Westchester and Playa del Rey residents are invited to make a difference in their community by attending the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey annual election of board members that will be held over two days — Monday, April 4th, at the Westchester Woman’s Club, 8020 Alverstone Ave., Westchester, and Wednesday, April 6th, at the CenterPointe Club, 6200 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista.

Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. each day.

A forum on Neighborhood Council candidates is planned at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31st, at the Westchester Senior Center, 8740 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester.

The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey was certified by the City of Los Angeles in 2002, and it has a board of directors with 31 members, who represent residents, business people, community volunteers and others in the community.

The Neighborhood Council 15 residential districts are designed to assure that each segment of the community is well represented on the board.

The remaining 16 seats are comprised of five at-large members and a series of seats designed to encompass the widest representation of the community as possible.

The following candidates will be vying for the following three-year seats:

Residential Area 1: Don Doyle, Bob Hughes and Deepa Radhakrishna Iyengar;

Residential Area 4: Steven Matilla, Viktor Nehring, Marc Ventimiglia and Rob Weldon;

Residential Area 7: John Ruhlen;

Residential Area 10: David Coffin and Tony Stribling;

Residential Area 13: Kathy Bartlow-Santos;

At-Large, two seats: James Blumenthal, Judith Ciancimino, Pam DeArmas, John Loizeaux, Andrew Lyons and Edgar Saenz;

Income Property: Patricia Morrison Lyon and Jon Teitell;

Religious: David Gray; and

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): Barbara Yamamoto.

Any registered stakeholder — defined as anyone who lives, works or owns real property in the area generally described by ZIP Codes 90045, 90293 and 90094 — can vote in the election.

Stakeholders must be registered by Thursday, March 31st, in order to vote in the April election.

Information, www.ncwpdr.org or (213) 473-7023.

PV-JOBS HONOREES — Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PV-JOBS) is a nonprofit corporation formed in 1998 to help provide at-risk individuals with job opportunities in the construction industry.

At an event sponsored by PV-JOBS Thursday, March 24th, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, helped honor individuals in the program who have turned their lives around.

The event also honored organizations that have helped to provide meaningful employment as a pathway to economic self-sufficiency and self-esteem. Participants in PV-JOBS gain the experience and necessary skills and knowledge to a successful future in the construction industry.

Two such individuals will receive the PV-JOBS Employee of the Year award, which requires that the honorees have demonstrated exceptional work ethics and overcome significant obstacles.

Other honors included the Visions Award — given to the recipient who has had direct influence in moving the PV-JOBS vision to new levels — and Contractor of the Year — given to someone who has demonstrated a commitment above and beyond any hiring requirement.

Awardees this year were:

PV-JOBS Visionary Award: Michael Hill, a former PV-JOBS board director who helped create the PV-JOBS Program and is now an education consultant and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District trustee.

Hill has also created several other nonprofit organizations, including The School of Meanings & Values and The Santa Monica AIDS Project.

PV-JOBS Contractor of the Year: Warmington Homes, a major builder at Playa Vista that has hired PV-JOBS workers since the company launched construction at Playa Vista.

Warmington Homes has promoted a number of PV-JOBS workers to full-time employees.

PV-JOBS Career Champion: James “Rock” Farmer, who has been promoted from foreman to supervisor by The Salter Company, a Playa Vista contractor. He is currently overseeing a Hollywood project for the construction company.

Farmer also has started his own nonprofit organization, “Why I Can Achieve,” a community after-school computer tutorial and gang prevention program.

PV-JOBS Employee of the Year: Rob Dates, who began as a laborer for Colish & Sons at Playa Vista in 2002.

He was employed with a succession of other construction firms before rejoining Colish & Sons, which has given him one of the highest work performance marks.

PV-JOBS Employee of the Year: Thomas Palamino, who was praised as being one of the hardest working laborers at the Playa Vista development site during the past three years.

A former gang member, the 31-year-old laborer had childhood aspirations of working in the construction industry. Palamino now is with Playa Vista contractor California Plastering.

MENTAL HEALTH GUILD —The Westchester Mental Health Guild, a major support group of Airport Marina Counseling Service, will feature Mark Slavkin, Los Angeles Music Center vice president for education, as guest speaker at the guild’s annual meeting Wednesday, April 13th, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 6323 W. 80th St., Westchester.

A business meeting is scheduled at 9:15 a.m., with Slavkin speaking at 10 a.m. A reception will follow.

Slavkin will discuss “The Role of the Arts in the Development of Children.”

Slavkin earlier represented the local community on the Los Angeles Unified School District board and served as board president.

Previously, Slavkin was associated with LAAMP, the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project, and from 1997 to 1999, he was Getty Education Institute for the Arts Los Angeles program officer.

Reservations are requested by Friday, April 8th, at The Guilded Cage, (310) 641-7850.

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