Thanking our firefighters


On Monday, the newly elected Board members held their first Board meeting to conduct business and to formally approve appointed Board positions.  Then, on Tuesday, January 8, SHPOA kicked off its first general meeting of 2019. Cindy Bloom, newly elected SHPOA President, introduced the new board members, most of whom were present.

Here is the complete list of Board members for 2019 (* denotes new member):

ELECTED: President: Cindy BLoom; Recording Secretary: Gerri Summe; Treasurer: Lynne Toby; ​Membership:  Jacqy Gamble; (Danielle Fox* was appointed as committee member)​; Immediate Past President - Dave Depinto

APPOINTED: Land Use:  Elektra Kruger, Bob Renna*, Lynne Toby; Equestrian and Trails:  James & Andrea Gutman, Rosey Payne*; Neighborhood Watch:  Thom Despres*; Outreach Director (aka Daily Fodder):  Susan Wong*; Special Projects:  Cynthia Urias (cleanup/beautification), Jo Rich* (events); Webmaster: Carlos George (backup: Cindy Bloom); Newsletter Director: Cindy Bloom; Newsletter Coordinator and Ad Collection:  Linda Graves(; Newsletter Design and Layout:  Gerardo Barrientos*; Hospitality:  Katherine Dayen, Lois Dayen

After public comment, it was time for our guest speakers.  First, Jim Potts (Potts & Associates) gave an extremely informative presentation on "Active Shooter Awareness."  He presented an interesting history of terrorism and how on many levels domestic terrorists are much more prevalent and dangerous than international terrorists.  Did you know that California tops the country in the number of hate groups?  Social media and the internet have given terrorists and hate groups a platform to thrive. He then segued into how terrorism and hate groups are related to, and may be the foundation for, active shooters.  The upcoming newsletter will have a more in depth recount of his presentation.

Then, Semee Park from the City of Los Angeles' Department of Neighborhood Empowerment spoke about the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections, history and function of Neighborhood Councils, and how to run for office.  
At open forum, a lively discussion took place on a variety of topics.  It was wonderful to see Shadow Hills folks engaged.  The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Meanwhile, your Board is working on projects for the upcoming year, including completing the 2019 Priorities set by the community and members at the December 2018 meeting, beautification projects, a round table with other local communities hosted by Senator Portantino's office, a multi-home owner association meeting with the LA DWP Ratepayer's office, and yes, the pancake breakfast may be back!

Jim Potts talks about active shooter awareness

                                                 SHPOA General Meeting: The Birds and the Trees - March 12, 2019

We had a great turnout for our second meeting in 2019.  Thanks to all who attended.  Guest speakers included Arturo Garcia from Assemblywoman Rivas’ office who spoke about the proposed traffic congestion tax and Real ID (more on those in a separate article).  Melanie K. Morita, PE, from LA County Department of Public Works, whose office is the lead agency for that area, gave an informative presentation on the Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area post-fire recovery plans.  Almost all the vegetation was burned and some debris and non-native plants will be removed.  The burned tree trunks (“snags”) are still habitat to insects and will be used to define and redefine trails.  Three trail crossings will be removed to protect the fish habitat and another three will be rerouted or added.  Some fish, like large mouth bass and red swamp crayfish, will be removed as they’re non-native and compete with the native species.  The trail along Haines Creek will be realigned.  The campaign to remove Brown-headed Cowbirds will continue as they are brood parasitic birds that lay their eggs in other species’ nests, and the chicks eat all the food brought by the parent(s).  The Cowbirds can lay an amazing 40-100 eggs a season and can easily wipe out other species.  Instead of planting native plants, non-natives will be removed to naturally give the natives a chance to thrive.  Concerning recovery of burned trees, only approximately 25% will recover over a 5-7 year period.  Currently, many are regenerating around the root area.

On related note, Councilwoman Rodriquez secured a $500,000 grant for debris removal and general cleaning up of the mitigation area.  Formerly, she had secured a $1 million grant to remove debris near the Hansen Dam area so we are thrilled that she was able to obtain further funding for the mitigation area as it’s a sensitive environmental area in great need. Most of the funding will be used for hiring wildfire clean-up crews to work 20-40 hours weekly for up to 20 weeks (April-June 2019) at $13.50 per hour.  If you or someone you know wishes to be considered for hire, please call 213-355-5304 or 213-355-5300. 

Jim Potts (left) educates the attendees about terrorism and what to do in case of an active shooter situation.  Semee Park (right) talks about how to run for our local Neighborhood Council.

We thanked and honored the fire and police first responders.


Over 100 people attended

​Click here for Vision Zero powerpoint; click here for Agenda with Notes



SHPOA held its year-end meeting Monday night at Tierra del Sol before a full house of grateful friends and neighbors. The decor, food and holiday entertainment created an uplifting spirit in which to also conduct business. Thank you to the holiday committee for its tremendous work during these tough times and to all who attended, including Teresa Lamb, representing Congressman Schiff and Vickere Murphy, representing Senator Portantino.

Board elections were held with these results:

President - Dave DePinto
Vice President - Cindy Bloom
Executive Secretary - Bill Eick
Recording Secretary - Gerri Summe
Treasurer - Lynne Toby
Membership Director - Jacqy Gamble

Per SHPOA's bylaws, the Board will soon appoint chairpersons to various committees such as Equestrian, Volunteer, Communications, Newsletter, Land Use, Hospitality, etc. Most chairpersons will remain the same and we have had commitments from two new individuals to assist the Board. We'd welcome and request additional volunteers - if you're interested in serving as a committee leader or committee member, please contact SHPOA at

Other meeting highlights included prayers and appreciation for all affected by and assisting us in our recent fire emergency, planning priorities for 2018 (separate report to follow), high speed train update, reminder to renew your SHPOA membership for 2018, a treasury report, holiday music featuring Frank Camara (regular performer at Farmers' Market) and Lili Singer of Theodore Payne Foundation, "After the Fire: Flowers."

Before and at the meeting, many residents offered, suggested and supported SHPOA's involvement in providing financial and educational assistance to victims of the La Tuna and Creek fires. SHPOA is setting up a special account from existing funds and your donations for this purpose, just like we have done for the high speed train effort. Please call Dave DePinto, president (310-502-7928), if you'd like to make a donation to this Fund and/or mail your contribution to SHPOA, P.O. Box 345, Sunland, 91041, or visit our website ( and use PayPal. Please be clear in indicating that your donation is for fire recovery. 

The Board, with input from meeting attendees made the following decisions:

SHPOA requests the names, addresses and phone numbers of residents suffering damage to their homes and displacement from either the Creek or La Tuna fires. Please forward that information to

Short-term financial assistance will be offered, based on need, to those victims, as they await insurance coverage, government assistance, etc. We ask that those people contact Dave DePinto, SHPOA president, confidentially if desired, to discuss/request support. 

SHPOA is soliciting media/creative/production assistance from residents who would like to assist in an educational video project. The initial concept (to be developed further) is to create two uniquely Shadow Hills videos: one on how residents may prepare for disasters, and a second focused on special training/planning benefiting equestrians and those with animals. We will post the videos on our website, Daily Fodder, Next Door and Facebook, as well as provide CDs, as requested. Please contact Cindy Bloom, SHPOA vice president (818-445-5602), to discuss your support.

SHPOA will consider financial assistance to neighbors engaged in fire recovery efforts such as Kagel Canyon, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, La Tuna Canyon and Sun Valley. Please contact Dave DePinto if you have suggestions or requests at 310-502-7928.

Again, thanks to all for a great meeting. On behalf of the SHPOA Board, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! And, a heartfelt thanks to the fire, first aid and police responders within LA City and LA County.