VIDEO: The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Los Angeles County Celebrate and Express Gratitude for Their Victory Today

From CNS: The Board of Supervisors voted today to prohibit smoking in County parks with some exceptions. Citing secondhand smoke as the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the board followed the Department of Parks and Recreation’s recommendation in voting in favor of the ban.

Smoking will be allowed in designated areas of recreational facilities run by outside contractors or lessees, such as golf courses and tennis courts. Special exceptions will also be made for actors in productions under permit or for models in permitted photography sessions.

Several advocates, including representatives from the American Lung and American Heart associations, appeared before the board in favor of the proposal.

According to the department’s report to the board, 52,000 non-smokers die of exposure to secondhand smoke in the U.S. each year. The medical and other costs to U.S. non-smokers suffering from lung cancer or heart disease total nearly $6 billion annually, according to the report.

Some contractors expressed concern that a complete smoking ban would hurt attendance and revenues. The department was unable to quantify the economic impact of a total ban, but suggested designated smoking areas in a compromise move.

In the video above, members of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Los Angeles County celebrate their victory and express gratitude to the Board of Supervisors.

VIDEO: Stakeholders Urge Board To Consider Enhancements to Existing Ordinance Regulating Oil Drilling in Baldwin Hills Area

On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors heard supporting testimony from residents of Baldwin Hills and nearby communities to consider modifications and enhancements to the existing Baldwin Hills Community Standards District (“CSD”) ordinance, which oversees oil drilling in Baldwin Hills.

Speakers: Scott Malsin, Gary Silbiger, Rebecca Bernal, Angus Alexander, Martin Schlageter, Zoe Rawson, Grace Elliott, Ken Kutchner

Speakers: Sandra Hamlat, Damon Nagami, Eddie Jones, Dr. Clyde Williams, Sally Hampton, Gwendolyn Flynn, Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, Kaypers Jackson

Speakers: Damien Goodmon and Gary Gless

Finally, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas thanked the stakeholders for their testimony and then asked the Board of Supervisors for their unanimous vote in favor of the motion to consider modifications and enhancements to the existing Baldwin Hills Community Standards District (“CSD”) ordinance. The Board voted 5-0 in favor of the motion.

Read the motion
Read more about the issue

VIDEO: Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Honors 'The Whispers'

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas honors the sensational R&B group The Whispers – Walter Scott, Wallace Scott, Nicholas Caldwell and Leaveil Degree – in recognition of their more than 45 years of success in the music industry and in honor of National Black Music Month. The group formed in Watts.

The Whispers To Be Honored At Tuesday's Board Meeting


The all-time great R&B group, The Whispers, who formed 45 years ago in Watts, will be honored at next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. With 30 albums to their credit and countless hits including, “Rock Steady,” “And the Beat Goes On,” and “It’s a Love Thing,” The Whispers will be presented with a Scroll of Appreciation at 9:30 a.m. on June 23rd in the Board Hearing Room at 500 West Temple Street.

VIDEO: Avis Ridley-Thomas Among Those Honored During 'Mediation Week'

In recognition of “Mediation Week” throughout Los Angeles County – May 17 through May 23, 2009 – Supervisor Don Knabe recognized the contributions of nine nonprofit organizations and five public entities that have assisted thousands of residents, businesses, and organizations in resolving over 6,000 disputes. Among those honored was Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ wife, Avis, who is the Director of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Dispute Resolution Center.