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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.

Watts Village Theater Company featured at Metro’s “More Trains More Often” launch

At the Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, Metro’s “More Trains More Often” Campaign was unveiled, to run trains more frequently in the evenings from 6pm through midnight. The extended service, set to begin November 13, will run every 10 minutes in the evening on the Red, Purple and Blue Lines through June 2012 during this testing phase. The added train service will extend to the 103rd St Station on the Metro Blue Line, the home of the Watts Towers Arts Center and Watts Village Theater Company (WVTC), making Watts a destination hotspot for Metro’s riders. In addition, the service will provide a cheaper, greener and more convenient transportation alternative for WVTC’s artists and audiences who travel in and out of Watts during evening rehearsals and shows.

WVTCs Raul Cardona betwen mascots from Chivas USA (left) and the LA Kings (right) at Metro More Trains More Often Event - Monday November 7 2011 - photo by David Mack-WVTC

WVTC’s Artistic Director Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez, Managing Director David Mack, General Manager Rick Culbertson and Educational Instructor Raul Cardona represented WVTC during the event and assisted Metro in the logistical coordination of the other organizations representing their respective regions along Metro throughout the city. Many of the most popular venues are directly served by MTA rail, so running trains more often at night will make it easier for visitors to save money, beat traffic and have a good time.

WVTC’s partnership with Metro begin with its production of “Meet Me @Metro,” a site-specific extravaganza along Metro’s Red and Blue Lines from Union Station through Watts in collaboration with five theatre companies from LA and New York, in May 2010. During July 2011, “Meet Me @Metro II” took Metro riders on a “carnival” from Watts through Long Beach, exposing them to over a dozen local theatre companies, musical bands, puppeteers and performance artists. And in 2012, WVTC plans to launch “Meet Me @Metro: Uncovering Los Angeles’ Hidden Treasures” along Metro’s Red and Gold Lines, taking passengers on an interactive “archeological dig” in collaboration with performance artists, museums and historical societies in the region. Avilés-Rodríguez stated, “This media event is a powerful metaphor for what can be achieved when Transit and the Arts come together.”

WVTC plans to continue providing its artistic and logistical services to Metro and is committed to supporting Metro as it continues to roll out the “More Trains More Often” campaign and future Rail Line expansions during the next decade and beyond. For WVTC’s part, Mack stated, “Supporting Metro and the City of Los Angeles in this campaign is a wonderful hallmark of our ongoing strategic partnership to bring performing arts to the Metro riding experience, providing current riders, and an entirely new commuting audience, a taste of the cultural richness LA has to offer.”

Watts Village Theater Company
Founded in 1996 by actor and Watts community activist Quentin Drew and actor/playwright Lynn Manning as an outgrowth of Cornerstone Theater Company’s residency in Watts, Watts Village Theater Company is a multicultural urban company that seeks to inspire its community with an appreciation of all cultures through new works about contemporary social issues. WVTC has been a leader in providing acting and theatrical performance workshops for at-risk youth in Watts and South Los Angeles.

WVTC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, is proud to have collaborated with Metro, the Watts Towers Arts Center, LATC,[Inside] the Ford and the Matrix Theatre. WVTC’s 2003 production of Manning’s “Private Battle” won a NAACP Theatre Award. “Up From the Downs” (2005), and “Ochre & Onyx” (2009) received critical acclaim for examining cross-cultural relations between Latinos and African-Americans in Watts.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas appoints the Rev. Dr. Cecil L. Murray to Commission on Jail Violence

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today announced the appointment of civil rights stalwart Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray to the County’s newly formed Citizens Commission on Jail Violence. The commission, established last month with a joint motion by Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas, is charged with investigating allegations of abuse at the Men’s Central Jail and returning to the Board of Supervisors with recommendations for reform.  “After the 1992 riots, Reverend Murray, then pastor of First AME Church in South Los Angeles, became the pre-eminent moral force in the local and national conversation about the relationship of minority communities to the law enforcement structure. It is this voice, along with Pastor Murray’s wisdom and experience that he will bring to the commission. My colleagues on the Board have appointed people with laudable experience in the legal system,” the Supervisor said, “and those perspectives will be of great service as we move forward to reform the jail system. To be successful, however, I believe the commission must engage the broader public – not just the law enforcement community – in a moral conversation, and few are as well suited to do this task as Cecil L. Murray.”

During his 27 years as FAME’s pastor, Murray transformed a small congregation of 250 into an 18,000-person church. With multi-million dollar community and economic development programs, Murray brought jobs, housing, and corporate investment into South Los Angeles.

After retiring from FAME in 2004, Murray joined the faculty of USC where he is currently the John R. Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics in the School of Religion.

Murray did his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M University and after graduation, he joined the United States Air Force. Murray served in the Korean War as a jet radar intercept officer and as a navigator in the Air Transport Command. He retired after 10 years and was decorated with a Soldier’s Medal of Valor. After leaving the Air force, Murray earned a doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology. Although he is now retired from the pastorate, he remains an elder statesman among religious leaders across the nation.