EVNW Meeting Minutes – 3/14/2012

Dear Neighbor and area Stakeholder:

Portable Video Surveillance Project (David & Alan)

David issued fundraising update: $3,960.00 + $40 on site cash donation = $4,000.00

  • Thank you to the many individual and corporate sponsors

Mr. Alan Berta-BLEND Director w/LAPD)-Video Surveillance Expert presented four (4) camera options ranging in price from $3000-6000

  • All have pros-cons to be considered (i.e., infra-red technology, wireless WIFI, high resolution, etc.).
  • A committee made up of Alan, Officer Bobby Hill and area stakeholders will be formed in the coming days to iron out details and move to purchase the equipment.  We welcome anyone interested in informing part of this committee, including any IT experts from our business community.
  • Alan confirmed that once the equipment is purchased and training completed, we can have the camera in use within a two week turnaround time.

Neighborhood Crime Report  (O. Bobby Hill)

O. Hill reported a break-in on a Blake Ave. house near St. Ann’s church side of the neighborhood.  Residents were asked to be on the lookout and report any suspicious activity to 911 or your local police Dept.

Be on Alert for a suspected Gas Thief driving a late model Honda Vehicle with License Plate No. 6RYM142

An alert neighbor witnessed an individual siphoning gas from his pick-up truck and took a picture of the below getaway Honda vehicle.  O. Hill ran the license plate 6RYM142 and found it to be from out of the area and requested assistance in reporting any site of this vehicle to 911.

We were reminded by O. Hill that late model Honda’s and Toyota vehicles continue to be the most easily stolen vehicles.  The Northeast Police station still has the CLUB available for purchase at a cost of only $12.00-a considerable saving and the best way to prevent your car from being stolen. The following common sense tips were offered for your protection:

  • Never leave valuables in plain view in your car
  • Thieves know that you hide your property under garments.  Just leave valuable property at home.
  • Place any valuable property in vehicle trunk prior to arriving at your destination/location.
  • Permanently mark your valuable property with I.D. or driver license No.
  • Keep serial numbers of your electronics on file (iPads, MP3’s, GPS, etc.)
  • Never leave your car running unattended
  • Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up.
  • Don’t leave personal identification documents in glove compartment
  • If your car is stolen or burglarized, immediately report it to he police



Residents were asked to not aid the problem of homeless encampments with offers of clothes and or other assistance.  Many of these folks are mentally ill and hoard what ever is handed to them-compounding the blight issue brought to the area.  Recent area clean-up found clothing still with the vendor tags among the many items and waste that was hauled away.

We are experiencing a rise in illegal “swapmeet” style vending from outsiders (see below image) resulting in terrible blight to Elysian Valley.  Residents are asked to report any such activity to local Police Dept. via phone or in person at the station. O. Hill recommends requesting from the answering officer that a police car be dispatched to address the vendor directly.  If necessary, ask to speak to the “Watch Commander” to get proper response to these type issues.


O. Hill made mention of a Citizens Police Academy Class available in English and Spanish at the Elysian Park Academy to any resident 18yrs and older.  For more information, please contact O. Hill at 24404@lapd.lacity.org or @ (213) 485-2563.

Crimes of Distraction/Scams:

O. Hill, alerted residents to people passing themselves for utility workers (i.e., telephone, water, gas, cable, etc.) working in groups of two.  One distracts the homeowner requesting access to the back of the house while the other enters the residence from the front and steal their valuables.   Always ask to see their I. D. and if in doubt call 911.  The lottery scam is back.  People claiming to have a winning lottery ticket that they can’t claim for bogus reasons (i.e., illegal in the country, etc.) and convincing folks to access their bank account to the tune of thousands of dollars.  Lastly, be aware of the Craigslist scam where a highly priced vehicle is advertised at a price to good to be true (i.e. $15K car for sale at $3K).  These criminals are taking people’s money and convincing them to let them drive off to get extras put on the cars (i.e., new tires, etc.) via an alleged local contact of theirs just because they are nice people and they like you (the buyer).  Leaving people without car and money. Remember, if it sound to good to be true, it usually is.    

Residents were reminded by O. Hill and David that No Report=No Crime and that police resources to Elysian Valley depend on people reporting crime.  A further reminder was issue to being able to report all crime anonymously.  Attendees were reminded that they could always address issues with O. Hill in private if not comfortable doing so in public.

Area Emergency Preparedness-LAFD Cert Class dates 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19

Resident were reminded of the importance of this class and encouraged to attend.  The next class is tonight at 4730 Crystal Spring Dr., LA, CA 90027 from 7-9:30 PM.  The location is inside Griffith Park just ahead of the Merry-go Round ride.  Participants who complete the training will be certified emergency responders.  The classes are independent of each other and can always be made up at this or other location.  

CD-13 Council Eric Garcetti Report  

We did not have a representative in attendance. Questions regarding street lights installation time line (Down Blake Ave. thru Riverdale Ave.) were answered by David with the following prior response had from Alejandra.

“BSL informed us that the delivery of the poles and luminaries will take place during the second half of March (3/16 – 3/30) and the contractor expects to finish the work by mid to end of April”.  Funding for the 3rd phase, which would bring lights to the entire neighborhood is still being sought.  The LA-River lights are set for completion in June with partial operation already in place thru Newall St.


The Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council meets every 3rd Thursday of the Month (at 6pm) at the Elysian Valley Rec. Center on Ripple and Benedict. 1811 Ripple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039-3841 – (323) 666-5058.  All were invited to attend and to bring their issue and ideas to their community elected representatives.  Our new Congressman Adam Schiff will be in attendance tonight (Thursday March 15) and resident were invited to attend.

The old Frank & Johnny’s Sea Food Site has been leased by Enterprise and will soon be a Car Rental facility. 

Thank you for your much valued and appreciated participation and help in making our neighborhood safer.


  1. Ya I see you folks recieved your lights down your block on Riverdale, but where are our lights on Meadowvale. We probably have the darkest block in the neighborhood, but their are no signs of any work starting up. Maybe instead of putting in another garden or buying camera’s that are going to be stolen or destoyed, the 3-$6,000 could of helped the rest of us get nice lights too. What I see in this neighborhood (especially on Riverdale) is alot of me, me, me instead of we, we, we! Maybe you ought to think of the the younger generations and work on keeping them off of the streets. My husband and I have been coaching kids in sports for many years and the problem we have is not enough people getting involved and we loose them to gangs. That $6,000 maybe could of helped the park fund their summer camp so kids dont have to pay alot of money or after school tutoring that’s free, instead of not getting them help because we cant afford to send them. Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe, if we helped out Benedict park (Elysian Valley Rec center) put in handicap parking, handicap access to the restrooms or even a program for people of special needs to get together once a week to do sports or crafts, etc. I bet that’s something you never thought about, rite? No, instead, let’s get camera’s to spy on people. A few years back, my sister got mugged at gun point in front of our house at about 9pm during the week. Our neighbor’s have camera’s outside around their property. The mugger ran right in front of the camera’s not once, but twice, so we had a good description of the man. We got a copy of the tape and submitted it to the police dept. They said the picture wasnt clear enough. So you tell me, do you think this is really going to work? Think about it……

    • I just wanted to respond to you comments as the Chair of the Neighborhood Council. I wanted to let you know that the Neighborhood Council has taken very seriously the issues you raise. Specifically, we have greatly supported the Rec Center with our limited amount of funding. Over the past two years, we have given over $10,000 to the Rec Center and worked very closely with the Director to improve programming. There is always room for improvement and we’d love to hear your thoughts more.

      Many in the neighborhood agree that while catching bad guys is very important, we need especially to consider how our community can create recreational, vocational, educational and employment opportunities for our youth. This is all of our responsbility…

      Thanks for being a sport coach and please come to our meetings and contribute your ideas more. Third Thursday of every month 6pm at the Rec Center.

      Steve Appleton

    • Lila, thank you for offering your passionate and valued opinion on the things that concern you and matter most to you. The soon to be completed street lights are “Phase III” of a long fought battle to bring modern lights to Elysian Valley. The time lapse in between Phase I, II & III has been approximately 3-4 years-with the first lights having gone up North of Newell St. Funding has been the biggest obstacle and it took Council Garcetti’s office great creativity to include street residential lights in grant money destined solely for the public corridor down Riverside Dr. Having said this, none of the prior three (3) phases would have been realized without tireless advocacy from area residents. Nonetheless, it took three attempts to convince a majority of resident to vote in favor of a residential/business tax assessment to help pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the lights, once in place for Phase II. Many resident not covered in the Phase II area (including myself) walked door to door on countless occasions to better inform folks and to motivate them to vote in favor of the light assessment. Had a majority voted no for a third time, the grant money would have been lost and the entire mid area of the neighborhood kept in the dark. Rest assured that we will not rest until we see the entire neighborhood up-grated with lights. I and others have made this known to CD-13 office and the candidates lining up to replace council member Garcetti as he terms out of office and makes his run for Mayor. And, here is where you and others can help expedite the process for funds to cover your area by joining with your local Neighborhood Council, Neighborhood Watch and other neighbors to keep this issue alive and in front of our elected office holders. Also, begin to prepare your neighbors for voting in favor of the tax assessment when their turn comes. A significant delay occurred in Phase II due to resident having failed to approve the lights measure on two prior occasions.

      Regarding the new community garden, this is a gift to the neighborhood from a private land owner, who chose not to leave the lot vacant or develop it for personal gain. The benefits that gardens bring to an area are tremendous. They beautify the area, raise property values, build community by bringing people together, create life for our retirees and enables people to grow their own food. This is precisely what has occurred at Jardin Del Rio Community Garden on Riverdale Ave. & Crystal St. and I am certain that this too will occur at the new Elysian Valley Fields Community Garden.

      I agree fully with you on the need to find alternate solutions to help keep our youth engaged in wholesome activities. To this end I am working closely with the NC and other residents to bring youth programs and educational opportunities. I was instrumental in helping build the Marsh Street skate park. My family has for the past eight years offered an academic scholarship to assist graduating Latino/Latina high school students attend college and or assist those already in college. For approximately 10 years, I ran a mentoring program at St. Ann’s for the benefit of Elysian Valley youth and have seen many of these kids graduate from high schooI and go on to college. I too have been pushing the idea of internship opportunities with our local businesses and hope to see this rewarding program in place soon.

      Lila I sincerely thank you for your family’s decision to be volunteer coaches to our area youth. I know well the sacrifice that it involves. I look forward to seeing you at our meetings and working closely with you to see those projects closest to your heart realized.


  2. Thank you for commenting on our post. The last phase of the lighting project was a topic of discussion last night. The next step is to put pressure on Eric Garcetti’s office as well as the incoming candidates to follow through with finding the same grant money that they provided for the lighting at the northern part of the neighborhood. This is a priority of the EVNW and we need to make it a priority of our local government and Neighborhood Council. The Neighborhood Council, that meets every third Thursday at the Rec. Center at 6pm, has given consecutive grants to the Rec. Center in sums of 5,000 dollars. We will pass on your suggestions to the neighborhood council who can work with the Rec. Center to focus their spending of the money on programs and improvements suggested by the residences (and users) of the center. Please consider attending the Neighborhood Council meetings because they desperately need your input and support and can help expedite the implementation of the recommendation of improvements from the stakeholders. There are three volunteer tech consultants working with the Neighborhood Watch to assist with the selection of the best resolution camera that will assist with face recognition and image capture. The sub-committee has had extensive conversations that parallel your concerns. The camera is to be placed at specific public places where repeat offenders target victims and vandalize sites. This camera is your camera too. If you want it on your block please let the neighborhood watch know and it will be there. In two weeks we should know what type of camera will be recommended for our use and we will post it online for everyone to add comments. We don’t want to end up with a camera that is poor resolution and does not server its purpose. We also discussed providing grants and programs for the youth of the neighborhood that find themselves divided and on the verge of going one way or the other. As we find the grants and programs we will continue to post them on this site. Please extend these opportunities to the groups of kids that you coach. Thank you for giving to the neighborhood and bringing concerns and suggestions to our attention.

    • Thanks to the neighborhood community council and the neighborhood watch for being understanding with my concerns. I do pop in every now and then to the comm council meeting when I have the time, but I will make it a point to come and sit in on a watch meeting. I have a daughter with Cerebral Palsy plus 3 other children, I coach at the park, I am the head coach at Los Angeles interantional charter high school’s girls softball team, PTA secretary at my daughter’s school, on the pab at the park and A mother/wife. Very rarely do I have any spare time, but I will try to get to the meetings. My husband and I were born and raised here in frogtown and I remeber how it was when I was younger and it was fun playing sports. Now that I am an adult and A mother, I want my children to experience that same feeling I had as a child. Over the years it seems like we lost face of what’s important, which is to keep the kids involved so they dont have to much time on their hands to do wrong. I’m not saying that everything else we do here (comm garden) is a bad thing, but the reality of it is, it’s not a comm. garden because not everyone can just walk through it. If we can upgrade our neighbor in any way, I am all for it. We have a great community here in frogtown and we are considered to be 1 of the nieghborhoods in los angeles with the lowest crime rate. Even La Crescenta has more crime than we do. What you have to remember is, when someone get’s out of jail, that’s when the crime increases. Example, the last 2 times Benedict had shootings, I was their and of coarse it’s because someone came out of jail and decides to hang out there. Elaine who was our director at Benedict just got transferred, but she had the park in tip top shape. We have a new director, Nicole, whom I believe will work out great. What I would like to see is the comm. council continue working with Elysian Valley Rec center and neighborhood watch, to get over there and introduce themselves. I have met officer Bobby Hill, whom by the way, is a wonderful person, does have officers drive by to check on the park, but I would like to see them actually get out of there cars and communicate more with the people of the community. Back in the day, the officer’s would hand out baseball cards to all the kids. The point is, they knew us and we knew them. I am a park advisory board member for Benedict (elysian valley rec. center) and as a community, we ALL need to work together to keep Frogtown safe. Thank’s for hearing my concern’s and not hanging me. (LOL)..

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