Oak Tree


March, 2024 Edition

Josh Sautter

Encino Neighborhood Council Representative, Area 1 

Outreach Committee Chairman

Growing up on the lively East Coast, I had a hidden love for the valley, a love I didn't even know I had. All those beloved movies from my childhood weren't just a way to pass time; they were unknowingly sketching the contours of a place that would feel like home. Now, as I meander through Encino, be it on a routine Target trip or a Costco run, those cinematic moments from my youth spring to life, sprinkling a touch of magic on the ordinary.

Encino has become the canvas where I'm painting my life's most vibrant chapters – building a family, nurturing dreams, and cherishing the community's spirit. It's in the simple joys, like serene walks in Balboa Park, cozy breakfasts at More than Waffles, and the camaraderie at the Southern California Garden Club, that my heart finds its rhythm. These everyday blessings have inspired me to dive in and contribute to our community, leading me to join the neighborhood council and now, to chair the Outreach Committee. Yes, Encino boasts its very own Neighborhood Council and Outreach Committee, vibrant with community spirit!

We're on the cusp of something truly special here in Encino. We're brewing ideas and planning events to weave us closer, like "The Oak Tree Flyer" to keep us all connected. Picture this: outdoor movie nights under the starlit sky, perhaps even enchanting evenings with Shakespeare in the park. But here's where you come in – we need your brilliance, your zest, your heart.

Life's a whirlwind, with family, work, and countless commitments.  Yet, imagine the ripple of joy we can create, the warmth we can spread, by uniting for events that ignite our community's spirit. Thinking back to the exhilaration of my Encino Village Halloween Block Party – that's the energy we're aiming to replicate.  Encino is poised to step into the spotlight, to celebrate its unique allure.  By coming together, we not only enrich Encino but also discover new wells of happiness in our own lives.

In a short span of 18 months, Encino has gifted me with laughter, friendships, and a profound sense of belonging. Now, I extend this invitation to you: leap into this adventure with us. Let's craft the Encino of our dreams, together. Let's scatter seeds of joy and watch as our corner of the world blossoms. Join us in transforming Encino into the shining jewel of our community!

Check out the ENC Calendar below for up-comming ENC meetings! The next Outreach Committee Meeting on April 1 at 6:30pm on zoom. 

And please join the ENC mailing list for "The Oak Tree Flyer" and other important news:


A note from

Laurie Kelson

founding member of the

Encino Neighborhood Council

We were first a Community Council and then became a Neighborhood Council as the result of the city in fear of losing the Valley to be it's own city. Over the years, we have had many outstanding presidents and dedicated board members, all volunteers. Hours and hours of volunteer time spent for the good of our Encino Community. We have had outstanding relationships with the City Council Offices. First we were in CD11, then in CD5, and most recently in CD4. Most City Council members have been very responsive to the ENC.

 My focus has been on traffic and transportation. With so much development to the North and West of our community without any new roads, we have become more congested with cut-thru traffic. "Reseda to the Sea" (Reseda Blvd) which would have been another route over the Santa Monica Mountains, planned in the 1950's never happening so the 405/Sepulveda route to the East and Topanga Canyon, ten miles to the West, are the only routes over the hills.

Sherman Oaks have Roscomare Rd, Beverly Glen, Benedict Canyon, Coldwater Canyon and Laurel Canyon which share or divide the Valley to city commute for hillside residents who live to the East.

We need a subway. METRO is still deciding which route would be best. Please let your opinion be heard and stay involved in our community.

Meet our LAPD Senior Lead Officer,

Pravind Walia, Encino Area,

LAPD West Valley

Join us at our regular ENC monthly board meeting on March 27th at 7pm on Zoom to connect with Officer Walia.

(zoom link posted on ENC website 72 hours prior to meeting.)

Officer Walia's Tip of the Month:

March 2024

In our latest public safety update, we're bringing to light the recent trends in crime rates across Los Angeles. The latest data shared by the LAPD and city officials reveal a notable decline in violent crime throughout 2023. The figures are promising, with a 17% reduction in homicides compared to the previous year, and an overall 3.2% decrease in violent crime.

On the flip side, we've observed an uptick in property crimes, marking a 3.5% increase from 2022. Particularly striking is the surge in theft incidents, including retail thefts, which have risen by 16%. The city also witnessed 137 instances of flash mob robberies last year.

In today's digital age, where information is abundant and sometimes contradictory, it can be challenging to discern the accurate state of affairs. Many are left wondering about the true extent of crime in their neighborhoods and the likelihood of becoming a victim.

To provide clarity and reliable information, Officer Walia suggests turning to a trusted online resource curated by the LAPD. This platform offers the most current and precise crime data for your locality. It's important to approach third-party apps with caution, as they often rely solely on 911 call records, which may not always reflect accurate incidents.

For those seeking authentic and up-to-date crime statistics in Los Angeles, the LAPD's recommended COMSTAT website is your go-to source. Stay informed and stay safe by accessing the most reliable information directly from the authorities.

The California Audubon Society does business as San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, and was formed in 1906. Its mission is to promote the conservation of natural resources and to preserve and enhance wildlife habitats and biodiversity, to increase appreciation of bird life and the natural environment through education, presentations, guided bird walks and other activities, and to foster opportunities for a diverse population to come together for the protection and celebration of avian life. In addition to birding and related presentations, SFVAS is actively involved in habitat restoration and preservation as well as environmental education. SFVAS is partnering with the Santa Monica Mountains Fund to provide a series of classes on native plant landscaping later this year.

SFVAS will continue its 2nd Saturday family & beginner birding excursion in Encino’s own Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area, meeting on April 13, 2024 at 9 AM. Loaner binoculars are available at the family and beginner event. The 1st Sunday trips at the Basin meet every month at 8 am and generally go all the way to the Sepulveda Dam, often locating 50 or more different species of birds. The SFVAS birding events will be canceled in the event of rain. See the SFVAS Website for more information and events.


You’re invited to the

Encino Community Center, Balboa Sports Center

Spring Egg Hunt!

This event will include arts and crafts, treats, community booths, games, prizes, and more!


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Balboa Sports Center

17015 Burbank Blvd.

Encino, CA 91316

Safer Streets For Encino Pedestrians!

The Encino Neighborhood council is delighted to see that the crosswalk at Balboa and Addison has been improved for students of Encino Charter Elementary and Encino pedestrians.

A note from Mehmet Berker,

CD4 Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Space Director

Since becoming the Councilmember for Encino, Councilmember Raman and the Council District 4 team have worked to try and address Encino Neighborhood Council (ENC) priorities. One of those priorities was for added protection for the Balboa/Addison crosswalk. This crosswalk was a "naked" crosswalk, in that it had no form of signalization or warning beacons, just pedestrian crosswalk signage. Working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), our office was able to add Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (or RRFB) to the crosswalk. RRFBs are a step up from a "naked" crosswalk and consist of smaller, rectangular beacons that flash when a push button request is made by someone trying to cross the street. Ultimately, the crosswalk is approved for what are known as Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons/HAWKs, which are a more intensive signalization that involve three lights on a mast arm above the street that flash red. While that ultimate improvement is still unfunded, LADOT was able to identify the funds and crews available to install the RRFBs now to give the community an important safety benefit at this high-priority crosswalk. We want to thank the ENC and community members for bringing this to our attention, and we especially want to thank Tim Conger from LADOT who is the man juggling all our signal construction projects and crews, and identified the opportunity to install the RRFBs.

Southern California Garden Club, the oldest and largest garden club in the San Fernando Valley, invites you to visit or join as we continue our 97th season with a Garden Club Meeting featuring a program, “Trees are Good: Protecting & Caring For Them” presented by club member, certified arborist and landscape architect Shelley Sparks. Shelley promotes that by bringing our environments into balance we live happier healthier lives and help heal the earth. California celebrates Arbor Week in March. So do garden clubs!   

DATE OF EVENT: Tuesday, March 19, 2024 

TIME OF EVENT: 9:30 a.m. 

EVENT LOCATION: Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, 91436      

The program is preceded at 9:30 a.m. by a plant market and country store (for fundraising) and plant specimen display (judged by an accredited Flower Show Judge); and business meeting at 10:00 a.m.; and a workshop, “Camellias, The Queen of the Winter Garden,” presented by club member and NGC Gardening Consultant Alexis Slafer. This will serve as a prelude to our April visit to Nuccio’s Nurseries, famous camellia growers for decades.   Lunch (bring your own) follows the program at 12:00 p.m. The club provides beverages and desserts. No admission charge for guests. All are welcome.

Club meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month (Sept. through June).

Southern California Garden Club –

California Garden Clubs, Inc. –

Pacific Region Garden Clubs, Inc.

National Garden Clubs, Inc. –

Read our publications: 

The Green Thumb, Golden Gardens eNews, WACONIAH, and The National Gardener

Find us on Facebook.

Stay Informed with the Encino Neighborhood Council!

Feeling concerned with the increasing noise from Van Nuys Airport or the ongoing developments along Ventura Blvd? Interested in finding solutions to the traffic and congestion issues in Encino? The Encino Neighborhood Council is here for you, actively addressing community concerns through its dedicated committees.

To keep abreast of these discussions and contribute your voice, we invite you to join our committee or general board meetings. Our ENC Calendar is your go-to resource for all meeting schedules, most of which are conveniently held via video conference to ensure easy access for everyone.

Meeting links are made available 72 hours in advance and can be accessed through the agendas posted for each event. Simply visit our live calendar, select the event of interest, and find all the details, including the video conference links, in the posted agenda.

Stay connected and informed about the developments in Encino by joining us in our efforts to make our community a better place.

Encino Neighborhood Council Calendar

View Live Links:

Subscribe to Calendar:

Join Mailing List

Phone: 747-284-0450


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