Posted on:
Aug 04, 2011

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Living in the Coyote Zone


Sightings and brushes with Coyotes seem to have risen this summer in Los Angeles. We've been getting reports of more coyotes who are not afraid of humans. It's important to know the do's and don'ts of dealing with these wild animals, who are fast, smart and opportunistic.

Tips: (applies to many wildlife issues) Take pet food in at night. Never leave food outside for strays or attempt to feed wildlife. Pick up fallen fruit, remove ripened fruit from trees. Clear dense vegetation; create a 1 foot clearance of space beneath hedges and bushes to reduce rodent hiding places. Make sure crawl space screens are secured and well maintained. (use 16 gauge welded wire mesh sandwiched between 2 frames and use screws not staples) Trim tree branches away from the roof (fire department requires a 5 foot vertical clearance from the eaves.) Do not put out trash until morning of pick-up and secure trash can lids if need be. Cap chimneys Keep barbecue grills clean and properly stored. Avoid composting human food items in an open compost pile. Avoid having brush and wood piles which attract rodents that in turn attracts the larger wildlife. Neighbors that feed squirrels and birds may have wayward seed that also attract larger wild animals so you may wish to encourage them to use feeders that are less likely to drop seed, etc. It is a good idea to block access to a roof by tree banding nearby trees and cutting away branches touching the roof, Baffling/Tree banding can be done by placing a piece of sheet metal or galvanized aluminum around the tree trunk that attaches to itself at starting at about 4 feet height off the ground and the piece itself should be about 2 feet wide, This will allow the animal to drop down off the tree but block access back up. In order for this to work tree branches from other trees must not touch other trees.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is not providing traps or issuing trapping permits for the public to use their own, rented or borrowed traps to remove nuisance wildlife. The trapping or relocation of wildlife by the public is prohibited. The Department of Animal Services suggests trying property alteration, deterrents & exclusionary methods. The option exists for L.A. City residents to contract with a Nuisance or Pest Control company that has permits to trap and remove some types of mammals. Wildlife trapped by these agencies would be released on site or immediately euthanized. California State law prohibits the relocation of predatory mammals. (CCR Title 14 sec. 465.5)

So residents can in fact contract with trappers who have permits, but you many people call back later on again and say they spent a lot of money trapping and the problem returned. Once people switch to exclusion, scare tactics and property alteration instead, the wildlife issues in most cases are reduced and what neighbors are doing can be a factor as well. This department prior to 1994 did in fact trap wildlife and it never really solved anyone's problem and the same people called year after year. Trapping laws changed, the direction of the department changed and the goal has become "No Kill" on animals. Truly we have found that people who made the adjustments have done better with their wildlife issues. It is though a community effort and we need everyone to be on board. Should your community wish to go with a trapping agency there are many and not all have the experience that is successful so calling and comparing companies is best.

It is encouraged to put together a wildlife scare kit which should be kept by the door for larger predatory animals. An 18 or 20 gallon container would suffice to hold an air horn, police whistle, baseballs or golf balls to throw, an umbrella to open and waive around, disposable camera w/flash (the flash scares them in many cases) When it comes to your pets make sure you check around your yard for anything that may be harmful and have something handy from the items I mentioned when out walking. Just as you would be cautious on a walk for human predators, look back often while on a walk, and Carry that umbrella and a whistle. In almost all of these cases when incidents happen, there will be no official from our agency or the police nearby so each person should be prepared for any given situation. see the flyer pictured above

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Posted on:
Jul 29, 2011

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Putting together a Playbook on an NFL Stadium in downtown Los Angeles

LA 166975.ME.0725.stadium-memo.1.BRV.jpg Photo by Brian Van Der Brug, Los Angeles Times JULY 25 2011: Los Angeles City councilman Tom LaBonge, right, flanked by chief legislative analyst Gerry Miller, left, councilman Bill Rosendahl and council president pro tempore Jan Perry, throws a football to an aide during a press conference Monday afternoon July 25 2011 to announce the release of a draft MOU of the Farmers Field and the Convention Center Modernization project. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday, July 29th, held a public hearing on Anschutz Entertainment Group's (AEG's) proposal to build a football stadium where the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center currently stands. Councilmember LaBonge serves on the AD-HOC Committee formed to go through the stadium proposal with a fine-tooth comb. The Stadium Committee held two evening public meetings this weeek. One at LA City Hall, the other in Van Nuys. The Committee also released the Draft Memorandum of Understanding on July 25 during a news conference at City Hall. The Draft MOU demands that the Stadium and Convention Center hall be financed with NO PUBLIC FUNDS, no COST TO THE TAXPAYERS. The terms of the draft MOU are as follows: No public funds would be used to finance the stadium and event center. AEG would pay a fair market value to leas the City-owned site -- adjusted annually -- for 55 years; and the project would not proceed until an NFL team has signed a contract to use the Stadiu/Event Center and that financing is in place for the Stadium/Event Center.
The new Convention Center Hall would be comparable in size to the LACC West Hall that would be demolished to make way for the stadium, with improved functionality. Approximately $275-million dollars in tax-exempt bonds would provide funding for the new hall. 73% of the bond payments would be covered by AEG, and 27% of net new tax revenues generated by the stadium would cover the remainder. $195-million in Series-A bonds would be backed by the Stadium/Event Center lease payment, new possessory interest tax revenues and limited parking tax revenues. A Mello-Roos Tax District would cover $80-million dollars in Series-B bonds.


Posted on:
Jul 28, 2011

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Breaking ground on new Park facilities in North Hollywood

072211 noho multi purpose groundbreaking Councilman LaBonge, Recreation and Parks Board President Barry Sanders and Rec and Park Dept. General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri turn the ceremonial shovel.

Councilmember Tom LaBonge joined members of the NoHo community and officials from the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering to break ground on a new multi-purpose center in North Hollywood. The project scope consists of construction of a new, ADA accessible 2,200 square foot, one-story wood framed building with a multi-purpose room, lobby area, storage and equipment rooms, restrooms, and staff office and break room. Landscaping and outdoor amenities include a children’s play area with rubberized surfacing, decomposed granite walking paths, new turf areas, a trellis, gaming tables, concrete benches, solar powered lighting, outdoor fitness exercise equipment stations, picnic tables, landscaping, irrigation, perimeter fencing, and a new parking lot. Construction begins now and the project should be ready to open by next fall. click here to see more photos


Posted on:
Jul 26, 2011

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Get on your bikes and ride!

070611 tom leads the bikers

Councilman LaBonge will hold the final Tour LaBonge ride of the 2011 Summer Series. This one takes us to the streets of HOLLYWOOD on July 27th, 2011 at 6pm. Meet at the Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue, between Wilcox and Seward around 530pm. Non-metered street parking is available around the facility. We'll gather in the parking-lot behind the Hollywood City Hall building, get a safety briefing and a few words from the Councilman before hitting the road for an approximately two hour ride. Wear a helmet. Riders must be at least 12 years old. All riders must sign a waiver to participate. LAPD and General Services Bicycle Officers will provide an escort throughout the ride. Join us!


Posted on:
Jul 21, 2011

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New ordinance makes it a crime to harass or threaten Los Angeles Bike Riders

072011 griffith park meeting and bike harassment ordinance 021 Councilman LaBonge speaks at a news conference after the City Council approved the new Ordinance banning harassment of Bicyclists

The Los Angeles City Council July 20th approved a landmark ordinance aimed at giving bicyclists greater protection from harassment and assault by drivers and others. Councilman Tom LaBonge voted for the ordinance, calling bicycling "a developing way to move around the city..." He said, "Education and respect are key elements in making the roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike." The Prohibition Against Harassment of Bicyclists'' bans physical assaults on bike riders and goes so far as to ban any threat against cyclists or attempts to distract them based solely on the victim's status as a bike rider. The law also gives bike riders greater legal protection and recourse when harassed, by allowing cyclists to file civil lawsuits and to recover attorney fees in favorable cases. This is a historic day,'' said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the motion's sponsor, calling it a first in the nation'' ordinance. Rosendahl, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said attorneys are often reticent to take on bike harassment cases because they often cost more in attorney fees than the judgments allotted. The new law gives harassed riders the ability to recover triple their injury claims or $1,000, whichever is greater. There have been anti-harassment laws by other communities, but what's special about this is the civil nature, the ability to recover attorney's fees, and the fact that it's happening in the nation's self-proclaimed car capital,'' said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. I would put money on the fact that ordinances like this will be popping up in cities all around the country in coming weeks and months,'' he said. A dozen bike activists and members of the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee applauded the ordinance. It makes it safer for us, and we will get more people cycling,'' said Jay Slater, chair of the bicycle advisory committee. ``We will get more cars off the street. We will improve our air. We will make this a better city, a safer city, for all of us.''

City News Service contributed to this report.


Posted on:
Jul 21, 2011

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Tour LaBonge takes us to the River

072011 tour labonge river ride 013

On the fourth ride of the five-ride Tour LaBonge Summer Bike-Ride series, riders enjoyed a tour along the Los Angeles River Bikeway and through Griffith Park. The bicycles gathered at the Mulholland Fountain in Los Feliz, across the street from Griffith Park. Councilmember LaBonge lead the way as the two-wheelers pedaled their way over the Alex Baum bridge, named after Los Angeles' pioneering bike advocate, whose vision is in no small way responsible for the Los Angeles Bike Master Plan, City Bike-Paths and Bikeways and a new city ordinance banning harassment of cyclists. The ride includes a rest stop for ice cream at the beautiful Autry National Center.

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Posted on:
Jul 20, 2011

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07.20.11 Tour LaBonge Bike Ride on the Los Angeles River

070611 tom leads the bikers

Join us July 20th for the Tour LaBonge Bike Ride along the Los Angeles River. We'll meet at the Mulholland Fountain at the southwest corner of Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard at 6:00 PM. Allow a little extra time to get there because of all the construction going on in that area to upgrade critical infrastructure. Look for Council District 4 staffers, who will direct you on how to park and unload your bicycle. We'll be riding on the newly renovated and expanded Los Angeles River Bikeway. The LAPD and General Services will provide a police escort for the riders. Wear a helmet. All riders must sign a waiver. Children must be at least 12 years old to participate.


Posted on:
Jul 18, 2011

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Los Angeles Libraries are no longer "Closed Mondays"

071811 brush clearance and library hours 109 Councilman LaBonge, along with Mayor Villaraigosa, fellow councilmembers Garcetti, Parks and Perry and library officials ceremonially open the doors to the Central Library on Monday, July 18th.

Councilmember LaBonge joined the Mayor of Los Angeles, a few of his City Council colleagues and officials from the Los Angeles Public Library system to announce the return of Monday hours for all Los Angeles city libraries. The increase in hours is made possible by the passage of Measure L, which guarantees libraries a larger percentage of General Fund money the city of Los Angeles is required to allocate to the library system. Councilman LaBonge was not only a staunch supporter of Measure L and actively campaigned for its passage during his own bid for re-election this year, he also introduced the City Council motion that put Measure L on the municipal ballot. "L is for libraries and L is for love. The passage of Measure L proves that we in Los Angeles love our libraries," said Councilmember LaBonge, who applauds the voters of Los Angeles for passing Measure L, and reaffirming the LA Founders' commitment to a strong and viable city library system. Go visit your local library branch.

Click here for more Los Angeles Library information

Click here to see more photos