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POLITICAL LANDSCAPE:Krekorian lobbies against hate

Assemblyman Paul Krekorian has been appointed to serve on the Assembly Select Committee on Hate Crimes, his office announced this week.

The committee was established in 2001 to address the growth of hate crimes statewide and nationally, Krekorian said.

Krekorian sought the appointment knowing that his constituency, which includes Glendale and Burbank voters, is no stranger to violence provoked by ethnic tension, he said.

“I will be able to bring the experience of coming from an area that is often beset with ethnic tension and violence, and that experience will inform my ability to provide input to statewide policy,” he said.

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The committee, which Monterey Park Assemblyman Mike Eng leads, works to identify the current state trends of hate crime violence and suggest possible solutions, Eng said.

“It was established shortly after Sept. 11 … at that time California was exploding with hate crimes, especially against the Muslim community,” Eng said. “The real purpose of this is to have hearings in the state of California to determine what role the California state legislature should play in terms of proactive legislation.”

At the end of the legislative session, the committee will make recommendations — which could direct new policy — to the legislature based on what its members learned, Krekorian said.

“I think whenever there are changing demographics in any area, there is the potential for friction and conflict, and certainly our area has had some significant changes over the years in demographics and its population,” Krekorian said. “Especially among youth, we always need to be vigilant to educate our youth that violence is never an appropriate response to conflict and that we can resolve differences and find commonality if we make the effort to do that.”

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Bill would recognize space pioneers

Rep. Adam Schiff and fellow California Reps. Ken Calvert, Kevin McCarthy and Howard “Buck” McKeon introduced legislation Wednesday that would honor aeronautics pioneers Neil Armstrong and Hugh Dryden.

The resolution would rename NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, and it would rename the Western Aeronautical Test Range, a facility at the center, as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.

The legislation would serve to honor Armstrong — the first man to walk on the moon and a former test pilot who worked at the center from 1955 to 1962 — and maintain the center’s memorial to Dryden, a prominent aeronautical engineer.

Before Armstrong became an astronaut in 1962, he served for seven years as a test pilot at what was then called the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station. The station was later established as a NASA center and eventually named after Hugh Dryden, one of America’s most prominent aeronautical engineers, Schiff’s office said.

Dryden was director of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from 1947 until the creation of NASA in 1958, and was named deputy administrator of the new aerospace agency when it was created in response to the Sputnik crisis, Schiff’s office said.

Supervisor calls for bridge inspections

In the wake of Wednesday’s collapse of a span of the Interstate Highway 35W in Minneapolis, into the Mississippi River, which killed at least four commuters, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is calling for inspections of all Los Angeles County bridges to ensure they are periodically analyzed.

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Antonovich plans to make a motion Tuesday that would direct the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to provide a description of the county’s program for inspecting bridges in Los Angeles County, Antonovich said in a statement.

In light of California’s earthquake history, the study should identify any special requirements for bridge construction due to the high levels of seismic activity in the region, he said.

The study should also determine whether there are any at-risk bridges and may require modification and, if so, identify a work program and potential funding sources.

If Antonovich’s motion is approved as drafted, the department would have to report back to the board in 60 days, he said.

Call for art honoring genocide victims

The Armenian Assembly of America, in collaboration with the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, is issuing a public call for artwork honoring victims of the Armenian genocide.

Accepted entries will be displayed during a multicultural celebration in October, known as the Day of the Dead.

A national holiday in Mexico, the Day of the Dead is observed by countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America as well as the United States, parts of Europe and the Philippines, according to the assembly.

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Artists are asked to submit two- and three-dimensional works in the following formats: a compact disc containing digital images, photographic prints or slides.

All submissions must be original work done by the artist and received by Aug. 15.

A maximum of four submissions from each artist will be considered. Submissions should be sent to Mariann Gatto, curator, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Submissions must include the artist’s name, telephone number, e-mail address, title of work, year executed, media, dimensions and price.

For more information, call Assembly Community Relations Director Narine Zardarian at (626) 577-0025 or Mariann Gatto at (213) 485-8432.


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