Keeping Your Car Safe From Electronic Thieves

I originally wrote this post in June of 2016. Over the years, I’ve continued to point people to this post as they continue to post on NextDoor that they can’t believe they left their car door unlocked….

Last week, I started keeping my car keys in the freezer, and I may be at the forefront of a new digital safety trend.

From Osage to Kentwood, our neighbors have been reporting that their cars are being broken into, even though there are no outward signs of the breakin.

Law enforcement’s response? “Surely you must have forgotten to lock your car.”

As usual, the bad guys are miles ahead of law enforcement.

Turns out that for less than $100, a creep on a bike can can pull your door handle and your car will obediently call out for its key. While generally your car will only call out for a couple of feet, there is a cheap device available that will amplify the call significantly further.

If you’re like me and your key is 50′ away on the kitchen counter, this is bad news for the expensive sneakers I keep in my trunk.

So, what to do? Apparently keeping your keys in the freezer is one answer. I bought one of these instead.

Please Tell The County We Need A Safe Parking Program

Photo courtesy of The LA Times. Click the photo for the source article.

Comments to the County are due by Monday. I’ve made it super simple to comment by sharing the link and a proposed comment for you below.

As you might know, the City was sued a few years ago by a group of homeless people who had been prosecuted under the City’s “no vehicle dwelling law.” The 9th Circuit (one step below the Supreme Court) said that our law was vague and unconstitutional and the City paid out $1.1 million to the attorneys as a result of losing that lawsuit.

The Court basically told the City how to fix the law, but the City was gun-shy and did nothing for several years. The ultimate response by the City was LAMC 85.02 with the map that we’ve all heard about. 85.02 became effective in January 2017 and enforcement was supposed to start in February.

Fast forward a few months and 85.02 is still not being enforced! The RV problem is getting worse everyday in 90045/PdR. If you look at the map, Manchester from Sepulveda to the beach is either red or yellow. Red is no parking ever, and yellow is no overnight parking. People are counting RVs parked on Manchester in the double digits and those rigs aren’t moving (violations of both 85.02 and parking laws against parking longer than 72 hours in one place).

One of the issues raised in the civil rights lawsuit was that the City shouldn’t be prosecuting people for being homeless. This is still a conundrum under the new law and possibly why the new law isn’t being enforced (along with, apparently, the problem of having to enforce in person with RV dwellers simply not answering the door).

One of the suggestions that I learned about when I attended a homelessness forum last year was to offer Safe Parking to the RVs in exchange for a promise to get on a City-sponsored path to housing. If a vehicle dweller (lots of people are living in cars, as well as RVs) doesn’t agree to the offer, they can be legally removed from our streets. That is, they are not being prosecuted for being homeless because homeless people will agree to the City’s offer of housing help (not 100% true, but we’ll leave that part of the discussion for another day).

Thus, having a safe parking alternative for the homeless RVers gives law enforcement the ability to run everybody else out. Presumably, this solves the issue of the rolling crime scenes posed by other RVs, as well as the lifestylers who want to live in our beach community without paying taxes or for services.

It’s a fair and legally enforceable solution.

So today I saw on NextDoor that Los Angeles County officials are seeking public comment on the preliminary spending proposal for the estimated $355 million to come annually from the Measure H sales tax increase approved by voters in March to reduce homelessness. Possibly it isn’t on their radar because the Safe Parking proposal is a City idea, but I’m bothered that the County isn’t allocating any of the money that I’m paying and that I voted to support to a solution that gets rid of the RV’s.

The Safe Parking Program is the solution we need.

I’m asking everybody to take one minute to register a comment with the County right now. Here is the link to submit comments.

Feel free to cut and paste the comment that I left at the bottom in the General Comments section:

Where is the money for a Safe Parking Program? We need to immediately start separating the RV’ers on our streets who need housing assistance from the rolling criminal enterprises. This is critical and glaringly absent from what I see above. Please, please allocate some of the Measure H money to this important initiative.

The “above” reference is my comment refers to all the categories of $ allocations that you’ll see on the form before you get to the General Comments section. Here is the link again to submit comments.

Please take two seconds right now to click that link and leave that or another comment asking for an allocation for Safe Parking so that we can start cleaning up the criminals and lifestylers. And then, take another minute and share this post with 10 friends. Even easier, post a link to this article on your Facebook page. Comments are due Monday by 5 pm. 

New Laws For 2017

Put Down That Cellphone!

Drivers are no longer permitted to hold a cellphone or electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle. The device must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver.

Shop Cell Phone Car Mounts

Another option is to affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag. The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it.

Shop Cell Phone Car Mounts

An Uber driver recently recommended this one to my husband.

Car Seat Update

Children younger than two must sit in rear facing car seats. The law will not apply to children who weigh more than 40 pounds or are 40 inches or taller.

New Driving Under The Influence Rules

Those convicted of driving under the influence must install a device in their cars that would ensure they are sober before they can start the ignition.

Drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can’t have a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or more.

Ripped From SVU

Prison time will be mandatory for those convicted of assault in which the victim was unconscious or not capable of giving consent because of intoxication.

Synthetic Drug “Spice”

A ban is in place on possession of a synthetic drug called “spice.” The first offense would be an infraction; the second or third offense would be a misdemeanor.

Cyberbullying Is Grounds For Expulsion

Public schools can now expel students for bullying through video or sexting. State education officials will be required to publish information on sexual cyberbullying online and encourage schools to teach students about sexting.

New Regulation For Semi-Automatic Rifles

People will no longer be able to buy semi-automatic rifles that have a bullet button allowing removal of the ammunition magazine. Those that have such weapons will have to register them with the state.

No e-Cigs Within 250′ Of Youth Sports

Smoking or use of electronic cigarettes within 250 feet of any Little League baseball game or other youth sports event is now illegal.
Want to save an animal trapped in a hot car? As long as you call authorities first, you won’t be held legally liable for breaking into the car.

Would You Like Wine With That Haircut?

Beauty salons and barbershops can now offer patrons a free beer or glass of wine.

For complete information on bills enacted in 2016, please refer to the Legislative Counsel website.

Source: local.nixle.com/alert/5812308/

Big Conversations In 90045 This Week

90045 Chatter

westchester ca trending, #90045, about westchester ca 90045, 90045 newsThis is a weekly roundup of the 90045 online chatter that catches my eye. I tend to hang out mostly on NextDoor and the Moms’ Facebook Group, although I do loosely follow other neighborhood-related platforms. After each blurb below, I reference which platform the conversation is happening on and how you can find it.

The Moms Facebook Group is “secret.” This means that you can’t find it on Facebook unless you are a member. Email me at tracy @ living90045.com and I’ll get you hooked up. It’s a very worthwhile resource for moms and it’s open to moms from 90045, PdR and Playa Vista.

By the way, NextDoor is pretty restrictive with how you deal with your neighbors. There may be super active conversations where the original poster didn’t include my neighborhood, Kentwood South. If you see big conversations that you think the wider 90045 community might want to be aware of and you don’t see Kentwood South tagged, send me a summary and I’ll include it in the roundup.

With that, let’s look at the chatter that caught my eye this week.

Big Event Trashes Westchester Park

This was by far the most active thread on all platforms this week. There is a group that apparently reserves the park each year on Labor Day. This was the 19th year for their event, but I’m not sure how many of those years have been at the park. Thousands turned out this year. For whatever reason (several have been floated), their trash was left all over the park in trash bags. The group had paid for clean up with their permit, but it appears that park personnel dropped the ball and allocated all available trash recovery resources to Venice. Our trash sat out overnight and between birds and homeless people, the bags were ripped apart and the park looked horrible on Monday. I happened to drive by and almost choked. Much finger pointing followed on social media, as you can guess. NextDoor, search “westchester park.” Moms Group, search “westchester park” and “post an update.”

Starting To Look Like We Have More Coyotes Than People

Coyotes are still dominating the conversation and are getting their own town hall. Search NextDoor for “coyotes,” and prepare to be reading for awhile. One interesting development is that the pro-coyote voices are surfacing on the threads. The coyotes even got some play on the NBC4 news.  The town hall is scheduled for September 28th. I don’t see an event set up on ND yet, but mark your calendar and stay tuned. We’ll put the event on our events calendar when the details are released, too.

I’m also seeing people share links to buy wolf urine. Apparently, wolves eat coyotes, so you can see the appeal, I guess… If you’re really, really into this topic, don’t miss NextDoor’s “need your help for coyote stakeout.”

Stop Signs Mean “Stop”

Traffic is totally out of control in our little burg and I’m not the only one to notice that lately people are either driving so fast that they don’t see stop signs or they assume nobody is coming the other way and choose to ignore the signs. I’ve seen more than one instance of a person not even slowing down for a stop sign. Are these waze cut-through drivers? Seems like I’m pretty deep in the neighborhood for that, but who knows what’s going on. Passionate discussion on NextDoor, search “stop at stop signs” and “slow down.” On a related topic, search NextDoor for “fed up with speeding cars.”

Darned Realtors

Suddenly a few realtors have decided that NextDoor is a good place to peddle CMA’s. CMA’s are “free” home valuations offered to flush out potential home sellers. I use that as a marketing tool myself and really enjoy strategically digging in on a valuation because they are more art than science, but I digress. One guy offered the service and got a lot of takers, so now another is jumping in. I’m trying to be on my best behavior and not pile on, but the next thing you know, our NextDoor feed is going to look like our porches. Yet, so hard to take the high road. 🙂

Abandoned Dogs In Westchester Get Love

Twice now I’ve watched chatter on NextDoor follow a dog from being found in our neighborhood, going to the shelter, and then out of the shelter to a furever home. Really, I see it all the time, but a couple of times, the community really super engaged in the conversation and supported the dog with shelter visits, offers to foster, lots of sharing about the animal’s availability and adoption. For one of my favorite recent threads, search NextDoor for “update on beautiful pit mix.” These stories are extra heartwarming when the dog is a pit bull and likely to languish in the shelter without our love and intervention. We have a lot of love for the animals here in 90045 and I think that’s super cool. ❤

Flea Season

What else can I say. Active conversation on NextDoor (search “fleas”).

Water Conservation Citations

A mom on the moms group provided a heads up that there is no hand watering allowed between 9 am and 4 pm any day of the week. She was cited when a city official came around and found her gardener watering. I had no idea. Did you? This mom got a first violation warning, but reports that fines run $100-$600. Ouch! By the way, don’t think that you’re ok because you don’t see a patrol. This mom got her ticket in the mail. Moms Group, search “PSA.”

Moms Care

For weeks I saw people of NextDoor making fun of the woman living out of the ice cream truck on Manchester at Sepulveda. Leave it to the moms to take up her cause. A mom with a non-profit homeless outreach program posted asking for information and the moms swung into action. They started watching her to see if there were others involved (child reported, possible pimp reported), sending information to the outreach mom about her activities and whereabouts. Homeless moms on the street can be a tricky business, but the outreach group is on the job, trying to get help for this woman. Moms Group, search “our non profit, SFS.”

There you go, friends! Now you’re in the 90045 know! Did I miss anything? Drop it in the comments for your neighbors!

Would you like this 90045 roundup delivered weekly to your inbox? Subscribe our Westchester Weekly.

Big Conversations In 90045 This Week

westchester ca trending, 90045, about westchester ca 90045, 90045 newsAs I mentioned when I started this column, this is a weekly roundup of the 90045 online chatter that catches my eye.

I tend to hang out mostly on NextDoor and the Moms’ Facebook Group, although I do loosely follow other platforms. After each blurb below, I reference which platform the conversation is happening on and how you can find it.

The Moms Facebook Group is “secret.” This means that you can’t find it on Facebook unless you are a member. Email me at tracy @ living90045.com and I’ll get you hooked up. It’s a very worthwhile resource for moms and it’s open to moms from 90045, PdR and Playa Vista.

By the way, NextDoor is pretty restrictive with how you deal with your neighbors. There may be super active conversations where the original poster didn’t include my neighborhood, Kentwood South (don’t even get me started on why Kentwood is divided :)). If you see big conversations that you think the wider 90045 community might want to be aware of and you don’t see Kentwood South tagged, send me a summary and I’ll include it in the roundup.

With that, let’s look at the chatter that caught my eye this week.

Coyotes Still Leading The Conversation

A neighbor in Kentwood South was walking her dog at 6 am at Kentwood/83rd, and found herself being tailed by a coyote. She started running. Bad idea. The coyote chased. Then she started screaming and acting erratically and scared the coyote. DON’T RUN. Read this to remind yourself what to do when confronted by a coyote. Nextdoor (search “coyote” and get some popcorn). If you haven’t seen the Coyote Sightings Map, you can find it here. Email coyotewatch911@gmail.com to add sightings and attacks to the map.

Westport Heights Traffic

DOT recently put up new signs, but apparently the Waze crowd didn’t get the memo. Fortunately, one of the very tech savvy moms on the Moms Facebook Group thought to message Waze directly about the signs. She got an email yesterday that they’ve updated the app, so hopefully lighter traffic is around the corner. Other neighbors are not buying it, citing all the new apartments coming on line in our area. Nextdoor (search “traffic on 74th”). School is back in session and sadly, we all commute our kids someplace else. This is probably not helping the overall traffic situation. Moms Facebook Group (search “INCONCEIVABLE SUCK MODE”). LAPD was onhand at one point to greet people who ignored the new signs. NextDoor, search “78th/La Tijera.”

The Ring Is Hanging In With Coyotes & Traffic As A Popular Topic of Discussion

Big discussion this week about a trio of young people door knocking to sell magazine subscriptions and to “meet their neighbors.” Old problem, but the difference is that we’re all talking about them before they hit our door AND we’re posting Ring footage. Nextdoor (search “girl casing 7800 block of bleriot” and “burglar-to-be” and “young female going door to door”).

What Are You Putting In Your Recycling?

I posted myself this week on NextDoor that I came home in the middle of the afternoon and found some of my recycling on the street. Knowing that I had thrown in my office recycling at the last minute that morning, I opened the can and found that the trash picker had taken only the sheaf of papers on top and not dug any further. I’m usually pretty good about shredding sensitive documents and am hoping that I didn’t mess up and toss a piece in I shouldn’t have. This guy was clearly not looking for cans and bottles. NextDoor, search “recycling.”

Cars Speeding Through The Neighborhood

Traffic sucks. Everybody is frustrated … and late. Where they can, people are cruising through stop signs and speeding down side streets. Everybody thinks they want speed bumps. Unfortunately, that program got cut in the last round of budget cuts. NextDoor, search “fed up with speeding cars” and “near fatel incdent” (sic).

Solar Panels – Lease or Buy?

Buy! NextDoor, search “anyone install to solar city.” I got a good giggle this week when I heard a solar commercial on KNX 1070 where the announcer made a joke by sub’g the word “fleecing” for leasing.

Re-doing Your Bathroom?

A neighbor posted that she is looking for design help and 25 comments and recommendations followed. Hope that helped her overwhelm. 😉 NextDoor, search “help with bathroom design.”

Update On Apartment Construction At 74th & La Tijera

This item didn’t meeting my 20 comment criteria, which surprised me. I guess we’ve given up. Anyway, it’s a detailed update which you can find on NextDoor, search “constructions activities.” Upshot? The site has been cleared environmentally and they are getting ready to drill piles. Oh joy. One comment from the original poster also details the traffic impact of the project.

Celebrity In Town

Juan Gabriel, a huge Mexican music celebrity passed away earlier this week and was brought to the mortuary at La Tijera & 74th prior to being flown to Mexico. Legions of fans came to town to pay their respects. NextDoor, search “news everywhere.”

The Shooting That Wasn’t

Seems like a distant memory now, but a loud bang roiled up Terminal 7 at LAX on Monday. Nobody knows what happened, but I’m pretty sure that one guy won’t be traveling anymore in his Zorro costume. The emergency systems were woefully inadequate. I got the all clear text at 10:30 pm twice, but no text of a problem in the first place. No problem, I have NextDoor. NextDoor, search “terminal 7” and “possible shots fired” and “lax on lockdown.” And the news helicopters! What a pain. Flying for hours after that all clear text. NextDoor, search “fly home news copters” and “hearing helicopters.”

Public Safety Town Hall

Another important announcement that isn’t getting much chatter. Mike Bonin and LAPD will be on hand Wednesday, Sept 7th to discuss crime in Westchester/PdR. NextDoor, search “crime prevention.”

Moms Helping Moms

One of my favorite threads every month on the Moms Group is the thread on the 1st day of the month where moms are invited to promote their businesses. Check it out to support local moms and small businesses. And please let them know that you got the tip here. I’m working on all those mamas to come write for us here at Living90045. 😉 Moms Facebook Group (search “Moms Helping Moms”

Back To School Lunch Woes

Does anybody have a kid who isn’t a picky lunch eater? Of course kids get about 10 minutes to eat their lunch at school, which makes me crazy, but I digress. Search “lunch support” on the Moms Group for suggestions on lunch boxes and things to put in those lunch boxes.

There you go, friends! Now you’re in the 90045 know! Did I miss anything? Drop it in the comments for your neighbors!

Would you like this 90045 roundup delivered weekly to your inbox? Subscribe our Westchester Weekly.

Big Conversations In 90045 This Week

big 90045 conversationsIn the last couple of years, social media has become a huge means of communication for us. Facebook has been that way for a number of years. It was only a matter of time before social media became a means for meeting strangers … like your neighbors.

In Westchester, we have a super engaged, active 2000+ member Moms Group started by Julie Zaller. I became aware of the group about three years ago when members rallied to raise a staggering amount of money for a Benny’s Taco employee who stopped a homeless guy from grabbing a child walking with his nanny. I’ve loved being part of the group. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve shared a lot. I only got one kid. Somebody should benefit from everything I learned, right? Whatever I’ve wondered about or wanted to know about, I’ve been able to post and the mamas have responded.

More recently, NextDoor has come on the scene, trying to be a Facebook for neighbors. I didn’t think they’d get far for a couple of reasons, but membership in Westchester is pretty respectable. I’ve been involved in a number of civic conversations on that platform, but it can get heated and not so civilized sometimes. That crowd is not nearly as well-behaved as the mamas on Facebook. 🙂

If you have a hard time keeping up with the chatter or you want to know what’s being said without the aggravation, I’m starting a regular feature where I’ll give the quick summary of the more prominent conversations online with a search suggestion if you want to go look at the conversation more in-depth. I’m calling this feature “Big Conversations in 90045 This Week.”

The Moms Facebook Group is “secret.” This means that you can’t find it on Facebook unless you are a member. Email me at tracy @ living90045.com and I’ll get you hooked up. It’s a very worthwhile resource for moms and it’s open to moms from 90045, PdR and Playa Vista.

With that, let’s look at the chatter that caught my eye this week.

Biggie is Home!

Let’s start literally with a warm fuzzy. Biggie is a cat who lives in North Kentwood who went missing for exactly two months. In this day and age when everybody is up in arms over the coyotes and blaming every missing animal on these hungry predators, it’s nice to be reminded that missing animals do come home. Biggie likely got caught in somebody’s garage. Source: NextDoor, search “Biggie is Home.”

Hawks Attacking Dogs

It’s unlikely but not unheard of that certain hawks will attack small dogs. Owls, too. Source: NextDoor, search “hawks.”

Coyote Sightings

Tons of chatter about sightings and mapping those sightings. If you have small animals, it’s worth a look at what people are saying. Source: NextDoor, search “coyote.”

Do Not Feed The Coyotes

People have been spotted feeding the coyotes, which lowers their fear of humans. The coyote situation is a mess, but feeding them is not an answer. And, by the way, it’s illegal. Source: NextDoor, search “do not feed.”

Unsightly Home Additions

The subject house is new construction, but at the last minute, the contractor opted to hoist two huge AC units on top of the house. Neighbors complained and a fence (yes, on the roof) followed to “hide” the units. Will be interesting to see how the new roof fence impacts the $2.6M asking price. Source: NextDoor, search “8056 Kentwood” and “Kentwood Mansion Mess.”

Sunday Westchester Market

Everybody keeps promising to come out and nobody is doing it. Is Westchester ready for a high end market? Maybe not. Source: NextDoor, search “farmers market.”

The Wetlands Lower Bluff Trail Is Not for Public Access

Apparently some Kentwood old-timers think the lower bluff trail is public property. The Friends of Ballona Wetlands sent out a reminder that the property is not public and outlined a little history. It’s an interesting read. Source: NextDoor, search “update from Friends of Ballona” and “work on lower bluff trail.”

Found Tortoise

Imagine looking out your window and seeing a rather large tortoise chilling in your backyard. I don’t know if this is true, but one commenter is guessing that it might be the tortoise he lost in 1977. Interesting factoid – apparently tortoises can live to be 100 years old and 180 pounds. I personally wouldn’t like to look out and see a 180# tortoise in my backyard. Source: NextDoor, search “tortoise.”

Burglary On West 87th Place on Thursday

Three suspects and some fine photos of a new black Cadillac Escalade, License 6LBE081. Neighborhood Watch block captains were recently told that thieves rent late model cars for their activities (I’m guessing to blend in better in affluent neighborhoods). Note and report license plates of suspicious cars. Rental companies may be able to lead police to suspects. Source: NextDoor, search “burglary on west 87th place.”

The mama who lives in this house wrote a full and moving account of the incident for the Mom’s FB group. Search “8700 block of W. 87th Place.”

Tax for Homeless Housing

Proposition H was approved by the City Council to appear on the November 8th ballot, pending approval by the Registrar’s office. The proposition wil raise property taxes to pay for homelessness housing. Source: NextDoor, search “tax for homeless housing.”

Open Windows Invites Burglars

It’s summer and it’s hot, but that also makes it prime burglary season. 26 burglaries in Pacific Division week before last and 13 were through open windows. Close your windows, people! Source: Nextdoor, search “about burglaries.”

Restricted Parking Districts, Anybody?

The Governmental Affairs Committee of the Neighborhood Council is hosting a rep from LADOT on Monday evening to discuss the mechanics of creating restricted parking districts. Source: NextDoor, search “parking meeting monday.”

Metro Line Down Sepulveda?

Metro has a measure on the ballot in November that would raise more than $120B through sale taxes for Metro projects across the the county. One such project is light rail down Sepulveda. Have an opinion? Head over to NextDoor and search “metro line on sepulveda” and join the conversation.

Safety On Our Streets

Following the recent attempted rape in Emerson Manor, there has been much discussion about problems with the golf course, RV’s and our homeless population. It’s not clear if any of these are related to the assault, but there is no shortage of opinions on this thread. Source: NextDoor, search “let’s try to prevent.”

Public Safety Townhall

This event is September 7th and features a variety of LAPD types, as well as Councilman Bonin. If you’re alarmed at recently stories that neighbors are calling LAPD and not getting their calls answered, this is the event for you. Source: NextDoor, search “public safety.”

Beware of the Phone Scammers

One mom wrote on the Moms page about getting caught off-guard when a guy called claiming to be from the IRS and she found herself giving him personal information. Lots of moms chimed in that the same thing has happened to them. Sadly, be on-guard at all times. Source: Moms Group, search “IRS.”

LA Airport Police Tweet

The airport police tweet! Who knew? One of the mamas knew and posted about it one day when the helicopters were buzzing overhead. Source: Moms Group. Get tweets at https://twitter.com/LAAirportPD.

Bonus PSA

The annual Jet to Jetty 5K/10K fundraiser is coming up on Sunday, August 28th. An event has been set up on NextDoor.

Let me know if you ever hear chatter that you think 90045 families would want to know about and I’ll include it in the weekly round-up.

Want The Big Conversations Delivered To Your Inbox?

Want to follow the big conversations every week? Consider subscribing for our Westchester Weekly.

Keeping Your Car Safe From Electronic Thieves

Last week, I started keeping my car keys in the freezer, and I may be at the forefront of a new digital safety trend.

From Osage to Kentwood, our neighbors have been reporting that their cars are being broken into, even though there are no outward signs of the breakin.

Law enforcement’s response? “Surely you must have forgotten to lock your car.”

As usual, the bad guys are miles ahead of law enforcement.

Turns out that for less than $100, a creep on a bike can can pull your door handle and your car will obediently call out for its key. While generally your car will only call out for a couple of feet, there is a cheap device available that will amplify the call significantly further.

If you’re like me and your key is 50′ away on the kitchen counter, this is bad news for the expensive sneakers I keep in my trunk.

So, what to do? Apparently keeping your keys in the freezer is one answer. I think I’ll just buy one of these instead.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Prevents Crime

By Cyndi Hench, NCWP president and Neighborhood Watch captain:

Opinion: In recent weeks and months, the communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista have experienced a number of crimes and what seems like an uptick in burglaries. According to the L.A. Times’s crime statistics, a spike occurred in November 2013 and has been coming back down and was about “average” for the area in January and February.

That does not mean that there is no crime in the area, however. In the past three months, on a weekly average, Westchester has had 36 property crimes and 1.7 violent crimes; Playa del Rey has had 3.8 property crimes and .3 violent crimes; Playa Vista has had an average of 3.2 property crimes and .2 violent crimes per week. Property crime consists of burglary, motor vehicle theft, burglary/theft from a motor vehicle and personal/ other theft.

Starting a Neighborhood Watch begins with talking to your neighbors on your block and sharing with them why you want to start a Watch group. Gather contact information for your neighbors and set up a block meeting with your LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO). You can find your SLO below, by calling the LAPD Community Relations/SLO Office at (310) 202- 4515, or through the Neighborhood Council’s “Community Links” at www.ncwpdr.org/Community-Links. More information about Neighborhood Watch can also be found on the Neighborhood Council website at www.ncwpdr.org/PublicSafety.

We’re getting involved at our house. What are you doing?

See Cyndi’s full op ed on thehometownnewsonline.com.

Los Angeles steps up pot clinic crackdown

Medical marijuana dispensaries operating outside the letter of the law beware: Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer has you in his sights.

Since taking office a little more than half a year ago, Feuer has filed misdemeanor charges against operators of 70 cannabis clinics throughout the city, won a court order to keep another from opening in Mar Vista and compelled several Westside dispensaries to shut their doors.

West of the 405, four Venice clinics and one in Mar Vista have shuttered in the past six weeks — a branch of the Farmacy chain on the 1500 block of ultra-hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Cal Med Access on Washington Boulevard, Tamer El Shaikhs on Pacific Avenue, California Healing Gardens on Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Compassionate Holistic Therapy on Inglewood Boulevard in Mar Vista.

Word on the street is that one of the two dispensaries in Westchester is on its way out. I’m a live and let live kinda girl, but I haven’t been too hip on the traffic in and out these places, which happen to be next door to my daughter’s favorite crepe shop.

Riddle me this. Does this story belong in my Green Living category? 😉

See the full story on argonautnews.com.