State finalizes enterprise zone designation
L.A. City, county and Huntington Park partner to create Harbor Gateway enterprise zone
The state of California has approved a new enterprise zone that consists of a partnership between the county and city of Los Angeles and the city of Huntington Park that will bring a number of benefits to the communities of Florence-Firestone, the eastern section of Watts, Willowbrook, Wilmington, Walnut Park, Rancho Dominguez, West Rancho Dominquez, West Carson, San Pedro, Harbor City, and Harbor Gateway.
The benefits are available beginning May 1 and continue in force for the next 15 years.
Called Harbor Gateway, it is one of 42 enterprise zones scattered around the state, and officials have been seeking the designation since 2009. In December 2010, the zone was given conditional approval, but it took another year for the final designation to go through. It was one of 14 applications submitted for two designations available. State officials were apparently re-evaluating the program in light of California’s budget woes.
The idea behind the designation is to attract businesses that will bring jobs to these communities, which typically have higher unemployment, lower incomes and continue to lag behind the county and the nation in recovering from the recent recession.
Watts is also served by the Los Angeles Hollywood enterprise zone, which was designated in 2006.
Among the benefits businesses can take advantage of as result of the designation are a hiring tax credit.
A business owner can earn at least $34,440 in state tax credits, if employees hired after May 1 fit into one of 13 categories (i.e. those who are CalWORKS eligible or enrolled in the program; those eligible for Workforce Investment Act job training, dislocated workers, Native Americans, ex-offenders, the disabled, or service-connected disabled veterans of the Vietnam era or those separated from the military within the last 48 months.
Additionally, banks who lend to businesses that are already located in the enterprise zone or which move into it, can get a net interest deduction credit.
Companies can also earn sales tax credits on purchases of $20 million a year of qualified machinery, machinery parts, and office equipment.
Janice Hahn, 15th district council member, is heading into a runoff election in July for the 36th congressional district, and should she be elected to fill the seat, the Los Angles City Council can either appoint someone to fill her vacant spot or call for a special election.
Hahn is set to face Republican Craig Heuy, who scraped past by Secretary of State Debra Bowen by a mere 709 votes. The election is July 12, and the winner will serve until January 2013 in a seat vacated by longtime legislator Jane Harmon, who resigned.
In the Hub City there is more to baseball than the American League and National League playoffs. But America’s favorite pastime almost vanished from most inner cities in the early 1970s when youth baseball left the urban areas for the suburbs.
With the departure of neighborhood park leagues like “Pee Wee,” “Babe Ruth” and “Connie Mack” went a unique opportunity for children of color to learn about teamwork, discipline and character. They were part of a bond where success or failure depended on confidence in one another.
LOS ANGELES - UCLA, USC, Kaiser Permanente and other organizations announced that a collaboration would take place to overhaul the leadership of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in the Watts-Willowbrook area.
"This is a timely and critical development for the health, productivity, and well-being of the residents of South Los Angeles,'' Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said.
Packed in the pews at Macedonia Baptist Church in Watts, a mixed and vigorous crowd of about 400 Blacks and Hispanics had come to hear how mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti would respond to both their questions and their needs. The forum was sponsored by L.A. Voice.
To begin, various religious and community leaders came forward to highlight issues in the community.
The Watts-Willowbrook Conservatory (WWC) and youth orchestra begins its fourth year, serving youngsters from the South Los Angeles/Watts/Compton area.
Beginners, intermediate and advanced students are welcome to participate in the program, and youth must be ages 7-18 to participate in the 10-week session. The cost is a $10 registration fee, and instruments are available for loan.
April 18 is the final day to sign up for the new session.
Enrollment applications available at The Watts-Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club.