• Blackbird Takes an Honest Look on Being Black, Gay in the South

    A Long Beach QFilm Festival Feature

    By Viktor Kerney, Guest Columnist
    Being black and gay is truly living on a prayer.

    The pressures from family, friends and faith can stretch a closeted youth beyond their limits. That amount of burden on one’s shoulders can either come crashing down or eventually make that person stronger than before. These are the issues writer and director Patrik-Ian Polk addresses in his latest film, Blackbird, featured at this year’s Long Beach QFilm Festival.

    Like his groundbreaking projects Punks and Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, Polk continues tackling topics within the black LGBT community. In Blackbird, Polk delivers an honest and passionate coming of age story about a young choirboy struggling with being gay in a small Southern town.

    This film follows Randy (Julian Walker), a young church boy who is beset by host of problems: the disappearance of his younger sister, the separation of his parents and his budding sexuality. (more…)

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  • Connecting the Harbor to LA

    Road Diets, Stop Signs, Traffic Solutions

    By James Preston Allen, publisher

    Councilman Joe Buscaino held a town hall forum on the Pacific Avenue Road Diet last week and got an ear-full from some unhappy residents about narrowing the roadway. The problem is that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation has already decided, for some very rational reasons, that this is the solution and has already budgeted the money to slow traffic on this roadway. The one small truth revealed by the DOT representatives at the meeting  is that the ATSAC traffic signal synchronization system that the city paid millions for hasn’t been working and there’s no estimate of when it will be fixed. So much for great plans and hi-tech solutions.

    The problem that the city is solving here is kind of like Councilman Buscaino’s predecessor Janice Hahn’s approach to traffic accidents, more stop signs and traffic signals. When taken individually, these incremental steps are reasonable solutions, until they are implemented with an overall plan.

    What is needed is a region-wide traffic and transportation plan that takes into consideration port cargo traffic, the impact of increasing commuter traffic on streets like Gaffey street and Pacific Coast Highway (both of which feeds into the 110 freeway) and the projected impacts of waterfront development from tourists visiting the harbor. (more…)

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  • Mike Watt: The Musical Sailor On Bass

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher of Random Lengths News

    It was First Thursday. The workday had ended and the nightlife at San Pedro’s artwalk was just beginning. Lumbering down South Pacific Avenue to Random Lengths in his white econo-van, Mike Watt, at 56, looks more like an old sailor than punk legend and frontman of the Minutemen. His van has probably tallied more road years touring than younger bands have been alive.

    Watt was dropping by to talk about his upcoming 53–stop tour, his new album and collaboration with Italian duo, il Sogno del Marinaio (The Sailor’s Dream).  However, after 35 years on the music scene, Watt is still Watt with his signature plaid shirt.

    As his latest album, Canto Secondo, shows, the past is never far from Watt’s mind. For Watt, the past forever rides with him in his econo-van (or “the boat” as he calls it) or hangs like his silver anchor around his neck. Canto Secondo (second song) is an exploratory expression of this boat of memories recorded with music collaborators Andrea Belfi and Stefano Pilla in Bologna, Italy in December 2013. Their 53–stop tour starts Sept. 10 at the Casbah in San Diego and the next night at the Echo, in Los Angeles. (more…)

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  • Missing a Beat: A Ten-Point Account of Long Beach Funk Fest

    For the last five years Long Beach Funk Fest has been such a consistent standout in the Summer And Music series (SAM) that this year it ventured away from downtown Long Beach proper and out on its own and into the welcoming arms of the corporation that operates the Queen Mary.

    On Labor Day the needle dropped on the Sixth Annual Long Beach Funk Fest. How’d they do? Let me break it down for you, sugar.

    1. Website. If you wanted to get a good sense of Funk Fest going in, you were pretty much out of luck. The links to Festival Guide/Directions and Vendors never worked, and neither the Website nor the Facebook event clarified what could and couldn’t be brought inside. “Can’t seem to find a FAQ on what items are allowed into this event anywhere,” wrote someone on Facebook event page. “Chairs? Blankets? Umbrellas? Coolers? Dogs? Does anyone know where I can find this info?” No official reply ever came.

    2. Entry. If first impressions are important, the Queen Mary folks did not start patrons on the good foot, as it would have taken quite a bit of creativity to design a less efficient entry. At the front gate patrons were greeted with three lines leading up to a security check (see #3). The line to the left (call it A) was rather long, while the lines in the middle and to the right (B and C, respectively) were usually devoid of people, save for employees idly waiting to be put to some purpose. No signage indicated the difference between the lines. Finally, a young man not especially well chosen to do so attempted to communicate that A was for men (to be searched by men), B for women (to be searched by women), and C was for VIPs (to be searched by VIPs?). Women and men who arrived together were actively disallowed from queuing in A together, with women shuffled off into the much shorter B, then forced to wait inside for the 10-15 minutes it often took for their male companions to get inside. One male visitor from Australia, eyeballing the unpeopled B as he sweltered in A (for the shade issue, see #5), wondered aloud whether the question of splitting up the searches by gender ought to be about whether the person being searched had a preference (and since he didn’t, why couldn’t he go to B). I was wondering whether C might be opened up to a couple of Aers at a time when no VIPs were in sight. I don’t know what the other men were wondering, but it was fairly evident how they were feeling.

    3. Search. As a civil libertarian, I’m not crazy about searches. But when there’s a legitimate safety concern, I get it. To be sure, I did not get what was going on at Funk Fest. After the frustration of the entry lines, patrons were required to empty their pockets and subjected to a thorough pat-down of their persons and having whatever bags or backpacks explored in a manner more consistent with what one experiences at Customs than at concerts. Not all searches were equally invasive, but some patrons even had their wallets searched. Not sure what weapon was being looked for there. Among the items the searchers wouldn’t let people bring in was water (see #6). “I will NEVER come to another funk fest, again,” wrote one attendee the day after. “Who heard of no chairs or water at an outdoor concert. Violating people’s privacy. Hell TSA doesn’t even go through your wallet and makeup bag. Not to mention pat downs! WTH!!!! ‪#‎angryconcertgoer‬ ‪#‎kissmyass‬.” The Hollywood Bowl manages to get people inside with picnic baskets and without anyone’s feeling violated. Maybe that’s an organization worth talking to between now and next summer?

    4. Aesthetic. “This is like the Renn Faire for funk,” remarked my companion not long after we were inside. A better comparison would have been to the Orange County Fair, except on a drastically diminished scale. A few crafts booths, a terribly small selection of food and beverage vendors, and such a thrust of corporate sponsorship that if Coca-Cola had a hint of green in its color scheme, its advertising presence would have combined with Heineken’s as a sort of yin-yang. Clearly, the organic communal authenticity of previous Funk Fests had been bled away in favor of prefabricating the funk.

    5. Shade. Originally we had planned arriving not long after the fest’s noontime beginning. Thankfully, we didn’t show up until around 3, because a fairly brutal sun was shining down on a Queen Mary Events Park that was nearly devoid of shade. For reasons passing understanding, aside from a giant inflatable Heineken can off to the left and a giant inflatable Heineken gazebo for VIPs to the right, event organizers had decided against erecting any tarps or E-Z Ups to protect us from sunshine that wasn’t exactly a surprise to weather forecasters. Thus were many of the people milling about vendor trucks not waiting for food but hiding from the heat. The lovely dance floor off to the left might have had many people grooving to what the DJ was laying down had it been in the shade. As it was, on occasion two or three people would hit the floor but last no more than 10 minutes. You could tell it was going to be lovely as the sun set, but just then it wasn’t much fun standing there exposed, and I beelined for the shady area behind the big can. Was I just poo-pooing corporate sponsorship?

    6. Water. When attending Funk Fests of yore, I did what I do pretty much whenever I go: bring my purple canteen full of water to ensure that my hydration needs are met. But this year not only was that impossible, but, as a Facebook post from Funk Fest organizers made clear (at least if you could find it), even sealed water bottles would not be allowed inside. And while empty containers were permitted, organizers did not see fit to set up a water-refilling station. Therefore, the only option for acquiring dihydrogen monoxide was to stand in one of the food vendors’ lines either to have your canteen filled or to spend $2.50 to $3 on a 16 oz. bottle. The net result was longer food lines than necessary and needless plastic waste—the latter pretty much giving the lie to the Website’s claim that this year’s Funk Fest was a “green-driven festival, involving green sponsors and educating in ways to live with less impact on our environment.” What it did mean was more money for the event, and that’s what the funk is about, right? Perhaps there’s a special irony here, considering that all previous iterations of Funk Fests were free, while this one cost $15 to $20 (VIP tix $75).

    7. Vibe. Funk Fest draws a wide enough demographic that it seemed like there might be a little tension—which is not to say actual trouble—between those whose relation to the funk comes from a gentler place and those who come from a harder-edged milieu. But ultimately that tension never really materialized, resulting in a rather easygoing vibe that was good for everyone. That includes children, of whom there were a few, running about and screaming and enjoying themselves so thoroughly that you wished more were there to get in on the fun(k).

    8. Police. There was a visible police presence, though nothing excessive. There wasn’t much for them to do, and they didn’t busy themselves looking to create something.

    9. Location. There are two sides to this coin. Heads says this was a good use of the Queen Mary Events Park, whose grass was great for dancing or lying around, and whose trees provided effective shade once the sun descended to an angle that endowed them with long shadows. And that’s to say nothing of the natural advantages of being by the seaside. But tails points to what a missed opportunity it was to segregate a great event out of a city center and into a closed-off area, making it less about the community and more about a single corporation pulling the strings. Not to mention how the move deprived downtown businesses of what surely would have been a nice infusion of cash. Let’s see, would I rather drink Beachwood BBQ’s beer and see them reap the rewards, or give to and get Heineken? Hmmm.

    10. Music. The main draw was, of course, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, who did it right (even if the wildest days of P-Funk are long past). But all those acts with whom most patrons were unfamiliar held it down all day. That includes the Sea Funk Brass Band, who created some of the fest’s most special moments by walking through the crowd between main acts until finding a location that felt fine, then drawing people in with some solid funk jams with a Dixieland flair. The DJs, too, were on point. The main acts might have been blasted too loudly—something to be considered seriously if you truly want this to be a kid-friendly event—and the sound engineers wrestled with some feedback problems now and again, but I doubt anyone walked away unsatisfied with the funk itself.


    Unfortunately, the overall impression left by the Long Beach Funk Festival was that this year was a step backward for a lovely Long Beach tradition. “Show management and security sucked!” says a message left on Facebook for the organizers to ponder. “They put a damper on the whole festival. They wouldn’t allow lawn chairs! It was a 9 hour show with very few places to sit. Many people had their cigarettes confiscated at the door even though nothing said you couldn’t have them. The food sucked too. The music was great but I won’t go back next year. Too much oppression.”

    No-one I surveyed at the festival didn’t voice similar gripes. And while I suspect many of us will be back next year, we’ll be hoping that either Funk Fest returns to its previous location and form, or that the Queen Mary peeps go back to the drawing board. Because while the funk made us shake our asses, just about everything else made us shake our heads. Peace.

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  • RLn ARTS: Aug. 28, 2014

    Aug. 31
    10th Annual GLAMFA Exhibit
    An artists’ reception for the 10th Annual Greater Los Angeles Master of Fine Arts Exhibit will take place, from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 31, Cal State Long Beach Student Art Galleries.
    The exhibition is a representation of the next wave of contemporary artists.
    The exhibition features the works of masters in fine arts and masters of arts students from the Greater Los Angeles area. The exhibits will be on display through Sept. 4.
    Venue: CSULB Student Art Galleries
    Location: 1250 E. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach
    Sept. 6
    Light and Dark: Photographs From Germany
    An opening reception for Barbara Klemm’s Light and Dark: Photographs From Germany is scheduled, for 5 p.m. Sept. 6, at the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach.
    This solo exhibition presents photographs by one of Germany’s most distinguished woman photographers. Spanning forty years, Barbara Klemm’s works bear witness to Germany’s recent history, in a country that was divided for decades. Many of her pictures have become ‘icons of contemporary history,’ shaping the cultural memory of several generations. She has created a body of photographs which combine the documentary and the artistic in a manner seldom encountered in German press photography.
    The event is free and open to the public.
    Venue: University Art Museum
    Location: 1250 E. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

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  • RLn THEATER Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

    Aug. 30
    Makin’ Wookiee

    Makin’Wookiee will take place from at 1 p.m. Aug. 30 at Cinemark at the Pike in Long Beach during the Long Beach Indie International film festival.
    The documentary follows the audition, rehearsals and performance of the musical stage parody of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back put on by the Arts & Learning Children’s Conservatory in Anaheim, CA. The film opens with a group of the children as they enter auditions nervous and timid, captures the excitement of casting, chronicles the six week rehearsal process, concluding with the final performance, all while capturing the tumultuousness of tween angst.
    Details: (310) 853-2851; www.longbeachindie.com
    Venue: Cinemark at the Pike
    Location: 99 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach
    Sept. 6
    Twelfth Night
    Romance, slapstick, pathos, ribaldry and mental torture will take place with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, playing Sept. 6 through Oct. 6, in the Studio at the Long Beach Playhouse.
    Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies. Its title refers to the 12th day of Christmas, the traditional close of the holiday. Twins – Viola and Sebastian – become separated when they are shipwrecked on a mythical island.  Countess Olivia is falling in love with Viola (disguised as a boy), while Sebastian is falling in love with Olivia.

    • Pay what you can Thursday September 4 – community can see this production for whatever they can afford
    • Two for One Preview Friday September 5 – Tickets are $12.00
    • Opening Night Champagne Reception with cast on September 6- Tickets are $27.00

    Adults pay $24, seniors $21 and students $14.
    Details: (562) 494-1014 option 1; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse
    Location: 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach
    Sept. 13
    Is that Errol Flynn at the Poker Table? 
    Long Beach Playhouse becomes a stage door canteen for one night, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 13.
    The Long Beach Playhouse will take a step back in time to 1943 when Long Beach was a Navy Town and Stage Door Canteens were all the rage. The entire downstairs will be transformed into a USO-type canteen complete with 1940s-era celebrities, a floorshow, casino tables, food and many other amusements.
    The event is part of a yearlong celebration of the 85th anniversary of the Playhouse. It was the city’s first community theatre and it has been operating continuously since 1929.
    In addition to the floorshow and casino games, there will be a tattoo parlor, a fortune teller and food provided by Naples Rib Company, La Strada, Di Piazza, Crooked Duck and desserts by Rossmoor Pastries and Cookies by Design. Tickets are $100 and include drink tickets and “canteen cash” to use at the casino tables.
    Details: (562) 494-1014 ext. 506; www.lbplayhouse.org/special-events/stage-door-canteen
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse
    Location: 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

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  • RLn COMMUNITY calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

    Aug. 30
    Share your memories of the Port of Los Angeles
    You are invited to a workshop to gather photos, stories and memories to share on Historypin.com, from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 30, at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro.
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/POLAHistoryPin
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center
    Location:  3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    Sept. 1
    Labor Day Parade
    Participate in the Labor Day parade and rally, starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 1, at Broad and E streets in Wilmington.
    The march will conclude at a rally at Banning Park in Wilmington.
    Details: (562) 595-1891
    Venue: Broad at E streets

    Sept. 2
    Tour de Torrance
    Check out the birding hot spots of the South Bay, starting at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 2, at Madrona Marsh Nature Center and Preserve in Torrance.
    Details: (310) 782-3989; www.torranceca.gov
    Venue: Madrona Marsh Nature Center and Preserve
    Location: 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance (more…)

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  • Shins Bruised During Extreme High Tide in Long Beach

    No homes were damaged on the Long Beach Peninsula Wednesday night during the extreme high tide occurring at approximately 11 p.m. due to Hurricane Marie, but there was one casualty.

    Greggory Moore, a resident of downtown Long Beach who ventured to the Peninsula to “see the big waves, dude” was slightly injured in the area of 63 Place when the largest swell of the night easily crested the 15-foot berm at all horizontal points of the compass from this reporter’s vantage point and streamed across the sand with enough volume and force to dislodge a 10-foot plywood board set up by the Department of Public Works at the edge of the boardwalk as a final layer of protection for the oceanfront homes.

    Moore was standing on the deck wall of a very smart house, when the huge swell propelled the board edge-on across the boardwalk, where it struck Moore square in the shins. Moore declined to seek medical attention, saying only, “Whoa!”

    Because Moore’s presence prevented the board from striking and possibly damaging the house, President Barack Obama will be in Long Beach during BuskerFest on Saturday, September 6, where he will present Moore with the Medal of Freedom.

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  • RLn ENTERTAINMENT Weekend edition: Aug. 28, 2014

    Aug. 29
    Mitch Forman Trio
    The Mitch Forman Trio will perform, at 8 p.m. Aug. 29, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro. A $20 suggested donation is requested.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Aug. 31
    Ask Dino Show
    Musical guest Larry Dunn of Earth Wind & Fire will explain how he made it and performing, at 7 p.m. Aug. 31, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (310) 782-1440
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 5
    Frank Potenza
    Frank Potenza will be performing, at 8 p.m. Sept. 5, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 6
    Sandi Thom
    Sandi Thom will be performing, at 8 p.m. Sept. 6, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Sept. 7
    Nuevo Mundos
    Nuevo Mundos will be performing, at 4 p.m. Sept. 7, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 12
    Preview for TriArts Festival
    Check out a preview of the TriArts Festival, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 13
    NPH Guatamalan Orphanage Fundraiser
    Participate in the NPH Guatemalan orphanage fundraiser, at 6 p.m. Sept. 13, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    NHP Guatemala Orphanage music program purchases instruments and hires music teachers to advance the quality of life for less fortunate children.
    Details: (800) 403-3447; lifepwr@gmail.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 13
    Female Hip Hop Honor Awards
    Comedians Rodney Perry and Melanie Comarcho host a program honoring Oaktown 3.5.7, DaBrat, Michel’le, Charli Baltimore and Sparky D in the third annual Female Hip Hop Honor Awards, at 7 p.m. Sept. 13, at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.
    Tickets range from $40 to $150.
    Details: undergroundgirlsofhiphop.com
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre
    Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    Sept. 14
    Cole Marcus Trio
    The Cole Marcus Trio will perform, at 4 p.m. Sept. 14, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: Aug. 27, 2014

    Aug. 28
    Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council Land Use, Public Works Committee
    The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council Land Use and Public Works Committee meets, at 6 p.m. Aug. 28, at The Whale & Ale.
    Agenda items include:

    1. Proposal to convert Sixth and Seventh Streets in downtown San Pedro to one-way (Alan Johnson).
    2. Proposal to expand Goodfellas Sports Bar at 356 W. Sixth Street to include a gaming room (Alexander Hall to chair this portion of the meeting).
    3. Follow up review on the gas station development proposal for 311 N. Gaffey Street (Gordon Teuber).

    Details: (310) 489-3026; planning@centralsanpedro.org
    Venue: The Whale & Ale
    Location: 327 W. 7th St., San Pedro
    Sept. 2
    Long Beach City Council Meeting
    The Long Beach City Council is scheduled to meet, at 5 p.m. Sept. 2, at City Hall.
    The city council will consider adopting several fiscal year 2015 budgetary resolutions including a Harbor Department resolution as adopted by the Board of Harbor Commissioners and a Long Beach Water Department resolution as adopted by the Board of Water Commissioners on June 19.
    Council members are expected to vote on whether or not to adopt a motion approving the fiscal year 2015 budget for the Long Beach Community Investment Co. for more than $9.29 million.
    The council will also consider establishing charges for water and sewer services as an emergency ordinance. Council members may vote on adopting a resolution that would change the master fee and charges schedule for specified city services.
    Details: http://longbeach.legistar.com
    Venue: City Hall
    Location: 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Chat with Pat
    Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley, Long Beach City College President Eloy Oakley and Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser will be the guests at the Chat with Pat, at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 3, at Los Altos Library in Long Beach.
    Venue: Los Altos Library
    Location: 5614 Britton St., Long Beach
    Sept. 4
    Board of Harbor Commissioners Meeting
    The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will meet, at 6 p.m. Sept. 4, at the Port’s Administration Building in San Pedro.
    Venue: Port’s Administration Building
    Location: 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    Sept. 4
    NWSPNC Board Seat Available
    Be a member of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council Board. The deadline to apply is Sept. 4.  Learn More

    Sept. 6
    Electric Lawn Mower Exchange Program
    The South Coast Air Quality Management District invites you to participate in its Electric Lawn Mower exchange program, in San Pedro on Saturday, September 6th. You can trade-in your old gas-powered mower for a non-polluting electric model and save money while helping clean the air. Purchase a rechargeable, cordless electric mower for as low as $100, with the trade-in of a working gas mower.
    Details: http://nwsanpedro.org/2014/08/electric-lawn-mower-exchange-program/

    Sept. 8
    NWSNC Board, Stakeholder Meeting
    The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meeting is scheduled, at 6 p.m. Sept. 8, at Peck Park.
    Details: http://nwsanpedro.org/
    Venue: Peck Park
    Location: 560 N. Western Ave., San Pedro
    Sept. 16
    Joe Buscaino to Speak at Global Innovation Breakfast
    Councilman Joe Buscaino will be providing the welcome and attending the Global Innovation Breakfast, at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16, at the Topaz Building in San Pedro.
    Chamber members pay $20 and non-members pay $25.
    Details: (310) 832-7272
    Venue: Topaz Building
    Location: 222 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    Sept. 18
    Board of Harbor Commissioners Meeting
    The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will meet, at 6 p.m. Sept. 18, at the Banning’s Landing in Wilmington.
    Venue: Banning’s Landing
    Location: 100 E. Water St., Wilmington

    Sept. 19
    Harbor Schools: S.T.E.A.M. Initiative.  
    S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) blends the arts and creativity with technical subjects, uses hands-on projects and programs to engage students, and uses the larger community as a laboratory for testing ideas.   Grant submittal deadline is Sept. 19.
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/STEAM-Initiative
    $10,000 Reward Issued in Murder Investigation
    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors issued a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for murder of 25-year-old Olataga Filemoni of Long Beach.
    At about 11 p.m. July 25, the Long Beach Police Department responded to a shooting in the 3200 Block of Baltic Avenue.  When officers arrived, they discovered Filemoni on the ground suffering from several gunshot wounds.  Long Beach Fire Department paramedics transported him to a local hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. On July 28, Filemoni succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.
    Through the investigation, detectives learned that Filemoni was in front of his home talking with friends, when a car they did not recognize stopped in front of the house. Someone from inside the car yelled a gang phrase at the group. Since no one in the group was from a gang, they did not initially react to the statement.  Almost simultaneously upon the statement being made, gunshots were fired from inside the car at Filemoni and the others. One person with the victim was able to describe the suspect vehicle as a small compact. Several other witnesses reported hearing the shots, yet no one has come forward to provide a description of the suspect(s).
    A motive for the shooting is unknown. Detectives believe it may have been a case of mistaken identity.
    Anyone with information relating to this incident is strongly urged to call (562) 570-7244 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org. 

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