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Wristband distribution for the County’s largest free health clinic

More than 3,000 people wrapped around the Los Angeles Sports Arena to receive a CareNow green, gold, blue, or red wristband. The colored wristband corresponding with each of the four days of the clinic, is required to return to the sports arena to receive free medical, dental, and vision care during the four day clinic that will take place Thursday, October 20th through Sunday, October 23rd. The wristbands were originally scheduled to be handed out at 1:00 p.m. but due to the large crowds and warm temperatures, CareNow gave out wristbands two hours earlier.

People from as far as the valley to local downtown residents brought their family and friends down to the sports arena to guarantee their spot to receive free medical attention. 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 here at 10:00 a.m. there was not a long wait and the lines moved quickly.”

Yvette will return with her family on Sunday as a first time patient of the CareNow clinic.

Likewise, Gensis Cruz, age 19, from of Hollywood, arrived at 10:30 a.m. and will also be a first year CareNow patient on Thursday. She was informed from her school counselor of the clinic.

“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.”

After receiving wristbands, future patients were notified to be on time, wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to wait due to the high demand of some services over others.

Click here for today’s LA Times Article

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The California Science Center welcomes the Space Shuttle Endeavour

The Space Shuttle Endeavour, which flew on its last mission in April, now officially belongs to the California Science Center. The crewmembers of the Endeavour, including Commander Mark Kelly, were feted at the museum earlier this week as the space agency turned over Endeavour’s title to the museum.

The Science Center vied with museums across the country to house one of four orbiter vehicles being decommissioned by NASA, and its selection as a home for Endeavour is an ongoing source of pride for Los Angeles, Southern California and the entire state.

Hundreds of children from the magnet school attended the event, shaking hands with the astronauts and vowing that they too would one day reach space.

There is no arrival date yet set for Endeavour, but eventually the shuttle will arrive in Los Angeles mounted atop a modified Boeing 747. It will travel through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said an enormous parade will accompany the orbiter. Ultimately Endeavour, named for Captain Cook’s storied sailing vessel, will join other artifacts at the Science Center devoted to air and space exploration.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who also spoke to the audience at the title event added: “Not only will the Shuttle offer outstanding educational opportunities for the entire community, it will inspire generations of children to reach for the stars.”

Revitalization of the Slauson Corridor

For many years, residents surrounding Slauson Ave (from La Brea to Angeles Vista) have passionately argued that Slauson Avenue should be upgraded to reflect the purchasing power and stature of the surrounding communities. On October 4th, over 125 residents from View Park, Ladera and the Windsor Hills communities joined Supervisor Ridley-Thomas at the Junior Blind to discuss the steps necessary to work towards real revitalization.

The evening began with a presentation on “town centers” and the steps that were feasible and necessary to make the Slauson Corridor into a town center. Corde Carillo, Director of Economic Redevelopment for the Community Development Commission (CDC) followed with an update on the work completed by the CDC.

The night ended with a review of the eight next steps – which ranged from “community branding” to “public investment” to “commercial redevelopment” and the organization of 3 taskforces to ensure follow-through.

To see a presentation on Slauson & Town Centers click here.

To review CDC’s eligibility analysis for future Community Development Block Grant funds for the area, click here.

To review Next Steps click here.

To get involved with the Branding, Public Investment or Commercial Redevelopment Taskforces please contact Erin Stennis at estennis@bos.lacounty.gov

Crenshaw/LAX Line among 14 infrastructure projects expedited by the Obama Administration

Good news! The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line project has been selected by the Obama Administration to receive federal assistance to expedite the environmental review process. The Crenshaw-to-LAX line, which will run from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards to the airport and continue on the Green Line to Redondo Beach, is one of only 14 transit projects nationwide to be selected for assistance by the Federal Transit Administration.

“This announcement is wonderful news for the Crenshaw community, the city of Los Angeles, the Crenshaw Corridor, and commuters all over the county who travel to LAX,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Not only does this action by the Obama administration demonstrate the president’s commitment to job creation, it provides new momentum for a Leimert Park Station as part of the Crenshaw-to-LAX line.

“Securing a Leimert Park station remains our goal,” the Supervisor said, “and any assistance that may shorten the time needed to develop the line is likely to produce savings that can be directed to the station,” the Supervisor said.

The announcement comes two weeks after the Metro Board approved negotiations for a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and Construction Careers Policy (CCP), as well as the final environmental impact report for the Crenshaw/LAX line.

Celebrating landmark legislation for autism

On Sunday October 9, Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation requiring health insurers to cover behavioral health treatments for children with autism and serious developmental disorders. The Autism Insurance Mandate Bill (SB 946), authored by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and co-sponsored by the Special Needs Network, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, provides families with the relief they have sought and thousands of children with hope for the future.

Autism is the fastest-growing childhood disease in America. A recent study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal confirms that one in every 91 American children, including one in every 58 boys born today will be diagnosed with autism. In California alone, two children are diagnosed every hour. This complex neurological disorder is taking its toll on school districts, communities and families across the nation.

Buoyed by the governor’s action earlier in the day, excitement was in the air at the organization’s Sixth Annual Evening Under the Stars Gala Sunday evening. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined Special Needs Network President Areva Martin, Steinberg, and other guests, at the California Science Center, where they celebrated the passage of the landmark legislation.

The Special Needs Network, is the only nonprofit organization in South Los Angeles providing free resources, and services to special needs families. This year’s event was themed “Awareness, Access, and Advocacy” and in addition to the passing of SB 946, it honored a host of figures who have made an impact in the autism community. They included: Dr. David Carlisle, the newly elected President of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, producers of Dear John, the Twilight series, and the new ABC show Revenge; and Dr. Tumani Leatherwood and Dr. Jose Cervantes, directors of the first Kaiser Permanente medical office in South Los Angeles. A special Local Hero Award was presented to Steinberg, who has been a tremendous champion of the autism community.

The evening also included the premiere of the CBS-produced documentary Camp JPAC: the feature, chronicling Special Needs Network’s free summer camp catered to children from undeserved communities as well as typically-developing friends and siblings.

As part of its larger mission, the network serves as a link between underserved communities and mainstream developmental disability organizations and governmental institutions, which often fail to address issues specific to these communities.

For additional information Special Needs Network, log on to www.specialneedsnetwork.org or you can find out more on Facebook www.facebook.com/snnla and Twitter www.twitter.com/specialneedsla.