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VOL. 35 NO. 11 MARCH 15, 2012

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Wetlands Restoration Complex, Costly, Possible BY JONATHAN VAN DYKE STAFF WRITER

As early restoration plans for the Los Cerritos Wetlands progress, experts began to release more details that illustrate just how complex and potentially wondrous a rehabilitated area could be. Last Thursday, stakeholders and the public met at the Aquarium of the Pacific for the second of six meetings involving the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration Plan. The wetlands are a large swath of land between East Long Beach and Seal Beach. The meet-

ings will take place over the next two years. “Much of what used to be wetlands is now homes, shops, roads and all kinds of things,” said Taylor Parker, principal of consultant Tidal Influence. “We’re dealing with a very complex area, and trying to understand it best offers significant challenges.” Technically, the Los Cerritos Wetlands is an area of 2,400 acres. Much of that has been developed. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority is a joint powers agreement between the (Continued on Page 31A)

Pubs Find St. Paddy Cause To Celebrate BY ASHLEIGH OLDLAND EDITOR

Whether you’re pub crawling Saturday morning in the Big Red Bus, having a bite of corned beef sandwich or a plate of fish and chips for lunch or spending the evening socializing in a favorite neighborhood drinking hole, just don’t forget to wear green on March 17. Area businesses, especially the Irish pubs, are scrambling to get ready for what they expect to be another record-breaking Saturday this St. Patrick’s Day, a re-

ligious and cultural holiday that began in Ireland as a way to commemorate Saint Patrick. At O’Malley’s on Main (140 Main St. in Seal Beach), owner Brian Kyle said he typically sells more than 500 pounds of corned beef during the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Also popular among the pub-goers are beer varieties such as Guinness and Harp. “This is the biggest day of the year at O’Malley’s,” Kyle said. “We have thousands of people (Continued on Page 30A)

FLYING HIGH

—Gazette photo by Jonathan Van Dyke

SIGN OF HOPE. This small billboard announces the city’s ownership of a portion of the Los Cerritos Wetlands east of the Marketplace shopping center. Oil operations continue there.

Former Cop Seeks Council Seat BY HARRY SALTZGAVER EXECUTIVE EDITOR

John Watkins has wanted to serve on the Long Beach City Council for more than 10 years. But he had to finish being a Long Beach Police Officer first. Watkins, 51, is one of three candidates to be the next representative of the Fourth District on the City Council. The others are incumbent Patrick O’Donnell, who is running a write-in campaign for a third term, and Daryl Supernaw. Watkins and his family first came to Long Beach in 1964 to live. They moved from the area while he was in middle school and high school, but Watkins came back to attend Long Beach

City College and California State University, Long Beach, where he received a degree in business. He joined the Long Beach Police Department in 1981 and retired in December 2010 at the rank of sergeant. During that same period, he and his wife ran their own company, and he was a developer in Idaho. “A local realtor put the fire in my belly a decade ago,” Watkins said. “I even went to my supervisor and asked about it, but he told me I couldn’t be the mayor’s boss (and continue to be a cop), so I waited. As it is, I retired a year early to start campaigning.” Watkins now works part-time for Special Olympics Southern California, and volunteers more

often. One of his six children was a special needs child and has participated in Special Olympics for almost 20 years. WATKINS “That’s one of my pluses — I can devote full time to being a councilman,” Watkins said. “Special Olympics will always be a part of my life, and they understand that.” Making sure that the airport did not grow beyond what it is now was the first motivation for considering public office, Watkins said. And, with his emphasis on community policing through his (Continued on Page 30A)

Challenged CSULB Grad Gives Back BY STEPHANIE MINASIAN STAFF WRITER

STORIES

INSIDE Y O U R GRUNION

LBCC FEELS STATE BUDGET PAIN ............... Page 7A COLORADO LAGOON GETS CLEANER ........ Page 10A ROBOTS RETURN TO ARENA ..................... Page 11A HAPPENINGS ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY ......... Page 16A MOORE LEAGUE BASEBALL ON DECK......... Page 1B

FIND US ONLINE AT: WWW.GAZETTES.COM

COLU M N S

—Gazette photo by Geronimo Quitoriano

Dock dogs demonstrated their retrieval skills Sunday at the Fred Hall Outdoor Show at the Convention Center.

It was a long, challenging road for 2009 California State University, Long Beach, graduate Tanisha Washington, but somehow, the 25-year-old managed to succeed, despite living with her mom and sister, Tiffany, on the unforgiving streets of Los Angeles. Things got hard for Washington’s family after they relocated from the Midwest to Los Angeles after the death of her father. Her mother, who is disabled, struggled to find better opportunities for her two girls, Washington said. The sisters attended an adult school and finished

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their GED, and ended up becoming hooked on the field of technology and computers. “My sister and I never hoped to go to college,” Washington said. “Money was so tight, but my mom really kept the dream alive, and we just continue to sacrificed.” On some tough days where they had no place to go, the family would have to walk until their feet blistered and their ankles bleed. They would stand in long lines for a little bit of food, and saw many other homeless people fight over meals. Even a shower was a luxury for them. Washington and her mother and sister bounced (Continued on Page 30A)

A PINCH OF SALT ........................... Page 2A BUSINESS BEAT .............................. Page 25A MUSICAL NOTES ............................ Page 24A ON WITH THE SHOW ..................... Page 26A PROFILES IN DINING ....................... Page 20A

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Please recycle this newspaper.


PAGE 2A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

GAZETTE COMMENTARY

Let The Sun Shine On City Government It’s Sunshine Week. Yes, we’re aware the sun hasn’t put in much of an appearance so far this week. But this type of sunshine is all about government. Sunshine Week is a collaboration by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. It is designed to turn a spotlight on efforts to make the workings of our government — at every level — more open and understandable to the people it is supposed to serve. Considering the fact that we (the media we) have anointed ourselves the watchdogs of government doings from the Water Replenishment District to the White House, this no doubt sounds more than a little selfserving. There is some of that — we can’t pursue our mission of explaining what’s going on and why without the support of the populace. Our strident calls for open meetings, freedom of information and the rest carry little real weight without the power of the electorate behind us. Fact is, though, this is about your rights, too. Government openness is the right of every citizen in this country, not some special tool of the press. The very concept of representative American Democracy is based on the public exchange of ideas and a transparent decision process. After all, how can we judge whether our elected officials are acting in our best interest (or at least in the way we want them to act) if we don’t know what led to their decisions? This concept of open government has ebbed and flowed throughout our country’s history. There have been times when it seemed as though only the most rabid advocates cared about uncovering government’s doings. There also have been times when the entire country seemed to rise up against closed-door deals — deals that all too often resulted in corrupt doings. We in California have been particularly blessed with an emphasis on open government thanks to a little thing called the Brown Act. It requires that meetings take place in public with very few exceptions, and governs how any action in those few closed meetings must be reported to the public. But like any law, leave it around long enough and people will find ways to get around it. That’s why such high and mighty terms like eternal vigilance have

real meaning. We believe that most government officials, from the school board to the county supervisors, have little desire to hide anything, and are more than willing to conduct business in the light of day. But there always are a few bad apples — think the city of Bell — and since it is impossible to tell the good from the bad if you don’t look, it is important to keep looking. Those few government officials who are looking to get away with something rely on public apathy to ease their path. More common are those government types who want to get something done and see a bunch of public comment and debate as impediment and delay. Apathy allows them to cut corners as well. We’re here to combat that apathy. And, as much as they are often thorns in the sides of those trying to do the right thing, those activists out there demanding “due process” are fighting the apathy, too. In this day of instantaneous information thanks to the electronic age, there are more tools than ever to help keep track of our government. Long Beach’s own City Clerk Larry Herrera has been a pioneer in putting up more information than most people could ask for on the city’s website, and the process continues. Some elected city officials have staked their claim to the openness mantle, as well. Information as diverse as meeting calendars to office budgets have been offered up for public consumption, thanks to Robert Garcia, Suja Lowenthal and others. Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has decided, after giving up on a quixotic Assembly run, to make open government her legacy. She is helping people to understand how to get to all that information Herrera is making available, and understand what to do with it. That would be a legacy to be proud of, and one we can support. Good government grows in sunshine, but it also needs the constant attention of a gardener. That gardener is you. Just like any plant, neglect will cause open government to die, and be replaced by grasping, self-serving weeds. Let’s keep Long Beach’s garden strong. Let the sun shine in.

A Score Of Years Gone At Gazette I wasn’t going to write about it. Honest, I planned on just letting it slide by. I really don’t like milestone columns. But the column I had planned, something about that devil incarnate (or is he just a clueless imbecile?) on talk radio, fell through when the person I needed to talk to fell victim to that nasty flu that’s been going around. It’s past deadline, and I’ve got to do something. So here goes. Apologies in advance for those of you who don’t care for milestones, either. Twenty years ago this Friday, I became the executive editor of Gazette Newspapers. In Lincolnesque terms, that’s a score. Call it a generation. There are a few editorial types in Long Beach who’ve been here longer than I have, but very few. I can count them on one hand, and refuse to embarrass them by name. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as email. We used computers to work, but telephones to communicate. It took 10 minutes to print a page — 15 if it had a picture on it. Speaking of pictures, ours were all in black and white. We ran something called spot color to shade boxes or advertisements, but it was a point of pride for then owner and publisher John Blowitz that we were the last paper around to not print pictures in that expensive four-color process. Ah, John and his wife and coowner Fran (she really ran the show, at least in terms of the business end). We had some times. We agreed so completely in the philosophy of community newspapers that I was looking for an

Count Blessings

To The Editor, Just an afternoon stroll through Belmont Shore. Nothing special until I met a man about 40 sitting in a chair, his hand cruelly clutching itself, his attendant nearby, wheels his only means of moving. He smiled a greeting and we chatted for a short while. I could only encourage him to keep fighting, as I had been advised years ago when I had my stroke. A block later a boy of about 4, followed closely by his dad, was pushing himself with great deter-

apartment here the day after I first interviewed. It wasn’t all sweetness and light, though. Far from it. Our battles were epic, usually ending with me pouting in one corner and John and/or Fran fuming in another. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? That’s because we never let it show in the paper. We had the same goal, to put out the best publication in the city, and we wouldn’t let anything get in the way of that, including our own feelings. When I began, the Grunion Gazette struggled to 32 pages, with a 40 a milestone. I still remember the staff meeting when we vowed never to let the Downtown go below a 20 again. We grew, and grew mightily. In the boom days, the Grunion regularly hit 80 pages. When Grand Prix time rolled around, we’d throw something on the porch with the heft of a Sunday Times. I grew too. It wasn’t easy — I pretty much knew everything there was to know when I got here, and growing into the realization that I didn’t know so much after all proved painful. It took a lot of forbearance from John and Fran, and a lot of support. I made some colossal mistakes — more personally than professionally, I think — and I appeared destined to learn only through severe pain. And thanks to this little column, I’ve done

mination in a small stroller that supported his body with straps. “Born with palsy,” his dad said, “but he’s gonna make it.” And some blocks later, a man with shredded clothes, a ragged knapsack on his back, was able to walk in his tattered shoes, but he had nowhere to go. Count your blessings. Art Gottlieb Belmont Shore

Cop Comparison

To The Editor,

I am in favor of having a prop-

quite a bit of it in the glare of public awareness. I’ve shared my joys — a son growing into a man, then a dad — and my pains. You, gentle reader, have been there for divorces, weddings, deaths and births. I’ve found God and lost the compulsion for alcohol. I’ve suffered a heart attack, quit smoking and gained weight — all right here before your eyes. I’ve ranted and raved about the foibles and follies of Long Beach, I’ve cajoled and pleaded for support of the arts, schools, charities and parks, and hopefully I’ve been generous with my praise and pride in the city and people I’ve come to love. I’ve tried to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of change, from the technology of our information industry to the priorities of our city government. I’ve made sure that our Gazettes — now five with the addition www. gazettes.com, the Uptown Gazette and www.gazettessports. com — remained focused on serving our community, and I’ve tried to serve the community on my own as well. It’s been one hell of a ride. And it was a ride I wouldn’t give back for anything. I couldn’t have done it without you, dear reader. After all, I have to have an audience, don’t I? I strongly doubt that I’m going to make it another 20 years. That’s a long, long time. But I don’t have any plans on leaving anytime soon, either. So keep putting up with me, won’t you? Thanks.

er police and fire department in Long Beach. However, I do not feel that I am qualified to decide what level of staffing is required to ensure ideal safety services for the city. Having lived in Nashville for the first 21 of the 77 years of my life, I decided to try and compare the current safety services of both of the cities that I love, and for which I want the best. It should be noted that Metro Nashville is a conglomerate of Nashville proper and the entirety of David(Continued on Page 3A)


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 3A

(Continued from Page 2A)

son County. This conglomerate merged a total of 35 towns and rural communities into one entity that provides both fire and police services. The population of Nashville proper is 626,144. According to the 2007 U.S. Census date, they showed total police (assuming all support staff, is my guess) at 1,500 for Long Beach and 1,900 for metro Nashville for ratios of 1 to 308 in Long Beach and 1 to 901 in metro Nashville. Yet the murders per 1,000 people were .07 in Long Beach and .09 in Nashville, rapes .29 to .62, robberies 2.6 to 3.0 and assaults 2.95 to 7.95. Looking at the Population/Police Ratio shown above, either Long Beach has three times as many police as it needs or Nashville is very short of protection. Nashville had significantly more rapes and assaults than Long Beach, so Nashville probably needs a few more police/1,000 population in order to obtain Long Beach’s level of safety. However, I doubt that a threefold increase in Nashville police would be necessary to achieve the same level of crime control as that in Long Beach. In relation to Nashville, Long Beach’s

crime control is superior. However, Nashville’s crime control cost is very much less than Long Beach’s cost. I don’t see anything in the facts shown above that indicates that the Long Beach needs to spend more money on police protection. I believe that the City Council should think very carefully before starting a police academy or hiring any more police. Joe Murray Long Beach

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Peter Mathews, a Cypress College political science professor and Long Beach resident, has filed to run for Congress. Again. Mathews has been trying to get to Congress since the mid-1990s, when he began running as a Democrat against then-Congressman Steve Horn. He has won a couple of Democratic primaries, but never been elected to public office. He currently is touting a ballot initiative to levy an oil

extraction tax to fund education. That initiative still is in the petition phase. Mathews joins frontrunners Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Gary DeLong (R-Long Beach) and Steve Kuykendall (RLong Beach) on the primary ballot for the new 47th District. Also running are Republican Sanford Kahn and Democrats Jay Shah and Usha Shah (who are married). The June 10 primary is an open election, meaning voters can choose a candidate from any party, and the top two vote-getters will meet in the November

general election, even if they are from the same party. Also in the Congressional race, DeLong announced he has been endorsed by four Lakewood officeholders and business owner and philanthropist Ron Piazza. The Teachers Association of Long Beach has endorsed challenger Ricardo Linarez in the District 2 Long Beach Unified School District board race and incumbent Jon Meyer in District 4. In the same two races, the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce PAC endorsed Meyer and District 2 incumbent Dr. Felton Williams.


PAGE 4A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

Jordan Grad James Q. Wilson Dies BY STEPHANIE MINASIAN STAFF WRITER

James Q. Wilson, a leader in the world of political science and a renowned professor, criminologist, economist and political analyst, passed away March 2 in Boston, at the age of 80. Before his work as a political pioneer in the “broken windows” theory, Wilson began his career in North Long Beach as a graduate of Jordan High School, and went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Redlands in 1952. “He also was the student body president at Jordan, and he was quite accomplished to say the least,” said Jordan High School Principal Shawn Ashley. “His philosophy of communication policing really changed thinking all over the country.” After college, he joined the United States Navy, where he served as a lieutenant, junior grade, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. His studies later took him to complete his

Master’s and PhD. in political science at the University of Chicago. Wilson began teaching as the Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University. He was highly esteemed and penned 24 books on government and criminal justice, and also taught University of California, Los Angeles, and Pepperdine University. The work that put Wilson on the map was his article in the Atlantic, “Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety,” which he co-authored alongside George L. Kelling in 1982. The article was believed to have altered the way the country did its policing. The theory looked at soaring crime rates across the U.S., and argued that police should be paying closer attention to the small crimes happening in communities, rather than solely fighting the big crimes, such as murder and robbery. This method, Wilson and Kel-

I AM just like you...

ling believed, would wane a criminal’s ability to commit a major crime. “James Q. Wilson’s rise to prominence as one of our nation’s most respected thinkers is an example of why public schools matter,” said Long Beach Unified School District spokesman Chris Eftychiou. “Wilson publicly acknowledged that if it weren’t for the talented teachers at Jordan High School, he would not have embarked on his career as a writer, political scientist and professor. His life’s work, particularly in the area of crime prevention and community policing, has been credited with saving thousands of lives, and it all started at a public high school in North Long Beach.” Wilson has written about 100 articles addressing the issue of crime, bureaucracy and politics. He also served as chairman of the White House Task Force on Crime in 1967, chairman of the National Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse Prevention from 1972 to 1973, a member of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Violent Crime in 1981, and others. He received the James Madison award in 1990, which was for distinguished scholarship from the American Political Science Association — which he later served as president, according to LBUSD officials. Wilson looked back on his start (Continued on Page 5A)

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HEALTHY KIDS

James Q. Wilson (Continued from Page 4A)

at Jordan High School in 2003, when he accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington, D.C. “I had two teachers who

touched me deeply,” Wilson said. “Walter Smith taught me mathematics. Other people tried; Walter Smith succeeded. Why did he succeed? Not by force of terror but by force of example. I wanted to please him. I thought he was a fine man.”

—Gazette photo by Ashleigh Oldland

HULA HOOPS. Children play Saturday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, as part of the healthy initiative Kids in the Kitchen.

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March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 7A

LBCC May Cut Budget By $10 Million BY STEPHANIE MINASIAN STAFF WRITER

With declining state support for its budget, Long Beach City College administrators have been forced to make unanticipated $3.5 million in mid-year cuts, with an additional $5 million for next year. The bad news doesn’t end here. If Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax-initiative on the November ballot fails, LBCC will need to prepare to slash nearly $10 million for 2012-13. “Long Beach City College is facing devastating budget cuts that have been imposed on all of California’s community colleges by the state,” LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley said. “Unfortunately, the news going forward is worse, with millions more being cut, increased student demand and no new revenues or support projected for several years.” The last three years at LBCC have been tough, and has seen $7.2 million in reductions to the college, which amounts to a 7.4% reduction in overall alloca-

tion from the state, according to LBCC officials. In a letter to LBCC faculty and staff, Oakley said that he hopes to find permanent reductions to the budget, which will need to include freezing any new employee hires and contract employees, except for the recruiting process for remaining positions in English, Speech, Instructional Specialist in Math and Culinary Arts. LBCC also will discontinue the search to fill the Dean of Career Education and Workforce Development, which will come on top of the suspension of two contract faculty positions. Also on the chopping block is the Digital Medical Imaging faculty search and the Cyber Security/Computer Forensics faculty search, since it is a new initiative that doesn’t have a funding source. Oakley added that he plans to work with LBCC’s College Planning Committee and leadership team, to come to the tough budgetary decisions in the coming months.

“While the decisions in Sacramento continue to limit our ability to educate more students, LBCC will continue to provide an excellent and affordable college education and continue to serve

our local students to the best of our abilities,” Oakley said. Before any decisions on the budget will be made across the college, Oakley said he recommends that the following criteria be considered: the maintenance of health, safety and statutory/ regulatory compliance; legal,

contractual and accreditation obligations of the college; minimize the impact on students as much as possible; the extent to which program, service or activity advances student success; and a focus on certificate; and degree completion, as well as transfers; to name a few listed.


PAGE 8A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

Catholic Charities Opens New Emergency Shelter Complex BY JONATHAN VAN DYKE STAFF WRITER

A project that has been eight years in the making will finally be available to help homeless fami-

lies in Long Beach and Los Angeles County next week. Nonprofit Catholic Charities, which operates a shelter in Century Villages at Cabrillo, Monday

will celebrate the grand opening of its new Elizabeth Ann Seton Residence — a new emergency shelter complex for homeless families. The need for the new complex was identified about eight years ago, and there has been a long and arduous — but definitely worthwhile — process leading up to the grand opening next Monday, said Anna Totta, regional director for Catholic Charities. “We wanted to see if we could design a more appropriate shelter,” she said. “At the same time, we were turning back families that were homeless. If we could also increase the capacity of the shelter with a new one, that would be optimal as well.” The previous Elizabeth Ann Seton Residence was not as safe for children and lacked the proper space (the dining room and common room were the same space), she said. It had staircases and was not friendly to handicapped and disabled clients. “When I first saw that shelter

(back then), it was very nice, but it was inappropriate,” Totta said. The new complex, which is split between two buildings, has increased the shelter’s capacity from 40 to 56 people. It includes a fully equipped kitchen, common dining room, community room, playground and 14 private bedrooms. The dining room also can double as classroom space. The new $5 million complex was paid for by two state EHAP/ CD (emergency housing and assistance program) loans, a County of Los Angeles HHPF (homeless and housing program fund) loan, a County of Los Angeles ESG (emergency shelter grant), three foundation grants from the Ahmanson, Weingart and Dan Murphy Foundation and financial support from Century Villages at Cabrillo. Because Catholic Charities acquired two EHAP loans, they had to construct a two-building complex. “They have private rooms and they’re all handicap accessible,”

Totta said. “It’s great to have everything on one floor. It really is an amazing place.” Totta also credited Catholic Charities Director Vanessa Romain for helping initiate the shelter — she has been with the group 35 years. The shelter is designed to accommodate families (the average family size Catholic Charities helps is 3.3 people), pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly. “It is an emergency shelter, which is very short-term — with about a 45-day stay,” Totta said. “All of the family needs are taken care of. They don’t have to spend a dime while they are there.” By taking care of things like food and hygiene products during the 45 days, Catholic Charities volunteers said they want the family to save its money for future housing. “Our main goal after that time is to have them in permanent or transitional housing,” Totta said, noting that about 80% of families find stable housing. During their stay, the parents are given help looking for housing and employment, or they are attending life skills classes. The children will be enrolled in school or daycare. “I am 74 years old and ready to retire, so this is one of the best accomplishments in my life,” Totta said. For additional information, visit www.CatholicCharitiesLA.org or www.centuryvillages.org.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 9A

Memorial Part Of Federal Grant Thanks to a $2.8 million federal grant, there will be new job opportunities in the healthcare field for 363 workers, as well as healthcare job training for an additional 400 unemployed people in the Long Beach area. The money — part of the H-1B Visa Skills Training Grant Program — was awarded to the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network from the U.S. Department of Labor, it was announced Tuesday morning. The money will be used to provide training to unemployed job seekers as part of a project developed through a public-private partnership between the city and Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital and Community Hospital (all part of the MemorialCare Health System). “This federal grant is huge for more than 700 people who will now be fully employed or will add additional training to advance their careers,” Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said in a release. “In addition, it will strengthen the local economy while supporting local businesses and their employees.” Participants can find work as patient care assistants, surgical sterilization technicians, clinical lab scientists, phlebotomists and other jobs. Many of the jobs created during the four-year grant period will be new occupations, developed in response to upcoming changes in healthcare law.

Participants in the program also will have access to academic counseling to help them continue their community college education and earn additional certifications or work toward degrees in healthcare. The first cohort of 10 participants began on Nov. 7, 2011. “Pacific Gateway has been an integral partner …” Diana Hendel, chief executive officer of Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s and Community Hospital Long Beach, said in a release. “We look forward to our continued success together. This partnership has contributed not only to the services we can provide but also to keeping up employment in our community.” Joint investment from MemorialCare will help Long Beach City College and Los Angeles Harbor College develop new patient care and medical billing training designed maintain MemorialCare’s award-winning level of care and continue to improve operational efficiencies. Those interested in these job opportunities or training programs should call 570-WORK (9675) or visit one of the Pacific Gateway’s Career Centers. The Long Beach Career Center is located at 3447 Atlantic Ave. There also are Career Centers in San Pedro and Torrance. —Ashleigh Oldland

Rancho Teams With Reads One Book Rancho Los Alamitos will present a number of events tied in with this month’s Long Beach Reads One Book, which is “Zorro,” by Isabel Allende. The book is set in California in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The rancho’s events will highlight the perspective of the Native American people who lived in and around the Los Angeles basin during the time of the novel. The events, which are free with one exception, are: “Favorite Tales of the Ac-

jachemem People.” They lived in and around Mission San Juan Capistrano. Presentations are at 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 18. “A Native American Woman’s Perspective on Zorro,” with Adelia Sandoval. It’s at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 18. Native American Arts: The Art of Basket Making and Native Cuisine,” with a $10 donation suggested. 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24. Reservations required for all the events: 431-3541. Visit www.rancholosalamitos.org.


PAGE 10A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

Colorado Lagoon’s Dredging On Target BY JONATHAN VAN DYKE STAFF WRITER

Restoration of the Colorado Lagoon through a massive dredging project has reached full tilt these last couple weeks. “Everything is moving along

and they have a quota of getting 1,000 cubic yards a day dredged,” said Taylor Parker, education director of the Friends of the Colorado Lagoon. “We’re on track to do that and everything is moving smoothly.”

—Gazette photo by Jonathan Van Dyke

GOOD LEVERAGE. Power shovels dig into the water of the Colorado Lagoon to remove hundreds of yards of cubic waste that sit at the bottom of it.

Trucks are in the process of hauling away the dredged material within this week because the site only is equipped to hold about 4,000 cubic yards. Efforts have been ramping up during the last several weeks, officials said. On Nov. 1, 2011, the City Council voted to move ahead on the Colorado Lagoon restoration Phase 1, Part 2 — which will require the removal of about 20,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in what is considered the western arm of the lagoon. The contractor and construction team has been putting the sediment onto a protective plat-

form, where it will be treated and de-watered. The main contaminant of concern is lead. Trucks and dredging equipment mostly will be working from the north beach area of the lagoon, which has an access road from Sixth Street, just past Federation Drive. The Department of Toxic Substance Control requires a permit to handle this material. Trucks will be lined in a specific way to prevent spills. Any accidents require immediate cleanup. Crews have been working from about 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“This will be the first time this type of cleanup has occurred since the lagoon was disconnected from Alamitos Bay in 1932,” Parker said, noting the Olympic Trials occurred then and that Colorado Street was built. Construction workers have been closing the tidal connection from the lagoon to the bay in order to more effectively dredge the area. The project is scheduled for completion in July. Parker said after that, there will be a need for public help in restoring the region. It will take about three years for the area to be at optimal levels for full repopulation, he added. “This is a very large, complex process,” Parker said. “We’ve invested a lot of resources into it. It will be better for the community and the habitat. It will improve water quality, for recreation and for the health of the habitat.” Officials asked that people stay out of any fenced area and away from heavy equipment that could be dangerous and hazardous. Neighbors can call the city at 5705160 to address any questions or concerns with the construction. On the more environmental and restoration side of things, Parker said Friends of Colorado Lagoon were encouraging people to visit their Facebook page and website (www.coloradolagoon.org), which would start to have regular updates on the construction process. People can also email education@coloradolagoon.org.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 11A

HOME IMPROVEMENT

Sponsorships Could Bring Parks More Cash BY HARRY SALTZGAVER EXECUTIVE EDITOR

A new citywide sponsorship policy passed muster Tuesday at the City Council meeting, with council members saying it is important to optimize every potential source of revenue. Fourth District Councilman Patrick O’Donnell requested the update to the 1996 policy, which has not been used in recent years, in July last year. The policy is citywide, and specifically addresses potential sponsorships or partnerships with Parks, Recreation and Marine Department programs and properties. The proposal did not address advertising on city property except as part of a sponsorship agreement. It does require seeking competitive bids when a sponsorship opportunity appears. According to the staff recommendation, any proposal valued at more than $10,000 should receive separate City Council approval, with the city manager authorized to approve agreements worth less than that amount. Still, the proposed policy streamlines the approval process, the staff report says.

“I want people to be clear on what we are doing here,” O’Donnell said. “We are not selling our parks, not privatizing our facilities. We are trying to be a little more creative to help improve our city.” O’Donnell said his one concern was the low threshhold before a deal had to come before the council for approval. He made the motion to approve the policy, but with a $50,000 ceiling. It passed unanimously. The policy encourages the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department to seek donations and sponsorships for events, programs and facilities. It notes that restrictions placed by county, state or federal grants would remain in place, and the city’s municipal code and existing contracts supersede the sponsorship policy. The policy itself is three and a half pages long, and requires all formal agreements receive approval from the city manager or his designee, with the City Council having the final say. It also provides detailed steps for the department to sponsor another agency or group’s event. A separate section deals spe-

cifically with the procedure to permanently or temporarily name city-owned land, buildings or other facilities — one of the highest profile forms of sponsorships. Any request for naming, temporarily or permanently, would be referred to the Parks and Recreation Commission, then to the council’s Economic Development and Finance Committee and finally to the full City Council before final approval. In other business Tuesday, the council: • Approved an increase of up to $50,000 in the contract with law firm Ezra, Brutzkus, Gubner, LLP, in the matter of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and were told that a pending settlement likely means Long Beach will receive 20% or less of the $19 million it had invested with the firm. • Approved a temporary clo-

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Tuesday, March 13 & 20 sure of part of Shoreline drive in connection with the 2012 Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade and Festival. Next Week A $500,000 settlement of a personal injury lawsuit is on the agenda for the March 20 City Council meeting. The lawsuit was brought by Melissa Hernandez, who was 16 years old when the accident occurred. She was walking on north Atlantic Boulevard just south of the bridge crossing the Los Angeles River. At the time, the street did not have a sidewalk as it narrows to accommodate the bridge, which forced Hernandez to walk on the street while proceeding

north. A driver lost control of his car and struck Hernandez, who suffered serious and substantial injuries. In other business next Tuesday, the council is scheduled to: • Sign a memorandum of understanding with Long Beach Transit to provide service at a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility at LBT’s Jackson Transit Center, 6860 Cherry Ave. • Extend the natural gas services agreement with Shell Energy North America for an additional three years. • Accept a $300,000 community-based transportation planning grant from Caltrans, the state Department of Transportation.


PAGE 12A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

HOME IMPROVEMENT

FIRST Robots Battle On Basketball Court BY JONATHAN VAN DYKE STAFF WRITER

Robots will be playing basketball this weekend at the Long Beach Arena. No, that wasn’t a misprint, or alluding to some March Madness tournament from the year 3040. Instead, it is referencing the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, which is produced to encourage adolescents to become interested in math and science through real world applications. The competition began in 1989 with 28 high schools competing. It was started by inventor, physicist and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, who is famous for inventing the Segway Human Transporter. “What they saw back then was that kids’ heroes were rockstars

— they weren’t engineers or scientists,” said Ric Roberts, FIRST Los Angeles Regional Board chairperson. “They saw the future of engineering as bleak, with kids not really focusing on sciences and technology. They also saw them not getting any experiences with engineers.” The FIRST Robotics Competition aims to get youngsters interested in those fields by having them work directly with something interesting and fun — in this case, giant robots that can be as big as five feet tall and 120 pounds. Each year, teams of 15 to 25 children, generally high school grades, are tasked with creating a robot for a certain task. Embracing the March Madness surrounding the NCAA college basketball tournament, officials chose to

have the robots shoot a basketball into a hoop this year. “(The founders) wanted to give kids a problem that was a little to difficult to solve on their own, so that they needed help to complete it,” Roberts said. “What we’re trying to do is have the kids decompose the idea and solve it.” To that end, a partnership is forged between the schools and engineering companies in order to field a competitive robot. “The kit they get is analogous to an erector set — they get a bunch of pieces,” Roberts said. “There are certain motors and things like that that each team is required to use. If you go to the competition, you can see the robots are radically different because everyone has a different solution.” However, each team also is given plenty of leeway to add on

beyond the basic parts, making each robot unique. They may add different metals, or even something like an Xbox controller, if they think it will help. The sets are broken up into smaller parts so that students can get a grasp on how to solve larger, more complex problems. “The kids that are programming this could apply that directly to the things we do here at Raytheon,” said Roberts, alluding to the engineering company he works for that also is supporting about 20 high schools in the competition with between 30 and 40 engineering mentors. Roberts added that he has seen the FIRST competition work wonders for changing youngsters’ perceptions on math. He said his daughter had no interest in math and science when she was in eighth grade, but after he enrolled her in FIRST, her attitude began to shift. She is now on her way to a PhD in chemistry. “She found an actual application of math to the real world,” he

WHAT: FIRST Robotics Competition WHEN: Thursday-Saturday, March 15-17 WHERE: Long Beach Arena COST: Free said. “Her comment always was, ‘Dad, what am I ever going to use algebra for?’” Teams had six weeks to complete each robot. The competition will take place during several days — and beyond shooting a basketball, the robots must be balanced on a bridge. The reward, at least to the mentors, is to see interest grow in important education subjects, officials said. “One big reason Raytheon does this is that we need engineers — we’re trying to fill the pipeline and have actually had some engineers come through who were in this competition,” Roberts said. For more information, visit www.firstlaregional.com. Spectators are encouraged, but must wear close-toed shoes to walk on the competition floor.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 13A

HOME IMPROVEMENT

DNA Technology Solves Old Murder San Gabriel Path Gets Repave BY JONATHAN VAN DYKE STAFF WRITER

Advanced DNA testing allowed the Long Beach Police Department to identify two suspects in a murder case from more than a quarter century ago. On June 27, 1986, officers were dispatched to an apartment complex at the 1800 block of Lemon Avenue in regards to a shooting victim, said Nancy Pratt, LBPD public information officer. When they arrived at the scene, they found 38-year-old Leotis Green dead from several gunshot wounds. “The victim’s apartment had been ransacked and blood was found on several items in the living room,” she said. Blood evidence also was found in other areas within the apartment, and there was a blood trail that lead from Green’s front door to the street. Law enforcement officials interviewed several individuals and canvassed the neighborhood for possible witnesses. Forensic specialists took photos of Green’s residence and collected evidence. “Detectives pursued all leads, however, the case remained unsolved for 25 years until advances in DNA technology allowed cold case detectives to reopen the murder investigation,” Pratt said. Evidence was presented to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Scientific Services Bureau for DNA testing and a profile was identified, giving new life to an investigation where all leads had been exhausted, she added. With a new scientific lead, the LBPD Cold Case Homicide Unit identified two suspects who

they believe are responsible for Green’s robbery and murder. On March 1 of this year, officers arrested 49-year-old Anthony Ragsdale of Perris. The other suspect, 53-year-old Wallace Johnson of Long Beach, had died in 2003. LBPD Homicide detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and one charge of robbery and one charge of murder were filed against Ragsdale. He currently is in custody at the Los Angeles County Jail in lieu of $1,050,000 bail. “The Long Beach Police Department is extremely grateful to the National Institute of Justice for providing the grant funding

that enabled detectives to utilize the latest in DNA technology,” Chief Jim McDonnell said in a statement. “With (the National Institute of Justice’s) assistance, we were able to bring a violent criminal to justice, who might have otherwise remained at large, and hopefully provide some closure to Mr. Green’s family.” Officials said they hope to have other cold case breakthroughs due to the 2009 grant money the department received. Anyone with additional information on the 1986 case can call LBPD Homicide detectives Malcolm Evans and Todd Johnson at 570-7244. Anonymous tips can be left through www.TipSoft. com.

The San Gabriel River Bike Path along Long Beach’s eastern border will get a new surface beginning Monday. It will cost $687,657 to repave the path from south of Pacific Coast Highway in Seal Beach to Carson Avenue in Long Beach. The work will be done in three segments, starting on the southern end, and should be complete by March 6. The surface will be asphalt containing recycled tires. After the resurfacing, new reflective traffic striping, mile markers and other signage will be added. This is a joint project between Seal Beach and Long Beach, and all of the money is coming from grants so there will be no general fund impact. Seal

Beach’s $200,000 share is coming from a grant from the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, while $375,000 of Long Beach’s share will come from state Measure R sales tax revenue. The final $112,657 comes from a Transportation Development Act grant. Officials say all the work, including the striping, will be done before the Seal Beach 5K/10K Run on April 21 and the Tour of Long Beach on May 5. The sections of the path not being worked on will remain open next week, as well. Updates will be available at www.bikelongbeach.org and www.facebook.com/bikelongbeach.

—Harry Saltzgaver


PAGE 14A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

HOME IMPROVEMENT

Christy’s Comes Back To Broadway BY ASHLEIGH OLDLAND EDITOR

Christy’s on Broadway reopened Friday with a fresh, modern-rustic remodel and a return to its original ownership. Aptly named after Christy Bono, who founded the restaurant in 1993 and knocked down the walls in the building at Broadway and Termino Avenue so that Christy’s could stretch four storefronts in length, Christy’s is an upscale restaurant known for serving modern American cuisine with a full bar and a wide selection of specialty cocktails. “In 1993, Christy’s was just 768 square feet, with nine tables and a deli case and catering service,” Bono recalled. “We expanded into four separate storefronts and we were here more than 10 years… Now, we still have some of the same appetizers and signature dishes that everyone loved.” After a decade on Broadway, Bono sold Christy’s and started a restaurant on Second Street in Belmont Shore called Bono’s,

named in honor of her father Sonny Bono. That restaurant closed last year, and the vacancy is slated to be filled this summer with the opening of Nick’s on 2nd American Restaurant. “I sold Bono’s because of the economic climate and because the rent was too high,” Bono said. “Second Street used to be a great place, but Chico’s closed and Pinkberry left, and that says a lot… I have no regrets. I’m moving on and letting destiny guide me. I’m grateful to go back to Christy’s on Broadway. Christy’s is a great neighborhood gathering place that’s got ambiance.” Bono is a Southern California native who followed in her father’s footsteps of working in the restaurant business — Sonny Bono owned a restaurant in West Hollywood where his daughter worked and later managed the business. Just days after reopening Christy’s on Broadway, she sat at one of the restaurant’s new, brown-leather booths to talk about reclaiming the business.

Besides a new look for the restaurant, Bono said she’s also making changes to her business practices and menu, including offering items at a lower price point, encouraging her customers to split meals, and using more sustainable, locally-grown ingredients in the kitchen, where her chef has worked alongside Bono for 15 years. The restaurant also features wall art created by a local artist as well as photographs of Long Beach copied from Historical Society archives. “I am being more hands-on with this business,” Bono said. “I know every inch of the baseboards here and every stitch on the leather.” In the two decades Bono has worked in the restaurant industry, she said business is largely the same when it comes to providing customer service, but palates have become more sophisticated, and Bono said food has evolved to meet higher expectations. Still, things haven’t changed so much, Bono said, adding that Christy’s

—Gazette photo Ashleigh Oldland

BACK AGAIN. Christy Bono sits in her reopened restaurant at Broadway and Termino Avenue.

rigatoni meat sauce — her grandfather’s recipe — remains a bestseller. The restaurant owner said the past weekend has been a thrill for her because it’s been a chance to reconnect with neighborhood customers who used to frequent Christy’s more than a decade ago. Bono said she’s back with old friends again. “I’m so pleased to be back and providing good food and service for the people who live within walking distance,” she said. When asked why she has chosen to work in the restaurant busi-

ness throughout her life, Bono jokes that the reason is “brain damage,” but her serious answer is that she enjoys the work and the customers, especially the regulars who treat their local restaurant as a second home. “Restaurants are hard work, but this is an extension of my home and my love for cooking for people,” Bono said. “I enjoy hearing, ‘This was the best (food) I’ve ever had.’” Christy’s on Broadway is open for dinner starting at 5 p.m. daily. For details or reservations, call 433-1171.

Rudd Event Gives To Those In Need The Long Beach Giving Project will distribute $16,000 Sunday night to those who need it at a dinner/ceremony on and one recipient will go home with an additional $1,000. Each year, Long Beach Giving gives $1,500 to 10 individuals (givers) and challenges them to make an impact in Long Beach by spending to help people in need. In the past, participants bought prom tickets for students who couldn’t afford them, purchased bus passes for someone dependent on public transit and

paid the electric bill for a senior citizen who was about to go without power. Sunday night, each one of the 10 givers will give a brief presentation on what they did with their $1,500 and highlight someone who they feel is deserving of the additional $1,000. A panel of former givers will select the recipient of the extra $1,000. The public is invited for the evening, which includes a pasta dinner. Tickets are $10. Visit www. JustinRudd.com.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 15A

Montano Still Shakin’ At 100 Years Old BY ASHLEIGH OLDLAND EDITOR

Helen Montano might be 100 years old, but she can still shake a maraca. The Long Beach resident’s birthday was last Wednesday, March 7, and her family hosted a birthday celebration for her last weekend complete with large silver balloons that read “1-0-0” and a live mariachi band — her favorite style of music. Montano was captured on home video shaking a maraca to the beat. “I’m the little old lady from Long Beach,” Montano laughs. “I’m the oldest person I know around here.” At 100 years old, Montano lives at home — with some assistance from her son, Richard Montano — and is healthy, aside from some slight vision and hearing loss. She’s a parent with two sons and one daughter and also has four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. She said she’s never had any serious health problems in her life, and she and her son credit some of her longevity to her habit of eating chocolate every day. “She loves chocolate,” Richard Montano said. “Everyone knew what they should get her for her birthday, See’s candy.” Born in Albuquerque, N.M., Helen Garcia married Leo Montano and the two moved to California. Leo Montano was a Navy man, and the couple purchased their home in Long Beach in 1954 (there wasn’t much out there except agriculture fields at

the time, but now the home is situated near the Long Beach City College Liberal Arts Campus). Helen Montano, who keeps her hair as red as it was in her youth, got a job in Lakewood as a school crossing guard. She was featured in the Independent Press-Telegram in 1964 because she was the first woman to design and wear a cap and a fluorescent orange vest as an official uniform for the crossing guards working out of the Lakewood Sherriff’s station. In the article, Montano also was recognized because she looked younger than her age and used the job of walking the students back and forth to stay in shape and lose weight. “Mrs. Montano, a 5-foot-5 redhead who looks younger than her 53 years, weighs a trim 136 pounds,” the article states. “When she started as a crossing guard seven years ago, she weighed ‘a roly-poly 160 pounds,’ she says. ‘I lost 24 pounds with all that walking back and forth across the street every day. And I’ve maintained about the same weight ever since.’” Besides staying in shape, Montano also told the newspaper that she enjoyed her job because she liked working with children and seeing them grow. Sitting in her living room, with dozens of birthday cards — including a certificate from President Barack Obama — on her coffee table, Montano, who also has a younger brother and two younger sisters who may also reach their 100th birthdays, said she enjoyed her birthday party and feels very lucky to have hit the mark.

—Gazette photo by Ashleigh Oldland

WEDDED BLISS. Helen and Leo Montano pose on their wedding day in this undated photo. Helen celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday.


PAGE 16A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 17A

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Shamrock’n’Roll Boards Queen Mary BY JONATHAN VAN DYKE STAFF WRITER

Queen Mary officials have added to the ship’s calendar of events this year with a brand new and unique St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This Saturday, the historic vessel will host a three-band concert called Shamrock’n’Roll. “This is the first time that we have hosted this event,” said Steve Sheldon, director of entertainment events. “Obviously, with St. Patrick’s Day on a Saturday this year, it seems like a great opportunity to offer a unique entertainment program at one of the most beautiful venues in the area.” There will be three different bands more-or-less playing simultaneously in different parts of the ship: • Silgo Rags will play from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Observation Bar. Officials said the group was among the top acoustic bands in Los Angeles and that they would be playing a blend of Celtic, jazz and bluegrass music. • Hollywood Stones will be playing from 9 p.m. to midnight in the Queen’s Salon. The group is best known as a Rolling Stones cover band, but officials said attendees could expect some Irish tunes as well. • Oxalis featuring Swan Montgomery will be playing from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Royal Salon. The group is known for touring the Irish pub scene and putting a contemporary spin on traditional Irish songs. There will be DJs playing music from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Observation Bar and Queen Salon before the respective performers begin to play. “We’re happy to be offering three different and great music selections at the same time, so that people can wonder around and enjoy each one at their leisure,” Sheldon said, noting that the format of the event is very similar in that way to its famed New Year’s Eve event. “We’ll even have green carpets to welcome everyone and leading into

the performance areas.” The two salons will have large dance areas with tables and seating situated on the outside of the rooms. Bars will be available to serve 21-and-older attendees with green beer and other adult beverages. “After midnight, the ship will go back to its normal music programming,” Sheldon said, noting that the Observation Bar would be open until 2 a.m. “We created the event because so many people like to go and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and we have the opportunity as a unique venue to offer something a little bit differ-

WHAT: Shamrock’n’Roll WHEN: 6 p.m., Saturday, March 17 WHERE: Queen Mary COST: $15 general admission ($199 hotel special available) ent than the traditional bar scene — while still offering a fun and entertaining atmosphere for just about everyone.” For additional information about the event, visit the Queen Mary’s website at www.queenmary.com.

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PAGE 18A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

City Goes Green For Saturday St. Paddy’s Day BY KURT A. EICHSTEADT EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday and here’s a rundown of what local establishments are planning for the big day. Unless otherwise indicated, all events occur on Saturday, March 17. Dogz Bar and Grill celebrates “St. Dogz’ Day” tonight (Thursday, March 15), at 5300 E. Second St. The Yard House has St. Patrick’s Day specials on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17. Irish-themed items include Corned Beef Brisket, Shepherd’s Pie and a Grilled Corned Beef Sandwich. Green Beers on tap will include Coors Light House, Hefeweizen and House Blonde and they’ll also have a variety of cocktails tailored to the celebra-

tion. The Yard House is at 401 Shoreline Village Drive. The Shamrock Shenanigan Festival is back at E. J. Malloy’s, 3411 E. Broadway. Things start at 11 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The menu includes Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Stew and they have Irish Beers on tap as well. O’Malley’s has its special Corned Beef and Cabbage and they’re open every day at 7 a.m. at 140 Main St. in Seal Beach. A limerick contest is part of this month’s 30-Minute Beach Cleanup, which takes place at 10 a.m. St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, on the beach at Granada Avenue. There will be cash prizes for original, familyfriendly limericks, courtesy of the Long Beach Turkey Trot. The

Community Action Team is staging the contest along with the beach cleanup, which takes place every month. For details, visit www.BeachCleanup.org. The Big Red Bus and the SeaPort Marina Hotel will host an annual St. Paddy’s Day breakfast and pub-crawl. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m. at the hotel, 6400 E. PCH and the Big Red Bus pub-crawl runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The $35 tickets include three pubs with no lines or cover charge and drink specials, the big Irish breakfast, and swag for everyone. There are discounted hotel rooms available as well. Reservations are required. Call 852-9888. The Auld Dubliner, 71 S. Pine Ave. in the Pike, starts with a full Irish breakfast at 8 a.m. and live

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music from the Humble Hooligans at 3 p.m. The party at Blondie’s starts at 6 p.m. and bagpipers will put in an appearance as well. Blondie’s is at 2259 N. Lakewood Blvd. Brix is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day all week long at 16635 PCH in Huntington Beach. Buster’s Beach House hosts The Dogs Bollix, “Real Irish Music, Real Irish Lads,” at 8 p.m. at 168 N. Marina Dr. They’ll also have Corned Beef and Cabbage and green beer. Clancy’s has live music from Coke ‘n’ Waffles and Good Citizen as well as live bagpipers. Clancy’s is at 803 Broadway. District Wine will have green wine, wine tastings all day, special drinks and Saturday Happy Hour from 2 to 7 p.m. Live music begins at 7:30 p.m. District Wine is at 144 Linden Ave. 33 Degrees Harborside Pub opens at 9 a.m. with and has live music in the afternoon. They’re at 423A Shoreline Dr. Hooters invites everyone to “Get Pickled on St. Patrick’s Day” with free fried pickles and green beer specials. Hooters is at is at 71 Aquarium Way. The celebration at Kavikas at 95 Aquarium Way starts at 10

p.m. with DJ Orion One. Kelly’s, 5716 E. Second St. in Naples, will start serving breakfast at 8 a.m. During the rest of the day, they have special barbecue under a tent and live music starting at noon. Kitchen Den Bar (KDB) at 10 Aquarium Way will serve three Corned Beef Tacos for $4 and drink specials all day. Live music from Trip II starts at 8:30 p.m. The Laugh Factory has two “Laughs of the Irish” comedy shows at 8 and 10 a.m. at 151 S. Pine Ave. Tickets start at $15. March Madness in High-Def is part of the celebration at Murphy’s Pub at the Belmont, 4918 E. Second St. St. Patrick’s Day at the Paradise features the Falcons Softball Team Season Kickoff, which includes a beer bust buy-in ($5 to start, $1 after that), prizes, Falcon’s Famous Jello Shots and a special appearance by the Boys of Jagermeister. Paradise is at 1800 E. Broadway. Call 590-8773. The Queen Mary hosts Shamrock ‘n’ Roll starting at 6 p.m. and featuring three bands: Sligo Rags, Oxalis and The Hollywood Stones, a Rolling Stones tribute group. Admission is $15. (Continued on Page 19A)


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 19A

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Solas Celtic Music Resounds Saturday BY STEPHANIE MINASIAN STAFF WRITER

The Carpenter Performing Arts Center will be filled with traditional and energetic Celtic-style music on Saturday to ring in St. Patrick’s Day in a festive way. The music of Solas, a Philadelphia band with Irish roots, will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday at the Carpenter Center, at 6200 Atherton St. “Over the last 30 or 40 years, Celtic music has really blossomed into all kinds of music,” said Carpenter Center Executive Director Michele Roberge. “It is heard in film scores, in jazz, folk, and it permeates everything. While I would love to have more of it more throughout the year, I think its imperative to have it on St. Patrick’s Day.” Formed in 1996, Solas is known

St. Paddy’s (Continued from Page 18A)

This is an over-21 event. The Queen Mary is at 1126 Queens Highway. Call 437-2934 or visit queenmary.com. Shannon’s, 209 Pine Ave., opens at 9 a.m. with free Corned Beef and Cabbage sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other special, Corned Beef hash and eggs with a “Best in the West” Irish Coffee or green mimosa for $9. Stefano’s Pizza, 429C Shoreline Dr. has green garlic bread for $3.99 and Irish green margaritas for $3.99. The Celtic Band Solas performs at 8 p.m. at the Carpenter Center, 6200 Atherton St. Tickets are $35. Call 985-7000 or visit www.carpenterarts.org.

to have an authentic and contemporary Irish-folk sound. It consists of founding members Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan, who are the two only Americanborn members in the band. While born in Hatboro, Penn., Egan relocated to County Mayo, Ireland, at the age of 3. He plays flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistle, guitar and Bodhran. Horan was born in New York City and plays the fiddle, while the rest of the band is from Ireland, including accordion and concertina player Mick McAuley, guitar and keyboard player Eamon McElholm, and the band’s vocalist, Niamh Varian-Barry. “We will play a range from our past, and a good bit of the stuff from our Shamrock City project, which is our new filming and recording project,” Horan said.

The Shamrock City project stemmed from Egan’s family history that he discovered while traveling with the band to the old mining town Butte, Mont., formerly called Shamrock City. As it turned out, Egan discovered that he had a past relative, who was a young immigrant from Ireland, who relocated to Butte in 1910, and died at the age of 25. “The Shamrock City project traces the story of miners and Irish immigrants, and how closely we were connected to it,” Horan said. “We did research and found the whole story of Egan’s greatgreat uncle (Michael Conway).” The Shamrock City album is set for release next year, and concertgoers will get to hear some music from the upcoming album. “This is family-friendly music,” Roberge said. “And what’s

—Photo courtesy Solas

IRISH ROOTS. Members of Solas will perform Celtic music at the Carpenter Center Saturday.

so cool about the Carpenter Center is the rows are so wide, you can stand up and do a little jig if the music moves you — and it will.”

Tickets are on sale for $35. For tickets, call 985-7000 or visit www.CarpenterArts.org. For more about Solas, visit their website at www.solasmusic.com.


PAGE 20A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

O’Malley’s Elevates Pub Grub BY LARRY HILL

RESTAURANT WRITER

O’Malley’s on Main, 140 Main St., Seal Beach, 430-0631. • Hours: O’Malley’s is open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Food is served until midnight. Breakfast is from 7 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; lunch is served all day, and dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. • Location: O’Malley’s is located in Seal Beach on Main Street. There is street parking available and city parking within a short walk. • Food/Drinks: The menu is a mix of Irish and American pub fare that is well prepared, generous and reasonably priced. Appetizers include calamari, a pound of chicken wings, Irish sausage rolls, crab cakes, Irish

sausage and chips and nachos. Sandwiches and burger offerings include the Danny Boy Club with corned beef; the Emerald Green with Swiss cheese, sprouts, avocado, tomato, and cucumber; tri-tip; hot corned beef; The Famous O’Malley’s Halibut Sandwich; and Mickey O’Doul’s Sandwich with roast beef, turkey, salami, chopped Jalapeno peppers, thousand island dressing, Italian dressing, lettuce, tomato and onion on a French roll. Burger choices include Western Burger with BBQ sauce and bacon, Bleu Cheese Burger with chunks of bleu cheese and a Turkey Burger if your tastes run to poultry instead of beef. House specialties include O’Malley’s Fish and Chips, Sean’s Bangers and Mash, corned beef dinner, Murphy’s Shepard’s

Pie, charbroiled pork chop and roasted chicken. There are soups and salads and a kid’s menu, too. O’Malley’s offers a full bar and one of the best pints of Guinness in the area. • Atmosphere: The atmosphere is Irish pub. Much of the interior came from a dismantled pub in Ireland and reassembled in Seal Beach. • The Taste: Jennifer and I arrived for a midweek dinner. We needed a break from the swirling drama that was all about that week. We found a little haven near the fireplace in O’Malley’s dining room. We began our meal with O’Malley’s sausage rolls with a slather of Coleman’s mustard. This version is a classic banger wrapped in pastry and baked. On

—Gazette photo by Doreen Gunness

KISS ME, I’M IRISH. O’Malley’s provides a traditional Irish pub experience inside its walls.

its own it is a very tasty appetizer, add the spicy mustard and the craving begins. On this visit Jennifer eschewed her usual fish and chips or blue cheese burger for blackened halibut with mango relish. Her dinner was a generous serving of halibut blackened and topped with mango salsa. Her fish was juicy

and perfectly grilled. Accompanying her dinner was a baked potato with sour cream and chives and grilled asparagus spears. She quite enjoyed her dinner. I also opted for something I’d never sampled. My grilled bonein pork chop was of significant proportion. Grilled perfectly, done but not dried out, with grill marks in the classic chophouse style. It was served with applesauce, a baked potato and grilled asparagus. A classic dinner. O’Malley’s is a classic Irish pub. To say that O’Malley’s is pub grub diminishes the quality of the fare. It is much better to think of O’Malley’s has a very nice restaurant that happens to also have a pub attached to it. It’s the only place I can get fish and chips that rival Penrose in Toronto. O’Malley’s is one of my favorite places. • Price: Lunch or dinner for two is $15 to $40.

Children Shave Heads For Cause

2nd St.

Westminster

N

ON THE WATER!

Cubberley K-8 School students in Long Beach will be shaving their heads on St. Baldrick’s Day 2012 to honor one of their own who has been afflicted with cancer. More than 75 young people will be cutting off their hair and raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer research. The event takes place at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16, at Miller Children’s Hospital. Those Cubberley students shaving their heads at the event are participating in honor of their classmate, Kayleigh Scott, who currently is undergoing cancer treatment. Kayleigh, who graduated from Cubberley and now is a freshman at Millikan High School, is fighting synovial sarcoma — something she was diagnosed with in 2007. Kayleigh’s cancer has spread from her left thigh into both of her lungs, and she has spent the last two weeks in the hospital receiving treatment. Despite the cancer, Kayleigh goes to school full time and graduated from Cubberley with honors. Also, she participates in Millikan’s cadet color guard. This will be the fifth time that Kayleigh and her family have participated in the St. Baldrick’s Day event, said Kayleigh’s mom, Michelle Scott. “The Cubberley family has been so supportive,” Michelle Scott said. “The school really has rallied around Kayleigh as she has gone through treatment.” Michelle Scott said the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving trtion is (Continued on Page 21A)


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 21A

District 5 School Board Field Narrows Then there were 22. The Long Beach Unified School District announced Tuesday that the number of applicants for the vacant District 5 school board seat had dropped by five, to 22. Five applicants withdrew or were disqualified because they didn’t live or weren’t registered to vote in the district. The post became vacant on Jan. 25 when David Barton resigned due to health reasons. The school board voted 3-1 last month to appoint someone to complete Barton’s term until 2014 rather than conduct a special election. First round interviews will be conducted by a committee that includes representatives from the Long Beach Council PTA, support staff employees and the management association. The Teachers Association of Long Beach declined to participate. After the first round, the same committee will interview in depth six semifinalists before recommending three finalists to the school board. The board is tentatively scheduled to interview the three final-

ists at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 20 at school administration headquarters, 1515 Hughes Way. A special board meeting is set for 9 a.m. Friday, March 23, to select the new board member. Applicants are: William Baca, senior sales representative; Leolyn Boyer, retired educator; Jeremy Knowles Brust, attorney; Teresa Ayala Castillo, manager, City of Long Beach DHHS; Roberta “Bobbi” Clarke, counselor, Cabrillo H.S.; Gloria Cordero, consultant, public affairs; Diana Craighead, homemaker and volunteer; Cynthia Diaz, bookseller/substitute teacher; Camille Donnell, staff accountant, First 5 LA; Stephen Donnenfield, retired LBUSD teacher/ substitute Lakewood crossing guard; Lynda Lee Gordon, retired LBCC professor; Anthony Klune Jr., instructor; Nancy ManriquezDowell, independent educational consultant; Sharon Wells McMahon, homemaker and volunteer; Shelly Millsap, senior human resource consultant; Stacy Mungo, administrative services manager,

County of Los Angeles; Cindy Regnier Melvin, mother; Diane Ripley, public relations; Maria Williams Slaughter, administrator; Thomas Soto, director, information technology; Marc Titel, business programs director, Fremont College; and Frederick Lim Uy, professor.

Baldrick’s (Continued from Page 20A)

meant to be a symbol of solidarity with pediatric cancer patients, who often lose their hair as a result of treatment. In addition to the head shaving, there will be entertainment (such as music, face painting and a bounce house) as well as infor-

mational presentations by hospital staff. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which has given grant money to Miller Children’s Hospital, is a national charity committed to paying for cancer research. For information about how you can donate, go bald or otherwise contribute, visit www.stbaldricks.org.


PAGE 22A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

Readers Delight At Meeting Authors ASHLEIGH OLDLAND EDITOR

It’s a rare treat to be able to meet the author of a book that has inspired you, was the general consensus of the women who attended Saturday’s Literary Women 30th Annual Long Beach Festival of Authors. The daylong, sold-out event at the Long Beach Convention Center featured authors Lan Samantha Chang, Zoe Ferraris, Gillian Gill, Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Haley Tanner, Miriam Toews and Isabel Wilkerson. The women shared stories about lives, their books, and the successes and struggles they’ve had as professional writers. “In 1982, four out of every 200 novels assigned to high school students was written by a woman,” Miriam Toews, who has

written books such as “A Complicated Kindness” and “The Flying Troutmans,” said to the audience. “This is why this festival exists and was created.” Toews’s path to become an award-winning author wasn’t an easy one. Although she’d had a passion for reading and writing from a young age, she said it took family support and great risk for her to first put herself through journalism school (while at the same time being the mother of two small children) and later take time off work to put immerse herself into writing a manuscript. She described embarrassing and “quietly disappointing” moments such as accidentally dropping her writing into a garbage chute before a book reading, and even the humiliating times she did book readings in empty book-

stores before her career as an author gained momentum. “I’m so grateful for them (my family and friends) for taking a big risk on a very unsure thing,” she said. Toews, who grew up in a Canadian Mennonite community and has written about that unique experience, was among fellow “word nerds,” as she put it, or women who came together for the festival. Fewer than 30 volunteers with Literary Women have organized the Literary Women Festival of Authors through the years, choosing the guest speakers for the event based on their own favorite reading experiences. There were nearly 800 women in attendance. Each woman, armed with book bags that read: “Eat. Sleep. Read.” got the chance to meet and talk to

—Gazette photo by Ashleigh Oldland

“WORD NERDS.” Readers gather around a table of books for sale at the Literary Women Long Beach Festival of Authors.

the authors one-on-one and have their books signed. Mary Brennan, a Literary Women festival committee member and teacher at Lowell Elementary School, said the opportunity for book lovers and avid readers to meet writers is a real treat. “The average American reads one book a year,” Brennan said.

“Sometimes I read seven books in a week. We are all book lovers here.” Author Lan Samantha Chang, who has written “Hunger” and other award-winning novels, also was a speaker. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Iowa and the director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Chang, who said she knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer — despite her parents’ desires for her to go to medical school — talked about the importance of novels. “The preciousness of being able to record what has taken place is fundamental to who we are,” Chang said. “The people here understand that … they appreciate the arts and writing and are able to enthuse together. Next year’s invitation-only Literary Women Festival of Authors will take place on March 16. For details or to be added to the Literary Women invitation list, go to www.literarywomen.org.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 23A

Toyota Grand Prix Revs Up With Kickoff Party At Bliss 525 BY HARRY SALTZGAVER EXECUTIVE EDITOR

It’s Grand Prix season again, as commuters and Rainbow Harbor visitors who use Shoreline Drive know well. But the Committee of 300 will make it official tonight, Thursday, with the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach kickoff party, this year at Bliss 525 at 525 E. Broadway. The party starts at 6 p.m. and is free to attend. The Committee of 300, also known as the C-300 or the Redcoats, has been providing volunteers for the Grand Prix since its inception in 1977. They do everything from help people find their seats in the grandstands to providing hospitality and direction to the hundreds of media people who attend the race each year. As their primary fundraiser, the group also hosts the Paddock Club, a ticketed race weekend party behind the grandstands at the final turn of the race course. The club, which includes reserved seats in those same grandstands, is renowned for its hospitality, food and bathrooms. That’s right, bathrooms. It is the only publicly accessible race venue with running water (and a full bar, for that matter). This year’s kickoff party will unveil a revamped Paddock Club, according to President Dian Morris. The revved-up club will take on a 1950s theme with décor by Events by Noonan, she said. This year, the club will include

live music on Friday from The Emperors, on Saturday by the Dave Silver Band and on Sunday from Surfs Up for the afterparty. Drivers will come to the club to sign autographs and the Tecate Girls have promised to stop by for pictures. There will be three-day tickets for $285 that includes race admission, reserved seats, Indy Car Paddock passes, a souvenir race pin and breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday. A Sundayonly ticket costs $150 and includes the same amenities. This year, anyone with a military ID will get free Paddock Club entry, although that does not include the meals or souvenirs. There’s also a Friday-only package. More information will be available at the kickoff party, or by calling 981-9200. Tickets can be purchased at the same time. This year’s kickoff will have music by DJ Danny, free appetizers from Bliss 525 and desserts from Rossmoor Bakery. The Miss Toyota Grand Prix court will be on hand, and both Mayor Bob Foster and Grand Prix Association CEO Jim Michaelian are expected to speak. There will be a drawing for a Pace Car ride on Friday of Grand Prix weekend and the popular balloon prizes fundraiser will benefit this year’s C-300 charities, the Pacific Sailing Maritime Center, the Substance Abuse Foundation and the 100 Men Group.

But the real purpose of the party is to rev up anticipation for the race and build up membership in the C-300. While the Grand Prix is the focal point, the Redcoats

are active all year, both as a volunteer work force and a social group. This year, there also is a Junior Membership for those 2125.

The party will run from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight. For more information, call 981-9200 or go to www. gplb.com and click on the C-300 link.

8th Annual Belmont Shore Community

on Second Street

Delectable Chocolate Treats Homemade Dessert Contest Hof’s Hut Chocolate Pie Eating Contest


PAGE 24A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

Symphony Classics Good, Not Memorable BY JIM RUGGIRELLO MUSIC WRITER

That certainly was some concert. Not a great concert, you understand. The effort by the Long Beach Symphony at their Classics concert the other night at the Terrace Theater was pleasant enough, but not particularly memorable. There were a few sparks in the opening two Slavonic Dances by Antonín Dvorák. Music Director Enrique Arturo Diemecke led a stylish, at times exciting, performance and the orchestra was in fine form, especially the winds. The Mendelssohn concerto followed, with Katia Popov, the LBSO’s principal second violinist, as soloist. The young Bulgarian looked stunning, in a silver gown that looked as if it had been borrowed from the Academy Awards’ red carpet. And she was greeted affectionately by the large audience. But this was a curious performance. Things never really settled down, and it seemed as if Popov was constantly trying to go just a shade faster than Diemecke wanted throughout. She

has a pretty, smallish tone and impeccable intonation, but the piece never caught fire, although everybody played well. The loyal LBSO crowd obliged with a standing ovation, which may have been as much for the player and the dress as for the performance. Franz Schubert’s monumental Symphony No. 9 comprised the second half. Composer Robert Schumann wrote about the piece’s “heavenly length,” and one can see why. The first movement is really nicely put together, and Schubert’s characteristic melodies are heard at their most sublime. The scherzo is fun, and the trio is eminently hummable. The slow movement is pretty, but it does go on. And on. And what seems at the outset of the finale to be introductory scrambling turns out to be the main tune, followed by more scrambling. So yeah, parts of Schubert’s final symphony are heavenly; the rest is just long. One can’t fault Diemecke or his orchestra, who played their hearts out. No one expects the LBSO to return to the good old days, when they had four rehearsals

for each concert, played lots of new and unfamiliar music and, as a consequence, almost went bankrupt. The symphony these days basically plays standard repertoire and sells lots of tickets, and rehearses as much as they can afford. There you are. April’s concert, happily, promises good things. Principal cellist Cécilia Tsan, one of the world’s great artists, will solo in the Dvorák concerto. This beloved piece is about the only cello concerto to really be considered standard repertoire (works by Haydn, Shostakovich and others make occasional appearances), and the combination of cello and orchestra is simply scrumptious. The rest of the program is devoted to Dvorák’s mentor, Brahms. The elder composer’s “Hungarian Dances” served as a model for the younger’s Slavonic pieces and are just as attractive. And Brahms’ Third Symphony is my favorite of the composer’s four, a taut, dramatic work that will give the LBSO players something to sink their collective teeth into. Something to look forward to.

Action Sports Kids Grows With Website, Board BY STEPHANIE MINASIAN STAFF WRITER

For the last 16 years, Mike Donelon has been flying by the seat of his pants. As the founder of the Action Sports Kids foundation (ASK), Donelon has helped many teens and young adults become active in the community, promote skateboard and BMX safety, and give Long Beach youths a positive alternative to gangs and street life. ASK is now launching a website to promote its recently gained nonprofit status to continue to engage and perform outreach for youths. “It’s a bit emotional for me because I have been working with the kids hands-on for so long,” Donelon said. “To take this to a new level, we have to have funding. And the website is going to have a great impact.” Donelon has worked with groups of young adults in the area, and has seen four generations of teens come and go. This fourth generation will be the last he directly works with, he said. To go along with the new nonprofit status and website, Donelon has set up a panel of ASK board members — some of whom were part of the program as teenagers. He and his board members presented themselves at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to introduce the new board and website, and thank the city for their avid support, he said. “The city has been so supportive of what we do,” he said. “We are going down there to thank them and let them know that our site is up, what we will be doing with kids this year, and ask for continued support.” The group is also forming a youth team, which will consist of a group of ASK members younger than 18 years old, who will help out the organization’s board. ASK’s objective is to take atrisk youths and get them interested and engaged in the community by hosting art events, park cleanups, teaching safety and giving back. As part of its outreach, ASK youths have worked with autistic children in Long Beach, as well as working in schools and park cleanups to spread the productive change. “We try to connect these kids with programs in the area that they might not know about,” Donelon added. “All of our events focus on skate park and street safety. We just want to involve these kids in any educations programs as we can. It’s good to direct them to programs that already exist that they don’t know about.” In 1996, Donelon reached out to youngsters hanging around the Belmont Plaza Pool, and began teaching them to have a positive impact on the community, he said. Once a group of children grew up, he’d take a new cluster to mold for the better. To learn more about ASK and its upcoming projects and events, visit the new website at www.asklongbeach.org.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 25A

Relocated Eye Site Just shy of celebrating their 85th anniversary, Hertzog Eye Care has recently relocated to 5094 Los Coyotes Diagonal — the 6,700-square-foot facility boasts a state-of-the-art, fullservice eye center with 10 exam rooms as well as an expanded retail space. “As a family-owned and operated business, it’s important to me to continue the traditions of treating each patient on an individual basis with cutting-edge technology, as well as employing the highest ethical standards in the medical industry,” Hertzog said in a release. “By moving the practice, our patients will enjoy a more comfortable and modern building that will grow with us even into the next generation.” Hertzog Eye Care is led by fourth-generation physician and eye surgeon, Leif M. Hertzog, who specializes in cataract removal, LASIK and the placement of premium intraocular lenses that may reduce or even eliminate a person’s dependence on glasses. Additionally, Hertzog serves as a clinical instructor for the University of Southern California’s Department of Ophthalmology. He also is active in the Rotary Club of Long Beach. Fifth-generation eye surgeon Hans Dieter Hertzog is expected to join the practice in two years after completing his residency. General eye exams are available for both adults and children. Call 597-3100.

Clutter And Treasure Back by popular demand, The Center Long Beach is hosting its Second Annual Clutter For A Cause Rummage Sale, said event organizers, so now is the time to start “spring cleaning” out those closets and garages. Donations for Clutter For A Cause can be dropped off anytime before the March 24 event — anything from clothing, kitchenware, furniture, appliances and more is accepted, and The Center can arrange for large-item pickups the week before the sale. “We like to think we are helping people clean out their clutter — and one person’s clutter is another person’s treasure,” said Porter Gilberg, administrative director at The Center. Proceeds from the donated items will benefit The Center’s youth programs, such as Mentoring Youth Through Empowerment (MYTE).

The Center is committed to improving the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals. Besides youth programs, The Center also offers services such as free HIV testing, low-cost mental health counseling, a free legal clinic and a free cyber center. For those interested in donating items, contact Kyle Bullock at kbullock@centerlb.org or 4344455 for details. The Center’s Clutter For A Cause Rummage Sale (a cashonly event) will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot at The Center, 2017 E. Fourth St. Wednesday Night Sounds A new weekly series, The Emerging Sounds of Wednesdays, started this month at 4th Street Vine. Showcasing local bands and original music, The Emerging Sounds of Wednesdays is a chance to check out new artists and drink a glass of “whatever’syour-pleasure,” said event organizers. Live music starts at 8 p.m. 4th Street Vine is located at 2142 E. Fourth St. For details, call 343-5463.


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Surrealistic Operas Bring Unexpected On Stage When most people hear the word “opera,” they think in terms of 19th-century classics where high-pitched sopranos and bearded tenors sing tragic love songs in Italian, French or German. But man oh man! Since Andreas Mitisek took over as artistic director of Long Beach Opera, it’s motto has been “Expect the unexpected.” Contemporary audiences are energized by that concept. In fact, people are so excited by “the unexpected,” they flock to LBO’s untraditional locations in anticipation of new experiences. What they find when they reach these innovative events are high quality performances of obscure, cutting-edge operas that many of us have never heard of. Not only has Andreas put LBO on the map, he gives pre-opera

lectures, directs most the productions, conducts the 16-piece orchestra, sometimes plays the piano and schmoozes with attendees. Which leads us to LBO’s current production: “The Breasts of Tiresias” and “Tears of a Knife” (two Surrealistic West Coast premieres), which were performed March 11 in the Center Theater and repeat at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Go by all means; but be prepared to expect the unexpected. When you enter the world of Surrealism, you enter the world of dreams, myths, desires, fears and uncontrollable rage. In short,

boundaries are unlimited, anything can happen, and it does. If you’re familiar with art movements circa 1918, you’re in the right territory. Andre Breton, Apollinaire, Jarry, Vache, et al were influenced by the devastation of World War I and the Spanish flu. Surrounded by death, Dada and Surrealism were founded in Paris based on dreams, desires, hallucination, the subconscious, automatic writing, jazz, sex and madness. Both “Tears of a Knife” (1928, music by Martinu, libretto by Dessaignes) and “Breasts of Tiresias” (1944, music by Poulenc, libretto by Apollinaire) share the same superb performers, with

direction/choreography by Ken Roht, musical direction by Andreas, colorful set by Alan Muraoka, fabulous video projections by John Flynn and creative costumes by Lake Sharp. In “Tears” (the shorter work) a young girl, Eleanore (beautifully sung by Ani Maldjian) falls in love with a dead man whom she marries in spite of her mother’s (Suzan Hanson) desire for her to marry a neighbor (Robin Buck). When Eleanore’s dead husband doesn’t respond to her passion, she tries to make him jealous with a passing cyclist — who turns out to be Satan. Shame leads her to kill herself, only to discover that all the men in her life have been Satan in different guises. “Breasts of Tiresias” (composed in two acts) is far more colorful, substantial, successful and entertaining. Maldjian returns as Therese, a Zanzibar woman who

is bored with her job as housewife and mother. She rebels, turns herself into a tough guy, breaks out of the house and declares “no more children.” With no babies being born, the country is in peril; so her husband (Robin Buck is terrific) dons a dress and starts creating thousands of children all by himself. That leads to population explosion, war and unrest, and an eventual happy ending when everything reverts to normal. The moral of the story seems to be “those who make war must make babies.” Everything is sung in English with English subtitles. Don’t try to rationalize or make sense out of these works; just sit back, relax. In the world of Surrealism, anything goes. Long Beach Opera returns Saturday, March 17, to The Center Theater. Call 432-5934.


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 27A

Residents of Long Beach help people all year through a variety of activities. Listed below are the results of some projects, as well as more opportunities to reach out. Girl Scout Troop 2833 has selected the homeless in Long Beach for their Bronze Award. They have colleged goods, food and clothing for the homeless. The scouts encourage the rest of the community to join them in helping the homeless by contacting the Salvation Army 218-2351. The Rossmoor Elementary School Carnival is set for April 21 and they are looking for vendors. Those interested should send an email to jhinzo@att.net. Students at Cubberley Elementary school are going bald to help fight pediatric cancer through the St. Baldrick’s foundation from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Cubberley, 3200 Monogram Ave. Since 2005, St.

Baldricks has funded more than $78 million childhood cancer research. The Art for All Ages fundraiser for Comprehensive Child Development runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the James S. Benedict Child Development Center, 2565 Pacific Ave. Money raised will support the group’s early childhood education programs for young children of lowincome families. Works by area artists will be featured along with original art created by children ages 3 to 5 who are enrolled in CCD programs. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 427-8834 or visit www.ccdlb.org. Musical Theatre West Footlighters hosts is Erin Go Bragh fundraiser luncheon starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 18, at a private home. Two of MTW’s stars will perform and there will be brunch, drinks and opportunity drawings. Tickets are $65.

Call 439-2718 or send an email to lizhandley@verizon.net. Wines, Woofs and Wishes, a benefit for German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County will feature wine and cheese from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March

18, at L’Opera. Tickets are $50 per person. Call (949) 857-5754. Long Beach Day Nursery will help celebrate its 100th Anniversary with a scramble golf tournament starting with a shotgun start at noon on Monday, March 19,

at the Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes. It’s $250 per person which includes golf and the buffet dinner. Call the phone number 591-0509, ext. 112 or send an email to the email address efactor@lbdn.org.


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Candidate (Continued from Page 1A)

career, the need to more equally serve all the residents — the have-nots as well as the haves — weighed on his mind, he said. “Now the budget is obviously the main priority,” he said. “We all say that public safety is our primary concern, but what does that mean? Right now, we’re not even filling the spots (on the police department) that we have. There are vacancies that have been budgeted for, and aren’t being filled because we don’t have an academy.” Watkins said he had served as an instructor at the Long Beach Police Academy during his career. He pointed out that it will take several months to recertify the academy because it hasn’t operated for four years, and said that the city should consider a lateral academy with new hires from Golden West College or other law enforcement academies to fill the gap. “We do still need to teach them the Long Beach way, I agree with the chief about that,” he

said. “But that can be done in a six-week course. They’d already have the basics.” In terms of paying for the academy and police, Watkins said again that the city had to fill all its currently vacant positions that already are in the budget. He said he thought there should not be rigid adherence to the concept of proportionally sharing budget cuts, but that police and fire shouldn’t be exempt from cuts. “I don’t think we can afford to give everything to police and fire,” he said. “We have to take care of the libraries, the parks, too. But maybe there should be a little flexibility.” An initiative to increase the Utility Users Tax could find support from Watkins, but only if it is properly structured, he said. Any tax increase would have to be earmarked, he said. Top district issues are the condition of roads in the area and attracting better business tenants, Watkins said. He said he agreed with O’Donnell that the idea of turning Schroeder Hall into an East Division police substation should not be tied to a mental

health facility for the homeless in the area, and added that the Schroeder Hall location on Spring Street and Grand Avenue was not centrally located for the division. “Maybe we should look at the Post Office (distribution center on Redondo Avenue),” he said. “It’s bad that it is closing, but if the city could get ahold of it, it would be a great site for a number of things.” Watkins decried what he called a dysfunctional family atmosphere on the City Council, say-

ing public bickering was not appropriate. He said his background would allow him to work with other council members. He would be donating his first two years’ salary to youth programs in and around the Fourth District, he added. “If there’s one thing I’ve been disappointed in, it’s how partisan this race has been,” Watkins said. “This is supposed to be a nonpartisan race, and I’ve been surprised by how this is such a party-backed race. That’s not the

way it’s supposed to be.” Watkins pointed to his endorsement from the Chamber of Commerce as an example of his business background. He said he understood why the Police Officers Association PAC endorsed O’Donnell despite Watkins’s 29 years on the police force. Voters in the Fourth District will have their say on April 10. If none of the three candidates gets a majority of the votes (50% plus one), the top two vote-getters would face off in June.

St. Paddy’s Day

The Auld Dubliner has been in business since 2004. “Irish pubs are warm and inviting and have great food and good portions,” Johnson said. “This is a second home for people and a social thing. Everybody likes to talk about how Irish they are, especially on St. Paddy’s Day — maybe they are half Irish, or an eighth or a sixteenth. This is a little slice of Ireland.” Among the wide variety of Irish-themed venues to choose from in Belmont Shore, Naples, Seal Beach and downtown Long Beach, one of the oldest establishments is Kelly’s of Naples (5716 E. Second St.). Kelly’s has been in business since 1958. Some of Kelly’s customers have been frequenting the Second Street business for five decades, said general manager Rachel Toves-Favero. “This feels like home to many of our customers,” Toves-Favero said. “People love the atmosphere. It’s a chance to mimic that feeling you get in Ireland — I have been to Ireland twice, and the people there are some of the nicest people I have ever met, and

that country is so beautiful.” For St. Patrick’s Day, Kelly’s will have a special outdoor tent in the parking lot from noon to 7 p.m. for the second year in a row. Toves-Favero said Kelly’s would be a crowded “madhouse of wallto-wall people” Saturday — the holiday is the biggest sales day of the year for Kelly’s. Less steeped in Long Beach tradition, the Tilted Kilt (6575 E. PCH) is celebrating its second St. Patrick’s Day in the city. “We are going to have a lot of green beer and a lot of Irish car bombs and Guinness,” Nathan Veeh, Tilted Kilt Long Beach marketing manager, said. “Plus, we will have Irish rock bands and bagpipers and people wearing kilts. It is going to be fun.” Veeh said all hands would be on deck at the business since St. Patrick’s Day is the busiest day of the year. While there are too many Irishthemed venues in the Long Beach area to mention them all, most are staying open all day and featuring traditional Irish foods, drinks, giveaways, specials and entertainment.

(Continued from Page 1A)

come through. And because there are a lot of different Irish pubs in Seal Beach, it is the place to be on St. Paddy’s Day.” Kyle said Irish pubs are popular all over the world because the pub is a central place to clink a beer glass and socialize. At the Auld Dubliner (71 S. Pine Ave.), co-owner Eric Johnson shared similar sentiments about the reasons why Irish pubs are such popular hangouts for Long Beach’s diverse residents.

Graduate (Continued from Page 1A)

around different shelters to rest their heads. On some nights, they had enough to share a motel room, but mostly slept on the floors of churches that allowed them to stay the night. Despite the hardships, the girls began to take their education more seriously, and enrolled in a community college in the Los Angeles area, before finally

transferring to CSULB to pursue their interest in management of information systems. “It was pretty hard studying in these conditions,” Washington said. “We would take a metro train at 5 a.m. to make it to Long Beach in time for class. When we had late evening classes, we had to be on time to catch the train, and sometimes had to walk home through gang territory.” The sisters relied on CSULB (Continued on Page 31A)


March 15, 2012 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 31A

Wetlands (Continued from Page 1A)

Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, State Coastal Conservancy and the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. They own about 177 acres of the land and are commissioning the restoration plan and looking to acquire more of the wetlands — which is split between 11 different owners, both private and public. “Today, we have about 500 acres of undeveloped land,” Park-

Graduate (Continued from Page 30A)

counselors to guide them throughout their education, and through this resource, Washington was able to get a leg up with financial aid resources, and was granted scholarships from the United Negro College Fund, Google, Sony, the Hearst Foundation, and won the first collegiate inventors competition at CSULB. “It all went to our education and really helped us make it through,” she added. Things began to improve for the family, who relocated to downtown Long Beach to be closer to campus for the sisters while they finished up their education. In 2010, they were granted their Bachelor’s degrees in management of information systems from CSULB’s College of Business, and found employment in their field. “The most important thing to note is that we will never forget the kindest of those folks and organizations that helped us,” Washington said. “Those who invested in us and in our futures. We will give back as much as we can to help other people be successful and to find their brighter future.”

er said. “There are about 50 acres of full tidal/coast salt marsh … There is a large invasive, exotic weed infestation throughout most of the conservation area.” Moffat & Nichol is the prime consultant for the Authority, and it contracted work out to Tidal Influence, which has begun studying and looking into restoration plans for the wetlands — it has done similar work with the Colorado Lagoon. Eric Zahn, principal of Tidal Influence and California State Last month, Williams gave back by speaking to the congregation at FAME Church, in Los Angeles, about the importance of education. “If giving back means sharing my story for others to read to give them inspiration, I’m all for it,” Washington added. “If we had given up, where would we be now? Our family is doing great now, and I just want everyone to have faith, believe in themselves and continue to work hard.”

University, Long Beach, environmental lecturer, said he has been studying the wetlands area for about a decade. He revealed a number of environmental details regarding the wetlands area: • There are 13 habitats: Southern coastal salt marsh, southern coastal brackish marsh, alkali meadow, mulefat scrub, southern willow scrub, salt flats, subtidal marine, rocky intertidal, mudflat, ruderal wetlands, ruderal uplands, vegetation free zone and development. • There are 10 special status animal types: Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, Black Skimmer, Burrowing Owl, California Least Tern, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Harrier, Pacific Green Sea Turtle, Salt Marsh Tiger Beetles, Salt Marsh Wandering Skipper, and Yellow Breasted Chat. • There are seven special status plant types: California Boxthorn, Coulter’s Goldfields, Estuary Sea Blite, Lewis’ Evening Primrose, Southern Tarplant, Southwestern Spiny Rush and Woolly Sea Blite.

He specifically noted that salt marsh habitats were optimal restoration habitats — historically the Los Cerritos Wetlands were 88% salt marsh, but now they are only 11%. Working to restore the large swaths of ruderal (weed infested), vegetation free and developed lands could help bring that percentage back up, he said. “If we can turn some of these areas into salt marsh, that would be a great success,” he said. Another factor to deal with is how many water connections make up the wetlands, he said. Alamitos Bay, the San Gabriel River and various powerplant culverts can impact the water in the area. “It is an interesting plumbing job, to say the least,” he said. The water is influenced indepth by tidal flows, which in-

clude the highs of the ocean but not so much the lows, and the powerplants piping in warmerthan-normal water (summer water temperatures can reach 80 degrees) “This (San Gabriel River) is one of the most urbanized watersheds in all of California,” he said, noting factors like dams, runoff, point source pollution and concrete. The restoration project also will have to contend with constraints like rising water levels, built-out powerlines and oil excavation, when considering strategies. For more information, and to get in on the restoration discussion, visit www.IntoLosCerritosWetlands.org. The next community meeting is on May 10 at the Seal Beach Senior Center.

Marguerite (Marge) Otten McConkey January 30, 1926 - February 23, 2012

It is with sad, but joyous hearts that the family and friends of “Grandma Mc” say “Tootles” for now as you are now reunited with your Heavenly Father and your husband of 64 years whom you’ve missed so much. Marge was born to Herman and Dorothy Otten just over 86 years ago. She graduated from High School and went to work for ‘Good

Housekeeping’ at Rockefeller Center in New York City. She soon met the love of her life, her ‘Man in Uniform’, George McConkey, at a USO dance on Christmas Eve where she whispered her phone number and that he’d remember it if he really liked her... He remembered it! The two married on September 21,1946 and were soon blessed with Dennis James, Nancy Ann, and Donald Scott before packing it all up and moving west to Covina, California. Soon after, they added Diane Lynn to complete their family. Friends and family know that they were the closest thing to a perfect example of “How to Love, Honor, and Cherish” your Spouse, ‘until death do you part.’ In 2001, they moved to Gardnerville, Nevada where they lived with daughter, Diane and her family. There they enjoyed camping, parties, gardening, trips, and simple afternoons spent watching a “Winnie The Pooh” movie with their grandkids or sitting in the sun amazed by the awesome glory of

God’s creation in and around the Carson Valley. Marge is survived by her children: Dennis and Loree McConkey, Nancy and Neil Rodgers, Don and Cindy McConkey, Diane and Dwight Olsen; her grandchildren: Alisa and Jason Wakefield, Krysten and Barry Gardner, Lauren Olsen, Matthew and Kristen Rodgers, Meghan and Brian McQuain, Adam Rodgers and fiancé Ashleigh, Jenna Kendall, Taylorann Olsen and Scott Olsen; her great-grandchildren, Nathan Wakefield, Zachary Wakefield, Aidan Gardner, and Gavin Gardner who came to earth on the day she left. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Valley Christian Fellowship Building Fund at PO Box 1352, Gardenerville, Nev., 89410. Marge’s life will be celebrated with a memorial service on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at Valley Christian Fellowship next to the Pizza Factory in the Gardnerville Ranchos


PAGE 32A | GRUNION GAZETTE | March 15, 2012

Grunion Gazette 3-15-12  

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