Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
The Chatsworth Roundup
Breaking News from your Chatsworth Neighborhood Council
Shortest Month Edition   |   |   Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

90 Neighborhood Councils in Jeopardy
L.A. Budget Crisis May Force Elimination of All Community Funding

Los Angeles is $208 million in the hole and Neighborhood Councils across the city face a total elimination of their taxpayer funding.

Now, as the 90th Neighborhood Council (NC) is being established in Westwood, the City Council is being advised to cripple that mandated system by slashing or totally eliminating funding. They are also being urged to chop the staff or eliminate the entire department that supervises Neighborhood Councils. The NCs were written into the City Charter following the Valley secession movement of the late 1990s.

"Reductions will need to be based on an all or nothing approach," said City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana in a report to the mayor and City Council.

"The NC funds support the operation of the NCs and it will be difficult for the NCs to continue without funding," the city's chief budget officer conceded.

Neon Tommy logo
Click for Special USC Report: "Layoffs Threaten L.A.'s Neighborhood Council System"

"The NCs are part of the city family," he said. "It is important to recognize the contributions of the 1,600 members of the NC system, but given the city's fiscal crisis, the city can no longer sustain these costs."

Neighborhood Council members and community stakeholders are organizing to appear in City Hall at 1 p.m. today, when the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee takes up the issue. The committee, is made up of Councilmen Bernard Parks, Greig Smith, Bill Rosendahl, Jose Huizar, and Paul Koretz.  Santana's report can be found here. The committee is expected to make a recommendation to the full City Council on Wednesday.

Once the city closes the budget gap, it will have to deal with a $484-million shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Santana projects a $785-million deficit the following year, then $952 million and $1.2 billion the year after.

Meanwhile, during the greatest fiscal crisis in Los Angeles history, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) is embroiled in a bookkeeping and financial scandal detailed in an extensive audit by the office of Controller Wendy Greuel. At least six Neighborhood Council officers are facing felony charges for allegedly misappropriating taxpayer money and DONE can't account for $5.6 million of the funds it oversees. DONE supervises the Neighborhood Councils.

Neighborhood Councils received $45,000 this fiscal year for operational expenses and civic projects within each of their communities. In previous years they received $50,000. Although the Charter mandates the establishment of Neighborhood Councils, it does not guarantee a specific amount of funding.

Until this year, Neighborhood Councils conducted their own elections using money from

Chatsworth Neighborhood Council


Chief Budget Officer Miguel Santana: 

" The city can no longer sustain these costs."

within their budgets.  But, the City Council shifted election responsibility to the City Clerk and allocated an additional $1.4 million for that mission. The first group of elections on March 2 includes that of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council.

Santana's report recommends:

■ Eliminating Neighborhood Council year-to-year rollover of unspent funds and the "suspension and/or elimination of the NC funding program." 

■ Laying off 50 percent of the remaining DONE staff, leaving 17 to service 90 Neighborhood Councils. At one time the department had nearly 70 on staff.

■ Transferring to the city's Reserve Fund $151,000 in DONE salary savings.

■ Eliminating the bank card system for smaller purchases and cash withdrawals, and redefining or restricting NC expenditure categories.

 There is also a proposal for a study to determine the feasibility of consolidating DONE with another larger city department.

Santana's other recommendations, if approved by the City Council, would eliminate 3,900 city jobs this year, according to published reports. With layoffs beginning immediately, the city could save $65 million annually, he said.

He also called for the Cultural Affairs Department to save $2.2 million by suspending all grants for art classes, concerts and festivals. He advised the cancellation of the next class of Fire Department recruits and a cut of 100 employees in the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

Santana recommended the city eliminate the three agencies making up the Department of Human Services -- the Human Relations Commission, Commission on the Status of Women, and the Children, Youth and Families Commission -- as well as the Departments of Disability and Environmental Affairs.

The City Council is set to meet Wednesday to discuss the layoffs, which also impact basic services such as public safety, parks and libraries. 

Also In This Issue
  • Councils in Jeopardy
  • Candidate Forum
  • Unhitched Trailers
  • Incoming Choppers
  • Budget Survey
  • Orange Line Update
  • CERT Class
  • Relay for Life
  • Dot... Dot... Dot...
  • Chatsworth-Area News
  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  • Action Calendar


    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.


    Sign Up for Instant Police News

    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

    Chatsworth Seniors Sponsor Health Fair

    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

    St. Stephen Presbyterian Church is offering hot lunches for seniors at noon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  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.


    Parks Program to
    Grant $368 Million 

    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.

    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


    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


    Please join us and...

    Twenty-two candidates have qualified to run for the 21 at-large seats on the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council board. Meet them Wednesday evening at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel St.  The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and the Forum begins at 8 p.m.
    Election Logo
    For the agenda, click here.

    The Los Angeles City Clerk's office has responsibility to organize elections formerly run by the individual  Neighborhood Councils.

    The filing period for write-in candidates ends at 5 p.m., today (Feb. 1).   Those interested should call (213) 978-0444 to register.

    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 Ranch, 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.

    Those already qualifying for the ballot are: Linda Ross, Varoujan Deirmenjian, Jelena Csanyi, Mary Kaufman, Chuck Knolls, William Lander, Carol Lucas, Kurt 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.


    L.A. City Council Votes to Eliminate Unhitched Trailers
    Now the State Needs to Take Action

    KABC 1
    What's bugging you? Mobile billboards
    Viewers told Eyewitness News it bugs them when these ads park in front of their homes or apartments.Click image to view video.

    KABC 2
    Council votes to eliminate mobile billboards
    The Los Angeles City Council is trying to eliminate mobile billboards. Click image to view video.

    KABC-TV's Carlos Granda reports: "The city tried to regulate them, but Friday the City Council voted to eliminate them all together. Officials say these signs prohibiting unhitched trailers are often ignored. So now they want to change state law."  Click here for the full story.

    Stakeholders take action
    Meanwhile, some Chatsworth stakeholders have been calling advertisers who use these unhitched trailers and asking them politely to find another form of advertising.  Reportedly, many have complied.

    Here is a list of just some trailer advertising recently seen in Chatsworth: Computer Repair, (818) 999-9000;  Computer Toner, (866) 303-5546; Finmark's, (818) 280-0602; Hi-Tech Liners, (818) 340-4431; Jobs, (818) 701-9800; Nantucket Creek Apartments, (818) 717-0370; Safari Printing, (818) 709-3752; Vive Night Club, (818) 226-9911; Garden Wedding Chapel, (818) 794-1443; Kitchen & Bathroom, (818) 701-5500; Time 4 Class, (818) 700-1756; Wrinkle Free, (818) 831-0100; and Race Supply, (888) 672-6577.


    Marine Choppers Targeting Chatsworth Nature Preserve

    The Department of Water and Power (DWP) has issued a public notification that the U.S. Marine Corps will be conducting helicopter training exercises at Chatsworth Nature Preserve between Feb.4 and 10.

    DWP issued the notice in order to prevent nearby residents from becoming alarmed if they hear loud helicopter activity on those days. Some exercises will take place at night. The Marine pilots will practice landing and taking off with between two and four helicopters.

    Scheduled Training Exercises
    Thursday, Feb. 4, 1 - 4 p.m.
    Friday, Feb. 5, 6 - 9 p.m.
    Saturday, Feb. 6, 6 - 9 p.m.
    Monday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., and 6 - 9 p.m.
    Wednesday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., and 6 - 9 p.m.

    -- From CD12 Newsletter


    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.


    Foreclosure Clinic at CSUN

    LA County NeighborWorks Center for Foreclosure Solutions is offering weekly foreclosure clinics and monthly foreclosure fairs throughout 2010 at California State University, Northridge. The next session is Saturday, Feb. 6.

    The clinic will be 9 a.m. - noon in the Student Union Building.  Use parking structure G3.

    For a complete schedule or other information, call (213) 381-2862 ext. 204 or visit


    Metro Is Seeking Artists

    Metro is seeking artists to create public art at each of the new Orange Line busway stations. The artwork will include porcelein enamel steel panels and platform floor paving. The deadline for submission is Friday, March 12.

    For information about submission requirements visit and click "Artist Opportunities" or call (213) 922-4Art.

    LESSON No. 3

    Makeup CERT Class Available

    Anyone needing to make up Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes can taking them at Northridge Academy High School, 9601 Zelzah Ave., Northridge. 

    The classes are in their multi-purpose room on Thursdays from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m..  Sessions began Jan. 21st, so the next session will be lesson No. 3. 

    The remaining classes are on Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25. You can makeup classes here, or if you are new to CERT you can take these classes and then do makeups of the first two sessions later to get your certification.  Upon arrival, alert the Fire Department instructor that you are joining the class and fill out the sign-up form.


    Relay Benefits Cancer Society

    Relay For Life of Chatsworth is a 24-hour event meant to increase cancer awareness and raise 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 on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25. Throughout the Relay at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave., there will be entertainment, food, music and fun activities.

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

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

    My Kingdom for a Horse...

    So here we go...

    Think Los Angeles is strapped for cash?... San Diego is laying off one third of its police dogs... And Wam, Trigger, Major, Junior, Bret, Bandit and Austin, all members of the city's Balboa Park mounted police patrol are being auctioned off...  Some for as little as a buck... Their tack, too... Hey, equestrians, check out the online auction action at

    In the City of Angels,  the ticket for parking at an expired meter clicked from $40 in 2008 to about $50, and "fix-it" tickets for minor moving violations such as broken taillights have more than doubled... What's that sucking sound?... City Hall vacuuming your wallet...

    Then there's the plan to sell of 10 city parking garages to help close the city's budget gap... And how will the city replace the parking income once the garages are sold?... Oh, that's the next mayor's problem...

    Parking garages?... Heck, there is too much free parking... Yup, that's what state legislators think... It encourages people to drive instead of taking the bus, walking or riding a bike... Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach),  won Senate approval of a bill he hopes will prompt cities and businesses to reduce free parking... No more traffic jams and pollution... Take the Orange Line...

    Let's face it... Construction of the Orange Line busway from Woodland Hills to the Chatsworth Train Depot is going to disrupt your life... A monster bridge will be built over Lassen Street... DWP will be burying the utilities... And there will be months of detour signs... Want to keep abreast of developments?  Email and get on the update list...

    Illegal signWhile we're still on the street, dodging those mobile ad trailers mentioned higher on this page, note the item in Valley historian  Kevin Roderick's LA Observed blog... "Fuel's billboards around town may be illegal, but the city of Los Angeles isn't the one posting violation notices on them....  Whoever is hasn't taken credit yet. 'Looks to me that we've got renegade sign bandits,' Bob Steinbach, a public information officer with the Department of Building & Safety, told Zach Behrens at LAist... 'If we post them, there'd be contact info on them.' A little guerrilla activism, perhaps?"...

    And as long as we're still talking about traffic, the website offers maps showing live traffic conditions on L.A. area highways...

    Here's another kind of drive... Please consider the great Haitian earthquake tragedy which continues to unfold...  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...

    Sometimes giving begins in our own community...Schools and non-profit organizations in the Northwest Valley can attend a special shopping day at L.A. Shares on Thursday, Feb. 25...

    The L.A. Shares Griffith Park Re-Use Center will be filled with calculators, paper, office supplies, arts and crafts materials, chalkboards, cleaning supplies, books, films, and more...

    All items have been donated by local companies and will be offered free of charge... However -- and you knew there would be a catch -- the event is only open to schools and non-profit organizations in Council District 12... To attend, RSVP by Feb. 23 to
    -- Saul Daniels

    Oakie House
    [Daily News]
    Oakie House rescued
    Councilman Greig Smith tours the grounds at the Oakie House in Northridge. He helped the city secure the property for $3.35 million and now hopes to turn the 9.5 acre site into a museum and park. For Daily News story, click here.

    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.- 2 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.

    BadgeNeighborhood Watch
    The February Chatsworth Neighborhood Watch meeting will be 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25, at   St. John Eudes Church,  9901 Mason Ave. Officer Danny Del Valle is senior lead officer for Basic Car 17A23.

    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                                                                2.1.10