The LAX Kiwanis Club wrapped up the 2005-2006 school year by presenting 35 local students with a total of more than $27,000 in scholarships.

The scholarship selections were based on a combination of academic excellence, community involvement, work experience, financial need, participation in school activities and a personal essay.

The focus of the LAX Kiwanis Club’s community service programs involves children.

In 1995, the club adopted 98th Street School; and in 2003, following the closure of the Manchester Square school, it became the standard bearer for the Dolores Huerta Elementary School in Lennox.

The club sponsors an annual Fun Day and provided teachers with a total of $9,500 this year to purchase items on their wish list.

The scholarship program began in the 1991-92 school year and includes students at St. Bernard, St. Mary’s, Inglewood and Westchester High Schools.

“The proceeds from the annual golf tournament fund the scholarship program,” said Lance Lipscomb, chairman of the scholarship committee. “The enthusiasm of club members in support of the golf tournament has resulted in increased revenues for the scholarship fund.”

Congratulations to the following student scholarship winners at our local schools:

St. Bernard High School — Nicolette Robinson and Jacqueline Gomez; and

Westchester High School — Jasmin Abdual, Dina Mismar, Brian Ly, Jerick Dizon, Aurelia Mark, Mohd Imtiaz, Ahmad Mahdi, Gelila Asnake and Jason Robinson.

PLOTKIN DOLES OUT FRITZ BURNS FUNDS — This year’s Fritz B. Burns Outstanding Leadership and Community Service Award winner Morrey Plotkin made the rounds doling out the funds donated by the Fritz B. Burns Foundation in his name —Ýa perk of the award.

Plotkin announced that he would be giving equal amounts to four local organizations — Computer Access Center, Flight Path Learning Center of Southern California, Jim Bunch Memorial Fund and the Westchester Family YMCA.

Plotkin made the announcement at the Installation Dinner of the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce, where Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff, the installing officer for the event, announced that Playa Vista would match the donation dollar-for-dollar.

Recently, Plotkin visited the YMCA to donate what had amounted to $2,500.

Lisa D’Angelo and board chair David Gray were on hand to accept the donation, which will be placed into the organization’s Endowment Fund.

Plotkin was the 14th recipient of the Fritz B. Burns Award and has spent a lifetime making a positive impact on the community.

He has been involved in everything from the Westchester Family YMCA to the Chamber of Commerce to the Computer Access Center.

He is known as the “Father of Flight Path,” as it was his vision to create a place to honor aviation pioneers and educate and support young people who hoped to make a career in the fields of aviation and aerospace.

GATEWAY BUSINESSES IRATE — Businesses in the Gateway to L.A. business improvement district were livid that the city agreed to close down the westbound lanes of Century Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Airport Boulevard on Thursday, June 29th, to accommodate a pro-union protest.

They were especially upset that they received notice of the closure less than 24 hours before the beginning of what was for many a four-day Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“We are astounded that the City Council would approve a permit to obstruct traffic on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city of Los Angeles,” wrote Gateway to L.A. Executive Director Laurie Hughes in a letter to City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the area. “Century Boulevard is a vibrant, busy business district.

“Closure of the westbound lanes of Century Boulevard will prevent thousands of people from access to dozens of businesses on Century Boulevard, likely resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars in revenue and productivity, creating a traffic nightmare throughout the surrounding streets, and potentially posing a hazard to the community in the event of an emergency in the area.”

Hughes said she was also concerned that the closure would reinforce Los Angeles’s image as “anti-business.”

“At the height of the summer travel season, possibly the worst image we can convey about the City of Los Angeles is that we routinely and without due consideration allow activities which needlessly impede business in Los Angeles,” she wrote.

The protest, organized by a group called Unite Here, which represents apparel, hotel and restaurant workers, was designed to unionize the hotels along the Century Boulevard corridor, the city’s largest concentration of hotels.

“This rally was simply another aggressive union tactic,” Hughes said. “It is unfortunate that the union felt that it had to resort to such a media stunt.”

LAPD BLOOD DRIVE — The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Operations-West Bureau is hosting a blood drive and needs your blood to help address a critical shortage on the Westside.

Appointments to donate can be made through Saturday, July 8th, by calling (310) 423-2637 and referencing the LAPD’s Pacific Division blood drive.

Donations will take place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and donors will receive free parking and opportunities to win everything from movie passes to restaurant gift certificates and other prizes.

GET READY FOR 11-DIGIT DIALING — On August 25th, 2005 the California Public Utilities Commission approved a request by a group of telecommunications carriers to replace the current back-up plan to split the 310 area code with an area code overlay. To accommodate the growing need for telephone numbers, the 424 area code will be added to the area served by 310.

The new 424 area code will serve customers in the same geographic region as the current 310 area code, which includes the Westside and South Bay area of Los Angeles County and a small portion of Ventura County. This is known as an area code overlay — the addition of another area code (424) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (310). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

To complete calls from a landline phone, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial 1 + area code + telephone number.

This means that all calls in the 310 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using 1+ 310 + telephone number.

To complete calls from a cellular or mobile phone, callers may dial the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code and telephone number whenever placing a call from a phone number with the 310 or 424 area code.

Beginning Wednesday, July 26th, callers must use the new dialing procedure for all calls. After this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedure, your call will not be completed, and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.

Also, beginning Friday, August 26th, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 424 area code.

In addition to changing your dialing procedure, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed with a seven-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure.

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