Arts and Education

Knabe To Dedicate Avalon’s New Lifeguard And Paramedic Station

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will join City of Avalon and Los Angeles County Fire and Lifeguard officials at the ribbon-cutting dedication of Avalon’s new state-of-the-art lifeguard and paramedic headquarters building. The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.

The $5.423 million project was constructed on a parcel of land adjacent to City Hall that was donated to the County by the City of Avalon. The building is a two-story, 7,005 square foot lifeguard/paramedic station, which consists of a two-bay apparatus area for housing a paramedic truck, a utility vehicle and watercraft trailers; an office with storage rooms; and a reception area with a public restroom. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission through its Civic Art Program commissioned artists Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet to create a ceramic tile mural for the fa cade of the new Avalon Lifeguard Paramedic Headquarters.

Los Angeles County lifeguards have faithfully and effectively served Catalina Island for 40 years, said Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman. With the completion of this state-of-the-art facility, their base of operation and commitment to the Avalon community is solidified. We are very appreciative of the collaboration with the City of Avalon and Supervisor Don Knabe to accomplish this important project.

The Avalon Lifeguard facility will also have one unique feature among all of the County’s similar buildings. This will be the first to include dormitory space for workers, which will consist of a living room, kitchen, dining room and bedroom space for up to eight personnel. County lifeguards on Catalina Island are on-call for 24-hour periods, meaning that anyone stationed in Avalon must secure housing in the City’s limited and expensive housing market. With the new building, lifeguards will be able to complete their shifts without having to acquire housing off-site.

I am very excited about this new station, which was a truly collaborative effort between the City and County, said Supervisor Knabe. I know that the lifeguard station will enhance current operations here in Avalon. Currently, the housing we do have for our lifeguards is in short supply so this new station will allow our lifeguards to have the housing that they need to provide critical services to the both the residents and visitors of Avalon.

Paid Internships In The Arts Now Available

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved a motion to provide $250,000 for the 2010 Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program. The program is for Los Angeles County-based nonprofit performing, presenting and literary arts organizations interested in mentoring an undergraduate college student for ten weeks during summer 2010.

The guidelines and application for the program are now available on the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Web site.

The deadline to submit an application is Wednesday, April 7, 2010. Grants of $2,500 to $3,500, depending on organizational budget size, to be used to pay interns are awarded to successful applicant organizations.

Organizations interested in this program should review the guidelines before beginning an application. Several aspects of the program have changed due to decreased funding:

Only arts organizations that possess 501(c)(3) status are eligible for the program, including municipal arts agencies and municipal performing arts organizations.

Each organization may request only one full-time intern.

Organizations with budgets over $1.5 million are required to provide a $500 match.

Organizations with budgets over $4 million are required to provide a $1,000 match.

The purpose of the County’s program is to provide undergraduate students with meaningful on-the-job training and experience in working in nonprofit arts organizations, while assisting arts organizations to develop future arts leaders.

Opera Tales Returning to Fourth District Libraries

Supervisor Don Knabe announced that the highly-acclaimed Opera Tales program will soon be returning to Fourth District County Libraries. Opera Tales is a LA Opera program that introduces children and families to the world of opera at local libraries. Supervisor Knabe established the partnership between the LA Opera and the County of Los Angeles Public Library, and provided funding to bring the free family performances to libraries in the Fourth District.

This year, German Opera Tales features five professional opera singers who perform musical moments from such German opera stories as Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, and Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel in celebration of LA Opera’s Ring cycle and the Ring Festival LA.

Fourth District County Libraries that will host German Opera Tales:

Rowland Heights Library: Saturday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m.

Los Nietos Library: Tuesday, April 20 at 4:00 p.m.

Hacienda Heights Library: Saturday, April 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Angelo M. Iacoboni Library: Sunday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m.

Norwalk Regional Library: Tuesday, April 27 at 4:00 p.m.

Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey Library: Thursday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Hermosa Beach Library: Friday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m.

For information on library locations or future programs, please call

(562) 940-8422, or visit the County Library Web site at

Portraits Of Hope Public Art Project To Transform Beach Lifeguard Towers

This summer more than 100 of the Los Angeles County beach lifeguard towers will be visually transformed as part of a massive public art and civic project developed by Portraits of Hope, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association.

The project and exhibition has been approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief and the Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors. It involves creating and installing hand-painted artwork on form-fitting art panels on four sides of more than 100 lifeguard towers and their roof tops. Painting of the panels began in January and installation will begin in May. This weekend, on Saturday, February 20, Los Angeles County Lifeguards, will be painting exterior tower panels between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at 13535 Mindanao Way, in Marina Del Rey.

This is a unique and truly wonderful opportunity for hospitalized youngsters and others to discover, grow and show the world their creative abilities, said Steve Powell, of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association. What better way to show the world the amazing creative powers of our young people than to put their work on public display on Los Angeles County beaches visited by millions of Americans every summer.

In January, Portraits of Hope began daily program sessions throughout L.A. County schools, hospitals, and youth groups. Participants began to learn about public art, civic education, and teamwork while engaging in creative therapy. They began painting pre-designed panels that, in keeping with the job lifeguards do, represent environmental and healthy lifestyle concerns. Many will be painting with their mouths or feet, added Powell.

Portraits of Hope projects serve as creative therapy for thousands. Portraits of Hope has provided children and adults facing cancer, burn trauma, spinal injuries, HIV/AIDS, head and brain injuries, and other serious medical problems with innovative, fun, and therapeutic activities that let them enjoy and take pride in themselves during their medical care and rehab.

To meet individual needs of children and adults with disabilities, Portraits of Hope has developed specialized brushes and painting methods including telescoping paint brushes for children and adults in wheelchairs or attached to IVs, shoe brushes for children and adults with injured upper limbs or who cannot manipulate a brush with their hands, and flavored mouth brushes for those with limited or no movement in their arms and legs.

Portraits of Hope’s numerous bedside visits provide creative therapy to hospitalized children from toddler to 17. They are a great inspiration to these kids and to everyone else. We are extremely fortunate to have this organization serving our community, said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

Ultimately, over 5,000 local children and others from schools, hospitals and youth groups will be involved in the project. Previous Portraits of Hope Projects, including NASCAR racecars, airport control towers, the Osaka Sports Arena, and all of NYC’s taxicabs. The group’s efforts have received national and international attention. For more information, visit

County Names New Chief Probation Officer

Donald H. Blevins, who has been credited with turning around Alameda County’s Probation Department, will become Los Angeles County’s Chief Probation Officer on April 19. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week appointed Blevins to head the department at an annual salary of $227,000. He replaces Robert Taylor, who retired earlier this month.

Cited for his experience, managerial skills and leadership, Blevins has spent his entire 34-year career in the probation field, more than 14 years of which has been in management. Among his accomplishments in Alameda County were the introduction of evidence-based practices to move toward assessment-driven services to clients; collaboration to create a juvenile mental health court; expansion of service to sexually exploited minors; enhanced literacy program for juvenile hall youth; implementation of a kiosk reporting system for adult offenders; institution of cost-effective alternatives to detention, including electronic and GPS monitoring; and enhancement of revenue and fee collection.

Blevins said he would also emphasize evidence-based practices in Los Angeles County, which he described as basing department procedures and practices on what research has proven to be effective. Something might feel good, but does it work? With limited financial resources, the department must work more efficiently, he said.

Noting that the Los Angeles County Probation Department was the largest probation department in the world, Blevins said he considers his new job, an opportunity of a lifetime, and looks forward to helping the department get back on track. I like a challenge, and this is a challenge on a grand scale, he said.

Blevins said his strength is that he knows the probation field inside and out, starting out as a deputy probation officer in San Diego County in 1976 and reaching the position of probation director of the adult field services before going to Alameda County.

He is active in numerous professional organizations, including the National Institute of Corrections, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the California Parole, Probation and Corrections Association, the American Probation and Parole Association, and the National Association of Probation Executives.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from the United States International University/Cal Western Campus-San Diego in 1974 and did graduate work in sociology in 1976 at the San Diego State University.

The Los Angeles County Probation Department, established in 1903, has a $692.8 million budget and 6,136 positions.

County Supports Education Law Reforms In ‘Race To The Top’

The Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed a resolution made by Supervisor Don Knabe to state the Board’s strong support of the Governor and California’s Legislature in their efforts to make the necessary changes to state law that would enable California to apply for billions of dollars in new federal education funding.

"Race to the Top" is a $4.35 billion competitive grant program that is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), designed to support education reform and innovation. A primary focus of this program is to improve education by linking teacher performance to student progress, supporting innovative educational models such as charter schools, and a targeted effort to address the lowest 5% of under-performing schools. Unfortunately, the state laws that govern education in California currently render the state ineligible to apply for this funding. A special legislative session called by the Governor to address this issue began this week.

"There is overwhelming need for reform and change in the approach to education," said Supervisor Knabe, "and no where more so than in the County’s camp schools and community day schools, which serve as the educational home to thousands of young people under jurisdiction of the juvenile court. These are precisely the type of students this federal funding is designed to reach."

Supervisor Knabe’s proposed overhaul of educational opportunities in Los Angeles County’s juvenile camps and halls was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. The reforms were proposed by Supervisor Knabe after a study revealed students were seriously underserved by the schools designed to teach children incarcerated in the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system. Among the reforms will be the creation of charter schools in the probation system. The reforms will also customize educational opportunities based on the individual needs of the student, including a vocational education path, a college-bound path, and a GED completion path, among others.

"We cannot leave this funding on the table," Knabe continued, "it would be tragic if we let arcane state laws bar us from this significant opportunity to compete for these funds."

20 Arts Groups From The Fourth District To Receive Grants From The Arts Commission

Supervisor Don Knabe is pleased to announce grants to 20 arts organizations from the Fourth District. The Los Angeles County Arts Commission Organizational Grant Program (OGP) grants were awarded competitively, reviewed and scored by panels, and approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors July 14, 2009.

The grants for the Fourth District are part of awards totaling $4,418,000 to 153 nonprofit arts organizations countywide for fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11. An estimated 9 million people will be served by the organizations receiving grants.

23 additional Fourth District organizations will also receive grant funds in 2009-10 through two-year awards made last year, bringing the total number of Fourth District organizations funded by the Board of Supervisors to 43. A double asterisk next to the organization name indicates a first-time grantee.


Bluepalm: Art Culture Education (ACE) (Los Angeles)

Grant Amount: $11,400

Project: To provide, for the first time, salaries for the Executive and Artistic Directors

Chorale Bel Canto (Whittier)

Grant Amount: $18,700

Project: To support development of marketing plans, improve the website, and develop a succession plan.

Culture Shock Los Angeles Dance Troupe (San Pedro) **

Grant Amount: $19,400

Project: To support Program Director position, professional development for teaching artists, and program evaluation.

JC Culture Foundation (Cerritos) **

Grant Amount: $4,200

Project: To support the purchase of performance and technical equipment and hire a part-time administrator.

Long Beach Community Concert Association (Long Beach)

Grant Amount: $13,500

Project: To support artists’ fees for two concert seasons.

Los Cancioneros Master Chorale (Torrance)

Grant Amount: $7,800

Project: To support the production of eight concerts.

Whittier Community Theatre (Whittier) **

Grant Amount: $8,900

Project: To support musicians for productions.


Downey Symphonic Society, Inc. (Downey)

Grant Amount: $13,500

Project: To support funding for the live concert part of our Music In the Schools Program.

Hernandez Mariachi Heritage Society (South El Monte)

Grant Amount: $15,200

Project: To recruit sponsors, help sites become financially self-sustaining,establish new sites and provide curriculum training.

Institute of Art, Music and Science (Bellflower)

Grant Amount: $11,500

Project: To support fundraising and development plans to increase the participation of low-income children in music education.

Khmer Arts Academy (Long Beach)

Grant Amount: $38,600

Project: To support the Salon Series.

Regina Klenjoski Dance Company (Long Beach)

Grant Amount: $14,100

Project: To support the administrative manager and booking managers .

Rio Hondo Symphony Association (Whittier)

Grant Amount: $17,700

Project: To support planning initiatives with new conductor and a grant writer.

San Pedro City Ballet (San Pedro)

Grant Amount: $11,600

Project: To support the development of a year-round studio performance program that advances works-in-progress.

Shakespeare by the Sea (San Pedro)

Grant Amount: $21,600

Project: To support the Artistic Director and Festival Producer staff positions.

South Bay Ballet (Torrance)

Grant Amount: $21,400

Project: To support artistic and administrative staff.


Angels Gate Cultural Center (San Pedro)

Grant Amount: $31,900

Project: To support visual and performing arts programming.

Arts Council for Long Beach (Long Beach)

Grant Amount: $75,500

Project: To support temporary public arts projects in vacant lots.

Friends of the Cerritos Center (Cerritos)

Grant Amount: $45,100

Project: To support educational programming and professional development workshops for teachers.

Long Beach Opera (Long Beach)

Grant Amount: $35,700

Project: To support two fully-staged large scale contemporary operas.

Knabe, Supervisors To Meet With Federal Leaders

Supervisor Don Knabe, Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, is in Washington, D.C. this week, leading the County’s annual legislative meetings with federal lawmakers. Over the next three days, the Board of Supervisors will meet with members of the California Congressional delegation, federal agencies, and other key decision makers.

Among the County’s top federal priorities this year are the reopening of MLK hospital, climate change impact on Los Angeles County, funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, and the continued development of an interoperable communications system that will allow public safety agencies to easily communicate with each other during a local disaster.

Supervisor Knabe will also be discussing the continuation of the C-17 program at Boeing’s Long Beach Plant, the need for additional dredging in Marina del Rey, and securing federal workforce investment funding in order to create temporary local jobs in Los Angeles County.

Supervisor Knabe will be available to discuss the County’s federal priorities with members of the media while he is in Washington, D.C. He can be reached through press secretary David Sommers, (213) 453-6446, or Supervisor Knabe also has a dedicated section of his website, containing video blogs about the County’s federal priorities, and downloadable copies of the issue papers. The site is available at or

County Presents First Green Leadership Awards

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on April 21 will recognize five community groups selected as recipients of the inaugural Green Leadership Awards. The County created the program in 2008 to recognize outstanding energy conservation and environmental efforts made by individuals, public agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations. The Green Leadership Awards will be presented at 10:00 a.m. during the Board of Supervisors regular meeting at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Los Angeles. The five recipients are: Interior Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Project, Interior Removal Specialist, Inc., South Gate; Planet Pals, Grand View Elementary School, Manhattan Beach; Citizens for a Cleaner City, Old Torrance Neighborhood Association, Torrance; City of Monrovia Environmental Accords, City of Monrovia; and On-Line Green Training, Planning and Development Department, City of Pasadena.
Supervisor Don Knabe, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said the projects benefit the residents of Los Angeles County by creating opportunities to inspire other organizations to adopt the best green practices in their communities.
This County program is very important, said Supervisor Knabe. It helps promote environmental awareness and responsibility for the sustainability of communities, and enhances the County’s role as a leader by honoring local outstanding environmental programs.
The five award-winners were selected for the following accomplishments:
Interior Removal Specialist, Inc., South Gate Interior Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Project
Interior Removal Specialist is the leader in Los Angeles County in diverting and recycling materials such as drywall, carpet, ceiling tile and manufactured lumber. Its 80% diversion efforts extend the life of existing landfills and reduce the environmental impact of construction and demolition debris. Additionally, the donations made by recycling furniture and other materials reintroduce nearly 100 tons of materials back to the community.
Grand View Elementary School, Manhattan Beach Planet Pals Project – Trash Free Tuesdays
Students at Grand View Elementary School bring their lunches to school in reusable trash-free lunchboxes each Tuesday. This, as well as composting and recycling measures, enabled the school to generate a record low of one-half bag of trash for more than 700 students, opposed to 40 bags previously. Grand View has diverted more than 1,500 large bags of trash from landfills. This program has been rolled out to seven other elementary schools, reaching 8,500 kids. Old Torrance Neighborhood Association, Torrance Citizens for a Cleaner City Project
Residents of Torrance accepted the mayor’s challenge to contribute to a safe, clean and well-maintained city. Volunteers from age 6 to 85 began a bi-monthly Saturday clean-up day concentrating on the highest payoff areas, such as entrance and exit areas to the city. Since 2006 they have removed more than two tons of trash and debris and recycled items like aluminum cans. The cost benefit to the city is evident by the number of volunteer hours donated, freeing city employees to take on other essential services. This is a model program for other cities. City of Monrovia Environmental Accords
The City of Monrovia created a Green Team responsible for implementing green projects and policies. In less than two years, the city reduced lighting energy consumption by 20% by replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. The city installed cool roofs at their historic museum and the police department, reducing air pollution and smog formation. Installation of 22 waterless urinals in city facilities led to an annual savings of 888,000 gallons of water. The newly built energy-efficient library provides an improved working environment for library patrons and staff and sets the precedent for future construction trends.
City of Pasadena On-Line Green Training project
Through an interactive, Internet-based design, Pasadena’s 1,880 full-time employees receive training on the Green City Action Plan while receiving inspirational and practical tips for going green at work and at home. The city benefits from having a workforce educated and engaged in environmental stewardship. Visitors who complete the green training gain knowledge about available local resources, services and rebates that will help them reduce their utility bills, eliminate waste, and cut their transportation costs.

Local Students To Be Treated To ‘Inkheart’ Movie As Part of Operation Read Program

About 300 Los Angeles County schoolchildren will attend a special screening of the new Warner Bros. movie ‘Inkheart’ at the Norwalk AMC this Thursday, January 22, as part of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s Operation Read Program.

The 7th and 8th grade students, from the Bellflower Unified School District, will arrive at the theater at 9:00 a.m., and will watch the movie after being welcomed by Supervisor Knabe. Each student participating in program received a free copy of ‘Inkheart’, written by Cornelia Funke. The students that are participating in the program were required to have satisfactory grades, good behavior, and make a commitment to read the book and complete a writing assignment.

Literacy is very important to me, and the essence of this program is to get students to read and enjoy it, said Supervisor Knabe. You cannot get even the most basic job in our society without the ability to read, because reading is at the core of everything we do. I am so proud of all of the students who read the book and understand the importance reading has in their lives.

The buses should begin arriving at the theater at 9:00 a.m. AMC Norwalk 20 is located at 12300 East Civic Center Drive in the City of Norwalk.