Town Council Reports: Less Crime, Fewer Auto Accidents

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin

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Lower crime stats, fewer traffic collisions and the fire chief’s hope for more rain were the main topics when Topanga Canyon Town Council’s Vice President Alisa Land Hill expertly moderated the February 9th Zoom meeting. Sheriff’s Briefing. Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Cerveny provided an update on law enforcement for Topanga in January. “There were two assaults—one grand theft and one grand theft vehicle,” he reported. “There were four total Part 1 crimes—down 59.2 percent which is down nine crimes from last year.” Deputy Cerveny reported one assault at the 140 block of S. Topanga due to drinking and aggressive behavior toward the victim. He also reported another assault at the 20000 block of Paradise Road due to an ongoing neighbor dispute where one person wants to sell a home and the other person wants to stop it, The incident resulted in a confrontation where one person hit the other with a piece of wood and was arrested. Two thefts occurred, one at Fernwood Pacific of two long boards; and another at the 1400 block of North Topanga Cyn. Blvd., of a newer model BMW when the owner left the key inside the vehicle. CHP Briefing for January. California Highway Patrol Officer Wes Haver reported that in January, 2022, for Topanga Canyon Boulevard (SR-27) from two-mile bridge to L.A. City limits (Cezanne Avenue), the CHP responded to two traffic collisions. Of the two collisions reported, both were property damage-only. The ‘primary collision factors were unsafe turning movement and unsafe speed. There was one traffic collision for the same reporting period in 2021. For Topanga Canyon Boulevard from two-mile bridge to PCH, the CHP responded to one traffic injury collision. The ‘primary collision factor’ was DUI. There were four traffic collisions for the same reporting period in 2021.” Operation Safe Canyons. Officer Haver also reported on street racing activity in the Santa Monica Mountains, San Fernando Valley and South L.A. “In January, there were nine separate deployments of officers,” he said. “They issued 149 citations, made two arrests and impounded a handful of vehicles. We are always working on it when the helicopters get the ID of the “lead swinger” vehicle, it tracks them and they lead our units to them.” To report unsafe driving behaviors in Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains, please call CHP dispatch at (323) 259-3200. Fire Department Briefing. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Drew Smith reported a total of three fires in January—two vehicle fires and one rubbish. There were also 28 service runs and 14 “good intentions” calls. Chief Smith noted that the recent rains created lots of green grasses with high moisture content, but warned that we are still in a drought with plenty of older, drier fuel on the hills. “Climatology wise, it is abnormal to have this heat and wind; it’s a higher fire danger element,” he said. “Topangans need to remain aware. On average we will get 4-5 inches of rain from February to April 15; we are at 10 inches now, the average is 15 inches, we want to meet that mark.” Library Report. Manager Ashley Abrams reported that the library will host its second vaccine clinic on March 3, for first and second vaccines, boosters, and first and second shots for ages five and above. Abrams also noted that on January 15, the Topanga Library celebrated its 10-year anniversary! “We are hoping to resume indoor programs in March,” she said. “The Community Meeting Room is open for community groups but you need to book online. We still have activity kits for school-age children, but they go fast, so pick them up soon. Our hours have not changed and as a reminder, we are offering sidewalk service to pick up your holds or pick up materials.” Topanga Charter Elementary School. Alisa Land Hill reported that Topanga Elementary is looking for a first-grade teacher and a science teacher. Topanga SAGES. Tam Taylor reported that there are no SAGES dinners happening at the moment, but they could resume in March at the Community House. “The SAGES are still working on the grant to provide NOAA radios to 80 seniors,” Taylor said. “James Grasso is working on where it stands for now.” Topanga Access Cards. Renew your cards online. First-time cardholders should call to arrange an appointment.: (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: The Topanga Town Council is looking for volunteers to help with the many activities they manage. For more information: email :; or (310) 455-3001. RESOURCES Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Office—Contact Tessa Charnofsky at; (818) 880-9416 State Senator Henry Stern—Contact Jeremy Wolf at; (818) 876-3352 Assemblymember Richard Bloom —Contact Tim Pershing at; (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. For information:; (310) 455-3001.
Annemarie Donkin

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February 18, 2022