Kudos to more than 200 students, staff, faculty and alumni of Occidental College who have signed up for a Day of Service on Saturday, January 25 to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Organized through SLICE, the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement at Oxy, the volunteers will work with community partners throughout Los Angeles, including Hathaway-Sycamores Children and Family Services in Highland Park, the R.O.C.K. Community Center, a youth organization in Eagle Rock, and the Audubon Center in Debs Park in Montecito Heights. Daylong projects include mentoring, making blankets for families in need, health kit assembly, facility beautification and cleanup, habitat restoration, gardening and organizing food pantries.
“If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Visit a Museum for Free or Volunteer at One
The Autry Museum of the American West (located at 4700 Western Heritage Way in Griffith Park) is open and free on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can take in the vast and colorful regular collection and catch two special exhibits – Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonseca and Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley.
The La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum (5801 Wilshire Boulevard) has free admission on Tuesdays, starting this year on January 7.
View the world class collection of Ice Age fossils and plants on the grounds of the ancient bubbling tar pits. To guarantee admission and skip the line, reserve your tickets in advance at tarpits.org. Another tip: L.A. County residents can visit the museum for free Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bring a valid I.D. or utility bill showing your L.A. County residency and pick up the free tickets at the museum.
The Los Angeles Police Museum (6045 York Boulevard in Highland Park) is looking for volunteers to assist with administrative work, two days (six hours) per week.
This is a chance to spend time in the museum’s nationally landmarked Renaissance Revival building amid exhibitions depicting the history of the LAPD. For more information on the volunteer position, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eat Out More Often
Café Birdie (5631 N. Figueroa Street) and Checker Hall (104 N. Avenue 56), both in Highland Park, will participate in Dine L.A., a citywide event from January 17 to January 31 to showcase L.A.’s restaurant scene. Participants offer special lunch and/or dinner menus for a fixed price. At Café Birdie and Checker Hall, multi-course dinners will be $39. For a complete list of hundreds of participating restaurants, including many in nearby Silver Lake and Echo Park, visit: discoverlosangeles.com/dinela
Two restaurants in Highland Park have made it onto the L.A. Times’ newest list, released in December, of the 101 Best Restaurants in L.A: at 5916 ½ N. Figueroa Street for Italian food in the “$$$” price category, and Joy, at 5100 York Boulevard for Taiwanese food in the “$” price category. For Mexican food, two food trucks and two restaurants in nearby Boyle Heights have made the list, all in the “$” category: The food trucks are Mariscos Jalisco at 3040 E. Olympic Boulevard and Carnitas El Momo, at 2411 Fairmount Street; the restaurants are Guisados at 2100 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and X’tiosu Kitchen at 923 Forest Avenue.
Calling All Space Geeks
The Spitzer Space Telescope, which has been observing the universe in infrared light for more than 16 years, will be the topic this month of two free public lectures by scientists from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech.
Entitled “Spitzer: Final Voyage,” the lectures will describe the amazing highlights and lasting legacy of the telescope. / Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the von Kármán Auditorium at JPL (4800 Oak Grove Drive/La Cañada Flintridge) and Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium (1200 E. California Boulevard/Pasadena) / For more information: jpl.nasa.gov
From the “Slow Down” Department
If you think your street could use a speed hump (or two or three), mark your calendar for Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 8 a.m. SHARP. That is when the L.A. Department of Transportation will open a process that lets residents request construction of speed humps on their street. The requests are handled on a first-come, first-served basis, up to a maximum of 30 requests per council district. Step 1 requires a person on the block to register as the liaison/contact for the process and answer nine questions online. If you are registered during Step 1, you will receive forms to fill out and submit for Step 2, in which you must show considerable support for speed humps among the residents on your street. If your street is approved, it’s on to Step 3, which consists of online balloting in which two-thirds of the street’s residents have to vote in favor of speed humps. If there is enough support, humps will be placed according to the concept plan provided as part of the balloting process. (If your street is not approved, you will receive a letter explaining why.) To learn more, visit: ladot.lacity.org/how-do-i/request-speed-humps
Huanglongbing disease, a killer of citrus trees in parts of L.A., Orange and Riverside counties, was recently detected in San Bernardino County as well, prompting an expansion of the existing citrus plant quarantine put in place by state and federal agriculture authorities.
Also known as HLB or citrus greening, the disease is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a pest the size of an aphid. Inspect your trees frequently for the pest. Do not transport citrus plants. If your tree is affected, call the state Department of Food and Agriculture at 800-491-1899. For more information, visit CaliforniaCitrusThreat.org