Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - JANUARY 2008...

January is just before February and February 5 is our next election! Aside from the very important presidential primary, there are two items on the Feb 5 ballot that will greatly impact Santa Monica schools.

In order of appearance on your ballot:

Prop 92 is a statewide measure designed to strengthen community colleges by making changes in state funding formulas, governance, and fees. Currently K-12 and community colleges are both covered by Prop 98 funding formulas and the annual funding is determined in part by calculations based on enrollment. In the next few years, K-12 enrollment is expected to decline while community college enrollment will increase. Prop 92 establishes a separate funding calculation for community colleges, formally establishes the community colleges in the State Constitution, and increases the size of the state governing board and their administrative authority. And Prop 92 lowers student fees to $15/unit (down from $20) and keeps them low.

70% of California’s college students go to community colleges. Currently community colleges receive state funding of $5,461 per student compared to $11,624 for Cal State students and $18,203 for UC students. Prop 92 guarantees adequate funding for community colleges while ensuring lower student fees to  improve access.

For more information on Prop 92, please visit, your Official Voter Information Guide, or the legislative analyst’s summary at
Measure R, also on the February 5 ballot, is essential for our local Santa Monica Malibu schools to attract and retain highly qualified teachers, maintain small class sizes, protect academic achievement in math, science, technology, arts, music and reading programs, maintain school nurses, counselors and
technology support, and sustain school libraries.

State funding alone does not and will not provide for many of the academic programs and excellent teachers we have in our schools. Without Measure R, our local Santa Monica Malibu schools will face significant and painful budget cuts to academic programs and teachers.

To maintain the quality of our schools, Santa Monica and Malibu voters must pass Measure R. Measure R does not increase tax rates and includes an exemption for senior homeowners. No funds can be used for administrator salaries.

Measure R requires a 2/3rd vote to pass so every vote is critical. For more information and/or to volunteer to help the campaign, please go to
Please encourage your SMMUSD alum/college students to request an absentee ballot and vote! The form is available for downloading online at
For more information on how Santa Monica Malibu public schools have been doing, please read the World Class Public Schools newsletter at
Other local news:

The new year brings in new titles, honors, and responsibilities.

Herb Katz is now our Mayor and our Mayor Pro Tem is Richard Bloom. The new School Board President is Oscar De La Torre and the Vice President is Jose Escarce. The SMC Board of Trustees is headed by Chair Rob Rader and I (Louise Jaffe) am the new Vice-Chair. Congratulations to all of us!

The City of Santa Monica lost a key player in December when former councilmember and civic leader Bob Gabriel passed away. Bob has been instrumental in championing and supporting the Santa Monica Historical Society and his legacy will be well kept. For more information on Bob Gabriel, please go to

Important dates and events:

Monday, January 7 – absentee ballots are sent out beginning this week! Please vote.

Monday, January 7, 4pm
BB Advisory Committee Meeting
SMMUSD Board Room
1651 Sixteenth Street

This is the next meeting for the citizens advisory committee that is making recommendations to the school board on spending and prioritizing bond money for facilities.

The most exciting development in the current discussions about facility improvements to Santa Monica High School is a  discussion between the school district and the city to explore joint facilities projects. This makes wonderful sense especially since Samo High is right across the street from the Civic Center which is being redeveloped. For more information on this very exciting possible collaboration, please go to
Monday, January 7, 7pm
Can We Talk?
Montana Avenue Library
1704 Montana Avenue

This meeting continues last year’s discussion with City Manager P. Lamont Ewell about community priorities. Attend this final neighborhood meeting to get an update on how the city has responded to the community’s concerns, and discuss Santa Monica’s needs and priorities as the 2008-09 budget planning cycle begins.
Wednesday, January 9, 7pm
Community Presentation on SMC Student Services Replacement, Bookstore Modernization, and Pico Promenade Improvements
SMC Main Campus Library
1900 Pico Boulevard
Free Parking

This community presentation describes the final phase of the 1998 SMC Master Facilities Plan for the Main Campus and has three main components: a replacement building that will consolidate student services and put parking underground, relocation and modernization of the campus bookstore, and landscaping improvements to the Pico promenade. The project is designed to improve student services, beautify and transform the Pico frontage of the campus, and to enhance connectivity with the community. For more information, please go to

SMC has completed an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for this project. This report is available online at Written comments are due no later than January 16.

Saturday, January 12, 10am
Precinct Walk for Measure R
Meet at 1508 18th Street

Put on your walking shoes and walk precincts to protect our local schools and help pass Measure R. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Jayme Mechur at 310-463-7194 or email her at
Tuesday, January 15, 7:30am-9am
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Breakfast
Calvary Baptist Church
1502 20th Street

This 1st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr Interfaith Breakfast is being held in conjunction with the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration and will feature the Reverend Leonard Jackson. For more information, please go to
Wednesday, January 16
Written comments due regarding the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Santa Monica College Student Services Replacement, Bookstore Modernization, and Pico Improvements Project. For more information, please go to
6 Wednesdays, January 16- February 20, 7-8:30pm
Green Living Workshops
Santa Monica Public Library
601 Santa Monica Boulevard

This six-week series, the Green Living Workshops, is offered by Sustainable Works.  The series provides the latest ‘eco-info,’ and offers advice on saving up to $200 a year on utility costs and cutting your landfill waste by up to 50%.  Each session focuses on a different topic: water, energy, waste, chemicals, transportation and travel, and shopping and food.  Participants receive free resource saving tools such as water saving shower heads, energy saving light bulbs, and reusable shopping bags.

This program is free and open to the public.  Sign-up now; class space is limited.  To register, contact Barent Roth at Sustainable Works, (310) 458-8716 x1 or  For more information, contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600; or visit the Library’s web site at
Thursday, January 17, 2:30pm
“Enjoy the Arts without Going Broke!”
Santa Monica Public Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium
601 Santa Monica Boulevard

The Senior Arts Foundation and the City of Santa Monica present the second in the Senior Arts and Community Forum series, “Enjoy the Arts without Going Broke!” This program offers information on how to get discounted tickets, admissions, and group travel deals to a variety of Los Angeles area arts and cultural events. Representatives from L. A. Stage Alliance, Gold Star Events, the Big Blue Bus, and other agencies will talk about how to get the biggest bang for your buck at Southern California’s premiere art and performing arts destinations.

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information, call the Senior Arts Foundation at (310) 804-7667, or the Main Library at (310) 458-8600.
Saturday, January 19, 2:00pm
Creative Ways to Choose Happiness
Santa Monica Public Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium
601 Santa Monica Blvd. 

Motivational speaker Chappale Burton will outline methods and tools that he has utilized from 20 years of self development study to create a life of happiness for himself, and to inspire and motivate others.  In this dynamic and informative program, Chappale will share creative ways and simple techniques to unleash your natural ability to choose happiness on a daily basis.

This program is free and open to the public.  Seating is limited and on a first arrival basis.  For more information, contact the library at (310) 458-8600; or visit the Library’s web site at
Sunday, January 20, 3:30pm
2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Concert
SGI Auditorium
525 Wilshire Boulevard

This free concert features the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra with conductor Allen Robert Gross and violist Kaila Potts performing the Carl Stamitz Viola Concerto. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will narrate Joseph Schwanter’s  "New Morning for the World,"  which is based on King' s speeches. This event is being held in conjunction with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on January 21.
Monday, January 21, 9am
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
SGI Auditorium
525 Wilshire Boulevard

This annual multi-ethnic, interfaith program will include speakers, inspirational readings, music, and presentations of scholarships. The program will be followed by the Community Involvement Fair, from 11am to noon at 606 Wilshire Boulevard. For more information, please call (310) 434-4303.
Tuesday, January 22
Last day to register to vote for Feb 5 election

Pick up a voter registration form at any post office or DMV. It must be postmarked by January 22 for you to be eligible to vote in the February 5 election. For more information, please go to
Thursday, January 28
Last day to register to vote by mail.

You (or your away-at-school student) can request to vote by mail (formerly known as absentee voting) up to 7 days before the election. If that means 7 working days, that’s January 24. If weekends are included, that would be January 28th....  Please go to  to download the form.
Thursday, January 31, 8am-5pm
Focus the Nation on Solutions to Global Warming
SMC Main Campus Amphitheater
1900 Pico Boulevard

SMC student leaders are helping to organize this national Teach-In locally: Focus the Nation on Solutions to Global Warming will be an all day event at Santa Monica College. For more information, please go to
Please check out the lifelong learning community calendar at - reformatted to make less work for me but still provide you with quick and easy access to the amazing range of lifelong learning opportunities available right here in our very own community.

Happy New Year!

Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,

Louise Jaffe

Louise Jaffe

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