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AROUND THE VALLEYS

Agoura Hills The top level of Parking Structure A at Mission College is now more than just a place to leave your vehicle it’s now the place where energy from the sun is collected to provide power for the campus. On May 21, Los Angeles Community College District trustees and Mission College officials celebrated the completion of a $1.9 million solar farm built on top of the structure which itself was opened last year. After a “flipping of the switch” dedication, the plan was to release a flock of butterflies as a symbol of how even the smallest contribution can have a significant impact on our environment. Unfortunately, the day was so windy, the butterflies refused to cooperate with only a few deciding to take wing. Digital Energy, Inc., based in Westlake Village, was the architect for the solar farm. There are three elements to the project that make it stand out, according to Digital Energy President Jai Agaram. First, he said, it’s aesthetically pleasing. “It’s not just a big shed with a flat roof,” said Agaram.” The columns were specifically designed not only to support the photovoltaic panels but also to provide strong visual appeal. Second, “the panels are tilted to enhance performance,” Agaram went on. “It’s cheaper to put it flat,” but then you do not achieve the same level of performance. The third feature is that, because it was built on top of a tall building, the project needed to be designed to withstand greater seismic forces and structural loading. The photovoltaic modules cover about 17,000 square feet an area roughly size of a professional ice hockey rink and are expected to produce enough energy to fulfill eight percent of LAMC’s total energy needs. College officials estimate they will save about $80,000 per year in reduced energy costs. — Linda Coburn SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Calabasas Heart: Cardiologist Dr. Jignesh Patel, associate medical director of the heart transplant program at the University of California, Los Angeles, discussed how the spread of heart disease in developing nations will affect local employers with global operations June 11 at UST Global Calabasas. During the program, Patel discussed how the effects of tobacco marketing and the influence of Western lifestyles on developing nations have contributed to the problem. North Hollywood Translation: Interpreting Services International (ISI), a national provider of cultural and linguistic services, now offers workshops to health care organizations on translations, compliance and diversity training. The workshops include “How to Work with an Interpreter,” “Cultural Diversity and Awareness Skills-Building” and “Cultural and Linguistic Compliance.” The seminars can be of one, two or three-hour duration. The diversity-training workshop can discuss specific needs of groups that might carry importance to an organization, for example: hearing impaired, Armenian, Latino or Middle Eastern cultures. Information: (818) 753-9181 Tarzana Green: East West Bank and Southern California Edison launched “Go Green,” a program intended to encourage consumers and small businesses to adopt sustainability practices that will protect the environment and preserve natural resources. Part of the program will be a series of workshops providing information, training and support for small businesses on how to make wise choices on energy management and efficiency. Universal City Entries: NBC Universal is accepting submissions for its 3rd annual Comedy Short Cuts Film Festival. The festival showcases short, comedic films with culturally diverse production teams, casts, or themes. The winning filmmaker will have the opportunity to meet with NBC Universal’s top network, studio, cable, and film executives to pitch their projects and ideas. The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2008. For more information visit www.comedy shortcuts.net. Van Nuys Playroom: Valley Presbyterian Hospital recently unveiled its new Bluebell Railway Playroom near the Labor and Delivery Unit. “The room’s initial purpose,” said Judie Stein, director of the Stein Family Foundation that funded the project, “is to give attention to children while their adults’ attention is elsewhere. We’ve given them a sanctuary of sorts to prepare for whatever is happening at Valley Presbyterian,whether it be a loved one’s illness or a new baby in their home.” Actor Goran Visnjic of “ER” and actress Ashley Judd hosted an ice cream and cookie grand opening. China: The Greater SFV Chamber still has space available on their upcoming trip to China, Oct. 21 to Oct. 29. A pre-trip orientation will take place June 26, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the community room at the Van Nuys Flyaway building, 7610 Woodley Ave. The $1,599 trip cost includes: roundtrip airfare; 4- and 5-star hotel accommodations; three meals a day; deluxe bus tours; and English-speaking guides. Sightseeing, hands-on experience of authentic Chinese life, and contact with select Chinese businesses are on the itinerary. The deadline to register for the trip is July 28. For more information, call the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber at (818) 989-0300 or visit www.sanfernandovalleychamber.com. Woodland Hills Seniors: Lea Pipes received the Meritorious Services Award from the Aging Services of California, an advocate for quality nonprofit senior living and care in the state. Pipes has served at the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodland Hills for over 25 years and is currently the administrative director of community social services. Pipes has been steadfast in helping Aging Services fulfill the goal to be the recognized leader in influencing the development of innovative, quality services that ensure choice, enhance dignity and expand opportunity for older adults. Military: Military Spouse magazine has named Health Net Inc. the No. 1 Most Military Spouse Friendly Employer. Health Net ranked first out of nearly 2,500 companies, each with an annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. Selection was based on company policies for spouses who are married to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including Guard and Reserve, as well as hiring policies and practices with respect to military spouses. Health Net topped the list for allocating 15 percent of its total recruiting resources toward recruiting military spouses. Also, in support of military spouses, Health Net established a scholarship program to be administered through National Military Family Association (NMFA) designating $150,000 to be awarded to military spouses for career development in the TRICARE North Region in 2008. CONEJO VALLEY Thousand Oaks Exhibit: Camarillo resident Noble A. Powell III will hold the first major exhibit of his paintings of mothers and their special needs children at California Lutheran University. “Mother’s Child” will be on display from June 27 through Aug. 10, in CLU’s Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture. An opening reception will be held June 27, 7 p.m. CLU’s Art Department is sponsoring the free exhibit. SIMI VALLEY Simi Valley Independence: The Rotary Club of Simi Valley (noontime club) is set to host the 38th annual Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza at Rancho Santa Susana Park. The event is free to the public and cosponsored by the City of Simi Valley and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District. Sponsorship opportunities are available for local businesses and individuals that range from $500 to $5,000. There are also numerous volunteer opportunities available. Proceeds from the Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza will benefit local charities. For more information, visit the Rotary Club of Simi Valley Web site at www.simival-leyrotary.org or call (805) 501-0211. ANTELOPE VALLEY Lancaster Award: Health care research and consulting firm Avatar International Inc. has named Antelope Valley Hospital a national award winner in health care service quality for exemplary service, most improved loyalty and endorsement of the obstetrics department for 2007. This award is based on significant improvement on hospitals’ 2007 outpatient surveys for loyalty and endorsement compared to 2006. Hospitals achieving at least a one standard deviation increase in score from the previous year receive this award. Multiple awards are given based upon bed size and patient types. “In the last year, we have put significant focus on putting the patient first and becoming the hospital of choice by providing a high-level of service with care, compassion and respect,” AVH CEO Edward Mirzabegian said. “This award reinforces that we’re shifting our focus in the right direction and our patients are noticing the improvement.” Palmdale Relay: The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Palmdale recently held its first team captains meeting at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center. Palmdale’s Relay for Life is scheduled for the weekend of September 20-21, at Highland High School. The goal this year is to have 78 teams at relay, according to Event Chair Barbara McElroy. The 2007 Palmdale Relay for Life event raised over $111,000 in the fight against cancer. “This year, our goal is to raise $125,000,” said McElroy. “With enough teams participating and through the generosity of our residents and businesses, we are confident that we will reach that goal.”

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