Author: robwasserman

87-year-old runs the LA Marathon; plans to keep running until 100

Julian Meyers, an 87-year-old Marina del Rey resident, completed the Los Angeles Marathon last week — second-oldest this year to complete the 26-mile race. Meyers was upset with his time — it took him more than 16 hours to complete the race. But these days, the marathons Meyers runs are not about winning, but rather finishing the race. Meyers called his marathon time terrible, “but the important thing is that I finished.” Meyers, who has competed in 20 marathons and many distance races internationally, says one of the reasons he continues to participate in marathons is because “it makes me look good in my wife’s eyes.” He began running marathons about 25 years ago when he was going through a divorce with his first wife. “That was a traumatic time for me,” he says. “I couldn’t see my children. “I found that running was a great way to deal with all the stress I was experiencing. “I have been running ever since.” Meyers has participated in 12 Los Angeles Marathons. He has also run the New York City Marathon, the Hawaii Marathon, a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, and one in Athens, Greece. Meyers, who does not regularly visit a medical doctor, believes he will live at least another 14 years, which would make him 101 years old. “I plan on running in the LA Marathon until I am 100....

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Westchester/Playa del Rey Neighborhood Council has $79,000 in funds to spend

The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey has more than $79,000 in funds available to spend and by July it will have more than $120,000, if no funds are spent between now and July, treasurer Steve Donnell announced at the monthly Neighborhood Council board meeting, Tuesday, March 1st. “We have a lot of money that we are not spending,” said Donnell. “We need to think about how to spend money on projects.” Before the end of the meeting, the board voted to allocate $5,000 to repair the “Welcome to Westchester” sign at Manchester Avenue and Loyola Boulevard. PUBLIC COMMENT —Westchester resident Jeff Paz of Talbert Street voiced concerns about noise disturbances on and near Talbert Street in Playa del Rey. “We have a serious problem with LMU kids,” said Paz. Paz said that LMU students who rent houses near his home throw large house parties and “have a total disregard for law enforcement and neighborhood peace.” Paz said that he has made numerous attempts to get the Los Angeles Police Department to respond to the alleged neighborhood disturbances, but has been unsuccessful. Paz said that he does not expect the situation to improve, as more builders are buying homes in Westchester, remodeling them and renting them to LMU students at high monthly rates. Neighborhood Council board members suggested organizing a group of affected neighbors to pursue civil action against...

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Joseph Poakwa named Venice Boys & Girls Club 2005 Youth of the Year

Joseph Poakwa, 17, a 12th-grade student at University High School, has been named the 2005 Venice Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year. Also honored by the club were: – Elizabeth Hinojoza, 14, a ninth-grade Venice High School student; – Paraleese Lyndsey, 15, a ninth-grade Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies student; and – Markellis Jefferson, 17, a recent graduate of the Kayne Era Center. About 75 people attended the award ceremony Wednesday, February 23rd, at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. “Kids like Markellis just don’t come around here every day,” said James Jefferson, father of Markellis. The younger Markellis said he plans on attending Santa Monica College in the fall and will continue to be a Boys & Girls Club of Venice member until he turns 18, at which point he plans to volunteer at the club. The four candidates for the top honor were judged on spiritual values, life goals, poise, and public speaking. Poakwa received a $1,000 President’s Student Service Scholarship, provided by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Corporation for National Service. He also received a $1,000 scholarship from the Venice-Marina Rotary Club and an additional $500 from Westside Sunrise Church, along with a letter from President George W. Bush. Poakwa will be able to participate in a state competition. State winners will participate in regional competitions and five...

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Venice Beach: First Boardwalk lottery draws jeers, opposition

The first lottery drawing for a new City of Los Angeles Ocean Front Walk “public expression policy” drew jeers and opposition Saturday, February 26th, at Westminster Senior Center in Venice. The City of Los Angeles and its Department of Recreation and Parks officials say they established the lottery in an effort to bring some control to chaos among the throngs that wanted to “take over” the west side of the boardwalk to promote whatever they were promoting at the moment. Crowds of people — mostly vendors, artists, and street performers who perform or occupy space on the west side of Ocean Front Walk — were present at the drawing. Most were still protesting the new city lottery program. Protestors shouted comments such as “keep Venice free” and “no lottery.” One protester refused to clear the entrance to the Westminster Senior Center and was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers on hand to deal with the potential of such public disturbances. During the arrest, another man voiced his frustration at LAPD officers. “The police are supposed to work for the people, not the government,” shouted the man. The lottery system is part of an ordinance approved by the Los Angeles City Council in October that established a public expression permit program on the boardwalk. All permit holders who had entered their names for the drawing for a space assignment...

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Assemblyman Gordon’s legislation to allow dogs unleashed on beach draws strong county opposition

State Assemblyman Mike Gordon has introduced a bill in the State Legislature to launch a pilot program to allow unleashed dogs on a one-mile stretch of sand at Dockweiler State Beach adjacent to the Hyperion Treatment Plant in the southern portion of the Playa del Rey beach. The proposal was immediately opposed by Supervisor Don Knabe and the County Department of Beaches and Harbors officials — who questioned the health and safety of putting a dog park “in the middle of a bicycle path” and adjacent to a site where the county plans a major youth activities center. DOG PARK SUPPORT — “There would be no start-up costs for the pilot program,” said Janelle Beland, a Gordon spokeswoman. The bill will not be assigned to a State Assembly committee until Monday, March 7th, 30 days after it was introduced, according to Beland. Gordon — who has two dogs, a golden retriever and a pug —launched a dog park in El Segundo when he was mayor of that city. Beland says that Venice-based dog-owner group Freeplay has said that it would supply the funding for an off-leash beach zone on the beach. Daryl Barnett, founder of Freeplay, says that the only costs would be for signage, extra trash cans and bags for dog waste. “Somebody has already agreed to make the signs,” says Barnett. Barnett says there are 1,500 members...

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