Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
The Chatsworth Roundup
Breaking News from your Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Metro to Unveil Orange Line Busway
Designs at Monday, Tuesday Preview

Lassen Busway BridgeArchitectural rendering of one of two proposals for the busway bridge over Lassen Street.
In This Issue
  • Orange Line Meeting Monday
  • Is There a Place for 'Sober Living'?
  • City Seeks Your Opinion
  • Ready for the Next Disaster?
  • Aid a Sylmar Fire Victim
  • Board Officers Elected
  • Memoirs of an Election Dude
  • Mayor Thanks Council
  • CanStruction to Benefit Food Banks
  • Chatsworth in the News
  • Action Calendar
  • How to Contact the Council

  • Greetings!

    You Can Serve Your Community

    ONCE a year, the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council adds stakeholders as voting members of each of our six committees. Three of the committees will be doing that this week.

    Stakeholders must attend this week's committee meeting to be eligible, although new members can be added later if not all seats are filled at this first meeting of the board year.

    All meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Chatsworth Train Depot, 10038 Old Depot Plaza Road. The Equestrian Committee meets Tuesday, Community Enhancements meets Wednesday and Land Use is Thursday. Other committees will be meeting later in the month. 

    For descriptions of the committees and meeting times, click HERE.  Questions can be sent to

    Stakeholder members have full voting status and are expected to attend and participate in the monthly committee meetings. Each committee has a limited number of stakeholder seats that may be filled on a competitive basis.

    Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Bylaws require that all committees reconstitute at the beginning of a new board year. The Nov. 1 Council election and subsequent installation of new board members marked the start of the 2008-09 board year.

    All stakeholders are always welcome and encouraged to attend committee or board meetings. Every meeting includes time for stakeholders to make public comments.
    NOW you can read any of the previous Chatsworth Roundup newsletters online.
    Just click HERE for the archive.

    Join Our Mailing List!


    Is There a Place
    for 'Sober Living'?

    Do so-called "Sober Living" halfway houses belong in residential neighborhoods?

    The debate rages:

    Thom Senzee: Give sober living a chance to thrive.
    Proposed legislation to restrict the number of sober-living houses in Los Angeles will result in fewer housing options for addicts and alcoholics who have just completed rehab programs.
    View Full Story

    Greig Smith: These unlicensed businesses are causing significant negative impacts on the quality of life.
    We have been working on a citywide ordinance that would regulate these homes.
    In this response, a member of our community underscores the need to regulate unlicensed group homes in residential neighborhoods.
    View Full Story


    Take Budget and Culture Surveys

    You can help determine how your Chatsworth tax dollars will be spent and also shape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles by participating in two city-sponsored online surveys.
    Click here for the budget survey.

    Click here for the cultural survey.

    For more information, please visit or call (213) 202-5539.


    Prepare Today for the Next Disaster

    Learn how you and your family can become better prepared for earthquakes, wildfires, floods and other disasters, 2-5 p.m. today at Fire Station 87, 10124 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills.

    Emergency planning experts will explain the best ways to prepare yourself, your family and your workplace in the event of a disaster. Kids can ride on the Yogi Bear Earthquake Simulator. The event, co-sponsored by area Neighborhood Councils, will feature booths, displays and demonstrations.

    For more information, call (818) 756-8501.

    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.

  • 1st Wednesday:
  • CNC Board at Lawrence Middle  School.

  • 2nd Tuesday:
  • Beautification.

  • 3rd Tuesday:
  • Equestrian.

  • 3rd Wednesday:
  • Enhancements.

  • 3rd Thursday:
  • Land Use.

  • 4th Tuesday:
  • Outreach.
  • 4th Wednesday:
  • Public Safety & Transportation.

  • Election Committee, TBA

    Check the CNC website for last-minute changes.

  • Quick Links
    Quick Phones

    Neighborhood Council

    (818) 464-3511

    West Valley Alliance (graffiti removal)
    (818) 885-8885

    Police Tipoff Line
    (818) 832-0563

    L.A. City Infoline

    City Services

    Zero Waste
    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 LAFD letter.

    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
    You can place service requests for street repair, tree trimming, downed trees or palm fronds in the street online.
    This 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? Click here 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.

    Bridge Will Carry Buses Over
    Lassen Street Into Train Depot

    Chatsworth Neighborhood CouncilETRO will reveal the proposed designs for the Lassen Street Orange Line bus bridge Monday at Chatsworth High School and Tuesday at New Academy of Canoga Park.

    The designs, by Gruen Associates architectural firm, will be available for viewing beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night.  A project presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and the project staff will take questions at 7:30 p.m.

    This will be the final presentation for the proposed four-mile northern busway extension to connect the Metro Orange Line Canoga Station with the Chatsworth Metrolink Station.  Metro expects 9,000 daily riders within 20 years.

    The plans were recently previewed by several community groups including several members of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council.  Metro representatives said the span would displace about 100 parking spaces on the south side of the station.  The northern parking lot would be expanded for a net gain of 130 spaces.

    Stakeholders suggested that vacant land across the tracks from the southern lot be purchased for parking, but Metro officials said there was no budget for that acquisition.

    Plans include a street-level 15-foot-wide multi-use bike path.  Station bathroom facilities may be expanded, but there are no plans to make rest rooms available to the pubic during hours when the depot waiting room is closed, they said.

    The presentation will explain the project's elements, details on the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report and the schedule for Metro Board action.  Topics covered will include plans for stations, operations, landscaping, privacy walls and parking.

    Chatsworth High School is located at 10027 Lurline Ave., Chatsworth, and New Academy is at 21425 Cohasset St., Canoga Park.

    For more information, see or call 818-276-1289.

    Orange Line MapClick map for larger pdf version.


    Reach Out and Aid Someone

    More than 500 homes were destroyed. Many families escaped with little more than the clothes on their backs.

    Anna Cox, former member of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, urges Chatsworth stakeholders to offer an immediate  helping hand to those burned out by the Sylmar/Sayre fire.  She speaks from experience.

    Cox lost her home and everything inside to the recent Sesnon wildfire.

    Evacuees need clothes, blankets and other household goods to re-establish their lives, Cox said.  "They could use Walgreen's gift cards to buy toothpaste and toiletries," she said.  And they need duffle bags, backpacks or sport bags in which to carry these offerings.

    Cox said that donations should be taken directly to the evacuation centers and handed to the displaced.

    Hundreds of evacuees were staying at Sylmar High School, 13050 Borden Ave., Sylmar; San Fernando High School, 11133 O'Melveny Ave., San Fernando, and John F. Kennedy High School, 11254 Gothic Ave., Granada Hills.

    However, by 8:30 p.m., Saturday, only 40 had registered at the Chatsworth High School evacuation center, according to Art Rutherford, a Red Cross volunteer. None remained to spend the night on cots in the school gymnasium.

    They were among 10,000 residents ordered out of their homes  as more than 1,000 firefighters used water-dropping helicopters, bulldozers and engines from across Southern California to try to halt the erratic march of the blaze, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    As the fire more than doubled in size to 6,500 acres, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at an early-afternoon briefing: "We've never lost in recent times anything close to this number" of homes. The fire was 20% contained; officials hoped that the advance of the blaze into the previously burned area of last month's Sesnon fire would allow firefighters to get the upper hand.


    Election Day RainCouncil candidates huddle during Nov. 1 rainstorm as stakeholders vote in the Chatsworth Train Depot. Winners were seated at the Nov. 5 board meeting where Judith Daniels was elected to her third term as Council President.  Linda van der Valk became vice president, Allen Glazer became treasurer and Linda Ross was re-elected secretary. [Photo / Allen Glazer]


    'L.A. Is a Collection of Small Towns, Complete With Unique Character, Personality, Needs and Desires'

    Stephen Box has twice officiated at the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council election as the city's Independent Election Administrator.  Under new city rules, the next election will be conducted by the City Clerk in 2010.

    By Stephen Box

    Stephen Box[November] marked the end of my tour of duty as an Independent Election Administrator charged with supervising Neighborhood Council elections throughout the City of Los Angeles.

    My final election was held in Chatsworth, where stakeholders have traditionally been identified as those who "Live, work, own property or board a horse." The week prior, I was in Coastal San Pedro where stakeholders have traditionally been identified as those who "Live, work, own property or dock a boat." Such is the diversity of Los Angeles. Of course all of that changed when our City Council imposed the new "Live, work, own property or whatever" stakeholder status on Neighborhood Councils and it was then that I knew the end was nigh.

    Through it all, I learned a great deal from those I've worked with, encountering along the way a multitude of people with unique talents and perspectives who challenged me to be innovative in making the election process relevant to the needs of their local community.

    I've also been humbled as I watched newly immigrated senior citizens listen patiently as a translator explained how to use a ballot, all as they prepared to vote for the first time in their lives. I listened to a candidate explain to a Forum audience that he came from a country that held no elections. Now that he was here, he felt that it was his duty to run. These experiences served to remind me that Neighborhood Council elections are a significant and important step into the world of participatory democracy.

    As an IEA, I've been run ragged and overwhelmed with voters. I've sat in an empty room, bored and holding an empty ballot box, waiting for the day to end. I've been yelled at and cursed and I've been hugged and thanked and made to feel like family.

    I've conducted elections in museums, churches, community centers, schools, a train station and even the Farmer's Market. I've even held meetings in parking garages and I've held two elections on the sidewalk after getting locked out by LAUSD. Along the way, I was perpetually reminded that it was never the comfort of the facility but it was always the spirit of the people that made for a successful election.

    In spite of the fact that Los Angeles is the second largest city in the country, I now think of LA as a collection of small towns, NC sized, complete with unique character, personality, needs and desires. It's my experience that it was the ability of NC's to make unique the Neighborhood Council experience, tailoring the bylaws and election procedures to their needs and philosophy, that was key to creating ownership and responsibility.

    While critics claim that the old system of elections allowed for too much variation, deviation and even failure, I counter with this: True democracy is a guarantee of process, not of result. Granted, it allows for failure but it also allows for success.  Either way, the results belong to the participants and that is the essence of participatory democracy.

    For all of the pontificating and posturing as the City Council weighed in on the Neighborhood Councils and revised the DNA of the system, I never encountered a City Councilmember at an NC election. Perhaps they think it inappropriate to meddle in NC politics and they might have a point, a good point.

    Still, it would have been nice to see them drive by, drop off a box of Krispy Kremes and thank the volunteers. After all, this is where the business of the people takes place.

    As this era fades, I'm optimistic for the Neighborhood Council system, not because of the recent changes in process but because of the people I've met, the friends I've made and the passion and enthusiasm I've encountered along the way.

    To the neighborhood councils I've worked with, thanks for the ride!

    [This article first appeared in the CityWatch newsletter.]


    Mayor Thanks Neighborhood Council

    Award PresentationMayor Antonio Villaraigosa presents an award to area stakeholders, including the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council,  for the Council's assistance during the Sept. 12 Metrolink Crash.

    CertificateChatsworth Says Thanks, Too

    Jelena Csanyi, chairman of the Outreach Committee, presents a certificate of thanks to Nick Montaņo of Los Toros restaurant for donating meals to the Metrolink accident first-responders.  Council certificates are being presented to the local businesses that answered the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's call for assistance.

    CanStruction to Benefit Food Banks

    CanStruction Students in the ED Tech Academy of Chatsworth High School are collecting non-perishable food items to create sculptures like this flag. The food collected will be donated to Valley Interfaith Pantry, M.E.N.D. and St. John Eudes Pantry.

    The CanStruction Contest will be held 3:30-5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, in the Quad at Chatsworth High School, 10027 Lurline Ave.

    To participate or donate canned goods, RSVP by Nov. 19. Details, contact Amy Aviv at



    StarburstPrepare for earthquakes, wildfires, floods and other disasters, at a safety fair, 2-5 p.m. on today, Nov. 16, at Fire Station 87, 10124 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills. Details, call (818) 756-8501.

    Chatsworth Neighborhood CouncilMetro 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.

    MetroMetro 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, 21
    425 Cohasset St., Canoga Park.

    StarburstMeet Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the Chatsworth-Porter Ranch Chamber's annual Heroes and Legends Luncheon, will be 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20 at Porter Valley Country Club, 19216 Singing Hills Dr., Northridge. This luncheon will pay tribute to police officers, firefighters and other local heroes who selflessly helped those in need during the Sept. 12 Chatsworth train disaster. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door.  To RSVP or for more information, call (818) 341-2428.

    StarburstThe CanStruction Contest will be held 3:30-5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, in the Quad at Chatsworth High School, 10027 Lurline Ave. To participate or donate canned goods, RSVP by Nov. 19. Details, contact Amy Aviv at

    StarburstMore 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, Saturday, 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.

    Chatsworth Neighborhood CouncilHoliday Toy Express arrives at the Chatsworth Depot, Sunday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. with a festive gathering beginning at 5 p.m.

    SantaThe Chatsworth Holiday Parade is scheduled to march down Devonshire Street beginning at 1 p.m., Sunday,  Dec. 14.

    StarburstLAPD 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.

    CNC Contact

    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:

    Free Gift
    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.

    Name: ________________________________________

    Email: ________________________________________
    While supplies last                                                                11.15.08