Last week more than 70 Windsor Square neighbors met at the annual Windsor Square Block Captains meeting to discuss a range of neighborhood issues from traffic to coyotes. The meeting was organized by Katie Jones and Caroline Moser, Co-Chairs of the Windsor Square Block Captains, who provided each captain with a flash drive containing the block captains’ handbook of essential information and a portable LED lantern.
Larry Guzin, Windsor Square Association president, thanked everyone for another year of service to the neighborhood and the association. He welcomed the officials in attendance, including LAPD Captains Vito Palazzolo, Olympic Division, Howard Leslie, Wilshire Division, and Senior Lead Officer Joe Pelayo, along with Steve Houchin from the City Attorney’s office and Captain Mark Curry, LA Fire Department Station 29, which serves the neighborhood. Representatives from SSA and ADT security also attended.
Sarah Dusseault, chief of staff for City Council Member David Ryu, spoke on behalf of the council member, who was not able to attend. She introduced Field Deputy Nikki Ezhari, former deputy for Council Member LaBonge, who is back working in the neighborhood.
Dusseault said her staff has hit the ground running and the office feels like “an internet startup,” everyone was “having a little too much fun.” She explained the council member wants his staff to engage the neighborhood in a different way, and she was inspired by the grassroots organization of the Windsor Square Association, thinking it could be a model for other parts of the city.
Dusseault said the council office will soon be releasing the names of the members of Ryu’s Discretionary Funds Task Force, which will help oversee the annual budget of more than $1 million dollars of funds to be spent in the district. Upon taking office, Ryu suspended $600,000 in funds allocated by his predecessor, Council Member LaBonge, just before he left office.
Dusseault also fielded questions about traffic in the neighborhood, blaming it on the social media app Waze, but said there are ways to outsmart technology and pledged to work on it in staffers’ weekly meetings with the city Department of Transportation.
Speed bumps and stop signs were also discussed, and neighbors were encouraged to contact Ms. Ezhari to follow up on their requests.
Dusseault addressed questions about extra security for Halloween, which brings thousands of people to the neighborhood to trick or treat. Dusseault said she was one of those people and appreciated the need for an extra focus on safety. The removal of the ficus trees on Larchmont Blvd that are cracking the sidewalks was also discussed. Dusseault said they are part of a citywide conversation with a number of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and that Councilman Ryu sits on the Public Works Committee, which will be addressing the urban canopy and the sidewalk repair issue. She said the city is investigating a “fix and release” program for repairing residential sidewalks.
Earthquake preparedness is a huge priority of the WSA, and resident Gary Duff is heading up an effort to help neighbors secure 55 gallon barrels for water storage. One barrel will provide enough potable water for 2 people for a week. The association has found a vendor to provide the barrels and help install them on a palette in an appropriate place, since the barrells cannot be moved once they’re filled. The cost is $145 dollars per barrel and includes the chemicals and pump. The water is good for 5 years. Duff is hoping to start with all the residents on his block, the 500 block of Lorraine. The 600 block of Lorraine has already secured all of its water. If you are interested in participating, regardless of your block, contact Caroline Moser at firstname.lastname@example.org