Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
The Chatsworth Roundup
Breaking News from your Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
My Lawn Is Turning Brown Edition   |   ChatsworthCouncil.org   |   Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009

[Photo / Saul Daniels]
GROUNDBREAKING -- Shovels await officials who turned the first soil to begin work on the Orange Line extension at the Chatsworth train depot. The dedicated busway will connect to Woodland Hills.

In This Issue
  • Orange Line Crucial
  • National Night Out
  • Meet the Monsters
  • Topanga Flooded
  • Rationing Exemptions
  • Last Train Out
  • Neighbors Protest Church
  • Pirates Invade
  • 2 New CERT Classes
  • Police Set Meeting
  • FlyAway Goes Cashless
  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  • Chatsworth in the News
  • Action Calendar


    Your Neighborhood Council Meets 
    Tomorrow Night

    Our next meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 5. Join us at 7 p.m., at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave., for the meeting and light refreshments.

    Bring your questions and civic announcements.

    Click here for the agenda.


    To Beautify Chatsworth,
    Look Behind You! 

    If you drive along the major streets in the residential portions of Chatsworth, you'll often find yourself looking not at front yards or driveways but at concrete block walls.  As many of our tracts were developed, homes were given an element of privacy and quiet by facing them away from heavily trafficked thoroughfares.  With these benefits, however, comes a problem. 

    The sidewalks and streets that abut the sides and rear yards of inward-facing properties are "out of sight, out of mind" when it comes to maintenance.  Untrimmed trees and overgrown shrubbery create an obstacle course for pedestrians, street drainage problems for motorists and an eyesore for everyone except the property owners, whose backs are turned, literally. 

    While their front yards are neat and well cared for, pine needles and other dead foliage collect in front of storm drains, clogging especially those fitted with trash-excluding grates.  When it rains, water builds up in the roadways instead of flowing through the channels intended to carry it.  When it's hot and dry, piles of tinder invite the sparks from a wind-driven fire.  All year round, walkers and joggers must duck and weave their way along our sidewalks to avoid suckers springing from the bases of street tree trunks, overhanging and protruding branches from backyard foliage and mounds of dead vegetation -- or revert to the streets for a clear yet more dangerous path.  Some tree limbs hang so low and far that even cars are scraped as they drive in the outer lanes. 

    Whose problem is this to solve?  According to Section 56.08 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, it's the property owner or occupant.  It states, 

    "No person having charge or control of any lot or premises shall allow, keep or maintain any tree, bush or vegetation growing upon any lot or premises abutting any street or sidewalk or upon any street or sidewalk so that the limbs, twigs, leaves or parts of such tree, bush or vegetation interfere with or obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles upon or along said streets or sidewalks. [LAMC 56.08(a)] 

    "No person having charge or control of any lot or premises shall allow any soil, rubbish, trash, garden refuse, tree trimmings, ashes, tin cans or other waste or refuse to remain upon any sidewalk, parkway, or in or upon any street abutting on or adjacent to such lot or premises, or which will interfere with or obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles along any such street, sidewalk or parkway."  [LAMC 56.08(c)] 

    So take a moment to forget the walls and look behind you (and to the sides, while you're at it).  Greenery is great, whether it's in your yard or on the parkway adjacent to your property.  If yours is overgrown and interfering with public right of way, however, please trim it, sweep it and clean it.  Failure to do so can result in a citation from the City's Bureau of Street Services.  Before it comes to that, the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council encourages you to be a good neighbor and take care of the problem.  And, when you're done, take a walk and enjoy the public space that belongs to us all.

    Marty Woll
    Former President
    Chatsworth Neighborhood Council


    We Get E-Mails

    We love to hear from our stakeholders. If you have a comment, news release or story idea, send it to info@chatsworthcouncil.org.
    E-mails can be edited for content and length.


    Go Slow


    Why is the speed meter on Mason between the 118 Freeway and Chatsworth not working?  It has been covered up.

    Carol Jensen

    >> Council President Judith Daniels says: I have personally reported to Councilman Greig Smith's office that the sign was out of order. I'm not sure why it was covered. I will ask them for an update on when we can expect repairs.


    Mobile Billboards


    I am a resident on Mason Avenue and have been for the last 18 years. Recently there has been an increase of billboards with tires on local and surrounding streets and I was wondering if this is even legal? 

    I know Los Angeles has a billboard problem in general and is dealing with it, so I'm assuming these two issues are related somehow.

    Mohsen Yazdanian

    >> Council President Judith Daniels says: The Chatsworth Neighborhood Council worked closely with Councilman Greig Smith's office for about two years to get the unhitched advertising trailers off Devonshire Street. Smith was able to get Devonshire posted for "No Unhitched Trailers" from Topanga Canyon Boulevard to the San Diego Freeway. 

    We are now working to accomplish the same feat on other major streets where many of the advertisements have been moved. Most of Topanga has already been posted in Chatsworth. Our next priorities are Mason and Lassen.

    Email us with locations of other signs that are a traffic  hazard or blight to our community and we will add them to our list. Some stakeholders have told us that they have called the businesses and suggested that they reconsider such advertising. Remember that these are legally "vehicles" that are allowed for 72 consecutive hours if parked in a legal spot.


    Love a Pet


    Open your hearts and homes to find endless love.

    Recently my friend Evelyn wanted to donate cat food and asked if I would drop it at the West Valley Animal Shelter on Plummer at Lurline. I said yes since that is where I found my 3 loves. Shy, Shadow and Boo.

    I reached the city's limit of 3 dogs and 3 cats per house in December with my third dog Boo, but still could not resist looking at all the cats and dogs they had. All the cages were full and most had two or more dogs in them.

    The staff member informed me that the shelter is overloaded, probably because of the bad economy, and if they do not get the pets adopted soon most of them will have to be put to sleep.

    I am writing to ask all of you to open your hearts and homes, go to the shelter and find your soul match.

    You will be saving their life and probably extending yours. It is well known that pets are good for us. They make us smile, keep us safe and for each pound of food you give them you get a ton of love.

    If you are not able to adopt at this time you can help  our shelter with a monetary donation or donate any item from their needs list:
    blankets, towels, newspaper, cat/kitten toys and food, dog treats, metal bowls, grooming supplies, leashes and collars, dryer sheets, etc.

    You can also volunteer to help.

    Let's take care of our animals. They love us unconditionally.

    Jelena Csanyi


    Open Space


    My husband has been teaching at Pierce College  for almost 40 years. One of the things that I have been doing at Pierce this past year is trying to protect the farm for our community. Pierce College is considered "Open Space" in the Community Plan.

    They want to bring the San Fernando Valley Fair to Pierce. The fair could bring in a large stadium and lots of traffic. Please tell them we don't want the fair there -- we want our farm.

    The Pierce farm is an  important part of our community. This is where we relocate the horses and other domestic animals  during the fires. It is important to have people there that know how to handle the animals. And it is important to have that infrastructure in place.
    The college's "Master Plan" calls for a large stadium to be put in near the equestrian center -- and that our "Open Space" and our view of that real farm will be erased from our memories. This past year, many of the old farm buildings were taken down as they put in a sewer system.

    The new Childcare Center is being put on the west side of Mason in the "Open Space" area. They have put in new parking lots -- not permeable to my knowledge.

    Here  is the current Daily News article and the story that I wrote for the Daily News last year.
    Chris Rowe
    West Hills


    On the Watch


    The monthly Neighborhood Watch Meeting  is held on the 4th Thursday of each month at Saint John Eudes Church located at 9901 Mason Ave. at 7 p.m. It is a very worthwhile and informative meeting and I would highly recommend that you attend if possible. I attended the last meeting, July 23rd, and this is a short summary of what transpired.

    Senior Lead Officer Danny Del Valle introduced Detective Soloman who spoke about:
    -- Different ways to secure your home,
    -- How to be a good witness in the event you are a victim of a crime,
    -- Improvement in overall response times. Not perfect but better.

    Lucie Volotzky did a short presentation on CERT and
    the importance of Community Emergency Response Team training.

    For more information on CERT please go to http://www.cert-la.com/index.shtml.

    I am starting my CERT Training Aug. 25th at Northrop Grumman. If any of you neighbors would like to join me, class starts at 6  p.m. at Fire Station 84, west of Kaiser on Burbank Boulevard.  To sign up, contact Frank Vitale at Northrop Grumman,  (818) 719-7565, and let him know that you're part of the Safe Neighborhood Watch Group.

    The next monthly Neighborhood Watch Meeting is on Aug. 27th. I hope to see more of our neighbors there.

    Richard Lechner
    Safe Neighborhood Watch


    Write to Us

    Have a story idea or news release? How about a question for the Neighborhood Council? Want to write a letter to the editor? Write to us at info@chatsworthcouncil.org.

    Join Our Mailing List!

    Click here for the archive of previous Roundup newsletters.


    CNC Video

    Click image for VIDEO.

    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, 10100 Variel Ave.

  • 2nd Tuesday:
  • Beautification.

  •  2nd Wednesday:
  • Equestrian.

  •  3rd Tuesday:
  • Public Safety & Transportation.

  • 3rd Wednesday:
  • Enhancements.

  • 3rd Thursday:
  • Land Use.

  • 4th Tuesday:
  • Outreach

    Check the CNC website for last-minute changes.


    DWP Water Conservation Measures in Effect

    DWP water conservation measures are now in effect, restricting lawn watering with automatic sprinklers to Mondays and Thursdays, before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

    Watering by hand with a flow-control nozzle is allowed on any day, before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

    Here are several links with detailed information on the water conservation measures:

    Shortage Year Rates Fact Sheet

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Sprinkler Use Ordinance

    Prohibited Uses of Water

    DWP Phone: (800) Dial DWP
    DWP Website: LADWP.com 

    To report water waste call   (800) Dial DWP.

    For information on the DWP's Residential Drought Resistant Landscape Incentive Program, call (888) 376-3314. For information on any of the Department's other rebates and incentives visit LADWP.com
    and click on "Rebates and Programs" or (800) dial DWP.


    Facing Foreclosure?
    Pick Up the Phone

    Need help with your mortgage? Call (888) 89-LA NHS, email counseling@lanhs.org or see http://www.lanhs.org/.

    County Offers Foreclosure Aid: The County's Department of Consumer Affairs is offering a variety of information and assistance for homeowners and property owners at risk of foreclosure, trying to refinance, or otherwise navigating through today's economic turbulence. 

    For more detailed information on the range of homeowner-related programs and services the department offers, visit the Homes page.

    Beware of Property-Tax Scams: Beware of firms charging a hefty fee to "assist" area homeowners in filing property assessment reduction forms. You can download them free, here: Change in Assessment form, and visit the County's Assessment Appeals page for full details on all aspects of property assessment, including proposed reductions. Property owners can also call toll-free (888) 807-2111 for assistance.

    Gas Co. Has Energy Aid: For information on the Gas Company's bill assistance programs, visit www.SocalGas.com/assistance, or call toll-free at (800) 427-2200. For energy saving tips, click HERE.

    DWP Offering Water Conservation Rebates

    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is still funding rebates for water conservation devices.  All qualified rebate applications from DWP customers will be honored.  To apply for your rebate or for more information, please contact the So Cal Watersmart Program at (888) 376-3314 or go to bewaterwise.com.


    L.A. Animal Services Needs Foster Parents

    Los Angeles Animal Services needs your help to recruit volunteers to be foster parents for their orphaned puppies and kittens.  Please contact LA Animal Services New Hope coordinator at (888) 452-7381 or visit laanimalservices.com for more information.


    Seniors Meet Every Monday, Thursday

    Chatsworth seniors 50-plus meet every Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mason Park Recreation Center, 10500 Mason Ave.

    A hot lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. But, because lunches are limited in number, seniors need to sign up beginning at 9:30 a.m.

    A lunch donation of $1.25 is requested for seniors 60-plus and  $4.50 for seniors age 50-60. You do not have to be a member
    to enjoy lunch, which is funded by the Department of Aging.

    Membership activities include chair exercise, line dancing, mah jong, bridge, square dancing, poker and more. Exercise chairs were donated by the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council.

    For information, stop in or call the park, at (818 ) 998-6377 on meeting days, or e-mail Chatsworth Senior Center President Harriet Van Tiger at chatsworth4seniors@yahoo.
    com; or contact Phyllis Fisher at (818) 701-6099.


    Donate DVDs
    to Benefit Veterans

    DVDs4Vets is a non-profit organization that collects new and used DVDs and donates them to wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Many of these veterans have physical and economic hardships that make it difficult for them to obtain some of the basic entertainment that most civilians take for granted.

    In the last year, DVDs4Vets has delivered more than 38,000 DVDs to various V.A. Hospitals, homes, centers and clinics for veterans.

    For more information on how to donate DVDs, visit DVDs4Vets.org.


    Here's Where You
    Can Recycle Locally

    Vons Shopping Center,
    20440 Devonshire St. (behind Rite-Aid)

    RecycleValley Recycling Center,
    20220 Plummer St.,

    Budget Recycling,
    21250 Nordhoff St.,
     Disaster Links

    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

    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:

    211 logo

    311 logo

    Orange Line Seen as  Crucial to Pasadena, Bob Hope Airport Link
    Network Could Connect Job Centers,
    San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys

    Construction of the Orange Line extension to Chatsworth is critical to what County Supervisor Antonovich sees as a vast transportation network in the San Fernando Valley.

    "Supervisor Antonovich hopes that the Orange Line can also be extended East from North Hollywood to Pasadena, or bring the Gold Line West from Pasadena to North Hollywood," Millie Jones, the supervisor's field deputy, told those gathered for the June 24 groundbreaking.

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and City Council members Greig Smith and Dennis Zine were among those taking part in the ceremony at the Chatsworth train depot.

    "We knew that this was a great opportunity to connect the dots here in the San Fernando Valley, and bring a system to the Valley that will connect the employment centers," Smith said.

    Antonovich believes it is important to connect the Orange Line and Red Line hub to Bob Hope Airport," Jones said.  "And perhaps if there is extra funding within Measure R, it can go toward study and implementation of such major transportation links across Glendale/Burbank to connect the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys and further connect our entire Metro system to the Bob Hope Airport."

    You can track Measure R projects at metro.net/measurer/default.asp.

    Expansion of the northern parking lot at Chatsworth's train depot is expected to be completed by Oct. 15.

    The southern parking lot will close by the beginning of 2010, according to Metro spokesperson Olga M. López.
    "Metro expects to have a design-build contractor on-board -- a notice to proceed has to be issued -- approximately around the end of the year," she told The Roundup.

    But construction of the Lassen Street overpass will not begin until utility lines are relocated underground, she said. Construction will take approximately 15 months.

    "Traffic will be impacted during the undergrounding of the overhead powerlines, but the extent of the disruption will be determined by the design of the underground work, which is not completed, as of yet," López said. "There is a possibility that motorists and pedestrians will be impacted. We will work with the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation and comply with their approved detours."

    The project is expected to create about 3,000 jobs, and have an economic impact of $461 million, Metro officials said.

    The four-mile extension is expected to open in summer 2012, more than three years ahead of schedule. The busway is funded with state transportation money and with allocations from the Measure R half-cent sales tax, which was approved by a two-thirds majority of voters last year.

    Orange Line features are expected to include lush landscaping, bicycle and pedestrian paths, an elevated bridge at Lassen Street, privacy walls for neighbors and traffic improvements. The northern parking is being expanded to replace southern parking spaces lost to Orange Line operations.

    By interconnecting the existing Orange Line, Metro Rapid bus lines, Metrolink trains and the subway system, it will expand the public transit options for Valley commuters and is designed to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

    The existing cross-Valley Orange Line saw ridership shoot up from 16,000 passengers per day to more than 21,000 per day in its first year of operation, a level not anticipated until 2020.

    The extension will have stops at Sherman Way, Roscoe, Nordhoff and Chatsworth, and a park and ride lot at Sherman Way. 

    For more information, visit metro.net/canoga or call the Metro hotline at (213) 922-3668.

    Orange Line groundbreaking
    [Photo / Matt Myerhoff]
    MTA Board Member Richard Katz, left, Councilman Greig Smith, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Dennis Zine, MTA CEO Art Leahy, and Supervisor Michael Antonovich's Field Deputy Millie Jones.


    See 'Kung Fu Panda' Tonight
    When Everything Is Free
    Hotdogs, Soft Drinks, Popcorn, Prizes

    By Danny Del Valle

    Senior Lead Officer, LAPD
    The LAPD Devonshire Community Police Station invites you and your family for a fun family event tonight at: Northridge Park, 18300 Lemarsh St., Northridge from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    We are so excited about tonight and to think it's all FREE...
    That's right, all FREE with hotdogs, soft drinks, popcornBadge, moon bouncer for the kids, a movie staring "KUNG FU PANDA" and a chance to WIN great Prizes for adults and kids.

    You will need to bring your favorite blanket to watch the movie and please NO PETS.

    Prizes include gift bags for adults and kids, plus gift certificates from the following: Ralph's, Pick-up-Stix, El Presidente, Chili's, Black Angus, Islands, Outback, Olive Garden, TGI Fridays restaurants, Robeks, State Farm and  Facey.

    We are also having a rock wallKung Fu Panda with two monkey jumps for an additional fee should you choose to partake in the fun.

    Sponsors for the event for National Night Out 2009 include:
    HOWS Market, Coca-Cola, Classis Meats, Albertsons, SAMS Club, Jollybouncers and Councilman Greig Smith.

    Our special thanks to everyone who has donated or volunteered for National Night Out 2009.

    Just a reminder, when you enter the park, look for the registration booth where you can get some great handout gifts and a goodie bag for the kids. You will also receive a raffle ticket for everyone who attends. WHITE tickets are for adults, BLUE tickets are for boys and RED tickets are for girls.

    Come on out and meet your neighbors, friends, the captain, senior lead officers and many others from Devonshire Police Department.

    Additional National Night Out events will be 5 to 9 p.m.,  Birmingham High School, Victory Blvd. & Balboa Blvd, Lake Balboa. For more information, call (818) 374-7636 or visit encinowatch.com. There will also be events, 5 to 9 p.m., Warner Center Park, Woodland Hills. For more information, call Topanga Area Community Relations Office at (818) 756-3187.


    You Can Meet the Monsters,
    And the Men Who Made Them
    Tour Chatsworth's Fantasy Factory

    Want to see monsters? Well, the date's been changed.

    Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. (ADI), an Academy Award-winning studio that builds aliens, monsters, beasts and costumes for Hollywood's greatest science fiction and fantasy films, will be the site of the Cinema Heritage Project's next presentation on Saturday, Aug. 8, in Chatsworth.

    The free event will include the first public tours of the studio, where the creatures in the AlienPredator and Tremors films were created. ADI also built the "bugs" in Starship Troopers, the beasts of Jumanji and Goro of Mortal Kombat, as well as costumes used in the Spider-Man films.

    The ADI studio at 20100 Cinema Heritage ProjectPlummer St. (at Winnetka Avenue) includes a museum and a large workshop where its creations are built and displayed. 

    Tours of the studio, for which reservations are required, will begin at 3 p.m. and continue into the evening. Cameras will not be allowed inside the studio.  

    As the sun begins to set at 7 p.m., guests will hear presentations by people who work in the special effects industry, followed at 8 p.m. by a screening of Alien vs. Predator  in ADI's parking lot.  

    Among the speakers will be Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., founders of ADI. In the movies, Gillis supervises the facial performances from outside the suits, working with the director to get the right performances on film, while Woodruff often wears the suits, performing as the Alien and other creatures. For information about ADI, visit studioadi.com

    The Cinema Heritage Project is a grassroots nonprofit corporation that presents movies at the locations where they were made. CHP events include speakers, site tours and other features to celebrate the movies and the people who made them, as well as the locations and their histories. Major sponsors of this event include the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, the West Hills Neighborhood Council, Fallbrook Center and other businesses and agencies. 

    To obtain reservations for tours, contact the Cinema Heritage Project at info@cinemaheritage.com or call (818) 348-8657. For event information, visit cinemaheritage.com


    [Photo / Jelena Csanyi]  
    FLOODING -- A car sheared a utility pole and fire hydrant at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Old Santa Susana Pass Road flooding the area for 2 hours and 45 minutes, knocking out power and closing the busy boulevard overnight on Sunday, Aug. 2, according to one witness. At least one private yard was flooded. Another required five wheelbarrow loads to cart away mud and debris.


    While Parks, Golf Courses Win
    Water Rationing Exemption, Equestrians Await a Decision
    Work on Mason Park Sprinklers Set for August

    While the City Council has voted 12-0 to exempt city parks and golf courses from the tough watering restrictions in effect for everyone else, the DWP is still dithering over whether to relax water rationing on large Chatsworth horse properties.

    At the same time, the DWP says that water demand reached a 32-year low in June, dropping 11% compared with the same period in 2008.

    Richard West, DWP water rates manager, speaking at a Braude Center briefing in Van Nuys on June 25, said that property owners with up to five licensed horses or other livestock of 500 pounds or greater would be allocated 25 gallons per day (748 gallons per month) for each animal. To qualify, the property must be zoned for horses and livestock.

    But that doesn't account for legally required sprinkling for dust control, plus the bathing of horses and the occasional waterline leaks in barns.  And many Chatsworth boarding stables have more than five horses. West told Steve Columbus, chairman of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Equestrian Committee,   that 50 gallons per day might be considered, but additional water would be charged under the more expensive Tier 2 rates. 

    The fact that the rate program would go into effect in less than a week was hotly pointed out to West, Columbus said.  Equestrians are still waiting for an answer.

    Officials said the park and golf course irrigation exemption was needed to preserve the quality of public facilities -- especially locations like golf courses that generate revenue for the city, the Daily News reported.

    John Mukri, general manager of the Parks Department said, however, that "smart" sprinkler systems that irrigate based on weather and other conditions have been installed at most locations, and reclaimed water is used to irrigate five of the city's 13 municipal courses.

    Councilman Greig Smith proposed modifying the current twice-a-week DWP water-use restrictions.

    "The twice-a-week restrictions are turning people's lawns brown, which hurts home values in our neighborhoods," he was quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

    "The motion would change the restriction to Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for 8 minutes per day, before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. This would help lawns, trees and shrubs survive while still meeting conservation goals. It would even reduce watering by 6 minutes per home per week, saving many thousands of gallons of water," Smith wrote in his weekly newsletter.

    "This motion is in addition to our earlier motions to offer rebates for installing smart sprinkler systems, allow exemptions from the watering restrictions for people with disabilities or special medical circumstances, and allow exemptions for homes and businesses in high fire severity zones. We also authored a motion to increase the water allotment for registered horse owners," he said.

    But while the new sprinkler system to be installed at Mason Park is a smart system, it is not designed to use reclaimed water, according to Megan Cottier of Smith's office. "In order for the recycled water to be used DWP would need to run a pipe from the Tillman plant [near the Sepulveda Dam] to the park, which is quite a distance," she said.

    Park West Construction has won the contract to install the Mason Park sprinkling system. "The first phase, which will likely start construction in mid-August, 2009, will consist of the work on the north side of the park (the non-softball/soccer field side)," Neil Drucker, program manager for the Bureau of Engineering, said in a memo.  

    "I anticipate that work will take a minimum of four  months to complete, maybe longer," Drucker said.  "Generally, it should not affect the AYSO [youth soccer] regular season, which I understand lasts from Mid-August through end of November."

    He said he would try to schedule the balance of the project for mid-to-late December after the soccer playoffs.

    Chatsworth Park South remains closed due to testing for lead buckshot pellets in the soil from an old skeet range. However, "the good news is we are still fully funded for the Phase 2 testing.  We'll have to see the results of those tests before we know any more" about reopening the park, Cottier said.

    DWP has a new website atLADWPNeighborhoodNews.com.


    Last Train
    [Video / Kevin Roderick]  

    By Kevin Roderick
    LA Observed

    The Orange Line busway extension from Woodland Hills to Chatsworth will follow the route of old Southern Pacific railroad tracks that crossed the Valley starting in 1888. The trains carried out crops, brought in settlers and lumber to build the suburbs, and transported paraplegic GIs to Birmingham Army Hospital (now high school) during World War II. It was the route north up the coast from Los Angeles, via tunnels dug under the Santa Susana Mountains that are still used.

    About 900 feet of the historical tracks still remain alongside Canoga Avenue. The last car to occupy those tracks [was]  loaded up [the] weekend [of June 26] and taken to Omaha, according to local railroad salvage contractor [and member of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council] Dan Huffman. The tracks will be torn out. I went out and grabbed a one-minute video of the scene, including an Amtrak Surfliner passing by on the active line that intersects with the old route at Plummer Street.
    -- First published in LAobserved.com


    [NTR Construction Co.]
    Architect's rendering of proposed site plan for new church.

    Neighbors Protest Plans
    for Church on CHIME Land

    A contentious standing-room-only crowd of nearly 70 neighbors overflowed a CHIME charter school classroom last Tuesday to hear the latest proposals to build a church on the property.

    Both the room and rhetoric were hot. Many arrived believing the gathering was a "Stop the Church" meeting. However, the meeting was scheduled by the Saints Peter and Paul Mission of the Maronite Catholic Church which is buying the property at 22280 Devonshire St. for $2.4 million.

    This was the third in a series of informal, voluntary neighborhood meetings, although some attendees said they were never notified of the previous briefings. One was with the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee. When the city orders official hearings, residents within 500 feet of the project will get notices in the mail. Meanwhile, the Land Use Committee will be monitoring plans for the development.

    Council President Judith Daniels and Council Member Dan Huffman were in attendance. Both serve on the Land Use Committee.

    Church spokesman Mark Dierking said the church plans to lease the buildings back to CHIME for two years, before embarking on a $6 million four-building complex to include a circular community hall, a two-story classroom-office building, a pastor's house and the church itself.

    Neighbors loudly voiced objections to the architectural style and building heights which they claimed to be out of character with the rural neighborhood. They also questioned the provision for 130 parking spaces when the sanctuary will hold 365 worshipers. Dierking said the city only requires 88 parking spaces. Dierking said there would be a maximum of 300 families using the facilities.

    Residents were assured that the church will not be ringing bells.

    Some said they had $1 million, one-story homes on Craggy View Street. The homes abut the property, and they didn't want people at the church looking in their back yards. There were concerns about a new driveway on Valley Circle interfering with the existing equestrian trail. One neighbor suggested that the current buildings might be certified as historic just to stop the church. However, the existing  buildings may have been heavily remodeled and not eligible for historic status.

    Asked what might be proposed for the property if not this church, CHIME Principal Patrick Smith said that because of economic constraints, the property would have to be sold to someone. Another project might be more objectionable to the neighbors, he said.

    CHIME will be consolidating campuses in Woodland Hills.


    Pirate Fest
    [Photo / MySpace]  
    FUNDRAISING FALTERS -- Nearly 140 pirates invaded Chatsworth over the Independence Day holiday for camping and carousing on property off Old Santa Susana Pass Road. Their arrival agitated and surprised neighbors. However, those bucaneers were supposed to be raising funds to replace the Browns  Canyon bridge burned in the Sesnon Fire. Organizing expenses reportedly exceeded the anticipated donation.


    2 New CERT Classes Set to Start

    By Clara Woll
    Public Safety and Transportation Committee

    Two new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes are available beginning this month.

    The Mission Hills Neighborhood Council is sponsoring classes on Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Alemeny High School Community Room, 11111 North Alemany Drive, Mission Hills.  The classes are scheduled for Aug. 24, 31, and Sept. 14, 21, 28, and Oct. 5.  To attend, contact Joseph Chicas at (818) 433-5479.

    Another course is sponsored by Northrop/Grumman and will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Community Room at Fire Station #84, 21050  Burbank Blvd.,  Woodland Hills.  These classes are scheduled for Aug. 25, Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and Oct. 6.  To sign up for this course call Frank Vitale at (818) 719-7565.

    CERT is a free Los Angeles City Fire Department program to train community members to provide assistance to their family, neighbors, co-workers, or other victims in case of an emergency.  This 17˝ hour course is taught by professional firefighters and paramedics, typically over a period of six or seven weeks.  If you would like more information about CERT please visit cert-la.com.  To find currently scheduled classes click on "Current CERT Trainings," then go to the month you are available to attend the classes.


    Get Your Ham Radio License

    In times of crisis, Ham radio is often the only means of communication. 

    The San Fernando Valley Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring a free seven- to ten-evening Amateur Radio licensing instruction course. The class meets weekly beginning Thursday, Sept. 10, from 7:30 - 9 p.m. in Classrooms 1 and 2 in the basement of Northridge Hospital, 18300 Roscoe Blvd.

    The course prepares people to take the basic "Ham" radio test in order to become licensed Amateur Radio Operators. The class textbook, The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, can be ordered on line at arrl.org, or purchased from Ham Radio Outlet, 1525 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank.

    To enroll, contact Bill Miller at (818) 368-4438 or email bill@ltga.com.  If you are already a licensed Ham,
    the San Fernando Valley Amateur Radio Club invites you to join them on the 3rd Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Penthouse Auditorium of Northridge Hospital.


    LAPD Sets Community Meeting

    The next community meeting with Police Capt. David Hanczuk and the senior lead officers and detectives of the Devonshire Community Police Station will be 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 11, at Shepherd of the Hills Church, 19700 Rinaldi St., Porter Ranch.

    This meeting will cover pedestrian safety and photo red light enforcement, with guest speakers Officers Mark Cronin and Dan Hankins.


    New School Escrow Closes

    Escrow closed July 23 on the new LAUSD school property located at the southeast corner of Mason and Sesnon.

    The school will serve the Chatsworth and Porter Ranch communities.

    The land is being transferred from the Porter Ranch Development Company to LAUSD. Porter Ranch Development Company increased the amount of land for this donated project from 7 acres to almost 13 acres. The increased size allows this project to include both elementary and middle school students in a span school.

    Also completed is the agreement to maintain the exterior landscaping by the Porter Ranch Maintenance Association in keeping with the other Porter Ranch slopes.

    The project is still in the process of being approved by the State Board of Architects and is on schedule to open fall 2012.


    FlyAway Airport Buses Go Cashless

    The Van Nuys FlyAway airport bus now accepts only credit and debit cards for ticket purchases. There will be no cash transactions at the FlyAway terminal.

    "The switch to a cashless system will save approximately $220,000 in annual expenses," said Michael Biagi, manager of Landside Operations Division.

    Passengers can swipe-and-ride to Los Angeles International Airport using the new fare structure where everyone pays the same $7 one-way price.

    Under the new payment system, passengers can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express and debit cards. Discover cards will not be accepted.

    Parking fees can still be paid in cash.

    Bus schedules, parking information and maps for all FlyAway locations are available at lawa.aero/flyaway. Details, call (310) 646-2250.


    Bureau of Sanitation Accepting Old TVs

    With the switch from analog to digital broadcasting, the City of Los Angeles' Bureau of Sanitation reminds the public to properly discard analog televisions, antennas and other electronics by taking them to a S.A.F.E Center. For information on locations and hours of S.A.F.E. Centers, go to their website.


    New Live and On-Demand Video

    The Office of the City Clerk is offering new live and on-demand video and audio services of City Council meetings.  For more information, please see their flyer.


    Opportunity Clicks

    These are difficult economic times, so your Neighborhood Council has added an employment search engine to our website and newsletter. This convenient search engine reaches out to most job sites large and small and lists all your opportunities in one place.

    keywords location
    job title or skills
    Jobs by SimplyHired

    You might also click on WorkSource California.


    Nuclear Reactor
    [Historic Photo]
    NUCLEAR MELTDOWN -- John Pace kneels at the reactor in 1959 inside the Sodium Reactor Experiment at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in the mountains above Chatsworth. In 1957, CBS' Edward R. Murrow narrated a "See it Now" report on the reactor lighting the city of Moorpark -- a first. The nuclear meltdown 19 months later was covered up for years. Details.
    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 toward 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.


    Kung Fu Panda'Kung Fu Panda' Tonight

    The LAPD Devonshire Community Police Station invites you and your family 6:30 - 10 tonight to a free showing of "Kung Fu Panda" at Northridge Park, 18300 Lemarsh St., Northridge.
    There will be free hotdogs, soft drinks, popcorn, prizes and a moon bounce as part of National Night Out.

    BloodBlood Drive
    e series of Summer Givin' Red Cross blood drives continues at Cal State University, Northridge on Aug. 4; Community Christian Alliance Church, Northridge on Aug. 23; Cosmetic Laboratories of America, Chatsworth on Aug.  24 (not open to public); Southern California Gas Company, Chatsworth on Aug. 26; and Harman International, Northridge on Sept. 3. See flyer.

    Joseph IletoRemembering Joseph Ileto
    Aug. 10th is the 10th anniversary of the shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center and the murder of Postman Joseph Ileto in Chatsworth. There are a number of events planned beginning 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7 at Temple Ahavat Shalom, 18200 Rinaldi Place, Northridge. Details click here.

    ADIMeet the Monster Makers
    Cinema Heritage Project presents a celebration of moviemaking magic at Amalgamated Dynamics in Chatsworth, beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8. See a major science fiction motion picture.  Admission is free but reservations are required for tours of ADI studio. Call, (818) 348-8657. Details, click here.

    LAPDDevonshire Area Semi-Annual Meeting
    Devonshire Capt. David Hanczuk; Mark Cronin, Valley traffic services officer; Officer Dan Hankins, the Senior Lead Officers (SLOs) and Detectives of the Devonshire Community Police Station will speak 7 - 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 11, at Shepherd of the Hills Church, 19700 Rinaldi Street, Porter Ranch. Details, click here.

    City HallCity Attorney Forum
    Carmen A. Trutanich holds a City Attorney Neighborhood Forum, 6 - 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13. Refreshments in the City Hall Rotunda. Presentation in the John Ferraro Council Chambers, 200 N. Spring Street, Third Floor, Los Angeles. For free guest parking, RSVP by Aug. 10 to atty.rsvp@lacity.org or call (213) 978-1575.

    Business PlanStart a Business
    The California Small Business Development Centers is offering a $30 workshop in Chatsworth to help entrepreneurs successfully start and grow their small businesses. Meet 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., 
    Thursday, Aug. 20, at Premier America Credit
    Union, 19867 Prairie St. Reservations are required. To RSVP call (661) 294-9375 or email sbdc@canyons.edu. Please arrive 10 minutes early to check in. For more information on SBCD visit sbdc4biz.org.

    Mitch EnglanderMitch Englander Speaks
    Mitch Englander, chief of staff to Councilman Greig Smith, will speak and take questions at the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, Shepherd of the Hills Church, 19700 Rinaldi St., Porter Ranch.

    BadgeNeighborhood Watch
    The next Chatsworth Neighborhood Watch meeting will be 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, at   St. John Eudes Church,  9901 Mason Ave. Danny Del Valle is the senior lead officer for Basic Car Area 17A23.
    • Submit an event HERE.
    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: ________________________________________
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