• Central SPNC Land Use Committee Meet

    The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. March 10, at Think Café in San Pedro.

    The committee will review and potentially make recommendation regarding a proposal for a 2,100-square-foot coffee bar or lounge at 335 W. 7th St. with live entertainment for up to 41 people.

    A conditional use permit for the sale and onsite consumption of beer and wine between 9 and 2 a.m. is proposed.

    A public hearing is scheduled for March 20.

    Details: (310) 489-3026; planning@centralsanpedro.org
    Venue: Think Café
    Location: 302 W. 5th St., #105, San Pedro

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  • Clinton in Long Beach

    LONG BEACH — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Long Beach, March 4, to speak at a $1,500-per-plate luncheon at the downtown offices of law firm Keesal, Young & Logan.

    The event was a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach. The politically powerful law firm has the fundraising luncheon every year, bringing notable speakers, including Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, in 2007.

    On March 5, Clinton delivered the third annual Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership at UCLA’s Royce Hall and accepted the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor.

    Following the lecture, Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session with UCLA political science professor Lynn Vavreck.

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  • As UC Continues Bad Faith Bargaining with Patient Care Workers

    OAKLAND — On March 4, the University of California’s largest union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299, announced that its 13,000 Patient Care Technical Workers will vote on whether to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice Strike on March 12 and 13.
    The Unfair Labor Practice stems from repeated efforts by UC to illegally subvert the collective bargaining process throughout the past year—including its imposition of contract terms on Patient Care workers this past July, unilateral changes to employee health benefits and most recently, regressive bargaining in the form of a new demand for sweeping new layoff powers after more than 18 months of negotiations with Patient Care Technical workers.

    UC never mentioned its desire for new “emergency” layoff powers until 18 months into the bargaining process. Its new demands would enable hospital administrators to make unlimited layoffs, depending on patient census. Because Patient Care Technical Workers do not have mandated staffing ratios, like nurses, such powers could potentially leave facilities short-staffed and patients vulnerable in the event of medical emergencies.

    If authorized, this would be the second Unfair Labor Practice strike by AFSCME 3299 represented Patient Care Technical Workers in the past six months. The first, back on November 20, 2013, was in response to a well documented campaign of illegal coercion and intimidation by UC administrators against Patient Care workers who had voiced concerns on issues of patient safety at UC hospitals back in May. That matter is still pending before the State’s Public Employment Relations Board.

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  • Garcetti-Directed Fire Recruiting Investigation Launched

    LOS ANGELES — On March 4, at the direction of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Fire Commission instructed the new Independent Assessor Sue Stengel, to launch an investigation into Los Angeles Fire Department recruiting.

    The recruiting process pre-dates Garcetti’s administration.

    Since taking office, Garcetti has:

    • Installed a new, reform-focused interim chief, who is not there just to “hold the fort” but to be an agent of change.
    • Installed a new, reform-focused fire commission
    • Seen to the appointment of a new independent assessor to increase accountability (Sue Stengel, with experience with the Los Angeles Police Department inspector general and a former member of Garcetti’s staff).
    • Seen to the appointment of a civilian public information officer to increase transparency and public accountability.

    The next steps in Garcetti’s LAFD reform agenda are: (more…)

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  • Search Underway for POLA Executive Director

    LOS ANGELES – On March 6, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of a global executive search an executive director at the Port of Los Angeles.

    Under Garcetti’s direction, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners established an ad hoc search committee to oversee the process, which is comprised of Harbor Commission President Vilma Martinez and Commission Vice President David Arian.

    The executive recruitment firm Ralph Andersen & Associates has been retained to recruit and screen prospective qualified candidates. The ad hoc committee will conduct interviews and help narrow the field of candidates.

    Nominations and submittals from interested candidates should be sent to heather@ralphandersen.com by April 14.

    A full description of the position and qualifications is posted at http://www.ralphandersen.com/jobs/los_angeles_executive_director_port_of_los_angeles.html . Constituents and business stakeholders are also invited to provide input by taking a survey athttp://www.ralphandersen.com/portofLAsurvey.html or emailing comments to portoflosangelessurvey@ralphandersen.com .

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  • Garcetti Meets with Peña Nieto

    Mayor Eric Garcetti met, March 4, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

    The investment in Mexico’s ports in the northern region of the west coast to increase the number of cruises between Los Angeles and Baja was among the issues discussed by Garcetti and Peña Nieto. Each ship that calls at the Port of Los Angeles equals $1 million in economic impact for Southern California region.

    They also discussed increasing the number of flights from Mexican cities to Los Angeles’ airports.

    Garcetti is in Mexico City for his first trade mission as mayor, leading a delegation of government officials and business leaders to increase tourism, encourage companies to locate in Los Angeles and invest in local companies in Los Angeles.

    Also March 4: (more…)

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  • The Future Governor From Newhall, Calif.

    By Lionel Rolfe

    The obituary notice of a four-term California assemblyman who died at 86 the other day brought back memories of an odd and jarring time in my youth when he hired me to write a philosophy because he was then an aspiring politician.

    When I first met Jim Keysor in the late ‘60s, I was a reporter at the Newhall Signal. On hot summer days, the president of the Newhall Chamber of Commerce would stroll across the patio to gab with us in our modest cityroom.

    Keysor was the chamber’s president, but he struck me a little different than the usual kind who becomes president of the chamber of commerce. This isn’t to say he was a fellow member of the counter culture. He wasn’t. He was a Mormon, from a prominent Mormon family, and he was a Democrat of sorts.

    He had been born in Salt Lake City in 1927. What was most weird about him was that he was a Mormon and a Democrat. In those days, and still probably nowadays, Mormons in Newhall were a motley crew of political reactionaries, proud Republicans who like all proud Republicans looked down their noses on Democrats.

    One of the most prominent of them was the lieutenant governor, with the so appropriate name of John Harmer. Harmer was a charmless kind of man with an appalling reactionary political philosophy.  (more…)

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  • Panther Heart: Music for Meditating on Human Interconnectedness


    By Greggory Moore, Long Beach Columnist

    Panther Heart hasn’t been much like other bands in Long Beach.

    First there’s the size of their lineup and the numerous instruments in play. Then there are the ethereal, wordless, sprawling sound tapestries and the concepts behind them. Add in the fact that they create at such a deliberate pace that they’ve been at work for years on a project they’re only halfway through, rarely playing live more than a couple of times per year and Panther Heart is a bit of an musical outlier.

    It’s not a modus operandi that suits everyone, and it’s partly responsible for the band’s major lineup change. Of the nine members who saw through the multi-year completion of Parts 1 and 2 of the four-part Panther Heart Defeats the Dire Wolf, only drummer Ryan Serrano and founder and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Lyles remain. And with six new members in the fold, the time is ripe for putting Dire Wolf on the back burner and embarking on a new endeavor.

    But first, a bit of history.


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  • Why Businesses Everywhere Who Support Arizona’s SB 1062 Should Put “NO FAGGOTS” Signs in Their Windows

    My friend Jericho once told me he preferred racists who called him “nigger” to those who hid (perhaps even from themselves) behind a façade of tolerance and phrases like “Some of my best friends are Black.” His rationale was simple: If someone calls you “nigger,” you may not like him, but at least you know just where he stands.

    With Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of SB 1062 last week, the question of religious cover for Arizona businesses to discriminate against homosexuals may be moot. But the sentiments that birthed the bill remain in play. The truth is, a lot of people simply do not like homosexuals—and not just in Arizona.

    That is their prerogative, of course. But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 decreed that certain types of business (labeled “places of public accommodation”) could not deny service on the basis of “race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    Sexual orientation was not specifically enumerated, but that should matter to us no more than the fact that the Constitution says only that all men—as opposed to women—are created equal. It was a different time, and contemporary contextualization of the spirit of the law mandates that homosexuals be protected from discrimination no less than women be seen as legally equal to men.

    So what’s a poor business owner to do if she doesn’t want to cater to homosexuals? Two little words: “NO FAGGOTS.”

    The First Amendment is a beautiful thing. It protects not only speech to which no-one objects, but also the unpopular opinion, even when expressed in terms generally regarded as vulgar or vile. You want to call someone “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “faggot”? That is your inalienable right.

    So, really, what better way to keep homosexuals from darkening your doorstep than sticking a “NO FAGGOTS” sign in the window? How many homosexuals do you think are going to want to contribute to your financial bottom line once you’ve made it so painfully clear that their kind is unwelcome?

    No, you can’t really enforce the sentiment behind such signage. If a same-sex couple walks into your restaurant, you’ll still have to hold your nose and serve them. I just think you’ll be a lot less likely to attract such undesirables in the first place. Plus, whatever anybody thinks of you, no-one will accuse you of being disingenuous. You don’t like the LGBT community, you don’t want its members coming around—why not say it in no uncertain terms?

    Disingenuousness is, of course, all over the pro-SB 1062 side of the debate. Proponents proclaim the bill as being about nothing more than religious freedom. One of the flaws in their argument is taking for granted that inherent to religious freedom is the right to run a business. But that beautiful First Amendment, which protects religious freedom as much as it does speech, doesn’t say anything about having a place of business. Come to think of it, having is business isn’t a central tenet of any religion, is it?

    But running a business is a matter of law, particularly when we’re talking about “places of public accommodation.” They are subject to a whole host of codes, rules, regulations. And discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation simply runs afoul of the whole system.

    SB 1062 was intended to change that in Arizona. For now, at least, it failed. But try the “NO FAGGOTS” thing. Yes, some people will shun you, but you’ll gain some admirers. The Westboro Baptist Church, for example. And in any case, if you’re genuinely trying to adhere to your religious beliefs, isn’t the end result more important than public perception?

    What’s that you say: you resent the insinuation that you would ever use a slur like “faggots”? Forgive me—I got confused. It’s just that you dislike gay people so much that you think God disapproves of your associating with them, and that government should allow discrimination against them in places of public accommodation, you know? I figured you might want to call a spade a spade. My mistake.

    But let us not forget the words of Christ: “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16). If you don’t want to do business with homosexuals, don’t hide that feeling under a bushel of legalese. Let it shine!

    (The image above is a screen capture from the film Pleasantville playing upon the business signage common to the Jim Crow-era South.)

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  • ART

    March 2
    In the School of Art Student Art Galleries
    Curated by Daniela Ionescue, the Art and Fashion group exhibition continues with ideas presented in last semester’s Art and Fashion exhibition, specifically globalization, sustainability and fair trade March 2 through 6, at Cal State Long Beach’s Student Art Galleries in the Fine Arts Complex.
    Marcus Thibodeau displays printed utilizing a variety of materials. Arezoo Bharthania’s paintings investigate the idea of inside and outside as they relate to life in Iran, memory, and displacement. Justin Smith and Michael Rollins display process-based abstract paintings referencing structural objects and frequencies.
    Details: School of Art website
    Venue: CSULB
    Location: 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach (more…)

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