• Iberian Attitudes Live in Downtown Long Beach

    • 07/26/2017
    • Richard Foss
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Richard Foss, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer

    I don’t usually eavesdrop on neighboring diners, but the guy on the cell phone at the next table made it impossible not to. He had the kind of voice that carries across a room. He was doing his level best to get a friend to join him.

    “Hey buddy, I know you’re feeling down right now but you really ought to get out some,” he said. “I’m sitting at a good restaurant with some wine in front of me; you want me to have to drink it alone? And I ordered some food, the plates here are good-sized, and there’s gonna be plenty. Why don’t you come and join me?”

    The accent was pure New York, but the restaurant was Spanish and so was the attitude. The Iberians have great faith in the restorative power of food, wine and companionship. It was charming to hear a champion of the idea in full evangelical mode.

    My wife and I were sitting at an outdoor table at Sevilla in Long Beach, one of a chain of restaurants specializing in Spanish food and paella. We had considered dining inside amid dramatic décor that recalls Dali and Picasso, but the light breeze on the shaded patio was too delightful to resist.

    Every meal here starts with tapas, a category that originated in Spain. In the 1800s these were snacks of cured meats and cheeses that were put on top of bread. When you ordered wine, they were served atop your wine glass, hence their name, which  means “lid” or “cover.” As time went by, they became more substantial and started being served on little plates but were still intended to accompany leisurely meals with many glasses of wine.

    Tortilla Española is delicately served at Sevilla in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Cafe Sevilla Long Beach

    We started with three fairly traditional items: bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with cabrales blue cheese, octopus and potatoes with garlic and paprika, and a tortilla Española. That last item confuses lots of people who order it and expect some kind of flatbread but get a potato omelette. Both the Mexican and Spanish tortilla are named for their shape, as the word means ‘little cake.’ This one hardly fits that definition as it’s the size and geometry of a generous slice of pie, topped with roasted and pickled bell peppers and mushrooms.  It’s delicious, but almost too much as a starter for two.

    Datiles rellenos are proudly offered at Cafe Sevilla in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Cafe Sevilla

    The order of dates was daintier, but still substantial: the fruits were skewered and grilled  and then topped with herbs and a sweet and sour glaze. It’s an appetizer that anybody can make at home but few people do, because it’s time-consuming, but it hits all the sweet, salty, fruity and umami buttons.

    The octopus with potatoes was a surprise because my wife actually liked it. She finds most paprika harsh or metallic, and I had ordered this figuring that I’d eat it all. Although there was plenty of paprika, it had an unusually mellow flavor, warm and slightly smoky rather than hot. She usually tries a bite, shudders slightly and moves on to other things, but we shared this equally.

    We had arrived during happy hour, which is arranged differently than usual here.  For every dollar you spend on drinks before 7 p.m., you get a dollar toward food, which is a very generous program. We tried some sangria variations with our starters and wine with dinner, as Spaniards would, and saved a fair amount on our bill.

    For our main course, we shared a small “six sausage” paella, which actually had five sausages and some rabbit medallions if you want to get technical about it. This is a remarkable bargain for a main course because a $24 pan feeds at least two hungry people. Having been to Spain several times, I can say that it tastes just like it’s supposed to. The sausages and rabbit had abundant and varied flavors and the rice cooked in herbed stock was moist and flavorful and just a bit caramelized in the bottom of the pan. They serve six varieties of paella here, including seafood and vegetarian versions. I just may have to come back and try them all.

    We were tempted by the cheese platter but were too full, and might have skipped dessert except that they offered a bread pudding with rum-soaked figs, apricots, cranberry and banana. This particular combination of fruits baked into a cake or custard isn’t traditionally Spanish, but the general idea is and the execution was superb. It had a slightly crisp top and wasn’t overly sweet. The topping of ice cream and drizzle of chocolate were nicely calibrated to match the flavors. It’s one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time and I taste a lot of desserts.

    The service by a waiter named Rogue was excellent, but there were evidently some problems in coordination with his support staff on the day we were there, as some items arrived late or mistimed. Our experience was very good but the management should watch this aspect of things.

    Our dinner for two ran about $75 with four drinks, which was remarkably reasonable. As we departed, the guy at the table next to us was still hopefully waiting for his buddy to show up. I hope he did, because the experience lightened our moods and might have done the same for him.

    Sevilla is at 140 Pine Ave. in Long Beach.

    Details: (562) 495-1111

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  • A DeMinted Constitutional Convention?

    • 07/26/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • News
    • Comments are off

    Prominent conservative signs on for attempt to change the Constitution

    By Baynard Woods

    In the early years of the Obama era, then-Sen. Jim DeMint embodied a series of contradictions in the American character.

    The hard-jawed and bitter-faced Sandlapper was simultaneously a theocrat, a cynic, and a salesman. What he sold, as salvation, was hate and fear. He realized before the rest of us that it does not matter what politicians say or do as long as they can demonize their enemies, turning them into villains that the American people can love to hate.

    DeMint came from the fundamentalist, mill village town of Greenville, S.C., nestled in the piedmont at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, not far from the North Carolina border.  BMW and Michelin have recently turned the town into a somewhat more cosmopolitan place. But even 20 years ago — when I finally escaped — it was a town that produced dire, dour, and yet grimly visionary people, a severe, joyless place whose preachers obsessed over hell fire and the enjoyable things other people may be doing to hasten it.

    DeMint galvanized the Tea Party with this schtick, but he could only take it so far. It was a little too grim for the American Sucker. DeMint played the part like a great character actor — Harry Dean Stanton playing Ronald Reagan.

    Donald Trump came along and brought a little P.T. Barnum to the act, taking DeMint’s gruesome view of America at war with itself and carnivalizing the carnage, in the same way televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart made the hell-fire sermons they heard in small Southern churches palatable to the masses on television.

    “The bigger government gets, the smaller God gets,” DeMint said in a radio appearance in 2011. Trump echoed this in May when he told a crowd at the fundamentalist Liberty University, “In America, we don’t worship government, we worship God.”

    Perhaps DeMint was savvy enough to know he would do better as a vicar or an éminence grise, providing ideas to the crown, rather than the frontman. The Greenville in him was still a little too mirthless to break through to the next level. He left the Senate in 2012 to take over the ultra-conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

    During the election, the foundation remained largely silent on Trump, putting DeMint in a perfect position to help guide the seemingly shocked and ill-prepared transition team. It provided policy papers, personnel, and a list of Supreme Court nominees, deeply influencing the beginning of the Trump era.

    So it was a fucking shocker — and sort of admirable — when the Heritage board ousted DeMint in May, with influential members arguing he had dulled the intellectual edge of the foundation by making it too activist.

    After his Heritage ouster, the former senator went to work for the Convention of States Project. This is a group that wants to invoke Article V of the Constitution to call for a convention to amend the constitution.

    Article V outlines two ways to add an amendment to the Constitution; one of them has never been successfully employed before. Each of the 27 existing amendments has been proposed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states.

    In the other way, two-thirds of the legislatures of the states can “call a convention for proposing amendments.”

    The conventional way is politically impossible at present and, to a man like DeMint, undesirable. But the alternate way, relying on the states as it does, is almost too perfect an ideological vehicle. DeMint calls the Convention of States the next stage of the Tea Party, which wanted to limit federal power. It makes ideological sense for him to latch onto state legislatures’ ability to change the constitution to limit federal power.

    But the crazy thing is that it might actually be possible. Thirty-four is two-thirds of 50. That’s how many state legislatures would have to request a convention. Republicans hold both houses in 32 states. If a convention relying on state legislatures would ever work for the right, it would be now.

    Twelve states have already requested a convention to amend the Constitution. Over the last few weeks, DeMint was lobbying hard in North Carolina to make it the 13th. It passed the senate, and failed in the house, which later voted to reconsider it.

    One of the big problems is the possibility of a “runaway convention.” The Convention of States argues that such a convention could be limited to a single topic: limiting federal control. But because it has never happened, no one knows how it will go. Imagine the Proud Boys and AntiFa outside the convention hall.

    The one topic DeMint and his crew want to introduce is the limit of federal control, including congressional and Supreme Court term limits; a balanced budget; and the elimination of  federal regulations. While it seems like such a focus may be opposed to the Trump regime, it fits in perfectly with its stated goal of the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” as Steve Bannon put it.

    And Trump’s new voter commission — headed up by Kris Kobach, a dour Kansas extremist who is the perfect DeMint counterpart — might make the possibility of a new states-driven, conservative-leaning constitutional convention even more likely.

    The state-level dominance Republicans presently enjoy is due in part to successful attempts to limit the votes of minorities and others they think might vote Democrat (the pusillanimous posturing of the Democrats doesn’t help). If they are further able to control the turnout, Republicans will be more likely to gain even more states, and increasing the likelihood of a a constitutional convention.

    The contradiction gives yet another glimpse into today’s so-called conservative movement. The Trump/Kobach commission requires states to give voter data to the federal government (although many have refused). But just as fellow states’ rights Southerner Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejects states’ decisions to legalize cannabis and favors big-government mandatory minimum sentencing, the people who want to strip power from the federal government are perfectly happy to allow the Feds to strip the vote from citizens to do so.

    @demoincrisis and @baynardwoods on Twitter; baynard@democracyincrisis.com

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  • How I Ended Up on Medicaid

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  • COWBOY VERSUS SAMURAI @ Long Beach Playhouse

    If you’re of Asian descent, there are only two reasons why you live in Breakneck, Wyoming (pop. 1,000): you were adopted, or you wanted to start a new life after a bad experience in the big city. That’s because there are only two Asians living there. But a third is coming to town, and everything is about to change.

    Contrary to its titular implications, the conflict in Cowboy versus Samurai isn’t between Asians and Caucasians; it isn’t even between two people or cultures. Rather, its four characters come into conflict with themselves once catalyzed by the Cyrano de Bergerac conceit, making for a night of theatre reminiscent of the Steve Martin film Roxanne, minus the firemen and with a sprinkling of cultural awareness. It’s good-natured, lightly amusing, and unlikely to mark you deeply.

    Meet Chester (Perry Pang) and Travis (Lee Samuel Tanng), who together constitute the whole of the Breakneck Asian-American Association (BAAA—you know, like a sheep). Chester worships Bruce Lee (“the perfect Asian man”) and wants his hometown to stop acting like there are no Asians here—you can’t even get tofu or Kirin, for fuck’s sake!—although his militancy is fueled mostly by his personal identity problems. He’s never been outside of Wyoming, his White parents neglected to find out from the now-defunct adoption agency where they found him just what sort of Asian he is (Japanese? Chinese? Korean?), and growing up never had an Asian friend. But then came Travis, a high-school English teacher who moved to the middle of nowhere to start over after his heart was broken in L.A. But militant he ain’t. In fact, he actually likes his quiet, semi-monkish existence here. He’s even made a best friend of Del (Christian Skinner), a wannabe cowboy (he won his six-gallon hat in a contest) and pot-smoking P.E. teacher who once upon a time was quick with the racial slurs but turned out to be a good guy.

    Enter Veronica (Rosie Naraski). A native New Yorker, she’s landed on this backwater berg by design. They desperately needed good teachers, and hey, she just wants to try something completely new. That is, except for dating Asian men, even though she and Travis immediately hit it off. She’s gone White almost all her life (“preferences,” she says, not prejudice), and she isn’t about to change now. Actually, she’s committed to staying single for a while. But when Del is smitten, Travis—despite his own amorous feelings—helps his ineloquent pal woo her. That’s what friends are for, right?

    There are few surprises in Cowboy versus Samurai. The comedy is sitcom-level with the occasional curse word, the politics are only skin-deep, and if you’ve seen one Cyrano adaptation, you’ve pretty much seen them all. But not all theatre has to be compelling. The opening-night audience seemed mostly appreciative of playwright Michael Golamco’s humor (although I have no theory to explain why they would laugh at one moment and then give no reaction to an equally (un)funny line the next). Unfortunately, the actors had yet to truly inhabit their characters. Rather than really talking to each other, it felt as if they were reading from a teleprompter behind the eyes, leaving almost every exchange feeling flat.

    The notable exceptions are Del’s monologs, which we come to learn are the passages from the letters Travis composes for him. Part of the difference is that Christian Skinner is simply better here than he or anyone else is when they’re talking to each other, but these also happen to be Golamco’s best passages. There’s an old writer’s rule saying that if you’re going to show the audience anything your characters are claiming is brilliant, beautifully written, etc., it damn well better be—otherwise you’ve just made your characters look like idiots. But Golamco avoids such a pitfall. Del/Travis’s reflections on love—e.g., how it makes you willing to fly all your colors in a world where camouflage keeps you safe, how it allows you to be more comfortable being seen in society by yourself because of the self-knowledge that you’re truly not alone—contain beautiful imagery and reveal a thoughtful soul for whom it’s easy to see a gal falling. M. de Bergerac himself never wrote anything so good (at least not that Rostand lets us hear).

    Del’s monologs also contain the show’s nicest technical moments. The highlight is Paul Tran’s lighting design during a monolog about a burning barn. Tran makes compelling choices concerning what to illuminate or enshadow and when, helping us feel the night air, the darkness, the prairie, the flames, the eyes of a fiery steed slowly emerging toward us.

    Cowboy versus Samurai is lite fare, but maybe you don’t want a full meal every time you go to the theatre. First-time director Shinshin Yuder Tsai does a respectable job with material that, while not exactly paradigm-shifting, gets you from point A to point B. You may not be transformed by your journey to Breakneck, but you’ll come away no worse for wear.


    (Photo credit: Michael Hardy Photography)

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  • Not My Belt Buckle: Supervisor Hahn Responds

    • 07/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Letters
    • Comments are off

    I write in response to a June 22nd  Letter to the Editor [RLn vol. Xxxviii No.13] regarding the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s decision to spend a reported $300,000 on new belt buckles for deputies’ uniforms.

    I have to agree that this did not strike me as a good use of taxpayer money. However, while the Board of Supervisors oversees the Sheriff’s Department’s $3 billion budget — the sheriff has discretion when it comes to spending their general funds on things like uniforms. The author claimed that my office did not respond to her dozen phone calls complaining about the issue. While I will admit that it took some time to find the answers she wanted, my office did respond to her inquiries.

    I take issue with the author’s characterization that the County of LA spends taxpayer money “willy-nilly.”  I take the responsibility of spending tax money very seriously. The Board of Supervisors follows a rigorous budget process, complete with a hearing open to the public and opportunities for residents to comment.  In fact, we just passed a Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget that is balanced,  is responsible and directs tax money to the most basic and vital government responsibilities — things like public infrastructure improvement, the homelessness crisis, healthcare for low income residents and services for foster children.

    I agree with the author that funding new uniforms for the Dana Middle School marching band is a worthy cause, although the money the Sheriff’s Department used for those belt buckles could not have been used for this purpose, as the author seemed to imply.   However, as far as I know, my office did not receive a formal request for funding from the school.  I encourage local organizations to come to my office with funding proposals. I have a great team that vets all proposals and identifies organizations and programs that we can help.

    Janice Hahn
    Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member

    To Richard Foss

    I have really been enjoying Richard Foss’ reviews and articles.  He seems to really appreciate good food, and reading one of his reviews is like being there with him.  His commentary on dining etiquette and dining in general really make you think.

    John Mattson
    San Pedro

    Thanks for SCAQMD Protest Article

    Thanks James and Terelle  for your efforts. I think all local “elected” officials should be investigated by FPPC commission for public disclosure of possible campaign finance violations/not properly disclosing campaign donations, too — i.e., Los Angeles City Councilman Joe B., Carson Mayor Albert Robles, Assemblyman Mike Gipson & others. Follow the trail, follow the money, and see who is in whose pocket?

    Ricardo Pulido
    Carson, former Carson Commissioner

    A Note About Impeachment

    Let’s talk about impeachment.

    There’s more than enough evidence to begin an impeachment inquiry to remove Donald Trump from office.

    The three previous impeachment inquiries in the House (involving presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton) rested on less evidence than is already publicly known about Trump — and on issues far less serious than the Trump team’s possible collusion with a foreign adversary to win the election and Trump’s subsequent attempted cover-up.

    But impeachment is a political process. Republicans will support impeachment only if they think that they’ll lose their jobs by enabling Trump’s transgressions. And even if it does take Democrats until the 2018 elections to take back control of the House and pass an impeachment resolution, we have to start pushing now and be ready to go the moment we take back power.

    That’s why I was thrilled that last week MoveOn joined the call for Trump to be impeached. We need MoveOn to help build and sustain a massive amount of pressure on vulnerable Republicans to impeach Trump. It’s not going to be easy, but the very future of our democracy hangs in the balance.

    I hear some progressives say, “But Mike Pence is just as bad as Trump.”

    Yes, Pence is ultra-far right. As a progressive, I disagree with him on absolutely everything. But we know what to expect from Pence, and we can fight him on the issues. He’s not the irresponsible and unpredictable man who currently sits in the Oval Office. (And, anyway, getting to the bottom of Trump’s web of lies and cover-ups could very well take down multiple people in the White House, including Pence, or in the case of a Trump impeachment or resignation, leave a greatly diminished, compromised, lame-duck Pence in his stead.)

    And some Democrats in Congress say that we have to wait to pursue impeachment until Democrats take back the House in 2018.

    Rubbish. It’s absolutely the reverse.

    The path to winning in 2018 (and thereafter) begins with Democrats in Congress showing the American people that they have the courage and backbone necessary to take back our nation. It means calling for the impeachment of Trump and holding politically accountable every single person in his administration and in the House and Senate who have enabled his disgrace of a presidency.

    And it’s not clear if America can wait for the midterm elections, followed by what’s likely to be a long and drawn-out impeachment investigation, followed by a trial in the Senate. Just look at the damage Trump has done in just 151 days as president. We need to act now.

    Plus, I’m in the camp that the “right” time to impeach isn’t about when it’s feasible in Congress — but about when the person in the Oval Office has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and recklessly and repeatedly violated the Constitution.

    And here are the added benefits of starting right now: If MoveOn campaigns now for impeachment, there’s a real chance we can derail Trump’s disastrous agenda by eroding GOP congressional (and public) support.

    It’s go time on impeachment.

    MoveOn staff just briefed me on their plans for their impeachment campaign, and I’m impressed. Their plans include the following:

    • Exposing and shining a spotlight on the hypocrisy of Republicans who cover up for Trump and his team — with a particular focus on the 23 Republicans in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton last year. These lawmakers are vulnerable when they run again next year, so much so that Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida took care to point out to the media that he was “the first Republican to mention impeachment.”
    • Continuing to drive down Trump’s popularity. Already, Trump’s unpopularity is at a record high, not far from where Nixon’s was at the time of his own resignation. The fact is that when Trump is an albatross around the neck of Republican politicians, they will turn on him, making impeachment a political reality as well as a Constitutional necessity.
    • Urging Democrats to demand the truth — matching the passion I’m seeing in the grassroots base.

     Robert Reich

    My Ocean

    I live at the land’s end
    I see the horizon, I see the sun
    drop into the orange water
    I live at the ocean with its morning
    coldness and fog
    I am awakened by the sound of ships’ horns
    which signal new persons in town!

    At my ocean the sun shines through
    the fog to create light,
    I become optimistic
    Iia day I will
    remember all my life,
    a day that
    there will always be enough time

    The ocean is me, it is my soulmate
    I am salty air, the greenish algae
    I am the sand and the breakwater
    I am the ocean’s mystery, a story untold

    The ocean is my solitude, it is my sense
    to slow my brain
    my mind asks, “do the waves ever stop?”
    Do the waves become repetitious blurs?
    Never to be understood
    the ocean waves are white noise, at a
    California beach, never speaking, but knowing all

    The waves can tell of my dreams, my
    success, my failure, and urge me
    to cope
    John R. Gray
    San Pedro

    A Tortured Metaphor

    As summer heats up, ice cream will refresh us. But with corruption and corporate control in Washington hotter than ever, we’ll need more than ice cream to revive our democracy.
    If you think we tortured that metaphor, it’s nothing compared to how Big Money is torturing our democracy.

    Whether you care about affordable, accessible health care, the climate, private prisons, military spending or an economy that works for everyone (not just the rich guys), there’s one thing that connects all these fights: It’s Big Money vs. the rest of us.

    That’s why we’ve partnered with MoveOn to offer you a way to speak out against Big Money a thousand times over: a stamp to mark your dollar bills with the message, “Resist Big Money in Politics: Amend the Constitution.” MoveOn members have been sending that same message through phone calls, rallies and petitions for years. Now, you can join 65,000 STAMPeders (Ben’s the Head Stamper) who have been spreading that message by turning money into media.

    Look, we’re tired of being on defense: fighting against Trumpcare, fighting against the Muslim ban, fighting against a corporate giveaway called an “infrastructure plan” and a massive transfer of wealth to the 1 percent  in the form of a Draconian budget, fighting against climate-change denial and fighting against Trump’s reckless abuse of power over his team’s ties to Russia.

    We’d rather be fighting for a few things that we believe in. Medicare for All! Debt-free college for all! A game-changing investment in clean energy! Equality for all Americans!

    But we won’t win fights FOR any of these things until we deal with the elephant in the room: the destructive force of Big Money in politics. So let’s take matters in our own hands … literally.

    Money is the original viral marketing. As it moves from hand to hand, the average stamped bill gets seen by 875 people. So taking 15 seconds to stamp your bill is a lot of “bang for your buck!”

    Seriously, though, stamping is effective and fun. Your message gets through because putting it on money is disruptive. And with what we’re facing from Washington and corporate media, we’ll have to use every tool we have to get our message out.

    —Ben & Jerry

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  • Summer Guide Fun: iPalpiti Orchestra

    • 07/21/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off


    July 25
    iPalpiti Orchestra
    The iPalpiti Orchestra performs selections from the 20th iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates.iPalpiti (ee-PAHL-pit-ee, Italian for “heartbeats”) is unique in that it draws its members from top prize-winning laureates of international competitions.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. July 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    July 27
    Sean Watkins
    American tunes feature a celebration of Paul Simon with a great lineup of musicians.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/Sean-Watkins-Friends
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    July 28
    La Charanga Cubana
    Enjoy traditional Cuban dance music, then stuff your face with food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. July 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    July 29
    Mothership Landing
    Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Parliament-Funkadelic’s groundbreaking release.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 30
    Hard Day’s Night
    You’ll swear The Beatles are in the South Bay.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. July 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MB-Summer-Concerts
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    July 30
    Rob Garland’s Eclectic Trio
    Rob Garland’s Eclectic Trio plays original high energy instrumental and vocal music with funk, blues, jazz, fusion and rock.
    Time: 4 p.m. July 30
    Cost: $10
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    Aug. 3
    Ibibio Sound Machine
    Experience African and electronic jams inspired by the golden era of West African funk, disco and post-punk.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts/ibibio-sound-machine
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles


    July 28
    La Linea
    A multimedia story of everyday life on the Mexico-U.S. border with music by Panoptica.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 29
    Join the irrepressible comic strip heroine as she takes center stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals. Annie’s escape from an orphanage and the clutches of the wicked Miss Hannigan leads to new life and home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks.
    7:30 p.m. July 29, and 2 p.m. July 29 and 30
    $39 to $60
    Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    July 29
    Dark Moon
    Elysium Conservatory Theatre roars into the summer with an epic re-imagining of The Ballad of Barbara Allen. Set in the Appalachian Mountains near Ol’ Baldy, Dark of the Moon is an immersive thriller that follows John the Witch Boy and Barbara, a human, as they fight for love among the terrifying worlds of witches and equally colorful residents of Buck Creek.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays July 29 through Aug. 27
    Cost: $10 to $25
    Details: www.fearlessartists.org/box-office-1
    Venue: Elysium Conservatory Theatre, 729 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    July 30
    Peter & The Wolf
    The childhood classic told with live music.
    Time: 3 to 4:30 p.m. July 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 5
    Guys and Dolls
    Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, Guys and Dolls is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler Nathan Detroit tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through Aug. 5
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Aug. 13
    Peter y La Loba
    Enjoy another telling of Peter and the Wolf, this time with Latin Grammy Award winners Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam.
    Time: 3 and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 24

    The Art of Eliseo Art Silva features 20 works which embrace sparring ideas to intentionally disrupt the expected and bring attention to new ideas and conversations. As an artist of over 100 public works on the East and West Coasts and in his own studio practice, this Philippines-born artist strives to disrupt his audience, forcing them to rethink and energize. RSVP requested.
    Time: 5 to 8 p.m. July 24
    Details: (310) 514-9139; linda@sbcglobal.net
    Venue: The Arcade, 479 W. 6th St., Suite 107, San Pedro

    July 30
    From The Desert to The Sea: The Desolation Center Experience
    Before the era of Burning Man, Lollapalooza and Coachella, Desolation Center drew punk and industrial music fans to the far reaches of the Mojave Desert for the first of five events, Mojave Exodus, in April of 1983. Cornelius Projects pays tribute to Desolation Center’s pioneering vision with an exhibition featuring painting, photography, sculpture, video and ephemera.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, through July 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 266-9216
    Venue: Cornelius Projects Gallery, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    Aug. 19
    Third Saturday Artwalk
    Explore San Pedro’s diverse art scene, featuring 30-plus open galleries, open studios, live music and eclectic dining.
    Free art walk tour starts at Siren’s coffee house.
    Time: 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.SanPedroBID.com
    Venue: Siren’s, 356 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 19
    PVAC Faculty Exhibition
    Showcasing the talent of the community of artists who teach at The Studio School and Youth Studio at Palos Verdes Art Center / Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, the Faculty Exhibition presents new works in diverse media, including painting, drawing, ceramics, glass, textiles and design.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://pvartcenter.org/exhibitions/pvac-faculty-exhibition
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 West Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Aug. 25.
    Audrey Barrett: Available Light
    Gallery 478 and TransVagrant Projects are pleased to present Audrey Barrett: Available Light, an exhibition of photography and auction benefiting City of Hope Metastatic Breast Cancer Research.
    Audrey Barrett (1940-2017) was an extraordinary photographer and designer whose aesthetic encompassed a broad spectrum from surrealism in photography to Russian constructivism in design. This exhibition consists of black and white gelatin silver and platinum palladium prints from her archive including many of the artist’s proofs.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, through Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 732-2150
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 3
    Cada Mente en Su Mundo
    The Museum of Latin American Art is proud to host a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Luis Tapia, a pioneering Chicano artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 45 years, Tapia has taken the art of polychrome wood sculpture to new levels of craftsmanship while utilizing it as a medium for social and political commentary.
    Time:  11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach


    July 29
    Sinister Circus

    The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor proudly presents Sinister Circus, the first-ever haunted summer costume ball aboard the Queen Mary. Following a day of macabre fun at Midsummer Scream 2017, join us at a spook-tacular costume party aboard where you can dress up to become one of the ringmaster’s minions for Dark Harbor’s Sinister Circus.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 29
    Cost: $29 to $34
    Details: http://bit.ly/DHSinisterCircus
    Venue: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    Aug. 12
    Iowa by the Sea Picnic
    All Iowans and people who love the great state of Iowa are invited to this year’s fun event. The picnic location provides excellent security, adequate space and a great view of the battleship.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 12
    Cost: $12 to $35
    Details: (877) 446-9261; www.pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., Berth 87, San Pedro

    Aug. 13
    Cyclavia SanPedro/Wilmington
    CicLAvia ,which  produces temporary car-free days that transform streets into safe spaces for thousands of people to explore the city by foot, bike and other forms of non-motorized transport, will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 13 in Wilmington and San Pedro.
    No parking will be allowed on the CicLAvia Route from 1 a.m.  to 6 p.m. Aug. 13. Parking restrictions will be enforced and vehicles will be towed beginning at 1 a.m.
    Details: www.ciclavia.org/ciclavia_sanpedro17

    Aug. 18
    Movie Under the Guns
    Battleship Iowa invites you to a free screening of Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie will be shown on board the fantail of Battleship Iowa as you sit under the stars, overlooking the beautiful Los Angeles Waterfront.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (877) 446-9261; www.pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro
    Sept. 2
    Swing Pedro Fleet Week 2017
    Come dance, listen to great music and meet great people from San Pedro. This event is free to all Navy and military on active duty so make sure to mingle with our fine servicemen. Spaces fill up quickly so be sure to get your tickets early.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: $25
    Details: (310) 547-2348
    Venue: People’s Yoga, Health & Dance, 365 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    13th Annual Light at the Lighthouse Music Festival
    There will be four stages, including a main stage with some of the best headlining Christian rock bands like The Edge and a worship stage featuring talent from local churches.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.lightatthelighthouse.org
    Venue: Point Fermin, 807 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro

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  • Garcia Announces Commission Nominations

    • 07/21/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    LONG BEACH — On July 14, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced five nominations to commissions.

    Garcia appointed former vice mayors Frank Colonna and Bonnie Lowenthal to serve on the Long Beach Harbor Commission.

    Colonna is a long-time resident and local business owner. He served two terms as District 3 councilman and two years as vice mayor, during which he represented Long Beach at the national level as chairman of the Federal Legislative Committee and as chairman of the Central Cities Committee for the National League of Cities. He was also appointed chairman of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority. Colonna earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach and a master’s degree from Cal State Northridge in environmental health. He is on the Economic Development Commission and served as its inaugural chair.

    Lowenthal served two terms as District 1 councilwoman and vice mayor. She was a state Assemblywoman. As an Assemblywoman, she worked closely with the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in her capacities as chairwoman of the Assembly Select Committee on Ports and chairwoman of the Assembly Transportation Committee. She was the only elected official appointed to serve on the National Freight Advisory Committee and helped led the development of the California Freight Plan. Lowenthal also served as a Metro Board member, where she successfully secured funding for the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project and supported the expanded use of PierPass. Prior to her time as an elected representative, Bonnie was a family counselor, mental health consultant, and educator.

    Josh LaFarga is being appointed to the Long Beach Planning Commission effective October 1, 2017 to fill the vacancy created by Donita Van Horik’s resignation.  LaFarga, serves as the director of Public and Government Affairs and as recording secretary and executive board member at LiUNA! Local 1309. He is also a member on the South Bay Workforce Investment Board and co-chairman of the Legislative Committee for FuturePorts, the largest nonprofit organization working to promote the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Earlier this year the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed LaFarga to the Building Rehabilitation Appeals Board.

    Garcia appointed Steve Goodling as the CVB Representative to the Economic Development Commission.   Goodling has been the president and CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau for the past sixteen years. He has been involved in numerous economic development projects, including a $45 million re-design of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center complex, the grand opening of the Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena and the terminal modernization of Long Beach Airport.

    Adam Carrillo is being appointed to the Board of Directors of Long Beach Transit.   Carrillo is the Economic Development manager for the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, where he works to support job creation efforts by attracting, expanding, and retaining business in the downtown core. Carrillo also is president of the Long Beach Commercial Real Estate Council, a Principal at Economic & Business Development Partners, and an advisory Board member at DRTV Inc.

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  • Nasty Woman Concert Delivers Great Pleasure

    • 07/21/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Music
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    Nasty women gathered all around for the inaugural Nasty Woman Concert Series kickoff July 8 at diPiazza’s Restaurant, Lounge and Nightclub in Long Beach.

    Named after Donald Trump’s description of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle, this tour of nasty women is about bringing people together through music.

    For Nasty Woman co-founders Amy Crosby and Susan McKenna, this concert series is also about demonstrating consistent resistance to female-suppressive policies from the current presidential administration and political climate.

    The total proceeds from the concert will benefit the L-Project Los Angeles. The vision of L-Project Los Angeles is to create sustainable, vibrant and inclusive communities for lesbians and bisexual women of all ages, creeds and races living in greater Los Angeles.

    The five bands on the bill foreshadowed a lively night. Each of the female-fronted outfits —Abby & the Myth, Kelly Mantle, Shitting Glitter, No Small Children and Doll Parts — rocked hard. Female drag queen Wendy Ho was master of ceremonies. Between sets, she entertained with a forward and assured brand of comedy and song.

    Abby Posner put a face to the name of Abby & the Myth. She charmed the room with her bright voice and dexterous guitar picking. Banjo is also one of Posner’s skills and she showcased that on Rabbit Hole, a song about going down a rabbit hole of infatuation. Abby & the Myth has formulated a unique sound for itself with Posner’s guitar improvisation.

    To the audience’s delight, Wendy Ho sang a soulful and suggestive number about male genitalia put to a love song.

    Kelly Mantle, a talented singer, actor and musician, is the first openly gender-fluid person to be considered for an Oscar for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for the feature film Confessions Of A Womanizer.

    Mantle demonstrated wide musical versatility and sang a mixture of ballads, upbeat numbers and covers, including The Pointer Sisters, Fire and Blondies rap on Rapture. Mantle performed in a soft spoken manner with piercing lyrics, highlighted in the song Equality.

    “We’re all living under the same umbrella shielding us from the storms,” Mantle said. “It’s called equality.”

    Mantle led into a ballad, singing in part,

    I can be a boy or I can be a girl
    But I don’t need to live in a separate world
    I can be anyone I want to be
    Even if you crucify me

    Why force me to fight for equality?
    Cuz you’ll never be equal to me.
    Why do we have to fight for equality?
    Isn’t it ironic? So Napoleonic. Isn’t that the T.

    The Nasty Woman Concert Series had gathered a full house of fans. The show led off in presentation mellower than anticipated. But the abundance of great musicians changed that. The audience was seduced like someone who arouses a woman with good foreplay to build a rock hard — or hard rocking  — show.

    Amy Crosby, lead vocalist for Shitting Glitter and event co- founder, wore a hot-pink wig and followed by her bandmates and Posner, this time on electric guitar, showcased her hard rock and punk side. They energized the room with hard driving sound. This band is a mix of glamor, punk, rock and a little rockabilly. Crosby, with her high pitched notes and glamourous backup singer, brought the sass.

    Shitting Glitter has played countless shows throughout California and across the country. They have also written and recorded a large collection of original music, several used in soundtracks and compilations.

    “We have never felt more emboldened to move forward with tenacity and exhilaration,” said co-founders Crosby and McKenna as a mutual response in an email. “We feel that we have created unity out of words that were meant to divide.”

    Three Los Angeles elementary school teachers by day and rock stars by night followed. In an inspired turn this trio, No Small Children, opened with the solo trumpet call of Pete Seeger’s This Land is Your Land.

    All dressed in matching sexy red dresses and white sneakers, these glamor girls took rock to a remarkable level of variety. No Small Children is comprised of Lisa Pimentel on guitar and vocals, Joanie Pimentel with bass and vocals and Nicola Berlinsky on drums.

    They displayed a consummate range of sound. The band has a great stage presence and strong riffs came from both Pimentel sisters. Bassist Joanie Pimentel not only sings but yodels and has a vicious punk scream. Lisa Pimentel also plays an impressive trumpet.

    As surprising as it was great, No Small Children’s presentation activated this audience with their musicianship. In a too brief highlight, both Pimentel’s joined together playing snare drums, sticks tapping away in perfect unison.

    The group has captured the attention of a wide range of fans and national media. No Small Children was invited to perform at the Unity Ball in Washington, D.C. immediately following the Women’s March on Washington. They also had the opportunity to cover Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr., which was featured in the Ghostbusters movie remake.

    Closing the evening was Long Beach premier all female 90s grunge and alternative cover band, Doll Parts. The members met in a juvenile detention center. The only thing these girls had in common, besides a love of loud grunge music, was their view of an abandoned doll factory across the yard.

    All in black, they evoked a mysterious quality which translated to their music. They captured that grunge sound, grabbing aural attention as something independent of rock or punk. It’s a little darker and something deeper than might first be imagined.

    The lead singer and guitarist’s voice began subtly but she built to a raspy rebel yell powered by hard, fast driving chords. Their cover of Paula Abdul’s Straight Up, 80s synth and dance heavy, female’s query to her man on their status groove, transformed into a fierce demand replete with the powerful riffs to back it up.

    “This is just the beginning of our movement towards the kind of joy, community and strength we intend to maintain, and create, for all women … nasty and beyond!,” McKenna and Crosby said in their joint email. “ Look for us in our next concert in the series in Los Angeles, with eyes on San Francisco, New York and D.C.”

    Details: https://nastywomanconcerts.com

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  • CicLAvia Comes to the Harbor

    • 07/21/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Street closures in August are going to transform the Los Angeles Harbor Area towns of Wilmington and San Pedro into safe spaces for pedestrian and bicycle traffic and everything in between.

    CicLAvia produces temporary car-free days that transform streets into safe spaces for thousands of people to explore the city by foot, bike and other forms of non-motorized transport. This CicLAvia event is produced in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, Metro and CicLAvia Inc. (a non-profit).

    After 21 events, CicLAvia has become one of the largest open-streets event in the country.

    It is modeled after Bogota, Colombia’s aim to promote a bike friendly city dominated by automobiles. The city closed the streets and filled them with performances and different community-based activities happening on the sidewalks.

    As in the city of Bogota, CicLAvia aims to fill the sidewalks with community participants, from vendors to local nonprofits and community residents. In Bogota, there was music, turning the event into a full-blown festival.

    Here is the Harbor Area, cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to travel in both directions while spending time at four different hubs spread throughout the route including Banning Manning and Waterfront Park in Wilmington, the Port of Los Angeles Building on 5th and Palos Verdes streets and 22nd Street and Pacific Avenue.

    These hubs will feature food trucks and kid zones and serve as stops for repairing bikes.. There will be media kick off event staged at the Port of Los Angeles hub.

    The CicLAvia route (see map), will be closed to car traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13. Also parking will not be allowed on the CicLAvia route from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. These restrictions will be enforced and vehicles will be towed starting at 1 a.m. Additional street parking near the route may be restricted for residents and non-residents alike. Driveways on the route will be blocked and inaccessible beginning at 7 a.m. Check posted parking restrictions in your neighborhood.

    Vehicles will not be allowed on the route from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be, however, crossing points at several intersections for vehicles. Buses that usually run along the CicLAvia route will be detoured. To limit further traffic confusion, CicLAvia organizers are submitting the road closures to Google maps and Waze for those that normally spend their Sunday afternoons at Ports O’ Call Village.

    For those unlucky residents or workers scheduled to work that day who have to come out of pocket to pay for parking, they will be reimbursed for up to $20 per vehicle incurred from 8 p.m. on Aug. 12 through 6 p.m. on Aug. 13. Just mail a copy of your parking receipt and proof of residence or employment to CicLAvia, at 525 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 for reimbursement.

    Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 13
    Details: ciclavia.org, metro.net

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  • Word Has It

    • 07/21/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    SpaceX coming to South West Marine, Marymount College moving out of San Pedro, Buscaino is courting Live Nation

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    This past June, SpaceX successfully launched one of its rockets once again from a barge out of San Pedro and landed it on a barge that is now berthed on Miner Street, near AltaSea.

    The partnership between the aerospace industry and the Port of Los Angeles has been lauded far and wide as a first step in spurring new tech development-driven employment in the Los Angeles Harbor Area.

    A source revealed to Random Lengths News that SpaceX is now in secret negotiations with POLA on leasing the former Southwest Marine industrial shipyard site on Terminal Island, just across the main channel from Ports O’ Call Village.  This is within eye shot of where the Los Angeles Waterfront Alliance has a lease option to build a $100 million project. While Jerico Development — the local Los Angeles Waterfront Alliance partners — Eric and Alan Johnson have confirmed that they signed the lease for the Ports O’ Call site in March 2016, there is still some question as to whether their lease is just an option or a commitment to build.

    Mike Galvin at the POLA explained that the lease agreement directs the port to prepare the site for the developer, and then there are certain things that the developers must do in return.

    As yet, Jerico has not released any new details about the development or announced that it has an anchor tenant or the capital funding to move forward with the project.

    POLA on the other hand, recently hosted a meeting with the tenants of the existing village and told them that they have until October of this year before they will be evicted, which will effectively close 15 small businesses and put as many as 200 employees out of work. This will happen even though the work to construct the new waterfront promenade will only take up 32 feet closest to the waterline and the original plan called for development to start at Berth 79, the current home of the San Pedro Fish Market.

    Saved from the wrecking ball for the time being will be the San Pedro Fish Market and Ports O’ Call Restaurant, which will remain open pending the construction of new facilities if and when the “new development” gets built.  Currently, the Los Angeles Waterfront Alliance developers are reported to have offered the San Pedro Fish Market, which serves more than 1 million meals a year, only 25 percent of its current foot print in the new development.  Ports O’ Call restaurant is reportedly not in the first phase of construction.

    Just down Miner Street from SpaceX, at Berth 53, the port has been showboating the Kaiser Point location to concert promoter, Live Nation, with the intention of getting them to produce one or more major concerts or festivals on the waterfront. This reportedly could attract as many as 25,000 people per event. This may happen as early as this fall but more likely would happen next year, if the logistics of Harbor Boulevard are worked out. This idea has Councilman Joe Buscaino’s fingerprints all over it as he has been pimping both the Warner Grand Theatre and the waterfront as “ideal locations” for his “LA Live on the Waterfront” promotional idea, which as of late seems to be going nowhere.

    The good news is that Molina Medical is moving to 222 W. 6th Street and bringing with it some 400 new workers to downtown, the bad news is that Marymount California University is reportedly discussing moving out of that very same location and has placed the Klaus Center building up the street on the market.

    The Klaus Center, you may recall, was donated to the college some years ago by Marylyn Ginsberg-Klaus to be used as a fine art facility to augment the downtown San Pedro Arts District.  Its sale will be yet another part of the failed promise of the revitalization effort of downtown San Pedro’s arts district under the leadership of Michael Brophy, the previous university president.

    Brophy left Marymount to become the new president of Benedictine University in Illinois  two years ago. After helping Marymount become a four-year university, he also steered the college into investing more than  $1 million in a distant piece of  property in Lake County, Calif. It has been reported but not verified that Brophy has been involved in purchasing this very same property from Marymount.

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