Culver City Observer -

Spelling Winner Honored by Council


March 12, 2015

Cooper Komatsu

By Lynne Bronstein

Observer Reporter

Cooper Komatsu was honored by the Culver City Council on Monday, March 9 for winning first place in the Los Angeles County Regional Spelling Bee toward the national Scripps Spelling Bee to take place in May.

Komatsu, aged 12, is a student at Culver City Middle School. On February 8 he finished first in the regional bee at Walter Reade Middle School in North Hollywood. He went 13 rounds, defeating 102 other spellers on the road to the championship in Washington, D.C.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is open to those 15 and under and in eighth-grade or lower. It is administered on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps in Cincinnati and each year, involves more than 11 million spellers.

The Council presented Komatsu with a certificate of recognition for his achievement and Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells told him the Council wishes him "an equally successful experience as you represent Culver City and Los Angeles at the Scripps National in May."

Sahli-Wells asked Komatsu what the secret of his success is.

"I study a lot," he replied. "I have my parents to help me.

When I go up on stage, I try not to second-guess myself. If I do, I'm not as good a speller."

Komatsu was then asked to spell the word that won him first place.

With no hesitation he spelled "C-A-R-I-L-L-O-N," the name of a musical instrument comprised of at least 23 bells arranged chromatically and tuned harmonically to be played together from a keyboard.

In other agenda items, the Council easily adopted a resolution to support Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB) and oppose any relocation attempt of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

These facilities are located in El Segundo and it is estimated that they employ over 5,800 military, civilian, and contract workers and indirectly employ an additional 11,800 Los Angeles County residents. Recently President Obama proposed in his budget that there may be some base realignments and closures, a proposal that could affect LAAFB and SMC.

Ten years ago, in February 2005, the Culver City Council passed Resolution No. 2005-R004: supporting the retention of the Los Angeles Air Force Base.

This month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a recommendation submitted by Supervisor Don Knabe. It read:

"Send a five-signature letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James expressing the Board's firm support of the Los Angeles Air Force Base and stating that any relocation attempt of the Space and Missile Systems Center would be detrimental to national defense and the mission of the Los Angeles Air Force Base; and send a five-signature letter to the Mayors of the County's 88 cities encouraging them to pass resolutions in support of the Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Space and Missile Systems Center to the Secretaries of Defense and the Air Force."

The County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Meghan Sahli-Wells on February 6, requesting support for the LAAFB and SMC from the City Council.


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