SUMMER 1997 NEWSLETTER
Distributed to residents as an educational service of Community Forum, Inc. For information, call City Hall, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 (310)377-0360.
While most contractors are reputable, the City does get complaints from residents who have been victimized by ones who are unscrupulous and/or unlicensed. These situations are very unfortunate, but can be avoided with the proper awareness and information. There are several things that property owners can do to protect themselves while making improvements and repairs to their homes. Before you hire a contractor or sign a contract for home repair, the California Contractors State License Board advises:
Don't rush into the repairs, no matter how badly they are needed.
Don't hire the first contractor who comes along.
Don't be victimized by someone making a door-to-door presentation, offering to do repair jobs or home improvement on-the-spot, and requiring a cash deposit. An enterprising contractor may take the door-to-door sales approach. However, even on the smallest job, you must get proof that the person you are dealing with has a contractor's license in the trade for which you expect to have the work done. Get a written contract that contains all the details of the job to be performed.
Deal only with licensed contractors. Consumers have very little, if any, recourse against unlicensed contractors.
Ask to see the contractor's "pocket license" or "Home Improvement Sales (HIS) registration. All contractors are issued a pocket license which show the type of trade for which they are licensed and the expiration date of the license. Ask to see some additional form of identification so you know who you are dealing with. If the person says he or she is representing a contractor, but can't show you a contractor's license or HIS registration, then call the contractor and find out if the person you are dealing with is authorized to act on behalf of the contractor.
Call the Contractor's Board to verify the information provided by the bidding contractor or salesperson, including the name of the person and the name on the license...is the person you are dealing with a legitimate representative of a licensed contractor with a clean record?
For any major work, get at least three bids and ask for references of work the contractor has completed in the local area.
Contact the people provided as references by the bidding contractor and ask questions that will help you decide whether the contractor you are considering hiring will satisfy your needs. This takes time, but saves money and aggravation in the long run.
Don't pay cash, done let the payments get ahead of the work completed and don't pay the full cost of the job up-front.
Under state law, when undertaking a home improvement or repair job, contractors cannot ask for a deposit of more than 10% of the total cost of the job or $1,000, whichever is less...unless the contractor provides a bond, approved bond equivalent, or approved joint control ensuring completion of your contract. Any such bond is in addition to the bond required of all contractors for licensure.
Require a written contract with the contractor's license number on it, and don't sign until you fully understand the terms. Remember, if it's in the contract, you can expect to have it done. If it's not in there, even with a verbal promise, you may not get what your think you are paying for.
When you call the Contractors Board to check on the contractor, be prepared with the contractor's name, license number, and business address.
For additional information, please contact the Contractors State License Board Southern Regional Office located at 7001 Village Drive Road, Buena Park, California 90621. The telephone number for most general information requests is (714) 994-7430.
The City will hold a free composting workshop on Saturday, July 19th at Hesse Park from 10 AM to 12 Noon. The benefits of composting will be discussed and attendees will see a demonstration of how composting works.
The personnel at the Lomita Sheriff's Station would like to remind residents of the basic rules to follow if you are walking on City streets. Legally, pedestrians have the right-of- way within the crosswalk; however, this does not mean that they can cross at any time, nor can they be oblivious to traffic and still be safe.
Pedestrians need to stop, look, and listen for approaching vehicles and cross only when there are no oncoming vehicles or when all vehicles have stopped. The law does not permit pedestrians to leave the curb suddenly and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle that is close enough to be a hazard. Remember, painted lines do not always protect pedestrians in a crosswalk. Pedestrians should never regard these painted crosswalks as an "invisible shield" which will protect them from approaching traffic. Vehicles require braking distance and cannot stop immediately!
A law enacted in 1983 states that "no pedestrian shall unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk." The longer a pedestrian is in the roadway, the greater the chance he or she can be struck. Parents should remind their children not to dawdle, "horse around," and to pay attention to traffic while in these crosswalks.
Please follow the rules and stay alive.
PV Transit -- those green, white and blue vans you see on the Peninsula -- has reported a significant increase in ridership over the past six months. In some cases, this increase is fifty percent more than similar periods for previous years. The Transit Authority is attributing this increase to the more reliable "fixed" route system which was started two years ago. Alleviating the overcrowding that has been experienced during the afternoon peak hours will be five new replacement vehicles that are expected to arrive this spring. Meanwhile, there is still plenty of room during the remaining hours of operation which are from 6:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
If you want to leave the Peninsula and still take public transportation, you can connect with other regional transit carriers such as the MTA which serves every area of Los Angeles County, including downtown and LAX. Riders can also transfer to the Blue and Green rail lines. For example, if you wanted to go to LAX or downtown L. A., you can take a PV Transit vehicle from any MTA Route 225/226 with bus stops at PV Drive South and Seacove; Hawthorne and PV Drive West; and, Crenshaw and PV Drive North. Be sure and ask the bus operator if a transfer is necessary. MTA Route 444 picks up at the same locations and its destinations include the Metro Rail connections at Union Station, Civic Center, Pershing Square, 7th St./Metro Center and the Green Line at Harbor/105 Freeway.
The LADOT Commuter Express (Route 448 goes to Exposition Park/USC and also to downtown L.A. PV Transit connects at Crest and Crenshaw; Hawthorne and Crest as well as additional stops along Hawthorne Boulevard.
Special services for pre-registered senior citizens and the disabled are offered by PV Transit through two Dial-A-Ride services. One is available on twenty minutes notice and transports riders throughout the Peninsula. Another is in cooperation with Access Services which requires reservations in advance; it provides door-to-door services to any address in the Los Angeles County metropolitan area.
This coming fiscal year, the Palos Verdes Transit Authority will be exploring connections with local transit systems in both the cities of Torrance and Gardena.
Information for these services is available at a number of locations: Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority Office located at 38 Crest Road West; Central Library located at 650 Deep Valley Drive, Senior Center at the Shops; and, Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard. Also, this information can be accessed on the Transit Authority's Web page http:www.palosverdes.com/pvtransit, or you can call (310) 544-7108.
The City's annual rabies clinic will be held Thursday, July 24, 1997 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard.
RPV residents will be able to purchase for their dog, a rabies shot for $4, a "6 in 1" shot for $11 or both shots for $15. New dog licenses and renewals also may be obtained at the clinic for the annual rate of $24 for unaltered dogs or $12 for neutered dogs. All RPV dog licenses expire on June 30, 1997.
For additional information regarding the rabies clinic, contact the SPCA at (310) 676- 1149.
Privatized recreation classes for the 1997 Summer Session will be held at various park sites in Rancho Palos Verdes. If you are interested in registering for these programs, you may pick up registration information at Hesse Park, or call the individual instructors. A list of current instructors, with their names, phone numbers and type of classes offered, is listed below.
Vi Ballard (310) 377-4525
Mommy & Me (Birth to Crawling)
Ann Bosma (310) 375-2064
Aerobic Dancing: Lite Impact (Adult)
Magda Cianciara (213) 466-9370
Yoga Classes (Teen/Adult)
Stan Corzine (310) 318-2690
Tai Chi Chuan (Teen/Adult)
Jacquelyn Fernandez (310) 377-2965
Women's Exercise & Fitness Class (Adult)
Larry Johnson (310) 831-5307
Tennis - Beg/Int/Adv (Youth, Teen, Adult) Pee Wee Tennis (4-7 years)
Loyola Marymount University (800) 964-1020
Reading Programs Classes for All Grade Levels (4 years - Adult)
Jeanne Murphy (310) 377-8507
Ladies Exercise (Adult)
Sachiye Nakano (310) 544-1624
Awareness Through Movement - Feldenkrais Method (Adult)
Barry Sacks (310) 519-4622
Mommy & Me (18 - 30 months)
Wee Tots (2 1/2 - 4 years)
P. V. Summer Sports Camps (5-10 years)
Summer Outdoor Adventures (5-10 years)
Beven Sangi (310) 265-9505
Beautiful Skin At Any Age (Teen/Adult)
Makeup 101 (Adult)
San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA (310) 832-4211
Summer Day Camp Program (Kindergarten - 8th graders)
If you are interested in teaching classes at one of the City's park sites, please contact the Facility Coordinator at Hesse Park at 541-8114.
SUMMER HOURS AT RPV CITY PARKS
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
Everyday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Fred Hesse Community Park
Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - dusk
Sat. & Sun. 10:00 a.m. - dusk
Ladera Linda Community Center
Mon. - Fri. 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sat. & Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Point Vicente Interpretive Center
Everyday 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Robert E. Ryan Community Park
Everyday 10:00 a.m. - dusk
"STORIES BY THE SEA"
FOURTH SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH FROM 12:30PM - 1:30PM
Bring the children to hear tales of curious dolphins, wayward whales, Native Americans and more. Our enthusiastic volunteers will read stories beneath the coral tree's shade. Books are geared for children of all ages. Parents must remain on the park grounds, lunches or snacks are suggested, and no reservations are required. This event is free to the public.
The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is located at the end of Hawthorne Boulevard, at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive West, in Rancho Palos Verdes, next to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. For more information, call (310) 377-5370.
On May 6, 1997, the City Council awarded new single-family residential refuse and recycling contracts to the City's current haulers Waste Management of Los Angeles and Ivy Rubbish Disposal. These new contracts will be for the period of July 1, 1997 through February 1, 2000. Because State law requires the City to reduce and/or divert fifty percent the amount of refuse sent to landfills by the year 2000, some changes will be made to the present collection of refuse to help reach that goal. One of those changes is the implementation of a voluntary "greenwaste" program for residents serviced by Waste Management.
Greenwaste consists of grass clippings, leaves, plants, weeds, yard trimmings, wood chips and small wood scraps. To take advantage of this voluntary program, Waste Management customers should separate these items out from the rest of their refuse. To avoid contamination of the greenwaste, residents are advised not to mix in refuse or other recycling material. This greenwaste will be used as "alternative daily cover" at landfills and will count toward the City meeting its mandatory diversion goal. Residents will be receiving a detailed brochure about this program from Waste Management prior to its August implementation. Waste Management will also be providing "Greenwaste Container" labels which should be affixed to the container(s) that will be used specifically for greenwaste. There will be no greenwaste program for the small percentage of residents who are on "pup routes" -- streets too narrow to be serviced by the big refuse trucks.
Waste Management customers will still receive their twice-a-week refuse and once-a- week recycling collection and the greenwaste pick-up at the current rate of $20.66 per month. Some residents with a Monday/Thursday and /or a Tuesday/Friday pickup schedule will be changed to a new Wednesday/Saturday pickup day. Those customers that will have a change in their pickup day will get advanced notification from Waste Management.
No changes will occur in the recycling program. Residents should continue to use the three stackable bins for storage of the following items: (1) mixed paper; (2) glass, aluminum and plastic; and, (3) newspaper. Under this new contract with its haulers, the City will continue to keep 100% of the revenues from the sale of the recyclables. This will assure the continuation of the Beautification Grants that the City awards to homeowner associations and neighborhood groups as well as the "Recycler of the Month" drawings which entitles the winner to one year's free refuse pickup.
Ivy Rubbish Disposal
Those residents serviced by Ivy Rubbish Disposal will receive a rate reduction of $1.15 to $1.50 a month. There will be no greenwaste program implemented in the Ivy service area because their refuse is taken to the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in Long Beach. This is a waste-to-energy incineration facility and the City receives diversion credit for the trash disposed of at that site.
Ivy customers will have no changes in their route pick-up days and they can continue to co-mingle the recyclables which are separated at the recycling facility.
If you have any questions about the new refuse contracts, please contact the Public Works Department at (310) 541-6500.
Los Angeles County Health officials urge residents to stop these pests, whose number grow with new foliage.
Rats and mice increase in residential neighborhoods in spring because seasonal fruits and vegetation give rodents what they need to thrive. Rodents spread disease, contaminate food and chew up structures, so City residents need to take action early and quickly.
The Los Angeles County Health Department advises that to eliminate conditions that invite these rodents, all pet food, seeds, and garbage should be stored in rodent-proof containers. Also, residents should make efforts to reduce other attractions such as snails, fruits, berries, and dog droppings. Do not leave pet food out overnight.
City residents are advised to trim back vegetation such as ivy, weeds, vines, bushes , and other ground covers. Remove trash, debris, and castoff materials, and store wood piles at least 18 inches off the ground and a foot away from walls and fences. To keep rodents from entering homes and garages, make sure that openings to foundations are repaired, that crawl hole and attic screens are in good condition, and that garage doors have weather stripping. Rodents only need one-quarter of an inch to enter into a structure!
Some of the telltale signs of rodent infestation are animal droppings, hollowed-out fruit, stripped bark, empty garden snail shells, gnaw marks on items stored inside or outside, and even on wooden doors. At night, they can usually be heard scurrying in attics or behind walls.
The Health Department recommends using mechanical snap traps or approved rodent poison to control rats and mice; however, make sure poison is kept away from children and pets. Always follow the label instructions exactly. If a homeowner is unsure of whether it's safe to use poison, use a trap instead.
Residents of Rancho Palos Verdes can get rodent control information by calling the Department of Health Services at (213) 881-4046.
The City may be only twenty-four years old, but many of its storm drain systems are 40 to 50 years old and are in need of repair and/or replacement. Consisting primarily of short corrugated metal pipes, these systems run under roadways and outlet into canyons. Many of the metal pipes have begun to corrode and rust. Continued deterioration can cause them to eventually collapse, which will subsequently lead to the failure of the roadways above them. Several of these systems cross major arterial roadways such as Palos Verdes Drive East and Palos Verdes Drive South (See photos).
This past January, the City Council authorized the Public Works Department to begin the preparation of a Citywide Master Plan of Drainage to analyze all storm drain systems and identify deteriorated pipes. Now in the final stages, this study has identified several storm drain systems that have begun to fail due to age and/or settlement. Obviously, the cost of replacing these systems can be quite costly and the Public Works Department has been investigating new technology which facilitates restoration of pipes at a fraction of the replacement cost. For example, one method called "Slip Lining" is the process of inserting a new smaller diameter pipe inside the existing deteriorated one. By eliminating the need to dig out and replace the existing pipe, a significant savings will be realized.
The $99,018 contract for this study was awarded to the firm of AKM Consulting Engineers which was chosen because of their experience in developing master drainage plans for other cities, and because of the excellent references given by municipalities who have utilized this firm's services.
This study is due to be completed in July of this year and the Public Works Department plans on implementing the repairs and replacements of critically damaged pipes prior to the start of the rainy season.