Substance abuse facilities typically focus on helping individuals get better in a safe environment but overlook the aesthetics of the individual's surroundings. Beit T'Shuvah, a Los Angeles non-profit residential treatment center for people committed to overcoming destructive addictions, wasn't uninhabitable or decrepit, but the rooms weren't exactly welcoming. The carpets were stained, and beds and dressers blocked the windows -- the rooms were just a place to sleep, fairly standard for a rehabilitation center.Read it all here.
But this center, renowned for helping individuals from all backgrounds kick addictions, ranging from drug abuse to gambling, by integrating the teachings of the Torah with the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, went a step beyond the others -- and the residents are very impressed with the outcome.
"I think that this room completely describes me," said Jonny Friedman, a 23-year-old web designer, who said the designer of his new room had truly attempted to create an environment that suited his youth and personal tastes. "I feel like coming to a room that's this clean, this amazing, gives you a good feeling -- a Zen, if you will," he said, pointing to graffiti art on the wall that spells out "Zen."
Like the other 70 designers involved in the makeover of Beit T'Shuvah, Julie Soter had two weeks to re-do the room and bathroom. The redesign included updating the bathrooms, electricity, and floors.
"Doug, the graffiti artist, was unbelievable. He used to get arrested for doing this," Soter said. "This wall is tight! I'm going around -- a 50-something year old woman -- saying 'it's tight,'" she added while laughing...
“She’s always been ahead—of everybody in everything. She’s always been a pioneer,” said her son, Carlos Jimenez, who followed his mother’s footsteps into the LAUSD.
Beit T'Shuvah, renowned L.A. treatment center, receives an extreme makeover.
Too much security can cause stagnation in business. Too little can also be damaging.
California is the biggest luxury car market in the world.
What does the future hold?
June 20, 2012
June 18, 2012
The first human case of West Nile virus infection in the state was confirmed today. The victim, a 70-year-old woman from Kern County, was hospitalized but is recovering, said Dr. Ron Chapman, a state health officer and director of the California Department of Health.Read it all here.
The woman's symptoms were consistent with West Nile fever. Kern County officials say awareness campaigns, which describe symptoms of the virus, reminded the woman to tell her doctor that a mosquito had bitten her on the leg.
"The patient's knowledge of [West Nile Virus] from educational campaigns by the Kern County Public Health Services Department led to the rapid identification of her infection, said Dr. Claudia Jonah, a public health officer for Kern County...
June 15, 2012
California wants to use its own accountability system to improve schools rather than to abide by federally required policies from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is also known as No Child Left Behind.
Like it said it would last month, the state officially filed for a waiver seeking relief from the federal law on Friday. The request is not the same as waivers sought by other states which have been granted by President Barack Obama but require a viable alternative plan and improved accountability.
The debate about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a procedure that involves drilling thousands of feet below the earth's surface to extract oil and gas, has come to Los Angeles.Read it all here.
A resolution introduced Wednesday calls on Gov. Jerry Brown and California regulators to impose a moratorium on fracking until there is a "determination that such processes are safe for public health, for the Los Angeles water supply and for the environment."
Concerns about lack of transparency regarding fracking methods in the state prompted the resolution drafted by city councilmen Paul Koretz, Herb Wesson and Bernard Parks. California does not have any regulations on fracking.
"We've been looking into this for several months to see how fracking might affect Los Angeles," said Andy Schrader, Deputy of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability for council member Koretz. "There's transparency in other states, yet the Department of Water and Power, one of the fiercest defenders of Los Angeles' water supply, can't find out anything about it."
In California the fracking procedure is often used to extract oil. Supporters of energy independence argue fracking allows for tapping into the country's oil reserves and reduces dependence on foreign supplies. They also point to the United States' large reserves of shale gas which make up more than 30 percent of the country's natural gas supplies. A report released this week even projected that jobs in the industry, particularly to extract shale gas, are expected to grow by 2015.
However, environmentalists believe hydraulic fracturing may not be worth the risks...