August 16, 2012
A 1.72-acre of land, where four abandoned houses have been the site of blight and a source of nuisance in the Willowbrook community, soon will be transformed into a new 55-unit affordable housing complex.
At its August 14, meeting, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized a conditional use housing permit championed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, which grants A Community of Friends, a non-profit affordable housing developer, the rights to demolish the residences and construct a 55-unit affordable housing complex on Avalon Boulevard in Willowbrook.
Thirty seven of the units will be designated for individuals and their families who are homeless and living with mental illness, 17-units for low-income families, and one unit will house the property manager. The complex also will house amenities and on-site supportive services for daily living such as budgeting and cooking classes, a part-time medical clinic provided by the T.H.E. Clinic, a children’s play area, patio area, a community garden, a computer room, and a community room for tenant movie nights.
“This facility will be a significant asset to the Willowbrook community,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “This complex has great potential to not only meet the immediate housing needs of its residents but to profoundly transform their lives with the host of on-site amenities and services available to them.”
The housing development is part of a larger development strategy, spearheaded by Ridley Thomas, to merge public and private investment in the area, and to create a village of housing, retail, and public services within walking distance for the residents of Willowbrook.
Other developments in the area include: a new $7.5-million East Rancho Dominguez Library currently under construction on the corner of East Rose Street and South Atlantic, the Delores McCoy Villa affordable housing project, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health, and the new Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center and the Community Hospital that are currently underway on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center campus. In total over $500 million in County funds has been invested into the Willowbrook area.
Construction of the $17.9 million project is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013. The project is being funded with monies from the state’s Mental Health Services Act, awarded by the County of Los Angeles, the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, public sector resources, private investment, and a commercial bank loan.
Once completed, the housing development will meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Certification and will include energy efficient appliances, water conservation methods, and solar technology.
A Community of Friends’ mission is to end homelessness by providing quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness. To date, the non-profit that was founded 24 years ago has completed 38 affordable apartment buildings for people with special needs.
August 09, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles officials on Tuesday banned skateboard “bombing” — in which skaters zoom down steep hills at up to 40 mph — in response to two teen deaths.
The measure will go to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for approval, and would take effect 30 days later if he signs it, according to the Daily Breeze.
Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced the measure after two deaths in his district.
In November, Michael Borojevich, 14, died 11 days after a sustaining a skateboarding injury and in January, Caleb Daniel Simpson, 15, was killed while skating down a hill.
“I don’t want to go to any more funerals of someone who died because of this,” Buscaino said in the newspaper.
The law would require skateboarders to stop at stop signs and obey posted speed limits. It would also ban bicyclists or drivers from towing skateboarders.
Violators could face penalties of up to $250.
Buscaino said the laws were necessary because police told him the traffic laws were outdated and allowed some to skate past their reach.
The council plans to develop written material to hand out to skateboarders to warn them of the new law.
(AP) — Southern California was shaken Wednesday by the second moderate but widely felt earthquake in less than 11 hours, but no harm was reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-4.5 quake occurred at 9:33 a.m. and was centered two miles northeast of the Orange County city of Yorba Linda, about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
A magnitude-4.5 quake centered in the same area struck late Tuesday night. Both temblors were followed by numerous aftershocks that were mostly too small to be felt.
Quakes of such magnitude are unlikely to cause damage in cities built to modern standards but can rattle nerves.
The Orange County Fire Authority did not receive any 911 calls about the latest quake, said Capt. Marc Stone.
"It was a decent sized shake and it's a reminder for everyone to have a plan for the Big One," said Stone. "How would you and your family survive for 72 hours with no water, no food and no amenities? Think about it. It's a reminder to go home and say, 'What if?' and make that plan."
Seismologist Kate Hutton of the California Institute of Technology characterized the quakes as a swarm.
The location is near the Whittier Fault, but the quakes could be occurring on an unmapped fault, she said.
"This is likely normal California earthquake activity," Hutton said.
The staff of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda was still talking about Tuesday night's quake when Wednesday's struck, said Jonathan Movroydis, director of communications.
"It did shake us pretty well," Movroydis said, but the jolt was so short no one ducked under their desks.
Meanwhile, newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Shane Victorino tweeted: "Why is the hotel shaking????? ... Welcome to LA!"
By Maleena Lawrence
LAWT Contributing Writer
Over 100 members of The Black Los Angeles Young Democrats (BLAYD) supported the community launch of The CATALYST Awards. This inaugural event honored trailblazers, Congresswoman Karen Bass and Nii-Quartelai Quartey, CEO of The Sankofa Group for Civic Engagement for catapulting significant progress within Los Angeles communities, and for inspiring the next generation of democratic leadership.
“The CATALYST event is about Service; we are honoring individuals who put others before themselves and support those who want to serve. This time allows BLAYD to work together, bridge the gaps and make short to the long strides in our community,” says BLAYD Founder, Ebony Lewis. The resounding messages from the honorees, attendees as well as the guest host, Alonzo Bodden and “Hollywood’s Champion of New Sound,” DJ B Hen was to encourage attendees be active in the 2012 Election cycle by getting involved in local and national politics, voting, moving messages through social media and public policy initiatives that directly impacts the African-American community.
BLAYD’s president, Darryn Harris reminds the community, “We are all capable of being a catalyst for creating the communities we deserve. This event was about igniting our greatest resource, which is you.” BLAYD is dedicated to building a membership movement overflowing with catalyst in all areas of government and professional networks. The Catalyst also plays a significant role in placing a spotlight on community organizations serving solutions to people in need and the next generation of power players. In solidarity with a national celebration for President Barack Obama’s birthday, the event was concluded with celebratory cupcakes.
For more information on BLAYD, The CATALYS Award Honorees and 2012 Endorsements go to: www.blayd.weebly.com;
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