Archive for May, 2010

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Block Captain Meeting – Recap

Cindy Chvatal –Keane  welcomed the block captains and thanked them for their valuable contribution to the community. She also encouraged everyone to visit the new HPHOA’48 web site at www.hancockpark.org .  Cindy noted that due to the severe City wide budget cut backs,  tree trimming, stump removal, median/parkway maintaince  and sidewalk repair services have been all but eliminated.  The Hancock Park Homeowners Association’48  is discussing plans to take over trimming trees and grass in absence of the city and is putting together a fund , (using annual dues) to that end.  (City will only be coming out to deal with emergencies.) The city will grant permits to take over trimming the trees.  Sidewalks are now the residents’ responsibility. The city will no longer deal with repairing them. (Citizens are looking in to whether this is legal.)  The HPHOA’48 will be providing information to the homeowners about what city will not be doing and what the HPHOA’48 will be doing.

SSA Security – Jerry Shaw

1-4 minute response time max. all are former police officers and know how to respond. It’s critical that we report any crimes that we experience or see.  If anyone would like to contact SSA, they are glad to answer questions whether you are clients or not.  SSA can’t respond to a residence that is not subscribed to their services.  tsegraves@ssa-pi.com or jshaw@ssa-pi.com.  In HP, incidents of crime are starting to be reduced, often because of SSA presence, because they stop numerous people and approach parked cars and ask what they’re doing in the neighborhood. It’s obvious who is here legitimately and those who are not.  (Crime is going up in neighborhood around us.) Two burglaries recently on Highland, in both cases used pepper spray.  SSA security works with all monitoring companies.  $187.50 per month.  Goal is to reduce the cost with more subscribers.  Need 180 homes, have 160.  As soon as get 260 homes, will add a second car.

HPOZ – Jen DeVore

Board has been in existence for almost a year now. The Board is comprised of five members. Operated by the city – all meetings are noticed and homeowners need to go through the city to be on the agenda for the HPOZ meetings. Meetings are held every other Tuesday night.  We have a very detailed HPOZ Preservation Plan and the Board follows  the principles of that Plan….the goal of the HPOZ was to preserve the historic character of Hancock Park. 

ADT – Kevin Scroggins

Mr. Scroggins was a senior lead officer for the Wilshire division, LAPD.   Even as a manager, he does patrol the streets.  ADT has 5 cars that respond in Hancock Park/Windsor Square.  He listens to most of calls that are being monitored.  ADT does escorts and they do house searches.  4 cars in Hancock Park/Windsor Square all the time.  Local number: 818 428 6675. 818 428 6673 – Kevin’s cell.

LAFD – Station 29 Captain Richard McLaren

In the event of an earthquake or other natural disasters, anything over a 3.3 earthquake, all fire equipment is taken to a safe area.  They have a route that they will then start to patrol and assess the damage.  In the event of a full-scale earthquake, they will need to prioritize the emergencies.  Upshot is that we may be on our own as a neighborhood. Block captain participation is critical to organize each block it the case of an emergency.   Residents should have at least a week’s worth of food and water for more than a week. The web site:  www.lafd.org has all this information.  There are copies there of the LAFD Emergency Preparedness Guide and also info from the Red Cross.  Know how to shut off your water and your gas, if you need to.  Get an earthquake valve to automatically set off your gas if needed. Make sure you have smoke detectors – 2/3 of lives lost to fire each year come from no smoke alarms or faulty fire alarms.  CERT program is a great resource. Check out the new Hancock APrk Web site for more information on Emergency Preparedness.

Climate Appropriate Landscaping – Mayita Dinos 

We live in a Mediterranean climate. There are five.  What does that mean?  We have hot, dry summers with not much rain at all, if any and then we have cool, wet winters.  Plants need to be adapted to that – they tend to have tough leaves or small fuzzy leaves to hold on to the water (eg sage). Leaves can resemble needles so that it’s not exposing too much surface area to the sun. Up til now, could grow non-appropriate plants because we were stealing water. But we’re running out of that stolen water.  New law: Feb 2010 – Water efficiency landscape ordinance – WELO – that is meant to conserve water.  Low impact design ordinance (LID) – meant to reduce run off, keep water where it falls. Also – no longer allowed to water all the time. 60 – 70% of your total water use is used for your landscape.    Don’t know if they are actually enforcing right now. Need to present plans for landscaping to the city if over a certain size.  So – characteristics of an appropriate landscape are….1 – have a rain barrel to catch water. 2 – reduce run off by keeping water on site  – many ways to do this – redirect , put gutter into rain barrel or direct gutter onto line.  Or think of your property as a mini-watershed…notice geographical elements and figure out mountains (house) and valleys (where water collects.)  make a rain garden!  There are plants that like being flooded.  You are bringing water back to the aquifer – and the soil filters out the pollution.  Key goal is the first flush – first time it rains after a long period – to get that water back into the ground where the pollution can be filtered.  3 – restore the health of the soil.   Soil needs OWL – oxygen, water, life. Lawns are not good.  If you did nothing else but change out your parkways, you would be doing an amazing amount in saving water and reducing run-off.  Lawns compact soil, when you have compacted soil, water can’t be absorbed. 20% of California’s energy budget goes to TRANSPORTING water.  Yikes.  Pesticides that are put on lawns—and those pesticides cause cancer in kids and in our dogs.  4 – restore habitat.   Mayita Dinos can be reached via email at www.mayitadinos.com or call 310-838-5959.