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Will you be struck by the flu this year?  If you live in Inglewood, getting protection for this virus just got easier.  Hillcrest Medical Clinic, located at 511 E. Manchester, is offering free flu shots to all Inglewood residents.


Hillcrest has joined the City of Inglewood to lower the risk and spread of the flu virus.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there has been a new outbreak of the flu in 42 states including California.


“The 2014-15 new strain of the flu is mutated and the flu vaccine may not be 100 percent effective to immunize a person against the flu.  However, outcome and duration will be reduced (with the vaccine),”  said the Clinic’s Dr. Soheil Hekmat.  He added that, according to the CDC, 26 children have died from the flu this season alone.


Dr. Hekmat said it has not been proven that the flu vaccine will cause symptoms. However, because 30 percent of flu cases become pneumonia, vaccines are strongly advised.  Children, elderly and high-risk individuals (i.e., diabetics, asthmatics) are especially vulnerable.


Frequent hand washing is always the first line of defense to prevent spreading the flu.  Hekmat said a doctor can also prescribe medication which will reduce flu symptoms, when taken within the first 24 hours, even if a person did not receive the vaccine.  Common flu symptoms are lo-grade fever, runny nose, sore throat, dry cough and muscle ache. 


In Inglewood since 1979, Dr. Hekmat is on staff at Centinela Hospital Medical Center and formerly practiced at Daniel Freeman.  He specializes in internal medicine. 


With 36 years in Inglewood, Hekmat is committed to bringing quality health care to communities of color.  While the Affordable Care Act is helping bridge healthcare disparities, Hekmat said more help is needed.


“We need more education for the residents.  They need to be given the opportunity to know what is available in California.  Especially here (Inglewood), you have a mix of citizens who lack  knowledge about how they can get Obamacare.”


Hillcrest Medical Clinic offers preventive medicine, x-rays, orthopedic, cosmetic surgery, laboratory, general surgery, stress testing and urgent care.  The clinic accepts all forms of insurance, including Med-Cal, and is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.  Walk-ins are welcome for flu shots.  The offer is valid until April. 


For more information about the free flu shots or to make an appointment for other health concerns, call (310) 672-9000 or visit






“Selma” Teaches Kids About MLK

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Last year, school-aged children got an up close and personal look at democracy, injustice, free speech and free assembly through the lens of civil unrest following the Michael Brown and Eric Garner shootings.  For children raised in the 60s and 70s it was déjà vu.


Racial segregation and discrimination stirred Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders of their day to organize marches to the nation’s capital.  Their efforts eventually led to equal voting rights and the end of discriminatory laws.


Now younger generations are learning more about King’s civil rights movement and the many struggles and sacrifices made on their behalf.  Paramount Pictures says business leaders across the country have joined the effort to allow students to see "Selma" for free.  The film chronicles events leading to the historic passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, including the relationship between King and President Lyndon Johnson. 


The big screen history lesson is being offered in such cities as New York, Boston, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Dallas.  Twenty-seven African American businesses in New York took the lead by creating a fund to provide 75,000 tickets to seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students to see the film.


So far, Los Angeles is not on the list and—ironically—Selma isn’t either.  However, more cities will be added this week. 


Produced and directed by Ava DuVernay, co-produced and co-starring Oprah Winfrey, “Selma” won a Golden Globe for “Best Original Song” (“Glory” by John Legend and Common) and is getting a lot of Oscar buzz.


As far as movements go, younger generations have the biggest impact in bringing about social change.  They are more energetic, idealistic, and have seen just enough injustice to inspire them to action, but not enough to make them jaded.  Because this civil rights movement was inspired by real events, young movie-goers will find teachable moments and cultural nuances that are not so evident in history books.  Parents and grandparents can give children first-person accounts of what life was like during this historic period.


Sixth through eighth graders must present student ID cards or report cards for free admission.  For updates on participating cities and theatres offering free student tickets, visit .






2014: A Banner Year for Inglewood

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If you saw Thomas Bunn’s video presentation either on the City of Inglewood website ( or at the Jan. 13 council meeting, it revealed living proof that Inglewood is emerging as a future destination city. 


Here is the print version of what has transpired over the last 12 months, and what has major media buzzing about possibilities that lie ahead for this city—a city that used to be a place folks only drove through on the way to LAX. 


Except for the recently re-opened Fabulous Forum, the visual landscape hasn’t changed much.  Some streets have been repaved and new businesses have come in, but for the most part, the city remains in various stages of construction. 


Signs of momentum are being reflected in rising home prices.  This trend can only get better with the completion of upscale condominiums underway at the old Daniel Freeman Hospital site.


Here’s a brief look at 2014, and why folks are calling it Inglewood’s banner year:


  • Historic Eagles Tour Kicked off the Fabulous Forum’s Reopening
  • Residential Sound Insulation Goals were Exceeded

  • The City’s Deficit was Reduced by More than 50 Percent

  • His Holiness, the Dalai Lama Came to the Forum

  • Inglewood Got Adopted by Snoop Dogg

  • The Biggest Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Ever

  • Inglewood Selected as Host City for Special Olympics in 2015

  • Inglewood Made the Cover of the Los Angeles Business Journal

  • Inglewood Named “2014 Curbed Cup Neighborhood of the Year” by

  • Ground breaking for the Hollywood Park Tomorrow Project

  • Initiative to Add a Sports Stadium and Entertainment Center to Hollywood Park

  • Ground breaking for Crenshaw/LAX Rail with 2 Stops in Inglewood

  • Ground breaking for a New Community Center

  • Mayor James Butts Voted to Represent  the Southwest Corridor on the Metro Board of Directors


With so much to boast about, and it all happening on his watch, Mayor Butts easily won re-election with 83 percent of the votes.


Of course, no year is perfect and probably the lowest point was the KPCC report on unsafe and unsanitary conditions at some Inglewood schools. It is not clear how IUSD’s ratings could drop so dramatically from 93 out of 100 to 12 within just 6 months.  The district was given time to clean up and make repairs to the schools.  County inspectors were due to make a follow up visit last week.  Everyone needs to step up for the children of Inglewood.


The positive momentum of new development—and therefore new jobs—has boosted civic pride.  It has helped shape the perspective of Inglewood both by residents and outsiders alike.  It is forcing some folks to take a closer look and reconsider what Inglewood has to offer.


“I'm proud to be part of the history of this community and look forward to growing my business here,” said Bunn who covered many city milestones last year. “I'm most excited about the coming year as we begin to work closer with the business community and youth through a number of projects we currently have in development.”










On Monday, January 19, 2015, the City of Inglewood will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration.


This year’s memorial of Dr. King’s legacy marks Inglewood’s 32nd annual commemoration.


Each year, the City celebrates with speeches from elementary, middle and high school students, inspiring keynote speakers, moving gospel choirs, a family festival and renewed commitments to “Advance the Dream.”


“Inglewood’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration is an inspiring event that reflects our community’s continued commitment to the ideas of freedom, equality, and mutual respect inspired by Dr. King,” said Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. “The public is invited to join us in remembrance of this civil rights hero.”


The City will kick-off its 2015 King Day celebration at 9:00 a.m. with a commemorative program at Crozier Middle School, located at 120 W. Regent.


Under the banner “Advancing the Dream: The Time is Now,” the King Day event will feature performances by local choirs and community groups, as well as participation from elected officials and special guests. KJLH radio personality Kevin Nash will serve as the master of ceremonies, and Buffalo Soldiers, and Montford Point Marines will serve as special guests.


Musical selections will include performances by Toni Malone: Lady of Soul, Chris “The Hammer” Smith, and First Church of Compton. A symbolic civil rights march will follow after the service  beginning at approximately 11:00 a.m. March participants will leave the school site and culminate at The Fabulous Forum (corner of Manchester Boulevard and Prairie Avenue.)  The march which is designed to reenact the civil rights marches of the 1950s and 1960s.


The 2015 King Day activities will continue on the grounds of the Fabulous Forum with King Fest, including commercial vendors, interactive games, food and live entertainment provided by radio and entertainment sponsor, Radio FREE KJLH 102.3 FM.


Guest emcees, CBS sports anchor Jill Hill and recording artist Johnnie Gill will welcome to the performance stage Grammy nominated artist Antonique Smith, Darius McCrary, Higher Groove, Ariella Azmerelda, Mali Nicole, Real Band, and the Sledge Grits Band.


The City of Inglewood’s King Day celebration is sponsored by Sky Posters, The Madison Square Garden Company, KJLH Radio 102.3, Inglewood Today, Consolidated Disposal Service and the Inglewood Unified School District.


For more information about Inglewood’s King Day Celebration, call (310) 412-8750 or visit the


City’s website at


It Keeps Getting Better

Thursday, January 08, 2015

If you are reading the print edition of Inglewood Today, then you have noticed something unusual.  The entire cover is devoted toward news about the City of Champions Revitalization Project.  It is just that important!


Last week, we focused on the successful impact that the renovated Forum has had on Inglewood.  Within just one year’s span of time, Inglewood has out-booked Staples Center and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.  Yes, the Forum, buoyed by a $100 million investment by Madison Square Garden and world class entertainment, is truly “fabulous” again.


Just one week later, Inglewood has been named the “2014 L.A. Neighborhood of the Year” by real estate website,    The site holds an annual reader vote contest to determine the community with the most progressive development. 


But, the really big news—and why I felt it necessary to change the format this week—is the announcement of an 80,000-seat stadium to be built in Inglewood adjacent to Hollywood Park. 


The Forum has not only made Inglewood the City of Entertainment, but the stadium will make Inglewood once more the City of Champions.  It is the cherry on top, the shining star, so to speak on just how far we have come in just a few years.  Every destination city has a stadium and a major entertainment venue.  It is what drives revenue, creates jobs, and attracts tourists from all over.  Now Inglewood will have both.

So let’s see:  By 2018, Inglewood will add to the Forum as major cultural and tourists attractions, the sprawling 238-Hollywood Park Tomorrow, with upscale homes, retail centers, a casino, hotel, parks and schools PLUS an additional 60 acres for the new sports stadium.  By this time, the Crenshaw/LAX light rail, with two stations in Inglewood will be operating to bring passengers to and through our city.  It’s going to be absolutely amazing.


Add to that, our growing community or resident artists, new school building projects, and  franchise businesses that continue to come here, and you have a city that would rival many of its neighbors.


It wasn’t that long ago when Inglewood was considered a “bedroom” community, a place to ride through.  This turnaround has not been easy, but it speaks to the leadership and the commitment of residents who held onto their vision of something better. 


While Inglewood may not have the glitz and glamour (yet) of its South Bay neighbors, it more than makes up for that in spirit.  It’s easy to look good when your community is dotted by multi-million dollar homes.  But pulling off a deal like a major sports stadium, despite being a predominately black and brown city, on the lower income end of the South Bay—now that’s something pretty special.


Inglewood residents should be very proud of what has just occurred, and it will only get better.






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