Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - DECEMBER 2010

Well, if more proof were needed, Santa Monicans proved (again) what a remarkable, really extraordinary, community we are by passage of Measures Y and YY in the midst of raging, anti-tax sentiments and deep worldwide financial worries. Wow. Now we, unlike virtually every other California community, will be able to continue to invest in our community, our schools, and our future. Congratulations, Santa Monicans.

Congratulations also to re-elected councilmembers Kevin McKeown, Pam O’Connor, Terry O’Day, Gleam Davis, and Bob Holbrook. Councilmember Holbrook and Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer have been running neck-to-neck but as I write this, barring a recount with a different outcome, Councilmember Holbrook has been re-elected. Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your willingness to continue to serve.

Congratulations also to re-elected school board members Oscar de la Torre and Ralph Mechur and to newly electeds Laurie Lieberman and Nimish Patel. Many thanks to outgoing school board members Kelly Pye and Barry Snell for four years of diligent service and hard work on behalf of our students and communities. Now you get to have some fun!!

College board incumbents Chair David Finkel, Vice-Chair Andrew Walzer, trustee Nancy Greenstein and me were uncontested in this election and will be serving another four year term. Congratulations to us too.

Congratulations, however, may not be in order. The state of California remains in extraordinary, terrible shape. Incoming Governor Jerry Brown will have his hands full; unfortunately, they are also tied. I’m hoping that Brown has some Houdini skills he’s kept hidden; otherwise, I don’t see how the state will be able to get out of this deep, deep hole and gridlock that we are in. Two months after a budget was signed, we have a $25 billion deficit that is projected to pop back up every year for the next five years. This almost certainly means mid-year cuts for the school district and Santa Monica College this year and continued reductions in the coming years. Hold on to your hats; it’s got to be a bumpy ride.

However, here in Santa Monica, and only here (!!!) voters have reaffirmed their confidence in government by re-electing incumbents and by taxing ourselves so that our elected leaders will have some revenues and capacity to invest in our community and our schools. I’m glad I live here and I’m glad to be part of this activist and able community.
So, other than the election, what’s new for our lifelong learning community?

The school board has received a recommendation from staff to reject a petition from the Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School petition to become a charter school. The board will vote on this issue at their December 2 meeting in Malibu. For more information, please go to

Santa Monica continues to move forward with planning a new branch library at Virginia Avenue Park which will be a fundamental and profound improvement to our lifelong learning community, especially for families in the Pico neighborhood. (see December 4 meeting).
The City Human Services Department has formed a Youth Resources Team (YRT) to bring recommendations to the Council on how we as a community can reduce youth violence. The YRT members come from a broad range of community non-profits, organizations, and institutions. This strikes me as a very promising opportunity and vehicle to collect and connect our community’s best thinking and strengths in support of our children and youth.
Planning for the new Civic Center Parks seems thrilling!

The Child Care and Early Education Task Force heard a very exciting presentation at their November meeting about a community mapping instrument used in Australia (and elsewhere) to track and evaluate how well neighborhoods support the healthy physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development of very young children. I’ll write more about this in the future but if you are interested in early childhood education (ages 0-5) and after school care and would like to join the Child Care and Early Education Task Force, please let me know. The TF meets on the third Wednesday of each month.
The Santa Monica Youth Collaborative continues to meet monthly and build relationships and collaborations. Please visit, friend, and post on the Youth Collaborative facebook page at And let me know if you’d like to participate in these meetings too.
Don’t forget to visit the beautiful, brand new Santa Monica History Museum!
1350 Seventh Street.
Santa Monica Patch is launching December 10 and will be a new online news outlet for all things Santa Monica. And they’re looking for contributors. For more information, please visit

Support Santa Monica College scholarships while shopping at Santa Monica Place!

After shopping or dining at Santa Monica Place, just show your receipts at the Concierge Services desk and tell them you are supporting Santa Monica College. Santa Monica Place will donate 5% of all purchases (up to $50,000) made between December 1st and December 31st at all stores and restaurants in the mall. The donations received through this program will support the SMC Scholarship Fund to benefit students.
And now for just a few special lifelong learning events:

Thursday, December 2, 7 p.m.
Gathering Community Input for the 2011-12 Budget: "Can We Talk?"

Montana Branch Library
1704 Montana Avenue

City Manager Rod Gould has scheduled this and prior community meetings to meet neighbors and give them an update on projects happening in the neighborhood. Rod will put the state of the economy into a local perspective as planning begins for the FY2011-12 and FY2012-13 budget and will gather input from participants on top priorities for Santa Monica.

If you can’t attend this final “Can we talk?” meeting, you can still provide input. For more information on how to make your voice heard, please go to

Cosponsored by North of Montana Association.
Saturday, December 4, 2:00pm – 4pm
Community Workshop #4: Let’s Talk Pico Branch Library

Virginia Avenue Park, Thelma Terry Community Meeting Room
2200 Virginia Avenue

Participate in planning the new Pico Branch of the Santa Monica Public Library in Virginia Avenue Park! Come hear an update on the evolving plans for the Pico Branch Library. This last in a series of four workshops and will explore the opportunities created by integrating park and library programs. For more information, please call Library Administration at 310-458-8606 or email or visit
Saturday, December 4th
7th YMCA Intergenerational Showcase, 2:30pm – 3:45pm

Spaghetti Dinner, 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Santa Monica YMCA, Cayton Room
1332 Sixth Street
$3 per plate for Y members; $6 per plate for non-members

The 7th YMCA Intergeneration Showcase features a Youth, Adult and Seniors Talent Show, Dance, violin, guitar, sing-a-long and more which will be followed by a spaghetti dinner. For more information and to register, please contact Lidia Magarian, Senior Program Director at the YMCA (310) 393-2721 Ext. 129 or email:
Sunday, December 5, 3 – 5 PM
Santa Monica Conservancy Holiday Party for members (but you can join!)

Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club
1210 Fourth Street
Free for members; membership: $35

This party is one of the Conservancy’s favorite events, renowned for our signature chili and the opportunity to spend an enjoyable afternoon in a historic setting.
This year’s site is the historic Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, founded in 1905. Arcadia Bandini de Baker and Mrs. John Paul Jones, wives of the City’s co-founders, were among its early supporters. In 1914, the Club moved to the impressive building designed for them by Henry C. Hollwedel and designated a Santa Monica City Landmark in 1991.

For more information about this event, please visit
If you’ve been planning to join the Conservancy, there’s no time like the present!
You may become a member at the holiday party or by going to
Monday, December 6, 7pm – 9pm
Gathering Community Input for the 2011-12 Budget: "Can We Talk?"

McKinley Elementary Auditorium
2401 Santa Monica Blvd.

City Manager Rod Gould has scheduled this and prior community meetings to meet neighbors and give them an update on projects happening in the neighborhood. Rod will put the state of the economy into a local perspective as planning begins for the FY2011-12 and FY2012-13 budget and will gather input from participants on top priorities for Santa Monica.

If you can’t attend this final “Can we talk?” meeting, you can still provide input. For more information on how to make your voice heard, please go to

Cosponsored by residents of the Mid-City area.
Tuesday, December 7, 12:00noon – 2:00pm
Older Adult Holiday Potluck
YMCA Community Room
1332 Sixth Street
$3 for Y members and $5 for non-members

Everyone is required to bring a dish for 6 people, salad, main dish or dessert. For more information and to register, please contact Lidia Magarian, Senior Program Director at the YMCA (310) 393-2721 Ext. 129 or email:

Tuesday, December 7, reception begins at 4:30pm
Reception for newly elected and re-elected officials

Santa Monica City Hall
1685 Main Street

There will be a reception for City Councilmembers in the City Hall Lobby from 4:30-5:30. The City Council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and the newly-elected will be sworn in then. (There is a College Board meeting at the same time so College trustees will be sworn in at that meeting instead.)
Wednesday, December 8th, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
LWV meeting: Meet Your Newly Elected Officials

Free. Please call 310-394-4661 or email for location.

The Santa Monica League of Women Voters welcomes members and friends to an informal social hour in a private home to meet our newly elected city and community officials along with those continuing to serve in office. Please join us for food and conversation. There is no charge.
If you haven't already done so, please call 310-394-4661 or email for location.
Tuesday, December 14 & Wednesday, December 15, 11am – 9pm
Santa Monica College Art Department Holiday Sale

SMC Performing Arts Center, Pete and Susan Barrett Gallery
1310 11th Street

This annual holiday sale features pottery, jewelry, and glass blown bowls, vases, and ornaments handmade by SMC students. This is a great opportunity to get some lovely, unique gifts at a great price.
Thursday, December 16, 7 pm
Santa Monica High School Winter Choral Concert: Motus Perpetuus VI

Santa Monica High School, Barnum Hall
Tickets at the door - $5 for students; $10 for adults

This annual concert of perpetual motion features all of the students in the Santa Monica High School Choral Music Program. Choirs are strategically situated throughout Barnum Hall, with songs following each other without applause, from one piece to the next. This exciting, immersive experience is a perennial favorite. Tickets are sold at the door and are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Now.... for all those things I didn’t manage to include… There are lots of them. I am not able to list everything that is going on in this amazing city. So....Please bookmark, visit, subscribe to the following:

City Master Calendar: The City of Santa Monica now has a master calendar which is really useful! It’s sortable by locations, event type, and age group and includes a LOT of information. Please bookmark it and use it – use it to find out information for yourself but also to post your events which will make it even more useful!!! You can get to it from the City home page, upper right hand corner, or just go to

The Santa Monica Public Library, ( and Santa Monica College ( have many, many engaging events scheduled every month. Please check these websites now and regularly for more information!

The Broad Stage ( has posted the line up for their exciting 3rd season. If you haven’t been yet, what are you waiting for? It’s great!!

To receive weekly emails from the City of Santa Monica highlighting upcoming arts events, please subscribe to the Santa Monica Arts Palette at

At this same site, you can also sign up to receive emails about events at the Annenberg Community Beach House, at Miles Play House, at the Civic Auditorium, and Festivals. Please don’t rely on me. Sign up!

The Twilight Dance Series has ended for this year but Friday Night Movies have begun! To receive emails about upcoming events at the Santa Monica Pier, please subscribe at

You can also use Santa Monica Connect to get connected with the city around you. What's going on in Santa Monica? How can you find out about art openings, performances, and special events? And if you need help — with child care, job assistance, health programs, or more — where can you turn?
Santa Monica Human Services Department has designed Santa Monica Connect to connect you with your city. Please spend some time exploring Santa Monica Connect at

The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau maintains a calendar and lots of information about events of interest to tourists and residents. Please check out their site at

SMMUSD press releases --- to keep up to date with at least a few of the many achievements of our local schools, please regularly visit You can also sign up for Twitter announcements!

Santa Monica College special news items are regularly posted (including great photos) in an online newsletter, Info@SMC, that for the fourth year in a row, won first place in the statewide Community College Public Relations Organization competition. Stay abreast of SMC news at

Santa Monica Youth Collaborative is using facebook to try to establish a community dialogue and community bulletin board for youth-related events and concerns. Please become a fan/member of the Youth Collaborative by signing up at

If lots of individuals and organizations begin using this very easy-to-use tool, who knows, maybe we’ll know what’s going on!!! Please give it a try.

A somewhat expanded list of monthly events is posted on the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

Lifelong Learning Community Links provide additional useful websites including local theatrical companies – listed under “Local Museums and Special Venues.” To stay current on upcoming events and to keep abreast of these wonderful local organizations, please bookmark Links at

That's all for now. Here’s hoping for a terrific school year for all our students!

Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,
Louise Jaffe

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