Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - DECEMBER 2008...

December 2008. The end of a year and the beginning of an era.

On November 4th, America showed the world and showed ourselves that Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream is no longer just a dream. Our national fable -- anyone who works hard can be president -- is true. Hooray!!!! :)

Here in Santa Monica Malibu, voters overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama for President. Voters also supported Measure AA, the Santa Monica College facilities improvement bond.

SMC President Dr. Chui Tsang writes:
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it is with great pleasure and pride that I am able to announce that Measure AA, SMC's $295 million bond measure, was passed by voters in our district Tuesday by an impressive 62 percent. .....
.....Ultimately, our biggest debt of gratitude goes out to the Santa Monica and Malibu homeowners, renters and taxpayers who, despite these difficult economic times, saw the importance of digging deeper into their own finances to support Santa Monica College. The voters' action demonstrates their belief in our College and its mission. ..... this institution has earned the trust of its community for what it has done every day for nearly eight decades - providing an outstanding education to our students and changing lives.
The voters' confidence in us underscores the importance of our mission, and we will continue our responsible track record in the use of bond funds as we move forward in our work to ensure that each student receives the very best education we can offer."

In other local election news, all four City Council incumbents were re-elected: Bobby Shriver, Richard Bloom, Ken Genser, and Herb Katz. All three College Trustee incumbents were re-elected: Susan Aminoff, Rob Rader, and Margaret Quinones-Perez. And newcomer Ben Allen joins Ralph Mechur and re-elected incumbents Maria Leon-Vazquez and Jose Escarce on the School Board. Assemblymember Julia Brownley was re-elected and Fran Pavley was elected to be our State Senator. Congratulations to all!

Swearing in ceremonies for all of the newly elected or re-elected will be held Tuesday, December 9, 5:45pm in City Council Chambers. There will be a reception in the City Hall Lobby preceding the ceremony.
Still speaking of this most recent election....

Measure R, the MTA Sales Tax increase, also was successful, garnering more than 67% of the vote in LA County. Measure R will provide funding for county public transit projects including extending light rail to Santa Monica and a future subway. Measure R would never have happened without Santa Monica leaders, most specifically Denny Zane and Councilmember Pam O’Connor. Pam O’Connor was Chair of the MTA Board last year and she made the motion to put Measure R on the ballot. Denny Zane worked tirelessly to come up with a politically viable solution for investing in transit infrastructure and to build up a coalition of support. Congratulations to both of you and to all of us!

And another, younger leader, fresh from Santa Monica, has made her mark in Vermont. Kesha Ram, Samohi class of 2004, has just been elected to the Vermont House of Representatives, becoming at age 22 one of the youngest members of a state government in the country. To read more about Kesha, please go to her campaign website at

Before putting the election behind us....
We have been very fortunate to have had Sheila Kuehl as our representative in Sacramento. Senator Kuehl has been termed out. While she has not announced what she will be doing next, she has set up an email list. If you would like to receive essays and updates from Senator Kuehl, please subscribe to her email list at
And thank you Senator Kuehl for your tremendous leadership and service.
Other news....

After 23 years of service as the Executive Director of the Santa Monica YWCA, Sally Young is retiring. Sally retires in December and Julia Miele will be the new Executive Director. Many, many thanks to Sally for her years of wonderful service to the YWCA and to the women and children it serves so well. Enjoy your retirement. And, of course, a warm welcome to Julia Miele.
I attended the November 15 Fall Forum on Special Education and it was a very interesting and constructive morning. The informative and long overdue SMMUSD Special Education Parent Handbook, For Parents By Parents was distributed. You can find it online at www.

If you wish to become involved in the work of the PTA Council Special Education Committee please contact Committee Chair Judith Meister at or PTA Council President Rebecca Kennerly at

SMMUSD Financial Oversight Committee Accepting Applications

There are currently three vacancies on the SMMUSD Financial Oversight Committee (FOC). The school district is seeking qualified candidates who will bring a depth of business and/or financial expertise to the committee. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 19. Application forms are available through the Superintendent's Office or via the website:

Volunteer opportunities at The Morgan-Wixson Theatre
The Morgan-Wixson Theatre is a local nonprofit organization near JAMS at Pico & 26th Street that relies on volunteers. They have numerous opportunities for community service for adults and teens (for school service hours, Girl Scout silver or gold awards, etc.) If you enjoy live theatre, want to learn how to build and paint sets, operate lights, design marketing programs, usher and greet patrons, and more, then this is the place for you -- a real COMMUNITY theatre, and a great place for kids and parents to work together if desired. For more information or to get involved, please email

Wednesday, December 3, 3- 4pm
SMC Quad and HSS Building Dedication

Santa Monica College Main Campus Quad
1900 Pico Boulevard
RSVP by calling 310-434-4200

Come see SMC’s recently completed beautiful new quad and the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, the first silver LEED certified community college instructional building in southern California. Entertainment and Refreshments. Please RSVP by calling 310-434-4200. Parking will be available in Lot 1 entering from Pico Boulevard at the Kiosk.
Wednesday, December 3, 7pm
Can we talk? What are your City budget priorities?

Virginia Avenue Park
2200 Virginia Avenue

The City of Santa Monica budget planning cycle begins for FY09/10 with a series of annual discussions with City Manager P. Lamont Ewell about community priorities. Please attend this final neighborhood meeting to get an update on neighborhood projects and discuss Santa Monica’s needs and priorities as the 2009-10 budget planning cycle begins.

If you are unable to attend the community meeting, you can still give input online. For more information, please go to
Thursday, December 4, noon-1:30pm
Laughter Still is the Best Medicine

YMCA Community Room, 2nd Floor
1332 6th Street

Sponsored by The Santa Monica YMCA and UCLA Healthcare 50 Plus, this educational seminar is open to the public. For more informaiton, please contact Lidia Magarian, YMCA Senior Program Director, at (310) 393-2721, ext. 129 or
Friday, December 5, 7:30pm
Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm
Folklorico performs World Dance Program

Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center
Broad Stage
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets: $15 general admission, $12 for SMC students and senior citizens. Parking is free.

Showcasing choreography from virtually every corner of the planet, Folklórico de SMC will present a program including dances from West Africa, East India, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Japan and the United States. Styles include ballet, ballroom, "Bollywood," Brazilian, flamenco, hip-hop, lyrical jazz, salsa and more. For tickets, please call (310) 434-3000 and for information, call (310) 434-4594 or (310) 434-4856.

The Samohi Theatre Program is proud to announce their new Theatre Director, James Altuner. James, a Santa Monica parent, has an extensive background in Theatre and English. James’ first production with Samohi is "SHE LOVES ME", a classic Broadway musical that inspired the film "You've Got Mail".

Friday, December 5, 8:00pm
Saturday, December 6, 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Friday, December 12, 8:00pm
Saturday, December 13, 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Friday, December 19, 8:00pm
Saturday, December 20, 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Santa Monica High School, Humanities Center
601 Pico Boulevard
Tickets: $10 for Students, $15 for Adults

For more information and to buy tickets online please go to or call 310 395-3204 ext 239.
Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm
Sunday, December 7, 7:30pm
Chorale Concert: "A Christmas Celebration"

First United Methodist Church
1008 11th Street
Suggested donation: $20 general admission, $15 for students & senior citizens

This year’s "A Christmas Celebration" - the popular holiday concert featuring the Santa Monica College Concert Chorale and other groups - will feature actor Peter Graves as special guest narrator. Performing with the SMC Concert Chorale will be the Chancel Choir of the First United Methodist Church, Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, and Mark Twain Ringers. The conductor is SMC music professor James E. Smith.

On the program will be Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Vaughan Williams, featuring baritone William Tabold; Poulenc's Gloria featuring soprano Barbara Smith; and Carols, etc., the ever-popular seasonal music for choirs, orchestra and handbells - with audience sing-along. For information, please call (310) 393-8258.
Saturday, December 6, 2pm
Sunday, December 7, 2pm
Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Morgan-Wixson Theater
2627 Pico Boulevard
Tickets: $15

Experience the exuberance of 1950s teenagers, swooning over their idol, Elvis-knockoff Conrad Birdie, in this big musical hit, featuring student performers.

The annual Youth Musical is a longtime tradition at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre. A total of 40 students, from 3rd to 12th grade, were selected from those auditioning for this production. The students give up their evenings and weekends to experience real-world theatrical demands, since they are held to the high performance standards normally reserved for adult actors.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please go to or call 310-828-7519. Support the arts and hear real teenagers scream, "Conrad Birdie, we LOVE you!"
Tuesday, December 9, noon – 2:00pm
YMCA Older Adult Potluck

1332 6th Street
Non-members $5 and a dish for 10 people

Live music by "The Stikers." For more information, please contact Lidia Magarian, YMCA Senior Program Director, at (310) 393-2721, ext. 129 or
Wednesday, December 10, 7:00 p.m.
A special evening with Steve Lopez

Santa Monica High School, Barnum Hall
600 Olympic Boulevard
Tickets: $15 for adults, $5 for students & senior citizens

Award-winning L.A. Times journalist Steve Lopez will discuss his new book The Soloist at this special event benefiting the Samohi Orchestra program and Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC). The evening program will feature musical performances by Ben Hong, Assistant Principal Cellist of the LA Philharmonic, Antonio Lysy, concert cellist and Professor of Cello Studies at UCLA, and Santa Monica High School student musicians. There will be a book signing at the close of the evening.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or on-line in advance at

DONATIONS to benefit OPCC:
On the night of the event, we ask all patrons to donate easily found items:
New towels, new socks and/or new travel toiletries to benefit clients of the OPCC.

In addition, a portion of the ticket sale proceeds will be donated to the Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) in Santa Monica. OPCC is the largest and most comprehensive provider of housing and services on the Westside to low-income and homeless youth, adults and families, battered women and their children, and people living with mental illness.

For more information please contact or visit their website at
Saturday, December 13, 2pm-4pm
Lula Washington Dance Theatre
Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center
The Broad Stage
11th & Santa Monica Boulevard

As a gift to the community, Lula Washington is presenting this free performance for local families from Santa Monica and the surrounding vicinity. Seating will be offered first-come, first-served.

Tickets are also available for the evening performance at 7:30pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, please go to
Tuesday, December 16, 11:00am -9:00pm
Wednesday, December 17, 11:00am -9:00pm
Annual Holiday Art Sale

SMC Performing Arts Center, Art Gallery
11th and Santa Monica Boulevard

Don't miss this great chance to purchase some unique works of art -- prints, ceramics, jewelry, and more -- for yourself or as presents for this holiday season!
now until January 19, 10am – 10pm
Arizona Avenue & Fifth Street
$10 admission includes skates

ICE has returned for that special Southern California holiday ice skating experience. For more information, drop by or visit
Please bookmark and visit these websites....
I cannot include all of the special lifelong learning events available in our remarkable community. If you are interested in the arts and cultural events, please be sure to subscribe to the Santa Monica Arts Palette at
Santa Monica College offers the full community performances, lectures, exhibitions, planetarium shows..... you can find out what’s happening each month by going to

The Broad Stage maintains a separate website at
Check out this season’s offerings at this spectacular new facility.

The Santa Monica Public Library also offers a great deal of interesting and varied programming for the public. Their website is

Please note that Lifelong Learning Community Links lists these and many other useful websites including many 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 December events and calendars.
Year End Giving
This year, as the economy continues to unravel, more and more individuals are in need of a helping hand. If you are able to, please consider making a year end contribution to help those who are struggling. Following are a few (of many) local organizations (in alphabetical order) that will put your tax-deductible donation to good use:

Ocean Park Community Center,
Venice Family Clinic,
Westside Family Health Center,
Westside Food Bank,

That’s all for now.

Happy Holidays!
Louise Jaffe

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