Page 10 July 18, 2019 EL SEGUNDO HERALD
311 Kansas St Unit A, El Segundo
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Local Aerospace’s Role from page 3
Center as an important contributor to the
Apollo voyage. The Apollo capsules “rolled off
the assembly line” in Downey, on a 160-acre
parcel that was twice the size of Disneyland.
The bustling space was home to factories,
offices and test facilities for mission-critical
systems that NASA depended on for flight,
guidance and re-entry of its Apollo 11 crew.
Gerald Blackburn, who was one of the more
than 25,000 people who worked at the Downey
property at the height of Apollo program in
the mid-1960s, called it “a magical place.”
He recalled, “We worked at the spaceship
factory. We were all part of a team -- Team
Apollo.” The property since has been redeveloped
into stores, movie theaters and
Friday is NASA Day at the center, which
will broadcast segments from the Space Center
on NASA TV and Discovery Science channel.
The day will feature hands-on activities,
original performances from the Chalk Rep
theater company, projects from the Space
Center’s young Apollo Summer campers
and girls in STEM Club. Historical Apollo
artifacts and Apollo alumni will be available
to talk and answer questions. Admission to
this one-day event is free.
Saturday is Apollo 11 Landing Day at the
center. Visitors can revel in the far-reaching
feat achieved 50 years ago when the first
men reached the moon. Astronauts Armstrong
and Aldrin made good on President John
Kennedy’s promise that America’s space
program would put men on the moon and
return them home safely before the end of
the decade. Raytheon has provided Apollothemed
activities, and guests will be treated
to dramatic performances portraying life in
the Apollo Program while watching “live”
as Neil Armstrong takes his first “giant leap
Visitors on Saturday can snap a photo of
themselves jumping on the moon, and share
the image with family and friends on social
media to commemorate the first successful
voyage to the moon -- 239,900 miles away.
The movie Apollo 11 will be screened outdoors
on Saturday. Filmmaker Todd Douglas
Miller calls it “a cinematic event 50 years in
The festivities continue on Tuesday for
Splashdown Day, with the center opening
its doors at 10 a.m. to recognize the return
of the Apollo 11 capsule carrying the three
U.S. heroes aboard with moon rocks, which
are on display at the Smithsonian Museum
in Washington, D.C. The day’s speakers will
include the people who worked on the parachute
systems that worked to perfection as the
capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
Who doesn’t like seeing artifacts and real
stuff from the Apollo 11 mission? The Los
Angeles Public Library in cooperation with
the Downey space center is hosting a traveling
exhibit of items and speakers in July. The
next event is on July 27 at 2 p.m. at the San
Pedro Regional Library, 12006 Venice Blvd.
in Los Angeles.
The California Legislature this year approved
$5 million for the Columbia Memorial Space
Center to expand and construct a second building
on the grounds. A major focus of the programs
is to promote STEM to schoolchildren in the
South Bay and Greater Los Angeles schools.
The center’s executive director said the money
will continue the space program’s quest for innovation
and to push the boundaries of human
knowledge. “This gift will allow the Space
Center to bring that spirit of exploration and
discovery to new generations, helping to fulfill
our mission to ignite a community of creative
and critical thinkers,” Ben Dickow said recently
about the state’s investment in the center. •
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City Council from front page
percent for arts fee (with Boyles on the fence
depending on what staff presents next time).
Tuesday’s consent agenda, often passed in
its entirety without discussion of more than an
item or two, included a surprise turn of events.
When Pirsztuk made a motion to formally
adopt the previously discussed and majoritysupported
move for developer D.R. Horton
to provide eight moderate income households
at its Imperial Avenue complex, none of the
Council members seconded it and so the item
failed. Thus the project falls back to the original
provision of six affordable units for low, very
low and extremely low qualified households.
As in previous meetings addressing the matter,
Brann maintained his earlier no vote. The lack
of additional Council support came after Nicol
questioned Hensley about the City’s ability to
intervene should future tenants at the housing
complex run into problems. Hensley confirmed
that the City can’t get involved in civil matters
and “has no jurisdiction” in such situations.
The homeowners would have to pursue legal
action on their own. Nicol found it “troubling”
that the eight lottery “winners” who move into
the households could be left hanging if D.R.
Horton leaves town after completing the project.
Tuesday night also included an update from
the marketing firm Ignited on the recruitment
campaign for the El Segundo Police Department.
Chief Bill Whalen was pleased to report
that sworn personnel, which had reached a
low of 48 two years ago, are now up to 59
(only three below the budgeted number of
62). He added that the department will soon
welcome its second lateral officer and lauded
the Council’s decision last year to approve a
bonus incentive for laterals as well as entry
level applicants. The marketing plan includes
an array of online, social media, outdoor
billboard and other advertising mechanisms
to attract candidates. The result has been a
huge uptick in applications, leading Whalen
to conclude that the process is working well.
He indicated the department will continue to
be aggressive in pushing the recruitment given
that 40 percent of the current sworn personnel
will retire over the next four years.
Whalen returned to the podium to provide
the most recent six-month crime update and
had some good news: Local Part 1 crimes
dropped 13.1 percent over that period compared
to January-June 2018 and also fell below the
mean of the last six years. The chief noted
that crime rose in El Segundo (and practically
everywhere else in the region) after the passage
of Prop 47 – the measure that reduced
penalties for various property and drug offenses
and subsequently left more criminals on the
streets. But the latest local crime numbers are
now lower than they were before Prop 47.
Among the stats, violent crimes swelled by
117 percent. Whalen emphasized that there
were only 21 more instances compared to last
year and that of the 39 total, only three were
situations in which the victim and suspect
didn’t know each other. As one example, the
three rape incidents included two of the statutory
nature (involving someone under 18) and
another with two people who knew each other.
While robberies increased 56 percent, they are
categorized as “violent crimes” if a shoplifter
merely pushes someone out of the way to run
out of a store. Aggravated assaults also rose
from eight to 22, though Whalen reiterated that
most of the people knew each other. He added
that the department has a very high clearance
rate of 86 percent to close aggravated assault
cases. Meanwhile, there were fewer burglaries
and larceny incidents compared to last year.
Finally, the number of calls to the department
about community homeless declined dramatically
(from 195 to 90) as well as related arrests
(from 50 to 29). •
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