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Culver City Police are investigating anti-Semitic hate incident

The publication was produced by a known hate group who has distributed similar hate materials in surrounding cities

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CULVER CITY – Police investigators are looking into anti-Semitic hate incident that involved the distribution of anti-Semitic hate publication in one Culver City neighborhood on Sunday. Multiple neighbors reported copies of this publication.

The publication was produced by a known hate group who has distributed similar hate materials in surrounding cities.

“The Culver City Police Department condemns all forms of hate, and we stand in solidarity with our Jewish Community.  We will utilize all resources available to us to fully investigate this matter and bring any criminal offenders that are identified to justice.  We are working diligently with our community partners, neighboring agencies, and other law enforcement partners on this incident.  Any criminal activity that is discovered as a result of this investigation will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for criminal filing consideration,” the department spokesperson said in a statement.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact the Culver City Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Sergeant Edward Baskaron at 310.253.6316, or the Watch Commander at 310.253.6202.

Los Angeles County

Investigation in death of LGBT Center worker still misgendering her

The discovery of her remains came after intensive efforts by family and friends who actively searched for her filed a missing person’s report

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – In an updated statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department into the death of Los Angeles LGBT Center staff member Day Rodas, a 27-year-old transgender woman, the agency continues to misgender her.

Rodas, who worked in the Community Health Program at the L.A. LGBT Center, was a San Fernando Valley native and UCLA graduate. The discovery of her remains came after intensive efforts by family and friends who actively searched for her and filed a missing person’s report.

 Day Rodas (Family photo)

Her body was left along the road in the unincorporated Santa Monica Mountains north of El Matador Beach in Malibu. A motorist found her on the side of the road and pulled over to try to help, California Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Patricia Thomas told media outlets. However, Rodas was already dead.

In the updated statement issued Tuesday December 6th, 2022, which continued to misgender Rodas, the LASD said that an autopsy of the decedent was conducted on Friday, December 2, 2022, by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office. 

The Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office did not find any obvious signs of trauma and preliminary findings indicated there were narcotics in the decedent’s body.  LASD Homicide Investigators are treating this incident as a possible narcotics overdose and CHP spokesperson Thomas, said that it was likely the victim’s body was brought to the location.

GoFundMe post made on Sunday to raise money for her funeral expenses was created by her sibling Susie Rodas.

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Los Angeles County

LA LGBT Center worker misgendered in death investigation

“Following Day’s death she was repeatedly misgendered by authorities and the local news media. We categorically condemn such carelessness”

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 Day Rodas (Family photo)

MALIBU – The body of 27 year-old  Day Rodas was discovered last Thursday in Malibu. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lost Hills Station deputies received a call for service in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway regarding a person down call at approximately 7:30 a.m. When responding deputies arrived, LA County Fire Paramedics were on scene treating the victim.

The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Investigators initially determined that the deceased was a woman but then in a statement said the descendant was a male adult, with no obvious signs of trauma. The statement added that cause of death was pending and will be determined by the LA County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner at a later time.

In a GoFundMe post made on Sunday to raise money for her funeral expenses, her sibling Susie Rodas wrote:

Hi my name is Susie Rodas my older sister Day Rodas has passed away and the death still remains unknown. Her body was found in Mulholland highway around 7:45 am Thursday. My family and I went to the police station to file a report on a missing person in hopes she was only missing since she stopped responding to texts and calls.

Her boss from work called saying she didn’t show up to work so we knew something was wrong. She also had moved back in with us so when she didn’t arrive home for two days we knew there was a problem. Once we finished the report I got a call a few hours later from the homicide hotline saying the body they found matched my sister’s.

They don’t know exactly how she died which has been unsettling for my mother, father, my little brother and I. In hopes she would be found alive she was not.

She recently started living her life authentically as she came out to friends and family about being a trans woman. She was the most forgiving person who strongly advocated for LGBTQ rights. She had so much love for family and friends and she saw the good in everyone. Despite some people treating her with disrespect because she finally started being who she truly was she never disrespected anyone- she was too pure and kind to ever treat anyone with disrespect.

She was 27 but only six months ago, she started living authentically just for it to be over too soon. After being afraid for 27 years, she only got to live freely without fear for only six months which breaks our hearts. My father and I are the only ones who work and after this tragedy I had to call off a few weeks of work since I don’t have the strength to go. So as of right now, we are making less money and my father works at a car wash and during this season where it rains he does not get any hours in. Any money that is donated will go to the funeral and memorial expenses. Thank you so much.

In an emailed statement to the Blade Monday, Joe Hollendoner, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center said:

We at the Los Angeles LGBT Center are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Day Rodas, our colleague and friend, and express our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Day was a vital member of the Center, working within our Community Health Program, and she worked devotedly during her tenure to keep LGBTQ+ people educated, informed, and safe. 

We are so proud of the work that Day did for the Center and our community. Shortly after joining our team, Day announced that she identified as a transgender woman. Her colleagues and family alike have expressed that Day seemed like she was beginning a new chapter—one where she could finally be her authentic self. To have her life cut short in this moment—and under such troubling circumstances—makes her loss all the more heartbreaking. 

We cannot honor the life of Day Rodas without naming that violence against transgender people—particularly transgender women of color—is at an all-time high. Her passing comes shortly after Transgender Day of Remembrance, where we mourned at least 38 people in our community who we lost to acts of violence. We are witnessing a rise in anti-trans political rhetoric and cultural phobias that contribute to hate crimes against transgender people, many of which go unsolved.

In the moments following Day’s passing last week, she was repeatedly misgendered by authorities and the local news media. We categorically condemn such carelessness, and we will do everything in our power to make sure these forces recognize our colleague as she deserves.

The LASD also stated:

There is no suspect or suspect vehicle information. 
 
The investigation is ongoing and currently, there is no additional information.
 
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

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Robert Luna sworn in as the 34th Sheriff of LA County

Although Luna is being sworn in on Saturday, he officially replaces outgoing Sheriff Villanueva at noon on Monday

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Incoming LA County Sheriff Robert Luna and outgoing Sheriff Alex Villanueva (Photo Credit: Twitter/Alex Villanueva)

LOS ANGELES – In a simple ceremony Saturday, former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna was sworn in as the 34th Sheriff of Los Angeles County since the Sheriff’s Department was formed in April, 1850. Luna, 56, replaces outgoing Sheriff Alex Villanueva, whom he defeated in the November election.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff serves a four-year term. There are no term limits for the position. Luna served as chief of the Long Beach Police Department for seven years, having first been appointed to the position in 2014.

Villanueva leaves office in the wake of a single term marred by upheaval, fighting with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the discord he sowed amidst allegations of corruption.

The Los Angeles Times reported six days ago that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has launched a criminal investigation into allegations that Sheriff Alex Villanueva may have broken state law when he solicited campaign donations from deputies.

Luna has publicly stated that he will focus his efforts on modernizing the department and addressing multiple issues, which have plagued the largest sheriff’s department in the nation which is currently staffed by over 10,000 sworn deputies, vowing to bring new leadership and accountability.

Although Luna is being sworn in on Saturday at the Hall of Administration in downtown LA, he officially replaces outgoing Sheriff Villanueva at noon on Monday.

Luna and Villanueva met earlier this week, and Villanueva tweeted a photo of the “peaceful transfer of power,” adding, “I truly wish him the best in leading the greatest law enforcement agency on the planet.”

The outgoing sheriff also tweeted: “Its been an honor to serve as your Sheriff. I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished over the last four years.”

KTLA reported the new sheriff’s leadership team has come into focus in the past few days, with 28-year veteran April Tardy announced as the new interim undersheriff — the first woman to hold the position — and Deputy Jason Skeen, another 28-year veteran, serving as interim chief of staff.

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LA Mayor Garcetti volunteers at Project Angel Food’s Thanksgiving

For many of the celebrities joining Project Angel Food’s Thanksgiving Day volunteers the day was about sharing the experience with family

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(L-R) Ava Maybee, Trisha Cardoso and Mayor Eric Garcetti attend Lisa Rinna Joins Celebs Volunteering In Project Angel Food Kitchen on Thanksgiving at Project Angel Food on November 24, 2022 (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)"

LOS ANGELES – In the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub, celebrity supporters and 225 volunteers and staff to prepare and deliver 7,400 meals on Thanksgiving Day to seriously ill and housing insecure people throughout 4,700 square miles of L.A. County.

“Mayor Eric Garcetti epitomizes what it is to be part of a community and lift one another through compassion and service. As he rolled up his sleeves and helped plate meals, he brought attention that while this is a day most of us are surrounded by people we love, we need to remember that some people don’t have that,” Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub said. “He reminded us that no Angeleno should be alone and with a warm smile, a conversation and a meal, our volunteers can change the entire day for our clients, become angels in the City of Angels,” Ayoub added.

For many of the celebrities joining Project Angel Food’s Thanksgiving Day volunteer pool, the day was about sharing the experience with family. Volunteers included Lisa Rinna and husband Harry Hamlin; “Weird Al” Yankovic with his wife Suzanne and daughter Nina.

Also volunteering was Out actor and singer Cheyenne Jackson and husband Jason Landau with their twins Willow and Ethan. Jackson said the couple brought the children because, “I want to teach my kids to be grateful and thankful for everything that we have, and when you have the capability to give to other people, do it.”

He also talked about the death of friend Leslie Jordan, a Project Angel Food supporter who died exactly one month earlier. “He was one of my best friends and it hit me really, really hard like so many people,” he said.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: (L-R) Cheyenne Jackson, Jason Landau and family attend Lisa Rinna Joins Celebs Volunteering In Project Angel Food Kitchen on Thanksgiving at Project Angel Food on November 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)

American Idol favorite Ava Maybee with her mother, and Melissa Rivers with son Cooper Endicott, continuing her mother Joan Rivers’ legacy of volunteering on Thanksgiving.

Avatar: The Way of Water star Trinity Bliss brought her parents just weeks before the December 16 release of the highly anticipated film. “I’m so honored to work alongside so many people to bring a warm, delicious, tasty meal to people in need.”

Of her much-anticipated film, Avatar: Way of Water, Trinity added, “Avatar was amazing, but I think Avatar: The Way of Water is going to be just so much more dramatic and be an experience people are going to need to experience in theaters.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna attend Lisa Rinna Joins Celebs Volunteering In Project Angel Food Kitchen on Thanksgiving at Project Angel Food on November 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)

Lisa Rinna reflected on the fact that Project Angel Food is the primary source of food for most of its clients. “It’s so important because that is going to be their only meal of the day.” her husband Hamlin added, “to have the opportunity to give back is amazing.”

Other celebrities included Eileen Davidson (RHOBH, Days of Our Lives), Peter Porte (Days of Our Lives), Juan Pablo Di Pace (DWTS, Fuller House), Olympian Tai Babilonia, Tim Bagley (Gracie & Frankie, Will & Grace), Michael Hitchcock (The Resort, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Lawrence Zarian (The Kelly Clarkson Show), Marc Malkin (Variety), James Wallington and Will Jardell (Amazing Race Season 32 winners), Romeo Escobar (Survivor 42 runner-up), and parenting author Donna Tetreault.

The 7,400 meals being delivered on Thanksgiving included 1,600 traditional turkey dinners to critically ill men, women, children and their caregivers, 5,600 Medically Tailored Meals and breakfasts regularly scheduled for Thursday delivery, and another 200 meals were provided to Project Angel Food community partner PATH for residents for two of PATH’s Interim Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing sites. 

Volunteers provided contactless “drive-by” pick-up of the meals which were then delivered to Project Angel Food clients. Traditional Thanksgiving dinners consisted of roasted turkey, root vegetables, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Vegetarian meals were also provided.

The meal was sponsored by the Stanley and Joyce Black Family foundation with Glamazon (Amazon’s affinity group for the LGBT+ community) sponsoring the volunteer event.

Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub noted that Project Angel Food strives to end food insecurity and improve health outcomes of critically ill men, women and children in Los Angeles with Medically Tailored Meals, delivered with care and compassion.

Over 2,500 clients are fed daily. Project Angel Food delivers 1.3 million meals each year.

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United Against Hate holds LGBTQ+ Zoom meeting town hall

The meeting was hosted by the LA District Attorney’s LGBTQ+ advisory board, LA County Human Relations Commission, & the US Attorney’s Office

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – As part of United Against Hate Week, a free and open-to-the-public LGBTQ+ Town Hall was held on Wednesday, November 16th via zoom. 

The meeting’s objective was to provide public education on how to recognize hate crimes, hate incidents, and acts of discrimination and  to encourage the community to report and help prevent acts of hate against the LGBTQ+ community.

The meeting was hosted by members of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s LGBTQ+ advisory board, LA County Human Relations Commission, and the US Attorney’s Office Central District of California. Hosts included George Gascón, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Bamby Salcedo, President & CEO, [email protected]alition and Chair of LADA’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and Matthew Barragan, Assistant United States Attorney, Civil Rights Section.

A poll sent out during the meeting confirmed that at least 84% of those attending the meeting had either personally been or knew someone who had been affected by a hate crime. This finding is congruent with the most recent FBI hate crime statistics, which indicate the highest number of hate crimes occurring in over twenty years. The overall number of hate crimes reported in California in 2021 was 1,763 – an increase of 32.6% from 2020. There was also a 30.2% increase in anti-gay male hate crimes, a 21% increase in anti-homosexual bias hate crimes, and an 18% increase in anti-lesbian bias hate crimes. 

Unfortunately, many hate crimes go unreported, leaving the community even more susceptible to the crimes and misconduct of prejudiced individuals. The two main reasons for this gross underreporting are victims and witnesses preferring to handle the situation in another way and fearing that the police would not or could not respond in a way that would help the situation. All meeting hosts sought to rectify this by calling for all community members and allies to report any hate crimes, incidents, and acts of discrimination. 

“This is really a process of bringing our community together,” said Gasćon in a closing statement. “Understand that while we are using this week to underline the issues surrounding hate crime and fear, this is an all-year effort.”

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LA vs. Hate & United Against Hate Week launched

“United against Hate Week provides opportunities for every resident to get involved, show our strength, and take a real stand against hate”

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LA vs. Hate- United Against Hate Week (Photo by Simha Haddad)

LOS ANGELES – A panel of leaders from different cultural sectors of Los Angeles stood on the steps of Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration on Monday, November 14, to launch LA vs. Hate- United Against Hate Week.

Behind them, supporters stood with signs depicting the hands of two people of different races clasped together in unity under the words “TOGETHER,” and “JUNTOS.” Before the panel, a small crowd gathered in anticipation. 

The rally was led by Robin Toma, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, lead agency for LA vs Hate. Also present were Holly Mitchell, Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, District Two, Esther Lim, Justice Deputy, Office of Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, District 1, George Gascon, LA County District Attorney.

Also in attendance were Maria S. Salinas, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce & UAHW Honorary Co-Chair, Debra Duardo, Superintendent, Los Angeles County Office of Education UAHW Honorary Co-Chair, Martin Estrada, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Shawn Landres, Immediate Past President, Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission & UAHW Co-Chair, Dean Chalak Richards, Dean of Student Life, Diversity & Belonging, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law & UAHW Co-Chair and Hildy Sterns, South Bay Social Justice Work Group Founder.

Each took their turn expressing their dedication to the Stop the Hate Initiative, and detailing the steps they would take to realize the initiative’s mission. 

“The release of the commission’s annual hate crime report will confirm what we have been experiencing,” said Mitchell, addressing the crowd, “which is a historic rise in hate crime across one of the most diverse counties in the country. A county with the largest Native American population of any county in the nation, a county with the largest Armenian population outside of Armenia, a county with the largest Iranian population outside of Iran, a county in which two hundred and twenty-four identified languages are spoken on a daily basis. We can and must, my fellow Angelinos, be proactive. United against Hate Week provides opportunities for every resident to get involved, show our strength, and take a real stand against hate.” 

In a panel discussion major focus was on stopping hate in the workplace and in schools.

“The chamber is committed to supporting businesses to stay abreast of changing business practices to make strategic, employee-centered investments that promote business growth and advance employment opportunities,” said the Chamber’s Salinas.

Dean Richards proudly listed competing schools, such as Southwestern Law School, UCLA School of Law, USC School of Law, and Loyola,  stating that these institutions have come together with the shared goal of coming against hate. She stated that through the initiative, students and their families alike are being taught how to recognize hate and utilize resources such as the law to help them stop hate crimes in their tracks. 

Sterns spoke regarding the anti-hate coalition’s community-wide event last Sunday with activities to raise awareness and bring the community together. On Tuesday, Stearns invited everyone to watch a free screening of the new documentary, “Race to be Human,” which will be followed by a panel discussion.

Finally, on Friday, she added that she encouraged everyone to take part in a moment of silence at 9:31AM to think about how Angelenos can support others within the community. Lawn and window signs will also be distributed throughout Manhattan Beach with the slogan, “Manhattan Beach Stands United Against Hate.”

Estrada announced the start of The U.S. Department of Justice’s initiative called “United Against Hate.” The initiative will include local forums to connect community groups to federal, state, and local partners. The goal is to increase awareness about reporting hate crimes and incidents, and to create and strengthen alliances between law enforcement, government actors, and the community.

This past September, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced on September 15 during the White House United We Stand Summit, that over the next year, all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) will host a new nationwide initiative to combat unlawful acts of hate. The United Against Hate program is convening local forums that connect community groups to federal, state, and local law enforcement to increase community understanding and reporting of hate crimes; build trust between law enforcement and communities; and create and strengthen alliances between law enforcement and other government partners and community groups to combat unlawful acts of hate.

“The Justice Department remains committed to enforcing federal hate crime laws,” said Attorney General Garland. “That is why the Justice Department has launched its new United Against Hate program. This initiative brings together community groups, community leaders, and law enforcement at every level to build trust and strengthen coordination to combat unlawful acts of hate.”

On Wednesday, Estrada’s office will partner with the LA County District Attorney’s office in an LGBTQ+ portion of the United Against Hate Initiative. 

The rally ended with the unveiling of a “Wishing Tree” art intervention inspired by county residents. All attendees were invited to contribute a wish to the art piece.

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Iconic Hollywood Bowl appoints new Superintendent, Mark Ladd

Prior to joining the Hollywood Bowl staff, Mark was Operations Coordinator at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena

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Hollywood Bowl (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Mark Ladd was appointed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation to serve as the Hollywood Bowl Superintendent. Mark will carry on the Hollywood Bowls 100 years of tradition in serving as a premiere destination for live music in Southern California.

With over 1,000,000 visitors and over 100 events annually, the Hollywood Bowl, managed on behalf of the County by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LA Phil), elevates the transformative power of live music.

Mark Ladd (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

“It is a great honor to receive this appointment,” shared Mark Ladd, Hollywood Bowl Superintendent. “I look forward to serving in a stewardship role and continuing the tradition of constant improvement at this historic facility.”

Since 1994, Mark has served in the dual role of Assistant Superintendent for the Hollywood Bowl, representing the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as handling the duties of Associate Director of Hollywood Bowl Operations, where he was recently promoted to Director, on behalf of the LA Phil. During his time at the Hollywood Bowl, the venue has hosted over 2,700 events.

“I am excited about the appointment of Mark Ladd as the Director Superintendent of the Hollywood Bowl,” stated Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “This beloved performance venue is an asset in the Fifth District that requires thoughtful stewardship. Mark offers a long history of committed service to the Bowl and its visitors. I look forward to working with him so that we can continue our coordinated community engagement strategies. I am pleased we share a common vision, and both prioritize soliciting community feedback to address sound, traffic, and long-term mitigation projects.” 

When asked to recall his most memorable experiences at the Bowl, Mark notes that in addition to witnessing many outstanding events, serving a principal role in the construction of several buildings on the Bowl campus, most notably, the renovation and rehabilitation of the Bowl’s iconic performance shell/stage, which was completed in 2004. In addition, he served on the team that developed the Hollywood Bowl Design Guidelines.

“We are delighted that Mark Ladd has been promoted to serve as only the 3rd ever appointee to hold the position of Superintendent, Hollywood Bowl,” said Chad Smith, Chief Executive Officer, David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Officer Chair Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. “His incredible knowledge and passion for the iconic Hollywood Bowl will continue to serve audiences and artists alike as we move into the second century of this beloved Southern California venue’s tradition.”

Prior to joining the Hollywood Bowl staff, Mark was Operations Coordinator at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena. His experience also includes several New Year’s Day Rose Bowl Games, multiple Super Bowls, as well as the 1984 Olympics.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles).

Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.   

The Hollywood Bowl

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone.

It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In June 2021, the Hollywood Bowl was awarded Amphitheater of the Decade at the 32nd Annual Pollstar Awards. It was also awarded the Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year award at the 31st Annual Pollstar Awards, an honor bestowed 14 previous times, as well as Top Amphitheater prize at the 2017 and 2018 Billboard Touring Awards. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer. 

“The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation is proud of its co-stewardship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic of the Hollywood Bowl, one of the most iconic and world-renowned outdoor performance venue and park,” shared County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Director Norma Edith García-González. “I am excited about Mark Ladd’s leadership, a career professional with extensive and invaluable experience in operating the Hollywood Bowl. I am confident he will lead the next centennial of the Hollywood Bowl legacy with a commitment to providing a welcoming and enriching experience.

As a fifth-generation Californian, Mark has a life-long interest in the state’s native flora and fauna. He has spent several years researching and digitizing an extensive family photograph collection that spans to the pre-Civil war era. He served on the Board of Trustees of Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, where he resides with his wife Angie. They have two adult children.

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LA County Public Health: Student & parent trainings on Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a high potency synthetic opioid that is colorless and odorless and can cause rapid respiratory depression resulting in death

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is hosting virtual Public Health Ambassador training sessions for students and parents to learn more about fentanyl, including the current overdose trends, risk factors associated with youth opioid use, how to recognize an opioid overdose, and how naloxone (Narcan) can reverse opioid overdose.

The trainings will also review effective communication strategies families can use to talk about opioids and fentanyl, and youth-specific resources for accessing ongoing support and treatment.

Participants who are first time Public Health Ambassador Program attendees will receive a $25 stipend and opportunity to earn an additional $25 for outreach.

Parent Training 

Monday, November 14, 2022: 5:00-6:00pm (English)   

Tuesday, November 15, 2022: 5:00-6:00pm (Spanish)     

Parents can sign up for a Parent Training by visiting tinyurl.com/odpatraining or scanning the QR code below:

QR 1 Fent v2

Student Training   

Wednesday, November 16, 2022: 4:30-5:30pm

Students can sign up for a Student Training by visiting tinyurl.com/obsatraining or scanning the QR code below:

QR 2 Fent v2

Background Information on Fentanyl:

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued multiple health alerts related to adolescents overdose involving the purchase of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, including one student found deceased on campus at Bernstein High School in Hollywood in September 2022. Since then, additional Los Angeles County youth have overdosed or died from consuming counterfeit pills.

Nationwide, there has been a growing trend of illicit drugs (particularly methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine) and counterfeit pills contaminated with fentanyl and other life-threatening substances. This has impacted both adults and youth. In 2021, fentanyl was identified in about 77% of adolescent overdose deaths nationally, and over 80% of drug overdose deaths among adolescents aged 15 – 19 in 2015 were unintentional. Fentanyl and methamphetamine-related overdose deaths have increased in Los Angeles County even prior to the pandemic and continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Fentanyl is a high potency synthetic opioid that is colorless and odorless and can cause rapid respiratory depression resulting in death. Awareness of the risk of fentanyl in counterfeit pills, stimulants, and other substances sold outside of pharmacies is essential for both the general public, including youth and adults, as well as healthcare providers.

From the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Public Affairs:

Box of candy open revealing small round pills. Instead of choclate candy that is depicted on the box.

On October 19, 2022, at approximately 0730 hours, LA County Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau Detectives and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents assigned to a task force at the Los Angeles International Airport seized approximately 12,000 suspected fentanyl pills.

The suspect attempted to go through TSA screening with several bags of candy and miscellaneous snacks with the intent of boarding a plane.  However, it was discovered that inside the “Sweetarts”, “Skittles”, and “Whoppers” candy boxes were fentanyl pills and not  candy.  The suspect fled prior to being detained by law enforcement but has been identified and the investigation is on-going.

Bag of different types of candy.
Bag of skittles with round blue pill instead of candy.
Package of candy.
Package of sealed candy.
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Los Angeles County

LA County Aquatics is hiring! Become an LA County Lake Lifeguard

After completing the online form, qualifying candidates will schedule an appointment to participate in a Lake Lifeguard Swim Exam

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – LA County Aquatics is hiring! This December, we will be holding swim exams for those interested in becoming an LA County Lake Lifeguard. This is a perfect job for those with a background in swimming, or those interested in careers related to emergency medical services, paramedics, or aquatics in general. 

Before applying for the swim exam, prospective candidates should take into consideration the following requirements. Candidates must:

  • Swim 1000 meters in 18 minutes or less
  • Be at least 16 years old by time of swim exam
  • Have at least 20/30 vision in each eye without correction (see job bulletin)
  • Have a valid California Class C Drivers License
LG2

After completing the online form, qualifying candidates will schedule an appointment to participate in a Lake Lifeguard Swim Exam at either of the following dates/locations:

Arcadia Park – Norman S. Johnson Aquatic Center
405 S. Santa Anita Ave. Arcadia, CA 91006
Saturday 12/3/2022 // 8:00 to 12:00pm

Castaic Aquatic Center
31350 Castaic Rd. Castaic, CA 91384
Sunday 12/11/2022 // 8:00am to 12:00pm

Upon completion of prerequisites and swim test, candidates must enroll and pass the Lake Lifeguard Academy ($16.51/hour).

After completing the Academy, Cadets will be eligible to become Lake Lifeguards ($22.52-$29.52/hour) or ($25.45 – $33.36/hour, with EMT certification)

LG3

For more information on LA County Aquatics, visit our Lifeguard Recruitment page.

And to apply for the position, APPLY HERE.

Lake LG Recruitment FLyer
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The L.A. Arboretum breaks ground on a new visitor plaza

The new plaza will be a gateway for visitors to enjoy the magnificent 127 acres plus updates & restores existing mid-20th century entrance

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Los Angeles Blade/LA Parks & Rec graphic

LOS ANGELES – Officials of Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation had shovels in hand Friday, November 4, to break ground for the construction of a new Visitor Plaza at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The $10 million project is designed to set new standards in visitor hospitality, horticultural beauty, and improved garden access.

“The Arboretum is a partnership venture between the Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. The new Visitor Plaza will be a gateway for visitors from across L.A. County to enjoy the magnificent 127 acres,” Norma García-González, Director of L.A. County Parks and Recreation, said at the ceremony. “This bright new face for the Arboretum reflects the vastly increased community we serve and new-found appreciation for time spent in the natural world,” shared Richard Schulhof, Arboretum CEO.

It was a proud moment for former President and Honorary Arboretum Foundation trustee, Ken Hill, PhD, who was part of the community and fundraising effort to build the new entrance. “The best result from this endeavor was discovering thousands of friends of the Arboretum who love the gardens and are happy to support its improvement,” he said.

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, a supporter of the new project, was at the groundbreaking. The new entrance will add an Arrival Plaza, Welcome Plaza and Ticketing Pavilion within the footprint and re-adaptation of the existing mid-20th century modern complex. The project, funded by the Arboretum’s first capital campaign in 40 years, is the Arboretum’s largest improvement to date.

The $10 million project updates and restores the existing mid-20th century modern entrance.

The Visitor Plaza is scheduled to be completed in 2023 during the Arboretum’s 75th Anniversary. More than 700,000 visitors a year enjoy the Arboretum, which is governed through a private-public partnership between the nonprofit Arboretum Foundation and the County Department of Parks and Recreation. Project design was completed by EPT Design, Dunbar Architecture and Hunt Design.

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