Lights Out Santa Monica

Many relate the term "lights out" to
a particularly painful boxing phrase.
But this past Saturday, the term "lights
out" took on a whole new meaning:
It served as a symbol of movement
and inspiration towards a worldwide
goal.

On March 28 between 8:30 and
9:30 p.m., Santa Monica, as well as
over 74 other countries and territories,
embraced the darkness with open arms
while participating in Earth Hour 2009.
Los Angeles was deemed a "flagship
city" for participation in the World
Wildlife Earth Hour, and it was clear
that Santa Monica was doing its part.
Earth Hour is a designated period of
time in which those who are concerned
with the excessive energy crisis are able
to do their part by turning off all lights
and/or electricity for an hour.

This movement was created in 2007
in Sydney, Australia, and became
increasingly popular in 2008 as over
50 million concerned people worldwide
switched off their lights in support.
The goal for 2009 was to have over
1 billion participants involved in the
Earth Hour. Though the results of this
goal have not yet been released, theCity of Santa Monica can proudly boast
that their efforts helped the world inch
closer to the ultimate goal.
Businesses citywide vowed to make
an effort, which include Border Grill
Restaurant Downtown, the historic
Georgian Hotel and even the famous
Santa Monica Pier.

In order to express their concern, the
Santa Monica Pier devoted to turning
off all non-essential lighting during
earth hour, which included the world
famous Santa Monica Pier sign.
The familiar and famous Pier Ferris
Wheel was hardly visible to onlookers,
as all of the attractive lights went out,
except for the minimal lights on the
rim.

Ben Franz-Knight, Executive
Director of the Santa Monica Pier stated
that by participating in Earth Hour, he
"hopes to contribute [our] landmark
status to the effort and awareness; this
is a great way to join many partners
around the country in doing so."
Many other famous landmarks
around the world also participated in
this act, such as Times Square in New
York City, Big Ben in London, England
and the Luxor Hotel and Casino in
Las Vegas.

When asked if Earth Hour could
potentially become an annual tradition,
Franz-Knight commented that the Pier
is "certainly open to participating in any
way [we] can in the future".

Those who took a stroll down Ocean
Ave. during Earth Hour could not help
but take a second glance at the candle-lit
Georgian Hotel.

This historic Santa Monica landmark
took an extra step in their participation
by hosting a candlelight reception in
the hotel lobby and on the famous
Veranda.

Complimentary wine, hors d'oeuvres
and glow sticks were encouraged
toward any persons who took interest,
while an upbeat violinist set the
ambiance for the celebration.

Multiple hotel guests, as well as
avenue passers-bys were greeted by
hotel staff and informed of Earth Hour;
most could not help but participate in
the appealing event.

The enthusiastic General Manager
Juan Viramontes said, "guest satisfaction
is our number one priority; saving the
planet while entertaining our guests is
an option that cannot be beat."

This was the first year that the
Georgian Hotel participated in Earth
Hour, and with the large success of this
event, Viramontes hopes to "continue
this inspiring movement for many years
to come."The Georgian Hotel was not the
only business that inspired to dine by
candlelight for Earth Hour. Border
Grill, located on Fourth St. in downtown
Santa Monica, made sure that the
opportunity to contribute did not pass
them by.

The upscale and urban Mexican
restaurant ensured a candle on every
table and judging by the full capacity of
the restaurant, those dining were more
than enthused to participate.

Border Grill even went as far
as offering a "good for the planet,
good for you" menu, which featured
environmentally friendly menu items
that contained 80 percent plant-based
ingredients.

Border Grill was one of many
restaurants that signed up with
OpenTable as a designated "dine
by candlelight" destination in Los
Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles's
participation in Earth Hour was more
than just a site to see for many; it was a
movement of hope and inspiration and
a step towards a brighter future.
\
Many Santa Monica residents hope
to see Earth Hour continue to grow in
support and are nothing less of proud
to be part of such an enthusiastically
environmental city.

athletes face everyday," Coffey said. "I'm
usually the only girl in a skate park when I
ride. Guys usually look down upon you, or
they try to bully you."

Coffey also said that after impressing
male riders with her BMX skills she
finally changed their perceptions, although
that shouldn't be the case. "They should
be respecting you in the first place," said
Coffey.

When the cycling finally came to end,
participants did some light stretching and
exchanged high fives while onlookers
applauded.

YAS founder Kimberly Fowler
exemplifies the powerful impact that sports
can have on the lives of females. Fowler said
that she grew up poor, but always had sports
in her life. After playing a plethora of sports in
high school, Fowler was awarded an athletic
scholarship to Boston University.

"Without sports I wouldn't have gone to
college," said Fowler. "I wouldn't have to
gone to law school. I wouldn't be where I
am right now."

The importance of physical fitness
resonated with everyone in attendance.
YAS instructor Amanda Cosindas cycled
in the event, even though she is five months
pregnant."Pregnancy isn't a disability," said
Cosindas. "Staying fit and active in your
pregnancy helps you maintain your weight.
It helps the baby stay healthy."
Cosindas said that she plans to continue
instructing right up until her due date, and
that she hopes to return as soon as possible.
The third annual Yas-a-thon was considered
a success, as all of those involved had a
good time.

Yolanda Jackson, Senior Director of
Athlete Marketing and Promotions for the
Women's Sports Foundation, said that she
was honored to have YAS host the event and
that she was impressed by the turnout.
"This is a huge, huge event for us," said
Jackson. "It has helped so many girls. We
are delighted with it, and we hope that it
continues for many years."
YAS-a-thon
Earth

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