learn how you can donate blood, or how your school, company or organization can sponsor a blood drive in the community, click here.  

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District


School Safety Summit with LAPD…
On Thursday Feb. 28, I joined LAPD Devonshire Division Captain Kris Pitcher, the Los Angeles Fire Department and local school principals, administrators and teachers for the School Safety Summit in Porter Ranch.

The recent tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has heightened attention on public safety at schools. Our Senior Lead Officers at Devonshire Division organized a School Safety Summit to provide information to local educators about what to do in the case of a school shooting, increase the dialogue with our local schools, and improve emergency response, coordination and dissemination of information to the public and parents in case of a school shooting.

At the Summit, field experts shared information about the roles of our emergency responders, what schools should do during an active shooter situation, emergency operations and medical response, and the forensic psychology of bullies and active shooters.

We will continue to work with LAPD, LAFD and our schools to improve communication and emergency preparedness and response capabilities to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible.

         - Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District


Groundbreaking of New Community Center at Westfield…
I was proud to help cut the ribbon on the new Community Center at Westfield Topanga Plaza on Saturday, Feb. 23. The multipurpose Community Center is part of Westfield’s larger commitment to create a gathering place for seniors and community members of all ages in the West San Fernando Valley. 

- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District



Discussing Local Issues with Community Groups…
Last week, I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association, one of the largest neighborhood associations in the San Fernando Valley.

I discussed local issues affecting the San Fernando Valley, as well as my proposed L.A. Street Repair Bond, and the Community Care Facilities Ordinance. 

To see the video on from the event, click here.



Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences Pancake Breakfast…
The Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences (VAAS) Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is holding its first Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, March 2 in Granada Hills to raise funds for the school. 

Saturday, March 2
7:30 am to 11:00 am
VAAS Cafeteria
10445 Balboa Blvd.
Granada Hills 
Tickets are $7 at the door.

The school administrative staff and volunteers will cook and serve up a delicious pancake breakfast, with orange juice, sausage, coffee and milk, with proceeds going to help the school pay for supplies and programs for the students. There will also be fun booths and entertainment, and all clubs and organizations on campus will raise money for their activities by setting up booths with face painting, games with prizes, raffles, and more.

For more information call Mr. Tyni at (818) 832-7759 or visit

Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council Offering Free CERT Training…
Learn how to get your family trained and prepared to survive a disaster and assist th ecommunity at the free CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course sponsored by Porter Ranch Neighborhood C0uncil starting on Monday, March 4.  

Monday, March 4
6:30 pm
Porter Ranch Community School
Multi-Purpose Room
12450 Mason Ave. (at Sesnon)
Porter Ranch

This free, six-week class will teach you how to be prepared for and to survive after an earthquake, wildfire or other major disaster. You will learn how to operate a fire extinguisher and put out small fires, conduct search and for injured victims, provide some basic first aid, and how to assist emergency responders after a disaster.

Getting CERT trained is one of the best things that individuals, families, businesses and neighborhoods can do to get the entire community better prepared and able to help each other and first responders after a disaster. We commend Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council for sponsoring this important resource.

The course is free, but you must register in advance. For more information or to sign up, visit

Voter Information for Upcoming City Elections…
The Los Angeles City Primary Nominating Election is coming up on March 5, and the general elections are on May 21. Voters will choose eight Council Members, a Mayor, a City Attorney and a Controller, making this a historically significant election that will determine the leadership of the City for years to come. Whatever your choices are, it is important to participate and make your voice heard.

To find out where your polling place is, and see information about candidates and ballot measures, or get a sample ballot, click here. All polls open at 7:00 am and close at 8:00 pm.

Applications for a Vote-By-Mail (VBM) ballot for the March 5 Primary Nominating Election must be received by the Office of the City Clerk – Election Division by Tuesday, Feb. 26 by 5:00 pm. The last day to apply for and vote a VBM ballot in person at the Election Division office is Monday, March 4, at 5:00 pm. For more information on VBM, click here. 


Free Tax Preparation Assistance at Our Community Service Center…
We are offering a valuable, free service for community members in March in advance of the April 15 deadline to file taxes. Our Community Service Center is holding free income tax preparation sessions on Friday March 8 and 15.

Friday, March 8 
Friday, March 15
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Community Service Center
9207 Oakdale Ave.

Appointments are required, and you must bring certain documents. For more information or to schedule your appointment, call (818) 882-1212.

Sign Up Now for One-On-One Help With Representatives of City Departments at Our Community Service Center…
We are now taking reservations for community members to meet
one-on-one with representatives of City Departments at our Community Service Center in Chatsworth.

We will have regularly scheduled time slots for community members to meet with the Planning, Building and Safety, Police, Transportation (LADOT), Housing, Community Development and Neighborhood Empowerment Departments and the Bureau of Sanitation. This will offer community members a chance to get information and assistance in Chatsworth without having to travel all the way to Downtown.

The following Departments are currently taking appointments: 
Department of Building and Safety –  Tuesday, March 5. 
(Enforces L.A. City Municipal Codes pertaining to residential homes.)

Los Angeles Police Department – Tuesday, March 12.
(Questions regarding legal, criminal and public safety issues.)

Department of Transportation – Wednesday, March 16.
(Responsible for the planning, design and management of transportation systems in the City to increase mobility and safety for all modes of travel.)

Community Development Department- Friday, April 5.
(Offers economic, social and employment opportunities for individuals, families and neighborhoods in need.)

We will announce in our newsletter the service hours of the remaining Departments once they have been established.

Our Community Service Center is located at 9207 Oakdale Ave., Second Floor, in Chatsworth. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (818) 882-1212 or email Melody Jaramillo at



Scholarship Opportunity Through the Van Nuys Optimist Club…
The Van Nuys Airport Optimist Club is holding an Oratorical Contest for students as part of its scholarship program. The Optimist Club has been providing this opportunity since 1928. Prizes include medals, plaques, $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 scholarships.

The deadline to apply is March 8.

The Oratorical Contest is open to students under 19 years old who have not yet graduated from high school. Students are required to prepare a 4 to 5 minute speech on a pre-assigned topic. The contest is designed to help young people develop public speaking skills offer them an opportunity to compete for a scholarship. The topic this year is “Why my Voice is Important.”

For more information or to sign up, call Pam Duben, President at (661) 257-6867 or email, or call Shirley McKissack, Vice President at (818) 362-7633 or email


Community Hike to Commemorate the 125th Anniversary of Chatsworth…
Join the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association as they lead a community hike through the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park this month to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the community of Chatsworth. 

Rain cancels the hikes, so please check the weather the mornings of the event. Bring water, sunscreen and shoes appropriate for hiking. Dogs must be kept on a leash. Hike through the park and up the historic Devil’s Slide section of the old Butterfield “California Line” Stagecoach Trail. The difficulty level is high.

March 9
9:00 am
Meet at: Larwin entrance to Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
10200 Larwin Ave., Chatsworth

Founded in 1970, the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association works to protect and preserve our unique historic and geological treasures, the Chatsworth Hills, through recreational and educational events.

For more information about the hikes or the Association, email or visit or visit their Facebook page Friends of the Santa Susana Mountains. 



Soroptimist Society of San Fernando Valley Program Meeting…
The Soroptimist Society of San Fernando Valley will be meeting at Marie Calendar’s to host Marsel Watts, Director of the Women’s Business Center for the Valley Economic Development Center, will discuss “Resource for Women Entrepreneurs.”

Thursday, March 14
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Marie Calendar’s Restaurant
19310 Business Center Dr.

Soroptimists are like-minded Valley business and professional women whose goal is to make the world a better place for women and girls who face obstacles and discrimination because of their gender.

For more information please visit or email


Take the Budget Challenge and Give Your Input On the L.A. City Budget…
You can be part of the City’s budget process by participating in the Budget Challenge. To take the Budget Challenge, click here.

The Budget Challenge is a budget balancing simulation. The budget amounts given for each policy option are estimates based on preliminary budget targets developed by the Mayor in anticipation of a $216 million deficit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14.

Click on the “Your Thoughts” button throughout the survey to share your thoughts and concerns about budget balancing options and about City services in general.

The results will help advise the Mayor and City Council about the budgetary priorities, needs and concerns of the community. The results will also be made available to the public. Be sure to add your ZIP code so that your community is represented. 


Year of Healthy Living March Event – Grand Opening of Aliso Canyon Park!
Please join me in celebrating the opening of Aliso Canyon Park on the Granada Hills/Porter Ranch border on Saturday, March 16!

We are proud to open up this new park to the community. The park is the first public equestrian arena in the Northwest San Fernando Valley. It also features an outdoor pavilion and picnic area, a pedestrian bridge over the small creek to protect the riparian habitat, a naturally landscaped meadow with native, drought-tolerant plants, equestrian parking and staging area, regular parking area, restrooms, and improved trailheads and markers for the trails through the canyon.

Saturday, March 16
10:00 am
Aliso Canyon Park
East of Reseda Blvd. between Senson Ave. & Rinaldi St.

We secured grant funding to purchase and make improvements to Aliso
Canyon Park and worked with Granada Hills North, Granada Hills South, and Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council and equestrian and hiking groups to determine the design of the existing park. We look forward to bringing this new park to the community!

The opening of Aliso Canyon Park is our March Year of Healthy Living event. By opening this new park, we are expanding the trails that are available for community members to have a place to walk, run, hike and enjoy nature. Having easy access to outdoor recreation and nature is important to the health of the community. We invite all community to come out for a healthy walk or hike at the new Aliso Canyon Park! 

As part of our Year of Healthy Living, we are holding a community activity or event every month to offer families in the community a fun way to get healthy. The events range from community hikes, walks and bike rides, to informational events on nutrition, healthcare and financial health.
          – Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District


Women of the Northridge United Methodist Church Annual Spring Boutique…
The annual Spring Boutique will be presented by the Women of the Northridge United Methodist Church featuring handmade crafts, with proceeds going to support Valley organizations that provide assistance to families, and especially to women and children.

Sunday, March 17
8:00 am to 12:30 pm
9650 Reseda Blvd.

For additional information please visit or call (818) 886-1555.

CD 12 Non-Profit Summit – “Enriching the Community with the Arts”…
We invite all community-based organizations and non-profit organizations in the Northwest San Fernando Valley to join us for our next CD 12 Non-Profit Summit, “Enriching the Community with the Arts.”

Monday, March 18
10:00 am to 11:30 am

Devonshire PALS Youth Center
8721 Wilbur Ave.

This is our third Non-Profit Summit. Our office strongly supports the arts by working with local artists on community projects, cultivating strategic partnerships, and promoting local arts events. We have successfully partnered with local artists to conduct a public art event at our Valley Family Festival and have transformed our new Community Service Center into a community art gallery.

Three great organizations are partnering on this Non-Profit Summit – the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Arts for LA.

The panelists will provide information on grants and funding opportunities, programs available for artists, and ways for artists to learn advocacy and civic engagement. Organizations will share experiences and best practices.

Please RSVP by Thursday, March 14 to Semee Park via email at or by calling (818) 882-1212.


Discover Recycling Open House…
Save the date for the Discover Recycling Open Houses coming up in the San Fernando Valley!

Families and children of all ages will have the opportunity to meet trash truck drivers, see trash truck demonstrations and tour trash facilities while learning about recycling and the environment.

Saturday, April 27
9:00 am to 2:30 pm
East Valley District Yard
11050 Pendleton St.
Sun Valley

Saturday, May 18
9:00 am to 2:30 pm
West Valley District Yard
8840 Vanalden Ave. 







Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s…
Our Field Deputy Melody Jaramillo reports this week on a fun, family event for a great cause coming up – The Alzheimer’s Association’s 3rd Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, June 9 at
Woodley Park.

Sunday, June 9
6350 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys
Registration – 7:00 am
Opening ceremonies – 8:30 am
Walk begins – 9:00 am

Residents and businesses from throughout the San Fernando Valley will walk in the 5K route to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to the 5K route, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s will include entertainment, food, awards and a family festival. Walkers who raise $100 receive a commemorative T-shirt, and there are prizes for top fund-raising teams and individuals.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Donations benefit the Alzheimer’s Association – the leading voluntary health organization for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

To register, start a team, donate, sponsor, or volunteer, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at or (800) 272-3900.


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CD 12 Community Service Center

We have consolidated our Northridge and Chatsworth offices into a single location in Chatsworth. The new Community Service Center will allow us to serve you better, by offering residents the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from various City Departments to get direct assistance. We will announce details on that service in coming weeks.

Mon – Fri
8:30 am -5:00 pm

(818) 882-1212
Fax: (818) 701-5254
9207 Oakdale Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311

You can still reach our City Hall Office at (213) 473-7012 and email us at Councilmember.



Help Operation Blankets of Love Provide Comfort to Animals in Shelters

You can help keep cats and dogs in City Animal Shelters warm and comfortable by supporting the efforts of Operation Blankets of Love. The San Fernando Valley-based non-profit organization gathers donated blankets, towels and pet beds and distributes them to animal shelters.

Donation items can be dropped off at Pet People, located at 18040 Chatsworth St. in Granada Hills.

You can also donate money to support Operation Blankets of Love byclicking here or calling Brad Smulson at (818) 402-6584.


New SAFE Center Now Open in Granada Hills

You can drop off electronic devices, paint, pool and garden chemicals, motor oil, batteries, fluorescent lightbulbs and other Household Hazardous Waste at the new SAFE Center located on Balboa Blvd. 1/2 block south of Devonshire St. in Granada Hills.

SAFE Center
Open Saturdays & Sundays, 9 am – 3 pm

Just drive in and open your trunk and the staff at the SAFE Center will remove your Household Hazardous Waste for you. To see a list of items that are accepted, and other information
click here.


311 Online

In addition to calling 311 to report problems or request services, you can use 311 online.

and find the appropriate service.


Volunteers Needed for the Crisis Response Team

The seven-week training CRT training program runs from March 4 through April 17 on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the LAPD headquarters in downtown. Volunteers with bilingual capability in Spanish and Korean are particularly needed.

CRT consists of trained community volunteers who respond at the request of the L.A. Police andFire Departments where there are victims of violent crimes, accidents, and other traumatic incidents. CRT volunteers provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention, offer comfort to victims, act as liaisons between victims and emergency personnel, and give referrals to victims and their families to social services.

To apply online, click here. For more information, email Jeffrey Zimerman at


Granada Hills Woman’s Club Rummage Sale 

Granada Hills Women’s Club is holding a rummage sale at their clubhouse, located at 10666 White Oak Ave., Granada Hills.

Friday, March 1
8 am – 2 pm
Saturday, March 2
8 am – 12 pm

Come, stop and shop – you’ll never know what treasures you may find! For more info click here.

Check Out LocateLA, a Powerful Business Research Tool

LocateLA is a powerful new tool created by the City to offer a free database of commercial properties in L.A. It includes an interactive map, with business finder, property finder, incentive finder, business start up organizer, and much more. It is meant to help new businesses start up and help existing businesses move to the City of Los Angeles. It is also useful for anyone wanting to learn about our community. In addition to photos and details about the property, it lists demographic, labor force, comparable rents and more.

Click here to see this great new tool.

Free Mulch for
Your Garden

You can get free mulch for your garden from the City’s Mulch Giveaway Program! The free mulch is made from recycled yard trimmings and other “green waste” from the green bins.

Recycling green waste is an important way to reduce the amount of organic material that goes into landfills. When plant materials go into landfills, they emit large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane, which contributes to climate change. The City turns that green waste into mulch which is available to L.A. residents for free.

Free Mulch Locations in the San Fernando Valley

16600 Roscoe Pl., North Hills (near Van Nuys Airport)
Mulch delivered to this location Wednesdays & Fridays. Open daily 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

15800 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys (near D.C. Tillman Plant). Entrance: turn south on Densmore Ave. from Victory, follow curve.
Mulch delivered to this location every Monday.
Open Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.

For more info click here.


Neighborhood Public Safety, Crime, and Emergency Information Updates from LAPD on NIXLE

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Residents can sign up to receive updates directed toward one or more specific neighborhoods. To sign up or learn more,visit

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