Parks and Environment

L.A. County Parks Providing Free Lunches, Snacks for Youth This Summer

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In partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Education, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is providing more than 250,000 free lunches and snacks to children across Los Angeles County this summer at 48 County parks and eight non-agency sites.

The weekday Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) program is running through Friday, Aug. 7, with lunches served between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and snacks provided between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Exact times vary by location.

Created to help reduce the percentage of young people in the United States challenged by obesity and lack of consistent access to nutritious food, SFSP aims to provide a healthy alternative for children while school is out for the summer.

Monday through Friday during each week of the program, children 18 years of age and under are invited to receive a nutritious lunch and snack, fare that includes such offerings as sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and healthy dairy products like milk, string cheese and yogurt. In order for participating parks to qualify for the program, they must service areas within the geographical boundaries of an elementary, middle or high school attendance area with at least 50% of its students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

Parents or guardians interested in enrolling their children in this free program can call the Los Angeles County Summer Lunch Program Office at (310) 965-8630, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Knabe Calls for Plan to Meet Statewide Water Reduction Mandates

Last week, in the midst of California’s worst drought in recorded history, Governor Jerry Brown took executive action to enact the first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions. He directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose restrictions to achieve a statewide 25 percent reduction in urban water usage through next February.

This past summer, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure instructing all County personnel, departments and facilities to immediately implement statewide emergency water conservation regulations that were adopted by the Statewide Mandatory Water Reduction Board.  These regulations included prohibitions on certain classes of water use and an order for all urban water suppliers to implement mandatory conservation measures.

In his motion, which was unanimously approved, Supervisor Knabe asked that the Board receive a report, in 30 days, on the specific actions taken by each County department; that the Waterworks Districts notify customers of the 25 percent reduction, and that the Department of Public Works report back on additional recommendations to meet the Governor’s Executive Order.

“I know people get tired of hearing about the drought and our residents have, by and large, done a terrific job of cutting back.  Although much has been accomplished, we must do everything we can to reduce our reliance on far-away water sources and minimize the long-term impacts of a prolonged drought,” said Supervisor Knabe.  “The severity of this drought threatens our State and County beyond the control of any single local government entity and will require the combined attention and effort of an entire region to combat.  We must all take accountability and work together to further reduce the amount of water we are using.  As the largest County in the State, we must set the example and we will count on everyone to do their part,” he said.

L.A. County to Study Feasibility of Community Choice Aggregation Energy Program

Los Angeles County will conduct a study to assess the costs, benefits and risks of developing a Community Choice Aggregation program, which would give authority to local municipalities to secure more competitive and cleaner electrical energy, thanks to a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisors Don Knabe and Sheila Kuehl. The study, which would be conducted by the Office of Sustainability, aims to give customers a choice while increasing the level of access to clean and renewable energy sources throughout the state.

“Los Angeles County has been a leader in developing programs that give residents and businesses greater access to clean and renewable energy sources,” said Supervisor Knabe. “This program has the potential to revolutionize the way energy is provided to cities and communities throughout the region, creating competition that drives down costs and helps protect the environment.”

The Office of Sustainability will study similar programs already underway in other municipalities, work with local cities to gauge their interest, meet with local utility companies to assess potential benefits and identify potential funding before reporting back to the Board of Supervisors in 90 days.

 

State Legislature Endorses Conversion Technologies

Los Angeles County Supervisor and Board Chairman Don Knabe issued the following statement following Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of Senate Bill 498, which encourages the development of conversion technologies as an alternative to landfills:

“This critical environmental legislation is a first but important step to further reducing our reliance on landfills, while producing clean energy and creating new green jobs,” Supervisor Knabe said. “I’d like to thank the Governor and State Senator Ricardo Lara for his leadership and vision in introducing the bill, and the County’s Public Works department for their work on the project.”

SB 498 broadens the definition of “biomass conversion” to include cleaner and more efficient non-combustion technologies such as gasification, pyrolosis and anaerobic digestion. Biomass is organic material such as wood, lawn and garden clippings, agricultural waste, leaves, tree prunings and non-recyclable paper.  These state-of-the-art methods break down virtually all solid, non-recyclable waste into renewable materials and energy.  Several conversion technology projects are already being planned for Los Angeles County.

“This is a very exciting time for us and we will now be able to move ahead with these much-needed facilities in partnership with industry and the community,” Supervisor Knabe added.

For more information on SB 498, conversion technology and new waste management programs, visit www.SoCalConversion.org

L.A. County, Fox Sports and Dodgers Raise Awareness of Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste

Flammable, corrosive, poisonous, and toxic products found in homes and garages can be harmful to human health and the environment if not disposed properly.

So, to help encourage residents to dispose of their household hazardous and electronic waste (HHW/E- waste) properly, Los Angeles County, AM 570 Fox Sports Radio and the LA Dodgers have teamed up to launch a public education campaign,  “Begin With The End in Mind,” featuring former Dodger great, Nomar Garciaparra.

The campaign, which will provide valuable information on household hazardous and electronic waste programs and services, will launch tomorrow, Friday, May 30, 2014, during the Dodgers vs. Pittsburg game with a live on-air interview with LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, and a Dodgervision video public service announcement with Garciaparra and ABC7News Reporter, Alysha Del Valle.

Residents can take part in free (HHW/E- waste) collection events every weekend throughout LA County. Other items accepted for collection include: unused non-controlled pharmaceuticals, needles and syringes, antifreeze, car batteries, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, used motor oil, pesticides, household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, TVs, computers, VCRs, stereos, and cell phones.

Residents can bring up to 15 gallons or 125 pounds of HHW per vehicle. Business/commercial waste is not accepted.

For additional information on future events, or  the type of materials accepted at our collection centers, visit the County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works website at www.CleanLA.com , follow us on Twitter @CLEANLA or call (888) CLEAN LA.

L.A. County Launches New Adopt-A-Bike Path Program

The County of Los Angeles has developed a new way to promote sustainable communities, encourage active recreation, and keep County bike paths free of litter and overgrown vegetation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

The Adopt-A-Bike Path program is a public/private partnership managed by LA County Public Works to maintain the County’s more than 100 miles of bike path, while saving taxpayer dollars.  Participants can sign up for a sponsorship period of up to two years or for just one day, collecting litter, sweeping, and trimming vegetation. Public Works will lend safety gear, including hard hats, vests, and gloves to participants, who will also receive complimentary trash bags and trash disposal services during the sponsorship period.

According to Supervisor Knabe, the program will foster community pride and potentially lead to healthier lifestyles for County residents.

“With the launch of the Adopt-A-Bike Path program, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations have a unique opportunity to partner with LA County,” Supervisor Knabe said. “The program will benefit both the environment and the residents who enjoy the County’s bike paths as a healthy and active means of transportation. “

For more information on the Adopt-A-Bike Path program, visit the LA County Public Works website at dpw.lacounty.gov.

Knabe Proclaims July 2013 as “Junior Golfer’s Appreciation Month”

In a motion by Supervisors Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas, July 2013 has been declared “Junior Golfer’s Appreciation Month” throughout Los Angeles County, and to salute the County’s young golfers, green fees have been reduced to $1.

During the month of July, at all 17 County golf courses, junior golfers (18 and under) can play golf for $1, after 12:00 p.m., when accompanied with a regular adult fee, senior fee, twilight fee or super-twilight fee. In addition, each golf course will hold a free “Special Skills Day” including activities such as free lessons, clinics, skills challenge contests, and other such events that will improve and promote junior golf participation.

“Youth sports programs have traditionally been valuable recreational activities for the young residents of Los Angeles County. Not only do they offer an opportunity for kids of all ages to learn new physical, social, and mental skills, but youth sports also serve as a crime deterrent,” said Supervisor Knabe. “This is a great way for us to show our appreciation to all of our junior golfers who use our County golf courses.

For more information on “Junior Golfer’s Appreciation Month” contact your local County golf course.

Los Angeles County Golf Courses
• Alondra Golf Course: (310) 217-9919
• Altadena Golf Course: (626) 797-3821
• Diamond Bar Golf Course: (909) 861-8282
• Eaton Canyon Golf Course: (626) 794-6773
• El Cariso Golf Course: (818) 367-6157
• Maggie Hathaway Golf Course: (323) 755-6285
• Knollwood Golf Course: (818) 363-1810
• Lakewood Golf Course: (562) 429-9711
• La Mirada Golf Course: (562) 943-7123
• Los Amigos Golf Course: (562) 869-0302
• Los Verdes Golf Course: (310) 377-7370
• Marshall Canyon Golf Course: (909) 593-8211
• Mountain Meadows Golf Course: (909) 623-3704
• Santa Anita Golf Course: (626) 447-2331
• Victoria Golf Course: (310) 323-4174
• Chester Washington Golf Course: (323) 756-6975
• Whittier Narrows Golf Course: (626) 288-1044

Knabe Statement on Future of Clean Water, Clean Beaches Initiative

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, in a joint motion with Supervisor Gloria Molina, today put forth a motion to stop the Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative in its current form and work with stakeholders to develop a new measure that addresses the concerns voiced by the public over the last several months. The Board also asked for quarterly progress reports and a target election date of June or November 2014. He issued the following statement on its approval:

“While I have long supported efforts to ensure clean water and beaches, I have been against this measure from the beginning as it was not fair and transparent in content or process,” said Supervisor Knabe. “We must start over. Unfortunately, our stormwater problem is exacerbated by the expensive, and often unrealistic, demands placed on us by the Regional Water Quality Control Board which increased the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) from two pollutants in the old permit to 33 pollutants, which would cost this region tens of billions of dollars to comply with in the next 20 years alone.

A regional, integrated approach to this issue is absolutely critical to develop an economically feasible solution. However, the current measure did not outline a specific list of projects. Voters have a right to know where their money is going. Also, it was a fee with no end date. I believe more accountability is necessary for voters to support this program. That is why I asked that our Department of Public Works continue its outreach to cities, school districts, non-profits and the business community, our job creators, to address their concerns about rate reductions and double-taxation issues on those already making efforts to capture and clean their storm water under existing State and Federal mandates.

Finally, should this Board in the future decide to move forward with a new Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure, it should be put before the voters in a general election ballot and not through a mail-in ballot, as was originally proposed. I appreciate the public taking the time to attend our board meetings and voice their concerns through the many messages and phone calls to our offices. The approval of today’s motion shows that you were heard.”

Board of Supervisors Approves Knabe’s Call for Extension of Protest Period for Clean Water Measure

Following the conclusion of the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure Public Hearing and the testimony of hundreds of concerned stakeholders, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Don Knabe to allow for more time for protesting the proposed parcel tax.

“We continued to hear complaints from residents, businesses, school districts, churches and non-profits that this process has not been open and transparent,” said Supervisor Knabe. “Even as the Board was hearing testimonies at the public hearing, my office was receiving emails and phone calls from residents asking where they could get a protest form and how they could protest the measure.”

Supervisor Knabe’s motion, the public hearing and protest process would be extended for an additional 60 days and address several key issues in the process including the feasibility of an online protest option and addressing the concern of double taxation for those that are already capturing and treating storm water.

“Many property owners and businesses are already doing the things the parcel fees is meant to achieve; this is a double tax for them,” said Knabe. “Renters should have a voice as an increase in parcel fees would likely be passed on to them.  Everyone wants clean water – put this to the voters so they can decide if this fee is how they want to try to achieve that.”

Supervisor Knabe’s motion also instructed the Department of Public Works to provide a process for placing the initiative on a general election ballot, define a specific list of clean water projects, determine a possible sunset date for the measure and develop a potential alternative method of funding storm water quality projects.

County Public Works Teams Up to Promote Recycling, Raise Funds for Toys for Tots

The Los Angeles County Public Works Department has partnered with the County Library in a recycling campaign as part of the 15th Annual America Recycles Day celebrations.

Now through December 7, 2012, residents are encouraged to bring empty California Redemption Value (CRV) beverage containers to libraries in Compton, La Crescenta, South Gate, Malibu or Norwalk. The containers will then be collected and sold, with proceeds aiding the annual Toys for Tots program.

Residents are also encouraged to take a recycling pledge at www.CleanLA.com and enter a sweepstake to win prizes.

Sponsored by Keep America Beautiful,  LA County’s America Recycles Day is designed to raise environmental awareness and promote recycling Countywide while making the holidays a little brighter for kids in need.

Containers can also be dropped off at several Public Works facilities around the County. For a full list of locations and library addresses, visit www.CleanLA.com.