Friday, May 30, 2008

Civitas students present their scientific study at Council

Today, fifteen top-notch 9th grade students from the Civitas School of Leadership and their biology teacher, Mr. Simonsen, came to Council Chambers to present the findings of their scientific study regarding the water quality of Echo Park. They measured temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorine, and conductivity at the lake to test their hypothesis that the water quality is affecting the health of the lotus flowers that famously grow there. I applaud these students for their interest in our environment and the time they have taken to understand it better.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Greening our economy

Today I gave the keynote address at the GreenWest Expo and Conference, a gathering of businesses and consumers that are on the cutting edge of sustainable practices and technologies. The floor was filled with everything from the next generation of electric vehicles to solar water heaters and permeable paving.

These exhibitors and consumers are the pioneers of a new market, one that unites economic growth and environmental responsibility. Going green is now good for the bottom line, and we’re moving toward a more sustainable future and a stronger city. Check out the video from the floor of the Expo below.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bicycle project receives Rideshare Diamond Award

Diamond Rideshare Award
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Today, the Civic Center employee bicycle facility project was awarded the Rideshare Diamond Award from Metro and the Ventura County Transportation Commission for outstanding achievement in programs that help improve mobility and air quality. The Civic Center employee bicycle facilities project brought showers, shower lockers, bike lockers, and other amenities to City Hall to make it easier for employees to bike to work. With this project, we’re encouraging people to help our environment and reduce traffic at the same time.

I particularly want to acknowledge Helen Leung of my staff for her efforts to promote cycling to work and to make these facilities a reality. Helen is pictured here with Melina Mariano and Francois Verin of the City's Personnel Department, who also helped to ensure the project's success.

Click here for more information on the City of Los Angeles’s bike/walk to work options.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hooray for Hollywood's new Tiger Team - keeping traffic moving on Sunset Blvd!

LPR technology
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Hollywood has been and continues to be a neighborhood on the rise, with new shops, restaurants, housing and more. With that great success has come new challenges, including more cars.

The new Hollywood Tiger Team will provide extra parking enforcement to ticket and tow illegally parked vehicles along Sunset Boulevard during morning and evening rush hour so that we can keep traffic moving.

Hollywood's Tiger Team will also be equipped with license plate recognition technology to help identify stolen vehicles, Amber alerts, and other scofflaws. (Check out the camera mounted to the trunk of the parking enforcement car in the photo.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday, Israel!

Originally uploaded by CD-13
The birth and life of the state of Israel demonstrates what the courage of one people can do. The integration of Israel's economy and culture into our world has enriched us all. Without Israel, Los Angeles would not be the same place.

May the next 60 years be years of prosperity, peace, and continuing friendship.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage ban

The California Supreme Court came down on the side of equality and justice today. I’m proud that this opinion puts our state at the forefront of protecting and advancing human rights for all people.

I urge the Los Angeles County Clerk to immediately make marriage licenses available to same-sex couples.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Neighborhood Council Elections

In June, neighborhood councils across the city will hold elections. Greater Echo Park, Hollywood Studio District, and Wilshire Center neighborhood councils will be among those selecting leaders. Neighborhood councils have accomplished a lot and I have been proud to work with neighborhood councils in my district to improve our communities. I strongly encourage all residents of these neighborhoods to participate in the election process at their neighborhood election site. Elections will be held:

Greater Echo Park: Thursday, June 12, The Cathedral Center of St. Paul, 840 Echo Park Avenue, 2:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Hollywood Studio District: Saturday, June 21, Santa Monica Community Charter School, 1022 N. Van Ness Avenue, 10:00 am- 4:00 pm
Wilshire Center-Koreatown: Saturday, June 21, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Boulevard, 10:00 am- 4:00 pm

For more information about DONE and Neighborhood Council meetings and elections, please visit

Friday, May 09, 2008

Grandma Scott

Grandma Scott
Originally uploaded by CD-13
On a personal note, I want to welcome Amy's Grandma Scott to Los Angeles. We love visiting Grandma Scott in Indiana, but it's been fun having her visit us in here (it's hard to tell, but in this picture we are in City Council chambers). The last time she came to L.A. was in 1977, so she is getting to see how things have changed in the City of Angels. Happy Mother's Day, Grandma Scott!

Preserve America Communities - Historic Filipinotown and Thai Town

Preserve America Communities
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Los Angeles has long been one of the most culturally diverse regions in our country, and it’s very important to preserve our rich heritage. The dedication of Thai Town in 1999 and Historic Filipinotown in 2002 were significant milestones for the Los Angeles community, providing places to celebrate and maintain Thai and Filipino culture. Today, I announced passage of two resolutions that put the City of Los Angeles on record in support of designating Historic Filipinotown and Thai Town as Preserve America Communities.

Preserve America is a federal initiative designed to support local efforts to preserve and celebrate our country’s cultural heritage. Communities designated as a Preserve America Community become eligible to apply for Preserve America grants. If Historic Filipinotown and Thai Town are approved, it would make them eligible for additional resources and help introduce the communities to a national audience.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Farewell, Robert Nudelman

I'm saddened by the passing of Robert Nudelman, who served as the Director of Preservation Issues for Hollywood Heritage. Robert was a friend and someone with whom I worked closely during the last seven years to ensure that Hollywood’s history would be preserved and celebrated as it entered its second Golden Age.

Robert believed in Hollywood, even during times when few others did. His perseverance helped ensure that the neighborhood’s renaissance became a reality. He will be greatly missed, but his work will remain a part of Hollywood’s enduring history.

Refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir

This morning, Councilmember LaBonge, DWP General Manager David Nahai, and I joined community members as we opened the valve to let water return to the Silver Lake Reservoir.

DWP began draining the reservoir in January after the department discovered the presence of bromate in the water. Even though the bromate levels were below state and federal standards, DWP decided to remove the reservoir from service and drain it. Bromate is formed when bromide (which occurs naturally in water) is combined with cholorine and sunlight. Once the reservoir is back in service, drinking water will not be treated with chlorine until it leaves the reservoir and will not be exposed to sunlight, which will prevent bromate from forming again.

Here are a few facts about the Silver Lake Reservoir:

  • It holds 795 million gallons of water.
  • It will take about 15 to 20 days to refill the reservoir.
  • The discovery of bromate in the reservoir marked the first time an occurrence of this nature had been observed in drinking water.
Here's a video of the flipping of the "switch" and the first water rushing back into the reservoir.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New website provides answers to your business questions

It’s now even easier for business to operate in Los Angeles thanks to the recent completion of a new one-stop business web portal, which provides a centralized location for information on business licensing, contracting, and related topics. The website is the result of a reform process I helped launch last year to make L.A. more business-friendly by making it easier to find information about getting businesses up and running. This easy-to-use website was created by the Information Technology Agency and the Greater Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.