What: Conversation on early child care the education crisis in Orange County. When: Tues., September 29, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Online. Link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81915074314.
Early Childhood OC is a community collaborative that was formed to develop Orange County’s Early Childhood Policy Framework in order to ensure that young children reach their developmental potential and are ready to succeed in school and life. The Framework ensures adults are knowledgeable, nurturing, responsive and interact effectively with other adults, children and the family unit and environments that impact children are safe supportive, stable and healthy. Through implementation of the Framework, Orange County will attain economic and social benefits.
Pretend City Children’s Museum is “the world in a nut-shell”, designed for children to learn how the real world works while engaging their curiosities and imaginations. The museum is a child-size interconnected city built to balance rich educational intention with boundless fun, where children can assume various real-world roles and let their creativity rule. Through interactive exhibits and activities facilitated by our trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. They see how academic concepts have real-life application by learning in our unique, hands-on environment. Located at 29 Hubble Irvine, CA 92618. For more information, call 949-428-3900.
Child360 is a leading nonprofit working toward a future where every child has the educational opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Our name reflects our 360 degree approach to improve and expand the vital early learning opportunities our young children need, by working alongside educators, families, partner organizations, policy makers and our communities.
Unfortunately, this year, young children are stuck at home, away from their schools, teachers, and friends.
The good news is that although Irvine’s Pretend City Children’s Museum is temporarily closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it has made it easier to celebrate the Week of the Young Child from your home — and keep your young children moving, thinking, and expressing throughout this quarantine period.
The staff at Pretend City has said, “We want to share our sincere hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. As we continue to monitor COVID-19, our top priority remains the well-being of our Pretend City citizens -– all of you! While we’re adapting to new ways of serving you while the museum is temporarily closed, our team is committed to working together to support you.”
Pretend City has put together some fun at-home activities for young children for every day of the week.
Pretend City has also put together a terrific “Way to Play Guide” for Pretend City @ Home, providing age and development appropriate play activities for children from birth to 6 months old, 7 to 12 months old, 13 to 18 months old, 19 to 24 months old, 2 to 3 years old, 3 to 4 years old, 4 to 5 years old, and 5+ years old.
To view the “Way to Play Guide” for Pretend City @ Home, click HERE.
As Pretend City says, “You are your child’s best teacher. By trying these simple and fun play activities, you are helping your child reach his or her developmental milestones. This process of change involves learning skills like walking, talking and playing with others, often at predictable times during the first five years of life. You can use this sheet as a tool to help you better understand your child’s milestones, gauge each new stage of growth and encourage emerging abilities in your child’s life.”
To learn more about helping Pretend City Children’s Museum continue its great work during this difficult time, please click HERE.
Visit Pretend City Children’s Museum on Facebook HERE.
I’ve added a new “COVID-19 Community Resources and Information Pageto my blog, with links to up-to-date and reliable resources and information from federal, state, and county sources, as well as the cities and public schools in the 68th Assembly District.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” — Michelle Obama
I’ll be joining the Women’s March in Orange County this Saturday, January 18, 2020, because I am committed to making Orange County and our nation safer, fairer, and stronger.
Women have long been in the vanguard of positive change in our country, from the abolition of slavery to the modern human rights movement.
Even before women had secured the right to vote, we were at the forefront in calling for social change to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, especially children, the sick, and the elderly.
We’ve had historic victories, but we still have much to do to make the world a better place.
In fact, many of our historic victories are now under serious attack.
This year, we march for equal pay, reproductive rights, gun safety, climate action, workplace safety, childcare, and healthcare for everyone.
We’ve come a long way, but much more needs to be done!
While we’ve had historic victories, we still have much to do to make the world a better and more equal place for women and girls everywhere.
While more women are members of state legislatures than ever before, we still make up only 28.9 percent of all state legislators nationwide. In fact, women make up 50% or more of the state legislature in only one state (Nevada). In California, women make up only 30.8% of the state legislature.
Crucially, studies have shown that the more women who serve in legislatures the stronger family-friendly policies are enacted. Women legislators focus more on passing legislation that lifts women and children out of poverty, ensures fair pay and family-friendly workplaces, and expands quality childcare access. Women legislators are also more likely to strengthen laws that protect the victims of sexual assault.
Sex discrimination and inequity remains serious issues in our workplaces. Lawmakers must work to ensure that women in the workplace get equal pay for equal work, and they must address the racial pay gap between white women and women of color.
So while we celebrate our victories and honor our mothers and sisters whose courage and persistence made these victories possible, we should use this day to recommit to the fight for equality and to make the world a better and more equal place for women and girls everywhere!
There is a serious child care crisis in Irvine. At present, nearly 2,500 Irvine families do not have adequate child care. Irvine will need an additional 4,551 child care spaces by 2035, due to the increase in housing development and the concomitant increase in the number of families with young children moving to Irvine.
As a member of the Irvine City Council, I have made it a priority to increase childcare and early childhood education opportunities in Irvine. By volunteering to serve on the Irvine Child Care Committee, you can serve our community and help me and others work to alleviate our childcare crisis.
The Irvine Child Care Committee is a 15-member advisory body to the Irvine Community Services Commission, and works cooperatively with the Irvine Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Committee, Child Care Coordination staff, and Community Development to enhance the quality of childcare and school readiness in the City of Irvine.
The Irvine Child Care Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Community Services Commission, providing input on the needs of the community pertaining to child care-related issues. The full committee includes five City Council appointees; two center- or home-based child care providers; two parents/guardians; three representatives, one each from Irvine Unified School District, University of California Irvine, and Irvine Valley College; and two community representatives.
Committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of January, March, May, September, October and November, from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at Heritage Park Community Center, or other designated Irvine location.
Applicants must be willing to commit to a two-year term of active service, January 2020 through December 2021. Irvine Child Care Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of select months (at least six times a year) from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Heritage Park Community Center or other Irvine locations.
Applications are available now at the Irvine Child Resource Center and Irvine Civic Center, and online at cityofirvine.org/childcare. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, September 9. Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to: Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606.
For additional information, contact Traci Stubbler at 949-724-6635 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact my Lead Council Executive Assistant, Allison Binder, at email@example.com.
As the Register states, “The transparent goal is to shut down the views of the political minority. Irvine officials said they want to stop ‘grandstanding,’ but one person’s grandstanding is another’s chance to raise vital concerns.”
The Register also recognizes that while the new rule was adopted specifically to silence me, the effect of the rule will be to silence all disagreement and dissent:
“Fox has previously discussed supposedly ‘divisive’ issues ranging from flying the LGBTQ flag at City Hall to creating a veterans’ cemetery near the Great Park. But this fracas isn’t about the particular issues any member might want to discuss, but about whether a duly elected official has the right to publicly discuss them. Councils are not private clubs . . . These are the public’s meetings and all officials, even minority voices, represent their constituencies. All elected bodies need to encourage wide-ranging discussions so the public can be part of the self-government process – and not just observers of a carefully crafted script. That’s the essence of representative democracy.”
Thank you to the OC Register for recognizing that public meetings in a real democracy cannot be stage-managed by the majority for their own convenience and political advantage.
As with Trump and McConnell, we must persist and resist every day, and throw them out decisively in November 2020.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to raise my voice to speak for progressive policies and values — like respect for LGBTQ people, a state cemetery for our veterans, implementation of a serious plan to tackle climate change, more accessible child care, ending sexual violence and discrimination in the workplace, building affordable housing, and ensuring greater government transparency — as I was elected to do.
Now, only the mayor will be allow to put an item on the agenda — a power that until last week had for decades belonged to every individual member of the City Council.
There have been many shifting majorities on the City Council over the years, but no other Council has gone so far to silence dissenting voices and points of view.
You can read about what took place in this excellent article in Voice of OC, including how this new rule is directed squarely at me in retaliation for proposing that Irvine fly the Pride Flag at City Hall, and how they made sure to propose the new rule — and then quickly enact it — while I was on a long-planned trip to Alaska.
The truth is that Irvine’s Republican, pro-Trump Council majority — created by appointment in a back-room deal with its ostensibly Democratic ally and the developer FivePoint — has made it clear that they are following in Irvine the very same playbook of obstruction and bullying used in Washington by Trump and Mitch McConnell, and with the same goal: to silence opposing voices.
But I have no intention of being silent.
And neither do you.
As with Trump and McConnell, we must persist and resist every day.
And throw them out decisively in November 2020.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to raise my voice to speak for progressive policies and values — like respect for LGBTQ people, a state cemetery for our veterans, implementation of a serious plan to tackle climate change, more accessible child care, ending sexual violence and discrimination in the workplace, building affordable housing, and ensuring greater government transparency — as I was elected to do.
When Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner took office as an Orange County Supervisor, Mayor Pro Tem Christina Shea automatically took his place as Mayor.
As a result, there is now a vacancy on the Irvine City Council.
Democracy requires an election rather than an appointment to fill this vacancy.
According to law, a vacancy on the Irvine City Council can be filled by appointment by the remaining four members of the Council or by election by the vote of all the residents of Irvine.
Even if the City Council appoints a new member, the people can still override that appointment and demand an election by filling a petition signed by seven percent of the voters of the City.
Some argue that precedent and financial concerns support appointing the third-place runner-up in the previous election to the open seat on the Irvine City Council, rather than holding an election in which the people will choose the person to serve as their representative.
In fact, neither precedent nor principle support an appointment over the people’s choice as determined by an election.
Since the incorporation of Irvine as a City in 1971, there have been three times that a vacancy needed to be filled for a councilmember.
In the first instance, on October 15, 1985, Ralph A. “Ray” Catalano, a professor at UCI and a former planning commissioner, was appointed to serve the remaining three years of Councilmember David Sills term when Sills resigned from the Council to become a superior court judge.
Significantly, Catalano was not the next highest vote-getter in the previous election. Catalano was not even a candidate in that election and had never run for office. The person who was the next highest vote-getter in the previous election, Mary Ann Gaido, was not appointed to the open seat. Catalano later explained that he was a political compromise choice and was picked by Sills as his successor.
That is the only time that the Irvine City Council has used an appointment by Councilmembers rather than an election by the people to fill a vacancy on the Council. In every other case of a vacancy on the City Council, the seat has been filled by a vote of the people in a special election.
Our very first Irvine City Council election was a special election, held on December 21, 1971, when Irvine residents approved the City charter.
On November 6. 1990, a special election was held to fill the vacancy on the City Council when Councilmember Sally Anne Sheridan was elected Mayor the previous June. The next highest vote-getter from the previous election – again it was Mary Ann Gaido – was not appointed. Bill Vardoulis, who had not run in the prior election, entered that race and won that special election.
On November 3, 1992, a special election was held to fill the vacancy on the City Council when Councilmember Art Bloomer resigned with two years remaining in his term. The next highest vote getter from the year of Bloomer’s election – and it was again Mary Ann Gaido — was not appointed. Greg Smith won that special election.
Additional special elections have also been called numerous other times for various reasons, such as voting on charter amendments, measures and ordinances.
In fact, in the history of municipal elections in Irvine, special elections seem to be the rule rather than the exception.
Third-place candidates have been elected to the City Council under Measure A, which was adopted by the voters in 1991.
Measure A provides in that in City Council elections where one of the sitting Councilmembers is running for Mayor, the voters can cast three ballots for candidates for the office of City Council, so that “if a council member whose term of office has not yet expired is elected to the office of Mayor, the vacancy in the office of that Councilmember shall be filled by the candidate for Councilmember receiving the third highest number of votes.”
So far, this situation has happened four times.
On June 7, 1988, third-place City Council candidate Cameron Cosgrove was elected when Larry Agran was elected Mayor.
On November 7, 2000, third-place City Council candidate Beth Krom was elected when Larry Agran was elected Mayor.
On November 2, 2004, third-place City Council candidate Sukhee Kang was elected when Beth Krom was elected Mayor.
On November 4, 2008, third-place City Council candidate Larry Agran was elected when Sukhee Kang was elected Mayor.
Our current situation is very different from those cases.
In those cases, the voters were given the explicit opportunity to vote for three candidates for City Council.
As a result, the third-place candidate gained his or her seat on the City Council directly and democratically through the knowing vote of the people, not by appointment based on coming in third when the voters only had the choice of two.
Indeed, as I have shown, our City has NEVER appointed a Councilmember based on a third-place or next-highest finish in a previous election.
Some have argued that we should use this method of appointment – which we’ve never used before – simply in order to save the money that would need to be spent on an election.
First, it should be noted that other local cities are conducting special elections for councilmembers that could easily be coordinated by the Orange County Registrar with our own, thereby reducing the cost of the election.
Most importantly, however, I believe that democracy is worth the cost.
Democracy is far from perfect.
Many of us are convinced that we could pick better officials than those the people elect.
But that is not what our nation is about.
We elect our officials as our representatives; they are not appointed over us.
Democracy is messy, inefficient, and, yes, sometimes expensive.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
We should fill the vacant seat on the City Council with the choice of the people as determined by an election.
On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, the Irvine City Council officially declared a vacancy on the Council.
I have been informed by the city’s attorney and the city manager this declaration “starts the clock” regarding the process of filling the vacant council seat. We now have 60 days from April 3, 2019, to come to an agreement on the appointment of a new Councilmember or there will be an election.
Residents have 30 days from April 3, 2019, to file a petition signed by seven percent of Irvine’s registered voters to require an election regardless of what the council does.
There is now a Republican proposal to circumvent this voting process by using an arbitrary ‘point proposal,’ under which “each Councilmember shall list three (3) applicants [candidates] in order of preference.” The candidates will be assigned the following point values: Top candidate 3 points, second candidate 2 points, and third candidate, 1 point.
Under this proposed procedure, the applicant receiving the most points will be appointed.
This proposed “point ” procedure:
(1) has never been used by the Irvine City Council to decide how to fill a council vacancy or to make any other appointment;
(2) violates the most crucial principle of a representative democracy — that the people’s representatives are selected by majority rule.
Arbitrarily assigning points to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice applicants, and then saying the applicant with the “most points” wins, is simply a way to avoid majority rule. It undermines the basic legitimacy of Irvine’s government.
Please attend the next Irvine City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 9, at approximately 3:00 p.m. to make sure your voices are heard.
While the so-called “point” procedure was defeated at the last meeting, the question of whether to appoint or have an election is still not settled.
Please attend the next Irvine City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 23, where the Council will likely decide either on a process for appointment of the 5th council member to the vacant seat or deadlock to cause an election.
Closed session starts at 4:00 p.m. and the open meeting begins at 5:00 p.m. The agenda is packed so this may run late.
I would like to hear the Mayor commit to establishing a Climate Action Plan for Irvine, with the goal of eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the city and aiming for all electricity used in the city to be from renewable sources by 2035.
Climate Action Plans make it easy for the public to see what cities plan to do to meet state targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Sprinkling such actions throughout the General Plan is not as transparent and is not in the best interest of the public.
Other cities, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle, Baltimore, Phoenix and Houston already have Climate Action Plans. As the self-proclaimed City of Innovation, Irvine should be a leader in this national effort.
An Irvine Climate Action Plan would benefit both the environment and the regional economy, creating new jobs in the renewable energy industry, improve public health and air quality, conserve water, more efficiently use existing resources, increase clean energy production, improve the quality of life, and save taxpayer money.
Most importantly, a Climate Action Plan would fulfill our obligation to ensure that Irvine remains a beautiful green city for future generations.
Traffic Congestion and Traffic Safety
We have made significant progress in alleviating Irvine’s traffic congestion. We expanded the iShuttle to provide more transportation. We’ve enabled left-hand turns in some intersections to allow traffic to move faster and more efficiently. We’ve widened roads and made other improvements.
But we need to do more.
I would like to hear the Mayor announce a plan to create a greener, smarter, and more efficient transportation future by further expanding our iShuttle. For example, a route that would take people from UCI to the Spectrum would be good for both Irvine traffic reduction, Irvine’s air quality, as well as for UCI students and Spectrum businesses.
Our roads are not only too often congested, they are also becoming too dangerous, as people fail to obey stop signs and follow the rules of the road.
I would like to hear the Mayor propose a major comprehensive traffic safety project, focusing on ensuring motorists come to a full stop at stop signs. This project would involve education, increased enforcement and deploying more advanced stop sign technology.
Many cities have lighted stop signs. Irvine should have them as well. Our Irvine Police should also receive a clear mandate from the Mayor and the City Council to take whatever enforcement actions are necessary to make our streets safer for our residents.
The Great Park
Irvine has made tremendous progress on fulfilling the promise of the Great Park and all of us should be proud of what we’ve accomplished.
What I would like to hear the Mayor speak about tonight is a vision and a plan for completing the next crucial phase of the park – the Cultural Terrace.
The City Council entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement to bring Pretend City Children’s Museum to the Cultural Terrace. When the relocation of Pretend City to the Great Park Cultural Terrace initially came before the City Council in 2017, I strongly supported it and was disappointed when we did not have the votes to act at that time. I am extremely pleased that we have moved forward this year.
But much more needs to be done to truly create the Cultural Terrace as the jewel of the Great Park.
Importantly, the history of the Juaneno/Acjachemen and Gabrielino/Tongva — our County’s indigenous people — needs to be told!
In fact, while Orange County is the only county in Southern California that does not have a natural history museum, Orange County is already home to a fabulous collection of fossils and artifacts in the Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center, now located in several warehouses in Santa Ana. This rich history of fossils and artifacts, perhaps one of the most important fossil-bearing areas in North America, if not the world, needs to be curated and displayed.
Our county’s rich store of fossils and artifacts ought to be open to all in a magnificent museum – a new Orange County Natural History Museum in the Great Park!
I agree with the Great Park Garden Coalition that “We need places where children can experience nature and explore, where all can find refuge from the ever-increasing urban density and traffic, where people of all ages and abilities can experience beautiful outdoor spaces. All great urban parks have great garden spaces: Golden Gate Park, Central Park, Balboa Park.”
The Great Park in Irvine should, too.
Homelessness and Attainable Housing
As we all know, Irvine is among the most expensive real estate markets in the nation; for this reason, there is a tremendous need for, and tremendous obstacles to, affordable housing.
Finding solutions to the housing crisis and alleviating homelessness has been a priority for me, both as a member of the Irvine City Council and as Chair of the Irvine Community Land Trust.
Irvine has been a model in this area and the Land Trust concept, now being adopted by Orange County and many other cities, is something that Irvine has pioneered. No other city has a Land Trust like we have, and other cities are working to copy ours.
I’m proud of what the Irvine Land Trust has accomplished in the past year.
In 2018, we opened Parc Derian, which brings 80 new units of housing for working families, veterans, and special-needs residents of Irvine. We also began work on Salerno, a new 80-unit rental community. Like Parc Derian, Salerno will provide permanent affordable housing for working families, veterans, and special-needs residents of Irvine.
Significantly, we have begun to develop our first homes for ownership with help from a new partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. This new Irvine community, called Chelsea on Native Spring, located north of Irvine Boulevard, will include 68 affordable home for sale to income-eligible veterans, working families, and young professionals.
In all, that’s 466 households, and more than a thousand people, who can comfortably live, work and raise families in Irvine directly because of the work of the Irvine Community Land Trust.
In addition to my work on the Irvine Land Trust, I have traveled to Pittsburgh and San Antonio to see what other cities have done to successfully combat homelessness, and I have traveled to Sacramento to encourage the legislature to revise regulations and the tax code to make it easier to build affordable housing.
I would like to hear the Mayor reaffirm Irvine’s commitment to support the Irvine Community Land Trust as successful model for other cities to emulate in providing housing for diverse income levels.
I would also like to hear the Mayor present his vision for alleviating the homelessness crisis, and especially what role he envisions Irvine should play in providing shelter and services, especially in light of the case in federal court.
How will he work with the federal court and Board of Supervisors to tackle this crisis on a truly regional basis, and how will he get the Board of Supervisors to spend the money and resources that they have been given specifically to deal with homelessness on an actual solution?
Working Together in an Inclusive Democracy
Our City Council is no longer gridlocked in the partisan bickering that prevented progress for so many years; we have seen that we need to work together to improve the lives of all of Irvine’s residents.
I would like to see our city leaders display the truly democratic spirit that united all decent people in our community in condemning religious and racial bigotry, and not the divisiveness that is created when wedge issues, outside our jurisdiction and purview, are brought before the City Council. Focusing on these wedge issues does not produce positive policies that bring our city together, but instead a theatrical politics of division that can only drive us apart.
I would like to hear the Mayor reach out to those of us on the other side of the aisle, as he has often done, recognizing that it is best for our city and our residents when we work for the common good by looking for common ground.
A Vision for our Great City of Irvine
Our great City of Irvine is truly blessed with wonderful people, a beautiful natural environment, thriving businesses, and remarkable schools.
What Irvine needs is a vision for the future that focuses and energizes our continued quest for being the very best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.
The event begins with a reception at 5:00 p.m., followed by the Mayor’s address at 6:00 p.m.
Both the “State of the City” address and the reception are open to the public. No RSVP is necessary to attend.
The Civic Center is located at 1 Civic Center Drive, Irvine CA 92606-5207. Call 949-724-6077 for more information.
Pretend City Children’s Museum, which opened in Irvine in 2009, is an interactive children’s museum that builds better brains through whole body learning experiences, educational programs, and creative exhibits. It is is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving all children.
Designed as a small city, with a grocery store, construction site, art studio, house, café, bank, emergency services, health center and farm, Pretend City is a familiar environment in which children infant through eight-years-old will have joyful opportunities to build problem solving and critical thinking skills, develop creativity and begin a life-long love of learning.
Pretend City is dedicated to ensuring that each child is ready for school success by providing the ideal real-world learning experiences needed by children to develop their essential foundational learning skills.
Our friends at Pretend City Children’s Museum have put together a wonderful program for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Irvine on Monday, January 21, 2019, from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Here is what they have to say:
“Every child is unique, and they should know that no matter how different their friend may look from them, everyone should be treated fairly. On this special day at Pretend City, we want to have an open discussion with your child about equality. Don’t miss out on this important life lesson for your child!”
MLK Day Activities include:
Smart Art (in the Art Studio): Today in our Art Studio we will learn all about the word Peace and create a Dove of Peace handprint to encourage peaceful play at Pretend City and at home.
Cultural Connection (11:30 am): As children create their very own self-portrait, they will engage in discussions that show them that even though we are different in many ways (skin color, hair color, eye color, age, etc.) – everyone is special, and we have many of the same hopes, dreams and feelings on the inside.
Loud & Proud (3:00 pm): Dr. King had a dream of peace! What is your child’s dream? After we sing-along to the Martin Luther King Song children will be given the opportunity to share their dream with others.
The cost of the program is included in museum admission. You can purchase your ticket here.
Pretend City Children’s Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving all children. The museum is a child-size interconnected city built with rich educational intention, where children can assume various real-world roles. It is designed for children to learn how the real-world works.
Through interactive exhibits and activities facilitated by highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.
Pretend City Children’s Museum is located at 29 Hubble, Irvine CA 92618
Call 949-428-3900 for more information.
Note: At the Irvine City Council meeting on Tues., January 22, 2019, the Council will discuss entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with Pretend City Children’s Museum regarding the relocation of the museum to the Great Park’s Cultural Terrace.
If you’re a fan of Pretend City, be sure to attend!
Irvine has three libraries that are managed through in agreement with Orange County Public Libraries. These are the Katie Wheeler Library, the Heritage Park Library, and the University Park Library. Irvine taxpayers pay for the maintenance and operation of these libraries.
As the daughter of a librarian, a member of the Irvine City Council, and as Irvine’s representative on the Library Advisory Board (LAB) of Orange County Library System, I have been very concerned about the conditions and quality of the public libraries in Irvine.
This past summer, I assigned my interns to research our public libraries and make a report on the status of libraries. Among the many problems noted in the report were overcrowding, inadequate work space, and lack of amenities.
Something must be done.
Irvine residents need and deserve a public library system that is modern, well-maintained and inviting, with a multitude of amenities and programs for students, seniors, and the entire community.
Please forward this post to others who are interested in improving our public libraries in Irvine.
I made this blog post partly to test whether Irvine residents really want improved libraries, with awareness that every improvement has a cost and that financial realities must always be taken into account. What I’ve found is that there is tremendous interest in improving our libraries, and that — like me — residents believe that our relationship with the County regarding our libraries is not positive for Irvine. I have also been impressed with the ideas that residents have put forward regarding the kinds of libraries and library services we need in the digital age. Please keep your comments coming — preferably to my City Council email address at firstname.lastname@example.org (even if you’ve also commented online). Thanks!
The City of Irvine is accepting applications for two volunteer positions (parent/guardian representatives) on the Irvine Child Care Committee.
The Irvine Child Care Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Community Services Commission, providing input on the needs of the community pertaining to child care-related issues.
The Child Care Committee is an advisory body of the City of Irvine, reporting to the Community Services Commission, providing input on the needs of the community pertaining to child care related issues.
The Committee’s mission is to develop recommendations related to the availability of affordable quality child care and early education in Irvine.
The Committee works collaboratively with City departments and community organizations to enhance the provision of child care and early education services, providing outreach, and serving as a liaison to the community by informally sharing information learned at meetings, promoting City events for families and early childhood educators and sharing questions, concerns and ideas from the community with the Committee.
The full committee includes five City Council appointees; two center- or home-based child care providers; two parents/guardians; three representatives, one each from Irvine Unified School District, University of California, Irvine, and Irvine Valley College; and two community representatives.
Applicants must be the parent or guardian of a child younger than 12 at the time of application and be willing to commit to a two-year term of active service, from January 2019 through December 2020.
Irvine Child Care Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of select months (at least six times a year) from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Heritage Park Community Center or other Irvine locations.
Applications are available now at the Irvine Child Resource Center and Irvine Civic Center, and online at cityofirvine.org/childcare.
As I’ve said before, Irvine needs more childcare.
We know that our great schools, beautiful parks, and safe environment attract many families with young children. We also know that a critical part of any thriving community is safe, professional, reliable, and affordable preschool and childcare. Irvine must become truly family friendly with no more waiting lists.
I strongly urge interested and dedicated parents or guardians to apply to serve on the Irvine Child Care Committee.
Completed applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10.
Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to:
Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
For additional information, contact Traci Stubbler at 949-724-6635 or email@example.com.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Wednesday evening, July 25, 2018, bring your child and a favorite stuffed animal friend to Pajama Storytime and the 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover at Irvine University Park Library.
Libraries across the globe have been hosting “Stuffed Animal Sleepovers” to encourage an early love of reading.
Here’s how it works:
In the early evening, children in pajamas bring their favorite stuffed friend to the library (researchers say it’s best if they choose one they’re especially attached to). Then librarians usually lead the kids in a story time circle with their favorite stuffed animals.
After that, it’s time for the kids to say goodbye and goodnight — but they leave their little buddies behind for their own overnight library party.
Once the doors are shut, the library staff gets to work posing the stuffed animals living it up — and reading — at the library all night long, and snapping photos as they go.
When the children come back the next day to pick up their little loved ones, they get to look through photos of all the fun their stuffed animal friends had at their library sleepover.
Doesn’t that sound absolutely adorable!
Experts say that the whole experience is magical and really encourages children to read.
Storytime starts at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, and stuffed animal pickup will be Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm and Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Irvine University Park Library is located at 4512 Sandburg Way, Irvine, CA 92612.
Temperatures will reach triple digits this week in some parts of Orange County, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke for those who are sensitive to heat.
Stay hydrated, limit outdoor activities, and NEVER leave kids or pets in a parked car!
ALL City of Irvine facilities are designated cooling centers. Click here for a list of facilities and open hours!
Here are some recommended precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses:
Drink plenty of water; don’t wait until you are thirsty.
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
Stay out of the sun if possible, and when in the sun wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim. Use sunscreen.
Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in buildings that aren’t air-conditioned. If you are working outdoors, take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.
Never leave children, older people or pets unattended in closed vehicles.
Ensure outdoor pets have access to shade and water.
Check on those who are at high risk to make sure they are staying cool – including seniors who live alone, people with heart or lung disease, and young children.
Stay cool indoors – if your home is not air-conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.
Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures may cause serious medical conditions and can even be fatal. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and dizziness. Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature; unconsciousness; confusion; hot and dry skin (no sweating); a rapid, strong pulse; and a throbbing headache. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Assist those with signs of heat stroke to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water.
Let’s be cool — and make sure we all survive the heat!
Irvine Should Move Forward with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Pretend City Children’s Museum at the Cultural Terrace of the Great Park.
I am disappointed that at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, only Councilmember Christina Shea joined with me in agreeing to an MOU with our great Irvine-based Pretend City Children’s Museum regarding a lease of property at the Cultural Terrace of the Great Park. Mayor Don Wagner and Councilmember Lynn Schott voted against. Councilmember Jeff Lalloway was absent.
Because of the City Council’s decision, Pretend City Children’s Museum is in danger of losing a seed money grant from the County for $5 million that depends on the MOU.
Pretend City Children’s Museum, which opened in Irvine in 2009, is an interactive children’s museum that builds better brains through whole body learning experiences, educational programs, and creative exhibits. Designed as a small city, with a grocery store, construction site, art studio, house, café, bank, emergency services, health center and farm, Pretend City will be a familiar environment in which children infant through eight-years-old will have joyful opportunities to build problem solving and critical thinking skills, develop creativity and begin a life-long love of learning. It is dedicated to ensuring that each child is ready for school success by providing the ideal real-world learning experiences needed by children to develop their essential foundational learning skills. This month, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced that Pretend City is a finalist for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Susan Bolton, the Executive Director of the Pretend Museum, has explained that the museum “seeks to move to the Great Park to expand its mission in serving the county’s children in providing early childhood education, developmental screenings, hands on play environment for children of ALL abilities and school readiness.”
The arguments against the MOU were that it would give Pretend City Children’s Museum an advantage over other possible occupants of the Cultural Terrace, and that the Cultural Terrace project should not be approved piecemeal. However, we already know the value and quality of Pretend City, which has operated in the city for many years, and the MOU would not commit the city to any final decision regarding the Cultural Terrace.
Moreover, we should be not be pitting the fine organizations that are seeking space in the Cultural Terrace against each other. As Don Croucher – the leading advocate for a California Fire Museum at the Great Park – has pointed out, he and other supporters of the Fire Museum “are very much in favor of Pretend City getting their MOU so they do not lose the grant that is offered to them. We understand the need for them to move forward. It is NOT putting them ahead of any others at the Cultural Terrace, but rather a hand up to get the $5 million grant. We, in no way, want to hinder this important step for Pretend City. We will support them in every step of the way to make sure they get this MOU ASAP.”
Irvine is a great city for families with young children, but we can and should make it even better. We need more childcare and more pre-school programs for children under six-years-old, and I and my Commissioners are working to make this happen. We should also do everything we can to support the terrific work being done by the Pretend Museum for young children right here in Irvine.
As Councilmember Christina Shea has said, “If Pretend City loses their grant and we in turn lose a fantastic partner that supports our children and families, the community will lose and this isn’t what Irvine is about.”
I hope that we can move forward with the MOU soon and that the grant is not lost.
I recommend that those who are interested in this issue contact other members of the Irvine City Council.