For those who attended the 5-step preparedness meeting last night, and those who signed up but couldn’t make it:
More than 35 of Westside Village’s community leaders, including Neighborhood Watch block captains, CERT-trained residents, Westside Village Homeowners Association Board members, and concerned neighbors learned how to implement a simple 5-step plan to organize preparedness teams on their blocks. Keith Harrison, whose career spans over 25 years of disaster planning and response on the national, state, and local levels, showed us a short film about the planning process, and answered our questions about how to implement it in Westside Village. Larry Bogatz, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Battalion 18 Coordinator, discussed how, once we’ve organized our teams, we can get further free training from the Fire Department through the CERT course or, in smaller doses, through NTP (the Neighborhood Team Program). By the close of the session, several groups of neighbors already began planning for organizational meetings on their blocks.
Please don’t let this knowledge “sit in the drawer” as Larry Bogatz said last night; put it to work right away. Below is information you can use to implement disaster organization on your block:
www.5steps.la has everything you need to host a planning meeting on your block, including a link to the video we watched last night, an invitation template, a script for you to use at your organizational meeting, a sample disaster plan, and a template for you to create a plan for your block.
http://www.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/alertla to register your cell phone number, Voice over IP phone number, and e-mail address with the Alert LA County Emergency Mass Notification System.
http://www.shakeout.org/ was mentioned as the most comprehensive resource for disaster preparedness information.
www.cert-la.com and www.ntp-la.com for free preparedness training. The next CERT training will be each Tuesday for 7 weeks starting 1/6/15, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. The address of the fire station is 11505 W. Olympic Blvd. If you want to be on the list for that session, contact CERT Battalion 18 Coordinator Larry Bogatz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.nextdoor.com This is a great way to connect with your neighbors and your disaster preparedness team, at. If you haven’t done so already, sign up and invite everyone on your block and all your friends in Westside Village to do so, as well. The more people participate, the more effective it is as a communication tool.
http://www.westsidevillage.org/ Westside Village Homeowners Association website for news and information about what’s happening in Westside Village.
Please let me and the Westside Village Homeowners Association Board know what we can do to assist you in your neighborhood preparedness efforts.
In early August, all Westside Village homes received a special Homeowners Association newsletter devoted entirely to disaster readiness. To further promote the Preparedness Fair, a mass email campaign and creative yard signs drew the eyes of Westside Village residents and non-residents alike. When the night of the event arrived, approximately 140 neighbors filled the hall.
On that night, both before and after the main program, attendees drifted past tables staffed by disaster preparedness vendors including SOS Survival Products of Van Nuys, Safe N Ready of Pasadena, and a Culver City military surplus store simply called The Surplus Store. The Department of Water & Power set up a downed power line display which was a real crowd pleaser! Additional public agency participation included the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the L.A. Emergency Management Department, and CERT/NTP (Community Emergency Response Team/Neighborhood Team Program) under the auspices of the LA Fire Department.
Program speakers included individuals from varying backgrounds with common ties to disaster preparedness.
- David Graue, co-captain of the Westside Village Neighborhood Watch, encouraged residents to join Nextdoor.com as an additional way to connect and communicate with neighbors in times of disaster and otherwise.
- John Darnell, field deputy for Councilmember Paul Koretz, spoke of the importance of disaster preparedness in the community. John is an active CERT member whose duties for the Councilmember include disaster preparedness issues.
- CERT Battalion 18 Coordinator Larry Bogatz explained the Community Emergency Response Team training program and its importance, and encouraged participation. He also presented the Neighborhood Team Program which allows residents—CERT trained and not—to work together on teams at the local level. Several veteran members of CERT/NTP joined Larry at the event sporting their CERT colors and gear. By the conclusion of the evening, at least 30 attendees signed up to learn more about CERT training, and more indicated interest in the Neighborhood Team Program.
- The final speaker, Keith Harrison from the City’s Emergency Management Department, presented the “5 Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness Plan” that is aggressively rolling out around the city. Many attendees also signed up to participate in Westside Village’s disaster preparedness efforts.
To follow up on the Preparedness Fair, the Westside Village Homeowners Association Board is planning the next phase of disaster readiness for our community. Keith Harrison will be back to help us kick off Westside Village’s “5 Step to Neighborhood Preparedness Plan”. To learn how to organize a preparedness team on your block, join us on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 from 7:00-8:30p.m. at the Palms-Rancho Branch of the LA City Library, at National Blvd. and Overland Ave. (Free parking.) Seating is limited. RSVP to: email@example.com
When disaster strikes, our first responders such as police, firefighters, and ambulances will be overwhelmed and we’ll need to rely on ourselves and our neighbors. PLEASE COME!
I am pleased to write to you just before our Annual Meeting, which will be held at St. John’s Church, as usual on Thursday, March 13. We will have refreshments at 6:00 and start our meeting at 6:30. I’d like to take this opportunity once again to express our sincere gratitute to Rev. Craig and the community at St. John’s for their ongoing generosity and welcome to us at the Church. We are very fortunate to be able to hold our events at such a beautiful place that is at the heart of our community.
2013 has seen some changes to the makeup of the Board of the WVHA. This Fall we bid farewell to two very important Board members: Andy Commins, who took responsibility for almost all of the arrangements for the Fall Festivals for a number of years as well as serving as the photographer for both the Festivals and the Annual Meetings. Andy was a tireless Board member who did far more than his share of the heavy lifting for years. We also said good-bye to Joyce Purcell who served as the Board’s Treasurer for several years. Joyce was a librarian and those skills served us well indeed as Joyce was an ace researcher in addition to being a precise treasurer. We will miss Joyce with her dry sense of humor and Andy, whose sense of humor was more up front. While we won’t see too much of Joyce as she has moved to San Diego, Andy is still a Westside Village resident, so we will see him.
The Bylaws of the WVHA (http://www.westsidevillage. org/bylaws.htm) call for a Board of fourteen members. We currently have only eleven, so we are in serious need or recruiting three additional Board members. We have serious challenges facing us, such as the
proposed JMB expansion of Century City which would multiply the complex several times and have a significant impact on traffic from the ocean to downtown. Last year we rallied in collaboration with other neighborhood associations to limit the size of the Casden project at Pico and Sepulveda. And we were successful in that endeavor. There remains a lot to do and many of us on the Board have served for more than ten years. It is time to bring in new ideas and new energy so that we can continue the important work of protecting our neighborhood from rampant development.
The Board meets approximately ten times/year for two hours and we host two events each year. The neighborhood needs your help, so if you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By joining the WVHA you support your community of Westside Village. You help convey your concerns and interests to the organization and that results in your Board of Directors increasing their ability to bring community-based programs and service to the Village – as well as improve neighborhood safety. Your membership and participation helps our
residents to respond effectively to wide-reaching emergencies. Your Neighborhood Watch program keeps you informed of break-ins, suspicious behavior and keeps you aware of any issues that might be affecting your safety.
With dues that have been paid from Westside Villagers, the Association has been able to hold its Annual Fall Event, has sponsored tree plantings, has helped fund vital programs at Clover Avenue and Charnock Avenue Schools. We have also produced and distributed our Westside Village newsletter. With the help of our excellent Block Captains, we have worked to keep the neighborhood informed about local activities and issues that impact our residents.
The Westside Village Homeowner’s Association takes an active role in communicating with our City leaders to make certain that our voices are heard on commercial developments (the Casden Project and the JMB building plans, for example). We work to make sure that WV gets its share of City services, such as street repair and tree maintenance and improvements.
The cost of annual membership is $20 per household – please join us in our effort to make Westside Village be the best it can be. Your participation and membership make a difference!
There are many things going on in the region that will affect our commutes and—potentially—our quality of life that will impact Westside Villagers. While it may seem impossible to keep up with all of them, your Westside Village Homeowners Association (WVHA) and Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) Boards are weighing in to represent you…but we always need your input and support!
To start, the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project is a $1 billion project that will finish creating a widened I-405 freeway from the I-10 to the U.S. 101 freeway, with both local on/off ramp improvements and the last carpool lane addition to the I-405 to make carpool travel non-interrupted for that entire freeway.
The second phase of the Expo Line is anticipated to open either in late 2015 or early 2016. Currently, there is a western terminus at Venice/Robertson in Culver City, but work on the Venice Blvd. bridge and ongoing construction throughout the Westside will prevent the line from opening any earlier. As with the I-405 project, engineering and construction are going on virtually 24-7.
We’re getting closer to a plan to connect LAX with Metro Rail! The Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line just broke ground, and it will create a vital north-south linkage between the east-west Expo Line in the north to the east-west Green Line in the south (with potential future extensions to the Wilshire Subway and South Bay).
However, the actual connection to LAX is a difficult and thorny one that involves many engineering, legal, operational and (of course!) fiscal issues to resolve. While a direct Crenshaw/LAX tunnel under LAX has been dropped as an alternative because it is too
expensive and can’t carry enough people, a People Mover train connection with the aforementioned Crenshaw/LAX Line has been moved forward for further consideration.
Such a People Mover connection will allow remote check-in and better access for motorists and train commuters alike to serve tourists, LAX workers and all Southland residents. More details to follow, because this is a work in progress, but it does appear that a consensus is being created for a “LAX Connect” to enhance rail, freeway and road access to/from LAX.
With development comes both progress and challenges, however! The Casden Sepulveda project is one that had many commercial and residential buildings, but few to no transportation/transit improvements to justify the impacted regional car traffic.
Because of widespread and coordinated regional neighborhood input (of which your WVHA and MVCC played no small part), the commercial portion was dropped…but the residential portion, while approved by the L.A. City Council, is an uncertain “envelope” of which the details are currently lacking. The WVHA and MVCC will continue to monitor this large Casden Sepulveda development.
Meanwhile, the JMB Developer-planned Century City Center is a commercial project proposed for Century City that is 2.5 times the legal limit—and sets a potential precedent that could virtually triple the size of Century City and affect traffic from the ocean to Downtown. Both the MVCC and WVHA Boards have unanimously opposed this project, and will keep close communications with Councilmember Paul Koretz to make our opinions known and heard.
We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization was founded in 1961. Our annual membership dues are nominal and help support a dedicated group of volunteers who give members a wide range of benefits including preservation & improvement of property values, participation in government and developer meetings, public improvements, contact with elected officials and government agencies, promotion of health and safety measures, Neighborhood Watch programs, publication and distribution of the WVHA newsletters and planning of the Westside Village Fall Festival.