Valley Village feels like an oasis in the big city, and every day it grows more desirable. The Neighborhood Council Valley Village, which serves as a bridge between City Hall and Valley Village, is diligently working to improve the area, as well as provide information outreach about community events.
One of the most anticipated improvements is to Valley Village Park (aka Westpark), the small stretch of green that runs along the west side of the 170 Freeway between Hartsook and Huston Streets. Because it is not visible from the nearest major streets (Riverside Drive and Magnolia Boulevard), it is a well-kept secret that has become more popular as the word gets out.
The NCVV approved a pathway that will encircle the park so strollers and the disabled will be able to easily traverse. The path will be constructed of decomposed granite, which is more comfortable, weather-resistant and root-resistant than asphalt or cement. Attractive benches will be installed along the path. A ramp will be created at Morrison Street, which will offer another choice to the only current ramp at Addison Street. Maintenance will be performed on the signage, lighting and the baseball back. As this is a popular park for many dog owners in the area, dog bag dispensers will be installed for their convenience. Two game tables for chess or backgammon will also be created.
Proposals for additional items are currently being negotiated. The offer by Los Angeles Parks and Recreation to install exercise stations was rejected on the grounds that similar stations exist just across the freeway at North Hollywood Park. A proposal to install shade over the playground and picnic areas is being discussed, with many vocal stakeholders giving opinions both in favor and against its installation. To learn more about these proposals and let your voice be directly heard, please attend the next City Services Committee Meeting on Tuesday, April 12 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Oakwood School Student Library.
Monday, April 4 from 6– 10 p.m., a free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training class begins. The class will run for four consecutive Mondays and is taught by LAFD Captain/Paramedic Stacy Gerlich. Basic first aid will be discussed, as well as how to treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock. Emergency training includes putting out small fires, safely searching for victims, managing utilities, effectively organizing volunteers, and collecting disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts. An additional CPR class will be available for a cost of $25. Refreshments will be provided. Class size is limited so please RSVP to email@example.com. Additional information is on the CERT-LA website http://www.cert-la.com/index.shtml.
The 1st Annual Valley Village Virtual Garden Tour will be held April 1 through May 20. All Valley Village stakeholders are invited to participate (borders are posted at myvalleyvillage.com) including business and apartment dwellers. Take five photos of your garden, deck, balcony or patio and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to NVCC, P.O. Box 4703, Valley Village, CA 91617.
Please include your name, address where the garden is located, contact phone number, email address, date the photographs were taken, and a short description of the garden area. Photos must be taken between April 1 and May 25. Due to legal considerations, no photos that include people are eligible, but wildlife or pets are acceptable. All eligible photos will be posted on the NCVV website. The week of May 20 a blue ribbon panel of judges will visit the top gardens and select winners for the 2011 Garden Tour. Winners will be announced at the NCVV Board Meeting on May 25th and on the NCVV website. The tour is sponsored by NCVV, Dorothy Apple with Coldwell Banker Realty and Sego Nursery. For additional information, please contact Suzanne Lewis at 818-759-8204.
At the Wednesday, March 23 NCVV Board Meeting, Karen Goldberg from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health gave a presentation about the many services offered by her department. She specifically discussed their Adult Full Service Partnership (FSP), a program for adults between 26 and 59 year of age which works with clients and their families by assigning them a personal “Navigator” which guides them through the system as a team effort.
Goldberg describes the process as being “innovative and creative, coming up with new ideas for those who get lost in the bureaucratic system.” The navigator provides nurses, behaviorists and nutritionists who come directly to the clients’ homes to personally help them with their mental health issues. For more information on FSP services in the San Fernando Valley (Service Area 2) please contact Darrel Scholte at 818- 610-6705. For other questions, the Department of Mental Health’s Emergency and Non-Emergency Helpline “ACCESS” is available 24/7 by calling 800-854-7771 or by logging on the their website: http://dmh.lacounty.info. Assistance is offered in areas including suicide prevention, child and elder abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, and Alzheimer’s.
Other topics at the NCVV board meeting included a motion to request the City of Los Angeles to construct bus shelters at some of the busier bus stops in Valley Village, to enlist the services of a professional to advise the board on the Valley Village Task Force, and a motion to approve a $5,000 grant to the for books and equipment.
Senior Librarian Erik Surber was at the meeting and suggested a smart use of funds would go to the “Hot off the Press” books - recent bestsellers that have high turnover but are in short supply. Also, a pet adoption fair is in the works, and most likely will be held on Saturday, April 30 at on the northeast corner of Colfax Avenue and Addison Street.
The NCVV also encouraged community members to take a survey conducted by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) to help determine neighborhood council priorities based on the opinions of their stakeholders. The survey can be found at http://done.lacity.org/dnn/Default.aspx?tabid=172. Another survey is conducted by the City Attorney’s office to help identify primary health and safety issues. This survey can be found at: www.atty.lacity.org/ssLINK/LACITYP_013864. These surveys are important, productive tools to let Los Angeles residents’ opinions be directly heard, and hopefully implemented.
The final appeal was to replace the fraying, three-year old NCVV banners, which are hanging along Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Riverside Drive. This seems to be how most people are aware of the Neighborhood Council, and it lists their Web site: myvalleyvillage.com. The website is updated frequently to notify stakeholders of local news and community events. Board meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of every month from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. in the Colfax Charter Elementary auditorium. Everyone is welcome and snacks are provided.