Solis Advocates for Exide Residents
“The homes they live in are a danger. The ground below them is a danger. For these people, the community is their whole world - and their whole world is making them sick,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis when she testified before the first State Assembly Committee hearing convened on Exide.
At the Jan. 26 hearing, she urged state regulators to act now to help families affected by Exide’s lead contamination.
“I have heard from those who have been affected by toxins from the plant. They lost family members from rare forms of cancer and other diseases,” Solis said. “I have met with health and environmental experts familiar with lead and other toxic chemicals and they tell me of their detrimental health effects.
“We are here to work together with you, but we need to act now. Approximately 10,000 homes are expected to test positive for contaminated soil. To date, only 191 homes’ exteriors have been cleaned. The interior of only 48 homes have been cleaned. Since October, only four homes have been cleaned,” Solis said. “We are requesting State regulators act with the urgency that this situation merits to find solutions to clean up these contaminated homes quickly,” she added.
For 33 years, Exide operated its battery recycling plant in Vernon under a temporary state permit. Over the years, State inspectors documented more than 100 violations, including an overflowing pond of toxic sludge and hazardous levels of lead in the surrounding soil. Exide closed its plant in March.
Though the County has no regulatory authority, Solis this fall requested $2 million for a rapid assessment of homes and to speed up cleanup efforts. The County also offered health screenings and support services to families most at risk.
The Department of Toxic Substances Control, the agency that regulated Exide, estimates about 10,000 homes are contaminated. To expedite the cleanup process, Solis asked the Assembly Committee to consider allocating $70 million for the cleanup.
“These families have waited too long,” she said. “We need to act now.”
Fifty residents from the Los Angeles neighborhoods of El Sereno and Boyle Heights and from the cities of Commerce, Huntington Park and the City of Industry traveled to Sacramento to support Solis' efforts. They met with state legislators and some spoke at the Assembly hearing.
Click here to read a Los Angeles Times editorial on Exide and click here to read a Times story about the Assembly hearing. To view photos of the day, click here.
Dodgers' Roberts Honored by County
Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts was a big hit at the Jan. 26 County Board of Supervisors meeting, where he was recognized for his exceptional leadership.
"This is a great honor," said Roberts, the invited guest of Board Chair Hilda L. Solis.
Knowing Solis was in Sacramento at a state Assembly hearing, Roberts said he understood why she could not join him at the recognition.
"I know she's up North, doing what she does best," he said in reference to Solis' appearing before a State Assembly hearing on Exide.
Just like other Dodgers before him who broke baseball's color barriers, Roberts is the storied franchise's first manager of color. His father is African American and his mother is Japanese.
A former Dodgers outfielder, he played with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants before retiring from the field in 2009. Since then, he has worked as an analyst, coach and office executive.
In a nod to his years as a Dodgers outfielder, Roberts welcomes the opportunity to move back to Southern California. “I feel that I have now come full circle in my career and there is plenty of unfinished business left in L.A.," he said. Los Angeles County
Homeless Count: Faces Behind Numbers
More than 7,000 volunteers canvassed streets and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County from Jan. 26 to 28 to count the number of people who are homeless.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) oversaw the 2016 Greater Los Angeles Count in hopes that the collected data could help policymakers better understand the needs of the County's growing homeless population.
The count is a three-day, on the ground, Countywide census of the homeless. Volunteers walk or drive in groups to conduct a block-by-block census. The Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Metro Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and South Bay were all canvassed by counters.
Last year, LAHSA hosted the largest homeless count in the nation - and this year the number of volunteers increased significantly. Organizers anticipated 6,000 volunteers, but about 7,500 volunteers showed up, said LAHSA Executive Director Peter Lynn.
Data collected from the census could provide insights to County and City officials as they consider programs to help end homelessness.
"The homeless aren't numbers or statistics, but real people. Homeless people count," said First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis at a LAHSA event at the Los Angeles Mission on Skid Row. "They are veterans who fought for our freedom and shouldn't have to fight for services like health care or job training. They are single mothers who work two or three jobs and still cannot afford to pay rent."
And, the homeless are students at our local colleges who attend classes during the day and sleep in their cars at night. "These men, women, young girls, boys and babies all count - and they are all over the County of Los Angeles," she added
First District staff members also participated in the Homeless Count. To learn more about LAHSA, click here.
East Los Angeles
New Toy Loan Center Opens
Beginning Feb. 11, you can brighten a child's day by donating a toy at the new Toy Loan Center at the Centro Maravilla Service Center, 4716 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Through this free toy-lending program, children can borrow toys, as they learn how to responsibly care for playthings that they later return for others to enjoy.
Co-sponsored by the County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Public Social Services, this Countywide initiative gives youth a chance to "checkout" a toy in the same way they borrow books from a public library.
This new East Los Angeles location is part of a growing number of similar centers scattered throughout the County. At this Centro Maravilla location, interested individuals can drop off a donated toy at the offices of the County's Community and Senior Services Center. The center especially extends a thank you to Toyrarian Terie Haro for helping to make this new Toy Loan Center possible.
Would you like to be a “Toyrarian”? Toyrarians are individuals who loan toys. To find a Toy Loan Center near you, click here.
2016 Lunar New Year Celebrations!
On Feb. 8, many Chinese American and Vietnamese American families will celebrate the Lunar New Year.
In the Chinese culture, each year is represented by 12 animals. 2016 is the 'Year of the Monkey.' Last year was ‘the Year of the Ram,’ and in 2017, Lunar New Year festivities will observe ‘the Year of the Dog.’
The First District is home to many from China and Vietnam. In honor of the Lunar New Year, special art exhibitions, parades and festivities will take place throughout the First District, including in the city of Pomona and in Chinatown.
Visit our community calendar for a listing of events celebrating the Lunar New Year.
KPCC covered Supervisor Solis' Jan. 26 visit to Sacramento. To stream the story, click here.
SAVE THE DATE
Petition to Modify the Order for Abatement issued to Exide TechnologiesFor Small Businesses in Los Angeles County
Commerce City Council Chambers
2535 Commerce Way
Commerce, CA 90040
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
For more information, please visit the SCAQMD website at:http://bit.ly/1STI47k or contact the Public Advisor at 909-396-2432 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Public Works
900 S. Fremont Avenue Alhambra, CA 91803
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
For more information, call:
RSVP online on Event Calendar at osb.lacounty.gov.
Toy Loan Open HouseDepartment of Community and Senior Services
Centro Maravilla Service Center
4716 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
2:30 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Funding Available for Veterans in Need!
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles
For more information, visit www.habitatla.org.
San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
Residents in Alhambra, Monterey Park, Azusa & Sierra Madre are eligible for the
Rain Barrel Rebate Program
call (855) 512-1221 or visit www.sgvmwd.org
East Los Angeles Field Office
4801 East Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Phone: (323) 881-4601
Fax: (323) 887-7286
Hall of Administration Office
856 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 974-4111
Fax: (213) 613-1739
El Monte Field Office
3400 Aerojet Avenue, Suite 240
El Monte, CA 91731
Phone: (626) 350-4500
Fax: (626) 448-1573
Southeast Los Angeles Field Office
2677 Zoe Avenue
Huntington Park, CA 90255
Phone: (323) 826-6370