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NEWS Volume 39, Number 16


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April 19, 2010

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The Stimulus in Downtown

photos by Gary Leonard

Federal Recovery Act Has Already Sent More Than $500 Million to the Community

Analyzing Downtown apartment trends.


Electric car facility may come Downtown.


YWCA Jobs Corps Campus

Para Los Ninos


Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension

Cornerstone Theater Company

New Genesis Apartments


$50,000 rendering courtesy of New Genesis Apartments

$81.9 million El Dorado auction is canceled.


Return of the Grilled Cheese Invitational.


$66.7 million Pulling strings with a marionette master.




$9.6 Million

Six of the more than 50 Downtown Los Angeles entities that are receiving funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR


hen Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009, it launched a $787 billion initiative. It also sparked a sharp debate, with some questioning the prudence of government spending as a way to cure a recession, and others warning the funding level was too paltry to make a real difference. More than a year later, it is difficult to tell how effective the federal stimulus has been — the economy is showing signs of rebounding, but it is also

RowanBottomPage_DTN2_Layout 1 4/15/10 3:29 PM Page 1


still lumbering, with credit hard to come by and a California unemployment rate of 12.5%. What is indisputable, however, is that some of the money has flowed into Downtown Los Angeles. A Los Angeles Downtown News analysis has determined that Downtown entities have been awarded more than $500 million in Recovery Act funds. Take away public recipients at City Hall and other municipal agencies and that figure drops to about $107 million. The largest grants have gone to public entities such as Metro — the transit agency got $66.7 million to help fund the Gold Line Eastside Extension,

and another $241 million to overhaul its fleet of buses running on compressed natural gas. In Downtown, dozens of small grants have been issued to nonprofit housing developers, a wide array of cultural institutions, schools and other groups. Money was allocated usually to support projects that were in jeopardy for financial reasons, or that needed new staff to reach completion. From a $50,000 grant to fund a staff position at the Arts District’s Cornerstone Theater Company to a $9.6 million award to Skid Row Housing Trust for the construction of a new affordable see Stimulus, page 8






*Tax Credits vary based upon buyer qualifications and timing of sales closings per State/Federal programs and funding availability. Please consult with a tax advisor for further details.

2 Downtown News

AROUNDTOWN Council Offers $50,000 Reward For Hit and Run Killing


ourteenth District City Councilman José Huizar last week announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who struck and killed a 59-year-old factory worker. On March 29 at about 3 a.m., Carlos Perez was attempting to cross Alameda Street near Hunter Street in the Produce District on his way to I & T Produce, where he had worked for 36 years. He was hit by a dark-colored 2005 or 2006 Infiniti G35 and died at the scene. The driver of the four-door sedan sped off, according to police. “Mr. Perez was a loving husband, father and grandfather and his family deserves closure,” said Huizar. “It is my sincere hope that this $50,000 reward will help them achieve that and I implore the public to come forward with whatever information they might have.” On Thursday, April 15, about 15 members of Perez’s family stood with Huizar to announce the reward. Those gathered included Perez’s wife of 34 years, Jeanette, and several grandchildren, who held placards reading, “We love you Grandpa.” Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Josephine Mapson or Det. Felix Padilla at (213) 972-1825.

Downtown News Is Hiring Again


April 19, 2010


he Los Angeles Downtown News is looking to hire an experienced advertising sales professional to sell our annual Downtown Guide. About the Guide: It is in its 11th year of publication and is considered the best and most comprehensive guide to Downtown. Printed on glossy stock in magazine format with many gorgeous four-color photographs of various Downtown venues, last year’s edition offered nearly 100 pages of helpful information about Downtown. The Guide is widely popular among Downtown residents, commuters and tourists. There are 110,000 copies of the Guide distributed throughout the year including in 47,000 copies of Downtown News on Sept. 27. Additional copies are handed out all year to Downtown visitors by groups and/or organizations such as the local Business Improvement Districts, hotels, the Hollywood and Highland Center, various visitors centers, the Convention Center, L.A. Live and real estate offices. It is also available all year online at or directly at About the job: This person will be selling advertising in the Guide to a wide array of Downtown prospects including restaurants, boutiques, museums, retail businesses, real estate offices, auto dealers and more. Last year there were more than 70 advertisers displayed in the magazine, and we’re looking to expand that this year. The ideal applicant would have prior print media sales experience, be well organized, tenacious, ambitious, highenergy, a self-starter and have solid phone and in-person skills. Must also be a strong closer and live in or near Downtown Los Angeles or, at the very least, have a detailed understanding of the uniqueness that is Downtown Los Angeles. Compensation for this position includes salary plus commission. Please send your cover letter and resume to Advertising Director Steve Nakutin at Please include the subject line DTG SALES POSITION. No phone calls please.

Bike for the Bloodmobile


he 13th annual Volkswagen City of Angels Fun Ride returns Sunday, April 25, with more than 1,000 cyclists expected to take part in a ride through Downtown escorted by LAPD motorcycle officers. The 24-mile trek starts and ends at the Los Angeles Police Academy. Although it will follow a leisurely pace of 12-13 miles per hour, the ride is not recommended for children. The event is a benefit for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Bloodmobile Fund. To register and to see the route map, go to

SRO Housing Gets CRA Loan To Purchase Rosslyn Hotel


he Community Redevelopment Agency last week approved a $5 million loan to nonprofit developer SRO Housing Corp. to aid in its pending purchase of the Rosslyn Hotel. SRO is in escrow on a $12 million acquisition of the 1923 building at 112 W. Fifth St. Joseph Corcoran, SRO’s director of planning and urban development, has said he expects escrow to close in June. The 264-unit property is currently 89% occupied. SRO intends to maintain the existing

University of Southern California

Wagner Does Shakespeare Basquiat, A German Romantic take the Musical on Measure for Measure.

affordability mix of the building during a pre-development phase that will take about two years. In approving the loan, the CRA added a condition binding SRO to its plan not to change rent levels during the pre-development phase, and also prohibited SRO from implementing its normal policy of charging overnight guest fees. Though SRO intends eventually to rehabilitate the building’s interior, the organization will have to return to the CRA board before starting construction or altering pricing.

Cops Seize 60 Pounds of Pot


entral Division police recently seized 60 pounds of marijuana from a car. Acting on an anonymous tip, on April 7 they intercepted a car at the Bunker Hill Tower apartments. Police arrested the unlicensed driver, Hector Cabrera, 33, and front seat passenger Fernando Padilla, 38, for transporting drugs. Bail was set at $100,000 for each of the suspects. Detectives were waiting for a car that fit the tipster’s description, a gray Ford Escort, which showed up at the apartment building at 234 S. Figueroa St. at about 4 p.m. with three men inside, said Lt. Paul Vernon. “It didn’t take the detectives long to realize they had the right car,” Vernon said. “There was so much weed in the car, they could smell it when they approached the driver’s window.” An adult passenger in the back seat was questioned and released. Vernon said information from the tip suggested that the marijuana was bound for Skid Row.

Angels Flight Hits Nearly 60,000 Riders


he Angels Flight Railway Foundation last week announced it will produce a Bunker Hill history brochure and reproductions of paintings of Bunker Hill by Leo Politi, the late artist, author and illustrator. The artwork will be on display on a wall adjacent to the track structure. The Foundation also announced a partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which will allow it to receive donations through its website at The announcements came during a lunch for donors on Thursday, April 15. Officials also said that since the railway’s reopening in March, following a nine-year closure, more than 59,000 passenger trips have been taken.

Why does this little burger stand attract over a million people a year?

Das Liebesverbot Snatch a sneak peek of By Richard Prodigy, theWagner new Wednesday and Friday, rock musical. April 21 and 23, at 8 p.m. Sunday, April at 2 p.m. Thursday and25, Friday, May 28 and 29, 8 p.m. Bing Theatre Tickets: $18 general Ramo Recital Hall admission (213) 740-4672 Admission: $20 (213) 740-2167

Wagner’s second opera hipflopped Enter the graffiti-splashed, on opening night and was seldom hopped-up world of the impossibly seen or heard thereafter. Now as part gifted 1980s phenomenon Jean-Michel of the citywide Ring Festival L.A., Basquiat. From of homeless drug addict the vocal artists USC Thornton to pampered darling off of the York Opera have polished this New “forgotcultural elite, offering the Haitian-American ten comedy,” the West Coast premiere oflived Das Liebesverbot (The exisiconoclast a fast and furious Ban on Love). Based on Shaketence, drawing into his orbit the likes speare’s Measure for of Andy darkly Warholhumorous and Madonna before Measure, it is the young composer’s his star supernovaed in a “speedslap at pious hypocrisy. (Wagner was balling” at age 28.Cazan’s Don’t then justaccident 22.) Director Ken miss thisproduction professional staged reading updated is set in 1930s of whatwhere, may be year’s Broadway Sicily, on next the eve of Carnival, sensation, withgovernor book and by the puritanical oflyrics Palermo has decreed a ban on lovemaking, USC Thornton Opera director Ken under penalty of death! Naturally, Cazan and a rap-Latin-alternative much forbidden lovemaking rock score by composer Billyensues. Pace.

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“Pride, Bigotry and UnderPrejudice, Construction Genius: Richard Wagner’s Tuesday, May 26, through Saturday, World” May 30. Tuesday, April at 7 p.m. Performed in 20, repertory. Curtain times vary.

Wagner, the of racist. Wagner, the anti-Semite. The School Theatre showcases work by three Wagner, the transcendent artist. L.A. Opera up-and-coming playwrights – this year’s gradumusic director James Conlon – who, together ates of the MFA in dramatic writing program. with acclaimed German director/designer Choose from About Harvest, describing a forbidAchim Freyer, has undertaken the joyous labor den love between an American farm girl and a of putting on the first Ring cycle in Los Angeles German POW working in the history – grapples with her the family’s brilliantfields composer’s 1940s; Daughters Lot, a retelling the biblical controversial beliefofsystem at a freeofUSC

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story lecture. of the fiery from Sodom; andongoing Tether, public Theflight event is part of the citywide Ring Festival L.A., featuring events which relates the strange tale of twin sisters thematically related the four-opera series, Lach and Lam – oneto black, the other white. Der Ring des Nibelungen. McClintock Building Bing Theatre Free Admission: Admission: Free (213) 740-2167

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Jeanette lived next door to Nick Shammas. They both went to Fairfax High, where Nick famously fixed his principal’s car. She saw him around the neighborhood, but there were no sparks until a double date — a date in which they were not each other’s planned partners. During and after high school, Nick sold cars. Back then, people didn’t always pay in full, and he carried around a tattered “pickup payment” accordion file everywhere with him. People were always dropping off bits of their payments, or he was picking them up. For Christmas, she gave him a new leather file. As the cars moved off the lots, the couple continued to buy land in the area. Nick and Jeanette opened a Volkswagen store at Washington and Figueroa in 1959. Sometimes they bought land because their dealerships needed more room. Often the land became available as other car dealers were migrating away from the central city and heading to the suburbs. But Nick and Jeanette were dedicated to the area. Perhaps more than anything, they simply understood the ebb and flow of business. After the riots in 1992, business on Figueroa slowed again. But the family compensated. In addition to the aforementioned Chevrolet and Volkswagen, they brought Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Nissan, Subaru, Dodge and Mitsubishi stores Downtown. “Whatever was popular, we had it,” Jeanette said. Jeanette goes to work every day at the Felix dealership, and literally watches as the Figueroa Corridor builds up around her. The latest entry is the University Gateway project, a student housing project sitting on land that USC leased from the Shammas Group. From her condo window, she sees the past; from her office window, the future. Figueroa is flush with business now, and the Shammas stake in that progress is enormous. “I do like to develop the property. I like to see it start looking better, and I like good business,” Jeanette said.


4 Downtown News

April 19, 2010


EDITORIALS New Skid Row Drug Dealer Crackdown Could Be a Game Changer


hree and a half years ago, Los Angeles political leaders, police and prosecutorial officials launched the most important move Skid Row had seen in many years. Following decades of a “containment” policy that concentrated the region’s homeless services in the area, the Safer Cities Initiative was an effort to combat the rampant lawbreaking that came to be tolerated in the community. The deployment of 50 additional police officers to Skid Row to crack down on quality-of-life crimes yielded immediate results. Although some detractors claimed that the LAPD was in effect criminalizing homelessness through the SCI, they were wrong: This was a crucial step in making the area better for everyone. Yes, businesses in Central City East and market-rate housing providers in adjacent communities benefited, but the impoverished, the mentally ill and the addicted also saw gains from a cleaner, safer community. Now, another key program is being launched. If the crackdown on drug dealers in Skid Row recently announced by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich reaches its potential, it will rank on a level with the Safer Cities Initiative. In some regards it could have an even greater impact, as it seeks to target the predators who exploit the addicts. This could be a game changer. On April 7, Trutanich appeared with Police Chief Charlie Beck, Sheriff Lee Baca, Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry and a cadre of other officials, including many homeless service providers, to announce an unprecedented move. Trutanich’s office is seeking a judge’s approval for an injunction that would bar 80 people, all with multiple drug-related convictions, from entering the area bounded by Broadway, Central Avenue, Third and Ninth streets. While this would not halt narcotics activity in the so-called Central City Recovery Zone, it would seriously crimp the efforts of the gangs that deal crack, heroin, meth, marijuana and other drugs in the neighborhood. The area’s lucrative and illegal drug trade has even created a situation where, according to city attorney and police officials, the gangs don’t fight over turf because there is plenty of money to go around. The injunction is the result of a long and carefully orchestrated process, and Trutanich’s team, helmed by Bruce Riordan, the chief of the office’s gang division, has done its homework. The more than six months of evidence presented

to the judge includes testimonials from police and narcotics experts, as well as photographs and video of apparent drug dealing by the 80 named individuals. Trutanich’s office also wants the authority to add up to 300 more people to the list if evidence can be gathered that they too are dealing in the neighborhood. This provides a tool against replacement dealers that the gangs might cycle in if current traffickers stay away or are arrested. As the process moves forward (those named have the opportunity to challenge their inclusion), the pressure is on Trutanich’s office to be 100% correct with their drug-related evidence. Protesters are looking for any chance to say that inocent people are being targeted simply for being homeless. The overall goal here is extraordinarily important: This tool would attempt to chop off at the knees those who prey on Skid Row’s addicts. The injunction recognizes that these are some of the most vulnerable people in the community, that due to their addiction — problems which in most cases require extensive treatment and therapy — and often a concurrent mental illness, far too many lack the power not to buy drugs. This is where the exploitation comes in. The dealers mostly live outside the area. They flock to the community to sell to and take advantage of those who can’t say no. Trutanich’s office and others experienced in Skid Row say that the dealers not only work the streets, but they sometimes infiltrate the missions and offices of service providers. Other times they turn addicts into middlemen. It is a cruel if effective business strategy, the gangs knowing that the temptation is often too much even for those who want to quit. The “business” aspect has a role in all of this, as Trutanich is basing the injunction on the state’s Unfair Business Practices Act. The law’s broad, flexible boundaries make it a powerful tool for prosecutors to pursue the dealers. In fact, a similar effort has been tried before. In 2008, then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo used the same act as the basis for an injunction against 15 members of the Fifth and Hill gang, a heroin-dealing group that worked the area around Pershing Square. Once the injunction went into effect, it led to a serious slowdown in trafficking in the neighborhood. This time, the stakes are greater. Naming 80 individuals,

and picking such an expansive area, comes with numerous challenges. Much of the onus will fall on the LAPD officers who patrol the community. They will be given special training on enforcing the injunction and will carry books with mug shots of the individuals. As we say, they will need to adhere to the letter of the law in every regard and be sure they are confronting the named figures, not people who look like them; the slightest infraction both puts the overall program into question and will raise the hackles of the protesters. One other thing about those protesters, many of whom carried placards and chanted opposition slogans at the announcement of the injunction: They are off base in their knee-jerk opposition to this plan, which they were complaining about even before hearing the details. Given the scope of the effort, they should have been the first ones supporting the injunction, embracing it even before the business community and any members of the Downtown “mainstream.” This, after all, is an effort to protect and aid the addicted and the impoverished, many of whom live on the streets. It was misdirected anger when the protestors complained that money and energy should go into housing and recovery programs instead of this effort. It is not a case of one or the other. This injunction works in conjunction with the positive activity already underway in the area. Hundreds of units of low-income housing have opened recently or are under construction in Skid Row, which will add to the thousands already in place. It makes sense now to focus some resources on making residents safe. Trutanich and his team deserve congratulations for launching this momentous undertaking. No one has ever sought to take such a large whack at the drug dealers, the area’s most entrenched and insidious problem. This won’t be easy, and it is likely that unanticipated challenges will arise. As they do, everyone on the policing and the prosecutorial side will have to remain calm and be ready to adapt. This is too important for a mistake. With that said, the injunction should be pursued aggressively. We urge broad-based community support for this effort. Done right, this could be a home run. Done right, it will pay dividends in Downtown Los Angeles for many years to come.

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: • email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News

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Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editors: David Friedman, Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jay Berman, Jeff Favre, Michael X. Ferraro, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Rod Riggs, Marc Porter Zasada Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins ProductioN AssistANt / EvENt coordiNAtor: Claudia Hernandez PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Ashley Schmidt AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin sAlEs AssistANt: Annette Cruz clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Steve Epstein, Catherine Holloway, Tam Nguyen, Kelley Smith circulAtioN: Norma Rodas distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

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April 19, 2010

Downtown News 5

Rental Rollercoaster Report Finds Los Angeles Apartment Rates Dropping, Though Downtown Landlords See a Different Market by Richard Guzmán city editor


study recently released by the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate had harsh tones for landlords, with a prediction that rents for Los Angeles County apartments would decline by an average of 3.5% this year. A group of Downtown Los Angeles building owners don’t think they will take a hit. “I don’t agree with this projection,” said developer Barry Shy, who owns six properties with more than 1,100 apartments in the Historic Core. “In my experience, new construction stopped a while back and we’re in a city where new people keep coming and the demand will still be there, but the supply is stopping.” Shy’s stance was similar to that of several other Downtown landlords, who said that despite a 9.9% decline in Downtown rental prices last year, this year they are likely to hold steady and could even increase. The Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast, released by the Lusk Center this month, said the high number of foreclosures and overbuilding during the housing bubble has resulted in a glut of rentals in Southern California. It also said a large “shadow supply” of single family homes and condos that have gone on the rental market will continue to put pressure on rents. The study focused on Los Angeles County, Orange County, the Inland Empire and San

Diego County. The largest projected decline was for L.A. County, and San Diego County was the only locale projected to see an increase, though with a meager 0.7% rate of growth. Tracey Seslen, a professor at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate who co-authored the study, said no forecasts were prepared for submarkets such as Downtown. But she said the decline is expected to be more moderate than last year’s nearly 10% drop. “All markets are going to be performing better this year than last year, although for some that still means a decline,” she said. Occupancy Bounce The report does provide some interesting details about the Downtown rental market. According to the study, Downtown showed “an incredible” recovery in 2009, with the occupancy level rising from 85.5% to 95.5%. Downtown had 8,350 net move-ins in 2009, with average rents ending at $1,654 per month, a 9.9% decrease from the previous year’s $1,836. The average rent in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in 2009 was $1,488, down 5.8% from 2008. There were 1,307 units completed in Downtown in 2009, approximately one quarter of the supply in the county, according to the report. It also stated that 1,107 new units are expected in 2010. Andrew Murray, CFO of Meruelo Maddox Properties, which in Downtown owns the Union Lofts, said he has come to a completely opposite conclusion than the report,

photo by Gary Leonard

Matt and Howard Klein, developers of the Factory Place Arts Complex, don’t see any indication that rents in Downtown will decrease in 2010. Their 51-unit Arts District project opened in December and is more than 50% filled.

at least when it comes to Downtown. He said the report’s definition of Downtown is larger in scope than what most stakeholders think of the area, extending to Western Avenue and including projects such as Miramar Village, near Beverly Boulevard and Alvarado Street. He said that because of the halt in construction, new units coming on the market are likely to be quickly rented. “When everything is full and there’s no new supply, then guess what? Rents are going to go up,” he said. Indeed, some recently opened projects have been quickly finding tenants. Less than two months after opening in January, and with little advertising, 27 of the 38 apartments in the Emil Brown Lofts at 308 E. Ninth St. had been rented, at prices of $1,200-$3,000 for 750-1,700-square-foot lofts. In the Arts District, the Brick Lofts opened in December, and three months later had filled 17 of its 21 units using ads on Craigslist and a banner outside the building. The market has also been kind to Howard

and Matt Klein, a father-son development team that opened the 51-unit Factory Place Arts Complex on Dec. 1 “I can say that we are now well over 50% rented in our new development, and are holding firm with our pricing,” Matt Klein said in an email. “Furthermore, we haven’t encountered anything that would lead us to believe that rents are going down this year.” Shy, meanwhile, said he had 60 people on the waiting list when he began leasing his 25-story, 270-unit SB Tower in January. Rents in the building at 600 S. Spring St. range from $1,250-$2,800 for apartments that are 700-1,500 square feet. Shy said about a year ago he was offering new tenants discounts of up to $300 at his various properties. Although prospective tenants are still asking for deals, Shy said he is now more likely to stand firm. “I used to give discounts a year ago, but I don’t lower prices anymore,” he said. Contact Richard Guzmán at

6 Downtown News

April 19, 2010


AMP Lofts Approved Controversial Arts District Project Revived by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer


t took more than four years, but the developers of a proposed 180unit live work residential complex in the Arts District notched final approval from the Community Redevelopment Agency last week. Though the board decision concludes a contentious entitlement process for the proposed AMP Lofts, the project does not yet have financing and there is no timeline for breaking ground. Developers Scott Spiwak and David Seewack found themselves in the middle of a sharp debate about Downtown industrial land when they initially proposed converting their auto parts factory at 695 S. Santa Fe Ave. into lofts. The factory, American Moving Parts, which occupies eight structures on and around the property, can no longer continue in the outdated facilities, Seewack said. “The buildings in most cases are in disrepair,” Seewack said. “My business has been prohibited from growing as a result of the process. I’m a business owner and I own the property and I’m not really a developer, but I’m trying to develop the property because I can no longer run my business there.” The Planning Department and CRA had challenged the project because it would essentially replace a chunk of industrial-zoned land with

residential use. But in 2008, the City Council trumped the agencies, adopting 14th District Councilman José Huizar’s effort to expand the Arts District boundaries to include the AMP Lofts property. The CRA’s April 15 vote followed some unexpected challenges to the project by the board. Some board members were concerned that 35 jobs at American Moving Parts would be lost in the process. That won’t be the case, as the developers had already pledged to CRA staff that the jobs would be relocated when Seewack and Spiwak move their business to another CRA project area in Los Angeles, said land use consultant Kate Bartolo, who helped the developers through the entitlement process. The project calls for 180 units, 5% of which would be reserved for low income residents; another 10% would be set aside for moderate income residents. No financing is in place, and it remains unclear whether the units would be for sale or for rent, she said. “Given the very substantial delays that have been incurred by the CRA staff negotiations, right now it’s probably not a great time to go for financing,” Bartolo said. “So we’re going to be in a holding pattern for a while as we wait for a revival in the real estate market.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

Electric Car Company Eyeing Cleantech Site Deal Could Activate Key 20-Acre Plot by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer


oda Automotive, a Santa Monicabased electric car company, is in advanced talks with the Community Redevelopment Agency to develop a battery assembly factory on a 20-acre plot on the eastern edge of Downtown. The CRA has been angling to bring an environmentally friendly technology company to its Cleantech Manufacturing Center site since September 2008. AnsaldoBreda, an Italian rail car manufacturer, had been slated to develop the plot southeast of the Central Business District and near the Los Angeles River before it pulled out of a deal at the last minute last year. The CRA board on April 15 was scheduled to consider entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Coda, but the board motion was postponed. The proposed agreement, which CRA officials would not comment on, concerns plans to develop a plant for the assembly of lithium-ion battery packs used in Coda vehicles. “We haven’t signed any type of formal agreement yet but it’s definitely an area of interest, as are several other areas of interest in greater Southern California,” Coda spokesman Forrest Beanum said before the CRA meeting had been publicly announced. The facility would be part of the cars’ final as-

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sembly process, with most of the manufacturing taking place in China. Coda partners with various Chinese firms to build the all-electric vehicles, which are expected to be available for sale to the public later this year, according to the company’s website. The city purchased the site, east of Santa Fe Avenue near the intersection of 15th Street and Washington Boulevard, from the state for $14 million in April 2008. The plot had a long history of industrial users, which led to heavy contamination. The city spent $2.2 million to clean it up. AnsaldoBreda, in a deal strongly pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, had been slated to develop a 240,000-square-foot, $70 million light rail manufacturing facility on a 14.3-acre portion of the property. The deal fell apart last October when the company refused to sign a contract it had negotiated with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. AnsaldoBreda would have produced 100 rail cars at the plant. David Riccitiello, regional administrator for the CRA’s Downtown region, said that the CRA and Coda intended to be ready to consider the agreement last week, but one issue remained unresolved by the meeting date. He said the agency hopes to bring the motion back before the board at its May 6 meeting. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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Join us as we wrap up our “April in the Arts” series of programming. This Sunday, poet, author and Senior Minister, Dr. R. Scott Colglazier preaches “Hearing the Word Anew: Why Poetry Still Matters.” Plus, we welcome Los Angeles poet, Cecilia Woloch, award winning author of collections Narcissus and Carpathia, to do a reading of her work during this unique Sunday Worship Service.

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April 19, 2010

Downtown News 7



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Textured Lives: Immigrant Clothing from the Plantations of Hawai`i Through May 30, 2010

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Join us for a trunk show featuring the work by four artists and designers—Georgeanne Alex, Karen Brock, and Kumiko and Yoshiko Imoto—see how they transform vintage and new kimono textiles into practical works of art. Work will be available for sale during the show. Kimono: From Past to Present 2 pm Learn about the evolution of the kimono from the streets of yesterday to modern Japan. Call 213.628.0414, or visit for Museum hours, admission, and calendar of events.

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8 Downtown News

April 19, 2010


Stimulus Continued from page 1 housing project, the list of Downtown area grants is long and its recipients diverse. “Getting this grant was super important for us,” said Sabrina Sikes, development associate at Cornerstone Theater Company. Cornerstone’s grant allowed the company to hire a fulltime staffer to serve as the group’s ombudsman to the communities that serve as inspiration and location for their productions. The company once had someone full-time in that position, but then money became scarce, forcing several staffers to tag team on the responsibility. “We just didn’t have the funds to rehire,” Sikes said. The Weingart Center Association, a Skid Row provider

of transitional housing and workforce training, received three Recovery Act grants totaling $1 million: The funds will allow the Weingart to send 32 more AmeriCorps workers into the streets to do outreach and bring homeless people to their services, said Deborah Villar, Weingart vice president of development. Para Los Niños, which caters to at-risk youth and lowincome families, received $967,768 to expand its youth workforce program, giving job training and internship placement to 442 additional teens. “It was a huge amount of money and it enabled us to serve so many more young people at a really critical time,” Para Los Niños spokeswoman Elena Stern said. “A lot of young people were supplementing their parents’ income when parents lost jobs, so the funding was right on for the clients we serve.” Follow the Map The $787 billion breaks down in three ways: $288 billion was set aside for tax relief; $224 billion was earmarked for


federal education, health care and entitlement programs like extended unemployment benefits; and $275 billion is being made available to businesses, nonprofits and public agencies to save or create jobs, or provide services to the unemployed. When President Barack Obama signed the Recovery Act last year, the White House pledged that the spending effort would be unprecedented in its transparency, making all relevant information about stimulus grants available at the website The site allows users to track grants, loans and contracts by state or even zip code. Searching for zip code 90013, for example, yields a Downtown map with dozens of blue dots, signifying grants across nearly all parts of the community. Clicking on the individual dots brings up amounts allocated

Follow the Money A Glance at Some of the Downtown Projects Receiving Stimulus Funds




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ore than 50 Downtown entities have been awarded Recovery Act grants. The following list is a snapshot of those recipients.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: In addition to a $66.7 million grant to help fund the Gold Line Eastside Extension light rail line, the agency has been awarded $241,071,113 for a variety of infrastructure improvements including the purchase of 141 compressed natural gas buses. Amount Received So Far: $13.4 million Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: 53 Skid Row Housing Trust: A $9,668,100 grant will help pay for the construction of the New Genesis Apartments, a new affordable housing development for homeless and low-income residents at 458 S. Main St. Amount Received So Far: None Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: It’s unclear how many jobs will be tied directly to the Recovery Act dollars, but SRHT estimates that the project will generate 220 construction jobs and eight permanent positions. Chinatown Service Center: The community-based health services organization, which mostly serves the area’s Chinese American population, has been awarded two grants, for $387,000 and $193,000, enabling the center to expand its healthcare services. Amount Received So Far: $52,362 Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: 0

Photo courtesy of Berger/Conser Photography, from the book The Last Remaining Seats: Movie Palaces of Tinseltown

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Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising: The South Park school received $68,638, providing financial aid to students through compensation for hours worked at on- or off-campus jobs. Amount Received So Far: $68,638 Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: 7 Museum of Contemporary Art: MOCA Grand Avenue was awarded $50,000 to help underwrite education staff expenses through June 30. Amount Received So Far: Not Available Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: 1 Catholic Healthcare West: California Hospital Medical Center has been awarded a $1.4 million grant to extend “Early Head Start” services to 120 infants, toddlers and pregnant women. Amount Received So Far: Not Available Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: None YWCA of Greater Los Angeles: The organization broke ground this year on its new Job Corps Campus — which will provide job training and transitional housing for homeless, emancipated and at-risk youth — thanks to $81.9 million in Recovery aid. Amount Received So Far: Not Available Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: Not Available Friends of the Chinese American Museum: The museum at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument was able to save one at-risk job with a $14,000 grant. Amount Received So Far: All Estimated Jobs Saved/Created: 1 —Ryan Vaillancourt

April 19, 2010

Downtown News 9

and recipients: A dot at Fifth and Sprint streets details $31,000 awarded to the Latino Theatre Company. As of the last reporting period, California had been awarded $29.4 billion, more than any other state, and $25.4 billion had been paid out. According to, another $37.3 billion are available. Most of the information is furnished by grant recipients, who are required to report quarterly on their use of Recovery

El Dorado Auction Canceled Event Planned for April 25 Halted Due to Water Main Problem

dollars, said Edward T. Pound, spokesman for the federal Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. The government’s site is not the only one tracking the dollars., a project of the technology firm Onvia, has a similar system, though it focuses on how the money trickles down, said company CEO Michael Pickett. The government site lists the grant recipients, but doesn’t follow the dollars any further. Onvia’s site focuses on the end user, detailing, for example, money paid by the recipient to contractors. “After we launched the site, we found that 12 out of 15 of the most recurring visitors were from federal government agencies,” Pickett said. “They were coming to our site to find out where that money was going.” The difficulties in tracking federal spending on stimulus projects is part of why government funded recovery initiatives have historically been the victim of fraud and graft. Earl Devaney, an inspector general with the U.S. Department of

the Interior, echoed the concern that such measures tend to lose 7% of their funds to fraud. State Inspector General Laura Chick is charged with tracking and analyzing the use of Recovery Fund dollars in California. Her office has yet to release any reports on Los Angeles-area projects, but has initiated at least one investigation of a nonprofit organization, Chick said. “So far, we have not found any egregious, outright criminal fraud,” said Chick, who previously served as Controller of Los Angeles. “What we have found is sloppy bookkeeping and accounting, lack of separating the recovery dollars from other monies, and some rather offensive overcharges of overhead.” Locally, Controller Wendy Greuel is auditing a collection of Recovery Act grants and contracts awarded in Los Angeles. None those have been completed, Greuel spokesman Ben Golombek said. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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The 65 units of the 12-story El Dorado had been slated to go on the auction block this month. Issues with a water line that is more than 100 years old have created problems with the sprinkler system on the top level.

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eveloper Downtown Properties has canceled its April 25 auction for the El Dorado Lofts, as water pressure issues have delayed the building’s ability to attain a certificate of occupancy. The auction had been scheduled for that date so buyers could take advantage of a soon-to-expire federal homebuyers tax credit. The building’s timeline for opening is now uncertain, said Bill Stevenson, a partner in Downtown Properties. “Because it’s so uncertain we didn’t want to mislead or create any problems with our buyers who wanted to take advantage of the federal tax credit,” Stevenson said. Instead regular sales will begin this month. Prices will start at $249,900. The problem centers on the lateral water line that connects the building to the closest water main: The pipe, Stevenson said, is more than 100 years old and proved too weak to deliver water to the building’s sprinkler system beyond the 11th floor. The 1913 building has 12 floors, with 65 units. “We have to replace the line,” Stevenson said. Stevenson said the replacement project is complicated by the fact that the water main is under Main Street, which has been repaved in the past year. City policy requires property owners who must cut into newly paved streets for infrastructure projects to pay for the repaving of the entire block once the work is completed, he said. That means Downtown Properties must wait until late May to begin any work in order to avoid the cost of repaving the whole block. The developer unsuccessfully sought a waiver to begin the work this month, which would have put the building on pace to get a certificate of occupancy by June in time to qualify for the tax credit. “Once that line is put in then we still have to go through a whole series of inspections with the city and pass various tests that all take time, and we have no control over how much time it’ll take,” Stevenson said. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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Going Underground Plan for a Below-Surface Regional Connector Draws Support, Though No Work Is Imminent by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR


ne of Downtown Los Angeles’ most anticipated projects is the Regional Connector, an approximately twomile route that would tie together existing and future light rail lines. Yet despite the appetite for such infrastructure, questions remain over what form it will take, and community members continue to debate how much it should impact street life, especially in Little Tokyo. At a slate of recent community meetings, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority trotted out the details for an alignment of the project that would go entirely underground and add four new Downtown stations. That came after two initially proposed alternatives — one an all-above ground light rail option, the other partially below-ground — drew opposition from Little Tokyo stakeholders. “Both other alternatives would have a huge detrimental impact especially on small businesses,” said Evelyn Yoshimura, community organizing director for the Little Tokyo Service Center. “It’s a strong feeling that the other two options would be unacceptable.” The Regional Connector would unite the Gold Line with the Blue Line and underconstruction Expo Line. The third alignment option would add a tunnel between

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the Seventh Street Metro Station and a new station under First and Alameda streets. That new station would replace the streetlevel Little Tokyo/Arts District Station at First and Alameda that opened last year with the debut of the Gold Line Eastside Extension, said Ann Kerman, Metro’s spokeswoman for the Regional Connector. Metro envisions the Regional Connector allowing riders an extended trip throughout the region. Without changing trains, commuters going north or south could get from Pasadena on the Gold Line to Long Beach on the Blue Line. East-west riders could access the Gold Line Eastside Extension and the Expo Line. Passengers starting in Long Beach who are looking to go east or west (instead of north to Pasadena) could change at the Seventh Street Metro Station, or, if the third alternative is approved, at the new underground station in Little Tokyo, Kerman said. In addition to the new station in Little Tokyo, the all-underground option would add stations at Second Street between Broadway and Spring Street; at Hope Street between Second and Third streets; and on Flower Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. Alex Castillo, an East Los Angeles resident who attended last Wednesday’s meeting at the Japanese American National Museum

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is examining three options, including a completely underground route, for the approximately $1 billion Regional Connector. Plans were detailed at a recent series of public meetings.

(one of four sessions held over two weeks), voiced support for the proposed underground station near Broadway and Second Street, and encouraged Metro to stick with the plan to align the Eastside Extension with the Expo Line without stops. “There are a lot of people on the Eastside that like to go to Santa Monica Beach or the pier, but it takes really long,” he said. “It takes two hours.” Time and Money Metro plans to release a draft environmental impact report this summer. After weighing community input, the agency hopes to make a recommendation to the board by the fall. The above-ground alternative was estimated in 2008 to cost $709 million; the second, partially below-ground alignment was estimated at $910 million; the all-underground route is pegged at about $1.2 billion. Up to $160 million of the Regional Connector’s cost would be covered by funds raised by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. The connector was

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also named as one of two projects for which Metro will try to secure funding from the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program (the other project is the Westside subway extension). Metro will apply for New Starts funding this fall, once the board approves an alignment for the project, said Laura Cornejo, a Metro transportation planning manager. Beyond the Measure R and federal dollars, the agency will draw from its own funds to finance the project, she said. Though the Regional Connector has been on the Downtown radar screen for a few years, construction is not expected until at least 2014. If the board approves a route this fall, that alignment will be analyzed as part of a final environmental impact report, which will take one year to complete. Once the EIR is finished, final design and engineering would take another two years. Project completion is tentatively pegged for 2018. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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April 19, 2010

Downtown News 11

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Diamond Nights Northern Lights COSMIC CONJUNCTION 2010

Metro Briefs The More You Ride, The More You Save

Premiere of the new planetarium show Light of the Valkyries Join us for the most talked about evening of the year.

Isn’t it about time you decided to start some serious saving by going Metro? Experts estimate you can save as much as $9,000 annually by using public transit instead of paying for gas and parking. Find your best route with the Trip Planner at

Foothill Extension First New Measure R Rail Project The 11.4-mile rail line between Pasadena and Azusa became the >rst new rail project funded by Measure R, thanks to an $810 million agreement reached between Metro and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. Groundbreaking for the project is expected in June.

Saturday, May 15, 2010 5:30-10:00 p.m. Griffith Observatory

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Check Online For Sepulveda Pass Updates Find out the latest on road closures and construction delays on the I-405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Metro and Caltrans are widening the freeway between the I-10 and U.S. 101 to add a carpool lane and reduce travel time on one of the busiest – and most congested – freeways in the nation.

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The Watts Village Theater Company is bringing live theater to a station near you with its production of Meet Me @ Metro on Sunday, May 2. Performances will be on the Metro Red and Blue lines starting at Union Station, stopping at several stations and ending at the 103rd Street Station. For information, go to

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Bread, Butter, Cheese and Change Thousands Expected for Grilled Cheese Invitational at L.A. Center Studios by Jessica Hamlin


ention a grilled cheese sandwich, and most adults will flash back to a childhood meal where the only ingredients were white bread, butter and a slice of American cheese. Mention a grilled cheese sandwich to the people behind the Grilled Cheese Invitational, and the sky’s the limit. Actually, the pantry’s the limit. And the bread maker. And the cheese aisle too. What started eight years ago in a Downtown apartment as a free competition among friends has grown into a massively attended phenomenon. It takes place again Saturday, April 24, from noon-6 p.m., when L.A. Center Studios in City West will be revamped to accommodate thousands of grilled cheese groupies. GREEN PARROT “We basically had an event prepared for 3,500 people [last year], and 5,400 people showed up, so even with a ton of free samples that Kraft Singles provided it was just impossible,” said Grilled Cheese Invitational founder Tim Walker. “We’ve taken huge steps this year to make it more fun for everybody and less hassle.” One of the major changes is online ticket sales, so Walker knows how many people to expect. He’s capping the attendance at 8,000, and expects a sell-out before the first sandwich is served.

PINK BIRD photo courtesy of Grilled Cheese Invitational

For the uninitiated, the GCI is a sort of combination food festival/cheesy competition, in which hundreds of kitchen wizards set up booths. The inventions are across the board, anything from butternut squash and cheese on parmesan and sage-crusted bread, to ricotta on banana bread, to taleggio on raisin bread with an apricot-caper puree. Presentation can get equally creative, like thru a 2009 sandwich garnished with a small sign proclaiming “The Notorious B.I.Cheese” ATM


Last year’s Grilled Cheese Invitational at Los Angeles State Historic Park drew more than 5,000 attendees. At this year’s event, taking place April 24 at L.A. Center Studios, 8,000 people are expected.

against an image of late rapper the Notorious B.I.G. The judging is done by festival attendees, who this year must register online in advance. Walker said about 1,700 people will cast ballots. They will offer grades in categories such as presentation, taste and even “spaz,” also known as the “weird factor.” Each sandwich, or “sammich” in GCI parlance, will be able to earn up to 50 points per judge. Since many professional chefs have entered

the GCI, this year amateurs and professionals will compete separately; 250 slots will be reserved for the former. A large trophy will be awarded to the competitor with the highest overall score. Creativity and Technique The competition boils down to three categories: Missionary Position will be for sandwiches made with standard bread, cheese (American or cheddar) and butter; Kama Sutra is fairly open-ended, allowing virtually any variety of cheese, bread and other ingredients; and Honey Pot, for sweet or dessert sandwiches. Eric Greenspan, executive chef of The Foundry on Melrose and a past GCI winner and judge, advises competitors to nix the bacon and grilled onion combination, since he sampled about 60 of those last year. “To win the Grilled Cheese Invitational you have to have a combination of creativity but also technique,” said Greenspan, who also will have a pop-up restaurant at the festival serving several kinds of grilled cheeses, as well as seltzer drinks such as egg creams and lime rickeys. “It’s not enough to come up with great flavors to put together a sandwich if you can’t grill the bread properly.” At the 2009 event, held at the Los Angeles State Historic Park, each judge was given three tickets to try three competitors’ grilled cheese sandwiches. Walker expects them to be able to sample at least the same amount this year. That’s good news for attendees and judges who thru grew frustrated in the past. “The invitational in 2008 at Griffith Park see Grilled Cheese, page 24 ATM


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Restaurant Buzz

New Arts District Eats, and Giants We Can Actually Like at Dodger Stadium by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


at Up: There are a few phrases that bring tears of joy to Restaurant Buzz. One of them is “All you can eat.” Another is “Korean barbeque.” Although the two have not often met, a new Arts District spot has Restaurant Buzz bawling like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert. The blame falls on Jason Ha, whose latest creation is K-TownBBQ. The, yes, all-you-can-eat spot is comfortably tucked between Ha’s two other restaurants, Zip Fusion and e3Rd Steakhouse and Lounge. The new 80-seat establishment has a grand opening special until the end of April with a $14.95 all-you-can-eat menu (after that, the price will rise to $16.95). All the meats are grilled right at your table and the restaurant is open for dinner Monday through Friday from 5-11 p.m.; on weekends it stays open until 1 a.m. At 738 E. Third St., (213) 680-3008 or So Cheesy: If you were one of those kids who loved pigging out on a hot bowl of mac n’ cheese, make sure to be hungry, and maybe even bring a bib, on Thursday, April 22, as Mac & Cheeza holds a grand opening celebration from 5-6 p.m. Located in the Chapman Building on Eighth Street, the restaurant has been on a “soft opening” schedule for a few weeks, which meant irregular hours and sometimes disappointed cheeseheads. But now it will stay open from Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. for all your cheesy needs. Think of Mac & Cheeza as a new frontier in macaroni and cheese: You pick the size of the dish you want, which varies from the Baby Mac to the Mac Daddy. Then you choose between regular or rice noodles, cheese or soy cheese, veggies and meats and toppings. Now finish it all or no dessert and no TV before bed. At 223 W. Eighth St., (213) 622-3782 or

A new two-pound pretzel is being served this season at Dodger Stadium. It may earn more fans than Frank McCourt.

Taste This: Mo-Chica is a little food stand with big flavor that has become a favorite of foodies throughout the city. Although many still have yet to taste the creations of chef Ricardo Zarate, that could change this month. On April 29, the little gem serving modern Peruvian cuisine inside the Mercado La Paloma will hold its latest tasting event. From 6-10 p.m., Mo-Chica will roll out items that are not yet on the menu. The exact dishes haven’t been finalized, but will include new soups, appetizers, main courses and desserts. Located near USC, Mo-Chica was recently named one of the top 10 new L.A. restaurants by Los Angeles Magazine. The tasting dinner is $35. At 3655 S. Grand Ave., (213) 747-2141 or So Fishy: Things are going to get a little fishy in South Park, thanks to the addition of yet another sushi restaurant. Restaurant Buzz couldn’t be happier, since there can never be too many sushi spots in the world. Mia Shin and chef and co-owner Ken Park recently opened Arashi Sushi around the corner from The Palm restaurant. It specializes in the three great arts: sushi, sashimi and kushiyaki, also known as robata. The 2,300-square-foot restaurant will have a grand opening by early May, but in the meantime, the menu has been set. If you’re on a budget, they offer a $16.95 lunch that includes sushi and miso soup. A $30 main course includes a 16-piece sashimi plate with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and white fish. At 1111 S. Hope St., (213) 749-1900.

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Arashi Sushi recently opened at 1111 S. Hope St. in South Park.

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Go Blue: The Dodgers are back, and although the team made few on-the-field improvements in the off-season, plenty was happening in the kitchen. Dodger Stadium chef (yes, there really is a stadium chef) Joseph Martin has added some new items this season, and is bringing back a fan favorite. The potential rookie of the year is the Victory Knot, a two-pound pretzel topped with sea salt and served with a choice of three dipping sauces: beer cheese, cinnamon vanilla crème and chipotle honey mustard. It’s served

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Eye of the Tiger: In the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Ox brought the hugely successful Lazy Ox Canteen to Little Tokyo. Now that the Year of the Tiger has arrived, restaurateur Michael Cardenas is ready to bring a tiger to town. Aburiya Toranoko, Cardenas’ Japanese grill house, is scheduled to open next door to the Lazy Ox in August. Meaning Grill House of the Tiger, the 100-seat establishment will serve izakaya, which is Japanese small plates, prepared by head chef and business partner Hisa Kawabe, a former Nobu sushi chef. “He’s an amazingly talented chef,” Cardenas said. And he’ll have to be if his tiger skills are going to compete so close to Lazy Ox chef Josef Centeno’s mad ox skills. The new restaurant will be “urban, edgy, a Downtown metro/SoHo/Tribeca vibe,” Cardenas said. It will stay open until 2 a.m. Lunch will be about $15-$20 and dinner will run about $40-$45 per person. Restaurant Buzz, meanwhile, is pleased that nothing is opening during the Year of the Rat. First and Lunch: Wait, there’s another new eating option. First and Hope, a modern comfort food restaurant on Bunker Hill, quietly started serving lunch last week from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, April 24, at which time dinner service will also begin. The 6,000-square-foot spot offers a comfort food menu inspired by the Southern roots of head chef Shelley Cooper, who won her job in a competition organized by the restaurant that pitted her against 10 other chefs in a cook-off challenge. At 710 W. First St., (213) 617-8555 or Contact Richard Guzmán at

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in a pizza box and meant to be shared, because eating a two-pound pretzel could kill a mere mortal (but don’t expect Restaurant Buzz to get all noble when it comes to spreading the pretzel love around). A returnee this season is the Picante Dog, a spicy version of the Dodger Dog. Not only is it in the batter’s box, but it has a Facebook fan page.



Downtown News 13

F r e e P a r k i n g



April 19, 2010

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14 Downtown News

April 19, 2010



Plug In, Turn On, Peel Out

ZT PowerStation Helps People Get Out of the Car and on a Scooter by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


lmost everyone wants to do something positive for the planet. Even the kooky folks who think global warming is a hoax aren’t above recycling or using a little less gas now and then. There are numerous ways workers and residents of Downtown Los Angeles can show planet Earth a little love. One of them is bicycling. After all, the community is relatively compact, and climbing in the car to drive a few blocks isn’t just bad for the environment, but it can also be bothersome. But realistically, bicycling isn’t for everyone. Especially on a warm day, it can lead to a little too much sweating. That’s where the scooter comes in. Downtown is growing in scooterdom. Last November, Vespa of Downtown L.A. opened at Third Street and Central Avenue. Now it has been joined by ZT PowerStation in South Park. The business on Margo Street, near the intersection of Olive Street and Pico Boulevard, designs, manufactures and sells electric bicycles and scooters. Late last year, the company left a Culver City location where it had been based for seven years. In their Downtown headquarters, they manufacture the bikes and assemble some of the lithium batteries used in various electric vehicles. Their products include a scooter called the Condor and an electric bike called the Catalina. Company president Zane Tatum spoke to Los Angeles Downtown News about the benefits of going electric, their bikes, and Earth Day plans. In case you didn’t know, Earth Day is April 22.

Los Angeles Downtown News: Why did you make the move to Downtown? Zane Tatum: We decided to move Downtown seven months ago. We thought this was a great opportunity to move to a place that was growing. This is an exciting time to be down here. Q: Why do you think electric scooters and bicycles are important? A: They relieve congestion. They make the city more pedestrian friendly and it helps the environment. We ride our bikes to Starbucks every morning, trying to be part of the solution. It’s huge for the environment; there is relatively zero impact on the environment. They don’t pollute, they encourage people to try different forms of travel in addition to their cars. Instead of having a second car you can have a scooter. It’s the most efficient way to get around locally. Q: What’s your entry-level scooter? A: It’s a Vespa size scooter, a 48-volt scooter. The baseline will get you around for about 25-30 miles and you can charge it in any outlet you can find. It only costs about six cents to charge and it’s quiet and environmentally clean. It can go up to 30 miles per hour. It’s made for local travel, perfect for going to the store or going around the area. It sells for $1,299. Q: And if I want to take it up a notch? A: That’s the Condor. It’s $3,500 and it’s got a lot of style. It’s a large scooter and can go 45 miles per hour, with a 45mile range and batteries that last for five years. It even has see Scooter, page 16

photo by Gary Leonard

Zane Tatum, president of ZT PowerStation, which makes electric scooters and bikes. The South Park-based business is organizing an Earth Day block party for its neighbors.



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Downtown’s Green Queen Ashley Zarella Hand Talks Downtown Sustainability staff wRiteR


shley Zarella Hand, chair of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Sustainability Committee, knows that Earth Day is coming up on April 22. But it doesn’t make much difference to her, because she sees every day as Earth Day. As the leader of the all-volunteer DLANC Sustainability Committee, she oversees a host of community-based initiatives promoting sustainability in the Central City. The committee was behind an effort to plant trees in Skid Row, and plans to plant more trees throughout Downtown. Zarella Hand spoke about the Downtown green scene. Los Angeles Downtown News: What is the Sustainability Committee working on right now? Ashley Zarella Hand: There are a couple things under way, one being a sustainability plan. We’re going to be talking about the long-term vision for our neighborhood and how that meets the needs of our community, but is also sustainable. One of the specific projects we’re doing is the green pocket project, which will help with heat islands and storm runoff. We’ve already collected data, identifying potential green pockets, in a pilot area which runs between First and Eighth streets and Maple and Hill streets. We’re creating a map right now. The idea is that we know that open space Downtown is a challenge. There’s not a lot of places to put a giant park, but there are a lot of opportunities to put, say, a tree for shade in a small spot that’ll make it a little cooler and nicer to walk around. Q: The committee has been involved in a student study of Harlem Place alley, and the environmental impacts of making it pedestrian only and green. What do you see for Harlem Place and green alleys? A: The students — they’re from UC Santa Barbara — have done a study of Harlem Place as an example to see the impacts of small-scale open space in urban areas. They will be coming back on May 3 and doing a presentation at Lost Souls on their work and giving an update to the community. We were the client for the student group. They were concerned with what the community needs were and we definitely felt that open space was a challenge Downtown. There are 900 miles of alleyways in Los Angeles, so there’s a lot of potential for transformation. Alleys are generally owned half on each side by property owners, and we want to give the community and these property owners the information to empower them if they’re interested in sustainability and doing this. Q: Last year the committee received a grant that paid for planning experts to visit and consult with DLANC on developing a community greening strategy. What’s next in that process? A: We’ll be getting a final report from the SDAT [Sustainable Design Assessment Team], probably in May. We’ve been reaching out to a number of organizations to let them know this is coming, including the city Planning Department. We want to work with the city to help them with the sustainability aspect of the Central City Development Plan. The community plan’s goal is to develop a vision for what we want the neighborhood to be. This is saying, what does the community really want? Do we really want to see new parks, green alleys, a walkable environment? Do we want to see better public transit? This way when developers come into the neighborhood they understand what the neighborhood wants and it will be less people reacting and more people seeing what the community wants. Q: What green living tips do you have for the urban dweller? A: One of the biggest things we’re working on is our urban garden guide. We’ve developed a pamphlet on how to start your own garden, whether it’s in a window box, roof or balcony. It gives you a list of where you can buy or get free materials to do those things. We’re going to be distributing that next month. We also want to encourage people to walk to do their shopping. You don’t need to leave your neighborhood, and that also drives local economic development. Q: What’s the best way for people to get involved with the Sustainability Committee? A: Getting on our email list is a good way to start; that can be done at It’s where we put a lot of updates on what we’re up to. Also, come to a meeting. We meet the first Tuesday of the month at the Central Library [530 W. Fifth St.] at 6:30 p.m.

Ashley Zarella Hand chairs the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Sustainability Committee. She is with Gunnar Hand, her husband and another Sustainability Committee member.

We also have office hours when you can register to volunteer for certain projects. We’re trying to get people to participate in project planning because we know a lot about what’s going on and we’re trying to create a network of people who know what’s going on. Office hours are Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the DLANC office, 453 S. Spring St., suite 1020. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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Downtown News 15

Go Green


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16 Downtown News

April 19, 2010

Go Green

Green Scene Three Downtown Earth Day Celebrations


few things we think we know for sure: L.A. Live, while full of thousands of shimmering lights, is not like Pandora, the magical land featured in the film Avatar; the Nokia Theatre, the state-of-the-art 7,100-seat venue at said destination, is not quite like Home Tree, the brain center of the Na’vi people who populate Pandora; and although thousands of people come to L.A. Live every day, none of them are as blue as the Na’vi. At least, not until after they hit the district’s collection of restaurants and bars. Actually, we know one other thing: James Cameron, the director of Avatar, will show up at the Nokia Theatre this week. And he will be talking about Home Tree. And Pandora. And

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making planet Earth a better place. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Cameron, some of his Avatar stars and a batch of other celebrities will be coming to Downtown Los Angeles. On Thursday, April 22, they’ll appear as part of the Global Home Tree Benefit. The 7:30 p.m. event includes live music, something called an “environmental highlights” screening of the film, and a Q&A session. Tickets are $35-$250 for the event that benefits Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Nokia Theatre is at 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or

n Public affairs forum Town Hall-Los Angeles looks at another side of Earth Day on April 22. Heather Rogers, the author of Green Gone Wrong, How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution, will speak at the organization’s “clubhouse” at 6 p.m. She’ll also do a Q&A and sign books. Rogers has a solid track record on environmental matters; her previous book was titled Gone Tomorrow, The Hidden Life of Garbage, which traced the history and politics of trash in the country. Yes, there is such a thing as the politics of trash. The event is free for Town Hall members, $20 for everyone else. The event is at 515 S. Flower St., suite 1650, (213) 628-8141 or


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The Los Angeles State Historic Park’s evening campfires begin on Saturday, April 24.

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n The next campfire event at Los Angeles State Historic Park takes place two days after Earth Day, but that’s no reason to overlook one of Downtown’s prime green spots. On Saturday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m., the staff of the park will haul out a portable fire pit and launch into a family friendly event. Watch the sun set over the Downtown office towers and expect a talk on something eco-oriented, like the history of the site or animals who live in the environs. And yes, since it is a campfire, you get to roast marshmallows. Attendees are urged to bring blankets, because it gets cold in L.A. once the sun goes down. The event is free at 1245 N. Spring St., (213) 441-8819 or

Scooter Continued from page 14 an MP3 player. Q: Most people in Downtown don’t have garages. So where can they plug scooters in to recharge them? A: With some of these you can take the battery out and you can take them to an apartment and charge them. With some other models you’ll have to get an extension cord and find plugs. Q: You also make electric bicycles. How popular are they? A: We sell al lot of them; we’ve been selling them for years. They cost $699-$1,199 and we always like to encourage people to get on the bike. It’s the Catalina brand and has a lead battery; there is a 350-watt motor with a range of 30 miles and charging time is four hours. It goes about 22 miles per hour and you can pedal if you like or you don’t have to pedal at all. It looks like a bicycle, it’s easy to move around and park and can get you all over.

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Q: What other green products do you make? A: We also manufacture lithium batteries for everything from boats to cars to solar power storage. We’ve even developed a pack for a small plane to fly in the sky with no noise or pollution. They’re for boats, for large commercial vehicles, even some Porsche conversions. Q: In your time Downtown, what have you done to make people more aware of environmental issues? A: We do the L.A. Green Block Party. The street we’re on is a shabby little street and we thought we could fix it up. Our first event had bands and artists; the next event will be a big party on the block. It’s on April 24 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. ZT PowerStation is at 1350 Margo St., (213) 7658150 or Contact Richard Guzmán at

April 19, 2010

Downtown News 17

photos by Gary Leonard


Eighty-five-year-old Bob Baker teaches a reporter a few things about manipulating puppets. After the lesson, he practices with the puppeteers.

Master of Puppets Bob Baker, Whose Downtown Theater Is Celebrating Its 50th Birthday, Teaches a Reporter How to Pull Some Strings by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


he spotlight was beaming brightly as we stood behind the curtain, waiting for our cue to dance onto the stage. “Lift your canes up,” said a voice in the line of performers. “How do I do that?” I asked with a nervous chuckle. “Just pull this string here and hold it like this,” answered Nicole Scott, a seasoned puppeteer who quickly realized mere words weren’t going to make me understand which one of the more than a dozen strings I had to manipulate in order to execute the complex jazz dance moves. Nicole gently grabbed the string and instructed me to hold it with a couple fingers while tilting my hand a bit. And just like that, my puppet came to life and stood string to string with a line of other wooden dancers as we prepared to take the stage at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre. As part of the Downtown Challenge, in which I take on different jobs and activities in the community, I got a lesson in the art of puppetry from Bob Baker. The 85-year-old has been pulling puppet strings professionally since the age of 5. Yes, 5. His theater, which was dedicated a city historical landmark in 2009, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with the presentation of five of his most popular productions. It’s A Musical World, a revue that first played in 1978, opens April 19. It will run through July 11. Not a Natural It can take years of practice to become a good puppeteer. Since Baker has an 80-year reputation to uphold, he wasn’t

about to put me in one of his anniversary shows. Instead, he decided to give me a few lessons and let me practice with his company as they rehearsed for It’s A Musical World. “It takes a while and a lot of practice, but we’ll teach you a few things. Maybe you’ll be a natural at it,” the soft-spoken, mustachioed grandfather figure said. I was not a natural. In fact, after a few attempts I understood why Pinocchio wanted to be a little boy so badly. It turns out that moving a wooden creature around the stage and making it appear to be a living, dancing, sometimes singing character is no easy task. You have to be part musician to figure out the system of strings that must be pulled in time with the music, while also possessing the upper body strength to hold up the wooden dolls during an hour-long show. The last thing you want to do is drop Pinocchio in front of a bunch of impressionable kids who will think the puppet died in front of their eyes. Since I possess neither musical ability nor ample upper body strength, it was a good thing I was only allowed to perform during rehearsals. Although I think I still scared a few kids. Puppetry is an art form that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Bob said as he led me on a tour of his theater before my lesson. Bob is one of those people that you can’t help but like the moment you meet them. He’s got a constant smile on his face and always sports a red apron, as if he just came out of the wood shop after building another puppet to add to his collection of more than 3,000 characters. His creatures include everything from flying ghosts to birds to dancing frogs. ‘Have Fun’ “The main thing is to have fun, don’t worry,” Bob said after a performance of a show titled Fiesta, with some elementary school students still milling about. “It’s like patting your head while you rub your stomach. One hand does one thing while the other one does another.” Right away there was a problem. Every time I’ve attempted to bust that particular maneuver, I end up slapping my head really hard and for a long time as I try to find the rhythm to complete perfect circles around my perfectly circular stomach. “You also have to remember to count to four,” he said, since that’s the key to mastering the puppet walk. I can definitely count that high, so maybe I had a chance. “Once you learn how to move the puppet, then you start working in the mirror to learn the little gestures like waving goodbye, sitting down, breathing or hiding it behind your leg and looking around and waving,” he said. His puppeteers practice this daily, he said. That’s where Nicole came in. She has worked at the theater for four years, and she was going to help Bob teach me a few things so that I

wouldn’t look too out of place before rehearsing with the rest of the company. My first puppet was Little Pedro, who had just performed in the show. Little Pedro was surprisingly heavy, although he is considered one of the easiest puppets to handle. Like the other creatures, he is connected to a couple of wooden controls that can hold more than a dozen strings; these are attached to the feet, hands, head, eyes and mouth. Following Nicole and Bob’s instructions, I grabbed the wood bar that controls the feet with my right hand and the bar that executes some other moves, like bowing and bending, with my left hand. I felt his weight, checked his posture and began the four count to make him walk. I pulled some strings to make his eyes and mouth open just as some kids from the previous show walked by. Pedro at the Cantina I approached them, trying to keep my four count steady, but it wasn’t working. My Little Pedro looked more like a drunken Speedy Gonzalez walking out of a cantina. After watching a show where the professionals made the puppets dance, sing and even fly, the kids looked a little weirded out at the sight of an apparently inebriated Little Pedro. But nevertheless they surrounded me and shook hands with the puppet. They waved and smiled at him. I could see why Bob has loved doing this for so many years. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to perform on stage since September, when he suffered a stroke. “It took me out of commission. It’s terrible that that happened,” he said. “You still want to be out there but you can’t.” But talent like Bob’s doesn’t just disappear. After watching me manhandle poor Pedro, he took the strings and, with an infectious smile, began to make the puppet dance. There was no music, but his legs moved in rhythm with his arms. He smiled, winked and even moonwalked a bit, and the kids were loving it. “The main thing is to have fun with it,” he repeated. And so I did. At the rehearsal I took my new puppet, a dapperly dressed vaudeville performer. I couldn’t really keep up with the other puppeteers. When they bowed, I nearly dropped mine. When they tap danced, I just wiggled. But nevertheless I found myself dancing right along with my puppet, sometimes in rhythm, sometimes not, smiling, having fun, just like Bob has for 80 years. The Bob Baker Marionette Theatre is at 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or Performances are Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm. Contact Richard Guzmán at

18 Downtown News


April 19, 2010

An Island of Beauty and Obsession Stigmatized Returns As Part of Recovered Voices Series by Marc Porter Zasada contributing writer


uman beings are neither good nor evil,” wrote the composer Franz Schreker. “At the mercy of their passions — of which the sexual urge seems to be the most sublime — they are as inherently contradictory as the will of nature itself.” It was the early part of the 20th century and Schreker, like everyone, had been reading a lot of Freud. He had also been listening to a lot Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss The Stigmatized, composed in 1918 and recently mounted by L.A. Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where it continues through April 24, is very much a part of Schreker’s time. It epitomizes a general unease with human nature and a general collapse of faith in European civilization which began so thrillingly around the 1880s and ended so catastrophically with fascism. In fact, this opera, which deals with obsessive sexuality and the ambiguous line between the beautiful and the ugly, was banned by the Nazis, as was all of Schreker’s work, because it was “degenerate.” Presented for the first time in America, The Stigmatized (Die Gezeichneten) is part of the Recovered Voices project of Music Director James Conlon. The series seeks to revive some of these banned works and recall composers silenced by Hitler’s regime. It is important to recall, however, that the word “degenerate” was worn as a badge of honor by many European artists well before the Nazis — and it says something about the times that The Stigmatized was highly popu-

lar before World War II. To oversimplify the plot: An ugly and hunchbacked aristocrat, Alviano, has built a pleasure island named Elysium off the coast of Genoa. Elysium is really nice, except that the local nobles have taken to abducting city girls and raping them in a hidden grotto there. Complicit but repelled, Alviano tries to give the island to the Genoese government. Meanwhile, he falls in love with Carlotta, an artist who has a heart condition which prevents her from consummating her relationships. She may or may not love Alviano, but she’s certainly repelled by him. On the island Carlotta encounters a rutty noble, Tamare, who, well, finally gives her a fatal heart attack. Musically, The Stigmatized offers rich, often spectacular orchestral drama and a vocal line that reminds one immediately of Strauss. Big, queasy polytonal chords are followed by shimmering, Debussy-like passages of exquisite beauty. German soprano Anja Kampe brings a magnificent musicality to Carlotta, and at times seems alternately obsessed by the beautiful and the ugly. Highlights include her tribute to the sun in Act I and the song to the night in Act III. Robert Brubaker offers a greater believability, along with a rich, deeply inflected tenor in the role of Alviano. He’s a Strauss expert, and it shows. Baritone Martin Gantner makes a perfectly nasty Tamare, the only character who really understands his own motives, in this case lust. Supporting players are strong, but are kept a little too much in the background.

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(l to r) Robert Brubaker, Martin Gantner and Anja Kampe appear in The Stigmatized, a work written in 1918 but never before seen in the United States.

Director Ian Judge makes lively and creative use of modestly budgeted stage resources, but it’s the projections designed by Broadway specialist Wendall Harrington that steal the show. Her high-def classical backgrounds, blowing grass floors and halfpainted/half photo-real backdrops offer a perfect mix of the virtual and the live. Bring your favorite student of theater design to see Harrington’s groundbreaking approach, but don’t bring anyone underage. Part of Judge’s theatrical strategy is to keep everyone in prim Edwardian clothing until a fully nude and shocking rape scene in Act III.

The Stigmatized has seen some renewed interest in Europe, and some predict a Schreker renaissance. Despite many superb passages, however, it’s hard to imagine this confused and disturbing work becoming part of the canon. Plenty of popular operas have been forgotten without any help from fascists. No doubt some of these losses are undeserved, but for the most part, most opera, like most art, is highly timebound — important at a certain moment, then irrelevant except as history. The Stigmatized plays through April 24 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or

April 19, 2010

Downtown News 19


by Lauren CampedeLLi, Listings editor


Wednesday, april 21 ALOUD at the Central Library 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7025 or 7 p.m.: Charles Bowden, a Tucson-based author and journalist, reveals the story of the disintegration of Ciudad Juárez in his book Murder City. Bowden will discuss the stories of the city’s inhabitants –– a raped beauty queen, a repentant hitman, a journalist fleeing for his life –– with a broader meditation on the Mexican town’s descent into anarchy, in conversation with KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez.

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saTurday, april 24 Greening El Pueblo Olvera Street, 125 Paseo De La Plaza, (213) 625-7074 or 10 a.m.-8 p.m.: The Nuestra Tierra Conference is an eco-indigenous Earth Day conference for kids and the community featuring tree planting, environmental workshops, bands, mariachi, Aztec dancing and educational speakers. Free to the public.

Continued on next page

Los ration tied to r’s b le ce k e e hard Wagne l L.A., a 10-w ing Festiva first presentation of Ric k ched last wee ra’s Angeles Ope r-opera Ring Cycle, laun , and makes ts fou monumental eek brings a flurry of even sy man. On w bu is ry Th ve . a re to much fanfa Director James Conlon iscusses the “Eros, c d si u o L.A. Opera M 9, at 7 p.m., the maestr ent at the Central l1 d ev Monday, Apri f the Ring cycle in an Alou April 20, also at 7 o s” d es ay, Mythos, Etho .). Then on Tu versial personality, inSt h ft Fi . W 0 Library (63 try and oser’s contro res the comp , in “Pride, Prejudice, Bigo ool lo p ex e h ., p.m itism n Sch viled anti-Sem rld,” at the USC Thornto cluding his re o om. W la ’s al er ngfestiv .c d Wagn ri ar h at ic fo R in s: al iu n Gen ditio g Theatre. Ad of Music’s Bin

ech and Chong the title of a Che en be ve ha d ul Dreams.” In t co “Operation Pipe — ch et sk y ed com for a U.S. govthe code name as w it , ity al tu ac drugs in which st-9/11 war on po e th in ng sti my Chong was ernment a advocate Tom an iju ar m d an n a/k/a Tommy comedia ard-winning film aw e Th . et rg ta y ga of Chong’s a primar rd and tragic sa su ab e th s w llo t will screen its Chong fo own Independen nt w Do e Th . ry il 20, at 7 p.m., horror sto on Tuesday, Apr re a ie em pr es el sh Gilbert and Los Ang with director Jo A & 33 Q 10 a 7by 61 followed n St., (213) ty. At 251 S. Mai rooftop after-par or downtownind



photo by Richard Hines

Friday, april 23 Metabolic Studio Public Salon 1745 N. Spring St. #4, (323) 226-1158 or Noon: David Wilson, the founding director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology tells the tale of the origins of the Russian/Soviet space program through motion picture and images.


sh Gilbert photo by Jo

Monday, april 19 ALOUD at the Central Library 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7025 or 7 p.m.: Maestro James Conlon, music director of the L.A. Opera, will discuss Richard Wagner’s monumental Ring Cycle, challenging preconceptions while guiding the audience through the music and dramatic themes in a way that both opera novices and aficionados can enjoy.

Thursday, april 22 Thursdays at Central 630 W. Fifth St., Meeting Room A, (213) 228-7272 or 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m.: L.A. County representative Deedra Williams presents L.A. County community health plans that are available to residents. Town Hall Los Angeles Town Hall Los Angeles Clubhouse, 515 S. Flower St., Suite 1650, (213) 628-8141 or visit 6 p.m.: “Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution” features Heather Rogers, journalist, author and senior fellow at Demos, a public policy research and advocacy organization.


Some Laundry Dance, a Pot Bust Film, Fuzzy Guitar and More



y Leonard photo by Gar

its intercontiival continues st fe s” an ic er Am m “Dudamel “Americas and Concert Hall in the progra ’s ic on m ar ilh ey s Ph Dudamel he Los Angele plorations at the Walt Disn irector Gustavo D ic ex us M al s ic us am m no Kelley at te nental Lieberson.” Th t (shown here), mezzo-sopra ez’s d an n ei st n er de Cháv Conducts B an-Yves Thibau eclectic program includes Je t is an pi h it e w (of course) orchestra. Th the rest of the son’s poid an or n on ’C O eber ercussion,” Li “Toccata for P ngs” and Bernstein’s a So gnant “Nerud The Age of Anxiety.” 2, o. N il “Symphony ay-Friday, Apr sd ur Shows are Th . In May, p.m 22-23, at 8 barks on a Thibaudet em the Phil and U.S. tour with nging the Dudamel, bri San k to Bernstein wor hville, Francisco, Nas w Ne , W a sh in g to n rsey. Je York and New d n At 111 S. Gra 0Ave., (213) 85 il. 2000 or laph com.



ake a walk on the musical wild side at REDCAT on Tuesday, April 20. That’s when the California E.A.R. Unit (shown here) teams up with British fuzz guitarmeister Sonic Boom for a performance of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. If it sounds unlikely, well, it is. This new adaptation of Reed’s 1975 guitar feedback epic is part of an ongoing project by composer Ulrich Krieger; it seizes on the complexity and the hard-rock guts of the original with the virtuoso players of the E.A.R. Unit and Mr. Boom. Give your Tuesday night a little metal mayhem at the show that starts at 8:30 p.m. At 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to

photo by Dekka_Kasskara

SPONSORED LISTINGS JANM Trunk Show Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St., (213) 625-0414 or April 24 and 26, 11 a.m.: A trunk show featuring the work of Georganne Alex, Karen Brock and Kumiko and Yoshiko Imoto. Meet the artists who reuse and repurpose fine silk kimono fabrics to create art, accessories and contemporary clothing. It is an opportunity to purchase unique work directly from the artisans and support the museum’s educational programs. Kids 4 Kids Run/Walk L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (310) 2075330 or April 25, 10 a.m.: Toyota and AEG host the “All-Star” carnival and finish line entertainment for the Kids 4 Kids 5k Run/Walk 2010. A host of celebrities and professional athletes have been invited to attend, including Jordan Farmar, Rafael Furcal, Luc Robitaille, Landon Donovan, Michael Cooper, Noelle Quin and Emma Roberts. The event is a benefit for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Griffith Observatory’s 75th Birthday Party 2800 E. Observatory Rd., (213) 473-0807 or May 15, 5:30-10:00 p.m.: Celebrate Griffith Observatory’s 75th birthday and support science education at the same time. See the Observatory bathed in shimmering northern lights. Attend the premiere of Light of the Valkyries, a live planetarium show with celebrity performers. Dine on gourmet cuisine by Wolfgang Puck. Proceeds fund field trips for thousands of students. For ticket and sponsorship information, see contact information above.

photo courtesy of Collage Dance Theatre


LISTINGS The‘Don’t Miss’ List

20 Downtown News

April 19, 2010


Listings Continued from previous page Japanese American Cultural & Community Center Celebration 244 S. San Pedro St., (213) 628-3700 or 3 p.m.: The JACCC celebrates the musicians and artists who kept the Japanese cultural traditions alive during the WWII era in which Japanese Americans were interned. The program features performances of Japanese classical music and dance by men and women who taught or learned the arts in internment camps. Sunday, April 25 Quiet Heroes-Over Eighty LA Artcore Brewery Annex, 650A S. Avenue 21, (323) 276-9320 or 1 p.m.: A reception and conversation with photographer Barry Shaffer whose exhibition, “Quiet Heroes-Over Eighty,” pays tribute to the lives of some of Los Angeles’ oldest immigrant citizens, highlighting the cultural and ethnic diversity of the city. REDCAT Conversations 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800, 7 p.m.: Four L.A. writers — Tisa Bryant, Bernard Cooper, Ben Ehrenreich and Amy Gerstler — give readings inspired by their favorite pieces in John D’Agata’s 650-page collection of essays, from the likes of Ziusudra of Sumer and Heraclitus, all the way up to contemporary names.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ 2nd Street Jazz 366 E. Second St., (213) 680-0047, or Tuesdays: Jazz jam session. Music usually starts at 9 or 10 p.m. Café Metropol 923 E. Third St., (213) 613-1537 or April 23-24, 8-10 p.m.: Venissa Santi. Caña Rum Bar at the Doheny 714 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-7090 or April 22: Domingo Siete (salsa).

April 24: Wes Smith Group (bossa nova). Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or April 23: Les Blanks with special guest Rademacher. Chop Suey Café 347 E. First St., (213) 617-9990 or Thursdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Live jazz on the patio of the restored landmark. Cicada Cicada Restaurant, 617 S. Olive St., (213) 488-9488 or Sundays, 6-11 p.m.: The restaurant is transformed into a vintage, old Hollywood-style dance club every Sunday. Come out to appreciate the big band, swank costumes, dinner and cocktails. Visit Conga Room L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic, (213) 749-0445 or April 21, 8 p.m.: Los Angeles Latin alternative band Monte Negro with guests Leonel and Amidst. April 22, 8 p.m.: Five-time Grammy winner Jorge Villamizar, former lead singer of Bacilos. Club Nokia Corner of Olympic Blvd. and Figueroa St., April 19, 6 p.m.; April 20, noon and 6 p.m.: Japanese pop star Jin Akanishi makes his American debut. Akanishi, a lead vocalist of the J-pop superband KAT-TUN, will perform songs in Japanese and in English. J Restaurant and Lounge 1119 S. Olive St., (213) 746-7746 or Tuesdays: Live acoustic performances in the lounge. Wednesdays: Salsa in the City features complimentary salsa lessons at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., a batch of live musicians takes over for a jam session. Nokia Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6000 or April 24, 8 p.m.: Argentine singer/songwriter Facundo Cabral. Orpheum Theatre 842 S. Broadway, (213) 622-1939 or April 23, 8 p.m.: Multi-talented songstress Norah Jones performs, with opening support from Sasha Dobson. April 25, 8 p.m.: Greg Emerson and Greg Lake. Redwood Bar & Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 680-2600 or April 19, 10 p.m.: Phil Alvin. April 20, 10 p.m.: Dirty Ed presents Crazy Squeeze. April 21, 10 p.m.: Adam Mackintosh. April 23, 10 p.m.: Johnny Thunders Memorial with The Kevin K Band. April 24, 10 p.m.: Bar That Sucks with The Super Bees, The Black Tibetans, The Living Sickness and Stitched Lips. April 25, 10 p.m.: Pirate Burlesque. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., April 19, 10 p.m.: John Daversa Small Group. April 20, 10 p.m.: House band The Makers. April 21, 10 p.m.: Deacon Jones Blues Review Featuring Lady GG

Clash of the Titans 3D (11:10 a.m. and 1:40, 4:30, 7:30 and 10 p.m.); Clash of the Titans (11:50 a.m. and 2:40, 5:30, 8:10 and 10:40 p.m.); Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? (1:10, 4, 7:10 and 10:10 p.m.); The Last Song (12:40, 3:40, 6:20 and 9 p.m.); Hot Tub Time Machine (11:20 a.m. and 2, 4:20, 6:50 and 9:10 p.m.); How to Train Your Dragon 3D (11:30 a.m. and 2:10, 4:40, 7:10 and 9:30 p.m.); Kick-Ass (11:10 and 11:50 a.m. and 12:30, 2, 2:30, 3:30, 4:40, 5:20, 6:40, 7:20, 8, 9:30, 10:20 and 11 p.m.); Death at a Funeral (11 a.m. and 12, 1:30, 2:40, 4:10, 5, 7, 7:50, 9:50 and 10:50 p.m.); Date Night (11:30 a.m. and 12, 1:50, 2:30, 4, 5:10, 6:30, 7:40, 9:10 and 10:30 p.m.). April 23 (partial listing): Oceans (12, 2:20, 4:40, 7 and 9:20 p.m.).



Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., for showtimes. April 20, 7 p.m.: The Los Angeles premiere of the award-winning film a/k/a Tommy Chong follows the absurd and tragic saga of Chong’s political horror story as the target in the government’s War on Drugs. April 20, 11 p.m.: When his roommate spends the rent money on Filipino hookers, Alex, a 35-year-old video game tester, has to find a new place to live and becomes the titular Grandma’s Boy. April 21, 8 p.m.: Screamfest LA presents The Hitcher. April 23, 6:10 and 9:25 p.m.; April 24, 2:45 p.m.; April 25, 2:45, 6:10 and 9:25 p.m.: Beautiful Losers celebrates and explores the spirit and the artists behind the cultural movement of the 1990s rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop and graffiti and how it transformed pop culture. Flagship Theatres University Village 3323 S. Hoover St., (213) 748-6321 or Through April 22: Kick Ass (1:45, 4:30, 7:15 and 10 p.m.); Date Night (1, 3:15, 5:30, 7:45 and 10 p.m.); Clash of the Titans 2D (1:30, 4, 7 and 9:30 p.m.). Regal Cinema L.A. Live 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (877) 835-5734 or Through April 22: Alice in Wonderland in 3D (11:20 a.m. and 1:50, 4:30, 7:20 and 10:20 p.m.);

Above The Line Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or April 22-24, 8 p.m.: “Above The Line” plays with sex, lies and videotape in a farce about the making of a Hollywood movie. Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 6282772 or April 21-23, 8 p.m.; April 24, 2:30 and 8 p.m.;



April 19, 2010

Downtown News 21

But Wait, There’s More!

Listings for additional concerts, exhibits and more in Downtown Los Angeles can be found on our website. Go to for full information, including time and location, for all the happenings in Downtown.

Additional Event Information on the Web

LADOWNTOWNNEWS.COM/CALENDAR : EVENTS | ROCK, POP & JAZZ | CLASSICAL MUSIC THEATER, OPERA & DANCE | ART SPACES | FILM | BARS & CLUBS | MUSEUMS | FARMERS MARKETS | TOURS April 25, 7 p.m.: Directed by Tony-nominee Moisés Kaufman (“I Am  My Own Wife” and “33 Variations”), “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” dares the audience not  to  look away from its honest and haunting depiction of the aftermath of war. Through May 30. Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo Theater, 2332 W. Fourth St., (213) 3828133 or April 23-24, 8 p.m.; April 25, 6 p.m.: The critically acclaimed “Frida Kahlo” explores the artist, the woman, the activist, the passionate love, the wife and the legend. Performances in both Spanish and English. Through May 2. Götterdämmerung Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or April 21, 5:30 p.m.; April 25, 1 p.m.: Los Angeles Opera continues the curse of the ring saga with “Gotterdammerung,” the final chapter of Wagner’s epic music drama. “The Twilight of the Gods” begins with the rapturous love shared by Brünnhilde (Linda Watson) and Siegfried (John Treleaven). But the evil Hagen (Eric Halfvarson), son of the dwarf Alberich (Gordon Hawkins), plots against Siegfried. Through April 25. Hamlet, Prince of Puddles Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or April 24-25, 11 a.m.: “Hamlet, Prince of Puddles” is an all-ages adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic and the debut of theatre group l’Enfant Terrible. Through. May 9. It’s A Musical World Bob Baker’s Marionettes, 1345 W. First St., (213) 2509995 or Opening April 19: The theater continues its 50th anniversary season with “It’s A Musical World,” a marionette revue that includes a stop at an enchanted toy shop, the arrival of spring at a teddy bear’s picnic and a red, white and blue finale. Through July 11. LA Views 3: Hunger and the City Company of Angels Theatre, 501 S. Spring St., April 23-24, 8 p.m.; April 25, 2 p.m.: Written by CoA Playwrights Group and directed by CoA company members, this short-play festival explores the concept of wanting more. Through April 25. NEW The Million Dollar Theater, 307 Broadway, April 22-23, 8 p.m.: East LA’s Post Fact Productions brings its post-apocalyptic assault on the senses to Downtown with its experimental rock opera “NEW.” The tale of two neon socialites is free. Poesia Negra: Race, Sex and The Myth of the American Mytopia REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800, April 22-24, 8:30 p.m.: In “Poesia Negra: Race, Sex and The Myth of the American Mytopia,” writer and musicmaker Carl Hancock Rux takes center stage in a solo performance that blends paper-bag storytelling, hip-bop-fueled poetic reveries and plenty of critical analysis on American mythologies. Romeo and Juliet The Studio @ The Shakespeare Center, 1238 W. First St., (213) 481-2273 or April 24, 8 p.m.: This spirited adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is set in 1930s Boyle Heights. Through April 24. The Stigmatized Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or April 22, 7:30 p.m.; April 24, 7:30 p.m.: Conductor James Conlon continues the groundbreaking Recovered Voices series with the first production in the Western hemisphere of Franz Schreker’s The Stigmatized. Through April 24. The Vagina Monologues Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., (213) 628-3700 or April 23, 8 p.m.; April 24, 2 and 8 p.m.; April 25, 5 p.m.: The Japan American Theatre hosts a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” Versa-Style Dance Company Inner-City Arts’ Rosenthal Theater, 720 Kohler St., (213) 627-9621 or April 23-24, 8 p.m.; April 25, 2 p.m.; April 25, 6 p.m.: Traveling into the roots of dances that have contributed to the rich hip-hop experience, VersaStyle brings an energetic and vibrant multi-media performance that includes dance, music and film.

Saturday, April 24 Colburn School 200 S. Grand Ave., 8 p.m.: Southwest Chamber Music presents Copland’s “Appalachian Spring;” Elliot Carter’s “On Conversing with Paradies” (U.S. premiere); John Cage’s “Atlas Eclipticalis;” and Kurt Rohde’s “Still Distant, Still Here.”

Chopin’s Polonaise-Fantasie, Schumann’s Fantasy, Op. 17, and a new commissioned work for solo piano by John Adams, plus more. Thursday, April 22 Colburn School 200 S. Grand Ave., 8 p.m.: Camerata Pacifica presents a slate of chamber works by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Auerbach, Musgrave and Harbison. Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., 8 p.m.: Gustavo Dudamel is back in the saddle, presiding over a performance of Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” symphony, Lieberson’s “Neruda Songs” and Chavez’s “Toccata for Percussion.” Performers include pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and vocalist Kelley O’Connor. Also at 8 p.m. on April 23.


Easy ways to submit Your

Event Info


Friday, April 23 Colburn School 200 S. Grand Ave., 7:30 p.m.: The school’s artist in residence, the Calder Quartet, gives a performance.

Email: Send a brief description, street address and public phone number. Submissions must be received 10 days prior to publication date to be considered for print.

Full Computer Service Center Serving Downtown Los Angeles Since 1993 Authorized Sales & Service


ON REPAIRS PC, Laptop & Mac: Repair & Upgrades • Virus & Spam Removal • Data Recovery • Computer Networking • Printer Repair 3930 Broadway Place, Los Angeles, CA 90037


DANCING THE CROSSROADS,1966. PAINTED ALUMINUM. Courtesy of the Arthur Roger Gallery.

CLASSICAL MUSIC Tuesday, April 20 Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., 8 p.m.: Emanuel Ax in a solo recital, playing

We Got Games


Play On, Playoffs

Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts Through June 6 - West Coast Premiere of Exhibition! Our Love of John T. Scott - Through October 31

Los Angeles Lakers Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7100 or April 20, 7:30 p.m.: The Lakers continue their first round bout against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Games three and four will be in Oklahoma City. The experts predict there’ll be no reason to return to Staples Center for game five on Tuesday, as the Lakers are expected to romp the Thunder. But there’s something dangerous about a group of kids (most of the starting line-up is 23 or younger) with nothing to lose.

CAAM’s 7+FIG Showcase at 7+FIG Art Space Through June 11 - Ernst and Young Plaza, 735 S. Figueroa Street

Permanent Collection and Gallery of Discovery, ongoing C ALI FO R N I A AFR I C AN AM ER ICAN MUSEUM 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, LA 90037 For more information go to or call 213-744-7432. Parking at 39th and Figueroa Streets and is $8 per vehicle. FREE ADMISSION!

photo by Gary Leonard

Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., (213) 224-1400 or The Doyers are on the road all week, taking on the Cincinnati Reds (April 2022), then heading to Washington to play the Nationals (April 23-25). Though it’s early, the Dodgers are showing some weakness on the mound. In particular, former ace Chad Billingsley was bumpy in his first two starts. For this team to be a real contender, their hurlers will have to sharpen their game, and the Reds and Nats offer chances to practice against some Swiss cheese bats.

Dustin Brown and the Kings are in an unexpected place: the NHL playoffs.

Los Angeles Kings Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., 1 (888) KINGS-LA or April 19 and 21, 7 p.m.: The Kings return to Los Angeles to host the Vancouver Canucks. It’s been a while since our skaters made it to the postseason, but led by Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, the Kings are not only in the playoffs, they are playing like they belong there. If necessary, game six would also take place in Staples Center. —Ryan Vaillancourt

GENE OGAMI, Photographer

22 Downtown News

April 19, 2010



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1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, New Paint/New Carpet, Clubhouse Amenities, Gym, Pool/Spa, All Appliances, Was./Dryr., 1 Park/Space, Secure & Gated.

$1500 (310) 215-0788

EMPLOYMENT accounting/Banking EXPERIENCE COUNTS Bookkeeping, Accounting, Projections. Contact Office Mgr. 213880-5992 stephanie@jkbassoc. com 600 W. 9th St. #1102, LA, CA 90015. computers/it ATTN: COMPUTER WORK. Work from anywhere 24/7. Up to $1,500 Part Time to $7,500/ mo. Full Time. Training provided. or call 1-800-330-8446. (Cal-SCAN) general AUTOMOTIVE Great jobs in downtown LA! Full time or part time. Two blocks south of the Staples Center at Figueroa & Venice. Toyota Central is growing! Sales Associates - all levels. Internet Associates. Service Technicians. Service Consultants. Drivers. Cashiers. Receptionists. Bilingual Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern and women encouraged to apply. Great compensation package and employee benefits. Please call 800-597-5516 or send resume to autosuccess@ EOE. drivers NATIONAL CARRIERS needs O/Os, Lease Purchase, Company Drivers for its expanding fleet. Offering Regional/OTR runs, Outstanding Pay Package, excellent benefits, generous hometime. 1-888-707-7729. (Cal-SCAN)

rosslyn hotel the loft expert! group

Unfurnished rooms starting at $480 a month


Downtown since 2002

1256 West 7th street

Don't settle for anyone less experienced! Call us today!

Simin (213) 484-9789 Ext. 555 or (213) 632-1111

Bill Cooper • 213.598.7555 •

Mayfair Hotel

commercial space


Help wanted ADvERTiSing SALES - PROjECT The Los Angeles Downtown News is seeking an experienced advertising sales professional to sell our annual Downtown Guide during the next 10 weeks. A successful selling campaign could lead to a long-term relationship. The Guide is in its 11th year of publication and is considered the best and most comprehensive guide to Downtown. Last year’s edition was nearly 100 pages and had more than 70 different advertisers. You will be selling to a wide array of advertising prospects including restaurants, boutiques, museums, retail businesses, real estate, auto dealers and more. The ideal applicant would have prior print media sales experience, be well-organized, tenacious, ambitious, high-energy, self-starter and have solid phone and in-person skills. You must also be a strong closer and live in or near Downtown Los Angeles or, at the very least, have a detailed understanding of the uniqueness that is Downtown Los Angeles. Compensation for this position includes salary plus commission. A successful selling campaign could lead to a long-term relationship. Please send your cover letter and resume to Advertising Director Steve Nakutin at Please include the subject line DTG SALES POSITION. No phone calls please.

madison hotel Clean furnished single rooms. 24-hour desk clerk service. •Daily, $25.00 •Weekly, $99.00 •Monthly, $295.00 (213) 622-1508 423 East 7th St.

Laundry on site. All utilities included. 112 W 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 213.503.7449 •

Furnished single unit with kitchenette, bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly rate $275 inc.

Monthly from $550 utilities paid. (213) 612-0348

Children’s Performing Group fictitiOus




$ 85.

fOr 4 insertiOns Call (213) 481-1448

(The Downtown News does not perform filing services)

Sunshine Generation Singing, dancing, performing and fun! For boys & girls ages 3 and up! 909-861-4433

REGIONAL DRIVERS NEEDED! More Hometime! Top Pay! Up to $.41/mile company drivers! 12 months OTR required. Heartland Express 1-800-4414953. www.HeartlandExpress. com. (Cal-SCAN) SLT NEEDS CLASS A Team Drivers with Hazmat. $2,000 Bonus. Split $0.68 for all miles. Regional contractor positions available. 1-800-835-9471. (Cal-SCAN) TRUCK DRIVERS: CDL training. Part-time driving job. Full-time benefits. Get paid to train in the California Army National Guard. Up to $20,000 bonus. www. or 1-800-GO-GUARD. (Cal-SCAN) sales ADVERTISING SALES - Project. The Los Angeles Downtown News is seeking an experienced advertising sales professional to sell our annual Downtown Guide during the next 10 weeks. A successful selling campaign could lead to a long-term relationship. The Guide is in its 11th year of publication and is considered the best and most comprehensive guide to Downtown. Last year’s edition was nearly 100 pages and had more than 70 different advertisers. You will be selling to a wide array of advertising prospects including restaurants, boutiques, museums, retail businesses, real estate, auto dealers and more. The ideal applicant would have prior print media sales experience, be well-organized, tenacious, ambitious, high-energy, self-starter and have solid phone and inperson skills. You must also be a strong closer and live in or near Downtown Los Angeles or, at the very least, have a detailed understanding of the uniqueness that is Downtown Los Angeles. Compensation for this position includes salary plus commission. A successful selling campaign could lead to a long-term relationship. Please send your cover letter and resume to Advertising Director Steve Nakutin at Please include the subject line DTG SALES POSITION. No phone calls please. health care SPECIAL EDUCATION Teacher: Teach special needs children. Resume/Ad/Job: Norwalk-La Mirada USD, 12820 Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90620.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Business opportunities ALL CASH VENDING! Be Your Own Boss! Your Own Local Vending Route. Includes 25 Machines and Candy for $9,995. MultiVend LLC, 1-888-625-2405. (Cal-SCAN) EARN $500 DAILY Providing a simple service for Home and Business - Dry Tech #CL28547. 8920 Quartz Ave. Northridge, CA 91324. 1-800-507-7222.

(2 blocks west of San Pedro St.)


COMPANY DRIVERS (Solos & Hazmat Teams) * Great Pay * Great Miles * CDL-A Required. We also have dedicated & regional positions available. Call 866789-8947. Swift. (Cal-SCAN)


Take us home ADOPT (OR FOSTER) your forever friend from Bark Avenue Foundation. Beautiful, healthy puppies, dogs, cats and kittens available at Downtown’s largest private adoption facility. Call Dawn at 213-840-0153 or email Dawn@ or visit www.Bark Avenue

health IS YOUR TEEN Experiencing: School Problems - Conflicts at home or w/friends? Adolescent support group ages 13-17. low fee. Marney Stofflet, LCSW 323662-9797.

April 19 , 2010

Downtown News 23



ABOGADO DE IMMIGRACION! Family, Criminal, P.I. for more than 20 yrs! Child Support / Custody Necesita Permiso de trabajo? Tagalog / Español / Korean

Get your GREEN CARD or CITIZENSHIP Law Office of H. Douglas Daniel Esq., (213) 689-1710

Advertising ADVERTISE ONLINE in a network of 80-plus newspaper websites. Border to Border with one order! $7 cost per thousand impressions statewide. Minimum $5,000 order. Call for details: (916) 288-6010. www. CaliforniaBannerAdNetwork. com. (Cal-SCAN) CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING in 240 Cal-SCAN newspapers for the best reach, coverage, and price. 25-words $550. Reach over 6 million Californians! Free email brochure. Call (916) 2886019. (Cal-SCAN) DISPLAY ADVERTISING in 140 Cal-SDAN newspapers statewide for $1,550! Reach over 3 million Californians! Free email brochure. Call (916) 288-6019. (CalSCAN)

HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA! Graduate in 4 weeks! Free Brochure. Call Now! 1-866-5623650 ext. 60 (Cal-SCAN) Health & Fitness FDA APPROVED MEDICAL. Medical Vacuum Pumps. Viagra,Testosterone, Cialis. Free Brochures. (619) 294-7777. www. (Cal-SCAN) massage

EZ SHIATSU & MASSAGE 1 Hr. (Reg. $60) $38+Tax 1st customers only. 400 E. 2nd St., #205 LA CA 90012

(Honda Plaza Mall)


Financial Services CASH NOW! Get cash for your structured settlement or annuity payments. High payouts. Call J.G. Wentworth. 1-866-SETTLEMENT (1-866-738-8536). Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. (Cal-SCAN)

2002 LEXUS SC CONVERTIBLE only 51K miles with navi system, perfect condition, VIN 20032180, $20,999. 888-8385089. 2007 AUDI A4 premium pkg., leather, moonroof, certified VIN #7A149635. $19,888. 888-5830981 2008 911 TURBO CABRIOLET black/black, 6-spd, deviated stitching, 9K miles CPO 789471, $115,988. 888-685-5426. 2010 VOLKSWAGON CC 2,369 miles, white, carfax 1 owner, VIN 528667, $26,888. 888-7818102.

For a complete list of our pre-owned inventory, go to

MANAGING ASSISTANCE If you need help collecting the rent or managing/supervising your business or property. Conservator/executor/investigator. Call Rik Martino...(Actor M D B) 323-850-8580.


Downtown L.A. AUTO GROUP Porsche Volkswagen Audi Mercedes-Benz Nissan chevrolet cadillac

Pickup Trucks

Lawn & Garden/Farm Equip

1997 NISSAN XE PICK UP TRUCK white, single cab. Automatic, power brake/steering. 213-384-0086 $3,500

NEW NORWOOD SawmillsLumberMate-Pro handles logs 34” diameter, mills boards 28” wide. Automated quick-cyclesawing increases efficiency up to 40%! www.NorwoodSawmills. com/300N 1-800-661-7746 ext. 300N. (Cal-SCAN)

PETS/ANIMALS Adopt A Pet ADOPT (OR FOSTER) your forever friend from Bark Avenue Foundation. Beautiful, healthy puppies, dogs, cats and kittens available at Downtown’s largest private adoption facility. Call Dawn at 213-840-0153 or email or visit www.Bark Avenue Foundation. org.

LEGAL Fictitious Business Name

Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 20100474380 The following person is doing business as: BLOCK ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, 8306 Wilshire Blvd., #1047, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, are hereby registered by the following registrant: MARILYN MEDIA GROUP, INC., 8306 Wilshire Blvd., #1047, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. This business is conducted by a corporation. Registrant has not begun to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein. This statement was filed with

Autos Wanted DONATE YOUR CAR: Children’s Cancer Fund! Help Save A Child’s Life Through Research & Support! Free Vacation Package. Fast, Easy & Tax Deductible. Call 1-800-252-0615. (CalSCAN) DONATE YOUR VEHICLE! Receive Free Vacation Voucher. United Breast Cancer Foundation. Free Mammograms, Breast Cancer Info Free Towing, Tax Deductible, NonRunners Accepted, 1-888-4685964. (Cal-SCAN)

DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on April 7, 2010 NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/03/1008

The Downtown Renaissance Collection

ANNOUNCEMENTS Volunteer Opportunities

Misc. services

Cleaning CONCEPTO’S CLEANING Crew. Professional, experienced, cleans apartments, homes, offices and restaurants. Call for a quote. 323-459-3067 or 818-409-9183.

‘08 MERCEDES E350 Sedan, certified, nicely equipped, VIN 246623, $35,996. 888-319-8762

Helping kids heal. Free Arts for Abused Children is looking for volunteers to integrate the healing power of the arts into the lives of abused and at-risk children and their families. Today is the day to get involved! Contact Annie at volunteers@freearts. org or 310-313-4278 for more information.

Be Inspired... Best Downtown Locations!

ITEMS FOR SALE TV/Electronics/Computers FOR SALE DELL PC computer $175. 1 year old, as is. Call 310684-0830.


‘01 AUDI TT QUATTRO Roadster 2D, 1.8 LTR, 4 cyl. HO Turbo, AWD, 4-whl, ABS, 6 Spd., Pwr. Roof 888-879-9608 Vin 001940. $10,887




Medici 725 SOUTH BIXEL ST.



Elegant World Class Resort Apartment Homes

Piero 616 ST. PAUL AVE.



Visconti 1221 WEST THIRD ST.



FREE Rent Specials On Select Floor Plans

I c o n i c B e au t y S e e k s S t y l i s h M at e

On Spring St.

Spring Tower Lofts:

1900 sqft, open LOFT w/views $2850/mo. • 17 ft ceilings • Live/Work space • 14 story Bldg. • Rooftop garden terrace w/city view • Pet friendly

Premiere Towers:

3 bdrms/2 bath, $2100/mo. • Rooftop garden terrace/GYM w/city view • 24 hr. doorman • free (1) parking We are located in a prime area in Downtown LA nice neighborhood w/ salon, market, café etc. Wired for high speed internet & cable, central heat & A/C



756 S. Broadway • Downtown Los Angeles 213-892-9100 • chapmanf

• Free Resident/Guest Parking in Gated Garage • Private Library, Business Center & Conference Rooms • Free Wi-Fi & DSL Computer Use • Resident Karaoke Lounge • Directors Screening Room • Lavish Fountains & Sculptures • On-Site Private Resident Park with Sand Volleyball, BBQ’s and Jogging Track • Night Light Tennis Courts • Indoor Basketball

Please call 213.627.6913

• Brunswick Four-Lane Virtual Bowling • Full Swing Virtual Golf • 3100 Square Foot Cybex Fitness Facility • Free Tanning Rooms • Massage Room, Sauna & Steam Room • Rooftop Pools with Dressing Rooms • Concierge Service • 24-Hour Doorman • 24/7 On-Site Management • Magnificent City Views *Amenities vary among communities

Version 2

Casaloma L.A. Apartments

Offices • Offices • Offices • Offices

Pricing subject to change without notice.


Clean unfurnished bachelor rooms Client: with shared bath at $550/mo. with private bath $695/mo. Publication:

Includes utilities, basic cable chanSize/Color: nels, laundry room on site. Gated building in a good area.

Join your local Adult Kickball League! Individuals, groups and corporate teams welcomed! Season starts April 22 At Shatto Recreation Center, 3191 W. 4th St. Located right off the METRO Red Line station

visit Fully furnished with TV, telephone, microwave, refrigerator. Full bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly maid service.

ARTIST LOFTS FOR LEASE Live/Work in Downtown Fashion District 700 to 1500 Sq. Ft. Lofts. High ceilings, skylights, cable, kitchen, bath+shower, laundry room, elevator, controlled access, sub. parking. Sorry no dogs. Call George: 818-634-7916 or 310-826-8810 x24

Monthly from $695 utilities paid. (213) 627-1151

208 W. 14th St. at Hill St. Downtown LA

Burbank • Brentwood Century City • Downtown L.A. Woodland Hills

Design by:

Ph: 323.474.4668

Locations Nationwide

For English Call Pierre or Terri 213.744.9911 For Spanish Call Susana 213.749.0306

6th+Grand Ave. • • 213.627.1900

Beautiful Offices For As Little As $400 Fully Furnished/Corporate ID Programs Flexible Terms/All New Suites



Services Include: • Reception • Mail • T-1 • State-of-the-Art Voice Mail & Telephone • Westlaw • Fax • Photocopy • More Additional Features: Kitchen Facilities, All Support Services, Great Views, Free Conference Room Hours, Fully Trained Staff, Cost Effective.

Jenny Ahn (213) 996-8301

VIP Room Available. The Best Way For Business Meetings & Entertainment

Health Dept. rank A for 7 Consecutive Years

SAKURA HEALTH GYM & SAUNA, INC. 111 N. Atlantic Blvd. Ste #231-233 Monterey Park, CA 91754 (626) 458-1919 [Corner of Garvey Ave.]



First Professionally Licensed Massage Shop in L.A. County.



Professional massage for men & women. Services include Thai Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Swedish Oil Massage, Foot Massage, Sauna, Steam, and more. Lounge area.

3386766 0119

Do you live or work around Downtown?

• Gorgeous Layouts

G.H. Palmer Associates• 10-15’ Ceilings • Fitness Center LADT News • Wi-Fi Rooftop Lounge • Amazing Views 4.3125” x 8” 4C

Real Artist Lofts available in original 18 unit Downtown Artist Loft bldg. close to Southern Cal. School of Architecture. Starting at approximately 1200 to 2100 Sq. ft. large open space with new kit and bath. Laundry, gated parking and intercom entry from $1200.

1427 E. 4th St. Contact Julie at (323) 261-1099

24 Downtown News

April 19, 2010


Grilled Cheese Continued from page 12 was very crowded, and there was no guarantee of taste-testing a sandwich,” said Jeremy Rodriguez, a 34-year-old Lakewood resident who attended the past two years. “We all had to beg, plead and/or scream for the chefs to bring us a sandwich.” Indeed, prior to last year, judges were in a competition of sorts with each other. No lines existed — just a mass of rowdy grilled cheese groupies surrounding the competition area — and some judges got more samples than others. Bigger Event, Higher Costs The Grilled Cheese Invitational involves more than just competition. It begins with a comical convocation from the “Cheese Reverend” and a speech by the “Cheese Mayor,” both friends of Walker. There will also be a separate area for at least 13 vendors serving up different concoctions. Attendees who don’t get to judge the formal competition can still vote for their favorite vendor. The wildly popular Grilled Cheese Truck will be in attendance; it was started by chef Dave Danhi and business partner

photo courtesy of Grilled Cheese Invitational

During the event, 300 chefs will set up stations and serve sandwiches.

Michele Grant after they witnessed firsthand the grilled cheese fandom of last year’s event. Other vendors include the Border Grill Truck, which will serve quesadillas, the Oaks Gourmet, which will make pizzas and other grilled cheese-themed cuisine, and past GCI win-

ner Heidi Gibson, who is opening a grilled cheese restaurant in San Francisco this spring. Another change from previous years is price. The formerly free event was $5 last year and now has a $10 entrance fee. Walker noted that the growth of the invitational has a corresponding cost. “There’s no way I can run the event and have it be free without huge sponsors, and with huge sponsors come huge demands about what you can do at the event,” said Walker. “The event is budgeted in a way where we can produce it and have necessary amenities like tables, chairs and shade.” Still, attendees should be able to leave with something in their stomachs. Exclusive cheese sponsor Tillamook will serve thousands of grilled cheeses made with bread donated by Fresh & Easy. The grocery store will also offer $5 coupons, and more tasty freebies will be on hand. For first-timers, Walker has some key advice, advocating a pack mentality. “Come with a group of people so you can split up, go to different vendors, meet at a table and share the different varieties of food that are available,” said Walker. The Grilled Cheese Invitational is Saturday, April 24, noon-6 p.m. at Los Angeles Center Studios. 1201 W. Fifth St.,

Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore!

Grand Tower 255 south Grand avenue Leasing Information 213 229 9777

Promenade Towers 123 south Figueroa street Leasing Information 213 617 3777

Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Pool / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Covered Parking

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher (most units) ~ Central Air Conditioning & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

On-site: ~ Dry Cleaners / Dental Office / Restaurants

Now For Call n Specials Move-I

8 7 7 - 2 65 - 714 6

museum Tower 225 south olive street Leasing Information 213 626 1500

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove & Dishwasher ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Solariums and/or Balconies

On Site: ~ Convenience Store / Coffee House / Yogurt Shop / Beauty Salon

Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.





Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.