A Show of Support for Neighborhood Schools

Grand View Boulevard Elementary School students, their parents and community supporters gathered at the school on Feb. 17 to participate in an LAUSD-wide “walk-in” to oppose efforts to expand the number of charter schools throughout the school district.

Grand View is home to LAUSD’s longest-running Spanish language immersion program, and participants held signs declaring support for the school in both languages.

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Board and other education reform allies developed a plan last year to double the number of charter schools in LAUSD by 2023.

“We see today as a declaration of support for public education,” Grand View Principal Alfredo Ortiz said.

Amy Kurland, whose daughter is in first grade at Grand View, said she attended the walk-in to show appreciation for her neighborhood school.

“By doing so, the hope is that the Broad Plan, which threatens the existence of many public schools around the country, will be opposed,” Kurland said.

— Gary Walker


Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Coming to Venice

The Venice Chamber of Commerce is bringing “The Wall that Heals,” a traveling memorial honoring Vietnam Veterans, to Windward Circle on Wednesday, March 2.

The memorial is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., and the chamber is bringing it to Venice in collaboration with Veterans Foundation Inc. in order to raise awareness about the need to help homeless veterans.

Volunteers are needed to take part in an honor guard during setup at 11:30 a.m. on March 2 and to act as docents while the memorial is on display through Sunday, March 6.

Call (310) 822-5425 or visit venicechamber.net to sign up to help.

— Joe Piasecki


LMU Honors President of the Philippines

Loyola Marymount University bestowed Philippines President Benigno Aquino III with an honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters on Feb. 17, celebrating his humanitarian work and support for Jesuit education around the world.

What links Aquino to LMU is his Jesuit education at Ateneo De Manilla University.

“We have a chance to make
a difference,” Aquino said of his support for Jesuit education and humanitarian efforts.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D- Los Angeles) attended the ceremony to celebrate the contributions of the 21,000 Filipino-Americans in her congressional district in “making Los Angeles a great place to live,” she said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also offered Aquino a warm welcome.

“I like to think of Los Angeles as a great Filipino city,” he said. “In fact, if we took the population of all the Filipinos who live here, we would be a Top Ten city in the Philippines by population alone.”

— Chase Maser


Burke Seeks to Expand Coastal Commission

Coastal communities with significant racial and economic diversity could gain more
influence on affordable housing-related decisions by the California Coastal Commission if a bill proposed by state Assembly- woman Autumn Burke (D- Marina del Rey) becomes law.

On Feb. 19, Burke introduced a bill that would add three new voting members to the 12-member commission, each of them from a diverse, low-income community. Burke’s proposal would also give the commission authority to preserve and protect existing affordable housing along the coast.

“We rely on the Coastal Commission to preserve our natural resources and access for all Californians,” said Burke. “By adding new membership and restoring their ability to enforce affordable housing requirements, overlooked communities will no longer be relegated to public comment — they’ll have a seat
at the table.”

Burke’s Assembly Bill 2616 would also reinstate commission powers to see that affordable housing is created. In the 1980s, opponents of affordable housing successfully eliminated a provision in the California Coastal Act that ensured affordable housing on the coast, according to Burke’s office.

The California Coastal Commission became a political hot topic earlier this month when members voted 7-5 to fire the commission’s executive director, who was popular with environmentalists and slow-growth advocates.

— Gary Walker


CORRECTION: LAUSD’s Hildreth, not King, to Speak in Westchester

LAUSD Supt. Michelle King to Speak in Westchester

LAUSD Local District West Superintendent Cheryl Hildreth is expected to address members of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa during the council’s March 1 meeting.

Prior information printed in the Feb. 25 issue of The Argonaut was that new LAUSD Supt. Michelle King would be speaking.

King was chosen by the LAUSD Board of Education in January to succeed Ramon Cortines, who was filling in as an interim superintendent following the October 2014 resignation of John Deasy.

King is LAUSD’s first African-American superintendent. She previously worked as a magnet school coordinator at Orville Wright Middle School in Westchester and a high-level administrator serving Westside public schools.

The neighborhood council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Westchester Municipal Building Community Room at 7166 W. Manchester Ave.

— Gary Walker


Recreational Boating Objectives up for Discussion

Los Angeles County’s Small Craft Harbor Commission is holding a special night meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3, to discuss the L.A. County Department of Beaches & Harbors’ recreational boating objectives in Marina del Rey.

Representatives of nautical organizations will speak about current activities and discuss ways to increase public access to boating. Members of the public can comment during the meeting or via email to DSCHSecretary@bh.lacounty.gov by March 1.

The meeting takes place in the Burton Chase Park Community Room, at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey.

An agenda will be posted Saturday at beaches.lacounty.gov.

— Gary Walker