THE VIEW FROM BLAIR HILLS
The Blair Hills Association February, 2002 Edited by Bobbi Gold
Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 PM
Ohr Eliyahu Academy
5950 Stoneview Drive
The five candidates for City Council elections on April 9 (Gary Silbiger, Chip Netzel, Albert Vera, David Hauptman and Ted Smith) will present their platforms and answer our questions. Also on the ballot are two candidates for City Clerk (Christopher Armenta and Lynn Baril). Come ask about the issues that concern you; if you don't know what the issues are, listen to what your neighbors are asking. This meeting continues the long tradition of having a candidates forum in our neighborhood so that the candidates can concentrate on our needs.
February meeting report: Disaster Planning
You missed a very informative meeting with representatives from the Culver City Police and Fire Departments and Kenneth Hahn State Park describing what their organizations do during disasters and how we can help ourselves until help reaches us.
Despite the events of September 11 and the fires, mudslides, floods, and riots that have hit L.A. County over its history, the number one major disaster potential is a big earthquake, which is likely to also result in fires. Also, the same preparations that will server us well after a large earthquake would serve us if there is ever a terrorist attack. CCPD Lt. Dave Tankenson (Community Relations) briefly described the department's general procedures in an emergency and provided a detailed handout about assembling a disaster supplies kit and creating a family disaster plan. For a copy, call him at (310) 253-6258.
The major presentation was by the Culver City Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Perry Waldow and Carol Newman provided interesting information about: various scenarios; what public agencies will do during and after a disaster; how we as citizens can supplement what these agencies would do (how we can become members of CERT) in order to better help each other, and if our community needs are met, help others; and how to prepare ourselves, our homes, and our families. The fire department personnel brought a variety of products designed to help disaster-proof our homes as well as detailed handouts for preparing your family and reducing hazards around your home. (For copies, call CC Cert at (310) 253-5903). A special feature was a description of the Disaster Awareness Training classes which are available to the public (see below).
Finally, Lori Bennett, supervisor of Kenneth Hahn State Park, described briefly how the Park could help in times of crisis. The Park always has available some people trained in first aid (the number varies with time of day). If the park is needed as a staging center, those people will be available to render help and provide shelter; if the park is not a staging area, their personnel may go out into the surrounding community to help as needed. The park is a great resource for us because it is in walking distance, closer than the Culver City staging areas (which are Carlson Park at Braddock and Motor, Veterans Park at Culver and Overland, and Blanco Park behind El Rincon School).
CERT classes available to Blair Hills Residents
The CC Fire Department presents free classes three times a year to train local residents how to help their families and neighbors in case of a disaster. Each class has four sessions totaling 17½ hours, covering first aid, fire suppression and light search and rescue. Hands-on training takes place at the CC Fire Training Facility at 9275 Jefferson Blvd. Classes are limited to 25 (minimum age 16). The first class was in February (already started); the next two are in July, starting on 7/9/2002, and in September-October, starting on 9/24/2002. Each consists of a Tuesday class from 7PM to 9:30PM followed three successive Saturday classes, from 9AM to 3:30PM. If interested, call (310) 253-5903. The fire department urged some residents in Blair Hills to train since each community needs trained members.
A Blair Hills disaster preparedness committee will be formed. Contact Jon Melvin if interested in assisting.
Blair Hills web site and e-mail data base
To improve communication within our community, Jon Melvin has initiated a Blair Hills web site and e-mail data base. On the web site we will post meeting notices and other information of interest. The web site address is:
Jon is also assembling a database of e-mail addresses of Blair Hills residents. If you'd like to receive e-mail about issues and events being discussed, please email your e-mail address to Jon Melvin. When you do, please let him know if your email address may be given to other residents. You can also send him information of neighborhood interest to post on the web site.
Blair Hills Park Playground Renovation
Marty Nicholson of CC Parks & Recreation reported that the City was successful in its grant application for $50,000 from the California Integrated Waste Management Board, which will be supplemented by $30,000 from Culver City. The grant will be used only for renovating a portion of the playground area in the sand. Some of the sand will be replaced by a rubberized surface, for safety reasons and also to improve handicapped access. Furthermore, the equipment in the play area will be replaced by more modern, safer equipment with slides and small climbing “towers”. We expect that another community meeting will be held in April to allow us to participate in planning the renovation. (Sign up for e-mail notification and watch our web site.)
Sewer Odors at La Cienega Blvd and Rodeo Rd
Many of us are aware of awful sewer odors at certain times of day in the vicinity of this intersection. These odors prompted a suit against City of Los Angeles by a group of plaintiffs, including homeowner associations At the February meeting, BHA president Mary Ann Greene announced a consent decree requiring L.A. to implement and fund a plan to control and eventually eliminate the odors and provide a hotline.
BHA dues and directories
The 2001-2002 dues campaign was highly successful, with about 85% of homes paying the annual $10 dues so far. Some condo and apartment residents also participated. The BHA residents directory has been reprinted and distributed to all who paid dues.(Apologies to Wendy Chang, whose last name was misspelled.) If you recently paid but did not get a directory, call Bobbi Gold. If you haven't paid, please send a check payable to "Blair Hills Association" for $10 to Bobbi at 5929 Stoneview Dr; please include the full names of the adults (print neatly), make sure the address is on your check, and include your phone number to keep the directory up to date.
The BH beautification committee, headed by Cheri Sakai, has been working on problems of trash and weeds. We have finally gotten our first trash can by the bus stop on Lenawee at Wrightcrest (please encourage your students to use it). We also thank Mario Arias, who has been spotted picking up trash even though it wasn't in front of his house and he didn't throw it there. Cheri also spent a lot of time and effort trying to get the City of L.A. to cut down weeds on Jefferson Blvd near Blair Hills; she has finally prevailed. Thanks, Cheri, for your persistence! The committee is also is developing a plan for tree planting using city-supported resources.
to Mary Ann Greene on her election as chair of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, which was formed last year to guide the gradually emerging state park in the Baldwin Hills. Perhaps this is only fitting after she spearheaded our successful effort to preserve the Vista Pacifica property for the people of California as part of the park. (More about the new state park in the next newsletter.) And vote March 5 for Prop. 40, the parks bond issue, which will allocate $40 million to the Baldwin Hills Park
Board membership open
Help make our organization and neighborhood even better by participating on the Board of Directors. New residents are welcome. Help us plan and make decisions about YOUR neighborhood. Call Mary Ann Greene, association president. Watch the web site and e-mail for news of board meetings.
Edited by Bobbi Gold; Jon Melvin also contributed. For questions or to submit information for future newsletters, call or e-mail Bobbi Gold.
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