RPV Spring 2002 Newsletter

Spring 2002



City Manager's Office 310 544-5205
City Clerk's Office 310  544-5208
Finance Dept. 310 377-0360
Planning Dept. 310 544-5228
Public Works Dept. 310 544-5252
Recreation and Parks  310 544-5260
Building & Safety Dept. 310 541-7702


Calling From Your Home or From Your Car, Here's How it Works

The objective of the 9-1-1 system is to provide a rapid and effective way to request emergency help from any phone in the state. 

When a citizen seeks aid, 9-1-1 provides four major advantages:

.                     It removes doubt about the proper emergency agency because one call can bring multiple agency responses when needed.

.                     9-1-1 is easy to remember and the number remains unchanged from one location to another.   

.                     It is easy and fast to call, especially under stressful conditions, and

.                     When calling 9-1-1 from a regular telephone, a sophisticated identification system displays the caller's address and phone number, reducing the number of questions that need to be asked, thereby hastening the response time.

Calling From a Residence

The 9-1-1 system can work differently from one police department to another, however, when 9-1-1 is called from a residence in areas covered by the Lomita Sheriff's Station (Lomita, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and the unincorporated areas served by the Sheriff), the calls go directly to the dispatch desk.  The desk personnel determines what kind of assistance is required-law enforcement  or a medical emergency.  If the situation requires law enforcement, deputies will be dispatched. If it is a medical emergency, the call is then transferred to the Los Angeles County Fire Department for their response.  Occasionally, a deputy will also be sent on these medical emergency calls. 

Calling From a Cellular Phone

When 9-1-1 is dialed from a cellular phone, the caller is connected with the California Highway Patrol dispatch desk, not the local law enforcement agency. This call then goes to the local dispatch in the county the caller is in, so it is important that the caller know their whereabouts.  If an emergency occurs on a freeway, the caller needs to tell the dispatcher what freeway they are on and their approximate location.  If the caller is on a surface street and an emergency arises, it is very helpful for the caller to identify the city they are in so the call can be transferred to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.    

Use Only for Emergencies

9-1-1 should only be dialed for emergency situations.  It is important to listen to the person answering the call and to give them the information requested.  Even though these situations are very stressful to the caller, the dispatcher needs the information requested for the call to be responded to properly. 

In cases where 9-1-1 is mistakenly dialed, don't hang up.  The policy is to respond to the calling location even if there is a hang-up. 

9-1-1 is here to help, do your part to make it work effectively.



Stabilization of Canyon Costs $3M

During a particularly heavy rain one afternoon in March 1999, the City received word that a storm drain had overflowed and a muddy torrent was running through the yards of several properties off Palos Verdes Drive East.  After reviewing the situation, it didn't take the City's engineers long to determine that the over 30 year old storm drain system that ran from Palos Verdes Drive East down San Ramon Canyon, just east of Marymount College, was undersized and needed to be replaced.

Initially, replacing the storm drain seemed like a fairly straightforward public works project.  It would require the installation of 7,000 linear feet of new storm drainpipe and approximately 4,000 cubic yards of earth to be placed at the bottom on the canyon to provide a suitable base for the new drainpipe.  That was before the City discovered a large landslide on the east wall of San Ramon Canyon in early 2001 during the design phase of the project.

The County had installed the storm drain before the City's incorporation.  Shortly after the 1999 flooding, the City determined that the old storm drain, which lacked a proper outlet structure, had been dumping water unchecked into the bottom of the canyon for many years.  The annual storm water flows had been steadily eroding the east wall of the canyon and had exposed a slide plane near the bottom.

Upon closer examination, including boring three exploratory holes into the hillside, the City's geologist discovered that there were multiple potential slide planes that progress up the hill on the east side of the canyon, similar to a deck of cards.  Even if the toe of the landslide were to be buttressed with the 4,000 cubic yards of earth originally planned for the project, there was still the possibility of movement on one or more of the upper slide planes.  This potential movement would continue to threaten the City's new drainage facility, the access road, utilities and a dozen private homes and other improvements that sit above the north and east sides of the canyon. 

Almost overnight, the scope of the project expanded from approximately 4,000 cubic yards of fill to 75,000 cubic yards of fill in order to buttress the entire slope.  The priority of the project was elevated from a fairly routine project to an emergency because of the impending winter rains.  The next severe storm could remove the remaining support at the bottom of the canyon and cause a landslide, threatening the homes above.

With this threat looming, the City was spurred to action.  Within six months, the City completed the revised project engineering and design, obtained all the necessary permits from the various county, state and federal regulatory agencies, put the project out to bid and selected a qualified construction firm to build the project.

The contractor began trucking dirt to the site beginning in early October 2001.  The buttress fill was specifically designed to be built in two important phases.  The first, which included the placement of 25,000 cubic yards of dirt in the bottom on the canyon, was the minimum necessary to stabilize the toe of the landslide during the winter rains.  This amount of fill, in combination with a temporary storm drain that bypassed the landslide mass, would protect the surrounding properties in case it turned out to be a wet winter.  The first phase was completed on time in December of last year. 

The second phase, which has been ongoing since that time, includes the placement of the remaining 50,000 cubic yard of dirt and the installation of the new storm drain and outlet structure.  The City is currently on schedule to complete the grading for the project by April.  The installation of the new storm drain, as well as landscaping and installing surface drainage structures on the new fill slope and repaving the road the City has been using to access the site, are expected to be completed by this June.

The City owes a debt of gratitude to the surrounding homeowners who are being directly impacted by this project.  They have put up with a siege of their neighborhood by a battery of geologists, biologists, engineers, survey teams, construction workers, supervisors and all their various trucks, bulldozers and other equipment, not to mention as of all the dust, noise and inconvenience that has gone along with it.  Their cooperation and patience during the planning and construction of this project have been of critical importance to the success of the project and cannot be understated.

When all is said and done, the City will have spent over $3 million on the San Ramon Drainage and Landslide Stabilization Project, making it one of the largest public works projects ever undertaken by the City.  Because of the City's steep topography and unique geology, there is no guarantee that we will be able to completely avoid similar situations in the future.  However, the City is taking proactive steps to minimize this chance.  The City has completed a survey of all of its drainage systems and developed a priority list to guide the City's budgeting and Capital Improvement Projects to bring our aging storm water infrastructure up to modern standards and maximum efficiency.  It will take many years to complete this citywide upgrade, but the benefits will outweigh the consequences of allowing the system to continue to deteriorate.  The San Ramon Project was unique, and the City intends on keeping it that way!



The City Council has recently focused its attention on master planning issues that will guide the City for the foreseeable future.  Attention has been drawn to the need for long-range planning by renewed community interest in preserving open space, mitigating traffic problems and preserving the character of our City.

The City Council firmly believes that the current General Plan, created and adopted in 1975, is a masterpiece of visionary planning that has served the City well over the past 27 years.  However, the Council also acknowledges that certain portions of the General Plan are either outdated or factually incorrect and need a fresh look.  Some portions of the Plan that need to be reviewed and updated include traffic, geology and open space from the aspect of existing conditions as well as a vision for the future.

Included in the 1975 General Plan is a list of 28 Goals and 190 policies.  These goals and policies were generated by a "grass-roots" organization of over 200 City residents who formed themselves into thirteen committees to look at different elements of the General Plan including land use, recreation and parks, safety and fiscal policy and offer their ideas to guide the future of the City.  Most of these goals and policies are still very applicable.  A few may need to be modified or even deleted.  There may also be some new goals or policies to be added. 

As a first step toward updating the General Plan the City Council has proposed the re-creation of citizen groups to provide input into a revised list of goals and policies.  We believe the areas of focus will include the seven mandated General Plan elements that are: land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, safety and noise.  The grass-roots citizens committees may also wish to look at other areas of concern such as fiscal policies and social and cultural issues.

The City Council intends to appoint a Steering Committee to coordinate the overall process of developing goals and objectives and to facilitate the open discussion and interaction of all interested residents, which was instrumental in the development of the City's first General Plan. 

Although the details of the process are still in the formative stage we anticipate the Steering Committee will consist of two councilmembers and two planning commissioners and up to eleven additional members of the public who will represent a cross-section of the community.  Interested residents should consider how they would like to participate in the process and which issues they feel most strongly about. Let the City Council know your thoughts by e-mail, letter or telephone call.



  • Report specific noise complaints directly to the Los Angeles World Airports by calling the LAX Noise Line at 646-6473 or going on-line at www.lawa.org.  On the LAWA Home Page, click the "Noise Management" link to access the noise management complaint form. 
  • Write a letter to Congresswoman Jane Harman at 811 Catalina Avenue #1302, Redondo Beach,  CA., 90277.
  • Join P.A.N.I.C. (a Peninsula-wide citizen advocacy group against aircraft noise).  For more information visit their website: www.palosverdes.com/panic or call Beverly at 310-541-3026.


Mark Your Calendar for Thursday, June 27

Take advantage of the dog licensing and rabies vaccination clinic to be held at City Hall on June 27th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  County animal control officers will be on site to assist with dog license renewals and the purchase of new pet licenses.   The Southern California Veterinary Medical Association will be offering low cost rabies vaccinations for $5 for dogs at least four months of age.  The 6 in 1 vaccination that includes Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus will also be available for a fee of $12.  This vaccination is for dogs eight weeks or age and older.

You must have your pet's Certificate of Sterility and proof of current rabies vaccination to be eligible for the reduced dog license fee.

If you're unable to attend the clinic, you may download a dog license application form from the County's website at http://animalcontrol.co.la.ca.us



Pet owners must keep their dogs on a leash while walking them through their neighborhood, City parks or on trails.  (L.A. County Code 10.32.010). 



The Los Serenos de Point Vicente docents continue to conduct guided tours of the Ocean Trails Project.  The walks begin at the public parking lot at the end of La Rotonda Drive off Palos Verdes Drive South. These informal guided tours take place on paved, gently sloping trails along the bluff edge and though the habitat corridor.  Docents provide information about the history, geology, marine ecology and habitat restoration work of the Ocean Trails project.  Wear comfortable shoes and a hat and bring a small bottle of water.  Tours last approximately one hour and reservations are not required.

Tours for the next three months are as follows:

Sunday March 24 3:00 p.m.
Sunday April 28 3:00 p.m.
Sunday May 26 3:00 p.m.

The docents of Los Serenos de Point Vicente also offer hikes at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and Ladera Linda Community Center. These hikes are enjoyable for scout groups, schools, families or anyone interested in learning more about the Palos Verdes Peninsula.   Reservations are required for hikes at Abalone Cove and Ladera Linda, and a nominal fee is charged.  For more information, please call the hike line at (310) 377-0360, extension 264.



Traffic on PV Dr. West and South May be Delayed

On Saturday, May 18, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Kiwanis Club of Rolling Hills Estates is conducting a portion of their 36th Annual Palos Verdes Marathon along Palos Verdes Drive West and Palos Verdes Drive South in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.  If you live in this area or must travel this route on May 18, allow yourself extra time because traffic delays are probable.  The U. S. Track and Field sanctioned Palos Verdes Marathon is one of the oldest races in the country and attracts about 1500 runners from around the world.  The Kiwanis Club of Rolling Hills Estates donates proceeds from this race to local organizations and charities.  If you are interested in running in the race or would like to volunteer, please call the event organizers at (310) 828-4123.



Spring 2002 privatized recreation classes will be held at City park sites.  If you are interested in attending these classes, please call the following instructors or pick up registration information at Hesse Park.

Cherie Ackerman (310) 547-5073
Tap and Children's Combo Dance (4 years - Adult
Miwa Aiba (310) 371-5330
Love Yourself, Heal Your Life workshop (Adult)
Ann Bosma (310) 375-2064
Aerobic Dancing: Lite Impact (Adult)
Jennifer Corbo (310) 377-0429
Adult ESL (Adult)
Children's Arts & Crafts (5-10 years)
Children's Science & Nature (7-12 years)
Linda Edwards (310) 265-1875
Beginning Chinese (5-15 years)
Intermediate Chinese (7 years- Adult)
Jacquelyn Fernandez (310) 377-2965 
Exercise & Dance Fitness (Adult)
Janusz Haka (310) 944-9550
Art Class for Kids (8 years & older)
Karin Koralek (310) 374-6612
Yoga (Adult)
Jensu Mark (310) 397-6275
Tai Chi Chuan (Adult)
Sean McRoberts (310) 293-4890
Tennis -Beg./Int./Adv. (7 years-Adult)
Pee Wee Tennis (4-6 years)
Jeanne Murphy (310) 377-8507
Ladies Exercise (Adult)
Sachiye Nakano (310) 544-1624
Bones for Life (Adult)
Walt Ordway (310) 541-4007
Amateur Radio for Beginners (Teen, Adult)
Christina Ross (310) 377-3927
Movement for Health: Tao Yin Fa - Chi Gong (Adult)
Barry Sacks (310) 519-4622
Mommy & Me (18 - 30 months)
Wee Tots (2 ½ - 4 years)
Outdoor Adventures (5-10 years
Suika Education, Inc. (310) 323-5221
Suika Baby Club (Birth-3 years)
Suika Toddlers Club (3-5 years)

The Recreation & Parks Department is seeking instructors for a variety of classes for all ages.  If you are interested in teaching at one of the City park sites, please call the Recreation Supervisor at (310) 544-5267.



MTA Takes You There For Only $1.35

Tired of parking problems at Los Angeles International Airport? For $1.35 you can travel to LAX from the Peninsula in about an hour by riding MTA Route 225.

Route 225 operates between the Peninsula and the LAX Transit center every hour Monday through Saturday.  Once you arrive at the LAX Transit Center, LAX shuttle buses will take you directly to your terminal for free. The first trip leaves the Peninsula around 6:00 a.m. and the last trip leaves LAX at 7:05 p.m.

Stops are located on PV Drive North, Crenshaw, Silver Spur Road, Crest Road, Highridge Road, and at Malaga Cove Plaza. Every MTA bus stop sign notes the route number and final destination.Passengers can also use PV Transit routes to connect with the MTA to travel to LAX.PV Transit routes operate Monday through Friday from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Passengers can travel from major destinations on the Peninsula via PV Transit to connect with MTA routes.

For more information call the MTA at 1-800-COMMUTE or access their web site at www.mta.net. PV Transit can be reached at 544-7108 or on the web at www.palosverdes.com/pvtransit/



They're Back!  Apply Now

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes is pleased to offer the 13th Neighborhood Beautification/Recycling Grant Program. For the past 12 years, the City has awarded approximately $472,000 in beautification/recycling grants to hundreds of area homeowners associations and neighborhood groups.  These grants are funded from the revenues received from the sale of recycling material, such as bottles, cans, glass, newspapers and cardboard collected from the single-family and multi-family curbside recycling programs.  Not only are the recycling materials left at the curb, picked up and recycled, but the City uses the revenue from their sale to fund programs like the

Beautification Grants, Recycler of the Month awards and median improvements.

The Beautification Grant Program makes funds available to homeowners' associations, and neighborhood groups and ad hoc committees and multi-family complexes in the form of grants for projects that beautify areas visible from the public right-of-ways. Improvements such as installing neighborhood entrance signs, lighting, irrigation, fencing and planting are all eligible projects.  Applications have been sent out early in March and are due to the Public Works Department by May 30, 2002. If your HOA president has not received an application, contact the Public Works Department at (310) 544-5253 and ask for the Neighborhood Beautification/Recycling grant coordinator. Remember to recycle. Our entire community benefits from the beautification and the City benefits by reaching the 50% recycling state mandate.



The City's Recreation & Parks Department is accepting applications for the position of Recreation Leader, with a pay range of $6.98 - $9.09 per hour.

Opportunities are also available for working with REACH, a dynamic program for youth, teens and adults with developmental disabilities.  Program hours are weekday evenings and weekends. Applicant must be a high school graduate, have a valid California Driver's License, and be at least 18 years old.

Call 310-377-0360 for City application if you enjoy working with the public in a variety of park settings, learning about the daily operations of local government, and maintaining a flexible work schedule, apply NOW!



Get Started on Spring Cleaning

It's that time of year again when you can get rid of household hazardous waste the right way.  The County of Los Angeles is sponsoring another free roundup, so put this notice on the family's bulletin board. 

WHERE:  Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall/City Yard, Located at 30940 Hawthorne Blvd., one-half mile from Palos Verdes Dr. West.

WHEN:  Saturday, May 4th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Bring materials such as automotive fluids, brake fluids, paint, paint thinner, turpentine, cleaners with acid or lye, pesticides or herbicides, household batteries or car batteries, pool chemicals, and used oil or oil filters.  There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of waste per vehicle. 

Place your items in a sturdy box, preferably in their original, labeled containers. Do not mix hazardous materials. 

Explosives, ammunition, radioactive materials or materials from businesses will not be accepted.

For more information on household hazardous waste or storm water pollution prevention, please call (888) CLEAN LA, or visit the L. A. County Environmental Resources website at www.888cleanla.com



Don't get left at the curb: leave your cans out at the curb by 7 a.m. on pickup day.

Waste Management

March and April 2002:  No Changes

May 2002: Monday-Thursday areas will be serviced on Tuesday (May 28) and Thursday (May 30).  Tuesday- Friday areas will be serviced on Wednesday (May 29) and Friday (May 31).

June 2002: No Changes

July 2002: There will be no trash and no green waste service on Thursday, July 4th.  Monday-Thursday areas will be serviced on Monday (July 1) and Friday (July 5).  Tuesday-Friday areas will be serviced on Tuesday (July 2) and Saturday (July 6).

Ivy Rubbish Disposal

March, April, May and June 2002:  No Changes

July 2002:  There will be no change in the trash collection.  Recycling on Thursday (July 4) will be picked up instead on the following Thursday.



Rent From An Authorized Hauler

Many homes in the City are in the process of remodeling and it is not unusual for people to rent a dumpster to store the construction debris.  Following are the general guidelines you need to know if you are going to rent a dumpster:

  1. Only authorized haulers can provide dumpster service in the City. Several have been authorized by the City to do business here. If the company you have contacted is not authorized, check the City's web site for a list of authorized haulers or call the Public Works Department at (310) 544-5252.  Don't be caught with an illegal dumpster because the company will be asked to remove their equipment immediately.
  2. Any roll off container that is placed in the public right of way (on the street, by the curb) must have a dumpster permit.  This permit is issued by the Public Works Department and the cost is $50. If a dumpster is on your driveway or on private property, then a permit is not required.



Screen The Vents; Weatherstrip The Doors

Where natural foliage is plentiful, rats can flourish. They quickly become uninvited, destructive houseguests by climbing up utility wires and trees and then  crawling through holes and vents, or gnawing through wood siding and partitions. 

You can prevent and identify rat infestation by following these helpful hints.  Be aware that rats live in burrows or holes in the earth as well as above ground.  A quick survey of the area surrounding your home and garage can show clues if rats are harboring in trash, wood piles, or nesting in trees and dense shrubbery. Following are some indicators that rats may be present:

  • Droppings found near nesting areas, runways or feeding areas.
  • Noise-thumping, scraping or squealing in walls or attics.
  • Gnaw marks on fruit or branches, wood, cloth, paper or bags.
  • Smudges-black marks on exposed surfaces that result from rats rubbing their dirty hair against a structure.
  • Tracks-five-toed and up to one-inch in length.

How to keep rats out:

  • Repair or replace attic and foundation openings.
  • Screen roof vents, openings at intersecting roof eaves and where the chimney intersects the roof.
  • Weather strip garage door openings.
  • Close all openings larger than one-quarter inch.
  • Repair screens so they are  tight fitting around pipes, cables and wires.
  • Repair leaking plumbing.
  • Use quarter inch galvanized hardware screen or heavy gauge sheetmetal with rust resistant surface for sealing/repairing openings.
  • Remove any piles of trash, rubbish or debris. 
  • Elevate lumber, firewood or stored items at least 18 inches above the ground. 
  • Trim shrubs, vines and trees away from your house.
  • Remove all available food.  Cover all refuse containers, remove ripe fruit from trees or ground.  Remove leftover pet food. 
  • Clean and organize the garage.

If your home is rat infested, contact the County of Los Angeles Health Services Department at 323-881-4046 for information on appropriate control methods to rid your home of rats.  There is more information on this subject matter on their website http://lapublichealth.org/eh/index.htm.

(Information provided by the Los Angeles County of Health Services Department.)


Contributing Writers: Spring 2002
Carolynn Petru, Lauren Ramezani,Gina Park, Matt Waters, Sgt. Susan St. Marie, and Martin Gombert.
Photographs: Nicole Jules