Tag Archives: LA County

LA County Fair Canceled Due to COVID-19

Staff Reports

Pomona – The LA County Fair, slated for Sept. 4-27, was recently canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is the first time the LA County Fair has been canceled since World War II. Since the fair’s opening in 1922, the fair has only been canceled once from 1942 to 1947 due to the war. The fair did close for one day on Sept. 22, 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it reopened the following day.

The 2020 LA County Fair was canceled due to the “limitations placed on large public gatherings by state and county public health officials because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Renee Hernandez in a news release. “For the safety and well-being of guests, Fair officials are following the guidelines of public health officials who are advising against large public gatherings for the remainder of the year,” added Hernandez.

The LA County Fair sees approximately “1.1 million guests during its 19-day run and has an estimated economic impact of $324 million annually in Los Angeles County, with $58 million in the City of Pomona and securing more than 500 full-time equivalent jobs,” according to the news release. The Fair is expected to celebrate their 100-year anniversary in 2022.

Fairplex President and CEO Miguel A. Santana says that the decision to cancel the event was not easy to make. “My heart is heavy, for our guests who come out to make memories, our vendors who rely on the Fair circuit for their income and our employees who work so hard all year-long to create this special event,” Santana said. “The LA County Fair is an iconic event that celebrates the best of Southern California. It is beloved by many. But we had to take into consideration the health and safety of everyone.”

Los Angeles County Fair Association Board of Directors’ Chair Heidi Hanson agreed by saying they had no choice but to cancel, even though it was hard to do. “The one thing we can promise is that the LA County Fair will be back, better than ever – especially as we plan for our Centennial,” added Hanson.

Los Angeles County First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis also spoke about the cancellation, since the Fair resides in her district. Solis said it will be disappointing, but necessary to miss the end-of-summer celebration, according to the release.

“Like many of you, I grew up eagerly anticipating each year’s opening of the LA County Fair, and I cherish my family memories of this special yearly event,” said Solis. “Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the LA County Fair due to our current public health crisis. We must make these short term sacrifices to preserve the health of the people we love. We do this to protect our communities. I am certain that once we get through this challenging time, we will come back stronger and even more appreciative of the things we love and hold dear.”

Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger also commented on the closure, since a portion of the Fairplex is located in her district.

“Like every fan of the LA County Fair, I am saddened to hear of its cancellation this year. I love the Fair and have many fond memories from my experiences with family and friends,” Barger said. “But we are in the middle of a major public health crisis and our priority is the safety and well-being of all of our residents. Through our efforts to slow the spread, I know we will soon be able to enjoy activities like the LA County Fair again.”

That sentiment was echoed by the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd. “Our recovery journey is underway, but it will be a slow one. Working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 is our new normal for the foreseeable future. But I have faith that if we continue to make these difficult but necessary decisions now, we will be able to enjoy all that the LA County Fair has to offer next year.”

Those who have already purchased season pass boxes were informed that they can receive a refund. The following three refunds options are available: credit toward the 2021 Fair plus one extra season pass; turning their purchase into a donation to the Fairplex COVID-19 emergency fund for the community; or a full refund. Information on refunds can be found at www.lacountyfair.com/refunds.

The Fairplex in Pomona, CA has been the home of the LA County Fair for years, in addition to the 300 year-round events. However, they announced they are canceling the remainder of its self-produced events for the rest of 2020, including June’s Cheers Wine, Beer and Food Festival; Fourth of July spectacular KABOOM!; Oktoberfest; and the Day of the Dead celebration En Memoria.

However, the Fairplex has continued its community benefit mission by working with partners to offer coronavirus testing, hold drive-thru food pantries and offer free childcare for the children of healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers at its Child Development Center. For more information on Fairplex, visit http://www.fairplex.com.

Fall 2015 Webinar Dates for the Affordable Care Act 101 in Spanish

By Small Business Administration

LOS ANGELES – Health care continues to be an important issue for small business owners.  The Small Business Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and Small Business Majority are committed to helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series.

Once monthly, small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in small business health insurance marketplaces. Other topics discussed include insurance reforms, the small business health care tax credit, and employer shared responsibility provisions.  SBA, HHS, and SBM representatives help small business owners understand the facts of the Affordable Care Act so they can make informed decisions about providing health insurance for their employees.

The Affordable Care Act 101 in Spanish takes place once monthly on Tuesdays at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT. Registration is free, but required.  Below are the registration links for upcoming presentations.

For more information on how the health care law affects small businesses, check out www.sba.gov/healthcare.

L.A. Sheriff Search And Rescue Teams Prepare For El Niño Season

Staff Reports

LA County– The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s eight search-and-rescue (SAR) teams are training and planning for the anticipated El Niño storms predicted for L.A. County. Earlier this month, 36 SAR specialists trained for swift-water rescue response. The focus was land-based operations which primarily deal with how to rescue a victim safely out of a fast flowing river or channel without having to enter the water.

Upcoming future training will certify these SAR team members as Swift-water Rescue Technicians.  Many current SAR team members already possess this certification, which deals with how to rescue a person trapped in a river or channel by entering the water and making contact with them.  Swift-water rescue responses are the highest level of risk to the public safety agencies who respond.  One-third of all swift-water deaths are rescuers who attempt to save someone from a river or channel.

The eight SAR teams consist of team members who live in the immediate area and they will be pre-identifying likely areas prone to flooding.  They will coordinate with our public safety partner agencies who are stakeholders in flood responses.  Once identified, the teams will pre-plan rescue sites for those areas including the identification of possible hazards.

SAR teams work closely with LASD’s Special Enforcement Bureau Emergency Services Detail (SEB/ESD), a highly trained and multi-mission bureau which staffs Air Rescue 5, the premier helicopter rescue platform. SEB/ESD deputies operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to their tactical operations, all SEB/ESD deputies are certified paramedics and rescue divers. SEB/ESD is responsible for coordinating and participating in mountain search and rescue, underwater search and rescue, and swift water and flood rescue operations for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They staff the Air-5 Rescue Helicopter, the SEB/ESD Ocean Rescue Boats, and are Special Weapons Team members.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team members are Reserve Sheriff’s deputies who volunteer their time to help others for $1 a year, and who partner with sheriff’s civilian volunteers who volunteer for free. There are 200 members of the eight Search and Rescue teams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They are all Emergency Medical Technicians and certified mountaineers.  These rescuers were activated for 597 search and rescue missions last year, making it one of the most active counties for search and rescue missions in the nation. Reserve deputies and civilian volunteers are supervised by full-time sheriff’s deputies.  For more information on the ongoing El Niño event, please visit http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/.

Diamond Bar Day At The Fair

Staff Reports

Diamond Bar – L.A. County Fair season is just around the corner, and Thurs., Sept. 24 has been officially designated as Diamond Bar Day at the Fair.  Diamond Bar residents who visit on this day pay only $5 for admission, and get to take part in a bevy of festivities to honor the City, including a Community and Business Expo, parade, high school marching band competition, Community Hero awards ceremony, and evening entertainment.

If you have a knack for drawing, gardening or creating, the Los Angeles County Fair (LACF) has a special contest as part of the Community Showcase program.  The “Design Your Own Crate Label Contest” is open to Diamond Bar students, pre-kindergarten through 12th Grade.  To enter, design a fruit crate label that creatively depicts a part of Diamond Bar history. There is no cost to enter, and winners will have their artwork prominently displayed for public viewing, receive four free LACF tickets for Sept. 24, and get to ride in a festive parade through the fairgrounds. The deadline to enter is Sept. 4.

Goods purchased under the Diamond Bar Day promotion, benefit the Big Yellow Bus Program, which subsidizes the cost of bus services for local students to participate in FairKids Field Trips and take part in fun and educational activities related to agriculture, art, science and literature, California heritage, and life on a farm.

For more information or to download a coupon for $5 Fair admission, good for Diamond Bar Day only, visit http://www.diamondbarca.gov/fair.

Arriving Hopeless, Returning Inspirational

Former inmate returns as guest speaker for Education Based Incarceration Merit Program


Staff Reports

Los Angeles County – On Wed., June 17, female inmates housed at the Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) received a spark of inspiration when former inmate, Jamina Johnson, returned as a guest speaker in a testimonial presentation for the Education Based Incarceration (EBI) Merit program.  After some troublesome experiences and much soul searching, Johnson returned to the jail facility, this time bringing hope and motivation with her.

Johnson shared her personal history with complete strangers, in hope of stirring up something inside at least one of them.  She revealed that, despite being the daughter of a preacher and being raised by two loving, hard-working parents, she inched her way down a dark path, which led to a whirlwind lifestyle of crime, drugs and gangs.

Johnson revealed the chronology of her decline to her listeners:  It began in April 2008, with her first round of incarceration for the charge of Robbery.  She received a two-year sentence in state prison.  Not long after her release, Johnson returned to jail in 2010 for a parole violation.

After a string of contacts with law enforcement, Johnson’s pivotal point came in October 2012, during yet another booking into the Los Angeles County Jail system.  Her latest charge, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, turned into a 17-month sentence.  She’d had enough.

“It all began on my birthday in October 2012,” recalled Johnson.  “I was getting high with people… and the next thing I knew, I began running down the street naked and high on PCP.”

While serving her sentence at CRDF, Johnson finally acknowledged her lifestyle had spiraled out of control.  She was at rock bottom and wanted to change her lifestyle, but didn’t know how.

Finally, she made the decision to leave her old ways behind and rebuild herself, using education as her foundation.

Johnson’s self-restoration project began with enrollment in the Education Based Incarceration (EBI) Merit program, formally established in 2010.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department commitment to community based policing is shown through the EBI program, which uses a comprehensive educational curriculum, consisting of both traditional and nontraditional educational opportunities.

The EBI program is designed to reduce institutional violence as well as reduce recidivism by increasing the educational, civic, social, economic, life skills, and engagement of its participants.  Inmates become students who are able to attend academic, vocational, and life skills courses during incarceration, and be occupied with positive activities.

In addition to book learning and practical application, Johnson took personal examples from the EBI program staff who taught, as well as modeled, the importance of time management, good work ethics and professional conduct.

Johnson fully understood it would take hard work and determination to reinvent herself. She saw the option to graduate with a certificate in culinary arts, painting, or fashion – or even earning a high school General Education Degree – as an opportunity for improvement.  Johnson successfully completed the program and graduated.

Johnson was released in February, 2014.  Today, she is back in jail, but this time of her own volition.  As she spoke, Johnson held the attention of every inmate in the audience.  She was able to directly connect with the women because they shared similar circumstances.  In turn, the women were able to relate to her and see the potential to improve their own quality of life, if they desired it.

“Every day is now new, and I’m imperfectly perfect.  If it weren’t for this arrest, I might be dead,” said Johnson.  “I felt like I was trying to get to the second story with no stairs, but the staff and EBI program were my stairs that helped get me to the next step.”

Captain Maria Gutierrez followed Johnson’s speech with more words of encouragement, “It’s time to start living! Take off those negative labels and choose to wear positive ones. Be courageous and take the opportunities here to invest in yourself!”

Applause and shouts of joy from the audience erupted in appreciation of Johnson’s testimony and in celebration of prospects for new futures.

“I feel I am not alone, even though I am a felon. I can accomplish something in life. I now have hope,” said one inmate after listening to Johnson.

For more information about Education Based Incarceration, visit their website at: http://shq.lasdnews.net/pages/tgen1.aspx?id=EBU.