L.A. County beaches worst in state

first_img“The combination of record drought and completed Clean Beach Initiative projects led to the cleanest summer water quality in years,” said Heal the Bay President Mark Gold. “With more beach cleanup projects on the horizon, the prospects for this positive summer becoming a trend are great.” The group noted that between April 1 and Sept. 3, several Santa Monica Bay beaches exceeded newly adopted bacteria pollution standards. The worst offenders were the beach at Santa Monica Pier, Marie Canyon in Malibu, Dockweiler State Beach at Ballona Creek and the beach at Redondo Municipal Pier. Long Beach also continued to struggle with water quality, with more than half of the monitoring locations receiving grades of C or worse. Last year, however, nearly 88 percent of the beaches scored poorly. All 54 of Ventura County’s beaches got grades of A or B, as did 85 percent of the beaches in Santa Barbara County. In Orange County, 96 out of 104 beaches received A grades. SANTA MONICA – Los Angeles County beaches had the worst water quality in the state over the summer, despite record-low rainfall and improvements at the notoriously polluted Santa Monica Bay, an environmental group reported Thursday. Heal the Bay assigned letter grades ranging from A to F to 494 beaches along the California coast, based on bacteria pollution levels detected at monitoring stations from Memorial Day through Labor Day. According to the group, 17 percent of Los Angeles County beaches earned F grades during the summer, making it the worst county in the state for beach water quality. But Santa Monica Bay, which has a history of exceeding bacteria pollution levels, performed well, with area beaches receiving 93 percent A’s and B’s – besting the statewide average. Only four of the 67 Santa Monica Bay beaches received poor marks, compared with 16 last summer. The report mirrored similar conclusions released in August by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which that said the lack of rain last season meant less polluted urban runoff in storm-drain systems.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Door-to-door campaign pushes college diplomas

first_img“The idea is that we give these families the exposure they wouldn’t get otherwise because of a lack of resources or because of their economic conditions.” For parents like Yadira Reyes, whose son Gerardo is in third grade, the early morning knock is not a nuisance – it’s a welcome visit. “It is great to know that his school is involved in programs like these, they can help me stress to him the importance of college,” she said. Sisters Claudia and Vilma Lopez signed up with Project GRAD when they were freshmen at San Fernando High School. Now in their last year at California State University, Northridge, they said the program was instrumental to their success. “There are two of us and we are the first to go to college in our family,” Vilma Lopez said. “This gave us all the information we needed for college. Our parents don’t know these things.” Vilma, a history major, said she was so inspired by the Project GRAD program, she plans to become a teacher herself. “It comes full circle,” she said. [email protected] (818) 713-3634160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ARLETA – As Laura Hurtada knocked on her last door of the morning, the energetic mother of four could not hold back her smile. Just four years earlier, Hurtada had been on the other side of the door when a volunteer from Project GRAD came to talk about her daughter’s future education. She made a commitment then to get Brenda, then just a sixth-grader, through college, and worked all day Saturday to elicit the same promise from other parents. “Most parents don’t even think about college, they think they can’t afford it, they are scared and don’t have enough information,” Hurtada said. “But with this program there are workshops, and support … it makes you feel like you are a part of the process.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Now Hurtada joins in every year to volunteer her time and get other parents involved. “At first I was nervous about knocking,” Hurtada said. “I thought people would slam the door on me but it’s amazing how people receieve you once they know you are there to help their children.” The Walk for Success program is a key component organized by Project GRAD, a nine-year-old nonprofit organization now operating in 13 Los Angeles schools. It offers scholarships up to $6,000 to students who graduate from high school and go on to college. The act of going door-to-door and getting parents to sign contracts is key to the success of the program, explained Nancy Garcia, a Project GRAD representative at Beachy Avenue Elementary. last_img read more