Winter 1999


Table of Contents 

Preserving Peninsula Habitat


City Becomes Lead Agency for Preservation Plan


In 1991 the California Legislature enacted the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCP). This law set up a pilot program which relies on an unprecedented partnership between businesses, conservationists, local governments and state and federal wildlife agencies to reconcile environmental protection and economic growth.

The goal of the NCCP is to provide protection of natural wildlife diversity while allowing compatible land use and appropriate development and growth. This goal is achieved through regional plans which provide protection of an entire biological community that benefits many threatened and endangered species and also give assurances to participating landowners and developers by identifying areas that may be developed and what areas must be conserved.

Southern California's coastal sage scrub habitat is home to approximately 90 potentially threatened or endangered species and it is the first natural community to which the NCCP program has been applied.

Coastal sage scrub habitat is a unique mix of low, fragrant shrubs and plants that grow on dry hills and mesas. It is scattered over more than six thousand square miles in Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties and, to a lesser extent, in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

The coastal sage scrub community found on the Palos Verdes Peninsula has 2,080 acres of isolated and fragile habitat and represents only a fraction of the remaining Southern California habitat. Though relatively small in size, the Peninsula's community contains healthy concentrations of coastal sage scrub and endemic populations of protected species. Due to it's unique geography, the Peninsula also has a number of species not found in other Southern California coastal sage scrub communities.

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the largest and youngest of the four Palos Verdes Peninsula cities, contains approximately 60% of the peninsula’s coastal sage scrub habitat, as well as 870 acres of undeveloped privately held land.

Because of the high concentration and unique content of this habitat within the City and growing pressures for development of these areas, the City Council in February 1996 entered into a Planning Agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for preparation for an NCCP for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Subarea. Rancho Palos Verdes is the only Peninsula city that has entered into such an agreement; consequently, the "Palos Verdes Peninsula NCCP" is limited to land solely within this City.

As lead agency, the City has contributed considerable resources toward the implementation of NCCP. To-date, $150,000 has been spent on planning; and, for the last two years, the City has hosted monthly meetings with major landowners, state and federal agencies, and environmental organizations.

Furthermore, to foster the growth of a habitat preserve, the City purchased 160 acres in Klondike Canyon. Funding for this came from three sources: $4,300,000 from the voter approved 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. This site contains some of the best quality sage scrub on the Peninsula and the City intends to use it as the foundation of the habitat preserve.

This year, the City completed Phase I of the NCCP, which involved identifying and mapping the remaining natural resources in the City. Using this information, two alternative habitat preserve designs have been prepared. The City is currently underway with Phase II of the NCCP which involves an economic and biological analysis of the two alternatives to identify the preferred design for the City. Once that design is identified, the City will begin Phase III, which involves preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to identify the impacts of implementing the NCCP.

It is anticipated that Phases II and III will be complete by late Spring 1999. At that time, the public hearing process for approval of the City's preferred NCCP preserve will begin. Once approved by the City, the plan will then be forwarded to state and federal agencies for their approval. The entire process should be completed by mid-1999.

With an approved NCCP, the City hopes to achieve the following goals:

Maximize local control in habitat conservation by putting the decision-making on land use issues and mitigation requirements in the hands of the City as opposed to State and Federal agencies.

Protect and preserve the rich biological diversity of the City's existing habitat and through re-vegetation efforts, significantly add to the amount of existing habitat.

Safeguard prime habitat by preserving it in perpetuity, while allowing for compatible economic development in the City.

Create certainty regarding funding sources for re-vegetation efforts and maintenance of the preserve.

Anyone interested in learning more about the City's NCCP process is welcome to attend the monthly working group meetings. The meetings are held at 10:30 A.M. on the third Tuesday of each month at Hesse Park Community Center.

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18 Acre Site Offers More Walking Trails and Picnic Benches

Lower Hesse Park has sat idle for many years. That, however, is about to change now that one-half mile of trails, picnic tables and benches and landscaping have been approved by the City Council. Construction began in October and should be completed by the end of the year.

These improvements are the result of neighborhood efforts which began in 1994 when the local homeowners association requested that the City Council consider developing the site.

Funding for this project comes from the 1992 voter approved Measure "A" (Safe Parks Act), a grant from the State of California, Quimby Act fees and Environmental Excise Tax funds, both of which are paid by developers of private property in the City.

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Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 19
for some old-fashioned holiday fun with Santa.
Breakfast, crafts, carols and pictures with Santa
await children of all ages at Hesse Park from
9:00am to 10:30am. Bring your own camera.
Children $7; Adults $5. Registration forms at Hesse Park.
Call the North Pole at 541-8114 for more information.
All proceeds benefit the RPV REACH Program for
young adults with developmental disabilities.

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Statistics Show that Bad Habits Cause Most Accidents

Most people consider themselves to be safe drivers and tend to believe that accidents happen only to others who are not so careful. Statistics show, however, that it's the bad driving habits that we have acquired that are responsible for the majority of accidents.

In a six month sampling of traffic accidents occurring in the City, 23% percent were attributed to drivers making unsafe turns in traffic, 19% were caused by drivers following too closely, 18% by drivers failing to yield the right of way to vehicles posing a hazard, and 16% were caused by speeding. Rare is the driver who can admit that they're not guilty of at least one of these bad habits.

Safe motoring can be increased by drivers recognizing that although accidents cannot be entirely eliminated, they can be reduced if a few good habits are practiced:

t When making turns, give adequate signals and don't assume that the other drivers are aware of your intentions.

t Keep at least one car length between you and the car in front of you for every ten miles per hour of speed.

t Upon entering intersections or highways, yield the right of way to vehicles posing a potential hazard.

t Observe the posted speed limit.

t Be a courteous driver.

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Make a Tax Deductabile Gift to the Parks
Contribute to the New Exhibits at Pt. Vicente Intrepretive Center
Plans have been approved to expand the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center. Construction of this seven thousnad square foot addition will start in mid-1999 and will more than double the size of the Center.  This addition will house suport offices, meeting rooms and an enlarged exhibit area.

The journey of the Pacific Gray Whale, fossiles, tidepools, Tongva Indians, early explorers and whaling operations are some of the subjects which will be highlighted by these exhibits.  More recent topics such as the Frank Vanderlip vision for the Peninsula, the early Japanese farming operations and the impact of World War II on this area will also be featured.

City staff and the Los Serenos de Point Vicente docents are actively seeking donations from the community to help pay for these new exhibits.  All individual and corporate sponsorships will be recognized at the Center and are tax deductabile through the City's Gifts for Parks Program.

For additional information, please call the Recreation & Parks Dept. at 541-4566.


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Sign Up and Become a "Bird Dog"

The Lomita Sheriff's Station is looking for people to serve on their "Bird Dog" team. This is a civilian volunteer group that works in partnership with law enforcement to reduce crime and has been operating in the City since 1995. Working in teams of two under the supervision of a detective or deputy, "Bird Dogs" act as eyes and ears for the Sheriff's Department on planned surveillance details.

Instrumental in reducing graffiti, vandalism, car thefts and even bank robberies, Bird Dogs have also been deployed to assist with other crimes and problems such as scavenging of recyclables and mail thefts.

Each team member receives a minimum of 16 hours training in surveillance techniques, proper radio usage, emergency vehicle operations, and how to be a good eye witness. Team members are also encouraged to attend the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Community Police Academy.

Bird Dog meetings are held at 6:00 P.M. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Lomita Sheriff's Station.

Any questions regarding this program should be directed to Detective Marshall Baird at (310) 891-3218.

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Tips to Make Your Property Friendly
or UNFriendly to PEAFOWL
 You may be familiar with the sight and sound of peafowl visiting or living in your neighborhood.  For some residents, peafowl are welcomed creature of beauty; for others, their presence is unwelcomed.  For residents unfamiliar with the particular likes and dislikes of peafowl, the City has a few suggestions to either attract or discourage them from visiting your property.

Peafowl can be enticed onto your property by planting their favorite food such as Amaryllis, lettuce, begonias, Nasturitums, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, petunias and cabbage, to name but a few.

If, on the other hand, you don't want them around, thereis no guaranteed way to stop them from visiting your property.  You might want to try some means of prevention:

Peafowl are signature animels and and long-time inhabitants of some neighborhoods of in Ranch Palos Verdes.  The City's policy has been to leave them alone, unless they are injured.  Any resident may report an injured peafowl to the County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control at (310) 523-9566.

(Information relating to plants was ovtained from Wacky World of Peafowl, Dennis Fett & Debora Buck.)

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If you are looking for a meaningful way to help people in need and at the same time learn communication skills, then consider becoming a volunteer for the Community Helpline. This is a confidential 24-hour listening referral and crisis telephone service that offers adults, college students and teens a worthwhile opportunity to help others.

Volunteers participating in the Community Helpline, the Teen Helpline, and the "PhoneFriend" --the Kids Helpline, give callers empathy, support, and options including referrals for shelter, legal aid, child care, transportation, drug rehabilitation, support groups, and counseling.

Volunteers are given a six week course in listening and communication skills. These classes start February 16 and run through March 25, 1999. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 P.M. until 9:30 P.M. at Fred Hesse Park. Summer classes start on June 21, 1999.

Facilitated by mental health professionals, these classes cover listening and problem solving techniques, loss and grief, teen issues, relationships, addiction, divorce and separation, family violence, and crisis calls. Volunteers learn valuable techniques they can use in their own relationships. Scheduling your time to volunteer is flexible. . . days, evenings, or weekends.

Adults and seniors are encouraged to participate. Teen volunteers can earn community service hours. To register for training classes or for additional information, call (310) 377-7070.

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Doing Business in the City
Time to Renew Business Licenses
All business activity performed within the City requires the owner to obtain a business license.  This includes home activity being undertaken within a residential area (i.e., a home office for any type of income-producing activity).  Additionally, any service providers such as handymen, gardeners or contractors, whether based in the City or in any other municipality, are also required to be licensed.

In early December, the Finanace Department will mail the 1999 business license application to all currently licensed business within the City.  This application should be completed and returned with payment for the license to the City Hall by February 1, 1999.

If you are currently operating a business without a City license or have any questions regarding the renewal process, please contact, the Business License Coordinator at (310) 377-0360.

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Leave the Driving to PV Transit

PV Transit will be offering their special transit services again on New Year's Eve. This public service is free and has won praise from local law enforcement agencies and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Service will start at 9 p.m. on December 31 through to 3 a.m. on
New Year's Day. Call (310) 519-1276.

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Faced with Flattened Fauna?

Call Los Angeles County Animal Control at (310) 523-9566 to request the removal of dead animals on City streets. Remember to note the nearest cross street for reporting purposes.

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Candles: Set the Mood, Don't Set a Fire!
The use of candles can be traced back to biblical times. While used as the main source of light prior to the advent of electricity, candles have always played an important role in religious ceremonies, as decoration on festive occasions, and even for the romance they create. "Aromatherapy" has made them even more popular and widely used.

All of these good uses aside, however, there are still some basic rules to follow when using candles for any reason:

t Always use a candle holder or a heat resistant surface.

t Don't leave a burning candle or melted wax unattended within the reach of children or pets. Children may not realize how hot the wax is because it does not boil or steam.

t Keep burning candles away from drafts because it will cause them to burn unevenly, drip and smoke.

t Never lean too close to a burning candle especially if you are wearing hairspray.

t Keep the wick trimmed to about 1/4 inch to prevent smoking.

t Don't allow match stubs or other foreign material to remain in the top of a burning candle.

Improper use of burning candles can result in property damage to the extent that people can be made homeless. Be fire safe this holiday season and all year around.

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City's Refuse Hauler Contract Due to Expire

The City's current waste hauling contracts with Waste Management of Los Angeles and Ivy Rubbish Disposal will expire in February 2000. If issues such as the frequency of refuse collection, methods of collection, recycling, and rates are important to you, then you should return the questionnaire mailed to you in mid-November.

Public meetings and workshops to discuss the City's contract are planned to be held in early 1999 -- check the Reader Board and the City's website at for date and time.

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Now is a great time to take brisk walks along the shoreline and to take advantage of the seasonal low tides. And, if you want to learn about the Abalone Cove tide pools and their inhabitants, then take the family for a hike with a Los Serenos docent.

This beach has two tide pools teeming with marine life: sea urchins, anemones, sea stars, just to name a few. A guided tour with a City volunteer can fill you in on the life of these creatures. These pools are federal preserves and removal of shells or sea life is prohibited.

For a nominal fee, you can have a guided tour of these tidepools. Reservations are necessary. For more information or to make reservations call the City's Hike Line at (310)541-4566, ext. 309.


Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 6, 1999 for the Fifteenth Annual "Whale of a Day" Celebration. Co-sponsored by the Los Serenos de Point Vicente docent organization and the City, this annual event is held at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, located at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive West, next to the Point Vicente Lighthouse.

Activities include a children's area, educational exhibits, story telling, vendor booths and much more. This event celebrates the annual migration of the Pacific Gray whales along the Southern California coastline. Bring your binoculars and your curiosity and join other whale aficionados for this event. Admission is free. For more information, call (310)377-5370.



The season for watching the Pacific Gray whales on their annual migration is upon us and the Point Vicente Interpretive Center is one of the premier viewing spots along the West Coast. Last year over 2,800 whales were sighted by visitors to the Center.

These magnificent mammals make a ten thousand mile journey from the frigid waters off Alaska to the warm lagoons of Baja California where they bear their young. By February they can be seen on their return journey, with sightings being made as late as April.

Visitors can have a tour of the whale exhibition at the Center year-round. Winter operating hours are 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

For more information on the whale migration, volunteer opportunities or exhibits, please contact the Center at (310)377-5370.


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Christmas Tree Recycling
'Tis the season...for Christmas Tree Recycling. This year's Christmas tree recycling program will be more convenient than ever. To participate, residents need only to place their Christmas tree at the curb on their regular trash day.

The waste hauler will pick up and recycle all Christmas trees that are placed at the curb from December 26, 1998 through Saturday, January 16, 1999. Prior to placing the tree at the curb, please remove all decorations, including any tinsel or garlands. Your tree will be taken away to be ground up and recycled. Frosted trees will be picked up but cannot be recycled.

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December: There will be no trash pick-up on Friday, December 25, Christmas Day. Trash scheduled for Friday, December 25 will instead be picked-up on Saturday December 26. There is no change to the regular Saturday pick-up schedule.

January: There will be no trash pick-up on Friday, January 1, New Year's Day. Trash scheduled for Friday, January 1 will instead be picked-up on Saturday, January 2. There is no change to the regular Saturday pick-up schedule.

February & March: No Changes.


December: There will be no service on Friday, December 25, Christmas Day. Trash and recycling will be picked up on Tuesday, December 29.

January: Trash will be picked up on Friday, January 1. Recycling will be picked-up on the Following Friday.

February & March: No Changes.

Help the City recycle. Do you have gardeners or landscapers working on your property? Tell them to put tree trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, weeds, etc. in an empty trash can--not in plastic bags. Then place a green waste ribbon/tag on the can and place it curbside on recycling day.

No other refuse should be mixed with the greens because this contaminates the green waste and cannot be recycled.

If you need additional green waste ribbons/tags, or want English/Spanish instructions for your gardeners, call Public Works at 541-6500, or Waste Management at 768-3111.

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Privatized recreation classes for the Winter Session will be held at City parks. Residents interested in attending these classes can get registration information at Hesse Park, or by calling any of the following instructors.

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)

New Parents and Baby - evening class (Birth to 1 year)

Ann Bosma (310) 375-2064

Aerobic Dancing: Lite Impact (Adult)

Magda Cianciara (323) 466-1195

Yoga (Adult)

Herb Clarkson (310) 377-6342

Amateur Radio class (Teen/Adult)

Stan Corzine (310) 318-2690

Tai Chi Chuan (Teen/Adult)

Jacquelyn Fernandez (310) 377-2965

Exercise & Dance Fitness (Adult)

Kaplan Education Center (800) 527-8378

PSAT-SAT Classes (Grades 9-12)

Sean McRoberts (310) 792-9159

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

Mommy & Me (18 - 30 months)

Wee Tots (2 1/2 - 4 years)

Winter Outdoor Adventures (5-10 years)

Suika Education, Inc. (310) 323-5221

Suika Baby Club (Birth - 3 years)

Carla Walker (310) 521-9741

Tennis for Youth (2-10 years)

If you are interested in teaching classes at any of the City's parks, contact the

Facility Coordinator at Hesse Park at 541-8114.


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