• Rick Parma

    • 11/23/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Nov. 30
    Rick Parma
    Jazz it with Rick Parma and the Chitown Soul.
    Time: 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 30
    Cost: $25 to $310
    Details: www.solvenue.com
    Venue: 313 E. Carson St., Carson

    Dec. 1
    Trio Céleste
    Based in Orange County, Trio Céleste is ensemble-in-residence at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine.
    Time: 12 p.m. Dec. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/FirstFridays.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church and School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    Dec. 1
    One Drop
    The San Diego-based band embraces the spirit of classic roots reggae and dub music with a calculated blend of rhythm and blues, pop and rock subtleties.
    Time: 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Dec. 1
    Cost: $15 to $300
    Details: (424) 276-9705; www.solvenue.com
    Venue: The Sol Venue, 313 E. Carson St., Carson

    Dec. 2
    James Kimo West
    Kimo’s annual Holiday Slack Key Show kicks off in San Pedro with enchanting hula by Kevin Tsusui and Ku’uleilani Taketa. Kimo will play selections from his two acclaimed holiday slack key CDs as well as Hawaiian slack key classics.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 2
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/james-kimo-west-holiday-slack-key
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Anita Chang, Rodney Oakes

    An eclectic concert of music by Anita Chang and Rodney Oakes for piano, sackbut,
    trombones and video will be presented at Los Angeles Harbor College. Chang will present
    works by Mozart, Chopin and Liszt. Oakes will present his new work for sackbut and piano,
    Pavane, a new video with electronic music.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec.2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 233- 4429
    Venue: LAHC, Music Department, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington

    Dec. 3
    Bobby Breton
    Bobby Breton and his six-piece band performs a variety of jazz, pop and originals to ring in the holiday spirit.
    Time: 2 p.m. Dec. 3
    Cost: $22.50
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/bobby-breton-friends-celebrate-the-winter-solstice
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Dec. 1
    White Christmas
    This holiday season discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list!  Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, and top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow and you have Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9, 1 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10, and 6 p.m. Dec. 3
    Cost: $20 to $90
    Details: (562) 856-1999; www.musical.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach

    Dec. 9
    The Nutcracker
    San Pedro City Ballet, home of American Ballet Theatre superstar Misty Copeland,
    presents its 24th annual production of The Nutcracker, with artistic direction by
    Cynthia and Patrick David Bradley. Join Clara on a dreamlike journey with a dancing
    Nutcracker, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes, and a magical Christmas tree.
    Time: 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10
    Cost: $19 to $39
    Details: www.sanpedrocityballet.org/upcoming-events/nutcracker
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Continuing

    Arsenic and Old Lace

    If you are a lonely, elderly gentleman, steer clear of the old Victorian rooming house that Abby and Martha Brewster run. It may be your last room on Earth! When these two sweet old sisters feel the need to release a worthy roomer of his lonely suffering, just a sip of their homemade elderberry wine will do the trick.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 2
    Cost: $10 to $27
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org/show/arsenic-and-old-lace
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Much Ado About Nothing
    The drama of military war and the comedic war between the sexes meet in the great playwright’s hilarious, heart-wrenching comedy. Set in a timeless world of disguises, intrigue, beautiful words and surprising violence. It is performed by a talented all-female cast.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2, and 3 p.m. Dec. 3
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.eventbrite.com/e/much-ado-about-nothing-tickets-38483341711
    Venue: The Collaborative, 421 W. Broadway, Long Beach

    The Night Before the Night Before Christmas
    Lou has wrestled with a big ball of tangled Christmas lights for the last time. Christmas is cancelled. Escaping New Jersey, the freezing cold, his nutty family and most of all the holidays, is exactly what Lou plans to do. Will a couple of unlikely characters help restore Lou and Carol’s Christmas spirit in the St. Nick of time?
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 16
    Cost: $27
    Details: www.littlefishtheatre.org/wp/the-night-before-the-night-before-christmas
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro

    BEH — An Improvised Play
    Who are the characters in BEH? Where does BEH take place? What is the plot of BEH? You tell us – BEH is an improvised play.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 16
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.thegaragetheatre.org/on-stage-now-1
    Venue: The Garage Theatre, 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    ARTS

    Dec. 2
    AGCC Open Studios
    Open Studios Day is a biannual event at Angels Gate Cultural Center celebrating all that happens on our campus and the diverse and lively community that makes us unique. More than 50 studio artists will open their doors for you to see what they create in their studios.
    Time: 12 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.angelsgateart.org
    Venue: AGCC, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    Continuing

    blink•point
    TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478 are pleased to present blink•point, recent work by Ellwood T. Risk.
    Risk is a self-taught artist who has been living and working in Los Angeles since 1992. Risk appropriates, alters, re-contextualizes, shoots (here and there) and represents the ordinary in unanticipated iterations. An artist’s reception is scheduled 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Nov. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873; (310) 732-2150
    Venue: TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Exene Cervenka in Collage
    Exene Cervenka: Lipstick Sunset combines the pieces on display combine handwork and appropriated images, written words and found text that present a perplexing and highly personal world.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 26
    Cost:  Free
    Details: (310) 541-2479; www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road. Rancho Palos Verdes

    rebidishu III
    Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to present rebidishu III, Recent Paintings by Katy Crowe.
    Abstract art is often seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be interpreted to stand for virtues ranging from order and purity, to simplicity and spirituality. In the case of Crowe, virtue is obtained by process and intuition.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Nov. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 233-4411
    Venue: Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington

    Rino Gonzalez
    Rino Gonzalez has attracted an impressive following for his works of realism during the almost 40 years since his immigration from the Philippines at age 16. Much of the joy of these painting comes purely from studying technical achievement in the reproduction of such aspects as fine lacework, polished and textured surfaces, worn books and tattered pages, fruit and roses.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Tuesday through Saturday, through Dec. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 547-3158; parkhurstgalleries.com
    Venue: Parkhurst Galleries, 439 W 6th St, San Pedro

    Moon Over San Pedro
    Ann Weber’s large biomorphic sculptures have been described as bizarre characters from a story, hanging on the wall or sitting in the middle of the gallery like strange and evocative outcroppings of nature or outer space.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays,  and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, through Feb. 4, 2018
    Cost: $6 to $7
    Details: lbma.org
    Venue: Long Beach Museum of Art, 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Nov. 30
    The Lego Batman Movie
    Join in  to see The Lego Batman Movie, a  cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
    Time: 7:45 p.m. Nov. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 732-4515
    Venue: Harbor City Recreation Center, 24901 Frampton Ave., Harbor City

    Dec. 1
    Do Swimming Animals Mix with the Ocean?
    Join us for the next Discovery Lecture featuring John Dabiri, a professor at Stanford University and recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant. He will discuss his research on whether migrating ocean animals change the physical and/or biogeochemical structure of the water column.
    Time:  7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1
    Cost:  Free
    Details: www.eventbrite.com/e/free-discovery-lecture-tickets-39051329578
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen White Drive, San Pedro

    Dec. 2
    A Life Among Fishes
    Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for a special event featuring Christopher Dewees, internationally recognized master of Gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish printing.
    Time: 4 p.m. Dec. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: CMA, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Dec. 2
    55th Annual Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade
    Port of Los Angeles, with this year’s parade theme Peace Around the World will take part in the parade as judges or passengers on about 60 boats parading along the Los Angeles Waterfront. Participating vessels are of all shapes and sizes, including powerboats, sailboats, tall ships, and harbor working craft.
    Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: laharborholidayafloat.org
    Venues: Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington
    Cruise Ship Promenade, Harbor Boulevard and Swinford Street, San Pedro
    Battleship IOWA, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro
    Downtown Harbor, 5th Street and Harbor Boulevard, San Pedro
    22nd Street Landing, 141 W. 22nd St., San Pedro
    SS Lane Victory, Berth 49, 3600 Miner St., San Pedro
    Cabrillo and Holiday Harbor Marinas, 285 Whalers Walk, San Pedro

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  • Exene Cervenka, John Doe Reignite a New Generation

    • 11/22/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Music
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    For a culture obsessed with youth, authenticity matters. This is especially true if golden age artists are able remain relevant, when decades separate them from their audience.

    Exene Cervenka and John Doe, members of the punk band X, are perfect examples. At their Nov. 4 concert at Brouwerij West in San Pedro, the two circled back to their roots, which encompass the American staples of folk, blues and rockabilly pop. This benefit concert for Palos Verdes Art Center attracted a diverse age range from 20 to 70.

    The bandmates and former couple make great harmony together. Whatever style music they play, that is their motif. But there’s something more at work here.

    Doe’s rolling guitar rhythms and their sweet melodies grab your spirit; their emotionally intelligent lyrics capture your mind.

    As loved as X was and is, the band never got much radio play during the prime of punk. That lack of play on radio and on MTV did not affect X’s popularity and might have ultimately added to the band’s mystique. They were playing many Los Angeles’ clubs such as the Whisky a Go-Go, Madame Wong’s and The Masque from the 70s to the late 80s.

    It was a time when different punk factions formed.  A younger hard core punk subculture was emerging. It was generally faster, harder and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock.

    Their concerts could be rowdy and sometimes violent. A rivalry occurred between the harder youth punks and the Hollywood punks who were perceived to be elite. This gave an unsavory name to Los Angeles punk versus the original New York and London punk scenes, which were more celebrated and garnered more media recognition.

    X escaped all of that. What probably helped was that when these events began happening X was taking a turn back to their musical roots encompassing Americana, country and folk. Their musicianship and raw talent for playing and writing music and going deeper into their roots, brought fans willingly along in their journey.

    X’s fans reflected the band’s musical diversity, some appeared at the concert in avant-garde punk attire while others donned rockabilly digs. At first the audience convened at the stage like they were watching a film, not sure what to expect.

    Exene and John kicked it off with a sweet harmonic country style number. Afterward, Exene took a moment to mention the Palos Verdes Art Center where she has an exhibit through Dec. 31, of mixed media collages titled, Lipstick Sunset.

    The expression of straightforward emotion is typical of the acclaimed poet, artist, author, and vocalist. Exene’s artworks are provocative, just like the songs that made X so popular. Their lyrics are always sweet, yet, piercing. As John has said, “It’s punk. It’s intended to grab attention and make you face what’s being said. Then it makes you listen deeper.”

    Exene is not a storyteller in writing music. She makes personal statements and “more emotional and existential visions of things.” She has said the more personal you are, the more general, (or applicable you are) to people. And her collages of mixed media and text also uncover personal and urgent expressions that make the observer think.

    Seeing the duo’s remarkable timing and connection in action is gratifying and John’s rolling guitar melodies carry you away. Their acoustic set offered a unique take on their more familiar tunes. One of their biggest hits, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts, originally a fast guitar driven expression of youthful irreverence, became a contemplative mantra of maturity with the acoustic version. And with, The New World, a cautionary tale became a reflective narrative of regret.

    The brazen poetry on Because I Do, a song about marriage, speaks of renegade intentions within the traditional wedded state.

    Before they closed their set Exene made a point to mention the opening bands, Alinea and the Feels. She praised their playing and expressed thanks that they were part of this show.

    The Feels, comprised of three women on vocals, bass and guitars and one male drummer performed a robust combination of metal, ballads and punk. They describe themselves as a psych-punk-grunge-post-future-rock ‘n’ roll-whatever-band and have recently been playing clubs all over Los Angeles.

    Proceeds from the event will enable Palos Verdes Art Center to expand its art education programs for neighboring communities in the Harbor Area.

    Details: www.xtheband.com

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  • Two Short Years and Miles Away from America

    • 11/22/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    From the White House to the shores of San Pedro

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    It seems like it was just two short years ago that we lived in a country that was moving forward past historic racial divides with the election of the first black president —a man who brought intelligence, grace and compassion to our highest office without a hint of scandal.

    President Barack Obama wasn’t perfect, but he brought respect to the office, leadership in international affairs and led our nation out of one of the worst economic disasters since the Great Depression. And, for all of this he and the Democratic Party were attacked by conservatives and derided for ultimately passing the first step in universal healthcare coverage — a goal that has eluded liberals since Harry Truman was president.

    However, we were not living in a post-racist America, which as we soon learned from Ferguson Mo., as well as the streets of Los Angeles and New York City. Obama took great pains not to appear to be the angry black man in the White House. But the conversation we didn’t have during the eight years with Obama as president was exposed by his successor in less than eight months.  Trumpism has roused and inspired some of the most racist, bigoted and intolerant voices that I have observed since the conflicts of the Civil Rights era. No part of our nation has been spared from this uprising of intolerance.

    We don’t have any Confederate statues here in San Pedro, which is one of the most distant places from the nation’s capital in the continental United States, but we do have a legacy of the Klu Klux Klan, right here on 10th Street in what was known in the 1920s as Klan Hall.  The history and remnants of racism in Southern California are too many to list here, but all one needs to consider is that both during and after the Civil War the “Southern” part of our geographical name was more than a description of place. Los Angeles has struggled with this history ever since and has not completely come to grips or peace with itself.

    Apparently, in this most southern part of the city of Angels, in one of the last enclaves of authenticity and working class suburbia, intolerance still has its place and survives side by side with some of our most progressive, artistic and majority-Democrat residents.

    Curiously, the uprising against the growing homeless encampments and the motion to support tiny homes by the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council back in 2015 presaged the Trumpism that swept red America just one year later.  Here they called it Saving San Pedro; elsewhere it was coined Make America Great Again, but it amounts to much the same thing — intolerance of the “others.”

    Since that time, the SSP folks gained control of two neighborhood councils and failed at their attempt to make San Pedro great again or to take it back to some mythical Leave It to Beaver time period before all the tuna canneries and the shipyards closed leaving some 30,000 workers unemployed. The San Pedro Harbor Area still hasn’t fully recovered from the policies of the Ronald Reagan trickle down economic model that are just now being refloated by a Republican-led Congress as “tax reform.”

    What is even more curious — locally — is that just when San Pedro Magazine came out with front page homage to the Saving San Pedro uprising, the social media derived community group was in the throws of dissolving back into whence they came ­— a Facebook group of grousing discontents spreading incivility and crass accusations.

    Amidst its implosion, they lost control of the neighborhood councils they had won in 2016.  At least one of its members blamed me, the former president of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, for its members’ incompetence at governing and politics.

    From my perspective, they were victims of their own vitriol and inability to unify around anything other than their own intolerance towards others. What has come back to replace them are some of the good people who I know exist here and all across this nation, who have a greater sense of commitment to solving the big problems, rather than shaming victims.

    Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck once called San Pedro “the biggest small town in all of Los Angeles.” He may be right. San Pedro is a microcosm of the best and worst that can be found anywhere in this city. It’s just that here one can see it up close without the veneer of Hollywood hype or the subterfuge of City Hall.

    On this last point of concealing the truth, Nathan Holmes, Councilman Joe Buscaino’s new development director for the 15th Council District, who announced that there are currently 420 new housing units in progress for San Pedro, sheepishly admitted at a chamber meeting that only three of those units will be for low-income residents. This is hardly a solution for either the crisis of rising housing costs or the cure for homelessness.

    One can only wonder how long it will take for the current regime in D.C. to implode.

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  • California’s Climate Leadership Challenged in Bonn

    • 11/22/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

    “Let’s put you in the ground!” California Gov. Jerry Brown lashed out at scores of climate justice activists protesting his scientifically inadequate, corporate-friendly policy approach at the 23rd annual Conference of the Parties climate summit in Bonn, Germany on Nov. 11.

    “That was a joke,” Brown told Amy Goodman, host of the independent global news program, Democracy Now! If so, it was in very poor taste  — essentially, responding to environmentalists’ campaign to halt the mining of fossil fuels by twisting their “Keep it in the ground!” slogan into a threat with haunting genocidal undertones.

    Daniel Ilario, one of two activists with Idle No More SF Bay—a group of Native Americans and allies—who spoke to Random Lengths News as representatives of the It Takes Roots delegation, assessed the significance of Brown’s retort.

    “His violent response, and failure to apologize, saying his comment was a joke …illustrate the thought process of many elected officials around the world,” Ilario said. For them, “The extractive industry that leaves sacrifice zones across the globe is a given; the status quo cannot be changed. If thousands or millions have to die to keep the capitalist machine running, so be it.

    “People dying of cancer near refineries and extraction sites is not a joke; indigenous people losing their land and sovereignty is not a joke.”

    RL Miller, chairman of the California Democratic Party Environmental Caucus, said Brown has crafted a reputation that doesn’t match reality.

    “Brown has done a terrific job getting world leaders to believe in his ‘Jerry Brown, Climate Hero’ mythos,” Miller said. “However, Californians who know him aren’t so easily fooled — hence the protestors in Bonn. He’s been acting as Chevron’s stenographer for most of his time in office, whether it’s firing oil regulators to appease oil industry demands or writing a cap- and-trade bill off an oil industry wish list.”

    The cap-and-trade extension, passed this past July, was opposed by scores of environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, which two days earlier released a report, “Oil Stain: How Dirty Crude Undercuts California’s Climate Progress,” which directly clashed with Brown’s image. Yet, when pressed by Goodman, Brown insisted, “We have the toughest rules on oil.”

    Illario, however, called it “a give away to the oil and gas industry,” and went to explain:

    “Beyond the free carbon credits (up to 80 percent for oil refineries), the bill preemptively bans local air quality boards from capping carbon emissions until 2030.  Furthermore, the cap and trade extension allows refineries to expand. The Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, California seeks to increase their bay terminal capacity to import 100 thousand more barrels of crude (much of it tar sands from Canada and crude from the Amazon) per day by ship. These are the “Toughest rules on oil” Jerry Brown speaks of.”

    The CBD’s associate conservation director, Jean Su, who was also in Bonn, took an even broader exception to Brown’s claim. “Tax breaks, weak regulation, and negligent oversight make California a playground for oil companies,” Su told Random Lengths News. “For example, California is one of the only oil-producing states that does not levy a tax on oil extraction. California is also one of only a handful of states that allow oil companies to dump wastewater from oil and gas production into dangerous, open, unlined pits.”

    In addition to those problems with California’s laws and regulations, Su singled out Brown’s own actions as well. “Brown, himself, has pressured regulators to speed up permitting for oil companies, firing officials who did not comply. He has refused to ban fracking despite its use of toxic chemicals and the fact that it is fundamentally incompatible with fighting climate change,” she said. “And he has failed to shut down the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, where the largest methane leak in U.S. history forced thousands to flee their homes.”

    There are so many issues involved that it can be hard to keep track—which appears to be part of the image-focused strategy Brown has adopted. But when it comes to the specific issue that sparked his ire, the “Oil Stain” report is especially significant, showing just how damaging California’s current—and future—oil production really is. Three-quarters of it is as climate-damaging as Canadian tar sands crude, including eight of California’s 10 largest-producing oil fields. The worst offenders were the Midway-Sunset oil field in Kern County and the San Ardo oil field in Monterey County, followed by four others in Kern and Fresno counties. More locally, the Wilmington and Huntington Beach oil fields also made the list.

    “In the Los Angeles area, the Wilmington and Huntington Beach oil fields are a major concern because the oil industry extracts millions of barrels of particularly climate-damaging crude from these urban oil fields each year,” the report’s lead co-authors Shaye Wolf told Random Lengths News.  “Oil drilling in these fields is dangerous for the climate and the health of surrounding communities.”

    Wolf explained that center’s research built on the work of experts at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who “developed the Oil-Climate Index that estimates lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (from production, refining, and end-use) for crudes from around the world.” Though far from exhaustive, “They provide Lifecycle [green house gases] for 75 crudes, covering 25 percent of global production,” she said. With incomplete records, statewide and national averages can’t be compared, “But California crudes stand out at the top as some of the world’s most climate-damaging in the sample of 75,” she said.  “California crudes are the only U.S. crudes that made the top 10.”

    Specifically, Wolf said, “The lifecycle GHG emissions of crude from California’s largest oil field, Midway-Sunset, ranked third out of 75 global crudes (at 725 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per barrel), making it one of the world’s highest greenhouse gas emitters, followed by South Belridge in Kern County in sixth place (at 690) and Wilmington in Los Angeles in tenth place (at 625).” After that, “Louisiana’s Lake Washington Field was the next closest, tied for 17th place.”  Six Texas crudes ranged from 574 to 458, Alaska North Slope crude was 564 and North Dakota’s notorious Bakken crude came from two fields, registering 532 and 471.

    “A major reason why California’s heavy oil is so climate-damaging is that pumping it from the ground requires energy-intensive extreme-extraction techniques such as cyclic steaming, steam flooding, waterflooding, and fracking,” the report explained. “Refining California’s heavy oils also produces large amounts of petcoke, a toxic byproduct that is worse for the climate than coal when burned.” The impacts of these extraction methods were a key part of what Brown was trying to cover up.

    What’s more, the drilling of new wells shows no sign of letting up. “California oil regulators issued 3,303 drilling permits for oil and gas wells in 2015 alone,” the report notes. “In 2015, Kern County — the state’s largest oil-producing county — projected the development of approximately 2,697 new wells per year for the next 20 years and beyond.”

    “California is tarnishing its climate leadership by encouraging oil companies to extract millions of barrels a year of some of the planet’s dirtiest crude,” Wolf said. “Our state’s huge reserve of dirty crude is a loaded gun pointed at our future. We can’t let the oil industry pull the trigger.”

    So it was no surprise that Su strongly supported the protesters. “From aggressively promoting dangerous drilling to letting oil companies dump toxic waste into our water, Jerry Brown has been rolling out the red carpet for oil companies in California,” she said.

    Brown pushed back vigorously when interviewed by Goodman. But the rationales he provided did not impress his critics. To start off, Brown told Goodman, “They called for a ban on all oil production.” But that’s not the case, Su said.

    “We are not asking for an overnight shutdown of all fossil fuel production, nor did we ever suggest so,” Su said. “Instead, we call on Gov. Brown to begin a managed decline of oil production through halting the issuance of permits for all new drilling and fracking, new fossil fuel infrastructure and oil field expansion. California must also establish buffer zones that prohibit neighborhood drilling.”

    Brown also told Goodman, “I don’t think we should shut down oil in California and then take it from Venezuela or take it from places where the rules are even worse.”  Although the data cited in “Oil Stain” and the Carnegie Oil-Climate Index directly contradicts Brown’s argument, Su took a broader approach in her response.

    “The climate crisis calls for nothing short of aggressively slashing both fossil fuel supply and fossil fuel demand simultaneously,” she said. “We agree that curbing oil demand is essential and we have called for an aggressive ban on all sales of new fossil fuel cars by 2025,” something Brown has yet to address. “But ramping down oil production is equally vital,” she said, pointing to the findings in the “Oil Stain” report.

    “Contrary to Mr. Brown’s claims, a barrel of oil kept in the ground in California does not mean that a whole barrel of oil will be imported from elsewhere to replace it,” Su continued. “As a recent study by the Council on Foreign Relations found, oil consumption goes down when the oil supply decreases. Plus, the planet just can’t afford any more oil extraction. According to a study by Oil Change International, the world’s developed oil and gas fields—the ones we’re already pumping—contain enough carbon to carry us past the 1.5-degrees Celsius temperature limit agreed to in Paris.”

    But Brown told Goodman that reducing production wasn’t the answer. “The answer is stop using oil in cars, in trucks. You need a renewable vehicle grid. That’s the answer,” he said.

    “This quote by Jerry Brown shows exactly what type of person he is and his actions are so inhuman when it comes to oil and fracking,” said Isabella Zizi, a 23-year-old member of the Northern Cheyenne, Arikara, and Muskogee Creek tribes, as well as Idle No More SF Bay. “It’s like he’s blaming us as individuals who drive vehicles and using the oil, but he’s not looking at the oil refineries that he’s in favor for,” she said.

    “I live in Richmond just 20 blocks away from the Chevron Refinery which is the biggest polluter in California. The new cap and trade bill that was passed summer 2017 will continue to let these refineries emit greenhouse gas emissions even more until 2030,” Zizi said. “This is directly impacting myself, my family, low income communities, people of color, contaminating and commodifying  our waters, air, and soil. Big oil rules alongside our governor.”

    Turning to the big picture, she said, “I believe this is a human rights violation to all of humanity. The rights of Mother Earth and rights of nature are being thrown down the gutter, and that is unacceptable. We have every right to call out Jerry Brown with his false solutions and supposedly being a ‘climate leader.’”

    “The crisis today requires bold change, not corporate funded policy and legislation. The extractive industry must be left out of the decision making process,” Ilario said. “We must allow indigenous peoples to lead the way. They have lived tens of thousands of years in harmony with nature. We must immediately begin a just transition to a regenerative economy that respects the laws of Mother Nature so our relatives yet to be born have a chance to live.”

    But the prospects of that are low, without much greater pressure from below, Miller warned. Regarding Brown, she said, “I’m honestly afraid that his last act as governor will be to wreak havoc on California’s progress by marrying our grid to that of Wyoming, ceding California authority to Wyoming’s, and trusting in Wyoming politicians to ease off coal.” Beyond that, she said, “The prospects for a better governor in 2019, after Brown leaves office, seem dim.”

    So if activists are going to change those prospects, the time to do it is now.

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  • UniGeezer Discovers Fountain of Youth

    • 11/22/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Feature, News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Unicyclist Terry Peterson. Photo courtesy of James Kao Photography

    Torrance resident, Terry Peterson, is known as the “Unigeezer” but he doesn’t look a day older than 45. Flattered by the compliments, he never says 60 is the new 40 however.

    If you ask him how he does it, you’ll quickly learn that it’s because he found the fountain of youth… sort of.

    “Unicycling is my fountain of youth,” he said. “It pretty much saved my life.”

    He recalled passing a bike shop on his way to the beach as a child and wondered aloud about what looked like a bicycle-half hanging upside down on a wall. He went inside and inquired about the half-bike and if he could try it. The bike merchant took it down for him. His parents ultimately bought the unicycle for him.

    “Unicycles were little more than novelty back then,” Peterson said. “I had no inkling, no clue that it would become an actual sport decades later.”

    After a couple of years, he had learned all he could about unicycles. He broke spokes and bent rims going down hills and jumping off of curbs. He said his parents got tired of buying him new unicycles all the time, so they bought him a Schwinn Stingray bicycle instead. Forty years would passed before he picked up a unicycle again.

    Peterson is a piano tuner by trade. He has never married and he has no children. The work of a piano tuner is a sedentary one, but he enjoyed it. Peterson described a period during which he was afflicted by a deep depression, some would have called it a midlife crisis, but he wouldn’t. In fact, Peterson doesn’t speak much about this period of his life at all, except to say that he was overweight and unhappy with his life up to that point. Rather than dwell on his feelings, he looked for something else to do to fill what was missing.

    Peterson admitted that he suffered from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    “If you hadn’t noticed already, I’m kind of a hyper guy. I’ve had ADHD all my life. But the great thing about ADHD is that it lets you hyper focus on what you love.”

    And Peterson loves unicycling as much as he loves piano tuning. He said he found he needed to excel at something other than his job to relieve is depression. He composes music but he needed something physical to get the juices flowing. After awhile he started feeling psychologically better.

    When he picked up the unicycle again, Peterson said he had a spare tire around his waist and was not feeling great physically. He thought about running to get the weight off, but it hurt his knees. He considered swimming; he noted it was a good overall exercise, but it was inconvenient — finding a pool with which he was comfortable and dealing with opening and closing times. He considered mountain biking, but thought it too boring, even though there were Red Bull like events of mountain bikers going up and down mountains and jumping off of cliffs.

    Then, Peterson saw a Kris Holm video on YouTube. Holm is a pioneer in mountain unicycling. He rode across the great wall of China and other rocky terrains, doing drops from heights of 15 feet or more. He also rides in Vancouver’s North Shore where there is an abundance of trails and wooden ramps. It was then Peterson wondered if he could still ride. It had been 40 years. So he purchased a unicycle online, took it into his backyard when it arrived and tried it.

    It was like learning to ride a unicycle again.

    “I couldn’t believe it.  I got up on my first mount and picked up where I left off 40 years before. Once you learn you never forget. Your muscles remember. So I started taking it off road. It wasn’t the proper unicycle for that. It didn’t have the nobby tires, but I just tried that, and I was huffing and puffing every 50 feet. I didn’t have any cardio. I was out of shape.”

    He eventually got a better unicycle. But little by little he got better. After about 6 months, he was tearing up the trails, riding nearly every day. He had lost a lot of weight, going from 175 pounds to 145 pounds.

    “It’s not that I’m trying to be thin. But I ride six days a week so I burn so many calories. When we’re kids, we have such a high metabolism. But as you well know, your metabolism declines as you age. But going back to the depression thing, it also makes you feel better. It’s almost like a runner’s high,” Peterson explained.

    If one were to distill Peterson’s “fountain of youth” into a formula, it would be all consuming passion plus exercise and connection.

    Like Kris Holm, YouTube became a natural platform for Peterson to promote unicycling. In the past 10 years since he began posting videos of unicycling exploits, he has amassed 4,733 subscribers and nearly 3 million views on his 600 plus videos on his YouTube channel. It is because of this platform that he has been able to expose unicycling to a whole new community of people he never met before.

    “I’ve met so many people around the world. Not in person, but they’ve seen my videos and I save more correspondence with them,” he said. “My favorites are older people. ‘I’m 35, I’m 45, I’m 55. I thought I was too old until I saw you ride.”

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  • Central SP Elects Neighborhood Council Members

    • 11/16/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    SAN PEDRO — On Nov. 14, the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council filled five out six vacted seats.

    The board members elected are Port of Los Angeles High School teacher Rachel Bruhnke, web developer Louis Caravella, educator and neighborhood block captain Jane Castillo, environmental science degree holder Brian Dolansky and educator Khixaan Obioma-Sakhu. Random Lengths News and past Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council president James Preston Allen was also elected to the seat of vice president of the neighborhood council.

    New board members expressed interest in a number of areas including sustainability issues, homeless crisis, public safety, engagement with the Port of Los Angeles and increased emphasis on filing community impact statements at City Hall on important city measures affecting the San Pedro Harbor Area.

    The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council is one of the seven public forums within Council District 15. Christian Guzman is the president of the neighborhood council.

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  • Unearth Unexpected Gems at the 97th NWS Show

    • 11/15/2017
    • Andrea Serna
    • Art
    • Comments are off

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    Each visit to the National Watercolor Society unearths unexpected gems.

    Brilliant jewel-toned paintings hang beside the somber image of a priest kneeling in prayer. The aged, grizzled face of a homeless man hangs on a wall just around the corner from a jolly Santa. The 97th International Exhibition is a particularly beautiful show consisting of works from masters in the field of watercolor.

    Twice each year artists from across the country and around the world gather to exhibit their work. Each spring, members gather for their own exhibit. The current international exhibition is a juried competition featuring 94 paintings; 29 artists and $43,000 worth of prizes.

    Watercolor has been around since painting began but didn’t really take off until the Renaissance. The German printmaker, Albrecht Dürer, was an early practitioner and found the medium ideal for small, detailed studies. Artists continue to lean towards landscapes and still life, but many have moved far beyond.

    This year’s grand prize winner is Massachusetts artist Carolyn Latanision. Her award-winning painting is titled Flanges Bethlehem Steel and her work is a perfect example of the acceptance of more industrial subjects in the field of watercolor. Latanision was raised in Pennsylvania in the shadow of a steel plant. Her series Bethlehem Steel reflects an intimacy with the furnaces and smokestacks at the foundry. The curvilinear shapes of her painting exalt the mundane to the extraordinary. In her winning piece, flanges sit stacked in the factory, waiting for work that has since moved overseas. After more than a century leading the steel industry, Bethlehem was dissolved in 2001.

    After receiving her bachelor of science in art education, Latanision moved away from Pennsylvania. She lives in Boston and continues her education at the Art Institute of Boston. Her work is highly lauded and is in prominent collections in New England. People and architecture are prominent in Latanision’s work; in both cases, urban scenes are frequently depicted.  The strength and style of buildings, the abstract patterns of light and dark in her work juxtaposed with people and architecture, and the connections they create, make a statement about the complexities of our time.

    The National Watercolor Society has been in San Pedro since 1999 and this exhibition reflects the time and work it takes to gather artists of this caliber for the competition. Many of the artists have established prominent reputations and there are very few emerging artists represented. The society showcases and supports the development in watercolor media from traditional to experimental.

    Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 12 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
    Details: nationalwatercolorsociety.org
    Venue: National Watercolor Society, 915 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

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  • Winemaking in San Pedro:

    • 11/14/2017
    • Richard Foss
    • Cuisine
    • Comments are off

    An Ancient Tradition for The Modern Age

    By Richard Foss, Cuisine and Culture Writer

    In a faded industrial building on the edge of the San Pedro Arts District, the man who runs one of the oldest businesses in town plots the resurgence of a dying art: winemaking. Steve Marabella has been working at the vineyard that bears his name for 35 years, continuing an Italian family tradition.

    “My father started the business with my grandparents in 1932 and the kids followed in their footsteps,” Marabella said. “When each kid came of age, at 12 years old, we started them in the business.”

    Prohibition was still in effect when the company started, but a legal loophole left room for home winemaking. The Croatian and Italian immigrants who populated San Pedro already had learned skills in their home countries.

    “We sold them grape juice and what they did with it was their business,” Marabella said. “Making wine up to a certain amount per household [500 gallons per year] was legal; selling it wasn’t.”

    The Croatian and Italian-Americans sustained Marabella’s business. Marabella is devoted to introducing home winemaking to a broader audience and is working on strategies to interest young people. He can draw hope from homebrewing, which has exploded in popularity in the past decade, though Marabella notes that there is an important difference.

    “Making wine at home is a cultural thing —  the old-timers made wine and the kids were brought up with that as a tradition,” he said. “Everyone developed a taste for that wine, and it was a lifestyle thing, a part of the family culture. Making beer is by comparison a hobby, something without that long-standing connection to what your parents and their parents did. Beer is seen as better for a hobbyist because it’s such a quick process compared to winemaking; it’s drinkable after a week or two …. Some beers are best after three months and there are styles of wine that are drinkable after the same amount of time.”

    There has been a resurgence of interest in traditional techniques like brewing and pickling, but most winemakers haven’t been targeting that movement. Marabella sees the potential, and is being more aggressive about pursuing it than anyone in more than eight decades of the family business.

    “We’re going to offer free classes starting in January, repeating probably every three months,” he said. “A lot of people in apartments don’t have the room to do this at home, so we’re thinking about making and storing their products here. If you have the space, live in the area and buy our grapes we’ll loan you the equipment and information to get you started. We’re trying to make winemaking a family affair again by encouraging people to bring their kids to the lessons.”

    Those skills you acquire could apply to things growing in your own yard.

    “There are locals who make wine out of backyard fruit, peaches, apricots, plums, you name it —and grapes, of course, no matter what variety. Some types of grapes are definitely better than others, but you can make wine from any grapes. It may not have the potential to be like the Cabernets you buy, but it can still be an enjoyable drink. We’ve had customers bring in grapes from vines that are 50, 60, 70 years old; they had no idea what they were. Someone came in recently with some of those and we made a very good rosé out of them.”

    Those who come for classes at Marabella will learn from a pro who has won gold medals for wines he made with grapes grown in San Pedro. Marabella admits that the first time you try it you may not make wine as good as his, but says there are other compensations.

    “Part of the attraction is …  having that bottle that you made on the table,” he said. “There’s nothing like having the family over for the holidays and serving them wine you made with your own hands.”

    Editor’s note– Marabella is best known for it’s signature jugs of Dago Red and Zinfindel that have been popular with locals for decades.

    Marabella Vineyard Co. is at 344 W. 8th St. in San Pedro.

    Details: (310) 833-9783.

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  • Circus Vargas’ Steam Cirque Updates Tradition

    • 11/10/2017
    • Zamná Ávila
    • Culture
    • Comments are off

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor

    The motorcycle cage is one of Circus Vargas’ popular acts. Photo courtesy of Circus Vargas

    The circus that emerged in the 19th century, complete with dancing lions, tigers, elephants and bears are a thing of the past. These days, circuses are reinventing the performances with imagination and wonder. Circus Vargas is no different.

    It has been around for nearly 50 years. Circus Vargas’ new show, Steam Cirque exemplifies the circus industry’s blending of traditional acts with modern requisites. This year, San Pedro will host Steam Cirque from Nov. 16 through 20.

    “We love to come to smaller communities and we are excited to be right by the USS Iowa Battleship,” Quiroga said.

    Steampunk is a subgenre of science fantasy that incorporates technology and the aesthetic designs inspired by 19th century industrial steam powered machinery—for anime fans, think Fullmetal Alchemist or Cowboy Bebop or even the 1999 Will Smith and Salma Hayek film, Wild, Wild West.

    Like  anime and film, Steampunk is often set in an alternative timeline of the British Victorian era or the American “Wild West,” in which steam power remained the dominant technological medium of the present age or exists in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.

    The aesthetic features of Steampunk are anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, like the huge mechanical spider in Wild, Wild West Smith’s character had to defeat.

    The show, whose storyboard took a year of planning, is dynamic. It’s focused on steam punks.  Nobody knows for sure who they are but they are trying to live forever.

    The show starts with all the actors coming out with the traditional ring master before steam punks try to take over the circus. It becomes a battle of the talents, where the audience must decide whether traditional acts — such as trapeze flyers, a bow- and-arrow act and a caged motorcyclist — or more modern acts are deserving of survival.

    Steve Cavegana brings laughter to the hearts of Circus Vargas audiences. Photo courtesy of Circus Vargas

    Circus Vargas enterntainer, Steve Cavegana, reflected on the struggles of staying culturally relevant in the modern age.

    “Maybe we are doing something amazing, but … a text is more important,” said Cavegana, 25. “[Audiences] see everything online and they don’t get really surprised [by the act].

    Cavegana also performs comedic acts with his brother, Jones. Though they are considered clowns, they don’t wear the typical makeup, red nose and big shoes. The Italian duo has traveled the world before, joining the now-closed Ringling Brothers Circus. Two years ago, they signed on to Circus Vargas.

    The Cavegana brothers are fourth-generation performers. Their family is one of the biggest circus families in Italy. Originally, the act involved horses. Their grandfather was the first generation clown. He played the trumpet and inspired his grandchildren to also use music as a form of entertainment.

    Jones Cavegana entertains and plays several instruments in Steam Punk, Circus Vargas’ latest production. Photo courtesy of Circus Vargas

    Jones plays five different instruments. In one act Jones plays classical music, while Steve Cavegana tries to play more modern tunes. All while the audience roots for one brother or the other.

    In another act, Steve Cavegana juggles four Chinese yo-yos, called “diablos” for two-and-a-half minutes, while his brother plays music in the background.

    Katya Quiroga, co-owner of Circus Vargas, said the biggest challenge is just letting people know that they are still entertaining audiences and that they don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.

    “We aim to make it fun for the whole family,” Quiroga said. “It’s everything you want to see when you take your family out.”

    Like many circus performers, Quiroga’s family has been part of the circus for many generations — nine, to be exact. Her father is from Italy and her mother is from Holland. In fact, Quiroga and her husband, Nelson met at Circus Vargas in 1989. These days, they own the company that started their careers.

    “We love what we do,” she said. “It is a unique form of entertainment and art…. It’s a very big part of growing up and making new memories.”

    Come early and be part of the interactive pre-show that brings spectators into the ring; stay later and take photographs with your favorite entertainer.

    Details: www.circusvargas.com

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  • Social Justice Offerings

    • 11/10/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Letters
    • Comments are off

    The present state of our country and of our world beckons to all of us. As we confront climate change, multiple refugee crises, the threat of global conflict, and a disturbing normalization of fascism, our collective future mandates that we unite around calls for justice with a sense of urgency – justice for women, justice for LGBTQ communities, justice for immigrants, justice for racial and ethnic minorities, justice for religious minorities, justice for the economically disenfranchised, justice for our environment. We are called to defend the self-evident truths upon which democracy is built – equality, freedom, and the ability to pursue personal fulfillment – from forces rooted in falsehood, manipulation, and demagoguery. To do so, we must inform ourselves thoroughly and organize effectively. It is in this spirit that I support the Sanders Institute in actively engaging citizens and media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues.

    The Sanders Institute’s focus on individuals and media speaks directly to the terrain of the digital age. Its emphasis on progressive solutions speaks to our collective need to defend our highest ideals by effecting positive change. While mendacity can be a shortcut to power, that power is ultimately unsustainable. We must speak powerful truths to power; truths rooted in our diversity and interconnectedness. In recognizing the ways in which we all have something to contribute and the ways in which we all depend on one another, we harness the value of our differences to establish powerful coalitions; coalitions that can effectively counter the rigidity and isolation of illiberalism. As a Fellow of the Sanders Institute, I offer my experience in supporting social justice movements around the world on issues like environmental justice, labor, economic inequality, and racism, and I hope to inspire a new generation of socially engaged citizens in fighting for justice and equality for all.

    Danny Glover
    Sanders Institute Founding Fellow
    Burlington, Vt.

    Shadow Lands by James Allen

    This short book of poems contains one poem in particular that deserves widespread attention for various reasons.

    It is about [Charles] Bukowski, a writer of considerable renown and admiration for his fearless comments, hilarious observations and sheer honesty about his decrepit life.

    Above all qualities endowed in his work was his gift for irony that he shares with the reader. The gift seems to have seamlessly morphed into the Allen masterpiece, The Conviction of Bukowski. I wish I had written the poem. Even more, I wish I had the perception displayed in this poetic gem.

    My daughter … will take a Bukowski book and wander over to the Bukowski grave and read his priceless prose while enjoying the … peace of Green Hills.

    Each of the poems feature visions of people Mr. Allen came in contact with.

    I can only dream that when and if there is a Shadow Lands II, a poetic homage to me will be included. Right! That will be the day.

     Jim Sitterly
    San Pedro

    Jim, thanks for the kudos but do note that all of the people written about in this modest tome are deceased and you should not wish too earnestly to be included in the next round.  All I can say about writing about the dead is that they generally don’t object very much. It’s far safer than writing my column.

    James Preston Allen
    Publisher
     

    The Arpaio Immigration Plan

    Our undocumented family members, friends and neighbors are at risk every day of being detained and deported by ICE. With a president willing to pardon the worst kind of immigrant scapegoating, even when it’s criminal, we are seeing the slippery slope that is caused by allowing sheriffs to get involved in immigration.

    In California, Gov. Jerry Brown has made concerning statements about some of the strongest provisions of Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act. Call Governor Brown and tell him that we want SB 54 passed as it is written, not a watered-down version that puts our community in harm’s way.

    SB 54 has already passed the California Senate with super majority support, but the Sheriffs Association is adamant at bullying Governor Brown and legislative leaders to water down the bill. Governor Brown should listen to the community and not the sheriffs. We know that when people fear being detained and deported by ICE, they are less likely to report violent crimes. This in turn makes our communities less safe and forces innocent people to live in a constant state of fear. Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona exemplifies the abuse of power that our fellow residents are subjected to.

    Californians deserve safe access to schools, health facilities, courthouses, libraries and other spaces, but that cannot happen now, and it won’t happen if Governor Brown bends to the pressure of sheriffs, Jeff Sessions and Trump. Trump’s deportation machine puts everyone at risk; by mandating that state and local law enforcement coordinate with ICE’s harmful policies, precious resources are being diverted from fighting the crimes that actually put communities in danger.

    No human being is illegal. Call Governor Brown and tell him to support SB 54, the California Values Act, not a watered down capitulation to Trump and ICE that endangers our friends, families, and neighbors.

    Governor Brown and the Assembly need to do the right thing and pass a strong California Values Act. Make sure they stay strong and protect millions of undocumented Californians.

    Erika Andiola
    Political Director
    Our Revolution
    Washington, D.C.

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