As the Fourth of July approaches, valley residents are preparing to celebrate Independence Day after a year of shutdowns that forced cancellations of many shows last year.
Public safety officials are urging members of the public to view professional Fourth of July firework displays as personal fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles County.
Even the so-called “safe and sane” fireworks are illegal in many jurisdictions including unincorporated areas of L.A. County, the City of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Burbank and Lancaster.
“Safe and sane” fireworks can be used in Palmdale from 12 p.m. on June 28 through 12 p.m. on July 5. Any firework that shoots up in the air or explodes is illegal anywhere in Palmdale, according to the City.
Personal fireworks are known to negatively affect children, pets, and combat veterans. In addition, the wildfire danger is ever-present, said Nicholas Prange, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
“We encourage all to seek public fireworks shows, which will be more readily available than they were last year,” Prange said.
The City of Lancaster and the City of Palmdale are hosting a joint Fourth of July fireworks celebration at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds starting at 5 p.m.on Sunday, July 4.
“The show is expected to last approximately five hours. It will showcase free entertainment, the Rural Olympic Games, and spectacular fireworks to celebrate Independence Day and the country we call home,” the announcement said.
A limited number of grandstand seating tickets will be available.
Visit here for a list of locations and events where tickets will be distributed.
Santa Clarita Valley
The City of Santa Clarita announced the return of the Spirit of America Fireworks Spectacular, which will headline Fourth of July festivities in the City after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020.
The fireworks will once again light up the sky from the launch site near the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Citrus Street at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, 2021.
Citrus Street is set to be closed beginning at 3 a.m. on the morning of July 4. In addition, a portion of the Westfield Valencia Town Center parking lot will be blocked off to the public for the firework fall zone.
More information on fireworks in Santa Clarita can be found here.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is hosting the Coca-Cola July 4th Fest, starting July 2 until Independence Day.
The event features fireworks and a laser show with patriotic music, according to the theme park.
Tickets are $70 and include all-day access to Magic Mountain. Parking is $25. For more information, visit their website.
San Fernando Valley
The annual Burbank 4th of July fireworks display will take place beginning at 9 pm near the Starlight Bowl.
Burbank officials are inviting the public to “watch safely from the comfort of home in your front and backyards.” There will be no concert or public access to the Starlight Bowl area.
The City of Calabasas is hosting a 4th of July Hometown Celebration. Gates are opening at 6 p.m. for the event at the Calabasas High School football field.
A concert, featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, is set to start at 7 p.m, with the firework show starting at 9 p.m.
There will be field seating on synthetic grass turf and limited stand seating. Low-back lawn chairs and blankets are strongly recommended.
$10 advance tickets are required, with free parking on site. For more information, visit here.
Shepherd Church is welcoming guests to a drive-up Fourth of July fireworks show. Residents can tune to 87.9 FM to listen to announcements and music aligned with the display. The show starts at about 9 p.m.
More information can be found on their website.
Universal Studios Hollywood is hosting a firework display at the theme park, starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $99 for California residents, including a full day at Universal. Parking is $28 or $10 after 5 p.m. For more information, visit here.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s July 4th Extravaganza is “one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in Southern California.”
Over 60,000 people are expected to attend the free concert, featuring Beatles tribute band Ticket to Ride, and a 15-minute fireworks display.
There are over 20 local restaurants on hand along with arts and crafts vendors and local businesses promoting and selling their goods.
The event takes place on July 4th of each year from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Parking fees are a donation to Valley Cultural Foundation and allow us to continue our longstanding tradition of bringing music and the arts to the West Valley.
More information can be found here.
L.A. Mayor Signs Camping Ordinance Aimed At Restricting Homeless Encampments
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an ordinance on Friday aimed at restricting homeless encampments in certain areas of the city.
The ordinance, which is set to take effect 30 days from the signing date, bans camping near “sensitive” facilities including within 500 feet of schools, daycares, parks and libraries, according to the L.A. City Council agenda.
In addition, the measure also restricts sitting, lying, or sleeping as well as storing, using, maintaining and placing personal property in any public right-of-way such as ramps, driveways or bike lanes, among others.
On Wednesday, the council voted 13-2 to approve the measure before Garcetti’s signature.
Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nithya Raman voiced opposition to the ordinance, with Bonin recalling his own struggle with housing.
“Some of those nights I slept in the car, some of those nights, when my car was in the shop, I slept on the beach. I cannot tell you how much turmoil is in your heart when the sun is setting and you don’t know where to sleep,” Bonin said. “I cannot tell you how demoralizing and dehumanizing and defeating that experience is when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep.”
City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said the measure helps regulate shared public spaces while “acting with compassion and purpose” to help people experiencing homelessness.
“This ordinance establishes fair and clearly defined rules for how sidewalks in Los Angeles are regulated — while linking those rules to a comprehensive, compassionate strategy for street engagement that will establish reasonable pathways to positive outcomes and, ultimately, permanent homes,” O’Farrell said.
In order to enforce the new order, the City Council has to take action through a resolution to designate a certain area for enforcement, according to the ordinance.
The city plans to send out “street engagement teams,” along with law enforcement, to assist those experiencing homelessness in the designated encampment by providing connection to services, including interim housing.
Last month, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released a report outlining the number of shelter beds available across the county.
The number of homeless shelter beds in the L.A. region has increased by over 50% in the past three years, however, demand still outpaces the capacity, according to the agency.
LAHSA found that the L.A. region’s shelter capacity on any given night was 24,616 beds — less than half of the estimated 66,000 people on the street countywide.
The previous Homeless Count was conducted before the pandemic, with many housing experts and community members reporting an increase in the unhoused population in the past 18 months.
L.A. Homeless Shelter Capacity Up 57% In Three Years, Still Less Than Demand
The number of homeless shelter beds in Los Angeles has increased by over 50% in the past three years, however, demand still outpaces the capacity.
The 2021 Housing Inventory Count and Shelter Count, released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Wednesday, shows the nightly shelter capacity in the L.A. area has grown despite challenges faced by the pandemic.
LAHSA found that the L.A. region’s shelter capacity on any given night was 24,616 beds, a 57% increase over the last three years. The agency also reported 33,592 permanent housing options, an increase of 16% over the same period.
Through “unprecedented coordination” and a critical influx of state and federal emergency funding, the L.A. region’s rehousing system’s response to COVID-19 saved lives, according to Heidi Marston, executive director of LAHSA.
“We must build off of that momentum as we emerge from the pandemic to build the infrastructure necessary to address our homelessness crisis and collectively confront the conditions that continue to push people into homelessness,” Marston said in a statement.
The Los Angeles region needs to build a more balanced system with more housing options. A balanced rehousing system has five permanent housing exits for each shelter bed; the Los Angeles system is closer to one-to-one, according to the executive director.
The Housing Inventory Count is a census of all interim and permanent housing options in the homeless rehousing system at a given point-in-time. This year, the Housing Inventory Count occurred on Jan. 27.
LAHSA reported these results despite the global pandemic causing a considerable strain on its shelter supply.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, all of Los Angeles County’s congregate shelters had to decrease their bed count through a process called decompression.
However, strategic investments by the federal, state, and local governments through Project Roomkey and Project Homekey helped make up for the loss of capacity, according to the agency.
The Shelter Count revealed that there were 17,225 people in a shelter on the night of the count, which is virtually unchanged from the previous year.
LAHSA cited that without the addition of 2,357 Project Roomkey beds and 497 Project Homekey beds, there could have been a more significant drop in the shelter count due to decompression.
Following the advice of public health officials, LAHSA did not conduct an Unsheltered Count in 2021 to protect the 8,000 volunteers needed to complete the Count each year from COVID-19. The agency is planning to resume the Unsheltered Count in 2022.
Home Prices In San Fernando Valley Reach New High, Median Nearing $1 Million
The median price of San Fernando Valley homes sold during June reached a record high while sales soared 56.9% and the number of properties listed for sale lingered at low levels.
The median price was $955,000, up 28.9% from June 2020, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors (SRAR).
June was the fourth consecutive month with the median above the $900,000 benchmark.
“Not long ago it would have been inconceivable that the San Fernando Valley would see the median home price inching toward $1 million,” said Diane Sydell, president of the association in a statement. “Now it seems inevitable, especially with today’s wealth of buyers, dearth of inventory, and heated competition over virtually every listing.”
The condominium median price for June was $519,000, up 12.8% from June 2020, but 3.9% below the record high $540,000 set this April.
A total of 554 single-family homes closed escrow during June, up 56.9% from a year ago and 11.5% ahead of May’s tally. It was the first month this year above 500 sales and the highest monthly total since June 2018.
The statistics for condominium sales were not as dramatic, in part because of the extremely limited supply of condominiums listed for sale, according to SRAR.
There were 725 active home and condominium listings at the end of June, the first month above 700 listings this year.
“The market has been overheated and buyer fatigue may be a factor going forward,” said Tim Johnson, the association’s chief executive officer. “Too many buyers are weary of competing with unseen competitors and losing to a higher bidder even when they come to the market fully prepared to buy. ”
That may translate in buyers being a bit more cautious, which when combined with the
reopening of the economy may yield a slowdown in sales and a few more listings.
Yet Johnson stressed that a “few more listings” doesn’t go far, even if some buyers are starting to take a bit longer to jump into the market.