Fire Service Recognition Day; CERT training; Stars of the Neighborhood Award

By Geoff Maleman
For the 30th year, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will recognize the contributions of teachers from local schools during the annual Teacher Eddy Awards Dinner.
This year’s event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Blvd. in Westchester and will honor teachers from elementary school through the university level for their efforts in educating local young people.
The event, themed “Our Treasured Teachers,” will also recognize the 2013 Friends of Education, selected from the business and education community for their support of education in Westchester, Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey.
“This is our version of the Oscars for our teachers,” said chamber President and CEO Christina Davis. “Teachers seldom get the recognition they deserve, but we want them to know how special they are.”
The teachers who will be honored this year include: Bertha Contreras-Marin, Carousel School; Shannon Seta, Cowan Avenue Elementary School; Tanasha Williamson, Kentwood Elementary School; Kelly Younger, Loyola Marymount University; Kristy Rocamora, Loyola Village Elementary and Magnet Center;
Alice Miller and Linda Murata, Orville Wright Middle School; Harry Mott, Otis College of Art and Design; Karen Margerison, Paseo Del Rey Natural Science Magnet School; Rachael Henry, Playa Vista Elementary School; Megan Michelle Hanley, St. Anastasia School; Caroline Larouche Buck, St. Bernard High School;
Eleanor Maguire, St. Jerome School; Melinda Smitley, Visitation School; Veianca Millet, Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets; Lark Krug, Westchester Lutheran Church and School; Stephen Todd Young, Westport Heights Elementary School; and Emily Vlasic, Westside Innovative School House.
Each teacher will receive a crystal Eddy Award, made possible by a donation from Playa Vista. In addition, teachers and principals will be eligible for a series of prizes at the event.
Event sponsors include The William H. Hannon Foundation, Brookfield Residential/Playa Vista, Concourse Concessions, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles World Airports and The Josephson Institute – Character Counts.
Seats at the dinner are $55 per person and can be reserved by calling (310) 645-5151.

To increase community awareness of fire department services, the Los Angeles Fire Department designates the second Saturday of each May as Fire Service Recognition Day. This year, LAFD will celebrate “Providing Exceptional Customer Service – Anytime, Anyplace” on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During the department’s 2013 open house, LAFD proudly highlights the commitment of Los Angeles firefighters in assuring the satisfaction of those they are sworn to serve.
Along with personal tours of a local fire station, the LAFD is hosting simultaneous demonstrations and enhanced displays at Fire Station 5, 8900 Emerson Ave. in Westchester.

The Los Angeles Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Westchester is hosting another event for the public to learn about what to do in an emergency like the earthquakes that have struck the local area recently. The class is free and the seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
The next seven-week session will begin on Monday, June 24, and will run through Aug. 5. Classes are held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays at Fire Station No. 5, 8900 S. Emerson Ave., in Westchester.
The lessons from this class are designed to equip citizens with basic training to effectively serve as first-responders to disaster or emergency situations. Taught by highly experienced Los Angeles city firefighters, CERT training includes training in earthquake preparedness, light firefighting, triage, first aid, light search and rescue, disaster psychology and team organization.
The class is also open to those who have taken the class before and want a refresher.
Please contact CERT instructor, Firefighter “Bubba” Willis, at (818) 756-9674 to sign up.
“Bubba is a fantastic, energetic, knowledgeable and entertaining instructor,” said Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa President Cyndi Hench, who has undergone CERT training herself. “This is something everyone in our community should do to keep themselves, their family and their neighbors safe in the event of an emergency. We all know ‘The Big One’ is coming … we should be prepared when it does.”
Information,, or to download a class syllabus,

The Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa is seeking nominees for its annual Stars of the Neighborhood Award.
The neighborhood council is hoping to identify and honor those unsung heroes of the community who quietly, persistently and without fanfare voluntarily perform good deeds that serve the needs of their neighbors and the community.
Members of the public are invited to nominate a person whose efforts fit this criteria. The nominee must live in Westchester, Playa del Rey or Playa Vista. Nominations will be evaluated by an ad hoc committee of the neighborhood council, and the winning honoree(s) will be honored at Westchester’s annual Fourth of July Parade.
Nomination forms can be found online at and must be received by no later than June 14.