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Friday, May 11, 2007

 

Shaking a Stick at LA's Housing Crisis

From today's Los Angeles Times:
The Los Angeles Housing Department has paid thousands of dollars to a Zen Buddhist priest from Hawaii for management training that includes teaching breathing with sphincter control, learning "how to stand" and playing with wooden sticks.

Norma Wong, a former Hawaii state legislator and leadership consultant, has been paid $18,819 since 2005 to conduct at least four training sessions for executives and other staff. The most recent one was last week.

Mercedes Marquez, the general manager of the department, said the training was designed to help "center" Housing Department managers and teach them to react nimbly to problems such as the city's housing shortage. Up to 30 people attended each session.

"She asks when you center yourself to hold yourself in," Marquez said of the instructor.

The breathing exercises and stick play, she said, were a small part of two-day sessions, which also included discussions of team building and improving department procedures.

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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