Author: juliekirst

Santa Monica Police Activities League offers youths 6-17 years old vision for future

The Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) offers youths six to 17 years old a variety of educational and recreational programs at no cost to participants. The nonprofit organization is a collaboration between Santa Monica police officers and the City of Santa Monica. With a mission to effectively reduce juvenile crime, the league provides after-school alternatives designed to engage youths in positive character-building activities in a safe setting. Paid city staff, police officers and volunteers run this nonprofit organization, one of 100 chapters in California. Located at 1401 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Police Activities League Youth Center welcomes youths from noon until 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and from noon until 6 p.m. Saturdays. On Fridays, the PAL Youth Center is open until 1 a.m. for youths 14 to 17 years old. All activities are free to Santa Monica residents or students who submit an application and receive an ID card. “There’s a sign-in sheet but we’re an open-door facility,” says Don Condon, PAL team program coordinator. PAL staff members receive training in addition on conflict resolution, center guidelines and rules and what needs to be enforced or reported. The center sees about 175 youths daily, except in the summer, when it provides a lunch from noon to 1 p.m. and sees 250 or more youths a day. Karen Humphrey, the center’s program supervisor, says...

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Colorado Center to be renamed Yahoo! Center

Colorado Center in Santa Monica is going to be renamed Yahoo! Center. Yahoo! signed a 229,728-square-foot lease with Equity Office in January for space at the Colorado Center. Yahoo! is scheduled to begin its move into a small amount of available space this month, according to Joanna Stevens, Yahoo! spokesperson. As part of the long-term lease agreement, as well as adding visibility to the marketplace, Colorado Center — located at 2401 to 2525 Colorado Ave. and 2400 to 2500 Broadway — will be renamed “Yahoo! Center,” according to Equity Office officials. Yahoo! plans to consolidate its two existing Santa Monica offices and occupy 64,671 square feet at Yahoo! Center by the end of this year, and expand to the leased 229,728 square feet by 2008. Yahoo! Center will house the Yahoo! Media Group, headed by Lloyd Braun, which includes Yahoo!’s movies, TV, entertainment, music, games, finance, news and weather, sports, health and youth businesses. “By having a stronger presence in Los Angeles, Yahoo! is uniquely positioned to develop a comprehensive, integrated approach to online content opportunities, establish stronger relationships with the media community and to attract the best and brightest talent,” Braun says. Equity Office, which currently owns 2.8 million square feet of Santa Monica’s 7.8-million-square-foot office market, acquired the 1.1-million-square-foot office campus for $443.6 million in July in a joint venture with TIAA-CREF. The center houses a health...

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Oceana catamaran Ranger completes first half of data-gathering effort

Oceana — a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans — launched its new ship Ranger from Marina del Rey January 14th. Ranger is on a journey to document marine wildlife and habitat and the threats posed to them by pollution and destructive industrial fishing practices, according to Oceana officials. “We need to have a better understanding of what happens below the surface and this information will help us with legislation,” says Dana DuBose, Oceana Southern California director. With a traditional champagne christening and send-off by Oceana board member and actor Ted Danson, the vessel began its 11,000-nautical-mile, five-month voyage to — among other areas — Mexico, Costa Rica, Miami and the Alboran Sea, which is between Spain and Morocco and the Western Mediterranean. Ranger has now completed the first half of its data-gathering expedition, having traveled to remote islands in the Pacific, through the Panama Canal and up the east coast of Central America, stopping in Florida to prepare for its Atlantic crossing. “The sublime submarine images our staff is capturing will give us a baseline from which to protect ocean habitat and marine wildlife, which belong to the world,” says Andrew Sharpless, Oceana chief executive officer. The marine conservation group’s transoceanic expedition is led by marine biologist Xavier Pastor, vice president of Oceana’s Europe office. Ranger is a 71-foot-long, 35-foot-wide catamaran that is...

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SM cultural exchange musical centers on theme of Japanese Zen

The Santa Monica Playhouse brings to American audiences the premier of the Japanese musical, Gempou: A Zen Master of Living Without Arms, meant to “build a bridge between cultures through theatrical exchange,” Playhouse officials say. The play is part of Santa Monica Playhouse’s 2005 International Cultural Exchange Program. Gempou: A Zen Master of Living Without Arms, will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2nd, at the Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5th, at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. Tickets range from $12 to $15. “The Santa Monica Playhouse International Cultural Exchange Program has been bringing groundbreaking, culturally diverse theater to Los Angeles audiences for over 15 years, and this presentation continues that tradition,” says Santa Zeitzew, spokeswoman for Santa Monica Playhouse. Plans for the musical emerged after July 1st last year, when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Kumano Mountains in Japan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO designates heritage sites around the world that the group considers to be of outstanding value to humanity. The Kumano Mountains, in the Wakayama Prefecture of the western part of Japan, are a mystical place filled with paths leading to several shrines and temples built hundreds of years ago, organizers say. According to Japanese belief, various gods and spirits have inhabited this...

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County WATER program for youths still open for week-long camps

There are still openings for participants in the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors Water Awareness, Training, Education and Recreation (W.A.T.E.R.) Youth Program local surf, sailing and water activity camps. The program is open to county youths and is designed to raise awareness of ocean and beach safety through organized activities at local beaches, according to Stacy Smith, coordinator of the W.A.T.E.R. Youth Program. “The program fills to capacity over the summer, but with weather conditions the way they’ve been, people forget the beach is a good place to be,” Smith says. For spring vacation, the weeklong camps began Monday, March 21st, but those interested can still sign up for the camp that begins Monday, April 11th. Participants can choose between three different camps — surf, ocean sports and beginning sailing. All equipment is provided. The Ocean Sports Camp welcomes ages seven through 14. For those interested in sailing and surfing, the age range is 11 through 17. All new applicants must complete a pool swim test prior to registration, according to Smith. The three different camps operate Monday through Friday. Both the Surf and the Ocean Sports camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Sailing Camp runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fees range from $100 to $135 for the one-week camps, but financial aid is available. Free transportation from non-beach communities may...

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