Community News

11th Annual Peace Picnic

Come celebrate the United Nations's "International Day of Peace" at a FREE neighborhood picnic for the whole family at the Robertson Rec Center, 1641 Preuss (Robertson at Airdrome).

Sunday, September 18th
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Like the Peace Picnic on Facebook

  • Gourmet lunch donated by local restaurants
  • Live music by neighborhood musicians
  • Eat and relax in the shade
  • Crafts and snacks for kids

Bring a blanket to sit on. For more information, or to volunteer or to contribute, go to peacepicnic.org, or email   harsimrank108@gmail.com.

A collaboration of the Robertson Recreation Center, the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council, LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz, LA City Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr., St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, and Guru Ram Das Ashram.

2016 Movie in the Park: The Good Dinosaur

Join Council President Herb Wesson & SORO NC at a FREE movie in the park! Fun for the whole family!

Free hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn and more!


SORO NC is delighted to partner again with Council District 10 and Council President Herb Wesson to bring you a family night out for free! This year marks the ninth successful MOVIES IN THE PARK event with CD10, and we hope you can come out and join the fun.

Team Wesson will be prepping in the park all day, and we invite you to join us an hour before sunset (6:30-ish) to grab a hot dog or burger, some popcorn and enter in Council President Wesson's free drawings for giveaways for the kids.

Sunset is at 7:30pm and once it gets dark, we'll start the movie on the giant screen. Bring a blanket and enjoy a movie under the stars while summer lasts. Don't forget to stop by the SORO NC table to say hi!


Friday, August 26, 6:30pm onwards
Reynier Park (2803 Reynier Ave.)


About The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

"Antic and unexpected...rife with subversive elements, wacky critters and some of the most beautiful landscapes ever seen in a computer animated film."
—Kenneth Turan, LA Times

2015 Susan Bursk Community Service Award winner: Bette Billet

The Susan Bursk Community Service Award is presented each June at the SoRo Festival to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods community. The award is co-sponsored by SORO NC and the SoRo Community Foundation, Inc.

This year's winner was Bette Billet. Bette served on the SORO NC Board from its founding in 2003 to April, 2015. During 12 years of incredible community service, she has conservatively logged close to 1000 hours of active community service. Bette has been responsible for identifying and bringing many other community leaders into the fold, and has worked tirelessly for the betterment of this community.

Bette has been fearless in reminding her NC colleagues and elected officials colleagues that we represent the whole community, and that our work should always strive to understand and be inclusive of ALL points of view. In 2008 she was recognized by then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo as the "LA Pearl of the Year"—an award that recognizes outstanding seniors who have made significant contributions to Los Angeles residents' quality of life.

Her mark on the community and the NC has been indelible, and richly deserving of recognition.

At our July Board meeting we will also recognize the other community members nominated this year:

  • Cristina Paul — Community volunteer and founder of the Helms Neighborhood Association
  • Leo Portal — Crestview Block Captain, SORO NC Organization Representative, and founder/chair of the NC's LGBTQ Committee

We're deeply grateful for the work all the nominees have done within SORO, and congratulate them on their nominations.

See all the past winners of the award.

Movie in the Park: The Lego Movie

On Saturday, September 6th, Council President Wesson, his staff, and SORO NC bring the family-friendly animated film The Lego Movie to our own Reynier Park (2803 Reynier Ave.). Bring your family and friends for a beautiful night of movie-watching under the stars. 

Don't mistake this for a toy ad. Released back in February, the Lego Movie is inventive, action-packed, smart, funny—and surprisingly will make you think. It's that rare film that both kids AND adults will love. In her LA Times review, Betsy Sharkey wrote that it was "strikingly, exhilaratingly, exhaustingly fresh." We couldn't agree more.

Best part: it's free. All of it. Including the movie, hot dogs, candy, popcorn and a special raffle for the kids. (We do recommend bringing a blanket for the ground.) Festivities begin at 7pm and we'll start the movie as soon as it's dark enough.

2014 SoRo Community Festival: June 1

SoRo Community Festival

Sunday, June 1 • 11am-4pm
South Robertson Boulevard between Beverlywood St. and Cattaraugus St. (just North of 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit)

This year’s theme is “Many Neighborhoods Create One Great Community!”

Free and open to the public, the SoRo Festival features food trucks, a live music stage, tree adoption, and over 60 vendor booths highlighting neighborhood businesses, community information and a variety of merchandise. It also offers “Camp SoRo” Kids Zone with attractions, a rock-climbing wall and free arts and crafts for children.

In addition there will be a separate Public Safety Pavilion hosted by the SORO Neighborhoods Council with many exhibits and demonstrations by “First Responders” such as LAPD and LAFD.

For more information, visit our full Festival page.

Preliminary election results are in

SORO had a fantastic turnout for the NC election: we had as many more voters than we did two years ago, with only half the number of open seats. Our thanks to everyone who came out and voted, and a special thanks to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the many volunteers who made the event a success.

We have posted preliminary election results on our election page. Note that these are not yet finalized or certified. 

Barring any election challenges, we currently plan to seat the new Board at our November 15th meeting. 

7th Annual SORO Peace Picnic

Come celebrate the United Nations's "International Day of Peace" at a FREE neighborhood picnic for the whole family at the Robertson Rec Center, 1641 Preuss (Robertson at Airdrome).

Sunday, September 9th
1:00pm - 4:00pm

Like the Peace Picnic on Facebook • Download the flyer

  • Gourmet lunch donated by local restaurants
  • Live music by neighborhood musicians
  • Eat and relax in the shade
  • Crafts and snacks for kids

Bring a blanket to sit on. For more information and to contribute, go to peacepicnic.org, or call 310-431-7152.

A collaboration of the Robertson Recreation Center, the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council, LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz, LA City Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr., St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, and Guru Ram Das Ashram.

SORO NC partners with KCET to tell the stories of SORO

SORO NC is very excited to announce a new partnership with KCET's Departures series, to tell the stories of the South Robertson Neighborhoods.

This partnership marks the first time KCET/Departures is collaborating with a Neighborhood Council. 

Departures is an oral history project, an interactive documentary, a community engagement tool, and a digital literacy project in the online space, using video, images and text to bring Los Angeles neighborhoods to life.

As we begin exploring South Robertson with KCET, we are mapping the important places that reflect the shifts and characteristics of the community. And that's where YOU come in.

Click through to our KCET Departures page to read more and find out how you can get involved.

Together, we are looking forward to putting SORO on the map! Watch the project progress at kcet.org/soro

SoRo Festival 2012: Sunday June 3rd

SoRo Community Festival

Sunday, June 3 • 11am-4pm
South Robertson Boulevard between Beverlywood St. and Cattaraugus St. (just North of 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit)

Save the date! Open to the public, the SoRo Festival features live local musical entertainment and dancing, "Camp SoRo" offering attractions and a rock-climbing wall and free arts & crafts for children, 60 vendor booths featuring neighborhood businesses and community information, and a variety of culinary delights from some of L.A.'s hottest gourmet food trucks. The theme for this year's Festival is "SoRo Sails for 15 Years." For more information, click here.

2012 SoRo Community Festival

SoRo Community Festival


The 15th Annual SoRo Community Festival will take place on Sunday, June 3, 2012 from 11 am to 4 pm. The Festival is located on South Robertson Boulevard, between Cattaraugus and Beverlywood St. (just north of Hamilton High School and the 10 Freeway). Download a flyer about the festival here.

The SoRo Festival’s goals are to build bridges amongst local neighbors, businesses, and community and public service organizations; and celebrate the cultural diversity of our community. Local caterers, restaurants, merchants, schools, entertainers and organizations will participate. The SoRo Festival will feature activities for kids, a live music stage and lots of exciting artist and vendor booths. Additionally, the SoRo Festival will feature local school children’s presentations of art and science projects on the Festival’s theme “SoRo Sails for 15 Years.”

Food

The SoRo Festival will feature an exciting variety of LA's hottest gourmet food trucks, offering a delicious assortment of choices (including ethnic and vegetarian selections).

Confirmed gourmet trucks attending this year's SoRo Festival are Fat Burger, Bool Korean BBQ Tacos & Pastels, No Tomatoes! A Indian Cafe on Wheels, Crispy Waffle & Frites, Kosher Grill on Wheels, Frozen Crush Ultimate Italian Ice and King Kone Ice Cream Co.

Main Stage

SoRo Festival stage will feature live musical and dance performances from some of SoCal’s talented performers. See the full schedule at right.

The SoRo Community Festival is coordinated by the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council and SoRo, Inc. and funded in part by a grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. We would like to invite the entire Southern California community to join our event.

Admission to the SoRo Community Festival is FREE. Free street parking is also available. The SoRo Festival is open to the public and will provide plenty of fun for the whole family on a Sunday afternoon!

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Fire Station 58 Update

SORO NC and LAFD Community Meeting
Community meeting:

SORO NC General Board Meeting with LAFD Leadership
to discuss their new deployment plan

Thursday, May 19th
7:00pm / Hamilton High School Cafeteria
(map)
 
LA has one of the best Fire Departments in the country and the community is justly concerned about LAFD's proposed changes to Station 58 equipment and staffing. After talking with the LAFD leadership, this is what we know:

Current situation

Station 58 is the 14th busiest in Los Angeles. Right now, Station 58 has four pieces of equipment, organized into three teams:
  • Light Force 58, which has six staff, a hook and ladder truck, and a water pumper,
  • Engine 58, which has four staff and a second pump,
  • Advanced Life Support (ALS) 58, which has two paramedics and an ambulance.

In response to budget cuts in 2009, the LAFD instituted a Modified Coverage Plan (MCP) that shuts down different parts of the station each month. The MCP is still in place.

So right now, during each 27 day period we only have a full complement of twelve staff on duty for twelve days; it goes down to eight staff for six days (when they shut down the Engine); and finally down to six staff for nine days (when they shut down the Light Force). Not ideal.

The new plan

The proposal for Station 58 keeps it open every day. The Station is not closing. They will move the hook-and-ladder to another station, upgrade the Engine team by swapping in a paramedic/firefighter, and put the remaining pump and an additional ambulance in "ready reserve" at the Station. That means we'll have a permanent staff of six (with one more paramedic), instead of the six to twelve rotating Firefighters we have now.

The LAFD leadership feels this is a better plan than the MCP they're under now. Among the benefits are that city-wide, Firefighters will no longer be continually moved from station to station and locally, we'll have a stable team again. LAFD does not plan any furloughs or lay-offs.

Additionally, the Battalion Command Team will move closer to us (to Fire Station 68 on Washington Blvd., 2.5 miles away).

The next closest Fire Station that serves the SORO area is Station 92 on Pico. They were similarly staffed. The plan calls for eliminating their Engine company and placing it in ready reserve (taking their staffing down to eight).

If the two Stations were fully staffed (as it would have been pre-2009), we would have two Light Forces, two Engines, and two ALS ambulances. With the new plan, we'll have one Light Force, one Engine, and two ALS ambulances between them.

Projected impact

Station 58 fields 15.8 calls a day. 13 of those are medical-related; the rest are a mix of gas leaks, people stuck in elevators, actual fires, etc. The new plan for Station 58 places more emphasis on medical response and less on fire fighting, and the extra paramedic should help in that regard. The Engine company is still very able to fight fires, of course.

The extra ready reserve pump and ambulance can be activated in emergency situations, although with some delay.

One of the biggest concerns is that a ladder truck does have specialty equipment, including am extending aerial ladder, chain saws for ventilating smoke from roofs, and the jaws of life. Calls that require a ladder truck would be dispatched from one of the nearby stations:
  • Station 92 on Pico (Century City) - 2.6 miles
  • Station 61 on 3rd St (Fairfax) - 3.6 miles
  • Station 94 on Coliseum (Baldwin Hills) - 4.1 miles
  • Station 29  on Wilshire (Hancock Park) - 4.6 miles
  • Station 26 on S. Western (West Adams) - 4.7 miles

However, LAFD projects that even though we are losing the ladder truck and one pump, response times should be better for us across the board than under the current brown-out plan. They point out that its common now for them to dispatch units from other stations when our team is out on calls or when there is a larger fire.

 
LAFD Projected response times for SORO area (in minutes)


Response Medical: Basic Medical: Paramedic Medical: Ambulance Fire: Engine Fire: Light Force
Full Staffing 4:55 / 78% 5:26 / 91% 5:42 / 95% 4:08 / 91% 5:20 / 96%
MCP (current) 4:57 / 76% 5:30 / 90% 5:47 / 94% 4:13 / 89% 5:40 / 94%
New Plan (projected) 4:57 / 77% 5:18 / 93% 5:46 / 94% 4:11 / 90% 5:31 / 96%

The chart shows average response times and how often they hit or beat that time. Of course, the times shown in the bottom row are only projections.

With the pending high-rise developments in Century City, the need for ladder trucks in our area will certainly increase.

Decision process

The proposed plan comes from Chief Peaks and his team, not the City Council. It's based on their analysis of a million calls over the last three years (download an informational brochure from LAFD). They used a computerized system called ADAM to determine which areas of the City needed which resources. You can see some of that analysis at the LAFD website

They estimate that the plan would save $55 million a year, mainly through staff attrition. The City Council, of course, sets the LAFD's budget. The Council LAFD budget discussion will happen on Wednesday, May 18.

When we asked the LAFD leadership if—regardless of budget—they preferred the new plan to the current MCP with its station brown-outs, they said yes. Individual Firefighters and their Union may disagree.

What you can do

It's important that our Council Members and the Mayor know how we feel before they discuss cuts to the LAFD budget on the 18th.

Similarly, the LAFD needs to understand how we feel about their deployment plan. As noted above, at the request of Council Member Koretz, SORO NC will host the LAFD leadership on Thursday, May 19th at its General Board meeting. We encourage you to attend and ask questions. You can also contact their Public Information Officer, Captain Jaime Moore, at (213) 978-3824 or via email at jaime.moore@lacity.org.

The Station itself will hold an open house on Sunday, May 15 from 9am to 1pm.
 

Should LA ban single-use plastic bags?

This Wednesday, November 10, the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council Green Team Committee will have an open discussion of a proposed citywide ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic bags in the County and City of Los Angeles. The Green Team has invited prominent spokespersons both for, and against, the ban. After the discussion, the public will consider a motion to recommend that the SORO NC Board either support or object to the motion pending before the Los Angeles City Council to ban single-use plastic bags. It is important to attend this meeting because this issue could impact the City for decades to come.

The agenda and meeting details are at right.

Contact Paula Waxman, Green Team Committee Co-chair at paulawaxman@soronc.org.