• Goodwill SOLAC Launches Annual Earth Day Awareness Campaign

    Goodwill Does Good by Keeping Electronic Waste Out of Landfills

    Goodwill, Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County (Goodwill SOLAC) announced its 2014 Earth Day awareness campaign aimed at local businesses and residents with electronic waste items that are in need of safe, certified disposal. Goodwill does good for the environment by reducing e-waste in landfills and ultimately improving the quality of life for the communities it serves. Surrounding Earth Day, Goodwill reaches out to both large and small businesses to increase e-waste awareness and encourage them to enlist Goodwill as their go-to source for e-waste recycling.

    “We are proud of our leadership in sustainability practices to help facilitate corporate citizenship and environmental responsibility,” said Julie Dover, Chief Operating Officer for Goodwill SOLAC.

    In recognition of Earth Day, Goodwill SOLAC’s emphasis on e-waste recycling places its long history of green stewardship front and center, underscoring its founding principle:  A commitment to transforming lives through the power of work. In just the last year, Goodwill processed an impressive 14.5 million pounds of textiles and household goods for sale. In addition, more than 805,000 pounds of e-waste was recycled, generating in excess of $1.4 million that was used to fund its job training and employment programs for underserved individuals who have a desire to work, offering them a hand up rather than a hand out.

    Goodwill SOLAC partners with local businesses, such as Toyota and Kaiser Permanente, to collect e-waste items through employee donation drives. Not only does Goodwill provide on-site bins for corporate donation drives, it also deploys an expert team to collect the donations and issue tax-deductible receipts. (more…)

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: April 21, 2014

    April 22
    Land Use Planning, Public Works Committee Meeting
    The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Planning and Public Works Committee will meet, at 6 p.m. April 22, at the San Pedro United Methodist Church.
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/CentralPlanningComm
    Venue: San Pedro United Methodist Church
    Location: 580 W. 6th St., San Pedro
     
    April 23
    Overnight Road Closures Planned 
    The John S. Gibson Boulevard on-ramp to the Interstate 110 north will be closed, during the hours of 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. April 23 through May 14, as part of a major Port of Los Angeles roadway project to improve the Harbor Freeway and nearby surface streets in San Pedro and Wilmington.
    The following alternate routes are suggested for traffic traveling from Wilmington to Los Angeles via the I-110 north:
    Northbound John S. Gibson Blvd. alternate route (see route in purple): (more…)

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  • Gallery Azul Considers Crossing Over

     By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    Immigration is a subject Congress has worked hard to avoid.

    It is a complex, challenging subject. One that is not going to go away by itself and needs to be addressed.

    Gallery Azul in San Pedro is not afraid of the controversy. The gallery is currently presenting Crossing Over – A Dialogue About Immigration Via Art. The exhibit looks at the question of immigration from many sides.

    Nine artists, with a variety of outlooks, from a multiplicity of locations, submitted pieces for this show. The works view the issue of immigration from a variety of angles, including those of people who live in fear of immigration sweeps, separation of families and the trafficking of babies from foreign countries.

    José Flores, from Mexico, presents a cleverly humorous take on Edvard Munch’s “Scream.” Flores gives us a young immigrant screaming in fear of “La Migra (Self Portrait)” the title of his painting. This is the typical cliché when politicians discuss immigration, stating that immigrants are illegal law-breakers who should all be deported.

    In his painting “Legal Alien,” artist Diego “Yeyo” Aguirre asks us to look at immigrants such as Justin Beiber, who enter the country legally, but live above the law, creating resentment among those who work to gain the right to live and work legally in the United States. Bieber’s reckless behavior and immigration status has inspired a petition with more than a quarter-of-a-million signatures demanding his deportation.

    Michigan artist Mark Metzner, submits a piece titled “Motown– Ghost Town.” Metzner laments the death of a vibrant city destroyed by the collapse of the auto industry. Rather than a center for immigration, Detroit’s population has declined 60 percent since 1950, going from 1.8 million residents to 700,000. A once proud American city, Detroit was abandoned by the dreams of European immigrants and African-American workers.

    This is the first time that gallery owners Ray Vasquez and Cora Ramirez-Vasquez have presented an exhibit on the topic of immigration. Opened in 2006, the gallery has built a reputation with exhibits celebrating the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos and Cora’s interest in women’s art.

    Their mission is to provide a platform for emerging artists to collaborate and showcase contemporary and cultural artworks. Their reputation has grown in the area of shows, which focus on informing the community about issues that affect us all.

    The two gallery owners have several reasons to take interest in this subject.  A successful couple, the two are highly engaged in their professional and artistic communities.

    Ray Vasquez is dean of students at Narbonne High School in Lomita. The school of 3,200 students is 63 percent Latino, a large number of those are children of immigrants. As dean, Vasquez is responsible for discipline in the school, including working with troubled students experiencing behavioral issues.

    Vasquez has a piece in the show titled, “On the Fence.” His painting powerfully portrays an immigrant lingering on the fence mulling the consequences of “crossing over.”

    “Those are all our ancestors,” Vasquez said. “Somehow they got here. If you are here today, you have come from a successful migration. That was me on the fence when I was contemplating college. I was not sure how I would make it in without affirmative action.”

    Vasquez achieved his goal of acquiring an education, graduating from UC Davis with his bachelor’s degree and acquiring his master’s degree at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

    “I started out in the classroom teaching art,” Vasquez said.

    Vasquez-Ramirez says she was inspired to choose the topic of immigration for this show because she comes from a family of immigrants.

    “I have a lot of family and clients who are undocumented,” she said.

    A graduate of Loyola Marymount College,  she has a private practice as a licensed  marriage, family and child counselor, and as an art therapist.

    “Occasionally, my undocumented clients have asked me to provide a letter testifying on the psychological effects deportation would have on them,” Vasquez-Ramirez said. “People are trying to find a black or white solution to immigration, but there is none.

    “I hear stories all the time of how my clients migrated over. Some had family who were killed, some were raped. Some came when they were only 10 years old. My own daughter is 12, I could never allow her to take that journey. I think, ‘What would make somebody take that leap?’”

    Recently, several news sources quoted Jeb Bush saying that illegal immigration is “an act of love, — the dad who loved their children — was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family.”

    This is a surprising statement for a politician, especially a Republican. Perhaps not so surprising when you consider his wife is a Mexican immigrant. In America we all come from immigrant roots, unless you are part of a tribe. The exhibition at Gallery Azul confirms this reality.

    The exhibition will be open on First Thursday, May 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. There will also be an artist’s reception June 1, from 11:30 to 4 p.m.

     Details: www.galleryazul.com

     Venue: Gallery Azul

     Location: 520 W. 8th St., San Pedro

     

     

     

     

     

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  • RL NEWS Updates: April 18, 2014

    POLA Streamlines Forms, Permits Process
    SAN PEDRO — The Port of Los Angeles has updated its permitting process, which formerly had been known as an Application for Discretionary Projects.
    The new process has a new name – the Application for Port Permits. The Application for Port Permits will be used to initiate the internal review process for all projects leading to the issuance of permits.
    A project is defined as any event, activity, development, or work of construction within the Harbor Department property. These changes are intended to streamline the application process for Development and Non-Development Projects.
    Key changes include:

    • Customers will use the new APP forms which can be downloaded here.
    • Checklists for Development and Non-Development Projects have been created. The checklists include additional information the Applicant must submit with their APP.
    • Detailed instructions about the APP process are available here.

    Questions related to the forms and permits should be directed to (310) 732-3871 or emailed to developmentpermits@portla.org. (more…)

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  • Prep School Sounds an Alarm at Torrance Art Museum

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    Photos By Phillip Cooke

    The Torrance Art Museum presents, Prep School, Prepper & Survivalists Ideologies and Utopian/Dysotpian Visions, an exhibition with a big title that addresses what is the biggest challenge to humanity.

    The ambitious show includes work by 29 artists, who look at the realities of living in a society that rarely seems to work, and surviving on a planet that is burdened with the effects of overpopulation and climate change.

    (more…)

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  • RL NEWS Updates: April 17, 2014

    March Container Volumes Rise at the Port of Los Angeles
    SAN PEDRO — Overall containerized cargo volumes in March 2014 increased 34 percent compared to March 2013 at the Port of Los Angeles.
    In part, this increase may reflect the timing of multi-week Chinese New Year factory closures, which took place in Asia on January 31. (Chinese New Year varies from year to year; last year it fell on February 10, 2013. Next year it will fall on February 18, 2015.)
    Container imports surged 42 percent, from 231,397 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units, TEUs, in March 2013 to 327,497 TEUs in March 2014. Exports rose 21 percent, from 154,428 TEUs in March 2013 to 187,826 TEUs in March 2014.
    Combined, total loaded imports and exports increased 34 percent, from 385,825 TEUs in March 2013 to 515,323 TEUs in March 2014. Factoring in empties, which increased 36 percent year over year, overall March 2014 volumes (675,274 TEUs) jumped 34 percent compared to March 2013 (503,168 TEUs).
    Current and past data container counts for the Port of Los Angeles may be found at:
    http://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp
     
    Quiet March Sees Cargo Slow in Long Beach
    Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach dipped in March, compared to the same month one year ago, with a decline of 1.9 percent overall and imports essentially flat.
    March saw some shipping lines suspend services or switch to the nearby Port of Los Angeles. The prolonged and harsh winter in the Midwest and East Coast also affected cargo numbers, as residents outside of places like the sunny Southwest were hampered in their attempts to consume. (more…)

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  • Carson Residents Mobilize Against Fracking

    By Shirley Hawkins, Random Lengths Contributor

    Carson residents, community activists and concerned citizens gathered at a city council meeting at Carson City Hall April 15, to voice their support for the city’s 45-day moratorium that bans hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, — a method of oil and gas drilling that has been linked to health hazards, including respiratory ailments and cancer.

    Carson is the first city in California to vote unanimously for moratorium against fracking, which injects a mix of water, chemicals and sand into the ground at high pressures to fracture rock formations and free trapped oil. That could lead to water and soil contamination. The method also generates vast amounts of toxic waste by trucking in heavy equipment and materials that contribute to air and water pollution. The moratorium is being imposed until May 2.

    The moratorium has placed a halt on the drilling plans of OXY USA Inc., a subsidiary of Occidental Corporation that is planning to drill 200 new wells in Carson’s Dominguez Oil Field over the next 10 years.

    “There are 600 abandoned wells in the Dominguez Oil Field, and their condition is unknown,” said resident Dianne Thomas, who attended the council meeting and has lived in Carson for 43 years.  “If OXY resorts to high pressure drilling, they could compromise the existing 600 wells and create a potential for an explosion—it’s a dangerous situation.” (more…)

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  • Fire Destroys San Pedro Elks Lodge

    Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that almost burned the San Pedro Elks Lodge #966, a 1748 W. Cumbre Drive.

    Investigators estimate that the fire started sometime before 3 a.m. April 15. It took 104 firefighters, from 27 Los Angeles Fire Department companies, to put out the fire at about 5 a.m., after about two hours.

    The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at about 2:50 a.m. Firefighters found the 33,744-square-foot, two-story building completely engulfed in flames. The roof, as well as other parts of the building, collapsed at about 3:30 a.m. The main auditorium, an area where the group gathered and did rituals was spared. No injuries were reported.

    Nearby homes also were spared thanks, in large part, to brush-clearing on the hillside and the defensive efforts of firefighters.

    Elks Lodge members were at the building on the night of April 14 for a meeting, which ended at 7:30 p.m., but authorities said no one was in the building when the fire began.

    Firefighters spent several hours at the scene gingerly extracting memorabilia and carefully salvaging belongings that had not been consumed by flames. A Bible that has been part of ceremonies for more than 100 years was saved. The Bible was signed by every exalted ruler since 1905. Other historic artifacts also were recovered. (more…)

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: April 14, 2014

    LB City Council Considers Police Lawsuits
    The Long Beach City Council will consider whether to settle two police-related lawsuits at its April 15 meeting at Long Beach City Hall.
    One suit has to do with a fire that took place on March 30, 2012 on the 1900 block of Caspian Avenue, when an officer laid a heat lamp in a laundry hamper, which caused a fire. The council will consider whether to pay $130,000 to the AMCO Insurance Co., which initially asking for $228,594.68.
    Another lawsuit is related to police overtime for which officers are asking for payment during the times they put their uniforms on and off. The settlement totals about $300,000.
    City Attorney Charles Parkin recommended settling with nine Long Beach Police Department officers asking to be paid for 25 hours of overtime and about $150,000 in legal fees.
    The nine officers were part of a larger class-action lawsuit filed in December 2006, seeking to be reimbursed for the unpaid time they took when changing into their uniforms and protective gear, attending classes, waiting in court, attending briefings and other routine tasks. At first, the officers did not take a settlement, but later they agreed to accept the same terms as the original settling group.
    In 2006, about 790 police officers sued the city. That class action was resolved by providing officers 25 hours of vacation time.

    Buscaino, Sharefest Launch ‘Humboldt Bus Crash Victims Assistance Fund’
    On April 10, a devastating crash involving a tour bus and FedEx truck took the lives of 10 people, including five Los Angeles-area school students on their way to an orientation program for admitted students at Humboldt State University.
    In an effort to support the students and families suffering from this crash, Sharefest is joining with Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino to launch the “Humboldt Bus Crash Victims Assistance Fund.” Money raised through this fund will assist victims and their families through any financial hardships as they heal physically and emotionally from the tragic accident.
    Support these families by donating to the fund at: www.Sharefestinc.org/buscrashfund
    You can also mail a check, made payable to Sharefest. Please include “Humboldt Bus Crash Victims Assistance Fund” in the memo line.
    Mail checks to:
    Sharefest Community Development
    3480 Torrance Blvd. #110
    Torrance, CA 90503

    Road Closures in Long Beach (more…)

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  • RL NEWS Brief Updates: April 14, 2014

    Update on Efforts to Keep Boeing in Long Beach
    LONG BEACH — On April 10, Boeing told its employees that by the end of next year, it will transfer 1,000 engineering jobs from the Puget Sound to Southern California.
    The news of the follows an April 7 announcement that Boeing will likely shut down its C-17 Globemaster, which is assembled in Long Beach, by the summer of 2015, earlier than previously expected. The C-17 Globemaster plant is the last of its kind in California.
    The engineering jobs will be centered in Long Beach and Seal Beach and will include the operation team, which deals with Boeing airplane issues anywhere in the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The move has been described as designating Southern California as the customer support center.
    Boeing’s Southern California Engineering Design Center support will be responsible for the 737, 747, 767 and 777 passenger jets, as well as commercial product support for the KC-46 Tanker and P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Boeing already assigned responsibilities for supporting several legacy aircraft to engineers based in Southern California. Boeing is dedicating its Puget Sound area facilities to the promotion of new aircraft — the 787 Dreamliner, the 737 MAX and the 777X.
    The Southern California Engineering Design Center employs about 1,800 people at the in Long Beach and Seal Beach sites.
    The move, rumored for months, is the latest in a series of engineering transfers out of Seattle that totals more than 4,300 Boeing jobs.
    (more…)

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