- Reporters Desk
Dodson, Curtiss Middle School Students Graduate from Hippocrates Circle Program
San Pedro — On May 30, 50 Dodson and Curtiss Middle School students graduated from the Hippocrates Circle Program, which was designed to open their eyes to future careers in medicine.
Within several weeks, the students work with their mentor physicians, tour the Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center, and meet with representatives from colleges and medical schools. The program aims to create a pipeline of future physicians who reflect the diversity of our community.
The mission of the Hippocrates Circle Program is to provide youth from underrepresented communities and diverse backgrounds with awareness that a career as a physician is possible. Through the collaborative efforts of local school districts, medical schools, and Kaiser Permanente physicians, the Hippocrates Circle Program strives to strengthen the self-esteem of young people and empower them to pursue their goal to become a physician.
Harbor Community Clinic Receives $50,000 Grant Award
SAN PEDRO — Harbor Community Clinic will receive a $50,000 grant from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation that will provide general operating support for the Clinic at 593 West 6th Street in San Pedro.
This new funding will help the Clinic provide primary and preventive healthcare services to low-income residents of the Harbor area.
Harbor Community Clinic operates five medical programs at two clinical sites. General Medicine, Family Planning, Prenatal Care, and Mental Health Counseling are offered at the Adult Clinic on 6th Street. The busy Don Knabe Pediatric Clinic is housed in a separate building at 731 S. Beacon Street, through the generous donation of space in a Los Angeles County owned building, and provides services to children and teens, 0 – 18 years. Last year, almost 400 of our pediatric patients were younger than 5 years old.
The funds from the Parsons Foundation will be used to support all of our programs, including our recently expanded mental health counseling services, ongoing diabetes screening and management program, and our new Wednesday morning asthma clinic.
Harbor Community Clinic’s patients reside primarily in San Pedro and the surrounding Harbor communities of Wilmington, Carson, Harbor City and Lomita.
Long Beach Unemployment Rate Hits Six Year Low
LONG BEACH — On May 29, Long Beach announced that its unemployment rate has hit a six year low, dropping to 8.4 percent as of April 2014.
During the Great Recession, the unemployment rate reached a peak of 14.6 percent in July 2010, and the unemployment rate has dropped steadily since that time. Throughout the past year, the city’s rate has dropped from 10.2 to 8.4 percent, including a large drop from 9.6 percent in March 2014 to 8.4 percent in April. From July 2010 to April 2014, total employment in the city has grown by 15,600 workers, from 203,600 to 219,200.
Major construction projects are also underway in Long Beach, creating thousands of jobs. The $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge will create an estimated 4,000 jobs a year within the next five years. The $1.3 billion Middle Harbor project will create an estimated 1,000 jobs within nine years, and 14,000 permanent jobs once in operation. Downtown development continues as well. The American Hotel restoration is nearly complete. The adaptive reuse of the old 12-story Edison building is underway, which will bring 156 market rate rental units online later this year. The 17-story $70 million Current development broke ground in March 2014. Additionally, the Long Beach City Council approved $39 million in the FY 2014 Budget for additional improvements to public infrastructure and technology and much of that work is currently underway.
The City’s restaurant industry also is growing. New restaurants include P3 Artisan Pasta and Social List in Retro Row; Bogart & Co. in the Convention Center; Boathouse on the Bay; Bo-Beau Kitchen & Roof Tap, Hamburger Mary’s relocation to Pine Avenue; Chianina Steakhouse in Naples; Pier 76 on Pine; James Republic in East Village; and the Federal Bar.
In addition, there are a number of positive developments that will fuel future employment. Mercedes Benz has signed a long-term lease for 1.1 million square feet of space at Boeing’s former 717 facility, reactivating a site that has been dormant since the line closed in May 2006. On a related note, Boeing has recently announced that it will bring more than 1,000 engineering jobs to the area, in addition to the 300 they announced last year, helping to offset future job losses from the closure of the C-17 line in 2015. Finally, the convention and tourism industry is showing strong gains and hotel occupancy rates have been rising
CARSON – On May 28, the California State University, Dominguez Hills Emeritus Faculty Association awarded its 2014 scholarships and grant to four students and a faculty member to encourage professional and academic development in areas such as public service and the life sciences.
The association, which is made up of more than 200 members, was established to serve the interests of retired members of the general faculty at CSU Dominguez Hills and to support the academic life of the university. Donations from emeritus faculty and their friends support the association’s scholarships and grants.
Faculty Legacy Fund Awarded to Dr. Tara Victor
Associate professor of psychology Tara Victor was awarded the Faculty Legacy Fund, which was established in 2007 by Bill Blischke, professor emeritus of sociology, and Leni Cook and Sue Gemmell, professors emeritus of teacher education, to encourage and support professional development in the areas of teaching, research and creative activity of current tenure-track and tenured faculty members.
Victor, who was also the recipient of the university’s 2014 Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award, plans to use the grant to investigate the relationship between meditation and its positive effects on the brain, including how well people can use it to regulate their emotions. She, along with two graduate students in clinical psychology, aims to study how meditation could possibly be used in educational and clinical settings.
Occupational Therapy Grad Students Receive Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Scholarship
Students Brittany Thompson and Jacqueline Noelle Sanchez, both of whom are pursuing their master’s in occupational therapy, were awarded $2,500 each as recipients of the Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Scholarship, named for the late founding president of CSU Dominguez Hills and his wife. The scholarship is bestowed to students demonstrating academic excellence and career commitment to teaching, academic research, educational administration or other types of public service.
Sanchez is vice president of the CSUDH Chapter of the national honors society for occupational therapy students, Pi Theta Epsilon, and is a student representative from the Student Occupational Therapy Association.
Biochemistry Undergraduates Receive Dr. Lois W. Chi Scholarship in Science
The Dr. Lois W. Chi Scholarship in Science was awarded to biochemistry students Elizabeth Grotemeyer and Anthony Jones, both of whom were recently invited into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society have the goal of pursuing their Ph.D. after graduation. Named for the emerita professor of biology and EFA member, this scholarship is specifically geared toward students studying biology, chemistry or a related field in the natural sciences. Both students were awarded between $1,000 and $2,000 each. Grotemeyer is in the federally funded Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research program on campus and spent the last two semesters working on a research project at LABioMed at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. In addition she tutors GE physics to students in the Toro Learning Center.
Jones, who is in the federally funded Minority Biomedical Research Support – Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program, also has been accepted into Caltech’s summer research program.
CSU Dominguez Hills Announces Dean Appointments
CARSON – On May 29, California State University, Dominguez Hills Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn announced the appointment of Kaye Bragg and Dorota Huizinga as the university’s new deans of undergraduate studies, and graduates studies and research, respectively.
Dorota Huizinga, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
Dorota Huizinga will join CSU Dominguez Hills as dean of graduate studies and research on August 1. In her new position she will be responsible for curriculum and review of all graduate programs and obtaining external research funding and ensuring support of faculty and student research opportunities.
Huizinga serves as director of special projects at CSU Fullerton’s Irvine campus and as professor of computer science. Prior, she was associate vice president for graduate programs and research at CSUF, during which time she successfully secured $3.7 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.
The recipient of numerous outstanding faculty awards, Huizinga joined the faculty at CSUF in 1991 as an assistant professor of computer science and was promoted to full professor in 2003. She served as acting and then permanent associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science from 2003 to 2008.
Huizinga holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Wayne State University, a master’s in computer science from Western Michigan University, and a master’s in applied mathematics from Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland.
Kaye Bragg, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
A familiar face to campus, having served in leadership roles at CSU Dominguez Hills since 2007, Bragg will begin her new role as dean of undergraduate studies on June 2. In her new role she will provide leadership related to the quality and strength of academic programs at the undergraduate level, including oversight in the areas of student advisement, tutoring, the university’s honors program, service learning and internship, as well as faculty development.
Bragg serves as acting associate vice president for academic programs and faculty development and led the re-establishment of the campus’ Faculty Development Center. Bragg has also served as acting dean and associate dean of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy, during which time the college successfully completed its Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPPA) accreditation review.
Prior to joining CSU Dominguez Hills, Bragg was at CSU Bakersfield, first teaching in the political science department and serving as its chair for six years, and then as director of grants, research and sponsored programs, director of the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and director of the Office of Assessment.
Bragg has a Ph.D. in comparative politics from Colorado State University, a master’s in international relations from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and a bachelor’s in history from Colorado State University.
More Water Restrictions Coming to Avalon
AVALON — Drought, declining groundwater and greater tourism may result in water rationing and restrictions this summer and fall.
Southern California Edison plans to impose restrictions to reduce water consumption by 25 percent or face penalties by July. The utility company has warned of a 50 percent water reduction if trends continue as they are.
There are about 2,200 rate payers in Avalon, with a population of more than 3,728, according the 2010 U.S. Census. Avalon, or Avalon Bay, is the only incorporated city on Santa Catalina Island of the California Channel Islands. It is southernmost city in Los Angeles County. The annual visitor count is close to 1 million.
LOS ANGELES — On May 27, Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated Gene Seroka, an executive with APL shipping line, as the next executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.
The Board of Harbor Commissioners will consider Garcetti’s nomination at its June 5 meeting. Seroka’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council.
Seroka is head of Commercial in the Americas Region for American Presidents Line, APL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines and the world’s seventh largest ocean carrier. He was previously president of the Americas Region. Based in Phoenix, he led more than 1,000 employees and all of APL’s sales and operations activities in North, Central and South America. He managed sales for the company’s Liner Shipping as well as overseeing its four marine terminals and intermodal operations throughout the geography. In his previous role, he was Vice President Middle East & East Africa, based in Dubai, for Neptune Orient Lines group from April 2008.
Beginning in October 2005, Seroka served as the vice president of APL Logistics Ltd in Singapore, responsible for the logistics business in the 26 country Asia, Middle East and South Asia regions. Previously, he was the managing director of APL and APL Logistics Indonesia. Based in Jakarta, he was responsible for all Liner and Logistics business throughout the archipelago from June 2003 to October 2005.
Seroka began working for APL after graduating from business school as a sales support representative in the company’s Cincinnati office. He then served in a variety of roles in the sales management and marketing fields, in assignments throughout the United States. He was then posted as director of sales and marketing in Shanghai for APL Company Ltd in 1999.
Seroka obtained a bachelor of science in marketing from the University of New Orleans in 1986 and masters in business administration from the University of New Orleans in 1988.
In February 2014, the executive search firm Ralph Anderson & Associates began the search for a new executive director of POLA. Stakeholder groups, including representatives from the shipping industry, local community, labor, local elected officials and business groups, provided their perspectives on priorities for the position. In addition, a public hearing and an electronic survey were initiated to solicit more public input. After those efforts, the search firm, in conjunction with a committee of Harbor Commissioners, reviewed candidates and subsequently brought the top applicants before the entire Harbor Commission in a closed session meeting for interviews. The Harbor Commission then presented their top candidates to Garcetti for his review and consideration, leading to Garcetti’s nomination for the position of executive director.
Garcetti, Beck Announce 950 Guns Taken off the Street
LOS ANGELES — On June 2, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced today that 950 firearms were taken off the street during the city’s Gun Buyback May 31st.
In total, 476 handguns, 273 rifles, 170 shotguns and 31 assault weapons were collected at four locations citywide.
An initiative of the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office, the Gun Buyback program, which has taken 12,918 guns off the street since its inception in 2009, also involves LAPD and victim advocacy organizations, faith-based groups and other community organizations.
In exchange for surrendering weapons, participants in the Gun Buyback receive a Ralphs pre-paid card. The amount per firearm is dependent on its type, up to $200 for assault weapons as specified by the State of California, and up to $100 for handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit determines the type and classification of the firearm surrendered.
Sterling Visits South Los Angeles Church
LOS ANGELES — On June 2, Donald Sterling, the embattled Clippers owner, attended Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, a church whose congregation is predominantly comprised of Americans of African descent.
While early reports from mainstream media such as KTLA and the Los Angeles Times reported that the visit took place in San Pedro, it actually took place on a street named San Pedro in Los Angeles.
Sterling came at the invitation of Rev. J. Benjamin Hardwick.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from the league, fined him $2.5 million and called for ending Sterling’s stake with the Clippers after an audio recording in which Sterling spoke ill of Americans of African descent.
On May 30, the NBA announced a settlement with Sterling’s wife, Shelly, and the Sterling Family Trust to allow the Clippers to be sold to Steve Ballmer, a former executive of Microsoft. The couple owns the team jointly through the trust.
That same day Sterling sued Silver and the NBA for more than $1 billion in damages, alleging antitrust violations, breached contracts and denial of constitutional rights.
Sterling claimed that the recording was illegal because it was done without his knowledge and that he shouldn’t be punished for a private conversation.
Garcetti Announces Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing Win
LOS ANGELES – On May 28, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that an effort he co-led with USC has resulted in Southern California winning a federal designation that gives the region preference in accessing $1.3 billion in federal assistance for local aerospace and advanced manufacturing.
Southern California was designated by the U.S. Commerce Department as a “Manufacturing Community” as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative. The initiative is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities by supporting the development of long-term regional economic development strategies that help communities attract and expand private investment in the manufacturing sector and increase international trade and exports.
Garcetti and USC led the effort to compete for this designation. The resulting partnership, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California, brought together aerospace businesses, JPL, community colleges and universities, and government entities from Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties.
To earn the designation, the partnership had to demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their region and develop strategies to make investments in six areas: 1) workforce and training, 2) advanced research, 3) infrastructure and site development, 4) supply chain support, 5) trade and international investment, and 6) operational improvement and capital access.
Federal agencies that will provide assistance under this initiative include the Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, Small Business Administration, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, and the Department of Transportation.
Bipartisan Effort to Combat Child-Sex Trafficking Passes State Senate
SACRAMENTO — On May 27, a bipartisan measure to cut sex trafficking passed unanimously off the Senate Floor.
Senate Bill 1388, by Sen. Ted W. Lieu, will strengthen penalties for buyers and sellers of minors for sex.
At the urging of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and California Against Slavery, Lieu is spearheading the package of legislation to curb sex trafficking in this state. Joining Senator Lieu in this effort are Sens. Frank Hill, Bob Huff and Holly Mitchell. Numerous law enforcement entities have come forward in support of the measure.
The measure passed the Senate Floor with a vote of 34-0. The bill goes to the Assembly where it will be heard in a policy committee in June.
Effort to Overturn Citizens United Passes State Senate
SACRAMENTO – On May 28, a measure to send a message to Congress that the rulings of Citizens United must be overturned passed off the Senate floor today.
Senate Bill 1272 would add an advisory question to the Nov. 4 ballot asking voters whether Congress should propose an amendment to the Constitution overturning Citizens United.
Ted Lieu’s SB 1272 will give voters the chance to send a strong message to Congress on corporate influence and limitless spending by individuals in political campaigns