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VOL. 34 NO. 51 DECEMBER 22, 2011

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COUNCIL DENIES SECOND+PCH ............... Page 6A SCHOOLS READY FOR CUTS ..................... Page 11A NAPLES LIGHTS UP FOR CHRISTMAS .......... Page 16A PARTIES PREPARE FOR NEW YEAR .............. Page 17A SKIP ROWLAND LEAVES LEGACY ............... Page 1B






Long Beach’s Favorite Community Newspaper •

A PINCH OF SALT ........................... Page 2A BUSINESS BEAT .............................. Page 35A HOLIDAY SHARING ......................... Page 29A ON WITH THE SHOW ..................... Page 32A PROFILES IN DINING ....................... Page 18A



Please recycle this newspaper.

PAGE 2A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011


City’s Generosity Makes Season Bright Oh, we of little faith. No doubt about it, we here at the Gazette were pretty sure the Christmas goodwill tank had run dry about this time last week. It certainly was understandable — this is, after all, the third straight holiday season that economic bad tidings have vied for air time with Christmas carols. So we were resigned to our annual gift card drive coming up short this year. We’ve been organizing the drive to help the WomenShelter help domestic violence victims for seven years now, and each year has seen giving reach new levels. People and groups still were being as generous as they could, but totals had dropped. The big donations from the likes of the Long Beach Grand Prix Foundation and the Community Action Team were still big. But envelopes that used to hold $100 gift cards more commonly held $50 this year, and checks with three figures were less plentiful. So we wrote the final plea story last week, secretly hoping that a last-minute push would get us close to the $10,000 mark. Even that would take a minor miracle — there was less than $7,000 on the tally sheet. Oh, we of little faith. Donations started picking up last Thursday, the day the Grunion came out with the admittedly whiny last story. The totals still were small, but the number of donations began increasing. Then, on Friday, the miracle occurred. The gentleman came in the office with an envelope, said, “here’s a donation for the card drive,” and turned around and left before it was opened. Seconds later, there was a scream from the receptionist resounding through the office. She had opened the envelope and found a check — no surprise there. But this check had four zeros behind the one, and no decimal point. A $10,000 donation to Hearts for Long Beach for WomenShelter. Due diligence was done, and the check was for real. The philanthropist who made the donation was contacted, thanked effusively and, when it was requested, promised anonymity. That wasn’t the last miracle we’d see, either. While few had the wherewithal to make the kind of generous donation our anonymous donor made, many stepped

up to the plate with what they could do. By the time Womenshelter Executive Director TuLynn Smylie arrived on Monday for the collection and photo op, the total had surpassed $20,000. Oh, we of little faith. Long Beach had come through again. How could we have doubted it? The residents of this city have big hearts. Our gift card drive was only one of many efforts to make Christmas a little better for the less fortunate. The One-Day Christmas Store on Saturday served a record number of families, and the children at Miller Children’s Hospital have barely had time to be sick, there have been so many groups coming through spreading holiday cheer. Toy drives and food drives abound. On Christmas Day, the Reef Restaurant partners with the Salvation Army to serve a Christmas dinner (and send attendees away with a gift) for several hundred people.

“Long Beach had come through again. How could we have doubted it? The residents of this city have big hearts.” Make no mistake, we are well aware that there still are plenty of people for whom this Christmas brings little joy. Unemployment, poverty and the assorted sufferings we humans are all too susceptible to are in abundant supply. But the residents of our fair city do their very best to alleviate that pain wherever possible. They give, and then they give some more. Long Beach’s politics can be just as petty and mean as anywhere else, and we have our fair share of bad actors — both the really bad guys and the simpler Scrooges. But at this time of year in particular, the good simply overwhelms the bad. We here at the Gazette are proud to live and work amongst this city full of Santas and Christmas angels. We are filled today with great faith in the ultimate good to be found in Long Beach’s soul. We’ve seen it at work. Thank you, and Merry Christmas to all.

A Tiger-Filled Christmas Story Call me sentimental. I’d like to think I’m not — sentimental, that is — but every once in a while, my actions betray me. Which, in a roundabout way, is the reason why there’s an exuberant canine with a whip for a tail bounding around my house even as we speak. I let my sentiments get the upper hand over my rational curmudgeonliness. It starts, as most good Christmas stories do, with a bit of a tragedy. As Christmas 2010 approached, my good big dog Tiger’s health was failing rapidly. The Rottweiler-Shepherd mix was more than 10 years old, and had been losing weight for a while. Then he started showing signs of confusion and distress. It was a sad day less than a week before Christmas 2010 (Dec. 20, if memory serves), when we said goodbye to Tiger. We mourned the loss of a family member. Flash forward to September 2011. Maria disappeared for a half hour or so at the Belmont Shore Car Show, and later confessed to going to the German Shepherd Rescue booth. I managed to dodge the talk of another dog primarily by focusing on Sassy, our sort-of Bernese Mountain Dog. She’s a good dog, but needy. She clearly needed all our attention. Then, right after Thanksgiving, Hollywood the Miracle Cat finally gave up the ghost. She was 19 years old and had used up about 18 of her nine lives. Still, it was hard to say goodbye. For the last few weeks, Maria has been just a touch mopey. Not so much that it was painful, but

Free Parking

To The Editor, Thank you for noticing the two hours of free parking in Belmont Shore (Mailbox, Dec. 15). The merchants wanted to be able to give back to their customers and welcome them to shop and also dine in The Shore. We used plastic (bags) in case it rained, and we also have taken each one of the plastic meter covers off and have them to use the following year. Yes, we recycled the plastic. Happy holidays to all of you and come one down to Second

enough that it was clear things weren’t just right as the holiday season picked up steam. I might have been able to stand that, but Sassy started moping around, too. She had never played with Hollywood (I think she was scared of the five-pound cat), so I was at a bit of a loss about the cause. She clearly was lonely, though. So I started looking around. I made a call to John Keisler, the guru of the Long Beach Animal Shelter who has recently added the burden of business manager of Parks, Recreation and Marine to his plate. I’m still a Parks and Rec commissioner, so he took my call, and promised to keep a lookout for a shepherd or Rott coming through the P.D. Pitchford Animal Village. Then last week I had a few minutes and decided to check the Seal Beach Animal Shelter website. Seal Beach also advertises with us, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to just browse. Boy, was I wrong. Seal Beach is a relatively small shelter. It’s a no-kill facility, so their turnover isn’t all that great. When I checked the website, they had about 15 dogs in their “available to adopt” que. I skipped past the Chihuahuas and the fox terrier. I ignored the Dachshund and stopped only briefly at the Cocker, even though I had had one as a boy. (In one of

Street and shop, dine and indulge this season! Dede Rossi BSBA Executive Director

Thanks For Caring

To The Editor,

It’s that time of the year again — time for holiday parties, of giving thanks to the ones we work with and have worked for the entire year. The time to be merry for the present, grateful for the past and hopeful for the future! Last night was Seaside Printings Holiday Party and toy drive for needy. Mark and Lisa Co-

her wistful imaginings, Maria had made it clear Cockers weren’t big enough.) I was ready to get back to work when I saw the last entry. It was a dog named — you guessed it — Tiger. He was listed as a shepherd-lab mix. The original owners apparently named him Tiger because there is a hint of stripes in his brindle coat. The dog had been born — you guessed it again — in December 2010. He had been at the animal shelter for about six months, given up mainly because the original owners couldn’t keep both the puppies and the mom. Maria and I visited Friday afternoon. I have seldom met a dog with a more loving, willing-toplease temperment. They said he was a year old, but he still acted like a puppy — something pretty incredible when you realize he’d spent half of his life in a 5’ by 15’ kennel. That says all sorts of good things about how SBAC cares for its charges. Long story short, we came back the next day with Sassy for a meet-and-greet, and ended up taking Tiger — now officially Tiger Too — home with us. Christmas cheer has been reestablished in the Saltzgaver home. Tiger loves to play, sleeps sprawled all over the sofa just like Tiger One did, and does just enough bad stuff to remind us he’s a pup. I’m smiling. And I’m not too terribly sorry that I’m just a touch sentimental. God bless us, every one.

chrane were the most gracious hosts to city dignitaries from Gary DeLong to the Long Beach Symphony (a longtime client), employees, friends, business associates and even pro-bono clients. It was magical evening — the mood was merry, the food was great and the wine was abundant. On everyone lips were praises for Mark’s generosity towards everyone. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark through my volunteer work for Christian Outreach in Ac(Continued on Page 3A)

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 3A

(Continued from Page 2A)

tion, a nondenominational multicultural organization that assists low income and homeless people in Long Beach. Mark printed our beautiful pamphlets and programs for our annual fundraiser, free of charge. Seaside Printing, a company that has served Long Beach for more than 60 years and where employees are treated like family, is not only a model printer, but a model of generosity and selflessness. It is unfortunate that they were a victim of cost cutting and lost the city of Long Beach endorsement. A company that has done much for so many Long Beach causes and continues to do so in spite of difficult economic times deserves the support of the community it serves. As we are entering the season of reflection, gratitude and hopefulness, let’s not forget to give thanks to the ones that give without asking for anything in return. Happy Holidays Mark and Lisa, and thank you from the bottom of our heart! N. Simionescue-Robinson

your “Salt” in today’s (Dec. 15) paper: To suggest that a public demonstration of prayer by an athlete is less offensive than “players who pound their chests...” is not much of a defense, with all due respect. Both demonstrations strike me as vulgar in that they extravagantly draw attention to oneself and proclaim a higher status. If the chest beater is egotistical, the jock who strikes an “attitude of prayer after a good play” is sanctimonious. And how do you know what he (or she) is praying for? It could very well be for self-aggrandizement. Moreover, I doubt that the overtly pious athlete just wants to thank God for a good play; I suspect he wants to be seen giving thanks for a good play, and there is a very big difference.

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There is nothing stopping an athlete or anyone else from privately and silently giving thanks. If there is a god, he’ll appreciate it without the pose. Harry Gordon Long Beach

School Of Success

To The Editor,

I stopped in for some takeout on the way home yesterday and ran into an old friend. He had started about 10 years ahead of us, and he informed me yesterday that his middle daughter was on break from her first semester at Princeton. What fine school had prepared her for this educational opportunity? An experimental high school set up by the Long Beach Unified School District on the campus of California State University,

Dominguez Hills, primarily to serve under-privileged children, who having shown academic promise but had fallen prey to the medieval process of semi-indentured servitude — where children can’t go to school because the illness of a sibling forces them to stay home as a babysitter as parents must work at all costs. It was LBUSD CAMS that had

prepared this child for Princeton — coincidentally one of 17 universities that had offered her admission. The entire nation should be studying LBUSD’s CAMS and the so called “Tea Party” and Rand Paul should hide their heads in shame, dunces! Reggie Akpatka Belmont Heights

PAGE 4A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Rose Park Concerned About Crime By Jonathan Van Dyke STAFF WRITER

A string of crimes — most recently a stabbing — within the Rose Park Neighborhood Association’s boundaries has residents looking for solutions. The Long Beach Police Department was called at 11:55 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, to the area of Eighth Street and Dawson Avenue, said Lisa Massacani, LBPD public information officer. Officers discovered that there was an attempted robbery and stabbing in the area. An investigation found that a male victim was approached by an unknown suspect, and when he attempted to run away from the robber, he was stabbed with a sharp instrument in the upper torso. The victim was taken to a local hospital with non-lifethreatening injuries. Anyone with information on the incident can call LBPD Detective Steve Trentini at 570-7464. Anonymous tips can be left through The incident stirred up the board of the Rose Park Neighborhood Association, said Emily Stevens, board president. “We’re pretty shocked at the level of violence near Rose Park,” she said, noting several other incidents recently including an alley assault and a shooting. Because of these recent incidents, the board has begun to look into what options the association might take to help combat any crime problem, she said. Its boundaries are roughly Fourth Street, Tenth Street, Cherry Avenue and Redondo Avenue. “I think the street lighting is very poor in Rose Park, south and north,” Stevens said. “Since there doesn’t seem to be any idea that would be improved any time soon, I was looking at the idea of motion sensitive lights that could be installed on porches and landscaping.” Stevens said that any of those types of talks are very early, and the association is still looking into what the city allows for privately financed lighting, including working with Second District Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal’s office and LBPD officials. There may be grants that neighborhood members could apply for, as well, she added. “We’ve been getting emails from residents saying they are definitely interested in figuring out creative new security measures,” Stevens said. Also, the Rose Park Neighborhood Association is considering a neighborhood watch program, even if only on a basic level. “It’d be more about getting to know your neighbors and watching out for each other’s respective properties,” Stevens said. “Our neighbors are not causing problems, but we have people passing through who might be.” Anyone interested in becoming a part of the Rose Park security discussion can email info@

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 5A

Little Miss Santa Paws

—Photo courtesy of Jim Woods

Sanaia Meneses, Little Miss Southern California Cities 2012, helped distribute treats and toys to the animals Saturday at the Long Beach Animal Shelter as part of Operation Santa Paws.

City Sees Holiday Closures Christmas brings a three-day weekend to the Southland this year, with Christmas Day on Sunday and most of the business world taking Monday off. Long Beach City Hall will be closed Monday, as will banks, offices and the U.S. Postal Service. Trash pickup in the city will go on as scheduled, however, with the trucks running on Monday. Signal Hill city employees will get an early jump on the holiday weekend, with City Hall closing at noon Friday, Dec. 23, and not opening again until Tuesday, Dec. 27. Seal Beach is the place to be this holiday season, though. City operations will shut down Friday

morning, Dec. 23, and will not reopen until Tuesday, Jan. 3. No street sweeping will take place on Dec. 26 or Jan. 2 (Long Beach doesn’t sweep streets on Mondays). All three cities will keep all emergency services, police and fire, in full operation. Long Beach and Signal Hill will follow the same schedules for the New Year’s weekend. The Gazette Newspapers office will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, and Jan. 2, and the crew might just sneak out a little early on Friday. But newspaper deliveries will continue on a regular schedule. Have a Merry Christmas. —Harry Saltzgaver

Page 6A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Split Council Kills Second+PCH Project By Harry Saltzgaver Executive Editor

A development called Second+PCH died late Tuesday night on a single 5-3 vote of the Long Beach City Council. That vote came after a hearing lasting more than five hours and a

four-year effort by developer David Malmuth and landowners Ray and Amy Lin to gain approval of a proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the SeaPort Marina Hotel site at the corner of Second Street and Pacific Coast Highway. Another four-year effort involving

Lennar Homes preceded that process. A call to revisit and update the entire SEADIP (Southeast Area Development and Improvement Plan) governing zoning in that part of Long Beach rather than allow zoning amendments and conditional use permits for the Second+PCH project surfaced frequently during the hearing. That push gained momentum when representatives from Lyons Communities — a development company with projects in Long Beach that purchased the “Pumpkin Patch” property across Pacific Coast Highway from the proposed development — said it would be willing to finance that process. Tim Peone, the attorney representing Lyons, said his client opposed the Second+PCH project because of its traffic impacts and the reality that, if that project was approved, future projects would find it even harder to mitigate increasing traffic.

“The traffic mitigation would then be dumped on other area landowners,” Peone said. “We’re not objecting to any part of this project, but we do believe that any comprehensive plan must include Second+PCH.” The council conducted the hearing to rule on appeals of Planning Commission approval of the proposed development as well as recommendations from the Planning Commission to amend the subarea zoning and the Local Coastal Plan to allow the development. The commission had approved the Environmental Impact Report and the development plan in two hearings on Oct. 12 and Nov. 17. At issue was a project to replace the SeaPort Marina Hotel with a mixed-use development including 275 residences, a 100-room hotel with related restaurant and meeting uses, 155,000 square feet of retail space and 20,000 square feet of separate retail space. That project is smaller than originally proposed. However, it still in-

cludes one 12-story tall building and another six-story building. Opponents argued against the building height and density as antithetical to the SEADIP approach to the area as well as traffic impacts and the potential impact to the Los Cerritos Wetlands. Proponents said that the redevelopment would create jobs, a needed high-end gateway to the city and remove an eyesore of a property. Gary DeLong, the Third District City Councilman, said he strongly supported doing something on the property, although he would personally have preferred a smaller project. He said he agreed SEADIP needed to be revised (he attempted to start a study several years ago, but it failed for lack of money), but said it was time to act. “This is one of the most, if not the most, difficult decisions I’ve had to make as a council member,” DeLong said. “I do know that this land is long overdue to be developed. We can’t continue to kick the can down the road. We can continue to do studies in search of the perfect project forever … but I absolutely plan to support something tonight to move this forward.” Appellants, including Mel Nutter, a former Coastal Commission chairman and the attorney representing the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, spent an hour detailing their objections, then public comment took up another two hours. “We want to have a comprehensive plan,” Mayor Bob Foster said before the council vote, “but we have to go with an up or down (Continued on Page7A)

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 7A

CVB Coordinates Meals For McDonald House By Ashleigh Oldland Editor

It’s been a good holiday season for Long Beach’s Ronald McDonald House, which hosted a grand opening earlier this month and now can celebrate an early Christmas present: Meals for nearly the entire upcoming year. Members of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) have committed to provide evening meals for more than 300 nights in 2012. It’s a welcome gift for families staying at the newly remodeled facility — at least one less thing to worry about while their seriously ill children receive care at Miller Children’s and oth-

er area hospitals. “We put a call out to our members, asking if they might consider doing a donation once a month,” said Barbi Mason-Ajemian, vice president of convention services and membership for the CVB. “There will be an average of 30 people to feed, and it’s easy to send over trays of food and things that can be reheated... It’s relatively easy to do and low cost, and this is something so special and wonderful for folks who are in the tragic situation of having a child suffering from an illness.” Mason-Ajemian said she hopes the monthly donations from CVB

Second+PCH (Continued from Page 6A)

vote on this project. This is a really crummy process. No matter what happens, someone is going to be seriously damaged here.” DeLong made the motion to approve the plan. When City Clerk Larry Herrera said, “The motion fails, 5-3,” there was stunned silence from both sides. First District Councilman Robert Garcia and Eighth District Councilwoman Rae Gabelich voted yes with DeLong. Voting no were Suja Lowenthal (Second), Patrick O’Donnell (Fourth), Gerrie Schipske (Fifth), Dee Andrews (Sixth) and Steve Neal (Ninth). A second vote, whether to certify the EIR as adequate, failed 4-4, with O’Donnell switching to a yes vote. A final vote, to seek an expedited plan to update SEADIP with a report back in 60 days, passed unanimously.

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participants can be supported for years to come. More than 30 CVB members, including area restaurants, catering companies, hotels and attractions, agreed to cover one day each month or each quarter to provide a dinner for Ronald McDonald House residents. McKenna’s on the Bay general manager John Morris said it was easy for him to say yes to CVB President and CEO Steve Goodling, when asked to help the cause. The growing list of CVB participants donating food or volunteering to cook meals includes: SAVOR (SMG) Food & Bever-

age, Hyatt Regency Long Beach, Hotel AVIA, The Queen Mary, Westin Long Beach, Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, Residence Inn South Waterfront, Courtyard by Marriott, George’s Greek Cafe, McKenna’s on the Bay, Auld Dubliner, Legends Sports Bar, Kavikas, La Traviata – Act II, Crème de la Crepe, Rock Bottom Brewery, La Strada, Buono’s Pizzeria, Taco Beach, Sgt. Pepper’s Dueling Piano Café, Tantalum Restaurant, Gladstone’s, KDB Long Beach, Hotel Maya, Hilton

Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, Long Beach CVB, Aquarium of the Pacific, Simmzy’s, Parker’s Lighthouse and Long Beach Marriott. Even with these meal donations, the Ronald McDonald House’s operating expenses will be about $1 million annually, which means donations and volunteers are needed regularly. Details about “housewarming gifts” and continuing opportunities to support the cause are available at

PAGE 8A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Vinson Receives 155 Years For Ross Murder By Jonathan Van Dyke STAFF WRITER

Tom Love Vinson was given a 155 years-to-life sentence Monday for the murder of Wilson High School student Melody Ross, after a judge denied the defense’s request for a retrial last week. Vinson, 18, of Bellflower, ul-

timately was convicted of one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter. The jury also found true special allegations that Vinson personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he committed those crimes to

further a street gang. “The big thing is for the family to be able to close this chapter, if I can say anything is good in this tragic situation,” Deputy District Attorney Dean Bengston of the Hardcore Gang Division said Thursday. “Each time a court case comes up on the calendar, it

is very difficult for family members.” Superior Court Judge Mark Kim noted the fact that the victims were particularly vulnerable, that there was a threat of great violence and that there was a great threat to bodily harm before he pronounced the sentencing that ultimately added up to the 155-plus years. Public Defender Alan Nakasone had asked, due to his client’s age at the time of the shooting, that Vinson receive a sentencing where he could be paroled at some point in his life. Before that, Ross’s father, Vanareth, flanked by her mother Chantha, made a statement from the family. “For us, Melody is more than life,” he said. “She was so special, and she has a special place in our hearts… There has not been a day (since the shooting) that we have not lived in pain.” Vinson and Daivion Davis were arrested five days after an Oct. 30, 2009, shooting of then 16-yearold Ross — who was a sophomore and an honor student at the time of her death. Davis, 17, of Long Beach pleaded no contest on Aug. 5 to an amended count of manslaughter and to one count of attempted murder. He was sentenced to eight years and four months in juvenile custody. During his final statement to the court Monday, Vinson apologized to all of Ross’s friends and family members. He lamented that as a 16-year-old at the time of the shooting, how difficult it was to be part of such a violent gang world that led to the shooting during a football game he just wanted to enjoy and have fun at like everyone else. “I’m very remorseful for what happened,” he said. “If I could, I would lay my life

down for hers (Ross’s).” The shooting took place at about 10 p.m. the night of Wilson High School’s homecoming football game against Poly High School. Students had congregated near the intersection of Ximeno Avenue and Seventh Street when Vinson shot into the crowd. Ross was found slumped against a car with a gunshot wound to the abdomen — eventually succumbing to the injury. Two rival gang members (ages 18 and 20 then) were found nearby shortly after the incident with gunshot wounds — believed to be Vinson’s actual targets. Last Thursday, Kim denied a request by Nakasone for a retrial. During Vinson’s sentencing on Oct. 25, Brad Van showed up to the court. He was one of two gang members that Vinson shot at. Van testified and denied most of what he originally told homicide detectives. Previously, he had been subpoenaed to testify, but had failed to show for trial. “What Brad said was rather incredible and didn’t help the defense anyway,” Bengston said. “He did change his story from what he told homicide detectives. And some of the things he talked about — one example is he said he didn’t know anything about the trial, or that it was happening, or that (Oct. 25) was the day for sentencing. He said he just wandered in and it happened to be the day of sentencing.” Davis and many other witnesses testified against the notion that any gun was pulled besides the one from Vinson. There was however, a single gun found on one of the two rival gang members when they were found later that night by police officers. Nakasone filed papers and a request for an appeal on Monday.

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 9A

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—Gazette photo by William Johnson

This young shepherd gets up close with a llama at a nativity scene last weekend put on by Heights United Methodist Church.

Montana Man Sentenced In Financial Murder Case A Montana man was sentenced to life for the murder of a former radio disc jockey, whose body was found floating in the ocean off of Catalina Island in 2006. Long Beach Superior Court Judge Mark Kim sentenced 60-year-old Harvey Morrow of Montana to serve 25 years to life in prison for the first-degree murder of Steven Bailey Williams, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said. Morrow was convicted Nov. 9 for fatally shooting 59-year-old Williams. The jury also found true the special circumstance of murder for financial gain. Williams was a disc jockey on the “Steven B. and The Hawk” morning show on the Denver radio station KBPI in the early 1980s. He met Morrow, who introduced himself as a retired investment banker, in 2003. According to McKinney, Morrow offered to set up investments for Williams to help manage a $2 million estate that he and his sister had inherited. Then, Morrow moved in with Williams in the Corona del Mar home owned by Williams’ father. He sold the home in January 2004 and turned over about $1.8 million to Morrow for investing. Shortly after that, the two moved to San Pedro and lived together until early 2006. McKinney said Williams became suspicious that Morrow was stealing money from the accounts he set up and told friends

he was going to confront Morrow. He added that Morrow spent the $1.8 million in stolen money refurbishing his own rundown yacht. According to the prosecuting team, cell phone and GPS records placed both men on Morrow’s yacht on May 4, 2006. McKinney said Williams was shot once in the back of the head and his body was found floating six miles off Catalina Island on May 18, 2006. Morrow was arrested working as a used car salesman in Great Falls, Mont.


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December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 11A

Education Institutions Braced For Trigger By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer

After Gov. Jerry Brown pulled a $1 billion midyear “trigger” cut on California’s public education last week, Long Beach’s three levels of education were mostly prepared for the reductions in store for them. The trigger cut was set as a precaution for the state if it did not meet its projected revenue level. While California’s revenue did rise, it was still $2.2 billion below projections — not enough to stave off the mid-level trigger cut, according to Brown. Higher education took the biggest hit, with California State University, Long Beach’s share of the cut estimated at $7.7 million. CSULB officials said they anticipated this midyear slash, and planned the budget around it to avoid any major reductions to services. “For the current fiscal year 2011-12, this repayment to the state will come from limited re-

serves that we have carefully set aside in anticipation of a midyear reduction,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “This means that there are no further planned reductions to division operating budgets for the remainder of 2011-12. We had hoped to use these same reserve funds, however, to complete seismic repairs, ADA upgrades and to update classrooms.” Alexander added that he will work to plan for an additional $7.7 million reduction and the likely possibility that CSULB will run short of restoration dollars in the next school year. The trigger also hit California’s community colleges, and Long Beach City College faced a $2 million reduction, according to LBCC spokesman Robert Garcia. LBCC planned ahead for the cut, and will not remove any programs or services from its campus this year, although the 2012-13

State Of LBCC Address Set Jan. 6 The State of the College Address is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, in the Long Beach City College Hall of Champions Gymnasium. Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley will deliver the ad-

dress. There will be a luncheon before the address. RSVP to 9384123 or by email to rsvpsoc@ The Hall of Champions Gymnasium is on Faculty Avenue south of Carson Street. Free parking is at Veterans Stadium.

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school year remains uncertain. “We are disappointed that the state will impose further cuts to Long Beach City College. Fortunately, the college has anticipated these reductions and will be able to absorb them in our budget without any additional cuts in courses or services in the spring semester,” said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, president of LBCC. At the K-12 level, $328 million was taken from schools across the state, with Long Beach Unified School District absorbing $4.2 million of that. “LBUSD could have lost as much as $24 million under the plan,” said LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou. He added that the district is able to absorb the cuts by using its reserves to get through the rest of the year. Out of the $4.2 million, $3.3 million will be taken from transportation funds, but school busing will continue through the end of this year. The school board will need to reexamine transportation expenditures for the coming years.

Page 12A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Postal Service Eyes Redondo Station Closure By Harry Saltzgaver Executive Editor

It won’t happen until the middle of next year, but it appears likely that the U.S. Postal Service will be closing the mail processing center on Redondo Avenue in Long Beach. Long Beach’s distribution center has been on the USPS bud-

get-cutting list for some time. In fact, sorting of outgoing mail for the area was transferred in 2009 to the Santa Ana Processing and Distribution Center. A public meeting took place Friday about potentially closing the center completely and processing mail coming into Long Beach at the Santa Ana facility.

While local officials and residents rallied to support the center, the larger budget issues facing the Postal Service may have sealed the center’s fate. “This decision will coincide with the national restructuring of our services,” said Richard Maher. USPS spokesman for Southern California. “Right now, the

standard for first class delivery is overnight. With the restructuring, we’re looking at everything being two or three days.” Overnight delivery of Southern California mail requires the use of more regional centers like Long Beach, Maher said. But the steep decline in volume of first class mail — first class mail has

declined by 36% in the last five years — means there is too much mail sorting capacity to justify. Nationally, the Postal Service has proposed cutting up to $3 billion a year, largely by consolidating up to 250 processing facilities, reducing mail processing equipment by up to 50% and eliminating up to 35,000 jobs. “We are forced to face a new reality today,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a release. “… With the dramatic decline in mail volume and the resulting excess capacity, maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic.” While the Redondo station is but one piece in a much larger national puzzle to the U.S. Postal Service, it is of critical interest to Long Beach officials, according to Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske. The center is in her council district. “Once again, the U.S. Postal Service threatens to remove more than 600 jobs remaining at the Mail Processing Center at Redondo Avenue,” she said. “This will be a great loss to Long Beach — which hardly can sustain losing more jobs. It will also present an inconvenience to postal customers, especially businesses, who would be required to utilize Santa Ana or Los Angeles mail processing facilities for bulk mail.” Maher said that no closures of local post offices are being stud(Continued on Page 13A)

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 13A


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This Cocker Spaniel was among hundreds on display last weekend at the Dog Hair ‘n Egg Nog Classic Dog Show at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Postal (Continued from Page 12A)

ied at this time. But Signal Hill Mayor Larry Forester noted that the small city’s own zip code, won just a few years ago, is centered on the Redondo facility. There’s no indication that the Postal Service would take that Zip Code away, however. Since 2006, Maher said the USPS has reduced its workforce by 200,000 people without being forced to resort to layoffs. “We were able to reduce through attrition,” he said. “And more than half of our employees are eligible to retire now. But if we do close all (of the distribution centers being studied), we couldn’t do that. It would likely mean layoffs.” Maher said the study started in September, and will continue to take public comment through Dec. 30. No action will be taken until May 15, he said. Comments can be sent to Manager of Consumer and Industry Contact, Santa Ana District, 3101 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92799.



Page 14A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 15A

Page 16A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

—Gazette photos by Kevin Oules

WELL LIT. Charlie Brown and a slide, left, helped take the Originality award for Naples homes. Rowers, top, were popular during the Naples Boat Parade Saturday night.

Naples Homes With Best Lights Awarded By Kurt A. Eichsteadt Editorial Assistant

The Naples Improvement Association has announced the winners in both the house and business holiday decoration contests. This year’s theme was “TV Land Holidays.” Plaques will be presented to the winners at the

NIA Installation Banquet Jan. 18 at the Long Beach Yacht Club. The home winners and categories are: Sweepstakes, 5928-5952 Appian Way; Animation, Hal Penke, 6004 Appian Way; Award of Excellence, Vic Irwin and Barbara Jordon, 18 Rivo Alto Canal; Beauty, Sandy and Bill Davidson,

31 The Colonnade; Best Window Display, Howard and Janie Davis, 93 Vista Del Golfo; Craftsmanship, Loren and Linda Perez, 162 Rivo Alto Canal; Creative, The Molina Family, 5668 Naples Canal; Design, Dave and Su Erickson, 5680 Naples Canal; Fantasy, Mort and Margaret Kern, 61 Via di Roma; Heritage, Nancy and Hank Eisner, 5652 Naples Canal; Humor, Jimmy Koffel, 215 Angelo Walk; Imagination, Lynn Gesner, 212 Rivo Alto Canal; Judges Award of Merit, Mike and Lynette Jordan, 106 Rivo Alto Canal; Lights, Linda Schoen and John Cameron, 5607 Naples Canal; Newcomer, Cheryl Ingram, 73 Rivo Alto Canal; Originality, Linda Colley, 5595 St. Irmo; Patriotic, Emmett and Patti Clark, 183 Rivo Alto Canal; Theme, Buster and Emily Schwab, 166 Rivo Alto Canal; Yard Display, The Poe Family, 202 Rivo Alto Canal. (Continued on Page 17A)

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 17A

—Gazette photos by Kevin Oules

HOLIDAY TRADITION. The General Lee, above, explored TV Land while the Gesner home, below, took the Imagination trophy.

Home Lights

(Continued from Page 16A) Block awards went to 167-215 Rivo Alto Canal, Excellence; 5928-5952 Appian Way (Theme) and 31-41 Rivo Alto Canal (Use of Lights). Naples Business Holiday Award Winners are: Animation, Vaught’s Yachts, 5866 Naples Plaza; Beauty, Ruth Waters, 5606 E. Second St.; Creative, Oggi Domani Salon, 5870 Naples Plaza; Design, Bella’s, 5852 E. Second St., Excellence, Michael’s on Naples, 5620 E. Second St. and Michael’s Pizzaria, 5616 E. Sec-

ond St.; Fantasy, Edward Jones Investment, 5538 E. Second St.; Humor, K.C. Branaghan’s Pub, 5734 E. Second St.; Imagination, State Farm, 5622-24 E. Second St.; Merit, Sweet Peas, 5918 Naples Plaza and Nico’s, 5760 E. Second St. and Executive Fitness, 5708 E. Second St; Spirit, Big Daddy’s Cigars, 5844 E. Second St.;Sweepstakes, Naples Rib Company, 5800 E. Second St.; Theme, Naples Fitness, 5542 E. Second St.; Use of Lights, Russo’s Restaurant, 5856 E. Naples Plaza; and Windows Display, Meggie Lou and Brothers Too, 5520 E. Naples Plaza.

Page 18A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Quiet Gazelle City’s Best Kept Secret By Larry Hill Restaurant Writer

Caffé Gazelle, 191 La Verne Ave., 438-5033. • Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. • Location: Caffé Gazelle is located off Second Street on La Verne. Parking is typical Belmont Shore, but there are public lots nearby.

• Food/Drinks: The menu is Italian, perhaps more authentic than most. Appetizers include bruschetta, crostini and sautéed calamari. Entrées include Chicken Normandy (chicken medallions with Calvados cream sauce), Vitello Trifolata (sliced veal in brandy cream sauce), Penne Siciliana (tomatoes, capers, olives, sweet onions and anchovies), Michel-

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angelo Pasta (spicy ham and cream), Seafood risotto and many others. Desserts are brought tableside, including chocolate hazelnut bread pudding, crème caramel, bread pudding and others. There is a brief but nicely chosen wine list. • Atmosphere: The dining room is intimate, more akin to a friend’s kitchen than a fancy eatery. • The Taste: Caffé Gazelle has been quietly serving dinner at its La Verne location for nearly 30 years. In the last few weeks, they have started serving lunches again, which they haven’t done for more than two decades. (Continued on Page 19A)

—Gazette photo by Doreen Gunness

ENJOYING A BITE. Customers of the Caffé Gazelle sit in the cozy restaurant and have some Italian food and drinks.

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 19A

(Continued from Page 18A)

Jennifer and I stopped for a midweek dinner. We knew we were in for a special evening when we were able to park immediately in front of the eatery. We sat by the window. Even though it was early in the week, the dining room was filled. At Caffé Gazelle, the food is the attraction. Jennifer ordered the Seafood Risotto and I opted at long last for the Vitello Trifolata. I say at long last because I was a breath away from Chicken Normandy with its Calvados cream sauce, a sauce I haven’t enjoyed since leaving Toronto more than 20 years ago. But I will return for that dish soon. We started with lovely dinner salads with the house dressing. The dressing was a creamy Italian but with a little spice, in fact a nice zing. The salad was excellent and we enjoyed it with the fresh warm bread. My veal was sliced in small medallions, pan fried with a flour dusting and topped with mush-

Murder Arrests The Long Beach Police Department made three arrests regarding the 2010 murder of a Long Beach 19-year-old. The LBPD was called at about 1:30 p.m., Sept. 25, 2010, to the area of 10th Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard for “shots fired.” When they arrived, they found 19-year-old Omar Brown of Long Beach, who was shot multiple times. Brown was transported to a local hospital, but succumbed to his wounds shortly thereafter. Investigators said Brown had earlier had a run-in with one of the suspects in that group, and as they approached him, he was shot in the upper torso. On Dec. 8, officers arrested 19-year-old Justin Parham, 18-year-old Byron Parham and a male juvenile who was 17 years old — all from Long Beach. Detectives said they think that there are other individuals who were with the three suspects. Anyone with further information can call LBPD Homicide detectives Hugo Cortes and Peter Lackovic at 570-7244 or go through

rooms in brandy cream. The veal was perfectly fork tender and the sauce was deeply flavored, perhaps hints of demi glace and touch of oak from the brandy. Accompanying the dish was a perfect broccoli floret and penne with Parmesan and cream. Wonderful. Jennifer has been on a rice tour of late, so she was very happy to sample the seafood risotto. It was presented in a large white bowl, deeply red, not as creamy as some, and definitely uniquely

flavored. The sauce had a distinct Eastern flavor base that was perfectly controlled. There was no confusion with a curry, but there was hint of the exotic that both of us found very interesting. We finished with a Crème Caramel that was a perfect light dessert. If I’d had a little more room, I would have had the chocolate hazelnut bread pudding. It was a truly fantastic meal. Caffé Gazelle is one of those places that I’d rather keep a secret. It is one of the best eateries in Long Beach, one that has been quietly pursuing a path of excellence for almost three decades. • Price: Lunch for two $12 to $15. Dinner for two is $25 to $35+ with a bottle of wine.

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Page 20A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 21A

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Page 22A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

City Rings In New Year With Events By Kurt A. Eichsteadt Editorial Assistant

With Christmas on Sunday, it means that New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. So if you’re planning on going out, here’s what’s going on around town. Long Beach starts the party beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday when the waterfront amphitheater will come alive with a flurry of activities and roaming performers, including magicians, face painters and balloon artists. Local live bands Them Novus and CPO & The SAPS will serve up family-friendly music and a trackless train will offer free rides along the esplanade between the Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Village. At 9 p.m., the sky will come alive for an East Coast countdown with a 10-minute fireworks spectacular from Rainbow Harbor’s lighthouse peninsula. Don’t miss the final hour of live music as families welcome the New Year together. New Year’s Eve downtown gets started at 7 p.m. at Pine Avenue

Happy Holidays

and Broadway. Live music will be provided by Wayward Sons and Love Fool. In addition to the music, there will be five outdoor bars offering food and beverages throughout the evening. Advance tickets are $10, with a limited special discount package including VIP Parking and two tickets available for $27. Advance tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. Dec. 28 at www.downtownlongbeach. org. Tickets are $15 at the door. The event is sponsored by Downtown Long Beach Associates. Buster’s has two parties for the price of one: a DJ and a live band. The package also includes one hour of an open bar (7-8 p.m.), a four-course dinner, a Champagne toast and party favors. It’s $49.95 plus tax and tip. Call 598-9431. Buster’s Beach House and Longboard Bar is located at 168 N. Marina Dr. Don the Beachcomber has three choices on New Year’s Eve, starting with Slacktone in the Dagger Bar with no cover. Dinner will be served in the Long-

board Room along with music by the Robby Armstrong Band for $49.95. And 747 will be performing live starting at 8 p.m. for $30 presale, which includes a buffet. For details and reservations, call 592-1321 or visit Don the Beachcomber is at 16278 PCH in Huntington Beach. Fuego at the Hotel Maya, 700 Queensway Dr., has a variety of choices for New Year’s Eve partying. Options include the fivecourse dinner package for $100, a $150 package that includes dinner and reserved seating for the fireworks and a $40 option for hors d’oeuvres from 9 to 11 p.m. and non-reserved seating for the fireworks. Also available will be VIP sections starting at $150 per person. For more information and reservations, call 435-7676 or visit The Gaslamp will serve a special four-course prix-fixe meal on New Year’s Eve. For prices and (Continued on Page 23A)

NEW YEAR’S EVE New Year (Continued from Page 22A)

reservations, call 596-4718. The Gaslamp is at 6251 E. PCH. There will be two seatings for My Big Fat Greek New Year’s Eve Party at the three locations of George’s Greek Café. The price for 5 p.m. is $35 and 9 p.m. is $45. Late seating includes live music, dancing party favors and a balloon drop. All reservations must be prepaid. Visit or call Belmont Shore (433-1755), Downtown (437-1184) or Lakewood (5295800). Gladstone’s offer an excellent view of the waterfront fireworks, scheduled this year at both 9 p.m. and midnight. For reservations, call 432-8588. Gladstone’s is at 330 S. Pine Ave. in the Pike. “The Ball,” a dress-up event, begins at 7 p.m. at The Grand, 4101 E. Willow St. For ticket prices or details, visit Reggae and Calypso Band Upstream provides the music for the celebration starting at 8 p.m. at Kobe Steakhouse and Lounge, 3001 Old Ranch Parkway in Seal Beach. 596-9969. Admission is $25 and packages for two that include a five-course dinner start at $100. Call 596-9969. Steve Oliver provides the music for dinner and dancing start-

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 23A

ing at 6 p.m. at La Palapa, 4020 Olympic Plaza (near the pool). The price of $59.95 per person includes a four-course dinner, champagne toast, party favors and music. Call 433-5702. The Paradise serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when they switch over to their regular menu along with their $29 New Year’s Eve Special, Prime Rib. They’ll have the same schedule New Year’s Day, except the special is Prime Rib and Shrimp Scampi Linguini for $26. For reservations, call 590-8733. Both the Queensville Steakhouse and the main dining room will be open at Parkers’ Lighthouse, 435 Shoreline Dr. The steakhouse will serve a fourcourse prix fixe dinner starting at 6 p.m., backed up by live jazz from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. It’s $85 per person. The main dining room will serve lunch off the regular menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 11 p.m. Dinner can be either a three-course prix fixe for $60 or the regular menu. Reservations are required at both the steakhouse and the main dining room. Call 432-6500. New Year’s Eve at the Prospector means dinner specials from 3 to 11 p.m. and live ‘80s Karaoke with Mister Miyagi from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dinner specials are Prime Rib ($14.99) and NY Steak and Lobster for $22.99. Reserva-

tions are available (438-3839) and walk-ins are welcome. They’ll also have breakfast starting at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day. The Prospector is at 2400 E. Seventh St. The Queen Mary is hosting its annual celebration with seven parties and two fireworks displays

(at 9 p.m. and midnight). Music ranges from the ’70s and ’80s to Top 40. In addition to DJs, there will be live music from Mini Driver Band, Early McCallister Jazz Trio, Brian Kehlenbach, Jenifer Hart, Boogie Wonderland, Hollywood Squares and more. Tickets are $99. VIP ($199) and

room packages (starting at $579 per couple) are available. Call (800) 437-2934 or visit www. Also on the Queen Mary, with a separate admission charge, is a Brazilian-style New Year’s Eve starting at 8 p.m. Performers in(Continued on Page 25A)

Page 24A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 25A



Spectacular Events presents its annual alcohol-free Christian Singles New Year’s Eve Party starting at 9 p.m. in the student union at Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd. in Fullerton. Admission is $39 in advance and $50 at the door. To RSVP, call (714) 622-4002 or visit www.

—Gazette photo by William Johnson

Santa Claus and other judges taste cookies prepared Saturday for Justin Rudd’s Long Beach Christmas Cookie Contest.

New Year (Continued from Page 23A)

clude the Marcos Ariel Quartet and Joany’s Samba Show and DJ Chris Brasil. A Brazilian dinner buffet will be catered by Silvio Brazilian BBQ. Those attending also can enjoy both fireworks displays at the Queen Mary.For tickets and more information, visit The Sky Room has two seatings on New Year’s Eve: 5-8 p.m. ($79) and 9 p.m.-1 a.m. ($159). Both seatings feature entrée choices of Chilean Sea Bass, Butter Poached Lobster and Prime Filet Mignon. Visit, or call 987-2703. Utopia has a New Year’s Eve package available from 5 until midnight. It’s a five-course meal

with entrée choices of Grilled Filet Mignon, Grilled Salmon, Mushroom Ravioli and more. It’s $69.96. They’ll also be serving their regular menu from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be live music all evening. Utopia is at 445 E. First St. For reservations, call 4326888 or visit The Yard House has a no reservations policy on New Year’s Eve, which means people can stop by on their way out, on their way home or spend the evening. They’ll open at 11 a.m. and serve their regular menu along with hats, horns and a beer toast. The Yard House also has an extensive take-out menu and requires only a three-hour notice. Call 628-0455. The Yard House is at 401 Shoreline Dr.

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Monday-Friday 12pm-9:30pm • Saturday 5pm-10pm • CLOSED SUNDAY It’s a New Year’s party for seniors from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Willow St. For $5, all seniors in the community are invited to enjoy appetizers, champagne, party hats and music by the Pizarro Brothers.

On Jan. 2, the Long Beach Senior Center invites everyone to watch the Rose Bowl starting at 1:30 p.m. It’s free, but there will be a charge for refreshments. Please register in advance by calling 570-3500. The Long Beach Senior Center is at 1150 E. Fourth St.

PAGE 26A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Lost Art Of Storytelling Returns To City By Jonathan Van Dyke STAFF WRITER

During each season of this year, the lost art of storytelling has been on full display at the Long Beach Playhouse, and next week will

bring out the best from the entire series, organizers said. Long Beach Searches for the Greatest Storyteller in the 562 is a series where city residents have been asked to take the stage

at each event and entertain the crowd with a true story. The best of the first three programs will be back for the year’s finale on Dec. 29. “This is where reality takes the mind,” said Mariana Williams, storyteller and creator of the event. “Everyone likes reality television, and instead of being a more scripted comedy or music act, this format allows for great spontaneity.” The six winners from three previous programs were Joey Low, Bobby Lux, Pam Hummel, Jeanie Frais, Jared Wilson and Hitoshi Hosada. They each will be performing a six-minute true story about something extraordinary that has happened to them, Williams said. “The whole audience votes for the winner — that’s the real fun

WHAT: Long Beach Searches for the Greatest Storyteller WHEN: 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 29 WHERE: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St. COST: $5 cover

part,” she said. “Each person gets one vote for their favorite story and then a special judges panel each have a vote that equals five audience votes.” That judges panel will include Naples Improvement Association President Jonathan Schnack, Grunion Gazette Executive Editor Harry Saltzgaver, Belmont Music Studio owner John Capito and special guest Alan “Big Red” Kalter — the announcer from “The

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Late Show with David Letterman.” The winner of the event will receive $100 in prize money from Belmont Music Studios. Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter Paul Williams — who is a Wilson High School graduate — will start the event. “He is on hand to kick the evening off with the first story,” Williams said. “He’s going to talk about working with Pat McCormick and Raquel Welch. He has a couple of really great showbiz stories.” Williams said the seasonal event has garnered a great reception from the community, and many people have enjoyed performing, or just being a part of a lively audience. “We hope to continue it next year,” she said. “We’re recognizing that a lot of people want to connect on a more personal level, and not just tune into the computer and zone out. People are enjoying this.” For more information, visit

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 27A

Greek Group Reaches Out To Female Veterans By Ashleigh Oldland

“We just have a soft spot for female veterans, and for all the vets,” she said. “We feel they deserve better… Particularly with the female veterans, women un-



That pleasant cacophony that can only come from women mingling with other women permeated Long Beach Assumption Church Hall last Friday as the Philoptochos ladies group welcomed 50 female military veterans to a Christmas luncheon. Bobbie Soupos, president of the Long Beach Philoptochos, helped organize the inaugural event, which Soupos said she hopes to turn into an annual tradition that might spread to other Philoptochos organizations countrywide. The Greek word “Philoptochos” translates to “friends of the poor,” and the church group hosts events year-round to assist members of the church as well as others in the community. Friday was the first time the Philoptochos hosted an event geared toward female military veterans, and Soupos said part of what makes the event special is that it is a group of women helping other women in the community. Philoptochos members prepared gift baskets and prizes for the vets as well as a holiday meal with traditional Greek foods. Veteran Theresa Smith, 39, who served in the Army as a cook for seven years, sat at a table with other veterans where there was a clear view of the Christmas tree and fireplace. The veterans each received a handmade chocolate Christmas tree cookie and were seated at tables covered in green and red linens. “I love Greek food,” Smith said. “This is just a fantastic thing for the church to do.” Smith, who speaks fluent German and is looking for secretarial work, said it was nice to spend time at a function designed by women for women. “It’s more intimate and relaxing,” she said. “We are all here to support one another.” Lori Katz, a psychologist and director of the women’s mental health center at the Veterans Affairs Hospital of Long Beach, helped coordinate the event. Katz has spent more than two decades working with veterans, and said events that honor the veterans are always appreciated. “It’s so nice to have a holiday party for these women,” she said, while Christmas music played








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softly in the background. “Some of them are homeless, and for many, the hospital and other veterans are their family.” Katz said her clinic assists more than 500 female veterans each year. The women’s mental health center was established in 2005, and the number of women in need increases each year. When members of the Philop-

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tochos approached Katz to coordinate the event, Soupos said they were all in the dark about the number of female veterans in Long Beach as well as many of the issues that face female veterans today. Soupos said hosting the event was a learning experience as well as a chance to aide other women in the community and build a sisterhood.

derstand each other and sympathize with each other.” For details about the Philoptochos, which has nearly 150 members, call 494-8929.

Page 28A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Snow Day Comes To Sunny City By Jonathan Van Dyke Staff Writer

Since snow won’t be coming from the clouds this December in Long Beach, the volunteers who help put on the festivities at Daisy Avenue will be bringing it by the truck-full to Veterans Park. “The entire Daisy program is great for Wrigley and the surrounding communities,” said Michael Clements, chief of staff for Seventh District Councilman James Johnson. “It’s wonderful to have such a wide variety of events put on by volunteers.” The Snow Day and Movie Night at Veterans Park will conclude the holiday festivities in the area, bringing in between 12 and 15 tons of the white stuff to the park. “It’s one of the largest drawing events and it is very popular

WHAT: Snow Day And Movie Night WHEN: Noon to 4:30 p.m. (5 p.m. movie), Monday, Dec. 26 WHERE: Veterans Park COST: Free with kids,” Clements said. “We’re happy it can be at Veterans Park this year.” The snow day was started three years ago, and about 100 people came, said Kris Thornton, eventchair. Last year that number had grown to more than 500, and with the new venue, organizers think it will get even bigger. “A lot of kids might have seen the snow on the distant mountains, but many haven’t ever seen snow up close and touched it,” Thornton said. “We’re looking

at shaping all those tons of snow on a natural slope at the park for inner-tubing down a hill.” Besides the snow, there will be a bounce house jumper, Frosty the Snowman and vendors passing out business information and giving out samples and food. Hot cocoa, apple cider and popcorn also will be available. Volunteers bring in bales of straw and then blow the snow over that area for about two hours to create a new winter wonderland. A little after the snow festivities have completed — at about 5 p.m. — everyone will be encouraged to go inside the park’s auditorium to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Vin Fiz Essay Winners Named Student winners of an essay contest celebrating the first transcontinental airplane flight have been announced. The contest took place to recognize the flight of the Vin Fiz, which traveled across the United States in 1911, landing in Long Beach. Students were invited to write an essay based on that history. The winners were: middle school, Colin Flaherty, St. Cyprian School, first place; 9th10th grade, Oswaldo Felix, California Academy of Math and Science, first place; Angeline Alcoriza, CMAS, second place, Okuduwa Aboiralor, CMAS, third place; 11th-12th grade, Nathan Velasquez, Wilson High, first place and Alexa Lazarus, Poly High, second place.

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 29A

—Gazette photo by Geronimo Quitoriano

ONE DAY SHOP. Takia Metoyer leaves with gifts at Better Balance for Long Beach’s One-Day Christmas Store, where families in need were able to “shop” at no cost. The event took place last Saturday at First Congregational Church.

By Kurt A. Eichsteadt Editorial Assistant

The holiday season is here and with it, opportunities to help the less fortunate. We list opportunities to get in the real spirit of the holidays. Last week, the students of Westerly School delivered more than 100 wrapped gifts to women and children at New Life Beginnings, a nonprofit shelter serving Long Beach. Donations for the Marines Toys For Tots program may be dropped off at Keller Williams Realty Los Alamitos, at 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. (behind Hof’s Hut). For more information, call 626-8600. The Long Beach Fire Depart-

ment is accepting donations of unwrapped toys, sports equipment, school supplies of gift cards along with items for teens. Donations may be dropped off at any fire station, CVS Pharmacies, City Hall or select area businesses. For more information, call 570-2519. Also underway is the Long Beach Fire Department’s Canned Food Drive. Donations may be made at all Long Beach Fire Stations during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. These donations will go to Food Finders for distribution. For the Child will be the beneficiary of Trees of Hope at McK-

enna’s on the Bay, 190 N. Marina Dr., and Fora, 5730 E. Second St. Donation opportunities start at $100 for a traditional ornament and range up to $1,000 for a tree topper. For the Child helps abused and neglected children and their families. Call 422-8471 or visit www. Contribute four non-perishable food items to Charter Cable’s Movies for Food Program between now and Dec. 31 and you’ll receive a coupon good for an On-Demand movie. Drop donations off at Charter’s office at 2310 Bellflower Blvd. The fourth annual Long Beach Community Food Drive is underway. Canned or packaged food and pet food can be donated in barrels around Long Beach. For locations, visit wwww. Goods collected between now and Dec. 31 will be distributed by Food Finders. The project is a joint effort of Food Finders, Mayor Foster, Friends of Long Beach Animals and We Love Long Beach.

Page 30A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 31A

Port Gets $17 Million To Add Rail, Reduce Trucks By Jonathan Van Dyke

ficials who lobbied for the grant money. Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-37th District) said that she and her staff were happy to help support and lobby to obtain the grant for the port, which she said was important to foster job growth in the local market. “The funding for this project will help improve efficiency, safety and capacity of on-dock rail operations, allowing a reduction in container truck traffic to and from the Port of Long Beach,” she said. “It also will help improve the efficiency of bulk cargo rail operations to and from the bulk loader on piers.” According to port officials, the Green Port Gateway project will lay down about 16,400 feet of new track. It is expected to create 340 full-time, constructionrelated jobs and it is expected to eliminate about 2.3 million truck trips on local roadways by 2035. One of the main parts of the project is adding a third track to the two already present near the

Staff Writer

A large federal grant will help relieve transportation problems and improve emissions in the area, Port of Long Beach officials announced. The Port of Long Beach was awarded a $17 million grant on Dec. 15 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Infrastructure Investments — TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) III — grants program. That money will go toward the $66 million Green Port Gateway project — which was designed to add and improve railway infrastructure for the ports. “This project will not only bring jobs, which are critical during these tough economic times, but also enhances both our region’s and the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness by improving the port’s rail system,” Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle said, adding thanks to the many local, state and national of-

710 Freeway and underneath Ocean Boulevard that go to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority. Officials said the current two-track system has been prone to bottlenecking and delays. “This new track will allevi-

ate that and keep the main tracks fluid and open all the time,” said Carlo Luzzi, port manager of rail transportation. By allowing for smoother storage and movement on those rail tracks, there will be less of a need to load cargo onto trucks and

transport that cargo to other railways — thus eliminating emissions caused by the extra truck traffic. “We’re not promoting growth necessarily, but we’re trying to handle the volume from the marine terminals,” Luzzi said.

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Page 32A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Luke’s Passion Illuminates Christ Art You’ve heard it said a thousand times, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” The truth of this adage was proven again last Sunday when Gregorio Luke appeared at

the Long Beach Playhouse. Just back from Italy (where he addressed the Florence Biennale on Mexican artist Jose Orozco), Luke’s presentation was an abso-

lute visual feast — one that could stand without verbal explanation from its world-famous lecturer. To be more specific, Luke’s latest program is based on a demanding, multi-media compilation of paintings that depict the life of Jesus as envisioned by world famous masters from Europe and the New World. In fact, the dramatic imagery in the paintings that Luke has assembled relays the Christ story on every conceivable level — and it was presented just one week before Christmas. Arranged in chronological order, they begin with the Annunciation — then, following Scripture, they visually document Jesus’s miraculous journey on earth — ending with his tragic betrayal, death and resurrection. Acknowledging that his face is the most well known image in

Western art, Luke starts with a rendering by an anonymous artist. It is followed, nonstop, by depictions of scenes from the Bible that were created by world-acclaimed painters from the earliest days of Christianity to the present. Artists include Nolde, Rouault, Siqueiros, Leonardo di Vinci and El Greco, (these two are his favorites), Rembrandt, Bosch, Tintoretto, Giotto, Reubens, Salvador Dali, Gauguin, Orozco, Caravaggio and many more that flash by to tell the pictorial story of Jesus’s life. There are well known scenes of “The Pilgrimage” or “La Posada,” also “The Nativity” (Virgin Mary and Holy Child, the manger, the Magi, the three kings, the shep-

herds and the angels), told in styles that range from realistic, classical and romantic to stylized and abstract. Other familiar subjects include “Massacre of the Innocents,” “Desecration of the Temple,” “King Herod,” “Flight from Egypt,” wandering in the wilderness and fasting for 40 days, baptism, and “The Head of John the Baptist” — many of them painted in dramatic contrasts of dark and light called chiaroscuro. When Jesus returns from the desert, the paintings portray him recruiting Peter, collecting fish, and performing three miracles: turning water into wine, walking on water, and resurrecting the dead Lazarus. The audience sits riveted throughout Luke’s cerebral/spiritual presentation, so paintings of the parables provide some recognizable, light-hearted relief. They included “No man can serve two masters,” “Judge not and you will not be judged,” “Give to others and it will be returned to you,” “Ask and you shall receive,” “Knock and the door will open,” “He who is without sin, cast the first stone,” and “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” Of course there’s “The Last Supper” (which is known throughout the world), followed by painful depictions of “The Betrayal,” “Pontius Pilate,” “Crown of Thorns,” “Road to Calvary,” and Jesus’s suffering “Crucifixion between Two Thieves.” By this time, Luke’s words have been curtailed because they are completely unnecessary. As Medieval Latin hymns fill the theater, Gregorio Luke sits in silence and allows the masterful paintings to speak for themselves. Needless to say, the audience is silent as well — until the lights go on and each person lines up to thank him sincerely and shake his hand. Take a hint: Save the dates for the last two programs in Luke’s Long Beach Playhouse schedule. An expanded “Art of Love” lecture is planned for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. And a brand new subject, “The Belly Button,” is set for Wednesday, March 21. Both start at 8 pm.

Foster Makes Appointments Mayor Bob Foster made five year-end appointments Tuesday night, including one to the Marine Advisory Commission. David Thornburg, a Third District resident, is the newest member of the MAC. The appointment is for an interim term until June 2012, when Thornburg will be eligible for a fullterm appointment. Also appointed on an interim basis is Jens Pettersson as Fourth District youth representative on the Commission on Youth and Children. Full four-year appointments to the Long Beach Public Transportation Board, were given to Maricela de Rivera, Donald First and Victor Irwin.


Students, Community Don’t Want Bullying To Continue Bullying is not an option in our community, school or even in our society. Peace Builders is helping get the word out by shooting a music video. That video was shot last weekend on the Peninsula and at Rogers Middle School. The video was based on a song by Cathy-Anne McClintock, a well-known folk singer. The story featured her daughter, Tessa McClintock, playing the part of a student victim of bullying. The young actress has no friends since her best friend moved away. Antonia Molina plays the role of a popular student who sticks up for her. “A lot of kids who are bullied every day whether it’s cyber bullying, verbal bullying or physical abuse and they are afraid to be themselves and afraid to stand up for themselves,” the younger McClintock said. “I know that once they know they are not alone in the world, there will always be someone looking out for them, we will be able to rise above the

bullies. This video can help them understand that. That’s the whole point of Peace Builders.” Bullying is a very sensitive subject. Victims can become so emotionally disturbed that they can try to kill themselves, switch schools or even move. Bullying often focuses on kids who are different. I was asked to play the bully in the video but that doesn’t mean I agree with bullying. People are not all the same and can be different in personality, or even the way they dress. There is nothing wrong with being different and sometimes I love sticking out from the crowd with the occasional cowgirl boots or army jacket. Another lesson was learned as the video was shot with 11 kids on hand. The video takes a lot of work especially since the cameramen said they had to take three different shots of the same scene. We also were reminded that we have some talented neighbors.

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 33A

The song “No Matter What,” by Cathy-Anne McClintock, is an amazing song. Cathy-Anne is a very talented singer. Her daughter Tessa is also an extraordinary singer. Even when Tessa was at a party she grabbed the piano and started playing a song and singing. Some

of my friends felt like crying she was so good. My friends were all very excited to participate in this project. “I agreed to do this because Tessa’s my friend and I thought it would be fun,” Devynn Ellis said. “I knew it would it would be

fun to do it and give back to the community,” Peter Bohn added. “I agreed to do this because I knew that maybe it could help make a difference in people and help raise awareness on bullying,” added Antonia Molina. Zoe Mena is a seventh grader at Rogers Middle School.

Page 34A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

Health & Beauty

Museum Shops Hold Great Gift Opportunities By Julian Bermudez Arts Writer

Still stumped on what gift to give your special someone this holiday season? Surprise them with a present (or two) from any of the city’s three museum gift shops. Luckily, each museum — Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA), Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) and University Art

Museum (UAM) — features a fully-stocked store filled with shopping ideas that will bring a huge smile to anyone’s face. And, if the recipient is a huge art lover, then it’s a win-win for everyone. Not only do these stores carry the traditional items such as postcards or magnets, but they also showcase fine goods worthy of any high-end retailer. MoLAA’s gift shop, for exam-

ple, offers beautiful, hand-crafted bags and baskets made by artisans from countries the museum’s collection represents. From ceramics to jewelry to an array of decorative items, this is sure bet when looking for the perfect gift. The store at LBMA features a plethora of museum-related items, such as posters and catalogues. However, the gift shop also has unique vases, jewelry and art-making items. UAM’s shop is slightly more austere, with only exhibit catalogues available for purchase. But, don’t let this dissuade you. Exhibit catalogues are all the rage right now, especially those all bearing the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” logo.

Long after the exhibits have closed, the art has returned to its owners or, worse, storage, and the buzz of this major event has ebbed, the exhibits’ catalogues will live on. The city of Long Beach gets to boast three important publications that are relatively inexpensive — ranging from $35 to $60. “Peace Press Graphics 19671987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change,” available at the UAM, highlights essays by Carol Wells and Ilene Kaplan, as well as beautifully reproduced images. MoLAA’s “MEX/L.A. ‘Mexican Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985” is an impressive dual-language (English and Spanish) encapsulation of the mu-

seum’s ambitious exhibit, filled with essays, artists’ bios and illustrations. “Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach 1974-1999” highlights LBMA’s keen focus video art as an emerging new art genre and reaffirms Long Beach’s place as an active epicenter for video art during the 1970s and ’80s. If all else fails in terms of giftfinding, then I recommend a gift membership to any one and/or all of these museums. Averaging around $50 — excluding senior, student or educator rates — museum memberships offer various fringe benefits, including store discounts, priority seating for events and other gifts. Any of these gifts will bring joy to someone’s holiday and, in turn, help spread prosperity throughout the coming year. Visit, and for hours and details.


Citibank Opens Citibank, which offers a variety of banking, lending and investment services to individuals and small businesses, has opened a branch in Belmont Shore. Replacing the Blockbuster movie rental franchise that closed earlier this year at 5354 E. Second St., Citibank opened Monday and will be hosting several events before an official grand opening party in February, said branch manager Cindy Schmidt. This Friday, Dec. 23, Citibank in Belmont Shore is providing free holiday wrapping between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to anyone who needs the service, whether or not they are Citibank clients. Next Thursday, Dec. 29, Radio Disney representatives will have a truck parked outside the bank for broadcasting. Additionally, there will be Disney games, temporary tattoos and coloring books. The bank, which has an enclosed ATM lobby, is open from

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Parking, available in the adjacent lot, is free for customers during business hours and open to the community at night. For details, visit the Citibank website or call the Belmont Shore branch at 240-2616. Getting Rolling A new retail store, Moss & Rock, opened this month at 2752 E. Broadway. Moss & Rock is an urban, contemporary boutique for men and women specializing in “classic yet eclectic, on-trend fashions for the everyday.” The store features new items as well as vintage garments, accessories and home décor. Owner Cat Madrid-Barone said she has a love for fashion that began in her teenage years — growing up in the 1990s listening to music in her room with piles of old-but-new-to-her clothes she purchased from thrift stores.

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | PAGE 35A

“That’s when my dream of owning my own store began,” she said. “I just wanted to share with people what I thought was aesthetically pleasing to hear and see — from fashion, to music and art.” Madrid-Barone said the store, which has space for musicians to play as well as space for art displays, is a great place to find

a mix of shopping and entertainment. She said the store sells complete outfits as well as items that can be mixed and matched, pairing old and new together. For details about Moss & Rock retail, concerts or art, visit www. or call 4389354. Hot Tamale! Lola’s Mexican Cuisine on Fourth Street’s Retro Row is sell-

ing holiday tamales through New Year’s Eve. Available in a variety of flavors, from sweet corn to chicken and other options, tamales are sold by the dozen or half dozen for $23.95 or $11.95 respectively. The corn tamales are homemade and lard-free. To order a batch, call 343-5506 at least two days in advance. Or, visit Lola’s at 2030 E. Fourth St.

Page 36A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 37A

City’s Holiday Events Winding Down By Kurt A. Eichsteadt Editorial Assistant

Christmas is just a couple of days away, and here are some options for ways to celebrate. The Long Beach Towne Center is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive (1-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot). The Towne Center is at 7559 Carson Blvd., at the intersection of Carson Street and the 605 Freeway. Get on the Big Red Double Decker Bus for a tour of holiday lights in Naples, Belmont Shore, Bay Shore Avenue and Belmont Heights. Santa will be on board and there will be hot chocolate and sugar cookies. One-hour tours depart at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 25. Tickets are $10, with children 3 and younger riding free. Tours start from Sababa at 6527 E. PCH in the Marketplace. Call 252-3572 or visit Buy gift cards for L’Opera and/or Alegria between now and Dec. 24 and for each $100 you purchase, you’ll receive an additional $20 gift card redeemable after Jan. 1. Stop by L’Opera at 101 Pine Ave. and Alegria at 115 Pine Ave. or call 491-0066. The Festival of Light promotion, sponsored by the Downtown Long Beach Associates, runs through Dec. 24. Check out the holiday displays in businesses downtown and vote for your favorite to be eligible to win a $100 Downtown prize package. For more information, visit www.downtwonlongbeach. org. La Traviata has a special four-course Christmas Eve dinner for $59.95 starting at 5 p.m. La Traviata is at 301 N. Cedar Ave. and their phone number is 432-8022. A Christmas Eve Prix Fixe meal will be served at Michael’s on Naples, 5620 E. Second St. It’s $65 per person. For reservations, call 439-7080. Enjoy a Christmas Eve meal at the Sky Room, 40 S. Locust St. The menu includes soup or salad, appetizer, dessert and entre choices of salmon, Lobster Risotto, Oven-Roasted Goose or Prime Filet Mignon. It’s $69 plus tax and tip. For times and reservations, call 987-2703. Utopia will be open Christmas Eve serving its regular menu and a Christmas Special. Utopia is at 445 E. First St. Their phone number is 432-6688. Don the Beachcomber will be open at 11:30 a.m. both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They’ll have live entertainment and they will serve a special

Christmas dinner until 10 p.m. featuring a choice of Prime Rib, Poached Salmon, Roasted Turkey or Smoked Duck for $24.95 per person. For reservations, call 592-1321. Don the Beachcomber is at 16278 PCH in Huntington Beach. Fuego at Hotel Maya will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. From 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, and 4 to 9 p.m. Christmas evening, they’ll have a three-course prix fix dinner for $42 per person. On Christmas Day, they’ll serve a special brunch including omelet, seafood and carving stations as well as holiday desserts and much more. Brunch is $28 for adults and $24 for children younger than 12. Reservations are encouraged; call 481-3910. Hotel Maya is at 700 Queensway Dr. The Paradise, 1800 E. Broadway, will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve, serving its regular menu and a $25 Christmas Eve Special of Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry Reduction over Parmesan and Wild Mushroom Risotto and Seasonal Vegetables. Christmas Day, they’ll serve brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when they switch to their regular menu at the $24 Christmas Day Special of Lobster Tail with Fettuchine Pasta. Call 590-8773. There are two Christmas Eve services at California Heights United Methodist Church: a 7 p.m. Family Service and an 11 p.m. service with Holy Communion. Both feature music with lots of Christmas Carols, a brief message and the lighting of Christmas candles. Cal Heights UMC is at 3759 Orange Ave. There will be a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 370 Junipero Ave. with candlelight, carols and refreshments. They’ll also host a service at 10:30 a.m. Christmas. Champagne is included in the Christmas Day Brunch served from 10 am. to 6 p.m. at Khoury’s, 110 Marina Dr. Diners can choose from an omelet and pasta station, seafood station, carving station, hot buffet station and more. It’s $29.95 for adults, $24.95 for seniors, $9.95 for ages 9-12 and $4.95 for ages 3-8. For reservations, call 598-6800. The Prospector will be serving Champagne Brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day and dinner specials from 2:30 to 9 p.m. including Turkey and Chestnut Dressing and Rack of Lamb. Walk-ins are welcome and reservations are available. Call 438-3839. The Prospector is at 2400 E. Seventh St.

December 22, 2011 | GRUNION GAZETTE | Page 39A

Bethany Students Reuse, Recycle By Stephanie Minasian Staff Writer

At Bethany Lutheran School, students and staff have spent the last year making their school a greener place to be. In its 65th year of operation, the accredited Kindergarten through eighth grade Christian school started becoming more earthconscious and began a series of be green efforts to pass down to the students. “It really developed out of our fourth grade class, because they’re the recycling kings,” said admissions director Kathy Tucker. “They would always go around campus and make sure everything gets to the recycling bins.” The children also frequently recycle printer ink cartridges, batteries and cell phones. Their efforts gradually moved forward, and the school decided to replace its old, wooden gym floor by purchasing a nearly new floor from a school scheduled for demolition. After deciding to recycle the

floor, several volunteers from the church, school and community came together to help install each plank into Bethany’s gym floor. To add a more personal touch, students were asked to sign their name onto the concrete, before laying the wood down. “With a lot of love and volunteers, we moved the floor in,” Tucker said. “It was a huge effort in part with our school and church congregation. Prior to it being laid, the students got to write messages on the concrete floor. Fifty years from now, they will have something like a time capsule under the floor, so when they eventually replace that floor, someone else will see what we wrote.” After the old floor was removed, Bethany Lutheran decided to reuse the boards, and turned them into commemorative pieces to sell to alumni, friends and school supporters, according to Tucker. The money raised went to offset the cost of the new gym floor. The students also started a school

FREY, Jonathan David, 1961-2011

Jonathan David Frey, 49, of Long Beach, passed away Nov. 29. He was born in Long Beach and worked as a truck driver. He is survived by his son, Jamie, and his brother, Jeffrey. There is a memorial service on Dec. 26. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

STEDMAN, Mary N., 1922-2011

Mary N. Stedman, 89, of Lakewood, passed away Dec. 4. She was born in Los Angeles and did clerical work in the telecommunications field. She is survived by her daughter, Faye Manes. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

PFAFF, Brent K., 1959-2011

Brent K. Pfaff, 52, of Van Nuys, passed away Dec. 4. He was born in Pennsylvania and was a writer. He is survived by his father, Max. Interment is at Rimersburg Cemetery in Rimersburg, Penn. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

MARTINEZ, Raymond Ernest 1941-2011

Raymond Ernest Martinez, 70, passed away Dec. 7. He was born in Colorado and worked as a grocery store baker. He is survived by his wife, Olivia. Interment is at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colo. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

OPENSHAW, Richard LaMarr 1922-2011

Richard LaMarr Openshaw, 89, of Bellflower, passed away Dec. 5. He was born in Riverdale and worked as an automobile painter. He is survived by his daughter, Lynette Bleeker. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

garden, named the Garden of Eaten, where they have learned to cultivate their own produce to be used in the school’s hot lunches. Each grade level was given a garden box, and was taught to plant and tend to their fruits, vegetables and flowers. “The garden is really fun for them to know they’re contributing to the hot lunch program,” Tucker said. She added that while most public schools are losing many core elective programs due to severe budget cuts, Bethany Lutheran is still going strong, and could be an alternative for parents looking to boost their child’s educational experience. “We’re a cool school,” she said. “We are a Christian school, and because of that, we also have the benefit of learning about making good decisions and overcoming moral dilemmas. We shape their lives, and inspire their learning.” For more, call Tucker at 4207783 ext. 54, or visit

AVELAR, Maria, 1956-2011

Maria Avelar, 55, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 5. She was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. She is survived by her son, Ramon Mercado. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

BRENMAN, Olivia Belen, 1941-2011

Olivia Belen Brenman, 70, of Ontario, passed away Dec. 2. She was born in Los Angeles and worked in retail sales. She is survived by he daughter, Aleta Leasher. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

FLYNN, Seann Patrick, 1982-2011

Seann Patrick Flynn, 29, of Los Angeles, passed away Dec. 5. He was born in Lakewood and worked as a sound designer for films. He is survived by his father, Michael. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

HERTZOG, Jean Pitcher, 1922-2011

Jean Pitcher Hertzog, 88, of Long Beach, passed away Nov. 21. She was born in Dayton, Ohio, and is survived by her son, Doug, and her daughter, Laurie Millier.Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

DODGIN, Norman, 1938-2011

Norman Dodgin, 73, of Ontario, passed away Dec. 3. He was born in Willowbrook and worked as a machinist. He is survived by his friend, John McGehee. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

JONES, Leon Raymond, 1947-2011

Leon Raymond Jones, 64, of Los Angeles, passed away Dec. 8. He was born in Oregon and worked as a taxi driver. He is survived by his wife, Janet. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

—Photo courtesy of Kathy Tucker

MAKING A MARK. A Bethany Lutheran student writes a message on the concrete before the school’s new, recycled gym floor was laid.

MCGEHEE, Forrest William 1934-2011

Forrest William McGehee, 77, of Laguna Beach, passed away Dec. 4. He was born in Michigan and worked as a teacher. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie. Interment is at Oak Grove Cemetery in Hillsdale, Mich. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

BJERKE, Maryann, 1926-2011

Maryann Bjerke, 85, of Lakewood, passed away Dec. 5. She was born in Bedford, Ohio, and worked as a secretary in the Long Beach Unified School District. She is survived by her daughter, Christine Howard. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

BAUER, Agripine Melita, 1913-2011

Agripine Melita Bauer, 98, of Mission Viejo, passed away Dec. 12. She was born in Wisconsin and worked as a waitress. Interment is at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Brookfield, Wisc. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

WILSON, Emma Jean, 1947-2011

Emma Jean Wilson, 64, of Costa Mesa, passed away Dec. 14. She was born in Santa Monica and worked as a housekeeper. She is survived by her sister, Debra Ward. There was a service on Dec. 17. Interment is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Los Angeles. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

BINDULSKI, Kristopher Michael 1972-2011

Michael Kristopher Bindulski, 39, of Redondo Beach, passed away Dec. 7. He was born in Sedona, Ariz. He is survived by his wife, Misty. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

Today’s Obituaries Avelar, Maria Bauer, Agripine M. Bindulski, Kristopher M. Bjerke, Maryann Borrego, Josefa G. Brenman, Olivia Belen Cynkin, Gertrude Dodgin, Norman Flynn, Seann Patrick Frey, Jonathan David

Hertzog, Jean Pitcher Jones, Leon Raymond Martinez, Raymond E. McGehee, Forrest W. Openshaw, Richard L. Pfaff, Brent K. Rees, Alexander S. Stedman, Mary N. Wilson, Emma Jean

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

CYNKIN, Gertrude, 1926-2011

Gertrude Cynkin, 85, of Cerritos, passed away Dec. 8. She was born in Germany and worked as a bookkeeper. She is survived by her son, Andre. Interment is private. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

BORREGO, Josefa G., 1922-2011

Josefa G. Borrgeo, 89, of El Paso, Tex., passed away Dec. 9. She was born in Mexico and is survived by her grandson, Jose Meza. Interment is at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery in El Paso, Tex. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

REES, Alexander Stewart 1930-2011

Alexander Stewart Rees, 81, of Long Beach, passed away Dec. 1. He was born in Thayer, Ill., and worked in national defense communications. He is survived by his wife, Janet. There was a memorial service at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Long Beach. The family was assisted by McKenzie Mortuary.

Page 40A | GRUNION GAZETTE | December 22, 2011



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