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Volume 11 Issue 170

Santa Monica Daily Press

CANDIDATES IN THEIR OWN WORDS SEE PAGE 3

We have you covered

Polls on gay marriage not yet reflected in votes

Santa Monicans remember the fallen

DAVID CRARY AP National Writer

Memorial Day at Woodlawn Cemetery draws crowd

NEW YORK Poll after poll shows public sup-

the drop and the fighting, said Blake Lamar, a former DC-3 pilot. “This is a tribute to these and subsequent fallen and a salute to the patriotic workers of the Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica who produced this timeless work of art,” Lamar said.

port for same-sex marriage steadily increasing, to the point where it’s now a majority viewpoint. Yet in all 32 states where gay marriage has been on the ballot, voters have rejected it. It’s possible the streak could end in November, when Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state are likely to have closely contested gay marriage measures on their ballots. For now, however, there remains a gap between the national polling results and the way states have voted. It’s a paradox with multiple explanations, from political geography to the likelihood that some conflicted voters tell pollsters one thing and then vote differently. “It’s not that people are lying. It’s an intensely emotional issue,” said Amy Simon, a pollster based in Oakland, Calif. “People can report to you how they feel at the moment they’re answering the polls, but they can change their mind.” California experienced that phenomenon in November 2008, when voters, by a 52-48 margin, approved a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution. A statewide Field Poll that September indicated Proposition 8 would lose decisively; an updated poll a week before the vote still showed it trailing by 5 percentage points. California is an unusual case. It’s one of a few reliably Democratic states that have had a statewide vote rebuffing same-sex marriage. The vast majority of the referendums have been in more conservative states, which have a greater predilection for using ballot measures to set social policy. The 32 states that have rejected gay marriage at the polls make up just over 60 percent of the U.S. population.

SEE MEMORIAL DAY PAGE 9

SEE MARRIAGE PAGE 10

BY ASHLEY ARCHIBALD Daily Press Staff Writer

WOODLAWN CEMETERY Hundreds of people gathered here Monday morning to honor fallen soldiers that have given their lives in battles overseas and in the United States. The celebration marked the 74th year that City Hall commemorated Memorial Day, a moment of reflection that goes past the traditional barbecues and joviality in a day off work to the core of what America’s involvement in armed combat means in terms of casualties and what those deaths accomplish. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day began three years after the end of the Civil War as “Decoration Day,” a time to adorn the graves of the war dead with flowers. After World War I, the purpose of the day expanded to include the dead of all of America’s conflicts, a sort of national day of reckoning. The message hit home in this year’s celebration said Irwin Trester, a resident of Newport Beach who brought his two daughters, Ashley and Madison, to see the presentation. “This was truly a piece of Americana,” Trester said. “I was deeply touched.” The celebration began with the presentation of the national flag by the Santa Monica Police and Fire departments, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by R.A. Pickett of the Santa Monica Elks, and the National Anthem. A Douglas DC-3 airplane called the Flabob Express buzzed overhead, a nod to Santa Monica’s legacy as one of the six loca-

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UP IT GOES: World War II veterans Oscar Vizcarra (right) and Anna Brown (center) help Lt. Col. Douglas Woodhams, a United States Marine and Santa Monica Police officer, raise the flag during the 74th annual Memorial Day Observance at the Woodlawn Cemetery on Monday.

tions that produced that aircraft model used in the war effort. It flew in low, hitting 700 feet and just over 100 miles per hour, the exact speed and height used when similar planes engaged in battle on June 6, 1944 when American troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. An estimated 2,500 Americans died in

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Improv the day away Senior Center 1450 Ocean Ave., 12:30 p.m. — 1:30 p.m. Veteran Improv instructor, Brian Hamill, hosts this weekly comedy Improv workshop for seniors. All seniors are welcome to take part in this free workshop. If you’d rather just come watch the fun, then that’s all right, too. Must be a Senior Center member and 50 or older to participate. For more information, call (310) 458-8644.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 Dems unite Ocean Park Library 2601 Main St., 7 p.m. The Santa Monica Democratic Club will meet to discuss and possibly endorse Propositions 28 and 29. The meeting takes place in the library’s Community Room.

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Dance the night away Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club 1210 Fourth St., 7 p.m. — 11 p.m. The club hosts this weekly ballroom dancing event to give peo-

ple the chance to cut a rug. Cost: $10; $8 students and USA Dance members. For more information, call (310) 487-0911.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 Time to network Tiato Restaurant 2700 Colorado Ave., 6:30 p.m. — 9 p.m. To celebrate the first anniversary of the Los Angeles Venture Association’s international business forum, Global LAVA, come join local and international entrepreneurs for an evening of business networking, speeches and entertainment. For more information, visit lava.org. They like to move it Santa Monica High School, Barnum Hall 601 Pico Blvd., 6 p.m. Samohi’s regional occupational program presents its annual dance showcase. Performances come from popular musicals “Cabaret,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Chicago.” For more information, contact nhodges@smmusd.org.

Friday, June 1, 2012 Will again Miles Memorial Playhouse 1130 Lincoln Blvd., 8 p.m. Colonials, an American Shakespeare company, is producing the great playwright’s beloved “Much Ado About Nothing.” For more information, go to theatreforasmallspace.com. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call (310) 804-6745 to buy.

To create your own listing, log on to smdp.com/submitevent For help, contact Daniel Archuleta at 310-458-7737 or submit to editor@smdp.com For more information on any of the events listed, log on to smdp.com/communitylistings


Inside Scoop TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

Visit us online at smdp.com

3

Schools expand lessons via computer CHRISTINA HOAG Associated Press

LOS ANGELES Math is so popular at Ritter Elementary School in Watts that kids arrive before the morning bell and line up to do extra work before class, but it’s not the subject that’s the real attraction as much as the method — computers. “It’s a lot more fun this way,” said 8-year-old Erica Quezada, fitting colorful cubes into a shape on her screen as another third-grader leans over to point out another way she can solve the problem. Stand-and-deliver is increasingly giving way to pointand-click in schools across California and elsewhere as computers are being used to supplement, and in some approaches, supplant textbooks and teachers. Known as “blended learning,” the concept has been particularly embraced by charter and independently run schools as a way to boost student achievement quickly at time when dwindling state dollars are resulting in larger class sizes and fewer programs. But it’s also generated some controversy as critics see it as a ploy to reduce teachers. “We’re seeing a lot of innovation in California,” said Susan Patrick, president and chief executive of the International Association of K-12 Online Learning. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has the highest number of charter schools in the country — about 200 — numerous autonomous schools have adopted a variety of classroom models that move away from the traditional lecture method to an approach that combines more personalized instruction with computers. Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools operates three high schools with classes of around 45 students divided into three groups of 15: one working with a teacher, one working on computer exercises and one working on projects. For advanced courses like physics, students participate in videoconference classes with one teacher serving all schools. Results are promising. The average reading level for incoming freshmen at one school was fourth grade; after a year of a blended learning, they averaged eighth grade, said Principal Mickie Tubbs. The model used by nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which operates Ritter and 21 other low-performing schools, involves a hybrid class in which teachers use software projected onto a whiteboard for math and reading lessons, followed up by exercises in computer labs or on laptops shared among classrooms. Ritter saw 12 percent more students scoring proficient or above in math over the year before. Other Partnership schools using blended learning have seen similar gains, convincing administrators to expand the program to all schools. “We knew this was going to be the key to accelerating achievement,” said Marshall Tuck, Partnership chief executive, adding that the model calls for class sizes to remain the same. Other organizations are using blended learning to serve specific groups of students. With reduced funds this year for summer school, LA’s SEE LESSONS PAGE 7

50th Assembly District candidates When voters head to the polls to cast their votes in the June 5 primary, they’ll be looking for candidates who care about protecting the environment, will fund education and transit projects to reduce traffic, ensure people have equal rights and access to healthcare and help create jobs. Those are the issues that concern Santa Monicans the most. To help, the Daily Press sent a questionnaire to each of the four candidates for the newly-created 50th Assembly District, arguably the most competitive race in the primary.

There’s Santa Monica’s mayor, Richard Bloom; seasoned activist and nonprofit director, Torie Osborn; progressive Log Cabin Republican, Brad Torgan; and an incumbent on the rise, Betsy Butler. Each was given the same word count and deadline. Here are their responses: Editor’s note: Questionnaires from Bloom and Osborn will appear in the May 30 edition of the Daily Press. Questionnaires will remain on the SMDP website until after the primary.

TORGAN

BUTLER

NAME: Brad Torgan AGE: 50 OCCUPATION: Environmental attorney CITY/NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE YOU LIVE: West Hollywood OWN OR RENT: Own POLITICAL PARTY: Republican WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? Sedan

NAME: Betsy Butler AGE: 48 OCCUPATION: California State Assemblymember CITY/NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE YOU LIVE: Beverly Hills OWN OR RENT: Rent POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? 2005 Cadillac

SEE TORGAN PAGE 6

SEE BUTLER PAGE 8

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Opinion Commentary 4

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

We have you covered

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Back to Nature

Send comments to editor@smdp.com

Reese Halter

Other options Editor:

Saying the Santa Monica police who shot and killed the stray mountain lion had only two choices — “Yell ‘Shoo, Kitty!,’” or kill the stray animal — epitomizes a situation where fear and panic got in the way of sensible thinking (“Apologize to the cops,” Letters to the Editor, May 24). To be concerned of children being “attacked” or “mauled” or “terrorize[d]” by an animal that is securely enclosed at 6 a.m. in a small courtyard on a non-residential street — with a wall of well-armed police separating the courtyard from the street — is misguided at best. The 80- to 90-pound animal never stood a chance against police guns, even had it tried to attack. Sadly, we blew an ideal situation for capturing the animal. Can’t Santa Monica afford a few animal nets and tranquilizers along with a few well-trained individuals? Judging from the flood of responses, my hunch is animal lovers will cover the cost for the training and/or response of animal emergencies. We have well-trained lay volunteers for earthquakes, so why not this? As I understand it, an effort to tranquilize was bungled after poor judgment was used to agitate the animal with paintballs, etc. We’re not talking about putting an elephant to sleep; the poor thing weighed less than 90 pounds. Please rethink the trigger-happy attitude that we must choose between animal life [and] human life. There are other options.

Susan Broussard Santa Monica

Zombies Editor:

Hurrah for speaking up on behalf of the bikers! I was beginning to think that it was “Bash-A-Biker Month” in the columns of the SMDP (“Bike lanes just for bikes,” Letters to the Editor, May 13). In our household we liken pedestrians who wander on the bike path to extras from “The Walking Dead” who have been dropped off at the wrong location. In addition, there are the “Digitally Distracted” who suddenly stand frozen in the middle of the pathway while peering, with pursed lips, through sunglasses at the screen of their mobile device completely oblivious of their surroundings. This week I approached three Segways (those twowheel electric giro vehicles) who were driving at speed abreast, blocking the whole path. What status are these machines on the path? Surely they are motor bikes. Bikes were invented before cars and are the transport of millions of people worldwide. After all, China stole the industrial might of the U.S. by their workers going to work on their bikes while Americans sit fuming in traffic jams in their far too big cars. Perhaps it is time to tax cars based on the square footage of real estate they cover! If our children biked to school regularly perhaps the obesity epidemic would decrease? Happy and safe biking days to all your readers.

Richard Danie

PUBLISHER Ross Furukawa

Send comments to editor@smdp.com

ross@smdp.com

The rich story of turquoise

EDITOR IN CHIEF

THE ALLURE OF THE GEMSTONE TURQUOISE

MANAGING EDITOR

has attracted people for more than 75 centuries. Interestingly, it’s not just humans who are attracted to the blues and greens of turquoise, but some insects favor it, too. But more on that later. Turquoise is a French word that means Turkish stone. The Turks brought it to Western Europe from Iran. The Moors of Spain also treasured turquoise; they sourced it from North Africa. The ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to use turquoise — as early as 5500 B.C. The Pueblo peoples of the Southwestern United States began to mine turquoise early in the sixth century A.D. Turquoise was used for religious and ornamental purposes. The Navajos once used it as currency. The Apaches attached a small piece to their bows believing it enabled their arrows to fly true. And the Zunis of western New Mexico valued it most of all; a string of turquoise beads was said to be worth at least several horses. Turquoise is a blue-green mineral that almost exclusively comes from arid lands. It is most abundant in dry, copper rich regions of the U.S. — Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. It also occurs sporadically in the Mexican states of Sonora and Zacatecas, California’s Mojave Desert, western Texas and Utah. Rare deposits from humid climates have been found in Alabama and in southern Virginia. Turquoise is also found in Peru, Australia, Turkistan, Iran, Siberia, China, Ethiopia, Germany and the Sinai Peninsula. Today, mining is restricted to Iran, China and the American Southwest. The mineral turquoise results from chemical and physical processes associated with weathering of igneous parent material that takes at least hundreds of thousands, but more likely millions, of years to form. Deposits are usually within 100 feet of the Earth’s surface. The deeper the shade of blue, the more copper the turquoise contains. On the other hand, if the turquoise is rich in iron the mineral will display beautiful shades of green. When turquoise is first extracted from the ground it contains water. As the water evaporates the blue-green stones turn a lighter shade. Low-grade turquoise is porous and when all the water is depleted from the stone it turns bone white, often referred to as chalk. About 10 percent of turquoise mined today is gem-grade. Technological advance-

ments in the 1960s enabled jewelers to take low-grade turquoise chalk, treat it under high-pressure with clear resins and infuse blue and green colors, creating near indistinguishable gem-grade stones. Unfortunately, there is imitation and fake turquoise available today at the market place. A trained eye can easily spot inexpensive plastic turquoise. Most temporary treated stones are also detectable, because they have an oily look. More costly stones should be examined and appraised by an expert. But even experts can be fooled. The most noteworthy example was the late Shah of Iran holding pawn turquoise passed off as antique, high-quality Persian turquoise. New Mexico, or the “Land of Enchantment,” is home to the Cerrillos/Tiffany mine, the most famous mine in the American Southwest. Turquoise remains the crown jewel of this region and renowned Native American artists like Ray Tracey, Angie Reano Owen, and Carlton and Julie Marie Jamon design and create magnificent jewelry. Turquoise is a multi-billion dollar industry for the state of New Mexico. New Mexico is also home to two species of harvester ants legendary for delivering stings that deliver some of the most toxic venom of all insects. Harvester ants like to collect blue and green turquoise. I’ve observed these ants deliberately coating the outside of their domed nests with turquoise, creating what appears to be a roofing veneer. Ant scientists or myrmecologists believe that harvester ants chose turquoise over other colored stones because of its thermal properties. Essentially, turquoise acts as a thermal collector used by the ants to maintain a standard temperature year-round in their nests. In addition, turquoise from caches found in ancient abandoned harvester ant nests have assisted archeologists working at a site near Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, N.M. in identifying and dating human activities — like jewelry manufacturing — in the Chacoan Period, which lasted from 900 A.D. to the early 1000s A.D. Ants and people are social creatures; we share a lot in common including collecting turquoise.

Kevin Herrera editor@smdp.com

Daniel Archuleta daniela@smdp.com

STAFF WRITER Ashley Archibald ashley@smdp.com

CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER Brandon Wise brandonw@smdp.com

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Morgan Genser news@smdp.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bill Bauer, David Pisarra, Meredith Carroll, Jack Neworth, Lloyd Garver, Ron Hooks, Taylor Van Arsdale, Merv Hecht, Cynthia Citron, Tom Viscount, Michael Ryan, JoAnne Barge, Katrina Davy

NEWS INTERN Samantha Masunaga news@smdp.com

PHOTOGRAPHY INTERN Ray Solano news@smdp.com

VICE PRESIDENT–BUSINESS OPERATIONS Rob Schwenker schwenker@smdp.com

JUNIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Chelsea Fujitaki chelsea@smdp.com

Justin Harris justin@smdp.com

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR Michele Emch michele.e@smdp.com

PRODUCTION MANAGER Darren Ouellette production@smdp.com

CIRCULATION DR. REESE HALTER is a distinguished conservation biologist and author of the award-winning “The Insatiable Bark Beetle,” Rocky Mountain Books. Follow him: Twitter.com/DrReeseHalter

Keith Wyatt Osvaldo Paganini circulation@smdp.com

Santa Monica

We have you covered

Protecting workers Editor:

How many of your readers who drove by the Santa Monica Car Wash on Pico Boulevard and 25th Street on the morning of May 22 noticed the demonstrators marching and calling for justice (“Suit says local carwashes mistreat employees,” May 23)? I was at that rally and press conference and it was heartening for me to see the bravery of the four carwash workers who filed a lawsuit against the owners, claiming they routinely withheld pay for overtime, denied them lunch breaks and suffered abuse. Some think they can exploit workers because of their immigrant status. But with the support of many unions, congregations and organizations, carwash workers recently won a victory at the Bonus Car Wash at 2800 Lincoln Blvd. You can now patronize a union carwash — the first in the nation.

Trudy Goldman Marina del Rey

1640 5th Street, Suite 218 Santa Monica, CA 90401 OFFICE (310) 458-PRESS (7737) FAX (310) 576-9913

The Santa Monica Daily Press is published six days a week, Monday through Saturday. 19,000 daily circulation, 46,450 daily readership. Circulation is audited and verified by Circulation Verification Council, 2012. Serving the City of Santa Monica, and the communities of Venice Beach, Brentwood, West LA. Members of CNPA, AFCP, CVC, Associated Press, IFPA, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. Published by Newlon Rouge, LLC © 2012 Newlon Rouge, LLC, all rights reserved.

OPINIONS EXPRESSED are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Santa Monica Daily Press staff. Guest editorials from residents are encouraged, as are letters to the editor. Letters will be published on a space-available basis. It is our intention to publish all letters we receive, except those that are libelous or are unsigned. Preference will be given to those that are e-mailed to editor@smdp.com. All letters must include the author’s name and telephone number for purposes of verification. All letters and guest editorials are subject to editing for space and content.


State 5

UCLA faculty votes on privatizing business school ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES A proposal that would privatize the University of California Los Angeles’ business school but allow it to remain affiliated with the state university is moving ahead. A faculty council called the Legislative Assembly will vote on the proposal on June 7. The proposal was rejected by a graduate student council, UCLA’s newspaper, The Daily Bruin, reported this weekend. Under the proposal, the Anderson School of Management would no longer receive state funding, instead relying on tuition, donations and fundraising, like private schools. However, it would keep its affiliation with UCLA. Suzanne Shu, an Anderson School professor, told the Bruin that financial independence would allow Anderson to better compete with private business schools. Other publicly run business schools, such as the University of Michigan, have successfully spun off as financially independent institu-

tions. This would be a first for a UC school. “Quality will be able to improve if we have more control over how the funds are used,” she said. Tuition is not anticipated to increase as any shortfall created by the loss of state funding would be made up by fundraising. In 2010, when the proposal surfaced, Anderson relied on state funding for only about 6 percent of its budget. The idea has been under review since October 2010 by UCLA’s Academic Senate. After the Graduate Council rejected the idea in a 7-3 vote, a group of Anderson faculty successfully appealed to allow a vote by the 120-member Legislative Assembly. If the assembly approves the idea, it will be presented to the University of California Academic Senate and the Office of the President for further review. The Anderson School is a leading business institution that grants an array of graduate degrees and conducts research into various fields, including real estate, economics, entrepreneurship and finance.

LOS ANGELES Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance. “We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that’s still far below safeto-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments. Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-

Safe in the water A recent report card released by nonprofit Heal the Bay revealed that local beaches enjoy good water quality after years of being considered some of the most polluted waters in the state. So, this week’s Q-Line question asks:

Do you feel safe going for a swim or does the threat of being exposed to polluted water keep you from taking a dip? Contact qline@smdp.com before Friday at 5 p.m. and we’ll print your answers in the weekend edition of the Daily Press. You can also call 310-573-8354.

ichi reactors. But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances. One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They spawn off the Japan coast and swim east at breakneck speed to school in waters off California and the tip of Baja California, Mexico. Five months after the Fukushima disaster, Fisher of Stony Brook University in New York and a team decided to test Pacific bluefin that were caught off the coast of San Diego. To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances — ceisum-134 and cesium-137 — that were higher than in previous catches. To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analyzed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California.

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Local 6

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

We have you covered

TORGAN FROM PAGE 3 • WILL YOU SUPPORT SANTA MONICANS’ EFFORT TO CREATE A DOG BEACH PILOT PROGRAM? Yes • SHOULD SMC AND OTHER COMMUNITY COLLEGES BE ALLOWED TO OFFER TWO-TIERS OF CLASSES, WITH SOME BEING OFFERED AT FULL COST TO STUDENTS? No • DO YOU SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY? Yes • DO YOU SUPPORT SAME SEX MARRIAGE? Yes • WILL YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF GOV. BROWN’S TAX INCREASES ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT? No • DO YOU SUPPORT LEGALIZING MARIJUANA FOR THOSE 21 AND OVER? Yes • SHOULD SMOKING TOBACCO BE BANNED WITHIN MULTI-UNIT APARTMENT BUILDINGS?

No • SHOULD LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE ALLOWED TO DICTATE SALARY/BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES OF A PRIVATE BUSINESS?

Absolutely not. Local governments have no business dictating the employment decisions of private businesses. Wages and benefits are already heavily regulated at both the state and federal level. • SINGLE-USE BANS LIKE THE ONE ON PLASTIC BAGS: WHERE DO YOU STAND?

I generally oppose them. I use reusable nylon grocery bags, but I choose to do so and can afford to do so. Not everyone else has the same ability I do. If you’re on a limited, fixed income, already struggling financially, or just have a large family that consumes a lot of groceries, bans can impose a real hardship on those who can least afford it. • WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU READ FOR FUN?

I’m currently reading “Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation” by Paul Weyrich and William Lind, which makes the conservative case for mass transit planning and infrastructure funding; and “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle,” by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. Yes, this is the kind of stuff I read for fun. • WHAT THREE AREAS OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING ARE UNTOUCHABLE AND WHERE WOULD YOU CUT TO KEEP THOSE PROGRAMS/SERVICES INTACT?

No area of government spending is untouchable. The question is which three areas of government spending should have the highest priority. For me, those areas are education, public safety and infrastructure. Appropriate levels of funding can be reached through both savings in these areas and cuts in others. For example, Gov. Brown has proposed allowing local school districts flexibility with respect to class-size reduction mandates. The California Taxpayer Foundation estimates that could save local school districts up to a billion dollars per year, money that could be redirected to things like facilities maintenance and programs like arts and music education. Cuts should come in programs like the In-Home Supportive Services Program, a program a grand jury has already found to be rife with fraud and waste. • WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE INITIATIVE PROCESS? SHOULD THERE BE A CHANGE IN

HOW MEASURES MAKE IT TO THE BALLOT? AND WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ELECTED OFFICIALS IN A STATE THAT HAS SUCH AN ELEMENT OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY?

The role of elected officials in a state with an initiative process is no different than that of elected officials in a state without. The initiative and referenda process is simply a check and balance the people of California have when the legislature doesn’t act, won’t act, or oversteps its bounds. That’s a good thing and I would make no major chances to the system. If you dig into the opposition to the system, it’s often driven by dislike of a particular initiative; someone wants to change the system because they dislike the property tax protections of Proposition 13, but they’re perfectly happy with Proposition 10, designed to provide community health programs and early childhood education programs, or Proposition 98, which required a minimum percentage of the state budget be spent on education. You can’t have it both ways. • HOW DO YOU PROPOSE KEEPING COLLEGE TUITION DOWN?

Simply throwing money at higher education isn’t going to keep tuition down. Since there is a wealth of data for the UC system, I’ll use it as an example. Over the last two decades, tuition has increased almost every year — and even in years when state funding went up. The same goes for more money for financial aid. That approach actually hurts the middle class by allowing schools like UC to play a high tuition/high financial aid shell game and leads to even higher student debt loads. If tuition is going to be kept down, and I’m focusing here on California’s public universities, then state and federal dollars have to come with requirements for accountability and cost containment. As another UC example, at a time when faculty numbers seem to be decreasing, the administrative bureaucracy is increasing. Why are there more senior managers/administrators in the UC system then there are tenured and tenure-track faculty? • WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DISTRICTWIDE FUNDRAISING MODEL FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS? (SMMUSD IN NOVEMBER APPROVED SUCH A MODEL.)

I’ll start by saying this is ultimately a local decision. The Assembly has no business expanding its power to interfere with local school district fundraising, whether it is a district-wide or school-by-school model. That said, I’m skeptical of the shift to a district-wide program for two reasons. First, what’s the incentive to raise money for your child’s school when there’s no assurance that the money raised will stay at the school? Second, higher-income neighborhoods are probably already putting more into the system through higher property tax payments than lower-income neighborhoods. It’s only been about six months since the model went into effect, though, so I think it’s best to wait and see what fundraising numbers look like with the model in place before reaching any final conclusion. • SANTA MONICA AIRPORT: WHERE DO YOU STAND? WILL YOU WORK TO CLOSE THE AIRPORT COMPLETELY, LIMIT OPERATIONS (FLIGHTS AND FLIGHT SCHOOLS) OR MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO?

Santa Monica Airport has a role in the community, although limitations on operations to address negative noise, air quality, SEE TORGAN PAGE 7


Local Visit us online at smdp.com

TORGAN FROM PAGE 6 and public safety impacts are certainly reasonable. Ultimately, though, the fate of the airport is in the hands of Santa Monica and the FAA, not the state Assembly. The best role I could play as an Assembly member is to help mediate and find a negotiated solution acceptable to all stakeholders. • FREE FORM: WHAT’S PUTTING A BURR UNDER YOUR SADDLE?

The governor’s and the legislature’s

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

7

approach to the state budget is the burr under [my] saddle. It’s bad enough when they rely on over-generous tax revenue projections that fly in the face of California’s unfriendly business climate. What’s even worse is when the governor holds our kids hostage by linking $5 billion in education funding to the passage of a proposed tax increase that, according to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, relies on — guess what? — over-generous tax revenue projections. It’s irresponsible. Raising taxes without structural reforms in place — pension reform, tax, reform, and regulatory reform — will not solve the state’s fiscal problems.

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LESSONS FROM PAGE 3 Promise, a nonprofit that runs three schools, is trying an online program for high school students who failed a subject. Classes will comprise 45 students with one teacher. Researchers at the University of Southern California are launching the USC Hybrid High School this fall for students likely to drop out. The school will be akin to an independent study model where students progress through computerized curriculums at their own pace with the help of a teacher. The school, to start with 150 ninthgraders, will be open year-round, 12 hours a day with weekend hours, so students who have to work or care for children at home can easily attend. The key with the computerized curriculums is that teachers can give more individual attention to students as they go from student to student on the computer. Students, meanwhile, must active participate in the lessons, clicking to complete and go to the next level, rather than simply listening to a lecture. Teachers monitor students’ progress through the program and immediately see when problem arises. Kids who might be embarrassed to raise their hand in class to say they don’t understand can email the teacher or click a help button. “It lets me know the concepts they’re having trouble with,” said Ritter third-grade teacher Jorge Alvarado, adding he doesn’t have the added chore of keeping kids interested. “It really engages them. It’s the videogame mentality.” Studies have shown that students learn a “bit better” with computers than in traditional classrooms, said Richard E. Clark, director of USC’s Center for Cognitive Technology. “More effort goes into developing the instructional programs,” he said. Blended learning is not without critics. Some say the computer sessions turn into social sessions as kids tend chat with neighbors and there’s little way for a teacher to check if students did their own work. Others say it’s simply a drive to reduce costs by getting rid of teachers. “There’s absolutely no evidence that blended learning or online learning can replace the attention a teacher can provide,” said Leonie Haimson, founder of Class Size Matters, a New York City-based group. “It takes real-life people out of the equation.”

Proponents say schools have little choice as state funding continues to plummet. “We simply cannot continue to operate as we have with fewer dollars,” said Judy Burton, president and chief executive of the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools. The Alliance uses 17 teachers for a 600student blended learning school, as compared to 26 for a traditional school. Some point to software companies as the drivers of blended learning, resulting in laws in Arizona, Michigan and Idaho that require schools to implement online courses. “This is opening up an enormous market,” said Gene Glass, senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center in Boulder, Colo. “These companies are waking up to the fact that public education involves billions and billions of dollars a year.” For school districts, the biggest drawback is the startup cost of buying computers and software, and training teachers. The Partnership cobbled together about $4 million over the past three years in grants and philanthropic gifts. CEO Tuck anticipated that bond money and textbook savings would make up the additional $3.5 million to complete the rollout at all of the Partnership’s schools. LA’s Promise is also pooling corporate and foundation grants to get a blended learning program going at its 1,200-student middle school in the fall. President and Chief Executive Veronica Melvin estimated it would cost close to $1 million. The cost is a huge hurdle for districts such as LAUSD, which is forming a plan to roll out blended learning centers at selected schools, and eventually expanding it to all high schools. School board member Tamar Galatzan, who spearheaded the blended learning plan, noted that it would take millions of dollars, but California districts face a national mandate to assess students’ computer skills in 2014-15. “It is our obligation to serve our students and prepare them for the 21st century, but getting technology to every student in this district in an era of ever-shrinking education budgets is going to be a monumental challenge,” she said. In the meantime, kids at Ritter Elementary avidly click through their math problems. Edwin Tovar, 9, works on rotating a cartoon-like figure of JiJi the penguin to make the penguin walk in a lesson on spatial reasoning. “I’m learning more stuff I didn’t even know,” he said.

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• SHOULD SMOKING TOBACCO BE BANNED WITHIN MULTI-UNIT APARTMENT BUILDINGS?

Yes • SHOULD LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE ALLOWED TO DICTATE SALARY/BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES OF A PRIVATE BUSINESS?

I believe everyone in the United States should be paid a living wage. As a women’s activist for over 30 years and having spent a number of years fighting along side Lilly Ledbetter for equal pay for equal work, we still have a lot of work to do to make sure everyone is paid a fair and equitable wage. • SINGLE-USE BANS LIKE THE ONE ON PLASTIC BAGS: WHERE DO YOU STAND?

One of the most significant moments in my election in 2010 was when I learned that the plastic bag ban, the BPA ban and the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) were killed in the legislature by big money special interests. I decided then, that if elected, I would tackle one or more of these bills in my first year in office. I am very proud to say that the governor signed my bill banning BPA into law in 2011. I am still very committed to following through on my promise of banning single-use plastic bags, which remains one of my priorities. • WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU READ FOR FUN?

I had the pleasure of welcoming equal pay champion Lilly Ledbetter to Sacramento this year as the keynote speaker for our Assembly “Woman of the Year” event. I have always been inspired by Lilly’s courageous story and shortly after her visit read her new book, “Grace and Grit.” • WHAT THREE AREAS OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING ARE UNTOUCHABLE AND WHERE WOULD YOU CUT TO KEEP THOSE PROGRAMS/SERVICES INTACT?

This question gets to the heart of the incredibly painful budget conversations we are having in the capitol today. In the last four years, we have cut $56 billion and we now know we need to continue to cut. As the updated budget numbers have been illuminated in the last couple of weekends, I believe we need to prioritize services of human health, safety, and welfare, above all others.

We have you covered • WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE INITIATIVE PROCESS? SHOULD THERE BE A CHANGE IN HOW MEASURES MAKE IT TO THE BALLOT? AND WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ELECTED OFFICIALS IN A STATE THAT HAS SUCH AN ELEMENT OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY?

The initiative process has grown out of balance and away from its original intent, which was to ensure that citizens, “the people,” had a mechanism to use their voice in state government. At present, any person or organization with a million dollars can put an initiative on the ballot. I don’t believe the constant election chaos of initiative democracy is what our state forefathers imagined would happen. • HOW DO YOU PROPOSE KEEPING COLLEGE TUITION DOWN?

I am a key supporter of the Assembly Democrats’ Middle Class Scholarship program, funded by closing a $1 billion tax loophole for out-of-state corporations. I am also a supporter of the governor’s revenue initiative, which will temporarily raise taxes on the wealthiest among us to help support education and public safety. I also believe implementing an oil extraction fee would go a long way in balancing our budget and ensuring higher education is properly funded. • WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DISTRICTWIDE FUNDRAISING MODEL FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS? (SMMUSD IN NOVEMBER APPROVED SUCH A MODEL.)

I will support whatever the community decides and if legislation is necessary to codify or clarify the community’s desire and agreement, I would be honored to carry the necessary legislation. One of the advantages of allowing local communities to make decisions before we impose statewide standards is that it gives us all a chance to see how things work. Over the years, many good ideas didn’t work. And there have been just as many local ideas that became statewide models. San Francisco’s bold local decision to recognize same-sex marriage contributed to a state and now national discussion about marriage equality. • SANTA MONICA AIRPORT: WHERE DO YOU STAND? WILL YOU WORK TO CLOSE THE AIRPORT COMPLETELY, LIMIT OPERATIONS (FLIGHTS AND FLIGHT SCHOOLS) OR MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO?

While the federal government oversees the airport, I do believe there is too much flight traffic and we must, at the very least, limit the operations of the flights and flight schools and the size and number of planes landing each day. I will do whatever I can in my capacity as a state Assemblymember to limit operations and work with the federal government and community to explore an airport closure. • FREE FORM: WHAT’S PUTTING A BURR UNDER YOUR SADDLE?

I try not to bother with things that are irritating. You get more done if you focus on what’s inspiring. As Will Rogers, who knew a thing or two about saddles, once said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”

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HISTORY: American flags mark the graves of Santa Monica Elks Lodge/U.S. service men.

MEMORIAL DAY FROM PAGE 1 City officials and others took to the stage to offer remembrances of family members that they knew and tributes to those that they didn’t, telling stories of a time when 17 cents would get you into the Aero Theater to see the newsreels that gave civilians their first look at the war effort. Though the flyover and nationalistic tunes performed by acapella group the Oceanaires lit the patriotic fire under many present, it was a speech by Lt. Col Douglas Woodhams, a Marine and officer with the Santa Monica Police Department, that drew the crowd to its feet. “Every story is different, I only have my own,” Woodhams said at the beginning of his remarks, but the tale he told touched hearts. Woodhams served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and while he came home to his wife and children, many of those that he trained with and served beside did not. He spoke of men who put their soldiers before themselves, who went forward into danger to make sure that their men walked away. Men and women of the armed forces had made “the ultimate sacrifice” so that members of the assembled crowd could be present that day, and every day that the current conflicts rage on, soldiers run a similar risk, Woodhams said. “It’s Memorial Day, and you and I can see the bill,” Woodhams said. “What will their payment purchase?” At the end of Woodhams’ speech, the flag, which had flown at half-mast in remembrance of those fallen, was raised to its full height.

Brandon Wise brandonw@smdp.com

IN THE SKY: A Douglas DC-3 flown by pilot Blake Lamar flies overhead during the service.

The Oceanaires capped the day with a rendition of the America “Armed Forces Medley.” Veterans stood for acknowledgment as their branch’s verse was sung. Hidden was the service of the Oceanaires themselves, the majority of whom had served in the military. “We get together each week to sing with excellence. We focus three hours every Monday to accomplish that mission,” said Bruce Schroffel, a member of the Oceanaires. “We forget that so many of the guys also served.” ashley@smdp.com

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A Mindful Nation A Candid Conversation with CONGRESSMAN TIM RYAN

Live on the Broad Stage A fresh voice in Washington calling for mindful change in the way we live our lives, Congressman Ryan presents an uplifting vision that celebrates attention and connection as core values for our nation. He sees a happier and healthier future for America, where we shift our focus to what matters most and take on the difficulties ahead with renewed vigor.

Voters in liberal states such as Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, where gay marriage was legalized by judges or legislators, might vote to affirm those decisions but haven’t had the opportunity. Most of the states that voted against gay marriage did so between 2004 and 2008. Since then, only Maine in 2009 and North Carolina on May 8 have rebuffed same-sex marriage in referendums, while legislatures in Washington state, Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Illinois and Delaware have voted for same-sex marriage or civil unions. In all, there are now six states with legal same-sex marriage and nine more granting gay and lesbian couples broad marriagestyle rights via civil unions or domestic partnerships. Together, those 15 states account for about 35 percent of the U.S. population. Over the past year, there’s been a stream of major national polls indicating that a majority of people support same-sex marriage. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday, 53 percent of those questioned say gay marriage should be legal, a new high for the poll, while 39 percent, a new low, say it should be illegal. Political consultant Frank Schubert, a leading strategist for campaigns against same-sex marriage in California and elsewhere, said such polls are misleading and he asserted that same-sex marriage would be rejected if a national referendum were held now. “The pollsters are asking if same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal, and that phrasing is problematic because it implies some government sanction against same-sex couples,” Schubert said. “People want to be sympathetic to same-sex couples, so polls that use that language aren’t particularly useful.” The more useful question, Schubert said, is whether marriage should be defined as the union of a man and a woman — the gist of the constitutional amendments approved in 30 states. “If you ask that question, you get strong majorities,” Schubert said. Mark DeCamillo, director of the Field Poll in California, agreed with Schubert that same-sex marriage probably would lose in a hypothetical national referendum now. One important factor, he said, is whether there would be more intensity among supporters or opponents. In California, same-sex marriage has such overwhelming support today that Prop 8 almost certainly would be overturned if a new state referendum were held, DeCamillo said. The latest Field Poll, in February, measured voter approval of gay marriage among registered California voters at 59 percent, which was the highest in 35 years of polling on the issue, while only 34 percent disapproved. In the first Field Poll on the topic, in 1977, 59 percent opposed gay marriage and 28 percent were in favor.

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Nonetheless, the largest gay-rights group in the state, Equality California, remains cautious and isn’t yet ready to begin a campaign to overturn Prop 8. A federal court has struck down the law, but that ruling has been appealed. “We aren’t confident that the level of support is stable enough to withstand the rigors of a referendum,” said spokeswoman Rebekah Orr. “We know that people are conflicted. Their intellectual position can show up in a poll and their emotional position shows up in the voting booth.” California is among 30 states where voters have approved amendments limiting marriage to unions of one man and one woman. In Hawaii, voters passed an amendment in 1998 empowering the Legislature to ban gay marriage, which it proceeded to do. The ban remains in effect, though Hawaii lawmakers approved civil unions last year. The other statewide vote was in Maine in 2009, when 53 percent of the voters overturned a law that would have legalized samesex marriage. The issue is back on Maine’s ballot for Nov. 6, with voters getting another chance to approve same-sex marriage. Schubert, who is advising gay-marriage opponents in Maine, depicts it as the toughest contest for his side among the four statewide elections this fall. In Minnesota, voters will be deciding whether to approve a gay-marriage ban similar to those in the other 30 states. In Maryland and Washington, assuming enough valid signatures are gathered by gay marriage opponents, there will be ballot measures seeking to overturn same-sex marriage laws passed by legislators this year. However those four referendums turn out, there’s widespread belief among gay rights activists and many pollsters that support for same-sex marriage will continue to grow nationwide. “The numbers are inexorably moving in one direction,” said DeCamillo. “Older folks, who are more in opposition, are dying out and younger folks are more inclined to support it. It’s not rocket science.” He said support for gay marriage is surging in California among young Latinos and Asian-Americans. Nationally, according the recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, support has risen among blacks since President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage on May 9. Phyllis Watts, a consulting psychologist from Sacramento, Calif., has worked with several recent ballot-measure campaigns, including the failed effort to defeat Prop 8 in California and a successful drive last year to defeat an anti-abortion “personhood” measure in Mississippi. She believes a statewide vote in favor of same-sex marriage is likely to come soon. But she suggests that any particular poll should be viewed with caution. “People are in a fluid state around samesex marriage. They really can feel one way one day and another way another day,” she said. “I don’t think the polls are able to track, with a level of nuance, what’s actually occurring inside people’s hearts.”

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Are foster kids helped, harmed by open hearings KELLI KENNEDY Associated Press

MIAMI A California judge’s decision to open a county’s child welfare hearings earlier this year has energized a debate among advocates in other states about whether greater transparency helps or harms the young victims appearing in family court. When a child is abused or neglected, there’s a family court hearing to discuss the victim’s future. In nearly 20 states, including Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois, those hearings are usually open to the public and there is a push among child welfare advocates to open them in other states. Efforts to open the courts in California, Kentucky and the District of Columbia have garnered attention recently. Proponents say transparency leads to better decisions by putting a spotlight on judges, exposes the blunders of child welfare workers and gives the public a better understanding of how the system works. “Confidentiality has done more to protect the system than to protect the children in the system,” said Michael Nash, chief presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s children’s court. He ruled in January that dependency hearings in his county will be open to the public unless there is proof the child will be harmed. The longtime advocate of open courts was frustrated that fellow judges frequently sided with those who wanted to keep the hearings closed. Nash said decisions were made on an ad hoc basis. His order lays out a uniform process to follow when someone objects to opening the hearing. But critics say children will be further traumatized by testifying about abuse in a courtroom full of strangers. The Children’s Law Center of California, which represents most children in the Los Angeles County system, asked the state appeals court to overturn Nash’s decision, but that move was rejected. Executive Director Leslie Starr Heimov says it’s unfair to compare states that have open hearings with California because children don’t have a legal right to attend hearings in many states. More than 200 children attend hearings every day at the Los Angeles courthouse. “It’s difficult and it’s painful and they’re in the system through no fault of their own and to create a system where there’s forced to endure more pain, that’s harmful,” Heimov said. Family courts have opened gradually since the early 1980s, beginning with Oregon. An advocate for child welfare reform says that among the states that have followed suit, New York and Missouri’s moves in the late 1990s were particularly significant. The change is usually spurred by a horrific child abuse case or a push from local media to gain access. The beating death of 6-year-old Elisa Izquierdo by her mother prompted the opening of New York family courts in 1997 and the passage of a state open-records law referred to as “Elisa’s Law.” But the practice can vary by county or by judge, even in states that are presumed to be open. A New York Times reporter visited local courtrooms at random last year and found that many were closed with locked doors or hostile deputies. Still, the reverse can be true in states that are generally closed. For example, courts in Alleghany County, Pa. were opened after a news outlet fought for access, but most of the state is still closed, said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Virginia. No one has compiled national data on how counties treat the issue. Kentucky Rep. Susan Westrom filed a bill for the third time in March that would open courts under a pilot program. The bill passed the House, but died in the Senate. “Social workers were identified as falsifying records and lying in court, and I heard horror stories from family court judges. The lack of transparency has harmed far too many families and children in Kentucky,” Westrom said. Among several recent efforts in California was legislation proposing a pilot program to open courts in a few counties. It died in committee last year. Activist Gail Helms has fought for open courts in California since her 2-year-old grandson Lance was beaten to death by his father in 1995, shortly after the man was awarded custody despite a history of drug use. The boy’s father was sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder. She said public court proceedings would have exposed holes in the child welfare system and put pressure on the

judge to take her son’s drug use and criminal history more seriously. Spurred by the case, lawmakers eventually changed state child welfare laws to make it harder for abusive parents to regain custody. “They need to have someone in there to monitor and see what goes on in those courtrooms,” said Helms, whose efforts have included protests and remarks at public forums. Wexler said that despite some initial protest when hearings are opened, no state has reclosed them. “In every state there are lots of people worried and upset that courts are going to be opened and then a few years later everybody forgets the courts were ever closed. The disasters that everybody worried about never happened and there is a modest uptick in attention. It’s constructive,” said Matt Fraidin, a law professor at the University of the District of Columbia. Lawyers in Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Oregon,

and Utah told Fraidin no problems have been reported since opening courtrooms there. But former California foster youth Michael Bowen Dural said that opening dependency court may solve some problems, but it creates others — such as compromising children’s privacy. The change also doesn’t affect other problems in the system such as social workers having too many cases, said Bowen Dural, who entered foster youth at birth when he was taken from his drug-addicted mother and stayed in the system until he turned 18. “The laws should include you in deciding whether you want it open or not because every foster kid is at a different point in their life and at a different comfort level with some of the things that are discussed in court,” said Dural, 24. He now works in the housing department for the L.A. County Department of Children and Family.


Surf Report 12

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

We have you covered

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My Personnel File: Why Do I Want it and How Do I Get a Copy? T

he permanent record from our youth may have been a ruse cooked up to keep children in line, but these days, we are close to having permanent records due to our rapidly all encompassing digital world.Thankfully, personnel files are not yet in digital format.While we still can, we should at least always be prepared to have access to these records to check and to fix any wrong information.We may also want access when we think we should get a raise and want to use former evaluations, client letters, or training records to get it.

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SWELL FORECAST Possibly a little better size at west facing breaks.

LONG RANGE SYNOPSIS ABOUT

WAIST HIGH AT WEST FACING BREAKS, KNEE HIGH AT SOUTH FACING SPOTS.

TIDE FORECAST

FOR

TODAY

IN

SANTA MONICA

The e Why: More often than not, employees do not even know how to access this information until they talk to a lawyer.And if you are talking to a lawyer about work, something's already gone wrong. Lawyers want to see what your performance record is, any personnel actions and the basis, or any other records that could help determine whether, say, a termination was legally wrongful or justifiable in light of the bigger history. Most of these employment cases turn on performance, the reason the employer gives for the termination, versus whatever you as a plaintiff will show. For example, one good way to maintain better records in your file is to put in writing what you disagree with, such as in a negative evaluation. Later when these are reviewed, and the employee has these notes, it will be more difficult for a bad employer to justify their wrongful behavior through performance issues. Another reason to keep track is that personnel records can be subpoenaed by a third party,which is something that could happen in any type of legal action where you are involved.The law does require that you are given a notice and opportunity to object to the subpoena.If any of it is relevant to whatever legal action is happening,not necessarily even an employment case,then usually the subpoena is allowed. The e How: There are no federal laws about these records, but California has very clear laws. Still, some employers do not know them or follow them properly so it is better to know your rights and educate your employer if needed. Here are the types of records that you are legally entitled to get: Pay Records: Employers have to keep for at least three years of your pay records and give their employees a copy within 21 days of request or face civil penalties (Labor Code 226).Personnel Files: Employers have to keep records and give you access to them within a reasonable time (Labor Code 1198.5).All documents you signed:These are the ones signed at hire or as continuing term and condition of employment (not documents signed in the course of conducting business). (Labor Code 432). Tips: Though these requests do not have to be in writing, it is usually better so that you can keep track of the response time. Employers may have part of your personnel file in different offices. Be sure to know where yours is kept so when the time comes you know how to find it without being given the run around. Ask for or make copies of all personnel documents as they come up and hold on to the hiring paperwork so that you have your own set for comparison later.

Unemploymentt Benefits:: Do o I Qualify? The news is not getting better about the economy and the unemployment office has to be really picky when it comes to claims.You were not laid off, but instead quit or were terminated. How can you file for unemployment and be approved? This is one of the most often asked questions from my clients. Some who are still working want to know if they should quit or wait to be terminated.The decision will vary from person to person to situation.The decision can also be personal or health related or that you just want to be out of there. Here are some legalities to consider in your decision. The e Quit: In a situation with a quit, there is generally just one type of circumstance that will get you these benefits. If you can show that you quit because the work conditions were such that no reasonable person could be expected to work there, then you can still qualify for the benefits.This is a high standard limited to what the law requires of the workplace, such as safe conditions, free from harassment, being paid, and free from retaliation.This is not an easy showing to make and so arguments based on personality, rudeness, bad bosses, etc, will not fly. The e Terminatio on: Most people think that if you have been terminated, there is no unemployment for you. However, there are exceptions to this. Of course, if you have been terminated based on policy violations, gross misconduct, and other severe actions, then you are disqualified. One way to overcome that, if the facts are there, is the exception that the conduct may not have been appropriate but it was an isolated instance of poor judgment, or something excusable that happened the one time for a good reason. Criminal activity at work or assault or harassment is never excusable. The e Wrongfull Termination: If you have been "wrongfully terminated" in the legal sense, you may still qualify for unemployment.Most employees who file lawsuits have been terminated. If the facts are there for a lawsuit, then they should be there to qualify you for unemployment.You need to show that the termination was not based on whatever the employer is claiming,but because of some legal violation they have committed.For example,if you complain of sexual harassment,then a week later,you are terminated for some work issue that happened two months ago,then the termination was retaliation.When an employer retaliates for your report of a prohibited workplace activity,that employer just violated anti-retaliation laws. Tip: If you are unemployed but develop a disability and you can't work, then you no longer qualify for unemployment.At this point, apply for State Disability Benefits.Again, these is not easy to get and you will need medical proof, but it is one safety we are lucky to have here in California.

® THIS COLUMN WAS PREPARED BY SARA ELIOT, AN EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEY. SHE CAN BE REACHED THROUGH THE LEGAL GRIND AT 310452-8160 OR REFERRAL@LEGALGRIND.COM Disclaimer: this article does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.

www.LegalGrind.com $45 Coffee & Counsel® Schedule @ THE NOVEL CAFÉ, located at 2127 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica Although our doors are closed during construction, we’re still open!

CALL 310.452.8160 TO CONFIRM TIMES Info@legalgrind.com MONDAY 4:00-5:00 0 pm

(1st & 3rd Monday/Month) Criminal Law, DMV & Traffic Law: Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, with former deputy D.A. Jacob Glucksman

TUESDAY 9:00am-12:00pm Patent,Trademark and Copyright Law with Attorney Marcus Risso (By appointment only) 4:00pm-5:00pm (1st and 3rd Tuesday of the Month). Civil and Criminal Law with former Deputy District Attorney Hart Levin. Hart has expertise in all criminal and traffic issues, and he also has extensive knowledge in many areas of civil law including business disputes, fraud, personal injury and employment law. 5:00 0 - 7:00 0 pm Wrongful termination, harassment; discrimination; wage and hour ;denial of unemployment benefits; and general counseling on issues in the workplace w/ attorney Nina Baumler. (Call for Appointment) WEDNESDAY 11:00am-3:00pm Special Education Law (By appointment only. Also available by appointment on Mondays or Fridays from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm) Attorney Alison Arkin has extensive experience working with parfents of special needs children with a wide range of disabilities, and can help them obtain appropriate services from both school districts and regional centers. She has experience with every level of the process including obtaining appropriate assessements, representation at IEP meeting, mediations, settlement negotiations and hearings. 5:00-6:30pm Divorce and Legal Separation; Domestic Partnerships; Child Custody, Support and Visitation; Spousal Support; Prenuptial Agreements & Mediation with Family Law Specialist Attorney Elizabeth Fields THURSDAY 12:00-2:00pm Immigration and Family Law with Attorney Galorah Keshavarz (By appointment only) 4:00-5:00pm m (By appointment only) Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy, Debt Negotiation and Personal Injuries cases with Attorney and Legal Grind founder Jeffrey J. Hughes FRIDAY 4:00-5:00pm (2nd & 4th Friday/Month) Criminal, DMV & Traffic Law: Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes with Attorney & former Deputy D.A. Jacob Glucksman. By Appointment only 4:00-5:00pm m (1st & 3rd Friday/Month) Small business start-ups, Corporations, Contracts, Non-Profit Organizations, Green Law, Employment Law, Green and Sustainable Business Practices with Attorney Becki Kammerling. SATURDAY Y 10am-11:30am (1st, 3rd & 5th Saturday/month ) Real Estate, Estate Planning,Wills & Living Trusts,Will Contests, Probate, Elder Law Business Litigation, Formation & Dissolution, Contracts, Construction Contracts Family Law including Divorce, Child/Spousal Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Personal Injury,Accidents, Premises and Product Liability, & Legal Malpractice with Attorney Richard Ruman. (By appointment only-Please call Call Dick at 310.273.7474) 12PM M TO O 2PM M Personal Injury free consultation; Regular consultation on all areas of Estate Planning, Landlord/Tenant rights, Mortgage Litigation, Premises Liability, Construction Accidents, and Products Liability with attorney SandeepAgarwal. (By appointment only-Please call Mr.Agarwal at 866.844.4125)

Legal Grind, Inc. is certified by the State Bar of CA as a Lawyer Referral & Information Service (#110), and was the recipient of the ABA’s 2001 Legal Access Award. www.accesslegalgrind.com Copyright © 2010-2011, Legal Grind, Inc.


Comics & Stuff TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

Visit us online at smdp.com

13

MOVIE TIMES Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Ave. (310) 260-1528

Men in Black 3 (PG-13) 1hr 46min 11:10am, 1:45pm, 4:35pm, 7:25pm, 10:15pm

Call theater for information.

AMC Loews Broadway 4 1441 Third Street Promenade (888) 262-4386 Marvel's The Avengers (PG-13) 2hrs 22min 1:40pm, 5:00pm, 8:30pm Dictator (R) 1hr 23min 2:05pm, 4:40pm, 7:10pm, 9:30pm Hunger Games (PG-13) 2hrs 22min 1:30pm, 7:30pm Bernie (PG-13) 1hr 35min 1:45pm, 4:20pm, 7:00pm, 9:30pm Five-Year Engagement (R) 2hrs 04min 4:40pm

AMC 7 Santa Monica 1310 Third St. (310) 451-9440 Marvel's The Avengers (PG-13) 2hrs 22min 11:15am, 2:45pm, 6:15pm, 9:30pm Battleship (PG-13) 2hrs 11min 12:30pm, 3:45pm, 7:00pm, 10:10pm

Dictator (R) 1hr 23min 11:55am, 2:40pm, 5:15pm, 7:45pm, 10:15pm Dark Shadows (PG-13) 1hr 53min 11:20am, 2:10pm, 5:00pm, 7:50pm, 10:30pm Men in Black 3 in 3D (PG-13) 1hr 46min 11:45am, 2:30pm, 5:20pm, 8:10pm Marvel's The Avengers 3D (PG-13) 2hrs 22min 1:00pm, 4:20pm, 7:45pm

First Position (NR) 1hr 30min 1:40pm, 4:20pm Mighty Fine (R) 1hr 20min 1:20pm, 3:30pm, 5:40pm, 7:50pm, 10:00pm

AMC Criterion 6 1313 Third St. (310) 395-1599 Battleship (PG-13) 2hrs 11min 11:55am, 3:05pm, 6:15pm, 9:15pm What to Expect When You're Expecting (PG-13) 1hr 40min 11:30am, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:35pm, 7:20pm, 8:40pm, 9:55pm

Laemmle’s Monica Fourplex 1332 Second St. (310) 478-3836

Men in Black 3 in 3D (PG-13) 1hr

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13) 1hr 58min 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:55pm

7:00pm, 9:45pm

Headhunters (Hodejegerne) (R) 1hr 38min 1:50pm, 4:30pm, 7:20pm, 9:50pm Royal Opera House's La Fille mal garde ENCORE (NR) 7:30pm

46min 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 4:05pm, 5:50pm,

MYSTERY PHOTO

Daniel Archuleta daniela@smdp.com The first person who can correctly identify where this image was captured wins a prize from the Santa Monica Daily Press. Send answers to editor@smdp.com. Send your mystery photos to editor@smdp.com to be used in future issues.

Marvel's The Avengers 3D (PG-13) 2hrs 22min 11:45am, 3:15pm, 6:45pm, 10:00pm Chernobyl Diaries (R) 1hr 30min

Speed Bump

By Dave Coverly

Strange Brew

By John Deering

11:30am, 2:10pm, 4:45pm, 7:15pm, 9:45pm

For more information, e-mail news@smdp.com

Catch up on errands, Aries ARIES (March 21-April 19)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★★★★ You have a lot to get done, especially as new things keep dropping on your plate. You are able to gain new insight after the fact. Your high energy easily can switch to anger if you are frustrated. Tonight: Catch up on errands.

★★★ Know when to pull back. You might be evaluating the pros and cons of making a major change. You do not need to make a decision right now. Your instincts guide you well with a loved one at a distance. Tonight: Make nice.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★★★★★ You seem to have one solution after

★★★★★ A meeting or get-together with a group of friends could be a pivotal part of your day. Do not take someone's abruptness or sarcasm personally. Deflect this person's energy for now. Tonight: What would make you happy? Go off and do just that.

another. You mean well, but someone could feel inferior to you. Downplay a great idea, and help build this person's sense of security. Tonight: Playful, aren't you?

Dogs of C-Kennel

By Mick and Mason Mastroianni

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) ★★★ You actually might decide to stay home, if possible. You have plenty to do, and there's no end in sight. A loved one could be delighted by your presence at home. On the other hand, you know you can indulge this person later if you cannot hang at home now. Tonight: Not going far,

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) ★★★★ Tension could be high because of an unusual demand or heavy responsibilities. You might feel like you are racing through the day. Value your time, and delegate responsibilities to others. A partner would be only too happy to pitch in. Tonight: A late night.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) ★★★★★ Sometimes, when you try to express

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

your frustration or uneasy feelings, you could come off as hostile. Observe someone or many people in the same situation. Note the different styles. Do you want to revive yours? A nice note or gesture touches you deeply. Tonight: Catch up on emails and calls.

★★★★ Something that lands on your desk could force you to do something you normally would put off. An associate or acquaintances might be developing some very strong feelings. Be aware and honest about your emotions. Tonight: Escape the day by indulging in some mind candy.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★★★★★ You could feel pressed for various financial reasons. You tend to go to excess and often find others' reactions surprising. Understand your limits, and move forward in a more positive manner. A friend reveals his or her strong feelings. Tonight: Your treat.

★★★★ You might want to duck when a partner, loved one or family member loses it. You will neutralize the situation quite quickly. Feelings will come up, but not until the end of the day when you are reminded how much you care. Tonight: Follow someone's lead.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★★★★ A newfound intensity might be difficult

★★★★ You certainly have a mixed array of

for even you to handle. If someone is not receiving your messages in the manner you would like, don't worry -- he or she also is getting used to a changing you. Tonight: Whatever makes you happy.

friends and associates. In some ways, you see similarities, with the exception of how they handle anger and frustration. Kick back and watch -- you might be surprised. Tonight: Choose your company with care.

Happy birthday This year you will be passionate about nearly everything you do. You are likely to express your anger loud and clear. In the same vein, you'll

JACQUELINE BIGAR’S STARS The stars show the kind of day you’ll have: ★★★★★Dynamic ★★ So-So ★★★★ Positive ★ Difficult ★★★ Average

express your appreciation for whom and what you love. Others will know where you are coming from. If you are single, the person you choose to be with this year could very well be a life mate, as this person is likely to reflect your emotional clarity. If you are attached, your sweetie initially might have strange reactions to this new phase. Be loving and accepting. VIRGO could be involved with your home and/or domestic life.

Garfield

The Meaning of Lila

By Jim Davis

By John Forgetta & L.A. Rose


Puzzles & Stuff 14

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

We have you covered

Sudoku

DAILY LOTTERY Draw Date: 5/25

Fill in the blank cells using numbers 1 to 9. Each number can appear only once in each row, column, and 3x3 block. Use logic and process of elimination to solve the puzzle. The difficulty level ranges from ★ (easiest) to ★★★★★ (hardest).

9 15 21 40 54 Meganumber: 11 Jackpot: $32M Draw Date: 5/26

11 17 40 44 45 Meganumber: 23 Jackpot: $23M Draw Date: 5/27

9 13 14 34 39 Draw Date: 5/27

MIDDAY: 8 3 5 EVENING: 3 6 9 Draw Date: 5/27

1st: 04 Big Ben 2nd: 01 Gold Rush 3rd: 05 California Classic RACE TIME: 1:48.15 Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the winning number information, mistakes can occur. In the event of any discrepancies, California State laws and California Lottery regulations will prevail. Complete game information and prize claiming instructions are available at California Lottery retailers. Visit the California State Lottery web site at http://www.calottery.com

NEWS OF THE WEIRD BY

King Features Syndicate

GETTING STARTED

SOLUTIONS TO YESTERDAY’S PUZZLE

There are many strategies to solving Sudoku. One way to begin is to examine each 3x3 grid and figure out which numbers are missing. Then, based on the other numbers in the row and column of each blank cell, find which of the missing numbers will work. Eliminating numbers will eventually lead you to the answer.

TM

– Arithmo Crossmath – Reclaim Your Brain • Insert the given numbers in the empty squares so when they are calculated in threes from left to right and top to bottom they satisfy the demands in the shaded boxes both horizontally and vertically. • Each empty square dictates the math operation that must be performed to meet the demands. • Remember to multiply or divide before you add or subtract. Go to www.zokigames.net for more fun and challenging games and links to our mobile phone apps.

CHUCK

SHEPARD

■ Least Competent Criminals: (1) In Twin Falls, Idaho, in April, Dylan Contreras, 19, became the most recent person arrested while trying to avoid police by giving a fake name ("Velesco") even though his real name (the one on outstanding warrants) was tattooed in plain sight on his forearm. (2) In April, a teller at Chicago's Northwest Side bank became the most recent to thwart a robbery simply by telling the perp (who had presented a holdup note) that the bank is now closed and suggesting that the robber come back the next day. (The perp walked out and did not return.) ■ Fine Points of the Law: A woman who was injured while traveling on business in November 2007 in New South Wales, Australia, was denied worker's compensation by the workplace safety tribunal on the grounds that the injury occurred in her motel room while she was having sex with a friend. (A wall light fixture came loose as a result of the pair's vigorous antics.) However, in April 2012, Australia's Federal Court overturned the decision and granted the compensation, ruling that since the woman was on assignment at the time, the overnight stay, and even the sex, were "ordinary incidents" of the situation her employer placed her in.

TODAY IN HISTORY – The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce was founded, in Hong Kong. – Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico arrives in Mexico for the first time. – The Ausgleich ("the Compromise") is born through Act 12, which establishes the Austro-Hungarian Empire. – The assassination of Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia, in Belgrade.

1861

1864 1867

1868

WORD UP! asperse \ uh-SPURS \ , noun; 1. To sprinkle; bespatter. 2. To attack with false, malicious, and damaging charges or insinuations; slander.


TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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MAINTENANCE ASSISTANT Looking for ideal candidate to complete work orders and prep apartments for move in of a senior apartment building. Competitive wage and benefits. Must have clear criminal background and be drug free. Please apply at 2107 Ocean Ave. SM, 90405. RECEPTIONIST,SANTA MONICA,40HRS a week,$11.00/hr.,insurance benefits after 90days.Email Resume @ missmorgan1112@yahoo.com

For Rent HOWARD MANAGEMENT GROUP (310)869-7901 11833 Laurelwood Dr. #10. Studio City. Schindler’s building. 2bd + 1Bth. $1895 per month. 1271 Granville Ave. #301. 3Bd +3Bth corner penthouse with loft. $3395 320 Maple Ave. #107. Beverly Hills. 2Bd + 3Bth + Den. 2,356 sq ft. $4200 per month.. WE HAVE MORE VACANCIES ON THE WESTSIDE. PETS WELCOME www.howardmanagement.com rentals@howardmanagement.com MV/MDR adj. Large studio near Centinela and 90 freeway. Full kitchen, stove & refrigerator, private balcony, laundry, parking. $950. Info (310)828-4481 or (310)993-0414 after 6pm.

Services Handyman

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TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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Santa Monica Daily Press, May 29, 2012  

The daily newspaper of record for the City of Santa Monica and surrounding areas.

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