Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
The Chatsworth Roundup
Breaking News from your Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
Rain, Rain, Go Away Edition   |   |   Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

City Department Misplaces $5.6 Million
Audit Finds 'Systematic Failure' by Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment

The city department tasked with overseeing 89 Neighborhood Councils has misplaced $5.6 million and doesn't know where to find it.


An exhaustive audit of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) also found a forgotten bank account containing $160,000.


This is "a systematic failure of accounting and fiscal oversight," according to a scathing city audit released Jan 12. And, since establishment of the Neighborhood Council system in 1999, DONE has never reconciled its financial accounts. Please click here to view audit, and here for video.


"The audit rightly points out that management was lax in enforcing existing policies and procedures.  Some of the findings should have been acted upon earlier.  As the General Manager of this Department, I am responsible for ensuring that the program is running properly," said DONE General Manager BongHwan Kim in an email.


Reports of misused taxpayer money first appeared exclusively in The Chatsworth Roundup in September.  At the time, Kim admitted that there might be as much as $100,000 embezzled from the Council system.  Presidents or treasurers of as many as nine Neighborhood Councils (NC) were under investigation.  Since then, the amount has grown to $276,000 and officers from six Neighborhood Councils have been charged with felonies, according to the audit. For details, click here.


For example, in 2008, one Neighborhood Council chairman/treasurer was arrested for stealing $30,000, in part by making withdrawals of city funds at the Normandie Casino ATM over a three-year period. For details, click here.


And a community activist who had a felony conviction was arrested on suspicion of misappropriating $85,000 in city funds while serving as chairman of his Neighborhood Council.  Prosecutors allege he bought money orders and made a series of cash withdrawals and credit card purchases that were not authorized. They also say he spent some of the group's money on travel and to hire his daughter.  For details, click here.


"Since I've been general manager I've tried to take ownership of the problem and deal with it," Kim told the Daily News. "But, part of the problem is the (city employee hiring) freeze, and we simply do not have the right personnel to fix the problem."


Controller Wendy Greuel, whose office conducted the first audit of DONE since 2006, found that many of the

BongHwan Kim

General Manager BongHwan Kim: "We simply do not have the right personnel to fix the problem."

recommendations in the previous audit were never acted upon, leading to escalating fiscal problems.


"With staff cutbacks at DONE, there is no reason to believe that the backlog of financial paperwork will be reduced. And, with the city's worsening financial crisis, there is no reason to believe DONE will be given the resources to accomplish the recommendations of the audit," said Judith Daniels, president of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council.


The audit revealed that DONE failed to reconcile its books with official city records, which "has resulted in a $5.6 million discrepancy between total available cash per the city's records and total rollover amounts for NCs."


Greuel's audit also found that DONE:


-- failed to review 364 quarterly statements submitted as of August 2009;

-- failed to enforce a requirement that Neighborhood Councils submit financial reports;
-- failed to review Neighborhood Councils' annual budgets;
-- failed to make sure that Neighborhood Councils stay within their credit card limits;
-- failed to provide oversight of Neighborhood Councils' cash advances;

-- failed to assess how or for what Neighborhood Councils can spend their money;

-- failed to follow up on $880,000 in purchases by Neighborhood Councils that have not submitted quarterly reports within the required timeframes;

-- failed to follow up on approximately $45,000 in cash withdrawals that did not comply with DONE's policies; and

-- failed to act on 79 credit card purchases totaling more than $124,000 made by 39 NCs which appear to have been split into multiple charges to circumvent the card's $1,000 spending limit.


The audit also found that in spot-checks of 14 NC, five were unable to account for 27 pieces of equipment purchased with taxpayer money.


DONE General Manager Kim, who requested the audit, said the NC program has been "under-resourced and inconsistently managed since its inception in 2002."


Kim has been in charge of the Department since March of 2007. He is responsible for overall management of the

Department, including development of budget, strategic planning, programs and services, policies, personnel and constituent relations, according to a city publicity release.


"I have instructed the accounting staff to embark on a complete forensic accounting for each and every NC since program inception.  It is estimated that it will take existing Department staff 2 months (including overtime) to complete this major task," Kim said.


"We will be announcing shortly, new policies and procedures around such things as standardized budgets and tracking, fingerprinting of treasurers, reduction or elimination of petty cash, returning incomplete payment requests, required Board approval of expenditures (including consequences), etc.," Kim said in the email. 

City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who chairs the City Council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee, promised a quick review of the audit, especially in light of the city's financial problems.

"DONE has had a 40 percent reduction in its budget over the past several years," Krekorian told the Daily News. "We need to look at how the Department can restructure to serve the needs of these citizen volunteers."

"We need to put in checks and balances to ensure that doesn't happen again," Greuel told the Los Angeles Times.

"Dishonesty and mistakes are not unique to the Neighborhood Council system," Chatsworth NC President Daniels said. "How many city Departments have the exact same issues with their spending? I believe that the good that has come out of Neighborhood Councils far outweighs the small number of Councils that have financial problems. But, of course, that doesn't negate the need for better rules and oversight.

"Honest people will be honest. Dishonest people will find a way to get around whatever rules you impose. There have been suggestions over the years that NC board members be required to have more ethics training. You can't force ethics into the head of a person who doesn't care about ethics or honesty," she said.

Neighborhood Councils were established in 1999 under the city's new Charter to enable local residents to have greater impact on city operations from the grassroots level.  Each Council was allocated $50,000 annually for local projects until the current fiscal year, when the amount was reduced to $45,000.  Unspent funds can be rolled over for up to three years.

Also In This Issue
  • Missing Millions
  • Be a Candidate
  • School Grading
  • First Aid Class
  • Budget Survey
  • CHIME Staying
  • Relay for Life
  • Instant Police News
  • Senior Health Fair
  • Hot Meals for Seniors
  • Orange Line Art
  • Dot... Dot... Dot...
  • Chatsworth-Area News
  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  • Action Calendar

  • Greetings!

    City Clerk on Border Patrol

    Editor's Note: A version of this letter to readers also appeared in

    My heart was racing. The adrenaline was pumping. I could barely catch my breath. I couldn't remember the last time I had felt so fearful.

    I was ready to call 911, but hesitated just long enough to remember that I actually had nothing to fear after all, because the LA City Clerk was protecting me and all that I cared most about in the whole wide world.

    Yes, indeed. My fear that a pretend stakeholder might use the dark of night to sneak over the boundary from the 118 Freeway and into Chatsworth just in time to be a candidate for the March 2 election was totally unfounded because the city clerk's office was there "holding everyone to a higher standard."

    No longer do I have to worry that a stealth stakeholder might immigrate from east of the center line of Corbin Avenue and demand to run for a 4-year term on the all-powerful Chatsworth Neighborhood Council.

    No longer do I have to worry that a stealth stakeholder might sit in the back of our meeting room begging to help make our community better.

    Chatsworth has all at-large board seats. Under the City Clerk's edict, no longer would Chatsworth stakeholders have to rely on a simple system where candidates - and voting stakeholders - used the affirmation required by the CNC Bylaws. Previously, a person merely declared under penalty of perjury that he or she really was a stakeholder and was allowed to seek office and/or vote for the 21 at-large director seats. This had worked extremely well since CNC was certified in early 2003.

    But this is 2010. We have moved to modern times when Neighborhood Councils no longer run their own elections. Now we have the professionals in the city clerk's office running our elections.

    I could finally take a deep breath again and relax, knowing that the city clerk's office wouldn't settle for a simple flash of identification. No, no way. They were "holding everyone to a higher standard" and requiring two forms of identification for all candidates. They even have an 8-page list of acceptable forms of ID included in the 17-page candidate filing packet that had replaced the simple, single page that Chatsworth had used for the previous six elections.

    No. The city clerk's office is there to protect us all from the possibility of a plain, average citizen showing up and asking to participate in the grassroots efforts of a Neighborhood Council but not having two forms of ID. And, of course, all my fears have been soothed because I know that every person who wants to be a candidate who faxes their identification (rather than showing up in person to file) will be 1,000% honest with whatever they fax.

    I don't have to worry that some drive-by stakeholder will ask a third grader with basic Photoshop skills to doctor his identification to show a fake address. I don't have to worry that the pretend stakeholder will completely fabricate two pieces of ID just to be a member of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council. I don't have to worry that the immigrant stakeholder will use ID that doesn't prove any connection to Chatsworth.

    I don't have to worry that a real "fake" stakeholder wouldn't care if they falsified identification. The honest people will be honest and show real ID. It's the dishonest people who don't care who will fake the ID in order to be candidates. And no matter how high the "higher standard" the city clerk's office requires, a person who wants to fake his status will be able to do so quite easily and the city clerk's reps aren't likely to be able to stop it.

    Councils that have "specialty" seats with specific requirements obviously need to know that potential candidate meet that threshold.  With all at-large seats in Chatsworth, this is not an issue.

    I don't have a worry in the world because the city clerk is "holding everyone to a higher standard," blocking all those potential undocumented stakeholders and candidates at the gates to Chatsworth.

    I personally had a very satisfying experience at the city clerk's office near Union Station in December. After testifying before the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners at City Hall, I decided on the spur of the minute to find the election division and file my papers.

    I filled out my name and CNC address and the other required information and presented my Council President business card along with a CNC card identifying me as "an official stakeholder of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council."

    Sorry, the business card was not acceptable because they weren't sure PO Box 3395, Chatsworth, CA 91313, was actually within CNC's legal boundaries. But when I gave them a street address for the Chatsworth Post Office, and marked its location on a map of the CNC boundaries, they decided to accept it.

    Whew. Thank goodness no person in the world has ever faked a business card for any purpose! (Mine was very real. I promise.)

    They had to get a supervisor to look at the "official CNC stakeholder" card because they had never seen such identification. The supervisor decided it wasn't worthy enough of the "higher standard." Their list of acceptable ID includes "membership card for a horse owners club." Perhaps my honorary purple Corral 54 baseball cap could have sufficed.

    So, I offered my Costco American Express card, which proves that someone paid Costco for me to have a membership, but certainly doesn't prove that I have any connection to Chatsworth to meet their "higher standard." Costco doesn't even have a Chatsworth location.  And the credit card actually expired more than three years ago.

    Bingo. Approved. I became an official candidate based on a business card and a Costco credit card. Yes sir, that's the "higher standard."

    Let me remind you that the city changed the definition of stakeholder for all Neighborhood Councils. Chatsworth adds a slight modification: A stakeholder is any person who lives, works, owns property or boards a horse within the CNC boundaries or declares a stake in the community and shows a factual basis for it.

    With such a broad definition, I contend that you only have to be a living, breathing human being to qualify - and I'm not sure about the human part of that. Whenever I am asked if a person qualifies, I respond that the fact that the person is asking means that they are a stakeholder.

    Among the city clerk's list of "approved" identification for candidates is a valid driver's license for a homeless candidate. I guess that means that showing a specific address and also being homeless meet the "higher standard." A Social Security card is acceptable, even though the card only proves someone has a Social Security number. And, of course, the card specifically says that it cannot be used for identification.

    To be fair, a candidate could also use a utility bill or rental agreement, but that might exclude roommates, significant others or spouses.

    So, out of curiosity, I asked the nice people in the election division what kind of identification I would need to run for LA City Council. Silly me; I thought that they would have a ton of paperwork and ask for serious identification to run for a real political office that has real power, real salary and real consequences.  Nope. No identification required. Nada. None. Not even one form.

    But, I will definitely sleep better tonight knowing that the city clerk is "holding everyone to a higher standard" by requiring two forms of ID to run for the all-powerful Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, which has Bylaws that require only self-affirmation, no ID at all.

    As I told BONC, among other people, I truly believe that I hold candidates to a much higher standard. While the city clerk is busy requiring two forms of ID to qualify as a candidate, I impose the highest standard of all.

    I ask each potential candidate: "Do you want to participate?" What higher standard could there possibly be for grassroots involvement?

    Judith Daniels
    Chatsworth Neighborhood Council


    Council Meets
    7 p.m., Feb. 3

    Join us for light refreshments and a discussion of neighborhood issues, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave.  Questions? Write to us at


    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

    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.


    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.,

    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.


    Volunteers Available for Day of Service

    L.A. Works is a nonprofit volunteer action center that creates and implements hands-on community service opportunities throughout the greater Los Angeles area.  They are currently looking for ideas for a Day of Service that would revitalize community centers, transitional living facilities, schools, parks, beaches, and more.  All services including supply costs are free.  Please contact Gil Gonzales at for more information. 


    Facing Foreclosure? Pick Up the Phone

    Need help with your mortgage? Call (888) 89-LA NHS, email or see

    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, or call toll-free at (800) 427-2200. For energy saving tips, click HERE.
     Disaster Links

    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.

    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:

    311 logo

    211 logo



    Interested Chatsworth stakeholders can file through Feb. 1 as write-in candidates for the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council election.

    Twenty-two candidates have already qualified to run for the 21 at-large seats on the board. The Los Angeles City Clerk's office has responsibility to organize elections formerly run by Neighborhood Councils.

    Potential candidates should call (213) 978-0444 to register to run. Eleven Councils will have elections on March 2.  In addition to the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, the others are Canoga Park, Granada Hills North, Granada Hills South, North Hills West, Northridge East, Northridge West, Porter RanElection Logoch, West Hills, Winnetka and Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Councils. Click here for the City Clerk's election information page. Click here for the City Clerk's Chatsworth information page.

    Voting will be 2 - 8 p.m. at the Chatsworth Train Depot.

    Back in 2008 when the City Council authorized the City Clerk to take over the 2010 elections, that office was to establish election procedures and take full responsibility for organizing and conducting the balloting and relieve the neighborhood councils of all responsibility. But during that process, the City Clerk decided to waive Neighborhood Council bylaws that required only half the board to stand for election.  This would have provided a "stagger," much like that in the U.S. Senate and other governmental bodies. Instead, the Clerk is requiring that the entire board of 21 be elected.

    Councilman Greig Smith sent a letter to the City Clerk requesting that she comply. And Judith Daniels, Chatsworth Neighborhood Council president, recently met the Clerk in a face-to-face confrontation.  The Clerk dug in her heels and refused to budge on the bylaw issue.

    Those already qualifying for the ballot are: Linda Ross, Varoujan Deirmenjian, Jelena Csanyi, Mary Kaufman, Chuck Knolls, William Lander, Carol Lucas, Kirt Lowry, Allen Glazer, Dorothy Allison, Kamesh Aysola, Vicki Briskman, Judith Daniels, Diana Dixon-Davis, Vernalie Deirmenjian, Jeff Hammond, Dan Huffman, Linda van der Valk, Andre van der Valk, Lucie Volotzky, Richard Nadel and Scott Munson.

    School site
    Grading Nears Completion on New School

    The new K-8 school planned for the southeast corner of Mason and Sesnon continues on schedule toward the fall 2012 opening. Grading is near completion.

    LAUSD Facilities is in the process of selecting a contractor using their best value method, which means that the contractor chosen may not necessarily be the low cost bidder, but may be the best choice for quality in service delivery or other reasons. LAUSD has had great success using this method and opening schools on time.

    Groundbreaking is expected in the April - May time frame. The photo above is looking southeast at the new school site. On that corner will be the multipurpose room. View architectural renderings and building placement layouts:
    -- PRNC Newsletter


    Space Still Available in Free Chatsworth First Aid Class

    The Chatsworth Neighborhood Council (CNC) is sponsoring free CPR and First Aid classes, Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Chatsworth Foursquare Church, 10210 Canoga Ave.

    While the CPR class is full with a waiting list, there is still room in the 12:30 - 3 p.m. First Aid class. The CPR class runs from 9 a.m. to noon. 

    CNC will provide light refreshments but, if you plan to take both classes, please bring a lunch.  The classes are free to CNC stakeholders.  You are a stakeholder if you live, work, own property, or board a horse in Chatsworth.  To sign up call (818) 773-9655 and leave your name, a phone number and an e-mail address.

    The instructor is Lisa Sheeran of CPR for Life, located here in Chatsworth.  Lisa has other classes available for a fee if you are unable to attend on Feb. 6. She may be reached at (818) 341-4354.  If you complete the classes you will receive a two-year American Heart Association certification.

    -- Clara Woll


    Mayor Asks You to Take
    the 'L.A. Budget Challenge'

    The mayor's office is launching the fiscal year 2010 -11 Budget Survey, the "L.A. Budget Challenge," an interactive online survey that allows Angelenos to provide direct input on real budget issues that the city is facing.

    Please visit to take the survey.

    The survey asks respondents to address next year's projected general fund budget deficit of more than $400 million by making decisions on reductions to programs and services, implementing citywide cost-cutting measures, and by raising revenue through taxes or other initiatives.


    Church Abandons Plans
    to Build at CHIME School

    Plans to redevelop the CHIME Charter Middle School property at Devonshire Street and Valley Circle as a church have been abandoned.

    Although the property is still for sale, the school is seeking a Conditional Use Permit to continue operating as a school. The issue will be discussed 7 p.m., tonight (Thursday), by the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's Land Use Committee which meets at the Train Depot, 10038 Old Depot Plaza Road. To see the agenda, click here.

    "The church has pulled their offer to purchase the CHIME campus in Chatsworth," said Julie Fabrocini, CHIME executive director. 

    "The campus is still on the market and we are accepting offers, including an offer from a local private school," she said.  "Our current plan is to stay on the campus through the 2010-2011 school year.  We should know more about our long term plan in the next 6 months."

    "CHIME Charter Middle School will be staying in Chatsworth, with the future goal of a K-8 campus in Woodland Hills," said Jennifer Lockwood, school principal.

    The L.A. School Board is supporting the K-8 plan at CHIME's  Collier Middle School campus in Woodland Hills with $1 million in bond funding, and a $7 million grant from state Prop 55 funds, according to Tamar Galatzan, board member. The Collier site was closed in 1984 and has been occupied by CHIME Elementary since 2003


    24-Hour Relay for Life
    Benefits Cancer Society

    Relay For Life of Chatsworth is a 24-hour event meant to increase cancer awareness and raise much-needed funds for the American Cancer Society's patient service programs, cancer research, advocacy and community education.

    Local businesses, community groups and community members form teams and raise funds, and then take turns walking around the track for 24 hours beginning at 9 a.m.on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave.

    Throughout the Relay, there will be entertainment, food, music and other fun activities.

    Learn more about the Relay and how to form a fund-raising team, 6:30 - 8 p.m. today (Thursday), in room 8 at Lawrence Middle School. The $100 team registration fee is reduced to $75 for registering at the Rally.

    For more information, contact Event Chair Ileana Plourde at (818) 618-0559 or, or Staff Partner Sonia Lopez at (818) 447-7778 or


    Sign Up for Instant Police
    News at Home or at Work

    The LAPD now offers a free service that allows Los Angeles residents to sign up to receive messages directly from the police on crime, traffic, missing persons, emergencies and other public safety information directly to their phones or email inboxes.

    You can sign up for bulletins based on your home ZIP code or you can register for multiple locations to keep up to date on traffic, crime and emergencies at your workplace or homes of relatives. 

    To sign up for this free service or for more information, visit

    MARCH 13

    Senior Center Sponsoring
    Health Fair and Open House

    The Chatsworth Senior Center will be holding a Senior (50+) Health Fair and Open House from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, March 13, at the Mason Park Recreation Center, 10500 Mason Ave.  Information will be available on area health services and   what Senior Center programs are available  Refreshments will be served.

    For information, e-mail


    Seniors Enjoy Hot Lunches,
    Movies, Games and Classes

    St. Stephen Presbyterian Church is offering hot lunches for seniors at noon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays.  Arrive at 10 a.m. to sign up.
    The lunches are part of the City of Los Angeles Senior Citizen Nutrition Program.

    Tuesdays will also feature a seniors exercise class. Wednesday will offer movies. And Friday there will be games and classes. Bridge will be organized after lunch. A $1.50 donation is requested.  The church is located at 20121 Devonshire St.

    For details, click here or call (818) 360-7460.


    Artists Can Apply to Create
    for 5 Orange Line Stations

    Learn about transportation-related public art opportunities and how artists can apply. Opportunities include five stations for the new Metro Orange Line Extension from Canoga to Chatsworth. Workshops are free and open to all.

    The first gathering is 6 - 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Canoga Park Library, 20939 Sherman Way, Canoga Park. Free parking is available in the library parking lot.

    The second workshop is 6 - 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, at the California State University, Northridge Art Gallery, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Metered parking is available in lot E-6 off Halstead. Directions and a parking map are available at:

    For more information about Metro or to join the artist mailing list call (213) 922-4ART or visit


    Statewide Park Program to
    Award $368 Million in Grants

    The Statewide Park Program will award $368 million in grants to projects that create new parks and recreational opportunities in underserved communities.  Applications are due on March 1.

    The Department of Recreation and Parks needs to identify qualified projects in our community and will organize workshops for each project. 

    Contact Darryl Ford at for more information.

    In addition, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation is a non-profit  created to support the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department.  Its mission is to enhance, preserve and expand LA City parks.  This newly founded organization provides a way for communities to be better connected to their local parks through funding programs that directly benefit neighborhood parks. 

    For more information, see

    DOT... DOT... DOT...

    Money, Money, Money ...

    Before we begin, please consider the great Haitian earthquake tragedy unfolding hour by hour.  An easy way to offer relief is to Red Crossdonate to the Red Cross or your favorite charitable organization. Click the logo to see your Red Cross donation options. Or dial 90999 and text "Haiti" on your cellphone.
    Back in the day when newspapers were still newspapers... Back when every paper had a "three-dot journalism" columnist writing short items of news, opinion and boldface names broken up by ellipses... They were the original blogs before there were blogs... Snark before there was snark... Back in the day... 

    So here we go...

    Oops! When you weren't looking the city slipped further over the edge of the financial abyss ... Councilman Bernard Parks says we face an additional staggering $175 million revenue shortfall ... and we're only halfway through the fiscal year ...

    Rick J. Caruso
    Rick J. Caruso, "There was a lot of land out there"

    Bigtime shopping center developer Rick J. Caruso thinks he might want to be mayor ... And since we all know that the Chatsworth Reservoir is the center of the universe, he has some opinions to share about it with Patt "in the Hat" Morrison of the L.A. Times ...

    QuotesThe Chatsworth thing -- there was a lot of land out there. I wanted to take a whole bunch of it and let it be a nature preserve, take a bunch of it and build some soccer fields, because we need more active parks in this city, and take some of it [for] development. There was a big open space, which is fine, but it's not necessarily serving the needs of that community. You could have had something out there for everybody. Whether it was an active park or a passive park, that was as important, if not more important, than a space for the geese to land. There was enough land to accomplish everybody's wish list out there. I love open space and I love the wilderness. But we also need to take care of the city that we live in." ...

    And then Caruso has thoughts about Neighborhood Councils ... Chatsworth Neighborhood CouncilI think neighborhood councils are a good thing if they're given the right amount of authority, and they understand what their role is. We had a really good experience on a project with a Neighborhood Council right outside of Beverly Hills. It was great. They became a big advocate for the project. But I've heard horror stories from people who are dealing with them. I think the role between the Neighborhood Council and the council office needs to be clearly defined. Is the council office deferring to the Neighborhood Council? Is the Neighborhood Council deferring to the council office? You get a lot of chefs in the kitchen there. You can get something resolved at the Neighborhood Council and then you go to your council office and it's unwound. That's just not good business." ...

    Meanwhile, over at the school board, Tamar Galatzan reports the reopening of a Chatsworth campus that has been mostly shuttered to students for years ... The board approved $3 million to help Our Community Charter School relocate 275 students to  Devonshire Elementary School ... 

    Rory Markas
    Rory Markas, played baseball for Chatsworth High 

    Rory Markas, the play-by-play voice of the Angels and a native of Chatsworth, attended Chatsworth High School where he played baseball ... He attended Los Angeles Valley College and Cal State Northridge ... He died of an apparent heart attack at 54 ...

    Census data  puts the Valley's population at 1.75 million people, meaning if it was its own city it would be the fifth-largest in the United States, after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, according to the Daily News ...

    If you saw street flooding as a result of a blocked storm drain during recent rains contact the CNC Public Safety and Transportation Committee at or report it to the city's Wastewater Collection Division of Public Works ... Call the city directly at (818) 756-9254 or dial 3-1-1 for the City Help Line.  Make sure you have an address or full description of the location ...

    Crisis Response Team (CRT) members are community volunteers who respond to traumatic events with the Los Angeles Police and Los Angeles Fire Departments ... The CRT is looking for a few good men and women ... Training sessions begin on Feb. 2nd and run through March 25 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the LAPD Academy in Westchester ... Learn more from Jeffrey Zimerman at (213) 0978-0697 or e-mail ... They also have a flyer ...

    And finally, 36 robotics teams from Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties met recently in mechanized competition at Chatsworth High School ... Klaatu barada nikto ...
                                                                       -- Saul Daniels


    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.


    Farmer's MarketChatsworth Farmer's Market
    Every Saturday. 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (new time), St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, 20121 Devonshire St. Farmer's Market features a jumping castle for kids, hot food, sweets, live entertainment, and fresh vegetables and fruit.

    Metro Artist Workshops
    Learn about upcoming transportation related public art opportunities and how artists can apply. Opportunities include five stations for the new Metro Orange Line Extension from Canoga to Chatsworth. Workshops are free and open to all, 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday Jan. 26, Canoga Park Library, 20939 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, and Thursday Jan. 28, California State University, Northridge Art Gallery, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge. For more information visit and click on "Artist Opportunities."

    BadgeNeighborhood Watch
    The January Chatsworth Neighborhood Watch meeting will be 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, at   St. John Eudes Church,  9901 Mason Ave. Officer Danny Del Valle is senior lead officer for Basic Car 17A23.

    First AidFree CPR and First Aid Classes
    The Chatsworth Neighborhood Council is sponsoring free CPR and First Aid classes beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, at Chatsworth Foursquare Church, 10120 Canoga Ave. CPR is full, Registration required for First Aid. Email or call (818) 773-9655 or (818) 464-3511. Please be sure to leave your name,  phone number and email address.

    For more calendar items, click 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: ________________________________________
    While supplies last                                                                1.21.10