2020 Community News

Keys To The New Place

Important Safety & Security Tips for Our Oaks Neighbors

January 20, 2022

There have been numerous reports of an uptick in crime in our neighborhood which has been confirmed by our LAPD Senior Lead Officer. We want all of you to be safe, so please follow these tips on safety and security. 

Deter Car Theft 

Deter car theft by not leaving anything visible inside your car — and especially don’t leave your keys in your car. If you have a garage, park your car inside it and close the garage every time. 

Garage Door Openers & Remote Key Fobs 

Don’t leave your garage door opener inside your car. Thieves can break into your car and thereby gain access to your garage and possibly into your home via the garage. Keep your remote key fob in a metal box or wrapped in foil or even in the refrigerator as thieves use “Amplifiers” to trigger your remote key fob and can open your car from quite a distance. 

Keep Your Doors Locked

Keep your home doors locked at all times. Thieves sometimes will test doors just to see if they can find a random unlocked door.


Always Report Incidents

Always report crimes of any kind, no matter how small. It’s easy to fill out a police report online at LAPDonline.org. There is a box in the online form that asked “Do you have photo, video, evidence.” Click “NO” or you will be kicked out of the system. Then email our Senior Lead Officer, Heather Mata at 40988@lapd.online with your photo evidence. You can also email the Hollywood station at Hollywood@lapd.online for any non emergency questions. This email is monitored 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, many crimes in our neighborhood are not being reported. Reported crimes are the only way for the neighborhood to receive additional patrols and resources.  

Street Robberies There is a string of street robberies going on in the city. Our lead officer suggested not wearing jewelry, specifically Rolex watches.  

Package Theft

Package theft is on the rise as so many of us are ordering things online and having them delivered. If at all possible, do not have packages left at your front door. Consider adding instructions to have packages left in a less conspicuous place, dropped over a fence or ask your neighbors to pick them up if you are not at home.  

Locking Mailbox 

If you don’t already have one, buy a locking mailbox to make it more difficult for thieves to steal your mail and expose you to identity theft. 

No Trespassing Sign Consider purchasing a No Trespassing sign for your property. Without a No Trespassing sign and the correct Authorization Form on file with the LAPD, officers cannot arrest trespassers on your property. The Oaks HOA has a limited supply of attractive No Trespassing signs with our Oaks tree logo available for $40. To purchase an Oaks No Trespassing sign with cash or check please email Sheri.Hellard@oakshome.org and she can work out the payment and delivery details with you. And here is the link to the Authorization Form which must be on file with the LAPD when you post a No Trespassing sign. It should be sent to our Senior Lead Officer, Heather Mata, at 40988@lapd.online

ACS Security Patrol

Consider hiring ACS as back-up security for your home. You do not have to change your existing in-house security system; you can simply add the patrol service for $75 a month for additional peace of mind. As an ACS patrol customer, you can call the service to respond to any suspicious sighting or incident involving your house or car. ACS will also provide vacation watch if you’re out of town; they will even walk you to your door if you get home late and are feeling uneasy. Since ACS is the patrol service for the Oaks neighborhood, there is always a car nearby – this makes for quick response times. We are just a few subscriptions away from having a second 8 hour patrol car added to the current 24-hour car patrol service in our neighborhood. If you already have ACS, call them immediately if you see anything suspicious in the neighborhood in addition to any issues around your home. (As always we must emphasize: the Oaks HOA has no financial arrangement with ACS; we receive no money or any other sort of remuneration from ACS. We do, however, value the patrol service they offer the residents of our neighborhood who are customers of the service.) 

Test Your Alarm System

Periodically test your alarm system to make sure it is working properly.

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New LAPD Senior Lead Officer for the Oaks — Effective March 12th

January 20, 2022

Our current LAPD Senior Lead Officer, Heather Mata, will be on leave for several months effective today, March 12. While she is away SLO Brian White will serve as her replacement. Officer White was our SLO before Officer Mata and has been a big help in the past. We are glad to welcome him back as he knows the neighborhood well.  Please report all crime incidents to SLO Brian White.
Officer Brian White’s Contact information is: 38074@lapd.online.


If you have posted a “No Trespassing” sign but have not yet filled out the “Trespass Arrest Authorization” form, please send it to Officer White while Officer Mata is away. You can find the link here.  

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Your Questions About the Traffic Circle, Answered

December 4, 2020

After years of planning and many unforeseen delays, on October 20th construction began on the neighborhood traffic circle at Bronson Avenue and Canyon Drive. The traffic circle is a project of the Oaks and Bronson Canyon Improvement Fund, a non-profit organization formed by a group of Oaks residents to undertake the design, funding, and construction of the circle.  (This group is distinct from the Oaks Homeowners Association.)  

As the new traffic circle is located at the entrance to the Oaks we all see the construction site each day as we come into and leave the neighborhood, and many residents have questions about the circle construction and its timetable. So we thought it might be helpful if we asked the members of the Oaks and Bronson Canyon Improvement Fund for answers to what are likely the most frequently asked questions. Here are their answers:

 1. When will the traffic circle be completed? It is not possible to say with any precision because so many different city departments are involved; each has its own schedule and protocols, and each is dependent upon another department finishing its work before the next can start. And inspectors need to sign off after each stage. However we can say the work is progressing as planned. Curb work will be completed in early December, followed by LADWP installing the irrigation water line, then by the City’s Street Services Division which is committed to repaving the entire intersection, and finally by LADOT which will add permanent signage and striping (including crosswalks). The custom-made street light will be installed as soon as it’s delivered by the manufacturer (probably in February or March). 

2. Why can’t we change the orange cones now during construction so that we can drive around the circle? These traffic-control measures have been implemented in accordance with City guidelines and have been approved by the City Inspector in charge of the project. Cones and signs need to remain in place where they are until the project is completed. (Sorry, it’s an issue of liability.) 

3. What will the traffic flow be like when the circle is completed? Specifically, if driving south on Canyon, will one be able to go around the circle and continue driving south on Canyon? Approaching from any direction, you’ll be able to drive all the way around the Circle counterclockwise. There will be three STOP signs, one at each entry point to the traffic circle.To give you a better idea of how it works, click here to see an animation (created by Bronson Canyon resident Rainer Standke) of how vehicles will move around the traffic circle. You’ll notice that first-responders (police vehicles and fire trucks) are allowed to run the STOP signs and can avoid tight turns around the traffic island if needed. 

4. Why will there be STOP signs posted at the traffic circle and not YIELD signs?
In order to make the intersection safe for pedestrians to cross, each entry point to the circle will be fitted with a crosswalk and a STOP sign. The STOP sign controls will also help calm vehicular traffic around the intersection. 

5. Who is paying for the construction of the traffic circle? More than fifty residents of the neighborhood have donated to the non-profit to pay for the cost of construction. All city-imposed permit fees have been covered by discretionary funds from our Council Office. 

6. Are there sufficient funds to complete the project? What happens if funds run out? At this time we are hopeful that available funds will be sufficient to cover all costs of construction, including the cost of planting and installing a city-approved irrigation system. In the unlikely event that funds are not sufficient, our non-profit would need to start another round of fundraising. 

7. Once the traffic circle is completed, who will be responsible for the maintenance of the landscaping on the median? The Oaks and Bronson Canyon Improvement Fund plans to apply for the City’s “Adopt-a-Median” program which puts us in charge of the upkeep of the landscaping and irrigation system but makes the City responsible for the cost of water and power and for the maintenance of the street light. 

8. What kind of plants will be part of the landscaping on the traffic median? There will be ground-hugging, drought-friendly landscaping, planted in circular fashion around the street light to emphasize the concept of a traffic circle. Next to the pole will be wild roses to protect the street light and adjacent control equipment against vandalism.A Landscaping Plan has been submitted to the City as part of the approved B-Permit for the construction of the circle. The City has embraced the design and choice of plants. 

9. How can I help? The cost of upkeep of the landscaping and irrigation system (estimated to amount to $80-$100 per month) is not covered by the current budget. Please consider joining the Circle of Friends of the Circle by sending a check to the address below. Your donation would be much appreciated. Contributions to the Oaks and Bronson Canyon Improvement Fund are fully tax-deductible. 

10. More questions? For more information and to receive future updates about the Circle, send an email to: 

Alexander.von.Wechmar@oakshome.org
The Oaks and Bronson Canyon Improvement Fund             
2360 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068             
Phone (323) 467-9004

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Halloween Spirit Continues in the Oaks

November 1, 2020

While the annual Halloween Walk was cancelled this year, the Halloween spirit continues as families celebrated at home.  A perfect example are these charming “Moana” and “Mulan” costumed kids who Trick Or Treated on their own front porch!

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No Trespassing Signage and Compliance

November 1, 2020

Earlier this month we sent you an email reporting on trespassing issues in the Oaks and what homeowners can do. Trespass continues to be a concern in the neighborhood — the HOA has received a number of reports of incidents involving transients and squatters. But without a Trespassing Authorization letter from the homeowner on file with the police, as well as proper “No Trespassing” signs posted on your property, there is little the police can do to help. We urge you to submit a Trespassing Authorization letter to our Senior Lead Officer, Heather Mata, at 40988@lapd.online


Having this letter on file with the police as well as “No Trespassing” signs posted on your property allows responding officers to arrest the trespasser immediately. Otherwise, the only legal action the police can take is escorting the trespasser off of your property.  

If you encounter someone trespassing on your property and are concerned, you can call 911 or the police and let them know you have a letter on file and signs posted. Keep a copy of the letter to show the officers when they arrive at your property.  

If the city attorney should decide to file against the trespasser, the letter and signs will help the city attorney’s case. The trespasser may not be held accountable for their actions if there is not a letter on file and a sign posted. The letter is good for one year and will need to be filed annually. 

Do not take the letter to the police department, they will not accept it as the front desk is closed due to Covid. 

The Oaks HOA has designed a custom “No Trespassing” sign with the correct legal text and the logo for the Oaks neighborhood (see photo above).  The cost per sign is $40. The sign is 18×18 inches and made of 80mil thick aluminum with a 3M High Intensity reflective surface, and includes pre-drilled holes for easy installation. It does not include hardware needed for mounting. The signs will be delivered to the HOA which will then deliver them to your door. (We are offering the signs to residents at our cost.) 

Click here for the Trespass Arrest Authorization Form: https://www.ladbs.org/docs/default-source/forms/code-enforcement/tresspass-arrest-authorization.pdf?sfvrsn=7cebeb53_8 

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Measure HH

October 19, 2020

By now you have received your ballot for the November election and you have no doubt run your eyes down the long list of candidates and propositions and ballot measures. We’d like to make sure you’re aware of one way down the list, a measure that will have particular impact on all of the neighborhoods like the Oaks that are adjacent to Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains. Measure HH proposes a parcel tax of $68 per year per property in the neighborhoods between the 405 Freeway and Griffith Park (the area within the red border in the map above). The money raised through this ten-year parcel tax would fund the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) the public agency dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, and protection of open space, wildlife habitat, and urban parkland. MRCA also focuses on fire prevention for the open spaces it maintains, providing rangers, and year-round fire patrols (with fire trucks on red-flag days). Oaks and other park-adjacent neighborhoods are particularly vulnerable to brush fires that start in open spaces like Griffith Park and that’s why it’s important to have MRCA’s fire prevention experience working in coordination with LAFD and the Parks Department.

Earlier this year the Oaks Homeowners Association and the Friends of Griffith Park engaged with MRCA to acquire and preserve as open space two large privately owned lots on Canyon Drive (that include mature oak trees) right next to the entrance to Bronson Park. Those lots are now parkland and will be maintained by MRCA in perpetuity. This maintenance includes regular brush clearance. 

Measure HH replaces the previous HH of 2012, a parcel tax of $24 for 10 years. The new Measure HH also allows homeowners of low income to opt out, a feature all of us can appreciate in these uncertain times.

We hope you’ll study this ballot measure as well as all of the other measures and propositions on your ballot. These are important votes for you and for your neighborhood.

For more information about Measure HH click here.

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Construction of the Circle began on Tuesday, October 20th

October 16, 2020

After running in circles for more than fifteen years trying to get the traffic circle project approved, the Oaks and Bronson Canyon Improvement Fund has finally received the green light from the City to begin construction.

Construction of the circle began on Tuesday, October 20th.

Construction will be done in phases:

Once the curb has been built and an electrical conduit placed underground (work which is estimated to take 10-14 days), LADWP will install an irrigation water line for future landscaping on the median. The City will then repave the entire intersection and install permanent signage and roadway markings, including pedestrian crosswalks.

Because of manufacturing delays due to COVID-19, it may take up to six months before the custom street light that will grace the middle of the circle can be installed.

Parking will be restricted from 6:30am to 4:00pm on days of actual construction (not on Saturdays and Sundays).

Funding of this project has been provided entirely by contributions from residents of our neighborhood. All permit fees imposed by the City have been covered by discretionary funds made available by the Office of our Councilmember David Ryu (Council District 4).

Questions? Send an email to Alexander.von.Wechmar@oakshome.org or call (323) 467-9004.

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Make Your Voice Count – Vote Soon!

October 14, 2020

IT’S ELECTION TIME –  You have probably received your ballot by now. If not, it should be in your mailbox very soon.  This year, every registered voter in California will receive a Vote By Mail ballot and you’ll have several options for casting your vote. You can return your ballot by mail (make sure you fill out all required information as instructed and sign, date, and seal the return envelope); you can return your ballot in person to a polling place; you can drop your ballot into a ballot drop box (find locations here); or you can authorize someone to return your ballot on your behalf. If you’d prefer to vote in person, remember that Los Angeles will have early voting at multiple locations starting on Saturday, October 24th. 

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can register online here, or request a paper voter registration by calling (800) 345-VOTE(8683). Check your voter registration here if you’re not sure whether your registration is up to date. Haven’t received your ballot yet? Check its status, and find out when you can expect it. 


Voting is one of our most fundamental rights, so please make your voice count and vote soon!

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Griffith Park Aerial Tram

September 4, 2020

In 2018 the City of Los Angeles began studying the idea of a Griffith Park aerial tram that would carry visitors up to the iconic Hollywood Sign in airborne gondolas and in this way reduce the numbers of tourists attempting to access a view of the Sign and clogging streets in neighborhoods to the south of the Park. A consulting firm was hired and it has now created four different routes that a tram might take to a vista area below the Hollywood Sign. Los Angeles residents are being asked to comment on the concept of the aerial tram and on the various routes it might take.
The proposal for the tram, as with systems in cities such as Portland and New York, envisions the construction of a series of towers to support the cable that carries the gondolas. The Griffith Park project is designed as a closed-loop system which visitors would access from a single station somewhere along the perimeter of the mountainous 4,300-acre urban wilderness.
Last week Friends of Griffith Park announced its opposition to the aerial tram project (and all four of the proposed routes), citing destruction of open space and wildlife habitat, and a consequent permanent transformation of the environment of the Park. You can read their opinion at the FoGP site. You can also see several renderings they’ve created that show what the tram system might look like when constructed.
https://www.friendsofgriffithpark.org/griffith-parks-aerial-tram-history-repeats/


The board of the Oaks Homeowners Association is similarly skeptical of the viability of the tram project: whether it will really mitigate the Hollywood Sign tourist traffic in Beachwood Canyon and whether it will prove extremely disruptive to the ecosystem of Griffith Park both during construction and during its operating lifetime. We would also ask: why put this project ahead of less costly alternatives such as electric shuttle vans, a Hollywood Visitors Center, and replica Hollywood Signs for tourists’ selfies?
At this time Consensus, the consulting firm working for the City is conducting outreach and asking those in the Los Angeles community to comment on the aerial tram project. You can read their take on the project and take their survey here.


This project could be catastrophic or transformative for Griffith Park. In either case, it’s massive. We urge you to participate and let your opinions on the aerial tram be known.

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Halloween Walk Will Not Be Held This Year

September 4, 2020

Following the guidance of the City’s Department of Public Health, the Oaks Homeowners Association has made the decision not to hold its annual Halloween Walk this October 31st.  The Public Health Department does not recommend door-to-door trick-or-treating because of the difficulty of maintaining proper social distance. You can read their full recommendations here: 

http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/community/GuidanceHalloween.pdf

If you’d like to let any trick-or-treaters know that you are not participating in the usual Halloween tradition, you might post a note on your door letting them know that you’re following the guidance of the Public Health Department. 

BUT HERE’S THE FUN IDEA:

If you are holding private, in-home events for your little ones, we would be delighted to publish photos of your kids (and your) costumes on our OaksHome.org website and in an email blast to the neighborhood.  So be creative! Set up a scary shot. Show us your decorations. Make us jealous of your candy.  And above all, have fun with it. We can’t wait to see your photos!*  

Send the photos to Kathy Richards: Kathy.Richards@oaksome.org

*Please note that submitting your photos will constitute permission for the Oaks HOA to publish them on our website and/or send them out to the neighborhood in an email blast

P.S. Something else that’s scary right now is the prospect of the arrival of flu season at the same time as the Covid 19 pandemic. So PLEASE, get your Flu Shot from your doctor or at one of our neighborhood pharmacies.
   

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Juneteenth

June 19, 2020

IT’S JUNETEENTH- a 150-year-old tradition marking the end of slavery in the United States. The growing movement for racial justice has made this year’s holiday especially poignant.

The Oaks Homeowners Association has always been dedicated to supporting the Los Feliz Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. We seek to help our community thrive: to provide forums where neighbors can meet neighbors, to advocate with our elected local and state officials, to insure security and safety for all, and to promote and protect the natural splendor with which The Oaks is blessed.  Above all, our intent is to bridge gaps and foster a feeling of community. 

In these often divisive times, we believe that fighting against brutality and racism is a bipartisan issue. We don’t have all the answers but our hearts and minds are open and we are humbled to learn and grow. We encourage ideas and thoughts for how we can all do better for each other and for our broader community. 

In recognition of Juneteenth, the Oaks Homeowners Association is making a donation to My Friend’s Place, NAACP, and the LA Food Bank. We encourage you to invest more broadly in causes that work toward these efforts. You can also start local by helping to support black-owned businesses. Need ideas? – check out our recommendations below:

Black-Owned Businesses in our neighborhood:
Roscoes
Hyperion Public
Say Cheese
The Juice
Chicken n Chips
The V Tree
Onil Chibás Events

Social Justice Charities:
​ Advancement Project 
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Community Coalition (CoCo)
Dignity and Power Now (DPN)
The JusticeLA Coalition (JLA)
Liberty Hill Foundation 
Minnesota Freedom Fund 
Anti-Recidivism Coalition 
Showing Up for Racial Justice SURJ