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Washington –The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of The Forum in Inglewood, CA.  The project is one of 17 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2014 Past Forward National Preservation Conference in Savannah, Ga.


The Forum shows that post-World War II sports arenas can find new life. Designed by Charles Luckman, the stadium opened with great fanfare in 1967 as the home of both the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. It immediately became a Southern California landmark. When the teams later relocated, the Forum was sold to a local church. Underutilized and in disrepair, the building was facing demolition until the Madison Square Garden Company purchased it in 2012.


Committed to historic preservation, the company maintained the site’s original character while updating it for modern-day use as a concert venue. The rehabilitation also helped revitalize the surrounding community, bringing hundreds of new jobs and redevelopment to the area.


“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting our nation’s cultural heritage,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Whether it’s the restoration of a center for African American studies in Savannah, or the preservation of the iconic Green Mountain Lookout in Washington state, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and helping preserve the unique fabric of communities throughout the country.” 


The award will be presented to The Forum/The Madison Square Garden Company at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Savannah, Ga. on November 13, 2014.



Co-recipients are: Brisbin Brook Beynon, Architects; Clark Construction Group; Severud & Associates; and, Historic Resources Group.


 The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizens’ attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear online at








Mayor James Butts was all smiles, all night on Tuesday, as he made the rounds at his victory watch party on Florence Ave. and Market Street.  He shook hands and posed for photographs, but was seriously focused on the numbers. 


It came as no surprise that the incumbent Mayor of Inglewood would win another term.  To Butts, the question was, “by how much?”


According to the Inglewood City Clerk’s Office, Butts won more than 83 percent of the vote.  His nearest rival is former Inglewood Councilmember Mike Stevens with 9.49 percent, making Butts’ margin the largest in Inglewood’s mayoral history.


Not content to merely win another 4 years, Butts made multiple trips to the widescreen monitor on the wall to track his progress.  Absentee ballots had the mayor at around 81 percent.  “I want 90,” he said.


Inglewood businessman Billy Campbell said he supports the mayor because “he has been able to get a council into office who works together.  He has the capability to make things happen.”


 A building contractor said she supports Butts “because of what he stands for.”



After thanking the crowd, introducing his family and giving a special honor to his mother-in-law, Mayor Butts recounted how Inglewood has changed under his leadership:


“Four years ago, (people) thought of Inglewood as drive-by shootings, council meetings that last until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, and a city that was rudderless.  Today, we have billionaires shaking in their boots because we’re taking their lunch money.”  That announcement prompted a round of cheers and high-fives.


Butts was joined by Gloria Gray, West Basin Municipal Water District Board Member who also won re-election. 



Gray, who had won 77 percent of absentee votes by 10pm, thanked Butts for “all the good work he has done for this city,” and said the mayor has a servant’s heart.



“Inglewood is really, really on the move,” Gray said. “When I (travel and) talk about Inglewood, I don’t see the frowns anymore.  They listen.  There is interest in the city throughout the nation.”


Across town, at the Marriott in Marina del Rey, political newcomer Autumn Burke celebrated winning her seat on the 62nd Assembly:


“Over the last two years, we have embarked on a journey together to build an alliance that represents the needs and values of our neighborhoods,” Burke told supporters. “Today, we stand victorious, but this is not my victory alone. This is a triumph by a community of people working together to enact positive change for all of us. I am humbled by this moment and will strive to realize our vision as the next Assemblymember for the 62nd AD."


Jerome Horton, Chairman of the Board of Equalization, 4th District, was re-elected with more than 61 percent of the vote.  "I am grateful to the upward one million citizens who voted in the Board of Equalization District 3 election.  I appreciate the blessing I've received, positioning us to continue to strengthen the weakest links and our most venerable citizens as we strive to make our economy and communities stronger," he said. 


Inglewood voters will cast ballots again next month during a special election for the state Senate.  Democrat Isadore Hall is the forerunner in the race for the 35th District, which includes Inglewood.   The election is set for December 9 to replace former Sen. Roderick Wright. 


“Mayor Butts is a serious change maker,” said homemaker Paula Lee. “He is what this city needs.”  The ambitious mayor reminded well-wishers, “We’ve only just begun.  The best is yet to come.”




Local Election Results:




James Butts      83.40%


Mike Stevens    9.49%


Gil Matheiu        4.47%


Sandie Crisp      2.63%



Assemblymember, 62nd District


Autumn Burke    75.7%


Ted J. Grose      24.3%



Member, Board of Equalization, 4th District


Jerome Horton   61.8%


G. Rick Martin    38.2%



County Assessor


Jeffrey Prang    50.5%


John Morris       49.5%



Superintendent of Public Instruction


Tom Torlakson 52.1%


Marshall Tuck 47.9%



L.A. County Sheriff


John McDonnell  74.8%


Paul Tanaka        25.2%



Burke Photo Credits:  Mitchell Creative Media



Is It Time for a Dental Checkup?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

How do your teeth feel? Did you brush for two minutes today? Have you flossed lately? Did your gums bleed the last time you brushed or flossed?


As a dental hygienist these are questions that I often ask new patients. Why? Most people eat, drink and sleep without much thought or concern for their teeth.  Not until some annoying discomfort—a lodged popcorn husk, meat or fruit caught in an unreachable crevice, sensitivity and pain while eating or drinking something hot or cold—interrupts your life. 


Care and maintenance of the mouth cannot be overstated, especially for African Americans and Hispanics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cites that African Americans and Hispanics experience disproportionate rates of


Periodontitis and tooth decay compared to Caucasians. 


African Americans and Mexican Americans, aged 35-44 years old, suffer from untreated tooth decay almost twice as much as Caucasians. Additionally, African Americans and Mexican Americans aged 35-44 years old, who failed to complete high school suffer from tooth decay three-fold compared to adults with some college education.


In addition to tooth decay, patients contend with acute and chronic oral disease called Periodontitis. Periodontitis, an inflammation of the gums, bone and ligaments that support teeth, affects more than 48 percent of Americans. Several studies have shown that African American and Hispanic males, with less than a high school education, experience higher rates of periodontal infection than African American and Hispanic women.


The CDC, American Dental Association (ADA) and other dental bodies note that access, resources and education significantly impact the rate of incidence and prevalence of oral disease and infections. Healthy People 2020, state and local governments have outlined objectives and goals aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating oral health disparities. Additionally, community programs, though often underfunded, provide screening and referral services.


Dental disease and infection is not only an annoyance, it also impacts quality of life and systemic health. Improving oral care can curtail the impact of systemic conditions that are often exacerbated by poor oral health. Take a look at your teeth, examine your gums and think about the last time you visited an oral health professional.  It may be time to make an appointment.






Future of Inglewood Secured by Election

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Four more years was the cry of Inglewood voters on Tuesday night. And once again, residents have decided Mayor James Butts is the leader that they want to remain in office. 


Residents also voted for West Basin Board Member Gloria Gray, Assemblymember-Elect Autumn Burke, Congresswoman. Maxine Waters, and BOE Chari Jerome Horton.  All of the top-level state races went to incumbents, from Gov. Jerry Brown to Attorney General Kamala Harris.   Congratulations to all, and thanks to everyone who voted.


Now that the people have spoken, I would like to challenge you to keep the momentum going.  I want to remind you that it takes more than a mayor, council members and other elected officials to run a city.  It takes everyone who live and works here to make life better.


If you have been reluctant to reach out to your elected officials, now is the time to change.  As we have just witnessed, democracy works and leaders are elected by the people.  Residents decide who will occupy City Hall, so you should make your voice heard.


Since Mayor Butts was elected in 2011, and Councilmembers George Dotson and Alex Padilla came on board in 2013, council meetings have become more resident-friendly.  I have seen more young people come up to the podium than ever before—even kids as young as 8 or 9 years old. 


This tells me that they are comfortable enough to speak their mind and the council chambers offers an atmosphere where they feel welcome. 


I believe Inglewood is at a turning point right now, a crossroad of opportunity.  There has never been a better time to jump right in and get involved with your local government.  There are tons of opportunities for you to volunteer at our schools, support sports activities, help seniors, or even consider opening a business.


When residents become active in their community, everyone benefits.  So don’t hold back.  Inglewood is quickly becoming a destination city.  It is on its way to becoming a global city. The stage is being set for thousands of new jobs, new housing, street improvements, and millions in tax revenue which will translate into an increase in city services. 


Too often, citizens become apathetic about government until something happens that they don’t agree with.  Then they want to protest at City Hall.  This is your right, but wouldn’t it be better to try and fix the problems while they are relatively small?  Wouldn’t it be better to connect with your neighbors or community leaders and work on solutions instead of attacking people?


Change isn’t easy.  It may require stopping, backing up, turning around and going in a new direction.  Mayor Butts has got the ball rolling, and Inglewood is definitely moving in a forward direction.  So let’s do our part to keep up the momentum. Let’s keep going. 


You can get involved by attending city council and town hall meetings, volunteering, joining your block club—whatever you feel led to do.   If you need ideas, visit the city website at and find out where you fit in.  If you feel inspired to comment on what is going on, we at Inglewood Today (www.inglewoodtoday) welcome your articles and news tips.  Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




Last week the City of Inglewood ascended into some rare air, as the grounds were broken on the old Thrifty Oil site in District 2, that will bring the city a highly anticipated Community Center.


The air is rare in this venture because, as Mayor Butts puts it, “There’s something unique about what’s happening here.  This is the first time that I know of, that a company, that owns a property, turns it over to a city, for city use, for the next 22 years, and then pays us for the privilege. Now that’s pretty darn special.”


“This gas station has laid fallow for 14-15 years, it’s just been an eye sore. When I ran for office, Mary McBride and Juanita Whithrow told me that if I do anything, I need to get this fixed, and over the years Bill and Barry will tell you that we tried to work out a few things, but just didn’t have the support from the District 2 representative. But the minute Alex took that seat, we figured (out) a project that would work, provide the community with a community center, and at the same time guarantee us no less than $100,000 in revenue.”


You heard right, the City gets a brand new community center and will make money off of the property as well. Who does that?


Councilman Alex Padilla was introduced to the stage as “the greatest Councilperson District 2 has ever had”, and added, “This was something that, before I got on the council, people had always talked to me about, and I knew that once I got elected, this was gonna be my priority because this was what our residents’ priority was, this was what you wanted to get done. I’ve always said, that it’s not about you, and it’s certainly not about me, but it’s about us. It’s about all of us, and what we’re (doing) to improve this community and today is one of those events, where it’s about all of us here in the community.”


Councilman Padilla took the opportunity to allow residents to share their thoughts on the launch of the center, and invited to the stage Mary McBride and Hank Harris or District 2. “I keep thinking that, this must be a dream, please don’t wake me. My wife and I moved here about 25 years ago and for most of that time, we’ve been saddled with this eye sore, we’ve been wishing this thing gone, but I am glad to see this day here, so if it is a dream, again, don’t wake me.”


Mary McBride added, “Finally, this day has come!”


Mayor Butts introduced two of the principals in the center’s development, Marc Berg and Barry Berkett, who spoke briefly on how much of a pleasure it was to work with this new council, “This has been a long process.  Over the last several years I’ve been in many, many, meetings where I felt like a target, where everybody complained about us, but there was nothing that we could do.  But when Mayor Butts and Councilman Padilla approached us and tried to come up with a creative way to deal with this property, we were very happy to see that we came up with, what we perceive as a win-win for us, and the community.”


The ceremony concluded with elected officials, residents, and community partners lifting shovels and commencing the breaking of ground and the beginning of the city’s new community center. As the photos snapped, the group chanted a loud INGLEWOOD, to solidify that we’re not just on the move, but we’re moving together.






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