Have you been in O’Melveny Park lately?

One of the things that helps makes our areas special is O’Melveny Park. At 672 acres it’s second in size in the city park system only to Griffith Park. It may not have some of the things Griffith Park has, like a golf course, zoo, or merry-go-round, but that’s actually a good thing. O’Melveny is a wonderful splash of undeveloped landscape nestled up next to the busy streets of the city.

If you haven’t been through the park lately it’s time to head back for a visit, especially while the hills are still green from the rain of past months. There are some great splashes of color from a wide variety of wildflowers, especially if you take the time – and effort – to hike past the meadow at the base of the park. Please enjoy the flowers and feel free to take as many pictures as you like, but don’t take the actual flowers themselves. There may be a lot of them up there, but if everyone took just one flower home the hills would soon look pretty barren. Not only that, picking flowers on city property is prohibited by law, and there are some nasty penalties if you get caught!

The city has recently installed new water fountains in the lower section of the park, and they even have a special section for thirsty dogs. Thanks to the Patriot Oil Community Benefit Trust for funding the project. Please remember that the city leash laws do apply in all sections of O’Melveny Park. It may be tempting to let your four-legged friend loose for a romp, but please keep the safety of other visitors in mind and keep your dog safely on a leash.

Speaking of safety, as things warm up you run a chance of coming across a rattlesnake basking in the sun. Keep alert and watch for them, and if you spot one, keep a safe distance. The snakes are another good reason to keep your dog close to you, and away from any snake that might be out there. Don’t let the snakes scare you off, though. They’re up there but they would prefer to stay far away from you as well.

A final word of caution. Don’t leave any valuables in sight in your car before you head into the park. The video cameras watching the parking lot have greatly reduced the problem of thefts from the cars in the lot, but don’t make it easy for anyone who might be interested in your items.

If you spot anything in the park that needs repair, or have any questions about the park facilities, you can reach the Parks & Recreation Dept. at (818) 363-3556.

We hope to see you up in the park soon!!

City Uses App to Alert People Trained in CPR of Nearby Emergencies They Can Help With

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LA partners with PulsePoint to empower residents to help save lives.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and the fire chief unveiled a smartphone app Wednesday that alerts people with CPR training if someone in a nearby public area is suffering from cardiac arrest and needs their help.

The PulsePoint app sends alerts to its users at the same time fire department dispatchers are notifying emergency crews; guides users through the CPR steps; and also shows the location of nearby defibrillators.

The alerts are only sent out for cardiac arrest victims who happen to be in a public area. Health privacy and safety concerns prevent alerts to be sent out on people suffering heart attacks at private residences.

The app also displays data about ongoing and recent emergency calls handled by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which gets about 1,200 calls daily, about 85 percent of them for medical emergencies.

The mayor announced the app with Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas at Woodrow Wilson High School in El Sereno, where 120 students have been trained in CPR.

“This app connects trained lifesavers who may already be on scene with people who need immediate help, when seconds count the most,” Garcetti said.

Terrazas said the department worked out a contract with the appmaker, PulsePoint, that “allows the LAFD to help save lives with our smartphones, which is technology that most of us already have in hand.”

“I am excited that Angelenos have another crucial tool at their fingertips that can help them further engage with their communities and fire department,” he said.

Anyone trained in CPR, whether they are off-duty public safety responders or an average citizen, can download and use the app, which is available for iPhones and Android devices.

The app is also in use in areas covered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which integrated the app last summer.

The creator of PulsePoint, Richard Price, is a former Bay Area fire chief who was on break eating at a restaurant when a person in the next building had a heart attack. Price was not monitoring the dispatch system and did not learn about it until the fire trucks pulled up.

Granada Hills Charter High Sets Academic Decathlon Record

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For the fourth time in five years, Granada Hills Charter High School has won the Los Angeles Unified School District Academic Decathlon.

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Granada Hills Charter High School scored a competition- record 59,167.1 points out of a possible 65,400 to win the Los Angeles Unified School District Academic Decathlon for the fourth time in five years, district officials announced tonight.

Ten other teams qualified as wild card entrants for the California Academic Decathlon, which will be held March 20-21 in Sacramento: defending national champion El Camino Real (58,223); defending district champion Marshall (56,458.6); Franklin (55,166.5); Garfield (50,790.6); Bell (49,744.8); Hamilton (48,943.8); North Hollywood (46,232.2); Van Nuys (46,058.7); Grant (45,459.3); and Harbor Teacher Prep (43,178.2).

Irene Lee from Granada Hills was the top individual scorer with 9,461.4 points, tying the record among all competitions.

Kim Monson of Narbonne won the Coach of the Year award.

The Academic Decathlon began Jan. 31 at the Roybal Learning Center near downtown Los Angeles, with teams from 59 high schools competing in the speech, interview and essay categories.

The competition concluded Saturday with tests in art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music and social science and the Super Quiz, also at the Roybal Learning Center.

The study topic was alternatives in energy.

The results were announced at an awards ceremony at Hollywood High School.

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Los Angeles Implements Citywide Hit-and-Run Alert and Reward System

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This Wednesday, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles Police Department’s Captain Philip Fontanetta, and hit-and-run victim and founder of Finish the Ride Damian Kevitt to announce the implementation of a hit-and-run alert system throughout the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed my motion to direct the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to work with the City’s Emergency Management Department and the Department of Transportation to implement a hit-and-run mass notification system in the City of Los Angeles using existing technology platforms such as Nixle, Twitter, and Facebook.

Councilmember Englander thanked Councilmember Joe Buscaino for submitting companion legislation, also unanimously passed in Council on Wednesday, directing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to offer a standing reward for the apprehension and conviction of those guilty of committing a hit-and-run crime.

Los Angeles and its surrounding communities are in the grips of a hit-and-run epidemic. The LAPD records approximately 20,000 hit-and-runs each year. Nearly half of all vehicle crashes in the City of Los Angeles are hit-and-runs, compared with the national average of 11 percent. Last year, there were 27 fatalities and 144 severe injuries due to hit-and-run crimes. On average LAPD was only able to solve 20% of the cases. Hit and run crimes are especially difficult to solve because often there is little or no evidence and no witnesses.

Currently, the State is considering the Yellow Alert System, which would broadcast similar information on hit-and-run crimes. The Yellow Alert models the Medina Alert system implemented in the State of Colorado. Similar to the Amber Alert system, the alert will be issued for a specific hit and run incident to the public on highway signs and through the media. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed Councilmember Englander’s resolution to support California State Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s Assembly Bill 8 which would authorize law enforcement agencies to issue a “Yellow Alert” if a person has been killed or seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident and there is a reliable description of the vehicle.

WaterWise Solution: Recycled Water

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As the City’s imported water supply becomes more critical, so does the need to expand our local, sustainable water resources, including water recycling. Water recycling offers a reliable, economically feasible and environmentally sensitive way to augment the city’s water supplies. Recycling programs treat wastewater so that it can be used safely for irrigation and industrial purposes, groundwater replenishment, as a barrier against seawater intrusion and for other beneficial environmental uses.

Los Angeles has used recycled water since 1979 for irrigation. Recycled water keeps the landscape healthy in areas of Griffith Park, along with the Mount Sinai and Forest Lawn Memorial Parks. Currently, the LADWP is expanding its recycled water program to include both groundwater replenishment utilizing advanced treated purified recycled water to recharge groundwater supplies and a large purple pipe distribution system.

LADWP has made water recycling a key strategy of the Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP). The UWMP is a blueprint for creating reliable sources of water for the future of Los Angeles. The goal is to increase the total amount of recycled water to 59,000 acre-feet per year by 2035.

As technology advances, the possibility of recycling water to potable quality has become even more realistic. The Omniprocessor, a water purification device designed by Janicki Industries and partly funded by the Gates Foundation, recently successfully demonstrated how it converts sewer sludge into drinking water, electricity, and pathogen-free ash. A pilot project in Dakar, Senegal later this year will test the Omniprocessor in an urban context.

Improved purification technologies and better infrastructure can drive solutions for reducing the use of fresh water and dependency on imported water. For now, recycled water can already be put to a multitude of non-potable uses, and plays a major role in the strategy for a less thirsty Los Angeles.

Mayor’s Message 01.28.2015

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Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that the first annual National Aerospace Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Exposition will be held in Los Angeles. This is the first stand-alone FDI event in the United States co-sponsored by the Commerce Department that will focus on a single industry: aerospace manufacturing.

The Mayor and LAEDC collaborated last year to bring the exposition to Los Angeles, working jointly to find a suitable venue for the expo, and submitting the winning proposal in a competitive process against other cities and states. The selection of Los Angeles to host the first aerospace expo reflects L.A.’s dominant position in the United States’ aerospace market. More aerospace companies are located in Los Angeles County than any other county in America.

“The aerospace cluster surrounding the Los Angeles Air Force Base is the most concentrated in the U.S., and this event will help us leverage that built-in advantage to boost exports and create middle class jobs,” Mayor Garcetti said. “As a primary entry point for Foreign Direct Investment and as home to aerospace’s most innovative companies, Los Angeles is the natural choice for the Department of Commerce’s first Aerospace FDI Expo.”

The National Aerospace FDI Exposition will provide prospective investors with resources to make smart decisions about where and how to establish or expand their presence in the United States. These will include one-on-one meetings with state and local economic development organizations that are interested in attracting aerospace FDI. Other expo activities will include workshops geared specifically to aerospace manufacturers, such as contracting with the Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration. The Aerospace States Association (ASA), a non-profit organization of state lieutenant governors and governor appointed delegates, is co-sponsoring the expo.

Read the full story here.

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