Author: anitavarghese

Couple raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind

For eight years, a Playa del Rey couple has been raising puppies that will eventually develop into guide dogs for the blind. Guide Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit organization founded in 1942 and based in San Rafael in Northern California. The organization provides guide dogs from its own breeding program at no cost to blind men and women throughout the U.S. and Canada. Four dog breeds — purebred Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, golden Labradors and German shepherds — were chosen for their thinking skills, personality and ability to maintain good health until old age, Gail Hardy said. When the dogs are puppies, volunteers like Hardy and her husband Fred of Playa del Rey, raise the animals to be intelligent and socially adaptable guide dogs. GUIDE DOGS — “Guide Dogs for the Blind is one of the finest organizations in the United States,” Hardy says. Hardy first heard about the organization in special education elective courses she took as an anthropology major at the University of Arizona in Tucson. When Hardy and her husband moved to Playa del Rey eight years ago, she decided to combine her lifelong love of dogs and animals with philanthropy and volunteered to be a puppy raiser for the organization. Puppies six to eight weeks old are observed for future guide dog potential. At eight to nine weeks old, the puppies are sent...

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Proposed budget could shrink city’s deficit from $16 million to $4 million

Santa Monica City manager Susan McCarthy is optimistic about a 2004-05 fiscal year proposed budget, which will shrink the city’s current budget gap of $16 million to a $4 million gap. McCarthy presented the Santa Monica City Council with the proposed budget Tuesday, May 25th. “The proposed budget for fiscal year 2004-05 and the budget plan for fiscal year 2005-06 reflect cautious optimism about the city’s financial future,” McCarthy said. The budget for the fiscal year beginning Thursday, July 1st, is approximately $377 million. The Santa Monica City Council is expected to adopt the budget Tuesday, June 15th. The proposed budget is a decrease of $5 million, or 1.3 percent, from the current 2003-04 budget, which is approximately $382 million. However, McCarthy is relieved that a current $16 million gap between revenues and expenditures will be reduced to an estimated $4 million gap. TIGHT BELT — McCarthy said the proposed budget includes “reorganizations, redeployments and/or position reductions” for six full-time employees. Those employees work in the city Environmental and Public Works Management-Maintenance Management Division and the Community and the Cultural Services-Open Space Management Division. Employees at the Main Library, which is under reconstruction and has yet to be opened, are also affected. If the proposed budget is approved, currently vacant police positions will be frozen and landscape maintenance services will be reduced. The proposed budget also includes reductions in...

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