Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - SEPTEMBER 2009

September is here and that means another school year begins....
Classes at Santa Monica College are full and in full swing. SMMUSD classes begin Wednesday, September 9th. Here’s to a great school year for all of our students!

As usual, there are some new faces in leadership positions and there are also some goodbyes....

The saddest goodbye is to Irma Lyons, beloved principal of Will Rogers Learning Community. Mrs. Lyons passed away this summer. She was an extraordinary teacher, principal, and person. Her daily presence will be deeply missed by everyone at Rogers and by her friends and family. However, her love, high principles, and boundless enthusiasm leave a lasting legacy. Goodbye Mrs. Lyons. You have made a big difference to thousands of children and families. We will remember you and the example you set.

Former Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, also a wonderful educator, will be helping out at Will Rogers to begin the school year. Thank you, Jerry.

The school year begins with a new school district Director for Special Education, Sara Woolverton. I have not met Ms Woolverton but you can read more about her at

Maggie Hall, after 35 years of service at Santa Monica College, has retired. Ron Furuyama is the new Associate Dean for Emertitus College. Congratulations, Ron, and welcome to Emeritus!

The Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs also has new leadership. Shari Davis is the new PTA Council President. Shari has been the Chair of Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) for the past 7 years and also chaired the Measure R Parcel Tax Renewal Campaign Committee. Rebecca Kennerly is the new Chair for CEPS. Congratulations to both of you and all of us on your new positions.

With the State economy continuing to fall below low expectations, this promises to be a challenging year for everyone determined to preserve high quality in our schools. Thank you all for your unflagging determination and your willingness to serve our community.
On the City-side, Hamp Simmons has retired. Hamp has done a spectacular job writing the Palette, a weekly notice of arts events in Santa Monica. Hopefully Hamp’s as-yet-to-be-determined replacement will do an equally great job and Hamp will enjoy his retirement. Good luck, Hamp and thank you!

The big Santa Monica news is that both City Manager Lamont Ewell and Fire Chief Jim Hone are retiring. Both of these men have been exemplary public servants and civic leaders. They will be with us for a few more months while the City recruits for their positions. I am very sorry to see them step down but wish them both long, happy, and healthy retirements.

You can read more about Mr. Ewell at and Chief Hone at

The City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment has launched a new, very informative website that includes a calendar of environment-related events. Check it out at:

Before I list a few special September events, here’s what I’m not listing...

The Broad Stage second season opened with two performances by legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. This beautiful new theater brings extraordinary talent right into our neighborhood. Performances for the new season are posted (and in some cases already sold out.) Please enjoy this new venue. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

The fall semester has started and that means that Santa Monica College has lecture series, planetarium shows, art exhibitions, music, dance, theater performances, sports events, and special events all available for your learning pleasure. For a full listing of monthly events at SMC, please go to

The Santa Monica Public Library also has a wide range of lifelong learning events including movies, book groups, talks on architecture, travelogues, and Thursday Evenings with LA Opera. You can find all these events and more listed at

The major event this month (other than schools starting on the very same day!) is a big party to celebrate the Pier’s 100th Birthday....

Wednesday, September 9, beginning at 6pm
SM Pier 100th Birthday Re-Opening Ceremony, Party, and Fireworks

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier has been celebrating it's 100th anniversary all year, but the big party is coming up on September 9th, the day in 1909 that the pier first opened. A 100th birthday is just the right excuse for the fireworks show of the century and that is what the city is planning. For the evening’s schedule of events, please go to or call 310-458-8901.

As part of fundraising for the centennial, the pier is offering the opportunity to put your name (or the name of your children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, school, group, soccer team or scout troop) on bronze plaques on the pier. The plaques will be located at the far west end of the pier, on the bleachers that overlook the Pacific Ocean. There are a limited number of them and they are expected to sell-out.To buy a plaque, the form is available online at

Fridays, September 11, 18, & 25, dusk
Movies on the Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Free but tickets are required

Want to hang on to the lazy days of summer? Enjoy Movies on the Pier on September Friday nights. Bring your own chairs. For more information, including the schedule of films, please go to

Saturday, September 12, 6-8pm
Reception for artist Gwynn Murrill

Early Wood Sculpture exhibition
Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center
Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery
1310 11th Street

This beautiful exhibition featuring early wood sculpture by Gwynn Murrill runs from September 1 to October 24. A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, September 12 and there will be a gallery walk-through with the artist on September 26 from 2-3pm. Gallery hours are Tuesdays to Fridays, noon-5pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2 pm-4 pm

(Physician Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment)
Ken Edwards Center
1527 4th Street, Santa Monica

Learn about POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) an advance healthcare directive signed into law this year that helps patients inform healthcare providers about the life-sustaining medical interventions and care they would like to receive if they were frail and elderly or had a terminal illness. Advance healthcare directives in general will also be discussed. A question and answer panel will combine the expertise of an ethicist, nursing clinicians and a social worker. This program is sponsored by Saint John’s Health Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital in partnership with WISE & Healthy Aging.

For more information or to make a reservation, please phone (310)-319-4189.

Sunday, September 20, 11am-4pm
Day of Peace

Santa Monica Pier

Sponsored by Roots & Shoots in support of the United Nations International Day of Peace. For more information, please go to

Tuesday, September 22, noon
Tree-Hugging Day

Santa Monica Palisades Park
Children’s Tree of Life
Ocean Avenue at Colorado Avenue

Alliance for Survival invites everyone to come together on the day of the Autumn Equinox to hug a tree to show their appreciation for trees and the many aesthetic, environmental and life-giving attributes they provide. For more information, please call Jerry Rubin or Marissa Rubin at 310-399-1000.

Thursday, September 24, tours and special events begin at 9am
YMCA Senior Open House (Activate America Week)

Facility Tours: 9:00am - 2:00pm & FREE seven (7) day guest pass.
Santa Monica YMCA
1332 6th Street
  • 9:00am -to 12:00noon - Senior Adult Identification
    Registry Program provided by the Santa Monica Police Dept.
    Location: Senior Center lounge area
  • 10:00 to 11:30 am - Lowering Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
    Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of the Kagan Alzheimer’s Treatment Development Program
    and Researcher in the Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at
    UCLA, will provide an update on the current research about how one can lower
    their risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
    Location: Community Room
  • 12:00noon to 1:30 pm - Successful Aging
    UCLA geriatrician Sonja Rosen, MD, will share strategies to help maintain your health and well-being. Preventive measures, health screenings, and methods to retain independence will be discussed. Location: Community Room

For more information contact Lidia Magarian, Senior Physical Director at the
YMCA (310) 393-2721 ext. 129 or email Free underground parking is available. Picture ID is required.

Although there are many amazing lifelong learning events going on every month in Santa Monica, I have highlighted just a few. For more listings, please refer to Lifelong Learning Community Calendars & Events at

Lifelong Learning Community Links provides useful websites including local theatrical companies – listed under “Local Museums and Special Venues.” To stay abreast of these wonderful local organizations, please visit the links at

That’s all for now.

Cheers, and Onward,

Louise Jaffe

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