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San Fernando
Thursday, May 30, 2024


The City of San Fernando celebrated the opening of its $14.5 million aquatics complex Aug. 23. The complex is said to be the only one in the Valley large enough and sufficiently equipped enough to host conference swimming and diving championships. Situated in Cesar E. Chavez Park at 208 Park Ave., the complex was designed for those of all ages and abilities and includes a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, a 25-meter recreation pool and a splash zone. It will be open year-round and include a 16,000 square foot building with locker rooms, classrooms and an all-purpose meeting room. San Fernando Mayor Nury Martinez considers the building of the complex to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “When we designed this facility, we wanted to create more than a pool,” she stated. “We wanted a destination. We wanted a gathering place, and we wanted one more thing that the community could be proud of.” Martinez went on to say that the complex was designed so that instruction, team practice and recreational swimming could take place at the same time. For now, the complex will be operated and staffed by the County of Los Angeles. In the meantime, the City of San Fernando is reviewing proposals for a long-term operator. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Calabasas Hills Award: The Cheesecake Factory Inc. has received the platinum award in casual dining from Restaurants & Institutions magazine. The publication asked more than 3,100 consumers to rate nearly 120 chain restaurants in its annual Consumers’ Choice in Chains survey. Eight customer satisfaction attributes were considered: food quality, menu variety, value, service, atmosphere, cleanliness, reputation and convenience. “We are delighted to once again receive the platinum award in the Consumers’ Choice in Chains survey,” said David Overton, Cheesecake Factory Inc. chairman and CEO. “We strive to provide our guests with an exceptional experience and receiving the top overall score in casual dining in a survey voted on by consumers tells us that our brand strategy is as relevant today as it was when our first restaurant opened 30 years ago.” This is the 28th year Restaurants & Institutions has presented this award. Encino Founder: Visual effects artist Ray Feeney will receive the VES Founders Award from the Visual Effects Society at its annual meeting in September. Feeney, president of RFX Inc., is being recognized for going beyond the call of duty for the visual effects industry and with the society for which he has served on many committees and given his time over the past decade. He is a founding member of the society and served on the board and as vice chairman. “With technologies changing the creative landscape so quickly, I think VES has a unique role to play not only in the visual effects world, but in the larger entertainment industry, so I’m honored to accept this award,” Feeney said. Feeney has received multiple Academy Awards, the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation and the 2007 Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar. Tujunga Voyage: Tujunga artist Danielle Eubank was chosen as the artist to document The Phoenicia Expedition, a journey to circumnavigate Africa. The expedition left Syria on Aug. 1, will sail around the Cape of Good Hope and end in the Mediterranean Sea. The expedition sets out to prove that the Phoenicians had the sailing ability to travel around Africa nearly 2,000 years before the first documented Westerner, Eubank said. British businessman and adventurer Philip Beale leads the 17,000-mile expedition and a crew of 20. Universal City Conference: The governors of 10 states along the U.S.-Mexico border gathered in Universal Studios for a conference on environmental protection, climate change and building commerce in the border region. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger served as chair of the 26th annual Border Governors Conference, placing particular emphasis on the benefits of building green economies throughout the border region. Event partner General Electric helped underscore the economic and environmental benefits of establishing the border region as a leader in innovative, clean technology. Moreover, nearly 70 clean-tech companies from both sides of the border displayed their products, including electric cars, solar-powered flashlights and non-toxic cleaning products, at the BGC’s first ever Green Technology Exposition. Other issues discussed included border infrastructure and security, water management, economic development and emergency response and disaster preparedness. CONEJO VALLEY Thousand Oaks Web Site: The California Institute of Finance at California Lutheran University has launched a Web site that provides financial information to low-income and minority women. The site, www.BreakFreee.org – Economic Empowerment for Women (The Extra “E” Empowers), supplies free assistance and targets people and organizations that offer support to women. Topics addressed on the site range from budgeting and debt relief to retirement and estate planning. For women who want to improve their financial situation but are unsure where to start, a series of real-life situations are provided. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards provided the institute with a $40,000 grant in 2007 to fund the project’s first two years with the expectation that it would become a model for similar programs across the country. Some of the students in CLU’s Master of Business Administration and Certificate in Financial Planning programs helped develop the online center. Information: [email protected] or (888) 372-4155. Service: High school and college students converged on California Lutheran University in August to discern how they are being called to serve. Invitation to Service was designed 16 years ago to help 15- to 25-year-olds from throughout the Southwestern United States figure out their career calling. Participants explore careers as pastors, administrators, Navy chaplains, teachers and more. The program included speakers, music, small group discussions and one-on-one meetings with people working in various fields. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Glen Egertson, associate director of Lutheran Retreats, Camps & Conferences and Camp Director of El Camino Pines. Launch: Michele Neff Hernandez, creator of www.widowsbond.com and the Widow Match Program, has launched the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation. The foundation is committed to providing compassionate community support to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. It will focus on creating and implementing universal programs dedicated to the ideals of hope and healing and addressing the emotional and physical needs of those dealing with loss. The foundation is planning its first annual National Conference on Widowhood from July 17 19, 2009 in San Diego. The scheduled conference events will include an outdoor benefit concert, guest speakers, workshops on a variety of topics, awards ceremony, and the Widow Dash 5K Run /Walk. Information: [email protected]. ANTELOPE VALLEY Palmdale Freestyle: The City of Palmdale offered a free “Friday Night Freestyle” skatepark program Aug. 22, with music and raffle prizes provided by 100.1 The Edge, at the Christopher O’Leary Skatepark at Domenic Massari Park. The event was geared for both serious and recreational skaters and bladers. “This is great way for skating enthusiasts to end their summer vacations and kick off their new school year,” said Recreation Supervisor Lonnie Shipman. WaterSense: The City of Palmdale has joined a federal program to promote water conservation and help residents identify water-efficient products. By participating in the WaterSense Program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the city receives free access to the program websites and websites of other program partners. The WaterSense label will indicate which products and programs meet water efficiency and performance criteria, said Palmdale Director of Public Works Mike Mischel. Information: www.epa.gov/watersense. Lancaster Blood: Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) is in urgent need of blood donors who have Type O-Negative blood. All blood types are needed, but Type O-Negative blood is getting close to crisis levels since it can be given to any patient with any blood type in an emergency situation. Blood donations decrease nationwide during the summer months, but this is also the time of year that has the most accidents and traumas. The AVH Blood Donor Center is at 1600 West Ave. J next to the lab in the Outpatient Services Lobby. Donors can call to make an appointment or walk in during the center’s operating hours, which are Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All donors receive a free cholesterol test. Information: (661) 949-5622. SIMI VALLEY Simi Valley Police: The Simi Valley Police Foundation will have a barbecue and open house for the Simi Valley Police Department Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The occasion will mark the department’s 10th anniversary. The public is invited to join in the celebration at the police station, which is at 3901 Alamo St. Activities will include tours of the police station, a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new Simi Valley Police History Display, K-9 demonstrations, Disaster Service Workers team demonstration, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad demonstration, and Ventura County Fire Department Repelling demonstration. In addition, there will be a special kids’ area and the Crime Prevention Unit will be giving away bicycles and other great prizes.

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