Tuesday, November 28, 2017

UCLA Plays Ball With VA

From KPCC: VA officials and UCLA leadership gathered on Monday to announce the school has begun fulfilling a 10-year, $16.5 million agreement that keeps the Bruins playing baseball in Jackie Robinson Stadium on the West L.A. VA campus.

UCLA officially unveiled a legal clinic and a center for veterans families on the VA Medical Center campus, although both have been operating since August. A third facility, focused on assisting homeless veterans, is on its way.

"This really is a partnership," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "It brings together the expertise of the VA and the expertise of our health system and other parts of campus to really provide the very best benefits for veterans."

UCLA has begun hosting events for veterans at Jackie Robinson stadium, including movie nights and batting practice, and providing veterans with free seats to scrimmages and some baseball games...

In 2013, a judge invalidated all third-party leases on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 388-acre facility, after a lawsuit argued the contracts weren’t benefiting veterans.

That meant the VA had to put an end to agreements with businesses like a hotel laundry facility and car rental lot operating on the campus.

It also put the future of Jackie Robinson Stadium in jeopardy, until UCLA and then-VA Secretary Robert McDonald reached a deal in Jan. 2016 to allow the Bruins baseball team to keep playing there. It committed UCLA to providing expanded support services to veterans, included legal aid, help for veteran families and recreational opportunities in and around the stadium...

As part of the agreement, the school is also paying the VA $300,000 in yearly rent...

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