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. 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.
Supervisors Delay Vote For Plan To Transfer ‘Serious’ Juvenile Offenders To Santa Clarita
A vote to approve the transfer of “serious” juvenile offenders to detention facilities in Santa Clarita on Bouquet Canyon Road was delayed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The motion, made by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell, instructs Camps Joseph Scott and Kenyon Scudder to be renovated within 90 days so that the facilities can be used by this juvenile offender population.
The juvenile detention camps are located within the limits of the City of Santa Clarita, on county-owned property that reaches within 600 feet of existing homes, according to the City.
On Tuesday, the board delayed a vote on the motion to the next meeting on July 20 after many Santa Clarita residents spoke out about the plan.
Last month, the Los Angeles County Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) subcommittee submitted a report recommending the use of Camps Scott and Scudder as long-term holding facilities for all male offenders countywide.
If approved the camps would house offenders, between the ages of 12 and 25 years old, convicted of crimes including murder, rape, arson and robbery.
The move was brought forth after the signing of Senate Bill 823, which transferred the responsibility for the custody, treatment and supervision of youth to counties, effective July 1, 2021.
SB 823 requires counties to create a subcommittee, known as the Division of Juvenile Justice, to develop a plan describing the facilities, programs, placement and strategies needed to provide appropriate rehabilitative and supervision services for the juvenile population.
In a report requested by the County and issued in December 2020 – Camps Scott and Scudder were not even mentioned as options for the relocation, according to the City.
However, the Youth Justice Reimagined Report does dedicate significant analysis and consideration to other existing juvenile facilities in the County and ultimately, recommends Camps Kilpatrick and Gonzales.
“This motion was added to the agenda without any communication with the City of Santa Clarita or our residents,” said City officials. “This motion was made without any consultation with the City, and the Santa Clarita City Attorney’s Office is currently evaluating all legal options.”
The report cites security, remoteness from nearby communities, capacity for vocational and educational training, and a therapeutic environment as factors that attributed to their ultimate recommendation.
On June 23, the Santa Clarita City Council unanimously voted to oppose the plan, adding there were “no efforts made” by the County DJJ Subcommittee in engaging with members of the community.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents Santa Clarita, said she is going to look into alternative sites to house the offenders, including three other camps in Los Angeles County.
Note: This story has been updated at 12:25 p.m. Tuesday, July 13 with information on the delayed vote for the motion.
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