Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Committee News and Updates


Lots going on in the EP World:

  1. Stay updated on the latest information for the 8th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair at Downloadable flyers are available at the website. We’re working on a great Fair innovation: Online registration, allowing for an express check-in counter at the Fair!  We expect to open online registration on July 1, 2015. The Fair will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Tell your friends and neighbors to SAVE THE DATE!  There will be FREE Emergency Preparedness Kits for the first 700+ families who register at the Fair, FREE lunch as long as supplies last, FREE EP demonstrations of all kinds, some great guest speakers, FREE parking, and loads more!
  2. One Day Ham Radio Technician Class/Exam, Sunday, April 19th at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, 27050 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills, 91301, taught by Norm (K6YXH) and Naomi (WB6OHW) Goodkin.  MORSE CODE NOT REQUIRED!  The $55 Study and Exam fee includes instruction, lunch and the exam!  There are two follow-up classes offered for $10 each on Using and Programming your Radio, and you can retake the exam if you don’t pass it at the One Day Classes.  For more information, contact Norm at, or at (818) 222-7893.
  3. Ham Radio Technician Class — Starts April 16th, for 6 Weeks on Thursdays, 6:00 to 9:00 PM, taught by Mark Seigel (W6MES) at C&M Printing, 10034 Commerce Ave. in Tujunga, 91042.  NO MORSE CODE REQUIRED!!!  On the 7th Thursday, you’ll take your FCC exam for your license.  This class teaches FCC rules, theory and operation, basic electronics, propagation, use of radios, repeater use, and more!  Contact Mark at or call him at (818) 430-5244 for more information.
  4. Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Meeting, Tuesday, April 21st at 7:00 PM, at the Council Office at 11139 Woodley Ave., Granada Hills, 91344.  Bill Hopkins, EP Chair, will have LAFD Captain Szabados from Station 18 as the guest speaker.  He’ll tell us about the reorganization of the Fire Dept. into local bureaus, and also about updates on the brush clearance rules — so important to those living in hillside communities.
  5. Senior Symposium — Saturday, April 25th, 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM, at ONEGeneration Senior Center, 18255 Victory Blvd. in Reseda, 91335.  FREE for all you Baby Boomers and Seniors.  There will be great guest speakers, health screenings, workshops on healthy eating and living, and over 50 exhibitors with products and services!  FREE Breakfast and Lunch, and wonderful prizes and giveaways throughout the day!  Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council will have a table, and we’ll even have an Emergency Preparedness table, too!  We need volunteers for the tables — contact me (Linda), at (818) 345-9809 or email me at if you’d like to come be part of this fun event!  Parking on site is for handicapped parking only, but there will be a FREE shuttle from the ONEGeneration parking lot just west of the corner of Victory and Louise (17400 Victory Blvd., Reseda, 91335), to the Symposium site.
  6. Whole Community Volunteer Interactive Preparedness Summit, Saturday, April 25th, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at the North Hills United Methodist Church, 15435 Rayen Street, North Hills, 91343. FREE, with information, demonstrations and much more to help you prepare for a disaster!  There will be a 2-1/2 CERT refresher class on triage, bandaging, and splinting taught by Capt. Stacy Gerlich beginning at 6:00 am.  Limited to 200 CERT members/graduates.  Go to for more info. Register at  For more info, contact Cheryl Cashman at (562) 208-9917 or email her at
  7. CERT Community Meeting — Sunday, April 26th, 1:00 to 3:00 PM, LAFD Fire Station 88, Community Room Trailer (just to your left as you enter the driveway south of the Station), 5101 North Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403.  Both April and May meetings will teach/refresh us on Triage and Search & Rescue.  Mike Ripley, CERT Trainer, will lead us through the practice!  Bring water, CERT ICS Form 214, full PPE (helmet, goggles, dust mask, gloves [leather & medical], vest, working flashlight, closed-toe shoes).  If you are not CERT trained and do not have gear, YOU ARE STILL WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE!  CERT Community Meetings are FREE and open to the public.  For further information, please contact Christy Adair, Battalion 10 Coordinator, at
  8. SOS Emergency Preparedness Trainings — 15705 Strathern St., Van Nuys, 91406.  Call (800) 479-7998 for more information on classes and to register.
    1. First Aid and CPR Classes, with and without Certification — Saturday, April 18th.  Class times vary throughout the day for these great classes that we ALL need to have under our belts to help save friends and family in a disaster!  Call SOS for more information and to register.
    2. Emergency Preparedness Class — Saturday, April 25th, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  How to Prepare, What Supplies you Need, Where to Store Supplies, Making a Family Plan, Reducing Injury and Damage, and much more.  FREE!!!  Taught by SOS President Jeff Edelstein.
    3. Outdoor Survival Workshop, Academic and Field Study — Saturday, May 2nd, 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  Taught by Tim Kneeland, past speaker at GHNNC EP Meeting, and one of the best in the business.  You’ll learn so much from this excellent class!

WHEW!!!  Lots of information!  Take advantage of it while there’s still time.  We know that it’s not “if” disaster will strike, but “when”!

Linda Pruett and Brian Tessier, EP Co-Chairs
Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council
(818) 345-9809, (Direct to Linda)

Half the People in LA to Ditch their Cars? It’ll Happen, Insists Mayor

Mayor Eric Garcetti released a long-range plan multibillion dollar plan, including bikesharing and solar panels, to get Los Angeles green.

Mayor Eric Garcetti released a long-range plan today that lays out his goals for making the city more economically and environmentally sustainable, including adding electric car charging outlets and bikeshare stations around the city and installing more solar panels on local rooftops and lots.

Garcetti, who discussed the 20-year sustainability plan at Echo Park Lake this morning, wants the city to set goals — most of them to be achieved over the next 10 and 20 years — in dozens of areas, such as cutting water and electricity usage, making buildings more energy efficient and reducing dependence on cars for transportation.

He is calling for reducing per capita water use 22.5 percent by 2025 and 25 percent by 2035, and aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2025, 60 percent by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050.

Garcetti wants to raise the amount of local solar power produced to 900 to 1,500 megawatts by 2025, and 1,500 to 1,800 megawatts by 2035. Among the ideas in the plan for increasing local solar energy is to put at least 1 megawatt of solar energy capacity atop the Los Angeles Convention Center by 2017. Read more

FAA Will Track Helicopter Noise

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a new system for logging
complaints about helicopter noise in Los Angeles County. For more information on
the program and how to log complaints please see:

Los Angeles Will Finally Fix its Sidewalks!

For the first time in the history of Los Angeles, the City has made a commitment this week to establishing a sustainable, fair, long-term sidewalk repair policy by settling the Willits class action lawsuit. The City will invest $31 million per year for the next 30 years to fix our broken sidewalks!

“As chairman of the Public Works committee, I have been committed to finding solutions to fixing our streets and sidewalks since my first day on the Los Angeles City Council. The settlement of this lawsuit is a win for not only the mobility impaired, but for all Angelenos as it finally requires the city to fix its broken sidewalks. There are no losers here. I look forward to hearing from the public as we develop the details in the Public Works Committee on how residents can submit repair requests, which locations to prioritize and how quickly we can start the work,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino.

The basic terms of the settlement are as follows:

  • 30 year agreement
  • $31 million per year (in today’s dollars)
  • 15% cost escalator every 5 years to keep up with inflation
  • Will increase to $67 million per year in the final 5 years
  • Total: just over $1.3 billion
  • $5 million per year will be dedicated to curb ramps, and $26 million will be dedicated to sidewalks
  • 20% will go toward addressing specific requests made by disabled persons

Locations will be prioritized as follows:

  1. City offices and facilities (parks, rec centers, libraries, police stations, etc)
  2. Transportation corridors
  3. Hospitals, medical facilities, assisted living facilities and similar
  4. Places of public accommodation such as commercial and business zones
  5. Facilities containing employers
  6. Residential Neighborhoods


  1. How can residents report broken sidewalks?

Call 311 or use the MyLA311 app

  1. How soon will my sidewalk be fixed?

The settlement requires repairs next to city-owned facilities first. It will take at least 2 years before that work is complete and we can move on to repairs of sidewalks adjacent to private property

  1. How can I see where my request is on the list?

There is no list of individual locations, only general direction on what types of locations get priority over what. The Budget & Finance and Public Works Committees will hold hearings in the coming months to solicit public input and develop a fair and transparent policy about priority of specific requests, as well as all of the other policy details like:

  • whether the city will pay for sidewalk repair after the 30 years or return the responsibility to the adjacent property owner
  • whether city workers or contract workers will do the work
  • whether alternative materials like porous pavement and rubber sidewalks will be allowed
  • whether the city will pay for 100 % of the repair costs, or implement a cost sharing program like 50/50.

After 40 years with no repair policy, we’re not going to get one in place overnight. But this week’s action commits the City to solving this problem.

3 Great Classes You Should Know About!

A “How to” Course on FRS/GMRS Radios

Saturday, March 28, 2015, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This FREE class covers the basics of different forms of emergency communication after a disaster.

Topics will include:
• How to pick an FRS/GMRS radio
• The differences between FRS and GMRS radios
• How to program and use an FRS/GMRS radio
• GMRS licensing
• Other choices for emergency communication (i.e., CB radio and Amateur radio)
• Question and answer session

Materials Needed:  Please bring your radios if you already own one.

Instructor: Dan Tomlinson —  Member of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), CERT Level 1, 2, & 3, Member of LAFD CERT Call Out Team

SOS Survival Products,  C. Denise Edwards Training Center
15705 Strathern St., #11 — Van Nuys, CA 91406

Call 800-479-7998 to Register
EMPs (Electro Magnetic Pulses)
Saturday, March 28, 2015 – 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
This FREE class will answer your questions about EMPs (Electro Magnetic Pulses), and what threat they actually pose to our technologically based society.Topics will include:

  • What are EMPs?
  • How are they caused?
  • Natural vs. man made
  • Myths vs. facts
  • How you can protect yourself
  • Question and answer session

Instructor: Dan Tomlinson — Member of Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES),
CERT Level 1, 2 & 3, Member of LAFD CERT Call Out Team

SOS Survival Products C. Denise Edwards Training Center
15705 Strathern St., #11 — Van Nuys, CA 91406
Call 800-479-7998 to Register

Mark Seigel will be teaching a Six Week Class in Amateur Radio beginning April 16th.  Please see the attached Flyer for information on this class!  It’s a good one — I know, because I’ve taken it!  Mark is a great instructor and makes it all fun!  You know you need to get your Amateur Radio License and this is one of the best ways I know to do it!  Enjoy!
Ham Radio Technician Level Class

Lake Balboa residents angry over increased propeller noise near Van Nuys Airport

For Craig Welzbacher and his neighbors, the racket begins south of Van Nuys Airport then rumbles in like an air attack from 12 o’clock high.

For the past 18 months, they say flight instructors and their new pilots have defied a long-standing tradition of flying propeller-driven aircraft over the uninhabited Sepulveda Basin before swinging back to the airport for touch-and-go practice landings.

This has resulted, they say, in fleets of pilots making early turns above their Lake Balboa homes, often blasting them with excruciating propeller and internal-combustion engine noise.

“It’s equivalent to a Harley-Davidson driving around your house every four to five minutes,” said Welzbacher, 44, who lives with his wife, Heather, a mile southeast of the airport. “We’re pulling our hair out. You can’t have a conversation on the phone in your backyard.”

Since January 2014, he and scores of homeowners have complained about the increasing propeller-driven aircraft noise. They’ve appealed to a Van Nuys Airport advisory group and voiced their anguish to airport, city, congressional and federal aviation officials.

But despite their pleas — and apparent Van Nuys Airport attempts to reach out to area flight schools to rein in the racket — they say the daily din from early airplane turns continues, recorded on video, audio, in photographs and on Web-based flight tracking systems.

Federal air regulators, however, contend there’s no evidence of a recent spike.

“We reviewed radar data and did not find any pattern of early turns by aircraft doing practice work at Van Nuys Airport,” said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. “Van Nuys controllers will sometimes instruct pilots of small propeller planes to turn early if a jet is departing behind them, but this occurs very infrequently.

“We would consider any request that Los Angeles World Airports makes to address residents’ concerns. But again, a review of radar data did not reveal any pattern of early turns.”


For decades, pilots at what was once the nation’s busiest general aviation airport respected a voluntary tradition of taking off and flying south past Victory Boulevard over the Sepulveda Basin golf course before exercising any turns. New pilots then swung back to the airport for continual touch-and-go landings and practice takeoffs.

Signs have long been posted on the taxiway saying, “No turns before the Sepulveda Basin” and “Fly Quietly” on the airport runway.

All was relatively quiet, neighbors say, until a few years ago. Despite a steep drop in prop aircraft and flight schools at Van Nuys Airport, the growl grew over their homes, often from the same planes circling round and round every few minutes. Residents felt like they were under attack.

The noise near the airport got so bad that residents shied away from gardening, they say. They couldn’t hold patio cook-offs. They even had trouble with their animals, with one 80-year-old neighbor struggling to bring in her spooked cat.

For Gary and Cherie Aragon, TV watching inside their Gaviota Avenue home even went into a steep tailspin. When planes fly over, they have to put a show on pause.

“It’s almost a desperate situation, we’re so angry about it,” said Gary Aragon, who once videotaped a plane flying for an hour and a half directly over his house, looping back every few minutes. “This is constant, daily. When we moved here 16 years ago, I don’t remember ever having planes. … It’s maddening.”

“You cannot have the family outside for a barbecue,” adds Cherie Aragon, whose tutoring at home is interrupted during the day. “It’s almost comical. It’s wild.”


The neighbors took their noise beef to the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council, which determined that the early turn problem corresponded with a recent changing of the guard at the FAA control tower and the hiring of a new airport director. While veteran controllers once advised instructors to guide their charges over the Basin, the newer controllers do no such thing, they say.

They also suspect flight schools from Santa Monica Airport, which charges $11 each time a new pilot makes a practice touchdown, fly their students to nearby Van Nuys for free touch and goes. They say they have identified culprits on Van Nuys Airport flight trackers coming up from the south, disturbing neighbors during numerous runway passes, then heading home.

“We don’t think this is a regular habit by pilots at Van Nuys Airport,” said Don Schultz, a 30-year member of the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council, which took up the issue nearly two years ago. “We think that this is occurring when pilots from out of the area not familiar with Van Nuys Airport come in and do touch-and-goes. Nothing has happened: There’s been no change.”

The problem may be one of jurisdiction.

While Los Angeles World Airports governs planes on the ground, the FAA controls planes in the air. But the federal agency says it cannot enforce a voluntary noise-avoidance tradition of not turning early; it can divert planes only to protect aircraft safety. A pilot must follow directions from a controller if he or she has a flight plan, but flight instructors have no flight plans.

Jess Romo, general manager of Van Nuys Airport, could not immediately be reached for comment. Two VNY flight schools, among a handful still operating at the airport, did not return calls.

A change may be in the works, however. A LAWA Board of Airports commissioner, Cynthia Telles, has reportedly said she will soon introduce a resolution to address the noise. And City Councilwoman Nury Martinez also plans to introduce a noise control motion this month restricting State 3 jets and early turning propeller planes. Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Panorama City, is also monitoring the airport noise issue.

“I want to see Van Nuys Airport succeed,” Martinez said. “It employs 1,000 people, is one of the biggest job generators in my district, but it can’t be at the expense of the quality of life of the residents of Lake Balboa.

“The FAA has jurisdiction of what happens in the air. I want to get to what we were doing before … directing small propeller pilots to delay their left turns.”

For Welzbacher, it’s an easy fix. It’s simply a matter of pilot courtesy, he said, where pilots would agree to fly the extra mile.

“Good pilots know when to stay straight in a plane,” said Welzbacher, a film producer, director and actor who also lives on Gaviota Avenue. “New pilots drift to the left right over my house.

“We want the noise to stop. We’re not anti-aviation; we love planes. We just want some peace and quiet — and safety. We want them to fly further south before turning.”

City Uses App to Alert People Trained in CPR of Nearby Emergencies They Can Help With

LA partners with PulsePoint to empower residents to help save lives.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and the fire chief unveiled a smartphone app Wednesday that alerts people with CPR training if someone in a nearby public area is suffering from cardiac arrest and needs their help.

The PulsePoint app sends alerts to its users at the same time fire department dispatchers are notifying emergency crews; guides users through the CPR steps; and also shows the location of nearby defibrillators.

The alerts are only sent out for cardiac arrest victims who happen to be in a public area. Health privacy and safety concerns prevent alerts to be sent out on people suffering heart attacks at private residences.

The app also displays data about ongoing and recent emergency calls handled by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which gets about 1,200 calls daily, about 85 percent of them for medical emergencies.

The mayor announced the app with Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas at Woodrow Wilson High School in El Sereno, where 120 students have been trained in CPR.

“This app connects trained lifesavers who may already be on scene with people who need immediate help, when seconds count the most,” Garcetti said.

Terrazas said the department worked out a contract with the appmaker, PulsePoint, that “allows the LAFD to help save lives with our smartphones, which is technology that most of us already have in hand.”

“I am excited that Angelenos have another crucial tool at their fingertips that can help them further engage with their communities and fire department,” he said.

Anyone trained in CPR, whether they are off-duty public safety responders or an average citizen, can download and use the app, which is available for iPhones and Android devices.

The app is also in use in areas covered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which integrated the app last summer.

The creator of PulsePoint, Richard Price, is a former Bay Area fire chief who was on break eating at a restaurant when a person in the next building had a heart attack. Price was not monitoring the dispatch system and did not learn about it until the fire trucks pulled up.

Mayor’s Message 01.28.2015

Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that the first annual National Aerospace Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Exposition will be held in Los Angeles. This is the first stand-alone FDI event in the United States co-sponsored by the Commerce Department that will focus on a single industry: aerospace manufacturing.

The Mayor and LAEDC collaborated last year to bring the exposition to Los Angeles, working jointly to find a suitable venue for the expo, and submitting the winning proposal in a competitive process against other cities and states. The selection of Los Angeles to host the first aerospace expo reflects L.A.’s dominant position in the United States’ aerospace market. More aerospace companies are located in Los Angeles County than any other county in America.

“The aerospace cluster surrounding the Los Angeles Air Force Base is the most concentrated in the U.S., and this event will help us leverage that built-in advantage to boost exports and create middle class jobs,” Mayor Garcetti said. “As a primary entry point for Foreign Direct Investment and as home to aerospace’s most innovative companies, Los Angeles is the natural choice for the Department of Commerce’s first Aerospace FDI Expo.”

The National Aerospace FDI Exposition will provide prospective investors with resources to make smart decisions about where and how to establish or expand their presence in the United States. These will include one-on-one meetings with state and local economic development organizations that are interested in attracting aerospace FDI. Other expo activities will include workshops geared specifically to aerospace manufacturers, such as contracting with the Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration. The Aerospace States Association (ASA), a non-profit organization of state lieutenant governors and governor appointed delegates, is co-sponsoring the expo.

Read the full story here.

WaterWise Solution: Recycled Water

As the City’s imported water supply becomes more critical, so does the need to expand our local, sustainable water resources, including water recycling. Water recycling offers a reliable, economically feasible and environmentally sensitive way to augment the city’s water supplies. Recycling programs treat wastewater so that it can be used safely for irrigation and industrial purposes, groundwater replenishment, as a barrier against seawater intrusion and for other beneficial environmental uses.

Los Angeles has used recycled water since 1979 for irrigation. Recycled water keeps the landscape healthy in areas of Griffith Park, along with the Mount Sinai and Forest Lawn Memorial Parks. Currently, the LADWP is expanding its recycled water program to include both groundwater replenishment utilizing advanced treated purified recycled water to recharge groundwater supplies and a large purple pipe distribution system.

LADWP has made water recycling a key strategy of the Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP). The UWMP is a blueprint for creating reliable sources of water for the future of Los Angeles. The goal is to increase the total amount of recycled water to 59,000 acre-feet per year by 2035.

As technology advances, the possibility of recycling water to potable quality has become even more realistic. The Omniprocessor, a water purification device designed by Janicki Industries and partly funded by the Gates Foundation, recently successfully demonstrated how it converts sewer sludge into drinking water, electricity, and pathogen-free ash. A pilot project in Dakar, Senegal later this year will test the Omniprocessor in an urban context.

Improved purification technologies and better infrastructure can drive solutions for reducing the use of fresh water and dependency on imported water. For now, recycled water can already be put to a multitude of non-potable uses, and plays a major role in the strategy for a less thirsty Los Angeles.

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