by John Hawkins, President and CEO, The Club
You might not know it, but here at Alive!, we dedicate each August to Rec and Parks in a series we call Summer in the City. We figure, at that point each year, it’s time to kick back and enjoy being outdoors before school starts and the fall gets really busy. It’s a perfect time to focus on all the recreational opportunities that Rec and Parks offers.
And then 2020 happened. I don’t need to tell you what that means!
With the pandemic, this August is completely different. And yet, Rec and Parks still has an important story to tell – just a much different one.
Over the last decade, and really the last five years or so, Rec and Parks has become a lot more than you might realize. It’s not just about serious recreation. It’s now also about taking care of the City in an emergency. The department has been taking that role much more seriously, and a few years ago it put a plan in place to put all its new capabilities in one place at a proper Operations Center. That new center opened in January. They didn’t know it then, but their timing couldn’t have been better, for them … and for the City.
I’ll let you read all about the new Operations Center in this month’s cover story, and all that the department is doing to take care of the homeless and the displaced during the coronavirus crisis. (And we’re happy that Rec and Parks is allowing Alive! to be the first publication to share the news of the opening of the center.) Well done, Rec and Parks. You’ve stepped up in a big way, and we all benefit.
This month’s issue marks the second cover appearance for Emergency Operations Superintendent Jimmy Kim, Club Member. He first appeared on the Alive! cover in July 2008 as part of our look at Rec and Parks’ Aquatics Division.
On that cover, Jimmy was well disguised behind a pair of professional-grade sunglasses. This month, the other half of his face is covered in a safety mask. One of these years, we’ll get his full face in!
Jimmy joins Griffith Observatory Director Ed Krupp and (retired) Councilman Tom LaBonge in the two-cover Club. (Let us know if there are others.)
Speaking of masks, see the ad in this issue for the City- and State-seal masks, available only at the Club Store. They’re awesome, and they’re very affordable. Stay safe with a Club facemask!
Everybody, try to enjoy the rest of your Summer in the City, such as it is. We’ll all get through it together.