Category Archives: Government

These Pacoima apartments are unsafe if major earthquake hits, says city

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Las Palmas apartments has 26 units and is one of the larger buildings listed as needing earthquake retrofitting.  Photo by El Boletín/ Pacoima Bulletin

Earlier this month, the city of Los Angeles released a list of thousands of apartment buildings that are considered unsafe in the case of a major earthquake, requiring the buildings to be retrofit or demolished.  Although many of the building listed were located in West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley (mostly in the west Valley), Pacoima has only five buildings listed.

All five buildings have apartment units and are along or near Van Nuys Boulevard.  In total the identified buildings hold 87 units.  Two buildings hold about 25 units each, and one of the buildings is the Coral Bells Motel.

At sight, one can can understand how these multi-story buildings are dangerous; usually a

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Las Palmas apartments’ parking lot demonstrates the unsafe design the listed buildings have.  Photo by El Boletín/ Pacoima Bulletin.

second floor is being help up by whimsy posts or columns.  There is no need to imagine what would happen in case of a major earthquake; many of the building that collapsed in the 1994 earthquake were built in this fashion.

This style of building were popular after World War II, when Los Angeles sprawled to West LA and the Valley, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.    These apartments accommodated the evolving angeleno car culture, usually offering parking spaces on the first floor.

In an interview with KPCC, the mayor’s chief resilience officer, Marisso Aho, said the building owners were notified in March and have seven years to comply to an earthquake retrofit order, which has an estimated cost of $5,000 per unit in each building.  Building owners must also notify their tenants, who, in most cases, will be able to stay in their units during the retrofitting process.

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Pacoima Neighborhood Council rejects appointment of man accused of harassing street vendors as Budget Rep

Haga clic aquí para español.

In a close 6-5 vote, the Pacoima Neighborhood Council rejected the appointment of Jaime Arias as the neighborhood council’s Budget Representative. The budget representative is the liaison between the neighborhood council and Budget Advocates, who make recommendations and communicate budget concerns to the mayor’s office.

The vote was a tense moment after people at the meeting burst in protest to Arias’ appointment, saying he does not represent the people of Pacoima. One man, who requested to only be identified as Ledesma, burst out an accusation that Arias’ tactics of intimidating street vendors are not representative of the community. Another attendant, Jenaro Ayala, who claimed to have hosted Arias in his home, agreed with Ledesma and also protested his appointment.

When prompted to give a statement, Arias gave a brief answer that he sought the position to “be involved” and that it was a position that would allow him to better understand how the neighborhood council works.

When is was time to vote, Renter Representative Alex Morales was hesitant in his vote, saying that he was unsure to believe the accusations, but ultimately voted no, which was the deciding vote.

After the vote, Arias told El Boletín he was clueless about the allegations, but believes “everything happens for a reason.”

The neighborhood council also decided to table an item on their agenda that evening pertaining to a possible action on street vending, preferring to hold a special meeting on the matter before taking any actions. President Vanessa Serrano said she hoped to hold the meeting before the next council meeting next month.