Author: The Argonaut

Koretz introduces state measure for smoke-free beaches

Assemblyman Paul Koretz still believes that with amendments legislation to prohibit smoking on all state beaches can move forward. Tuesday, June 22nd, the State Senate Natural Resources Committee turned down Koretz’s proposed legislation. Friday, June 18th, Koretz had promoted his no-smoking ban statewide with a press conference before a backdrop of the California coastline in Santa Monica. Koretz was joined by Santa Monica mayor Richard Bloom and Santa Monica mayor pro tem Kevin McKeown, Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss and local advocates for smoke-free beaches. “Families visiting the beach shouldn’t have to share the sand with millions of nasty cigarette butts, nor should they have to breathe in the dangerous second-hand smoke,” Koretz said. The new bill, Assembly Bill 1583, would deem smoking on a public coastal beach an infraction punishable by a $250 fine. Several cities, including Santa Monica and Los Angeles, have recently passed ordinances to restrict smoking on beaches in their jurisdictions. Los Angeles County Tuesday approved a temporary pilot program to prohibit smoking during summer months on two beaches in its jurisdiction, including Mothers Beach in Marina del Rey. “Recent beach smoking bans in cities have marked the beginning of a change in attitude, and smoking on beaches is becoming socially unacceptable,” Weiss said. Despite the treatment received by Assembly Bill 1583 at the State Senate Natural Resources Committee, Wednesday Koretz was optimistic he...

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John Adams Middle School gets grant for garden

John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica is one of six schools to receive a grant for its school garden from the California Fertilizer Foundation. The school uses its garden as part of classroom learning, a garden club and cafeteria supplement. Students and teachers who participate in the school’s “Salad Bar Gardens Co-Op” get free salad bar lunches. The teachers also use the gardens to help illustrate lessons in math, science and literature. John Adams Middle School “proves that gardens help students feed their minds and their stomachs at the same time,” a foundation spokesman says Founded in 1999, the Fertilizer Foundation promotes awareness of plant nutrients and agriculture in California. Through the garden grant program, the foundation has donated more than $40,000 to schools throughout the...

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It’s now illegal to smoke on Mothers Beach

It is now illegal to smoke on Mothers Beach in the Marina. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban smoking on the Marina beach during summer months through Labor Day. Smoking will be permitted in parking lots adjacent to the beach. “No smoking” signs are expected to be posted by the July 4th weekend, county officials said. The Marina Beach smoking ban was supported by Supervisor Don Knabe. But Knabe said he didn’t want lifeguards turning into a “smoke patrol.” “When you are at the beach, you want (the lifeguards) forward, not backward” chasing smokers, Knabe...

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Venice Family Clinic doctor to get help in repaying education loans

Tania Medina, a doctor affiliated with the Venice Family Clinic, is one of seven doctors recognized by the Medical Board of California for providing health care in poor areas of Los Angeles County. Medina will be able to participate in a loan repayment program. Medina and the other six doctors received their first checks from the medical board, which will pay off part of their medical school loans if the doctors work with poor and underserved patients for three years. Last year, the medical board provided $3 million to 32 doctors statewide. Up to $105,000 is awarded to each eligible doctor. The awarding of the checks was announced during a meeting Friday, June 18th, at the Venice Family Clinic. Other doctors recognized who will receive checks are Stephen Chee, Nacemah Ghafur, Potenciano Paredes, Christine Salazar, Ana Saravia and Toya Tillis. Susan Fleischman, medical director of the Venice Family Clinic and president of the California Primary Care Association, acknowledged Gary Gitnick, past president of the medical board, and State Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, who attended the meeting. Gitnick is an advocate for economically disadvantaged patients, a professor of medicine and chief of the Digestive Diseases Division at the UCLA School of Medicine. Firebaugh, of Bell Gardens, authored Assembly Bill 982, which created a fund with the medical board to support the Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program. “Seven million people in California...

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SM College art professor Marian Winsryg honored with Chair of Excellence

Marian Winsryg, a Santa Monica College (SMC) art professor and gallery director, has been named the recipient of the first Sam Francis/Martin Sosin Chair of Excellence. She is the fifth person to receive a chair of excellence from the college. Others are in physical science, biology, earth sciences and music. Winsryg will receive $5,000 for each of the next three years to be used for projects that will enhance her teaching methods. The awards are administered by the SMC Foundation and are funded from interest earned on endowments. The chair of excellence in art was established through contributions from Martin Sosin, a retired Santa Monica attorney. Sosin wanted to create a tribute to close friend Sam Francis, an abstract painter who hired Sosin as a business manager. Francis died in 1994. Sosin owns a private collection of Francis’s paintings, which were exhibited at the college last year. Winsryg plans to use the funds to get the latest training and do research in the use and impact of digital technologies in fine art. College president Piedad Robertson called Winsryg “not only a gifted artist and distinguished teacher,” but said “she has been on the cutting edge of the use of technology in fine art and developing and teaching new digital courses at SMC.” Winsryg has taught at the college since 1987 and served as the college Pete & Susan Barrett...

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