Saturday, August 27, 2011

Welcome to the Westwood Gardens Civic Association website.

WESTWOOD GARDENS CIVIC ASSOCIATION, INC.
P.O. Box 642001, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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Please do save the date of Saturday October 25, 2014 for our Annual Westwood Gardens Homeowner’s Annual Meeting!!!  Dinner is at 5 pm with the program beginning at 5:30 pm, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 11000 National Blvd. at Military. Come and meet your Board and neighbors, local police and city representatives!

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Get the latest update on THE EXPO TRAIN click here

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Current Crime Status updated dec 03, 2010

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Expo Line Updates

For EXPO Construction Updates:

sign up with Glenda at gsilva@exporail.net to get upcoming construction notices directly

The number for EXPO and construction problems,
anytime day or night
213-243-5534
Torri Hill is the Community Relations Manager for the contractor Skanska and can be reached at: 310-500-1485 or  torri.hill@skanska.com for any problems or questions relating to the construction activities and graffiti removal.
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The Westwood Gardens Civic Association is in favor of mass transit in the city of Los Angeles however, we are firmly opposed to trains running along the Exposition Right-Of-Way at grade due to serious Safety, Traffic, Noise and Quality of life concerns that are impossible to mitigate to acceptable livable levels for our residential community.

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update 6-01-11

Neighbors For Smart Rail / EXPO update:
Although the Judge had ruled in favor of the Expo Authority in the case filed by NFSR. This was not unexpected and we knew that the case would be decided in appeal. Either way the ruling played out, the other side would have appealed. On to the next step. … NFSR has filed the appeal.

NFSR’s Statement:
While NFSR would have preferred to prevail at the trial court level, NFSR has always believed that the issue would be resolved at the appellate level as either side was certain to appeal the trial court’s decision. NFSR will be filing an appeal and is confident that the appellate court will review the plain facts of the case and find that the Expo environmental review was fatally flawed and must be corrected.
NFSR remains dedicated to making sure that key north/south streets such as Overland and Sepulveda are not blocked 24 times per hour, that West L.A. traffic is not edged closer to gridlock by an ill-conceived light rail plan, that children are not put at risk by trains running just feet from their schools and that first responders will not be hampered by blocked arterials in their efforts to save lives and property.

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update 6-15-10
Westwood Gardens supports the efforts of Neighbors For Smart Rail in the effort to make MTA build it right and minimize the negative effects of an At-Grade rail line through our area.

click here for their web site and all the latest info
www.smartrail.org

(scroll to the bottom of this page for useful links)
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updated 01-15-10

Westwood Gardens Civic Association
and Neighbors for Smart Rail
NEED YOUR HELP!


On February 4 the Expo Authority Board of Directors will vote to accept the Expo Light Rail Phase 2 Final Environmental Impact Report. The report calls for all train crossings through our community to go at street level (at-grade), blocking traffic as often as every 2 ½ minutes, 22 hours a day at Overland, Westwood, Military and Sepulveda! They have not studied any below grade options and will consider elevating at Sepulveda only if someone else pays for it!

The FEIR document is woefully deficient and the data is flawed – it should not be adopted! We need your support to show the Expo Board that we care about our homes, our schools and the quality of life in this neighborhood. It's time to stand up and be counted. The decision makers care about numbers. We need a big turnout to show MTA, the Expo Board and the politicians we are committed and we mean business.

February 4th @ 2 PM
The Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration,
500 W. Temple Street,
Los Angeles, 90012

We have arranged for free or reduced price parking and car pools are forming. Let us know if you need a ride. Carpools will meet at 12:30 at 10939 Exposition. If you are meeting us downtown and want reduced price parking please contact us at 310.839.4514 or Westwoodgardens@gmail.com

We cannot stress how important it is for you to attend - whatever it takes, be there! We have assigned speakers, including legal representation, to present our opposition to this FEIR, but our community needs to stand up in support with them. These trains will be impacting the entire region for the next 75-100 years. Take the time to join your voices with ours to save our neighborhood.

Mark Your Calendar: NFSR Update Meeting
February 21, 2010, 1:00 pm - Palms Park Rec Center (Overland at National)

"Build it RIGHT or don't build it at all”


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updated 9-25-09

I wanted to update all on the Expo/Westwood Blvd meeting held at the Westside Pavilion Community Room A last Monday night.

The Expo meeting was packed to standing room only. In attendance from Expo were Laurie Newman, Gabriela Collins and Steve Polechronis. Monica Born and Richard Thorpe were there but did not speak and I don't think they were even introduced. I started the meeting with an admonition for civility. Mr. Polechronis outlined Expo's plan but cut to the chase on their best option for Westwood that eliminated the least amount of trees. That number was 10. The residents were not amused and did not buy into anything that was presented. The sentiment in the room of the residents was a united NO CHANGES to Westwood Blvd. Don't take parking, trees, sidewalks, land or access. Expo's concept for this meeting was as a "small focus group". Instead they got a roomful of angry residents from Westwood and neighboring streets. We just weren't buying what Expo was trying to sell us. The Expo folks didn't ask for any preferences or concessions. They asked no questions at all. In the end the only option that would solve the issues would be grade separation with below grade as the preference. The Westwood Gardens Civic Association Does NOT support a Light Rail Train running at grade along the ROW. We passed around a sign up sheet to further our goal of connecting our membership, to us and to each other. We also had a petition that people signed supporting the WGCA position of grade separation as the only option. This was sent to Expo, CD5 and anywhere else we think it should go as there were no recordings or steno of the comments that night. I collected the many emails and transcribed calls we received and handed a copy directly to Gabriela Collins of Expo. Every comment, concern and angry statement was unified in disgust of what Expo plans for our neighborhood. So to sum it all up: NOTHING WAS AGREED TO OR ACCEPTED BY THE RESIDENTS. NO CHANGES TO WESTWOOD! Expo will release their Final EIR in January. We'll have 30 days but will likely ask for more. We don't expect any changes in the FEIR from what they presented last night regarding the Westwood issue.

-Drew
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Our residents are very fed up, angry and frustrated. Questions were asked "What can we do to stop this? How can we protect our wonderful neighborhood of Westwood Gardens?"

Get informed. Neighbors For Smart Rail, a community group that has been in this fight for years as well as helping the folks in the Phase 1 part of the Expo Line, has a meeting coming up. They have the information and can answer the question of "what can we do?":

SAVE THE DATE:

Neighbors For Smart Rail Meeting:

Sunday in the Park Oct. 25th 2-4pm at Palms Park. We thought it would be easier for people to attend on a Sunday rather than during the week when they have to rush home from work to attend a meeting. Bring the family, we will have child care on the playground. We will discuss how to address the latest news from Expo about grade separations, their plans to remove trees and parking spaces on Westwood Blvd. and parking lot in residential area. Please spread the word to other people in the community, including the merchants as this will have an impact on the businesses in our area.

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Political pressure is needed. Our elected officials need to know where we stand. Don't be shy about sending an email, letter or phone message. Expo knows our concerns but our ELECTED politicians need to be strongly aware.

Councilmember Paul Koretz
822 S. Robertson Blvd. #102
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 289-0353
Fax: (310) 289-0365
Email Paul.Koretz@lacity.org


(south of the tracks)
Supervisor, 2nd District
Mark Ridley-Thomas
866 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-974-2222
213-680-3283 Fax
SecondDistrict@bos.lacounty.gov
http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/default.htm

(north of the tracks)
Supervisor, 3rd District
Zev Yaroslavsky
821 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-974-3333

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Expo has three upcoming community meetings. Attend and speak your mind.
WGCA will record these so we will have a good record of our community's voice. Expo's stenographer failed to record all the comments at the meetings held before the DEIR comment deadline.


Date Location
Monday,
October 5, 2009 Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, Gymnasium
3200 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Wednesday,
October 7, 2009 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church , Nolte Hall
11555 National Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Wednesday,
October 14, 2009 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing Meeting Rm
1855 Main Street, Santa Monica , CA 90401


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Stay connected and involved. Your WGCA board of volunteers works hard to keep you informed and to fight for our neighborhood but we can't do it without you. We must all come together.

Here are some facts gleaned from the presentation materials presented Monday night:

Facts Gleaned from the Expo Proposal Regarding Westwood Blvd. from Cushdon to Richland Aves.

1. There are at least 34 single family homes that have no driveway access from Westwood and have to utilize the alley behind. This alley is poorly maintained and does not permit parking in it.

2. 24 of these 34 homes have permit parking on Westwood north of Ashby/Exposition.

3. The various proposals show 77 on street parking places to be removed

4. The 3 alternate proposals show these 77 removed spaces to be replaced in a range of 33-41 spaces, around 50% replacement.

5. Trees, between 10-24 beautiful, mature liquid amber trees are to be removed and replaced. It will take decades for the replacements to reach the beauty of the present ones and be a great loss to our residential community. And there is absolutely no guarantee that they will be maintained.

6. ROW Right of Way Acquisitions from Cushdon to Richland - the numbers range from 1ft to 8ft. On the diagrams.

Alternate #9 - West side of Westwood -no ROW acquisition
East side of Westwood - ROW acquisition south of Ashby to Richland

Alternate #10 - West side of Westwood - ROW acquisition Cushdon to Exposition
East side of Westwood - ROW acquisition Cushdon to Richland

Alternate #11 - West side of Westwood - ROW acquisition Cushdon to Exposition
East side of Westwood - ROW acquisition Cushdon to Richland

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The following are comments and thoughts from the WGCA board and our neighbors:

September 21, 2009
Comments and Questions regarding Expo Phase 2 Westwood Parking, Trees, ROW

1. ROW: Where is this Right of Way and what does this entail? Sidewalks, parkway/greenway, private property? Specifically what can be acquired/taken legally without taking homeowner’s property? And where does the city’s property begin and end in relationship to the sidewalks, parkways etc?

2. Where are the car crossing gates on Westwood, and pedestrian gates on sidewalks? Why are they not shown on your diagrams.

3. If a bike lane is part of the present plan for Westwood Blvd., why is there no room for it on your diagrams? This is not consistent with the Bike Master Plan.

4. How many people will get off your train at peak times and wait for a bus on Westwood? How many buses will be needed per train?

5. The length of the northbound lane tapering back to one lane north of the tracks is not long enough for safety reasons, amongst other issues according to traffic engineers. What justification do you have for the numbers on your diagram? Please provide your sources.

6. How much would the parking lot contribute to ridership at Westwood? In the Draft EIR, Table 2.5.2 projects 5,213 boardings at Westwood and 5,097 at Sepulveda. But the parking proposed to be added is approximately 170 spaces at Westwood and 260 spaces on 2 decks at Sepulveda..
I point out that if riders knew there was NO parking lot at Westwood, and that the surrounding neighborhood is preferential parking only, then they won’t come and cruise looking for a space. And if there was a parking lot, they may come to see if it has a space, only to find it full, and then cruise our neighborhood. Parking for light rail is better suited in commercial areas such as Palms or Sepulveda.

7. No parking lot, and a below or above grade train would eliminate the problems with reduced and removed parking, would keep the north/south traffic flowing, would not necessitate any tree removal or ROW acquisitions. And it would keep our neighborhood undivided and together, which is one of the goals of the West Los Angeles Community Plan that is presently in revision.
With that scenario, the land could be better used for a much needed greenbelt/bikeway/pedestrian path etc.

8. The circulation patterns shown for Ayres are incorrect. It is one way east bound only as it is a partial cul de sac at Westwood with no ingress. And there are partial cul de sacs also on Overland that deny access to traffic. What consideration has been made for these?

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Comments on Expo and Westwood Blvd.

1. A below-grade or elevated structure is preferred to at-grade because it:
a. maintains N/S flow on one of the few through N/S streets
b. allows a place for bus stops and queuing without using a travel lane
c. maintains residential street parking
d. preserves trees
e. allows for better use of the land as green space
f. allows for a bike lane and bike connectivity
g. does not create a wall through the neighborhood
h. does not require the additional lanes of limited length that may not work anyway (according to another traffic engineer).
2. Assuming below grade will not happen due to order of magnitude cost increases, I think elevated will be a change for the neighborhood but will be acceptable and the aesthetic tradeoffs are worth the circulation benefits. Many of my neighbors agree that elevated would be better than at-grade.
3. The liquidambar trees along Westwood are a community aesthetic resource and should be preserved. 22 trees lost would include at least a third of the length from the freeway to Pico I think.
4. The city land to either side of the Metro owned right of way between Westwood and Overland should be used for a linear park/green space/bikeway/watershed improvement, not for a parking lot (Parks not Parking). This is consistent with City Planning policies and guidelines and the WLA Community plan discussions. It should not be given to Metro for something the City does not want. It would also remove the significant adverse land use impacts a parking lot would cause. Parking for the light rail is better put in commercial areas such as near the stations at Sepulveda and Palms.
5. The overall plan needs to include a bike lane (not just a route) or at least a “sharrow” on Westwood Blvd. This is consistent with the Bike Master Plan, the mayor’s push for alternative transportation, clean air goals, etc.
6. Parking losses on Westwood would carry over to impacts on cross streets and parallel streets. Our garages front on the alleys, parking is not allowed in alleys, and the alleys are used by the trash trucks for collection so they are not really an option. What about deliveries if there is no curb lane access? Permit parking is already in place on Westwood Blvd. north of Esther and on Midvale and the cross streets. The Expo Authority expects that permit parking will be required for the area south of the tracks to prevent neighborhood intrusion. Pico businesses already use Exposition Blvd. and other streets for employee parking. Removal of parking has wide reaching effects.
7. TIMP money should be used as necessary for Expo Line improvements. The ROW alignment is cheaper than the Venice/Sepulveda routing. If that was fundable, then doing this “right” should also be. In addition, the future value of the line to businesses and the economy is staggering. We need to invest some of that future value into the neighborhood and the local circulation to make the transportation workable for 50 years or more.
8. While I want the line built as soon as possible, I would rather wait an extra year and get a quality product for the neighborhood. Earmark the money now if you have to, or start on areas without controversy. There are many silent supporters of the rail line (who would rather not have their neighbors yell at them) who feel similarly. Our neighborhood needs to have good planning applied to accommodate both the light rail and our quality of life.

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Our Liquid Amber Trees are very, very important ...... DON'T LET EXPO HARM EVEN ONE !!!
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We will not be able to make the meeting tonight, but do have concerns about Westwood Blvd.

First, the trees that line Westwood Blvd are an essential part of this neighborhood. My family and I walk down Westwood Blvd. regularly just to enjoy being under them. They ARE an essential part of this neighborhood and part of the reason we live here.

Second, we are concerned with the removal any of the parking on Westwood Blvd. We already have a problem with parking due to people from UCLA parking in our neighborhood and taking the bus to UCLA. Also, we have people parking from Notre Dame School in our neighborhood as well. We can't afford to give up any spots on Westwood because it would only move that many more cars into the surrounding streets. It is already impossible to park near our house on the
days that we have street sweeping.
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Thank you for being on top of this. I am a resident of Westwood Blvd of 15 years.
Widening the street and bringing more traffic onto Westwood Blvd will do several things:
1) Our lives and our pets' well being are at greater risk if the street is widened and trees removed
2) Westwood Blvd is already a playground for car and motorcycle speeders who speed up and down the street in the late evening. And a thoroughfare for heavy traffic during the day. The large trees serve many purposes. One important feature of the trees is that the large trees serve as protective barriers from cars coming off the road and entering our houses while we sleep. Knowing these trees are here along Westwood Boulevard in front of my house gives me some comfort that a car will not come careening into my bedroom at night. These trees lining the streets not only provide beauty and soundproof barriers to the already existing car noise but also as a much needed protective barrier between home dwellers and the cars travelling up and down at all speeds. (As you know we have already had deaths (of people and pets) due to unnecessary speeding as people are using this boulevard as a major North - South corridor alternative. Widening the street only serves as more of an open invitation for this already plentiful activity that has gone unchecked. People are essentially being invited to travel over the speed limit because of it is wide open boulevard. This is a residential neighbor hood and should remain as such. The trees need to stay to provide safety! The road should not be widened any more for all our safety - period stop.
3) Needless to say the beauty of the trees is important - but I think most people do not understand why BIG trees on a boulevard - THEY SERVE AS A PROTECTIVE BARRIER for people from the cars!
4) WE have a lot of foot traffic and bicycle traffic which goes up and down Westwood Boulevard which gives this area great intrinsic value and residential value. This provides beauty to LA rather than just concrete!!!

5) And of course by widening our streets and taking the trees down all our housing property values will decrease in value. I suggest that if they want to destroy our property values then they need to do an assessment to understand what the values will decrease to and then compensate each and every home owner (most likely approx. at least $300-$400 hundred thousand dollars for the decrease in property value over the next 30 years - based on the length of our current loan.) Additionally with that - since our property values will be less - the city’s property tax base revenue will decrease - therefore the City will get less taxes from this area - has anyone done the MATH on this one yet??? Perhaps someone should figure that over 30 years and present this to someone who cares about property tax revenue.
Thanks for representing us there. As a resident, I can tell you if this goes through - there goes the neighborhood and I will be selling my house immediately - I think you will find the Westwood Blvd area go into complete disrepair if this proposition goes through _ I refuse to live in an area with more traffic, more noise and more safety concerns. Several of my neighbors feel the same way as well.
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I am a 26-year resident at 2618 Westwood Boulevard and would not be able to attend the "focus" meeting by Expo this evening at the Westside Pavilion.

I am gravely concerned about the impact of any reconfiguration of Westwood Boulevard to facilitate or enable the certification of environmental/engineering studies to permit the construction and completion of phase 2 of the Expo Line project. Although I am a firm supporter of brainstorming greener and innovative solutions to our ever increasing traffic congestion, particularly on the westside, I do not see the merits nor do I find the position of Exposition Construction Authority substantive to provide my support for using the exiting railway to complete phase 2 of the project from Culver City. As you are well aware, Westwood Boulevard continues to be one of the most highly used roads in West Los Angeles area. The number of vehicular accidents at the interaction just south of the crossing at Exposition had significantly increased over the years even with the recent improvement including a designated left turn lane. I cannot imagine the possible impact on the potential personal and property loss with a light rail system traversing through a densely populated area consisting of families with young children if this project is approved. If the purpose of the project is to continue its reach to Santa Monica, I believe going underground is a more prudent and responsible way to address this very issue. Your assistance to present my concerns to the representative from the Expo Authority is requested and appreciated. Please be informed that I stand vehemently in opposition to the Authority's plan or recommendation to make any reconfiguration of Westwood Boulevard.
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I live on Midvale, within a block of Exposition, and would like to add some thoughts.

There are no driveways on Midvale south of Exposition, as there are none on Westwood. If parking is taken away from residents on Westwood, they will either park on Midvale or fill the alley. In either case, those of us in the blocks adjacent to Exposition will suffer from parking congestion from residents and others. If parking is removed, at a minimum there must be permit parking on Midvale, and maybe other streets.

Through traffic in the alley between Midvale and Westwood is a concern of mine as well. If something isn't done to prohibit commuters from using Midvale and it's alley, there will be a major accident. Midvale is the most narrow street in the neighborhood and with additional parkers the situation is going to become unsafe unless advance planning is done.
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It is important that Expo realizes that we will not let them take away trees and parking without a fight. This is not a Westwood Blvd issue, as they would like to paint it, it is a neighborhood issue.

1. Every street off Westwood Blvd. will be affected by the removal of parking. All of the overflow parking will come on to the side streets.

2. Every house off of Westwood Blvd. will be affected by the loss of trees. Those trees provide shade, they block the noise from the freeway, they absorb particulate matter from the freeway, they add beauty to the neighborhood, they increase pride and property values, they are an historic landmark in Los Angeles.
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I live on Esther Avenue between Westwood and Overland. I want to echo the concerns expressed below regarding the Liquid Amber tress and their meaning to the neighborhood. I have lived here since 1985, but well before I moved to the Westside I was impressed with these trees. It would be a real shame if they are removed, as they do help define the character of the neighborhood.

I also question the need for a station at Westwood and Exposition when there will be a station at Sepulveda and Exposition. Admittedly, it is a shorter walk from Westwood and Exposition to the Westside Pavilion and the Landmark than it is from Sepulveda. And it is a more direct bus route to Westwood Village. However, the MTA can easily run buses from Sepulveda down Pico to Westwood and then north, at only a slight inconvenience to bus riders. In contrast, with a station at Westwood and Exposition, we will not only significantly impact the character of a residential neighborhood but we will also significantly increase traffic on Westwood and Overland (and presumably Pico as well). As it is, Westwood gets very backed up during rush hours and on weekends, and the additional automobile traffic from people driving to a station and parking lot at Westwood and Exposition will badly exacerbate that problem. Few, if any, residents would be walking to the station, and those inclined to do so would also likely be inclined to walk to a station at Sepulveda. Thus, the proposed station at Westwood and Exposition would primarily benefit people from the area but outside the immediate neighborhood (who could drive to a station at Sepulveda as easily as they could drive to one at Westwood). People from outside the area who wanted to go to the Westside Pavilion or the Landmark would also benefit from having the station at Westwood and Exposition but, as noted above, it would only be a slight inconvenience for them to get to those destinations from a station at Sepulveda.

I should add that I think that it makes much more sense for MTA to choose the Venice/Sepulveda route, as that route is far more conducive to the goal of transit-based housing and commercial development. The stretch of Venice between National and Sepulveda is ripe for redevelopment regardless of whether or not light rail runs down Venice, and the opportunity to construct significant multi-family housing along and near a Venice-based light rail line is in line with overall Los Angeles planning goals to increase housing near mass transit and decrease reliance on automobiles. Unfortunately, it appears that the MTA was predetermined to choose the Expo ROW route, and that it has skewed the draft EIR to support that decision.

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I live on Ashby and can't believe this bait and switch tactic, although after fighting this since 1989, nothing surprises me. I just wanted to let you know that I am currently in "conversation" (basically phone tag) with Carl Kim who is the chief engineer with Leighton Consulting which is the company that conducted the field investigations along the right of way in June. Well, they conducted their survey about 2 feet from my back fence with that giant drill, which I contend caused my pool to crack and begin leaking water. My contractor said the crack was a direct result of earth movement. ------------------------------------------------------
Assuming they are going to be using eminent domain, I wonder if they are trying to push this through so quickly in the hopes of taking advantage of the currently reduced housing prices. That would be terribly unfair to force people to sell in a depressed market, since no one would normally do so (unless they had to) until home prices returned to previous levels. That would take the "fair" out of "fair market value."
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I wonder if we are pushing enough AT THE RIGHT PLACE to get that “ban” on Grade Separation lifted? Where do we have to go, who do we have to push for changes? It just does not make any sense.
Thanks for your ears, tell me who to write to, will gladly do my part.
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MORE INFORMATION:

The Westwood Gardens Civic Association does not support any changes to parking, trees, sidewalks (other than repairing them) along Westwood Blvd. The Liquid Amber trees that line Westwood Blvd are of great importance to us. We need them to be preserved! We need parking preserved!

Resolution proposed by CD11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl

"Now therefore be it resolved that, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this resolution, the city of Los Angeles hereby includes in it's 2008-2009 State Legislative Program, SUPPORT for requiring grade separation of the Exposition Light Rail Transit (Phase 2) at all key street crossings including major, secondary and collector streets in West Los Angeles"

-- then Council member Jack Weiss

"Because the Expo Line should reduce rather than increase traffic, the optimal locations for stations should be considered to maximize convenience for riders and minimize traffic disruption to nearby residents. Finally, the use of grade separated crossings is preferable to at-grade crossings, and grade separation should be explored. I believe the Orange Line busway in the Valley provides some useful examples for strategies to enhance safety at grade. However, grade separated crossings would address residents' safety and traffic concerns and thus are preferable whenever feasible."

Position adopted by the Westwood Gardens Civic Association 2008

"Although the Westwood Gardens Civic Association is in favor of mass transit in the city of Los Angeles however, we are firmly opposed to trains running along the Exposition Right-Of-Way at grade due to serious Safety, Traffic, Noise and Crime concerns that are impossible to mitigate to acceptable livable levels for our residential community."
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updated sept 18th

You likely don't know it, but there is ANOTHER EXPO meeting on Monday, Sept. 21st, at 7pm in the Westside Pavilion Community Room A. Only the people living within a block of Exposition have been notified by the city. NO ONE on the Westwood Gardens Civic Association board was invited or even notified! This affects you all. We have a message in to their contact, Laurie Newman (310) 612-1440, for answers. We expect the final environmental impact report will be issued soon. What happens with this train will affect us for generations!
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updated September 16, 2009

The Final Environmental Impact Report is expected soon by the Expo Authority. They are having community meetings in October:

Monday,
October 5, 2009

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, Gymnasium
3200 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Wednesday,
October 7, 2009

St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Nolte Hall
11555 National Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Wednesday,
October 14, 2009

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing Meeting Rm
1855 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401 you can go to their website for more info as well.

www.buildexpo.org

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updated September 02, 2008

NEIGHBORS FOR SMART RAIL
**MARK YOUR CALENDAR**

Expo Light Rail Annual Community Workshop

When: Wednesday, September 10, 2008
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where: Vista Del Mar Sanctuary
3200 Motor Avenue
(Turn right after guard gate. Do not go to the gym where Expo meeting was held.)

·NFSR will update the community on their meeting with Expo Construction Authority and local politicians about Phase 2.
·Get the latest information on the Public Utilities Commission hearings on Expo Phase 1 grade separations at Dorsey High and Foshay Learning Center. How does that affect Phase 2?
·NFSR supports the Westside Neighborhood Council motion clearly
stating to Expo Authority that Overland, Westwood, Military and Sepulveda must be grade-separated for safety, traffic and community impacts.

·Invited guests include LAUSD School Board member, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte and State Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas

·Find out how you can help! Progress is being made daily thanks to the participation of so many who write letters and e-mails, do research, come to meetings and make contributions. Join our community effort on light rail safety and smart rail implementation.

You Can Make A Difference, You Already Have!

Go to website to hear how train will sound at crossings.


Contact us at (310) 475-2126 or
POB 64496 Los Angeles, CA 90064

www.smartrail.org
neighborsforsmartrail@smartrail.org

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updated 6-12-08

At this past meeting, the Expo Construction Authority announced that they intend only at-grade crossings for Westwood and Overland. The WGCA is formulating an analysis to be sent via email blast to those residents that have signed up here on this web site. We are putting together scoping questions for the MTA. We will question their numbers and voice our concerns. This is a major issue with our HOA and it may take some time to put all the info into simpler terms. To really understand the ramifications to our neighborhood if this light rail comes through. If you have thoughts or suggestions that can help us help our neighbors, send them via the contact page or email us at westwoodgardens@gmail.com

This link is too the presentation materials that were shown, but not handed out, at the meeting.

After the page loads, click on “Presentation”

http://buildexpo.org/phase2_overview.php

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updated 5-20-08

The Exposition Construction Authority will provide an update on the grade crossing determinations:

When: Monday, June 9, 2008
Where: Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
Gymnasium
3200 Motor Avenue , Los Angeles , CA 90034
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

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here are some useful links:

click here for info from their web site www.buildexpo.org

click here for info from their web site neighbors for smart rail

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crime Status

Important Crime Contact Information
Watch Commander (310) 444-0701 West Los Angeles
(310) 444-0738 Office

City-wide Non-emergency Phone # (877) 275-5273

Call 911 if you see anything suspicious. Don't leave anything in your car. Don't leave your mail out. Lock your doors and windows especially when you are away ... Start a neighborhood watch. ... report everything to the police. You can call the Watch Commander at the WLA Police Department.

If you see illegally parked cars, you can contact Parking Enforcement  818-752-5100, and press 2 to be directly connected, also for abandoned cars. The rule is that a car cannot stay in the same spot more than 72hrs.

"Lock It, Hide It, Keep It..... See something, Say Something"  
                   --- WLAPD Capt. Evangelyn Nathan
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(from our friends in the Beverlywood Community)

I have received a large number of e-mails regarding door to door solicitations...

It is not against the law, as long as they have filed with the Police Commission for a " information Card"...
Every city is governed by its own set of ordinances, the Los Angeles City Municipal Code (LACMC) Number 44.00 sets forth the criteria needed to solicit within the City limits.
Regardless of where the organization is based (even out of state charities) an application must be filed with the City of Los Angeles if the charity plans to solicit within the City.
The application must state the intent of the charity and where the funds raised will be dispensed.
A background check is conducted to gather information on the organization.
A permit or " information Card" is then given to the organization to proceed with any solicitation method they chose.
After the solicitation is completed the organization must file a report of results of activity with the City of Los Angeles.

Door to Door

If you don't want to buy a magazine, candy or anything else "Say No thank you, and close the door"...

If you are a person who has a hard time closing the door on a solicitor, do not open it in the first place...

Do not give cash

Take the time to learn about the charitable organization you support or considering supporting.

Tell the solicitor that you would like to do some research on the charity/organization.

Ask every charity solicitor who solicits money from you where and how your contribution will be used.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK, research the organizations, and do follow-ups with the city on these organizations. Don’t expect that every organization has all the proper paperwork they are supposed to have.

Post a sign, stating No Trespassing and No Solicitors.. But be prepared to back up the sign with an arrest if needed...

If they do not have an " information Card" Call 877- ASK LAPD (877 275-5273) and request an unit to respond to the area, please write down an description of the solicitor.

When the solicitor is stopped by a unit and they don't have an information card ....

They will be asked to leave the area and stop soliciting until they obtain one, they can be cited and or arrested if the officer doesn't receive any compliance...

Below is some information on the Give Wisely campaign is intended to assist the public in making informed decisions when donating money or personal time to non-profit organizations. The goal is to regulate charitable activity by encouraging the public to use common sense and research any solicitation before donating.


Introduction

As the world continues to deal with natural disasters and societal concerns, Americans have been incredibly generous. For example, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Americans donated over $2 billion; and when the tsunami crashed ashore in Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004, donors contributed $1.54 billion to charity. Even more amazing was the philanthropic response to Hurricane Katrina that generated $4.2 billion in donations.
Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are donated to organizations for various causes, but a large percentage of funds are lost to deceptive individuals and organizations posing as legitimate charities. Questions frequently asked are “How do I know a charity is legitimate?” and/or “Where does the money go once donated?”

The Key To Wise Giving

Be an informed giver. Ask questions before you give. Find out how much of your donation will actually go to the charity.
If you don’t know who is asking, don’t give. When a stranger asks for donations, do not assume money is honestly being raised for charitable causes.
Call the charity. To avoid falling victim to a fraudulent solicitor, contact the charity directly before giving a donation and verify the solicitation is authorized and legitimate.
Refuse high-pressure appeals.
Do not allow a caller to intimidate you
to give “right now”. Legitimate charities won’t rush you to donate.
Watch out for similar sounding names. False charities often use names that closely resemble the name of a well-known organization.
DO NOT send cash. Always make contributions by check payable to the organization and insist upon a receipt.
Protect your identity. DO NOT give credit card or personal information over the phone.
Avoid “Instant” charity web sites.
The Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments DO NOT solicit donations over the telephone, by mail or door-to-door. Call the agency directly to ensure actual fundraiser participation.
What To Do About…

Direct Mail Solicitations:

Many individuals complain about the large quantities of direct mail received from charitable organizations and seek advice
on how to have their names removed from
a mailing list.
The easiest method to handle unwanted
mail is to destroy and discard. DO NOT feel obligated to support all groups writing to you; charitable organizations do not expect a donation from every person solicited.
For more information on ways to handle unwanted mail, write to:
Philanthropic Advisory Service of the Council of Better Business Bureau, 4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22203

Door-to-Door and Street Solicitations:

DO NOT feel pressured to give a donation.
If interested in donating, do your research. Request to review a copy of the required Information Card and proper identification
from the solicitor.

Telephone Solicitations:

Be assertive on the telephone with callers. If you do not want to receive calls, request that your name be removed from the list. However, if you choose to donate, ask the caller where and how your contribution will be used. Request written information, including financial statements, before making a decision to donate. Be wary of an organization that thanks you for a pledge you do not remember making.
INFORMATION CARDS
In the City of Los Angeles, no person shall solicit a charitable contribution unless an Information Card has been issued per the
Los Angeles Municipal Code, Section 44.02. Any person soliciting contributions is required to display the Information Card or present it upon request. A copy of the card should be included in any direct mail solicitation.
The Los Angeles Police Commission’s Investigation Division, Charitable Services Section, issues the Information Card. The card provides information to the donor in order to assist in making an educated decision about whether to contribute to an organization.

Methods of Solicitation:

Direct mail or telephone requests
Direct in-person requests
Fundraising events
Internet websites and email
Newspaper and magazine advertisement
It is easy to place faith into a “charity” that seems to be providing a great service for an organization in need. However, it is up to you, the individual “contributor”, to research where your money is going.
Please Give Wisely!
The following resources are available to provide searchable databases to learn
about specific charities in the state or to
report fraudulent activity:


General Resources

Los Angeles Police Commission
Charitable Services Section
(213) 978-1144
Email: pccharity@lapd.org

Los Angeles Police Department
Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit
(213) 485-3134

California Attorney General
(800) 952-5564 or www.caag.state.ca.us

California Secretary of State
(213) 897-3062 or www.ss.ca.gov

AARP
(888) 687-2277 or www.aarp.org

Better Business Bureau
(909) 825-7280 or www.labbb.org

Guidestar
(757) 229-4631 or www.guidestar.org

National Do Not Call Registry
(888) 382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov

National Fraud Information Center
(800) 876-7060 or www.fraud.org

Wise Giving Alliance
(703) 276-0100 or www.give.org

Los Angeles Police Commission
Charitable Services Section
GIVE WISELY
200 North Spring Street
Room 1513
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1144

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The "I'm Your Neighbor Down The Street" Scam:

Many folks are being hit by a variety of scammers with this one. They may pose as a neighbor or as a Gas Co employee. In some cases they ask for money. In some cases they may be casing the property. Remember that you don't have to open your door.

see our crime reports Crime Reports page for the latest official report.