RPV Community Forum - Spring 1998  
Spring 1998

Table of Contents


what to do about excessive barking

Dog may be man's best friend --except when he barks all day and all night. If your neighbors feel that your dog is an excessive barker, find out why and solve the problem. Don't let it continue until a lot of resentment is built up between you and your neighbors. Some dogs have more of a propensity to bark than others. Generally, they bark to express their needs or when they become excited, frightened, bored, or isolated for long periods.

According to the Southern California Humane Society (SPCA) one common reason a dog barks is to protect his territory from perceived threats. The extent of this territory varies greatly. Some dogs consider the whole neighborhood as their territory and will bark at any intrusion or threat detected by sight, sound or smell. To decrease your dog's barking and his natural propensity to guard his territory, there are several things you can do to limit his boundaries: don't allow your dog --male or female --to mark every bush, tree or post; always keep your dog on a leash and never give him free run of the neighborhood; lastly, early spaying or neutering may reduce your dog's desire to mark his territory.

If you confine your dog to the backyard because he's not housebroken, get him trained so he can occasionally spend some time with the family indoors. Dogs living alone outside frequently become constant barkers.

On the other hand, if your dog spends most of his time indoors and barks excessively when the door bell rings or when there is movement outside, then obedience training can cure the barking problem. The "down" and "sit-stay" commands are a good start in teaching your dog to stop barking on command. Typically, it is difficult for a dog to bark in these positions. Choose a command such as "quiet" or "cut" when your dog barks and praise him immediately when he stops. You may want to allow your dog to bark two or three times before giving a command to stop, however, to be successful, you must be consistent with these commands.

Sometimes excessive barking is an indication of the dog's general health and wellbeing, but more often it is "separation anxiety" --the result of being left alone for extended periods of time. Sometimes, this can be alleviated by exercising your dog before you leave the house. Make your absences short at first, then vary the length of time until your dog understands that you will return. Special treats and toys can also help. Better yet, have somebody come in during your absence and walk or play with your dog.

If a neighbor's dog disturbs you with loud and incessant barking the City urges you to contact the owner first. Frequently, the owner is unaware that this barking is occurring; assume that the owner needs to be told about the problem. If, however, the owner is unresponsive, you can then register up to three complaints with the SPCA --that's the agency that the City contracts with for animal control. If the problem persists, the City will take appropriate measures, including a dog hearing if necessary, to resolve the problem.

For more information on excessive dog barking or other animal care matters, please contact the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA/Southern California Humane Society) at (310) 676-1149 or your local veterinarian.

return to top
First Time Homebuyer Program

Mortgage Credit Certificates

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, in cooperation with the County of Los Angeles, offers a First Time Homebuyer Program to those who have not owned a principal residence within the past three years. The program is called the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program.

What is a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)?

An MCC gives the homebuyer a federal tax credit each year the buyer keeps the same mortgage loan and lives in the same house. A qualified homebuyer may receive a direct federal income tax credit for up to twenty percent of mortgage interest, rather than the traditional write-off against income. This credit reduces the amount of federal taxes the holder of the certificate would pay and can help the homebuyer qualify for a loan.

Who is Eligible?

First time homebuyers: You must not have owned a principal residence within the past three years; you must live in the house you are buying; and, you must meet the following income limits:


Size of Household

Maximum Income Size of Household Maximum Income
1 person $28,750 5 person $44,300
2 person  $32,850 6 person $47,600
3 person $36,950 7 person  $50,900
4 person  $41,050 8 person $54,150
The purchase price of the dwelling unit cannot not exceed:
New Dwelling Unit = $230,564

Existing Dwelling Unit = $196,198

How do you apply?

The County of Los Angeles administers this program but does not make loans. Instead, you must go through the normal process of choosing a realtor, finding a house, condo, or townhouse, and arranging financing with one of the participating lenders. The lender determines if you and the property are eligible, and then submits the MCC application to the County. If you and your home qualify, the County then issues an MCC. After your escrow closes and you receive your MCC, you can take the income tax credit every year, as long as you keep the same home and the original first mortgage and continue to live in the house as your principal residence.

If you would like a program brochure, call Gregory Pfost at City Hall (310)377-6008. If you have specific questions regarding the application process or need a list of participating lenders, please call Diane Jackson at the County of Los Angeles - (213)890-7090

  return to top

Registration is now under way for the City's privatized recreation classes which are held at various park sites. Information can be picked up at Hesse Park, or you can call the class instructor:

Cherie Ackerman (310) 547-5073

Tap and Children's Combo Dance Classes (4 years - Adult)

Vi Ballard (310) 373-9740

Mommy & Me (Birth to Crawling)

Mommy & Me for Working Parents (Birth to Crawling)

Ann Bosma (310) 375-2064

Aerobic Dancing: Lite Impact (Adult)

Herb Clarkson (310) 377-6342

Amateur Radio Class (Teen/Adult)

Stan Corzine (310) 318-2690

Tai Chi Chuan (Teen/Adult)

New !! Beginner class

Advanced class

Jacquelyn Fernandez (310) 377-2965

Women's Exercise & Fitness Class (Adult)

Larry Johnson (310) 831-5307

Tennis - Beg/Int/Adv (7 years-Adult)

Pee Wee Tennis (4-6 years)

Michele (310) 517-0295

Yoga Revitalization (Adult)

Jeanne Murphy (310) 377-8507

Ladies Exercise (Adult)

Sachiye Nakano (310) 544-1624

Awareness Through Movement - Feldenkrais Method (Adult)

Bones for Life (Adult)

 Barry Sacks (310) 519-4622

 return to top


The good news is that Palos Verdes Drive East and Montemalaga Drive will undergo major repairs, resurfacing, and improvements to the median island. The bad news is that motorists can expect some delays.

Beginning in mid-February, Palos Verdes Drive East between Colt Road and Ganado Drive was pared down to one lane beginning at 8:30 A.M. and opening up to two lanes again at 4:30 P.M. These hours should accommodate the peak traffic hours for people on their way to work and school. Work at this location will be completed by May.

Montemalaga Drive between Silver Spur and the City's boundary with Palos Verdes Estates, will undergo similar work beginning early March. Traffic on Montemalaga will be directed into the existing parking lane and should not impact traffic too severely. This work will be completed in June.

Costing $1.15 million, funding for this project comes from Federal taxes on gasoline and from Proposition "C" which is a 1/2 cent state sales tax that is distributed to cities on a per capita basis for the purpose of improving transportation conditions. Improvements from this project will include better roadside drainage, curbing, median island improvements, and roadway surfaces.

The contractor on this job, Excel Paving Company, will notify residents and businesses about temporary blockages during the asphalt grinding and paving phases of these projects.

  return to top





WHERE: Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall/City Yard,

located at 30940 Hawthorne Blvd., 1/2 mile from Palos Verdes Dr. W.

WHEN: Saturday, May 16th, 1998, from 9 AM to 3 PM

Bring materials such as used motor oil and automotive fluids, paint and stains, household cleaners, pesticides, and herbicides for proper disposal. There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of waste per vehicle. Bring the items in a sturdy box, preferably in their original, labeled containers. Do not mix hazardous materials together! EXPLOSIVES, AMMUNITION, RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS OR MATERIALS FROM BUSINESSES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

This Household Hazardous Waste Roundup will be conducted by Los Angeles County. For more information on household hazardous waste or storm drain pollution prevention, please call (888) CLEAN LA.

  return to top

Residents concerned about the increased noise from LAX air traffic can voice their complaints to several agencies: FAA Noise Complaint Line, 310-725-3638; FAA Western Pacific Regional Office, Attn: Regional Executive Manager, PO Box 92007 WWPC, Los Angeles CA 90009; LAX 24-hour Noise Hotline, 310-64-NOISE (646-6473); LAX Airport Manager, PO Box 92216, Los Angeles CA 90009-2216; FAA Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control, Attn: Air Traffic Manager

9175 Kearny Villa Road, San Diego CA 92126-7099, ph: 619-537-5800 fax: 619-537-5805; and FAA Flight Standards Office, 2250 East Imperial Hwy., Ste. 140

El Segundo CA 90245, ph: 310-215-2150 fax: 645-3768.

Even though the FAA says that southbound turbojets departing LAX are to remain at least five miles west and three miles south of the Peninsula until leaving 13,000 feet and that turbo-prop jets fly over the Peninsula at an altitude of at least 5,000 feet, residents have complained about the increasing frequency and noise level generated by low flying aircraft out of LAX.

The City Council has filed a complaint with the FAA and urges residents to complain directly to that agency to demonstrate the significance of this noise problem to Peninsula residents. When making a complaint, it is very important to include the time, date, approximate location, type of aircraft and any other identifying features of the incident.

The FAA has formed a task force to resolve some of these quality of life issues generated by regional airports and has assured the City that they will hold community meetings throughout the Los Angeles region to get public input.

Residents who have any questions about this matter should contact the City Manager's Office at 377-0360.

return to top 

If you're a fan of James Bond movies or Star Trek: The Next Generation, the letter "Q" might have one particular meaning, but if you're a horse-loving Rancho Palos Verdes resident, "Q" stands for the "eQuestrian" in the City's Equestrian Overlay Districts.

Setting the standards for these four "Q" Districts was one of the hottest topics during last year's revision to the Development Code. The biggest of these Q Districts is located in the beautiful Portuguese Bend area, with smaller ones existing in the neighborhoods along Palos Verdes Drive East, a portion of the Ridgecrest Ranchos tract, and in an area on the south side of Via Campesina near the Palos Verdes Golf Course.

In addition to establishing regulations for the Q Districts, the revisions to the Development Code also created a nine-member Equestrian Committee to implement those regulations. Recently, the City Council appointed residents to serve on that Committee: Richard T. Bara, Michael Bowler, Don Burt, Joe Deeble, Sherree Greenwood, Charlene O'Neil, Madeline Ryan, William D. Simpson, and Jeanne Smolley. Richard Bara was appointed Chairman.

Besides advising the staff, this Committee will also advise the Planning Commission and the City Council on the enforcement of these standards, and assist in solving disputes over the keeping of horses and other large domestic animals. Additionally, they will rule on permits for large domestic animals and, when necessary, initiate proceedings for abatement of public nuisances on private property. Their first order of business, however, is to develop guidelines for conducting Committee business and implementing the standards for the Q Districts.

Committee meetings will be held on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 P.M. in the Community Room at City Hall. For more information, please contact the staff liaison for this Committee, Associate Planner Kit Fox at (310) 377-6008.

return to top 



There is still time to become a member of the Los Serenos Docents and enroll in the next training classes that begin on Wednesday, March 18th. Classes are held on Wednesday evenings and on some Saturdays; one doesn't need a background in marine biology --only an interest and a desire to serve the community.

Docents lead tours at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, the Abalone Cove Shoreline Park tidepools, and the nature walks at the Ladera Linda Community Center located on Forrestal Drive. Members have the option of choosing which park they will focus on.

Class curriculum includes the study of whales, dolphins, sea lions, local history, the Peninsula's unique geological features, and the local flora and fauna. There are frequent guest speakers, field trips and more.

For more information about this exciting opportunity, call 377-5370 or stop by the Point Vicente Interpretive Center at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive West in Rancho Palos Verdes.

return to top

Cox Communications, the local carrier of cable TV on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, has installed over 100 miles of fiber optics since mid-1997 and there are still 20 miles to go. Cox is also replacing the electronic equipment that services City residents. This laying of cable and installation of new equipment does, however, require marking up sidewalks, digging up streets, and adding lines to utility poles.

These fiber optic cables will greatly increase the network's capacity for providing additional entertainment channels, cellular telephone service, carrying high speed data for computers, and providing digital television programming. All of these services will be carried to City residences over existing cable and will be available to subscribers late this year or early 1999.

Even though Federal law permits the cable company to access public utility easements, Cox is trying to keep disruption to a minimum and will notify residents by announcements on Channel 12 and by notification left at area homes a few days in advance of construction work. If a resident wishes to talk to Cox about any problem that may arise about work being done in a utility easement, please call them at (310) 377-1800.

return to top




After more than thirty years of public service, City Manager Paul Bussey has announced his retirement, effective July 1, 1998. Making this announcement to the City Council last November, Mr. Bussey said that the time had come for him to pursue interests that have long been postponed.

Mr. Bussey's public service career started with a tour of duty in Turkey for the U. S. Peace Corps. He then served as city manager for several cities in Southern California: La Palma, Carlsbad, and Loma Linda. He also served as Director of Governmental Administrative Affairs for the Mission Viejo Company.

In his letter to the City Council, Mr. Bussey said that while he has experienced regret in leaving other cities to pursue new challenges, in no other case have those regrets been as great as those he now feels in leaving Rancho Palos Verdes. Citing his good fortune in having a City Council who gave him the guidance and full support to carry out his responsibilities to the community, he also complimented City employees for their support and talent.

The City is using a consulting firm to assist in the search for a new city manager. It is hoped that the selection will be made prior to Mr. Bussey's departure.

A retirement party is planned for Saturday, June 20 at the Marina Hilton Hotel in San Pedro. Residents interested in attending should contact Jackie Drasco in the City Manager's Office at (310) 377-0360.

return to top 


Clean Up Day will be held on Saturday, May 16th. This is an opportunity to donate bulky items such as mattresses, furniture, and appliances instead of sending them to a landfill. An appointment for pick-up is required and can be made by calling (310) 541-6500 before Thursday, May 14, 1998. After establishing the pick-up time, place only those items listed in the YES column below, at the curb on Saturday, May 16. Goodwill Industries will collect the items for reuse and recycling; they will recycle ONLY the bulky items in the YES column below. Please review to determine if you have anything to be recycled.

Refrigerators and other appliances
Water or gas heaters, automobile parts, built in stoves
Tables, couches, bookshelves, drawers
Doors, windows, toilets, sinks, tubs, counter tops, cabinets, dirt, lumber, awnings, paneling, concrete blocks
Mattresses and box springs
Waterbeds, electric beds, hospital beds
Lamps, desks, mirrors
Ceiling fans, ceiling lights, swing sets, carpet, padding
Computers and other electronics
Air conditioners, swamp coolers, chest freezers
Chairs, office furniture
Dentist chairs, dome chairs, barber chairs
 Hazardous waste and chemicals, such as paint and pesticides
Note that some construction debris and renovation materials in the NO column can be collected and recycled by commercial trash haulers only; contact City Hall for lists of commercial haulers. Residents should contact their regular trash hauler to dispose of any large, bulky items that the Goodwill cannot accept.


return to top




No one will tell you that you need it until it happens --the sewer backs up into your house and you're left with a mess to clean up. That's generally when you find out about a "backwater" valve.

Sewers back up because of blockage in the main sewer line --that's the line connecting your household plumbing to the main sewer line in the street. A number of things can cause this blockage: deep rooted trees and bushes planted above or near the house sewer line, storm debris and garbage improperly thrown into the sewer. Often, blockage occurs in areas where the terrain is hilly and where homes are more likely to have plumbing fixtures below the sewer grade.

Although required by City code, check and see if you have a backwater valve and make sure it works. Such a valve in the lateral sewer line, properly installed and maintained, keeps sewage from traveling in the opposite direction, back into your house.

The backwater valve and the lateral sewer line to your house are not a part of the public sewer system. They are generally installed by the contractor who constructed your residence. Maintenance of these lateral lines and this valve is the responsibility of the property owner since both are located on (or underneath) private property and not in the public right-of-way.

Determining whether your house needs a backwater valve can be done by sight inspection. Find out where the lowest drain is located and then determine if that drain is above or below the elevation of the next upstream manhole. If you are unsure, have a plumber, contractor, or a building and safety inspector calculate the elevation to make that determination.

If you do have one of these valves, check it out periodically to make sure that it is still functioning and hasn't become damaged over the years. Using a snake or a roto-rooter can sometimes cause damage.


 return to top
This Web page created by Steve Peterson, student intern at Palos Verdes on the NET Computer Technology Center.