Longtime Westchester community leader John Ruhlen was honored by Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl Thursday, February 2nd, for Ruhlen’s contributions to beautifying West-chester.

Ruhlen, who served as the president of the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association, helped spearhead the planting of scores of new trees along Westchester Parkway east of Sepulveda Boulevard along airport-owned property.

Those tree plantings, however, did not extend all the way to Se-pulveda, because that property is owned by the City of Los Angeles.

Ruhlen worked closely with Rosendahl’s office to make sure a series of new trees were planted by the city to complete the face-lift along Westchester Parkway.

“It is a pleasure and an honor to commend you for your commitment to the beautification of Westchester,” Rosendahl said in a brief ceremony on Westchester Parkway. “Your actions not only contribute to the landscape of the coastal district, they also reaffirm the character of the overall Los Angeles community.”

Ruhlen, who continues to serve on the Westchester Street-scape Improvement Association board as well as on the board of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey, said he hopes to continue his beautification efforts along Sepulveda Boulevard as well.

GWEN VUCHSAS HONOR —Playa del Rey resident and local community leader Gwen Vuchsas will be honored by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners as one of 11 leading business owners.

The award will be made during the association’s 20th Annual Leadership and Legacy Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Friday, March 17th.

More than 1,300 business leaders, media, dignitaries and celebrities are expected to attend.

The National Association of Women Business Owners is a nationwide membership organization designed to inspire and empower women entrepreneurs in economic, social and political spheres of leadership.

The organization has more than 8,000 members in 80 chapters in the U.S.

This year, the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the association selected seven women to receive awards, and chose four additional women to be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Vuchsas, owner and chief operating officer of SECO Investigative & Security Services, will be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame with three other women business leaders.

Emmy Award-winning KCAL 9 News co-anchor Sylvia Lopez will serve as the mistress of ceremonies.

The event is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, March 17th, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Tickets are $175 and are available on-line at www.nawbola.org.

LMU MATH DEPARTMENT ADDS HONORS — Loyola Marymount University (LMU) mathematics professors Herbert A. Medina and Jacqueline Dewar have been recognized for programs and contributions that “make a difference” by the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America.

The honor came during meetings in San Antonio in January.

“For years, LMU faculty and students have known about the strengths in our mathematics department,” said Richard Plumb, dean of the Seaver College of Science and Engineering, which houses the LMU math department.

LMU’s Summer Institute in Mathematics for Undergraduates, under the co-direction of Medina, earned the American Mathematical Society’s inaugural award for “Programs that Make a Difference.”

The program was designed to increase the number of Latinos/as and Native Americans earning graduate degrees and pursuing careers in the mathematical sciences.

During its five-year span (1998-2002), the summer program hosted 107 junior and senior undergraduate students at the Universidad de Puerto Rico en Humancao.

While there, students participated in seminars, attended research lectures and completed their own research projects.

To date, 44 of those students have been accepted into mathematics Ph.D. programs; three have completed Ph.D.s in mathematics and one has completed a doctoral degree in physics.

An additional 21 participants have completed master’s degrees in mathematics.

Dewar, LMU mathematics department chairwoman, also was honored by the Mathematical Association of America with the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics for her successes in the classroom throughout her 32-year LMU career.

Established in 1991, the Haimo Awards are presented to college or university teachers widely recognized as extraordinarily successful and whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have had influence beyond their own institutions.

$70,000 GRANT — The William H. Hannon Foundation has provided a $70,000 grant to St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey.

The foundation was established by the late Catholic philanthro-pist and real estate developer William H. Hannon.

The grant will be used to improve the school’s entry pillar and replace fencing surrounding the school’s 13-acre campus.

“My uncle truly loved St. Bernard High School,” said Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, president of the William H. Hannon Foundation, Hannon’s niece and a foundation board member since its founding in 1983.

“His office was in walking distance of the high school, and he saw this high school as an important neighborhood resource for those wanting a strong Catholic education.

“He would be proud of the St. Bernard of today and he would be happy to see that we are continuing his legacy of support for the high school.

“The Hannon name is synonymous with St. Bernard High School,” said Jim McClune, St. Bernard High School principal.

“William Hannon could be considered our ‘patron saint.’ His belief in our mission and our students carries through to this day and I am extremely grateful to the William H. Hannon Foundation for this latest gift.”

COWAN AVENUE TEA — Cowan Avenue Elementary School will hold its 2006 Kindergarten Tea from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9th, in the school auditorium, 7615 Cowan Avenue, Westchester.

This will be an opportunity for parents to learn more about the school kindergarten program, meet teachers and administrators, tour a kindergarten classroom and the school’s new play yard and, of course, visit with current kindergarten parents.

“We believe that kindergarten is a time for children to expand their love of learning, their general knowledge, their ability to get along with others, and their interest in reaching out to the world,” said Gerald Riberio, tea chair.

Information, (310) 645-1973.