LOCALmotion – Jozelle Smith

If you think this week’s column seems to spotlight kids and families, you’re right – it wasn’t intentional, but just kind of turned out that way – read on!

They may not all ultimately end up as politicians, but as adults they’ll know and understand the legislative process a lot better than most of us – they’re the members of the Culver-Palms Family YMCA’s Model Legislature & Court Program, better known as “Youth & Government.” Over 100 teens are members of our CPY delegation, and they’re prepping for the annual youth takeover of the Capitol in February 2014, joining delegates from YMCAs throughout the State. If you’d like to see how they operate, visit their Bill Hearing Night on November 21st at 6:00 p.m. at the Culver City Senior Center, corner Overland Avenue and Culver Boulevard (they’ve outgrown the City Council Chambers and had to find a larger location). Bill Hearing Night is the delegation’s opportunity to showcase all the hard work the bill sponsors have put into researching and writing the bills they will take to Sacramento. They welcome feedback as to how to strengthen their arguments and be more prepared overall – and you could even do this following the event, when they’ll be hosting a fundraiser at Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, 4114 Sepulveda Blvd.

Let’s all join in! The Culver City Rotary Club is actively involved in the Culver City Unified School District’s Weekend Backpack Program, whose goal is to provide food to CCUSD students who may not have reliable access to food during the weekend (students in need will be identified by parents and staff). Parents and student volunteers will fill the backpacks on Thursdays at one CCUSD location. The backpacks will be delivered every Friday to each school for these students to take home anonymously. Parents, students, and community volunteers will run the program, with school families and community members working together to provide pre-packaged nonperishable foods through school food drives and other donations. After this initial kickoff (boxes will be provided on request to collect the items) they will continue to collect the items to keep the pantry stocked. Pickup may be arranged by contacting CCUSD Superintendent David LaRose [email protected] or by calling (310) 842-4220. Items needed include Breakfast Cereals, Instant Oats (boxed or packets), Peanut Butter (plastic jars, 16-32 oz.), Dried Pinto Beans, White Rice (1 lb. or 2 lb. bags), Canned Corn, Green Beans or Carrots (15oz. cans), Canned Chili, Beef Stew or Tuna, Canned Fruit, Ramen Noodles, Macaroni and Cheese, Canned Spaghetti Sauce (16-28 oz.). And speaking of Culver City Unified School District Superintendent David LaRose, he is the featured speaker at the Friends of the Culver City Youth Health Center’s annual meeting this Thursday, November 21 in the Culver City High School Library, 4401 Elenda Street, at 7:00 p.m. In “Healthy, Hopeful, Whole,” LaRose will share his philosophy of considering the whole child as a way to nurture each one toward success, and his support of the Health Center has brought an increased awareness of the facility and its services. The meeting will also include the installation of Dr. Sarah Carpenter as president along with her new board. Andy Alexander and Diana Hauptman, outgoing co-presidents, will be recognized for their many years of service to the Friends group. Tours of the Health Center will be offered and refreshments will be served. All children living in Culver City or attending Culver City schools are eligible to receive the free physical and mental services offered at the Health Center. Physicals, immunizations, care for ongoing illnesses and conditions, mental health support for depression, anxiety, family or partner violence, and eating disorders, are just some of the services provided by the staff at the Health Center. Funding for the Center is acquired through grants and donations. For more information about the Center or the Friends group call Andy at (310)837-5012 or Diana at (310)839-0862.

A difficult and too often heart-breaking topic is being addressed by our own Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) Commission this Tuesday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m., when “Words Matter” Part II takes place – a discussion about bullying and anti-bullying tactics and policies. This is another critical installment of the Commission’s “Community Conversations” series. The program takes place in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers at City Hall, 9770 Culver Blvd. (underground parking available off Duquesne Ave.) A panel comprised of Earl Ofari Hutchinson, writer, talk show host, and MSNBC analyst, Dr. Patrice Grant, Supervisor, Edelman Mental Health Clinic, and representatives from the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission will present information and answer questions.

You can still celebrate a birthday, even if the other holidays seem to be overtaking you, like Mardi Gillette, Marc Brown, Charlene Aspray, Joan Graham, Jennifer Adelle Haskew, Thomas Murray IV, Freda Dolores Cain, Aisha Keekeebhai, Anand Ramachandran, Eugene Hammerstein, Jessica McCullagh, Dorris Woods, Felicia Linares, Blanca Robles, Jesse Graham, Esteban Rey Torres, Vicky Story, Yvette Brewer, Karen Cisneros, Marta Cortina, Amin Mohammed, Noehmi Garcia, Steven Harris, Rick Hedger, Helen Hudson, Meghan McGee, and Assaf Rees. If you’d like to have your (or a friend, neighbor or family member’s) birthday noted here, send the info to [email protected] and we’ll post it!

The Actors' Gang

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