Motel Fire Ruled Arson, Police Still Searching for Perpetrators p. 2 t Blu Restaurant Brings Pacific Rim Cuisine to the Harbor p. 11 The Almeidas and Lasting Love p. 13
Carson Candidates Differentiate Themselves at Forum
By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
ence room to listen to all 10 candidates running in the March 5 elections. The questions posed to the candidates came from the audience after being screened by three National Association for the Advancement of Colored People officers before they were passed on to the candidates.
Crime in Carson
Crime and what each candidate would do about it was the first question. The Carson Sheriff’s Station recently noted that
Carson Candidates Square Off/ to p. 4
ecause of the electoral college, only a handful of states really matter in electing a president every four years. For almost 40 years, Virginia was not one of them, as Republicans carried the state in every election from 1968 to 2004, rarely ever breaking a sweat. But that all changed in 2008, when Virginia not only became a battleground state, with candidates fighting tooth and nail for every vote, but actually ended up going for the Democrat, Barack Obama, for the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson’s 44-state landslide win over Barry Goldwater. Then in 2012, Obama won the state again. Some Virginians weren’t happy to see their state go to the Democrat, which is understandable. The reasoning offered is less so. “The last election, [my] constituents were concerned that it didn’t matter what they did, that more densely populated areas were going to outvote them,” Virginia Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr., R-Grayson County, told the Washington Post, arguing that he wanted to give smaller communities a bigger voice. “This is coming to me from not just my Republican constituents,” he added, as the Post noted that his district “voted overwhelmingly for Republican Mitt Romney” in the last election. “I want to be a voice for a region that feels they have no reason to
February 8 - 21, 2013
The NAACP officers made it clear at the outset that the police would be called if audiences members grew too rowdy in either support or opposition of any candidate during a forum the Carson chapter hosted Jan. 31, at the Juanita Millender McDonald Community Center. The group even went so far as to ban the use of video cameras. One of the officers said the candidates didn’t feel comfortable. He didn’t mention which candidate. A little more than 100 people filled the confer-
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By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor
Rig The Vote/ to p. 1 7
Harbor Area New Solar Feed-in-Tariff Program to Opened for Applications The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has begun accepting applications for the first 20 megawatts of its new solar program, the 100 megawatt Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) Set Pricing Program. The application period will remain open through June 28, 2013 at 2 p.m. Applications for solar projects from 30 kilowatts to 3 megawatts will be accepted on a firstcome, first-served basis. During the first five business days of the application period, all submitted applications will be prioritized on the FiT Reservation List by lottery. Applications received after the first five business days will be date and time stamped. Applications will be confirmed based on the priority of the FiT Reservation List for up to 20 megawatts. Details: (213) 367-2100; www.ladwp.com/fit
San Pedro’s Honorary Mayor Campaign Kick Off
The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce recently announced it is accepting applications for San Pedro’s Honorary Mayor’s race. Through the campaign, candidates raise funds for local nonprofit organizations and for chambersponsored community events. The candidate raising the most funds is declared the Honorary Mayor of San Pedro for two years and represents the chamber and the San Pedro community at events and meetings. Eighty percent of the candidate’s gross revenue up to $100,000 will go to his or her sponsoring organization(s) and to cover any campaign expenses. One hundred percent of amounts raised above $100,000 will go to the candidate’s campaign. The chamber will retain the remainder to support their community service programs or events. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Feb. 15. Contact Sandy Bradley at email@example.com or call (310) 832-7272 x 106 for further details.
Creating a Family
Serving the Seven Cities of the Harbor Area
Thinking about starting a family but don’t know where to start? Meet experts in the field of LGBTQ family formation, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 9, at The Center Long Beach. Workshop topics include: adoption, legal issues, insemination and finding a sperm donor, surrogacy and egg donation, a parents panel about their own family-growing experience. Details: (562) 434-4455 Venue: Center Long Beach Location: 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach
Volunteers Wanted for Housing Long Beach Community Forum
Housing Long Beach is seeking volunteers, from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13, for its community forum at The Neighborhood Church in Long Beach. Housing Long Beach is a local nonprofit working to improve, preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing in Long Beach. Details: (562) 619-8340; www.housinglb.org Venue: The Neighborhood Church Location: 507 Pacific Ave., Long Beach
February 8 - 21, 2013
LA Needs Poll Workers
City Clerk, June Lagmay, recently announced that the Office of the City Clerk—Election Division is in need of about 3,000 additional poll workers to staff polls for the 2013 Municipal Elections on March 5, 2013 and May 21, 2013. Poll workers earn stipends for each day that they work. Inspectors receive a $100 stipend and are paid an additional $25 for attending a mandatory training class and another $50 for picking up and dropping off polling place supplies and voting equipment. Clerks receive an $80 stipend and an additional $25 for attending a mandatory training class. Poll workers must be English-literate registered voters. Bilingual workers wanted who also speak Armenian, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, or Vietnamese. Applicants may sign up by calling the Election Division’s Poll worker Recruitment Hotline. Details: (213) 978-0363; http://cityclerk.lacity. org/election
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Palos Verdes Inn Fire Questions Remain Unanswered By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor
Detectives continue to investigate while displaced residents continue to struggle more than two weeks after a fire blazed the Palos Verdes Inn, a residential motel in San Pedro. The fire, which took place at about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 22, left 69-year-old resident, Richard Gunderson dead and 25 other people homeless. Rosalie Silva, who was staying at the motel, said she and her roommate ended up in the hospital after inhaling too much smoke. She said that the fire was so intense that the ceiling caved in. “My roommate was in the shower,” Silva, 32, said. “She ran out in her towel because that’s how fast the fire was going.” Investigators have determined that the cause of the fire was arson, officials said. Apparently, someone threw a flammable container (possibly a bottle with gasoline) through window and started the fire at the motel, near 10th and Palos Verdes streets. While people of interest had been detained during the ongoing investigation, surveillance footage showed no correlation between those people and whoever set the fire. No suspects have been arrested.
Traditionally the area near the motel has had its share of crime, including assaults and narcotics activity. However, in the past year crime has gone down significantly in the downtown San Pedro area, said Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer Maligi Nua Jr. Nua said he is working with the building owner to restore the building and keep it free from vagrancy or anyone hanging out there so that no one trespasses. While robbery and The Palos Verdes Inn hours after an early morning fire that resulted in 14 homicide detectives are casualties and one death. Investigators ruled that the fire was arson. Photo: investigating the fire, local Terelle Jerricks. officers are providing extra patrols proactively to prevent further crimes emergency needs for evacuated residents, closed in that motel and other nearby residential motels Jan. 28. in that area. “Most of the individuals did find somewhere “We are doing everything we can on our end to stay, either friends or family, and those who to get his cooperation,” he said. “We have a great weren’t able [to find somewhere] were referred rapport with the Palos Verdes Inn.” to long-term shelters or housing available to them According to the unofficial site, www.crime- such as similar motels,” said Guillermo Sanchez, mapping.com, there have been four burglaries, a spokesman for the Greater Long Beach Chapter four assaults with a deadly weapon and the homi- of the American Red Cross. “We offered a variety cide of Gunderson, within 500 feet of the motel of resources. It was up to the individual to decide since August of 2012. what the right path for them would be.” An American Red Cross shelter that was set Silva said the motel manager offered them up at the Anderson Memorial Senior Center, $60 but even that wouldn’t be enough to find which provided meals, temporary housing and continued on following page
Local Authors Publish Children’s Book to Encourage Eco-learning By Joseph Baroud, Editorial Intern
Ask any student in grade school what they want to be when they grow up, the answers usually range from police officer to teacher. But rarely do we hear them mention a scientist. “A lot of girls say teacher, nurse, secretary,” said David Katz, an elementary school teacher “That’s all they know about.” Katz and his wife, author Judith Cohen, recently teamed up with artist Robyn Friend, to publish A Cleaner Port, A Brighter Future, a book that’s scientifically informative, but adolescently appealing. They wanted to do a book about helping the carbon footprint, which is part of their “green” series of children’s books. “So, it was important to tell [children] about science careers,” Katz said.
drove on port terminals. The port began using electric trucks. “I think the port is a great example of an organization that is trying to make the world better.” Katz said. “I really think this is a good model for the rest of the world.” Helping the environment and ultimately our society, takes an effort from all of us in the present and well into the future. “So, I encourage anybody who cares about our future to do their part,” Katz said. “The port is doing its part and we wanted to help our community, in Los Angeles and San Pedro.”
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It also gives the Port of Los Angeles some props. “Los Angeles port is an exemplary organization that cares about it’s community. Its Clean Air program is best in the entire country, if not the world,” Katz said. The Port purchased 6,000 copies of the books to be distributed at local schools and libraries. A Cleaner Port, A Brighter Future, is just one of a series of environmental books published by the environmental awareness publishing company, Cascade Pass. Katz and Friends reason that since children best positioned to combat the problems of the future, books like this would encourage them take up careers that protect the environment. “Maybe not all the adults will come up with the solution: maybe it’s for a newer generation,” Katz said. “People (ages) 12 or 13 will be thinking about it and by the time they become 24 or 25, [they might be] scientist[s]. They’re figuring out what to do [environmental issue] and that’s part of why we want to reach a younger generation.” The ports around the world contribute heavily to the pollution. Exhaust emissions, diesel fuel burning and dumping waste in the oceans, are major ways ships that travel from port to port
help increase adverse affects to the atmosphere. A Cleaner Port, A Brighter Future, also focuses on what the Port of Los Angeles has done to battle pollutants being emitted into the atmosphere. The port adopted the Clean Air Action Plan, which identified the sources of pollution. Replacing the burning of diesel fuel for gas, with
electric inputs for ships once they are docked was the first and foremost goal of the port. The Clean Air Action Plan also required ships to slow to 12 knots when within 20 nautical miles of the port. By running their engine at the most efficient speed, ships cut down heavily on air pollution. “The ships have to have some type of capability to switch to electricity,’’ said Judith Cohen, co-author of the book. “Once the ships have that, you could use it in Japan, you could use it in England, you can use it everywhere.” Not only did POLA require ships to cut down emissions, but also vehicles, such as trucks that
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PV Inn Fire
An updated article will be posted online at www. randomlengthsnews.com
February 8 - 21, 2013
placement. She said that after the fire, someone broke into the building and stole their belongings. Now, they are temporarily staying with a neighbor. She and her roommate find themselves homeless, jobless and without clothes. Most of the help they’ve been offered by outside agencies does not include long-term solutions. “They gave us a number to call and they offered a first aid kit,” she said.
from p. 1
Carson Candidates Square Off there was an uptick in crime, particularly in burglaries. They tied the uptick in part to the early release of non-violent offenders as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to reduce overcrowding in the states prison system through the process called realignment. Councilman Mike Gipson referenced his support for Assembly Bill 109 and said that the council has taken the lead in funding the programs that would do the most in aiding the rehabilitation of those parolees returning home. “I want things to go back to the way they used to be,” Gipson said, referring to the period of time where Carson has seen few crimes committed before this recent spike. Albert Robles, of the Water Replenishment Board focused on the need for early released inmates to be closely monitored with ankle bracelets at all times. Joseph Gordon appealed for a multifaceted
approach that relied less on the reactive approach of sending more police officers to reduce crime in favor of a proactive community approach in the form of neighbors looking out for neighbors. Councilwoman Julie Ruiz Raber pointed to her record for voting in favor of paying for more officers to patrol Carson’s streets as well a greater reliances on block captains. Others focused on the need to rehabilitate and retrain the newly released felons. Councilwoman Lula Davis Holmes, a mayoral candidate, gave perhaps the strongest and most brutally honest answer of the evening by noting that the people that are being released are Carson’s own. “We say that crime increased in Carson but the first thing we need to identify is the fact the parolees that were released into our own community were our own Carson kids,” Davis Holmes said. “We cannot continue to close our eyes and pretend we don’t know who they are because they live right next door to us. And you know a lot of them. And what happens is that we choose not to call the sheriff on little Johnny and we pretend to close our eyes.” She noted the importance block clubs and watch captains and honest discussions with the police are what will make neighborhoods safe. Mayor Jim Dear noted that 40,000 prisoners were reclassified and released. Over 100 of them came to Carson he said. He recalled his vision statements on economic development and public safety.
February 8 - 21, 2013
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On gun control, the candidates vacillated from being strong proponents to suggesting that more gun control isn’t necessarily the answer. The two candidates with perhaps the least name recognition, planning commissioner Joseph Gordon and Timothy Muckey, suggested that more training could reduce gun threats while the other said he’s opposed to taking people’s guns from them. Both men have served in the military.
Dear said he was in favor of gun control and supports Sen. Diane Feinstein’s bill that would ban assault weapons and ammunition. Dear noted his collaboration with Councilman Mike Gipson on the issue. Councilwoman Davis Holmes was also in favor of regulation. “You don’t need a high powered gun to kill a rabbit,” she quipped. Muckey, who has frequently donned the ultra humble and self-effacing persona, noted that mental health care was needed more than gun control. Steven emphasized mental health care and noted that more isn’t done because of the stigmatization of mental health issues. Gordon, who grew up in the rural parts of Mississippi, said he grew up with guns and claimed that the cities with the strictest gun control laws on the books also have the highest violent crime rates in the United States. He suggested that people need more training rather than more regulation. Gipson blamed the proliferation of guns infiltrating the communities like Carson.
One of the questions from the audience focused on the proposed reopening of oil wells near Cal State University Dominguez Hills. The proposal would utilize a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” whereby old non-producing wells are made productive again by injecting a combination of water and various chemicals at extremely high pressures to fracture underground rock and release untapped deposits of oil. Cities across the country where this practice is common have reported regular earthquakes in places where earthquakes were rare, and contaminated water tables and aquifers when they were once clean and dependable water sources. NAACP moderator, Nathan Walker didn’t explain the practice but instead left it to the candidates to both explain the technique and their position on it in three minutes. Longtime civic leader, Rita Boggs attempted to explain the process, but seemed to lose the audience before her time was up. Gordon appeared to support the practice but suggested that citizens decide for themselves after studying the practice.
Robles sought to keep his answers simple by saying he was against it and wouldn’t support any practice that was harmful for the community. Dear gave perhaps the most concise answer of the night on the issue before announcing his opposition to the practice.
Unscrupulous Contractors Taking Advantage of Seniors
With the high number of seniors in Carson, unlicensed contractors taking advantage of them is a big issue. Brimmer noted her experience as a fraud investigator and she said that there are already a lot of laws on the books that could be used to help seniors or at the very least, get justice for those seniors that have been victimized. Lula Davis Holmes noted that contractors must have business licenses and permits. DavisHolmes emphasized the importance of making sure that seniors know that the City of Carson has a list of approved contractors that have their licenses and permits in order. Dear deadpanned that, “Victims have rights too,” and he suggested that he would make sure the perpetrators are brought to justice. Then he continued on, describing himself as a change agent, but that he would discuss his ideas after the forum.
“‘M’ is for Mayor,” Dear said, recalling the explanation the new city clerk, Donesia Gause gave him. The mayor dove into his argument that Measure M was the council majority’s attempt to take Carson citizen’s right to vote away. Davis-Holmes, Gipson and Ruiz-Raber, the council majority, tried to defend the measure by recounting a bit of the history of the direct mayorship, but were frequently interrupted by Dear supporters, many of whom were wearing Helen’s Dream stickers and t-shirts. The Helen’s Dream Coalition emerged after the council majority voted down an attempt to immediately rename the council chambers for the widely beloved City Clerk Helen Kawagoe while she was still alive. Davis-Holmes noted that a return to the rotating mayorship would put an end to the dictatorial style of leadership that, in her estimation, is in place.
Is Dr. Rita Boggs the Right Prescription for Carson?
Rancho LPG Flaring Event Underscores Community Concerns
By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Boggs recalled a vote where Mayor Jim Dear tried and failed to get a street named after himself. Boggs said he came pretty close. “So the question became, should we name a street after someone while they are still alive?”
Commissions and Committees
Boggs still remember the days when there were very few commissions. “We used to have very few commissions,” Boggs explained. “There were several that we must have. The planning commission being one of them. And what happened at the time was that each council person would name a person to the commission.” Boggs was describing the early 1990s when the city last had a rotating mayorship.
Carson City Council candidate Rita Boggs. Photo: Terelle Jerricks.
“Then we went to a directly elected mayor,” she said. “People thought that sounded good. But what people didn’t realize was that it gave more power to the mayor than he previously had. So now, the mayor is now naming all of the commissioners and what it does is it gives him added support.” Boggs/ to p. 6
Apollo West: “Because of our Longevity, We Got Something” By Lyn Jensen, Carson Reporter
Executive Director Marvin Clayton is concerned that city funding for his longtime community theater company, the Apollo West Carson Players, may dry up—again—with the next fiscal year. It’s the latest chapter in his struggle to keep the group alive over decades on a combination of private donations and city support—enough to provide a recreational service but never enough to keep a professional staff or mount big-budget productions. Clayton’s company is preparing for its 27th Annual Black History Production, featuring selected scenes from the award-winning 1972 musical, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, which will be staged on March 3 at Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald Community Center in Carson. It’s one of three productions, including a Juneteenth production and a holiday show, which are typically staged every season. Often, the company does not have enough performers to fill a specific show’s cast, so Clayton must tailor his productions to the cast he gets. The annual production of Cope takes music and scenes from the play but every year incorporates new scenes with children from the community. The scenes often reflect current news, this year the children are expected to stage their reactions to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings
in Connecticut this past December. Apollo West’s annual budget fluctuates between $40,000 and $50,000, according to Clayton, the company’s only full-time employee. An $8,000 Community Development Grant from the City of Carson helps meet office overhead. Ticket sales, raffles and private donations account for the remainder. Clayton suggests that with better funding, Apollo West could offer employment to a few of the people who participate in the company’s summer job training program, where participants may learn about the technical aspects of theater. “Our cash flow is not enough to keep people,” he says, once they’re trained. South Bay Workforce Investment Board partners in the yearly program that trains as many as 12 students in technical production including video editing, making DVDs, lighting, sound and film. Carson has been involved with Apollo West since 1974, when Councilman Gil Smith asked Clayton to provide alternate activity for youths in north Carson. The city already had a drama program, but it was more oriented towards shows with predominantly white casts, Clayton said. There were few opportunities for young, black entertainers. Longevity/ to p. 10
Hahn Receives Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Assignments
WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Janice Hahn was selected to sit on the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on Jan. 23. With her presence on these committees, she would be in position to help deliver more funds for projects like the Gerald Desmond Bridge project. “When our ports are strong, our country is strong,” she said in a released statement. “One of my central priorities is to ensure once and for all what is collected for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is spent on its true purpose for ports.” News Briefs/ to p. 6
February 8 - 21, 2013
Boggs believes that something could have been passed that stipulated that a street or a building could only be named after a person who has been employed by the city for 35 years or more. “That would have taken care of it. She could have gotten a street named after her. And there would have been no possibility, at least at this point, of Jim trying to get something named after himself. He’s only been working for the city for about 14 years.”
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Rita Boggs is probably one of the smartest people in the room when it comes to policy. Ask her the definition of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” not only would she be able to tell you that its an oil excavation technique by which oil hidden in deeper strata of rock is released, she could discuss at length all the various studies on the impacts the process has on the environment. A trained scientist with a doctorate in chemistry, Boggs thrives on solving problems. And that is probably the biggest reason why she has stayed as involved in Carson’s civic affairs as she has. Boggs has been active in the city’s politics for almost as long she’s been living there, at times serving on the planning commission and mobile home park review board, while watching various figures on the City Council come and eventually leave. But this time around, she’s the one running for a seat on the council, believing that her knowledge and experience could do well in lessening the toxicity of the divided city government while solving some problems to boot. One of the attributes she points to as her qualification to be on the city council is her experience as the founder and head of American Research. She describes the company’s work as problem solving in the field of chemistry for businesses. Right now they do a lot of solvent determination in a lot of products such as paint and hairspray. Given that the state has some of the most stringent rules in the United States regulating such chemicals, she noted even in a bad economy, her company still does well. “We have never been sued, nor have we ever been threatened to be sued,” she said, dinging the fact the city is currently defending itself in several lawsuits. “We deal with everyone carefully and we put everything in writing. They get a written report. We don’t discuss the report with anyone except the clients so that competitors don’t get hold of information. Boggs recounted the previous evening (Jan. 3, 2013), where one of the council persons (Either Lula Davis Holmes or Julie Ruiz Raber) running for re-election in Carson was in attendance at a County Democratic Party meeting. Boggs noted that a resident was allowed to make noises about the candidate as she tried to speak. “These things should not be happening,” Boggs said. “We ought to be doing business fairly and out in the open and not beat up on people. If you’ve been watching the council meetings, right now we have two groups, so to speak, you’ll know that there’s this continuous fight between people and it can be very insulting to listen to. And sometimes, I’m amazed by what people would say. I think we need to get back to doing business properly and fairly.”
Details are belatedly coming out regarding an initially unreported flaring event at Rancho LPG on Wednesday, January 30. The incident was brought to our attention by long-time homeowner activist Andrew Mardesich, who took smartphone photos of the event early that morning. In response to inquiries from community activist Janet Gunter, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Mary Wesling contacted Rancho regarding the event, and forwarded the response they received. Ron Conrow, the Western District Manager for Rancho’s corporate parent, Plains All American wrote, “The flaring event occurred at approximately 04:30 on 01/30/2013 and lasted approximately 10-minutes. A transmitter on (butane) storage tank T-1 malfunctioned resulting in a pressure control valve release from the tank to the flare.” He went on to say, “Another review of our permits our environmental and operations staff confirmed Rancho is not required to report a flaring event and we are not aware of any Rule requirement for LPG facilities to do so.” Wesling confirmed that there was no federal duty to report, but noted that state regulations differ. She in turn notified the AQMD and the LA Fire Department. There was also unrelated maintenance work on Naval Fuel Depot pipelines going on that same week. “They had a flare. It’s permitted by AQMD for use in emergencies, to safely burn excess propane gas,” AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood told Random Lengths. “They did not notify us, and they are not required to notify us,” he said, explaining that the notification rule specifically targets sulfur emissions. “Ensuring the safety of the residents of the 15th District is my top priority,” said Councilmember Joe Buscaino. “The Chief Legislative Analyst has been compiling a comprehensive report in response to questions raised by myself and other members of the Public Safety Committee, which I expect it to be complete in late February, and discussed in an upcoming Committee meeting in March. I look forward to advancing this investigation, and I encourage residents to stay engaged and participate in this open, transparent and public process.”
from p. 5
Boggs described the situation as such where the mayor was dispensing awards and special favors to loyal supporters to strengthen his base. “If so and so gets named to this commission, and the mayor extracts this that and the other that they would support him,” she said. She noted that there were more than 140 commissioners. “I think there was an outcome that was not intended when the chose to change to a directly elected mayor,” she said. There’s been some improvement in that area. During the last budget process in October 2012, the city council consolidated a number of commissions and cut others in an effort to reduce the budget deficit by alleviating staff time. On March 5, Carson residents will be asked whether they want to return to a rotating mayorship in Measure M. If passed, the changes won’t go into effect until 2017.
see the fire coming out of me. We just keep increasing costs without cutting back.” There is no expiration date on the Utility Users Tax. However, the city was capped at $1 million per year. There was a backdoor clause in the law that passed that allowed the city council to remove the cap and collect more than the $1 million, which they were allowed to collect, but only if they made the requisite amount of cuts. Essentially, the City Council owes its ability to balance its budget these past two years to their power of lifting the cap. Boggs pointed to another unintended consequence of the Utility Users Tax: the city council found that the commission that was charged to oversee the spending of the Utility Users Tax money had more power than they initially realized. Because that money goes directly into the general fund, the Utility Users Tax Commission had the power to oversee the entire budget and have a significant say.
Initially, the commission had 24 commissioners, including three ex-officios on board. Exofficios are elected officials who are non-voting members on the board. Initially, those ex-officios included Dear, City Clerk Helen Kawagoe, and City Treasurer Karen Avilla. By October 2012, the practice of appointing ex-officios was banned and the commission’s size was cut down to 11. In any case, Boggs doesn’t believe it used its power as efficiently as it could have. Boggs said she could recall a number of times where she questioned the commission’s proposals to tax an already taxed item.
Meetings Too Darn Long
Boggs views the city council’s notoriously long meetings as a violation of the Brown Act and a threat to Democracy, at worse, in Carson. “There ought to be a rule that a meeting not go past 10 o’clock in the evening,” she said. “Here and there if an item is vitally impor-
tant they can take a vote and the meeting can be extended. Now it’s over whenever we go home. Meetings are lasting until one in the morning, two in the morning. It stops being televised I think at 11 o clock (video of meetings are archived in their entirety online on the city’s website). So all this stuff is happening when no one is there.” “Who can stay at these things at that hour if they’re working? They can’t. By the time these issues come up, there’s nobody there to say please don’t do this. Or it might affect our community or our business.” Boggs believes that some items are pushed through at times when no one is there to argue about it. “If there’s an issue that has to be taken care of this meeting, put it up first. If there’s still stuff left over, finish the rest the next meeting. Essentially, for all intents and purposes, we’re leaving the public out of the whole thing,” she said.
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Utility Users Tax
Boggs was one of those that fought against the Utility Users Tax that was passed in 2009 in the form of Measure C. “Cut the spending, increase the tax was the gist of things. But they didn’t do that. And there was sort of hidden in the paper work,” she said. “At the time it was supposed expire at a certain time but they allowed it be extended if necessary. And so it continued. “Some of the companies like the refineries where they have a lot of tax, they put a cap on it where it didn’t go over a certain amount. Then they took away the cap. So, they’re paying big money. This is where you
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MOLAA Receives Grant to Expand Programs into Riverside, San Bernardino
LONG BEACH—The Museum of Latin American Art recently announced they received a $12,500 grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The grant will support the expansion of the Museum’s Aprende con MOLAA School Tours and Art Workshops program into Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The grant will also allow the Museum to provide gallery tours, art workshops and lunch to Inland Empire schools at no cost to more than 600 students. Currently, MOLAA serves an average of only one Inland Empire school per month, or nine during the academic year. “Even as educators have realized the importance of art education to overall academic success, deep cuts in funding have disabled many arts programs in our area schools,” said MOLAA’s President and CEO Stuart Ashman. “This grant allows the Museum to provide students in the Inland Empire with our signature arts education program, so critical in maximizing their future academic achievements.” Aprende con MOLAA is an important educational adjunct curriculum that meets and exceeds the State of California’s curriculum requirements for the visual arts and is available to Southern California schools.
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from p. 1
come to the polls.” For more than a generation, black Virginians, who make up 19 percent of the electorate, had every reason to feel the same way, but Carrico never seemed to notice, much less care about their lack of a voice. And, they never complained in quite the way that he is doing now. More importantly, they never took the next step that he did in December: introducing a bill to split up Virginia’s electoral college votes. In doing so, nine of them would have gone to Romney (one for every congressional district he carried, plus two more for winning the most districts). This, compared to four for Obama—a better than 2-to-1 Romney advantage, even though Obama won a majority of the popular vote in the state. But Republicans have lost the national popular vote in every election since 1992, except one, and the solid Red states like Virginia and North Carolina are turning into battlegrounds. They’re getting desperate and cheating is starting to look mighty good. Indeed, Carrico isn’t just some isolated nut. And other Republicans do a much better sales job than he. “I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in early January, adding the claim that it “gives more local control” to the states. But it’s only a select handful of states where Priebus and other Republicans seem to think it’s vitally important.
GOP Targets Six Blue States In Red Hands
Similar schemes have been put forward in five other states that Obama won, but which are completely controlled by Republicans at the state level. If all of them had had Carrico’s plan in place in the last election, Romney would be sitting in the White House right now, even though he lost the popular vote by almost 5 million votes.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, below, reportedly said converting to a district-based apportioning of votes in the Electoral College, “gives more local control.” File photo.
In December, the National Journal reported that “senior Republicans in Washington” were “overseeing legislation” to implement districtbased systems in the three bluest of these states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. And “in the long run,” they were eyeing Florida, Ohio, and Virginia as well. “You’d see a massive shift of electoral votes in states that are blue and fully [in] red control,” one anonymous senior Republican, described as “taking an active role in pushing the proposal” told the Journal. “There’s no kind of autopsy and outreach that can grab us those electoral votes that quickly,” he added. Of course, the popular vote loser has won the electoral college vote before—most recently in 2000. But under the existing system, these are rare flukes. The GOP’s new plans would turn a bug into a feature. “This is not a relatively small Electoral College ‘misfire’ on the order of 1888 or 2000,” wrote Larry Sabato, director of University of Virginia Center for Politics, the center’s “Crystal Ball” election prediction and analysis website. “Instead, it is a corrupt and cynical maneuver to
frustrate popular will and put a heavy thumb— the whole hand, in fact—on the scale for future Republican candidates. We do not play presidential politics with a golf handicap awarded to the weaker side.” Sabato’s harsh response was typical of the reaction these plans have met as the national media has belatedly noticed what Republicans are up to in these states. As a result, most of the proponents have beaten a hasty retreat. Carrico’s bill suffered a lopsided 11-4 ‘no’ vote in a key committee on Jan. 29, for example, while other state’s GOP leaders have signaled no desire to even go that far. But the GOP is in dire straits so far as presidential politics are concerned, so there’s a very real chance that these schemes could reappear much closer to the 2016 election, when non-
partisan voices like Sabato’s are drowned out by the daily campaign din, and Democrats have no time to organize an effective counter-move. We could, in short, be headed for a deliberately preplanned stolen election—not just in one state, as happened in Florida in 2000, but from a coordinated national effort. What makes Carrico’s scheme possible are two things: First, the Electoral College system itself allows states to allocate their votes in any way they see fit. There isn’t even a requirement that citizens be allowed to vote at all. State legislatures could simply select them directly—at least as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned. In fact, two states—Maine and Nebraska—already use a variant of Carrico’s scheme, assigning one electoral vote per district plus two for the overall winner of the popular vote. But unlike the large, diverse states recently contemplating the change, those homogeneous small-population states barely register any effect at all. Maine has used the system since 1972 and Nebraska since 1992, but only one electoral vote has ever been cast for a candidate who didn’t win the statewide vote. The second thing that makes Carrico’s scheme possible is the preexistence of extreme gerrymandering in the states involved. As Random Lengths reported immediately after the election, Obama carried the six states mentioned and narrowly lost North Carolina with an average margin of around three percent, while Republicans won the House seats from these states in a landslide, 7334, better than 2-1 Republican. Had these states had split their delegations 54-53, roughly in line with how their people voted, Democrats would have gained enough seats to retake control of the House. While there’s academic literature arguing that districting itself is to blame, simply because Democrats are more densely packed into urban areas, there are at least three things that argue against this view. First is the just-noted fact that only seven states account for virtually all the partisan imbalance. Second, there’s the dramatic shift in partisan imbalance that’s taken place so GOP Schemes to Rig The Vote/ to p. 17
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February 8 - 21, 2013
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Justice and Democracy The pillaging of the California Superior Courts James Preston Allen, Publisher
February 8 - 21, 2013
Serving the Seven Cities of the Harbor Area
I am afraid that at this point, most people look upon going to court in somewhat the same way they look at going to church. They only do it when they must, and even then, only under duress. When you think about it, courts and churches do have some striking similarities. Both have these large symbolic edifices with intimidating rooms of pomp and ritual where attendees sit in rows. One is refrained from approaching the altar, judicial or otherwise, unless invited and the officiators for either God or law all wear ceremonial robes. I could go on, but I think you get the point. Just as we have segregated God from pedestrian access, so too have we separated justice from the common civic experience. It’s about to get worse in our California justice system. Some of you have heard about the pending threat of San Pedro Courthouse’s closing due to state budget cuts. In a statement issued by Judge David S. Wesley, the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 11, “[the] annual budget shortfall of $195 million for [the] Los Angles Superior Court…confirms the need to move forward with the plan…to close 10 courthouses.” San Pedro is just one. This is just more of the unintended consequences of balancing the state budget while screwing the taxpayers. Let me explain. Several years ago, we were sold the idea that consolidating the municipal courts into the superior court system would create a more seamless legal system and contain costs. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the unelected Judicial Council who oversee the court’s funding runs this new and better system. Both seem to be perfectly inept at doing the job. For instance, in 2003 the AOC implemented a statewide computer project called the California Court Case Management System for an initial estimate of $250 million. That seemed like a reasonable attempt to update the court system. The AOC’s records now show that the full cost of the project is likely to reach a whopping $1.9 billion and the system has still yet to work. However, after objections from critics, the legislature terminated funding after spending $520 million. The other drain on the Superior Court budget is the exorbitant cost of constructing
new courthouses as reported by Judge David R. Lampe in the California Litigation journal as being between $523 and $747 per square foot. “The ‘poster child’ example of the AOC construction blundering may well be the…Long Beach courthouse… This crucial project is in jeopardy because the AOC failed to plan…for its cost,” Lampe wrote in 2012. It has later been explained that the privatepublic investment of this cathedral to justice in Long Beach will cost the State or the court system some $35 million a year for 35 years and is a large part of the reason maintenance issues at all other courts in the state are being deferred. This is because of the confusion as to how this will be paid. This monument to AOC incompetence is being heralded as, “The first social infrastructure project in the United States procured under the principles of PerformanceBased Infrastructure contracting. Under the infrastructure agreement, the Judicial Council of California (JCC) will own the building, and the Superior Court of Los Angeles County will occupy approximately 80 percent of the space. The JCC will pay LBJP (Long Beach Judicial Partners) an annual, performance-based service fee for 35 years.” In addition to this, the independent California Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the publicprivate partnership now building this $490 million Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach is going to cost $160 million more than it should because cost estimates were flawed. So the issue of losing just our local courthouse is now mushrooming into the statewide problem of AOC and JCC mismanagement of funds. This, while every citizen of the state knows that the cost of a single traffic violation gets quadrupled with court fees and administrative costs. Where’s all that money going anyway? Why is it that our candidates for city attorney have not come out to castigate the AOC for its incompetence and campaigned to save our courthouses? Why is it that the newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey hasn’t protested to the presiding judge of Los Angeles? And why is it that our own Councilman Joe Buscaino and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa haven’t lodged a complaint with the governor about the closure of our local courthouses—an action that will affect every citizen in the city? And why is it that we have not heard hew nor cry from every officer of the court, bailiff, lawyer and judge in the county calling for an official Publisher/Executive Editor James Preston Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
“A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.” —Mark Twain Vol. XXXIV : No. 3
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investigation and audit before the ax falls on our local courts? Moreover, the fundamental issue beyond the fiscal mismanagement and boondoggle of the Long Beach courthouse is that denying access
to justice is the equivalent of denying justice to those without local access. Once again we are seeing fiscal policy trumping our very liberty and civil rights. Will California’s justice system survive its own reorganization?
Guns & Drugs—
the American Dilemma By Michael West, Guest Columnist
America is at war with itself and it has always been. Ever since the killjoy Puritans left England in a huff because not everyone there would agree to their desire to forbid all music and dancing, and their subsequent attempt to make the exciting New World the dullest place on earth, Americans have been at war with each other over the concept of freedom. We Americans love freedom. But it’s usually our own selfish personal freedom, and we’re remarkably ungenerous in wanting to afford freedom to our fellow Americans. Right now two old wars have flared up. The war over the right to have guns and the right to have drugs. Engaged in these wars are people of extremes, as well as more moderate people, sensible people of good will who are trying to make some sort of sense out of highly complicated issues with no easy answers. On the extreme sides in the gun debate we have people who believe that all weapons, no matter how lethal, machine guns, napalm, portable atomic bombs should be readily available and sold in your local Seven-Eleven –
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to the other extreme, those who believe that guns along with sharp knives, sticks, skateboards and the running with scissors should be forbidden. Stuck in the middle are those who believe that having a small pistol at home to protect oneself from home invaders is not only a good idea but also a human right. People living in rural areas, where it might take police a half hour or an hour to arrive, especially feel this way. One woman I heard interviewed commented, “Why do we call the police? Because they come with guns. So why not just cut out the middleman and have one yourself? Why depend on others to do your dirty work for you?” Those in America who do not get a firm and happy erection at the sight of a gun, tend to explain their support for gun ownership from purely practical reasons. Guns, simply, are tools. And perhaps that famous practitioner of all things American, capitalistic and freedom-loving. Al Capone said it best: “You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” He was simply pointing out that in Dilemma/ to p. 10
Random Lengths News editorial office is located at 1300 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731, (310) 519-1016. Address correspondence regarding news items and news tips only to Random Lengths News, P.O. Box 731, San Pedro, CA 90733-0731, or email to editor @randomlengthsnews.com. Send Letters to the Editor or requests for subscription information to james @ randomlengthsnews.com. To be considered for publication, all Letters to the Editor should be typewritten, must be signed, with address and phone number included (these will not be published, but for verification only) and be kept to about 250 words. To submit advertising copy email email@example.com or reads@ randomlengthsnews.com. Extra copies and back issues are available by mail for $3 per copy while supplies last. Subscriptions are available for $35 per year for 27 issues. Random Lengths News presents issues from an alternative perspective. We welcome articles and opinions from all people in the Harbor Area. While we may not agree with the opinions of contributing writers, we respect and support their 1st Amendment right to express those opinions. Random Lengths News is a member of Standard Rates and Data Reporting Services and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. (ISN #0891-6627). All contents Copyright 2013 Random Lengths News. All rights reserved.
RANDOMLetters Two San Pedro Scribes
Where goes those two Men of talents bright Why the ink was flying from their pens Writing on through the night Those two guys composing to No writer’s block had they Anticipating their chosen words We awaited the coming day Those two renowned authors Gave us much in letter It mattered not the words they did sew But how their columns of essence did flow Making words their pictures Feeding us frame after frame Tank traveling along the coast Sam’s home-town-tales to entertain Now that they are together For eternity, so we are told We are sure they’ll swap a few stories About San Pedro’s days of old Jerry Brady San Pedro
On “Patriotic Spin”
Port of Los Angeles Public Notice
San Pedro is about diversity and the one word carries every bit of what one can imagine in a seaport city. From the waterways and into the rolling hills, there is a smell, an air and an impression. The impression is the basis of this letter; and there is a degrading of the city one has to see to fully understand. In walking along the streets of San Pedro, there is a strong evidence of a seaport and alongside the comings and goings of the huge vessels are the older sea captain homes mixed with the signs of buildings meant to show newer designs; both having company on the same blocks. In walking along the streets of San Pedro, there is also evidence of a new element; “street tag” or “street scat” or “graffiti” or whatever label one applies; there is a war going on. The city is, for all intents and purposes the place where a young generation is painting on anything and everything imaginable. Signs, poles, public utility boxes, spray paint, markers, even fingernail polish is being used to mark their territory. In my walks about San Pedro, I have noticed certain buildings, which are historically respected. And, today the ‘taggers’ stooped to a new low; the artist wrote his or her identity on a Church home reserved for the Nuns. That’s correct. The taggers outdid themselves in tagging a Nuns’ Home! How artwork which started in the slums of Central America made it into the hands of young people of California and onto a church, is something the Central American and South American community, needs to ask themselves; seriously ask themselves specific questions about. Street art is from the slums, the ghetto, and there is no pride, and no reasonable answer for degrading the House of God. And, each house, each street is part of God’s planet…not our planet… and I ask…the taggers…”Is this the way…you treat your God?” Sean Graham San Pedro
On March 5, the voters of Los Angeles will choose the top 3 leaders in City government. Voters will elect a new Mayor and a new City Controller. They’ll also decide whether to retain or to replace the current City Attorney. In addition to these 3 citywide races, voters will also choose 6 new Council members and decide whether incumbents in two Council Districts should be retained As the official Trouble-Finder at City Hall, I will be following all these races. And I’ll report my views / observations in this column. In line with that commitment, I’ll begin my election reporting with a few comments about the Controller’s race. Six controller candidates qualified for Primary Election. Their names will be on the March 5 ballot: Analilia Joya, Disability Advocate/Teacher; Dennis P. Zine, Los Angeles City Councilman; Ankur Patel, Student/ Labor Organizer; Jeff Bornstein, Business Owner; Cary Brazelman, Local Company Executive; and Ron Galperin, Efficiency Commissioner/Businessman. Of the 6 candidates, one— Dennis P. Zine— is an insider. That gives him a very big advantage over the other candidates. While on the city payroll, Zine launched his campaign for the Controller’s
Office; he raised money, got endorsements, etc. Moreover, Candidate Zine’s Council District employs 18 fulltime council aides. They’re on the city payroll, but they work for him. He hired those aides himself— without benefit of a civil service examination. They’re accountable only to him. Only he knows what those 18 aides do on the job; only he knows the extent to which what they do actually serves to advance his political career. As a councilman, Dennis P. Zine chaired the Council’s
Personnel Committee. His duty— clearly stated in the Charter Section 242(b)—was to become fully informed on the City’s personnel function, and to report to the Council any information or recommendations necessary for the Council to legislate properly. The fact is, Chairman Zine ignored his Charter-mandated duty. He knew the City’s $4,000,000,000 workforce was mismanaged. He was fully aware that City departments were using wasteful employment practices. Samuel Sperling Monterey Park
February 8 - 21, 2013
The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will host a public meeting to discuss a proposed project, Feb. 21, at 8:30 a.m. The Los Angeles Harbor Department plan to raise eight cranes 26 feet, to service larger ships at West Basin Container Terminal. Those that are unable to attend, may send a letter to 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, CA 90731, stating what they would like to share. The report will be available for review after 5 p.m. on Feb. 15. Details: (310) 732-3850; www. portoflosangeles.org Venue: Port of Los Angeles Board Room Location: 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro
Dear Mr. Schaper, I do stand corrected on the source of “We the people,” but nothing else in your ongoing critique of my editorials. For one thing, Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any president in 100 years. That you wish to use these pages and me as a foil for your uber-self righteous arrows of misguided interpretation of The Constitution, Obama and progressivism, only shows your true lack historical perspective or perhaps depth of reading. I also find it quite overly inaccurate that you claim progressives don’t have any respect for the Constitution, for it is historical fact that it has been the liberal or progressive trends that liberated American blacks from the
An Unfair Campaign For City Controller
The Local Publication You Actually Read
Attempting to diminish the “patriotic spin” of the 2013 Presidential inauguration, Random Lengths News editor James Preston Allen distorted the fundamental principles of our nation and misrepresented President Obama’s rhetoric in contrast to reality. “We the People” does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, but in the United States Constitution, our nation’s unifying charter, a document for which President Obama and all other progressives have no respect. Then again, one can only expect this confusion of language and legacy from those who claim that
the “heart of the liberal democratic agenda” defines the spirit of the United States Constitution. So fatuous and unsubstantiated a statement cannot go unchecked. “We the People” sought a more perfect union, not “Big Government;” enumerated powers, not unlimited power; promoting the general welfare, not expanding the Welfare State. Instead of upholding the Constitution, Obama has held it in high disregard. His legislation frequently falls outside the framework of the Constitution’s enumerated powers (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank. He dismisses Congressional checks and balances. The “first black President” issued 139 executive orders and has appointed 38 executive Czars unaccountable to Congress. The other “first black President” Bill Clinton signed executive orders and appointed Czars, as did Bush II, but at least Clinton balanced budgets and enacted welfare reform, while Bush cut taxes. President Obama has not “wrapped himself in the patriotism of the flag and God,” as Allen alleges. Obama has warped the Constitution into tattered into a blackened rag of itself. “We the People” should not sit by in a Messianic trance because “hope and change” Obama has done his own “un-patriot spin” on the Presidency, compromising both our liberty and security. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to President Obama on January 20 while the portrait of “Founding Father” James Madison was overlooking both of them. One would expect “The Father of the Constitution” to roll his eyes or roll over in his grave. Beyoncé may have lip-synced the “Star Spangled Banner,” but President Obama was lying through his teeth when he recited the Presidential oath of office. Arthur Christopher Schaper Torrance
evils of slavery, given equal rights to women and is now leading the way for gay marriage among other historic advancements not clearly enunciated in the Constitution but amended to it. Even further, the fact that the Constitution can be amended can be seen that it was intended for the further expansion of human rights and of obligations of the state to the people, as we deem necessary. The long arch of history didn’t end with the ratification of our Constitution and Bill of Rights but continues as a living document to reconsider on contemporary terms. James Preston Allen Publisher
from p. 9
any deadlocked situation a gun is a tie-breaker. Might always makes right. Another reason for the popularity of guns in America is the idea that they are the executors of the ultimate justice. Hollywood did not originate the idea of guns as judgment day, but it certainly has packaged and sold it to the whole world. And the same people all around the world who scornfully decry the primitive and vulgar aspects of American culture nonetheless love the exploits of John Wayne and Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger. America’s commercialization of violence has been and continues to be a resounding success, as sadly proven by the fact that arms and Hollywood action movies are America’s two biggest export successes. The idea of guns as justice in these movies is best illustrated by the fact that in every movie the
hero must kill the villain. It is not enough to be captured or even badly wounded before being taken away to jail to spend many decades locked in a cage. No, audiences demand to see the villain die, and to suffer as much as possible as he dies. Trial by jury and incarceration please no audiences. An eye for an eye is still demanded by the descendants of puritan America (...and don’t Danish viewers prefer it, too?). The debate over drug possession is perhaps less heated in America but nonetheless quite extreme at times. On one hand we have the puritans who want to keep all socalled narcotics illegal—and a few of them even long for the days when alcohol, too was prohibited. At the other extreme there are those who would like to see pot, coke, L.S.D. and heroin sold at every gas station and McDonalds. For these people freedom to choose is everything, and any possibly unfortunate effects of widely available drugs, even on our children, is of negligible or no real importance, they say. The advocates of free pot, for example point out that not one person has ever been reliably reported to have died from pot smoking—from subsequent
car accidents, yes—but not directly from pot smoking, while countless millions have died from tobacco and alcohol. They also point out that insane areas of America, like Texas, once gleefully handed out 10-year prison sentences for the possession of just one joint. How, the free pot advocates ask, could pot possibly be as dangerous as such a crazy and cruel legal system? Opponents of pot usage, however, usually make the point that experimenting with pot will all too often lead to the experimentation with more addictive and debilitating drugs. Predictably the debate over guns and drugs all too often lines up with a Right Wing-Left Wing chasm. A majority, but not all, of the most rabid gun freedom advocates, tend to vote Republican, often voicing fear of—and contempt for—the government. “We need guns,” they often say, “to protect us from a tyrannical Washington” as if automatic rifles of even the largest caliber will successfully fend off a Pentagon armed with drones, tanks and tactical nuclear weapons. On the free pot side its advocates usually vote Democratic, favoring a strong central government that tells us how to keep water and food
February 8 - 21, 2013
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pure, but otherwise stays the hell away from our bodies. New York’s mayor Bloomberg’s advocacy of stricter gun controls is appreciated by those on the left, but his efforts to forbid public sale of large container sugary sodas has had a more mixed reception from freedom loving lefties. His intentions are good, we lefties agree, but his methods seem silly and ineffectual. Which is how the defenders of gun possession would describe gun opponents’ suggested solutions—silly and ineffectual. Just as the opponents of the war on drugs in America point out that despite billions spent on the decades-old war on drugs you can still buy them on nearly any street corner at ever cheaper prices, the advocates of gun ownership could, if they wanted, point out a war on guns would be equally ineffectual. Why continue a hopeless battle, they could well argue, but they generally don’t. For the gun-loving portion of the right wing in America is still bound by the puritanical dictates of fundamental religion, in which sex and pleasure, pornography and the
intoxicants brought to our shores by darkskinned people—as opposed to brewers and distillers from white Europe—continue to be a taboo. So they never equate gun freedom with drug freedom. Only a tiny minority in America, often calling themselves Libertarians, favors both the legalizing of all drugs as well as the continued legalizing of most guns. Perhaps the reason, however, that Libertarians remain so few in number, is the fact that in order to be consistent in their proclaimed desire of freedom from government nanny state dictates, they are forced to say, “Yes we want private roads only, private schools only, private fire departments, private police forces. All taxes and government organization is oppressive!” Thankfully, such extreme independent thinking doesn’t go well in America, as most Americans know quite well that to live under such a truly dog-eat-dog scheme would require great effort and constant alertness—something few Americans are prepared for at length. Our laziness fortunately in this case inclines us to prefer as little effort as possible.
Longevity from p. 5
“African Americans at the time, if you weren’t involved in sports, you were involved in gangs,” Clayton remembers. “That’s why Gil came to us and asked us to see what we could do to keep some children from gang activity in North Carson. And, it did.” At the time Clayton was working as a recreational director and basketball coach at Victoria Park and was involved with the Paul Robeson Players in Compton. He also had appeared in a few Hollywood movies. He got involved in acting at his high school in Illinois and moved to California in hopes of furthering his acting career. “After we [the city] incorporated, he came to me as a council member, asking my assistance in preparing a city effort,” Smith said. “He wanted to bring the program into the city, a Parks and Recreation program.... Over the years he’s had a different concept of the program... Depending on council politics or philosophies on how it meets the needs of the city, but we’ve always given the program some support to the youngsters in the community.” “Apollo West is not a youth program, it’s a community program,” Clayton clarifies, noting that adults and seniors take part in the plays as well. Former Apollo West player, Elesia Session, first performed with the company, when she was 13. “It was a wonderful experience,” she recalls. She had no dance skills but she loved the dance training she got. “It kept me out of trouble as a kid,” she said. She’s now a foster mother and takes her kids to the shows. Eventually, the city established a fine arts committee, later a commission, to deal with Apollo West and other cityfunded arts programs. Apollo West was incorporated as a non-profit in 1977, with
Founder and president of the Apollo West Players, Marvin Clayton. Photo: Terelle Jerricks.
a volunteer board of directors drawn from participating parents and seniors. Clayton now expresses bitterness over how, during the 70s and 80s, some other city arts programs were getting as much as $100,000 annually, while Apollo West might get between $28,000 and $44,000 if they were funded at all. He says he and then-council member Kay Calas didn’t get along, going so far as to suggest racism as one possible motivation for her consistent refusal to fund Apollo West at the same level as some other programs. The situation forced Apollo West to be heavily dependent on private donations, including from area businesses. “We got very little but because of our longevity, we got something,” Clayton says of more recent budget battles. “One thing Mayor [Jim] Dear did was that he— a few years ago—brought us up to $35,000.” Then along came the recent city budget deficit crisis. “I guess it was good in a way, that we had to do it the way we done it because what happened with the other programs,” says Clayton, “When the city cut the arts from its budget while trying to reduce its deficit about five years ago… Those [other] programs went out of business… but we had enough to keep going.” Details: (310) 212-7955, (310) 741-1942.
Brings Pacific Rim Cuisine Chef to San Pedro by: Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Blu continued on page 12.
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lu Restaurant & Lounge Executive Chef Bryan Achay is a member of the Chaine Res Rotisseurs, the world’s oldest international gastronomic society. The society traditions that go back nearly 800 years to Paris, and only the crème ala crème of chefs are chosen to become a member of this society. “They do their research first,” Achay explained. “They send two people [grand master chefs] from France to your location and see your work. “What you get in return? You get a life time membership, a badge, and bragging rights.” The 39 year-old chef has been at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel’s Blu Restaurant & Lounge for the past 10 months, bringing his Pacific Rim cuisine to the Harbor Area. The most popular item on the menu are incredibly meaty and tender beef short ribs. And his style pays particular attention to fresh, locally sourced food and sauces with minimal use of salt. Achay exudes humility but name drops in casual conversation as if it were the most natural thing there is in the world. In a discussion about how he formulated Pacific Rim cuisine, Achay said fellow chefs inspired him over drinks in a downtown bar in Hawaii. They just happened to be the Hawaiian Regional Founding Fathers such as Chef Roy Yamaguchi, Chef Alan Wong, and Chef Donato Loperfido—all superstars in the culinary world. Achay’s, aim was to have different countries represented on a single plate, countries mostly represented in the Pacific Rim. Both French and Italian cuisine is represented as a result of the fact that both are global cuisines. One of his major signature dishes is the
Blu Restaurant & Lounge Executive Chef Bryan Achay shows off his signature short ribs. Photo by Terelle Jerricks
February 8 – 21, 2013 February 8 – 21, 2013
continued from page 11
Blu: Pacific Rim
Mauka and Makai, which includes a braised rib in soy sauce and mango. This is a really high quality and meaty piece of beef that’s been cooked for four-and-a-half hours. “You don’t need a fork,” Achay said. It just falls off the bone.” Achay wasn’t just saying that. He utilizes chimiculli sauce (an Argentinian pesto sauce), the mango and soy sauce for the beef rib, and a Japanese vegetable sauce called concoksu in this dish. When they mix together,
they give a flavor punch to every item on the dish, whether it’s the two braised jumbo shrimps, the interesting breaded potato croquet that combines Japanese breading techniques with Italian herbs and spices, or even the already tasty beef rib. Achay employs chimiculli sauce and Argentinian pesto sauce. A military brat originally based in California, Achay’s path to becoming a chef was laid at the age of 20, when he visited an elder brother who was stationed in Japan. The visit was just supposed to be for two weeks. Those two weeks turned into four years. His sister-in-law, who was originally from Long Beach and adept at
Southern cuisine persuaded Achay to help out at a child development center on base. While there, he became a cook. His boss, the galley chef at the center, saw potential in Achay and invited him to be his student at his sushi restaurant that was just 10 minutes away. “This was just a small mom and pops restaurant,” Achay said. “It’s just that the passion was there, no matter what.” The result was that Achay received traditional Japanese training as a chef. He noted the strictness of the traditional Japanese chefs under which he studied by recalling a mistake he once made while cutting fresh fish. The mistake earned him a slap
upside the head and three months of washing sushi rice. After four years training in Japan, he moved to Hawaii and was able to work with a number of master chefs, including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, from the popular Japanese TV cooking show Iron Chef and its spin off, Iron Chef America. Morimoto is known for his unique style of presenting food. He runs a unit at Trump Hotel. He was offered a job in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, but ultimately turned it down. On his way back home to Hawaii, he stayed with family in California and decided to stay. Blu continued on page 15.
February 8 – 21, 2013
Later This Month
Support Your Community. Shop Local!
Japanese Restaurant Sushi Bar 380 W. 6th St. • 832-5585
IN MY LIFE: A MUSICAL THEATRE TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES
Feb 23 | 8pm An award-winning musical biography of THE BEATLES. $40, $25 & $20 • inmylife.brownpapertickets.com
GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT: Sex and the City (2008)
Feb 15 | 8pm Girls just wanna have fun, right? Plan a night out once a month with your girlfriends for dinner and a movie. Single tickets $8 / series subscription ($56) includes tiramisu & a glass of wine for subscribers. GrlsNtOut.brownpapertickets.com
GREAT COMPOSERS TRIBUTE: THE MUSIC OF ALAN SILVESTRI
Feb 16 | 8pm Golden State Pops Orchestra presents works by the Grammy and Golden Globe nominated composer including: Back to the Future, Father of the Bride, Night at the Museum and more. $60 - $21 www.gspo.com
2nd ANNUAL MC STUDENT VIDEO & ANIMATION FESTIVAL February 21 | 7pm Marymount College presents animated and live short films fresh from the minds of MC students. FREE! www.marymountpv.edu
CHEN YING RESCUES THE ORPHAN Feb 22 | 8pm Direct from Studio 54 in NYC, this fully-staged opera in two acts tells a tale of treachery, bravery, fidelity and ultimately revenge. Sung completely in Chinese with English supertitles. $29 - $160 firstname.lastname@example.org
478 W. 6th St. • Historic Downtown San Pedro • 310.548.2493
Entertainment February 10
Almeidas’ Historic Romance by: Arthur R. Vinsel, Contributing Writer
“See that girl there?” he asked classmate Charlie Gonzales as Irene passed by. “I’m going to marry her.”
Shakeh In Motion Singer-songwriter Shakeh will perform with local celloist Brian Asher and percussionist Dwain Roque doing their unique brand of Adult Contemporary Eclectic music starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Croatian Cultural Center in San Pedro. The event is a benefit for the San Pedro Kiwanis Club. Suggested donation is $10. Details: (310) 559-2002; www.shakeh.com Venue: Croatian Cultural Center Location: 510 W. 7th. St., San Pedro
James Clay Garrison Pro Jam Harvelle’s presents James Clay Garrison, Feb. 12, at 9:30 p.m. James Clay Garrison has been a guitarist and vocalist since an early age and is recognized, has played with and for famous musicians, artists and companies. Tickets are $5. Two drink minimum purchase will be required. Details: (562) 239-3700; longbeach.harvelles.com Venue: Harvelle’s Long Beach Location: 201 E. Broadway, Long Beach
Mike Guerrero Trio The Whale and Ale will host the Mike Guerrero Trio, Feb. 13, from 7 to 11 p.m. The Mike Guerrero Trio will perform the first set and then musicians can sign up and request to perform. Details: (310) 833-1589; www.godmotherssaloon. com Venue: Godmother’s Saloon Location: 302 W. 7th St., San Pedro Whiteboy James and the Blues Express Harvelle’s will be hosting Whiteboy James and the Blues Express, Feb. 13, at 9:30 p.m. Whiteboy James and his band rock the house. Tickets will be on sale for $5. A 2-drink minimum purchase will be enforced and nobody younger than 21 will be allowed. Details: (562) 239-3700; longbeach.harvelles.com Venue: Harvelle’s Long Beach Location: 201 E. Broadway, Long Beach
Biceratops Alex’s Bar presents Biceratops, Feb. 15, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Biceratops is pioneering a new type of music called, moment of conception music. The band describes it as music being created by musicians on the spot. Tickets will be $8 and a 21-year-old age limit will be enforced. Details: (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com Venue: Alex’s Bar Location: 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach
ACE: Arts • Culture • Entertainment
“Did she ever give him arried 63 years in the devil!,” Irene recalled, August, San Pedro natives laughing despite her longand Harbor Area authorago outrage. historians Art and Irene Señora Grant was so Almeida weren’t exactly angry at her trusted security childhood sweethearts, but lieutenant’s betrayal that good friends. she never checked to see The only one who came to whom the homework between them was their belonged, because both autocratic, fire-breathing were good students. high school Spanish teacher, The two didn’t speak Señora Judy Grant, who for a while, but Art was brooked no nonsense from patient. multilingual classes with Irene might have been foreign-born parents. Her word was law in any Art and Irene Almeida. Photo by Arthur more forgiving had she known what her special tongue. She demanded total R. Vinsel. friend confided to a pal on a 1944 spring school silence if she left the room for even a moment. day. She trusted elected class president, young Arturo Almeida, to enforce discipline in her absence. He was a good and dutiful boy. “I was a smart-alecky kid,” Art observes with a gruff chuckle, as Irene raises her eyebrows at her longshoreman mate, who loved school and learning, but worked 44 years on the docks. When Señora Grant excused and stepped out. Silence reigned, except for the clock. No one even winked or rolled their eyes. “Let me see your homework,” Art whispered. Irene slid it over, without thinking. Suddenly with a swish of skirts, Señora Grant swept back into the classroom, certain mischief was afoot in defiance of her authority. “What’s going on in here?” she demanded. “She (Irene) is just checking my homework,” Art gallantly declared, taking the blame for their crimes and misdemeanors but roping in Irene, no matter her innocence, then handing her papers back.
Jazzedelics Alva’s Showroom presents Jazzedelics, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m. Singer, Tony Jones and guitarist, Doug Perkins, experiment with the simple idea: if rock stars from the 60s played in a jazz framework, how would it sound? Tickets will be $15. Details: (800) 403-3447; www.alvasshowroom.com Venue: Alva’s Showroom Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
Calendar continued on page 15.
February 8 – 21, 2013
• Happy Hour • Blu Bar at Crowne Plaza • $4 Drinks and half off appetizers. (310) 519-8200, 601 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro The Chowder Barge • Try the 34oz. captain’s mug! (310) 830-7937, 611 N. Henry Ford, Leeward Bay Marina, Wilmington Godmother’s Saloon • Live jazz from Mike Guerrero Trio: 7 p.m. every Wed. (310) 833-1589, 302 W. 7th St., San Pedro Iron City Tavern • Happy Hour 1/2-price appetizers & drink specials: 4 to 6 p.m. Mon. to Fri. 589 W. 9th St., San Pedro; (310) 547-4766
Friday & Saturday 10am–11:30pm
1110 N. Gaffey St., San Pedro
February 8 – 21, 2013
Support Your Community. Shop Local!
Ports o’ Call • Happy Hour: Mon. to Fri., 3 to 8 p.m. Taco Tuesdays. Oyster shooter & bloody mary Wednesdays. (310) 833-3553, Berth 76 Ports O’ Call Village, San Pedro San Pedro Brewing Co. • Happy Hour: 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., Mon. to Fri. (310) 8315663, 331 W. 6th St., San Pedro Trusela’s • Happy Hour: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tues. to Sat. (310) 547-0993, 28158 S. Western Ave., San Pedro Whale & Ale • Happy Hour: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Mon to Fri., 4 to 7 p.m. on Wed. Late Night Happy Hour: 10 p.m. to Midnight, Fri. Only. (310) 832-0363, 327 W. 7th St., San Pedro Happy Hour Listings Are Paid Advertising
The Legendary Fingerpicking Skills of Tommy Emmanuel Emmanuel in Concert Feb. 7th at The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center by: B. Noel Barr, Music Writer Dude
The man known worldwide as The Wizard
continued from page 12
Blu: Pacific Rim
Emmanuel was a child prodigy who took to the guitar like a duck to water at a very early age. Emmanuel played in the family band until his father suddenly died. Emmanuel’s mother taught him and his brother Phil, also a prodigy, how to play the guitar and by ear no less. Tommy never learned to read music. The Kalbi Burger with pepper jack cheese on a pretzel bun in extremely flavorful. The Kalbi ground beef patty is marinated in a sauce consisting of sesame oil and soy sauce, onions, pears, sugar and water for 24 hours, giving the paddy a slightly sweet but flavorful taste. Don’t even dare put ketchup on it. It doesn’t need it. And perhaps more importantly, he aims for diners to get a whole lot of bang for their buck. On Valentines Day, Achay will be presenting a three course chef’s tasting menu. Starting with a berry in love salad, which includes locally harvested mixed greens with sage and seasonal berries in a champagne vinaigrette. Then for the entreé Magua and Makai, which means “land” and “sea” in Hawaiian. This dish will include an 8-ounce New York Steak, a potato croquet, which is a Japanese version of the mash potato but is shaped into a seafood cake and is finished off with concoksu sauce. Then there will be the fresh seasonal vegetables purple cauliflower and orange cauliflower and three colors snow
Tommy Emmanuel continued on page 16.
GFP, Wrong Beach, Last of the Bad Men GFP, Wrong Beach and the Last of the Bad Men will be performing at Alex’s Bar, Feb. 16, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets will be $7 and nobody younger than 21 will be allowed. Details: (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com Venue: Alex’s Bar Location: 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach Trio Ellas The Trio Ellas will perform at the Grand Annex Theatre, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. This trio hosts three women who are romantic and mariachi singers. Tickets will cost $20 at the door and $15 in advance. You can also purchase a ticket in the VIP section for $30. Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandvision.org/ Venue: Grand Annex Theatre Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro The Music of Alan Silvestri The Golden State Pops Orchestra will be playing music by composer Alan Silvestri, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Alan is a Grammy and Golden Globe nominated composer. Details: (310) 548-7672; www.warnergrand.org Venue: The Warner Grand Theatre Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
Howard Alden and Brandon Bernstein Alva’s showroom will host Howard Alden and Brandon Bernstein, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. Both men are guitarist and will be playing to a jazzy tune. Ticket prices are $20 and $10 with a student identification card. Details: (800) 403-3447; www.alvasshowroom.com Venue: Alva’s Showroom Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro Paul Smith Trio The Paul Smith Trio will play at the Grand Annex Theatre, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. Paul Smith is a pianist and conductor, who will be playing traditional jazz themed music alongside his trio. Tickets will be $25 at the door and $20 in advance. VIP seating can be purchased for $35 at the door and $30 in advanced. Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandvision.org Venue: Grand Annex Theatre Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro Erth’s Petting Zoo The Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation will host Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. The show brings you back to the prehistoric days of dinosaurs in Australia. Adults and children can come observe and learn all about an amazing variety of dinosaurs and beasts. Tickets will cost $20 and $18. Details: (310) 781-1717 Venue: James Armstrong Theatre Location: 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance
Community/Family February 9
peas, rainbow carrots and black tiger shrimp in chimiculli sauce. For desert, there will be coutre coffee cake. The coutre coffee cake has no dairy products: no eggs, no milk, and no butter. Its cappuccino coffee cake to be exact, finished with a raspberry combo. All for the low price of $22.95 plus tax. He may even throw in some sorbet as a pallet cleanser. On Feb. 9, the Crowne Plaza will be relaunching Blu Restaurant & Lounge and will be inviting a number of special guests. They are launching a soft opening on First Thursday on Feb. 7. just to test the waters. To think that Achay takes public transit from his home in Hollywood to San Pedro, somebody needs to buy him a house in town and throw him a block party, just for helping accentuate what makes this Harbor Area town great: its diversity and great food.
Junior Biologist: Marine Mammals The Aquarium of the Pacific will host the Junior Biologist: Marine Mammals, Feb. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Junior Biologist program is to encourage marine biology to younger children. This will be a two-hour class including theme related activities, guided tour of the galleries and interaction with the animal-care staff. Tickets will cost $24 a child and $19for members of the aquarium. Those prices are not included with aquarium admission. Pre-registration is required for this class. Children ages 7 to 12 are allowed to participate only. Details: (562) 951-1630; www.aquariumofpacific.org Venue: Aquarium of the Pacific Location: 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach Calendar continued on page 16.
February 8 – 21, 2013
The result of Achay training is 10 years experience in Japanese cuisine, four years in Italian cuisine, and three years in French cuisine— not to forget that he has a Chaine Res Rotisseurs badge. And, the work and dedication he’s put into his craft shows. His dedication is reflected even in the house salad. The Crowne salad comes with pucci apples cherry tomatoes, edame pods and bean sprouts with mustard vinaigrette, house-made apple dressing that involves balsamic vinegar reduction. The apple dressing in addition to the balsamic sauce was sweet and slightly tangy. Interestingly enough, there’s a lot on his menu that is actually fast food or comfort food. He explained that even though he has worked at a lot of high end restaurants, he still eats at McDonalds or small hole-in-the-wall places, which explains the Kalbi Burger.
The Early Years
Calendar from page 13.
ACE: Arts • Culture • Entertainment
of OZ and two-time Grammy winner will be in town for one night only at The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Hailing from Australia, Tommy Emmanuel has set a very high bar for musicianship. His ability to make his guitar play lead, rhythm, bass and percussion in a skillful display of superior musicianship is beyond reproach. Listen to his CD Little by Little and you will hear an unbelievable recording of one man and his guitar. While he was heading toward a date in Aspen, Co., Random Lengths News talked with Tommy by phone about Mitch Chang of Kala Koa Entertainment and The Los Angeles Guitar Festival that is producing this show. “It’s always a well-organized event, well publicized and a great audience always,” Emmanuel said of the shows that Chang produces. My son had told me about Tommy Emmanuel on one of his visits to San Pedro. Shortly after, we saw Emmanuel play at the first Los Angeles Guitar Festival. That was a mind-blowing experience, seeing this man play guitar. We asked Emmanuel “Why had we not heard of him?”
Emmanuel with a note of regret said he heard that question much too often. “Yeah, this takes time to [get] known around the place” Emmanuel plays a style of guitar made famous by the late Chet Atkins, also known as Travis Picking (named after country star, Merle Travis). Being an instrumentalist, his audience falls outside the current pop trends. Despite that point, the Grammy winner creates music that is fun, timeless and sublime, while selling out shows around the world. “For me, it’s such a joy and a lot of fun being on stage.” He said. “I think I’m at my best when I’m performing. I love being in the moment performing for the people, that is the name of the game.”
“The music part was fun, but there was a lot of traveling as well,” Emmanuel said of the time performing with his family.” “This is the early 60s, and there was a long distance between towns (in Australia). A lot of bad roads, and not very good cars,” Emmanuel recalled. “It is different now,” Emmanuel says of his life as solo performer. “A lot of times we are flying to do a show. [We] get there and back flying to the next. We are out there trying to make people’s lives better.” Emmanuel said his miss those days when he performed with Phil, but not as much as he thought he would. “I have lots of projects I’m working on and I’m touring,” Emmanuel explained. Emmanuel plays at more than 300 dates a year. “When we get together we (he and Phil) just pick up where we left off,” Emmanuel said. “I am constantly trying to make my songs better by continually honing them down. Even songs that I have played for a long time, I try to hone them and make them better. I would not play anything that I did not really love and enjoy playing. It’s all about everybody having a good time, including me!” Emmanuel developed his own fingerpicking style, since he didn’t have anyone to show him when he was a kid. “It was not until I was around playing for awhile that I heard someone playing in that style,” Emmanuel explained. “There was this man named Bob Clark who was playing as I was with a flat pick and fingers. Then I saw a picture of Chet Atkins using a thumb pick. I knew [what] I had to do then. It made it a lot easier and gave me a better feeling with it.” So, basically, Emmanuel wasn’t on the floor working out of Chet Atkins’ book. “I wouldn’t know what to do with a Chet Atkins book,” Emmanuel said laughingly. “I don’t read music. I would just look at the pictures. I guess I was so inspired and so passionate about what I was doing. I was not going to quit until I had it right. That is how it has always been with me. When I got a little older I got Chet’s albums and Jerry Reed, and Merle Haggard did I work this style to the best of my ability.”
Calendar continued from page 15.
5 Gyres: Saving our Synthetic Seas The Aquarium of the Pacific will host 5 Gyres: Saving our Synthetic Seas, Feb. 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Experts will discuss their work to study plastic in the ocean, as you walk around an exhibition on the global impact of plastic on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Tickets will be $5, but free of charge for marine members. Details: (562) 951-1630; www.aquariumofpacific.org Venue: Aquarium of the Pacific Location: 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach
Theater/Film February 9
Tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival The Grand Annex Theatre will be hosting Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. This performance will in tribute of the rock band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. If you didn’t get a chance to catch any of their live performances, this is the closest you’re going to get. Tickets will be on sale for $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandvision.org Venue: The Grand Annex Theatre Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro
Support Your Community. Shop Local!
The Muse & The History Man Gary DeWitt Marshall & Dark Blue Mondaze Showcase Theatre Series proudly presents two one-act plays, The Muse and The History Man, written by Leslie Perry honoring Black History Month which will preview on Sunday, February 10 at 5:00 p.m. and opens on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 and runs Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24, 2013 (Saturdays at 8 p.m./Sundays at 5 p.m.) The Light House of the Community which features performances of historical, social, civic, and cultural relevance to the City of Long Beach. Venue: The Manazar Gamboa Community Theatre Location: 1323 Gundry Ave., Long Beach Wakana Hanayagi Dance Recital The Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization presents the Wakana Hanayagi Dance Recital, Feb. 10, at 2:30 p.m. The price on the tickets will be $35. Details: (310) 781-1717 Venue: James Armstrong Theatre Location: 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance
Tusd’s 14th Annual Dance Collaboration Effort The West High School Dance Department present Tusd’s 14th Annual Dance Collaboration Effort, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m Tickets will be on sale for $10 and $8 apiece. This event will also take place on Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Details: (310) 781-1717 Venue: James Armstrong Theatre Location: 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance
February 8 – 21, 2013
Girl’s Night Out The Warner Grand Theatre presents ‘Girl’s Night Out,’ Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. This event is intended for female companions to spend time together, watching female related movies over dinner. The movie to be shown on this night, will be Sex and the City. Tickets will be on sale for $8. Details: (310) 548-7672; www.warnergrand.org Venue: The Warner Grand Theatre Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
Movie Night The San Pedro Public LIbrary will be hosting Movie Night at 6 p.m. Bring your family to the library and enjoy a movie. Shows may be canceled at any given time because of shortages in films, so call on the day to make sure the movie will be screened. Details: (310) 548-9779; http://www.lapl.org Venue: San Pedro Library 16 Location: 931 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro
Salt Marsh Open House The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium presents Salt Marsh Open House, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join marine educators to learn about the Salinas de San Pedro wetlands habitat at Cabrillo Beach, by using binoculars and microscopes to observe live animals. This event is free of charge. Details: (310) 548-7562; www. cabrillomarineaquarium.org Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro
Taking Refuge with DJ Terence Toya by: Melina Paris, Contributing Music Writer
os Angeles disc jockey, Terence Toy, loves house music so much that he also goes by the moniker Terence House Toy. He started spinning house tracks in the early 1980s when this music was progressing rapidly through major East Coast cities. His approach to his craft is unique, artistic, deep and soulful. It is the key to how he has made a prominent name for himself throughout California and across the country and abroad. Released in January, Refuge 8, Air Dawn Water Autumn is a compilation of songs that Toy arranged. The name was created from a series of parties he and friends used to throw, in part, for house music fans to seek refuge within this music. This is the eighth in a series but Toy has about 20 CDs under his belt. From the start Refuge 8 provides what its name implies, transporting you to a joyous place. The tracks are engineered with remarkable clarity. The beats, electronics, vocals and even more sounds come through individually. Toy does a masterful job of mixing them together, to construct inspiring rhythms. I notably enjoyed well over half of this album with 13 songs in all. Here are some of my favorites. The first two tracks grabbed me immediately. The vocals in the first song, “How’s Life,” sung by The Society, reminded me of the artist Lil’ Louie from one of the first house music tapes (yes, this music goes back) I had. “How’s Life,” is made up of jazzy notes consisting in part of the sounds of vibraphone, saxophone and organ. Smooth background vocals give this song a melodious funky groove with each instrumental sound laid over the last fluidly. The build into the next track “Heavenly” sung by Dana Weaver is seamless. Toy has great skill in elevating dancers into the perfect groove. I’ve come to expect this kind of transition from one cut to the next from him as well and he doesn’t disappoint, I have now completely embarked on this journey with Toy and it’s a blissful trip, which is what deep house music is about. “Vida Verde” by John Crocket, starts off with a light freestyle bass and clap. With an added Latin percussive beat and keys. The blending of
vocals here adds richer layers and deeper notes on the keys give depth to the intensity of the beats per minute. With bongo drum beats building and teasing you into a frenzy Toy delivers you right into the next cut, “Bongo Conga” by The Prayer laying out thumping rhythms and escalating the tempo with sounds of cymbals and tambourines. Mixing vocals in what sounds almost like monks chanting, Toy lifts your spirit into the cosmos. Toy creates a mood and emotion on the dance floor and this carefully crafted skill is expressed in this album as well. He starts with a great groove, lifting you up, getting real funky escalating higher and bringing the dancer into a whole new dimension. It’s just the same on the next cut, “AfroMa Therapy” by Ongaku, you are now in a jungle. Vocals are carried over from the last number and laid out on top of electronics that mimic musical and animal sounds you might imagine while in a tropical forest with birds calling, drums beating and the sound of maracas shaking. “Set Me Free” by Xoli starts with a slow build. The smooth background vocals and beats invite you to float like a cloud on the rhythm. Soulful keys and the sounds of string instruments mixed in draw you into a deeper groove. “Master Blaster Jammin,” by Toy, features Jairus Johnson. Toy layers vocals like an echo on top of each other with bongos, bass, clap, vibraphone and more. This is a fun number with surprisingly different levels of beats. The percussion, vocals and bass are hitting you from every direction possible. This number is a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster Jammin.” Toy says he reconstructed the whole song and produced this cut with what he calls a “mild Afro–Latin techy twist” The beats per minute are between 124 and 128, typical for a deep house number but it sounds different with the array of seven or more instrumental sounds that are on this track. Toy mentioned he is known for doing other House music covers on his albums but “Master Blaster Jammin’ is his own studio creation Sidney Perry’s “Something About the Music” is a party number with a tribal sound and declarative lyrics: “And then the earth opened up with a mighty roar and what came up was nothing
but the funk sinking deep into your brain leaving an indelible mark on your rump, something about the music.” With a nod of respect to George Clinton’s linguistic style and the lead into an extended sample from, Parliament Funkadelic’s “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” the song follows with the lyrics: “This music will persist until you are in alignment with your sun. There’s something about this music for each and every one, now boogie.” “The Spirit,” by Dawn Tallman, is a spiritual with the lyrics: “We catch the spirit in the clouds and you can feel it inside of us. All through your body and through your soul just let the spirit take control.” This number is an electronic buffet of beats and sounds, including bass and clap, and gun machine. With precise engineering the rhythm builds. Glide along on the sounds of string instruments escalating your mood and your groove. This track is a combination of spiritual and tech. The vocals and keys hold down and connect the two types of music and the listener’s state of mind. This sets this groove into a new combination of a sort of “spiritechology,” if you will, for the dance floor in the new era” Toy has indeed created another refuge for “house headz” his affectionate term for fans of house music. If you seek a haven, Refuge 8 Air Dawn Water Autumn is your sanctuary. You can see Terence spinning deep house live at his first in-store appearance at Amoeba Music at 8 p.m. March 1, in Los Angeles. Terence Toy’s latest house mix is available at terencetoy.com. Details: terencetoy.com. Venue: Amoeba Music Location: 6400 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles Tommy Emmanuel continued from page 15.
Meeting Chet Atkins
As a young man, Emmanuel was encouraged after receiving a reply to his letter to the great Nashville guitarist, inviting him, “to come by if he was in Nashville.” Years later, after Tommy had come to be a rising star, Emmanuel took Atkins up on his invitation. As the story goes, Emmanuel went into the office and asked for Atkins. The secretary relayed the message, and returned with Atkin’s reply, “Ask him if he can pick?” Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel’s biggest fans. They were fast friends, and remained so until Atkins’ death. “I learned a lot about arrangements [from Atkins],” Emmanuel said. “Chet was always about how we could make this more interesting. Now I learn the melody and the chords well, and then try to figure out how to make every turn in the song better.” As parting advice to young people just starting out in music, he said, “The best thing is to go slowly [and] learn things thoroughly. Learn some good songs and keep yourself inspired. Get used to practicing a lot. When you think you are ready, get out and play in front of people.” Details: www.laguitarfestival.com Venue: The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center Location: 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach
from p. 7
GOP Schemes to
rapidly in this handful of states. Pennsylvania, for example, saw Republicans gain a maximum edge of 11-10 in the 1990s, 12-7 in the 2000s and 13-5 in the most recent election, despite Democratic House candidates winning 83,000 more votes statewide. Democrats challenged the 2002 redistricting all the way to the Supreme Court—unsuccessfully, thus paving the way for the even more lopsided districts today. Similarly, North Carolina went from 7-6 Democrat in 2010, to 9-4 GOP in 2012, despite Democrats doing 7 points better statewide in 2012. Third, Republicans have openly bragged about their prowess in gerrymandering.
REDMAP—The GOP’s $30 Million Gerrymandering Scheme
unfair advantage in presidential elections as well. Their initial efforts appear to have been shelved, due to bad publicity, but they can easily be taken off the shelf at a moment’s notice. Virginia’s Senate showed just how easily on Jan. 21, when Republicans took advantage of the fact that state Sen. Henry Marsh, a 79-year old long-time civil rights lawyer and activist, went to Washington to attend Obama’s inauguration. With Marsh absent, the Republicans temporarily enjoyed a 20-19 majority, which they used to rush through a re-apportionment of their own districts, drawing a map that makes a 27-13 GOP super-majority a distinct possibility. The redistricting process normally takes months and happens only once a decade, after the census. This took only hours, and came out of the blue. If Republicans do renew their efforts, we should expect a lot slicker sales pitch than Carrico managed. Michigan State Representative Pete Lund, who first introduced a district-based bill there in 2011, shows how this might be done. “It’s more representative of the people,” Lund said in a story reported by Mlive.com last month. “A person doesn’t win a state by 100 percent of the vote, so this is a better, more accurate way.... People would feel voting actually matters. It’s an idea I’ve had for several years.” Of course, some folks might dispute the claim that giving the loser twice as many votes as the winner is “a better, more accurate way.” But as long as Republicans are the only ones playing this game, they can pick their spots, move quickly, frame the debate well enough to keep opponents disorganized and off-balance for the brief time it takes, and thus steal our democracy. There is another way, of course. Democrats could fight back by mounting a high-profile push for a truly fair system—one that would equal-
ize all the votes of all Americans by tying the Electoral College to the national popular vote. This plan, known as the national popular vote, has already been relatively quietly approved by states casting 132 electoral votes—close to half the total needed, including California. Once the threshold of 270 votes is reached, all the states who have approved this proposal will cast all
their electoral votes for the national popular vote winner. All states approving it so far have been Blue states, but it has received bipartisan support, which illustrates the power of the concept once people hear about it. With such a system in place—or at least prominently advanced so that no one could ignore it—GOP appeals of the sort Lund has crafted would readily be seen as the cheap knock-offs they are.
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The day after the 113th Congress was sworn in, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) posted a summary report of its “REDMAP” strategy, a “review of its strategy and execution of its efforts in the 2010 election cycle to erect a Republican firewall through the redistricting process that paved the way to Republicans retaining a U.S. House majority in 2012,” The report explained that even before the 2010 Census, the RSLC was planning a strategy to focus on winning control of states expected to lose or gain seats in Congress—states where new district maps could be most radically redrawn. “Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn,” the report said, which in turn “presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade.” For the effort, the RSLC raised $30 million. The results were impressive, the report noted: “After Election Day 2010, Republicans held majorities in both legislative chambers in 25 states – and, in most cases, control of redistricting – up from 14.” A comparison chart showed that Republicans controlled the districting of 193 seats compared to just 44 under Democratic control, with 191 under split control, or a non-partisan commission. This was roughly double the 98 seats under Republican redistricting control in 2001, compared to 135 seats under Democratic control that year. With the sort of attention, focus and big money spending already devoted to fixing elections in the House, it’s hardly surprising that Republicans would take the next step, and try to use this
Left, Virginia Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr., R-Grayson County. Above, Michigan Rep. Pete Lund, introduced a district-based Electoral College bill there in 2011. File photos.
February 8 - 21, 2013
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FICTITIOUS BUSINESS FILINGS Statement of Abandonment of Use of Fictitious Business Name File No. 2012238002 File no: 20080895010; Date Filed: 05/20/08 Name of Business(es) Nick’s Liquor Street Address, City, State, and Zip Code: 510 N. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Registered Owners: Brook Zewdie, 2005 Speyer Lane Unit #B, Redondo Beach, CA 90278. Tseday Kiwfe-Micahesi, 2005 Speyer Lane Unit #B, Redondo Beach, CA 90278. Business was conducted by a husband and wife. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information which he or she knows to be false is guilty of a crime). This Statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles County on Nov. 30, 2012.
accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires 40days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing): 01/10/13, 01/24/13,
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2012 253805 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. San Pedro Healing Arts Med Clinic, 2. San Pedro Physical Therapy, 3. Healing Arts Medical Clinic, 1366 W. 7th Street, Ste 4B, San Pedro CA, 90731. County of Los Angeles, 1952 Galerita Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Registered owner(s): San Pedro Healing Arts Inc., 1366 W. 7th Street, Ste 4B, San Pedro CA, 90731. This business is conducted by Corporation. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on 1992. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) San Pedro Healing Arts Inc. S/ Dr. Maria Baez, President. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on December 24, 2012. Notice- In
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2012254805 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: Get it-Got it Concierge, 3431 Muldae Ave., San Pedro, CA 90732. County of Los Angeles. Registered owner(s): Charles G. Abbott, Jr., 3431 Muldae Ave., San Pedro, CA 90732. This business is conducted by a General Partnership. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above N/A. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) Charles G. Abbot, Jr., owner/ general partner. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on December 26, 2012. Notice- In accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the
office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires 40 days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing): 01/10/13, 01/24/13, 02/7/13, 02/21/13
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2012240722 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. VB management Marketing Services, 2. VB Management, 17809 Osage Ave., Torrance, CA 90504. County of Los Angeles. Registered owner(s): Stephen A. Robbins, 17809 Osage Ave., Torrance, CA 90504. Carol B. Robbins, 17809 Osage Ave., Torrance, CA 90504. This business is conducted by husband and wife. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above 1/10/2000. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) Stephen A. Robbins owner. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on December 26, 2012. Notice- In accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires
40 days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing): 01/10/13, 01/24/13, 02/7/13, 02/21/13
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2013002493 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. Hawaiian Total Fitness MMA, 615 S. Mesa Street, San Pedro CA, 90731. County of Los Angeles. Registered owner(s): Gretchen Alexis Kennedy, 615 S., Mesa Street, San Pedro CA, 90731. This business is conducted by an individual. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above N/A. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) San Pedro Healing Arts Inc. S/ Gretchen Kennedy. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on Jan. 07, 2013. Notice- In accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires 40days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must
be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing): 01/24/13, 02/7/13, 02/21/13, 03/07/13
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2012257444 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. G Floorz, 603 5th Street, Apt. 3, San Pedro CA, 90731. County of Los Angeles. Registered owner(s): Jesus Gonzales, 603 5th Street, Apt. 3, San Pedro, CA 90731. This business is conducted by an individual. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on N/A. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) San Pedro Healing Arts Inc. S/ Jesus Gonzales. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on Dec. 31, 2012. Notice- In accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires 40days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See
Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing): 01/24/13,
02/7/13, 02/21/13, 03/07/13
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2013010411 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. Second Chance Repair, 2637 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro CA, 90731. County of Los Angeles. Registered owner(s): David Perez, 2637 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731. This business is conducted by an individual. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on Jan. 4, 2013. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) San Pedro Healing Arts Inc. S/ Jesus Gonzales. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 2013. Notice- In accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires 40days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing):
Fictitious Business Name Statement File No. 2013020256 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. El Segundo Janitor, 1629 Dalmatia Dr., San Pedro, CA 90732. County of Los Angeles. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 646, El Segundo CA 90245. Registered owner(s): Edward McGrath, 1629 Dalmatia Dr., San Pedro, CA 90732. This business is conducted by an individual. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above Jan 2, 1990. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) San Pedro Healing Arts Inc. S/ Edward McGrath. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles on Jan. 30, 2013. Notice- In accordance with Subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a Fictitious Business Statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the County Clerk, except as provided in Subdivision (b) of Section 17920, where it expires 40days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in the residence address of a registered owner. A New Fictitious Business Statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a Fictitious Business Name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or common law (See Section 14411 et. Seq., Business and Professions Code). Amended (New Filing): 02/07/13, 02/21/13, 03/07/13, 03/21/13
01/24/13, 02/7/13, 02/21/13, 03/07/13
The Local Publication You Actually Read February 8 - 21, 2013
February 8 - 21, 2013
Serving the Seven Cities of the Harbor Area