Councilmember LaBonge joined several environmental groups at the Albertsons in Los Feliz today to remind the public to bring reusable bags to the grocery store instead of adding plastic bags to already overtaxed landfills.
Research shows that Californians are good about obtaining reusable grocery bags, but they're not always great about using them when they shop, said Christine Flowers-Ewing, executive director of Keep California Beautiful, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the state's remarkable natural beauty.
"We all know the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," Councilmember LaBonge said. "Today, we're going to add a fourth R: Remember. Remember to bring those recycled bags into the supermarket and use them."
The councilmember helped Keep California Beautiful launch its statewide "Got Your Bags?" campaign by handing out free bags to lucky Albertsons shoppers.
For more information on the "Got Your Bags?" campaign, click here.
Councilmember LaBonge satisfied a goal that dates back to his high school years when he cut the ribbon on a new track and field at his alma mater, John Marshall High School in the Franklin Hills."
Along with his classmate, Hall-of-Fame cornerback Mike Haynes, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and LAUSD Board Vice President Yolie Flores Aguilar, Tom cut the ribbon before the Homecoming game against the Lincoln High School Tigers.
"I've waited a long time for this moment, 40 years to be exact," the Councilmember said at the pre-game ceremony. "This is a great moment for all Marshall students: past, present and future. We all now have a field we can be proud of." Hundreds of students and alumni filled the stands and cheered the Marshall Barristers to a 28-0 victory.
Councilmember LaBonge helped kick off the annual Halloween festivities at the Los Angeles Zoo today by tossing a pumpkin into the hippo pond. The annual Boo at the Zoo event will be held this weekend and next. There will be trick or treating, spider exhibits, pumpkin-carving and more. For more information, please click here.
In several dramatic moves, cranes lowered ten sections – thirty linear feet in total – of the original Berlin Wall into position in the Los Angeles Museum District last night in anticipation of a November 8 ceremony to commemorate the momentous 1989 destruction of the wall that signaled the end of the Communist era.
This morning, Councilmember Tom LaBonge helped unveil the largest section of the wall outside of Berlin at onto the lawn of 5900 Wilshire Blvd., directly across the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
"It's hard to believe this, but people throughout the world thought they'd never see the day that the Berlin Wall would come down. Now, here it is on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles," said Councilmember LaBonge. "This wall is a enduring symbol of how the world can change for the better in one dramatic historic moment, and I'm very proud that it's here in Los Angeles." The wall sections were acquired by The Wende Museum of Culver City, which houses one of the largest collections of German Cold War art and artifacts in the world. The installation gives Southern Californians the chance to see and feel the actual 11‐foot – tall sections of the infamous wall that separated East and West Berlin from 1961-1989.
Councilmember LaBonge, president of Los Angeles Sister Cities, Inc., is a co-sponsor of the Nov. 8 event. For more information on the event, click here.
Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Herb Wesson announced a coordinated effort to keep the streets of Koreatown clean. At a press conference in historic Chapman Plaza today, the councilmembers announced the plan with the Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar.
The Bureau of Sanitation assesses a bulky item fee to apartment buildings for disposal of abandoned furniture and other large items left on sidewalks. The densely populated Koreatown area, where streets are lined with apartment buildings, experiences a greater preponderance of large refuse than other areas of the city, however.
Councilmember LaBonge decided recently to augment the city’s collection efforts in Koreatown to keep the sidewalks clear of abandoned furniture. The Council District 4 beautification team as well as the Wilshire Center Business Improvement District clean-up staff are working with sanitation staff to pick up bulky items throughout the area on alternate days of the week.
“I’m a firm believer in the broken window theory of safe cities,” said Councilmember LaBonge. “Studies show over and over again that clean streets are safe streets. We want to keep Koreatown as clean and safe as we possibly can through this coordinated effort.”
Councilmembers Wesson and LaBonge share the Koreatown area, with Councilmember LaBonge on the north side of 6th St. and Councilmember Wesson on the south side.
To request pick-up service from the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, please click here.
The Sheiks of Hollywood High School had their moment in the spotlight on Friday night, when they faced the Titans of Roybal High at their homecoming game, their first home football game ever under permanent field lights.
The lights were installed by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) at the insistence of former school board member Marlene Canter after Councilmember LaBonge supplied temporary lights four years in a row for the homecoming game.
"I carried the ball for four years so that Hollywood High School could experience the Friday night football phenomenon," Councilmember LaBonge said. "But Marlene brought it into the end zone by providing permanent lights for this season, and every one for this year forward."
At a ceremony during half-time, Hollywood High School Principal Jaime Morales thanked the officials for their support and presented Councilmember LaBonge and Ms. Canter with Sheik football jerseys and jackets.
The football team showed its appreciation by shutting out Roybal, 47-0.
Councilmember LaBonge welcomed 3,600 middle and high school students to the Greek Theater on Tuesday for a free symphony concert sponsored by Friends of the Observatory (FOTO), the non-profit organization that raises funds for the Griffith Observatory.
The event followed a FOTO fundraiser on Sunday night where the Symphony in the Glen orchestra played the same program for about 500 paying guests on the front lawn of the Observatory. The proceeds from Sunday night's performance paid for the students' concert on Tuesday.
Each piece of music performed was inspired by the night sky in commemoration of the International Year of Astronomy. The Symphony in the Glen performed both concerts. Guest star Leonard Nimoy narrated a piece, "Observations," which was composed by the Symphony in the Glen conductor Arthur Rubinstein specifically for these events.
"This great marriage of education and entertainment was exciting for every one of us involved," said Councilmember LaBonge, whose office helped coordinate the student concert.
Tuesday's event at the Greek happened to fall on the Councilmember's birthday. The symphony played "Happy Birthday" to him as the students sang along.
Tom joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Speaker of the California Assembly Karen Bass, Council President Eric Garcetti and a host of California officials in supporting construction of a High-Speed Train system for this state.
At a press conference at Union Station today, the group gathered to announce their joint request for $4.7 million in federal stimulus funding for the engineering, design and construction of the new train system.
"High-speed rail is going to be a big engine for the California economy," said Assembly Speaker Bass (D-Los Angeles). "And that will help California continue to be a powerful engine for the national economy. Today's application for California to receive federal ARRA funds is the spark that will get that engine started."
The state is applying for funds to build high-speed trail lines from Los Angeles to Anaheim, San Francisco to San Jose and Fresno to Bakersfield. For more information on High-Speed Rail in California, please click here.