Oct 312016
 

2016 Quality of Life Awards Award Of Excellence Bestowed Upon Owens Lake Trails Architectural Elements

The Architectural Elements on Owens Lake, part of the Owens Lake Trails Project, were honored with the Award of Excellence at the 2016 Quality of Life Awards of the Southern California Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) last week.

Each year, the Award of Excellence is given to the one project which, “represents an outstanding advancement in leadership, contribution, understanding, and/or achievement in the field of landscape architecture and that improves the quality of life in Southern California and beyond.” In addition to the prestigious Award of Excellence, the Owens Lake Architectural Elements, designed by NUVIS Landscape Architecture and owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), also received an Honor Award in the Landscape Art design category from a pool of 92 submissions.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see this valuable community project receive such esteemed recognition,” Nelson O. Mejia LADWP’s Owens Lake Project Manager said. “The landscape architect honored the lake’s past as it worked to shape the space’s future, creating an art piece that is in harmony with the surrounding view shed while providing an important habitat benefit to the lake’s visiting migratory bird species. By working with the local community, tribal leaders, and state and local offices, the Owens Lake Trails and Architectural Elements are an exceptional example of what can be created through strategic collaboration.”

The Owens Lake Trails consist of three trailheads that provide the Eastern Sierra region with a new wildlife viewing destination as well as education about LADWP’s dust emission mitigation efforts. The trails have attracted new tourism to the area, improving local business, creating recreation opportunities, and increasing public dialog on water conservation.

Owens Lake Architectural Elements are located on a 700 acre parcel within one of the Owens Lake Trailheads, the Plaza Trailhead, began with State Agencies’ and LADWP’s commitment to meet the following goals: provide public access and hiking trails, create bird and mammal habitat, and preserve cultural resources while still meeting the dust emission controls. NUVIS Landscape Architecture, adhering to the approved dust mitigation palette (shallow flood, gravel cover, and managed vegetation where soil conditions allow), designed a solution which evolved into Architectural Elements named the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps are large land forms in four size variations that provide topographic variation for both plant and animal diversity. Although the project did not start out as an art commission, the design developed into a composition of simple materials and forms inspired by the Owens Valley.

“Imagine Owens lake before the water was diverted to serve the people of Los Angeles,” said Perry Cardoza, the landscape architect who designed the Owens Lake Architectural Elements. “It was a large body of water in a vast valley with 80 mile per hour winds blowing across its surface. Old photographs show the lake having the appearance of a small sea filled with whitecaps during its windy season. Our team, in collaboration with LADWP’s biologists, designed a monument to the lake’s past which solves the challenge of providing habitat for shorebirds, small mammals, and invertebrates, while meeting the strict dust control requirements.”

The American Society Landscape Architects is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. The Quality of Life Design Awards celebrate innovative design solutions, as well as stewardship of the land exhibited by firms and individuals who have made a positive impact on our evolving human and natural landscape.

This above article is about recognitions for Owens Lake Trails Architectural Elements. The Owens Lake Trails project itself has a story worth knowing. It seems that the road to the awards wasn’t smooth and the final outcome isn’t only an aesthetic asset but a benefit to natural environment. Interesting? Read more.

 

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Oct 302016
 

SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

The day has arrived and Anything L.A. Magazine held the much anticipated bone marrow drive for Adam Krief. A representative of Be The Match® (National Marrow Donor Program®), was there with testing kits as well as plenty of informational, educational and promotional materials. There were volunteers eager to be tested to hopefully be the match for Adam Krief. KTLA’s (Channel 5) reporter came by as well.

Anything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

Anything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief: All ready to test and educate half an hour BEFORE the drive! (Hope H. from Be The Match has done an excellent job!)

SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

Ready to get tested? (Pictures of donors not shown to protect donors’ privacy.)

KTLA came to cover SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA at work during SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA at work during SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA interviewing Hope H. during our SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA interviewing Hope H. (Be The Match) during our SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA, Be The Match and Editor of Anything L.A. Magazine

Be The Match, KTLA and Editor of Anything L.A. Magazine

Here is what we learned:

  • what’s really involved in stem cell transplants
  • why one has to join the National Marrow Donor Program to get tested to be a match for a particular patient
  • why so many people volunteer to get tested and become donors
Hope H. represented Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Registry) during our drive

Hope H. represented Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Registry) during our drive and was with us to administer compatibility tests

Having spoken with Hope H., the Be The Match® representative who joined us for our drive, we now know that either form of bone marrow donation is quite easy on the donor. The PBSC donation (which consists of a specialized blood donation during which stem cells for the transplant are filtered out from the donor’s blood) is simple, fast and requires no recovery. The more complex marrow donation (performed under general anesthesia involves bone marrow extraction using a thin needle, NOT a drill!) is usually followed by a few days of minor discomfort easily relieved with over-the-counter pain reliever. Considering the fact that the payoff is saving a human life, either one is a bargain.

Prior to our marrow drive we were wondering why a person has to join the National Marrow Donor Registry – and make themselves available to donate to any patient in need – to be tested as a possible match for a specific patient. Here is what we learned, you don’t have to join the registry, if you prefer to pay for the test to a private lab (the cost is about $300) you can do so without joining the Marrow Donor Registry. However the odds of being a match for a specific patient are extremely low. Members of the registry who are between 18 and 44 years of age get tested free of charge, provided they are committed to saving any patient in need.

We were wondering who and why would volunteer to join the National Marrow Donor Registry and make themselves available to any patient who needs bone marrow transplant. (It was easy for us to relate to ONE person’s plight. Knowing a face and a story makes volunteering easy. “Any patient” has no face and no story to relate to.) We learned that the most motivated volunteers / donors are people personally touched by a loved one’s fight with cancer. They get tested to save a loved one only to find out that they are not a match. Then, they are eager to become donors for anyone else in the hope that others will be as willing to donate to and save their loved one. (We were surprised to learn that Hope H., our Be The Match representative, not only is a registered marrow donor herself, but has personal reasons to be passionate about – and dedicated to – the cause of treating cancer patients with stem cell therapy.)

The SFV Bone Marrow Donor Drive For Adam Krief was an eye-opening experience for the staff of Anything L.A. Magazine. Even though we are passionate about helping Adam Krief for quite a while now and expanded considerable effort into organizing the drive to his benefit, we were taken aback by our own ignorance of stem cell transplants. The experience of holding the marrow drive changed our view of the National Marrow Donor Registry and its importance. Perhaps emboldened by our encounter with the need for marrow transplants and their value as a treatment for many types of cancer, we – the staff of Anything L.A. Magazine – now believe that making marrow compatibility testing mandatory for all United States citizens might be a good idea. None of us knows whether we – or someone we love – will develop cancer that can be cured with a stem cell transplant, at some point in life. Now, more familiar with the specifics, we believe that it should be possible to “shop” and FIND a matching donor as quickly as purchase a prescription. If we were all in the National Marrow Donor Registry NO ONE would have to die while searching and waiting for a matching donor. Having such a law on the books wouldn’t be exploitative because living tissue regenerates itself (it’s a renewable resource!) but its availability and ease of access could save time and lives of cancer patients.

Anything L.A. Magazine is just that: a magazine. We don’t haveAnything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief legislative power. But we are free to make suggestions to our readers AND legislators. Consider getting tested if you are between 18 and 44: a mass participation in the National Marrow Donor Registry could save your own life or the life of someone you love down the line.

Anything L.A. Magazine thanks all who contributed to the success of our SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief. Whether you volunteered and got tested or helped to spread the word: THANK YOU! (Our Special Thanks go to @IronmanMann, @meghubb and @ArtemisPics on Twitter. Another very Special Thanks to KTLA and the KTLA’s reporter who came by during our drive. The reporter was not only well-informed and kind but understood the importance of the cause.) The saying has it “It takes a village to raise a child.” It takes several villages to save a life of a cancer patient. Thousands participated in the effort already. We’ve made a modest contribution, too. Anything L.A. Magazine is sincerely grateful for your support for Adam Krief and our marrow drive!

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich
Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 282016
 
L.A. City Attorney, Mike Feuer

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

 

Mike Feuer and LAPD Foothill Division held a Town Hall meeting in Tujunga. L.A. City Attorney listened to residents’ concerns, showed commitment to solving their problems, offered concrete solutions. So UNLIKE a politician….

 

On Thursday October 27th 2016 L.A. City Attorney, Mr. Mike Feuer together with LAPD Foothill Division held a Town Hall meeting in Sunland / Tujunga. Among local community members in attendance were also staffers of Anything L.A. Magazine.

Anything L.A. Magazine has followed the latest accomplishments of L.A. City Attorney’s and took notice of especially three of them:

  • His massive victory over Wells Fargo which positively impacted the bank’s customers nationwide
  • His fight against homeless patient dumping in Los Angeles and the prosecution of offending health facilities
  • His Ticket Clinics which help people guilty of minor offenses reclaim their lives

Quite frankly, we were curious to see Mike Feuer address every day community issues. Town Hall meetings by their very nature tend to be rather boring. Surprisingly, the Tujunga meeting was anything but. Mr. Feuer doesn’t sit in an ivory tower and perceive his constituents as uniform “people”. He is more than capable of seeing individuals and empathizing with their real-life concerns. He is warm, direct, easy to relate to and doesn’t speak over anyone’s head.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer introduced Mark Ross, Tujunga’s new Neighborhood Prosecutor

The meeting began with Mike Feuer introducing his team members and explaining the role of Mark Ross, Tujunga’s new Neighborhood Prosecutor (formerly with the Rampart Division). L.A. City Attorney explained the concept of neighborhood justice which he also calls “restorative justice”, a program assisting in rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-felons which is intended to reduce recidivism rates. LAPD Foothill Community Police Station’s Chief Green introduced his key officers and explained their responsibilities.

Among the concerns raised by community members were:

  • trouble-making neighbors
  • homeless encampments in the area
  • lack of responsiveness of the parking division
  • doubts about Proposition 47

It was obvious to anyone in attendance that Mike Feuer is more than a run-of-the-mill politician doing his job. He is clearly following his calling and his passion for law is tempered by his concern for the welfare of the people he was elected to serve.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

Mr. Feuer doesn’t avoid uncomfortable topics and doesn’t answer questions vaguely. It was clear that he is familiar with the concerns raised by attendees and ready to propose thoughtful, practical solutions. He asked about specifics of each concern and reassured us that they will be followed until their successful resolution. (In few cases, specifically those calling for more law enforcement, budget and personnel shortage account for the lack of solutions….)

The experience of attending the Sunland / Tujunga Town Hall meeting was surprisingly refreshing. We’ve seen a City Attorney who cares, is responsive and puts forth the effort to offer and / or propose concrete – and creative! – solutions. (One of them was for the city to lease existing, small motels and convert them into housing for the homeless which could be a cost-effective and fast solution to Los Angeles’ massive homeless’ crisis.)

L.A. City Attorney delivers. He made the residents feel heard. He welcomed new ideas. He assured follow up. He was not afraid to introduce innovative solutions. In the end, the attendees felt respected, valued, helped and included in the problem-solving process.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

Our City Attorney, Mike Feuer doesn’t see people as abstracts, he relates to concerns of individuals and families. He believes that solid structures grow on sound foundations. He is committed to building strong, empowered neighborhoods from the ground up. Mike Feuer doesn’t act like most politicians who duck inconvenient questions and avoid giving direct answers. He is specific and addresses concerns head on.

Mike Feuer EARNED his reputation. On the evening of the Tujunga Town Hall meeting, L.A. City Attorney (along with five other recipients: Tracy Nelson, Adam Schiff, Appo Jabarian, Steve Fazio and Patti Jo Wolfson) was honored with the Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award during Encino Chamber of Commerce annual gala in Woodland Hills. Here at Anything L.A. Magazine, we know why.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / Eve Elrich
Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 282016
 
“VICUÑA” A TIMELY POLITICAL SATIRE OPENS THIS SUNDAY AT KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

L-R: Samantha Sloyan, Harry Groener, Ramiz Monsef and Brian George in the world premiere of “Vicuña” at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. Written by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Robert Egan. Photo by Craig Schwartz. All Uses © 2016 Craig Schwartz

 

WORLD PREMIERE OF JON ROBIN BAITZ’S
“VICUÑA” OPENS THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30th
AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

Performances Continue Through November 20th 2016

“I say exactly what I think and suddenly it’s true. …
the line between lies and facts – actually, there IS no line, just a pulse beat,”
– Kurt Seaman in “Vicuña”

 

The world premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s “Vicuña,” directed by Robert Egan, opens this Sunday, October 30th, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. Performances for “Vicuña” continue through November 20th. The cast includes, in alphabetical order, Linda Gehringer, Brian George, Harry Groener, Ramiz Monsef and Samantha Sloyan.

Influenced by the evolving political landscape, this brand new satire focuses on a brash presidential candidate on the rise – a blustering real estate tycoon and reality TV star – and the world-renowned tailor he coerces into serving him. “Vicuña” delves beneath the overstitching, through the weave and into the true power of the power suit. A suit may or may not make the man but it can definitely be revealing. A timely take on our rollicking political scene from Pulitzer finalist Baitz.

The scenic design for “Vicuña” is by Kevin Depinet, costume design is by Laura Bauer, lighting design is by Tom Ontiveros and original music and sound design is by Karl Fredrik Lundeberg. Casting is by Meg Fister and the production stage manager is Brooke Baldwin.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, s Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Please note that the previously scheduled performance of “Vicuña” on November 8 at 8 p.m. at the Kirk Douglas Theatre has been cancelled. Because it was set to take place as polls close for the presidential election, the performance was cancelled to prevent scheduling conflicts for audiences who may still be voting.

Tickets for “Vicuña” are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Tickets range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Ample free parking and restaurants are adjacent.

 

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Oct 272016
 

Donald Trump’s Star Vandalized

Donald Trump’s star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame was vandalized. A local smart aleck frustrated with Donald Trump’s treatment of women took a sledge hammer to the presidential candidate’s and reality TV star’s Hollywood star while having the act recorded on video. The vandal was actually interviewed on TV news and stated that he’s prepared to be arrested, serve time and / or pay restitution.

I don’t know about you, but I find the incident deeply disturbing. Did we really sink so low that we have to settle political differences with sledge hammers? Is vandalism a way to express political convictions?

We noticed while back that this presidential race is very different from the preceding ones. The three Presidential Debates confirmed it. But there is no place in the political dialog for vandalism or violence of any kind. Committing an act of vandalism speaks volumes of the perpetrator, it doesn’t discredit the victim.

No form of violence is – or will ever be – a socially acceptable expression of political views. In a democracy there is NO place for violence.

This incident may appear to be minor. The damage itself may well be minor as well. Still, the perpetrator should be punished and his actions condemned. A message needs to be sent to all that no vandalism and no violence will be tolerated, before, during or after the election, regardless of its outcome. In our Democracy – and in any civilized society – the only acceptable ways to express political convictions are through political activism, active participation in the political process and casting a vote. Politically-motivated vandalism or violence cannot – and will not – be tolerated in the United States.

The destruction of Donald Trump’s star isn’t a political statement or an act of bravery but stupidity. It isn’t a vote for or against. The only “achievement” of the vandal is few seconds on TV and a public condemnation. Let’s hope that our collective outrage will discourage any further displays of violent behavior on either side of the political aisle.

 

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Oct 262016
 
Misdirected Bonus Repayment Demand

Photo property of L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti on bonus repayment demands placed on California National Guard veterans

“The men and women who serve in the armed forces risk their lives on the battlefield, and carry the weight of our nation’s defense in virtually every area of their lives — physical health, family relationships, personal finances. They deserve gratitude and respect when they come home, not a bill. A number of California National Guard veterans in Los Angeles could be affected by the Defense Department’s decision to pursue repayment of enlistment bonuses marketed to people volunteering to serve at wartime. Veterans accepted those offers in good faith and served with honor. Some gave their lives. The repayment order should be rescinded, and Congress must act swiftly to resolve this matter. I have directed my Office of Veterans Affairs to help local veterans understand their rights and to advocate for those who have already sacrificed so much for our country.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

Anything L.A. Magazine: Correct us if we are wrong, but isn’t the party who’s made a mistake (in this case the Defense Department) responsible for making amends? Isn’t it shameful to demand a repayment (from California National Guard veterans) of a bonus that was given as an INCENTIVE to serve at wartime?…

 

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Oct 262016
 

Cactus Jungle by Wolf Kesh

Two Years In, Angelenos on Track to Meet Mayor’s 2017 Water Conservation Goals; New UCLA Study Reinforces Importance of Turf Removal, New Rebate Helps Customers Continue to Save

Two years after Mayor Eric Garcetti signed Executive Directive 5 (ED 5), putting in place strong, emergency drought response measures for the City of Los Angeles, water customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) remain ahead of schedule in meeting citywide water conservation goals.

Water use by LADWP customers remains down approximately 20 percent from 2014 levels, meeting the goal for 2017 as set forth in ED 5 and the LA’s Sustainable City pLAn ahead of schedule. LADWP water officials attribute much of the success to Angelenos’ continued actions to reduce outdoor watering and replace water-thirsty turf with drought tolerant landscapes. Approximately 50 percent of residential water use in Los Angeles is attributed to uses outdoors and LADWP’s turf replacement rebate program has resulted in 37 million square feet of turf being removed in the City of Los Angeles, saving 1.6 billion gallons of water each year. That’s enough water to supply 15,000 LA households each year. LADWP currently provides participating customers a rebate of $1.75 per square foot to rip out turf and replace it with California friendly landscaping. The rebate level has been maintained by LADWP even after the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) eliminated its additional $2.00 per square foot rebate in 2015.

A study released by UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation shows that $1.75 per square foot is a reasonable amount that pays off for both residential households who utilize the rebate and LADWP ratepayers.

The Luskin Center’s report, Turf Replacement Program Impacts on Households and Ratepayers: An Analysis for the City of Los Angeles, answers two questions: Under what conditions does participation in the turf replacement program provide financial benefits to households? And is the turf replacement program a reasonably cost effective investment for utilities and ratepayers?

In order to assess the economics of lawn replacement from the household perspective the report measures the impact of different rebate levels, turf replacement costs, climate zones (determined by different evapotranspiration rates across the city), and future expected water pricing on household financial benefits. The report calculates the payback periods for ratepayers based on varying levels of household participation in the turf replacement program and different levels of rebates. Rebates offered at $1.75 result in a payback period for typical households and ratepayers of approximately 10 years, comparable to other investments like solar.

“Angelenos are the water heroes of California — we’ve pulled up 37 million square feet of thirsty turf, more than two-thirds of the state’s target, and reduced our water use 20 percent” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We have made amazing progress in the two years since I signed an Executive Directive to respond to our drought, and the study released Monday shows that our incentives are working. But we can always do more, and I’m proud of our Department of Water and Power for making sensible, effective improvements to our turf rebate program.”

“Turf replacement programs, when well designed, are an essential conservation tool for communities to become more drought and climate resilient,” J.R. DeShazo Director of the Luskin Center for Innovation at the University of California at Los Angeles said.

To further the benefits of its turf rebate program, LADWP recently updated the program guidelines. The amended terms and conditions will continue to promote the installation of native and California Friendly® low water-use plants while ensuring each project incorporates sustainable design elements that benefit the customer and help contribute to the City’s future water conservation goals.

Changes to the turf rebate program include:

  • No longer providing rebates for the installation of synthetic turf;
  • Increasing California Friendly plant coverage required from 40% to 50%;
  • Limiting the amount of rock, gravel, or decomposed granite to 25% of the total project;
  • Incorporating rainfall capture techniques in project designs;
  • No longer permitting the use of synthetic or chemically treated mulch;
  • And recommending the use of biodegradable (natural/organic) weed barriers (instead of synthetic weed barriers).

“These turf rebate guideline changes allow LADWP to push an already positive sustainability program for our environment to an even higher, healthier standard,” LADWP General Manager David Wright said.

The program changes will assist LADWP customers in better capturing, conserving, and reusing water to prevent runoff on their property and reduce water demand. In addition to these water-saving benefits, by requiring program participants to minimize the use of materials such as gravel, pavers, decomposed granite, and synthetic turf – materials that often create a “heat island” effect on properties by absorbing the sun’s heat – LADWP aims to lower surface and temperatures on properties. This added benefit may assist customers in limiting energy use by reducing the need for air conditioning.

To learn more about LADWP’s turf rebate and other water conservation programs, please visit myLADWP.com.

The Luskin Center study can be found at: http://innovation.luskin.ucla.edu/TurfRebateAnalysis.

Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 252016
 

L.A. Metro Receives 50th New Light Rail Vehicle

Celebrating a milestone and an enhancement for rider convenience, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) took delivery of the 50th Kinkisharyo International (KI) Model P3010 Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) and announced reduced headways on the Metro Expo Line from 12 minutes to six minutes.

“With delivery of the 50th light rail vehicle of our total order of 235, Metro is keeping its promise of bringing modern, efficient and economical rail transit to areas where alternatives to traffic are badly needed,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “The additional light rail vehicles allowed Metro to this week reduce the time between trains to six minutes from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays.”

“We’re making excellent progress getting more vehicles into service and riders will have relief from crowded conditions,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board First Vice Chair Eric Garcetti. “Since opening two new rail extensions, the Gold Line to Azusa in March and the Expo Line to Santa Monica in May, we’ve seen pent up demand for this service.”

Model P3010 is assembled at the KI facility in Palmdale under a contract approved by the Metro Board of Directors in August 2012. The base order for 78 LRVs was subsequently expanded when the Board exercised options for an additional 157 of the quiet and smooth-riding trains.

KI, based in El Segundo, Calif., delivers four Model P-3010 LRVs per month, according to its contract with Metro. Since beginning operations in Palmdale, the company has hired 404 full time workers locally and added another 146 workers on contract. The minimum wage earned at the facility is $17 per hour with an average wage of $21 per hour.

“The size of Metro’s order created a sea change for Kinkisharyo in Palmdale,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Michael D. Antonovich. “At first, the facility merely assembled rail vehicles and now the facility partially manufactures car shells, creating jobs for local workers and positioning the region as a location of choice for transit vehicle manufacturing and business investment.”

“We are as pleased as Metro is to celebrate the delivery of our 50th light rail car this month,” said Akiyoshi Oba, president of Kinkisharyo International, LLC. “We knew when we were awarded this contract in mid-2012 that the challenge of delivering the 50th car barely four years later could only be met by hard work and much collaboration with Metro, FTA, and our many subcontractors. And just as impressive as our speed of delivery is that we are adhering to our commitment to delivering the highest quality vehicles in the industry.”

After KI delivers a rail vehicle to Metro, it goes through a commissioning process that includes 1,000 miles of non-revenue operation and California Public Utilities Commission approval. Preparing the vehicle for revenue service can take about 45 days. Currently, there are 38 Model P-3010 vehicles in service and the 50th car should be ready for revenue service by mid-December.

“The taxpayers entrusted us with a great responsibility and the arrival of Kinkisharyo’s milestone 50th rail vehicle shows that Metro continues to deliver on the promise to build and maintain a world class transportation system in Los Angeles County,” said Metro CEO Phillip Washington.

 

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Oct 242016
 
2016 L.A. Aids Walk

Photo courtesy of AIDS Walk Los Angeles

This year’s L.A. Aids Walk which started in Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles was yet another successful event which brought fun and entertainment to all at hand while raising much needed funds for the ongoing fight with HIV / AIDS.

The 2016 L.A. Aids Walk was 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) long and took place on Sunday, October 23rd. The opening ceremony was attended by Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis.

Musical Performances by Estelle / Empire and India Carney / The Voice provided superb entertainment.

Among celebrity guests were:

  • Stephanie Corneliussen / Mr. Robot
  • Pauley Perrette / NCIS
  • Peter Gallagher / Law and Order: SVU
  • Bebe Wood / The Real O’Neals
  • Mary Hollis Inboden / The Real O’Neals
  • Jenna Ortega / Jane the Virgin

How about the score?

Top Walkers
Chaz Dean$70,550
Wayne Flick$58,000
John Squatritto$13,010
Pauley Perrette$12,875
Kendra Castleberry$11,951
Rusty Buchanan$10,175

Top Teams
WEN in Spirit – $76,975
Latham & Watkins – $61,971
APLA Health – $52,514
Starbucks LA/Central CA – $30,834
Team Comcast NBCUniversal – $26,307
Hollywood United Methodist Church – $25,055

The Big Winner once again, was the fight against HIV / AIDS. The proceeds 2016 L.A. Aids Walk will benefit APLA Health’s prevention, care, and advocacy programs for the thousands of men, women, and families affected by HIV / AIDS in Los Angeles County as well as more than 20 other HIV/AIDS service organizations that are able to participate and raise funds through the Community Coalition Initiative (CCI).

Learn more about the fight against HIV / AIDS in Los Angeles and in the U.S.
APLA Health
Los Angeles County Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of National AIDS Policy
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

 

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Oct 232016
 
Tom Hayden Passed Away

Photo courtesy of TomHayden.com

Tom Hayden, legendary activist, later a politician and ex-husband of Jane Fonda has died at 76.

Hayden established himself as a political activist in 1960s. Activist at heart, he stood for what’s right from civil rights, peace, social justice and environmental protection to the fight for clear labeling of products containing cancer-causing chemicals and an increase on tobacco sales’ taxes.

A Democrat through and through, Hayden served on California State Assembly and California Senate for a total of 18 years. He passed over a 100 measures in California, some of the most notable are:

• Establishment of a statewide Agent Orange registry;
• Equal university access for disabled students;
• Recruitment of gay and racial minority AIDs researchers at universities;
• Requirement of set-asides for renewable energy in state planning;
• Extension of sexual harassment codes to professional relationships;
• Prohibitions on date rape drugs;
• Funding for tattoo removal;
• Standards prohibiting MTBE in drinking water;
• Requirement for longer holding periods for lost animals in shelters;
• Reducing start-up fees for new small businesses;
• Requiring trigger locks on guns sold;
• Training for immigrant parents of public school children;
• Drafted largest state park and environmental restoration bond in nation’s history;
• Minimum vision standards and testing for senior drivers;
• Funding for gang intervention projects.

Tom Hayden was also a prolific writer who authored and / or edited twenty books. His latest book is “Inspiring Participatory Democracy: Student Movements from Port Huron to Today”. (Now just days before a crucial presidential election, we all have participatory democracy on our minds…)

Tom Hayden has died. We have lost a good man. Hayden lived his life well and made a positive impact on our reality. Tom Hayden leaves behind a proud legacy.

(Some information for this article was excerpted from TomHayden.com, The Peace & Justice Resource Center)

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / Eve Elrich

 

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Oct 232016
 

One Year Later: Mayor Garcetti On Aliso Canyon Disaster

STATEMENT: Mayor Garcetti on one-year anniversary and task force report on Aliso Canyon disaster

 

The federal Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety, led by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), released its findings on the causes and effects of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and the measures needed to prevent another disaster.

Mayor Garcetti released the following statement in response to the findings and to mark the coming one-year anniversary of the discovery of the massive leak on Oct. 23, 2015:

“Protecting the health of our communities, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and moving toward a clean energy future — these goals are central to the vision of a 21st century city. The Aliso Canyon disaster displaced a community and caused health impacts for many residents, and woke the nation to the danger and environmental harm of natural gas leaks. We can’t let it happen again. I am grateful to the Obama Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety for recommendations that will help protect public health and the environment.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the disaster, we stand fast against the reopening of this facility until it meets all of the State’s criteria for safe operation, and repeat the call for SoCal Gas to underwrite a comprehensive, independent, long-term health study of the impacted communities. This disaster strengthened my conviction that Los Angeles needs to move toward a future free of fossil fuels, and we are committed to helping Porter Ranch and the surrounding area, which bore the brunt of this disaster, become a clean energy model for our region, the state and the world.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

The Mayor and City Council last month directed L.A. Department of Water and Power to start planning for a transition to a 100 percent renewable energy supply. DWP also is planning solar and energy storage pilot projects in Porter Ranch to begin moving the community closer to the vision of a net zero energy neighborhood weaned from reliance on harmful fossil fuels.

 

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Oct 222016
 

New Export Program to Help L.A. Manufacturers

Mayor Garcetti Launches Export Program to Help L.A. Companies Expand Their Business Internationally

Thousands of local manufacturers are getting the boost they need to expand their reach overseas, thanks to a new export initiative from Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The initiative will support local manufacturing by helping L.A.-based companies access international trade opportunities, and prepare their businesses to export products to other countries. Mayor Garcetti launched the program on 10/19/16 alongside a group of dignitaries and local business leaders.

“Los Angeles’ economy is surging — we’re creating jobs, attracting businesses, and making generational investments in a prosperous future for our city,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Increasing exports can make our economy even stronger, by helping local companies grow and create even more good-paying jobs. L.A. is already on the world stage, and this export initiative will give our businesses new opportunities to have global reach.”

A strong export market is critical to the health of our economy, here in Los Angeles and across America. For every $1 billion of exports, the economy creates nearly 6,000 new jobs. And although 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., only one percent of U.S. companies currently export. As a major international trade hub, and the nation’s largest customs district, the L.A. region can play a crucial role in boosting the national export market.

Mayor Garcetti’s new program is designed to guide local manufacturers through the complex export readiness process, help them address key challenges, and connect them with a variety of training and counseling services available through city, state, and federal partners. Mayor Garcetti’s team will also escort delegations of local companies on trade missions to pursue new business opportunities around the world.

The initiative is just one of many efforts by Mayor Garcetti to support international trade in Los Angeles, and across the country. Just last week, he joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to announce a national effort to make America’s supply chains more efficient and competitive in the global market.

Mayor Garcetti’s export initiative is a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Los Angeles Regional Export Council, World Trade Center Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, and Sister Cities of Los Angeles.

 

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Oct 212016
 

After The Great California Shakeout Drill

On the 2016 Great California Shakeout Drill (10/20/16) Mayor Garcetti said:

“People around the world are participating in the Great ShakeOut drill today, as we remind ourselves to be ready in the event of a major earthquake. I am glad that so many Angelenos are participating, because in Los Angeles we know that a big quake is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ We just have to be prepared, and our city is taking proactive steps to save lives and property. Last year I signed into law the strongest earthquake safety measures in America. We’re making buildings and infrastructure more secure, fortifying our water system, and creating new partnerships in telecom, transportation, and disaster response to make all of our communities more resilient.” Mayor Eric Garcetti

Millions participated in the earthquake preparedness drill, for the rest of us here are some GREAT earthquake preparedness resources. We all know that the Big One is coming. Earthquake preparedness is THE best defense when the Big One hits.

This is a valuable how-to information that can – and will – save us during and after an earthquake. Print it out and attach it in a place where the people you care about will see it – and read it – often.

 

 

Other important earthquake resources can be found on the Great California Shakeout Website.

 

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Oct 202016
 

The Last Presidential Debate Of 2016

For the third and last time before the Presidential Election, the two presidential candidates took on issues and one another at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. (The debate was moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.)

This time, both presidential candidates appeared composed. The tone of the debate itself was significantly more civil that the previous two. Each of the candidates revealed and elaborated on their respective visions for our Country’s future and debated their often contrasting views on such topics as guns, abortion, Russia, ISIS, Syria, taxes, national debt, and more.

As the election approaches it becomes clearer that one of the candidates plans a Country based on a strong, educated and prosperous middle class and the other on the wealthy few. One is progressive, sharp and yes: reasonable, while the other insists on turning back the clock and reversing progress. One understands the lessons of history and the other is eager to repeat its darkest moments. One knows the facts and the other is guessing.

Still, the most perplexing moment of the evening came when Donald Trump implied that he may not concede the election, if Hillary Clinton is elected. The American political system is the foundation of our Country. It brought the United States into existence and sustained it for 240 years. It’s shocking that a presidential contender would seek to question its integrity.

Civilized societies expand and evolve from their existing foundations. Is the process always smooth and error-free? No, but it’s always forward. Civilized societies don’t regress.

In her closing statement, Hillary Clinton asked for America’s vote. Donald Trump didn’t.

VOTE! This time, it isn’t about a candidate A or a Candidate B, but about our future. You get to choose:

  • the return to isolationism and walls separating countries; times when the many were exploited by a few (feudalism); when women were told how to live, when impending catastrophes (global warming will become one!) were ignored

OR

  • common sense, progress, peaceful coexistence, reasonable problem and conflict resolution, good education, greener energy and environmental preservation

In closing, no one asked the question so far, but it might be the right time to ask: what are the expectations of a savvy businessman who invested many millions of his own money in any venture, including a presidential run? Isn’t the primary expectation of a businessman making a profit on investment? What ROI does the Republican candidate expect and more importantly, WHO will have to produce it?……

There might be more to politics than running a successful business, after all. The “more” may very well be the responsibility for “the greatest good for the greatest number”.

BREAKING NEWS

Donald Trump will accept the outcome of the presidential election, if he wins…. (Duh…) This was obviously said by the candidate as a joke. On a more serious note, Trump rushed to state for the record that he will accept the outcome of the election but reserves the right to contest or challenge the election’s result in court.

Every American citizen – who can substantiate his or her claim – is entitled to use our court system in the pursuit of justice. There is nothing wrong when a person is seeking justice but plenty wrong when a person is questioning the American democracy using words wide open for interpretation (one of which could potentially include a coup).

Donald Trump moved for a swift damage control, first thing in the morning on the day (10/20/16) following the final presidential debate of 2016. His latest statement is an improvement over “I’ll keep you in suspense” statement Trump made during the debate.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

 

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Oct 192016
 

spreadingloveandwarmthtothehomeless

Spreading Love And Warmth To The Homeless

Love is a Warm Blanket (LIAWB) is kicking off its fifth year of collecting and distributing donations of blankets to the homeless in our communities. “Though the street is not a home, we aim to provide warmth, love and attention where it is needed most,” said Angela Amirkhanian, founder of LIAWB, an annual blanket drive during winter months whose mission is to warm the hearts of the homeless and spread love with donations of blankets. Join the love! LIAWB is now accepting donations of new and gently used (washed) blankets of all sizes.

Blanket donation drop off boxes are available at The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission (Northridge) The Valley Economic Alliance (Sherman Oaks) and All State Insurance (Glendale).

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The drive also has an Amazon WishList, where you can simply select and checkout blankets on the list, and send directly to the drive. The list can be viewed at tinyurl.com/LIAWBAmazon. LIAWB personally handed out near 400 blankets to the general homeless population living on the streets and through distribution events with homeless shelters last year.

They held events in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row and at Ascencia’s emergency winter shelter, where residents chose blankets of choice. “Recipients are extremely grateful for the blankets, but what goes the longest way is interacting and having normal human conversation with them,” said Amirkhanian. “Asking for their names and how they’re doing,” she added.

LIAWB also donates blankets to homeless shelters and resource centers including My Friend’s Place’s Union Rescue Mission, The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, Light House for Women and Children, LA Family Housing, and MEND. As the drive continues to grow, so does its mission.

Last year, many organizations, companies, churches, hospitals, and schools encouraged giving and helping those in need amongst their groups. Lionsgate Entertainment placed bins at their Santa Monica branch and encouraged employees to donate.

The Christian Outreach for Armenians Church collected blankets before service. Attendees at The Valley Economic Alliance’s holiday open house brought blankets to the party. For more information visit www.LIAWB.blogspot.com

 

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Glendale will not host a winter shelter

★★★★★
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I just wanted to add, that per Ascencia, they will not host a 2016-2017 winter shelter this year. You might want to update your information. They posted their update on Oct., 7, 2016.
Oct 182016
 

Taking Pride In Los Angeles’ Inclusivity

The City of Los Angeles has been recognized as a national leader in advancing LGBTQ rights for a fifth consecutive year, earning a perfect score on the 2016 Municipality Equality Index (MEI) scorecard released Monday by the Human Rights Campaign.

“Everyone in Los Angeles has the right to live freely, openly, and without discrimination — and the City should always be working to make sure that our policies and services reflect those values,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “At a time when other cities and states are passing laws that make life harder for the LGBTQ Americans, L.A. is showing how we can be partners in creating more just and equitable communities.”

The Municipal Equality Index (MEI) rates 506 cities across the nation on their inclusivity of LGBTQ people in terms of laws, policies, and services. The score reflects an evaluation of non-discrimination laws within the city, the workplace, and in law enforcement. The MEI also examines the city’s commitment to ensuring full equality for the LGBT community.

 

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Oct 182016
 

The Death Of King Of Thailand

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the people of Thailand on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

His quiet dignity, unyielding love for his country, and strong determination to bring progress to Thailand made him a revered figure in his nation and throughout the diaspora — including Los Angeles, home to the largest Thai population outside of Thailand and the first officially-designated Thai Town in the world. Having lived in Thailand as a student, I know firsthand the love and pride that His Majesty stirred in his people.

The thoughts and prayers of people everywhere are with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and the entire family, along with the millions across generations who knew His Majesty as their leader, defender, and the living embodiment of their accomplishments and aspirations.”  Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

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Oct 172016
 
2016 Sherman Oaks Street Fair

Representatives of Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce

Anything L.A. Magazine’s staffers hit the road this Sunday (10/16/16) and visited the annual Sherman Oaks Chamber Of Commerce Street Fair.

2016 Sherman Oaks Street Fair

The high energy community event was informative, entertaining and action-packed. There was live music, a vintage car show, community stage, pet zone and food trucks serving delicious food… And all that in addition to the business EXPO and vendor booths with all kinds of goodies from clothing to jewelry. No wonder the Sherman Oaks Street Fair attracts thousands of visitors: there were young people, old people, young families with kids in tow and many dogs with their owners on the other end of the leash.

We talked with representatives of the hospitable Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce as well as with:

several media outlets

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many local businesses and organizations

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several notable health organizations

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California State Military Reserve

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several local politicians’ representatives

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and the LAPD!

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We told them all about the plight of Adam Krief who is fighting blood cancer and asked them to support the upcoming Anything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Donor Drive For Adam Krief. Community has great powers, the power to heal is among them is.

Thank you Sherman Oaks Chamber Of Commerce for your support of the SFV bone marrow donor drive for Adam Krief and congratulations on another vibrant, busy and successful Street Fair!

Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 162016
 
John Stumpf, the embattled CEO Of Wells Fargo retires

John Stumpf, the embattled CEO Of Wells Fargo retires (Photo property of Reuters)

John Stumpf, the CEO and Chairman of Wells Fargo Bank retired. Yeah, right.

The aggressive pursuit of consumer rights by Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney, that resulted in a settlement with Wells Fargo, reverberated nationwide and spurred many of the changes we’re seeing today. Read more about Mike Feuer’s success with Wells Fargo.

Consumers nationwide are now recovering their money, Wells Fargo has to pay a high penalty, the State of California severed some of its ties with the bank…. John Stumpf and other high level Wells Fargo executives were interrogated by U.S. Senate and other government agencies.

It may be called retirement, the truth is that the man who either ordered or supported fraud at Wells Fargo Bank has been forced out from his super comfortable positions as both the CEO and the Chairman of the bank in a desperate attempt to save Wells Fargo’s image, if not Wells Fargo itself. He also had to forfeit much of his ill-gotten gains.

Mike Feuer’s, L.A. City Attorney’s, victory over unethical business practices of Wells Fargo is a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you and congratulations, Mr. Feuer!

 

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Oct 162016
 

CicLAvia Sunday 10/16/16

CicLAvia is on, again! Los Angeles is celebrating another car-free Sunday. Many streets in Downtown LA, Boyle Heights, Chinatown and Westlake will be closed to cars (from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m) while cyclists, skaters, runners and pedestrians enjoy a day of physical activity, socializing and fresh air.

Need more info? Download CicLAvia flier!

Don’t have a bike of your own? No problem! Try Metro Bike Share.

Can’t make the time? Long Beach is the next city to hold a cycling event:
Beach Streets Midtown
November 12, 2016
Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM

 

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