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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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AARP grants aim to revitalize CA alleys into vibrant public spaces

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Thursday, June 27, 2024   

Some select alleyways across San Diego are set to get vibrant makeovers thanks to a transformative community initiative.

Sue Peerson, lecturer in urban studies and planning at the University of California-San Diego, has been spearheading a project to transform drab alleys, typically used for parking and trash pickup, into greener, safer public spaces.

The "Alleys in Action" project has received a $20,000 flagship AARP Community Challenge grant, part of a broader initiative including 11 organizations throughout California.

The grants aim to help cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas become great places to live for people of all ages. With the help of her students and the Adams Avenue Business Association, they solicited community feedback through a pop-up event in the Normal Heights neighborhood.

"Our hope is that improving the physical conditions of this alleyway will create it as a public space that's a draw for people that are already in this neighborhood, that also has a connection to the business district and to these public spaces," Peerson explained.

The Normal Heights alley will see the creation of a large mural along with other beautification efforts by November. This grant program is a cornerstone of AARP's nationwide Livable Communities initiative. The grant initiative is part of its largest investment in community projects to date, with a total of $3.8 million awarded to 343 organizations nationwide.

Jennifer Berdugo, senior planning adviser to AARP California, said since 2017, the organization has awarded 57 grants totaling more than $660,000 to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.

"The goals are really to inspire change in communities in different areas like housing, transportation, parks, community resilience, which ties into disaster resilience as well," Berdugo noted.

Among this year's 11 grantees are PlacemakingUS, which will receive more than $16,000 for a project to build a community comal, or traditional griddle, and engage older Meso-American women to revive the weekly tradition of tortilla making.

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates will receive $2,500 to conduct a bike audit of Rancho Cordova's first-ever roundabout project. And the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum will receive $10,000 to transform a parking lot into an outdoor plaza, with accessible benches to accommodate older adults attending planned events in the space.

Disclosure: AARP California contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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