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Supervisor Ridley-Thomas announces the return of the Special Needs Network’s Joe Patton Academy Camp


Camp Joe Patton Academy (Camp JPAC), the only free summer camp in Los Angeles both for children with special needs as well as those with regular abilities, kicked off its second year of camp at the Junior Blind of America facility in Los Angeles today.

Among its many unique attributes, the inclusion camp, which will have two sessions, is open to children of all economic backgrounds and is free to low- and moderate-income families. Families with a combined income of $50,000 per year, however, are encouraged to make a $100 donation towards camp operating cost. The camp typically enrolls approximately 60% of children with special needs and 40% of typically-developing children.

The camp will run in two cycles: from August 1st through Aug. 12, and the second cycle from Aug. 15th through the 26th.  Camp JPC, presented by Special Needs Network, is designed to serve as a fun and enriching safe haven for close to 200 camp goers. This summer, campers will be exposed to a host of recreational and educational activities including: dance, music, social skills, arts and crafts, sports, games, theater, science, field trips, math and reading.  Of special note, this year camp JPAC unveils its new Science and Robotics Workshop, in partnership with the University of Southern California for children who are passionate about science, technology, math and engineering.

Founded in 2005, the mission of the Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN) is to raise public awareness about developmental disabilities and to serve as a link between underserved communities, mainstream developmental disability organizations and government institutions. The organization provides educational forums, advocacy training, intervention programs, resources, learning opportunities for parents and care givers of special needs children.

For more information or to inquire about an application to enroll into Joe Patton Academy Camp, please contact Special Needs Network at: (213) 389-7100 or email: info@specialneedsnetwork.org.

Photos from Junior Blind Special Needs Network’s Camp JPAC Opening Day Ceremony – 8-1-11

Photos from Special Needs Network & LAC Summer Youth Employment Program @ Camp JPAC – 7-29-11

Join the Citizen Scientist’s Program!

Los Angeles County faces extraordinary environmental challenges that range from earthquakes and wildfires, to water shortages and habitat fragmentation.  The burden of collecting useful environmental information on critical issues of sustainability and public health is a daunting task and requires collaborative efforts.

Urban ecology is a multi-disciplinary science that strives to understand the dynamic processes that drive the changes observed in urbanized landscapes. These drivers may be physical, such as climate and topography and biodiversity as well as human social factors.

Better understanding the changes to our ecosystems requires the collection of an enormous amount of data.  In response, traditional academic research teams must approach community members, who, in turn, must be trained in order to create effective research teams. The training of community members supports environmental justice efforts within affected communities and helps develop a base for expanded green job opportunities and a workforce with exceptional science, technology, engineering and math capabilities.

The Second District, the Empowerment Congress and Loyola Marymount’s Center for Urban Resilience and Ecological Solutions’ are collaborating to engage residents in this effort to develop Citizen Scientists. Through a series of workshops and completion of actual field projects, residents, teachers and students can acquire the tools they need in order to take leadership roles in the gathering of critical environmental data which they can use to better the ecosystem and social health of their communities.

To learn more about the next training session, click here for workshop flyer and map.

  • August 2nd, 3rd, 4th from 9am-3pm each day in Room 324 William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University (please check in at the security booth located on the Lincoln blvd campus entrance)
  • Open to teachers (Grades 5-12), after school professionals, and interested citizens wishing to conduct scientific investigations in their own neighborhood who agree to attend all three days and to pioneer the curriculum in their own schools and communities
  • The program will feature projects on bird bioacoustics, biodiversity, water quality, and urban gardens
  • There is no charge for participation as support will be provided by the National Science Foundation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Loyola Marymount University

Contact: Ms. April Sandifer at UrbanEco@lmu.edu (310) 338-2343.  This is the first of a series of workshops to be held over the next year, and you are welcome to sign up for any of the workshops.


Board approves $4 million for East Rancho Dominguez Library

A new library in the unincorporated area of East Rancho Dominguez is one step closer to opening its doors and serving the public. Today the Board of Supervisors allocated $4 million to construct a new facility on the corner of  East Rose Street and South Atlantic Avenue, which will replace the existing undersized library located half a mile away on Compton Avenue.
[pullquote_right] “The County’s investment into this library is meant to meet the needs of the community while serving as a public oasis for people of all ages,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. [/pullquote_right]The action taken by the Board authorizes the contractor to begin construction on the 7,200 square-foot facility, which when completed, will house a collection of 35,000 books and other materials. The library will be built using solar energy panels, which will help offset the library’s annual energy cost and qualifies the County to receive an estimated one-time $32,000 rebate from Southern California Edison through the California Solar Initiative Program.  Once completed, the building will meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Certification.

Aside from providing students and adults with a wealth of books, the $7.5 million facility will create approximately 200 jobs and provide nearby residents and commuters with a community room, reading areas, a homework center, public access computers, a meeting room, group study space, and public access Wi-Fi internet connection.

“The County’s investment into this library is meant to meet the needs of the community while serving as a public oasis for people of all ages,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.  “I look forward to walking into the brand new East Rancho Dominguez Library once it’s completed.”

Press Release (PDF Document)

Speaking Up and Out About Redistricting

“Unbelievable.” “Ridiculous.” “That map doesn’t make sense.” These words were uttered from the crowd of onlookers who attended a press conference organized by the African-American Redistricting Collaborative. Stakeholders gathered in front of the California African American Museum in Exposition Park to voice their opposition to the redistricting maps proposed by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

At the press conference, current and former African-American political figures from federal, state, and local government voiced their outrage of the proposed maps which would cut out African-American political representation by dividing the African-American population in the 33rd, 35th, and 37th Congressional Districts.

Political figures expressed how redistricting plans would transfer the California African-American Museum and Leimert Park to unrelated districts such as Tujunga Canyon.

“If you don’t speak up, you will be left out,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Our descendants fought, bled, and died to have a right to participate in the political process and we are not going to start sitting down now.”

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is scheduled to release a final version of the map for public input and review Friday, July 29. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four individuals who are not registered with either party.

Contact the California Citizens Redistricting Commission by writing, emailing, or faxing the commissioners:

Citizens Redistricting Commission
901 P Street, Suite 154-A
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651- 5711

Email: votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov

National Night Out – Lennox & Wiseburn

National Night Out, now in its 28th year, is a nationwide unique crime and drug prevention event led by law enforcement and organizations that have a common interest in creating a safe and secure neighborhood environment.  NNO has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program that neighborhoods benefit from.  Traditionally, neighbors would turn on their porch lights and hold night vigils to promote solidarity.   Today, neighborhoods are banding together to make a stronger stance against crime by having evening events with their local law enforcement agencies, businesses, non-profits and churches.

National Night Out is designed to:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
  • Promote and strengthen neighborhood spirit
  • Build law enforcement and community relationships

Download Above Wiseburn Flyer (as PDF document)

Download Above Lennox English Language Flyer (as PDF document)
Download Above Lennox Spanish Language Flyer (as PDF document)