• The Changing Face of America

    The new urban pioneers, slavery on the high seas and Trump

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher San Pedro is once again waiting at the threshold of another round of redevelopment and speculation, based upon the Port of Los Angeles’ commitment to waterfront development and the “about-

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  • When Enough Isn’t Enough:

    Campaign 2016

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher It has been five years and a few months since the young people of Egypt rose up at Tahrir (Liberation) Square to protest and ultimately depose Hosni Mubarak’s regime 18 days later. This was an unexpected but long overdue consequence of repression in the Midd

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  • End of the Dream or a New Beginning?

    Los Angeles has changed but will it also embrace a new reality?

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher I remember traveling one hot July day in 1955 to the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim. For the “happiest place on earth,” that day was a disaster. When Disneyland

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  • Across the Divide

    The 2016 Presidential Race: A Choice of Democratic Socialism vs. Corporate Capitalism

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher The 2016 race for president seems to be spinning out in ever more curious and historical proportions without there being clear winners on either the Democratic or Re

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  • Brewing up Change on the San Pedro Waterfront

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher The crowds were ebullient, if not inebriated, at the long-awaited opening of Brouwerij West in old Warehouse 9 near the San Pedro waterfront on 22nd Street and Harbor Boulevard. Wayne Blank, known for building Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station, is the visionary who

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  • Antonin Scalia (March 11, 1936-Feb. 13, 2016)

    The originalist and textualist of the court’s conservative wing By James Preston Allen, Publisher Antonin Scalia wasn’t dead for more than 24 hours before the political rancor in Washington D.C. started up in the press. Of course, there were praises from both conservatives and liberals re

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  • Crime, Harbor Division Jail

    Badges, Pistachios, More Excuses

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher A few weeks ago, a 14-year-old suspect carjacked a black SUV in San Pedro at gunpoint. Within hours, the police had spotted the stolen vehicle and a chase ensued into my neighborhood. The teenager panicked, abandoned t

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  • True Leadership Demands Action in a Crisis

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that the edifice, which produces beggars, needs restructuring.”


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  • Crisis, Conflict, Resolution

    Public-Interest Journalism Key to Saving a Diverse and Vibrant City

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher In every crucible where there are actors with competing interests, there is conflict. Without conflict there can be no resolution, let alone an end to a crisis. Random Lengths has played critical and important

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  • Trump: When Fascism Comes to America

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the polls for the Republican nomination for the presidency is no wonder. His rhetoric in recent months—whether it was his connecting Mexican immigrants to crime or his comments on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), saying he is not a hero “becau

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