Topanga Town Council November Meeting

By Annemarie Donkin
Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin      November 26, 2021

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The health and safety of the Topanga Community was the top issue when Council President Carrie Carrier and Vice President Alisa Land Hill co-hosted the Nov.10 Zoom meeting of the Topanga Canyon Town Council (TCTC) with updates from the Sheriff’s Dept., CHP, L.A. County Fire and guest speaker Rachel Simon, Housing and Homeless Deputy for the Third District. Sheriff’s Department Briefing Crime Report. Deputy Michael Cerveny reported “that in October, there was one residential burglary, one theft from a locked vehicle, two grand thefts over $950, one petty theft, three burglaries from unlocked vehicles, and one grand theft auto. This is a total of nine crimes in October 2021. This year’s total was 44 crimes compared to 53 last year; crime is down 17% this year.” Residential burglary on the 21600 block of Encina Lane, currently being investigated by crime detectives. A glass door leading from the bathroom to the backyard had been smashed to gain entry. Paperwork and weapons were stolen from the location. No suspects were seen or heard. Theft from an unlocked vehicle in the 1700 block of Sylviana Lane. Two guitars were stolen from inside the vehicle. Two thefts of catalytic converters occurred in October, one in the 200 block of North Topanga Canyon Blvd. and the other in the 3100 block of Hoder Drive. The vehicles targeted were a 2005 Toyota Prius and a 2007 Honda CR-V. “They are easy to get into and have lots of metal they want,” Deputy Cerveny said. Theft of an ATM card was reported in the 20900 block of Waveview Drive. The victim received notification of fraudulent activity on her ATM card. Theft in 600 block of Old Topanga Canyon Road. Property stored in the victim’s garage was stolen. Theft of a Motorcycle in the 1600 block of Sycamore Drive; the motorcycle is still outstanding. Vehicle burglary in the 600 block of Old Topanga Canyon Road. The keyholes to the driver’s side and passenger front doors were damaged to gain entry. A hat, coin purse, cash and credit cards were stolen from inside the vehicle. Theft was reported in the 20400 block of rural Paradise Lane—a dolly, wrench, and two wooden sawhorses were stolen from the site. CHP Traffic Report. October 2021. Weston Haver, Public Information Officer, California Highway Patrol, West Valley Area, reported that for Topanga Canyon Blvd. from the two-mile bridge to the L.A. limits (Cezanne Ave.), the CHP responded to six traffic collisions, three were injury collisions and three were property damage. The “primary collision factors” were unsafe turning and unsafe speed. There were five traffic collisions for the same reporting period in 2020. For Topanga Canyon Boulevard from two-mile bridge to PCH, Haver reported that the CHP responded to two traffic collisions and both were injury collisions. The “primary collision factors” were DUI and unsafe U-turn. For the same reporting period in 2020 there were three traffic collisions. To report unsafe driving behaviors in Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains, please call CHP dispatch at (323) 259-3200. L.A. County Fire Department. “In October, there was one fire, 31 calls, and a one-acre fire from fireworks,” reported Los Angeles County Fire Chief Drew Smith. “We took 3,000 gallons out of 69 Bravo; we had some routing service calls, animal rescues, and a big ‘Thank You’ for the Chili Dinners; the firefighters all loved it. Thank you for reviving that. We take a lot of pride in what we do; your fire family extends well beyond Topanga. We are at your service, out and about and ready to perform,’” he said. Guest Speaker Rachael Simon, Housing and Homeless Deputy for Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Simon said implementation of the County’s Wildfire-Encampments motion is progressing and provided information regarding the County’s current approach to managing the homelessness crisis in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ). “We passed a motion a few months ago prohibiting camps in VHFHS Zones,” Simon reported. “The Motion was to reduce the risk of fires now that fire season is longer and we are drier. The vast majority of County homeless are in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Antelope Valley, and Angeles Crest.” TCTC President Carrier asked whether Project Home Key is available for folks living in RVs, campers and cars. “For Project Room Key, we use FEMA funds to lease hotels and motels for those most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Simon explained. “How long can we extend them? It’s when there is housing available.” Simon also reported that they are looking for housing countywide. “For Project Home Key, we work with the City of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley,” said Simon. “The County purchased sites for outside of L.A.; there are no areas on the Westside. We are on Project Home Key 2.0 and we desperately need interim and permanent housing in the Westside.” The County has officially started its Winter Emergency Shelter Program from Nov. 1, 2021-March 31, 2022. All shelters require people to be over 18 and to call before coming, as capacity is limited. Transportation can be arranged to some shelters by calling 2-1-1. Please note that pets are allowed at facilities as well as up to two bags. Shelters will be operating 24-hours a day due to COVID-19 and three meals will be served daily. Library Report. Library Manager Ashley Abrams reported that Storytime starts up again on Dec. 1 and the teen program starts up on Nov. 30. Abrams also reported that the Community Room will be open again for meetings for 8–13 people. Topanga Elementary Charter School. Council Vice President Alisa Land Hill reported that they had a successful Halloween Carnival but funding and the student population are down. “We are reviving the school science program and are searching for a new science instructor,” Land Hill said. “We are thinking about activism and sustainability.” She added that the school is looking for school aides. “We need passionate and committed people and pay $20 an hour,” she said. Topanga Access Cards. Renew your cards online. First-time cardholders should call to arrange an appointment. Call (310) 455-3001, then press 0 to leave your name and phone number. Call Lindsay Zook for an appointment at (310) 569-8931 or purchase online at: topangatowncouncil.org. Topanga Canyon Town Council (TCTC) is looking for volunteers to help on various activities. For more information: contact@topangatowncouncil.org or (310) 455-3001. Formed in 1977 in response to needs unique to the mountain community, residents created the TCTC to serve as a liaison with Topanga’s official governing body, the Los Angeles County Supervisor’s Office, and other agencies that serve the unincorporated areas. Government Contacts: Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Office—Contact Tessa Charnofsky at TCharnofsky@bos.lacounty.gov; Phone (818) 880-9416 State Senator Henry Stern’s Office—Contact Jeremy Wolf at Jeremy.Wolf@sen.ca.gov; Phone (818) 876-3352 Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s Office—Tim Pershing at Tim.Pershing@asm.ca.gov; (310) 450-0041
Annemarie Donkin
      November 26, 2021

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