|This Is Your Local Chatsworth Election;
Vote Saturday, Nov. 1
How you vote on Nov. 1 will affect the way the City of Los Angeles responds to stakeholder needs in Chatsworth. The more votes, the more clout at City Hall. This election to fill 10 Chatsworth Neighborhood Council seats is local. The national election will come a few days later.
When's the balloting?
Vote on Saturday, Nov. 1. Balloting will be 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Chatsworth Train
Depot, 10038 Old Depot Plaza Road. Unlike national and state elections,
advance registration is not required. Just register at the polling place, or fill out this form and bring it with you to save time. There is no provision for absentee ballots. So come out and elect your
representatives for the 2008 - 2012 Board of Directors. Who can vote? If you live, work, own property, board a horse in Chatsworth, or declare a stake in the neighborhood and affirm a factual basis for it, and you are at least 18 years of age on Saturday, Nov. 1, then YOU can vote to fill the 10 at-large seats on the board of directors.Who are the candidates?
Here's an alphabetical list:Kamesh AysolaJudith DanielsVernalie DeirmenjianDiana Dixon-DavisJanice Eddy-LanguenMary Kaufman
Hember MaldonadoJoseph A. MartinRichard NadelArt SchlefsteinRobert Searcy
Andre van der ValkLinda van der ValkLucie Volotsky
How can I learn about them? As they submit their candidate statements, you will find them here.
In addition, there will be notebooks at the polling place with each candidate's campaign flyer available for your review.But why should I vote? If you are concerned about changes in the unique character of our community, you can have a voice. Are development, traffic, open space, public safety, seniors, parks and equestrians among your hot-button issues? Then join the Stakeholders of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council and help us work with the City of Los Angeles to utilize available city services and make Chatsworth an even better place to live and work.
If you have additional questions please email email@example.com or call (818) 464-3511.
AFTER 2 DISASTERS
Free Picnic to Honor Our Community
I would like to invite you
to a very special community picnic to show our appreciation to the
public safety officers, community members, businesses and neighborhood
groups that came together during recent disasters.
Fernando Valley experienced two disasters recently - the Chatsworth
Metrolink crash that killed 25 people and injured over 130, and the
wildfires that charred nearly 20,000 acres, destroyed dozens of homes
and killed two people. We have not had a shock this painful to our
community since the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
We never want to
experience this kind of tragedy. But when disaster strikes, one can
only hope to see the kind of response we had from public safety
officers, community members, Neighborhood Councils, local businesses
and community groups during these disasters.
Their speed, skill,
selflessness, bravery, generosity and ability to work together showed
the true character of our community. The word "hero" is used too
casually in society today. A hero is a person who drops everything and
puts themselves in harm's way to help a complete stranger. In addition
to our police officers and firefighters, hundreds of local community
heroes gave aid to the injured and comforted families without
Please join us, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and
Councilmembers Greig Smith and Richard Alarcón, for our "Public Safety
and Community Appreciation Picnic" to show our gratitude to the public
safety officers, community members, businesses and neighborhood groups
that came together during recent disasters.
Public Safety and Community Appreciation Picnic
Sunday, Nov. 2, 1 - 4 p.m.
Holleigh Bernson Park, located at 20500 Sesnon Blvd. in Porter Ranch.
event will include free food for all, entertainment, children's
activities, police and fire vehicles, helicopter flyovers, public
safety booths and more.
To see the flyer for the event, click here.
For a map and directions, click here.
For more information call (213) 473-7012 or email Megan.Cottier@lacity.org.
Councilman, Twelfth District
SESNON FIRE AID
Assistance Center Opens in Chatsworth
A local assistance
center for victims of the Sesnon Fire has opened in Chatsworth.
The center at 21415 Plummer St. will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on
weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
The center, to be operated in cooperation with the state's Office of
Emergency Services, will serve as a one-stop source for disaster relief
services, including information on how to replace records lost in the
fire, file insurance claims and apply for assistance and housing, according to county Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
|About the Council
The mission of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council is to provide an open forum for public discussion of issues concerning the Chatsworth community and to facilitate communication between the City of Los Angeles and Community Stakeholders.
Map of Chatsworth Neighborhood Council boundaries. Click here.
|When We Meet
All volunteer committees meet monthly. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Chatsworth Train Depot at
10038 Old Depot Plaza Road, Chatsworth, unless otherwise noted.
CNC Board at Lawrence Middle School.
2nd Tuesday: Beautification.
3rd Tuesday: Equestrian.
3rd Wednesday: Enhancement.
3rd Thursday: Land Use.
4th Tuesday: Outreach.
4th Wednesday: Public Safety & Transportation at Rockpointe Club House, 22300 Devonshire St.
Election Committee, TBA
Check the CNC website for last-minute changes.
West Valley Alliance (graffiti removal)
Police Tipoff Line
L.A. City Infoline
The City has a Zero Waste
team soliciting opinions on how to reduce solid waste.
Find out how you can participate.
Zero waste brochure
Bureau of Sanitation
The BOS is working to
convert our solid waste into renewable energy.
Read the brochure
.Be Prepared for
the 'Big One'
This is the 150th
anniversary of the last great San Andreas Earthquake.
Dare to Prepare is a campaign to prepare for the next
big quake. Find out what you can do at the
Dare to Prepare site
. Read the
Free Shade Trees
You can get free shade trees through DWP.
Read about the Trees for a Green LA program
DWP Residential Energy and
Water Saving Programs
The DWP offers incentives to recycle your old
refrigerator and buy an energy efficient one. Other
appliance incentives are available too. Receive $100
towards an ultra low flush toilet. Read about DWP rebates
Online Service Requests
can place service requests for street repair, tree trimming,
downed trees or palm fronds in the street
is a service provided by the
Bureau of Street Services
Property Activity Reports
Did you know that you
can view all permit requests for a property online?
to access the City's online reporting
system. Enter in the address and view the permits.
This is a service
provided by the
Department of Building and Safety
--Adapted from the PRNC newsletter.
Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
Post Office Box 3395
Chatsworth, CA 91313-3395
Ph: (818) 464-3511
Fax: (818) 464-3585
Complete CNC activities calendar:
Complete community events calendar:
A FIRST-PERSON REPORT
really bad, the fire is everywhere, I don't know if the horses made it, I don't
know where Cynthia is, I couldn't see anything--there was so much smoke."
-- Normie Gagerman
The remains of Liz Finder's stall and tack
shed at Where Trails Begin Ranch are a burned ruin.Neighbors Come to Rescue
as Wildfire Sweeps CanyonBy Susan SplawskiTHE latest fire
in Browns Canyon was fought by ranch owners and boarders instead of
I interviewed the owners,
leasers and boarders who are stakeholders in the canyon to compile my facts.
The outcome of the research was grim. Until approximately 8 p.m. fire trucks
carrying water were extremely scarce.
There are four large ranches and three private homes in the
canyon--home to approximately 30 residents, 200 riding horses, 75 cows, 20
ranch and house dogs, 60 hunting hounds cared for in kennels, and numerous
cats, peafowl and chickens. The 30 residents who live full-time in the canyon
care for these domestic animals.
Losses were devastating:·
- 1 home burned to
the ground with the two house dogs trapped inside
- 1 horse burned
alive in its barn
1 horse and 1 6-week
old calf dead of related causes
- Loss of barns,
stalls, storage sheds, a cabin, a community bathroom, tack rooms, tack and barn
- Trucks, backhoes
and various farm equipment
Loss of pasture
grass and fencing for cattle
- Loss of business
- Destroyed trailer
- Burned horse
Danger from an
exploding propane tank
Loss of livestock
ranch hit hardest by the Oct. 13 fire was Where Trails Begin, owned and operated by Patrick Flannery and
managed by Jan Eddy. When I saw Jan around 3:30 p.m. on Monday she was blackened by
ash and soot, her eyebrows were singed off her face, hands cracked with dirt,
and her normally pretty blond hair was standing straight up from the fierce
winds and debris. We had little time to talk as she was hard at work putting
out hotspots and caring for her animals.
later she described the morning of the fire. She said there were no fire trucks
carrying water to the ranch to put out blazes. But she was grateful for the two
fire department ground crews numbering about 25 individuals, even though they
only had picks and shovels with which to work.
helped with the smaller fires and moving the horses to a safe zone but could do
nothing to put out the burning barn that killed one horse. Jan could not get Dante out, the only horse that was too terrified to leave the burning barn, and she has the horrible
memory of the horse trapped inside.
said, "We were neglected, I watched
helicopters drop water on two houses, a drop could have done a lot for us here."
Across the street at 12020 Browns Canyon Rd.
was the home of Joanie Carey. Joanie's property and horse had been spared by
sheer luck as she had no help from the fire department. The 27-year resident
used her garden hose to fend off flaming debris as she watched her back acreage
go up in flames.
was no luck for Joanie's long-time neighbors, Mary and Bob Pierson, at 12040 Browns Canyon.
They lost their entire home and their house dogs. Rubble and ash is all that is
Hollow Ranch, owned and operated by partners Dave Wendler and Cynthia Shea,
had a fire truck equipped with water for a brief period of time during the
height of the fire storm. Cynthia, a well-known horse and hound trainer, said
the fire truck was called off to go
elsewhere but briefly complied with her plea to hose off the roof of her
and Dave's house before he left.
ranch was in extreme danger as the 70 mile-an-hour winds were blowing fire off
the hills and mesa downhill to their three barns. If the barns caught fire the
whole ranch would have been lost. Dave, a seasoned rancher and Master Houndsman
for West Hills Hounds, had weathered many fires in Browns
Canyon and in Montana where fire consumed his hunting lodge. He had been preparing for the fire season for
weeks, cutting back brush, and moving mounds of dirt around to create fire
breaks in key areas. Dave's planning was not enough to keep the flying flames
from lighting structures and trees.
fierce winds blew the firestorm any closer, Cynthia started moving horses out
of the upper pastures and corrals, which were first in line of danger, taking
them down the steep dirt driveway to the safe zone: the sand riding arena. The dirt, sand, and debris were blowing
into her eyes as she moved horses six at a time. The sprinklers were on all around the arena
as well as the hay barn. Anyone who was there grabbed horses from corrals and
barns and put them in the arena.
ranch was so smoke-filled it was impossible to see beyond a few feet, but all
60 horses were put in the relative safety of the arena and lower corrals. Once the horses were safe Cynthia went back to
work protecting the hounds in their kennels and the wooden buildings from the
fire. She could have used some foot
crews but instead had only Dave, her ranch hand Hector, her brother Chris Shea,
and a few boarders at the barn to put out the rapidly spreading fires.
Carol later told me, she and Chris manned the hoses at the upper barn. Their
job was to catch the burning embers as they flew down the hill and put them out
before they could ignite the wood barn. Cynthia drove back and forth on her quad
vehicle between her house and the hound kennels using the hoses to put out
anything flaming. Dave and Hector protected the full hay barn adjacent to the
were extensive. A six-week-old calf died of smoke inhalation and some of the barn
cats are missing. A ranch hand lost his trailer and all his possessions. Our
public bathroom is rubble as well as a cabin, sheds, tack rooms, tack, trucks,
a backhoe, and horse trailers. So much
more is unrecognizable.
the children who live at the ranch were safe. Hector had his wife leave with
their baby. His other children were in school, as was Cynthia's and Dave's
14-year-old son, Colton.
Chris told Normie Gagerman to leave with her dog, Kobe, but the horsewoman
would not do so until she ran into the smoke filled upper barn and rescued
Cynthia's 4-month-old puppy, Dolce, from a stall.
put the dogs in her car and made her way down a smoke and fire-filled road, crossing
a burning bridge to the base of the canyon at DeSoto and the 118 freeway. That's when I first saw her at about 11 a.m.--her
face gray and brown with soot and dirt, lips caked black, her red hair gray.
police cars were at the base of Browns
Canyon to make certain no
anxious horse owners like me and my friends didn't try to go up the burning road.
from Misty Hollow Ranch, Where Trails Begin, and Mountain Meadows Ranch were
gathered and ran to Normie to get news of the conditions at the barns. Normie
broke down crying as we hugged her and all she was able to say was, "It's really bad, the fire is everywhere, I
don't know if the horses made it, I don't know where Cynthia is, I couldn't see
anything--there was so much smoke."
Mountain Meadows Ranch was spared extensive damage by luck, the hard work of
trainer, Joya, and the boarders present that morning. There was a brief visit
by one fire truck with water. The fire man was "not supposed to be there," said
several boarders at Mountain Meadows. "He put out the large burning manure pile
and left." The ranch's hay and hay shed burned down and they lost many horse
stalls and corrals.
Creeks Ranch owned and operated by John and Vanessa Petersen, which was a
large cattle ranch and was also known as the site for many movie sets, had
unrecoverable losses. Their natural grazing pastures and fencing were destroyed
by the fires. There was no fire response at this ranch, John and Vanessa told
me on Sunday, seven days after the fire.
said, "Nothing--No fire chiefs, no
trucks, no crew. Nothing!" He had
sold his 60 head of cattle that week. He wondered, "What's it going to be like
next year when there are no cattle here to eat down the grass. The grass is
going to be five-feet high when the fires come back next year." Ironically, as we
were talking the first fire truck they saw all week pulled up.
3:30 p.m. on the day of the Browns Canyon Fire, the police received orders that
the front of the fire had passed through and horse owners could go into the
canyon. I drove in with friends Tate,
Chris, Liz, and Normie. Liz Finder had picked Colton Wendler up from school and
he was anxious to get home to help his parents.
No fire units of any kind were seen as
we drove into the canyon, which was still very much ablaze, flames were every few yards along the road. We drove
through, looking at the blackened mess, seeing little surviving foliage. We passed over a smoldering bridge that I
later learned was the site of controversy between city and state fire workers. Unable to decide whose job it was to put
out the burning bridge, a citizen in a private water truck put it out.
At Misty Hollow Ranch where we boarded our horses, we saw a private water truck
belonging to a friend of Dave's daughter, Carey Wendler. Carey was using the
truck to put out larger fires and refill water containers. Soot-covered Cynthia
and Dave gave us jobs to do: put out flames and hotspots threatening the
structures, water the horses and hounds.
the mesa all the telephone poles were burned and power lines were on the
ground. Gone with the electricity was the water pump that brought water up from
the well. Very little water was left in the hoses so they worked only
sporadically. We women filled the water buckets however we could and got to
work on the hot spots.
I saw smoke coming from under seemingly benign
dirt on the embankment behind the upper barn. I climbed the embankment in my
rubber-soled hiking boots, with a bandana tied over my nose and mouth and a
garden rake in hand. While raking at the smoke I saw live, hot coals underneath
the dirt. Boarder Janine and her father worked with me, passing buckets of
water up the hillside to put out the coals.
At one point on the embankment my feet were getting increasingly hot. I
saw flames at my feet and felt embers on my ankles. I found water to put out
the blaze at my feet and I sustained a burn on my ankle.
As light faded it became easier to see
the glowing hotspots. We all worked
tirelessly to put them out but some higher on the hillsides and in the trees
were beyond our reach. More people arrived to help including my husband George.
George went to work on the bigger flames requiring more strength and dexterity
All this was going on for hours without a single fire
truck at the ranch. Carey had a
second friend who arrived with a rented water truck. Misty Hollow now had two
private water trucks on the ranch but no professional firefighters. The bulk of hotspot control became the work
of middle-age women.
8 p.m. we saw our first fire truck. Later more arrived. It seemed they
needed direct requests from us to put out some of the larger flames.
Cynthia, Dave, Carey, with her water truck
friends, and young Colton
stayed awake all night to safekeep their home, hounds and horses. Hector had
been sent to the emergency room due to debris in his eyes and his family stayed
with relatives in town. One fire unit
remained on the property and promised to stay all night. At one point in
the night Cynthia had to awaken the firemen sleeping on cots near the road and
ask them to put out a blaze that was becoming larger. As I drove away at
midnight I saw four more fire units along the road.
to the experience, dedication, and courage of the ranch owners, ranch hands,
boarders, friends and family, Misty Hollow Ranch survived. Across the street,
at Where Trails Begin, there was more damage and they lost two horses. The
homeowners just down the road from Misty Hollow lost everything - their beloved
dogs and their home.
The question remains why was Browns Canyon
given so little attention when it was needed the most? Why
were the fire trucks called away? Could some of this loss have been prevented? ■
Susan Splawski is a Chatsworth resident who boards two horses, Angel and Dakota, at Misty Hollows Ranch, and is caretaker of her former horse Doc.
GREAT CALIFORNIA SHAKEOUT, NOV. 13
Were You Prepared for the Wildfire?
Will You Be Ready for a Big Quake?
Were you prepared for the recent wildfire? Will you be ready for the next big earthquake? With 22 million people living and
working in Southern California, a
major earthquake in the region could cause an unprecedented
What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine
what our lives will be like after. With earthquakes an inevitable part
of Southern California's future, Californians must act quickly to
ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes.
With this in mind,
the Earthquake Country Alliance has organized the Great Southern
California ShakeOut, a week of special events featuring a massive
earthquake drill at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13.
The ShakeOut drill centers on the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario
a realistic portrayal of what could happen in a major earthquake on the
southern end of the San Andreas Fault. Created by over 300 experts led
by Dr. Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey, the scenario outlines
a hypothetical 7.8 magnitude earthquake originating near the Salton
Sea, which would have the potential to devastate the region.
With a goal of at least 5 million participants, the ShakeOut drill will be the largest in U.S. history. To participate, go to www.ShakeOut.org/register
and pledge your family, school, business, or organization's
participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive
information on how to plan their drill, connect with other
participants, and encourage a dialogue with others about earthquake
preparedness. There are many ways to take part, but it all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
For more information, visit www.ShakeOut.org
and be sure to visit the official ShakeOut Blog at greatsocalshakeout.blogspot.com
TAKE TWO ONLINE CITY SURVEYS
Los Angeles Wants Your Thoughts
on Both the Budget and Culture
You can help determine how your tax dollars will be spent and also shape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles by participating in two online surveys.
ensure that the needs of Chatsworth and other neighborhoods are met, the mayor's office has
created a survey to help guide the development of the City
budget. This survey asks you to make very tough choices regarding real
decisions that the mayor must make. This year, the City
will be challenged by many issues, including the uncertain impact of
the turbulent national economy, likely revenue shortfalls, and
increased service demands.
Given these daunting challenges, it
is important to hear from community members about their budget
priorities and their thoughts regarding the City's revenues and
Click here for the budget survey.
The cultural survey will help the City learn
more about the ways in which residents engage in arts and cultural
activities as part of the Cultural Master Plan. The
Cultural Master Plan will be a common vision for how culture and
creativity in all its forms can contribute to community and quality of
life for residents and visitors.
Click here for the cultural survey.
There will also be a meeting about the Cultural Master Plan, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Northridge Park, Devonshire House, 18300 Lemarsh St., Northridge.
For more information, please visit www.culturalplan.lacity.org or call (213) 202-5539.
your feedback on the City's new Cultural Master Plan, on Wednesday,
Oct. 29 at 6:30-8 p.m. at the Devonshire House in Northridge Park, 18300 Lemarsh St., Northridge. Details, culturalplan.lacity.org or call (213) 202-5539.
Saturday, Nov. 1 is Election Day in Chatsworth. Vote to fill 10 open seats on the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council. Balloting is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Chatsworth Train Depot, 10038 Old Depot Plaza Road. Details HERE.
Enjoy a free Community Appreciation Picnic to celebrate the public safety officers and community members, businesses and groups that came together during the recent local disasters, 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 2, at Holleigh Bernson Park, 20500 Sesnon Blvd., Porter Ranch. Street parking will be available. Also, free shuttles from World Vision Church, 19514 Rinaldi St., Northridge. Details, call (818) 576-8501.
An extra hour of sleep awaits you on Sunday, Nov. 2. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. the first Sunday in November then returns the second Sunday in March.
Tuesday, Nov. 4, is presidential Election Day. Remember to cast your ballot at your local polling precinct. Details HERE.
Pre-Veterans Day program is planned for 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave. Details, call Bruce Troe or Marylee Pena at (818) 678-7900.
More than 3.4 million people in earthquake-endangered Southern California are currently registered to participate in the Great California ShakeOut Drill on Nov. 13, and 1.8 million are from Los Angeles County. Register HERE.
The Special Olympics Tri-Valley Bowl-A-Thon
and raffle will be Saturday, Nov. 15, at AMF Rocket Bowl, 9171 DeSoto Ave., from 10 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. The entry fee is $20 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Special Olympics.
You can register as a 3-person team or sign up and be placed on an existing team. One Special Olympics Athlete will join each team as Team Captain.
You can also sponsor a Special Olympics Athlete. Details, call (818) 342-0017.
Metro will reveal design plans for the Orange Line busway bridge over Lassen Street, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 17, at Chatsworth High School 10027 Lurline Avenue.
Metro will reveal design plans for the Orange Line busway bridge over Lassen Street, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, at New Academy High School, 21425 Cohasset St. Canoga Park.
More than 30,000 kids from across the San Fernando Valley are expected for the first Children's Day celebration, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Woodley Park, Nov. 22. The park, between Victory and Burbank Blvds., Van Nuys, will feature Radio Disney, NBC's Fritz Coleman, David Beckham Soccer Academy, Laker Greats, L.A. Kings, Elmo, the voice of Bart Simpson, music, rides, sports and more. Details, click HERE.
Holiday Toy Express arrives at the Chatsworth Depot, Sunday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. with a festive gathering beginning at 5 p.m.
The Chatsworth Holiday Parade is scheduled to march down Devonshire Street beginning at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 14.
LAPD Devonshire PALS are collecting new and unwrapped toys, games and books for underprivileged youth through Dec. 19. Bring items to the Devonshire police station, 10250 Etiwanda Ave., Northridge. Details, call Elizabeth Sandoval at (818) 772-1717 or Dan Slater at (818) 756-8270.
Bring this coupon to the next Neighborhood Council Meeting and receive a free Be Safe, Be Seen safety flasher. Wear it while jogging, cycling, walking the dog.
While supplies last 10.26.08