Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community
Lifelong Learning Community News - January 2006...
Happy New Year!
2006 begins with significant changes in key leadership and the opening of wonderful new cornerstone lifelong learning facilities here in Santa Monica.
The City of Santa Monica will be led by a new City Manager. On January 16th, P. Lamont Ewell will assume the top City executive position. Bob Holbrook is the new mayor for 2006 with Bobby Shriver as the new mayor pro tempore.
Santa Monica College also has new leadership at both the staff and elected levels. Dr. Chui L. Tsang will be the new President and Superintendent of SMC, beginning February 27th. (For more information on Tsang's background and his appointment, please go to http://surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2005/December-2005/12_06_05_Tsang_New_College_President.htm) Nancy Greenstein is the new Chair of the SMC Board of Trustees and Susan Aminoff is Vice-Chair.
The City and SMC ended 2005 with at least a temporary agreement to provide access to SMC's Bundy Campus (http://surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2005/December-2005/12_15_05_Bundy_Breakthrough.htm) and there is reason to hope that the changes in leadership will lead to improved relations and cooperation between two of our city's largest lifelong learning institutions and government agencies.
Superintendent John Deasy continues his strong leadership of SMMUSD into 2006 and Julia Brownley has been elected President of the SMMUSD Board of Education. Kathy Wisnicki is the newly elected Vice President.
Facility-wise, the Grand Opening of the new Santa Monica Main Public Library on January 7th is a benchmark as well as a landmark in the improvement of Santa Monica as a model lifelong learning community. Our new public library is testament to the value our community places on education and learning and it should serve all ages of learners for many years to come as a true community lifelong learning center. Please be sure to check out the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at http://smllc.org/calendar.html for more information about the schedule of events for the Grand Opening and upcoming new programs. Bookmark the library's website at http://www.smpl.org/ for future reference, or, use "Links" on our Lifelong Learning Community website at http://smllc.org/links.html
Virginia Avenue Park, another long-awaited and finally completed huge facility improvement for our learning community, opened in December but the regular program schedule begins January 3rd. Mornings will be dedicated to children 0-5 years (and their caregivers) and seniors. Afternoon programs will focus on young children and older youth and teens. For more information, please go to vapark.smgov.net, visit the Park Center office on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or call (310) 458-8688.
Shape the Future of our City
The next steps in updating the City's Land Use and Circulation Elements are underway. This Wednesday, January 4th, the Planning Commission will consider "Alternative scenarios for the community's consideration." The City Council will then hear this item on January 10th. For information on the process and reports-to-date, go to www.shapethefuture2025.net for the Land Use Element and to http://motion.santa-monica.org for the Circulation. You can find more information about this process as well as links to the Planning Commission's and City Council's Agendas and staff reports on the LLC Calendar at http://smllc.org/calendar.html.
Shape the Future of our Schools
SMMUSD is also undertaking a major facility planning process to shape the future of our schools. On Saturday, January 28, from 9:30am-3:30pm, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will kick off a series of five public meetings seeking community input to develop a 20-year plan to improve educational facilities in the District. The first meeting will be a Convening that will explore new ideas in educational planning.
The Convening will bring together national and regional experts in school planning to share their experiences. Each will present a brief case study based on field experience. And each will be available for small group discussions.
The initial goal of the Convening is to form a Community Planning Committee of at least 100 Santa Monica and Malibu citizens willing to participate in the detailed planning process. Participation is not limited to parents of school children. All citizens of Malibu and Santa Monica are welcome to attend the public meetings. (However, those who wish to join the Community Planning Committee must attend all the meetings.) I will send out more information on this event as it becomes available. You can also check www.ourschoolplan.com. In the meantime, please SAVE THIS JANUARY 28TH DATE!
And, shape the future of City Budget Priorities for 2006-07!
On Tuesday, January 24th, the City Council will establish budget priorities for the next fiscal year. Those who live and work in Santa Monica are invited to participate in the city's budget development process by submitting comments to the City Council via the on-line Budget Suggestions form at http://santa-monica.org/communication/cityforms/budget_suggest_06.htm or by attending the public hearing. You may also fax your ideas to (310) 917-6640, or mail them to City Council, 1685 Main St., Room 209, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
The Council has recently approved ambitious new initiatives in homeless services with a special focus on housing the chronically homeless (see http://surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2005/December-2005/12_16_05_Council_Considers_New_Homeless_Strategies.htm). Financing these new programs without jeopardizing other funding priorities may prove to be quite a challenge, or at least a delicate balancing act...
One component of the effort to provide housing for the homeless involves the V.A. property in Westwood. Mayor Pro Tempore Shriver is urging residents to write to the U.S. Secretary for Veterans Affairs to use the V.A. facilities to shelter and serve veterans and not sell off the property to private developers. This decision may be made in January, so please write today to secretary Nicholson:
The Honorable R. James Nicholson
U.S. Secretary for veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20420-0002
(For more information, go to http://surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2005/December-2005/12_21_05_Shriver_Pushes_Campaign.htm)
Just two more things....
Have you signed up for the Santa Monica Art Palette yet?
I am very pleased to see that the City of Santa Monica has begun this email service to showcase the many eclectic arts and cultural opportunities available in Santa Monica every week, highlighting one or more of the many happenings within our borders. To subscribe, please send a blank e-mail with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line to email@example.com.
Do you want to help prevent youth violence?
The Community Violence Prevention Coalition of Santa Monica invites all youth, community members, and organizations interested in proactively preventing violence and educating the community to join the Coalition. For more information, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/violencepreventioncoalition or please contact Johnny Ramirez at the Pico Youth and Family Center, 310-396-7101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, please do take a moment to go to the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at http://smllc.org/calendar.html for listings, in chronological order of the above events plus many more, including the Santa Monica Historical Society's lecture and exhibition on Marion Davies, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the re-opening of the Getty Villa in Malibu, the opening of the temporary art exhibition "Ashes and Snow" in the Santa Monica Pier parking lot plus the usual amazing array of lifelong learning opportunities available to us here in Santa Monica. Please be sure to check the LLC Calendar now and throughout the month.
Also use LLC Links (http://smllc.org/links.html) to quickly take you to the websites of lifelong learning providers and resources here in Santa Monica.
Thank you for forwarding this email to others who may be interested.
For more information about the Lifelong Learning Community, contact
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