Dear Mr. Krekorian:
Why is Canoga Park medians all planted and beautiful...and weeds pulled and a truck with a crew there every so many weeks on a REGULAR SCHEDULED maintenance run... cleaning, weeding and mowing.....and we can't even get a weed pulled, as evidenced by the 4 foot weeds on OUR medians???
Maybe that truck with the crew in Canoga is not a City sub contractor? I don't know....
If it isn't, then who is paying for it? Better yet...how do we get it here in No Ho??? But I wonder that...if it IS a City sub contractor..why we here in North Hollywood get no services on our own streets and we are told there is no funding for it?
Dear Mrs. Characky,
Certain medians within city limits are operated under the auspices of the city's Median Island Maintenance Program. The medians that are part of the program are maintained biweekly by contractors, which is why many of them are regularly maintained.
Unfortunately, budget cuts have decimated the program throughout the city. Many medians have been cut out of the maintenance program as the city shifts its monetary focus to more core services and preserving funds for other vital programs. Additionally, staff at the Urban Forestry Division, which had maintained the medians, was cut two years ago.
Of course, as you know, some medians continue to receive care. The reasons for that vary from businesses taking it upon themselves, chambers of commerce starting their own programs or residents sweeping the medians themselves, as you personally have done so often. I don’t know what the situation is regarding Canoga Park medians, but it may be something similar.
My office has tried to work around the stark realities of horrendous budget cuts to clean up neighborhoods in our district. Last year, we spent $250,000 of non-general fund money to clean up trash, cut trees and provide other vital neighborhood services. [See an infographic on where that money went here.] We also regularly work with private groups like New Directions for Youth, Graffiti Busters, and Clean and Green to provide one-time clean up services.
If you or anyone else know of an area that needs attention, email me!
I know that the city sometimes approves rewards for information that leads to an arrest. It got me thinking about that horrible case of a young bride to be who was murdered in her home. Did the city ever do a reward in that case and, if so, what happened?
Yes, a reward was paid in that case for information that was vital to bringing the murderer to justice.
Cheree Osmanhodzic’s life was tragically cut short in 2010 when she was killed in her home months before she was set to marry. Following the murder, the City Council approved my $50,000 reward motion for information leading to the killer’s arrest. We know now that the reward helped the LAPD capture Armando Loera, who was found in Mexico and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last year.
I was proud to have worked closely with Cheree’s family and the LAPD to bring her murderer to justice. It was a very satisfying moment when I sat with Cheree's family in court and watched as Loera confessed for his heinous crime and received a sentence of life in prison without parole. That moment was the culmination of tremendous vigilance and skillful investigation by the LAPD, which I was pleased to support by securing the reward offer and vigorously engaging the public in the search for Loera. Ultimately, our public outreach efforts helped lead to his capture.
Soon after Loera was identified as the suspect, I initiated an informal investigation of the circumstances under which he was on the streets. Among other things, I made demands for documents and information about Loera from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service. I was outraged to learn that CDCR had not notified local law enforcement of Loera's release from prison, nor of the fact that he had failed to report to his parole officer. I contacted many of my former colleagues in Sacramento to urge them to take immediate action to begin fixing a parole system that too often is failing to protect the public. I hope that Sacramento will soon act to ensure greater communication between CDCR and local law enforcement.
Recently, we learned that the people who gave the info that helped police capture Loera were paid the $50,000. Sometimes, the result of actions by the City Council may not be readily apparent. This, however, was a case in which the reward – along with the magnificent amount of help from the community – unquestionably helped lead to a killer’s capture. It is very satisfying to know that our efforts helped to keep the public safe from future violence by Loera, and gave a small measure of relief and justice to a family that may never stop grieving over such a horrendous loss.
Thanks for your questions!