Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water Supply Challenges And An Update from Sacramento

Please join Assemblymember Mike Feuer (42nd District) and Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager - The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California....

Friday, July 17, 2009 
7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn
4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91602 
Free parking is provided.

Water Supply Challenges And An Update from Sacramento

Please join Assemblymember Mike Feuer and Jeffrey Kightlinger at this informative briefing to discuss important water issues impacting California and our local communities. 

You will hear about the many challenges affecting our water supplies, such as California's critical 3-year drought and the mounting environmental, water supply and water quality challenges facing the Sacramento - San Joaquin Bay Delta.  You will also learn about key water-related legislation and other major legislative issues affecting California.

Schedule:  A complimentary breakfast will be served promptly at 7:30 a.m.    The program will begin at 8:00 a.m.  

into your browser or by calling (800) 430-1391 no later than Tuesday, July 14th.  

Space is limited.

What does IOU mean? Q&A to share

BizFed members, If we don't have a state budget tomorrow, on Thursday the State starts issuing IOUs. What does that mean in practical terms to all your business members? This may help decipher what's behind the headlines. Pass it along. But bottom line…our legislators need to get the budget DONE!

State IOUs Q&A Fact Sheet

Excerpts from the San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The state controller's office says it will begin issuing IOUs on Thursday for the first time since 1992 if the governor and Legislature haven't come up with a budget fix.  If that happens, who will get them, how will they work and will you be able to use them to pay your bills? Here are some answers.

Q: What is an IOU?

A: Normally, the state pays its bills with "regular warrants," which are checks that can be cashed immediately. If the state doesn't reach a plan that will put cash in the Treasury by Thursday, the controller will begin issuing more than $3 billion in IOUs to pay some of its July bills, says Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman for Controller John Chiang. The state will pay off the IOUs on Oct. 1, assuming there is enough cash in the Treasury by then. The IOUs will pay tax-free interest at a rate that will be set on Thursday.

Q: How will they look?

A: The IOUs will look like regular state checks except they will be printed on darker green paper and bear the issue and maturity dates and the word "registered."

Q: Will the state pay everything with IOUs?

A: No. The state Constitution, federal laws or court orders prevent some IOU payments.

The state will continue making regular payments to schools (kindergarten through college) and to debt holders because the Constitution gives them priority. The state also must continue making regular payments to state employee and teacher pension plans, in-home supportive services and Medi-Cal providers. Without a budget fix, the controller expects to issue roughly $3 billion in IOUs and $11 billion worth of regular payments in July.

Q: Who will get IOUs?

A: The state would use IOUs to pay:

-- Businesses that contract with the state.

-- People and businesses getting income tax refunds.

-- The Student Aid Commission, which makes Cal Grants to college students.

-- Social service programs including CalWORKS, mental health, drug and alcohol programs.

-- The state's portion of Supplemental Security Income and State Supplementary Payment programs for blind, disabled and low-income seniors. However, the federal government will pick up the state's unpaid share and the state will reimburse the federal government.

Q: Can I cash in an IOU before Oct. 1?

A: The state will not redeem them before Oct. 1. However, the IOUs are negotiable, which means they can be sold or transferred to another party as a form of payment. In 1992, many banks in California cashed them for customers initially, but many stopped after the first month. Some banks said the 5 percent interest rate was not enough to justify the hassle; others wanted to spur the state to end its budget impasse. Wells Fargo and Bank of America have not decided whether to accept IOUs this time. In an e-mail, BofA says it would need "much greater specificity about rates, timelines, terms and many other variables" before it could make that decision. A spokeswoman for the California Bankers Association says she doesn't think any of its members have decided whether to accept them.

Q: When would the state stop issuing IOUs?

A: "When there is enough money to pay all our bills," including any outstanding IOUs, Casaleggio says.

More info

For more information, go to the state controller's Q&A at www.sco.ca.gov/5935.html.


Tracy Rafter, CEO 

BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation 





Monday, June 29, 2009

Date Set, Prep Starts for Popular Park(ing) Day LA

Date Set, Prep Starts for Popular Park(ing) Day LA

The City
By Stephen Box

Officials confirmed the date and prep has begun for the third annual … and increasingly popular … Park(ing) Day LA.

Park[ing] Day LA hits the streets of Los Angeles on Friday, September 18th, as community activists, neighborhood leaders and urban planners throughout the city step up to the curb, put a quarter in the meter, and proceed to transform curbside metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

Jane Jacobs, in "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" writes that in order to make a city safe, prosperous and worth living in, one must start with "lively and interesting streets."

To that end, Park[ing] Day LA is an opportunity for community members to engage passers-by, motorists, members of the press, city leadership and yes, even the authorities, in a rational and respectful dialogue of everything from our city's parks and public space to the environment and allocation of land to mobility issues and local beautification projects.

Park[ing] Day LA is an opportunity to create community, engage the public and create a dialogue, all while taking advantage of one of the best real estate deals in town, the public park(ing) space.

Park[ing] Day originated in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco based art and design collective, transformed a metered parking spot into a park-for-a-day in an effort to make a public comment on the lack of quality open space in American cities. Their goal was to reprogram the urban surface by reclaiming streets for people to rest, relax and play and their mission is to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play. 

This is the third year that Los Angeles will be participating in Park[ing] Day and the call is out for individuals and organizations who want to work together to stir a discussion of LA's parks, open space and land use allocation.

Last year there were over 70 parks spread throughout Los Angeles, built and hosted by community activists, architectural and design firms, advocacy groups and neighborhood councils.

Cyclists loaded up trailers with sod, trees and park benches and then rode through Central LA until they found an empty park[ing] space. They would throw a quarter in the meter, unload, roll out a park, sit for a spell and engage the passers-by in a conversation and then after the meter had run out, they would load up and head off to another empty park[ing] space.

Architects and designers in Silver Lake created a Zen garden complete with babbling brook and flagstone walk that proved to be irresistible to those who wandered by. 

East Hollywood, which is the "park-poorest" neighborhood council in the city, went all out and built the "East Hollywood Rec Center" complete with swimming pool and BBQ pit. Alfredo Hernandez hosted a party that earned him the title of Park Czar.

Mia Lehrer and Associates built a park inspired by the LA River and complete with willows and giant reeds. The beautiful and serene environment was complemented with shade from plastic bags and police line tape as a reminder of the impact of pollution on nature.

One park featured basketball, some created complicated political statements, others simply loaded up on basic park amenities and encouraged folks to sit a spell and relax.

As for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, well, they simply did it all. Not content with a simple parking space, they simply shut down the street and threw a block party. Organized by Gunner Hand and Ashley Zarella, the block party included bands, food, exhibits and, in keeping with the park theme, served as the driving force for a petition drive for a downtown dog park. 

The 3rd annual Park[ing] DayLA is just 3 months away and now is the time for neighborhood councils to partner with community groups and to select a message, pick a location, assemble the team and go to work transforming LA's best real estate deal, the park[ing] space, into a park.

For a recap of last year's Park[ing] Day LA and ideas on how to build your own park visit www.ParkingDayLA.com 

Park[ing] Day LA has a twitter page on www.twitter.com/ParkingDay_LA

For an overview of the origins of Park[ing] Day visit www.ParkingDay.org

(Stephen Box is a transportation and cyclist advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.net)

Vol 7 Issue 51
Pub: June 26, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Inclusionary Housing Stakeholder Survey


Los Angeles County is committed to addressing the housing needs of individuals and families of all income levels. As part of this effort, the Department of Regional Planning is working on a report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Inclusionary Housing Feasibility Study, which analyzes whether a local policy tool known as inclusionary housing would be appropriate for the unincorporated communities.  To learn more about the study and inclusionary housing, please visit our web-page

In an effort to reach as many stakeholders as possible, the Department of Regional Planning has developed a brief survey on inclusionary housing. The results of the surveys will be summarized in the Inclusionary Housing Feasibility Study report to the Board of Supervisors. Please take a moment to participate in the survey, and encourage others to participate as well. The survey will be available until Friday, July 17, 2009. Please click here to take the survey.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Housing Section at (213) 974-6417 or email housing@planning.lacounty.gov.

Kind regards,

Housing Section
Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning






Monday, June 22, 2009

Take Action on Santa Monica's Proposed Solar Ordinance!

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Dear E-Activist,

We need your help today! The City of Santa Monica has traditionally been at the forefront of sustainable energy initiatives—it was the first city in the country to purchase green power. The City's current goal is to have 25% of its electric power come from renewable energy sources by 2010.

Unfortunately, a proposed ordinance amending Santa Monica Municipal Code -- Solar Energy Design Standards --would blemish that record and create a disincentive to install solar power. The ordinance establishes subjective design standardsthat will create a new barrier to solar installations and make it more difficult to meet the city's renewable energy goal. Specifically, sub-section (e) imposes improper requirements mandating that:

"solar collector panels, their necessary support structure, and conduit, shall be installed in the location that is the least visible from abutting streets directly facing the subject property."

SM Solar OrdinanceBy imposing this aesthetic design consideration, the City would embrace a counterproductive message that solar panels should be hidden rather than embraced as bringing economic and environmental benefits to the city, while creating an unnecessary bureaucratic hurdle for architects and developers to to jump over, while increasing costs for both the City and the applicant and discouraging the growth of solar energy usage in our community.  

This ordinance is going to be voted on in the next two weeks so immediate action is crucial! You can help -- if you are a Santa Monica resident, or have a business in Santa Monica, please sign our petition here. It will be emailed directly to the Santa Monica City Council.

If you have friends that live or work in Santa Monica, please forward them this message.Thank you so much for your support.


Mary Luevano
Director, Policy & Legislative Affairs
Global Green USA

Global Green USA
is the only national environmental non-profit headquartered in Southern California with offices in New Orleans, Washington DC, and New York, and is one of 31 national Green Cross International affiliates throughout the world. For more information about the work we do visit our website at globalgreen.org

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Global Green USA | 2218 Main St. Los Angeles, CA. 90405 | 310-581-2700 | ggusa@globalgreen.org

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Hollywood Blvd Urban Design Open House = June 24 (6pm)

FYI.....in case you feel like sharing notice with any of your colleagues:

Hollywood Blvd Urban Design Open House
Wednesday, June 24: 6-8 PM @ Hollywood United Methodist Church
Saturday, June 27: 10AM-12PM @ Crossroads of the World

The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) is preparing an urban design plan for Hollywood Boulevard and the surrounding area. Share with us what you like about this great street and what you'd like to change.

Anyone interested in planning and development in Hollywood welcomed!  For more information or reservations, please call(323) 960-2660 


Thursday, June 18, 2009

City of LA - Urban Design Principals

Stephanie, as chair of the AIA/LA Urban Design Committee and since your committee has been closely engaged with the City of LA Urban Design Studio, I wanted to let you know that the Citywide Urban Design Principals will be heard at the July 25th City Planning Commission hearing.  

Does your committee wish for me to read into public record a letter of support for the initiative?  If so, then I need to immediately communicate your endorsement to the AIA/LA Board of Director's Executive Committee.

Details of the Citywide Urban Design Principles can be found below.  Or by following this link:  http://www.urbandesignla.com/UD_Principles-03-10-08-2.pdf

Please let me know your thoughts ASAP.

Very truly yours,
Will Wright
Director, Government & Public Affairs

THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2009, 8:30 A.M. 

4. CPC-2009-1680-GPA  
CEQA:  ENV-2009-1681-CE  

Requested Action: 
1. Pursuant to Charter Section 555 and Section 11.5.6 of the Municipal Code, a General Plan Amendment to add Urban Design Principles to the General Plan Framework. 
2. Find that the project is categorically exempt and adopt the related findings.  


Proposed Project: 
The City Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider amending the General Plan Framework by adding Citywide Urban Design Principles. The added general policy procedure making will summarize the application and use of the Principles; and new policies will be recommended to implement the Urban Design Principles through the preparation of Community Plans, Urban Design Standards and Guidelines, Ordinances, and discretionary project review findings. No development is proposed as part of the project. No change in land use, density or intensity is proposed. 


Applicant:  City of Los Angeles  


Recommended Action: 
1. Approve and Recommend that the City Council Adopt the requested General Plan Amendment (Appendix A) into the General Plan Framework: 1) add descriptive text regarding the Urban Design Principles into the Introduction of the Land Use Chapter and the Urban Form and Neighborhood Design Chapter; 2) add new Policy 3.2.5 - Use the Urban Design Principles in the Community Plan process to integrate Urban Design into the Land Use Chapter; 3) add new Policy 5.1.3 - Implement the Urban Design Principles through the preparation of Community Plans, Urban Design Standards and Guidelines, and Ordinances; 
and 4) add new Policy 5.1.4 - Use the Urban Design Principles in making findings of conformance with the General Plan for discretionary projects. 
2. Approve and recommend that the City Council Adopt Categorical Exemption No. ENV-2009-1692-CE.  Adopt the related findings as part of this project. 


Staff:   Simon Pastucha, (213) 978-1475