Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The popular Griffith Park hiking trail is open

Los Angeles - On the morning of August 27, 2007 Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge and the Department's General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri joined local hikers on a 30 minute trek up the newly reopened Charlie Turner Trailhead in Griffith Park.

The morning hike was organized to celebrate the reopening of 3 Griffith Park hiking trails. The Mount Hollywood/Charlie Turner and Vermont trails are once again open to the public, as well as Royce Canyons.

The popular hiking trails lead to a 1,625-foot summit (Mount Hollywood) which overlooks Los Angeles and because of that has some beautiful City and ocean views. The trails had been closed for almost 4 months since the Griffith Park brush fire on May 8, 2007.

Other hiking trails in burn areas remain closed until further notice (check the Department's Griffith Park blog for updates: http://www.laparks.org/gp_blog.htm) .

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Community drum concerts at 3 L.A. City Parks

Los Angeles - Three City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facilities hosted concerts in August featuring acclaimed musicians performing with children ages 8-14 who learned to play the drums through the Drum Days L.A. program.

Drum Days L.A. is a multicultural celebration of the power of rhythm, with the theme "Diversity through Drumming". The Department is partnering with Remo Drums, which is celebrating its 5oth anniversary in 2007.

Kids learned one of five styles of drumming from master percussionists during a series of workshops for low-income youth. The children got to show off their new drumming skills by being a part of a community drum circle at one of the three park concerts.

Hollenbeck Park hosted the first concert on August 11, 2007. The young drummers performed Middle Eastern style drumming with the Poncho Sanchez Jazz Band and Souhail Kaspar and the SK Near East Music Ensemble.

The second community concert was held at Sycamore Grove Park. Kids from Cypress Park performed with the Poncho Sanchez Jazz Band and played a Latin beat. The Taiko Drumming with On Ensemble drummed with a group from Alpine Rec Center.

South Park's newly renovated band shell hosted the last concert. Kids from William Nickerson performed with Leon Mobley and Da Lion and showed off their African style drumming skills. Youth from South Park Rec Center performed Brazilian style drumming with Linda Yudin and Viver Brasil.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

The "NEW" Levitt Pavilion at MacArthur Park
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Inaugural Concert

Los Angeles - Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilmember Ed P. Reyes and the Department of Recreation and Parks were proud to reopen the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts at MacArthur Park on August 8, 2007. The ceremony also launched a series of 30 free summer concerts at the restored pavilion.

The $1.7 million project is a joint effort of the Department, The Friends of the Levitt Pavilion-MacArthur Park and the Mortimer Levitt Foundation.

Major improvements include restoration of the architectural style from 1957 and installation of a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. The park was landscaped by the Department to create an amphitheater setting. According to Councilmember Reyes, the band shell and adjacent park area have been upgraded to present free concerts under the stars.

"Our goal was to provide the community with quality entertainment at a deteriorating band shell that had been vacant since 2001," Reyes said. "Fortunately, we found a partnership in Levitt, who came through with flying colors to provide [free] top-notch entertainment for all the community to enjoy."

The concert season will run through September 16; there will be 90-minute shows Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with each night having its own theme -world music, dance rhythms, musica Latina and American roots. Children's nights will be Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and will feature entertainment for kids.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

Thursday, September 06, 2007

City seasonal pools will remain open through September 16

Los Angeles - Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri and Kaiser Permanente Representatives were at Griffith Park pool on August 23 to announce the extension of City seasonal pools.

With financial support from Kaiser Permanente, 14 seasonal pools operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks will remain open for nearly two additional weeks beyond their traditional Labor Day closing.

"Operation Splash" is a $1.2 million partnership between the Department and Kaiser that began in 2006 and has enabled participants to receive free swim lessons and supplies. The program has also included free family swim days and special events.

The extended seasonal pools will be available for use daily from September 4 through September 16. Hours will be 3:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. September 4-7; noon to 5:00 p.m. September 8-9; 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. September 10-14; and 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. September 15-16. Year-round pools will begin their off-season hours following the holiday.

The Free Swim Program will also continue, making it possible for children age 17 or younger, seniors ages 65 or older, and the disabled to swim for free. Children ages 6 or younger must be potty-trained and accompanied by an adult at all times. Adults with a City Library Card can also swim for free; otherwise, the charge for patrons ages 18-64 is $1.50.

For a list of seasonal pools that have been extended, as well as year-round facilities please call the Department's Aquatics Division at (323)906-7953 or visit our website at: http://www.lacity.org/rap/press/rappress31447353_08222007.pdf.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711