Rancho Palos Verdes Winter 2002 Quarterly Newsletter

Winter 2002


City Needs Applicants For Advisory Boards

City Council Starts Interviews in February

The City has begun the recruitment process for candidates for the City's advisory boards. Residents interested in their City government are encouraged to get involved and apply for appointment to these various boards. All positions are up for appointment and applications are being accepted now through February 1st.

The seven-member Planning Commission oversees major planning applications, parcel maps, variances, conditional use permits and environmental impact report drafts. Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month.

The Traffic Committee, also with seven members, serves as a public forum for traffic-related issues including placement of stop signs, traffic signals, road modifications, safety devices and posted speed limits. The committee meets on the 4th Monday of each month.

The Recreation and Parks Committee is a seven-member committee that meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. This committee is charged with gathering public comment on matters of park planning, development, and financial planning relative to the utilization of the City's park sites.

The View Restoration Commission was created in response to a citizen initiative approved by the voters of Rancho Palos Verdes in November 1989 and promotes the balancing of the rights of residents with foliage and the rights of residents to restore views from their property that have been impaired by foliage.

The Commission accomplishes its purpose through a process of view restoration permit application, site inspections, public hearings and decisions on the application. This Commission meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. In addition, Commission members also participate in pre-application mediation meetings that are held 1-2 times a month. Serving on this Commission are ten members, including three alternates.

The Equestrian Committee addresses the issues associated with the maintenance of large domestic animals. Preferably, applicants for this Committee should be horse owners and be knowledgeable in the keeping and maintenance of large domestic animals. The Committee oversees the issuance of conditional large domestic animal permits pursuant to certain procedures, and the initiation of proceedings for abatement of public nuisances not in compliance with certain sections of the City code. This Committee meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month and consists of up to nine members.

The seven member Finance Advisory Committee participates in the long-range analysis of the City's financial future during its annual review of the Five Year Financial Model prepared by staff. The Committee assists the City Council by reviewing other projects that may have a financial impact on the City.

These appointments are non-paying volunteer positions that require attendance at evening meetings; all appointments have a four-year term of office. To qualify for appointment, applicants must be a resident of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Interviews for these boards will start during the month of February and applicants will be advised of the interview schedule by the City Clerk's Office.

Interested residents may request an application in writing or by telephoning the City Clerk's office, City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, telephone number 310-544-5208. Requests can also be e-mailed to CityClerk@rpv.com. More information about these advisory boards and an application can be downloaded from the City's website www.palosverdes.com/rpv.


Area "G" Helps City With Disaster Preparedness

Pooling Resources and Making the Right Connections

At the height of the Cold War when people were concerned about the threat of nuclear war, cities in Los Angeles County formed what used to be known as "civil defense" areas. The goal of these areas was to pool and improve coordination of resources. Cities in the South Bay formed Area "G" that included El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills Estates, Rolling Hills, Torrance and the unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County within the South Bay. Similar "areas" were formed throughout all of Los Angeles County.

Since the formation of these civil defense areas, and particularly after the breakup of the former Soviet Union, the areas broadened their scope of responsibility and developed an "all hazards" approach to disaster planning. The Cold War was replaced with earthquakes, fires, windstorms, floods, land movement, and technical hazards such as transportation accidents and incidents involving dangerous chemicals.

In the last few years, new issues have come under the purview of disaster planning: events such as tsunamis, power shortages, terrorism, cyber terrorism, and the threat of a pandemic.

Standardization of Equipment and Terminology

In 1991 the Oakland-Berkeley Hills fire destroyed 3000 homes. Efforts to extinguish that fire were hampered by the lack of standardization in terminology and equipment used by fire fighting agencies. For example, when the local fire department requested "aerial support," the California Division of Forestry (CDF) responded with a spotter aircraft that reports the location of a fire. Instead, the fire department wanted a water dropping aircraft to help fight the fire. Surrounding area fire companies that responded to the fire found that their hose couplings did not fit the local fire hydrants. Oakland had the necessary adapters in the fire stations, but not at the scene of the fire.

The Oakland tragedy resulted in the California Legislature passing the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) legislation that set uniformity throughout the State for all disaster management efforts.

Local Support And Training: Mutual Aid

In times of normalcy, Area G assists its members with disaster planning and training, and plays the very important role of liaison between the cities and the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Along with our neighboring cities on the Peninsula, Rancho Palos Verdes provides financial support for Area G according to a cost sharing formula developed in the 1960's.

To help other cities in times of disaster, Area G has a mutual aid or reciprocal arrangement and, when needed, our coordinator reports to the Los Angeles County Emergency Operations (EOC) center to serve as the liaison for the affected cities.

Mike Martinet is our Area "G" Coordinator and he has 13 years of experience in emergency and disaster management in addition to training at OES' California Specialized Training Institute and FEMA's Emergency Management Institute. The next training session that Mr. Martinet has planned for Rancho Palos Verdes employees is how to deal with the process of post disaster cost recovery.


City To Paint House Numbers On Curbs

Although curb painting serves a useful purpose for emergency service vehicles and for visitors trying to locate a home, over the years the City has received many complaints from residents about the pricing and collection tactics used by some of the private contractors who do this work.

Starting this coming spring, the City will start painting house numbers on street curbs as part of the annual residential overlay and slurry seal program. Residents will be notified well in advance of the start of this program and will be given the opportunity to notify the City if they do not wish their house number to be painted on the curb.

The annual cost to the City for this program is $7,500 and it will be paid for out of the City's general fund.


Docents Can Take You On A Hike At Ocean Trails

Offered Free To The Public

Los Serenos de Point Vicente docents continue to conduct guided tours of Ocean Trails. These hikes begin at the public parking lot on La Rotonda Drive just off Palos Verdes Drive South and 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. Participants are advised to wear comfortable shoes and a hat and to bring bottled water. Tours last about an hour and reservations are not required. Upcoming tours are scheduled for Sunday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m.

The docents also offer hikes at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and at Ladera Linda Community Center. These hikes are ideal for scout groups, schools, families or anyone interested in learning more about the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Reservations are required for these hikes and there is a nominal fee. For more information, call the hike line at (310) 377-0360, extension 309.


Going Downtown? Get On The Bus

PV Transit Provides Regional Connections

PV Transit, the little green and white buses you see around the Peninsula, provides connections to regional transit lines serving downtown Los Angeles and other areas. PV Transit operates Monday through Friday and runs five routes that serve residential, school, and commercial areas on the Peninsula; four of the routes connect at the Peninsula Library.

The adult PV Transit fare is $2.00 and transfers to the MTA routes are free. You can contact PV Transit at 544-7108 or at their website at palosverdes.com/pvtransit/ for more information on how to transfer between PV Transit and the following routes:

MTA Route 444 provides daily service between the Peninsula communities and downtown Los Angeles. The route begins on PV Drive South and travels north on Hawthorne Boulevard to Artesia Boulevard. The route travels on the Harbor Transitway to downtown Los Angeles. Service is provided between 5:00 a.m. and 8:38 p.m. and operates every 30-60 minutes. For additional information call 1-800-COMMUTE or use the MTA's website at www.mta.net.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation's (LADOT) Route 448 provides service between the Peninsula and downtown Los Angeles. The route starts on Crest Road at Crenshaw and then travels north on Hawthorne Boulevard to Pacific Coast Highway. Route 448 serves downtown Los Angeles via the Harbor Transitway. Four trips are operated daily during the AM/PM periods. For additional information call 1-800-COMMUTE or use LADOT's website at www.ladottransit.com.


Citizen Guide for More Effective Participation in Government

As part of his graduate work in earning a Master's degree in Public Administration, Greg Pfost, the City's Deputy Planning Director, prepared a study on citizen participation in government. The purpose for conducting the study was to provide citizens with better tools to effectively approach decision-makers.

Greg polled 32 planning directors in Orange County for this study. The survey instrument was a self-administered survey/questionnaire that focused on the approach that citizens use in working with decision-makers. A total of 29 questions were asked of the respondents. Of the 32 surveys mailed, 21 (or 65.6%) were returned and used in the study.

The study found that there might be a better way for citizens to more effectively work with decision-makers and build more productive relationships. It is Greg's opinion that any improvement in the process that would create a more participatory and effective citizenry would result in a positive effect on cities and the country, thus creating a better place to live.

The final product of his research, survey and analysis was the preparation of a brochure entitled, "How to be More Effective with Decision Makers - A Guide for Citizens on What to Do and What Not to Do When Approaching Decision Makers". The brochure gives citizens direction on the best and worst ways to approach decision-makers.

The City has elected to use Greg's brochure as a handout at City Council and Planning Commission meetings and at City Hall. Feel free to pick up a copy at City Hall or call the City and one can be mailed to you.


Household Hazardous

Hermosa Beach to Host Winter Round-Up

Rancho Palos Verdes holds annual roundups year during the late spring and early summer months. If you need to dispose of paint, household and car batteries, cleaners, turpentine, pesticides, herbicides, etc. sooner, try the Hermosa Beach roundup on Saturday January 26, 2002. The roundup starts at 9:00 a.m. and runs until 3:00 p.m. at Clark Stadium located on Valley Drive between 8th Street and 11th Street in Hermosa Beach.


Holiday Refuse Pickup Schedule

Leave all containers at the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day.

Waste Management (310) 830-7100

January 2002: There will no service on New Year's Day, Tuesday, January 1. Trash and recyclables scheduled for pick up on that date will instead be picked up on Wednesday, January 2. There will be no change in the Thursday and Friday collections.

February, March and April: No Changes

Ivy Rubbish (310) 530-2899

January: There will be trash collection as usual. Recycling pick-up scheduled for Tuesday, January 1 will instead be picked up on Friday, January 4.

February, March and April: No Changes

Remember, if you are you 65 or older, call your hauler and ask for the senior citizen discount.



Recreation Leader

The Rancho Palos Verdes Recreation and Parks Department
is accepting applications for the position of Recreation Leader.

The pay range is $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 weekdays, 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 an 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!


Go Native: Use California Plants

Homeowners looking for ways to decrease their monthly utility bills should consider planting drought tolerant native plants as part of their landscaping plan. Our climate on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is semi-arid and prone to long term drought conditions. California native plants are adapted to this type of climate and will thrive under dry conditions that cause many other common species to wither away. As an added bonus, California native plants are often pest resistant and require less care and fertilizer than non-natives.

Besides saving money on your water bill, the use of native plants makes sense from an environmental point of view as well. Although the City is striving to protect as much of the remaining open space as possible, the fact is that most of the original natural habitat has been lost due to development. By incorporating native plants into your landscaping, you can help to provide support for the native animals and insects that remain on the Peninsula. Using natives can also help to decrease the risk of invasive plants escaping from our gardens and crowding out native species in the remaining open spaces.

The size and diversity of native California plants is truly impressive and many of them offer beautiful foliage, interesting forms and abundant flowers. In recent years, the availability of these plants has greatly improved, making it easier to incorporate them into your landscaping. Here are just a few of the wonderful native plants that are available.

Black Sage (Salvia mellifera) - An upright plant, 2 to 5 feet tall, with very aromatic dark green leaves and noticeable pale blue flower clusters at nodes on long branches from April through June. This plant is most frequently used for slope stabilization and is highly adaptable to all dry, exposed landscapes.

Bush Poppy (Dendromecon sp.) - A large evergreen shrub that offers rich grey-green foliage and produces an intense display of sulpher yellow flowers from early spring into summer. Loose, well-drained soils, full sun and no summer water are basic requirements.

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) - The California state flower, this perennial shrub is 6 to 15 inches high with grey to green divided foliage and basal branches. Showy pale to deep yellow, or orange flowers occur early spring through summer. This plant prefers heavy, well-draining soil and regular winter moisture. In many gardens it is treated as an annual and can be encouraged to bloom longer if the dead flowers are removed. Best if grown from seed.

California Sunflower Bush (Encelia californica) - A many-branched evergreen shrub, 2 to 4 feet high and spreading 3 to 6 feet wide. Showy displays of yellow daisy-like flowers cover the plant from May through June. It is a popular slope and naturalizing plant that tolerates clay soils, sun and wind.

California Tree Mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora) - A large evergreen shrub to small tree, growing 10 to 15 feet high and 10 to 18 feet wide. Maple-like leaves are pale green and 2 to 4 inches across. Showy rose and white flowers, with distinctive veins, occur most heavily from March through June. It grows rapidly from seed or containers and is used for quick effects. Pruning can control size, density of foliage and can reveal the strong branch structure. Considered short-lived, to 10 years, but makes a good accent and specimen plant at early ages.

Catalina Perfume Currant (Ribes viburnifolium) - An evergreen clumping plant, that grows to 3 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide, with many long basal branches. It has rich, dark green leathery leaves that provide a pleasant fragrance when wet or crushed. Use as a ground cover under trees and in other areas of shade and dry soils. Tolerates heavy and clay soils on well draining slopes and works well on banks for erosion control.

Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia) - An evergreen shrub 4 to 15 feet high and 6 to 15 feet wide. This plant has thick, leathery leaves that are rounded with lightly toothed edges and strong veins on the underside. Noticeable clusters of pink to white flowers occur February through March, followed by flat berries to inch long which taste like sour lemon. Tolerates salt air and constant wind. It can be easily shaped into a hedge, small tree or can be espaliered.

Wild Lilac (Ceanothus sp.) - With over 40 varieties to choose from, this is one of the most popular California natives. This plant species can be found in the form ground covers, shrubs and small trees. Most varieties have small dark green deeply veined leaves and deep blue flowers that occur in dense clusters. A great accent plant, but tends to be short-lived, 8 to 15 years, and prefers coarse, well-draining soils (can be subject to root rot if over watered).

Woolly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum) - A small evergreen shrub, with an open branching habit. Distinctive blue-purple flowers on long stalks occur from spring into summer. Leaves are narrow, 1 to 2 inches long, dark green on top and covered with white hairs below. This is a striking accent plant when in bloom, in mixed wildflower beds and for naturalizing. It needs good drainage, full sun to part shade, and no summer water.

This is just a small sample of the many wonderful plants that are available. So the next time you are considering new plants for your garden, go native and use California native plants. They're beautiful, practical and they can save you money.


Got Old Appliances To Get Rid Of?

If you have old appliances-refrigerators, microwaves, and ovens that are in good working condition, call and donate them to one of the various charities such as Goodwill (562) 435-7741, Salvation Army (800) 958-7825 or, United Cancer Research (800) 443-4224.


Peninsula Emergency Response Team

Volunteer To Do The Most Good For The Most People

The Peninsula Emergency Response Team or "PERT" is a group of Peninsula residents trained to assist their families, neighbors and the community in the event of any disaster. PERT is used to supplement the efforts of fire, law enforcement and other emergency response teams during disasters such as earthquakes, fires and severe weather. Members are trained in fire suppression, search and rescue efforts, first aid and CPR, utility control, disaster medicine and how to handle hazardous materials.

The goals of PERT are to prepare your family and home to survive, to protect yourself first so you will be able to help others, to assist your family and neighbors in the event of a disaster and, to work as part of an emergency response team. Rancho Palos Verdes has been providing support to the PERT program since 1995 by purchasing supplies and jackets for its members.

The next training session for PERT starts on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 and will run for seven consecutive Wednesday nights through February 20. Classes are held at Peck Park Community Center located at 560 North Western Avenue in San Pedro. Classes are from 7:00 P.M. until 9:30 P.M. Registration for the classes is limited to 30 students.

Participants must be at least 18 years old, be a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills or Rolling Hills Estates, be willing to make a long term commitment to the group and be physically capable of moderately strenuous activity. For more information, contact Sergeant Dave Rozas with the Los Angeles County Sheriff - Lomita Station - at (310) 891-3227.


City Adopts Ordinance Regulating Skateboards

Signs to be Posted Citing Municipal Code

The City Council just recently adopted an ordinance prohibiting the use of skateboards, roller skates, inline skates and scooters on public and private property where notice of the prohibition has been posted. This ordinance becomes effective in early January 2002.

This ordinance was adopted after the City had received complaints from local shopping centers about the danger to pedestrians and motorists posed by the use of these devices.

Violation of this ordinance is an infraction and is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars for the first violation. The second and third violations within a one year period carry a fine of two hundred and five hundred dollars respectively.


Recreation Classes Offered At City Parks

Winter 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)

Kim Egan (310) 530-8762
Mommy & Me (Birth to Crawling)

Jacquelyn Fernandez (310) 377-2965
Exercise & Dance Fitness (Adult)

Richard Goodman (310) 548-3207
Tai Chi Chuan (Adult)

Janusz Haka (310) 944-9550
Art Class for Kids (8 years & older)

Karin Koralek (310) 374-6612
Yoga (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 the Beginner (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 - 4 years)
Winter Outdoor Adventures (5-10 years)

Suika Education, Inc. (310) 323-5221
Suika Baby Club (Birth-3 years)
Suika Toddlers Club (3-5 years)

Carla Walker (310) 521-9471
Tennis for Youth (2-10 years)

The Recreation & Parks Department is seeking instructors for a variety of classes for all ages, including children's cooking classes, youth arts & crafts classes, adult ESL classes, youth science & nature classes, youth sports programs, and more. If you are interested in teaching at one of the City park sites, please call the Recreation Program Supervisor at (310) 544-5267.


Recycling Facts

  • Last year the City received $120,000 of revenue from the California Redemption Value (CRV) for recycling of aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles.
  • This money was spent on beautification grants, median improvements and a total of $6,000 was awarded to the 24 residents who won the "Recycler of the Month" awards.
  • The City also received $80,000 from the sale of all recyclables such as paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastics.
  • Newspaper has the highest collection rate, followed by glass and plastics (milk, water and soda bottles).
  • To-date the City is in the low 40 percentile in meeting the State mandated fifty percent reduction in the amount of refuse sent to landfills.
  • Over 30% of the City's waste is "green waste" but only 15% of it is being recycled.
  • Green Waste is picked up on the second collection day of the week.


Christmas Tree Recycling

Leave your Christmas trees at the curb on your regular green waste recycling day (last pickup of the week). Make sure you remove the base and any ornaments (including any tinsel or garlands) before putting the tree out at the curb. You don't have to cut the tree into smaller pieces. Flocked trees will also be picked up and recycled.

If you live in a multi family complex such as a condominium, apartment or town home, ask your management company or homeowners association where the designated drop-off location is for the trees.


Live Webcasting Of City Council Meetings

Visit Website For This Pilot Project

The City had its first "livecasting" of Council meetings on December 4. The success of this event was due to the diligent efforts of Palos Verdes on the Net (PVNet). This is a pilot project and its goal is to enable anyone at any location to to view a live City Council meeting over the Internet. To view this livecasting, you need only Real Player software on your computer and connection to the City's website over the Internet.

Instructions to obtain Real Player are already on the Video page at http://www.palosverdes.com/rpv/video. A Quick Link to the live webcast can be found on the City Council page as well as at the News, Information and Other Links page of the City's website.

The RPV website already provides on-demand archived video replays of recent City Council and Planning Commission meetings. On-demand archived replays are available to view within two business days after the meeting. To view the meeting, just go the News, Information and Other Links page of the City's website, scroll down to the "Videos And Public Service Announcements" tab.


Mark Your Calendar For March 2 - Whale Of A Day

Tour the Historic Point Vicente Lighthouse

The 18th Annual Whale of a Day Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Plans are currently underway for the event to be held at the Coast Guard site at the Pt. Vicente Lighthouse. Due to the tragic events of September 11 and the need for additional security at military installations, however, the event may be moved to the Upper Point Vicente Park/Civic Center site. Check the City's web site at www.palosverdes.com/rpv or the local newspapers for updates.

This event, which celebrates the Pacific Gray whale's annual migration from the frigid waters of the Artic to the warm lagoons of Baja California, is co-hosted by the docents of Los Serenos de Point Vicente and the City.

The educational department from Sea World, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Natural History Museum, George F. Canyon Nature Center, the Native Plant Society, South Bay Wildlife Rehab, Madrona Marsh, Cabrillo Whale Watch, the Marine Mammal Care Center, the P.V.P. Land Conservancy, and the Aquarium of the Pacific are among those expected to participate in this day-long event.

Other highlights include children's crafts, activities and games, a marching band, whale watching from the cliffs, storytelling, exhibits, and craft and food vendors. Parking will be located at Long Point (formerly Marineland). Admission, parking and shuttle service are FREE! Join us for a Whale of a Day! For additional information, contact Holly Starr at (310) 544-5264.


Contributing Writers:

Lauren Ramezani, Mike Martinet, Nancie Silver, Carolynn Petru, Gina Park, Dennis McLean, Holly Starr, Greg Pfost and Jo Purcell.