This week, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced the opening of its 2016 Winter Shelter Program from now through March 1, 2017.

Those in need of emergency shelter are encouraged to go directly to one of the listed pick-up points for free transportation, rather than the site address, unless otherwise indicated. Most shelters open at 5 p.m. In the San Fernando Valley, transportation is available at the following locations for the Hope of the Valley shelter:

Hope of the Valley Sylmar Armory  
12860 Arroyo Drive, Sylmar, CA 91342
(818) 207-8776

Pick-up Point Pick-up Address Time
Sun Valley: Hope of the Valley Thrift Store (Van #1) 8165 San Fernando Road 6 p.m.
North Hollywood: Outside of McDonald’s (Van #1) 8045 Lankershim Blvd. 6:30 p.m.
Van Nuys: In Front of the Bus Bench (Van #2) 6212 Van Nuys Blvd. 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Walk-up guests are welcome. No shopping carts will be allowed in the shelter, but each guest may bring one small bag.

During the cold and wet weather season, the program provides homeless individuals with essential overnight shelter and meals. In addition to temporary emergency shelter, each program location provides access to supportive services and housing assistance. More than 1,400 beds will be available during the 2016-2017 Winter Shelter Program season across the LA area.

For more information, call the Winter Shelter Hotline at (800) 548-6047 or visit www.lahsa.org.

 

In a move to ensure the quality of life in the nation’s second largest city, and to protect LA’s highly diverse communities and residents, the City Council recently approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Immigrant Affairs.

In addition to the committee’s creation, the Council’s proposal urged the following:

  • Creating a new Immigrant Advocate position in the city;
  • Defining the term “sanctuary city” and how that might apply to LA;
  • Identifying and categorizing all federal grants, loans, and other funding that the City of Los Angeles currently receives;
  • Identifying all stale laws applicable to immigration and relevant to the City of Los Angeles that may come into conflict with potential changes in federal law; and
  • Identifying all federal laws applicable to immigration and relevant to the City of Los Angeles that are currently enacted and not being enforced.

The City Council will hear an update on these issues in January 2017.

Thursday, December 8th, 2016
5.00 pm- 7.00 pm

Brand Park Community Center
15121 Brand Boulevard
Mission Hills, CA 91345

Special Guest:
Council President Herb Wesson

Happy Holidays!

Bring your ideas for legislation.
Please call (818) 732-0039 for more information or to RSVP at [email protected].

The Los Angeles City Council set into motion today the initial stages of a $1.4 billion plan to repair a backlog of broken sidewalks that will allow the city to turn over the responsibility of future upkeep to property owners.

City officials plan to spend the funds, which will average at least $30 million a year over the next three decades, to fix about 11,000 miles of sidewalks throughout the city. The amount of money was agreed to as part of a legal settlement with disability advocates.

The number of damaged sidewalks began piling up about 40 years ago, when city leaders saddled themselves with the responsibility of fixing broken sidewalks damaged by tree roots, but soon ran out of money to finish the job.

In the intervening years, the question of who is responsible for the condition of the sidewalks was in dispute because state law says the task of maintaining sidewalks belongs to the adjacent property owners.

The City Council voted today to adopt a “fix-and-release” strategy that includes repealing a law that makes the city responsible for the repairs, while also committing to paying for the entire expense of one-time repairs on broken sidewalks next to both residential and commercial properties.  Continue reading

A Los Angeles man fought the law and won, and now the city has to stop farming out its parking ticket appeals to a for-profit company.

Angelenos who get parking tickets will now have a better chance of winning their appeals after the state’s Supreme Court issued a ruling that Los Angeles will have to handle parking ticket appeals rather than contracting them out to a for-profit company.

The court’s ruling came this week and City Attorney Mike Feuer petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Appellate Court’s decision, but that appeal was also denied this week by the state’s high court, according to NBC4.

The city has been using Xerox to handle parking ticket appeals, which routinely denied almost all appeals, according to the TV station.

The court’s decision stems from a lawsuit filed by L.A. resident Cody Weiss who sued the city after he lost his appeal of what he believed was an unfair ticket. Weiss sued the city challenging the practice of farming out its ticket appeal process to Xerox, a for-profit company.

“Xerox did not give the citizens a fair chance to fight parking tickets,” Weiss told NBC4. “Their motivation was to make money. They were motivated by greed.”

Anticipating a loss at the high court, Bruce Gillman, communications director for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation told NBC4 the city had started to hire employees to handle the appeals, which will start within 30 days.

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino (CD 15) and Curren Price (CD 9) have put forward a new Street Vending Proposal.

Here are the key elements:

  • Street vending will be allowed Citywide from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Vending will be prohibited in residential neighborhoods with the exception of roaming pushcart vendors.
  • 2 vendors per block in commercial areas with the consent of the adjacent business or property owner and other protections.
  • Ability of neighborhoods to opt-out with some limitations.
  • Enforcement by LAPD and Bureau of Engineering is discussed but specifics have not yet been provided.
  • A review of this policy within one year.

A copy of the letter outlining their proposal is attached below.

There will be a public hearing on this proposal on Monday, December 12 at 1:00 in Council Chambers.

English: sidewalk-policy-letter-cf-13-1493

Spanish: sidewalk-policy-spanish-cf-13-1493

Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Senator Bob Hertzberg, Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra, and Councilwoman Nury Martinez Invite you to a

Community Holiday Celebration

Thursday, December 8th, 2016
5.00 pm- 7.00 pm

Brand Park Community Center
15121 Brand Boulevard
Mission Hills, CA 91345

Special Guest:
Council President Herb Wesson

Happy Holidays!

Bring your ideas for legislation.
Please call (818) 732-0039 for more information or to RSVP at [email protected]

A court-appointed monitor has verified at least $67.5 million in refunds owed DWP customers in the aftermath of the overbilling scandal.

A court-appointed independent monitor has verified at least $67.5 million in refunds and credits that the Department of Water and Power will need to pay to remedy inaccurate bills issued to customers during a troubled upgrade of the utility’s billing system, attorneys said Monday.

Jack Landskroner, the attorney who represented DWP customers in a class- action lawsuit — and pending settlement — over the billing issues, said even more refund claims could be verified in the future, because the $67.5 million “only addresses the verified credits and refunds customers can automatically receive.”

The settlement will resolve a lawsuit in which customers demanded refunds for overcharges that occurred when PricewaterhouseCoopers carried out an overhaul of the utility’s customer information system in 2013.

The overbilled amount had initially only been estimated as at least $44.7 million.

Another attorney for the DWP customers, Tom Merriman, said the independent monitor has the DWP’s full cooperation and gets “unrestricted access” to the utility’s computer servers.

If the judge gives preliminary approval to the verified amounts on Friday, DWP customers will receive a letter within 90 business days showing the overbilled amounts as verified.

The DWP and attorneys for one of the plaintiffs last week also submitted an updated joint settlement agreement that includes changes that restrict how much the utility can back-bill customers who were under-charged, allows for pre- identification of claims from solar customers, sets up a dedicated customer service staff for complex billing issues and raises the cap on monitoring costs to $2.5 million.