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Untitled Avocado, maple and steel by Joe Devinny See page 9 Signal T Vol. 35 No. 19 R I B U N See page 8 for information on the Long Beach Open Studio Tour this weekend E october 11, 2013 SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL A timely play about an untimely death Your Weekly Community Newspaper Marking 15th anniversary of tragedy, LB man chooses Matthew Shepard as subject for his first formal play Sean Belk/Signal Tribune Mary Zandejas, 42, is one of six Long Beach residents featured in the documentary film The Cost of Living: The Faces of the Housing Crisis in Long Beach, which was produced by Housing Long Beach. The film is part of a campaign that proposes citywide policies in the process of updating Long Beach’s Housing Element in the coming months. Affordable-housing advocates push for citywide policies in LB planning document Photos by Cory Bilicko/Signal Tribune Julian Comeau (front, center) portrays the titular character in South Coast Chorale’s production of Matthew Shepard: Beyond the Fence. The new play is the first one written by Long Beach resident Steven Davison, and it will make its debut this weekend at the Scottish Rite Event Center. Sean Belk Cory Bilicko Staff Writer Mary Zandejas has resided in a small apartment at 7th Street and Redondo Avenue in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights district for 18 years. Though living with polio since childhood, she was able to manage. But things changed in 2002 when an accident left her wheelchair-bound and unable to use her own bathroom. Now, her biggest challenge, she says, is finding an affordable place to live that accommodates her disabilities. “After my accident, I was no longer able to stand up,” said Zandejas, 42, who lives on a fixed income. “So I was thinking about affordable housing for myself that is wheelchair-accessible, Haunted by the loss of the RDA, an empty lot in central Long Beach just sits…and waits see HOUSING page 13 CJ Dablo Staff Writer CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune An empty lot on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway is one of the 259 properties that belonged to Long Beach’s former redevelopment agency. The City can’t enter into any contracts for new development on former RDA property without the State’s ultimate approval. then tied to a fence and left for dead in a rural area in Laramie, Wyoming. The incident gained attention and contributed to the As the vice president of Parades and Spec- international of hate-crimes legislation, in particular, passing taculars for Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, and being responsible for the the 2009 Matthew Shepard Act, which expands overall creative direction of daytime parades, the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to fireworks displays and nighttime spectaculars at include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide, perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender Steven Davison oversees some sensational, identity or disability. Several literary projects have shed light on Shepard’s murder, including larger-than-life shows. This weekend, however, he’ll be helming a the play The Laramie Project, which HBO later considerably more intimate production in Long produced as a film. The Laramie Project was Beach about simply one man whose murder has based on hundreds of interviews with residents of the town and focused on their reactions to his had far-reaching impact. killing. Tomorrow, Oct. 12, will be the 15th anniverDavison, however, is taking a different sary of the death of Matthew Shepard, the 21year-old gay college student who was tortured approach to telling the story. Whereas The Laramie Project focused on what occurred after the tragedy, with his play Matthew Shepard: Beyond the Fence, Davison is rewinding to explore the life of Shepard, whom Davison refers to as “Matt.” “Matthew Shepard: Beyond the Fence is about Matt,” Davison said. “You follow him through his life and his ups and downs. You meet his friends and see what life was like for Matt. Most people don’t know that side of him; they only know the gay, 21-year-old college student that was Steven Davison (far left) watches the cast of his play beaten and tied to the fence. Matt was Matthew Shepard: Beyond the Fence perform during a much more than that, as the play will technical rehearsal on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Davison is show.” Davison is producing and directing directing the play, which he also wrote with the input of Romaine Patterson, who was Shepard’s best friend. see SHEPARD page 8 Managing Editor Bordered by an unassuming white, ranch-style fence, the empty lot on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway has a story. The central Long Beach lot used to be home to a liquor store with a notorious reputation for crime. One of 259 properties that belonged to the former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA), the site is just one example of a vision for the city that has yet to be realized. Long Beach’s redevelopment program was dissolved more than a year ago, and many of the agency’s properties Weekly Weather Forecast see RDA page 5 Friday 70° Mostly sunny Lo 56° Saturday 73° Mostly sunny Lo 56° Sunday 74° Sunny Lo 57° Monday October 11 through October 15, 2013 78° Sunny Lo 57° Tuesday 79° Sunny Lo 58° This week’s Weekly Weather Forecast sponsored by: 4340 Atlantic Ave. Uptown Bixby Knolls 562-612-3505 !"#$$%&'(%)*+,-%./'0%1213% !" #$$%&'(%)*+,-%./'0%1213% . -4,50%6788%9+5*%:;+-%<*+,-('=% .-4,50%6788%9+5*%:;+-%<*+,-('=% !"#$%&"'()*+#,-.%)/0()/123) !" #$%&"'()*+#,-.%)/0()/123) 4511)6787)#,)9511)6787) 4511)6787)#,)9511)6787) !""#$%&'()*$% !""#$%&'()*$% !:;<"=)>:==)?"%@()) !:;<"=)>:==)?"%@()) +,*-.$% +,*-.$% . 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St3519 october 11 layout 1

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