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Winter - 1996-1997 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 Table of Contents
  1. City Purchases Open Space
  2. The Whales are Coming, The Whales are Coming
  3. Docent Training Begins in March 1997
  4. Christmas Trees Recycled Curbside
  5. Special Assignment Officer for Youth Related Law Enforcement Efforts
  6. Guide to Citizen Participation
  7. Recycling Beautification Grant Program
  8. Recreation Classes Offered at City Park Facilities
  9. Talking Trash
  10. Watching Your Waste
  11. Holiday Trash Collection Schedule
  12. Slope Drain Clearance Alert
  13. Business License Renewal Time


CITY PURCHASES OPEN SPACE

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Diamond Brothers Three Partnership, previous owners of the open space property located north of Forrestal Drive adjacent to the Ladera Linda Community Center, have entered into an agreement for the City to purchase the property. A portion of this 160 acre site was previously approved to be developed into 40 single-family homes. With the City purchase, this development will not occur and the property will be set aside as open space for perpetuity.

The site is noted for its exceptional natural resources including serving as a prime habitat for several endangered and near endangered species that live within the coastal sage scrub such as the coastal California Gnatcatcher, the Rufous Crowned Sparrow, Cooper's Hawk, and the Cactus Wren. In addition, another unique feature of the property is the Quarry Bowl, which was the site of a quarry operated in the 1940's.

The total acquisition cost of $7,700,000 is being funded through three revenue sources: $4,300,000 from the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District funds, $3,000,000 from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, and $400,000 from the State Coastal Conservancy. Therefore, no City General Funds are being used to purchase this viable open space. The City received assistance from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy and Assemblyman Steven T. Kuykendall in obtaining the funding from the state Wildlife Conservation Board and the Coastal Conservancy.

Make plans to visit and hike the beautiful site. It certainly is a community treasure that now can be enjoyed by all.


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THE WHALES ARE COMING, THE WHALES ARE COMING

With December and the holiday season nearly complete, its now time for the annual migration of the Pacific Grey Whale. Each year the whales trek from the waters of Alaska's Bering Sea to the warm lagoons of Baja California. The whales can be seen passing Point Vicente Interpretive Center beginning in early December and continuing until the end of April. While in the waters off Baja, the female Gray Whales breed, give birth to calves, and gorge on the ocean's bounty. The whales travel over 10,000 miles during their long round-trip journey and keep time with an internal biological clock.

Whale watchers generally see only south-bound whales in December and January, but by February there is usually heavy sightings in both directions. Even though sightings are rare in early December, trained whale census takers record daily tallies of whales and other marine mammals starting December 1st at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center located at the end of Hawthorne Blvd. adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse.

Point Vicente Interpretive Center offers an excellent site for observing these magnificent mammals. The Center is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Center's gift shop is open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm and features unique gifts and holiday offerings, including many works by local artisans. Also, mark your calendars for the annual Whale of a Day to be held at the Center on Saturday, March 1, 1997. For additional information, please call (310) 377-5370.


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DOCENT TRAINING BEGINS IN MARCH, 1997

The 25th Point Vicente Interpretive Center Docent class and 10th Abalone Cove Docent class will begin weekly training sessions for new docents beginning in March, 1997. Class meetings consist of lectures, guest speakers, material review, and occasional Saturday field trips to museums and other points of interest. After completing the three month course, the new docents will join the Los Serenos de Point Vicente Docents in leading individuals and groups on tours of either the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, Abalone Cove, or the Ladera Linda area. For information on the docent program, please contact the Center at (310) 377-5370.


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CHRISTMAS TREES RECYCLED CURBSIDE

'Tis the season... for Christmas Tree Recycling. To recycle, place your Christmas tree at the curb on your regular trash day from December 26, 1995 through January 31, 1996 and the tree will be picked up and recycled. Please remove all decorations, including any tinsel or garland, before placing the tree at the curb. Your tree will be taken away to be ground up into mulch and chips and receyled When purchasing your tree please keep in mind that flocked trees cannot be recycled, and they will be disposed of in the landfill. For more recycling tips, please contact the Public Works Department at (310) 541-6500.


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SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT OFFICER FOR YOUTH RELATED LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS

As a means of increasing youth related law enforcement efforts, Rancho Palos Verdes and the cities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rolling Hills agreed to jointly fund a Special Assignment Officer (SAO) through the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department to serve as liaison with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified Schools in the Palos Verdes. Starting in early November, the SAO started working with school officials, city representatives and parents concerning such law enforcement issues as truancy, narcotics, assaults, and gang intelligence. The SAO will also patrol Peninsula Center during peak hours to handle any problems related to student activity. When school is not in session, this officer will perform other special duties such as patrol city parks and attend Neighborhood Watch block meetings.

The estimated annual cost for the SAO is $88,000 with funding coming from several sources: $25,000 from a Federal grant applied for by Rancho Palos Verdes and $21,000 from the Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates. Additional funding comes from savings realized as a result of a reorganization of a special Sheriff's program subscribed to by the three cities, and from a recently enacted law, Assembly Bill 3229, which funded the Citizen's Option for Public Safety (COPS). That program was part of the state's budget package and provides funding to local agencies to establish new public safety program addressing community orientated policing.


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GUIDE TO CITIZEN PARTICIPATION

Government Structure

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes was incorporated as a general law city on September 7, 1973 at which time the City Council-City Manager system of government was adopted. Under the general law system, the five-member City Council provides policy direction and a professional manager is appointed by the City Council to administer the government.

Elections

City elections are held in November of odd-numbered years; members of the City Council are elected at large to a four year term of office. The position of mayor is rotated on an annual basis amongst the members of council.

City Council Meetings

Council meetings are conducted on the first and third Tuesday of the month and start at 7:00 p.m. Any meeting which falls on an election day or on an official City holiday is carried over to the next day.

Council Agenda

The City Council Agenda is available to the public on the Friday morning preceding the Council meeting. This document provides the Council and the public with comprehensive information on the topics for consideration, discussion and action by the City Council. Copies of the agenda can be obtained in the lobby at City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard; or, residents can review it on the City's Web Internet page at www.palosverdes.com. In addition, the public can receive copies of the agenda by supplying the City Clerk's Office with self-addressed stamped envelopes. The agenda document is published by the City Clerk's Office and is organized into five major categories: the Consent Calendar contains routine items enacted by one motion unless a request has been received from the public, Council or staff to discuss a particular item; the Public Hearing section is devoted to scheduled and published hearings; Regular Business can be composed of a myriad of items from planning matters to the City's financial status; Oral City Council Reports is for councilmembers who wish or need to report on Council assignments; and, Public Comments which is devoted to comments from the public on items not listed on the published agenda.

Actions of the City Council

The City Council has several ways of taking action on an item on the agenda including the adoption of an ordinance, resolution or by a motion. Ordinances are the laws of the City and are the most binding form of action taken by the City Council. They are "introduced" at one City Council meeting where they receive substantive deliberation and review by both the Council and the public. At a subsequent meeting only the title of the ordinance is read and the ordinance is then adopted. Thirty days later, the ordinance becomes effective. It is then "codified" and becomes part of the City's Municipal Code. Resolutions usually establish Council policy or direct certain administrative action. A resolution only requires one reading and may be changed by a subsequent resolution. Motions indicate majority approval for a procedural or administrative action.

Citizen Participation

Any person may speak on any item under discussion by the City Council. People wishing to speak before the City Council should fill out a "Request to Speak" form and submit it to the City Clerk. Speakers are requested to limit their remarks to three minutes.

City Council meetings are broadcasted live over Cable Channel 3 and re-broadcast the following Friday at 7:00 p.m.


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Recycling Beautification Grant Program

The City's neighborhood Recycling Beautification Grant Program recently began a new funding cycle in which the City Council approved thirty-two beautification grants that were submitted by homeowner associations and neighborhood group throughout the City. These grants are funded with the proceeds received from the City's single-family and multi-family recycling program. Since 1989, when the curbside recycling program began, the City Council has made these funds available in the form of grants for activities that beautify areas generally visible from public rights-of way.

Among the projects included in the current cycle are upgrading the entrance to the Rockinghorse Road Homeowner Association, located off Palos Verdes Drive East, with lighting; repairing the historic tower at the Palos Verdes Monaco Homeowners Association entrance located at Hawthorne Boulevard and Rhone Drive; and installing decorative entrance signs on Verde Ridge Road and Hawthorne Boulevard and Locklenna and Hawthorne Boulevard for the Pacific View Homeowners Association.

The previous grant cycle, completed in July 1996, included several homeowners associations restoring entrance signs, adding irrigation and plant material to their entrances, or upgrading existing landscape and irrigation to improve the aesthetics of their community.

The La Cresta Homeowners Association, located off Hawthorne Boulevard at Vallon Drive, was able to complete part of their new stucco entrance wall and signage with funds from last year's cycle, and will complete the remainder of their project with funds from the current cycle. This project is a benefit to the entire community as it greatly improves the aesthetics along Hawthorne Boulevard. The Mesa Palos Verdes Homeowners Association, located at Whitley Collins Drive and Crest Road, used their recycling beautification grant funds to restore their Palos Verdes Stone entry wall and to add a blue tile and brass entrance sign welcoming visitors and residents to their community.

The Recycling Grant fund program is available to all Homeowners Associations and neighborhood groups that wish to improve their community. The goal of these projects is to aesthetically beautify the City and encourage recycling. The more the community recycles, the more grant funds are available! For more information about upcoming grant cycles, please contact the Public Works Department at (310) 541-6500.


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RECREATION CLASSES OFFERED AT CITY PARK FACILITIES

Privatized recreation classes for the 1997 Winter 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 and Me (Birth - toddling)
Ann Bosma(310) 375-2064Aerobic Dancing: Lite Impact (Adult)
Magda Cianciara(213) 466-9370Yoga Classes (Teens/Adults)
Herb Clarkson(310) 377-6342Amateur Radio Class (Teen/Adult)
Stan Corzine(310) 318-2690Tai Chi Chuan (Teen/Adult)
Jacquelyn Fernandez(310) 377-2965Adventures in Exercise for Women (Adult)
Larry Johnson(310) 372-5224Tennis - Beg/Int/Adv (Youth, Teen, Adult)
Pee Wee Tennis (4-7 years)
Julda Joon(310) 377-7826English As A Second Language - Beg/Int (Adult)
Jeanne Murphy(310) 377-8507Ladies Exercise (Adult)
Sachiye Nakano(310) 544-1624Awareness Through Movement - Feldenkrais Method (Adult)
Barry Sacks(310) 519-4622 or (310)514-2030Mommy & Me (18 - 30 months)
Wee Tots (2 1/2 - 4 years)
Winter Ourdoor Adventures-Holiday Programs (5-10 years)

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.

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TALKING TRASH

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes will be conducting a series of community meetings to present ideas and seek public input into the City's refuse collection and recycling programs. The current franchise agreement with the City's two refuse and recycling haulers expires June 30, 1996. As such, the City is in the initial stages of negotiating new franchise agreements with both haulers.

In reviewing the possible changes to the refuse franchise agreements, the City must consider the current state mandate requiring cities to divert at least 50% of the waste generated in the community by 2000. In addition, public input through a series of community meetings and surveys will provide viable input in determining the most appropriate programs the refuse haulers shall provide to Rancho Palos Verdes' residents.

The first community meeting was conducted at Hesse Park on December 4, 1996. City staff, representatives from R. W. Beck (consulting firm specializing in waste collection), Waste Management of Los Angeles, and Ivy Rubbish Disposal discussed the following topics:

  • A Summary of Current Refuse Collection and Recycling Programs;
  • State Requirements for Meeting the 50 Percent Waste Diversion Mandate;
  • Refuse Collection and Recycling Program Options and Estimated Costs for Meeting the 50 Percent Waste Diversion Mandate; and,
  • The Next Steps in Defining Program Options.
  • A second community meeting will be held at Hesse Park on Thursday, January 9, 1997, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This second community meeting will focus on refining program options as discussed during the December meeting, and on obtaining additional public input. It is anticipated that the results of the second community meeting, including an overview of program options and recommendations, will be presented to City Council at its January 21, 1997 Council meeting.

    It is anticipated that additional community meetings will be conducted to discuss the proposed programs presented by the waste haulers and to seek additional public input prior to concluding the negotiations.

    If you have questions regarding refuse collection and recycling programs, please contact the Public Works Department at (310) 541-6500.


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    WATCHING YOUR WASTE

    A goal of the City's Code Enforcement program is to help maintain the aesthetics and quality of life in the community and to ensure those who live, work or visit Rancho Palos Verdes can experience a sense of pride and well being. While the goals sound simple, your partnership is needed to make them a reality. Occasionally, as a means of informing residents of some of the Municipal Codes that are enforced by the code enforcement program, newsletter articles such as this are used to address a specific property maintenance issue. For example:

    Did you know it's illegal to burn solid waste for disposal purposes? Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code Section 8.20.280 states that no person shall burn their solid waste for disposal purposes. This would include burning leaves in the backyard or burning trash in the fireplace as a means of disposal. The reason for such a code is to protect the public safety and health of the residents.

    Did you know there is a law regulating the placement of refuse containers? Section 8.20.250 of the Municipal Code states that no residential household shall place any solid waste or solid waste container at the curb prior to 8:00 a.m. of the day preceding the scheduled collection or leave any such container at the curb after 8:00 p.m. on the day of collection (or more than two hours after actual collection, whichever is later). In addition, the Code also states that, while not at the curb, trash containers shall be stored out of public view, such as behind a side yard fence or in the garage.

    In comparison with other types of violations, the City receives a high percentage of complaints regarding improper placement of refuse containers. For more information regarding the City's Municipal Code, please contact the City's Code Enforcement Officers at 377-6008.


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    HOLIDAY TRASH COLLECTION SCHEDULE

    Waste Management

    December: Christmas Week*:

    No change for trash regularly picked-up on 12-23 and 12-24.
    Trash regularly picked-up on Wed. 12-25 will be picked up on Thurs. 12-26
    Trash regularly picked-up on Thurs. 12-26 will be picked up on Fri. 12-27
    Trash regularly picked-up on Fri. 12-27 will be picked up on Sat. 12-28

    January: New Year's Day Week*:

    No change for trash regularly picked-up on 12-30 and 12-31.
    Trash regularly picked-up on Wed. 1-1 will be picked up on Thurs. 1-2
    Trash regularly picked-up on Thurs. 1-2 will be picked up on Fri. 1-3
    Trash regularly picked-up on Friday 1-3 will be picked up on Sat. 1-4

    February: No changes

    March: No changes

    Ivy Rubbish Disposal

    Trash picked-up on Wed. 12-25, will be picked up on Sat. 12-28 Recycling picked-up on Wed. 12-25, will be picked up on Thurs. 12-27 Trash will be picked-up on Wed 1-1, but Recycling picked-up on Wed. 1-1, will be picked up on Thurs. 1-2


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    SLOPE DRAIN CLEARANCE ALART

    With the rainy season upon us, its time for residents to inspect and clear their hillside slope drains. Most of the homes located on or adjacent to hillsides were developed with drainage systems designed to carry potentially harmful water away from a property and to protect hillsides. Maintaining these slope drainage systems so they are free of debris, material and overgrown vegetation is crucial to preventing hillside erosion and mudslides. For more information regarding the clearing of hillside or slope drainage systems, residents may contact the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department at (310) 377-6008.


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    BUSINESS LICENSE RENEWAL TIME

    The Finance Department mailed business license renewal notices in December to all businesses currently licensed to operate in the City. 1996 business licensed expire on December 31, 1996. Applications for 1997 City business licenses covering the period of January 1-December 31, 1997 must be received by the City on or before January 31, 1997 or a late charge of 5% per month will be charged to the applicant. Residents should note that home occupations are also required to file for a business license in the City. If you are operating a business in the City and have not received your license renewal in the mail by January 15th, or you are a new business requiring a license, please contact the Finance Department at (310) 377-0360.


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