Author: The Argonaut

Benefits of Composting

CompostableLA shares tips for reducing holiday food waste By Michele Robinson Monique Figueiredo started CompostableLA, a woman-run community composting business, in 2019 because she saw a need for this type of service on the Westside. “I wanted a convenient way to compost and it didn’t exist on the Westside, so I started it,” Figueiredo said. “Food waste is not waste, it is a resource. Nothing in nature is wasted. We can reuse it.” CompostableLA, which Figueiredo co-owns with Jamie Renee Williams, is the only curbside compost pick-up subscription service that serves all of the Westside from Playa Vista to Pacific Palisades and everywhere in between including Mar Vista, Palms, Westchester, Venice and Culver City. “The goal is to keep everything local,” Figueiredo said. “Keep these valuable resources in the community that produces it. From Westside to Westside. This way we give back locally.” Composting is the most ancient form of recycling — using something to make a resource for something else. Composting works by using microbes or worms to break down food waste and the end by-product is compost. Once it is broken down, it becomes nutrient-dense soil, not dead dirt. Composting is a great way to benefit the environment while giving back to the community. There are many benefits of composting including reducing greenhouse gas, creating healthy soil and growing more nutritious foods. The act of composting reduces...

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String is his thing Editor: With so much frightening news recently making me feel a bit off, I’ve moved into bringing new games for the young cat we’ve raised from a rescue infant to his present 10-month-old intrepid self. His name is “Buddy.” His desire to play games demonstrated itself at age two months when he learned to fetch a ball of crumpled paper, returning my throw with the ball in his mouth for me to toss again. Most cat owners know the power of a laser pointer in providing a moving target for their cat to pursue and attack. Our previous cat Sam became so addicted to the red dot that he would loudly beg for it to come out in the morning. I gradually withdrew the red dot at my wife Debby’s urging because she wanted a calmer kitty in the morning. Well, Buddy’s thing is string. I use a short length of frayed braided cord tied to the tip of a toy fishing rod that I manipulate around, up and down. Buddy never tires of chasing the string, sometimes leaping a few feet into the air in his pursuits. However like other addictions, I yearned for more than the string offered me. I’d get bored far sooner than Buddy, so I’ve recently returned to the laser pointer. I do this after Debby goes out for her morning run to prep for her...

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Coronavirus by the numbers and local updates

Compiled by Kamala Kirk Cases and deaths by neighborhood as of November 18: Culver City: 3,035 (deaths 115); Del Rey: 41 (deaths one); El Segundo: 1,126 (deaths 10); Marina del Rey: 722 (deaths four); Mar Vista: 3,022 (deaths 37); Palms: 3,561 (deaths 67); Playa del Rey: 191 (deaths one); Playa Vista: 903 (deaths 12); Santa Monica: 6,988 (deaths 189); Venice: 2,859 (deaths 19); Westchester: 3,736 (deaths 58) Total Westside cases: 26,184 Total Westside deaths: 513 Total confirmed cases in LA County: 1,515,324 Total deaths in LA County: 26,949 Total new cases as of November 18: 1,088 Total new deaths: 26 Hospitalizations: 616 Positivity rate (seven-day daily average): .91% Total number of people tested: 9,292,712 (Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public...

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Venice Afterburn

Yearly gathering celebrates art, music, love and community By Kamala Kirk From artists and musicians to burners and everyone else, the Venice Afterburn brought together members of the community for the yearly gathering dedicated to art and community. The two-day official regional Burning Man event recently took place by the beach on Windward Plaza in Venice. The event was open to the public and aimed to recreate the culture of Burning Man, celebrating the spirit of community, gifting, creative collaboration and decommodification. It blended the vibrant, eclectic community of Venice Beach with the creativity of Black Rock citizens. Participating artists and exhibits this year included the Inverted Disco Ball by Alexander Tsaskin, ‘Hybycozo’ by Serge Beaulieu and Yelena Filipchuk, and the ‘Tree of Giving’ art car. The famous Axon, a Balkan-style Burning Man marching band, was among the live performers that made a special appearance on Kukar art car’s mini stage. Other returning artists included Zachary Aaronson and his live torch painting, the Tikivision art car, Jim Ottens with his ice sculpting performance, Leif Maginnis, Denize Nicole, Debi Cable with her blacklight interactive space, Damien Jones, the Martian Circus with their eclectic colorful performers, and many others. Venice Afterburn...

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Moving Families Out of Homelessness

Upward Bound House helps others find stability and success By Nicole Borgenicht Over the past two decades, executive director Christine Mirasy-Glasco of Upward Bound House in Santa Monica has dedicated herself to working toward better conditions for the homeless. First as the head of grants and programs at Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), then as CEO at Beyond Shelter, one of the pioneers of Housing First, and later as executive director at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) before joining Upward Bound House. Mirasy-Glasco has a bachelor’s degree in international law, a master’s degree in international and European law, as well as pre-doctorate degree in international economic law. Her educational background was entirely for the purpose of working on human rights. “My passion has always been homeless families and families in general,” Mirasy-Glasco said. Families with young children are an unseen part of the homeless population. The common process of kids helping provide for their family while homeless often results in them becoming homeless as adults, thus repeating the cycle. “We need intervention to change kids’ lives before the issues arise or the kids may be taken into the welfare system where there may be neglect in foster care,” Mirasy-Glasco said. Upward Bound House is a transitional housing facility where families live for six to nine months while getting help in all aspects of family housing. Short-term goals are...

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