Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - JULY 2009

There was no June 2009 Lifelong Learning Community News. Partly that was because I’d been out of town but mostly it was because, in the aftermath of the defeat of the propositions on May 19, it’s hard to know what to say. It is certainly hard to think of anything positive to say about the state of our once great State.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected the compromise crafted by the Governor and legislators which would have increased revenues to cover some (not all) of current state expenses. The Republican legislature minority will evidently not accede to any revenue increases and the state budget must, by law, be balanced. That means cuts – huge cuts – in government funded services and programs. That means public education, public health, social services, corrections, police, -- everything state general fund revenues support.

As I write this, a final State budget agreement has not yet been reached; California will literally run out of money by the end of July.

The Governor’s budget proposal ELIMINATES Healthy Families, Cal Grants, and support for Family Caregivers among other worthy, necessary, and successful programs. These cuts would be immediately devastating for low income families and have long term deleterious consequences for the individuals affected and the State itself.

The Westside Family Health Center, Venice Family Clinic, and Saban Free Clinic put together this YouTube video to urge us to help stop the healthcare cuts and save the safety net:

Along with healthcare, all education sectors – preK-12, community colleges, Cal States and the UCs – face deep, painful, and permanent cuts.

Those of us elected (or hired) and required to balance budgets can only make the best of a very bad situation. And the worst of it (to my mind) is that this is not a short-term crisis but, rather, a permanent re-calibration downward for services and/or quality. UNLESS we can win over the electorate or restructure the mechanisms that govern how California operates......

So, that’s the news. In my view, the State bad news overwhelms any local good news. However, life goes on and we continue to have many individuals and accomplishments to celebrate and many great events to enjoy. And perhaps we can somehow help lead the State to a new and better reality...
Changing Faces
In the past few months, several long time community leaders have changed roles...

Monika White who served as the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Aging helped transition a merger between The Center and Wise Senior Services. Now that the Wise and Healthy Aging merger is complete, Monika has retired. Thank you so much for your amazing service to our community and enjoy your retirement!
The Santa Monica older adult community is also bidding farewell to Maggie Hall, Associate Dean of Emeritus College. After 35 years with Santa Monica College, Maggie too is retiring. She leaves us all with the remarkable and wonderfully successful Emeritus College program. Emeritus College serves 3,000 older adults, providing intellectual, social, and recreational stimulation in more than 170 different free classes. To honor Maggie’s work and to continue her legacy, an endowment fund has been established in her name to support Emeritus. Checks can be sent to: SMC Foundation-Emeritus Endowment Fund, 1900 Pico Boulevard. Santa Monica 90405
Father Michael Gutierrez has served St. Anne’s Church for the past 10 years. Father Mike has worked closely and continuously with the larger Santa Monica and Los Angeles community to bring services, information, and support to his parish. He has been both a religious and civic leader, modeling activism, outreach, partnership, compassion, and social justice. St. Anne’s and Santa Monica will miss Father Mike and we wish him well in his new position as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Baldwin Park.
Iao Katagiri has been installed as the new Chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. Iao, Deputy Vice President and Director of Community Relations at RAND, has an extraordinary record of service in Santa Monica, serving on many civic boards. She is a stranger to no one and the Chamber is in good hands with her leadership. Congratulations to Iao and to the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.
Nat Trives, who attended Santa Monica College in the 1950s, may serve on even more boards than Iao. Santa Monica College was proud to honor Nat at last month’s commencement ceremony with the 2009 Alumni Award for Distinguished Community Service. Congratulations and thank you for your extraordinary record of service!
Santa Monica High School junior, Lulu Mickelson was chosen as national winner in the category of Environment for the inaugural All American High School Service Team. One of just five students, she was presented with an award in New York City by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for her leadership in the Samohi Solar Alliance. For more information, please see
Congratulations also to Frank Gruber on the publication of his book: “Urban Worrier.” Frank writes a weekly column, “What I Say,” for The Lookout ( about local politics here in Santa Monica with a focus on land use issues. “Urban Worrier” is a compilation of selected columns from 2000-2004. It’s a good recap for all of us who were paying attention in those years and provides an interesting backstory for those of you who weren’t. You can pick up a copy of Urban Worrier at Hennessey + Ingalls or order it online at
And last but not least, Congratulations to all the high school and college students who just graduated! You can see a list of the colleges acceptances received by the Santa Monica High School Class of 2009 at and you can watch a very fast replay of SMC’s 2009 Commencement at
In Other News....

The Quad’s a winner! Santa Monica College’s new Quad – a four-acre beautifully landscaped area that has transformed the look and feel of the main campus – has won the 2009 Los Angeles Architectural Award in the Landscape Architecture category. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Business Council, the awards are considered the premiere architectural honors for projects in Los Angeles County.
Parcel Tax Senior Exemption Application/Renewal Deadline is July 31
Residents 65 and older who own and occupy their home may qualify for an annual exemption on the Measure R property tax. The deadline for the school district to receive new and/or renewal applications for exemption is July 31, 2009. For more information, please go to

Special Events

Tuesday, June 30, 2:30-3pm
Dr. Tsang on KCRW: The Politics of Culture
SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang will be on KCRW's "The Politics of Culture" along with the president of CalArts and executive vice chancellor of UCLA, to speak about the impact of state budget cuts to higher education and the future of California. Tune in Tuesday to 89.9 FM.
Thursday, July 2
Twilight Dance Series: Playing for Change and Bushman

Santa Monica Pier
The opening concert for the 25th season of the Twilight Dance Series begins with the global multimedia movement Playing for Change and then Bushman, featuring Jamaican Bush Reggae. For a lot more information about this evening’s performance and the full summer schedule which includes Joan Baez on July 9 and ballroom dancing on July 23, please go to and mark your calendars.
Saturday, July 4, begins at 9:30am
July 4th Parade

Main Street – parade marches from City Hall south on Main Street to Marine
This will be the 3rd annual Fourth of July Parade sponsored by the Ocean Park neighborhood association. It is a family friendly, fun “small town” affair. Spectators welcome! For more information, please go to
Tuesday, July 7, 6:30pm
LUCE Community Needs Workshop

Civic Auditorium East Wing
Continuing the process of updating Santa Monica’s land use and circulation element to guide development for the next twenty years, the purpose of this workshop is to identify and prioritize community needs to be incorporated into future development and future development projects. Facilitators and participants at the workshop will focus on identifying the types of physical and/or social and cultural amenities such as open space, historic preservation, affordable/workforce housing and creative environments. (No mention of other types of learning environments....) Proposals for some lower heights for the transit corridors and districts will be reviewed and, the workshop will also address approaches for phasing and monitoring the LUCE implementation. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Additional information will be posted on
Friday, July 17 to Saturday, July 18, 7pm to 7pm
Relay for Life

Santa Monica College, Main Campus, Corsair Field
1900 Pico Boulevard
This is a fundraiser to fight cancer.
This is a great event - lots of fun for families, brings in needed money for cancer research and education programs, and helps build community. Please spread the word For more information, to sign up as a team leader or to join a team, or to make a pledge, please go to
Saturday, July 18, 8:30am-3:00pm
Southern California Constitutional Convention Town Hall

8:30 a.m. Registration | 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Program
University of Southern California | Davidson Hall (Embassy Room)
3415 South Figueroa Street | Los Angeles, California
Cost: $25
I am breaking my self-imposed rule of restricting this newsletter to local events because of the magnitude of the state budget crisis/process and its overwhelming impact on all of us and on all lifelong learning institutions and supports. Changing the rules may be our only way out of this mess.

This event is part of an effort to reconsider California’s constitution. Please read on and be sure to go to the website for more information and to register.

The Southern California Constitutional Convention Town Hall will focus on introducing and educating the community to the concept and gathering feedback from the public. Featuring panels of elected officials, issues experts, and community leaders, this event will be Southern Californian residents’ first major opportunity to learn and ask questions about this powerful method to reform the state, and give input into a process that could profoundly affect California for generations to come. For more information and to register, please to go
Tuesday, July 28 - Friday, July 31
International Youth Soccer Tournament

Santa Monica College and John Adams Middle School
The International Youth Soccer Tournament, sponsored by the Santa Monica Sister City Association, will bring together teams from Santa Monica and its Sister City in Italy and will provide opportunities for youth to exchange friendship through soccer games.

Under the leadership of SMC President Dr. Chui Tsang, who is chairing the Tournament Organizing Committee, and SMSCA President Joseph E. Deering, the tournament will feature local teams competing against a team from Cassino/S’Entelia, Italy.

For information, please call (310) 393-0701 or visit
Friday, July 31
Parcel Tax Senior Exemption Application/Renewal Deadline

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
1651 16th Street

Please go to for more information.

Although there are many amazing lifelong learning events going on every month in Santa Monica, I have highlighted just a few of those that are less “regular.” For more activities, I strongly suggest you monitor or subscribe to the following:

Subscribe to:
The Palette!

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! Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,


Santa Monica Pier eMailing List
Go to to sign up for “Beyond the Pier” so that you will receive updates by email regarding events happening at the Santa Monica Pier. The Twilight Dance Series begins this coming Thursday!


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


The Broad Stage is a wonderful, still new, elegant, intimate, acoustically fine-tuned theater at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. The Broad Stage maintains a website (separate from the SMC website) for events featuring professional artists. Please visit The Broad and


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


The Santa Monica Visitors and Convention Bureau maintains a Calendar of Events at


City of Santa Monica now posts upcoming events and some full calendars if you click on the appropriate headings in the top right hand corner of the home page at


Lifelong Learning Community Calendar is posted 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


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

Louise Jaffe

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