Norwalk Regional Health Center Re-Opens

Nearly four years after County budget cuts forced its closure, the Norwalk Regional Health Center is now back in business. Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will lead the clinic’s re-opening with a ribbon cutting and dedication at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15th.

The re-opening of the Health Center was made possible by contributions from Supervisor Don Knabe, JWCH Institute, L.A. Care Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

The newly-renovated Health Center will be operated by JWCH Institute, Inc., a private, non-profit health agency founded by a group of prominent Los Angeles-area physicians in 1960. Since then, the Institute has managed several health clinics targeting under-served residents of Los Angeles County.

The Health Center, which is now accepting patients, will provide free and low-cost medical care and social services to the residents of the surrounding communities. JWCH is collaborating with the following agencies to provide the patients a wide range of services: ALMA Family Services, Intercommunity Child Guidance Center, Los Angeles Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Oldtimers Foundation, Southern California Alcohol and Drug Programs, Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project, and Helpline Youth Counseling.

When you look at the low-cost services available in this community, you find they are virtually non-existent. The people who need this clinic the most have to travel a great distance to receive the services it once provided before closing, said Supervisor Knabe. This re-opening is a rebirth. It is a commitment that we have not given up on providing outstanding health care to this community.

"Re-opening the Norwalk Regional Health Center is the result of the work of a public-private partnership among L.A. Care Health Plan, Supervisor Don Knabe and JWCH Institute," said Howard Kahn, CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, which funded a $125,000 grant to re-open the health center. Access to health care affects everyone and guaranteeing it will require the collective effort of all of us."

The press conference and ribbon cutting will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15th. The Norwalk Regional Health Center is located at 12360 Firestone Boulevard in the City of Norwalk. Parking will be reserved for members of the media on Firestone Boulevard directly in front of the Health Center.

Knabe to Dedicate Two Homeless Centers in Long Beach

On Thursday, February 9, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will lead the Grand Opening celebrations for two new homeless service facilities in the City of Long Beach.

The first event is the dedication of the new Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center, a school that provides mainstream educational and health services to children of homeless families. The new 6,000 square foot campus helps many of the 800 homeless children enrolled in the Long Beach Unified School District receive the same academic opportunities that students in other local schools receive. Supervisor Knabe secured $1 million in Federal Community Development Block Grant money to help fund construction of the Bethune Center.

The second event is the dedication of a new homeless shelter, which will serve as the first permanent, year-round shelter in Long Beach. The 59-bed facility will accommodate both men and women in separate units and will include services beyond free overnight housing and meals.

Anyone staying at the shelter will be able to access an array of services, including mental health, housing assistance and job training services. Supervisor Knabe earmarked $787,000 in County homeless shelter funding towards construction and operation costs.

Both of these programs are about giving homeless men, women and children a leg up,said Supervisor Knabe. At both facilities we are giving people access to the same educational, health and social services any other resident of Los Angeles County can enjoy.

The dedication of the Bethune Transitional Center is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 9. The Center is located at 2041 San Gabriel Avenue in Long Beach.

Services at the new Long Beach Homeless Shelter begin at 12 p.m. on Thursday, February 9. The Shelter’s address is 1368 Oregon Avenue in Long Beach.

New Transit Services Comes to South Whittier

On the morning of Saturday, January 21, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will participate in the inaugural ride and dedication ceremony for the new South Whittier Shuttle Service. The new community shuttle will make stops at more than three dozen locations between the Whittwood Town Center and Sorensen Park. The service will also connect to other transit systems run by the MTA and other local cities.

This is a true milestone for the South Whittier community, said Supervisor Knabe. We are adding a valuable service for hundreds of families, workers and residents who will be able to access this shuttle service.

The $811,225 contract cost to fund the route will be spilt between two sources. 75 percent, or a little over $600,000, was approved by Supervisor Knabe from his Proposition A transit funds. The remaining 25 percent was contributed by Supervisor Gloria Molina. An additional $400,000 was appropriated by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez for the purchase of the two 29-seat, propane powered buses that will be used on the route.

The shuttle dedication will happen as part of a larger transit fair Saturday morning at the Community Resource Center at 10750 Laurel Avenue in South Whittier.

The transit fair begins at 9 a.m. with the actual dedication ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m.

The first week of shuttle service will be free to the public. After January 18, rides will cost 25 cents per trip. More information about the shuttle is available online at

Knabe Backs LAX Settlement Proposal

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe offered his support and cautious optimism today to a tentative settlement reached by parties involved in litigation over the expansion of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Under the settlement, the City agreed to halt so-called yellow-lighted projects until such time as the projects could be reexamined for future benefit to LAX. One such project was a controversial remote passenger check-in facility east of the airport. Other green-lighted projects will move forward, such as the realignment of the south runway complex and construction of the West Terminal and an automated people mover.

The operation of LAX impacts a vast community that extends beyond the borders of the City of Los Angeles, said Knabe. The massive expansion originally envisioned for LAX would have caused an unacceptable encroachment not just in Los Angeles, but also Inglewood and El Segundo and Culver City and other neighborhoods nearby. This settlement represents a balanced approach to the future of LAX, as well as addressing the concerns expressed by the County and the cities surrounding the airport.

Knabe also offered his thanks to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his desire to explore the need for a stronger regional network of airports.

We cannot put all of our air traffic and air cargo at a single facility. The future success of our region’s ability to move goods and passengers through our airports rests solely on taking a regional approach to our airports, said Knabe. This settlement is a first step to ensure that we have several strong airports regionally, not just a single, overburdened facility.

Cerritos Regional Park to Receive Renovation Overhaul

Supervisor Don Knabe announced today that the Board of Supervisors has accepted a $20,000 gift for the Paramount Public Library from the City of Paramount. County law requires that donations over $10,000 be accepted by the Board.

The Paramount Library will use the funds to expand both the library’s children and adult collections by purchasing more English and Spanish books and materials. In addition, the money will also be used by the library to give extra support to the Children’s Homework Center.

I would like to personally thank the City of Paramount for such a generous donation to the Paramount Public Library, said Supervisor Don Knabe. These funds will be used by the library to purchase needed books and materials, as well as, provide enhanced customer service for the public.

Nearly $25 Million Awarded for Port Security Upgrades

The Los Angeles / Long Beach Port Complex will soon benefit from nearly $25 million in federal grants for fortifying security throughout the port facilities.

The grants were announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as part of the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP). The award for the Long Beach port area is $12,768,629. Another $11,447,716 is heading to the Port of Los Angeles. PSGP funds address key national priorities by helping to protect ports against small craft and underwater attacks and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

This Grant is another strong recognition by Homeland Security about the importance of ensuring the safety and security of our port complexes in Los Angeles County. We must ensure the continuous, uninterrupted flow of commerce through our ports and this funding will help us do exactly that, said Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe.

In order to receive funding, eligible port terminals requested funding for eligible projects – especially projects addressing port security priorities. All applications were reviewed by the local United States Coast Guard port captains and scored on uniform rating criteria.

In addition to the awards announced this week, over the past five years, the Grant Program has provided $489 million to enhance dockside and perimeter security in our nation’s seaports.

Board of Supervisors Recognizes Whittier Area First Day Coalition

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors presented a scroll to the Whittier Area First Day Coalition to acknowledge the outstanding work that the organization has done to engage the homeless issue in Whittier.

The Whittier Area First Day Coalition has a mission to help the homeless and other at-risk individuals transition toward self-sufficiency. The Coalition achieves this difficult task by providing various programs for individuals and families throughout the Whittier Area. The Job Club Program, the Recovery from Homelessness Program and the Health and Wellness Program are a few of the comprehensive programs that the Coalition offers.

The Coalition has also developed a recovery model called the Reciprocal Community Engagement Model. This innovative model was designed to give local communities a strategy to build a network of programs that creates natural interaction between people. This interaction seeks to bring the homeless out of their isolation and reintegrate them back into their communities.

With over 90,000 homeless identified across the County, local involvement in addressing homelessness is more important than ever, said Supervisor Knabe. What the First Day Coalition is doing in Whittier is a shining example for the rest of the County.

New Irrigation Renovations at Los Verdes Golf Course

Supervisor Don Knabe announced today that Los Verdes Golf Course would receive an estimated $2 million dollars to renovate the irrigation system.

The funding will provide for a more efficient system that will be able to determine the optimal times for irrigation to be conducted. It can also turn the system off during rainy weather to avoid over watering to make optimal use of resources.

"As the only golf course located in Rancho Palos Verdes overlooking the stunning vista of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, Los Verdes is a wonderful asset to the County’s recreation facilities," said Knabe.

The system will include the installation of new main lines, laterals, valves, irrigation heads and a controller. A wash area clarifier at the maintenance yard will connect to the existing sewer system. In addition to gauging water needs, the new system will be capable of injecting fertilizer into the turf.

"We are so excited to move forward on this project," said Knabe. "This new efficient irrigation system will help update and maintain the stunning grounds for golfers."

The estimated two year project will not affect the public’s use of the golf course.

Traffic Signal To Be Installed In Rowland Heights on Fullerton Road At Sunrise Drive

Supervisor Don Knabe announced today that a new traffic signal and curb ramps will be installed in Rowland Heights at the intersection of Fullerton Road and Sunrise Drive. This will be part of the County’s ongoing road construction and maintenance program, and is expected to improve conditions for motorists and pedestrians.

The new addition is included in the Fiscal Year 2004-05 Road Fund Budget and is estimated to cost between $90,000 and $105,000. The project complies with the California Environmental Quality Act.

To increase contractor awareness of our program and to contract work to the private sector, this project will be listed on the County website for bids which will begin August 3rd, said Knabe. The participation of the private sector in public developments provides a united sense of community which will help keep our streets both maintained as well as safe.

The project is scheduled to be completed within 30 days. Work will commence in December 2004. Once work begins, Fullerton Road may be reduced by one traffic lane in each direction, and Sunrise Drive may be reduced to one traffic lane for both directions, controlled by flaggers. Lane reductions will only be in effect during working hours.

Knabe Funds Peninsula Transit Shuttle

Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Don Knabe, today announced the funding of $405,000 of his Fourth District Proposition A funds for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority’s Shuttle Service.

Despite tough budget times, it is important to continue to fund important projects such as the shuttle in Palos Verdes, said Knabe. Local transit projects are important throughout the County. Every person we get out of a car and into a bus is less traffic and less pollution.

The $405,000 will be used for fiscal year 2004-05 and will help continue the Shuttle service.