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LOS ANGELES

DOWNTOWN

40

C

NEWS Volume 42, Number 15

EBRATING EL

YEARS

Since 1972

April 15, 2013

A Timeline to the State of the City

Green Dreams in the Arts District

5

8

W W W. D O W N T O W N N E W S . C O M

Movie Theater, a Market and More Planned for Historic Core Alamo Drafthouse, Stores and Permanent Farmers Market Envisioned at Fourth and Main Streets

photo by Gary Leonard

Saeed Farkhondehpour opened the Medallion on the northeast corner of Fourth and Main streets in 2010. He is now working on plans to bring an eight-screen movie house, a permanent farmers market and 10 new restaurants to the site. by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR

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ast Tuesday, developer Saeed Farkhondehpour stood on the second floor balcony near the leasing office of his $125 million Medallion project, which opened at Fourth and Main streets three years ago. He pulled off his sunglasses, leaned on the glass rail and looked down at the approximately 180 empty storefronts and the quiet shopping area that he had envisioned as a bustling commercial hub.

“It is frustrating, but I’m very hopeful that this is going to change for the better,” he said. As a landlord who owns about 800 retail spaces in the Toy District, Farkhondehpour had planned on marketing much of the 85,000 square feet of retail space below the 96 Medallion apartments to discount and wholesale businesses. But with only about 20 spaces leased in almost three years, he is changing course. Farkhondehpour last week revealed details of an ambitious new path: He said he will spend $4.5 million on immediate

improvements and alter previous plans so he can bring in an eight-screen Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, 10 more restaurants, trendy shops and a permanent farmers market. Referring to the wholesale business, he said, “It’s not how we expected it to be. That’s why we came up with the idea of repositioning the property for the urban market.” Farkhondehpour opened the Medallion in August 2010 after buying the property for $32 million in 2002. He originally planned a much bigger mainly commercial project that see Medallion, page 7

Figueroa Plan Pits Bikes Against Cars Key $20 Million Project Would Connect Expo Park With Downtown, Though Some Worry About Traffic Snarls by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR

D

riving may be deeply embedded in Los Angeles culture, but bike friendly and pedestrian-minded policy makers are slowly chipping away at the city’s car centricity. No plan may be more emblematic of this gradual shift than a fast-moving $20 million initiative to vastly remake Figueroa Street between Downtown and Exposition Park into a haven for cyclists and transit riders. The plan is particularly bold because it would swipe car lanes from a street that is home to a cluster of auto dealerships, the headquarters of the Southern California Automobile Club and a matrix of major venues and museums that rely on surrounding streets to deliver huge crowds. Representatives of all three constituencies are wary that the plan adored by bikers would spell doom for drivers. “The whole problem of access and mobility for automotive

vehicles needs to be seriously considered before we experiment with something that hasn’t been done anywhere else in L.A.,” said Darryl Holter, CEO of the Shammas Group, which owns eight car dealerships on Figueroa. Backers of the MyFigueroa plan, which originated in 2010 as a project of the now defunct Community Redevelopment Agency, believe that new bike lanes, upgraded transit stops and safer sidewalks will improve mobility for non-drivers. The latest version of the plan was outlined at a community meeting on Tuesday, April 9, that drew a mix of supporters, like those who made use of a bike valet outside the event, and critics concerned about traffic impacts. For Melani Smith, a principal at Melendrez, the design firm contracted to lead the project, the goal is to “rebalance” the street. “People say we’re shutting down Figueroa. I feel like we’re see Figueroa, page 10

rendering courtesy Melendrez

The MyFigueroa plan promises to be great for bikes, but some fear it will snarl traffic on a key transit route.


2 Downtown News

AROUNDTOWN Groundbreaking Set For Final Phase of Barker Block

A

Thursday, April 18, groundbreaking is set for the $25 million final phase of the Barker Block development. The 72,000-square-foot portion of the Arts District project will be comprised of 68 for-sale units at 530 S. Hewitt St. The condominiums will average about 1,000 square feet. Developer Kor Group has already built 242 units in three buildings on the western half of the property as part of phase 1, which has sold out. The initial buildings opened in October 2006. The complex was originally constructed in the early 1900s for the Barker Furniture Company. For the final phase, the Kor Group is bringing in new financial partners, including real estate investment firm CityView, headed by former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, and Blackstone, which will serve as the lead developer and owner of the final phase. There is no timeline yet on when the final phase will be completed.

Drive-in Drives Over to Fashion District

T

he Electric Dusk Drive-In, which was facing a deadline to vacate its Historic Core rooftop, has found a new home. The outdoor film series formerly known as Devil’s Night Drive-In had long occupied a rooftop parking lot at Fourth Street and Broadway. Earlier this year, however, developer Izek Shomof bought the property

April April15, 15,2013 2013

Celebrating 40 Years TAKE MY PICTURE GARY LEONARD

and now plans to tear it down to build a residential tower. Enter the City Market of Los Angeles, an old produce warehouse complex in the Fashion District bounded by Ninth, San Pedro, San Julian and 12th streets. Produce operations shut down in 2009, and the owners of the complex are now planning to convert the property to a $1 billion mixed-use site with residential, hotel and office components. For now, however, the site is essentially unused. “We are thrilled to be able to provide a home to Electric Dusk,” said Peter Fleming, president of the City Market of Los Angeles, in a statement. The series will kick off in its new location on April 27 with the mobster classic Goodfellas. “Though we looked at over 50 locations, working with Peter and the City Market seemed like the only fit for us,” said Eric Heusinger, co-owner of the Electric Dusk Drive-In, in the statement.

Josef Centeno to Open Third Downtown Restaurant

T

here’s good and bad food news in the Old Bank District. The bad is that, in late March, Rocket Pizza at 122 W. Fourth St. served its last slice. The good news is that acclaimed local chef Josef Centeno will open his third Downtown restaurant there. Centeno, who began his Downtown career in 2009 as executive chef of Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo, will unveil an establishment called Orsa and Winston by the fall. The food blog Eater LA first reported the plans. In an email to Downtown News Centeno said he is not ready to talk about details, but did confirm his plans.

Caroline Kennedy and John Szabo

Central Library Aloud Series

Centeno left Lazy Ox and opened his Bäco Mercat on Main just south of Fourth Street in late 2011. In December 2012 he opened the Tex-Mex eatery Bar Amá in the Fourth Street spot that formerly housed Urban Noodle. Orsa and Winston will be just steps from the other two establishments.

Longtime DCBID Staffer Heidi Nixon Dies

H

eidi Beeks Nixon, who worked in a variety of capacities for the Downtown Center Business Improvement District from 1999 to 2007, died Wednesday, April 10, after a long bout with cancer. Nixon helped structure the BID’s marketing program when it was first created, and she played a key role in luring private investment to Downtown, said Carol Schatz,

April 9, 2013

the organization’s president and CEO. “She had an instrumental role in all the outreach we did to promote Downtown to a variety of audiences,” Schatz said. “She is one of the loveliest people I have ever known. She loved what she did and she loved Downtown. It’s a tragedy to lose her so early in her own life.” A memorial service is slated for 10 a.m. on April 18 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 10800 Moorpark St., North Hollywood. For more information about the service, call (818) 766-3838.

Busy Season at The Music Center

T

he Music Center announced its 201314 season last week, and once again, it see Around Town, page 12

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April 15, 2013

Downtown News 3

Celebrating 40 Years

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4 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

EDITORIALS Awaiting the Next Condo Boom

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis

I

n the last year or so, Downtown Los Angeles has seen a series of groundbreakings for apartment projects. From Related’s 271-unit complex on Bunker Hill to the Canadian firm Onni Group’s 32-story tower at Eighth and Olive streets to the mammoth One Santa Fe in the Arts District, developers are pouring huge sums of money into rental housing. Those three are only the start. So what does it all mean? Probably that a big move into new condominium complexes, with people having the chance to buy rather than rent Downtown homes, is about to begin. The prediction that the baby steps of a rental building boom will lead to a wave of people paying six or seven figures to own Downtown homes will sound premature to some, but real estate is all about cycles. The next condo swell is within sight, and in a year or so, when some of the under-construction apartment complexes open, it is likely that plans for new for-sale developments will begin to be made public. Additionally, some rental buildings that were constructed to condo specs will start the conversion process. No doubt all that is in planning stages now. Although some high-profile local projects stalled during the economic downturn, the need for new apartments is shaking loose some long-awaited housing. Recently a few of the buildings begun before the recession, among them the Apex in South Park and the Metro at Chinatown Senior Apartments, opened. Three primary factors make us think that Downtown Los Angeles will soon experience a flurry of condominium construction. The first is that Downtown apartment projects tend to fill up quickly. Occupancy rates in local buildings are about 98%. The properties have remained filled even as average rental rates have increased. Then there is the dwindling number of homes to buy. A Los Angeles Downtown News story this month noted how only 64 condos were recently available on the Multiple Listings Service, and that many of the residences that hit the market generate multiple offers. Additionally, three Arts District condo developments that opened in the past year are all completely or nearly sold out. The third factor is the continuing surge in all kinds of activity in Downtown. The residential boom is complemented by the restaurants, bars and businesses that keep opening. With more after-dark options, more people are coming into Downtown in the evening. Those factors indicate that Downtown is ripe for the next segment of the building boom, the one in which people look to own and build equity rather than rent. It makes perfect sense, especially since more and more people want to live close to where they work. Downtown has something else on its side: time. It takes a few years to finance and build housing projects. Although some developers have said that per square foot prices are not currently high enough to spark new condo construction, the abovementioned factors indicate that the prices could make those developments pencil out in two years or so. Is the area ready for 1,000 new condominiums today? No. But be certain that some forward-thinking developers recognize the opportunity in the evolving market and are already planning for the next condo boom.

What’s Next for the Convention Center in a Post-Leiweke World?

O

ne month ago, Anschutz Entertainment Group shocked Los Angeles with the announcement that the company and its high profile President and CEO Tim Leiweke had parted ways. Less surprising was the revelation that AEG, which had been on the market, was no longer for sale. As part of the change, AEG founder and Chairman Phil Anschutz declared that he personally would become more active in the company. Local leaders have by now had time to digest the March 14 announcement and to accept that Downtown Los Angeles is in a post-Leiweke world. This is important because, even though it was always Anschutz’s billions, Leiweke was the public face of AEG. He was the one who liaised with (and sometimes charmed) the local political power players, business interests and labor leaders. He was the salesman who convinced the region that, after 17 years without professional football, Farmers Field was the vehicle that would bring the NFL back to L.A. Farmers Field could still be that vehicle, but right now the city cannot afford to wait and see what happens next on talks with the league regarding the proposed 68,000-seat stadium. It is by no means time for local leaders to pronounce the development dead, but the moment has come to focus on what is, from an economic and Downtown standpoint, the more important part of the project: the modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center. An upgraded Convention Center isn’t as sexy a subject as having pro football in Downtown, but it would do more to generate jobs, especially in the long term once hotels and other convention-driven projects and businesses materialize. A football stadium, after all, hosts 10 games a year, along with a few large concerts and occasional special events such as the NCAA Final Four. By contrast, a highly functioning convention facility, when surrounded by ample entertainment options, has dozens of gatherings that bring in millions of business travellers a year. These are the people who fill area hotel rooms, eat at local restaurants, buy things from neighborhood stores and so on. The concept of focusing on the Convention Center has not been completely overlooked. On the day of the AEG announcement Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared in a statement that the city “will not wait for AEG, or any other party, to move ahead with the needed improvements to make our convention center a premier destination for meetings and conventions.” Similarly, Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose Ninth District includes the L.A.

Live campus, authored a motion calling for the city to explore ways to upgrade the convention facility without an accompanying stadium. That is the right approach, and it needs to be followed. In the next few months the city should demonstrate the kind of flexible thinking and decision-making that is not always associated with government: Local leaders should push forward on two options, hoping that one will materialize. First, the city should continue to support the AEG proposal, a $1.4 billion plan that envisions tearing down the aged West Hall of the Convention Center and then erecting a new structure adjacent to the more modern building, creating the contiguous layout that meeting planners want. In the plan, Farmers Field would rise on the site of the West Hall. The city approved this deal with AEG last year and the agreement lasts through 2014 (it could be extended). Local officials should make sure the NFL knows this is a desired outcome, even after the AEG changes. At the same time, the city needs a new parallel plan, one that explores making similar changes to the Convention Center without the participation of AEG. This would be more challenging financially, as under the Farmers Field proposal AEG would guarantee the bonds that the city floats for the convention building. Still, monetary details can be worked out. Some of the groundwork for the latter approach already exists. The city is looking at getting out of the convention business and forming a partnership with a private operator to book and manage the Downtown facility (a similar proposal is under discussion for the Los Angeles Zoo). Bids have already been solicited, and initial interest could be a base upon which to discuss upgrading the Convention Center. While the latter option may currently seem the more likely path, it is important to remember that even without Leiweke, AEG is the most powerful and effective developer in Downtown, a company that has spent billions to remake South Park. Anschutz did not acquire his empire by accident, and his savvy and experience should not be dismissed even if he has preferred to operate out of the public eye. The company has been the city’s partner and the relationship should continue. The goal now is to solve the problem of the underperforming Convention Center. We need to look at parallel plans to do this, options with and without Farmers Field. What happens with the building will affect Downtown for decades.


April 15, 2013

Downtown News 5

Celebrating 40 Years

Timeline to the State of the City How Stats and Himalayan Cats Fit in AnVil’s Final Installment of the Annual Address by Jon RegaRdie executive editoR

O

n Tuesday, April 9, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took the stage at UCLA’s Royce Hall to deliver the annual State of the City address. For the formerly multi-tattooed guy (see below) who THE REGARDIE REPORT

assumed office in 2005, it marked the eighth and final time that he would do the political equivalent of a doctor’s yearly check-up. Here is what went down. 4:37 p.m.: The large, pretty hall is about 30% filled. The bigwigs are glad-handing in front of the stage and the little wigs are already in their seats. On the stage is a huge screen with the city seal, and at about 15-feet high I notice something I’ve never before realized: It includes an image of an eagle biting a snake (seriously). I guess it’s because, when the world thinks of L.A., they think of eagles biting snakes. 4:40 p.m.: The pols and players up front keep talking. I see LAFD Chief Brian “The Human Fire Extinguisher” Cummings and Police Chief Charlie Beck, who once again has brought along his mustache. A few steps away CCA President and CEO Carol Schatz is chatting with City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. I play a quick game of “Which of these four will be out of a job after the May 21 elections?” I follow it up with a game of “Which one may throw me in the pokey before the May 21 elections?” 4:45 p.m.: Some mild buzz builds, like you’d expect 15 minutes before a Paul Anka

concert. Hey, Nuch is hugging someone. Hey, there’s Councilman Paul Koretz. I try to think of something funny to say about him but it’s impossible, like trying to say something funny about salad or tape recorders. 4:50 p.m.: City Controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel walks down the aisle. My first thought is, she’s not wearing the ubiquitous teal suit. My second is, given her disappointing second-place finish in the mayoral primary, this could be her last State of the City too. At least I didn’t put that second thought in writing. Oh, wait. 4:57 p.m.: The lights flicker, indicating show time is approaching. I think of a conversation I had with a City Hall insider earlier in the day: The person opined that this State of the City is like post break-up hubba-hubba (not the word actually used), when you and your formerly significant other have already emotionally moved on and each has mostly stopped caring about the other. Then, ritual and a set or circumstances unite you for a final, awkward go-round that no one really wants. Afterward everyone feels icky and goes separately to get ice cream.

photo by Gary Leonard

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the State of the City address in 2009. Last Tuesday, he stood in front of another line of flags and gave a sunny assessment of a beleaguered Los Angeles.

4:58 p.m.: Music starts, people take their seats and an announcer introduces UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. He says, “This is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s eighth and final State of the City address,” sparking a round of applause. Curious how the clapping comes so close to the word “final.”

of like the previews at the movies. It’s sunny, upbeat and makes no mention of the fact that Los Angeles is basically looking for money in couches while streets fall apart and people grow angry. The best image is of a couple who are wearing matching yellow shirts with a picture of a furry Himalayan cat. I have no idea what they are saying because I’m too focused on the fact that two adults are wearing matching yellow shirts with a picture of a furry Himalayan cat, and this is part of the mayor’s promo reel!

5:03 p.m.: A five-minute video begins, sort

5:08 p.m.: The video ends, AnVil steps to

the stage and the crowd gives him a standing ovation. It lasts about a minute. 5:09 p.m.: The speech starts. He seems humble and sincere as he reflects on his time as mayor of L.A. 5:10 p.m.: He tells a story about his mom crying one morning when he was a teenager and she saw a bandage on his arm. “It’s a tattoo, a second one. I got it last night,” he recounts telling her, and suddenly I’m ensee Timeline, page 11

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6 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

City Seeks Clarity in Skid Row Sidewalk Ruling With Settlement Talks Ongoing, Officials Want Injunction Altered by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer

N

early two years after a U.S. District Court judge issued an injunction barring the city from seizing and destroying abandoned property in Skid Row, city lawyers say they are still unsure what it means for enforcement. The city lost an appeal on the local ruling in September, when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Philip Gutierrez’s finding that taking and destroying temporarily unattended property violates the constitutional rights of homeless individuals.

City officials are now in settlement talks with representatives of the nine homeless people who sued the city in 2011, after their belongings were seized from the sidewalk and destroyed by public workers without notice. So far, settlement talks haven’t yielded much progress. Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney, said the city and Carol Sobel, a civil rights lawyer representing the nine homeless individuals, are not “seeing eye-to-eye.” However, as talks continue, city lawyers say there is a key uncertainty in the injunction that, if resolved, could make it easier for authorities to clear items from Skid Row sidewalks. It concerns a potentially crucial distinction between “aban-

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Two years after a federal judge ordered the city to stop seizing and destroying items left on Skid Row sidewalks, city lawyers are mulling a settlement.

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doned” and “unattended” property. The latter would encompass belongings left temporarily on the sidewalk by people who don’t otherwise have a private storage space. Gutierrez said the city could seize abandoned property as long as it is stored for 90 days so individuals have the chance to retrieve their items. City officials say that in order to effectively clear the crowded sidewalks, they want permission to remove unattended items, with the caveat that they give notice and store the property for the same time period. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s office is preparing a brief on the matter. It is expected to be filed this month, Usher said. Where the city sees a blurry line on what property it can seize in order to clear the sidewalk, backers of the injunction insist the judicial system has been clear: “The courts have now said three times that property that is not abandoned cannot be taken when people leave for a short amount of time,” Sobel said. Sobel has argued that instead of continuing to resist the injunction, the city should focus on providing resources such as public toilets to combat public health woes in the povertyladen neighborhood. The ruling also specifically allows the city to remove items that pose immediate health and safety risks. Some still blame the injunction for causing sidewalk pileups and daytime encampments that have multiplied since Gutierrez’s ruling. City leaders said the injunction led to conditions that the County Department of Public Health last year deemed a public health crisis. In the wake of the May 2012 report, the city launched quarterly comprehensive cleanings of the area during which crews disinfect sidewalks and trash health hazards such as needles and feces. Only a select few city workers have been authorized to deem items health or safety hazards, however, and they are not canvassing the neighborhood more than once a month, said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association. Since most city workers are not allowed to identify an item as a health or safety risk, most sidewalk detritus is left to linger, she said. As part of the cleanup program, the city expanded a daytime storage facility for the homeless that is operated by the CCEA. Even after its expansion, the facility fills up every day, Lopez said. Officials opened an additional temporary storage facility on Temple Street, and while it continues to operate, it is slated for use as a Metro staging area for the Regional Connector later this year. The city is looking for another site to replace the facility, Usher said. The city has appealed the Ninth Circuit ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, though it is uncertain whether the petition for review will be taken. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.


April 15, 2013

Medallion Continued from page 1 would link to his properties east of the new development. The recession caused the developer to downsize the project’s initial scope by about 100 residential units and approximately 100,000 square feet of retail space. He also halted the project for about a month in 2008 due to rising construction costs. When it finally opened, Farkhondehpour planned to market the spaces in the building facing Fourth and Main streets to restaurants and shops serving the Historic Core crowd (Tom Gilmore’s Old Bank District is just across the street). The space in the project’s mall and piazza level and the building that faces Los Angeles Street were intended for his wholesale and discount clients. Instead, the relatively small residential component has emerged as the anchor of the project. The units filled quickly and Farkhondehpour said the apartments remain 98% occupied. Derrick Moore, a principal with commercial real estate company Avison Young, who previously tried to lease the Medallion property, applauds the switch in the wake of the recession. “I think this makes a lot of sense. It’s a good move,” he said. Perhaps the most important step in the rebranding effort involves the Austin, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse. Farkhondehpour said officials with the adored theater chain have signed a letter of intent to open an eight-screen complex at the Medallion. He expects a lease to be signed this month. The theater, which would be Alamo’s first Southern California location, would be housed in a 30,000-square-foot single-story building that would go up on a parking lot that sits atop a hill in the commercial plaza. The site currently houses space for 300 cars. Plans call for the theater to be built into the hill with a rooftop garden. About 230 parking spaces would remain. If all goes according to plan, Farkhondehpour expects the theater to open in about 18 months. Alamo venues host a mix of first run, cult films and independent fare, along with special events such as themed movie nights, which can include things like a set of slasher films. Filmmakers are often invited to talk about their movies before a screening. The chain allows people to order food and alcohol from their seats. Alamo officials did not respond to requests for comment. Farkhondehpour has also signed new restaurant tenants. The most significant is the pricey and acclaimed Sushi Zo, which is located on National Boulevard near Culver City and serves traditional Japanese omakase (chef’s selection) that can cost up to $200 per diner. Restaurant officials expect to open their second location in a 1,700-square-foot corner space facing Fourth and Main streets in June. Also coming in June to a space facing Main Street is Dr. J’s Café, which Farkhondehpour compares to Urth Caffé. It will be next to Simply Salad, the only current restaurant at the project. “The area has become very hot for new restaurants and new chefs, especially in the past 18 months,” Farkhondehpour said. “So the market is telling us what to do.” Fresh Finds Bringing in the restaurants will require a makeover of the project’s mall and piazza level. Farkhondehpour said the work will begin this month. He plans to add kitchen facilities to retail spaces housed in a third building that sits in the plaza. A small street that circles the area will be repurposed as a pedestrian walkway. Plans call for more trees and grass. Farkhondehpour also hopes to bring trendy shops and boutiques to other interior spaces. Moore said that since those spaces are in an area hidden from public view, it is crucial to have an overall plan that will convince higher end retailers to take a chance. “They’ll want to hear about what other tenants are coming and they’ll want to see plans for creating foot traffic in the area,” Moore said. Farkhondehpour also wants a large, fresh foods component. He is in talks with John Edwards, president of Raw Inspiration Inc. and California Certified Farmers Markets, to open a permanent farmers market in a 27,000-square-foot space previously intended for a grocery store. Edwards, who runs more than 20 farmers markets, including Downtown markets at Pershing Square, Bank of America Plaza and FIGat7th, said he and Farkhondehpour would partner in the development of a facility that would be open seven days a week and offer produce, wine, cheese, coffee, fish, poultry and other items. “For years I’ve been looking for a place Downtown for a permanent farmers market,” Edwards said. “This project I think is

Downtown News 7

Celebrating 40 Years very exciting. It will bring an incredible hub of people here.” Edwards said he is currently working to gather the vendors who would participate in the market. He hopes to open within a year with at least 50 sellers and eventually grow to 100 vendors. Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the Central City Association and the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, said the changes Farkhondehpour is proposing say a lot about the area. “I think it reflects the fact that our [Downtown] market is maturing and that we need all kinds of different retail options,” she said. “Having this new concept and another theater in Downtown is exciting.” If his plans come to fruition, Farkhondehpour has even more ideas for the Medallion: He hopes to add 300 additional residential units in three structures facing Main and Third streets. But that, he said, is at least a year away. Contact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.

image courtesy of Medallion

The renovation would alter much of the interior of the project, which contains 96 apartments.

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8 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

GO GREEN

Green Dreams

How Three Young Downtown Companies Hope to Emerge as Clean Technology Powerhouses by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator is a city-sponsored nonprofit looking to grow green-minded start-ups into thriving companies working to increase environmental sustainability. The Arts District incubator rents inexpensive office space to start-ups and coaches them on growing their business. LACI Executive Director Fred Walti has likened the entity to a farm system for developing the future pro talent of the cleantech industry. Here are snapshots of three of the Downtown-based companies.

Company: Skyline Innovations, Inc. Founder: Zach Axelrod, CEO

1

Number of Employees: 23

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renewable energy is a fixed percentage lower than their utility rate. It guarantees that the customer will always pay less for solar then for conventional fossil fuel. Q: How is it a game changer? A: Skyline’s model fully aligns our interests with the customer’s to maximize savings while benefitting the environment. Our innovation is a business and financial model that enables customers to receive renewable energy without investing capital, while receiving immediate and guaranteed savings from the first day. Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in establishing your company? A: Our primary challenge is awareness. The state of California has developed a groundbreaking program to encourage investment in solar water heating. However, customer knowledge and excitement regarding the benefits of solar hot water lag behind that of photovoltaic. Q: Where do you go after LACI?

photo by Gary Leonard

Seta Alexanian of Skyline Innovations holding a Skybox, a device for creating solar water heating systems.

A: Our plan for the near future is to continue to penetrate this market, eventually extending to additional metro areas in California.


April 15, 2013

Downtown News 9

Celebrating 40 Years

Company: BIO-TECture Inc. Founder: Yves Lefay

2

Q: What is your company’s product and how does it work? A: BIO-TECture designs and manufactures building-integrated solar products. Our first product to market is a solar thermal product called Hybrid Shades. These architectural shades protect buildings from the sun, saving money on cooling costs, and also capture solar energy to produce free solar hot water.

photo by Gary Leonard

Q: Why is it needed? A: It brings solar energy in a fully integrated design while saving on energy costs. They

will help buildings get closer to what is called Net Zero Energy, while respecting the design integrity of buildings.

Company: IP*SEVA

Q: How is it a game changer? A: These Hybrid Shades are patent pending and the only one of their kind on the market. They have been tested by an independent lab and certified, and are therefore eligible for all solar tax incentives making them not only a better product but also a more affordable option.

Number of Employees: 3

Founders: Cynthia Cannady, Dr. Bertram Huber and Naoto Kuji (the founders)

3

Q: What is your company’s product and how does it work? A: We provide intellectual property counseling and legal services to small to medium sized sustainable energy and environmental technology ventures. We offer pro bono services to LACI portfolio companies during weekly office hours and have flexible billing programs for our clients. We also facilitate and support green tech export transactions.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in establishing your company? A: The biggest challenge is the time to get new products certified by official organizations, bring a totally new product to market by creating awareness, and finding funding for R&D, manufacturing and marketing. Q: Where do you go after LACI? A: I want to keep manufacturing local and keep offices at LACI as long as we have sufficient space at affordable cost.

Q: Why is it needed? A: IP strategy and implementation are critical parts of the innovation ecosystem. Technology companies, by definition, trade in IP, not in goods or services. They may not always have solid financial capital or tangible property; what they do have is intellectual capital. Therefore, it is imperative that they build and protect their IP assets and also that

Q: How is it a game changer? A: Intellectual property is what makes a technology venture irreplaceable. Without IP, the venture’s chief asset, intangible technology, can be reproduced by competitors with more capital. I have seen many a small company suffer losses because of IP mistakes. With IP strategy, the tech venture has power. It can grow and use its IP as bargaining leverage in negotiations. Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in establishing your company? A: Misunderstanding. Many small companies do not understand why IP is important. They are also afraid that IP protection will be too expensive and, being busy, they either put it out of their minds or proclaim that they have a “time to market” strategy. This may be OK with a commodity business, but it doesn’t work with a technology venture. IP is seen as a highly technical “legal subject” rather than a critical part of business strategy. Q: Where do you go after LACI? A: As a service provider, I hope to stay at LACI.

photo by Gary Leonard

Yves Lefay of Bio-TECture Inc., which creates a solar thermal product called Hybrid Shades.

they avoid damaging or losing these assets in contract negotiations with partners. Tech ventures typically do a lot of contracts. The most difficult terms in these contracts are usually IP related.

>>>>>>

Cynthia Cannady of IP*SEVA, which counsels start-ups on intellectual property.

More information on the companies is at laincubator.org.

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10 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Figueroa Continued from page 1 opening up Figueroa for all users,” she said. The three-mile project area, which includes spurs down 11th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, would include north- and southbound bike lanes. Two segments of the northbound corridor would get “cycle tracks,” or lanes separated from traffic by a new curb. Figueroa is currently different widths between Seventh Street and Exposition Park. The plan calls for eliminating at least one northbound lane throughout the stretch, and in some portions a southbound lane would be lost. On the two cycle track segments, between Seventh and 11th streets and 21st Street and Exposition Boulevard, the new curb buffers would also serve as upgraded bus stop platforms. Sidewalks would be widened, more trees would be planted and better street lighting would be installed. Holter and others have urged the city to consider a “couplet” approach that would put northbound bike lanes on Figueroa and move a second lane to southbound Flower Street. Smith said the couplet could not be funded as part of the MyFigueroa project because it was not identified in the original plan. “You could do one way only on Figueroa and hope that Flower emerges some other way, but you couldn’t add Flower as part of this project,” Smith said. Beyond L.A. Backers of the project say that protected bike lanes in other cities have proven far safer than lanes merely painted onto the

road surface, like those on Spring, Main, First, Seventh and Olive streets and others in Downtown. Bike advocates point to protected bike lane projects in New York and San Francisco that contributed to fewer accidents and increased retail business near the lanes. “Most people don’t want to ride next to cars,” said Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, who added that painted lanes only moderately increase ridership. Bruins said the Figueroa project is crucial for the city’s bicycle future because the cycle track would be L.A.’s first. While an early draft of the plan envisioned a cycle track connecting USC and Downtown, the revised plan chops it into two segments, with a painted lane between 11th and 21st streets and between Exposition and MLK Jr. boulevards. Organizers reduced the cycle track to appease stakeholders concerned about traffic impacts, Bruins said. Although protected lanes in other cities may have been successful, Figueroa Street is different in part because it is a key regional transit corridor, said Hamid Bahadori, manager of transportation programs for the Southern California Auto Club. “We should keep in mind that people on Figueroa are not all going between USC and L.A. Live and Downtown,” Bahadori said. “This is a regional corridor and the city should not lose sight of the need to accommodate regional mobility.” Some Exposition Park institutions are still weighing the project and its potential impacts. James Gilson, vice president and general counsel of the Natural History Museum, said MyFigueroa would likely mean both good and bad things for the museum. Safer bicycle access is a plus for their attendees, but gridlock could dissuade other visitors from coming, he said.

“I think it’s pretty clear that on major event days there are going to be some significant choke points that are going to need more thinking and more planning,” said Gilson, who is also a member of the Figueroa Corridor business improvement district. Early concerns about traffic already prompted project organizers to modify the plan. Those changes, which reinstated an additional car lane that was originally proposed for removal, came after a city traffic study foreshadowed some nasty implications for drivers. According to the draft environmental impact report for the project, which was prepared in 2010, two key intersections in the corridor are already so snarled that they are considered failed junctions. The study projected that if the original plan were implemented, the number of failing intersections would rise to 10, and the delays at key stoplights would range from one to eight minutes during peak hours. Tim Fremaux, an engineer in the bikeways section of the L.A. Department of Transportation, the lead agency on the project, said that after reinserting a traffic lane those delays will be significantly shorter. The traffic study is being revised as part of the preparation of the final environmental impact report that is due for release in May, he said. The project is funded by Prop1C bond funds, which must be spent by the end of 2014. That means time is of the essence for the project, which is on an “aggressive schedule,” said Smith. She said construction would have to start by January 2014 to meet the deadline. Additional information on the plan is at myfigueroa.com. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

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Downtown News 11

Celebrating 40 Years and notes that the retirement age for new municipal workers has increased from 55 to 65. Members of the city employee unions do not rise to their feet in thunderous applause.

Timeline Continued from page 5 thralled. I knew Villaraigosa once had a “Born to Raise Hell” tattoo that he later had removed, but a second tat! What was it? More words? An anchor? The Lakers emblem? A lion biting a snake? A furry Himalayan cat? This is the best thing I’ve heard since 2005 when Villaraigosa announced that 1 million trees would be planted in L.A. Time travel back to 5:04 p.m.: The video notes that 380,000 trees have been planted in the city in the last eight years. No mention is made of the Million Tree March.

5:21 p.m.: On to public safety, and the recitation of applausegenerating stats such as violent crime falling 49% since 2005 and a steeper drop in gang murders. There is no reference to former Mayor Jim Hahn, who hired previous Police Chief Bill Bratton, under whom the decrease began. 5:25 p.m.: The Manual of Popular Mayoral Subjects (available in the library at Fantasyland) dictates the transition to traffic and congestion, and more stats flow, like a rise in Metro riders and the creation of 1,600 miles of bike lanes.

5:14 p.m.: He touches on the coming Economic Development Department and pledges that it will make “job creation job number one.” It’s the first applause point of the 33-minute speech. There will be a total of 27 clapping interruptions.

5:28 p.m.: Another ol’ reliable topic, sustainability, gets its turn, and AnVil delivers more stats of his tenure, touting reductions in carbon emissions and increases in recycling. He sure is taking a lot of credit for things. I wait for him to pat himself on the back for sunshine and the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup championship.

5:18 p.m.: Villaraigosa turns to the recession and the budget crunch, dusting off the oh-so-2009 phrase “shared sacrifice.” He recounts how the city’s workforce shrunk by 5,000 jobs

5:33 p.m.: Next stop, education. More statistics about school improvements. There’s no discussion of the early tenure disaster when he tried but failed to take over the LAUSD.

5:37 p.m.: Sticking with education, the current mayor chastises the two people who could be the next mayor. Without mentioning Greuel or City Councilman Eric Garcetti (who, for some reason, couldn’t fit the State of the City in his schedule) by name, he declares that “it has been so disheartening to see our mayoral candidates devote so little time to a serious discussion of how to deliver a quality education for all our children.” For a few minutes he continues to tell his aspiring successors how to make L.A. better. Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” blasts across the auditorium. 5:37 ½ p.m.: It doesn’t really, but it should. 5:40 p.m.: Villaraigosa riffs on a changing city, saying. “The old world was the analog world, the world of snail mail, of land lines, of newsprint.” Touché. 5:42 p.m.: Comes to the end, evoking the future and the city’s potential. “Dare to dream, Los Angeles,” he says. “Promise to deliver.” Applause sounds for 53 seconds. Then McFadden and Whitehead’s 1979 song “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” comes on the sound system. Because nothing says 2013 progress like a 34-year-old disco hit. Contact Jon Regardie at regardie@downtownnews.com.

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12 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

The Central City Crime Report A Rundown on Downtown Incidents, Trends and Criminal Oddities

I

n the Central City Crime Report, we survey the recent week in public safety. All information is provided by the LAPD’s Central Division. Jewels Heisted: A Beverly Hills jewelry dealer who was visiting a friend in the Downtown Jewelry District on April 3 had $17,000 worth of bling snatched from his car. The car had been parked on the 600 block of S. Hill St. Witnesses observed two suspects park next to the car, smash the windows and take some-

thing. They made off in a 2001 gold Toyota, which detectives later identified as stolen. We’re no crime experts, but police recommend not leaving valuables in unattended vehicles, and we’re pretty sure this is why. Blue Line Blues: A 70-year-old man was waiting for a Metro Blue Line train near Washington Boulevard and Grand Avenue at about 7 p.m. on April 4 when he was approached from behind and grabbed by four men. The suspects pinned the man against

a light pole and went through his pockets, taking his wallet and fleeing south on Grand Avenue. The suspects were estimated to be between the ages of 23 and 35. Burglars Target Castelar: Residents of the Castelar Apartments at 625 N. Hill St. reported two separate burglaries, both of which were committed by a male and female team. On March 11, a woman returned to her apartment at about 2:30 p.m. while a male and female suspect were inside, ransacking the unit. On April 3 an apartment on the same floor was burglarized by a man and woman who smashed a window to enter.

Broken Dreams: BYD, a Chinese electric carmaker at 1800 S. Figueroa St., stands for Build Your Dreams. One tough customer had a dream of taking a laptop, and so he went to BYD on April 2, snatched a computer from a desk and fled. One dream fulfilled, one dream dashed. Ungrateful Guests: A male resident of the Alexandria Hotel at 501 S. Spring St. met two ladies on the street on April 2 at about 2 a.m. and invited them to his apartment. That’s where the man told police he believes he may have been drugged while the women took his property. —Ryan Vaillancourt

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features a packed lineup. The 11th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center includes six major Los Angeles premieres, starting in July with the National Ballet of Canada’s new Romeo and Juliet, and continuing in November with the dance-theater hybrid Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty (co-presented with Center Theatre Group). Perhaps the most unusual work is James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, a Celebration in Dance, which arrives in February 2014 as a co-production of the Apollo Theatre and the Music Center. The Music Center’s schedule also in-

cludes the 11th season of World City, which presents free family-oriented presentations from international performers. The six events will run from October through May at the outdoor amphitheater at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The final component of the schedule is the Active Arts program, another free endeavor that encourages audience participation. The 25 Active Arts events start next month with the Dance Downtown series of free lessons. Events will take place at the Music Center Plaza and Grand Park. There are also sing-along and drumming activities.

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April 15, 2013

Downtown News 13

Celebrating 40 Years

CALENDAR

cles rew Ec by And photo

ture Piece a n ig S s It s g in r B y an Alvin Ailey Comp n Back to Downtow by Kylie Jane WaKefield

T

he Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is known around the world for its half century of top-notch performances that explore the African-American experience. The troupe is in Los Angeles this month, but taking the stage isn’t the only thing on the agenda: The dancers and choreographers are also here to educate and interact with the public. The most notable aspect of the Ailey team’s stop in L.A. will be the six performances that take place this week at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. From Wednesday-Sunday, April 17-21, there will be three different shows at the Downtown Los Angeles venue. Those, however, are neither the beginning nor the end. On April 6 a giant party took place at Grand Park, and more than 2,000 people showed up for the event that included live music and lessons in the troupe’s famed piece “Revelations.” At the end of the month, Ailey members will visit local schools. 8* The company, which VIE to 553067members, has been a MOBILE MOincludes N T D t x e B T LU C staple of American dance ever since Ailey first performed with the group in New York City in 1958. It has long been Text DTNMOVIE to 55678 to Join Our Movie popular in Los Angeles, and has been appearing at the Music Club and be Entered to Renae Win Movie Tickets! Center in Downtown for 15 years. Williams Niles, vice president of programming for the Music Center, noted that crowds consistently come out. “There is this overwhelming inspirational moment that *Carrier msg & data rates apply. Reply HELP for help. STOP to quit. 4 msgs/month max. happens when audiences experience Ailey,” she said. “It’s emotional, passionate, exuberant and uplifting.” This week’s performances are marked by variety. The April 17 and 20 shows are dubbed the Ailey Spirit program, and feature the pieces “Grace” and “Minus 16.” The former was created in 1999 and features the Afro-pop of Fela Kuti, along with Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and Roy Davis’ “Gabriel.” The latter has a varied soundtrack of mambo, techno, Israeli and American.Dmusic. ntownNews m/L.A ow o .c k o o b ce The 21st Century Ailey program, which takes place April 18 Fa and 21, starts with “Another Night,” set to the music of Dizzy Gillespie. Also on the bill are “Petite Mort,” a ballet with muLike Downtown News on Facebook sic by Mozart, and “Strange Humors,” a duet in which two & Be Entered to Win Movie Tickets! male dancers face off. The April 19-20 shows fall under the moniker Classic Ailey, and deliver exactly what the name implies. It’s an anthology of dances from 1971-1988, with snippets from shows such as “Memoria,” “Phases,” “Hidden Rites” and “Cry.” All three programs end with “Revelations,” which has been

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part of the repertoire for more than 50 years. It stands out as Ailey’s masterpiece because of the dynamic way it explores his African-American heritage. As religious music plays, the dancers express grief and happiness. While the shows represent a wide variety of works, Rachael McLaren, who has been with Ailey since 2008, pointed out that they all fit squarely with the troupe’s reputation and misThe Alvin Ailey sion. American Dance Theater “The Ailey company is known for being appears at the Music able to express humanity and the human Center April 17-21. spirit within the choreography,” she said. Although there are three different programs, each Meet the Public of the six performances Some of those who make the shows this includes “Revelations,” week already had a more intimate experithe company’s most ence with the Ailey troupe. On April celebrated work. 6, members of the company gathered at Grand Park for the celebration titled RockaYourSoul. The gathering featured free gospel performances and workStarts Mar.29/Apr.5 From the Music Center’s perspective, plenty of Angelenos shops. Along with lessons will have the opportunity to experience Ailey. Niles said up in quilt making, longto 18,000 people will take in the performances, and another time Ailey members 5,000 will participate through the outreach programs. Renee Robinson and Since Ailey grew up in Los Angeles and began dancing CheckThomasOur Website for Full Movie Listings LADowntownNews.com Nasha here, Niles said that it is important for the Music Center to Schmitt gave lesshowcase his work. sons in segments “Before he passed away… he said he wanted the company of “Revelations.” The instruction for the piece “Wade in to perform at the Music Center,” she said. “It did not happen the Water” took place in the park’s restored Arthur J. Will until after his passing, but it is extraordinary to feel that we Memorial Fountain. are living out one of his dreams.” The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation also has sponMcLaren and Douthit feel fortunate that they have the sored some Ailey educational programs at local schools. A opportunity to help deliver that dream, and that they get series of workshops took place April 8-12, and another set to teach people about all that dance has to say. Douthit exwill run April 29-May 3. pounded Starts April 12 on the boundary-crossing powers of the art form, Antonio Douthit, a member of the company since 2004, noting that the same dance “language” is spoken whether in pointed out that Ailey himself was passionate about bringing the United States, China, Russia or elsewhere. dance to people outside the performance hall. Although Ailey McLaren takes the theme further. died in 1989 at the age of 58 (the current artistic director is “Telling stories through dance is such a gift,” she said. “To Robert Battle), the spirit lives on. be able to go on stage and share experiences with the audience The free programs, said Douthit, are “one of our ways of is a beautiful way of communicating.” Check forPeople Full Movie Listings LADowntownNews.com giving back Our to theWebsite community. not fortunate enough The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater appears April 17to buy a $75 ticket are able to see it for free and tell their chil- 21 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) dren, friends or family to see the company.” 972-0711 or musiccenter.org.

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14 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

The Right Mix JANM Show Looks at Biracial History in the Japanese American Community photo courtesy of Japanese Overseas Migration Museum

by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR

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he very title of the new Japanese American National Museum exhibit indicates the complex factors at play in a single community. The show, Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History, examines the diverse history of the Japanese American community as well as the still evolving notion of family and race. It opened April 7 and continues through Aug. 25 at the Little Tokyo museum. Through photos, videos, artifacts and paintings, the shows traces the history of mixed-race Japanese American families — hapa is a term for a person of mixed race who is part Asian or Pacific Islander — going back to the late 1800s. It also looks at the challenges these families faced due to segregation and laws that criminalized mixed race marriages. It’s a history, said Duncan Williams, the exhibit co-curator, that is often plainly visible in the faces of biracial individuals. However, he said the topic is also invisible, since it is rarely discussed in open forums. “One of the major points we’re trying to make is that increasingly the Japanese American community is changing,” said Williams, who is also director of the USC Center for Japanese Religion and Culture. He said that by the next U.S. Census in 2020, it is expected that more than half of the members of the Japanese American community will identify themselves as multiracial. “It’s an increasing trend in all ethnic communities but it’s been happening at a faster rate with the Japanese American community,” he said.

Six generations of a mixed race Japanese American family.

It also has been going on for more than a century. Getting Cable Located on the ground floor of the museum, the exhibit begins with a display of a black and white family photograph depicting one of the first immigrants from Japan, Matsugoro Kuwata, who arrived in Hawaii in 1868 and married a Hawaiian woman. In the picture he has a long gray beard and is sitting next to his wife and their six children. Other black and white images depict additional racially mixed families that were amongst the first to settle in Oregon and California. The exhibit then examines the legal challenges these families faced. One law, the Cable Act of 1922, stripped U.S. citizenship from American women who married Asian men. The act caused couples such as Fusataro Nakaya and Edith Morton to marry in Mexico. The exhibit displays their Spanish language marriage certificate as well as the naturalization certificate she received years later, after the law was repealed in 1936. Photos from the Manzanar Children’s Village, an orphanage in the Manzanar detention camp, one of the sites where more

than 100,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, are also part of the exhibit. About 20% of the children in the camp were multiracial. The exhibit includes a segment on artist Isamu Noguchi, who created sculptures, gardens and furniture. He was born in Los Angeles to an American mother and a Japanese father. One of the coffee tables he designed is on display. The show also takes a pop culture turn, looking at figures such as Jerome Charles White. Born in Pittsburgh with African American and Japanese lineage, he is a singer who in Japan is known as Jero. The exhibit includes video footage of the singer and a family portrait. “He’s a quarter Japanese, and yet he really embraced his heritage and sings these enka songs in Japanese,” Williams said, referring to the term for traditional Japanese ballads. In many ways Jero exemplifies the future of the Japanese American community, Williams said. While Jero has mixed roots, he has embraced the Japanese part of his culture. In recent years JANM has taken numerous looks at people of mixed ancestry. The mu-

photo courtesy of Jerome White Sr.

Jero (top right), who sings traditional Japanese ballads, was influenced by his Japanese grandmother. The JANM show Visible & Invisible looks at mixed race families and individuals.

seum has focused multiple times on the work of artist Kip Fulbeck, who has photographed many biracial children and adults. His 2006 show was titled Half Asian: 100% Hapa. Cindy Nakashima, a co-curator of the current exhibit and author of the book The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans, said it is important to embrace broader definitions of culture, especially since it has always been part of the Japanese American community. “The mix has always been there,” she said. “Our community was built by mixed multiethnic families.” Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History runs through Aug. 25 at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., (213) 625-0414 or janm.org. Contact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.

los angeles conservancy presents

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featuring the movie palaces of downtown’s broadway historic theatre district and the music center’s dorothy chandler pavilion los angeles conservancy Members

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casaBlanca (1942)

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April 15, 2013

Downtown News 15

Celebrating 40 Years

EVENTS Tuesday, april 16 Regional Connector Outreach Meeting Paul Hastings Tower, 51st Floor, 516 S. Flower St., (213) 891-2965. 5 p.m.: Get up to speed on construction plans for the Regional Connector, specifically around Flower Street, from the Shea Walsh Parsons joint venture group, which hopes to win the project’s designbuild contract.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or bluewhalemusic.com. April 16: Claw with Left Side Sax Alliance. April 17: Holy Ridley Scott, it’s a band named Prometheus. April 18: Kait Dunton Group. April 19: Joey Heredia Flamenco Night. April 20: Zach Harmon Group. April 21: Creative Underground Los Angeles. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org. April 15, 8 p.m.: April resident Gavin Turek will be supported by Free Food, a deceptively named hip-hop/soul collective that preys on impressionable members of Overeaters Anonymous. April 16, 7 p.m.: It’s a sad state of affairs when hearing the soul stylings of British songstress Laura Mvula immediately conjures up images of the future commercials for which her songs will be perfect accompaniment. April 17, 7 p.m.: We were hoping trio Set Sail was a Christopher Cross tribute band, but alas, they are another indie outfit. April 17, 8 p.m.: Kitty Pryde is a sensation amongst those who intentionally embrace gauche

Continued on next page

photo by Gary Leonard

Marionette enthusiasts and aspiring Geppettos have their nirvana on Saturday, April 20. At 2 p.m., the Central Library hosts Tony Urbano. The puppeteer and performer from the Los Angeles Turnabout Theatre on La Cienega will appear with Alan Cook, the founder and director of the International Puppetry Museum in Pasadena. They’ll be discussing the subversive dimension and evolution of puppetry. The world hasn’t seen string pulling with as much social importance since (get ready for it)… the Bush administration trotted Colin Powell out in front of the U.N. Arrive early and claim your free seat for an event that is part of, no kidding, L.A. Puppet Fest 2013. At 630 W. Fifth St. or lapuppetfest.com. The Los Angeles Theatre Center hosts the story of a family forced to take stock of its faults and traumas. It all happened, in the fictional way, in 1997 as the Hale-Bopp comet arced through the sky. While not the most interesting thing to happen to a group of people under one roof during the last HaleBopp flyby, Shades spins a tale of grief and redemption as the ghosts of war and trauma ebb and flow against the companionship of family. The show runs at 8 p.m. from Thursday-Saturday and again at 3 p.m. on Sunday until May 5. At 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0994 or thelatc.org. photo by Ed Krieger

If the butterfly effect is real and the flapping of one creature’s wings could spawn a hurricane in another part of the world one month from now, what effect will 53 species of butterflies concentrated in one exhibit have? Vast philosophical quandaries abound as the Natural History Museum brings back its seasonal Butterfly Pavilion on the front lawn of the Exposition Park museum. Lepidoptera enthusiasts are encouraged to escape the comfortable confines of their domestic chrysalises, paint on some false eyes to protect against predators and float on down to the exhibit that is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day through Sept 2. At 900 Exposition Blvd., (213) 763-DINO or nhm.org. photo courtesy AEG

saTurday, april 20 Book Drop Bash Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 8:30 p.m.: In conjunction with the L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Central Library is hosting a literary soiree that doubles as a philanthropic drive seeking your used books. Mingle with great minds and anonymously donate your signed copies of the Twilight saga. EMP Pop Conference 2013 REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or redcat.org. 8 p.m.: How does pop music function as a source of agency? What tangible goals lay within the realm of the contemporary cannon? How could a supposedly advanced society allow Rihanna to become a phenomenon? Academics, critics and musicians gather to ponder these questions (at least the first two) and many more. L.A. Times Festival of Books USC Campus,full schedule at events.latimes.com. April 20-21: Vendors, authors and bibliophiles unite for the annual collection of talks, lectures and readings. Taco Madness Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or grandparkla.org. Noon-7:30 p.m.: The finest taco purveyors in Los Angeles gather in one locations for you to taste and compare. Bring cash and plenty of Tums.

photo courtesy L.A. Puppet Fest

Thursday, april 18 Regional Connector Outreach Meeting Aratani Central Hall, 100 N. Central Ave., (213) 891-2965. 5 p.m.: More Regional Connector talk from the Shea Walsh Parsons squad, this time focused on the area around the planned station at First Street and Central Avenue.

Between extensive stadium renovations and billboard promises of a “whole new blue,” the Dodgers have undergone immense changes in the past year. While the proverbial proof pudding has yet to be sampled, the great hopes of fans rest squarely on the shoulders of team President and CEO Stan Kasten. He’ll be speaking on Wednesday, April 17, at a luncheon at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel hosted by Town Hall-Los Angeles. Baseball enthusiasts and business sycophants alike are invited to the noon event that includes a Q&A. Here’s your opportunity to ask what it feels like to spend $230 million on a group of guys who play baseball. At 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 628-8141 or townhall-la.org.

photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Wednesday, april 17 The Bonobo and the Atheist at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 2287500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: Primatologist Frans de Waal discusses the homosapien’s nymphomaniac cousin, the bonobo monkey, and the implications of that species’ areligious social structure. Stan Kasten at Town Hall L.A. Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 628-8141 or townhall-la.org. 11:30 a.m.: Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten talks management theory as it pertains to running a team with a $230 million dollar payroll.

DoDger Talk, BuTTerfly Wings anD some PuPPeT Trickery unfolD in DoWnToWn by Dan Johnson, listings eDitor | calendar@downtownnews.com

When the lights go down on Friday, April 19, and Bon Jovi takes the stage at Staples Center, audiences will be whisked back in a wave of nostalgia to 1989. Hair was big, tight leather pants and day-glo accouterments were in fashion and the “Jersey Shore” cast had yet to besmirch the good name of the entire Garden State. In that long-ago era Bon Jovi were the Pied Pipers of commercial rock with their ever-so-alluring “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Catch a glimpse of rock heartthrob/arena football owner Jon Bon Jovi as he struts his stuff. Sadly, guitarist Richie Sambora has left the tour due to personal issues. At 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7326 or staplescenter.com. Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to calendar@downtownnews.com.


16 Downtown News

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REDCAT 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or redcat.org. April 17, 8:30 p.m.: In conjunction with the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s hipster undertone imbued music festival, Wild Up explores a musical narrative ranging from contemporary rock to classical.

MORE LISTINGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at ladowntownnews.com/calendar: Rock, Pop & Jazz; Bars & Clubs; Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; Classical Music; Museums; and Tours.

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April 19, 10 p.m.: Kyau and Albert are Germany’s answer to Technotronic. April 21, 10 p.m.: DJ Yahel was formerly ranked No. 29 in the DJMag Competition. This listings editor was named No. 186,471. Nokia Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6020 or nokiatheatrelalive.com. April 18, 7 p.m.: April 18, 7 p.m.: This year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony features the vital sounds of Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush and Donna Summer. And Geddy Lee! April 20, 7 p.m.: Things are getting wild this 4/20 with Rajasthan’s best Bollywood playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan and Pakistani sensation Ali Zafar. Nola’s 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or nolasla.com. April 15, 7:30 p.m.: Cornerius Herring. April 16, 7:30 p.m.: Down Home Blues Jam Session. April 17, 7 p.m.: Al Marotta. One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or one-eyedgypsy.com. April 16, 9 p.m.: Kyle Crane Jazz Group. April 17, 9 p.m.: RT N the 44s. April 20, 10 p.m.: Will Magid. Orpheum 842 S. Broadway, (877) 677-4386 or laorpheum.com. April 16, 8 p.m.: Long forgotten singer Rodriguez was the subject of an Oscar winning documentary.

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vibrato of Keyshia Cole. April 20, 8 p.m.: The real spectacle at tonight’s Queensryche show is not the aging prog metal band but the numerous metalheads to be found in the L.A. Live parking lot weeping silently in their cars as they listen to “Silent Lucidity.” Conga Room 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-0162 or congaroom.com. April 19, 8 p.m.: Bachata Heightz is the finest musical export Dominican culture has to offer. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or theescondite.com. April 15, 10 p.m.: Yonatan & Friends are your source for jazz east of San Pedro street. April 16, 10 p.m.: Bunny West Boom Boom Boom… crazy talk vernacular for excellent Tuesday night music. April 17, 10 p.m.: Bluegrass trio Fiddle & Pine used to call themselves Fearmia until they were forced to join the witness protection program and change their name (we instantly regret printing that information). April 18, 10 p.m.: Sounds as blue as the Escondite’s neon sign with Tripp Rezac and the Downtown Train. April 19, 9 p.m.: It would have been easy for Trevor Menear and Johnny Moezzi to become DJs but they learned to play instruments instead. Thanks for keeping it real guys. April 20, 10 p.m.: Local legend Charlie Chan and the S.O.B.s: now available for bar mitzvahs and quinces. April 21, 9 p.m.: If it’s Sunday, RT N the 44s are going to be around bumping a little honkytonk. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or exchangela.com.

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Continued from previous page culture and DIY hip-hop. April 18, 8 p.m.: Hype aside, Nicky Blitz seems like he’s posturing to be the B-52s of the raised-byNintendo generation. Good luck. April 19, 8 p.m.: Once again the Bootleg hosts an indoctrination program for the ultra loud break beat agenda of producer Diplo’s Mad Decent label. April 20, 8 p.m.: The Wheeler Brothers advertise themselves as “one of the most exciting bands” coming out of Texas. We haven’t heard anything this interesting take root in the Lone Star since the film North Dallas Forty. April 21, 7 p.m.: “West Coast Love Fuzz” is the genre statement of a Hawthorne-based band and an awful strain of antibiotic-resistant displeasure your health teacher warned you about. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or broadwaybar.la. April 18, 10 p.m.: HM Soundsystem’s electronica program “Broader Than Broadway” is beginning to sound like an awfully good advertising slogan to the folks over at the new Ross Dress For Less. Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or bigcaseys.com. April 19, 10 p.m.: Belowme, a rock duo and statement on the futility of India’s caste system. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or clubnokia.com. April 17, 8:30 p.m.: Pride outfit the Dropkick Murphys. April 18, 10 p.m.: Post dubstep meets arena rock with Modestep and Mimosa. Think of it as the JC Penney’s of modern electronica. April 19, 8 p.m.: The travails of urban romance are manifested in the lyrical histrionics and vocal

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Celebrating 40 Years

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Downtown News 17

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APRIL 12, 2013 NOTICE OF INTENT TO ADOPT A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION PROJECT NAME: Slauson Wall Redevelopment Project COMMENT DUE DATE: 4:30 PM, May 2, 2013 Notice is hereby given that CRA/LA, a Designated Local Authority (CRA/LA), has completed an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the project identified above in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Public Resources Code [PRC], §§ 21000 et seq.). Comments and concerns regarding the environmental issues associated with the proposed project are requested from individuals, agencies, and other organizations. For agencies reviewing this notice, we request your review as to the scope and content of the environmental information relevant to your agency’s statutory responsibilities in connection with the proposed project. Your agency will need to use the MND prepared by CRA/LA for the proposed project when considering any permit or other approval that your agency must issue for the project. PROJECT LOCATION: The project site is approximately seven acres in Southeast Los Angeles. The addresses associated with the site are 5829–5935 South Los Angeles Street, 5828–5936 Wall Street, and 200 East Slauson Avenue. The site is bounded by East Slauson Avenue to the north, South Wall Street to the west, South Los Angeles Street to the east, and eight single-family residences along East 59th Place to the south. Regional access is provided by Interstate 110 (I-110) approximately one-half mile west of the project site. PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The proposed Slauson Wall Redevelopment project involves the redevelopment of seven acres of existing industrial uses with four acres of public park space and three acres of affordable housing development. A 6,500-square foot public community center may be built on the first floor of one of two residential buildings. The public park would include a skate park, a plaza, basketball courts, a community garden, a playground/tot lot, a fitness area, several picnic areas, a water feature with rainwater collection and filtration, several pedestrian walking paths, a restroom facility, and surface parking lot along Los Angeles Street. Two 4-story housing buildings would be built in the southern third of the site. One building would face Wall Street and the other on Los Angeles Street. The project proposes up to 121 two- and three-bedroom units. A surface parking lot with 135 spaces would accommodate the residential uses and community center. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SITES: The project site was listed on one list enumerated under Section 65962.5 of the Government Code, the EPA Targeted Brownfields Assessments list. The site is listed on the federal brownfield database; and previous soil and soil vapor investigations have revealed the site soil and soil vapor is impacted with tetracholorethene (PCE) trichloroethylene (TCE), ethylbenzene, toluene, and total xylenes in excess of the California Human Health Screening Levels.

CRA/LA 1200 W. 7th Street, Suite 200 Los Angeles, CA 90017

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SHORTENED REVIEW PERIOD: In accordance with CEQA Guidelines Appendix K, CRA/LA has requested the State Clearinghouse for a shortened review period. The CRA/LA has received prior approval from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and California Department of Parks and Recreation, the applicable Responsible and Trustee agencies for the project. If approved, the public review period would be reduced from 30 days to 20 days. Public review starts April 12, 2013, and would end May 1, 2013.

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SUBMISSION OF COMMENTS: Comments on the adequacy of the MND shall be postmarked on or before May 1, 2013. Please address comments to: Josh Rohmer, Project Manager CRA/LA, a Designated Local Authority 1200 W. Seventh Street | Suite 200 | Los Angeles CA 90017 T 213.977.1814 | F 213.617.8233 | E jrohmer@crala.org PUBLIC MEETING: The CRA/LA Governing Board will consider adoption of the MND at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board on May 16, 2013 at The Garland Center, 1200 W. 7th Street, 1st Floor Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, starting at 9:30 AM.

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REPOSITORIES: The MND can be downloaded on the CRA/LA website at http://www.crala.org/internet-site/Documents/other_documents.cfm. Hard copies are available for review at the following repositories:

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PUBLIC NOTICE Notice is hereby given that: Cathay Bank, headquartered at 777 North Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90012 has filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), an application to establish a new office: Cathay Bank Sacramento Branch To be located at: 4970 Freeport Blvd Sacramento, California, 95822 Any person wishing to comment on this application may file his or her comments in writing with the Regional Director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 25 Jessie Street at Ecker Square, Suite 2300, San Francisco, California 94105 and/or the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, California Department of Financial Institutions, 45 Fremont Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco, California 94105, not later than 15 days after the date of this newspaper publication. The non-confidential portions of the application are on file at the appropriate FDIC office and are available for public inspection during regular business hours. Photocopies of the non-confidential portion of the application file will be made available upon request. This notice is published pursuant to 12 CFR §303.7.


18 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years Continued from previous page

PUBLIC NOTICE

AUTOS

EMPLOYMENT

Notice is hereby given that: Cathay Bank, headquartered at 777 North Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90012 has filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), and the New York State Department of Financial Services an application to establish a new office: Cathay Bank Bensonhurst Branch To be located at: 6912 18th Avenue Brooklyn, New York, 11204 Any person wishing to comment on this application may file his or her comments in writing with the Regional Director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 25 Jessie Street at Ecker Square, Suite 2300, San Francisco, California 94105 and/or the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, California Department of Financial Institutions, 45 Fremont Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco, California 94105, and/or the Superintendent of Financial Services, New York State Department of Financial Services, One Commerce Plaza, Albany, New York, 12257 not later than 15 days after the date of this newspaper publication. The non-confidential portions of the application are on file at the appropriate FDIC office and are available for public inspection during regular business hours. Photocopies of the non-confidential portion of the application file will be made available upon request.

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This notice is published pursuant to 12 CFR §303.7.

PUBLIC NOTICE Notice is hereby given that: Cathay Bank, headquartered at 777 North Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90012 has filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) an application to close its Sacramento Branch located at 5591 Sky Parkway, Sacramento, California, 95823. Any person wishing to comment on this application may file his or her comments in writing with the Regional Director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 25 Jessie Street at Ecker Square, Suite 2300, San Francisco, California 94105 and/or the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, California Department of Financial Institutions, 45 Fremont Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco, California 94105, not later than 15 days after the date of this newspaper publication. The non-confidential portions of the application are on file at the appropriate FDIC office and are available for public inspection during regular business hours. Photocopies of the non-confidential portion of the application file will be made available upon request. This notice is published pursuant to 12 CFR §303.7.

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April 15, 2013

Downtown News 19

Celebrating 40 Years

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LEGAL PROBATE PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE

representative will be required to NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE OF LUZ give notice to interested persons MARIA OSEGUERA unless they have waived notice CASE NO. BP140081 or consented to the proposed To all heirs, beneficiaries, crediaction.) The independent admintors, Los contingent creditors,News and istration authority will be granted Angeles Downtown persons who may otherwise be an interested person files 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, unless CA 90026 interested in the will or estate, or an objection to the petition and phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 both, of Luz Maria Oseguera. shows good cause why the court web: DowntownNews.com • email: realpeople@downtownnews.com A Petition for Probate has been should not grant the authority. filed by: Josefina Oseguera in A hearing on the petition will be facebook: twitter: the Superior Court of California, held in this court as follows: L.A. Downtown News DowntownNews County of Los Angeles. Date: 05/13/13 - Time: 8:30 A.M. The Petition for Probate requests - Dept.: 11. Address of the court: that: Editor Josefina Oseguera Sue be ap& PublishEr: Laris 111 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, pointed as personal representaGENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin CA 90012 tive to administer the estate of If you object to the granting of ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie the petition, you should appear the decedent. citY Editor: Richard Guzmán The petition requests authority to at the hearing and state your obadminister the estate under the jections or file written objections stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt Independent Administration of Maese with the court before the hearing. coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Estates Act. (This writErs: authorityDave will Denholm, Your appearance mayFischer, be in percoNtributiNG Jeff Favre, Greg allowKristin the personal representaor by your Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryanson E. Smith, Marc attorney. Porter Zasada tive to take many actions without If you are a creditor or a continArt dirEctor: Brian Allison obtaining court approval. Before gent creditor of the decedent, taking certain Art very important you must file your claim with the AssistANt dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa actions, however,ANd theGrAPhics: personalAlexis Rawlins ProductioN

court and mail a copy to the personal representative appointed by the court within four months from the date of first issuance of letters as provided in Probate Code section 9100. The time for filing claims will not expire before four months from the hearing date noticed above. You may examine the file kept by the court. If you are a person interested in the estate, you may file with the court a Request for Special Notice (form DE-1 54) of the filing of an inventory and appraisal of estate assets or of any petition or account as provided in Probate Code section 1250. A Request for Special Notice form is available from the court clerk. Attorney for petitioner: Javier H. Castillo, Esq., 2126 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello, CA 90640; Tel.(888) 229-0089 Pub. 4/1, 4/8, 4/15/13

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Dave Denholm, Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryan E. Smith, Marc Porter Zasada Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com email: realpeople@downtownnews.com

PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

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AccouNtiNG: Ashley Schmidt AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Catherine Holloway, Sol Ortasse sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

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20 Downtown News

April 15, 2013

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04-15-13