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Los Angeles Community Colleges

February 21, 1988
Your readers may be interested in a travel and language program, sponsored by the Los Angeles Community Colleges District, planned for June 24 to July 24. The district is inviting people to Rio de Janeiro to study Portuguese at a language center--Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos--with the opportunity to live with a Brazilian family and take several weekend excursions to points of interest. Cost is $2,155 per person, including air fare, room and board, tuition and educational materials.
March 3, 2013
Voting may be the ultimate act of optimism. If it can't help, why bother? People who go to the polls are investing in the future of their city, asserting by their action that there is a choice to be made and that the choice is consequential. But voting counts regardless of who prevails. The victors cannot help but take careful note of just who put them in office, and who can keep them there if they perform well - or throw them out if they don't. A high turnout sends the message that voters are on duty and paying attention, regardless of how much money was donated by interest groups looking for favors.
June 12, 1988
Donald G. Phelps, the head of Seattle's three community colleges, will be the next chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District and its nine campuses, officials announced last week. Phelps, 58, was chosen over three other finalists because of his record in helping students, his commitment to decentralization of power and his charismatic personality, said Hal Garvin, president of the Board of Trustees that governs the Los Angeles district.
July 18, 2012 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
A new, independent review of the Los Angeles Community College District's $6-billion campus construction program found a number of flaws in the process for selecting an inspector general to oversee the project, concluding that the eventual winner lacked essential experience and qualifications. In the review released Wednesday, Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel found that the original proposal for bids was vague on the functions and requirements for the office of the inspector general.
May 19, 1993
The Los Angeles Community College District is concerned about students unable to access on-campus courses and is committed to making educational resources available to all citizens of this city. For more than 28 years, Instructional Television, a districtwide program of the Los Angeles Community Colleges, has been offering transferable college courses by television to thousands of students who are unable to attend meet the time and parking requirementsoftraditional college classes.
January 26, 1989
As part of a reorganization of the Los Angeles Community Colleges system, presidents of two campuses are being shifted temporarily to posts in the central administration, a district spokesman said Wednesday. Thomas L. Stevens Jr., president of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, will become the system's acting vice chancellor for business services, and James Heinselman, president of Los Angeles Harbor College, will act as vice chancellor for education services.
February 8, 1987
I recognize that many agencies are making Gov. Deukmejian aware of their need for more money. My appeal here is based upon taxpayer equity in the Los Angeles Community Colleges. As a trustee, I have the responsibility to maintain buildings that are on a replacement basis, which would cost the taxpayers $352 million. The total amount available in my budget for maintenance is approximately $100,000. Any prudent director of a corporation would acknowledge that 1% of value would be a bare minimum to allocate for deferred maintenance.
April 5, 1985
I am writing regarding your extensive article (March 25) on the enrollment decline in the Los Angeles Community College District. I am in agreement that colleges nearby, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Southwest College and West Los Angeles College, may offer more attractive physical facilities, but I take strong exception to a comment from a single student implying that our faculty is not as good as those teaching elsewhere. During my tenure as a trustee, I have developed an acute awareness of the competency, skill and dedication of the faculty on our many campuses.
May 10, 1988
As vice president of the board of trustees of the Los Angeles Community Colleges, I applaud The Times for its thoughtful editorial on the problems and opportunities of America's two-year colleges ("Neglected Campuses," April 24). The attention focused on our colleges by educators and journalists has highlighted both the importance of the service we provide, and the difficulties of maintaining and reinvigorating our programs. One of the most significant responsibilities of community colleges, which we share with four-year institutions, is to provide quality "lower-division" education--the first two years of postsecondary academic work.
February 13, 2005
The article on soaring costs of construction materials ("Materials Add Up ... Way Up" by Jeff Bertolucci, Jan. 30) was right on the mark. These price escalations are hitting larger-scale projects, including the Los Angeles Community Colleges' $2.4-billion construction program, as well as individual homeowners. To make the most of our limited bond funding and to keep costs in check, the L.A. Community Colleges have instituted practices that go beyond industry standards: We make bulk purchases whenever possible to get the best price available.
December 1, 2011 | By Gale Holland and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County prosecutors are investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by two major contractors working for the Los Angeles Community College District as part of its $5.7-billion campus construction program. The inquiry centers on allegations by the district's inspector general that companies owned by Art Gastelum and Nizar Katbi submitted fraudulent billings for construction work at Mission College in Sylmar , Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman said Wednesday. The district alleges that Gastelum's firm approved a payment to Katbi's company for work it had not performed.
November 10, 2011 | By Gale Holland and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Community College District is moving to fire a third major contractor it has accused of mismanagement in its $5.7-billion construction program as part of a crackdown spurred by a Times series on waste and abuse in the campus rebuilding program. In a letter released Tuesday, the district accused Turner Construction Company, which supervised West Los Angeles College's construction program, of failing to inform the district that approval of projects at the campus would cause a $123-million budget shortfall.
October 20, 2011
Years after a multibillion-dollar construction program left the Los Angeles Community College District with problem-plagued new buildings, the district's board of trustees is taking measures to oust its contracting firm and a construction management company. Finally. These are obvious and badly needed moves to reform a building program responsible for erecting, among other travesties, a health and science center at Valley College where floor and ceiling tiles were askew, spigots weren't lined up with sinks and the air temperature control was nonexistent.
October 19, 2011 | By Michael Finnegan and Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Community College District is moving to fire an Irvine contractor accused of shoddy workmanship and fraud in the construction of a Valley College classroom complex that became a symbol of problems with the district's $5.7-billion campus rebuilding program. In a letter released Tuesday, the district launched proceedings to bar the contractor, FTR International, from campus work for up to five years. The district cited "substandard work" by FTR on its $48-million contract to build the Allied Health and Science complex at Valley College . The district also said FTR filed a "false and fraudulent" report on the project with the state architect, which oversees school safety.
October 5, 2011 | By Gale Holland and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley has opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations of irregularities in the Los Angeles Community College District's choice of a watchdog for its troubled $5.7-billion construction program. Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman said Monday that his office's public integrity division is examining why the college district hired a newly formed company, Policy Masters Inc., as inspector general over higher-ranked candidates. The company's founder, Christine E. Marez, had no background in independent audits and investigations.
August 26, 2011
When it comes to taking responsibility for serious ethical and construction mistakes, the leaders of the Los Angeles Community College District have been too quick to defend their actions and too slow to admit they might have done wrong. That was true in February, when The Times published a series of articles on the district's multibillion-dollar building program, and it's true today. The articles detailed various problems with the program, which was financed by a $5.7-billion voter-approved bond.
June 24, 1986
Your editorial (June 17), "Big Changes on Campus," is right on the mark. The community colleges are poised for a renaissance. At long last a comprehensive blueprint for the colleges' mission and functions has been prepared. Implementation and support by the state are all that remain before this rebirth can realize its full potential. It is important, however, to recognize that the colleges are not waiting on the sidelines. Many significant changes have been and are already being made.
January 16, 1998
Your Jan. 10 editorial correctly states that the Los Angeles Community Colleges are underfunded, but misrepresents everything else. The reason shared governance hasn't worked is that faculty representatives have little input about major decisions, such as hiring Bill Segura at a yearly salary of over $140,000, including such perks as a chauffeur-driven vehicle. It was not the faculty's decision to buy a district headquarters, at Wilshire and Wilton, that to this day stands vacant. Meanwhile, the district rents an expensive downtown office building for its bureaucrats.
July 3, 2011 | By Gale Holland and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
A Texas architect who admitted paying bribes to influence the awarding of school construction contracts in that state later helped manage major construction programs at community colleges in Southern California. Most recently, Louis M. Cruz was a project manager for a $616-million building campaign at Long Beach City College. Previously, he held similar responsibilities at the Los Angeles Community College District, managing $190 million worth of construction. Cruz was a central figure in a corruption scandal in San Antonio, Texas.
May 14, 2011 | By Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times
A political campaign focused on a troubled community college construction program has suddenly veered into a noisy side battle with cries of censorship, stealth candidates and "tea party" takeover. Scott Svonkin, a senior advisor to L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, and Lydia Gutierrez, a Long Beach schoolteacher, face off Tuesday for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College District board. The two candidates, neither of whom won a majority in the March primary, agree on reexamining the campus building effort.
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