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Home Ownership Made Affordable

Magnolia Walk Ribbon Cutting 2018. Photo by Karen Quincy Loberg / For the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas celebrated the grand opening of model homes for Magnolia Walk, an affordable homeownership project in Willowbrook that is slated to welcome its first residents in October.

Kitchen at Magnolia Walk. Photo by Karen Quincy Loberg / For the Board of Supervisors.

Developed by The Olsen Company, Magnolia Walk will include 94 detached single-family homes, 30 of which are reserved for low- to moderate-income homebuyers who will receive down payment assistance from the Community Development Commission / Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (CDC/HACoLA).

“There are few things more empowering and gratifying than the opportunity to own your home at a price that you can afford,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.

Magnolia Walk Ribbon Cutting 2018. Photo by Karen Quincy Loberg / For the Board of Supervisors.

“We have committed $6 million to this development to ensure that 30 of the units can be sold to low- and moderate-income families,” he added. “That means that some of these homes will sell for as low as $80,000 – I’d say that’s a pretty good deal!”

CDC/HACoLA Executive Director Monique King-Viehland said, “The land we’re on was once vacant and undeveloped. Today, we celebrate the completion of the model units and soon, the completion of the first two phases. With our County continuing to address the local housing shortage, it is great to recognize those achieving the dream of homeownership.”

“Together, we intend to build Magnolia Walk as another shining example of what can be done when a public entity works hand-in-hand with a focused, private company to bring a dream to fruition” said Scott Laurie, President and CEO of The Olson Company.

Backyard at Magnolia Walk. Photo by Karen Quincy Loberg / For the Board of Supervisors.

Prices for the affordable homes will start at $80,000 while the market-rate homes will start at about $400,000. The project will offer two-story homes with 1,382 to 2,004 square feet of living space, each with a private rear yard and a two-car enclosed garage with traditional driveways. Each home will feature three to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, wall and attic insulation, “Cool Roof” rated tiles, a whole house ventilation cooling system, energy-efficient HVAC equipment, and hot water heaters. All homes are expected to be constructed by the end of 2019.

The architectural style of the homes is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The development is designed to be a walkable community with an outdoor common area and direct access to Enterprise Park.

For more information on Magnolia Walk, visit www.magnoliawalkhomes.com.

The Final Step to Constructing the Park to Playa Trail

Rendering of Park to Playa pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Boulevard courtesy of Los Angeles County Public Works.

The Board of Supervisors approved building a pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Boulevard to create the final link in the 13-mile Park to Playa trail that would stretch from the Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean once completed in 2020.

Stoneview Nature Center Ribbon Cutting on April 8, 2017.

The bridge will link the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and Stoneview Nature Center to the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation area. Aside from the bridge, the Board also approved new trails, landscaping, security fencing and wayfinding signage on both sides of the bridge.

“What we are doing here is trailblazing,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “With the Park to Playa trail, South Los Angeles residents finally have a direct route for walking, running or biking through the Baldwin Hills all the way to the beach. It will be good for their minds, bodies and souls.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at Stocker Corridor Trail Dedication on March 4, 2016.

“This bridge will be a dream come true for hundreds of daily trail users in the Baldwin Hills Parklands,” added David McNeill, Executive Officer of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. “The Conservancy is grateful the final piece of the Park to Playa vision is fully funded and ready to be built for people and wildlife to safely cross La Cienega.” 

The Park to Playa network of trails, parks and open spaces begins along Stocker Street just west of Crenshaw Boulevard, proceeds west through the Baldwin Hills and onto the Ballona Creek to the Ballona Wetlands in Culver City, eventually connecting to the Marvin Braude bicycle path on the beach in Playa del Rey.

The eastern half of the Park to Playa trail is a 6.5-mile system of walking, hiking and biking trails through the Baldwin Hills Parklands. The segment of the trail that connects the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook to the Stoneview Nature Center was completed this summer.

Couple walks a trail at Stoneview Nature Center.

The County Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority have been working together to complete the trail, which spans multiple jurisdictions, including the cities of Culver City and Los Angeles, and State Parks property.

Stoneview Nature Center Grand Opening on April 8, 2017.

Creating Jobs that Save Lives

All photos by Diandra Jay/Board of Supervisors.

Fifteen men became the second cohort of students to graduate from a pilot program that trains young people of color in underserved communities to become Emergency Medical Technicians.

The first cohort consisted of 17 men, 11 of whom have already passed the national registry exam to become certified EMTs. Approximately 25 women are being recruited for the third cohort.

Raul Cuellar, the valedictorian of the first cohort of graduates, is now an EMT pursuing a career as a firefighter. He congratulates Chase Haley, valedictorian of the second cohort of graduates.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who served as commencement speaker, told the graduates: “For many of you, becoming an EMT is an opportunity to improve your personal quality of life. But as many of you recognize, it is also an opportunity to improve the life of your community. For your willingness to serve, I commend you.”

The LA EMT program is a two-year pilot designed to introduce young adults to viable career pathways in the health and public safety sectors. It is a partnership among the Office of Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, the California Endowment, the Worker Education and Resource Center, McCormick Ambulance, the Los Angeles County Fire and Mental Health Departments, and the Stentorians.

LA County Fire Chief Daryl Osby addresses the graduates.

Based on the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services program, the LA EMT program includes workforce readiness, coaching, life skills, counseling, mentoring, tutoring, and case management services.

“Joining this program was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made,” said Chase Haley, one of the graduates. “Through these long weeks, I’ve gained brothers, guidance and insight into a career field that will not only change my life but everyone I come in contact with.”

“LA EMT showed me how effective teamwork strengthens bonds but also improves individual character,” added Cairo Saunders, another graduate.

Employment in the field of healthcare is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs.


Celebrating South LA Doctors-in-Training

The Board of Supervisors celebrated the newly accredited Family Medicine and Psychiatry Residency Programs at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). In partnership with the Los Angeles County Health Agency, the residency programs will train a new generation of doctors to serve patients in South Los Angeles and surrounding communities.

Eight of the new Family Medicine residents and six of the new Psychiatry residents were on hand for the scroll presentation at the Hall of Administration.

“We have a dramatic shortage of primary care and mental health clinicians in this nation, and this shortage is most acutely felt in communities such as South Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, lead author of a motion that helped establish the residency programs. “It is vital that we empower doctors-in-training to become medical leaders who promote wellness and healthcare equity in a compassionate manner.

“This residency program will create a new pipeline for our homegrown LA County physicians,” added Supervisor Janice Hahn, the motion’s coauthor.

CDU President and CEO Dr. David Carlisle said the residency programs are intended to benefit medically underserved communities in South LA. “If you want doctors to work in the community, you need to train them in the community,” he said.

The Family Medicine residents will rotate through Department of Health Services facilities in the southern region of the County, including the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, which will be their home base for inpatient rotations.

The Psychiatry residents will focus on ambulatory services in communities that comprise the County’s Service Planning Area 6, which includes Athens, Compton, Crenshaw, Florence, Hyde Park, Lynwood, Paramount and Watts. Their primary training site will be the Kedren Community Health Center in South LA.

Relay for Life of Baldwin Hills

All photos by Martin Zamora/Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas walked with cancer survivors to kick off the Relay for Life of Baldwin Hills, a 24-hour walkathon aimed at increasing public awareness of cancer while raising much-needed funds for the American Cancer Society’s patient service programs, cancer research, advocacy and community education. In his speech during the opening ceremony, he stressed that fighting cancer requires all hands on deck.

“It’s an honor for me to be able to support the American Cancer Society in their work to fight cancer. I think it would be safe to say that most of us here have been touched by cancer, either personally or through a close friend or family member.

“According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 195,951 new cases of cancer between 2011 and 2015 in Los Angeles County. During that time period, 70,920 people died of cancer in the County.

“We can and must do more. We have to take action to lower the risk factors and exposure to known cancer-causing substances, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide early detection and screening programs.

“In Los Angeles County, fighting cancer means all hands on deck. Recognizing that cancer is a complex disease, our departments employ a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care — with primary care providers, specialists, surgeons, geneticists, nurses, nutritionists, social workers and others coordinating care centered around the patient.

“Through programs such as Every Woman Counts and Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care and Treatment), we provide free early cancer detection programs, and follow-up care and treatment for low-income residents.

“The results have been noteworthy. In the past two years, we have improved screening rates for several major cancers: 17 percent improvement for breast cancer; 11 percent for colon cancer; and 47 percent for cervical cancer!

“This translates to 12,000 more patients who were screened in 2017 than in 2015.

“County hospitals, often in collaboration with the nation’s leading universities, offer state-of-the-art treatment and research dedicated to comprehensive patient care. Through the eConsult system, we have also improved the speed at which providers receive responses for oncology specialty assistance, ensuring that even non-urgent oncology requests receive responses within four calendar days.

“We have also developed a guidebook called 26 Cancer-care Related Expected Practices to educate providers and establish effective approaches to care, and we have created a Cancer Care Taskforce that will create an action plan for improving the continuum of care for cancer patients within the County system.

“Furthermore, our Department of Public Health works to actively reduce barriers to healthy lifestyles by implementing programs for tobacco control, healthy food access, and environmental health.

“I commend everyone gathered here today for your dedication to fighting cancer. This is a burden that impacts people, regardless of  gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity in all parts of County, and we must all step up to the plate.

“Today we are celebrating survivors, recognizing those who continue to fight, and reaffirming our promise not to give up.

“The inspiration, hope, and sense of community generated during the next 24 hours of the Relay for Life will carry us to the next 24 hours, and the one after that, and the one after that.

“Day by day, step by step, we will not only survive, but fight.”