LA Dept of Aging Holiday Gift Bag Replacement Drive

How the Fire Stole Christmas (and how you can help!)
“For some, this year’s holiday tale could be ‘How the fire stole Christmas.'” Soumya Karlamangla, Los Angeles Times, December 8, 2014.

On Monday, December 8, an inferno completely destroyed a partially built apartment building just a few blocks from City Hall. Thanks to the professional, heroic and quick work of the LA Fire Department, no life was lost, and no injuries were sustained. However, the LA Department of Aging, located adjacent to the burning building, had assembled about 2,000 Holiday Gift Bags full of blankets, clothing and small gifts for the neediest of our seniors.
The Holiday Gift Bags weren’t full of luxuries – these are everyday items that can make a world of difference to a senior in need.
Sadly, most of those bags were destroyed.

In an attempt to replace these bags in time for the holidays, the Mayor’s Fund Los Angeles Disaster Relief Program is hosting a charity drive. If you would like to participate, donations are being accepted at:

We can save the holidays and usher in a happy, healthy 2015 for our seniors. My husband, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and I have donated to buy the first 25 bags. Please join us.
Amy Elaine Wakeland, First Lady of Los Angeles

Will you join us and do what you can today?

Please make checks payable to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles and mail donations to 200 N. Spring St., Room 305b, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thank you for your support. Your donation will go to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles Disaster Relief Program set up to respond to disasters that impact residents in the region. Donations received by December 16, 2014, will be used to provide 4,500 Holiday Gift Bags to seniors in Los Angeles as replacements for those that were lost due to the recent fire in downtown LA. Any surplus funds will remain with the MFLA Disaster Relief Program to be used for future disaster relief purposes.


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Reply to Larry Watt’s Letter re: Archer Forward

Dear Larry,

I appreciated reading your thoughtful views of the Archer problem.

In advance of our Land Use Committee meeting next Tuesday, I wanted to share with you and the group Brentwood Hills’ views on some of the topics you raise.

BHHA does respectfully believe it is relevant and important to obtain a traffic “delay” study, to help quantify the impact on travel-times.  Others may have already done this.  My alternate Debra Hockemeyer (an engineer) has some ideas which she shared with Bryan Gordon about how the work might be done less expensively.  I note the preparers of the CalTrans study had no trouble preparing a delay study for Sunset.

Some in this BCC group are well-versed on the technical aspects and nuances of Archer’s proposal, such as car-trips per hour entering and exiting Archer, intensity of the land use, the underground garage, and the hypothetical conditions that will exist after this project comes into existence, when and if that occurs.

For me, however, the practical overriding (I was about to say over-arching) fact is, as I testified at the hearing Monday, that this project will make our lives a living Hell for the next 5 to 7, or more, years.  Injecting dump-trucks, cement mixers, semi’s loading and offloading tractors and skip-loaders, and dozens of contractors’ pickup trucks all entering and exiting the Archer campus, into the current gridlocked maelstrom is simply unbearable.  Yet Archer effectively ignores this 500 pound gorilla in the room, and I am not aware that anyone has analyzed or quantified the added construction burden.

I am sorry you have surrendered your season tickets to the Walt Disney Concert Hall because of the nightmare.  I too have season tickets to WDCH, but would like to keep them, and am not so quick to go quietly into the night. Continue reading

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BCC Chair, Larry Watts, Thoughts on Archer Forward

I first became familiar with the details of Archer’s expansion plans upon becoming the BCC Chair nine months ago. As a consequence I came to Archer Forward with a tabula rasa. At the same time, I understood from the beginning why many feared Archer Forward has the potential to worsen traffic on Sunset. Like many of our friends, my wife and I cancelled our LA Phil subscription because it was just too difficult to get to Disney Hall in the evening. Similar experiences were expressed by several speakers at the Archer hearing this morning. Fortunately, recently there have been material changes to Archer Forward that address its traffic impacts. While Archer has made many changes to Archer Forward, more will be required before it can expect to receive BCC’s support. There is no one answer to the challenges of Archer Forward that will please everyone, though two things are certain. First, traffic is bad now. Second, Archer traffic will not improve whether or not Archer Forward proceeds. The real question for BCC now is whether to continue seeking further changes or to simply hunker down and just say no to any changes from the current number of trips to and from Archer. Here are some thoughts on the subject for your consideration as we approach the point of decision on whether we will fish or cut bait.

Asserting that Archer Forward will cause much worse traffic on Sunset, like yelling fire in a crowded theater, it gets  people excited. But like the latter, this also risks causing mass hysteria and a bad outcome. Our job is not to be blinded by our fears or to exacerbate legitimate fears, but to drill down on the facts so an informed decision can be made concerning the traffic impacts of Archer. What is needed now is a clear understanding of  the challenges presented by Archer and decide whether, with reasonable conditions, Archer Forward can proceed without creating the cataclysmic impacts some fear.

Thanks to the efforts of Lauren and her Traffic Committee and Bryan and the LUC, BCC cut through the uncertainties surrounding what additional traffic volume Archer Forward might “potentially” generate by asking for absolute traffic caps during peak hours. Archer’s response was to agree to limit arrivals between 3:00 and 4:00 to 44 cars, allow no arrivals between 4:00 and 6:00 and cap arrivals between 6:00 and 7:00 at 126 cars. This represents a remarkable achievement. Based on the professional evaluations we have from our traffic engineer, Allyn Rifkin, Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, the traffic engineer for the Residential Neighbors and Archer’s engineers, Feher & Peers, capping trips at these levels should reduce impacts at the Bundy/Sunset and Barrington/Sunset intersections to less than significant. Some have argued that “significant impacts” is a CEQA term of art that may not reflect real world experiences and given an F LOS during peak hours at Barrington/Sunset, they question whether this CEQA standard is meaningful? These are fair observations. But no one has presented a professional analysis showing Archer Forward as modified will have much impact at all upon peak hour eastbound traffic on Sunset.  Instead, many people say common sense should tell us any additional traffic must cause additional traffic delays and we should therefore conduct a traffic delay study to tell how much delay will result. Continue reading

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DWP Call Center Wait Time Issues

From Los Angeles Department of Water & Power:

A fire in downtown LA damaged several buildings last night, including one housing LADWP call center workers. As a result of the fire, customers calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP may experience higher than average wait times as some customer service representatives were relocated due to safety reasons. Telephone hold times have been averaging four minutes over the past month, but this morning they were averaging over 30 minutes as a result of the impacts.

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Notice of Public Hearing: The Archer Forward Project

A public hearing will be held at University Synagogue on December 8th at 10:30am.  The full notice is included here as a PDF file.



Here is the Final EIR for the Archer Forward project

Final EIR_Archer Forward111314


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WLA Crime Report from Nov. 24th – Nov 30th

Crime Report Nov. 24


View Crime Report Here

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Brentwood Village Holiday Festivus Walk

Brentwood Holiday Festivus

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BCC Community Blood Drive on Dec. 28th

Blood Drive

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Annual Canned Food Drive on Dec. 16th


Join me at our Annual Canned Food Drive

Dear Friends,

As we approach the holidays and make plans to spend time with our family and friends, we must remember that there are many families who are unable to have the things that we often take for granted.

My office will be hosting our Annual Canned Food Drive on Tuesday, December 16th at Messob Ethiopian Restaurant. This food drive is a great opportunity to donate non-perishable food for local families in need and meet my staff and me to discuss issues facing our community and state.

Food items collected will be donated to the Westside Shelter and Hunger Coalition, the Westside Food Bank, and the Jewish Family Service (JFS) SOVA Community Food and Resource Program. JFS SOVA is in immediate need of proteins such as canned tuna, chicken, salmon, peanut butter, or powdered milk.

Details of the event are listed below. I hope to see you on Tuesday, December 16th.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
5 – 8 p.m.

Messob Ethiopian Restaurant
1041 S. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019

(Located in the heart of Little Ethiopia between Olympic & Whitworth)

Light appetizers will offer a taste of authentic Ethiopian cuisine.


Assemblymember Richard Bloom Signature
Richard Bloom

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West LA Little League Spring Registration: Now Open 

Four reasons to sign up now at

1. ICONIC                2. COMPETITIVE          3. TASTY              4. NEW

 ICONIC: 2015 marks the 64th year of little league baseball in West LA

COMPETITIVE - Last year’s AAA (9-10 year olds) and Majors (11-12 year olds) teams were District 25 Champs –
The Major team has won 3 in a row!

TASTY- New Snack Shack – WLALL is excited to partner with legendary Earlez Grille for a top-notch ballpark experience.

NEW - Updated minor league batting cages. Also, the LAPD and the LA City Park and Recreation is now actively working with us to keep the park clean and safe.  Security will be provided at all times during the spring season.  In addition, new lighting has been implemented, making night games safe and fun.

Register now for a wonderful little league baseball experience!

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