Summer Of Change

August 7, 2009
LA's Neighborhood Council Coalition "Dude, Where's My Constitution?"
Signing of the ConstitutionThe LANCC met this past Saturday and took on two subjects that stirred three hours of debate and resulted in one resolution.

LANCC banged on the hornet's nest and smoke came out. Medical Marijuana was on the agenda and before the meeting started, it was apparent that this was a hot topic with lots of emotion on all sides of the issue. 

Speakers came from all directions, representing passionate supporters, vehement critics and objective analysts, and speaking on behalf of medical marijuana patients, collective operators and concerned neighbors.

Building & Safety's Frank Bush was there to present the City's perspective from the administrative angle and Jane Usher, in her new position as Senior Assistant City Attorney, was there to discuss things from the legal perspective.

Through it all, it was apparent that the speakers were well informed and that the real crisis of opportunity lay with the City Council of Los Angeles which has stood and rubbed its hands, debating with more enthusiasm but with less substance than the LANCC.

As the topic wrapped and the LANCC Chair prepared to move to the next agenda item, a cry went out. "If we're going to debate for two hours, the least we can do is resolve the issue with an opinion!"

The crowd murmured consent and a motion was made calling for "The City Council and the City Departments of Los Angeles to support and defend the Constitution of the State of California."

For more information on the topic, visit the LAWeekly for Daniel Heimpel's analysis of City Hall's fumbling and take a look at  James O'Sullivan's article in CityWatchLA for an analysis of the legal landscape. 

To find out what happened when LANCC continued the meeting and discussed the City's Budget woes with the SEIU's Julie Butcher, visit Paul Hatfield's blog for an excellent review and CityWatchLA for Julie's response.

"Are We There Yet?"

It has been a long journey, years in fact, since the Neighborhood Councils first attempted to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Transportation. The most recent effort, facilitated by CityWatchLA's Ken Draper, appears to be approaching the end of the road, or perhaps it would be more appropriate to refer to this as the beginning.

After six months of work, the NC Negotiating Team and the NC Transpo Reps have a draft MOU which is now in the hands of Rita Robinson, the General Manager of the LADOT. This MOU is the result of meetings, both big and small, sometimes with the LADOT participating and sometimes with NC Reps grappling with the issues.

On Saturday, August 15th, at 10:00 am, Ms. Robinson will meet with the NC Negotiating Team, the NC Transpo Reps and the public at the Glassell Park Community Center to address the proposed NC/LADOT MOU.

For more information, visit

CD2 Campaign Events
"Is Everyone Here?"
LA Greensters
"Look for a campaign that is based on the issues, on a vision and on a shared commitment to improving the quality of life in CD2."

That was the call to action of the Council District 2 Town Hall a couple of weeks ago when community leaders got together to hammer out a CD2 Vision Platform that would keep the campaign for the empty City Council seat focussed on the issues that are relevant to the voters of the Council District.

The first Candidate's Forum, hosted by the LA Horse Council, took place this past Tuesday night and the Candidates were given high marks for knowing the issues, for engaging the community and for putting the future of the community in the spotlight. 

Next up is the Sunland-Tujunga CD2 Candidates Forum on Saturday the 8th followed by the Valley Glen CD@ Candidates Forum on Tuesday the 18th. Look to the right for the upcoming schedule.

Visit for local coverage of the campaign.

Crenshaw Crush
"What's With All These Bikes?"
People on BikesOn Sunday, September 27th, at 9:00 am, cyclists from around the city will pedal through the Crenshaw Crush, a discovery ride that will tour the cultural, political and social highlights of the Crenshaw District. Starting off with Chicory Coffee and Beignet, fired up by the Drum Circle, the supported ride will be led by the Greensters, LA's first pedal powered transpo team, and will have routes for the family as well as for the core elite.

Aubrey Provost, Council District 8's representative to the Bicycle Advisory Committee, is the organizer who envisioned a bike ride that bringd people together and gives them an opportunity to discover the community, the streets, their history, their culture and each other. Aubrey has put together hosts who will introduce riders to the many unique qualities of the neighborhood, from the architecture, the backstories and the trivia to the future, the possibilities and the vision!

For more information, give me a shout at

Malibu Tragedy update
"What's It Going To Take?"
Father and Son cyclistsSix weeks ago, a hit & run motorist plowed into two cyclists from behind, killing the father and crushing the son and leaving them both in the street as he fled the scene. Rod Armas and his son Christian were on the final stretch of the LAWheelmen's Grand Tour, and were only a few miles from the finish of a 200 mile bike ride.

This past week, the motorist was charged with Felony Vehicular Manslaughter, Felony Hit and Run Causing Death & Injury, Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence. The suspect in this tragic story is employed by the City of Malibu and as of the day the charges were filed, was still reporting for duty.

This story received minor news coverage when it occurred since then it has faded from the awareness of even those within law enforcement. It took several calls and a bit of prompting to get the simple updated information from the Sheriff's Department.

From the cyclists' perspective, this is too typical of the environment in which we ride. Not only do we have to watch the road and the motorists, but we also have to watch to see that justice is done when there is a crime committed against cyclists.

Case in point, four years ago, two cyclists on PCH were run down from behind by the operator of a catering truck who barely tapped his brakes, even as his truck crushed the cyclists and left them behind. He explained that his passenger was in the back of the truck cooking and that hitting the brakes would cause a mess in the truck. He stopped a quarter mile down the road, was charged with Vehicular Manslaughter and then sentenced to "time served" and released from jail at the conclusion of his trial. The mainstream media didn't find the conclusion of this tragic story to be of interest.

Dr. Thompson, the Mandeville Canyon motorist charged with a road rage incident that left two cyclists broken and bleeding, is due in court on September 17th where he will face felony charges of Assault With a Deadly Weapon, Battery with Serious Bodily Injury, Reckless Driving and Mayhem.

Again, the media was there when there was blood on the street but the pursuit of justice in LA is just so boring! 

Cyclists have long charged that they have the right to expect that "those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law." 

For this to happen we all need to pay attention, not just on the streets but in the courts.

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In This Issue
LA's Neighborhood Council Coalition "Dude, Where's My Constitution?"
NC/LADOT MOU update "Are We There Yet?"
CD2 Campaign Events "Is Everyone Here?"
Crenshaw Crush "What's With All These Bikes?"
Malibu Tragedy Update "What's It Going To Take?"
Upcoming CD2 Candidates Forums
and Debates

Sunland-Tujunga CD2 Candidates Forum

Saturday Aug 8
Meet & Greet 1-2 pm Forum 2-4:30 pm

North Valley City Hall
7747 Foothill Blvd
Info: 818 438-7076

Valley Glen Neighborhood
Association &
Laurel Grove Neighborhood Association &
Valley Village Homeowners Association
CD2 Candidates Forum

Tue., Aug 18 @ 7pm
"Meet & Greet" start @ 6:30pm

Laurel Hall School
(Oxnard/Radford, east of Laurel Canyon)


Neighborhood Council
Valley Village
Council District 2
Candidates Forum

Wednesday, Aug 26 @ 7pm

Colfax Elementary

The Sherman Oaks
Homeowners Association

Wednesday Aug 19
"Meet & Greet" start @ 6:15pm


Wednesday Sep 16
candidate debate start @ 7:15pm

Notre Dame High School at Woodman & Riverside

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council

Monday, Sep 14 @ 6:30pm

Sherman Oaks
Elementary School
Info: (818) 990-4002 or

Park[ing] Day LA

Friday, September 18, 2009

CityWide in a park(ing) space near you!

For CD2 info:

For more CD2 info:

The Candidates
for CD2
(in Ballot order)











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