Featured items on homepage for top stories…

Tree giveaways in Lennox

We are grateful to have partners like the Lennox Education Neighborhood Zone helping to improve the quality of life in Lennox…one orange tree at a time! Check out this video about their collaboration with the Great Park Corporation to hand out 115 trees at the Lennox Family Festival at Lennox Park last month.

Surviving the HEAT – Tips from L.A. County’s emergency survival program

The Second District is hot this summer.  That’s why staying cool is important to your health.  A list of L. A. County Cooling Centers is available here.

If you are planning to visit one of these Cooling Centers, it is advisable that you call in advance to make sure there is still seating available.  If a Cooling Center is not operational, check the list for another Cooling Center nearest you or call “2-1-1”.  Check with your local library when looking for a place to cool down.  They have great resources and plenty to read while you escape the heat. For further information on Heat Waves, click here.

If you plan to be outdoors, please take precautions to protect yourself from the sun and heat.

  • Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the burning rays are strongest.
  • Reduce physical activity.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and light colored lightweight, loose-fitting clothes when you are outdoors
  • Avoid hot, heavy meals that include proteins.
  • Set your air conditioner between 75° to 80°.  If you don’t have air-conditioning take a cool shower twice a day and visit a public air conditioned facility.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you are not thirsty.  Avoid alcohol.
  • Use sun screen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 if you need to be in the sun.

Symptoms of dehydration and heat cramps include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps and increased thirst.

Click here for a list of the locations and hours of operation for the Cooling Centers in Los Angeles County or dial 2-1-1.

For a listing of Los Angeles City Cooling Centers go to www.lacity.org or dial “3-1-1.”

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)