CD 11 Bonin | July Neighborhoods First Newsletter






Welcome to the July issue of Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods First newsletter!

IN THIS ISSUE: Mike's second inauguration celebratory tree giveaway kicks off with a great first event, free smoke detectors are distributed in Pacific Palisades, new signs point to Ladera, and early data is made available about the effects of a street safety project in Mar Vista... but first, please read this month's Neighborhoods First Profile about a wonderful South Brentwood neighbor who has made her community better by getting involved.

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Your July 2017 Neighborhoods First Newsletter


July 2017

Welcome to the July issue of Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods First newsletter!

IN THIS ISSUE: Mike's second inauguration celebratory tree giveaway kicks off with a great first event, free smoke detectors are distributed in Pacific Palisades, new signs point to Ladera, and early data is made available about the effects of a street safety project in Mar Vista... but first, please read this month's Neighborhoods First Profile about a wonderful South Brentwood neighbor who has made her community better by getting involved.

You can find out more about Mikemeet your CD11 staff and see the latest videos and updates from the Westside on our website at And remember to like Mike's Facebook page to see the latest news about your neighborhood.


Marilyn Krell and South Brentwood Residents Association
Krell.jpgNeighborhoods are great because of people like Marilyn Krell. 
Marilyn moved to Brentwood nearly two decades ago, and since arriving, she has been a dedicated friend, neighbor and advocate for her community. Marilyn’s community advocacy has been mostly channeled through SBRA - the South Brentwood Residents Association - a neighborhood group that has been serving the community since 1975. 
Marilyn served as President of the SBRA for eight years, and not only helped the group become a major force for good in the neighborhood, but also made sure neighbors throughout South Brentwood knew that they have a venue where they can get more engaged in their community. 
With her term as President ending recently, Marilyn agreed to answer a few questions about her life, her work and what she sees in the future for Los Angeles. 
Q: Why did you decide to make Brentwood your home?
After remarrying and moving from Del Mar, CA to LA, my husband and I moved to a home in Hollywood Hills. We had a fabulous view of the city lights...but we saw no neighbors, no active community. After living there for a few years, I visited Bobbi, my college roommate who had just moved to South Brentwood.  I loved the activity and joyfulness of Brentwood... the families, bike riders, runners... I missed that. We bought the condo right across from Bobbi and we have been neighbors for the last 18 years.
Q: How did you get involved with SBRA?
Shortly after we moved to Brentwood, I met Nancy Freedman at a wedding and she asked me if I missed anything about Del Mar. I told her I missed being involved in the community, as I had been chair of the Del Mar Design Review Board for four years and loved it. She told me there was an opening on the San Vicente DRB; Cindy Miscikowski appointed me and I have been vice chair for 16 years.
After serving on the DRB for a few years, SBRA president Bette Harris and past SBRA president Jackie Raymond asked if I would like to become an SBRA board member. I thought it would be a great way to meet people and become more involved in my community.
Q: Of the great things SBRA has done in your time with the group, of what are you most proud? 
This is a hard one! I am most proud of the growth SBRA has had in the 8 years of my presidency. I am very proud of the wonderful board we have and their contributions to so many aspects of our organization. We now send postcards to each of our 18,000 residents...most of whom had never before heard that there was an organization representing them. We changed our name to SB Residents Assn. from SB Homeowners Assn. to indicate that we welcome residents who live in multifamily as well as single-family homes. We produce a beautiful magazine-quality newsletter with the support of our sponsors and advertisers. We have a terrific Facebook page and a great website Our well-attended Annual Meetings feature topics such as the VA, Homelessness, and our terrific recent panel on the future of Transportation, which included Councilmember Bonin. We are starting a Neighborhood Watch Program with informed neighbors who are becoming more involved and active. I am most proud of the community connectedness we have developed.
Q: What lessons from your work on behalf of the community do you think future generations could learn from? 
I send out informational emails to over 600 residents who have become like friends. I have learned of their compassion for each other. This was most evident five years ago when an arsonist set fire to a project being constructed on Gorham. Five nearby apartment units had to be evacuated. Neighbors (strangers!) generously pitched in with offers of lodging, clothing for the children and the two pregnant women, and money to help cover the cost of relocation and purchases of items that had to be replaced. At our 2012 Annual Meeting, we invited the firefighters who heroically fought the fire where we and the survivors of the fire thanked them. This is what a community should and can be: there for each other.
Q: What do you think is the most important issue facing your neighborhood, and Los Angeles?
I hate to say this, but it is still traffic. When I moved to Brentwood from Hollywood Hills, people told me that they never went east of the 405. I was amazed because that was the only part of LA I knew. But now, we don’t often go east of Bundy. We have a unique challenge in LA as we are so spread out and housing here is so expensive. I spoke with a nurse last week who told me she lived in Riverside and works in Santa Monica. Takes her two hours to get to a job she loves. I wish I had an easy answer. Public transit will help…I love to take the Expo downtown…but the problem won’t be resolved any time soon I’m afraid.
Final thoughts:
There are so many CD11 constituents living in so many areas, I hope people realize how important our community groups are to our government. When people work on issues of importance to them and have a councilmember who listens to their concerns, that is how things get done. It has been a great pleasure and privilege for me to work closely with our extremely competent and engaged Councilmember Bonin and his staff.  I plan to continue to work for my community in other ways in the future…because it feels so good to make a difference. 
You can find out more about the South Brentwood Residents Association at

Mike Kicks Off Second Inauguration Celebration with Tree Giveaway at Palisades Farmers Market
Mike is foregoing a traditional "swearing in ceremony" for his second inauguration and instead celebrating the start of his second term with a series of tree giveaway events at Farmers Markets throughout the district (find out more about the events in the "Before You Go" section at the bottom of this newsletter). Mike hosted the first event on Sunday, July 30 at the Palisades Farmers Market. 

More than 150 neighbors stopped by Mike's booth at the Palisades Farmers Market to pick up free shade trees, and to chat with Mike about what they would like to see him focus on in his second term as a Councilmember. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and made the first tree giveaway event a tremendous success!

Pedestrian Lighting Installed in West LA
Thanks to an Active Transportation Grant, the city is investing in making the neighborhood near the Bundy Expo Line station safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists to use. With that grant, city employees are installing 24 curb extensions, 58 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk access ramps, 77 bike racks, 188 trees, a new landscaped median at the intersection of Tennessee and Granville, and other neighborhood improvements.
Mike stopped by the worksite on June 22 to thank the crew from the Bureau of Street Services and Bureau of Street Lighting for their hard work, and to help them finish installing one of 32 new, energy-efficient pedestrian lights in the area.
Thank you to our hard-working city employees who complete projects like this, which make our neighborhoods safer and better places to live, work and enjoy every day!

Cool Streets Come to the Westside!
As heat increases throughout the region, the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services is beginning to install a new "cool streets" in neighborhoods around Los Angeles. In July, a street in the Kentwood neighborhood of Westchester got the new, lighter street treatment.
By using a lighter colored asphalt mix, we can reduce the "heat island" effect that makes hot summer days unbearable. A similar cool street installation was recently added in Canoga Park, and residents reported a noticeable difference in temperatures in the area. 
Mike was excited to join Street Services employees as they installed the cool street in Westchester, and he is looking forward to bringing this innovative approach to addressing the impacts of climate change to more neighborhoods on the Westside!

Mike Announces Changes to Road Safety Projects in Playa del Rey
About two months ago, the City launched two different projects, both designed to improve safety in parts of Playa del Rey. Mike said at the time that we would evaluate them and make changes based on community feedback - and he meant it. That’s why earlier this month Mike asked the Department of Transportation to add a lane back on eastbound Culver Boulevard, and that is why on July 25, Mike announced that he was making more changes in response to what he has heard.
In a video message to constituents, Mike addressed the controversy surrounding the lane reductions on Vista Del Mar, which had to be installed urgently to limit the city’s liability before Summer. He announced that thanks to Supervisor Janice Hahn, parking would be expanded at Dockweiler beach - allowing for parking to be removed from Vista Del Mar and two lanes of traffic to be restored to the street. 
Mike also announced that he would form a “Playa del Rey Road Safety Task Force” to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the safety projects on Culver Boulevard, Pershing Drive and Jefferson Boulevard. The task force will be composed of neighbors who have supported the project and were engaged from the start, neighbors who have criticized the project and were unaware of it before, local small business people, and safe streets advocates. It will also welcome the input of other residents, of commuters, and agencies or entities that can bring expertise or financial resources to the table -- such as the County or some of the South Bay cities. Mike will ask the Task Force to make short-term and long-term recommendations, based on data, community feedback, and available financial resources. Mike will ask them to make a report 90 days after the changes on Vista Del Mar have been made.
For more about Mike’s Playa del Rey road safety announcements or to watch his video announcement, please visit

Now Entering: Ladera! 
In early July, the Department of Transportation began to install neighborhood designation signs in the community of Ladera, and on July 13, Mike got to install the final sign. Ladera, which Mike is proud to represent, is beautiful and quiet neighborhood, nestled between parts of Inglewood and unincorporated Los Angeles County, connecting Mike’s district with the Eighth District. A few months ago, at the neighborhood's request, the City Council officially designated the name "Ladera" and authorized signage to indicate the neighborhood is part of the City of Los Angeles.
Thank you to Treva Miller, Jeannette Bronson and the other Ladera leaders who made this happen.

Pop Up Office Hours at the Mar Vista Farmers Market
July 23 was a beautiful day to host another of Mike’s "Pop Up Office Hours" events at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market! "Pop Up Office Hours" events are part of Mike’s continuing effort to bring government to our neighborhoods and to make sure people can connect with their local representative without having to trek downtown. 
These "Pop Up Office Hours" events have been one of Mike’s favorite things to do since he began his first term, and he is always energized and inspired by the ideas and passion of neighbors throughout the Westside. Thank you to everyone who stopped by Mike’s booth at the Farmers Market to say hello and share your ideas for making our neighborhood a better place to live, work and enjoy.

Addressing Crime Incidents in Brentwood
A recent series of crimes in Brentwood has alarmed neighbors and Mike is taking action to help make sure the LAPD is able to keep people and their property safe. 
After receiving reports of break-ins and other crime activity, Mike reached out to Dennis Kato, Commander of LAPD’s West Bureau, and he was very appreciative that Commander Kato agreed to increase police presence in Brentwood. While the increased police presence will help in the short-term, Mike is still working with his colleagues on the City Council and leaders at LAPD to get more able-bodied officers out from behind desks and into neighborhoods where they can keep us safe. Mike’s “Back to Basic Car” proposal would mean more cops patrolling neighborhoods, which would stop crimes like those that happened recently in Brentwood, before they happen. 

LAPD Carnival Brings Community Together in Del Rey
The Los Angeles Police Department brought the summer fun to our neighborhoods this year, with carnivals hosted by West LA and Pacific Divisions.
Mike stopped by the Pacific Division Carnival in Del Rey to check out the fun rides and games and was happy to see and thank the men and women of our police department who help keep us safe. The event supports local LAPD youth programs while building relationships with the surrounding neighborhood.
Thank you to the women and men of the Los Angeles Police Department for helping create welcoming communities, and for keeping our neighborhoods safe!

West LA Streets Resurfaced 
Thank you to City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services for the resurfacing work they recently completed in West LA/Sawtelle on Corinth Ave between Santa Monica Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, and Massachusetts Avenue between Corinth and Sawtelle. These basic city services are essential to our neighborhoods and I’m grateful for the hard working women and men who make them possible. 

Open House Offers Neighbors Information and Early Data for Great Streets Project in Mar Vista
The first round of data is in for the Great Streets pilot project on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista!  On July 22, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation hosted an open house to present information about the Great Streets project in Mar Vista, and additionally released information on the impacts of the design changes to the road, intended to remake it into “Mar Vista’s Main Street.” This data, coupled with community feedback, will help shape changes and improvements to the project.
The data, which LADOT unveiled at the Open House at the Windward School and which is available at, is informative. It shows that dangerous speeding has been reduced, and there has been a 90% decrease in the number of people driving faster than the 40 mph speed limit. This initial batch of data shows a marginal increase in travel times through the corridor. The largest average increase is for eastbound traffic between 3 p.m.and 6 p.m., which has gone up an average of 37 seconds. At most other times of the day, there has not been a dramatic increase in travel times. The most significant increase detected was a less than a 2-minute delay during the average eastbound evening commute. At no time during the day did the average commute between Beethoven and Inglewood boulevards take more than 4 minutes. (Again, these are averages, meaning some individual commutes have been worse, and some have been better.)
To evaluate the project, LADOT has procured a contract with the data company INRIX. INRIX uses data from GPS-enabled devices such as smartphones and vehicle fleets to provide current and historical travel time, speed, and vehicle volume data. This cutting edge data source will allow us to measure traffic changes more quickly and accurately compared to traditional data collection methods. LADOT will be making additional data reports at the 90-day and 6-month marks for the pilot project.
Mike thanks everyone who attended today’s Open House and provided feedback in person. If you were unable to attend and want to share your thoughts or suggestions, please email:

Ducklings’ Home Saved in Santa Monica Canyon
Thanks to neighbors in the Santa Monica Canyon neighborhood of Pacific Palisades and Mike’s Palisades-area Deputy Lisa Cahill, a flock of ducklings’ home has been saved! The ducklings' (which have been featured in the Palisadian Post a few times) were living in a county controlled storm drain near Santa Monica Canyon, which was scheduled for regular maintenance. Crews were sent to remove any debris from the channel, but one man's debris is another duckling's habitat, and it became clear that removing the debris would create an issue for the baby ducks. That is when neighbor Greg Willis got in touch with Lisa to express his concern. Lisa worked with our friends in the county and was able to delay the maintenance until the ducklings were fully fledged. Since they are already familiar with the ducklings and the maintenance isn’t required until the next rainy season, it just made sense to wait until the ducklings were ready to fly away from home on their own.  

Thank you, Greg and Lisa for stepping in and saving the ducklings’ home!

New Mural Comes to Iconic Venice Corner
The Venice Boardwalk is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Southern California, and the world-renowned area got a colorful new addition in July. 
Thanks to the organizations Beauty Activists, Beautify Earth and, artist Trek ‘Thunder’ Kelly, recently completed a mural in Windward Circle, which depicts a gorgeous and serene sky. According to Thunder, the mural is an homage to our world’s natural beauty, and a recapturing of our streetscape into one that is not only meant to be more vibrant, but more noticed. 
This wall should begin to convince others, the muralist hopes, that there are opportunities to influence change and create a vibrant beautiful landscape everywhere. 

Street Resurfacing in Pacific Palisades