Town Council July Zoom Meeting

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin      July 24, 2020

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Town Council July Zoom Meeting

Topanga Canyon Town Council members and Topanga residents discussed many issues, including a new County financial relief program; fire safety and a new telemedicine program; traffic and crime reports.

The Topanga Canyon Town Council met via Zoom on July 8 at 6 p.m. as Council President Carrie Carrier, Vice-President Alisa Land Hill, and Board Member Stacy Sledge worked through a full agenda with representatives from L.A. County Fire, the West Valley CHP, and the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department. LOS ANGELES COUNTY REPORT In response to the devastating effects that COVID-19 is having on the local economy, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles, in partnership with institutional and corporate philanthropy, have come together to create the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund. The regional fund will offer loan and grant resources to micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits with about 40-60 recipients and a lottery system setup. The grant are between $5,000 to $15,000. Tessa Charnofsky, West Valley and Mountain Communities District Director for L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, said there were six rounds of grants, with $530,000 for each round. For more information: www.lacovidfund.org. LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE REPORT Acting Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Smith reported that there were about 42 responses in April, May and June with no major emergencies. “There were about 25 rescue calls, quite a few service calls,” he said. “People think they see smoke in the canyon which turns out to be fog,” Smith said. “We don’t have large fires in Topanga outside of September. We had weather-related false alarms, two mobile home fires with property loss of about $30,000 due to the quick response of Engine 69 and Fire Station 62.” Chief Smith added that fire reporting has been really quiet and due to COVID-19, they have initiated a telemedicine program for medical emergencies. Telemedicine Program. “We are really doing a robust patient assessment,” Smith said. “If they don’t need hospital care, we can do a tele-medicine call, interface with a doctor and perform a patient assessment outside of the emergency room over a video platform. We have an iPad and tech folks with software support. We did get some grant money with our equipment to put iPads on engines for paramedics.” Get Ready for Fire Season> Chief Smith advised that Topangans should get ready now for fire season. “We are always working with Cal Fire. They pay us money to be stewards of the land,” he said. “The Los Angeles unit is the largest in the nation. We automatically get air resources at the push of a button and on high-risk fire days we get two fixed-wing aircraft based on the fire danger analysis put together for the County, fixed-wing on a first alarm and always on request from the Unit Commander. We have a large tactical air force and sometimes it is best and quicker to go to 69 Bravo Helispot with a Fire hawk, than anywhere else that is filling.” “What can people do to prepare ourselves,” asked TTC President Carrier. “What can we do right now?” “Have a Plan in Place. There is a simple program called “Ready, Set, Go” online at www.fire.lacounty.gov,” Smith responded. “Have valuables pre-packed with what you know you will need to have, so when an order is given, you can leave your home; the life safety component is the most important.” Chief Smith said homeowners should also clean up around their homes and property, including creating defensible space with brush clearance to prevent embers from catching fire. TCC Board Member Stacy Sledge asked about the two fires—one at Mulholland and Stunt Road, and a recent blaze atTopanga and PCH. Chief Smith said the fire at Mulholland and Stunt was a one-vehicle collision into a pole which burned about 20 acres around it. “The fire at PCH and Topanga is of unknown origin,” he said. “There was no arson in evidence, no [sparking] brakes or cigarettes; it appears to be human error.” CHP TOPANGA MONTHLY TRAFFIC COLLISION REPORT—JUNE 2020 In June, CHP responded to eight traffic collisions on Topanga Canyon Blvd. (SR-27) from the two-mile bridge south to PCH (compared to eight traffic collisions in June, 2019) with zero injuries, according to California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Weston Haver. Officer Haver reported the cause of the collisions were determined to be unsafe speed, unsafe turning movements, unsafe U-turn at an intersection and DUI. No injuries occurred in four traffic collisions on SR-27 in June from the two-mile bridge north to the L.A. city limits (compared to five traffic collisions in June, 2019). The cause of the collisions were determined to be unsafe turning movements and DUI. To report unsafe driving, call (818) 888-0980; (800) TELLCHP; or e-mail Officer Haver Haver at weston.haver@chp.ca.gov. LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark Winn was preparing to talk about the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department crime report but was surprised with a special Commendation from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for his “33 years of dedicated service to the Sheriff’s Department.” To commemorate Winn’s pending retirement, TCTC President Carrier read the Commendation in full “On behalf of the Topanga Town Council, we have items for you … we have a card from the Town Council and community groups,” Carrier said. “Thanks from the whole bunch, we are eternally grateful and we are coming with presents; you are so much more, you are a member of the community, you are so approachable and accessible.” There were many presents from many Topanga community groups. Winn found himself momentarily speechless, so TCC board member Stacy Sledge spoke up. “You have been a rock we can lean on during times of crises and confusion,” Sledge said. “You helped guide us through things. We hope you are not totally going away and hope you have a wonderful retirement.” “You can’t get rid of me,” Winn laughed. “I plan on coming to the TTC meetings and helping out as a Topanga CERT member.” UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:Topanga Town Council Mask Program—The Council is providing free masks to seniors and vulnerable members of the community. If you need a mask, please call (310) 455-3001 or email contact@topangatowncouncil.org. • Topanga Cares Program—Several Topanga nonprofits are teaming up with Supervisor Kuehl’s office to bring meals and toiletry items to those in need. The program began July 13. Those facing food insecurities in the canyon will have access to free prepared meals at the Topanga Library parking area three times per week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30-5 p.m.). Meals are provided by Rocco’s Cucina, Café 27, and Waterlily Café. To get on the list for meals, please complete a registration form and submit it to Waterlily Café or Café 27. • Topanga’s Theatricum Botanicum offers summer classes for all ages and interests—For more information, visit: theatricum.com/category/featured-classes/ •  Topanga Youth Services presents summer online workshops and classes—For more information: onetopanga.com/79-news/831-summer-fun-for-topanga-kids •  2020 Topanga Access Cards are available. Renew your cards online. First-time cardholders should call to arrange an appointment at (310) 455-3001, and press 0 to leave your name and phone number. 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; Phone (310) 450-0041 TOPANGA CANYON TOWN COUNCIL 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. Meet your local Sheriff, CHP, and other government representatives the second Wednesday of the month when they deliver their reports. The next Topanga Town Council General Meeting is August 12 at 6 p.m.. Look for a follow-up invitation and agenda. Access Cards. TCTC is looking for volunteers to help on various activities, but especially to help with the Access Card program as it rolls out the expanded Caregiver program. To volunteer: contact@topangatowncouncil.org; or (310) 455-3001. To Obtain Topanga Access Cards, contact Lindsay Zook for an appointment at (310) 569-8931; For general information: onetopanga.com.
Annemarie Donkin

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