Join Tom for his summer bike ride series, Tour LaBonge. Each ride begins at 6p.m. (Kickstands up at 6:15) and follows an 8- to 12-mile route through the city. A police escort leads and follows the group to ensure safe passage.
All riders must wear helmets, be at least 10 years of age and sign waivers. The rides last about two hours altogether, including a pit-stop at the mid-way point for ice cream and water.
Here are the event dates in July:
July 1 - Positively Fourth St. - Shatto Park parking lot, 3191 W. 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020
July 8 - Toluca Lake/NoHo - Council District 4 Valley Field Office, 10116 Riverside Dr., LA, CA 91602
July 15 - Los Angeles River/Griffith Park - Mulholland Fountain, corner of Los Feliz Blvd. and Riverside Dr., LA 90027
July 22 - Hollywood and the Miracle Mile - Council District 4 Hollywood Field Office, 6501 Fountain Ave., LA, CA 90028
At a two-hour commencement ceremony at the Greek Theater today, Councilmember Tom LaBonge was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from John Marshall High School in the Franklin Hills.
In a moving speech the Councilmember recalled the people he met and lessons he learned during his long association with this landmark Los Angeles school.
"Never, ever give up," the Councilmember told students. "If you get knocked down, pick yourself up and keep going. Coach Milt Davis taught me that. He was a coach at Marshall High School."
The Councilmember encouraged the approximately 800 graduates to follow in the footsteps of their accomplished alumni: groundbreaking AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and NFL Hall-of-Famer Mike Haynes.
"Each one of them stood up and made a difference," the Councilmember said. "Be that one person who stands up and makes a difference in the world."
Councilmember LaBonge, who was captain of the Marshall High Barristers football team and an all-league center, graduated in 1971. His football jersey, emblazoned with the number 50, was retired last fall.
To see more photos from the graduation, click here.
About 75 cyclists rode between skyscrapers, through tunnels and across the bridges of downtown Los Angeles last night as Councilmember LaBonge launched his third annual summer bike ride series.
The ride, which began and ended at City Hall, promoted cycling as a cheap, environmentally friendly and healthy form of transportation. Police escorts guided riders throughout the 12-mile tour. One squad car closed off intersections so that bikers could pass safely through. A second car re-opened the intersection to traffic after bikers had passed.
"There's no better view of downtown Los Angeles than from the Sixth Street bridge," said Councilmember LaBonge as riders crossed over the historic span. "And there's no better way to really see this city than from the seat of a bicycle."
"Biking is good for the planet, good for the city and good for your waistline, too," LaBonge said.
The ride included a pitstop at Fire Station #4, where the councilmember served popsicles and water to all riders. Riders came from as far away as Northridge adn the San Gabriel Valley.
Another ride next Wednesday will explore the Wilshire area with a ride on the 4th St. Bike route.
About 250 hikers scaled Mount Hollywood at sunset last night during Councilmember LaBonge's 10th Annual Summer Solstice hike. Members of Los Angeles Sister Cities organizations and the Los Angeles Consular Corps joined area hikers - two-and four-leggers alike - on what has become the traditional way to kick off summer in Griffith Park.
Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, Director of the Griffith Observatory, announced to the gathered crowd before the hike that the solstice had actually occurred on Sunday night, Father’s Day, which was an inopportune time for the public event. Once at the top, the crowd was treated to a potluck dinner of international cuisine and a fly-over from a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter.
“This hike has become a tradition in Council District 4, for the Los Angeles international community, avid hikers and people from the community who simply enjoy the experience,” said Councilmember LaBonge. “The views of Los Angeles are unparalleled.”
Councilmember LaBonge is president of Sister Cities of Los Angeles, Inc. The Sister Cities program, established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, fosters diplomacy among cities in different countries to promote cultural, educational and commercial exchange.
Among the hikers were Jose Alfredo Grace' Lima, Consul General of Brazil and members of the Sister City organizations from Berlin, Germany; Kaunas, Lithuania and St. Petersburg, Russia.
To view more photos from the hike, click here.
Please join Tom on Monday, June 22nd at 6 p.m. for his 10th Annual Summer Solstice Hike to the top of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. The hike salutes the Los Angeles Sister Cities and the Los Angeles Consular Corps.
Please meet Tom at the north end of the Griffith Observatory Parking lot at 6 p.m. The hike is a 1.5-mile, gentle climb to the peak. Please join in a potluck dinner at the top.
Councilmember LaBonge congratulated the 190 graduates of East Valley High School last night as the first class to complete matriculation at the new school.
"You have had the privilege to attend a brand new school, which is rare," the Councilmember said. "Congratulations to all you, and remember you are the first Falcons of East Valley High School."
The two-hour ceremony included speeches from Senior Class President April Molina; Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Tamar Galatzan and LAUSD Local District 2 Superintendent Alma Pena-Sanchez.
East Valley High School opened in 2006 as part of the largest school building program in the district's history. More than 132 new schools are being built to accommodate explosive growth in the city's school-age population. The primary goal of new construction is to provide every student the opportunity to attend a two-semester neighborhood school.
The school's new athletic field was installed this year and a new swimming pool will open soon.
Councilmember LaBonge will launch his third annual summer bike ride series on Wednesday, July 24th at 6 p.m. with a 10- to 12-mile bike ride in Downtown Los Angeles. The rides - which are FREE - promote a cheap, non-polluting, healthy mode of transportation at a time when traffic is one of the most pressing issues facing the City of Los Angeles.
To see a map of the route for Wednesday's ride, click here.
The Councilmember launched the tour in 2007 after participating in a delegation visit to Berlin, Germany, where cyclists share the road peacefully with motorists.
"There's so much competition for space on the roadway in Los Angeles that riders really have to be vigilant about protecting themselves," said Councilmember LaBonge. "Much older cities than Los Angeles - with narrower streets and other challenges - have created space for everyone to coexist on the roadway. We have to make that happen here."
Tour LaBonge rides are free and open to the public. There's one stop for ice cream at the mid-way point of each ride. See the flier on the Council District 4 home page for the locations of each ride and check back for the routes one week in advance of each event.
Dancers, musicians and singers in brilliant folk costume entertained thousands of Grove shoppers on Sunday at the 4th Annual Sister Cities Cultural Day. This day-long international performing arts festival was presented free of charge by the City of Los Angeles, The Grove and Los Angeles Sister Cities, Inc.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge is president of the Sister Cities non-profit organization. Between performances, he and a dozen Los Angeles-based Consuls General took a moment to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Sister City relationships between Los Angeles and both Nagoya, Japan and Eilat, Israel.
The Sister Cities program, established in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, fosters diplomacy among cities in different countries to promote cultural, educational and commercial exchange.
To see photos from the event, click here. Among the featured artists was a finalist from the Israeli version of “American Idol;” dancers from Lusaka, Zambia; a Berlin chanteuse and Taiko drummers from Nagoya.