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VOL. 35 NO. 4 JANUARY 26, 2012

LB Pot Law Central To State Case

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Ross Case In Favor Of LBUSD


By Jonathan Van Dyke STAFF WRITER

By Harry Saltzgaver

Last week, interested parties focusing on the issue of medical marijuana in Long Beach stopped waiting on one decision and will prepare to wait another for the next year or two — only this time it will be a definitive answer for all of California. On Jan. 18, the California Supreme Court decided to accept Pack v. The City of Long Beach for judicial review. In that case, an appeals court had struck down different parts of Long Beach’s ordinance that sought to regulate medical marijuana collectives — including rules for a lottery and permitting system — late last year. The review also includes several other cases: City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center (ban decision), People v. G3 Holistic (ban decision) and Malinda Traudt v. City of Dana Point (more about the individual patient). “We requested review and we are gratified that the Supreme Court will deal directly with the issue,” City Attorney Robert Shannon said. “The law in this area, due to a number of different courts of appeals, is uncertain

Jurors Tuesday absolved the Long Beach Unified School District of negligence in the 2009 murder of Melody Ross at Wilson High School. Ross, a junior at the time of her death, was killed Oct. 31, 2009, after a high school football game at Wilson’s stadium. She was an innocent bystander caught by a bullet in an alleged gang shooting. Ross’s parents, Chantha and Vanareth Ross, filed a lawsuit in September 2010 arguing that the school district was negligent due to lack of supervision, failing to follow its Safe Path policy, and that the city of Long Beach was liable because the lighting on Ximeno Avenue, where the shooting took place, was inadequate. Last November, Judge Ross M. Klein threw out the claim against the city and limited the claim against the school district. That claim went forward early this month in a jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in Long Beach. After an 11day trial, the case was sent to the jury on Tuesday morning. It took less than three hours for the jury

(Continued on Page 30A)


—Gazette photo by Ashleigh Oldland

Lowell Elementary School students (from front to back) Alana Snyder, Tikva Cohen and Natalie Coomans work Tuesday morning at Fern’s Garden in Belmont Shore as part of the Merchant Mentor Days program for fourth grade students.

(Continued on Page 31A)

Ranchos Together ICT’s New Leader Set To Shine In Year Celebration By Harry Saltzgaver EXECUTIVE EDITOR

By Harry Saltzgaver EXECUTIVE EDITOR

“It’s serendipity,” Pamela Seager said. “We’re both completing major projects this year, and this just made sense.” This is the Year of the Ranchos — Mayor Bob Foster and the City Council said so on Tuesday night. What that means to the public is a year of events designed to reawaken awareness and pride in the city’s twin historic sites, Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos. Both sites were donated to the city by the Bixby clan, whose extended family developed them as working ranches in the 1800s. Rancho Los Alamitos is on the hill above the California State University, Long Beach, campus in east Long Beach while Rancho Los Cerritos is on the arroyo hidden behind the Virginia Country Club.

But while the ranchos both came from the Bixbys, both boast historic homes and both highlight their landscapes, there are as many differences than likenesses. At least that’s the view of the two executive directors — Seager at Los Alamitos and Ellen Calomiris at Rancho Los Cerritos. Start with the management. Rancho Los Cerritos is city owned and operated through the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department. The Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation plays a support role, including a major fundraising effort. Rancho Los Alamitos is city owned, but it has been operated for the last 25 years by the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation through a lease with the city. The foundation has raised most of the money for restoration and renovation while the city provides op(Continued on Page 30A)

This is caryn’s year to shine. That might seem more than a little difficult since caryn desai has been an integral part of International City Theatre virtually since it began in 1986. She’s been an award-winning director for more than 20 years, and ICT’s business brains for the same period. But for ICT’s first 25 years, the unquestioned face of ICT was its founding producer and artistic director (and caryn’s husband for the last 15 years), Shashin Desai. Now it’s caryn’s turn. When Desai decided that 25 was a good number to retire on, the ICT board turned unanimously to caryn and asked her to carry on as ICT’s artistic director/producer. For the first time, caryn has chosen the entire season, negotiated the rights to the plays and made all the casting decisions (for the last several years, she and Shashin worked together on those tasks, with Shashin having

—Gazette Photo by Harry Saltzgaver

AT HOME. International City Theatre’s caryn desai has made downtown Long Beach a place for theater.

the final say). She’s kept a handson control of the business side of the theater, and is directing the first show, “God of Carnage,” for good measure. “This is the first caryn season,” she said. “I negotiated for all the shows, and I’m excited. We have two West Coast Premieres and two Tony winners. And the ‘God of Carnage’ is having better pre-

sale than we’ve every seen. “We’ve been taking calculated risks all along. It’s a fight to stay afloat, and it’s exhausting. But it’s also exhilarating. I love what I do. I must, because I keep doing it.” This force in Southern California theater start out as a New Jersey girl — “I lived in Camden (Continued on Page 31A)

ELECTION 2012 ..................................... Page 4A

A PINCH OF SALT ........................... Page 2A


BUSINESS BEAT .............................. Page 26A


MUSICAL NOTES ............................ Page 13A


ON WITH THE SHOW ..................... Page 25A


PROFILES IN DINING ....................... Page 14A

PAGE 2A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012


Letter Of The Law Needs Adjustment It’s the letter of the law, and it actually makes pretty good sense. There’s a hard and fast deadline to file to run for public office, and that deadline also applies to deciding you don’t want to run for office after all. Specifically, it all has to be done at least 88 days before the election. That particular letter is going to cost the Long Beach Unified School District $200,000 this year, to put on an election in a district where the challenger says she no longer wants to run. And it seems to us that that is a pretty steep price to pay for not following the law to the letter. The complete story can be found as the lead item in this week’s Election 2012 column, but the abbreviated version goes like this: Naomi Rainey, longtime NAACP chapter president and well known in the community, got talked into running for the school board — presumably to force veteran educator and board member Jon Meyer to work a little for his next term. Rainey filed the paperwork and qualified for the ballot. But as the reality of the campaign loomed closer, Rainey had second thoughts. She already had plenty on her plate, and, although we can’t speak for her frame of mind, we suspect she didn’t really have the passion it takes to jump into politics. So she announced she was withdrawing from the race. Only she didn’t run up to the clerk and recorder’s office in Norwalk and take back her paperwork. It’s hard to say whether anyone even told her that she needed to do that — it seems unlikely that whoever takes the paperwork in the first place is in the habit of saying, “You have until Jan. 13 to change your mind, and if you do, you have to come back here and tell us.” Of course Ms. Rainey, or whoever was advising her, should have been aware of the situation. But it seems to be a pretty understandable oversight to us. The problem is, there’s apparently no recourse. The election code, a state law, says that if there are two qualified candidates as of 88 days before the election, there will be an election. And the governing body where that election takes place is liable for the costs. So come April 10, the people heading to the polls in east Long

Beach will see two names in the slot for the District 4 LBUSD board seat, even though only one of those people wants the job. And a cash-strapped school district will pay Los Angeles County $200,000 to make that happen. We understand, and agree, that there has to be rules regarding how someone can run for a public office, and that those rules should be followed. We certainly aren’t saying someone should be able to make a phone call, or a statement to a newspaper, saying they have changed there mind (or conversely, decided to run) and have the election officials make the change. But it seems clear that the timing of this particular law, and the unbending nature of the deadline, is set for a time long gone. In this electronic age, it certainly doesn’t take nearly three months to get ballot materials printed, nor does it take that long to arrange for polling places and the workers to staff them.

“It seems clear that the timing of this particular law, and the unbending nature of the deadline, is set for a time long gone.” The election code itself admits as much. Did you know that an election can be cancelled if one of the candidates (in a two-candidate race) dies within 68 days of the election? As far as we know, there is no appeal in this process, either. The school district’s attorneys are madly scrambling to find a way around this ruling, but the chances of success there are slim and none. To put this in perspective, think about the fact that a whole cadre of people have been working for the last few months to raise $190,000 in order to keep middle school sports alive in Long Beach next year. The school board set aside the $200,000 for the election when it created this year’s budget, but if they hadn’t had to spend it … It’s time that our leaders update the election code to reflect reality. This approach amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, and should be changed.

State Of Gazettes — Good You probably thought that, with the State of the Union Tuesday, you had survived the whole “State Of” season, didn’t you? Wishful thinking. True, you sat through Bob Foster’s State of the City speech (largely thanks to my live tweets, I have no doubt). You swallowed the Convention Center food during Don Knabe’s always entertaining State of the County performance. You may have even stood and applauded when Christopher Lytle made it through his first State of the Port, complete with a major announcement. (Fair warning, Chris. You’ve set the bar awfully high. How are you going to top that next year?) But you haven’t heard the State of the Gazettes yet, now have you? And I’m sure you’re waiting with bated breath (can someone tell me what that means?) for the State of the Saltzgavers. I’m being a bit presumptuous in offering the State of the Gazettes — that job rightfully belongs to Simon Grieve, our esteemed publisher. But he and I talk about this stuff every day, and I usually end up writing his quotes for him anyway. So here goes. The State of the Gazettes is good. In this age of uncertainty when it comes to media properties, the Gazettes remain strong, the place where Long Beach turns for information about its community. That spectrum of information is broad, from news about City Hall to the latest activities of neighborhoods and business associa-

Sharrows Waste

To The Editor, I was pleased to see your editorial in the Jan. 19 issue questioning the bicycle madness that has seemingly gripped our city. To clarify my individual position, I’ve been riding my bicycle in the Shore and the Heights and around town for more than 30 years, and love the beachfront bike path. Over that time, I have

tions. The Gazette commitment to cover the arts continues with both precede and review coverage second to none. And every edition, print or electronic, offers several stories about the people who make up our community. We’re not standing still, either. We added the Sports Guys, JJ Fiddler and Mike Guardabascio, two years ago and launched a separate sports section last year in the Grunion. By adding staff, the sports department now offers the number one prep and college coverage in and around Long Beach, both in print and online. It’s no secret that the online component of the Gazettes, www., is the fastest growing and most quickly evolving news outlet we have. The street signs on the information highway all point in that direction, and we’re leading the pack. We’ve made two major website redesigns in the past year, and myriad smaller changes. There will be more in the coming year. We’ve added tons of web-only content across the spectrum, from a young single guy’s perspective of life in the city to a mom’s musings to a movie buff’s recommendations. Wait until you see what our better half of the news staff has in store in the coming year (think wedding bells). That social media thing I’ve

also developed my own trails and pathways in and around the city, none of which involve Second Street. Any wise cyclist would have done likewise. I believe that the Sharrows program along Second Street in the Shore, apart from being a huge waste of green paint, is dangerous on several levels. Foremost of them is an observed complacency among those cycling in the green

Correction Due to an editing error, the index at the bottom of the front page in last week’s edition was not updated and showed old stories. In particular, the arts dean at California State University, Long Beach, is not leaving the school.

talked about here before has become part of the Gazette’s daily life. The newspaper Facebook page is closing in on 6,000 friends, we’re tweeting more than the birds ever thought of tweeting and faithful readers are getting email notifications from both the sports site and the news folks. We’re finding new ways to support our business partners, too. The print editions land on more doorsteps of potential customers, and the package the advertising is delivered in has become ever more compelling. The electronic version of business messaging (cool jargon, huh?) is changing so rapidly it’s hard to call it an evolution. The creative power our production department has always brought to our print product is proving exponentially higher than the competition when it comes to Internet impact. Our future is bright, and we firmly believe that our primary goal — serving our community with the information it needs — will only be enhanced as we forge ahead in this brave new world. We continue to count on feedback from you, dear readers, to help us help you, and now we offer more ways to get that information. Write us. Friend us. Follow us. Facebook us. Tweet us. We’re listening. Oh, and that State of the Saltzgavers thing? Well, I’m still here, aren’t I? Enough said.

lane that they can swan along at snail’s pace, holding up traffic because the believe they are invincible to harm in their special Green Lane. They are not. Secondly, apart from exorbitant rents for shopkeepers, the two primary problems in the Shore are parking and traffic along Second Street. These green lanes inhibit traffic flow, exacerbating the aforementioned already bad situation, so I hope the city will simply decide to let the Green Lane Idea fade away with time and return our streets to the cars for which they are intended. John Zimmermann Belmont Heights

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 3A

Gazette Newspapers offers Letters To Election as a forum for opinions about candidates in the April 10 municipal election. We will try to print all letters received, with the following exceptions: personal character attacks or comments that may be libel-

ous; organized letter campaigns; or letters not dealing directly with local issues. Letters from candidates are accepted, with the exception that no letters attacking another candidate will be printed the week before the election. Letters should be 200 words or less (300 as space permits), must be signed and any affiliations relating to the campaign should be listed. Email letters to, mail to 5225 E. Sec-

ond St., Long Beach, CA 90803 or fax to 434-8826.

State Positions

To The Editor,

While speaking with some friends about politics, the Congressional race with Gary Delong was discussed including a recent fundraiser to be held in his honor at Kessal, Young and Logan. Lots of heavy hitters were there raising money and endorsing him including Michelle Molina. While grateful to see her name,

World War I Exhibit Stops At Queen Mary For Day A traveling exhibit about World War 1 stops in Long Beach from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway. Long Beach is the 32nd stop on a 75-city tour for “Honoring Our History,” which is housed in a custom-made 18-wheel big rig. The exhibit features artifacts such as weapons, uniforms, posters and flags. In addition, visitors can experience the conditions of warfare in a reconstruction of the trenches that played an important role in World War 1. The exhibit is being sponsored by Waddell & Reed, a mutual fund and financial planning company to help celebrate its 75th anniversary. It was designed by the National World War 1 Museum, located in Kansas City, Mo., which is devoted solely to preserving the artifacts and history of World War 1. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Waddell

& Reed has a goal of raising $500,000 during the national tour. The money will be divided

equally between the American Diabetes Association and the World War I Museum.

we began to ask questions about positions Delong takes in regards to certain issues. Michelle Molina also donated $2,500 to Democrat Loretta Sanchez. In our discussions, we were aware of Delong’s financial and budget stands. However, when discussions turned to other issues, no one could recall his stance on these issues nor does his website offer any insight. So Mr. Delong, we ask for your position on the following: The Defense of Marriage Act.

Do you support the position that marriage is between a man and woman? Your position on abortion, either pro-choice or pro-life. Your position on gun control. Do you believe in American Exceptionalism? Do you believe Guantanamo should be open or closed? Would you support military force against Iran in stopping development of a nuclear weapon? Nate Romeo University Park Estates

Page 4A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

LBUSD Election Still On SAVE 20% SAVE 30% SAVE 40% on any 2 accessories

on any 3 accessories

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Editor’s Note: Welcome to Election 2012, a weekly roundup of all things political in Long Beach. The early focus will be on the April 10 municipal election — City Council districts Two, Four

and Eight; the two Long Beach Unified School District board seats and the District Four Long Beach Community College trustee race — but it will also have news about the state races and the new

47th Congressional District race to represent Long Beach in Washington D.C. By Harry Saltzgaver Executive Editor

The biggest political news in recent weeks has revolved around Naomi Rainey’s on-again, offagain challenge of Jon Meyer for the District 4 seat on the LBUSD board. Rainey was a late entry in the conversation, pulling her nomination papers on Dec. 30 and turning them in Jan. 10, three days before the deadline. Rainey then changed her mind, announcing publicly on Friday, Jan. 13, that she would not seek election. But she did not formally withdraw her candidacy with the Los Angeles County Clerk and Recorder by Jan. 13. According to the state’s election code, that means that there will be an election on April 10 for the District 4 seat, and both Meyer’s and Rainey’s names will appear on the ballot. The school district’s share of the election in that area is estimated to cost $200,000 (the District 4 boundaries also includes portions of the City Council’s Fourth District and the Community College District 4, where there also are races). School officials are looking for ways to cancel the election and save the money, but City Clerk Larry Herrera said there is no alternative. Rainey could even win the seat, even though she says she will not run a campaign. In other election news: • Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has announced that she would not run for the 70th District state Assembly seat as previously planned. That leaves the Democratic field open for State Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, who had originally said she would seek the state Senate seat in the new 33rd District, but switched back to the Assembly race to avoid a battle against Ricardo Lara, who has the party’s support for the Senate seat. Fourth District Councilman Patrick O’Donnell had also said he would seek the Assembly seat, but has since announced he would run for a third council term as a write-in candidate. • Lillian Kawasaki, candidate in the Eighth District City Council race, has announced endorsements from the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s Political Action Committee and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 494. • Meyer, in his announcement that he would run for re-election, announced endorsements from California Governor George Deukmejian, former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill, California State University of Long Beach President F. King Alexander, former Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent and education innovator Carl Cohn and Long Beach City College Trustee Doug Otto. • John Watkins, candidate in the Fourth District City Council race, won the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce PAC endorsement. • The Democratic Women’s (Continued on Page 5A)

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 5A

School Board Vice President Barton Resigns By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer

Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education Vice President David Barton has announced his resignation from the school board, despite his term not expiring until 2014. Barton notified both LBUSD Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser and Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Arturo Delgado of his resignation due to health reasons, effective immediately. The notification was dated Jan. 22 and was received Wednes-

Election (Continued from Page 4A)

Study Club of Long Beach endorsed Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal for re-election and Senator Alan Lowenthal for election to Congress in the 47th District. Club President Betty Karnette said members also endorsed Diane Feinstein for U.S. Senate, Janice Hahn for Congress in the 44th District, Ricardo Lara and Roderick Wright for their respective State Senate campaigns. • In the battle over the new Congressional seat, Third District Councilman Gary DeLong has been endorsed by the Long Beach Chamber PAC and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. DeLong also announced that Bill Christiansen, a former executive director of the Orange County and California Republican Par-

day, Jan. 25, at LBUSD’s Board of Education office. “David has played an integral role here,” Steinhauser said in a release. “His calm, thoughtful leadership has contributed much to our success.” Barton was first elected to represent LBUSD’s District 5 seat, which includes Millikan and Lakewood high schools, in addition to the surrounding elementary and middle schools. Barton ran unopposed for a second fouryear term in 2010. Barton’s term does not expire ties, will act as his onsite campaign manager. • The other major Republican in the Congressional race, Steve Kuykendall, has countered with endorsements from former Gov. Pete Wilson, former Long Beach Mayor Eunice Sato, former Orange County Assemblyman Van Tran and former Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Lori Lofstrom. • Ricardo Linarez, who is running against incumbent Felton Williams for the District 2 LBUSD board seat, announced endorsements from Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, LBCC Board of Trustee Roberto Uranga, LBCC Board of Trustee Mark Bowen, Federal Maritime Commissioner Mario Cordero, Former Vice Mayor Doris TopsyElvord and Former Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga.

until 2014, so the Board of Education will need to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term. The school board will discuss options for filling the vacancy at

its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7. “David has served with distinction,” LBUSD Board of Education President Felton Williams said in a release. “Together we have nav-

igated extremely difficult times that have included unprecedented cuts in state funding, yet we have maintained our focus on improving student achievement.”

Page 6A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

Schipske Launches Open Government Effort By Harry Saltzgaver Executive Editor

Fifth District City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske says she wants her legacy to be more open and transparent government. To that end, she has launched a new website and is organizing a community task force, both called

Open Up Long Beach. Schipske said the goal will be to provide easy access to virtually all of the information available about the government’s business. “We’ve been dribbling the information out,” Schipske said. “There are so many things we can do to get the city to open up.”

Schipske is in her sixth year as a City Council member, and has consistently called for making more information available to the public. She has pushed efforts to have the city’s labor negotiations open to the public as well as bidding and contract information. “We even had a council agenda item on it,” she said. “But when we got the report back, there was a real reluctance to get things online… It came from both the staff and the electeds. They’d say we couldn’t do this because of that, and the council went along. I think we could have everything out there up to and including the city’s check register. I will say that the city has put a lot of information on the web site, but it’s not easy to find. You have to be an insider to know how to get it.” In her press release about the

Bay Boat Rentals

new initiative, Schipske notes that she posts her schedule online and provides city documents through her blog. In the last year, the council has initiated, and City Clerk Larry Herrera has implemented, allowing public comments on City Council agenda items through the city’s website, “More open government means more accountability,” Schipske said. The website is up and operating, with links to open government tools, Long Beach government documents and more. It also has copies of the open records law and open meetings law. In addition to creating a new group, Schipske said she wants to host an “unconference” called CityCampLB that would explore ways to make Long Beach’s government more transparent. Other municipalities have reported good results from similar camps, and the website offers links to discussions about them. The first meeting of OpenUpLongBeach is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at the El Dorado Community Center, 2800 Studebaker Rd. For more information, go to the above website or call Schipske’s office at 570-6932.

Military Honor For Port Worker U.S. Navy Commander Steve Ruggiero, Assistant Director of Security for the Port of Long Beach, received a Bronze Star Medal last Monday for meritorious service in Afghanistan. Ruggiero, a Navy reservist, returned home in December from an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Bronze Star is the country’s fourth-highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. He is honored for “exceptionally meritorious service while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Afghanistan Border Coordinator with the Border Management Task Force, United States Forces Afghanistan.” The Bronze Star Medal narrative quotes Ruggiero’s supervisors. “Ruggiero twice moved civilians to safety under fire during a September 2011 Taliban attack on the U.S. Embassy, despite his own injuries. He also led dozens of missions on the AfghanistanPakistan border involving significant personal risk…” Ruggiero oversees security operations at the Port and manages coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Long Beach Police and related agencies.

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 7A

Lytle Lauds Port’s Future Projects By Jonathan Van Dyke Staff Writer

In an address broadcast across the globe Thursday, Port of Long Beach Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle took note of the economic realities of 2011 while beaming with optimism for the port’s future success — including a big terminal announcement. Repeatedly, Lytle noted the many infrastructure changes that will be coming to the Port of Long Beach during the next decade — the port itself is investing about $4.5 billion in capital improvement projects — during his first State of the Port speech. One of those flagship projects is the Middle Harbor Container Terminal, where the port has invested $1.2 billion. Now, it has a partner — Lytle announced that Orient Overseas Container Line (local affiliate, Long Beach Container Terminal) will sign a $4.6 billion 40-year lease to operate out of the Middle Harbor. The deal received preliminary approval Monday from the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners’ Finance and Administration Committee. It is expected to go for final approval on Feb. 6. “It is by far the biggest port terminal project in North America,” he said. “This agreement will allow us to move ahead with construction of the most technologically advanced and greenest terminal in the world.” The Middle Harbor Container Terminal Project will combine 300 acres that include Pier F and Pier E. Long Beach Container Terminal has been operating out of Pier F since 1986. Orient Overseas Container Line and Long Beach Container Terminal will be investing about $500 million there on cargo handling equipment. The entire project is projected to create about 14,000 permanent jobs by 2020. Officials said that the future state-of-the-art Middle Harbor terminal would be capable of handling twice as much cargo with half as much air pollution. Lytle also noted that progress was forthcoming at other big projects like the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge and modifications for Pier S. “These projects aren’t off of some wish list of what could possibly happen in years to come — most are already underway and creating jobs and opportunities at the Port of Long Beach,” he said. This was Lytle’s first time addressing stakeholders during the State of the Port. He is the ninth executive director of the Port of Long Beach, replacing Richard Steinke, who retired last month. “There’s no doubt I have some big shoes to fill, but also when it comes to shoes, mine are very well traveled,” he said, alluding to his experiences across the world for various shipping companies. “My goal is to leave an even stronger port for future generations.” As for 2011, Lytle said that port cargo declined overall by about 3%. Hyundai Merchant Marine (local affiliate, California United Terminals) left a big hole at the Port of Long Beach when it moved to the Port of LA — it had accounted for about 10% of total business. Total cargo for the

—Gazette photo by Jonathan Van Dyke

COMMANDING THE ROOM. J. Christopher Lytle addresses the crowd at the Long Beach Convention Center.

remaining terminals actually was up 8%. “Many have reported major financial losses,” Lytle said. “Collectively, ocean carriers have lost about $2 billion in the last year. Our volumes could be impacted, as we see more consolidations and realignments in the year to come.” Lytle projected a 3% cargo increase from 2011 to 2012, and said it was important to press ahead with the many capital improvement projects to keep the port attractive in the wake of emerging competition from places like the Panama Canal. He also lauded environmental achievements like the Clean Trucks Program, shore power and zero emissions breakthroughs.

Page 8A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

Local Stars Dance For Good Cause By Ashleigh Oldland Editor

Although there’s no mirror ball trophy presented by Tom Bergeron at the end of the night, Long Beach’s Dancing For Our Stars has a better finale than its namesake show. That’s because the event on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Westin Hotel is a dance-off benefiting a good cause. In the end, there won’t be any losers because Long Beach Memorial Medical Center’s MemorialCare Center For Women will cash in on the money raised. The evening will include six dance performances by community figures as well as a Memorial Medical Center physician and two women who have been patients at the Center for Women. Each of the contestants have little or no experience dancing, but have been paired with professional dance instructors and have been practicing choreogra-

phy since November. Some of the contestants will dance with professionals during the show, others will be dancing with spouses. Dance floor contenders include Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and his wife Julie Knabe; Long Beach restaurateur Lisa Ramelow and her professional dance partner; Doctor Martin W. Muth and his wife Sandra Muth; Long Beach businessman Ryan Choura and his professional dance partner; and former Center for Women patients Jeanna Mingram and Susan Nicholson as well as their respective professional dance partners. While they put finishing touches on their ballroom-style costumes and continue rehearsing, the competitors also are trying to raise money for the cause. Those who raise the most will have an advantage on Feb. 11 — the competition is scored evenly between three categories: amount of money raised before the performance date, judges scores for the dance competition, and audience “votes” or donations during the evening event. Ramelow, who owns La Strada restaurant in Belmont Shore, will be performing a West Coast Swing dance performance to “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele. She’s been practicing for several months, and is still deciding what pair of glitter high-heeled shoes she wants to wear for the big day. She said her nerves are starting to kick in as she checks off calendar days until Feb. 11.

“The best thing I can do is go have fun and put myself into the dance,” she said. “I’m also trying to raise as much money as I can… My birthday was in November and I closed the business (La Strada) and invited all my Facebook friends and the people on my email lists to come in — everything was on the house, but we asked for donations.” The businesswoman has set a fundraising goal of $15,000 and said she is two-thirds of the way to that total. In addition to the benefit event at La Strada, she said many of her friends have been very generous when it comes to purchasing sponsorships and tickets to the event. Choura, the chief executive officer for Choura Events, has been practicing a Michael Jacksonthemed dance — including some ballroom dance styles — with professional dancer Ashley Prinzen. Choura, who is self-described as a “huge Michael Jackson fan,” is prepared to raise between $30,000 and $40,000 for the cause, thanks to friends and family support and a dance routine that he said will wow the crowd into giving him “votes” or donations on performance night. “We are going to entertain people with our dance,” he said. “If this is a game of names and who you know, then we are the underdogs, but we are working hard and putting time into what we present.” (Continued on Page 9A)

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 9A City Prosecutor Dancing (Continued from Page 8A) Celebrates His dance partner, Prinzen, was a judge for Dancing For Our Stars IMPACT Awards three years ago and has been vol-

Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert will be presenting his first annual IMPACT awards this week. There will be a presentation today (Thursday) of the IMPACT awards to five individuals or groups who officials said have been working with the City Prosecutor’s Office and have made a significant, positive impact in the city during the past year. The IMPACT award recipients will be: • Lenny Arkinstall, executive director of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards, Inc. He used the city prosecutor’s community services worker program to help preserve sensitive wetlands. • Bernardo Barajas, Long Beach Police Department officer. He will be honored for his efforts to combat gang-related crime. • Sean Parilla, LBPD officer. He will be celebrated for his efforts to reduce the number of unsafe and overweight trucks on city streets. • Che Scott, Long Beach Unified School District counselor. His efforts to reduce truancy at Washington Middle School will be honored. • LBPD West Division Director Enforcement Team will be honored for its success combating gang-related crime. These awards will be presented during a reception today (Thursday). Haubert said he anticipates this will be the first year of an annual tradition.

unteering her time as a dance instructor and performer since then. Last year, she and her partner were in second place, and she’s vying for better placement this year. “We are doing iconic Michael Jackson moves … the moon walk, pelvic thrusts and moves from the ‘Thriller’ music video, but we’ll also be doing some technical ballroom moves as well,” she said. “We are staying true to Michael Jackson’s character, with sparkly gloves, a top hat, red leather jack-

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et and things like that.” Prinzen, a former Miss Long Beach, said that while Dancing For Our Stars is a big commitment — from choreographing the dance to practicing twice a week and cutting the music — everything boils down to a three-minute performance. She added that she continues to be involved with the competition each year because the event is fun for both the dancers and the audience while supporting a worthy cause. “It’s quite a commitment, but this is an incredible thing to be a part of,” she said. “It is wonderful to see such a magnitude of people rally around an event that benefits the hospital.”

Dancing For Our Stars brought in $280,000 last year for the hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute, said Michele Roeder, who is organizing the event for the Memorial Medical Center Foundation. There were more than 600 supporters in the audience. This year, the proceeds will go toward the Center for Women, which was recently remodeled to include private patient rooms. This year’s event — which includes dinner, beverages, the dance competition and social dances afterwards — is expected to sell out. Still, there are still a few tickets (priced at $250 each)

available as well as opportunities to contribute to the competitors’ fund-raising efforts. Also, there will be a fundraiser from 6 p.m. to close on Feb. 9 at Kelly’s on Naples (5716 E. Second St.), where dance contestant Nicholson will serve as a guest bartender for the night and raise money that will go toward the competition. Also, the restaurant is selling raffle tickets for a chef’s dinner with wine pairings as well as a golf package to benefit the cause. For tickets or details, call 9331671 or email

Page 10A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

Center Adds Staff For Optimistic 2012 By Jonathan Van Dyke Staff Writer

The Center Long Beach has expanded its staff for 2012, in what officials said they hope is a continued sign of resurgence after the initial shocks of the recession several years ago. Before this year, The Center only was able to have two fulltime staff members and one parttime staff member. Now, it will have three fulltime members and two part-time members — which officials said will make a very big difference. “I think it is absolutely essential to our community that we be able to grow,” said Porter

Gilberg, administrative director. “The stronger and larger we are, the more services and opportunities we can provide. We’re not at pre-recession levels, but we are in a stronger position to help.” Gilberg previously was serving as The Center’s operations manager, but she has now taken the administrative director position. For the past two years, Phyllis Schmidt had been The Center’s interim executive director, but she has stepped down from that position and rejoined the board of directors. “She came at a very critical time and was instrumental in keeping us afloat during the

roughest part of the recession,” Gilberg said. “Now that we’re in a much better position, Phyllis has gone back to the board in a voting capacity. I’m in charge of the overall operations and ensuring we are functioning smoothly from here.” Kyle Bullock joins the staff as the new youth program manager. He has more than seven years experience working with youth through the Long Beach Unified School District and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine. He will oversee The Center’s Mentoring Youth Through Empowerment program, which provides support and guidance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youngsters ages 13-17. “He was by far the strongest candidate for the position with his experience teaching and with the parks department, and overall working with youth in Long Beach — he is a natural fit,” Gilberg said. The Center also hired Natalie Tjandra as an operations assistant and Shawna Cozens will join the staff as the HIV Testing Counselor. “We’ve offered HIV testing off and on since the early 1980s,” Gilberg said. “Currently, we’re on our third year offering free rapid testing. With the addition of Shawna, that afforded us the ability to expand our testing hours.” HIV testing will take place from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. JaySun Howell and Jamie Hunt also were both newly elected to the board of directors. “We are thrilled to have doubled our staff and elected two new board members,” said Ron Sylvester, chairman of the board of directors. “With the support of our community, we have grown over the last year and we look forward to continuing our current renaissance in Long Beach.” The Center will continue many of its most popular programs this year, which include extensions of its youth programming, health programming and social activities calendar. There will be a special financial literacy seminar on Feb. 18. There also will be a big get-together during Valentine’s Day week, Gilberg said, but details are still being confirmed. For more, visit

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 11A

Kindergarten Festivals To Help Prepare District Parents By Stephanie Minasian STAFF WRITER

It can be an intimidating step for some young children and their parents to start school for the first time. So incoming Long Beach Unified School District kindergartners and their parents are invited to attend the annual kindergarten festivals to receive insight and preparation for the start of the 2012-13 school year. Since 2005, the Long Beach Early Childhood Education Committee has coordinated the kindergarten festivals, which have helped ease the nerves of parents whose child is beginning their first year of school. The first of four scheduled festivals is from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Buffum Learning Center, located at 2350 Ximeno Ave. “This is a resource fair for families,” said Sarah Soriano, the cochair of the kindergarten festivals committee and executive director of Young Horizons, a nonprofit involved in volunteering at the festivals. “Parents should come get all the information they could possibly need to know. We will have very specific workshops on what the children will learn in terms of both math and literacy, and what your child needs to be ready to start school.” Each of the festivals also gives parents the chance to get their child vaccinated for H1N1 and influenza, as well as free dental and heath screenings. “Dental screenings are now a requirement for children,” Soriano added. “St. Mary Medical Center participates by providing the free cholesterol and health screenings.”

More than 20 area agencies and nonprofits will be on hand at the festivals to share resources and services, and each incoming kindergartener will receive a free book and a new backpack filled with school supplies to get them ready to start learning. On top of the day’s workshops, the festival also will be filled with games and activities for the children to participate in — to get them revved up for class. “The children who are going into kindergarten get to do activities in the classroom workshops on math or literacy,” Soriano said. “There is also a child activity

room, and arts and crafts for older or younger children.” Sponsors of the festival include Verizon, St. Mary Medical Center, Los Angeles Universal Preschool, the National Council of Jewish Women, Long Beach Rotary and Charitable Foundation and Molina Medical. The next three kindergarten festivals are from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at International Elementary, 700 Locust Ave.; March 31 at Mann Elementary, 257 Coronado Ave.; and April 28, at Dooley Elementary, 5075 Long Beach Blvd. “This is just so much fun,”

Soriano added. “It’s empowering for parents, so that their child can succeed in school. We have a broad range of professionals and individuals that are concerned about the wellbeing of children

and families in Long Beach. Our mission is that every child in Long Beach will grow up healthy, safe and educated.” For more information, call 4354080, or visit

Open For Lunch and Dinner Lunch Menu $4.95

Page 12A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

Gregorio Luke Debuts As Long Beach Opera’s El Duende By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer

Transporting audiences to the time of Argentina’s gruesome Dirty War, the Long Beach Opera

has adapted Astor Piazzolla’s and Horacio Ferrer’s classic nuevo tango, “María de Buenos Aires,” into an original, emotional experience, said the show’s narrator.

“Every performance is a painful experience that is sometimes unbearable,” said Gregorio Luke, who is making his stage debut as El Duende — the opera’s narra-

tor, who tells the story to the audience. “It is so intense sometimes that they have to restrain me, and I have to try to remember that I am in an opera.”

The intensity stems from the serious and disturbing subject matter of the opera itself, with the story of “María De Buenos Aires” adapted by LBO’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek. Mitisek decided to place the opera, which was written in 1967, in the context of Argentina’s Dirty War — a time when more than 30,000 people “disappeared” or perished under the military government’s harsh regime. “The Dirty War occurred in Argentina from 1976 to 1983,” Luke said. “It was awful abuse practiced in Argentina. But, it is not just Argentinean phenomenon — it occurred in the 1970s and 1980s all over Latin America, which sustained these long-standing, horrible dictators. I think by us remembering those lost, we are not just doing an opera — we are doing a useful thing.” The opera was written before the Dirty War began, and has previously been staged to take place in the 1930s and 1940s, with the traditional tango atmosphere as its setting. “When you look at it chronologically, the opera was actually written closer to Dirty War than the tango era,” Luke said. “But, they did not know this tragedy was going to happen.” In LBO’s production, the character of María, played by Peabody Southwell, represents the passion and strength of the Argentinean women during this time in history, according to director Mitisek. “Our María represents the passion of the Argentinean women who were as seductive as the tango while resilient and strong enough to overcome dictatorship in a country where machismo ruled,” Mitisek said. “Taking the tango to its most brutal extreme, the Dirty War was a dance of torture, covered in blood, and danced by the highest echelons of society and power. In ‘María,’ the tango is a dance of life and death. Piazzolla embraced the tango in an extreme way. He took it to a deeper level. He intensified everything about it — the harmonies, the form, the noises, the jerks; he created a revolution within the tango.” He added that the character also represents the heart and soul of Argentina, and when Maria falls to the regime, she is reborn in the protests of the thousands of mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who are looking for their children who have disappeared. “I think it’s extraordinary what we’re doing,” Luke added. “In our opera, the poor women, people like Maria, are the most exploited and abused. They are the ones who bring down the dictatorship. At first, the military gives the usual heavy handedness, but it becomes impossible for the women to hide, because they want to know where their families are. In a way, in the opera, Maria is reborn.” “María de Buenos Aires” opens at 2 p.m., on Sunday at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 West Sixth St., in San Pedro. A second performance is scheduled at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. To buy tickets, call the LBO Box Office at 432-5934 or visit the website at

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 13A

Audience Delights In LBSO’s Upbeat Tunes By Jim Ruggirello Music Critic

What’s wrong with having a good time? Well, if you asked the Long Beach Symphony audience the other night at the most recent Classics concert at the Terrace Theater, absolutely nothing. The program consisted of music by Johann Strauss II and Beethoven, and “crowd-pleasing” wouldn’t begin to describe it. We were at first encouraged not to take the whole thing too seriously by the program opener, a bit of musical fluff by Strauss titled “Perpetuum mobile” and subtitled “A Musical Joke.” Over an unrelenting boom-chuck, a jolly, inane and totally directionless melody spun itself out, handed from instrument to instrument and leading absolutely nowhere. In fact, the piece doesn’t really end; the melody sort of plays itself out and dwindles into inconclusive silence in the middle of a phrase. Music director Enrique Arturo Diemecke then turned to the audience and mischievously announced, “That’s it!” The place cracked up. It was somewhat jarring, to say the least, to follow this bizarre little trifle with one of Beethoven’s great masterpieces, the Piano Concerto No. 5, known as the “Emperor.” But in its own magisterial way, the piece is resolutely good-humored, though never silly. This was, by the way, a great performance. Soloist Leonid Kuzmin was terrific, one of the

best guest pianists we’ve heard on these concerts. He played with dazzling proficiency and consummate authority, and his sense of Beethovenian style was impeccable. His authority in the grand first movement was breathtaking, the technical challenges nonexistent. He handled the thundering fortes and delicate pianos with equal aplomb, and throughout displayed the utmost musicality. The sublime second movement revealed Kuzmin to be a sensitive poet as well, and his playfulness in the rollicking finale was infectious. Diemecke and he were in perfect sync during the whole concerto (Diemecke watched him like a hawk) and the conductor handled the orchestra masterfully. They were an equal partner in the success of this performance, and exhibited great personality while never being obtrusive. The whole thing was a delight. After intermission, the program became wall-to-wall Strauss, and the audience ate it up. The crowd was treated to the

colorful overture to the “Gypsy Baron,” the great “Emperor Waltzes,” the very familiar “Die Fledermaus” overture and the ubiquitous “Blue Danube.” After the Beethoven, the relatively lightweight Strauss felt like four encores, and then there was an encore. Tune after irresistible tune spilled out from the orchestra, and the LBSO was in top form. Diemecke was in his element was well, and displayed a sure hand with the Viennese style. Actually, conductor and orchestra seemed to be having as much fun as the audience, and the entire evening left everyone, including even a curmudgeonly critic, in a good mood. What’s wrong with that?

Church Hosts Save Our Beach Cleanup The World Mission Society Church of God and the Save Our Beach group will host a beach cleanup starting at 10 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 29, on the beach at 45th Place. Officials say the church hopes to help local environmental efforts while sharing fellowship with neighbors and to inspire

other members of the community to follow their example. Everyone participating will wear the signature scarf of the “I Have Already Come” movement, which is spearheaded by the church. Save Our Beach ( is an organization that hosts monthly beach and wetlands cleanups in Seal Beach.

Page 14A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

Lines Expected Soon For Naples Sushi By Larry Hill Restaurant Writer

Naples Sushi, 5662 E. Second St., 856-2222. • Hours: From 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. • Location: Naples Sushi is located in the old Kitchen Outfitters space in Naples. • Food/Drinks: Appetizers include Poke, Yellowtail Jalapeno, Tuna Carpaccio, Seared Jumbo Scallops, Baked Mussels, Yellowtail Cheek, Tempura and Chicken

Katsu. Salad offerings are Seaweed Salad, Cucumber Salad, Tako, Green, Salmon Skin and Spicy Albacore Salad. Bento Boxes come with Miso Soup, Salad and Rice. Combos are Chicken Teriyaki and Tempura, Salmon Teriyaki and Tempura, Beef Teriyaki and Tempura, Chicken Bowl and Vegetables, Salmon Bowl and Vegetables and Beef Bowl and Vegetables. Rolls include 007, California, Caterpillar, Dragon, Philadelphia, Spicy Rock Shrimp, Albacore

Dream, Mardi Gras, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Sweet Sixteen and Thunder. Fresh fish offerings include Monk Fish, Yellowtail, Shrimp, Halibut, Squid, Tuna, Salmon, Albacore, Octopus, Eel, Blue Fin Tuna, Giant Clam, King Crab, Sea Urchin, Scallop, Red Snapper and Sweet Shrimp. Additionally, there are Sashimi dinners and a reasonable selection of sake. • Atmosphere: The atmosphere is understated with a dominant sushi bar and simple wall adornments. The service is friendly and adds great warmth to the environment. • The Taste: Jennifer and I stopped for a late dinner. We ordered Albacore Dream, 007 and Spicy Rock Shrimp rolls to start. The Albacore Dream arrived first. It is a substantial roll with Spicy Tuna and Avocado inside and slices of Albacore draped over the

—Gazette photo by Doreen Gunness

READY TO SERVE. The staff at Naples Sushi is happy to be back in the neighborhood.

top. It was nicely piquant without being slathered in sauce. The taste of the fresh fish was not obscured. The Spicy Rock Shrimp arrived next. It is a thinner roll with rice on the outside construction and it is spicy. Fresh jalapeno spicy. We loved it. The texture and sweetness of the rock shrimp were again not obscured even though the roll was the spiciest sushi roll I’ve tasted. Then came the 007. It is spicy tuna and avocado inside, then draped with thin-sliced and shredded potato and deep-fried quickly. The roll remains cool inside but crunchy and warm outside. It’s

like sushi with potato chips. So unique, so good. We thought we might need a little more and ordered a standard Philadelphia roll with smoked salmon and cream cheese. It is rich and creamy, a classic. Naples Sushi is great. The owners are keeping the focus on the fish where it should be. It is comforting to, once again, have sushi in Naples. Moreover, when the sushi is this good, it is deeply satisfying. If you’re hankering for sushi, don’t delay: the lines are about to begin. • Price: Dinner for two is $25 to $50+ with drinks.

$18.99+tax 2 Large Pizzas $21.99+tax 2 X-Large Pizzas $24.99+tax 2 Medium Pizzas

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 15A


Our Special Day...

Walk Down The Aisle In 2012 With Gazette Brides Editor’s Note: Double the trouble — Gazette Newspapers has two women on staff who are getting married this year. We’re taking advantage of this occurrence, which coincides with the holiday proposal rush and the weddingplanning season now underway, by featuring both very unique women and their two different styles of wedding planning each week with rotating first-person columns found only at Gazettes. com. Here’s a taste of what to expect: By Ashleigh Oldland Editor

Don’t get me wrong — I believe in marriage, and feel incredibly blessed that I’ve found the right man for me, but I’m a bride who is lacking some of that expected enthusiasm for being a bride. After a romantic and spontaneous proposal in December, the groom, Taylor, and I talked about eloping or getting married at a courthouse — that turned out to be easier said than done (pardon the cliché). Once we started talking about the wedding and began to say, “Well, it would be nice if Mom and Dad were there,” or ask, “Would you regret not having a

‘real wedding’ later?” the guest list began to grow. A two-person wedding on the beach turned into a six-person wedding, then a 12-person wedding, and so on and so on until now we’ve got a full-blown 30-person wedding to look forward to this April at a hotel in Dana Point. Picking out wedding colors wasn’t my idea of a good time, so I stole some colors — a combination of ivory, pear green and dark purples — from a pallet already created on an online wedding blog. I’m against having bridesmaids, mostly because I don’t want to subject my best friends to that ridiculous tradition — putting two girls in dresses that won’t match two unique body types and two unique skin types. Why punish the two of them with the gift of a pear green dress after they come all the way out from my hometown in Colorado to support me? I’ve been as difficult as any “bridezilla” in my own way, particularly when it comes to my stubbornness on spending hardearned money on expensive wedding invitations (they are just going to wind up at the landfill anyway), or really anything I think I can cut back on. A DJ?

—Gazette photo by Jesse Lopez

CHEERS. Gazette staffers Stephanie Minasian (left) and Ashleigh Oldland (right) clink their glasses at Granada Beach in celebration of their upcoming weddings.

Who needs that when I have an iPod. Engagement photos? Who needs those when we’ve got some perfectly good photos of the two of us from our past two years together. A veil? Give me a break, the last one I saw at the wedding store cost $150! What I know for sure is that I’m looking forward to walking down

the aisle in my dress, enjoying some time with our closest family and friends — and most of all breathing a sigh of relief once this whole thing is planned out, paid for and finished. By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer

I thought that I had everything

already planned out in my head. The proposal wasn’t even going to be a surprise because I knew he was going to do it during our New Year’s trip to New York City, and I had been diligently practicing my “surprised” expression as often as I could. But, I was thrown off guard in (Continued on Page 16A)

PAGE 16A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012

2012 Weddings (Continued from Page 15A)

every way possible. Michael didn’t get down on one knee in Central Park, like I had imagined, but he found a less cliché, and more “us” way to go about asking me to marry him.

On Nov. 11, 2011, he managed to genuinely surprise me during one of our regular date nights. It was so flawless to me that I don’t think NYC could have stood a chance. After the many phone calls to our friends and loved ones, and once our cheeks stopped hurt-

BRIDAL ing from smiling, I sat down and thought about what I wanted for our big day. There are so many dynamics that go into wedding planning, that my head was spinning trying to take the initial steps. There’s the venue, colors, food, themes, dresses, flowers — I

didn’t know where to start. I first thought about what is most important to us, and who we are as a couple. We both enjoy the company of our families and summer nights in Long Beach. His family is from the East Coast, while I was born and raised a California girl, so I wanted to find a way to combine the quintessential West Coast feeling with classic vintage touches. After we chose to host our wedding this August at our church in Huntington Beach, with dinner and dancing at the Long Beach Museum of Art, I decided that warm colors would best accent the museum’s historic Anderson House. I picked dandelion yellow as

my main color, which to me, is the perfect color to compliment a warm summer evening outdoors. I am highlighting the yellow with touches of slate, ivory and black. With the church and reception venue booked, Michael and I now are able to focus on those smaller details and can make a wedding even more memorable, such as the design of invitations, favors, music and delectable treats. My ultimate goal is for our 80 guests to feel like they are transported to another era — the early 20th Century — and surrounded by the feeling of love and family. I think with the right goals, support, staying on budget and organizing ideas, it can all happen without too many hitches.

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 17A


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Find Ideal Long Beach Venues For The Big Day By Ashleigh Oldland Editor

Take it from a bride, there’s no shortage of places to tie the knot in Long Beach. Whether you’re looking for a small wedding or full-blown affair, there are dream wedding options for any budget on the sand, in an elegant building with a waterfront view, atop a historic downtown venue or within a unique museum, garden or park. Keep in mind, prices vary depending on the time of day, day of the week and season. So, if you’re a bride and groom on a budget, consider booking a wedding venue between October and April rather than during busier months. Also, many wedding venues offer discounted prices for morning weddings or weddings scheduled on a Friday night or other day during the regular workweek. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the package price, and make sure to calculate taxes, tips and additional fees into your budget. Many venues have “hidden fees,” such as required valet parking or cleanup charges. Make sure you’ve decided what your budget is, what the wedding date will be and how many guests (including the bride and groom) will be invited to the event before you start shopping for venues. Once those decisions are made, there are some must-see wedding locations in Long Beach that may prove to be a couple’s perfect venue. Consider performing the nuptials at one of Long Beach’s hotels, which make not only a wonderful wedding location but also can be a honeymoon getaway. Most hotels in Long Beach, including the historic Queen Mary, offer packages to help minimize

how many decisions the bride and groom will need to make — and, guests at the wedding often can get a discount for staying overnight at the venue. Historical buildings, such as the Ebell Club, Sky Room or Cooper Arms are readily available for wedding ceremonies and receptions, and can be particularly good for couples looking to host a themed wedding. Other spaces, such as the Aquarium of the Pacific, Art Theatre, Long Beach Museum of Art and Museum of Latin American Art, can be booked for special events and might prove to be a fun space for a trendy wedding party. If good food is highest on the priority list, many local restaurants offer wedding venue and reception packages. Consider getting married on the beach and then sharing a meal with family and friends at a beachfront restaurant. La Palapa Del Mar in Belmont Shore offers a special package designed for just such a wedding. If it’s an outdoor wedding you seek, keep in mind the weather, but remember that Long Beach boasts an average of 345 days of sunshine each year, so the odds are on your side. Long Beach’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine is a good resource for couples interested in getting married at one of Long Beach’s beaches, parks or golf courses. Both Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos are available for weddings, so too is the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at California State University, Long Beach. Also, Alfredo’s Beach Club is a popular resource for beach weddings. Weddings on the water also are a possibility for the adventurous bride and groom. Gondola Getaway offers wedding packages on the water, and cruise operators, such as Spirit Cruises and others, offer wedding and reception packages on board yachts. Carnival Cruise lines, which has service in and out of Long Beach, also offers shipboard weddings and destination weddings. Weddings are a cherished time for love and celebration, and the perfect venue can be a reflection of the relationship between the bride and groom — a good way to start a real-life happily ever after.

Area Bridal Shows A series of bridal shows is coming to the Southland, beginning Jan. 29 in Redondo Beach. Premier Bridal Shows will take place Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club, 260 Portofino Way in Redondo Beach; Sunday, Feb. 12, at the DoubleTree Anaheim, 100 The City Drive in Orange County; and Sunday, March 4, at the Los Angeles Marriott, 333 Figueroa St. in Los Angeles. All events run 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 online and $10 at the door. For tickets, visit The shows offer one-stop shopping for wedding planning, with vendors offering services, bridal gowns and more.

Page 18A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012


Custom Cakes Cater To Diverse Wedding Themes By Veronica Flook One of you popped the question, the other said yes. Now what? Once you decide on the date and location, the fun begins. Can you imagine the number of decisions you will be making? From the color of the napkins to the

style of wedding dress, it is all in the details. This also applies to the planning of the wedding cake. So what do you need to know before you call the bakery to set up a proper wedding cake consultation? In this day and age, there is a limitless resource for wedding

cake ideas — the Internet. Before making a wedding cake appointment, it is recommended that you take some time and do some research. In this time you can see what sort of cakes appeal to you. From a traditional all-white cake to a modern mad hatter style, the options for wedding cake design are endless. New trends for wedding cakes emerge almost every season with great new and modern looks for the couple looking for a new twist on the traditional cake. If you have

a streamlined idea or concept for your wedding cake design, the consultation is will probably go more smoothly. When coming to the consultation come prepared with whatever pictures you have found that interest you as well as any color swatches if you would like to include your wedding colors on the cake. This helps your consultant aid you in designing the wedding cake of your dreams. Once at the consultation, the cake tasting gets to happen, ar-

—Courtesy Rossmoor Pastries

DELICIOUS. A lace cake awaits the happy couple.

guably one of the most fun parts of the wedding planning experience. When choosing flavors for the cake, keep in mind that your guests will not have a choice as to what they get served, so sticking to one flavor for the whole cake is a good idea. It is virtually impossible to please everyone flavor-wise, so try to get a flavor that most people will enjoy while still keeping with the flavor you like as well. Another aspect of your wedding cake to consider is the topper. You can use a traditional figurine cake topper or even find a figurine topper that exemplifies you as a couple through your interests or hobbies. Monograms also are quite popular and range in style from the “blinged out” Swarovski crystals encrusted monograms to more simple silver monograms. Flowers can always be a nice way to finish off a cake as well. Options can range from fresh, silk, butter cream, fondant or gum paste flowers. Although toppers can add a nice finishing touch on a cake, some couples decide less is more. A cake can still look complete and modern without a topper. Whatever you end up doing for the wedding cake topper be sure to bring it in to your baker so they can analyze if any precautions need to be taken for the weight or size of the topper. At the end of all of this the wedding day will fly by with a one-year anniversary cake in the freezer commemorating the day. Veronica Flook is with Rossmoor Pastries in Long Beach.

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 19A


Wedding Day Hair An Important Final Touch By Brynne Henderson Ruffled by loved ones, showered with admiring eyes, and eternalized in photographs, a bride’s ’do is anything but missed. She starts with the dress, next comes the shoes, and to top it all off comes the make-up and hair. Those finishing touches can make or break a bride’s wedding day glow. Here are a few tips to keep in mind no matter what hairstyle you choose. First, a bride’s hair should compliment her gown, not overpower it. Whether you choose a modern and sleek up-do, or a bohemian and natural curl, the style of your dress should be reflected in your hairstyle.

Second, every bride wants to shine. In order to accomplish luster. be sure to use a shine spray that will allow your hair to radiate throughout your wedding day festivities. Chroma Cristal from Kerastase is a long lasting, light, shine-perfecting spray that will add shine without weighing hair down. Lastly, get rid of the frizz. No matter your hair length, frizz can take your look from sleek to disheveled. To maintain a lustrous, frizz-free look, apply Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolue to your locks (it is also weightless!). Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to maintain your wedding day glow long past the hugs, flashing bulbs and everything else the

day may throw your way. Trends — they may come and go, but your wedding photos will last forever! Braids are the new style movement in 2012. Incorporating braids will allow you to add style to your look no matter what theme you are trying to accomplish. Because you want your wedding day hair to highlight your features, as well as your dress, braids are a versatile way to achieve both. It’s the details that make your look, so if you are a bride with an inclination to hair accessories try adding a simple, loose braid leading to whichever accessory you choose. Brynne Henderson is with Bella Salon of Naples.

Nuptials Necessitate Proper Paperwork From the very moment of your engagement, your and your future spouse’s lives change forever. There are decisions to make, compromises to reach, families to mesh. With all the excitement and joy comes an assumption of new financial responsibilities. Being prepared for the financial changes a marriage will bring can only increase the comfort with which you adapt to your new role. Taking care of certain things early on can help you start off your married life on the right foot. Wedding and honeymoon expenses: Weddings can be expen-

sive. When you and your spouse return from your honeymoon, set up a timeframe in which any remaining expenses from your wedding can be paid off, whether with gifts received or otherwise. Changing beneficiaries: It’s important to dig out any old insurance policies, as well as documentation for your 401(K) and/or other retirement plans and update the beneficiary information. Existing bank accounts: To some extent, you and your spouse will probably consolidate your finances. Review the terms of your existing bank accounts. Should you keep them? Close them?

Open a joint account? Health and auto insurance: Assess your existing health and auto insurance. In many cases it will save you and your spouse a significant amount of money to obtain joint coverage. Name change: If you or your (Continued on Page 20A)

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Bridal Shows Serve As Wedding Planning Resources By Ann Sheeler Bridal shows are a fun and informative way to help plan your wedding, especially if you are just beginning the wedding planning process. You can talk to lots of wedding service providers in one place, get new ideas, and have your questions answered in

For All Couples

one day under one roof. To make your bridal show experience fun and informative, we offer the following tips: Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be on your feet for quite a while. Exhibitors will be offering various giveaways and promotions

where you can register. To make this easier, come prepared with peel-off labels with your name, address, phone number, email address and wedding date printed on them. Bring swatches of material or ribbons with your wedding colors. This will help bakers, balloonists and florists coordinate with your theme. Take your fiancée, mom and some of your bridal party members to offer an objective third party opinion. The highlight of most bridal shows is the fashion show, . Some shows offer two separate fashion shows featuring different bridal salons in each show and will let you try on the gowns afterwards. Don’t be shy — talk to the experts, ask questions and make appointments where you can discuss your wedding in depth. Many exhibitors offer discounts and free merchandise for booking your date at the show. Make sure to check the show’s website beforehand to help you plan the day before arriving.

There is usually a charge to attend the shows, but if you preregister, you can often get a discount on the entry fee. Attend wedding planning seminars and get insights and advice from leading wedding experts. Enter to win door prizes worth thousands provided by the exhibitors. Most shows offer a honeymoon as the grand prize. Take the time to smell the flowers, taste the cake and culinary samples, view the photographers’ portfolios, enjoy a beauty makeover, listen to the entertainment, even try on the veils and headpieces. Make a list of all the services

Paperwork (Continued from Page 19A)

spouse change your last name, make sure it’s done on your credit cards, tax forms, driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, and voter registration card, as well as on bank accounts and insurance policies. Homeowners’ or renters’ insurance: If you haven’t already done so, make sure you’ve protected your home and other valuables with insurance. In addition, extend coverage to the wedding gifts you receive and obtain coverage for your wedding rings. Student loans and credit card debts: Assess how much money you and your spouse owe. Consolidating assets can also mean consolidating liabilities. Plan a

you need and take photos from magazines that portray your wedding theme and style. Bridal shows come in a variety of sizes. Some will be small and quaint with only one or two companies represented per category, while others can have more than 100 exhibitors. Some bridal shows are smaller open houses where the venue features only their preferred vendors. Most bridal shows are a oneday event. However, some larger shows are two-day events at hotels, luxurious mansions and convention centers. Ann Sheeler owns and operates Bridal Showplace Bridal Shows.

budget to manage any debts. Mortgages and other loans: Always make sure you’ve saved enough so that your mortgage, car payments and/or other loan payments fit into your budget. Life insurance policies: Getting married greatly increases your need for life insurance. Make sure both you and your spouse have the coverage you need. In preparing for your financial future as a married couple, you will have to take care of many details pertaining to things old, things new and things borrowed. Being prepared and proactive will help ensure you won’t need to deal with the wedding blues. This educational article is being provided by Rick Alsagoff, Agent from New York Life Insurance Company.

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 21A


Pick Photographer With Style, Substance By Kristi Sutton Elias The process of choosing a professional photographer has never been easier or more fun, thanks to the Internet. I have been a professional photographer for the past 14 years, and I am going to give you the short course on what to look for in choosing your photographer and how to do it. • Finding the style and talent. Being photographed is an emotional experience. You are choosing to document a time and part of your life. The photographer you choose should not only be someone whose work you love, but you should also like them as a person. Basically, if you wouldn’t want to hang out with them at a backyard barbecue, you don’t want them chasing you all around on your wedding day or holding your newborn baby. So spend some time and make sure you are a match! • The Internet. Doing a Google search for photographers in your area is a great way to start. Remember to look past the top three pages of results. The first person that shows up on your search engine results may have the best placement, but that has nothing to do with photographic talent. You can also go to Google images and see lots of photographers’ work on one page. You want to look through the different photographers’ online portfolio. Each photographer has his or her own style. No two photographers will capture the same moment identically. You know the saying — you can’t please everyone. Well, the same goes for photography. So, look for a photographer whose images and style pleases you.

• Wedding Shows. If, you are specifically looking for a wedding photographer, then wedding shows are a great way to meet many photographers face to face and see some of their work. But, keep in mind, if you don’t see anything that you like, there are plenty more photographers out there. • Their Experience. Practice makes perfect! Find out how long they have been a professional photographer. Are they professionally trained or self taught? Look through their online galleries. Are they consistently good? If you find one image you would rate a 10 but the rest a 3, then that photographer is a 3. There is a saying in the art world — you are only as good as the weakest image in your portfolio. So make sure you look through the entire

Belmont Shore has a Lovely Church for your Wedding! Traditional Christian ceremonies Experienced wedding staff Stained glass windows Mahogany paneled walls Center aisle Pipe organ and Grand Piano To see the church, stop by the office Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm or Worship with us Sunday at 9:30am

portfolio before making your final decision. • Your Experience. Having your portraits or wedding day captured should be a fun and amazing experience. Your photographer should make you feel confident, both in them and about your future experience together. There should be a connection between you and your photographer all the way through the wedding or portrait day to the ordering/ viewing session and receiving your portraits. You should not only love you portraits, but love the experience. • Investment. Photography is an art, and with all art comes a price. There are different factors that determine a photographer’s price list: Time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer, not to mention expertise. I recommend choosing

—Photo courtesy Bridal Showplace Bridal Shows

PERMANENT MEMORIES. Choosing a good photographer can make your wedding fun and lasting.

your photographer because you love their work, and you can’t wait to look at it on your walls every day. If you pick a photographer strictly on price, you will most likely end up with regret and paying another photographer for a re-shoot.

I think this quote says it beautifully: “The cost of good photography will always be forgotten, where as the alternative ending up with bad art on your walls will haunt you daily.” Kristi Sutton Elias is a professional photographer in Long Beach.

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MoLAA Unveils “Anywhere Better Than This Place” By Julian Bermudez Arts Writer

The newest rotation of the Museum of Latin American Art’s (MoLAA) permanent collection illustrates the institution’s branding power as it moves to becoming a dominant force for contemporary art — Latin American or otherwise — this side of Southern California. Curated by rising curatorial start Selene Preciado, “Anywhere Better Than This Place” looks, feels and sounds like a MoLAA exhibit. Exploring themes of memory and desire in relation to a particular place, the exhibit’s

installation, including the art’s placement, maintains the museum’s ardent position that art be the central focus of any given exhibit. “Anywhere Better Than This Place” is no different. Fixtures in this show are the photo-mechanical prints by Felix Gonzalez-Torres titled “Nowhere Better Than This Place” and “Somewhere Better Than This Place” from 1989-1990. Indeed, these provided both the exhibit’s overarching theme and title. “These prints by GonzalezTorres are statements of longing for a place that existed in the

past, is ceasing to exist, is about to exist or which never existed,” states MoLAA’s exhibit narrative. “Through the use of language, they also become a sort of metaphorical landscape.” The exhibit includes a diverse range of material from a number of artists who are normally classified as idiosyncratic. However, the art plays nicely with others of its ilk throughout this exhibit — again, an indicator of MoLAA’s brand. Works on paper, paintings, photography, sculpture, installations and video focusing on the concept or sentiment of a place, or landscapes, if you will, aim to incite a dialogue between the art and the viewer once the imagination becomes stimulated. “In the case of Roberto Montenegro’s work ‘Rocas/Rocks,’ there is a traditional representation of a rocky mountain seen from below,” MoLAA states. “Montenegro’s work was often allegorical, but he also made use of the portrait and the landscape to represent critical aspects of the

society of his time.” In addition to Montenegro, prominent artists are featured — David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Gurvich, Ingrid Hernandez, Abelardo Morell, Clemencia Echeverri and Mario Opazo — acting as emissaries reemphasizing the exhibit’s goal. “The exhibition aims to present a wide array of representations of place and landscape that are based on reality or the imaginary,” the narrative adds. “Clemencia Echeverri’s audio-visual installation titled ‘Treno (Funeral Chant),’ presents two large-scale projections of the flow of the river Cauca. Carlos Garaicoa’s ‘Acerca de la Construccion de la Verdadera Torre de Babel’ is a commentary on ruins and utopia, but is also an example of the representation of landscape based in a real place

with the incorporation of elements of the imagination.” It’s evident by the exhibit’s presentation, as well as its didactic information, that Preciado’s curatorial eye is being guided by the museum’s Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Idurre Alonso. This is exactly what professionals are supposed to do: develop the next generation of leaders. How else would a company build its brand? “Anywhere Better Than This Place” is a sublime beginning for 2012. MoLAA is at 628 Alamitos Ave. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. General admission is $9; students and seniors are $6; free for MoLAA members. For more information, call 437-1689 or visit

Act Out Mystery Presents New Show The Act Out Mystery Theatre is back with a new show, “Once Upon A Murder,” beginning at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 28, at The Reef, 880 S. Harbor Scenic Dr. Producers say the play turns the world of “Happily Ever After” into “Happily Never After” when the fairy tale-telling Grimm Brothers turn up missing. Tickets are still available for Jan. 28, Feb. 18 and Feb. 25. Tickets are $49.95, which includes a threecourse dinner. Call 961-9862 or visit

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 23A

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Health & Beauty

Steinhauser Chosen To Serve State’s Education Task Force By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer

The California Department of Education recently announced its formation of an Educator Excellence Task Force as a way to

strengthen the state’s teacher corps, with Long Beach Unified School District expected to share its input on practices and improvement for schools across California.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson formed the Educator Excellence Task Force to develop a system to give teachers more opportunities to grow through their careers.

“I’m honored and thankful that Superintendent Torlakson has recognized the excellence of Long Beach schools and teachers by allowing us significant input on this task force,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser. “We plan to share our best practices, learn from others and improve the delivery of instruction to thousands of students in local schools and statewide.” The task force will be a joint effort between the California Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, officials said. It will be co-chaired by Stanford University’s Dr. Linda DarlingHammond, alongside Steinhauser, who has spent 30 years educating Long Beach students. Last August, Torlakson released his Blueprint, which sum-

marized the recommendations by his Transition Advisory Team regarding key areas affecting public education. The Blueprint called for an Educator Excellence Task Force that is planned to develop comprehensive recruitment, training and preparation frameworks for both new and experienced educators; encourage the development of more effective educator evaluation systems; ensure that these systems are supported by training for evaluators, mentoring for teachers and professional development programs; and recommend how these systems should be designed, supported and implemented, according to state officials. For details, visit the California Department of Education website at

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 25A


Alive Tells Legendary Performers’ Stories By Shirle Gottlieb Theater Critic

Many film experts consider “Citizen Kane” as one of the greatest movies ever made. Created in 1941 by Orson Wells, a young genius, it played to packed houses across the world, and can still be seen on university campuses and in prestigious film festivals. Many theater scholars think of Lawrence Olivier as one of England’s finest stage actors; and Vivien Leigh, his beautiful wife, as a film star second to none. (Think of “Gone with the Wind” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”) Now fast forward 20 years to 1960. Because of creative disappointments and box office failures, Orson is unwelcome in Hollywood, so he’s living in Ireland. At the same time, the classical approach of English theater is making room for contemporaneous styles of expression that Lawrence doesn’t understand. And tragically, the gorgeous talented Vivien is losing her mind because she’s bipolar. Meanwhile, Kenneth Tynan (a brilliant, intellectual critic) has been following all of their careers since he was a teenager, and because they’re so gifted, he’s devoted to each one of them. Although Orson and Larry are bitter enemies; and Larry is leaving Vivien because he can’t tolerate her mood swings, Ken has a grand idea. He knows that Olivier and actress Joan Plowright (Larry’s latest lover) are working on a production of Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” in London. So he goes to Dublin to ask Orson to direct it. Ken intuits that Larry is overwhelmed by Theater of the Absurd, and Orson can help him. Fast forward another 40 years. Working with historical facts as outlined above, playwright Austin Pendleton wrote “Orson’s Shadow” as conceived by Judith Auberjonois. An entertaining peek inside the explosive behavior of five creative geniuses, the work is a dark comedy that imagines what took place between these legendary protagonists. Whether or not you’re famil-

iar with the back stories of Orson, Lawrence, Vivien, Joan or Kenneth, you’ll get a glimpse of their private lives. Thanks to Alive Theatre, “Orson’s Shadow” is currently on stage in the Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre as part of the Playhouse’s “New Collaborative Series.” Director Ricci Dedola says she has been excited about this work since she saw it in New York. Needless to say, it’s not easy to find actors who can impersonate world-famous personalities. But I encourage you to go. Just march in with the de rigueur “willing suspension of disbelief” and you’ll be royally entertained. From your first sight of the “ghost lamp” on an empty stage, you know you’re in for genuine backstage intrigue; and under Dedola’s tender loving care, the six-member cast gives it to you. Robert Edward knocks out all the stops with his terrific portrayal of Orson; Jonathan Lewis (though a bit young) gives a fine interpretation of Kenneth Tynan — the brilliant non-stop smoking critic who serves as the play’s narrator; and Joe Howells is properly naive as the bumbling stage “gofer.” Cassie Vail Yeager is quite believable--not only as the beautiful Vivien Leigh, but as an unstable woman who is losing her mind; and Ashley Allen is also convincing as sensible, down-to-earth Joan Plowright. Which leaves Tim Thorn’s over-wrought impersonation of

Lawrence Olivier. A little flamboyance goes a long way. If Thorn could tone it down a bit, stop mugging and pace himself, his portrayal would be a success. “Orson’s Shadow” continues at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, through Feb 5. Call 494-1014 for tickets.

99 $ 59


per treatment

per treatment

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Health & Beauty

12-Year Reign Alex’s Bar is hosting a 12-year anniversary celebration with a night of performances by Reigning Sound The Strange Boys, Thee Cormans and Death Hymn Number 9. Headliner Reigning Sound The Strange Boys is a North Carolina-based garage-

rock band led by vocalist and guitarist Greg Cartwright. In addition to live music, Alex’s Bar boasts WiFi Internet access, juke box and photo booth. Alex’s Bar caters to a diverse customer base through various themed nights, live entertainment, karaoke, trivia and drink specials at

different times throughout the week. A schedule is available at Tickets for the anniversary party are $15 in advance, or $17 at the door. Alex’s Bar patrons must be age 21 or older. The venue at 2913 E. Anaheim St. is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays. Call 434-8292. LB Travelers’ Choice TripAdvisor, self-proclaimed as the world’s largest travel website, announced this month the winners of its 2012 Travelers’ Choice awards. This is the 10th year the awards have been presented to travel-related businesses in the U.S. and around the world. Claiming an award in the “Best for Service” category was Long Beach’s The Varden, a hotel located at 335 Pacific Ave. in downtown Long Beach. The Varden also is ranked No. 1 out of 47 hotels listed on the TripAdvisor website. TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers around the world. Winners are ranked among the Top 25 per category. “TripAdvisor is incredibly proud to announce its Travelers’ Choice award-winning hotels,” Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, said in a release. “… We continue our mission to help more travelers around the world plan and have the perfect trip.” The complete list of TripAdvisor’s 2012 Travelers’ Choice winners can be found at Dignity Emphasized Catholic Healthcare West, which oversees St. Mary Medical Center of Long Beach, announced (Continued on Page 27A)

HEALTH & BEAUTY details, visit Business Beat (Continued from Page 26A)

this week that it has restructured its governance and changed its name to Dignity Health. The changes will have no impact on the operations, policies, or mission of St. Mary Medical Center, according to a release from the company. Company officials said the name change would not impact the company’s mission, vision and values. “We will remain a Catholic hospital, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, following the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, and committed to the overall health of the communities we are so privileged to serve,” according to the release. According to Dignity Health President Lloyd Dean, growth plans anticipate expanded partnerships, which will include both Catholic and non-Catholic care centers. The system currently owns or operates 25 Catholic hospitals and 15 non-Catholic hospitals. St. Mary Medical Center, a member of San Francisco-based Dignity Health, has cared for the people of the Long Beach area since 1923. The medical center has 500 physicians, 1,456 employees and 389 patient beds. For




January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 27A

www.stmarymedior www.dignity- Prepped For Disaster Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach was recently recognized for its outstanding Trauma/Burn Surge Program by the Hospital Preparedness Program, U.S. Department of Health & Human Service and the Los Angeles County EMS Agency. The Trauma/Burn Surge Program ensures Memorial and Miller Children’s is prepared for a disaster situation such as an earthquake, fire or any mass casualty crisis when a surge of patients will seek care at the hospital. The Trauma/Burn Surge Program is part of the comprehensive disaster program at the medical center. Also, Memorial and Miller Children’s is a designated Disaster Resource Center. Top Doctors Physicians from many of Long Beach’s best hospitals and private practices were recognized as the best in their fields by the 2012 Southern California Super Doctors report. See the report at, where the top 5% of active doctors in Los Angeles and Orange counties are recognized based on peer reviews from 30,000 physicians in Southern California.

CSULB Will Offer Free Income Tax Preparation Friday Free income tax preparation for families with incomes of $50,000 or less will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 27, at the College of Business Administration building at California State University, Long Beach,

1250 Bellflower Blvd. In addition, the free event will provide information about access to low cost and free medical services, job preparation assistance, food and nutrition service, discount telephone service and low

cost auto insurance. Parking is free on the first two floors of Parking Structure 1 next to the CBA building. For an appointment and details on what information to bring, call (323) 980-1221.

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Supreme Court (Continued from Page 1A)

and I think the Supreme Court agreed.” The issue in Long Beach also is a little unique because both sides wanted the Supreme Court to review and clarify the matter — in

the other three cases, the cities had not asked for review. “There are a number of issues that need to be tackled here,” said Matthew Pappas, Pack attorney. “The Pack case is more important than just Long Beach. There has been, for 16 years, uncertainty in the law.”

Pappas said he believes the most important issues that will be reviewed will be: • Whether federal law, which prohibits the use of marijuana, preempts state and city laws. • Whether cities in California are allowed to enact full bans, preventing medical marijuana collectives from existing. • What zoning laws are allowed in relations to medical marijuana collectives. Shannon said he believes the issue goes even further than that, and cannot be contained in just three questions. This goes to the

Ranchos (Continued from Page 1A)

erating money annually. That deal with the foundation has allowed Los Alamitos to create and complete almost all of a master plan to restore and upgrade the rancho. Work is nearing completion of a new education and meeting center that includes an area telling the tale of 1,500 years of history at the site. Los Cerritos has its own master plan, with the new visitors center and entryway considered the second phase of a 20- to 25-year plan. The visitors center will al-

same issue, he said, that has had him push the City Council to enact a full ban, at least until the Supreme Court makes a decision. “(The Pack case) says, in essence, that any city statutory scheme that permits or allows an unlawful activity cannot be enacted,” he said. Opponents of a medical marijuana ban, including Pappas, have repeatedly said the city does not need to enact a ban, and that the Pack ruling was merely against specific parts of the law like the lottery or permitting fee — not the regulations that shrank the

number of collectives in Long Beach from about 90 to 30. Pappas said he and his clients were in favor of about 90% of the 5.87 ordinance, and members of the Long Beach Collective Association have said they want to keep 5.87 as intact as possible. However, Shannon said he still believes, at least during the review period, that Long Beach must either revert to the lawlessness before the ordinance or the City Council must enact a ban. The City Council will again discuss a possible ban during its Feb. 14 meeting.

low for orientation and expansion of the living history program. “Living history is our signature,” Calomiris said. “It will play a central role in all our events, including the partnership with Long Beach Reads One Book (which is focusing on “Zorro,” including a visit from author Isabel Allende).” Rancho Los Alamitos also will be part of the One Book festivities in March, but with more of a focus on the Native American component of the story. That fits with the rancho’s mission to tell the story of all the people who have made the ranch site home.

The Rancho Los Alamitos master plan had 167 action items, and Seager said. The completion of the new community center, along with a classroom and relocation of the barns to their original configuration, counts as completion through number 165. Everyone involved, from families of those who have worked on the rancho in the distant past to the construction crew at work today, will be invited to help with the celebration this year, she said. “The Bixby story is an important one to our rancho,” Seager said. “But it should be understood only in context. There’s also the story of the landscape, and how it was resilient to change as it served as home to changing populations.” Both ranchos have a full year of events planned, ranging from lecture series to grand opening galas. Those openings are expected in May for Rancho Los Cerritos and June for Rancho Los Alamitos, but both ranchos are open for visits and events throughout the year. For more information about the ranchos, visit or

January 26, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 31A

desai’s Season (Continued from Page 1A)

when it was Camden, and dangerous.” But the arts played a part even back then. “I have to believe you’re born with it (the love for the arts),” desai said. “I wrote poetry or would draw. We all had to be in the same room in the evening, but I’d be in a corner, writing or drawing. I always found a way to study the arts.” That passion survived through a marriage after high school to get out of the house, followed by babies and a move across the country. She was in Long Beach when the passion burst into a determination to go to college, despite having young children.

Ross Lawsuit (Continued from Page 1A)

to return with a verdict in favor of the school district. “The voted for the school district,” said one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, Anthony Lupu. “We’re going to discuss all our options. It’s likely there will be an appeal.” The Rosses had asked for unspecified damages in the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s attorney reportedly said in closing arguments that a settlement of $3 million seemed fair, with the school district liable of 30% of that, or $900,000. “The jury agreed that our school district was in no way responsible for this senseless act of violence that occurred off campus,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “We’re relieved that the real perpetrator of this crime, the gunman, will be held accountable rather than an outstanding school whose staff provides a safe environment. Our hearts go out to everyone who knew and loved Melody, but we applaud the jury for considering

“I had missed the deadline to get into (Long Beach) State,” desai said. “So I enrolled at City College.” The rest, as they say, is history. Shashin Desai was in charge of the Theater Arts Department. caryn said she was drawn to theater because it used all of the artistic talents she enjoyed. After a grounding at LBCC, she did make it to California State University, Long Beach — and to London, and on to UC Irvine for her Masters of Fine Arts. But she had kept in touch with Desai, who convinced her to come back and work for him to produce the entertainment at the Queen Mary under the Disney Company, then as general manager for ICT in 1990.

“I had a background in theater administration, as well as teaching,” desai said. “But the deal with Shashin was that I’d do all that as long as I got to continue directing.” And direct she has. She’s won awards and nominations from every important theater group on the West Coast. There always have been deals with Shashin. For example, he wanted her to give up the e.e. cummings style of lower casing her name. “A friend of mine did a poster early in my career (when the name was still caryn morse), and she did it that way,” desai said. “I liked it, so I kept it that way. Shashin tried to talk me out of it, but I won that one.”

all the evidence and applying the law correctly.” It was unclear early Tuesday afternoon whether the ruling would include payment of attorney fees. An official statement from school district officials is pending. Two teenagers, Thomas Love Vinson and Daivion Davis, were arrested for the shooting five days after it occurred. Melody Ross was an innocent bystander when Vinson shot at alleged rival gang members, police reports said.

Davis accepted a plea bargain, pleading no contest to a count of manslaughter and one of attempted murder with the charges filed as a juvenile offense. Vinson stood trial as an adult and was convicted of one count of firstdegree murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter. On Dec. 19, he was sentenced to 155 years to life in prison for those convictions.

DOTY, Harvey R., 1923-2011

Harvey R. Doty, 88, of Signal Hill, passed away Nov. 28. He was born in Missouri and worked as an industrial boilermaker. He is survived by his nephew, James Weeks. Interment is at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

DEAN, Petra, 1938-2011

Petra Dean, 73, of Seal Beach, passed away Dec. 4. She was born in Germany and was a free-lance writer. She is survived by her daughter, Suzanne. Interment is at Harbor Lawn Memorial Park in Costa Mesa. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

WILSON, Esther E., 1923-2011

Esther E. Wilson, 88, of Lakewood, passed away Nov. 24. She was born in Akron, Ohio and worked in transformer manufacturing. She is survived by her son, Robert. Interment is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Lakewood. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

RUIZ, Mario C., 1948-2011

Mario C. Ruis, 63, of Norwalk, passed away Nov. 24. He was born in Nov. 24 and worked as a plating machinist. He is survived by his sister, Frances Esquer. Interment is at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

DAVIS, Granival Roosevelt 1934-2011

Granival Roosevelt Davis, 77, of Hawthorne, passed away Nov. 21. He was born in Mississippi and was a manufacturing worker. He is survived by his brother, Joe. Interment is at Natchez National Cemetery in Natchez, Miss. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

JOHNSON, Mary Frances, 1960-2011

The professional relationship became a personal one, and in 1997, Shashin and caryn married. With the marriage came a new challenge — creating a professional downtown theater. ICT produced one show in the Center Theater in 1996, then produced a full season there — along with a season at LBCC — in 1997 through 2000. That was the year ICT severed ties with the college, and the year Desai retired from teaching to focus full-time on the theater. caryn continued teaching at least one class on top of all the theater work.

McROY, James H. III, 1952-2011

Mary Frances Johnson, 51, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 18. She was born in Oxnard and is survived by her daughter, Gloria DavidsonThompson. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

James H. Hill, 59, of Carson, passed away Dec. 11. He was born in Long Beach and was a hydraulics mechanic. He is survived by his sister, Sandra Clark. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

REYNOSO, Antonio, 1938-2011

GEHR, Lawrence Anderson 1941-2011

Antonio Reynoso, 73, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 2. He was born in Mexico and is survived by his son Guadalupe. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

DIXON, John Clare, 1925-2011

John Clare Dixon, 86, of Long Beach, passed away Nov. 28. He was born in Downey and was a newspaper writer and editor. He is survived by his daughter, Alicia. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

NUÑEZ, Rudolph, 1926-2011

Rudolph Nuñez, 85, of San Pedro, passed away Dec. 24. He was born in Los Angeles and worked as a longshoreman. He is survived by his sister, Gloria Magana. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

HORNER, Marvin William 1966-2011

Marvin William Horner, 45, of Tujunga, passed away Nov. 21. He was born in Santa Ana and was a teacher. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

DeLaROSA, Daniel, 1950-2011

Dan DeLaRosa, 61, of Westminster, passed away Dec. 16. He was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and is survived by his wife, Lucia. Interment is at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

Lawrence Anderson Gehr, 70, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 4. He was born in New York and worked as a teacher. He is survived by his daughter, Dara. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

BLAINE, Edna, 1923-2011

Edna Blaine, 88, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 23. She was born in Union Grove, Wisc., and was a nurse practitioner. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

HENDRIX, Patricia Marie, 1921-2011

Patricia Marie Hendrix, 90, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 24. She was born in Bloomington, Ind. She is survived by her son, Jerry. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

RENTERIA, Leticia, 1971-2011

Leticia Renteria, 40, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 27. She was born in Mexico and is survived by her husband, Ignacio. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

SMAY, Beverly, 1932-2012

Beverly Smay, 79, of Huntington Beach, passed away Jan. 1. She was born in Illinois and worked as a secretary at a university. She is survived by her daughter, Candy Wagers. Interment is at Versailles West Side Cemetery in Versailles, Ill. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

“I always say, if you want to get something done, ask a busy person,” she grins. Now Shashin has gone on to his passion for photography, along with doing some home cooking. He stays away from the theater, except for celebrating opening nights, unless caryn asks. “He says it makes him tired to watch me work.” The first caryn season begins Friday with the opening of “God of Carnage.” The rest of the season is dubbed “A Season of Adults Behaving Badly … Unless They Ain’t.” For more information, go to

Today’s Obituaries Blaine, Edna Caplinger, Berna Vee Ciago, Florence Davis, Granival R. Dean, Petra DeLaRosa, Daniel Dixon, John Clare Doty, Harvey R. Gehr, Lawrence A. Hendrix, Patricia M.

Horner, Marvin W. Johnson, Mary Frances McRoy, James H. III Nuñez, Rudolf Renteria, Leticia Reynoso, Antonio Ruiz, Mario C. Smay, Beverly Thompson, Ramsey Lee Wilson, Esther E.

To submit material, call: Kurt Eichsteadt at 562-209-2094, e-mail to, go online to or fax to 562-434-8826

CAPLINGER, Berna Vee, 1933-2011

Berna Vee Caplinger, 78, passed away Dec. 25. She was born in Oklahoma and worked as a nursing home administrator. She is survived by her son, Troy Whitaker. Interment is at Oak Hill Cemetery in McAlester, Okla. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

THOMPSON, Ramsey Lee 1954-2011

Ramsey Lee Thompson, 57, of Bell Gardens, passed away Nov. 24. He was born in Talihina, Okla., and worked as a fisherman. He is survived by his daughter, Caroline. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

CIAGO, Florence, 1922-2012

Florence Ciago, 89, of Long Beach, passed away Jan. 2. She was born in New York, N.Y., and was a clerical worker. She is survived by her son, Ronald. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

Page 32A | GRUNION GAZETTE | January 26, 2012


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