News flash! Every week, following the Board meeting, Supervisor Kuehl picks five items you might find interesting, important, and/or fun. It’s your way to get a quick rundown of several highlights of the meeting in no more than 5 minutes! Looking for more? Click here to get the entire agenda.


 


County residents should be able to trust the honesty of every County employee, most especially those who are working in public safety positions or hired to protect us in life and death situations.

This week the Board passed Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ motion, which I co-authored, exploring ways we can adopt stronger tools to hold County employees accountable if they violate that trust and lie or withhold information in internal investigations.

Read More: Improving Civil Service Accountability

Given the richness of the arts tapestry in multi-cultural LA County, it is more important than ever that we fund and support a wide and diverse variety of arts work here in the County.

On Tuesday, the Board approved a motion by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and myself to make certain that we reflect the rich arts diversity throughout the County by supporting art programming everywhere and equal opportunity for everyone.

Read More: County Moves Forward in Creating Arts Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

At the beginning of the meeting, we honored the incredible people responsible for the 8th Annual UCLA Volunteer Day.

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents from my alma mater fanned out to 40 sites across LA County to visit schools, food banks, parks, shelters, veterans’ facilities, and neighborhood centers, making an important impact and improving the lives of many LA county residents.

The impact of a Volunteer Day experience lasts far beyond the few hours spent volunteering. It leaves a lasting impression, not only on the community but also on all the leaders who participate.

Lots of action this week to expand, improve and promote the arts in LA. Following our diversity in the arts motion, we signed off on $500,000 for the Community Impact Arts Grant Program (CIAG).

CIAG recognizes the value of the arts as a vital tool for civic problem solving across a range of issue areas and supports arts programming taking place at nonprofit social service and health organizations, municipal departments and institutions of higher education as part of their larger missions to provide services to individuals and communities.

For all the artists out there, click here to learn how to apply for this great program!

California’s Dino-mite Discovery!

You will most likely not be surprised to hear that the subject of dinosaurs rarely comes up in the Board’s typical week-to-week business, but all that changed on Tuesday as we put the County on record in support of AB 1540, Asm. Richard Bloom’s bill to establish the duck-billed dinosaur (augustynolophus morrisi) as the official state dinosaur of California.

Existing law establishes the state flag and the state’s emblems, including the saber-toothed cat, Smilodon Californicus, as the official state fossil, designated in 1973. The proposed state dinosaur is deeply connected to our own Natural History Museum (NHM), which is home to the only two, known, specimens, both of which were found in California, and the holotype is on display in the highly-visited Dinosaur Hall. Augustynolophus morrisi were herbivores and could be as big as 26 feet long and 11 feet tall.

Additional connections of the duck-billed dinosaur include the fact that augustynolophus morrisi is named after one of NHM’s donors, Gretchen Augustyn, and NHM’s Vice President of Research Collections, Dr. Luis Chiappe, was on the team that named the dinosaur.

Naming the Augustynolophus morrisi as the official state dinosaur could bring a benefit to the NHM because visitors and scholars may be drawn to the NHM to learn more about it, and visits could inspire children to develop an interest in history and paleontology.