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Senator Fran Pavley

Dear Friends:

Please read my February E-Newsletter to learn about what I'm doing on your behalf in the Capitol and at home in the 23rd Senate District.

In this issue

2012 Legislative Update

As the 2012 legislative session starts up, I would like to give you a brief forecast of some issues I will be working on.

  • Senate Pro tem Darrell Steinberg and I will work together to help soften the blow of the budget crunch for students around the state by exploring an option that will slash textbook costs. At a time when the affordability of higher education is at the forefront of national debate, this bill will create Open Educational Resources (OER) in California. Undergraduate students would be able to have access to the 50 core textbooks required for lower-division coursework through a digital open source library. This web-based library would provide a way for students, faculty and staff to easily find, adopt, utilize and/or modify course materials for little or no cost. This project could save California college students thousands of dollars a year.
  • I continue working on my bill, SB 255, to provide safeguards for breast cancer patients. This bill is supported by a broad coalition of breast cancer and health organizations, including: California Medical Association, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and many other organizations. The bill would ensure insurance plans and policies provide equal services for breast cancer treatments whether you need a mastectomy, lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. Since one out of eight women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives and most will have surgery, the medical terminology for these surgeries should be clearer to providers, payers and patients to ensure optimal health outcomes.
  • In a continued effort to save money for our higher education institutions during these tough economic times, I will author a bill providing University of California (UC) and Community Colleges more flexibility in how they purchase goods and services at their campuses.
  • The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) recently announced they will have $800 million in dedicated funds to invest in infrastructure projects that will provide a steady return for members of the fund, as well as help to finance much needed updates to our nation's aging infrastructure. In order to ensure these investments create jobs in California, I introduced SB 955, a bill that would require CalPERS to prioritize California infrastructure when they are considering investments from their infrastructure funds. This legislation is needed to ensure that we maximize this investment opportunity for California. Where prudent, CalPERS should invest Californians' money in projects slated to be funded and built in California. This bill will support job growth and spur economic investment in our state while making needed infrastructure improvements crucial to improving California's business climate.

Topanga Library Grand Opening

L-R: Wendie Malick, Zev Yaroslavsky, LA County Supervisor, Sen. Pavley and Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal at the Topanga Library Grand Opening.

I had the great pleasure of attending the Grand Opening of the Topanga Library this month. With hundreds of excited, enthusiastic Topangans on hand, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky cut the grand opening ribbon, with assistance from: Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, County Librarian Margaret Donnella Todd and Navy Veteran, long-time Topanga Canyon resident, Henry Smith, and me. Actress Wendie Malick presided as Master of Ceremonies over a joyful series of presentations, including readings by Topanga students, who shared essays they had written about what a new library means to them.

Sen. Pavley presented the book "Range on the Edge", a book about the Santa Monica Mountains and a personal favorite, to the Topanga Library.
I had the pleasure of gifting one of my favorite books, a book about the Santa Monica Mountains, to County Librarian Todd. I also had the opportunity to address the group, and tell them of my hope that future reading and test scores would demonstrate the educational benefits of a local library. Other speakers included Topanga resident and columnist Al Martinez and President of the Friends of the Topanga Library, Adriane Allan; who spoke of the community's decade-long effort to complete the library.

The Topanga Library, designed by GKK Works, is not only the county's newest public library, but it has also earned a LEED Silver rating. Its design features distinctive artworks by Topanga artists Norman Grochowski, Megan Rice, James Sullivan and brothers Matt and Paul Doolin.

After the ceremonies, children and adults rushed in to apply for library cards. By the end of the day, 500 applications for library cards were received and a new landmark for the Topanga community was launched. Congratulations to the City of Topanga for this Grand Opening and great achievement!

Legacy Park Named California's Project of the Year

Sen. Pavley was honored to speak at the Legacy Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in September 2010.

Malibu's Legacy Park was awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers' Project of the Year Award for the state of California. This is a great honor for the City of Malibu. Legacy Park, which was completed last year, is a demonstration of the City of Malibu's dedication to creating a cleaner environment and promoting sustainable practices among its residents. The award highlights Legacy Park's innovative approach to construction, which includes: using advanced technologies, materials and developing a state-of-the-art stormwater runoff system capable of capturing up to 2.6 million gallons per day of stormwater and urban runoff for treatment and disinfection. The park, located in the heart of Malibu, has restored and developed important native coastal habits, while creating open space for passive recreation and environmental education. Not only does this park offer examples of some of the most ambitious environmental protection practices, it also has a living learning center, informational kiosks, an outdoor classroom, a cultural interpretive center and numerous other features that provide valuable habitat and educational opportunities. Congratulations to Malibu's Legacy Park for winning this admired award.

Energy Auditor Training Comes to Canoga Park High School

Sixteen Canoga Park High School students participated in the energy efficiency audit and training program that took place on campus.

Earlier this month, a team from the Residential Energy Assessment Services (REAS, Inc.), in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District and Pierce College, provided an investment grade energy audit and training program at Canoga Park High School. Using the campus as a learning laboratory, staff members from REAS, Inc. provided 16 students with 60 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on training, which included: teaching students how to evaluate energy use, energy needs, and creating a plan for savings.

After completing the program, students gave formal presentations summarizing their work and reported how the school can become more energy efficient. I would like to thank Tammy Schwolsky, CEO of REAS, Inc., her team and everyone who made this program possible, for offering this great learning experience to our students. Congratulations to the students for taking advantage of the opportunity to further your education.

Participating students gave formal presentations to report how Canoga Park High School can become more energy efficient.

Topanga Canyon Blvd. Sees Traffic Signal Improvements

I am happy to report Caltrans has completed installation and improvements on four traffic signals at intersections along Topanga Canyon Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley. The intersections include: Mulholland, De La Osa, Mary Lee and Schoenburn. Traffic signals should be operational shortly. Inadequate traffic signals have posed serious safety concerns for years. I began working on this project during my time in the Assembly, and I am very happy to see it is finally moving towards completion. I hope that pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular safety will improve throughout this busy corridor.

Pacific Palisades House Becomes National Demonstration for Sustainable Construction

I would like to congratulate the Via De La Paz residence, now a national demonstration project promoting the next generation of ecology-minded developers and consumers. This two-story Pacific Palisades house has become a learning site for hundreds of students and professionals who have come to view energy-saving features during their construction and installation. Visitors have been given the opportunity to view the half-finished home while asking questions about the construction and installation of features including: low-flow plumbing devices, a termite and mold control application that also serves as fire retardant, large double-paned windows that flood the home with natural light and spray-on insulation used to tightly seal exterior walls. The house is scheduled to be completed in May and will open for a two-month demonstration period for sponsors who donated materials, as well as for students and others who are interested in the project's concept. I would like to thank this company for taking advantage of its opportunities to educate students and other professionals on this innovative "green" building technique, the builder also hopes to construct similar "green" homes in the Los Angeles area. The Pacific Palisades house is being constructed through a partnership with Green Builder Media, an organization that promotes sustainable building techniques, and Structure Home, a Woodland Hills-based construction company.

SB 454: Protecting Consumers

Last year, I carried a bill to ensure consumers are getting a fair deal from companies selling energy efficient products and services. SB 454, has already made a positive influence on the industry and the California Energy Commission's (CEC) ability to enforce energy efficiency violations. It is estimated that half of the appliances sold in California are not properly certified to meet the state's appliance efficiency standards, and with the help of SB 454, the CEC has agreed to develop a policy for enforcing efficiency code violations for appliances. I am pleased to see SB 454 has already had such an impact on protecting consumers.

Welcome Alena Pribyl, 2011/2012 Science and Technology Fellow

Please join me in welcoming Alena Pribyl, to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, which I chair. Alena is a member of the 2011 class of the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program, sponsored by the California Council on Science and Technology. This Fellowship places Ph.D. level scientists and engineers in the Legislature for one-year terms. As so many of the pressing issues facing California involve science and technology, the fellows represent an additional resource providing unbiased expert advice to help inform the policy-making process. That advice, in fact, is also free-of-charge as the fellowship program is completely supported by the generous financial contributions of private foundations in California. Alena will work on issues related to environmental and water resources.

Sustainability Award

Store Manager, Omar Molinari, accepted the Sustanability Award on behalf Grom.

Each month I recognize a business, person or organization in my district dedicated to preserving our environment by living and working responsibly. This month I'm proud to announce that I presented a Sustainability Award to Grom Gelateria in Malibu for their "Grom Loves World" project. This Gelateria is a favorite of many Malibu residents. Their use of eco-friendly business practices include: replacing all plastic with biodegradable and compostable material and using recycled and Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. Grom's actions to be socially responsible are commendable. I would like to congratulate Grom Gelateria and thank them for setting an example for other businesses to follow.

Connecting with Constituents

Sen. Pavley hosted a hearing in Sacramento on Energy Securities, where she invited distinguished Iraq War veterans to discuss clean cars and American energy to break our oil addiction and make U.S. safer. L-R: Alex Cornell du Houx, Captain Michael Breen, Sen. Pavley, Lt. General John G. Castellaw

Sen. Pavley speaking to students, parents and teachers at a Topanga Elementary School assembly. Sen. Pavley had to opportunity to discuss the state of the budget and how cuts could affect education with parents following the assembly.

This month, Sen. Pavley led the first Valley Advisory Council of 2012.

Sen. Pavley with Louis Krokover, Encino resident

Sen. Pavley and Michelle Johnson, editor of "The Topanga Story", at the Topanga Library Grand Opening.

California State Senator Fran Pavley - District 23
The 23rd Senate District includes the cities of Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Westlake Village, as well as several communities in the City of Los Angeles, including Bel Air, Beverly-Fairfax, Beverly Glen Canyon, Brentwood, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Tarzana, West Hills, Westwood and Woodland Hills. The district also includes Topanga, Channel Islands and other communities in unincorporated Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Web site:
E-mail: Senator Fran Pavley
Capitol Office
State Capitol,
Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-4023
District Office
2716 Ocean Park Blvd.,
Suite 3088
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 314-5214
District Office
5010 North Parkway Calabasas,
Suite 202
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 876-3352
Calling from Ventura County: (805) 815-3917

California State Senate Majority Caucus (c) 2014 California State Senate