Irvine City News and Notes for May 2018
Irvine Unified School District was named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States, the only district in Orange County to receive the honor. Now in its 19th year, the awards program recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are given to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and consistent access to music education, including funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, and commitment to standards.
“This honor is representative of the District’s commitment to the arts,” says Brad Van Patten, IUSD Fine Arts Coordinator. “Despite being one of the lowest funded school districts in the nation, fine arts have flourished in IUSD schools under the Board of Education’s visionary leadership.” IUSD is among only 4 percent of school districts nationwide to receive the “Best Communities” designation. Research studies continue to demonstrate the physical, cognitive and social benefits of music making. Students who are involved in a school-based music program are not only more likely to graduate high school and attend college; also, only a few years of musical training early in life improves how the brain processes sound, even later in life. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and learning how to give and receive constructive criticism.
Everyone in Irvine has an opinion on traffic. A key irritant in driving around the city are intersections where one has to wait for a green arrow to turn left, despite the fact that there’s no oncoming traffic in sight. Now, the city will test a flashing yellow arrow to replace the dreaded red one, allowing drivers to make the left turn when it is safe to do so. The Irvine City Council approved testing the new traffic light system at five intersections, choosing ones where relatively lightly traveled side streets intersect major arterials. Construction will start in August and the new lights should be in by February. The test intersections are: Culver Drive and Florence; Sand Canyon Avenue and Towngate; Rockfield Boulevard and Oldfield; Irvine Center Drive and Tesla; and Irvine Center Drive and Odyssey. The city will see how it goes at the first five intersections before trying it at others. Now, if those and other intersections also had quicker greens and/or fewer red lights at many of those same intersections with smaller side streets, particularly on weekends when the commercial building access along major routes through town isn’t needed as often.
Hope for Health
City of Hope, an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, has announced plans to build a $200 million, best-in-class, cancer center in Irvine on land owned/to be donated by FivePoint Holdings, LLC.
“City of Hope’s vision is to bring tomorrow’s discoveries to the people who need them today. Increasingly, this means bringing technologically-advanced care, physician expertise, and clinical research closer to home for patients and their families,” said Robert W. Stone, president and CEO of City of Hope.
The cancer center will be equipped with leading-edge technologies and dedicated oncology specialists to provide innovative, high quality care to Orange County and beyond. The $200 million cancer center is proposed to be located near the Irvine train station, across Barranca Parkway from the new headquarters building for Broadcom. The 18-acre medical campus would include the City of Hope center, plus other medical facilities and a hotel for patients and their families.
“The City of Hope state-of-the-art cancer center will anchor a comprehensive new medical campus that will ultimately feature multiple centers of excellence offering the very best health care and wellness services in the heart of Irvine,” said Emile Haddad, FivePoint chairman and CEO. “This unique campus and the cancer center will be dedicated to longevity and the best possible quality of life, and they will reflect our commitment to make Great Park Neighborhoods a model for all other communities in California and beyond.”