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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

LA-32 NC invites you to our 1st Annual Movie Night with Santa!
Santa Claus is Coming to Town here in El Sereno and, he is stopping by to visit the children of our community. Bring your Santa Letter and deliver it to Santa Claus in person. Santa will make an appearance to Meet & Greet all children and collect his Santa Letters. All Children are welcomed to wear Pajamas and bring their favorite blanket. The whole family is welcome to this FREE EVENT! There will be FREE popcorn, juices, candies, Hot Cocoa, rain-deer food to take home and leave on your driveway on Christmas eve, and plenty of goodies (while Supplies last) First come first serve. Featuring Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Rated PG Movie
Thank you to our Sponsors for making this happen. The Children and families of the community are grateful to have you as our Community leaders and part of our community. Thank you Assembly member Jimmy Gomez, Jose Huizar, RED67, L.A. Derby Dolls, El Sereno Community Coordinating Council, Southwest catering & Taqueria.
for any further info. please contact the LA32NC Arts & Culture Chair Michelle Corzantes at mcorzantes@la32nc.org or email entire board at board@la32nc.org
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bio science incubator

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held last week at Cal State L.A. for a $13 million complex designed to nurture a fledgling biotech industry on the Eastside and nearby communities. It’s an area some have have dubbed “Biotech or Bioscience Valley.”

The 20,000-square-foot Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center and LA Biospace incubator will house and support biotech start ups, making it easier for entrepreneurs, students and staff to collaborate on projects. The goal is for the fledgling firms to grow, set up shop in the area and attract more industry talent, jobs and economic growth.

Jose Gomez, Cal State LA’s vice president, told the Daily News:

“This is part of a larger plan to cultivate a bioscience industry in what we like to call the Biotech or Bioscience Valley …. It’s an area that really needs an economic boost.”

The new bioscience incubator will become part of a small but what officials say is a promising industry  now taking shape in El Sereno, Boyle Heights and cities in the nearby San Gabriel Valley. A few blocks from Cal State L.A., Grifols Biologicals, a maker of biological healthcare products, is constructing a new building at its Valley Boulevard facility. Nearby in Boyle Heights, USC’s Health Sciences Campus just completed a master plan that envisions a major expansion of medical and research facilities.

“The bioscience industry holds tremendous promise for our region,” Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino said in a statement. “It is creating new technologies, new companies, and new employment opportunities.”

https://www.theeastsiderla.com/2016/11/will-el-sereno-become-the-gateway-to-biotech-valley/

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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.

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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

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Come and discuss legislative issues of interest to the community and learn about services provided by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez’s District Office. Make a difference in a child’s life and donate a new, unwrapped toy.

Bring the entire family to this festive celebration. Light appetizers and refreshments will be provided.
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Grifols USA Headquarters
2410 Lillyvale Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90032

For more information please call (213) 483-5151 or visit www.asmdc.org/gl
All toys collected will be distributed to local Families Throughout the Assembly District.

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LA-32 Neighborhood Council Environmental Committee Invites You to ADOPT A TREE
This is a FREE Event

Date: December 3, 2016
Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

El Sereno Recreational Center (Farmdale Elementary Parking Lot)
4721 Klamath Street, LA, CA 90032

Trees will be available if you live or own property within the City of Los Angeles. Trees must be planted on private property. Verification is required (Drivers Licenses, Identification, or DWP bill.) Trees are distributed on a first come, first serve basis and must be planted on the ground.

Pick up a FREE Tree from City Plants, bring a bag or container for FREE Mulch, grab a FREE snack & enjoy a cool beverage from Coca-Cola!

For more information contact the LA32NC Environmental Committee Chair, Jackie Carrillo at jcarrillo@la32nc.org

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In a nation founded by immigrants, we are a City of immigrants – we respect them, we honor them and we will protect them to the fullest extent of the law. Immigrants are critical to the social, civic and economic fabric that holds this great City together – we could not function, nor would be Los Angeles, without them. We must oppose any and all efforts to divide families or remove children from the only country they have ever known and loved. The true answer is comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and despite his rhetoric as a candidate, we call on Donald J. Trump to truly be presidential and lead this effort for the betterment of the country.

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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.

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The City of Los Angeles has recently embarked on a four year journey to update the General Plan. The General Plan is the constitution for future growth and development within the city. It is at the heart and foundation of the city’s long-range vision and serves as the basis for decisions that affect all aspects of our everyday lives – from where we live and work to how we move about and where we spend our time with friends and family.

OurLA2040 will set policies that will take us into the year 2040. Six major themes will be covered as part of this effort: our community, our economy, our environment, our geography, our parks and open space, and our safety. While OurLA2040’s plan is a policy document that outlines goals, objectives, policies, and programs to guide growth in the city, it is also a community document and captures a collective vision for the future of the City of Los Angeles.

Your voice is important for this process. The Planning Department and the OurLA2040 team invite you to take the OurLA2040 Vision Survey and share your thoughts about our great city.

Click here to take the survey. For more information, go to ourla2040.org
or email ourla2040@lacity.org.