Author: geoffmaleman

Awards, donations and Chamberfest 2007

Friends of School Mental Health will celebrate its 14th annual awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23rd, in the Ahmanson North Room at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Westchester. At the event, sponsored by Playa Vista, Friends of School Mental Health will honor outstanding educators, mental health professionals and supporters for their significant contribution to the social and emotional needs of children. Among the honorees are: Rosalio Mu“oz Pupil Service and Attendance Award: Velma D. Davis-Hayes, M.Ed., SARB (School Attendance Review Board) chairperson; Marion McCammond Social Work Award: Suzanne J. Markley, L.C.S.W., psychiatric social worker; Marleen Wong Crisis Team Member Award: Buren R. Simmons, director, Youth Relations/ Crime Prevention; Alfred T. Clark, Jr. Service to Children and Youths Award: Mark Douglas Coates, special education teacher; and Supportive Friend of Mental Health Awards: Sibyl Buchanan, director of Community Affairs, Playa Vista; and Jerome Joseph, LAUSD plant manager, Willenberg Special Education Center. The organization, which raises funds to assist Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students whose life situations affect their ability to attend and learn at school, provides emergency funding for students and their families until other agencies can step in and provide the appropriate planning and assistance. For example, Friends of School Mental Health recently provided school supplies to four students whose mother, a victim of domestic violence, was temporarily unable to seek employment due to her situation....

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A Westchester family-owned business lives on

When the owners of family-owned businesses decide to move on to new challenges, their businesses, sometimes decades in the making, often fade quickly into the sunset. But David and Patricia Lyon, who have operated Pawz The Wild $ Store and Westchester Watch Works on Manchester Avenue in Westchester for 15 years, weren’t about to let that happen. Sure, they’re looking to downshift and enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of labor, but they weren’t about to let Pawz fade into the sunset. ‘We have had the honor and privilege of serving the Westchester community,’ said Patricia, who also serves as the community’s honorary mayor. ‘We love this community, and we love our patrons. We know most of them by name, and we didn’t want to turn the store over to just anyone.’ Fortunately, there was another Westchester family waiting in the wings. Gary and Antje Frei, who operate Togos Westchester and previously operated Robeks Juice, purchased Pawz, effective May 1st. Antje said she hopes to continue the same family tradition at the store, getting to know her customers on a first-name basis and providing them with high quality items at low prices. ‘I’m sure we’ll do some things differently, and the merchandise might be different, but Pat and I share the same philosophy about keeping our customers happy and really listening to their needs,’ Frei said. ‘We’ve met so...

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Education Foundation hosts discussion on Westchester High reform

The Westchester Playa Education Foundation will host Dr. Shelley Fryer at its next meeting, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3rd, at the Westchester Municipal Building on the corner of Manchester Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard in Westchester. Fryer will lead a frank discussion of the communityís role in the reform of Westchester High School, a topic that is especially timely, given that this week the high school will receive a final report from the high school accreditation body — the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) — which forces a school to evaluate itself, its past actions and its future plans. Fryer, a Westchester resident, is an expert about the accreditation process and what it means and should mean to a school. She is the president of Thinking Associates, Inc., a company that specializes in preparing high school students to succeed in college and graduate school, as well as in staff development. Fryer taught high school social studies for several years in Santa Monica and Torrance, and is described as the first social studies teacher in the Torrance Unified School District to utilize a teacher-driven Web site to teach and manage her classes. In 2003, Fryer was rewarded with the honor of “Most Inspirational Teacher” by her students at South Torrance High School. Additionally, Fryer was department chair, served in Western Association of Schools and Colleges leadership and has...

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Healthy Start Walk-a-Thon to benefit Westchester High; Yís Menís Yard Sale event; Elks to install new officers

Participating in the Third Annual Healthy Start 5K Family Walk-a-Thon is a way to help benefit students at Westchester High School, 7400 Manchester Ave. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 21st. The route starts at the schoolís cafeteria, adjacent to the 91st Street parking lot, and continues to Westchester Parkway and McConnell Avenue. The event is open to all ages, and families, employees of local companies and community groups are encouraged to walk together. The Walk-a-Thon is held each year to support free counseling, tutoring and enrichment classes for students at Westchester High School, Del Rey Continuation High School and Westchester Math Science Aerospace Magnet. Westchester Healthy Start has been on the Westchester High School campus since 1997. Its Family Resource Center has functioned since 2001 as a place where community resources, students and families meet to help improve studentsí academic performance. Walkers pay a $5 registration fee or get a $5 pledge and they receive a free T-shirt and the chance to win a prize. The fee will be waived if sponsors contribute a total of $25 or more. Prizes will be awarded to the youngest walker, the oldest walker, the raffle winner and the walker who brings in the most sponsorship money. Business and corporate sponsorships are also available. Information, Marvin Cooper or Billie Silvey, (310) 348-9967. YíS MENíS YARD SALE ó What better...

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Chamber’s City of Angels Awards winners honored Planning Department sets two open houses and hearings on ‘mansionization’

The LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce recently named Howard Pollack the 2007 Howard Drollinger Achievement Award winner and honored him at the inaugural year of the City of Angels Awards, formerly known as the Business Recognition Dinner, on February 13th. The Drollinger award is named after Westchester developer and philanthropist, Howard B. Drollinger, who passed away in August at the age of 84. Drollinger was known and admired for his dedication to the area surrounding the airport and he exemplified strong business ethics balanced with a strong belief in supporting the community. Pollack, owner of Rainbow Acres for the past 26 years, embodies the spirit of the Drollinger award due to his entrepreneurial spirit and his dedication to community service groups, the chamber said. Along with Pollack, Andy Roeser of the Los Angeles Clippers, Jim Collins of Collins Food, Ruth Lansford of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, and Wendy Greuel, president pro tempore of the Los Angeles City Council were honored with awards at the event. In addition to their success in the business world, each was recognized for having a special influence on our community. Roeser was recognized for playing a key role in locating the Los Angeles Clippers’ new state-of-the-art training facility at Playa Vista. Collins was honored for his many philanthropic activities on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Lansford was recognized for...

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