• RLn COMMUNITY calendar: Aug. 14, 2014

    Aug. 15
    Peck Skate Park Opens
    Community members are invited to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Peck Park Skate Park in San Pedro, at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
    Details: (310) 548-7580
    Venue: PeckPark
    Location: 560 N. Western Ave., San Pedro
    Aug. 23
    Come Aboard the Floating Lab
    Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium staff on a floating marine biology and oceanography lab from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Aug. 23. Aquarium staff will help passengers learn about and study the near shore sea life. Pre-registration is required. Registration fee is $28.
    Details: (310) 548-7562
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

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  • Time Stands Still is Current, Timeless

    By John Farrell

    Time Stands Still is a fable of our times, a fable of our times set in New York.

    The play gives a knowing view of how war affects lives, even if that war is at a distance and even if the people involved are reporters and not soldiers.

    Written by Donald Margulies, Time Stands Still looks at the lives of four people, two couples, whose lives are torn by the Iraq war played out in a single apartment in Manhattan. The experience, in a different light, could happen in Los Angeles under different circumstances.

    James Dodd (Richard Perloff) is bringing his partner Sarah Goodwin (Karen Harrison) home from the hospital. Sarah has been injured in a bomb attack and needs help getting around. She also is recovering from the post-traumatic stress. Her agent Richard Ehrlich (Tony Cicchetti) wants to help, but bringing along his new girlfriend Mandy Bloom (Dana Pollack,) half his age, doesn’t help. James and Karen aren’t married, but they decide they should make up for lost time, especially as Mandy has a baby and she and Richard are very happy. (more…)

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  • Man of La Mancha is Less Than a Delight

    By John Farrell

    Man of La Mancha is the second offering of the new San Pedro Theatre Club. Its first, Cabaret, was extended three weeks after critical acclaim.

    Man of La Mancha is an interesting, sometimes even compelling, production, but it also has more than a few weaknesses, perhaps the biggest of which is Don Quixote. Rocky Miller is not the gaunt knight that Quixote usually is. He simply doesn’t have the voice to carry the several songs with the brilliance they require.

    The eight-piece orchestra doesn’t manage the music with the kind of aplomb they offered in Cabaret. But then again, the orchestra may not have had the rehearsal time, since that musical probably cut into their rehearsal time.

    Director Drew Fitzsimmons does a great job of marshaling his forces and, if he can’t improve everyone’s singing, at least he gets some great performances from the secondary cast.

    Michelle Zelina was exciting in Cabaret and she return here as Aldonza. She sings with a delicious and powerful voice.

    Michael-Anthony Nozzi is perfect as Sancho Panza. Don Quixote’s squire, both in his singing and in his portrayal of the one person who understands Quixote.

    Man of La Mancha, the big Broadway musical that was a huge hit when it opened more than 40 years ago, doesn’t have the best book in the world, but the music, when done properly, is more than enough to carry the show. (more…)

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  • Gaza from the Perspective of a Proud Diaspora Jew

    Photo courtesy of Mohammad S Arafat, who lives in Gaza

    By Lionel Rolfe

    I have been doing my best not to think too much about Gaza, not only publicly but for myself.

    I can no longer avoid pondering all the uncomfortable thoughts Israel’s bombing of Gaza is bringing home to me. Of one thing I’m sure of is that I want to tell Netanyahu, “I told you so.”

    Netanyahu’s purpose was always designed to prevent any chance of rapprochement. What’s unfolding was foretold by him.

    Netanyahu has forced me to question my relationship to Israel in a fundamental way. I have some strong credentials as a Jew. I come from the centuries-old Schneersohn dynasty of the Chabad movement of Hasidic Judaism. When the last rebbe — who was the closest thing to a pope Judaism ever had — died, his followers expected he would be the messiah. It turned out he just died and was not the messiah. During that period, when they were looking for his replacement, some powerful Lubavitchers approached me. I was more of the bloodline than the last rebbe, so my bloodline made me attractive to them. Even when I pointed out I was not a good candidate — that I was an atheist and a socialist — they wanted to keep talking. (more…)

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  • RLn ENTERTAINMENT: Aug. 13, 2014

    Aug. 14
    Summer Concert at the Nature Center
    Enjoy Sligo Rags and Celtic rock music by the lake on Aug. 14 at the El Dorado Nature Center. Bring your own food or enjoy food from Rajin Cajun food truck. The $3 suggested donation supports Friends of El Dorado Nature Center habitat restoration and education programs.
    Details: (562) 570-1745
    Venue: El Dorado Nature Center
    Location: 7550 E. Spring St., Long Beach
    Aug. 15
    Victor Orlando and Fun Ja-La
    Victor Orlando will be performing at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro at 8 p.m., Aug. 15. The Grammy nominated percussionist will be performing alongside Latin Jazz band, Fun Ja-La. Tickets are $20.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location:1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Aug. 16
    Doug MacLeod and Denny Croy
    Doug MacLeod and Denny Croy will be performing at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro at 8 p.m., Aug. 16. MacLeod won the Blues Music Awards for Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album of the year. Denny Croy has performed on popular TV shows including The Tonight Show, Mad TV, and The Midnight Special. Tickets are $20.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location:1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Aug. 28
    Summer Concert at the Nature Center
    Enjoy Steele Parade and calypso music by the lake on Aug. 28 at the El Dorado Nature Center. Bring your own food or enjoy food from the Kona Ice food truck. The $3 suggested donation supports Friends of El Dorado Nature Center habitat restoration and education programs.
    Details: (562) 570-1745
    Venue: El Dorado Nature Center
    Location: 7550 E. Spring St., Long Beach

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENT: Aug. 13, 2014

    Aug. 15
    6th District Free Food Distribution
    District 6 Councilman Dee Andrews recently announced free food distribution, starting at 9 a.m. Aug. 15, at Ernest S. McBride Sr. Park in Long Beach.
    Community members must bring their own bag.
    Details: (562) 570-6816.
    Venue: Ernest S. McBride Sr. Park
    Location: 1550 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Long Beach

    Aug. 16
    White Point Neighborhood Volunteer Day
    Help remove unused irrigation lines to clear trails and beautify the site, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Aug. 16, at the White Point Nature Preserve.
    Wear closed toed shoes and bring sun protection. Preserve workers will provide training, tolls, camaraderie and scenery.
    Details:        (310) 541-7613; amyfriend@pvplc.org
    Venue:         White Point Nature Preserve
    Location:     1600 West Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro

    Aug. 17
    Annual C.A.R.E. to Dine Kickoff Event
    Foodies and restaurateurs will convene at the Long Beach Art Museum, from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 17 for the C.A.R.E. to Dine Kickoff party.
    he reception-by-the-sea provides local restaurateurs with an introduction to the community of diners who will soon make serious lunch and dinner plans for the upcoming annual C.A.R.E. to Dine fundraiser on Sept. 25.
    Participating restaurants throughout Long Beach have agreed to donate 20 percent or more of each patron’s bill on Sept. 25 to the C.A.R.E. Program, the regional comprehensive HIV health service. Tickets are $25 per person.
    Details: (562) 491-9225
    Venue: Long Beach Museum of Art
    Location: 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
    Aug. 18
    Coastal SPNC Meeting
    The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council board and stakeholder meeting is scheduled, at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18, at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building
    Details: www.cspnc.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marina Community Building
    Location: Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28, Via Cabrillo Marina Way, San Pedro
    Aug. 20
    LB Board of Harbor Commissioners Meeting
    The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is scheduled to meet, at 6 p.m. Aug. 20, at the Harbor Department Interim Administrative Offices.
    The board of Harbor commissioners will consider approving a no cost first amendment to contract with the Long Beach Public Transportation Co. under the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Grant Program, extending the expiration date of the contract by about three years.
    Details: Legislation Text, LB_Transit_GHG_Mitigation_Grant_Contract.pdf
    Venue: Harbor Department Interim Administrative Offices
    Location: 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach

    Aug. 20
    Carson Park Neighborhood Association Meeting
    The Carson Park Neighborhood Association is scheduled to meet, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20, at The El Dorado Bar and Grill in Long Beach.
    Venue: The El Dorado Bar and Grill
    Location: 3014 N. Studebaker Road
    Aug. 22
    Volunteer with Banning Museum
    Learn about Banning Museum at a “Get to Know Us” reception from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 22 and 23. The reception will take place in the conference room at the Banning Museum.
    Details: (310) 548-7777
    Venue: Banning Museum
    Location: 401 E. M St., Wilmington
    Re-elect Al Muratsuchi Fundraiser
    A fundraiser to support Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi in his bid for re-election will take place, at 3 p.m., Aug. 23, at a private home in Hermosa Beach. Tickets are $100.
    Details: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/fangary
    Aug. 23
    Pink Turn-A-Thon
    Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Torrance will be hosting a Pink Turn-A-Thon to benefit breast cancer, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 23.
    There is no cost to participate and the turned pens will be donated to the local chapter of the Susan B. Komen Foundation for use in future fundraising activities. Beginners and complete novices are welcome – participants will be guided and instructed by local woodworkers and store staff. Anyone interested in supporting Breast Cancer awareness and those who’d like to learn more about woodturning are invited to attend.
    Details: (310) 542-1466; store23@rockler.com
    Venue: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
    Location: 20725 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance
    Aug. 25
    Community Budge Meeting
    A community budge meeting is scheduled, at 6 p.m. Aug. 25, at Tracy’s Grill in Long Beach.
    The meeting will include a a presentation from City Manager Pat West and Financial Management Director John Gross as well as an opportunity to ask questions and give input.
    Details: Click here
    Venue: Tracy’s Grill
    Location: 5511 Spring St., Long Beach

    Aug. 26
    District 6 Budget Summit
    District 6 Councilman Dee Andrews will host the 6th District Budget Summit, at 6 p.m. Aug. 26, at Ernest S. McBride Sr. Park in Long Beach.
    Representatives from the Long Beach Departments of Fire, Police, Parks and Public Works will discuss the 2015 City of Long Beach Budget.
    The budget for next year allocates money for street improvements, funds for the third consecutive police and fire academies, the purchase of four fire engines, sets aside five percent of one-time revenues to pay for unfunded liabilities, provides funding for water efficiency improvements in parks and boosts funding for police.
    The budget has no significant reductions and applies a $3.1 million surplus.
    Details: (562) 570-6816; dee.andrews@longbeach.gov
    Venue: Ernest S. McBride Sr. Park
    Location: 1550 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Long Beach



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  • Two Men Found Guilty of Forcing Women into Prostitution

    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 8, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that a Long Beach Superior Court jury found Lebrette Stacey Winn and Eric James Avery were found guilty of pimping, pandering, sodomy by use of force, mayhem, human trafficking, kidnapping and forcible rape, among other charges.
    Nine accounts were related to the forced prostitution and kidnapping of three females, ages 16, 18, and 20.
    Winn, 23, convinced both women into prostitution. When the 20-year-old woman asked to quit he threatened and then raped her.
    The 18-year-old victim quit prostituting for Winn months after she began in November 2012. Winn tricked her into meeting him in May 2013 then forced her into his car and picked up the 20-year-old-victim.
    The two victims escaped when Winn left his parked car and went into a mall in Culver City.
    Avery was convicted of two felony counts: pimping a minor 16 years of age and human trafficking. Avery was a member of the Long Beach Baby Insane Crip gang.
    Police arrested Winn and Avery, 25, on May 16, 2013. Officers found a hotel card in Avery’s pocket and later located the 16-year-old victim when they used the card to open a hotel room in Inglewood.
    Winn is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 22. Avery will be sentenced will be Sept. 12.
    Winn faces 37 years to life in state prison. Avery faces up to 34 years in state prison.

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  • RLn NEWS Update: Aug. 8, 2014

    First Human Case of WNV in Long Beach Announced

    LONG BEACH — The first human case of West Nile Virus this year in Long Beach recently was confirmed. As of August 6, 2014, 35 human cases have been reported in 10 California counties, including Los Angeles (1) and Orange (6). There have been two West Nile Virus-related deaths this year in northern California.

    The 61-year-old east Long Beach resident with diagnosed with the West Nile Virus has no known underlying health issues and is recovering well.

    West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.
    Summer weather and drought conditions create an ideal environment for mosquito breeding. Residents should take the following precautions: (more…)

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  • Beck in the Crossfire

    Accessing Police Reforms, Leadership and the Contract

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    It’s never been easy for the average citizen of Los Angeles to know for sure what’s happening behind the badge at the Los Angeles Police Department.

    For decades, the LAPD’s public image of Sgt. Joe Friday and all the hundreds of other cop shows hid the reality behind the badge.  Rarely does the general public ever get to see the inner workings of the police department until something happens like the Rampart scandal, the Christopher Dorner manhunt or the release of the Rodney King video. We’ve been told repeatedly that all of those things are in the past since the advent of the federal consent decree and the mandated reforms of the past decade.

    There are two issues before the City of Los Angeles, both of which come with significant consequences. One is the reappointment of Chief Charlie Beck for a second five-year term and the other is the contract with the Police Officer’s Union, which recently was voted down by the rank-and-file.

    It would seem that these two were separate but equally important decisions—violent  crime continues its trend down while the city’s finances are tending to be getting better—but they may not be. The curious part about the recent revelations regarding Beck’s command of LAPD is that in years gone by the “thin blue line” of silence would have protected Beck or any other officer from outside criticism. (more…)

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  • RL NEWS Updates: Aug. 7, 2014

    Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography
    LONG BEACH — Thirty-three-year-old Paul Michael Barbour, of Long Beach, plead guilty, Aug. 6, to child pornography.
    Barbour taped girls undressing and had under his possession thousands of photos and videos of child pornography. Earlier this year, while he was working for Kids Artistic Review at Cypress College, a young female dancer discovered a video camera in the dressing room. The camera was eventually traced back to Barbour.
    A search of his home found thousands of photos and 10 videos of child pornography, along with a stash of LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms, court documents show. It did not appear he produced any of the pornography they found on his computers, officials said.
    Federal prosecutors charged him for the child pornography, which carries a statutory minimum of five years in prison and up to 20 years maximum.
    His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 20 in federal court. As part of a plea agreement, Barbour will likely be sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison, and 15 years of probation.

    LB City College Gets New VP of Academic Affairs
    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 4, Terri Long started her new job as Long Beach City College’s new vice president of Academic Affairs.
    Long will now oversee the college’s academic programs and deans.
    Coming from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut after 25 years (more…)

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