After many months of wrangling with the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), it looks as though the annual election of board members to the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa del Rey is finally set.

The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment has approved the Neighborhood Council’s election procedures and its selection of Carole White as the independent election administrator, an impartial party who will oversee the entire election process.

The new procedures were part of an ordinance passed by the Los Angeles City Council in the midst of planning the election, which was originally set for February.

The delay means the election will not be held until October.

The election is set to be held over two days — Tuesday, October 3rd, at the CenterPointe Club, 6200 Playa Vista Drive in Playa Vista; and Wednesday, October 4th, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 6323 West 80th St. in Westchester.

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

Also, voters can meet candidates at 1 p.m., Sunday, September 24th, at a Candidates Forum at the Westchester Community Room at 7166 Manchester Ave.

The Westchester/Playa del Rey Neighborhood Council board of directors is comprised of 31 board positions, representing residents, business people, community volunteers and more.

The Neighborhood Council area is divided into 15 Residential Districts to assure that each segment of the community is well represented on the board.

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

These are voluntary positions and directors do not receive remuneration.

In the October 2006 election, the following 16 seats will be on the ballot for a four-year term:

n Residential Areas: 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15 (The residential director must live in the residential district for which he/she is filing to represent. For a map of districts, http://www.ncwpdr.org)

n Two At-Large Seats;

n Business;

n Community Organizations;

n Education;

n Loyola Marymount University;

n Service Clubs and Fraternal Organizations; and

n Youth.

A stakeholder, defined as anyone who lives, works or owns real property in the area generally described by the zip codes 90045, 90293 and 90094, is eligible to register to vote in the election.

In addition, those interested in running for a seat on the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey board must be registered stakeholders.

The candidate filing period opened Tuesday, July 11th, and will close Saturday, September 2nd.

The following are some important dates for those interested in running for a seat on the board:

Candidate filing period: until 5 p.m. Saturday, September 2nd.

Candidate Information Session: 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 1st, at the District 11 Field Office, 7166 Manchester Ave., Westchester.

Start of candidate information posted to Web site: Friday, July 14th.

Last day to be included on printed ballot: 5 p.m. Saturday, September 2nd.

Elections: Tuesday, October 3rd, and Wednesday, October 4th.

PLAYA VISTA ORIOLES WIN BASEBALL CLASSIC — In the wake of the World Baseball Classic that took major-leaguers from around the world, teamed them with their countrymen and pitted them against each other to see which nation could claim to be the world’s best team, Tim Olivarez set out to do the same thing for ballplayers 19 years old and younger.

Olivarez, who is the head coach of the Playa Vista Orioles, saw his team defeat Washington State’s Timberjacks, 5-0, to capture the first International Wood Bat Baseball Championship, held over Independence Day weekend at various Southland sites.

The Orioles went undefeated during the four-day, 19-and-under tournament, going 5-0-1.

Garrett Claypool and Jacob Miranda combined for a two-hitter in the championship game at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Tuesday, July 4th.

In the semifinal earlier that day, Eric Pettis threw a three-hitter with ten strikeouts in a 4-1 win against the Compton-based Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy.

J.P. Hollywood hit a two-run home run in that game.

“Overall, it was a positive tournament,” said Olivarez, who also served as one of the tournament directors. “We got very good response from the teams, who mentioned they would like to be invited back.

“And our sponsor, Playa Vista Development, which helped make this happen, was also pleased.”

This was the first known international baseball tournament of its kind scheduled for the Southern California region since the 1984 Olympics, and it included student athletes from schools throughout the Southern California region (six teams), Washington (two teams) and Sacramento, (one team), as well as three international teams — two from Canada and one each from Mexico and Australia.

In addition, the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton fielded a tournament team, as did Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI).

Olivarez said that as many as 20 of the players in the tournament have been drafted by Major League teams and will ultimately go on to professional baseball careers.

“That’s how good these guys are,” he said.

In addition to the international flavor of the event, Olivarez, a Westchester native, said the most interesting part of the tournament was that the players used wooden bats, normally reserved for those in the professional ranks.

“I noticed that as the tournament progressed, the balls were being hit much harder and with authority,” said Olivarez, who added that many of the players had spent years playing with aluminum bats, but had rarely swung real lumber. “It brought back memories of when I played ball, when the game was played with much more emphasis on hit-and-run strategy.

“When you go from metal to wood, it’s more about moving runners over one base at a time.

“I was also impressed with the out-of-state ballplayers. The Australians and the Canadians especially had some outstanding guys.”

Congratulations to the Playa Vista Orioles — Wayne Larcom, Jake Jelmini, Ben Rowen, BJ Bensoua, Ryan Juarez, Chance Reno, Richard Cadena, Alex Casillas, Noah Virgil, Gabe Cohen, Shaun Kort, Jeff Inman, Ryan Delgado, Jeff Rapoport, Brian Hernandez, Angelo Songco, David Staaits, Matt Wabby and Richard Brehaurt.

The coaches are Olivarez, Joe Giarraputo, Armando Gomez and Gabriel Cerna.

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