NEWS Volume 41, Number 39
A New LATC Season 15
Big awards, a new Metrolink boss, and other happenings Around Town.
A battle over city fees delays the opening of a Historic Core housing project.
W W W. D O W N T O W N N E W S . C O M
September 24, 2012
With AEG for Sale, Questions Swirl
Putting L.A. Live Owner on the Block Raises Concerns About Football and the Future of Downtown Urban Scrawl on bridge designs.
The man who can talk to cars.
Visions of a South Park park.
photo by Gary Leonard, composite by Los Angeles Downtown News
Anschutz Entertainment Group invested billions in the construction of Staples Center, L.A. Live and the Convention Center hotel. Now the properties, along with the rest of the company, are on the market. by Ryan Vaillancourt
Get ready to climb a lot of stairs.
First off: How is the proposed sale, which the Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 18, 10 days before the City Council was scheduled to cast a key vote on AEG’s Downtown football dreams, linked to the firm’s strategy to lure an NFL team to Los Angeles? Is Anschutz, who has historically shied away from the prospect of owning an NFL franchise, simply fed up with the football idea?
Eat up and thank a cop.
Shaking It Up at JANM
here may only be two people in the world who truly know what’s behind Philip Anschutz’s recently revealed decision to put his Anschutz Entertainment Group up for sale. While the Denver-based billionaire and AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke are, clearly, privy to the reasoning, everyone else has questions.
Considering that AEG is a massive international corporation, is it possible that the proposed sale has nothing to do with its Downtown Los Angeles holdings at all? Even if that’s the case, what impact would a transaction have on Downtown Los Angeles, where in addition to the proposed football project AEG built Staples Center, L.A. Live, the Convention see AEG, page 12
The Dodgers and Tattoo Art Are Part of New CEO Greg Kimura’s Plan to Redefine the Little Tokyo Institution
17 CALENDAR LISTINGS
by Richard Guzmán city editor
20 MAP 21 CLASSIFIEDS
hen Greg Kimura was tapped as the new CEO of the Japanese American National Museum this year, board members said they wanted him to shake things up at the 27-year-old Little Tokyo institution. “When we hired Greg we were looking for
someone to undertake the huge challenge of broadening the audience of this museum, someone who would be transformative,” said Gordon Yamate, the chair of the museum’s board of trustees. “It’s the right time for these changes.” Although it is early in his tenure, Kimura, 44, appears willing to take the directive head on. Since settling into the post in April, he has slashed the
budget, fired some employees — including wellknown museum spokesman Chris Komai — and hired others, and embarked on creating a series of exhibits that, at first glance, might seem beyond the museum’s traditional scope. There are reasons for the changes, starting with the financial: JANM was $500,000 in the see JANM, page 8
TWO CALIFORNIA PLAZA
S T A T E
T H E
A R T
O F F I C E
B U I L D I N G
2 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
AROUNDTOWN City Hall Gets Tagged With Graffiti
n unidentified person or group defaced City Hall last week with anti-government messages, including what appeared to be a crude depiction of an upside-down American flag. The vandal struck on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 18, and a crew was dispatched to remove the graffiti scrawled in black spray paint on the western side of City Hall the next morning. Police are reviewing surveillance footage from area cameras, but so far have not identified a suspect, said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. The graffiti included one reference to the “99%.” “The sad part is City Hall has finally been cleaned up and we’re getting ready to remove the fencing and then someone or a group of people come out and do this type of stuff,” Smith said. “It’s ridiculous.” Smith was referring to the chain link fencing that now surrounds the recently renovated South Lawn of City Hall in the wake of damage cause during the Occupy L.A. camp last year. There is no timeline for the fencing coming down, but Smith said it is imminent.
Burglary Investigation Leads to Two Downtown Jewelers
he Los Angeles Police Department last week arrested two men who operate Downtown jewelry businesses for allegedly receiving stolen property. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, Ismael Monje, the owner of Fine Silver Max’s Jewelry at 722 S. Broadway and two other shops on the street, was arrested and booked on multiple counts of felony identity theft for allegedly using someone’s Social
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Security number to obtain credit. Farshad Yaghoobi, owner of Guadalajara’s Jewelry at 720 S. Broadway, was booked for receiving stolen property. Police said they traced suspects allegedly involved in a string of house burglaries on the Westside and in the Valley to the stores owned by Yaghoobi and Monje. Secondhand shops and pawn shops are required to obtain a fingerprint and get ID from people selling personal property. Police said in a statement that during their investigation employees of the Broadway businesses were never observed obtaining a fingerprint or checking IDs. Four Downtown businesses associated with Monje and Yaghoobi have been shut down and their business licenses have been cancelled, police said. Mitt Romney
Bratton Backs Feuer in City Attorney Race
he 2013 City Attorney’s race had some notable movement last week, with a prominent endorsement and a fundraising milestone. On Thursday, Sept. 20, state Assemblyman Mike Feuer announced that he had secured the backing of former LAPD Chief William Bratton. Bratton preceded Charlie Beck as L.A.’s top cop, serving from 2002-2009. During that time Los Angeles saw a historic decrease in crime. “As L.A.’s former Police Chief, I know how much Los Angeles needs a City Attorney who’s been in the forefront on public safety issues, has a strong track record as a problem-solver, has wide experience in the justice system and is universally respected for his integrity,” said Bratton in a prepared statement. “I’ve just described Mike Feuer.” The announcement came just days after current City Attorney Carmen Trutanich
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filed papers with the City Ethics Commission indicating that he has eclipsed $100,000 in contributions. Trutanich formally entered the race last month. Feuer, who has been campaigning for more than a year, had pulled in more than $650,000 by the end of June. Also running is attorney Greg Smith, who has raised $161,000. The primary is next March.
Gaze at the Chinatown Moon
hinatown may have a shortage of farmers, but this week it will celebrate the cutting down of crops. On Saturday, Sept. 29, from 5-11 p.m., the Harvest Moon Festival will take place in Central and West plazas at 943-951 N. Broadway. The event will feature lion dancers, kung fu artists, food trucks and a ping-pong tournament. There will also be tele-
September 17, 2012
scopes provided by the Griffith Observatory with which to gaze at the celestial bodies. The festival’s history dates back more than 3,000 years, when farmers celebrated the harvest by gathering together to look at the moon and eat moon cakes. The traditional pastry is also eaten during the Downtown festival.
Metrolink Finds New Boss in New York
our months after losing its CEO, Metrolink has found a new boss. On Sept. 14, the transit agency’s board of directors voted unanimously to hire Michael DePallo, who is director and general manager of the Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation, a rail system that generates a quarter-million daily passenger trips between Manhattan and see Around Town, page 9
September 24, 2012
Downtown News 3
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4 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
EDITORIALS Downtown Boomtown
Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis
n the past two weeks, Los Angeles Downtown News used the word “boom” twice in a headline. The Sept. 10 edition featured the cover story “The Next Apartment Boom,” about the ongoing or imminent construction of at least 10 rental buildings that will create nearly 2,400 housing units. Last week was our Development issue, in which we offered the latest information on 75 Downtown projects. It was titled “Back to the Boom.” Now here’s a third use of “boom” in a headline, though obviously we’ve expanded it. This is not accidental, coincidental or without careful consideration. We think “boomtown” perfectly expresses what is happening right now in Downtown Los Angeles. Others will disagree, pointing to projects that stalled during the recession of 2007. There’s the Frank Gehry towers that are part of the Grand Avenue plan and the massive mixed-use complex from the Moinian Group that was supposed to rise on the parking lot east of Staples Center. Who knows when or in what form either project will come back? Other developments stopped or died as well. Once one moves beyond those notable failures, however, there are many more successes, as well as a lot of Downtown construction jobs. The 10 housing projects mentioned in the Sept. 10 issue are just the beginning — a hefty handful of other residential buildings are further along in the construction process or have opened recently. While it would be nice to see the condominium market recover, the apartment boom is a response to a need — Downtown Los Angeles does not have enough marketrate housing. The increase in evening entertainment, dining and drinking options is making the neighborhood attractive to even more people, many of whom would rather walk than drive to a Central City job. The spike in rents and occupancy in existing buildings demonstrates the necessity for more housing. The boom is not just in places to live. Some civic projects are generating jobs and creating more vitality for the future. The Hall of Justice in the Civic Center is undergoing a $231 million upgrade. The coming Federal Courthouse and the Regional Connector will also spur the community forward. Equally engaging is the activity on the business front. The shopping center at Figueroa and Seventh streets is nearing the end of a $40 million renovation and, a few blocks away, the office building at 845 S. Figueroa St. is being modernized after years of sitting empty. A tech business incubator will break ground soon in the Arts District and a new Marriott hotels project is underway in South Park. The list goes on and on, and will expand further if the Farmers Field project happens. Downtown had it rough for a few years. However, unlike some communities, construction here never actually ground to a standstill. Things always managed to inch forward. Now the pace has picked up. The area is booming, and things should continue this way for a while.
The River, the Bridge and the Future
t is easy to malign the Los Angeles River. The 52-mile waterway is famous for the concrete embankments poured decades ago by the Army Corps of Engineers. They were installed to prevent destructive flooding, and while they accomplished that task, they have had some serious and unanticipated side effects. The slabs of gray have become a canvas for decades of graffiti taggers. The river has been choked with trash, starting with the shocking number of plastic bags that are blown in by the wind. Then there are the dunderheads who treat it as a dumping ground, throwing in garbage, shopping carts, sofas and all manner of unmentionables. If there is one thing that many people know the river for today it is not water and wildlife, but filming — the long, flat and slanted expanses have been seen in the movie Grease, an untold number of car commercials and much more. Reclaiming the Los Angeles River is a gargantuan task. That, however, has not stopped a small but committed group of individuals. The organization Friends of the Los Angeles River launched in 1986 and has been working ever since to spread the message that a more natural waterway would benefit the region; the organization’s annual spring cleanup is a triumph of community organizing, bringing out large numbers of individuals who recognize that together they can make a difference. On the political side, First District City Councilman Ed Reyes has championed the river’s revitalization for more than a decade. His aim is both environmental and economic, knowing that homes and jobs could exist along the banks. His grand plan would take decades and cost billions, and he has sought funds from the Obama administration, among others. One hopes that whoever succeeds him after next year’s election (when Reyes is termed out) will have the same vision and commitment. It is in this context that the city arrived at the three finalists to design a replacement for the Sixth Street Viaduct. On Sept. 12, local officials revealed proposals and renderings by the firms HNTB Corp., AECOM and Parsons Brinckerhoff. A winner for the $400 million job is expected to be announced in October. The designs are grand in scope and high in vision. In replacing a bridge that opened in 1932, the finalists are referencing the past
while looking toward the future. Whether on their own or at the urging of submission guidelines, all three bidders aim to create a project that is a conduit for cars and, in separate lanes, pedestrians and bicyclists. Each bid also includes plans to capitalize on the space on the banks of the river. Getting to this point was not easy. The initial momentum inside City Hall was to save the bridge, which has been suffering from alkali-silica reaction, a destructive condition sometimes referred to as “concrete cancer.” Although local officials have stressed that the bridge is not at imminent risk of collapse, they know it can’t stay as is. With the decision to tear down and build anew, there was a big question: Should they replicate the design or opt for something different? One reason to stick with the past was the context, as the bridge is one in a series crossing the river. They all date back decades and have distinct architectural styles. We think leaving the past in the past and instead launching an international design competition was the right move. While the Sixth Street Viaduct has an inherent beauty and strength in its famous arches, this is a different city than when it rose. The new bridge should reference and stand amid the other bridges, including the Fourth Street Bridge just to the north, but it also makes sense to respond to current and future needs and environments. Although we will not know the winner for several weeks, in a sense the most important decision has already been made. Now, in addition to determining which firm has the expertise to bring in the project on time and on budget, a key task is ensuring that whatever comes next also augments the overall waterway. As officials move forward, we should hear specific plans for activating the areas along the banks. Parks and recreation sections seem like a no-brainer, but that does not need to be the extent of it. The firms should present plans for housing and employment centers. They should detail how improvements on the banks of the river will tie into and spur advances in other areas. This is an exciting time for the bridge, the river and the banks of Downtown and, on the east side, Boyle Heights. Although the replacement will not open until 2018 at the soonest, we look forward to hearing what comes next.
September 24, 2012
Downtown News 5
The Readers Respond
Website Comments on Broadway Theaters, a Sixth Street Bridge Design, Local Crime and More
Regarding the story “As Downtown Crime Spikes, Questions Follow,” by Ryan Vaillancourt, published Sept. 3
room. Even at market rate, spaces that small do not demand much rent. In an article announcing the reopening of the Bristol last year, I read that there were two market rate apartments in the building. They were being rented for about $40 more than the “low income housing.” —Travis Sky, Aug. 31, 12:40 a.m.
very week Los Angeles Downtown News gets online comments to the stories we publish. These are some of the most interesting responses. Additional comments are welcome at ladowntownnews.com.
Regarding the story “For Charter Proponents, a School Daze,” about an effort to open a Downtown charter elementary school, by Richard Guzmán, published Sept. 3
Regarding the story “Family Looks to Upgrade Four Broadway Theaters,” about the Delijanis’ plan, by Richard Guzmán, published online Sept. 7
o much money has been wasted on LAUSD schools in Downtown Los Angeles for so many years that it’s difficult to see how often educators will be able to go back to that well to get more philanthropy. Good luck to these founders — Downtown definitely needs more good schools, and now the middle class is getting involved, which is probably a good thing. But the empowered establishment in LAUSD is usually overconfident that it knows how to provide good schools, in spite of the stunning lack of evidence to support their orthodoxy, and is unwilling to try experiments that don’t align with their vision, so it is hard to be confident that this will not lead to more disappointment and more good money being sent after bad. —Bruce Smith, Sept. 3, 3:54 p.m.
ice enough family, but they are not very motivated or savvy developers. I know they will never sell which is too bad as there are plenty of folks that could make this happen. —Rob McRitchie, Sept. 7, 11:09 a.m.
t sucks to see those theaters shuttered 90% of the time. Make those theaters work for the people living there. Bring back vaudeville, experimental theater, dance and concerts. Make it affordable and everyone that lives Downtown will be there. —Curtis Cook, Sept. 7, 4:49 p.m.
arking at the Pershing Square garage is safe and convenient. It is just one block west of the Palace and the Los Angeles theaters and just two blocks north of the State. If LADWP would allow the theaters to use the existing vaults in public property for their power source, it would save them hundreds of thousands of dollars that they would otherwise have to spend on building new customer stations on site. But don’t hold your breath. —Thomas Lucero, Sept. 14, 10:56 p.m.
Regarding the story “Sixth Street Bridge Designers Dream Big,” by Ryan Vaillancourt, published online Sept. 13
hese bridge designs are not going to win the hearts and minds of those of us who have been blessed with the gift of sight. These are very depressing actually, because when it gets rebuilt, all anyone will ever talk or think about is how the old bridge was better. —Horthos Maus, Sept. 13, 8:53 p.m.
hese designs are spectacular! I think I like the HNTB bridge best. —Katherine McNenny, Sept. 13, 11:28 p.m.
art of it could be the increased number of police officers who have observed crimes and then made arrests that would have been otherwise unreported. This would be likely if many reported crimes were assaults between people who knew each other or who were dealing drugs. But the increased number of released offenders is unquestionably one of the causes, either way. Another factor which should be quantified is, how many of these crimes were against either loft dwellers or visitors to businesses catering to left dwellers? And how many were between repeat offenders who have been in and out of the system? I have not heard of any rash of robberies or assaults among the new residential and visitor populations. —Brady Westwater, Sept. 5, 9:39 a.m.
wish there were more cops with wider beats. The area around Fourth and Hill streets is pretty awful at night. Serious heavy drug use and sales go on there. Just as an observation since I walk a lot (I have a dog), but the number of homeless people around Hill Street seems to have really gone up in the last month or so. —Morgan T, Sept. 5, 5:55 p.m. Regarding the story “Hundreds of Affordable Housing Units at Risk,” by Ryan Vaillancourt, published Aug. 27
on’t panic. The Huntington has been trying to rent many of its rooms for $499 with all utilities included. The rooms are described as being 130 square feet with no bath-
Regarding the story “With Regional Connector Stations, a ‘Less Is More’ Design,” by Ryan Vaillancourt, published online Aug. 23
think Metro is making a mistake by putting station gates and ticket machines at street level. This makes the stations look too bulky. It would be better to put that stuff underground. The Red Line stations all have underground mezzanine levels for that. —James Fujita, Aug. 24, 12:42 p.m. Regarding the story “Patrols, Cleanups Increase at Pershing Square” by Richard Guzmán, published online Aug. 22
atrolling the park is not enough. That became abundantly clear during the long, grueling summer when the Occupy protesters multiplied in the south part of the park like unwanted dandelions. There should be concerts, plays, performers and cafes in the park. Instead, we get one measly concert series in the summer and ice skating for two months each year. Surely we can do better than this. A few years ago, an ad hoc committee was formed to create new activity centers around the park, including workout equipment. Why not? Where are the early morning tai chi groups, a children’s playground, another fountain or two? The problem with the square isn’t its design. It’s what’s lacking between the lines. Reopen the cafe, for God’s sake. Open the lawn and be imaginative. —Christopher Eaton, Aug. 26, 12:16 a.m.
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6 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
With Fee Dispute Resolved, New Genesis Can Open Affordable Housing Project Was Delayed for Three Months Over $436,000 Bill by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR
ity building officials in June signed off on a new, highly anticipated affordable housing project on Main Street. For the next three months, however, the complex sat locked up and empty at a time when demand for such residences is surging. The delay in opening was because the $22.3 million New Genesis was entangled in a bureaucratic quandary over what developer Skid Row Housing Trust considered a lastminute, $436,000 fee demanded by the city. For three months, the nonprofit balked at paying the bill for the 106-unit building. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, the organization finally blinked. It arranged a full payment of the fee, which is designed to fund park projects, through an advance provided by its general contractor. But the dispute could end up prompting a change to the 2010 law that called for the fee. The issue stemmed from Skid Row Housing Trust’s use of a rule in the Downtown Housing Incentive Ordinance. It allows developers to incorporate less open space in their projects than city code requires if they pay a fee that goes into other park projects. The open space reduction translates to denser projects with more housing units. The ordinance describes the fee as “Quimby equivalent,” because it mimics the state-regulated Quimby program, which taxes housing developers to pay into a park fund (the city used Quimby dollars to pay for the under-construction Spring Street Park). Under the terms of the local ordinance,
photo by Patryk Strait
The $22.3 million New Genesis, which contains 106 apartments (79 are for low-income tenants), was completed in June but has sat empty as the developer and the city argued over a bill.
developers who take advantage of the special open space reduction pay double the Quimby fee, half to satisfy the state demand, and half for the city assessment. While Quimby and the local equivalent serve essentially the same purpose, one key element muddies the issue: Affordable housing projects like the New Genesis are exempt from the state’s Quimby requirement, but the local ordinance does not distinguish between affordable and market-rate developments. Because the local fee is defined by the ordinance as equivalent to the state levy, Skid Row Housing Trust expected its city tax to be
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zero, said Mike Alvidrez, the nonprofit’s executive director. City housing and planning officials saw things differently, leading to the stalemate “When we heard this, it was like, this can’t be right; at the end of the project you’re given this huge bill,” Alvidrez said. “It was a very bitter pill to swallow. I think that the fee structure was not entirely thought through.” City officials acknowledged that the ordinance was not necessarily intended to tax affordable projects where the state leaves them exempt. In this case, however, the language of the law made it clear that the New
Genesis was on the hook for the local fee, said Rushmore Cervantes, executive officer of the Los Angeles Housing Department. “It is clear that they are responsible to pay it, but they weren’t aware of it and were not in a position to pay for it,” he said. Permits Coming With the building sitting empty, officials from the Housing Department, Recreation and Parks, the City Attorney’s office and the office of 14th District Councilman José Huizar met multiple times, most recently on Sept. 18, to consider solutions to expedite the New Genesis’ opening. No parties involved would comment on whether they considered reducing or forgiving the fee for the project. Huizar is considering a change to the local ordinance as it applies to affordable housing projects, said his spokesman Rick Coca. “Affordable housing is needed Downtown so we want to help them find a solution, and then long-term to look at this issue from a policy perspective,” Coca said. Skid Row Housing Trust will now have to steer certain revenues from the New Genesis toward repayment of the advance provided by its general contractor, Alvidrez said. The project was expected to get its certificate of occupancy as soon as last Thursday, setting the stage for move-ins to begin by this week, he said. Two hundred people submitted applications to rent one of the 79 subsidized units in the building (the rest are market rate) before the property owner stopped accepting requests. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metro Briefs What is Measure J?
In June 2012, the Metro Board of Directors authorized placing Measure J before voters in Los Angeles County. If approved, Measure J will extend for 30 additional years the existing one-half cent sales tax that was approved in 2008 and is currently set to expire in 2039 (Measure R). The additional funds will be used to secure bonds, which will allow Metro to accelerate construction of traªc relieving projects and advance the creation of 250,000 new local jobs. To view the expenditure plan and the full text of Measure J, please visit metro.net/measurej.
“Carmageddon II” Set For Sept. 29-30
Plan ahead, avoid the area, or eat, shop and play locally is the message from public safety oªcials for the second weekend closure of the I-405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass – between the I-10 and US-101 – scheduled for September 29-30. Contractors will demolish the remaining side of the Mulholland Bridge as part of the freeway improvements project. For latest updates visit metro.net/405.
ExpressLanes Coming – Get Your Transponder Now
More than 5,000 motorists have opened accounts to get through traªc faster on the I-110 Freeway when the Metro ExpressLanes open November 10. Join them now! These special lanes are available toll-free ® to eligible carpools, vanpools and motorcycles, and for a toll to solo drivers – all you need is a FasTrak account and transponder. To get yours, visit metro.net/expresslanes.
Drop, Cover and Hold On Oct. 18
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Make a pledge and carpool, vanpool or use public transit to get to work at least one day during Rideshare Week, October 1-5, and be eligible to win valuable prizes. The program is open to employers and employees alike. Visit metro.net/rideshare for details.
If you’d like to know more, visit metro.net.
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September 24, 2012
Downtown News 7
Putting Words in Cars’ Mouths Architect Bill Fain Talks L.A. Urbanism in a New Book of Essays by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer
ill Fain is one half of the Downtown-based architecture firm Johnson Fain, but the L.A. native thinks more like an urban planner than a form-obsessed building designer. That’s partly because Fain began his career in urban planning shops in New York and Boston and has won grants to study city building in Rome, Paris and London. In If Cars Could Talk,
tem. But the thing that I spend most of my time on is riding the bike. I ride my bike every day. I don’t do the trip to work because of meetings and such but I do ride it every morning for a good 45 minutes to an hour. Q: The city has made a major push in public transportation in recent years, and will again in November with the proposed extension of the Measure R transit tax. Are we on the right path? A: We are. There’s no doubt about it. It’s just that what I’m seeing is that the world is moving even faster. This whole issue of trying to accelerate it through bonds and have money up front is absolutely critical to positioning us in terms of
improving our infrastructure. My God, look what’s happening in China, in Europe, in India. They’re upgrading their cities. They’re becoming economic engines. Granted they have a lot further to go. But the state of the art is happening there. Q: The book is interspersed with iconic L.A. art, including paintings by Ed Ruscha and David Hockney and a still from a Bill Viola video. Why? A: Painters and artists somehow convey the intangible qualities of a city. One of the objectives of the book is if you look at the pages, along with the text, they’re all artwork, so we’re drawing a tie between how artists perceive the cities and environments and the righting of particular issues having to do with the city. If Cars Could Talk is published by Glendale-based Balcony Press. More information at balconypress.com. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at email@example.com.
photo by Robert Downs
In his new book Bill Fain, part of the Downtown-based architecture firm Johnson Fain, bemoans L.A.’s slow adoption of mass transit initiatives.
his new electric yellow colored collection of essays, he wonders why Angelenos invest so much in their automobiles and implores the region to build transit infrastructure — fast.
Q: Do you ride public transit, or bike? A: I do take the transit on occasion. I’ve ridden the entire sys-
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Q: What kind of car do you drive, and if it could talk, what would it say to you? A: It does talk! You are what you drive, right? It’s a deep blue 1989 Volvo sedan, at 100,000 miles, but I don’t drive it every day. This morning I put it on a truck because there’s something wrong with the alternator, but I do drive on a regular basis a Mercedes. I don’t have a hybrid yet but I’m getting closer to it. What would it say? “Don’t drive me as much.”
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Q: You’re a critic of urban planning that prioritizes cars over people. When it comes to future planning, and the influence of cars in development, what’s at stake? A: The future, I believe, is that we in Los Angeles need to redo our infrastructure. We need to create redundant ways of getting around cities. People have to have a choice in order to get from one part of the region to another. We’re so monocentric and autocentric that we don’t have choices and it’s affecting the city’s ability to compete in the world of commerce. We’re seeing L.A. become diminished in its worldwide stature because other cities are moving up and they’re getting better and they’re redoing their movement systems. If you can’t get people around you don’t mobilize your economy. We cannot afford not to build every bit of the public transit systems that we’re proposing.
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Los Angeles Downtown News: In the preface to If Cars Could Talk, you write that you believe there is a little of Los Angeles in every modern city, from Boston to Beijing. Back that up. Bill Fain: If you look at what’s happening in Beijing, they are experiencing perhaps the largest growth in car ownership in the history of any country or city in the world. It’s happening so rapidly because of wealth formation over there and the [city’s] encouragement of people wanting to buy cars. They’re no different than we are. What’s happening in Beijing, to continue the example, is they’re having to restrict the usage of cars now because the streets can’t accommodate them all. Ten years ago, all the major boulevards had bike lanes in both directions. Today you’re lucky in one green/red cycle of seeing half a dozen bikes go through an intersection. The irony is we in the west are beginning to see our bike populations increase.
8 Downtown News
JANM Continued from page 1 red before Kimura arrived. Add to that the demographic shift in the community. As Downtown evolves, more non Japanese-Americans are heading to the area, whether as visitors or residents. Kimura’s task, and the museum’s future, depends on his ability to attract a more diverse and younger audience, both from the surrounding neighborhood and beyond. “We’ve been putting together a schedule of exhibitions and public programs that is bold and looks to reach out beyond the traditional community,” he said. New Shows The museum was incorporated in 1985 by Little Tokyo businessman Bruce Kaji, who worked with a group of
September 24, 2012
Japanese American WWII veterans and other local stakeholders. In 1992 they opened in a building on First Street in Little Tokyo. Seven years later, the museum came of age when it moved into its current home, a sparkling $22 million facility at 369 E. First St. Kimura, a yonsei, or fourth generation Japanese American, was an unlikely choice. He was president and CEO of the Alaska Humanities Forum before being chosen to replace Akemi Kikumura Yano, who stepped down in July 2011 after 24 years at JANM. She had been president and CEO since 2008. Kimura, a father of two who looks about 10 years younger than his age, has a serious, no-nonsense demeanor. He first moved to an apartment in Little Tokyo while he looked for a home for his family, who have now settled in the South Bay area. While Kimura is not a Los Angeles native, he was a mem-
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Greg Kimura, 44, became CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in April. His effort to change the approach of the Little Tokyo museum will include creating a show about the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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ber of the museum and visited when he was in town. He was familiar with exhibits such as the ongoing Common Ground: The Heart of the Community, which chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history. JANM has regularly focused on topics specific to Japanese and Japanese Americans, from shows about the World War II internment camps to a recently closed exhibit on origami. That will change in the future. Kimura is working with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the exhibit Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game. Scheduled for June-November 2013, it will explore baseball’s power to unify cultures and the team’s role as a pioneer of integration. Stories in the exhibit will focus on players such as Jackie Robinson, Hideo Nomo, Chan Ho Park and Fernando Valenzuela. Planned for 2014 is an exhibit that will look at the art and symbolism of Japanese tattoos, such as koi fish or letters, which are often seen on athletes or tattoo enthusiasts who seemingly have no strong connection to Asian culture. Kimura terms the tattoo showcase a “game changer” for JANM, and said it will be the first major North American exhibition to depict tattoos as a true art form. “I think this has the potential for being the biggest show we’ve ever done here,” he said. Another goal is to bring more contemporary and cuttingedge art to the museum, and to focus on things that may seem more Japanese than Japanese American. He pointed at the food options in Little Tokyo as a possibility for an exhibit that explores Japanese cuisine and how it has become part of American culture. Some of those who know the community well say the museum needs to evolve alongside a changing Little Tokyo. “I think they are going in the right direction,” said Mike Okamoto, the chair of the Little Tokyo Community Council. “Throughout Little Tokyo we have more and more nonJapanese Americans coming to enjoy the community. We appreciate all of the people coming here and I appreciate all of these changes as long as we always remember the Japanese American culture and heritage.” In the Black Like other institutions, JANM is enduring tough financial times in a weak economy. Kimura said that when he arrived he inherited a $500,000 operating deficit on a $5.5 million budget. JANM is now in the black, Kimura said, and the budget is projected to increase this year to $6.3 million. A range of actions has been taken, from cutbacks in spending to layoffs to the sacrifice of employees. Kimura said many workers have gone years without raises, or have taken some form of pay cut. Many, he said, purchase their own supplies. The budget has been bolstered with an increase in funds from private events and filming. Kimura said his own office appears as a doctor’s office on the NBC show “The New Normal.”
September 24, 2012
Another revenue stream could come at LAX. Kimura said wares from the JANM gift shop will be available in a new airport store that will also feature items from MOCA, the Getty, the Petersen Automotive Museum and other attractions. The new hires are intended to bring money into the museum. They include Cindy Villaseñor, the new vice president of external relations. She was formerly the development director and vice dean of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. “She’s done fundraising at the highest level,” Kimura said.
Around Town Continued from page 2 New Jersey. DePallo will replace John Fenton, a widely respected rail executive who stepped down in May after two years atop Metrolink. He will start Oct. 15. “I am confident Michael is the right person to lead Metrolink as it continues to build on progress made in recent years,” said Metrolink board chair Richard Katz in a prepared statement. “He has a proven record on safety, leadership and has recently overseen his agency’s efforts to modernize their fleet of railcars.” In a 30-year career DePallo also has worked at rail systems in the Bay Area, Philadelphia and Boston. Metrolink operates seven routes on a 512-mile network, with Downtown as the system’s hub.
Five to Get Honors at Chinese American Museum Awards
he Chinese American Museum recently opened the exhibit (de)constructing Chinatown. This week, museum officials hope to construct something: a mountain of money. The museum holds its 16th annual Historymakers Awards Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown. The five individuals, businesses and organizations that will be honored at the fundraiser are the Automobile Club of Southern California and its CEO, Tom McKernan; Dr. Carl Moy, an OB/GYN who has an office in Chinatown; state Sen. Carol Liu; the Chinese American Citizens Alliance; and law firm Latham & Watkins. The Historymakers awards honor those who have had a positive impact on the Chinese American community. The money raised helps cover CAM’s operational and program costs. The event begins at 5 p.m. Tickets and information are at (213) 485-8484 or camla.org.
Intersection Named for Little Tokyo Leader
ifth and Flower streets is now Ray Bradbury Square, but the late sci-fi writer isn’t the only one who’s getting his name on a Downtown corner. On Tuesday, Sept. 18, the City Council approved naming Azusa and Second streets Frances Hashimoto Plaza, after the community leader whose family has been selling sweets in the area for more than a century. Hashimoto began running Mikawaya, a bakery and ice cream shop at Japanese Village Plaza, in 1970. Her family purchased the small store in 1910. Under Hashimoto it has grown into a $13 million a year business with five stores, including one in Honolulu, as well as a 10,000-square-foot warehouse and bakery on Fourth Street in Downtown and a recently opened 100,000-square-foot facility in neighboring Vernon. The business is best known for the mochi ice cream that was invented in 1994 by Joel Friedman, Hashimoto’s husband. Hashimoto has been a community leader for decades, holding positions such as president of the Little Tokyo Business Association and president of Nisei Week.
Corrections In the Aug. 27 story “Hundreds of Affordable Housing Units at Risk” and the Sept. 10 editorial “An Important Moment for Downtown Affordable Housing,” the owner of Ballington Plaza was incorrectly referred to as Veterans of American. The name of the organization is Volunteers of America. The Sept. 17 column “In the Opinion of the Chair, That Vote Was Nuts” incorrectly listed the city that hosted the Democratic National Convention as Tampa. The event took place in Charlotte.
DowntownNews.com “We’re going to be putting together a complete development and fundraising team and she’s going to be the head of it.” Future hires will include a director of grants and a director of membership. A public relations director has hired to replace Komai, who had been at JANM since 1991 and was often seen as the public face of the institution. Kimura would not address Komai’s departure, calling it a personnel issue. Komai would not discuss the situation in detail, but said his dismissal was fairly abrupt and was solely Kimura’s decision. The departure drew attention in the tight-knit community. A column in the Aug. 18 issue of the daily newspaper Rafu Shimpo criticized the museum for not communicating with the Little Tokyo community about Komai’s dismissal and for severing the strong connection Komai had with the area (the commentary disclosed that Komai is the cousin of Rafu publisher Michael Komai and a former English editor
Downtown News 9
of the publication). Okamoto, a close friend of Komai’s, said that while he has personal feelings about the decision, new leaders often bring in their own people. “From the business end, that’s sometimes unavoidable so we have to respect that,” he said. For Craig Ishi, the 27-year-old executive director of the Little Tokyo-based Kizuna, an organization that works to encourage activism in Japanese American youth, the museum is a pillar of the community. But he said JANM must stay true to its original mission. “It’s important that the museum is innovative and continue to think outside the box in terms of exhibit and services,” he said. “I think the museum also needs to keep in mind that they need to stay grounded in the Japanese American community.” Contact Richard Guzmán at email@example.com.
10 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
“Public Access Park,” by Colin Heffern
Putting a Park In a Parking Lot USC Landscape Architecture Students Reimagine a South Park Plot by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR
irtually every urban dweller has, at least once, meandered past a parking lot and envisioned in its place a lush, green park. What if the concrete were grass? What if instead of sedentary automobiles the space was full of people reading, shooting hoops or having a picnic? For most, it’s a fleeting thought. Not for Alexander Robinson, an assistant professor in the landscape architecture department at USC’s School of Architecture. Robinson, who also runs the landscape design firm Office of Outdoor Research, earlier this year directed a class of graduate students to design a park that would take over two Figueroa Street parking lots across from Staples Center. The lots, bisected by 12th Street, are not for sale. The property north of 12th Street is owned by New York developer the Moinian Group, which has long maintained plans to build a major mixed-use complex. The southern site is owned by parking lot giant L&R Group. There are no plans to turn them into parks — it’s only the stuff of fantasy and college coursework. These are three of the most intriguing options from the semesterlong project.
images courtesy Alexander Robinson, USC
Colin Heffern was one of several students whose design was driven chiefly by programming and recreational interests: It features a climbing wall, a skate park, a playground and basketball courts lining Figueroa Street. The activity focus, he said, was inspired largely by the location. “A lot of the focus was on designing an outdoor complement to Staples Center and L.A. Live,” Heffern said. “I wanted to locate a lot of high-use areas or high-use activities right along Figueroa so people walking along would be able to watch basketball games going on.”
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Downtown News 11
“The Changeful Plaza,” by Yijia Zhang Yijia Zhang’s design took inspiration from an element she observed in Lafayette Park in Westlake: a skateboard park. She decided to place one across from Staples Center. “At Lafayette Park we saw that a lot of people are there to play sports, and a lot of people want to watch other people playing sports,” Zhang said. In her proposed Figueroa Street park, the skateboard plaza would be seasonal. The plaza is sunken, and in rainy weather it would fill with water and reflect the city skyline. In the summer, the water would evaporate to reveal the plaza.
“The Urban Beach,” by Jingni Zhang Most of the concepts included some kind of water feature. The potential wastefulness of such a proposal was not lost on student Jingni Zhang, whose project centers on what she calls an urban beach. A large mass of water that would be replenished by seasonal rain is the centerpiece of her imagined park. During periods without precipitation, the lake-like section would dry out, revealing a sandy, beach-like bed “where the children could play,” Zhang said.
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12 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
AEG Continued from page 1 Center hotel, and owns several undeveloped properties? In the wake of the company’s confirmation of the reports, which generated a wave of media stories and speculation, city officials have been quick to dismiss any notion that a potential sale would torpedo the $1.4 billion plan to build Farmers Field and expand the Convention Center. Terms of the proposed contract between the city and AEG, which involves the company using future stadium revenue to cover the city’s costs of floating bonds to pay for construction, would not change if the firm is sold, said Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry. “If necessary, we can do an amendment to the agreement to make sure it’s crystal clear that the city’s commitment to float the bonds is contingent on the owner getting a team, and that financing is completely private,” Perry said. Perry said she does not know what sparked the decision to pursue a sale, but speculated that it could be tied to the pursuit of an NFL team. The region has lacked professional football since the Raiders and the Rams both left following the 1994 season. “It could be that they were a bit in the doldrums in terms of them getting a team, because we have not had any announcement that they’ve gotten a team,” Perry said. “This might mean new momentum, fresh capital and new energy.” Denver-based Anschutz rarely makes public appearances and has not done a media interview in decades. Instead, Leiweke is AEG’s driving force, and is widely considered the architect of the football and events center proposal. Leiweke’s contract was recently extended, a move that some local players, including Perry, see as a sign that the company’s Downtown vision is unlikely to waver. With his contract, a new owner would have to buy out Leiweke. But those types of actions are common. “Typically, when there’s an ownership change, there’s a management change, especially on a deal of this size,” said
Lloyd Greif, president and CEO at the Downtown-based mergers and acquisitions specialist Greif & Co., who added that the sale effort could restrict AEG’s flexibility in its ongoing NFL negotiations. “Usually when a company is for sale, they don’t make any major steps,” he said. “A paralysis sets in until the smoke clears. Time is not on AEG’s side in that regard.” Then again, it’s unlikely that the proposed sale comes as a surprise to the NFL, said David Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at USC. AEG has been angling to have all of its stadium approvals in place by March, when NFL owners converge for an annual meeting to discuss league issues, including potential team moves. The City Council is expected to vote on Sept. 28 to approve the 10,000-page Farmers Field environmental impact report. That would trigger a timeline for appeals that would allow the company to come to the meetings with all municipal matters checked off. “There’s no doubt that Tim Leiweke and Phil Anschutz have already been in constant contact with Roger Goodell, the NFL and the mayor’s office so that they were not surprised by this,” Carter said. “Those people know exactly what the strategy is, so they’re not speculating the way so many of us are about the connection between a full or partial sale of AEG and the pursuit of an NFL franchise.” Dodger Bounce AEG has hired the Blackstone Group to assist in the proposed sale. The firm oversaw the recent auction that led to Guggenheim Baseball Management’s $2 billion purchase of the Dodgers and the team’s related assets. It is difficult to quantify the value of AEG, a private company that owns the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Galaxy, has a stake in the Lakers, and controls Staples Center, L.A. Live, the O2 Arena in London and an empire of other real estate holdings. It also owns AEG Live, the second largest concert and events promoter in the country, after Live Nation. The recent Dodger sale may have increased the market value of a portfolio anchored by sports and entertainment concerns. Then again, it may also have upped the value of
rendering courtesy of Gensler
City officials say that a sale of AEG would not impact the development agreement for the $1.4 billion Farmers Field and Convention Center expansion project.
whichever NFL team AEG has been looking to acquire. The pool of qualified buyers will include only billionaires. Locally, some have speculated that bidders might include Ron Burkle, David Geffen or Patrick Shoon-Shiong; the latter was part of a group that tried but failed to purchase the Dodgers. It may be too soon to divine exactly why Anschutz, who is known to keep his strategies close to the vest, is selling now. Plus, there is no guarantee that he will go through with such a deal, or that if one does, the entire company will be sold in one piece. “I think everybody is kind of overthinking it,” Carter said. “We’re sitting here in L.A. being a little ridiculous on it because we’re not focusing on the fact that they have a huge and powerful international presence. L.A. is just a piece of the overall puzzle.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at email@example.com.
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Downtown News 13
Taming the Steps
Training for the 75 Flights of US Bank Tower
by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR
pon registering for the KetchumDowntown YMCA’s Stair Climb for Los Angeles, a charity race up the 75 flights of US Bank Tower, my first thought was: How hard could it be? They’re just stairs. reporter’s notebook
I exercise regularly — a few runs per week, a couple bike rides, daily long walks with the dog and some gym jaunts too. On one of those recent morning runs, shortly after joining my office Stair Climb team, I was thudding down Fifth Street and I looked up at the US Bank Tower. Now, forgive me for being Captain Obvious here, but it bears repeating that this structure is a beast — it’s the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Standing at its base, you have to crane your neck almost 90 degrees to glimpse the top. “This is going to suck,” I told myself. The climb isn’t until Friday, Sept. 28, but already, I know that my early prediction will come true. Painfully true. The Stair Climb, now in its 19th year, raises money to support the YMCA’s educational and athletic programs for the under-served youth who live in communities that surround Downtown. Individuals are asked to donate at least $125. Some get sponsors and deliver a lot more. About 3,400 people are expected to participate and the overall goal, according to the event’s website, is $500,000. People can climb either individually or as part of a team. Last year the fastest man finished in nine minutes 38 seconds. The speediest woman completed the 75 flights in 10:35. I won’t be at that level, but I’ve scaled enough steps in my training to know definitively that this week’s event, at least during the actual climb, is going to suck, pure and simple.
The YMCA arranges for other area highrises, namely 777 Tower (at 777 S. Figueroa St.) and the 55-floor Wells Fargo Center, to open their stairwells several times per week for training. Somewhere around 100 climbers have attended the practice events that I showed up for, and while it seemed that everyone eventually made it to the top, nobody seemed to be enjoying themselves. At 777 Tower, we tried our quads out on 50 flights. You go up about 10 steps, land on a platform, turn 180 degrees, then up the next 10 or so steps — that’s one flight. Multiply that times 50 and you’re done. On my first trip my plan was to attack the stairs, as fast as I could, for as long as I could. Bad plan. The spring in my calves died after eight flights. Stair climbing might seem like a task for muscled legs, but it relies far more heavily on strong lungs. By flight 20, the overtasked alveoli lend a burn to the chest. The legs hurt too, but most of the pain stems from the lack of oxygen in the lungs and in the brain. The huffing and puffing of dozens of people in a stairwell, combined with increased body temperatures, generous sweat, and loose-fitting exercise clothes results in a sauna-like atmosphere that, well, doesn’t smell very good. I tried to use that as motivation. The faster I get to the top, the sooner the locker room smell will escape my senses. So while I had no more spring in my legs, I trudged up as deliberately as possible, skipping every other stair and never stopping. On the way up, you can’t help but notice the strategies and varying degrees of pain being experienced by your Stair Climb comrades. There’s the guy in spandex bike wear who clings to the railing so desperately it’s as if he fears the stairs are crumbling behind him. There’s the out-of-a-fitness-magazine sculpted guy who bounds up a few flights then skips back down to where his slower friend is, offers support, then speeds back up. Who knows how they’ll fare this week,
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The Ketchum Downtown YMCA’s annual Stair Climb takes place Friday, Sept. 28. Downtowners will try to make it to the top of US Bank Tower.
when the climb is 20 flights beyond our training runs. Many people opt for breaks every few floors. At a recent Wells Fargo Center practice I considered joining an impromptu rest stop with a small group of climbers around floor 25. Then I noticed the firefighter in full protective gear walking up. Talk about burly. If he can do it in a complete fire outfit, I reasoned, I can do it in a T-shirt. I made it to the top in all the practice events, in pretty good time too. In fact, with each training climb my time has improved.
That doesn’t mean it sucked any less. My lungs still burned just as bad as they did the first time up. Come Friday, they’ll burn again. But the next time I’m jogging down Fifth Street and I catch a glimpse of US Bank Tower, I’ll know that I’ve tamed the beast. The Ketchum-Downtown YMCA’s Stair Climb for Los Angeles is at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, at US Bank Tower, 633 W. Fifth St. More info at ymcastairclimb.kintera.org. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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14 Downtown News
Triple Trouble Swim-Bike-Run Event Concludes In Downtown This Week
t may not be the famous Ironman Triathlon, but the Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles still requires someone to be in pretty impressive shape. The event comes to Downtown Los Angeles this week. The competition features nearly 3,000 athletes from approximately 35 states and 11 countries. The event on Sunday, Sept. 30, marks its 13th installment. The proceedings begin at dawn in Venice, when competitors jump into the ocean for a .9-mile swim. Then comes a 24-mile bicycle leg that starts in Venice, passes through the
September 24, 2012
photo by Rich Cruse
Downtown, with competitors starting at Figueroa and 11th streets and running north on Grand Avenue. They will turn around at Walt Disney Concert Hall and come back down the street. They will repeat the circuit before finishing at L.A. Live. The top male athletes are expected to complete the race in about 1 hour 45 minutes, with the first women hitting the finish line 10 minutes later. The average overall time is expected to be about three hours. Although some streets will be closed in the morning, they will reopen to traffic at noon. The Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles is Sunday, Sept. 30. Information at latriathlon.com.
The Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles takes place Sunday, Sept. 30. Runners will go up and down Grand Avenue and finish at L.A. Live.
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new study from the University of Southern California has found a link between recreational marijuana use and an increased risk of developing subtypes of testicular cancer that tend to carry a somewhat worse prognosis. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings suggest that the potential cancer-causing effects of marijuana on testicular cells should be considered not only in personal decisions regarding recreational drug use, but also when marijuana and its derivatives are used for therapeutic purposes in young male patients. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men ages 15 to 45. The malignancy is becoming more common, and researchers suspect this is due to increasing exposure to unrecognized environmental causes. To see if recreational drug use might play a role, Dr. Victoria Cortessis, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and her colleagues looked at the self-reported history of recreational drug use in 163 young men diagnosed with testicular cancer and compared it with that of 292 healthy men of the same age and race/ ethnicity. The investigators found that men with a history of using marijuana were twice as likely to have subtypes of testicular cancer called non-seminoma and mixed germ cell tumors. These usually occur in younger men and carry a somewhat worse prognosis than the seminoma subtype. The study’s findings confirm those from two previous reports in Cancer on a potential link between marijuana use and testicular cancer. “We do not know what marijuana triggers in the testis that may lead to carcinogenesis, although we speculate that it may be acting through the endocannabinoid system — the cellular network that responds to the active ingredient in marijuana — since this system has been shown to be important in the formation of sperm,” said Cortessis. The researchers also discovered that men with a history of using cocaine had a reduced risk of both subtypes of testicular cancer. This finding suggests that men with testicular cancer are not simply more willing to report a history of using recreational drugs. While it is unknown how cocaine may influence testicular cancer risk, the authors suspect that the drug may kill sperm-producing germ cells since it has this effect on experimental animals. “If this is correct, then ‘prevention’ would come at a high price,” Cortessis said. “Although germ cells cannot develop cancer if they are first destroyed, fertility would also be impaired. Since this is the first study in which an association between cocaine use and lower testis cancer risk is noted, additional epidemiological studies are needed to validate the results.” Article courtesy of USC HSC Weekly.
September 24, 2012
Downtown News 15
photo by Peter Griffith
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Los Angeles Theatre Center Launches Its Annual Fall Festival
he brass at the Los Angeles Theatre Center takes the word “face” in the venue’s annual Face of the World Festival very seriously. After all, the visages that will be presented on the stages of the Historic Core venue this fall represent a panoply of the city and, arguably, the planet. In the coming season, the LATC will present a hip-hop dance crew inspired by an ancient text, some MexicanAmerican history, a trio of funny Filipinos and a one-man show that mixes family drama with some laughs. The sixth annual season is much shorter than years past: The ntownNews .A.Dow /L m seven shows this year, including three with three performances o .c k o o b Face or less, is down from as many as 14 events. Still, the 2012 slate fulfills the goal of the festival, said Jose Luis Valenzuela, who helms the LATC and the Latino Theatre Company. “We began it as a way to give people a different perspective about what the world looks like,” he said. “This season there are a lot of artists from a lot of communities telling stories that contribute to the fabric of American culture, and that’s what is so important.” The fact that the festival is happening at all is also worth noting. In January, the City Council voted to terminate the lease for the Latino Theatre Company and the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture, which occupied a portion of the former bank at 514 S. Spring St. The relationship between the two partners — together they had won a 20-year lease tom or ownNews.co operate the city-owned building — had soured. er at Downt ht hand corn s/maillist rig r pe up e bol in th s.com/form they worked There Ultimately, is symcountersuits. E-NEWSwereLosuits ntownnew ok for thand www.ladow P U N IG S out an agreement and the museum vacated the property. Valenzuela said the Latino Theatre Company is in final negotiations with the city and he expects to have a new lease in place in about a month. “We will be staying here and we will continue to be the theater for Downtown,” he said. Hip-Hop Epic The resolution sets the stage for the next show in the season (early this month a Spanish company did three nights of a puppet-fueled play). Illuminated Manuscript, which
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runs Friday-Sunday, Sept. 28-30, is intended to bring in a young Downtown audience. The 12-person performance is a hipCheck Our Website for Full Movie Listings LADowntownNews.com hop interpretation of the ancient poem Epic of Gilgamesh. The poem, which is said to be one of the earliest works of literature, tells the story of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, and his friendship with Enkidu, who was created by the gods to keep Gilgamesh in check. Together they go on adventures and do things like (l to r) Illuminated Manuscript uses hip-hop to tell the ancient fight monsters and discover the secret of immortality. story of Gilgamesh. It is on stage at the LATC Sept. 28-30. Running Illuminated Manuscript seeks to capture the epic tale with Oct. 25-Nov. 18 is Empanada for a Dream. New York native Juan breakdance moves, krumping, popping, capoeira and hip-hop. Francisco Villa wrote and stars in the one-man show. While the approach will strike many as unusual, director and dancer Amy Campion sees it as a natural way to tell the story. Flip Out Starts Sept. 14&21 “Dance has so much to say and any story, any idea can be Opening just before Faith is Flipzoids. The show that runs communicated through dance,” she said. “Dance is another Oct. 6-28 is a comical look at three Filipinos hanging out on language and can be a very exciting and fulfilling experience a deserted Southern California beach. They are all searching for the audience.” for connections and trying to define what it means to be an In the show, Gilgamesh is portrayed as a graffiti artist, American. while Enkidu wears a fur jacket to signify his wild animal-like Coming Oct. 25-Nov. 18 is Empanada for a Dream. The Check Our Website for Full Movie Listings LADowntownNews.com personality. The city of Uruk becomes the city of Urok, as in one-man work is written and performed by New York native “You Rock.” Juan Francisco Villa. It is based on his life and is set on Allen Video images influenced by the dancers’ movements will Street on the Lower East Side. be projected above the stage. Alex Levy, the director of the show, said it will provide a “I hope people will be excited and inspired by the possibil- glimpse into what it’s like to be a minority within a minority. ity of dance as a language,” Campion said. Villa is a member of the only Colombian family in a Puerto A more modern, if not quite 21st century look, will come in Rican neighborhood. He searches for his own identity withFaith: Part I of a Mexican Trilogy. The show written by Evelina out turning his back on his family. Fernandez, the wife of Valenzuela, is part of a trilogy that “It’s funny, touching and something everyone can relate examines three generations of a Mexican-American family af- to,” said Levy. fected by three historical figures: Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Also coming this season is the play Anna Lucasta. The story Kennedy and Pope John Paul II. Valenzuela will direct. of a young girl trying to find love despite an overprotective Startsfamily Sept.is 21 Parts II and III have already been performed at the LATC. unfurled Nov. 8-Dec. 9. The new work is on stage Oct. 12-Nov. 11. The season closes Dec. 6-7 with a performance of La Virgen Although it may seem counterintuitive to make Part I the De Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin. The holiday pageant with a cast last piece on stage, Fernandez began with the stories that of more than 100 tells the story of indigenous peasant Juan were more familiar to her historically, Valenzuela noted. She Diego, who claimed to have a vision of the Biblical character. ChecktheOur Website foratFull Listingsand LADowntownNews.com is closing trilogy with a look the Movie Great Depression Face of the World Festival is at the Los Angeles Theatre the challenge for a family faced with retaining traditions and Center, 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0994 or thelatc.org. culture in the midst of such upheaval. Contact Richard Guzmán at email@example.com.
photo courtesy of Juan Villa
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16 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
To Thank and to Feed Downtowners to Honor Police, Firefighters and Others at Public Safety Appreciation Barbecue by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR
hey’re the first responders when a building is burning or an emergency arises. They’re the first ones to come to your aid after a crime has been committed. This week in Downtown Los Angeles, they’ll be the first ones in line for a barbecue lunch. Not only will the community allow them to stand in front, they’ll come out in force to say thank you. On Friday, Sept. 28, LAPD officers, firefighters, members of the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department, along with other public safety personnel, will be feted at the 13th annual Public Safety Appreciation Barbecue. The event, organized by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, will take place at the FIGat7th mall from 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. The buffet-style outdoor event is open to the public and includes live music and dozens of booths. The public safety personnel will get free prime rib sandwiches from Morton’s the Steakhouse and pasta and salad from California Pizza Kitchen. Everyone else pays $9. All proceeds this year will benefit the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation. In addition City Target, which is planning to open at FIGat7th on Oct. 14, will hand out free emergency preparedness kits to the first 550 people in attendance “When you have an outpouring like this from the public coming out there to say
thank you, it just really means a lot,” said Alan Atkins, executive director of the Police Memorial Foundation. The organization was established in 1972 to help LAPD employees and their families, including officers and civilians, during emergencies. It has aided those who are sick or injured, and the relatives of those who die. Last year the Foundation handed out about $650,000 in financial aid. The organization has dispensed about $14 million to people in need since its formation. The Foundation awards between 100 and 125 grants per year. The funds can help cover everything from funerals for those killed in the line of duty to college grants for the dependent children of fallen officers or department employees. The Downtown barbecue is expected to raise more than $5,000 for the effort, Atkins said. “It also gives people a chance to connect with officers and see them in a different situation, since you usually only talk to police in a critical situation or when you’re getting pulled over for something,” he said. “So this is a much better way to meet.” Downtown Los Angeles has events that are similar in nature. The 15-year-old Hope for Firefighters, which takes place each June, was started after the 1998 death of three firefighters, and raises money for the Fire Department’s Widows, Orphans and Disabled Fireman’s Fund. While the public safety barbecue has a similar beneficiary, Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the
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Firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and other public safety personnel will get a free meal and some gratitude at a lunch on Friday, Sept. 28, at the FIGat7th shopping center.
DCBID, said the event began for no other reason than just to say thank you. Although it has always been held in the same location, Schatz said it has changed over the years. “We have grown from a few hundred to about 2,000 people attending,” she said, and added that, since its inception, the event has raised more than $60,000 for charity. The price for the lunch, which has been as low as $2, has risen over the years. Still, Schatz noted that not only is the barbecue an infor-
mal way to meet public safety officials and say thanks, but it also remains a relatively low price for a high-quality lunch. “It’s good and it’s cheap,” said Schatz. “It’s a nice end of summer event and you’re supporting the first responders.” The Public Safety Appreciate Barbecue is Friday, Sept. 28, 11:30 a.m-1:30 p.m. at FIGat7th, 735 S. Figueroa St. More information at downtownla.com. Contact Richard Guzmán at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 24, 2012
Downtown News 17
EVENTS SPONSORED LISTINGS Under the Sheet Music Festival Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., (213) 8474970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare. Sept. 28, 8 p.m.: Sheffield, England’s vibrant punk scene is the subject of this season ending documentary Made in Sheffield.
by Dan Johnson, listings eDitor email@example.com
Monday, SepteMber 24 Salman Rushdie at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 12:30 p.m.: In the heated political and social discussion about negative portrayals of Islam, there is no commentator more seasoned on the topic than Salman Rushdie. The novelist will be discussing his new memoir Joseph Anton and his extensive time in hiding following the fatwa that was issued against his life.
Those who man the upscale dining locations at L.A. Live are battening down the hatches for an influx of the rowdy and subversive. On Sunday, Sept. 30, Odd Future, the controversial, media-savvy hiphop collective is taking over Club Nokia for the homecoming date on its Carnival tour. In addition to quality music for a generation raised on YouTube and nursed on Twitter, the event promises “games, rides, prizes and food hand-picked by Odd Future.” It’s worth a shot to see what prime Odd-ity Tyler, The Creator comes up with, right? At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 7657000 or clubnokia.com.
photo courtesy of Batman Live
WedneSday, SepteMber 26 SCI-Arc Lecture Series Keck Lecture Hall, 960 E. Third St., (213) 613-2200 or sciarc.edu. 7 p.m.: Paul Zellner of architecture firm Zellnerplus, discusses “Practices & Projects,” the nuts of bolts of architecture and the subtle nuance that escapes us laymen.
Sunday, SepteMber 30 Nature and the Urban Being California African American Museum, 600 S. Drive, (213) 744-7432 or caamuseum.org. 2 p.m.: Duane Paul hosts a workshop in which guests are invited to integrate organic materials with the manmade flotsam and jetsam of our fine city.
2 Few Angelenos ever have been surrounded by such a complex network of opinion and significance as the recently departed Rodney King. So who better to get to the heart of King than outstanding monologue man Roger Guenveur Smith. Smith, who last year wowed Downtown with the baseball-driven show Juan and John (pic shown here), attempts to embody the famous LAPD victim in the production fittingly titled Rodney King. The burden King had to bear was almost unimaginable for a guy from Altadena, and Smith digs into those issues in the short-run play (through Sept. 29) at the Bootleg Theatre. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org.
ROCK, POP & JAZZ
Continued on next page
5 photo by Robert Millard
Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or bluewhalemusic.com. Sept. 25: David Binney, John Escreet, Eric Revis and Alex Cline. Sept. 26: Andrea Marcelli, Mitch Forman, Doug Webb and Jeff Littleton. Sept. 27: Brian Charette Sextet. Sept. 28 and 29: Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org. Sept. 24, 8 p.m.: It’s the final installment of feline singing sensation Kitten’s September residency. Please, a round of a-paws. Sept. 25, 8 p.m.: Ferraby Lionheart is an emotive singer/songwriter who sounds heavily influenced by Wes Anderson. Sept. 26, 8 p.m.: Green Peace manifesto or Lord of The Rings homage? Either way, the bold and hypnotic sonic portraits of Taken by Trees are rather lovely. Sept. 27, 8 p.m.: Progenies of a great age of pop
Because the hig h-grossing Chri stop somehow inad equate, DC Com her Nolan films were ics has taken th Crusader on th e ro e Caped shows on Thurs ad as, uh, a theatrical staging. day-Sunday, Se In seven pt. Staples Center with all of the da 27-30, Batman Live fills stardl ate hand-to-hand combat that have y villains and despera mainstay of A made Gotham’s merica for deca avenger Joker will all be des. Riddler, P on hand as you en gu an in and d Anschutz Batm an! At 1111 S. Fi yours take in dramatic spectacl e. Holy gueroa St., (213 ter.com. ) 742-7326 or st aplescen-
If you’ve sauntered past the last year of Occupy protests, you may have realized that in today’s world, many corporations are viewed with a jaundiced eye. For those interested in an alternative image, there’s a show at the California African American Museum. Through March 3, the Exposition Park venue hosts The Legacy of Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company. In 1965, the L.A.-based business embarked on a buying campaign to curate what would become the largest corporate-owned collection of African-American art. Those pieces and their spirit of altruism are on display for all to enjoy. All together now: thank you, 1%! At 600 State Dr., (213) 744-7432 or caamuseum.org.
photo by Gene Ogami
Saturday, SepteMber 29 The American Association of Periodontology Annual Convention Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., (213) 7411151 or lacclink.com. Sept. 29-Oct. 2: It’s time again for gum, tooth and root enthusiasts and professionals to gather with tradesman and supply agents in their own industry in a riveting conglomeration of oral experts the likes of which Downtown has not yet seen. Ain’t no party like a gum and tooth party.
photo by Joan Marcus
thurSday, SepteMber 27 How Games Are Changing The Way We Live at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: Video game designer Mark Essen and USC cinema professor Tracy Fullerton hold the reins in this interactive discussion on the importance of video culture. Friday, SepteMber 28 Rick Mitchell at the Last Bookstore The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring ST., (213) 488-0599 or lastbookstorela.com. Sept. 28, 8 p.m.: Rick Mitchell, a playwright and macabre minded minister of the written word, explores the spooky dimension of puppetry via his new text Ventriloquist: Two Plays & Ventriloquial Miscellany.
photo courtesy of Odd Future
An Odd Future Carnival, Memories of Rodney King, Batman Visits Staples And More Downtown Fun
The L.A. Opera season has begun and, unlike the season of another cherished local institution (cough, cough, Dodgers), the work of James Conlon and Plácido Domingo never suffers from the omnipresent threat of collapse in September. Travel to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this weekend for a triple dose of L.A. Opera as they take on Giuseppi Verde’s Venetian family epic The Two Foscari and Mozart’s warhorse Don Giovanni. The Two Foscari plays Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m., and is bookended by Don Giovanni on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday at 2 p.m. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or laopera.com. Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
18 Downtown News
Dudamel Shows the Rite Stuff A
fter its summer outdoors at the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Philharmonic this week returns to the acoustic paradise that is Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Phil kicks of its season with a dance program on Sept. 27, with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker performed by American Ballet Theater dancers. Then, on Sept. 28-30, Gustavo Dudamel leads the Phil in Stravinksy’s Rite of Spring. The Rite was a signature Phil piece under former Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, so the finest tuned ears in the audience will no doubt be listening for how Dudamel does it differently. Also on the Sept. 28-30 bill are Ravel’s Pavane pour une enfant défunte and a world premiere of a symphony, co-commissioned by the Phil, by Steven Stucky. At 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 8502000 or laphil.com.
photo courtesy LA Philharmonic Association
Continued from previous page rock, L.A. transplants Fallen Riviera are here to please everyone. Sept. 28, 8 p.m.: Post-punk sonic collagist Firewater promises to put on a lively if varied show. Sept. 29, 8 p.m.: The highly sought-after lads in Alt-J have been getting some much deserved attention for their chunky electro-indie sound. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or broadwaybar.la. Sept. 27, 10 p.m.: Yeah, it’s Broader Than Broadway. Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or bigcaseys.com. Sept. 28, 10 p.m.: Middle Initials talk the talk and rock the rock. Sept. 29, 10 p.m.: The Janks residency comes to an end this month. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or clubnokia.com. Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.: Cherished guitar strumming, stool occupying singer Mary Chapin Carpenter will regale L.A. Live with songs of her younger years. Sept. 28, 8 p.m.: Former System of a Down frontman and now solo rock artist Serj Tankian has one of the finest goatees in music today. Sept. 30, 8 p.m.: Come rearrange your brain at the Odd Future carnival and show. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or theescondite.com. Sept. 24, 9 p.m.: The Get Down Boys and Ben Powell turn the grass blue. Sept. 25, 10 p.m.: Boom Boom Boom and Bunny West. Sept. 26, 9 p.m.: Bryan Titus and Fearmia. Sept. 27, 10 p.m.: Yonatan and RT & the 44s. Sept. 28, 11 p.m.: Johnny Moezzi. Sept. 29, 11 p.m.: Charlie Chan and the S.O.B.’s. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or exchangela.com. Sept. 28, 10 p.m.: This week’s Awakening features an extended set by Aly and Fila and a complimentary walking tour of the Historic Core, by which we mean the opportunity to stand in line outside Exchange. Sept. 29, 10 p.m.: Inception’s headliner Robbie Rivera is billed as “sexy, pounding, dirty electrotinged house” as opposed to sexy, pounding, dirty acoustic-tinged house. Nokia Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6020 or
September 24, 2012
nokiatheatrelalive.com. Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.: Come bathe in drops of Jupiter and the radiant glow of some of the strongest mandibles in rock music since Steven Tyler. That’s right. Billboard Top 100 heroes Train are back! Nola’s 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or nolasla.com. Sept. 24 and 26: Aalon. Sept. 25: Jam Night with Reggy Woods. Sept. 27: Cal State Los Angeles Jazz with Reggy Woods. Sept. 28: Dionne Character and the Brown Suede. Sept. 29: Dave Williams and MBT. Sept. 30, 11:30 a.m.: Sunday Brunch with Jeff Robinson Band.
One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or one-eyedgypsy.com. Sept. 26, 10 p.m.: RT N the 44s. Sept. 29, 10 p.m.: Big Dick does Little Richard. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or theredwoodbar.com. Sept. 24: Jon Wahl and The Amadans. Sept. 25: The Stains. Sept. 26: Ni Modo and One Tribe Nation. Sept. 27: Sparkplug Night #3 w/Fired. Sept. 28: Susan Surftone, Insect Surfers and Vicky & The Vengents. Sept. 29: Killsonics, AK & Her Kalashnikovs and Walelu. Sept. 30, 3 p.m.: The Alley Cats. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or sevengrand.la. Sept. 24: The emergence of roots rock guest act Darryl Holter and Fleeting Heart signals the birth of more adventurous, decor-appropriate programming for the 213 group. Sept. 25: No word yet on whether the Makers’ Tuesday set will be a down home tribute to Dwight Yoakam. Instead it will likely be the traditional improv jazz fare. Sept. 26: Lonely Avenue isn’t just a metaphor for the Seven Grand smoking patio. It’s the punchy band playing this Wednesday! The Smell 247 S. Main St., alley between Spring and Main streets, thesmell.org. Sept. 28: Cab 20, The Blank Tapes, Golden!age and Corners. Sept. 29: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Summer Twins and Wonder Wheel. The Varnish 118 E. Sixth St., (213) 622-9999 or thevarnishbar.com. Jan. 17, 9 p.m.: Jamie Elman tickles the keys. Jan. 18, 8:30 p.m.: Somewhere deep in a Downtown back room Mark Bosserman will play you a song.
FILM Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or downtownindependent.com. Sept. 26, 9 p.m.: The urbanite, post-“Sex in the City” thinking women known as Live Prude Girls offer commentary during a screening of the classic Rosemary’s Baby. Really? Sept. 27, 11 p.m.: If it’s the last Thursday of the month, it must be ultimate Thursday. Hence, a latenight screening of a seminal action film. This week is Robocop. Sept. 28, 8 p.m.: The winter is rapidly approaching. Local ski resort Mountain High is getting you revved up with extreme ski film Mind The Video Man. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 7442019 or californiasciencecenter.org. Explore the remnants and wisdom of an ancient empire in Mysteries of Egypt. Ice and polar bear enthusiasts will likely dig To the Arctic 3D. Experience the gripping story full of hope, crushing disappointment and triumph in Hubble 3D. REDCAT REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or
redcat.org. Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m.: The films of Los Angelesbased Timoleon Wilkins and their signature colorreversed film stock get a much-deserved night of their own. Regal Cinemas LA Live 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (877) 835-5734 or lalive.com. Through Sept. 27: Dredd (11:30 a.m. and 2, 4:40, 7:20 and 10:10 p.m.); Dredd 3D (12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10 and 11 p.m.); End of Watch (1:30, 2:20, 4:10, 5, 7, 7:50, 9:50 and 10:40 p.m.); House at the End of the Street (11:50 a.m. and 1:30, 2:30, 4:20, 5:10, 7:10, 8, 10 and 10:50 p.m.); Trouble With the Curve (11:30 a.m. and 1:10, 2:10, 3:50, 4:50, 6:50, 7:40, 9:40 and 10:30 p.m.); Finding Nemo 3D (12:50, 3:50, 6:40 and 9:30 p.m.); Resident Evil: Retribution (1:20, 4, 6:40 and 9:20 p.m.); Resident Evil: Retribution 3D (11:50 a.m. and 2:30, 5:10, 7:40 and 10:20 p.m.); The Words (2:10 and 7:20 p.m.); The Possession (12:10, 2:40, 5, 7:30 and 10:10 p.m.); Lawless (1, 4, 7 and 10 p.m.); The Expendables 2 (11:40 a.m. and 4:50 and 9:40 p.m.); Paranorman (12 p.m.). Under the Sheet Music Festival Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare. Sept. 28, 8 p.m.: Sheffield, England’s vibrant punk scene is the subject of the season ending documentary Made in Sheffield.
THEATER, OPERA & DANCE American Misanthrope Archway Theatre, 305 S. Hewitt St., (213) 237-9933 or archwayla.com. Sept. 27-29, 8 p.m., Sept. 30, 2 p.m.: Ron Milts’ disturbingly funny tale of American politics is in the Arts District theater. Through Oct. 22. Fiesta The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or bobbakermarionettes.com. Sept. 29-30, 2:30 p.m.: Fiesta is a south of the border marionette extravaganza featuring everything from skating sombreros to dancing cacti. It was first presented at the theater in 1964, and still resonates today with children of all ages. Call for reservations. Illuminated Manuscript Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0884 or thelatc.org. Sept. 28-29, 8 p.m. and Sept. 30, 7 p.m.: Illuminated Manuscript is a multimedia street dance/theater saga inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh and told through performer-activated video projection and street dance choreography. See more on p. 15. November Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 6282772 or centertheatregroup.com. Sept. 26-29, 8 p.m. and Sept. 30, 1 and 6:30 p.m.: The Oval Office descends into a three-ring circus of political incorrectness in a David Mamet-penned farce about an unpopular president desperate to be reelected. Ed Begley Jr. is President Charles Smith who will beg, bargain and browbeat his way into a second term. In previews now. Through Nov. 22. Silence! The Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., (310) 237-8647 or thehayworth.com. Sept. 27-29, 8 p.m. and Sept. 30, 3 and 7 p.m.: Silence! is the musical parody of the classic Silence of The Lambs. Cannibals, amateur seamstresses and rookie FBI agents merge in calamitous humor.
September 24, 2012
The Association 610 S. Main St., (213) 627-7385. Carved out of the area that used to belong to Cole’s, the bar in front, the Association is a dimly-lit, swank little alcove with some serious mixologists behind the bar. Look for a heavy door, a brass knocker, and a long line. Barbara’s at the Brewery 620 Moulton Ave., No. 110, (323) 221-9204 or bwestcatering.com. On the grounds of the Brewery, this bar and restaurant in an unfinished warehouse is where local residents find their artistic sustenance. Fifteen craft beers on tap, wine list and full bar. Bar 107 107 W. Fourth St., (213) 625-7382 or myspace.com/ bar107. Inside the keyhole-shaped door, tough-as-nails Derby Dolls vie for elbowroom with crusty old bar guys and a steady stream of Old Bank District inhabitants. Velvet señoritas, deer heads with sunglasses, a wooden Indian and Schlitz paraphernalia plaster the red walls. There’s no shortage of entertainment, with the funky dance room, great DJs and the occasional rock band. In the photo booth, you can capture your mug in old-fashioned black and white. Big Wang’s 801 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2449 or bigwangs.com. Wings, beer and sports: That’s the winning recipe at this sports bar. The Downtown outpost, the third for the Hollywood-based bar, has everything the other locations have, plus a comfortable patio with outdoor flat screens. Bonaventure Brewing Company 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 236-0802 or bonaventurebrewing.com. Where can you get a drink, order some decent bar food, sit outdoors and still feel like you’re Downtown? It’s a tall order to fill, but this bar in the Bonaventure Hotel does it admirably. Come by for a taster set of award-winning ales crafted by Head Brewer David Blackwell. Sure, the hotel is vaguely ’80s, and you’ll probably encounter some convention goers tying a few on, but it only adds to the fun. Bona Vista Lounge 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 624-1000 or thebonaventure.com. Located in the heart of the Financial District in the landmark Westin Bonaventure Hotel, this revolving cocktail lounge offers a 360-degree view of the city. Border Grill 445 S. Figueroa St., (213) 486-5171 or ciudad-la.com. Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s Downtown restaurant serves up Latin recipes from Spain and South America. The modern space also hosts a thriving happy hour with live music on the outdoor patio several nights a week. Don’t miss the mojitos. Bottlerock 1150 S. Flower St., (213) 747-1100 or bottlerock.net. Situated on the groundfloor of the Met Lofts in South Park, this wine bar features a vast range of bottles from around the world and a price range equally as wide. Wines by the glass start at around $8, but if you’re feeling overcome by oenophilia (or just deep-pocketed) there are some first growth Bordeauxs for more than $1,000 for the bottle. And if you don’t get your fill while at the bar, which also
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types who can’t help but gawk at the preserved bits of machinery, the huge generator and the coal box that now houses the jukebox. Far Bar 347 E. First St., (behind the Chop Suey Café), (213) 617-9990 or chopsueycafeandlounge.com. Tucked behind the Chop Suey Café is the Far Bar, where intimacy and a sense of noir L.A. collide. If you can find the place, which you enter through the back of the café or via a skinny alley a few doors down, you can throw them back in the same spot author Raymond Chandler is rumored to have done the same. Figueroa Hotel 939 S. Figueroa St., (213) 627-8971 or figueroahotel.com. The Moroccan-inspired Figueroa Hotel just a block north of Staples Center manages the unique feat of making you feel like you’re in the heart of the city and removed from it at the same time. The lightfilled Veranda Bar is just steps from the clear, glittery pool, and it’s common to see suit-clad Downtowners a few feet from swimsuit-wearing Euro-tourists. Five Stars Bar 269 S. Main St., (213) 625-1037. Burgers, brew, billiards, art and live music. Cash only, amigos. Gallery Bar Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, 506 S. Grand
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he Summer Twins and their effervescent indie pop seem vaguely out of place at The Smell, like a pair of Alka Seltzer tablets dissolving in used motor oil. Nevertheless, these precocious young ladies will be on hand Saturday, Sept. 29, to highlight the merits of major keys and demonstrate the proper use of a crunch pedal. Tickets are $5, which includes the 8 p.m. show, the ambience and an excuse to stroll through a Downtown alley at no additional charge. Also on the bill are Colleen Green, Plateaus and Wonder Wheel. At 247 S. Main St., enter through the alley between Main and Spring, or thesmell.org.
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Ave., (213) 624-1011 or millenniumhotels.com. This elegant lounge in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is known for its martinis, wines and vintage ports.
moRE LiStinGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at ladowntownnews.com/calendar: Rock, Pop & Jazz; Bars & Clubs; Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; Classical Music; Museums; and Tours.
EASy wAyS to SUBmit yoUR
4 wEB: LADowntownNews.com/calendar 4 EmAiL: Calendar@DowntownNews.com
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.
The Sounds of Summer photo courtesy Summer Twins
BARS & CLUBS
features a rotating crop of artisanal beers and a full dinner menu, the bar also sells bottles at retail. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or broadwaybar.la. Located next to the Orpheum Theatre in the Platt Building, the Broadway Bar’s blue neon sign beckons patrons inside to its 50-foot circular bar. The casualchic spot is based on Jack Dempsey’s New York bar, with low lighting and a dose of ’40s glam. There’s a patio upstairs with nice views, and a jukebox. Caña Rum Bar 714 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-7090 or canarumbar.com. In the Caribbean, “caña” is slang for sugarcane. Rum is made from sugarcane. Therefore, Caña Rum Bar at the Doheny serves premium handcrafted rum cocktails in an intimate, elegant environment featuring live Caribbean and tropical Latin music. Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or bigcaseys.com. With its worn brick staircase, tin ceilings and dark wood decor, it’s easy to see how this neighborhood bar and grill still works its Irish charm. Regulars cozy up to the 60-foot mahogany bar with a pint of Guinness and a plate of bangers and mash. Casey’s has a full menu with six beers on tap and a selection of Belgian ales and microbrews. Cicada Club 617 S. Olive St., (213) 488-9488 or cicadarestaurant.com. Every Sunday, the restaurant is transformed into a vintage, old Hollywood-style dance club, with a big band, swank costumes, dinner and cocktails (visit cicadaclub.com). Cole’s 118 E. Sixth St., colesfrenchdip.com. This beloved restaurant saloon has been renovated under new ownership. The great leather booths and dark wood bar of the old spot remain, but now the glasses are clean. Draft beer, historic cocktails, and a short wine list. Corkbar 403 W. 12th St., corkbar.com. If the name didn’t give it away, this South Park establishment is all about the wine, specifically, California wine. Situated on the groundfloor of the Evo condominium building, Corkbar serves up a seasonal food menu of farmer’s market-driven driven creations to go with your Golden State pinots, cabernets and syrahs. The Down and Out 501 S. Spring St., (213) 489-7800 or twitter.com/ thedownandout. This latest offering from the same folks that brought you Bar 107. The 3,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Alexandria Hotel features mug shots of celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Hugh Grant, Steve McQueen and Andy Dick. The owners describe it as a sports bar for local residents who don’t want to mingle with tourists. e3rd 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or eastthird.com. This Asian-style steakhouse with an artsy flavor features a sleek lounge with low, circular tables and a long psychedelic bar that changes colors like a mood ring. There’s a full bar, inventive cocktails (including soju) and a reasonable wine list. DJs spin. Edison 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown.com. Downtown history has come full circle in this former power plant turned stunning cocktail bar. The Edison is perhaps Downtown’s hottest hotspot and draws an eclectic crowd, including jaded Hollywood
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Downtown News 19
An Extensive Seafood Menu including Dim Sum at Moderate Prices Relaxed Dining in an Elegant Ambiance Live Lobster Tank
Free Parking Next to Restaurant
700 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Tel: 213.617.2323
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50% OFF *Equal or Lesser Value. 1 coupon per customer, per visit. Expires 9/30/12
Gourmet Fast Casual Restaurant Since 1973 7 Days-7am to 10pm 1657 W. 3rd St. at Union Ave. • 213-483-8885
FREE Parking • We Do Catering *
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DEPT. OF BUILDING & SAFETY
L.A. DOWNTOWN NEWS
AHMANSON THEATER MARK TAPER FORUM
EDWARD R. ROYBAL LEARNING CENTER
VISTA HERMOSA PARK
CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
C. ERWIN PIPER TECHNICAL CENTER
SAN BERNARDINO SPLIT
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RAMON C. CORTINES SCHOOL OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
BUSINESS MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
Map © 2012 Cartifact
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Metro Red & Purple Lines
H O L LY W O O D F W Y
Free Parking w/validation
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Metro Blue & Expo Lines
CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT HQ
Metro Rail Station Access
AS ED AM
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Contact Cartifact for the full-color, every-building version of this map . Available in print, web and mobile media.
700 S. Flower St, # 1940 Los Angeles, CA 90017 213.327.0200 maps�cartifact.com
CASTELLAR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
KAISER MENTAL HEALTH CENTER E ST
PACIFIC ALLIANCE MEDICAL CENTER
ANN STREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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September 24, 2012
Downtown News 21
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l.a. downtown news Classifieds Call: 213-481-1448 Classified Display & Line ad Deadlines: Thursday 12 pm REAL ESTATE RESIDENTIAL
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213.598.7555 out of state ADIRONDACKS and Colorado Premier Lodges, Lakefront Great Camps and Mountain Cabins Bargain Prices, Anxious Sellers, All Offers Considered. Visit www.LandAndCamps.Com or Call Anytime 800-229-7843. (Cal-SCAN) real estate Wanted I’LL BUY YOUR HOUSE TODAY! CA$h! Any condition. Call Roshaun at (323) 9169016.
HealtH and BeautY GRAND OPENING KC Salon in Little Tokyo. Chair rental. Looking for stylist/esthetician to rent space for $800/month. 213 253 9999
“Be wary of out of area companies. Check with the local Better Business Bureau before you send any money for fees or services. Read and understand any contracts before you sign. Shop around for rates.”
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ABUNDANT NATURAL light, quiet, 200sf, 9’ ceiling, private, gated parking. Part of larger studio, near downtown L.A. and freeways. $325/month + security deposit. Additional 200sf storage space for $125/month 213-5094403 LARGE ARTIST’S work studio, 350 sf, 12’ ceiling, private. Part of larger space in Arts District. Excellent work atmosphere. $385/month + security deposit. Available October 1st. 213-5094403
Computer Systems Manager: Job/Resume/Ad: Samtex Fabrics, 1418 E. 18th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
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MANY A SMALL thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising – Mark Twain. Advertise your Business card sized ad in 140 California newspapers for one low cost. Reach over 3 million+ Californians. Free brochure firstname.lastname@example.org (916)2886019. (Cal-SCAN) HealtH ATTENTION DIABETICS with Medicare. Get a free Talking Meter and diabetic testing supplies at No Cost, plus free home delivery! Best of all, this meter eliminates painful finger pricking! Call 888-781-9376. (Cal-SCAN) ATTENTION SLEEP APNEA sufferers with Medicare. Get free CPAP Replacement Supplies at No Cost, plus free home delivery! Best of all, prevent red skin sores and bacterial infection! Call 888-699-7660. (Cal-SCAN)
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he Mercantile Lofts offer a wonderful mix of history and contemporary style. Our recently remodeled lobby and common areas offer vintage appeal together with modern sophistication and offer an exclusive live/work experience in LA’s trendiest urban neighborhood. Centrally located in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles, The Mercantile offers residents the best that Downtown living offers. Within walking distance are unique dining venues and the epicenter of nightlife which includes local favorites such as The Varnish, The Association, Cole’s French Dip Sandwiches, Mignon Wine and Cheese, BabyCakes NYC, featuring vegan baked goods and our newest establishment—Artisan House, featuring a wonderful bar/restaurant/marketplace with in-suite delivery options The Mercantile’s historic features—such as barn-style doors and exposed brick walls—are highlighted within the context of the building’s modern amenities. These amenities include custom bamboo flooring on some floors, polished concrete flooring on others, stainless-steel appliances and an in-suite washer/dryer unit. Perhaps most unique about the units are their 14 foot ceilings, floor to ceiling windows and floor plans ranging from approximately 1400 to 2000 sf, providing the units with an abundance of volume.
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Monthly from $695 utilities paid. (213) 627-1151
Furnished single unit with kitchenette, bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly rate $275 inc.
Monthly from $600 utilities paid. (213) 612-0348
22 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
Twitter/DowntownNews Continued from previous page
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September 24, 2012
Downtown News 23
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Your ad will appear online and in our publication facebook: in a couple of easy steps. L.A. Downtown News
PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Ashley Schmidt
• Online adsSteve willNakutin appear immediately after they twitter: are approved. AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: DowntownNews clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway • Print ads must be received AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Catherine Holloway, before Thursday at noon PST Sol Ortasse to be processed for the followingThe Monday's edition. Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is dis-
Deadlines subject to change for special issues and every holidays. tributed Monday throughout the offices and
residences of Downtown Los Angeles.
For legal notices please callOne 213-481-1448 copy per person.
Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins
PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard
per month for 36 mos
Plus tax 36-month closed end lease on approved credit by Volkswagen Credit., $1,999 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees). MSRP of $21,875 (including destination charges) with manual transmission.. $0 security deposit. Residual of $13,037.50. $0.20/mile over 30,000 miles. VIN # 023598. Offer ends October 1, 2012
per month for 42 mos
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NEW ’12 Mercedes C250 Lease for only
AccouNtiNG: Ashley Schmidt AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Catherine Holloway, Sol Ortasse sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla
per month for 24 mos
facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews
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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.
One copy per person.
3.0L V6, White, Alloys, CD & more. CU0784R / A127666
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NISSAN OF DOWNTOWN L.A.
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$9,999 Auto, AC, Majestic Blue/Gray, 1 Owner. N130020-1 / 7N425469 $10,999 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid .............. Certified, Super Black/Beige, Low Miles. NI4037 / BC101261 $17,999 2006 Nissan Xterra S ............................ 4.0L-6 Cyl, 1 Owner, 2WD, Roofrack. N121006-1 / 6C527093
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VOLKSWAGEN OF DOWNTOWN L.A. 2009 VW Jetta Calif. Edit. .................
Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin
Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com email: email@example.com
$9,995 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback ......... $12,995 Certified, Silver, Auto, AC, ABS. CU0694R / L426077 2010 Toyota Corolla 4DR .................. $13,495 Auto, AC, Red/Beige, Low Miles, ABS CU0744R / 319451 2007 Ford Taurus SEL ..........................
$ ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Dave Denholm, Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryan E. Smith, Marc Porter Zasada
888-845-2267 1505 E. 223rd St., Carson • carsonnissan.com
888-781-8102 1900 S. Figueroa St. • vwdowntownla.com
Lease for only
Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • ad fax: 213-250-4617 makes placing a classified in the Art DowntownNews.com dirEctor: Brian Allison web: DowntownNews.com AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa L.A. Downtown News is easier ever. email: than firstname.lastname@example.org ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins
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ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Dave Denholm, Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryan E. Smith, Marc Porter Zasada
circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla
DOWNTOWN L.A. AUTO GROUP
+ tax, 48 month closed end lease on approved credit. $0 Sec Dep. $4,988 plus tax,1st month payment, acquisition fee, lic, doc fee to start. Residual $24,952 $0.30 per mile over 5K miles/year. 1 At this payment # P12216A/S710404
$14,278 $16,738 Certified, 2.5L 20V, 10,132 Miles. V130205-1/BW255799 2011 VW Tiguan S Turbo .................. Certified, Auto, Silver/Black, 29K Miles. ZV1836/BW529539 $20,554 Certified, Gray/Gray, Auto, 29K Miles. ZV1873/9M154333
2011 VW Golf Hatchback .................
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AUDI OF DOWNTOWN L.A. 888-583-0981 1900 S. Figueroa St. • audidtla.com
$25,989 2011 Audi A5 Conv. Quattro ............ $42,890 Certified, Silver/Blk, AWD, Low miles. ZA10417/BN019891 2011 Audi A6 Quattro 3.0T .............. Certified, AWD, 15,659 miles, Gray/Blk. ZA10322/BN028945 $45,980 2011 Audi A4 2.0T Premium ............ Certified, Turbo, Blk/Blk, Auto, Low Miles. ZA10450/AN014732
Plus 111 More New & Used In Stock & On Sale!
DOWNTOWN LA MOTORS 888-319-8762 1801 S. Figueroa St. • mbzla.com
$24,991 2009 Mercedes CLK350 .................... Certified, Steel Gray/Silver, Low Miles. 121564-1 / 9F261711 $27,991 2010 Mercedes GLK 350 ................... $29,991 Certified, 3.5L V6, Gray/Gray, 29K Miles. 5945C / AF324695 2009 Mercedes C300 Sedan ............ Certified, Silver/Blk, Iridium Silver, V6. 6015C / 9R078657
Plus 401 More New & Used In Stock & On Sale!
PORSCHE OF DOWNTOWN L.A.
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$41,894 2008 Porsche Carerra 4 .................... $54,810 Certified, White/Blk, Like New. P12385-2 / 88710489 2010 Porsche Panamera S ............... Certified, Blk/Beige, 20” Whls, 1 Owner, 12 Miles. AL063969 $74,897 2009 Porsche Cayman ......................
Certified, Blk/Beige, Heated Seats, Bluetooth. ZP1516/U760116
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24 Downtown News
September 24, 2012
We Got Games Sparks Are in the Playoffs, While the Dodgers Continue to Struggle Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., (213) 224-1400 or dodgers.mlb.com. Sept. 28, 7:10 p.m.; Sept. 29, TBD; Sept. 30, 1:10 p.m.: Well, the Dodgers are certainly keeping things interesting. Still unable to cover the small bit of land separating them from the St. Louis Cardinals and the second wild card spot (they were one-and-a-half game back at press time), the team is, simply, struggling, though they’re not yet out of the playoff picture. The glass half empty fan sees the Dodgers lacking the drive and, most importantly, the pitching, to snag a postseason spot. The glass half-full fan
sees it as evidence that the team isn’t giving up. The rest of the fans are so darn frustrated that they’re taking the glass and smashing it against the floor, wondering what is happening after those big-budget summer trades. Futile quest or noble journey, this week the team heads to San Diego (Sept. 25-27) before returning for the second-to-last regular season home stand, a threegamer against the Rockies. Los Angeles Sparks Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 929-1300 or wnba.com/sparks. Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: The Sparks clinched home court advantage in round one
of the playoffs in a blowout of the Minnesota Lynx last week thanks to, guess who? If you said Candace Parker, you win an evening with the Sparks mascot. Parker notched a 26-point, 11-rebound effort in the clincher, but that game was easier than this week’s contest against the San Antonio Silver Stars. Parker and running mates Kristi Tolliver and Nneka Ogwumike have their hands full with the ladies from Alamo country (no, not the rental car agency). After game one at home, the Sparks play game two at San Antonio on Sept. 29. Game three, if necessary, would be back in L.A. on Oct. 1. —Ryan Vaillancourt
photo by Gary Leonard
Candace Parker leads the Sparks into the WNBA playoffs this week.
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 l l a C n Specials Move-I
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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.
TOWERS T H E
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MAID SERVICE • FURNITURE • HOUSEWARES • CABLE • UTILITIES • PARKING RESIDENCES: SINGLES • STUDIO • ONE BEDROOM • TWO BEDROOM