Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - APRIL 2009

There are many special Santa Monica lifelong learning community events this month, including several significant milestones and one truly historic opportunity....

Tuesday, April 7, 6:45pm
City Council Meeting: School District Master Facilities Use Agreement

City Hall
1685 Main Street

This coming Tuesday, the City Council will consider a staff recommendation, Agenda Item 8B, to extend for 3 years the Master Facilities Use Agreement which provides the basis for ongoing City funding to support the high quality of our public schools. An Adjustment Conference Committee, specified in the existing contract and composed of City Manager Lamont Ewell, School District Superintendent Tim Cuneo, Mayor Ken Genser, Mayor Pro Tem Pam O'Connor, School Board President Ralph Mechur, Vice-President Barry Snell, and the Chief Financial Officers, have reached an agreement that is coming before the full Council for approval.

We are very fortunate to live in a community that recognizes the importance of public education to all residents, even, or, especially, during difficult economic times. This contract renewal demonstrates that we now have a mechanism in place to support this ongoing community priority. This is definitely an important milestone! I hope we will see unanimous support from the Council for the renewal.

For more information, please go to
The city staff recommendation and report is posted at
Historic, Extraordinary Opportunity to expand open space, advance active living, creative capital, lifelong learning, and sustainability in the Civic Center heart of Santa Monica!

Tuesday, April 14, 6:45pm
Redevelopment Agency Priority Setting

City Hall
1685 Main Street

This is the truly historic opportunity before our City Council (convened as the Redevelopment Agency.) The agenda is not yet posted but Council will identify priorities for a Five Year Implementation Plan for the Redevelopment Agency. There are a number of powerful lifelong learning projects that I am wildly enthusiastic about, including a branch library in the Pico Neighborhood and additional funding for the long-awaited early childhood education center in the Civic Center. The big ticket item however, and the truly extraordinary opportunity, is the plan approved by the School District that re-envisions the Civic Center adjacent Santa Monica High School campus so that significant new recreational and cultural amenities can and will serve the full community as well as students.

We have a very successful precedent for this kind of partnership with the Civic Pool at Santa Monica College. The College provided the land; the City provided the capital to build the pool; both entities have a cooperative agreement that allows both college students and city residents to enjoy the pool. It is an efficient and wonderful win-win.

The Samohi proposal takes this partnership model to a whole new level. It brings forward open space and cultural facilities in the heart of the Civic Center that would not (and will not) otherwise ever be available. This is an extraordinary opportunity to provide for a recreational and cultural epicenter for our city. The plan has a big price tag but makes huge progress on multiple community-cherished goals: more open space, more playing fields, gyms, underground parking, a beautiful pedestrian and bicycle pathway, access to two wonderful, under-utilized existing cultural facilities – the Greek Theater and Barnum Hall – in a campus environment that includes the Civic Auditorium and doubles the open space of the Civic Center. Wow!!!

The Councilmembers and city staff have encouraged and been supportive of this re-visioning of Samohi so that it is integrated with and extends the Civic Center. I hope that the Councilmembers don't let the price tag scare them off. This is an extraordinary opportunity to provide greatly enhanced amenities, access, and aesthetics for all of us in Santa Monica now, and for all Santa Monicans yet to come.
Thursday, April 16, 2-4pm
National Healthcare Decisions Day: Your Decisions Matter

Santa Monica Main Public Library, MLK, Jr. Auditorium
601 Santa Monica Boulevard

Join Americans across the country in making future healthcare decisions known to family, friends and healthcare providers. Share your wishes and complete your advance directive, because Your Decisions Matter.

This free informative workshop presented by Saint John's Health Center is on patient rights, important perspectives on life-sustaining treatment, estate planning and advance healthcare directives. Featured speakers: Thomas Ciesla, M.D. "A Physician's Perspective on End-of Life Medical Issues"; Elizabeth Bawden, Esq., "Estate Planning and Legal Issues in Healthcare Directives;" Tish Starbuck, RN, MSHA, "Communicating Your Wishes – Advanced Healthcare Directive and the POLST"
Free Advance Directive forms will be available.
Sunday, April 19 – Saturday, April 25
Week of the Young Child

Wednesday, April 22
Earth Day!
Educational events for the whole family are scheduled on the Santa Monica Pier over the weekend preceding Earth Day, Earth Weekend. Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on these and other events throughout April, please visit
Saturday, April 25, 11:00am
Picnic on the Quad

Santa Monica College Main Campus, Library Quad
1900 Pico Boulevard

This is where I'll be! If you haven't seen the beautiful new Quad at SMC yet, or even if you have, please take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy this wonderful open space made possible by the generosity of our enlightened citizenry. "Picnic on the Quad" is a family event with food, displays, and entertainment. Jim Gamble Puppets perform at noon followed by a special wildlife educational presentation by The Animal Guys at 1:30pm. Bring your family, neighbors, friends and a picnic lunch to SMC for a fun spring afternoon on the Library Quad. For more information, please call 310-434-3001.
Saturday, April 25
Open House: Annenberg Community Beach House

415 Pacific Coast Highway

Another major milestone: 415 PCH has been renovated, I hear spectacularly, and is opening this month as a free public beach club. As I write, the details for the open house are not yet posted so, as April 25 approaches, please check the website for details:
Wednesday, April 29, 3:30-6:00pm
Youth Job & Career Expo 2009
Santa Monica High School Cafeteria
601 Pico Boulevard

Sponsored by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, City of Santa Monica, JVS-CPC WorkSource Center and Los Angeles County ROP.
There are many more special events occurring this month but first....

View SMC Nursing Program on CNN!
To view a great (and short!) story by CNN on the SMC Nursing Program, please go to:

Because there are so many amazing lifelong learning events going on every month in Santa Monica, I am highlighting those that are less "regular." That means that you shouldn't rely on me to tell you what's going on at our wonderful venues where something great is always going on! So...

Please bookmark and regularly visit these websites!

If you are interested in the arts and cultural events, please be sure to subscribe to the Santa Monica Arts Palette at
You will receive a weekly email telling you about visual and performing arts events for that week and weekend. This is a great service!


Santa Monica College offers the community performances, lectures, exhibitions, Friday night planetarium shows..... you can find out what's happening each month by going to


There are more events than I've listed this month at The Broad Stage. The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center maintains a website (separate from the SMC website) at
Check out the '09 offerings at this spectacular new facility. If you haven't been to the Broad yet, please do go. It is an amazing space, a beautiful, intimate, state-of-the-art venue for artists and audiences to enjoy.


Planetarium shows on Friday nights at SMC are listed at


The Santa Monica Public Library is a must-bookmark-site! Our libraries offer a great menu of interesting and varied programming for people of all ages and interests -- films, lectures, book groups, and other special events. The library events calendar is posted at


The School District website now has a useful color-coded calendar that includes special school events as well as Board meetings. Please check it out at


Lifelong Learning Community Links lists these and many other useful websites including local theatrical companies – listed under “Local Museums and Special Venues.” Please use these links to stay abreast of these wonderful local organizations. Links can be found at


And please visit the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at for a more complete (but still incomplete) listing of February events and calendars.

That's all for now.
Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,

Louise Jaffe

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