The Block Captains barbecue organized by Stu Melvin and Amy Vangsgard on Sunday, April 19 was well-attended, and featured great food at the beautiful office of Hancock Homes Realty. While the event was a success, the subject of the evening was disaster. 

Hancock Homes' John Duerler and Marc Sinnott welcomed the of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association block captains, headed by LVNA board member Stuart Melvin, and provided the barbecue. Block captains provided side dishes and desserts. Several of the LVNA Board were also in attendance since they double as block captains. 

Special guest speaker was Mona Curry, Emergency Coordinator of the Emergency Management Department of the City of Los Angeles, gave a presentation on 5 Steps LA, the award-winning, do-it-yourself disaster preparation plan for Los Angeles residents, neighborhoods and communities. Fire department outreach organization MySafe:LA provided an array of preparation materials.
Curry emphasized that fire and police emergency responders may not be able to access our area immediately to provide assistance, so it's up to us to provide water, food, first aid, shelter, minor fire suppression and other help for people and pets for a couple of hours, or up to 7 days before professional responders can assist. She advocated enrollment by all block captains in the Los Angeles Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Team - Los Angeles ( training to prepare yourself and your family for emergency situations.
Curry applauded our board's and block captains' interest in disaster preparedness. Grassroots, home-by-home organization like our block captain network can give Larchmont community residents and businesses support, resilience and recovery after a disaster, particularly if they use the 5 Steps LA plan: 

Step 1. Define and map your area that will comprise your plan: just your block, or collaborate with another block captain. 

Step 2. Recruit leaders. As block captain in charge of security, you can take charge, or you can delegate disaster prep to another neighbor who may have more training.
Step 3. Scout your area. What businesses, parks, schools and other important sites are there? Electrical poles, water hydrants? What are hazards, and what are assets? Did you know that a submerged water table lies beneath all of the Larchmont area, which could contribute to earthquake hazards regarding electricity?
Step 4. Build your team. Find out who lives in your area, how they can help, and who may need extra help. Who has the know-how or equipment that could be important resources in a disaster, such as trained medical personnel, construction workers, electricians, law enforcement or fire control? Who has medical equipment, or a generator, or a winch? Who is particularly vulnerable on your block: elderly, physically challenged or has a condition that could become life threatening in case of utilities interruption (a person who requires dialysis or oxygen)? Who has a lot of young children or pets? 
Step 5. Plan your approach. Create a plan that defines what you will do before, during and after a disaster. 
To start your own plan for your block or neighborhood, go to

If you are an LVNA block captain but were unable to attend, an updated block map and block captain contact sheet is available from Stu Melvin (

Free of charge, the CERT-LA training comprises seven lessons taught over seven weeks by LAFD professionals and is free of charge. Several new CERT-LA trainings are starting in May 2015, with the nearest series to larchmont being offered at a venue on Wilshire & Normandie. Sign up on Eventbrite at , or find other locations at .

CD-4 Election: Tuesday March 3rd

LAPD Olympic Division Crime Report – Feb 8-14
February 18, 2015
Olympic Division Senior Lead Officer Joseph Pelayo shared a crime report with the section of our neighborhood covered by LAPD Olympic Community Station.
There were four reported burglaries in the area between February 8-14. The activity was in Larchmont Village and South of 3rd Street. SLO Pelayo encourages everyone to take the time to lock up their properties and activate their alarms.Read more...

CD 4 Elections: The Money Begins to Flow
January 15, 2015
LA WATCHDOG – As of December 31, the 14 candidates to succeed Tom LaBonge in Council District 4 have raised $1.6 million, including $153,000 in matching funds.  But more importantly, after spending almost $600,000, the 14 candidates have over $1 million in cash on hand that will be used to deliver their carefully crafted messages and slogans on why they are uniquely qualified to represent us on the Los Angeles City Council. Read more...

L.A. council moves to curb teardowns in 'mansionization' hot spots
November 4, 2014

Mansionization  Los Angelest Times--Los Angeles lawmakers unanimously voted Tuesday to draft rules that would temporarily curb demolitions in more than a dozen neighborhoods where residents have bemoaned “mansionization” – homes being knocked down and replaced with bigger buildings seen as too large for their lots. Read more...

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