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Remember the Fire Victims

Thursday, October 19, 2017

While Puerto Rico struggles to recover from a devastating hurricane and unsympathetic president, California firefighters have been kept busy trying to contain a series of wildfires in Northern California.   Some of them are so bad that a Sonoma County Sheriff said some of the victim’s bodies are so badly charred that it may be impossible to confirmed their identity.  


"Some of (the remains) are merely ashes and bones," he said.


Thirty-six people have been killed since the wildfires began Sunday night, making this outbreak one of the deadliest in state history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).


Wildfires in California began burning in late August.  Watching the millions of acres of wildfires burn throughout the state, we can become complacent if we are not immediately threatened by them.  


Because Northern California is the hardest hit, there is a tendency to think wildfires are far, far away.  But, according to fire officials, there are many areas within Los Angeles County that are considered fire hazard zones. These areas are as close as Beverly Hills and Culver City.  


Would you know what to do if a wildfire occurred near you?  It may not be something you’ve ever seriously thought about, but it can happen.  And since we are in the season for natural disasters of all types, we may as well get prepared for this one too—especially since it is more like to occur in California. 


Here are a few tips to get you started:


•Create and maintain 100 feet of defensible space around your home.


•Use ember-resistant building materials to protect your home.


•Create your own emergency supply kit, as you would do in an earthquake.


•Develop your family communication and evacuation plan.


•Acquire other information and resources from emergency preparedness websites like


And, while we’re on the subject, let’s not forget our fire victims like a girl who lost both of her prosthetic legs when her house burned down.  For a list of disaster rescue organizations, visit


Since Sunday, the deadly fires have consumed thousands of homes and forced evacuations in Northern California's wine country and produced unhealthy air quality in the San Francisco Bay The 48,000-plus acre Atlas fire in Napa and Solano counties was 45% contained Friday -- up from 3% the day earlier. The 44,000-acre Nuns fire in Sonoma County -- an amalgamation of three recently merged fires north and west of Glen Ellen -- was 5% contained.

The 34,000-acre Tubbs fire in Napa and Sonoma counties was 44% under control. The 34,000-acre Redwood and Potter fires in Mendocino County were 10% contained.


Latest developments



overshadowed the fierst 6 weeks of the football season.  owners are meeting Wednesday players and unions reps are go to meet with nfl ownership in new York.  it is a regularly scheduled meeting.  announcement was made and expecgting them to meet agreement.  believe owners cannot go and demand that they stand .  they wante a national discussion about racial inequality.  they want to get back to the issue and that is whay they are kneeling  o


The San Francisco Chronicle reported that 31-year-old Katie Lehnhard of Petaluma was identified as a suspect after a fire victim reported to police that fraudulent charges had been made against her bank account.


Police say they conducted a search and found a stash of personal identification information belonging to Santa Rosa fire victims staying in a shelter.


Lynne Stark-Slater, chief deputy public defender for Sonoma County, said she does not know if Lehnhard has a lawyer.


Stark-Slater said she also is not certain if Lehnhard has been charged, as the Superior Court in Sonoma County has closed temporarily due to fires.


Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes during the wildfires in wine country.


Police advised residents to make sure their vehicles are locked and to contact the U.S. Postal Service to redirect mail if they have lost their home.


10:30 a.m.


Smoke is descending into the coastal beach town of Santa Cruz from a fire that broke out late Monday, destroying four structures and injuring five firefighters.


Rob Sherman, division chief at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, says the fire in the Santa Cruz mountains has grown from 125 acres to 150 acres and was 5 percent contained.


About 150 homes have been evacuated and dozens of people are at two evacuation centers.


The state fire agency had previously said the cause was a house fire, but spokeswoman Angela Bernheisel says it's unclear if the structure was a house.



Here are the areas of Southern California with…


Here are the areas of Southern California with the highest fire hazard potential


While fires continue to rage in Northern California, the Orange County Register reports that more than 3.5 million homes in Southern California face some wildfire danger in hazard zones. Here’s a look at the areas Cal Fire has identified as hazard zones.


The Fire Hazard Severity Zones identify fire hazard, not risk. They are based on the conditions that give a likelihood that an area will burn over a 30- to 50-year period without considering modifications such as fuel reduction efforts.  Fire risk is the potential damage a fire can do to the area under existing conditions. 


The Power of a Good Idea

Friday, October 13, 2017

Printing a weekly newspaper in this digital age can be challenging sometimes.  But believe it or not, there are still many who like reading something tangible, which you can fold and read without the help of Wi-Fi.   


Realizing the rising cost of printing, I had to get creative.  I decided Inglewood businesses were more than deserving of a contest that would inspire consumers and encourage local buying.  And, given the record-breaking development in Inglewood now, I could think of nothing more timely.  If we do not honor our own, who will?


Thus, the “Best of Inglewood” contest—in which consumers voted for the best in a number of business categories—was born.  It has exceeded my wildest dreams.  Before I knew it, my idea had turned into a contest, and now it’s an event, with huge potential for the future.


The “Best of Inglewood” has stirred such interest that folks are already talking about next year.  The first event won’t even happen until next week on Oct. 18th.


Just when you think things have come to a standstill, you get a new idea or an inspiring phone call and suddenly, you’re off to the races again.  That’s how it goes in business.  And, it’s why entrepreneurs should never give up.


I’d like to take this time to thank everyone who voted for the best businesses in Inglewood, and the businesses themselves for being so awesome.  I want to thank our faithful sponsors who played such a vital role in supporting Inglewood’s small business community.


If you haven’t already done so, make your plans to join us to celebrate the best of the best in Inglewood next Wednesday.  Details are in the cover story.  I hope to see you there!



Who will be crowned the “Best of Inglewood?”  That’s the question business owners and shoppers in Inglewood want to know.


On Wednesday, October 18, Inglewood Today will host its first ever “Best of Inglewood” Awards Ceremony at the Miracle Theatre, 226 W. Market Street.  It begins at 6pm. The ceremony will celebrate the successful “Best of Inglewood” contest, which took place in August and September.  It’s a free community event, and everyone is invited.   


Mayor James Butts, Inglewood Councilmembers and other invited officials will be present to show their support of the hard working businesses in our community.  Sponsors include MTA, Papa John’s Pizza, Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, Centinela Hospital and Hollywood Park Casino.


Businesses were nominated by Inglewood Today readers online in more than 15 different categories during the contest.  Categories include best soul food restaurant, best Mexican food restaurant; best barbershop, dental clinic, car dealership and much more. During the contest, weekly prizes were given away to people voting online.  Prizes included one year of pizza, MTA TAP cards, and $100 cash prizes.


On Wednesday, winners will be announced, and awards and prizes will go to the top vote getters in each category, as well as the top winner overall.  


“Best of Inglewood” began as a way for Inglewood Today publisher Willie Brown to mobilize local business owners around a positive cause.  With the city progressing so quickly, Brown wanted to inspire more appreciation and recognition within the business community.  At the same time, he wanted to encourage people to buy locally from Inglewood-based businesses.  This contest has achieved both ends.


The celebration will include live entertainment, food, prizes, awards and lots of networking.  The celebration is free, but you must RSVP to guarantee a seat.  Coverage of the event will be published in the special edition on October 26.  To save your spot email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .





Nationwide — The NBA pre-season has already started, and the league office has issued a memo to all 30 teams about the country’s national anthem. The memo included the restatement of an existing rule requiring all personnel (including players) to stand for the national anthem.


NBA commissioner Adam Silver comments, “We have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.”


Here are some quotes from the memo he released:


* “The NBA has a rule that players, coaches and trainers stand respectfully for the anthem. The league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the anthem. (Teams do not have the discretion to waive this rule).”


* “Our teams’ focus remains on unity and collective action that leads to meaningful change in society. The players have embraced their roles in those efforts and we are proud of the work they do in our communities.”


* “We believe sports are a unifier and this is an opportunity for the NBA to once again lead by its core values of equality, inclusion and unity and to bridge divides and bring people together.”


The memo also offered alternatives for players to express their political and social views.


So, the question remains: Will Black NBA players follow in suit with this requirement or will they #TakeaKneel?


President Trump’s recent remarks on Twitter prompted widespread protests when he uninvited champion player Stephen Curry to the White House, and referred to Black athletes who don’t stand for the anthem as “sons of b****es”.


Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant spoke out about the derogatory comments, and LeBron James called the president a “bum” and even suggested people who voted for him were “uneducated.”


Affordable Living, Public Benefit

Friday, October 13, 2017

By Veronica Mackey


Affordable housing was the main focus of Tuesday’s Inglewood Council Meeting.  Mayor James Butts announced several weeks ago that a housing trust fund was being started to help residents meet housing costs, in addition to programs already in place.


A staffer from the Inglewood Housing Authority gave a report on affordable housing in the city—its history, current status and future.


Affordable housing programs in Inglewood began in 1976, and serve both renters and home buyers.  Rental developments include Good Shepherd, Grace Manor, Osage Senior Villas, Grace Manor, Aerick Apartments, PATH Villas Osage Apartments and Regency Towers.  The city broke ground 2 weeks ago on the new PATH Eucalyptus senior development, which will be completed next year.    Since 2011, the City has begun and/or completed 9 affordable housing projects.


There are currently 22,942 renter-occupied and 13,447 owner-occupied residents in the city.   The percentage of total affordable units is 12.4% of all rental properties assisted by the City.  A total of 1,340 Section 8 vouchers have been issued. Councilman Ralph Franklin said residents were “concerned about the demise of the Section 8 program, and we now have something in place.”


The City of Inglewood has earmarked $2 million for first-time home buyers.  The maximum loan will be $200,000.  An additional $4 million will assist qualified non-profit entities in acquiring and rehabbing multi-unit apartment buildings.  Another $2 million in bond funds will be used to purchase vacant residential land.  The City now has 19 vacant lots that can be used.  


A chart showed the average rent in Inglewood, compared to Gardena, Carson, Hawthorne, Los Angeles and California as a whole.  Inglewood has the lowest rent, averaging $1,930 to $2,250 from 2012 to 2017.  Los Angeles increased rent by 27%, while Inglewood increased rents by 24%. 


A woman said the comparisons with the state and surrounding cities were not accurate because Inglewood has an overall lower income that other cities.


Erick Holly, Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce President, reiterated that Inglewood is still the lowest city out of the entire South Bay. 


Councilman Eloy Morales noted.  “Rent has always been more reasonable here for what you get.”


Some of the factors affecting rent increases are:  lack of development, more people living in urban areas, and an improved economy.


With confirmation from Royce Jones, counsel for redevelopment, Mayor James Butts explained why the push by some residents for Inglewood to build affordable housing on the site of the proposed Clippers arena is unfeasible.  Besides the fact that the City has an agreement with the FAA not to build new homes because the lot is underneath a flight path, Jones concurred that if the city were to break the agreement and buy back the parcel, it would cost roughly 10 times (around $1 million) more than it did 20-25 years ago. 


Second, the City would have to discount the land for developers to build.  “If the developer pays $30-$40 million, it would go toward reimbursing the FAA for the money it loaned us.  We would lose tens of millions of dollars out of the General Fund,” Butts said.  


Royce mentioned the employment benefit of building the arena vs. affordable housing.  Butts added, “That goes along with $15 million in property taxes, ticket taxes, parking taxes, sales taxes.  It gets to be stupid...”


During closing remarks Councilman George Dotson thanked workers at Ed Vincent Park for re-hanging the flag, for the opportunity to walk to school with Inglewood students and the 6th Avenue Block Club for an informative meeting.


 Councilman Alex Padilla recalled last week’s Fedex job fair.  The new facility is opening right across the street from Rogers Park. “It was standing room  only,” he said.  Padilla also announced the annual October Carnival this weekend (Friday through Sunday night) at St. John’s Chrysostom Church.  


Mayor Butts used his time to emphasize that a lot of the rhetoric heard about the City’s intention to use the parcel for the proposed Clippers’ arena is not true.  “We have some enemies in our community that are actively trying to sabotage some of the greatest development to happen in the city.  We have people going door-to-door in Councilman Padilla’s district, knocking on doors and passing out literature (that the City is taking their homes).”  He reiterated that the City is not going to take anyone’s home to build the arena, and added, “There is no other city that can say within 3 years’ time they are on the verge of acquiring 3 professional sports teams.”


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