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Preschool Teacher of the Year nomination ends today

Early childhood education is vitally important to the maturation and development of all children and has a positive impact on the learning and long-term life outcomes of children. Preschool teachers lay the foundation and provide children with the social, emotional, and cognitive skills that they will need in order to be successfully transition into kindergarten and be successful in the later grades. Research has demonstrated that children who receive a high-quality early education are more likely to have a better quality of life than those who do not.

Since 2008, Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), has sponsored the Preschool Teacher of the Year Awards to recognize the contributions of preschool teachers in Los Angeles County. The award is given to five outstanding preschool educators (one from each supervisorial district).

Do you know a preschool teacher from the Second District who goes above and beyond to teach students? If so, nominate them for this award. The deadline for applications is November, 18, 2011. Applications can be obtained at http://www.laup.net/images/stories/PTOTYA/ptoty_final_app.pdf.

A new Dodgers Dream Field at Mona Park in Willowbrook

On Monday, November 14, hundreds attended the dedication of the new Dodger Dream Field. Approximately 100 youth from neighboring Martin Luther King Elementary School participated in a free baseball clinic led by Dodger Alumni. Guest speakers included Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Anita De Frantz and Patrick Escobar from LA84, Dodger owner Frank McCourt and Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp. Mona Park is the 16th Dodger Dream Field and the first of it’s kind in L.A. County.

A renovated baseball field at Mona Park was dedicated Monday, with funding provided by the Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

A new irrigation system, turf, infield dirt, a solar-powered scoreboard and signage were installed while the entire field was re-graded.

The renovated field “will enable hundreds of children to have a quality sports experience and foster a lifetime of healthy living practices while having fun at a County of Los Angeles park,” said Russ Guiney, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The field is the 16th to be built or renovated under the Dodgers Dream Foundation, created in 1998 to provide educational, athletic and recreation opportunities for youth in the greater Los Angeles area, with a special emphasis in helping underserved youth.

Under the program begun in 2003, 14 existing baseball fields have been renovated and two new ones have been built.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, star center fielder Matt Kemp and county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas were on hand for the ceremony.

The Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation, which manages Southern California’s share of the surplus from the 1984 Summer Olympics, the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation committed in the summer of 2010 to create eight new Dodgers Dream Fields in Los Angeles and a ninth in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

The Dodgers Dream Field at Mona Park is the seventh of those nine, all dedicated since March. Two more dedications are planned by the end of the year. The Dodgers Dream Foundation has a goal bringing the total number of fields renovated or built to 50 and is funded through private donations and various fundraisers. No team finances are used.

CareNow right now

CareNow President and Founder Don Manelli, along with representatives from the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, the Department of Health Services, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, and a host of medical, dental and vision volunteers were recognized at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting for serving thousands of uninsured or underinsured Los Angeles County residents.

Dr. Oz aired his show featuring CareNow November 23. Click here for more details.

More than 4,900 people received free medical, vision and dental care inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the four day CareNow Clinic. Now in its third year, CareNow is a non profit organization, founded by healthcare professionals dedicated to serving those who are underserved and uninsured. Eight hundred doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, and general volunteers transformed the Los Angeles Coliseum into a medical clinic where people received on the spot medical attention.

Prior to receiving medical care, all CareNow patients received a green, gold, blue, or red CareNow wristband, representing one of the four days of the clinic. People wrapped around the Los Angeles Sports Arena as early as 6:00 a.m. to receive the coveted wristband from as far as the valley and as close as downtown Los Angeles.

Such was the case for Yvette Bailey, of downtown Los Angeles who brought her four children ages, two, six, 15, and 10 to the sports arena to receive their wristbands.

“I am excited,” said Yvette. We arrived at 10:00 a.m. there was not a long wait and the lines moved quickly.”

Likewise, first time CareNow patient, Gensis Cruz, age 19, from of Hollywood, arrived at 10:30 a.m. and found out about the clinic from her school counselor.

“This is a great opportunity for people. I don’t have anymore medical insurance. I need my wisdom teeth removed and I need glasses. I’m trying to work and I don’t have any money.”

Minutes from receiving her wristband, Gensis said,” This is very much appreciated.”

CareNow is made possible by volunteers and supported by financial and in kind donatinos from local and national supporters.

“It’s great to see familiar faces each year,” said third year CareNow volunteer and Paramount resident, Carolyn Dilqule “My mother taught me to give back to the community at a very young age.”

Sitting next to Carolyn was 31 year old Jazmin Anderson of Santa Monica. The single, full time, mother of two said, “I like to help. I first got involved as a student when the clinic was held at the Inglewood Forum. She went on to say, “This is an annual thing. I love to do it.”

Download Care Now by the numbers (as a PDF document).



Statement from the Supervisor on Ujima Village

As many of you know, there is an ongoing environmental investigation taking place in Willowbrook related to oil contamination at the former Ujima Village and Magic Johnson Park.

After the old Athens Tank Farm was removed in the 1960s, contaminants were left in the soil. Soil sampling ordered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Board have all indicated that the present levels of chemicals in the soil are not dangerous to human health, but nonetheless I am concerned.

My primary focus right now is to see that the Water Board and ExxonMobile, which once owned the tank farm, come to an agreement to relocate the daycare center, Honey’s Little Angels Day Care, which is still on the grounds. Out of an abundance of caution, I believe it is better to just move the children. My office has found a new location in Willowbrook for the daycare center, and it is my hope that months of negotiations between the County, the Water Board and Exxon, will soon come to fruition.

However, this won’t be over once the children are moved. We must get to the bottom of this investigation and find out the facts.

I am committed to making sure that you stay informed about this process, and will be holding a community meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the newly opened Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Public Health. It is located on the corner of 119th St. and Wilmington Ave. in Willowbrook.

With me will be officials from the Water Board to give the community an update on the investigation. I will also have officials from the County Department of Public Health and Department of Parks and Recreation there.

Also, if individuals have health-related concerns, we want to know. I have asked the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to set up a hotline specifically for concerns related to Ujima Village. You may call 211 and your call will be routed appropriately.

Please feel free to visit my website for more information – htttp://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov. On the website you will also find a chronology and fact sheets related to the investigation.

I look forward to seeing you on November 30th.

Mark Ridley-Thomas


Veterans appreciation day half-priced golf on November 11

In honor of Veterans Day, all veterans with proper military identification will receive a fifty percent discount on green fees (excluding tournament play) all day on Friday, November 11. This is the fifth year that the County honors Veteran’s with this promotion. We forward this message in the event that your office may wish to post on it’s website. The Department of Parks and Recreation hangs banners and poster material at the golf courses as well as advises the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. In 2010, 611 Veterans took advantage of this promotion.

(Valid Veteran’s ID card required)

Alondra G.C. (310) 217-9919
Altadena G.C. (626) 797-3821
Diamond Bar G.C. (909) 861-8282
Eaton Canyon G.C. (626) 794-6773
El Cariso G.C. (818) 367-6157
Maggie Hathaway G.C. (323) 755-6285
Knollwood G.C. (818) 363-1810
La Mirada G.C. (562) 943-7123
Lakewood G.C. (562) 429-9711
Los Amigos G.C. (562) 869-0302
Los Verdes G.C. (310) 377-7370
Marshall Canyon G.C. (909) 593-8211
Mountain Meadows G.C. (909) 623-3704
Santa Anita G.C. (626) 447-2331
Victoria G.C. (310) 323-4174
Chester Washington G.C. (323) 756-6975
Whittier Narrows G.C. (626) 288-1044

Green Fees, All Day
Tournament Play not eligible

Offer valid on Friday, November 11, 2011. All Veterans with Proper military identification will receive a fifty percent discount on Green fees (excluding Tournament Play) all day.

“Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs”

Download the flyer here.