• War of Words

    • 10/06/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Letters
    • Comments are off

    I suggest you reconsider your animal farm logic, some more equal than others, in the War of Words free speech essay in your paper [RLn 9/14/17]. That is, unless you’re simply making excuses for the violent response to speech; violence in response to violence, never to speech. The free exchange of ideas is necessary for differing groups to reach consensus and coexist.
    Carl Berryman
    San Pedro

    Mr. Barryman,
    I don’t think I am arguing that some are more equal than others. What I did say is that some forms of speech are not protected and that when certain kinds of speech are used to intimidate or threaten other people’s civil liberties it crosses the line of civility.
    James Preston Allen
    Publisher

    Public letter from Northwest San Pedro Council

    Dear Mr. Nastri,
    The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council writes to express deep dissatisfaction with your decision to approve the Tesoro Los Angeles Refinery Integration and Compliance (LARIC) project, the merger of the Tesoro and BP refineries in Wilmington and Carson.
    In approving this project, you have demonstrated a lack of commitment to accurate information. A recent study conducted by your own agency has shown that Tesoro has grossly underreported emissions. In particular, the joint Swedish/AQMD study 1 released on April 11, 2017, found that the Carson/Wilmington refineries emit 43 times more benzene, a known cause of leukemia, and 6.4 times more Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), smog precursors that aggravate asthma and other illnesses, than previously reported. The study also states that 2/3 of total refinery emissions are generated from storage tanks — an especially alarming fact considering that Tesoro plans to double its current storage tank capacity with the approval of this project.
    Further, your agency has refused to include in its analysis the fact that, with the approval of this project, Tesoro will bring North Dakota crude oil and Canadian tar sands to Los Angeles. This switch to such carcinogenic and highly explosive oils was not addressed in the environmental impact report approved on Friday, May 12, 2017, thus undermining the District’s credibility in this decision.
    Mayor Eric Garcetti sent a letter on Dec. 15, 2016 to your agency. In such letter, the mayor expressed similar concerns regarding the inadequacy of the recently approved EIR, saying, “The potential increase in air and water pollution, upstream greenhouse gases, and international safety hazards related to the use of Bakken Crude require a broader environmental analysis through your recirculation process.”
    Additionally, State Senate President Pro Tem Senator Kevin De León and Congresswoman Nanette Barragán have expressed opposition to the LARIC project. These representatives join the voices of nearly 10,000 people who marched in Wilmington in opposition to the project on April 29, 2017.
    The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council finds your alignment with the current administration’s regressive fossil fuel policy to bring more volatile and toxic Bakken and tar sands crude oils into Southern California, without accurate assessment of the risks, both alarming and shameful.
    We demand that the SCAQMD use currently available scientific data to make decisions according to the best interest of the public it is supposed to serve.
    Raymond Regalado, President
    On behalf of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council

    It Doesn’t Seem Real

    I had low expectations for Donald Trump’s fitness for office. And for seven months, we’ve watched day by day as he has diminished his office and our nation’s standing in the world. Each day brings a new level of disbelief. But this week he sank to a new low, standing behind the presidential seal and giving his implicit support to the idea that white supremacists, Klansmen and Neo-Nazis have legitimate views that deserve to be heard.
    Make no mistake, these are people who have sought to defeat our nation, murder our people and destroy our way of life. Trump’s failure to reject these evil ideologies, without equivocation, is a shock to the conscience and an insult to every American, especially those who are veterans, who have stood up and fought back in defense of our nation’s values.
    When the White House is occupied by a person who refuses to defend our values and gives comfort to our nation’s enemies, we need to respond. Therefore, I am asking you to sign my petition demanding that Congress publicly and forcefully repudiate Trump’s comments, immediately (www.tedlieu.com/petition?utm_campaign=dsntseemreal&utm_medium=email&utm_source=tedlieu).
    By joining together, we will send a strong message to the GOP-controlled Congress that they cannot hide from their responsibility to our nation. They must stand up and rebuke the President who is their party’s standard-bearer, or they will forever be tainted by his shameful words.
    We stand on the side of America. Let’s tell Congress that they need to join us.
    U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu
    CA District 33

    Reply to Kamala Harris’ Letter

    You wrote a great letter. The latest incident in Charlottesville, Va., shows the United States exactly what the President, Senate Republicans, Congressional Republicans, Republican governors and legislators really are. Joy Reid of MSNBC was a guest on Chris Hayes’ show this past July. She stated exactly what our republican government is, that is they have a king (Trump), who the republican couturier, “Senate, Congress,” can’t tolerate but put up with because they want his help to do things against the “commoners” whom they couldn’t give a damn about.
    Kamala, this presentation by Joy is so great that every election commercial by the Democrats should include this video.
    Kamala, I hope you or your staff read Random Lengths News.
    Damian Walters
    San Pedro

    Qualified or Milli Vanilli

    In your June 8-21 issue, you said Trump is neither “sufficiently qualified nor trustworthy to be President.” I agree, but how can you think Hillary Clinton is any more qualified and trustworthy?
    You have characterized her email scandal as “bogus,” presumably because FBI Director James Comey did not recommend that she be indicted. However, he did say that their investigation found that during a three-month period she used a completely unsecured personal email server for all her government emails, 110 of which were classified, including 22 top secrets. He said that she was “extremely careless” in her handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information.” Yet, despite all that, Comey said she wouldn’t be indicted because they found no evidence of intent. This was pure politics. He knew that the charge of “gross negligence” is available to prevent a perpetrator from getting off scot-free when intent is suspected but difficult to prove. If “extremely careless” doesn’t amount to “gross negligence,” then what does? YouTube video “Hillary Clinton vs. James Comey: Email Scandal Supercut” shows her several lies about her email server. That Hillary nevertheless got off scot-free on the email scandal should make one reconsider her and Bill’s innocence in previous alleged scandals.
    Many believe she had a private server to shield her emails from any Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department pertaining to the Clinton Foundation, because emails from her server obtained by Judicial Watch show the foundation was a pay-to-play operation (JudicialWatch.org: “New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors”). This is further evidenced by the fact of the Clintons’ shutting down the foundation after her loss.
    The email scandal and the pay-to-play foundation are just two of many crimes of the Clintons. Haiti is another. Bill as UN special envoy and Hillary as Secretary of State together controlled the disbursement of $13 billion that the United States and other countries contributed so the Haitians could rebuild after the 2010 earthquake. Little of that money went to help the Haitian poor; most went to Clinton cronies. Last August, Haitian Americans protested in Philadelphia against Hillary’s candidacy (YouTube: “What Hillary Clinton Did to Haiti Will Scare You to Not Vote for Her”). Note: Haitian Americans are not party to any “vast right-wing conspiracy” against the Clintons. This and other crimes are exposed in the “Clinton Cash” video.
    And finally, these life-long progressives said the following about Hillary: Eric Zuesse blogged “I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump”; Ralph Nader said he would vote for neither Trump nor Clinton, saying the Clinton Foundation was pay-to-play, and that she is a corporatist and a militarist who “actually scares the generals”; Cornel West said she is “a neoliberal disaster” and “a Milli Vanilli of politics;” and Susan Sarandon said she is “more dangerous” than Trump. Bernie Sanders strongly supported Hillary, but that was part of the deal of the Democratic Party allowing him to run as a Democrat.
    That Trump became President is entirely the fault of the Democratic Party’s establishment. Bernie polled much better than Hillary against Trump before the primary; yet the DNC cheated him and nominated a deeply-flawed candidate, alienating many Democrats who also felt cheated.
    Neil Saaty
    San Pedro

    Dear Mr. Saaty,
    That we can agree Mr. Trump is neither “sufficiently qualified nor trustworthy to be president,” is a good start. However, all of the blaming of the DNC, Hillary and the Clinton Foundation, along with Bill can, at this point, be seen as just more political slandering. In American politics, such as it is, we have often been offered the choice of the lesser of the two evils. Think Lyndon B. Johnson versus Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon versus Herbert Humphrey or Bill Clinton versus Bush Sr. and the list goes on. The very best rarely rise to the top; those with political connections, money and cunning generally do. If there is a single defense for Hillary over Trump is that within the first six months of Trump’s presidency, he has had more violations — both criminal and ethical — than Hillary has had over the past 25 years. She knows what it takes to be president — he doesn’t; she has the guts and courage to both dish it out and take it — he doesn’t. It is a world stage dominated by the old boys’ club that has been out to sabotage Hillary since she was the first lady who refused to simply smile and bake cookies. She may be a flawed candidate, but then who among us wouldn’t be exposed as “flawed” if our entire lives were inspected under the Fox News microscope? Frankly, I don’t take many of the hit pieces published about Hillary and Bill seriously. Just remember, when it came down to impeaching Bill, the only thing they could actually charge him with was lying about receiving fellatio, something I’m sure none of the men reading this column have ever done.
    As for Comey’s bungling of the email investigation and how those emails were revealed to the press — as well as who hacked into the Democratic National Committee computers — we will come to a conclusion far too late to make a difference in the most recent election. However, the term “impeachment” does start to sound intriguing. However, let me ask you one final question in rebuttal to all you’ve written — if you had a really expensive car and you were given the choice between giving the keys to either a guy who had never driven a car before or a woman who has gotten a few tickets for driving too fast, which would you chose?

    James Preston Allen
    Publisher

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  • It’s a Lousy “Anthem” Anyway!

    By Harvey Wasserman

    The immensely powerful, deeply moving, and historic protests of our nation’s athletes against the absurd rantings of our great dictator make one thing abundantly clear: the diversity of this nation is not going away.

    The Star Spangled Banne, however, should. It’s a lousy song with a racist message. We need a new anthem — or to acknowledge many anthems.

    Likewise, we can do better than that dotard illegitimately occupying the White House.

    So let’s combine the campaigns.

    The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, a slaveowner. His song commemorates the failure of the British to conquer Baltimore in the War of 1812, an utterly useless conflict. The Brits had just burned our nation’s capital, partly in response to the U.S. military burning their Canadian headquarters at York, now today’s Toronto.

    As Jason Johnson has shown in his “Star Spangled Bigotry,” buried in the lyrics was a clear racist put-down of freed slaves fighting for the English; those lyrics were then set to a drinking tune, To Anacreon in Heaven.

    The Navy adopted the song in 1889, followed by Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Wilson was stirring up fervor for U.S. entry into World War I, which the majority of Americans strongly opposed. He used the war as cover to crush the Socialist Party, which had millions of supporters. He jailed our greatest labor leader, Indiana’s Eugene V. Debs, for daring to speak against a war that killed at least 10,000,000 people and accomplished nothing.

    Congress turned down the song a number of times before it was officially adopted in 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression.

    Then the iconic version came from Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969. He did it with no lyrics. But in the midst of the useless, worthless war in Vietnam, he inserted a version of Taps.

    Right-wingers freaked out and branded him “unpatriotic.” But unlike most of them, Hendrix had actually served in the military.

    Now his version is played at Fourth of July celebrations everywhere. I use it to start all my college history classes. Nobody stands.

    According to political scientist Bob Fitrakis, in the 1930s American farmers and workers celebrated our country with Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land.

    There are other candidates … and many heated opinions. The great activist Sheila Parks says: “I am hoping you will listen, again perhaps, to these songs and see what they have to say about white people and Native American Peoples.”

    Buffy Sainte Marie: My Country ‘Tis Of Thy People You’re Dying

    Johnny Cash: From Bitter Tears — As Long As the Grass Shall Grow

    Someone also could write a new anthem.

    Or celebrate our diversity by adopting different songs for different events and different teams. Sweet Caroline seems to work for the Red Sox. We Shall Overcome would do well for many public rallies. Hey Hey, Goodbye will serve beautifully at upcoming impeachment hearings.

    The athletes’ rebellion fits the massive wave of grassroots social democracy that rocked our country just a year ago. Hopefully it will help propel its revival.

    John Nichols shows in his Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse that Trump’s antics are a clown’s distraction while his corrupt cronies loot our public treasure, financially, ecologically, spiritually.

    His despotic rantings echo Wilson’s brutal, unconstitutional assault on the farm-labor movements for social democracy a century ago, when he first pitched this anthem, and then stuck us with a catastrophic intervention that killed more than 110,000 Americans and devastated Europe.

    The killing in war is glorified in The Star Spangled Banner.

    [B]lood has wash’d out the[ British] foul footstep’s pollution.

    No refuge could save the hireling and slave

    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave …

    Those racist lyrics are rooted in contempt for social justice, an inability to handle human diversity, an embrace of for-profit militarism.

    Our national anthem is awful, both as a song and for what it celebrates. Let’s get rid of it, along with that bum in the White House.

    Harvey Wasserman’s History of the United States is at www.solartopia.org.

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  • Gay Men’s Health Summit

    Come and participate in workshops, listen to guest speakers, and panelists presenting on relevant health and wellness topics for 2017. This one day event will focus on self-identified cis, trans and gender non-conforming men’s multi dimensional approach to wellness.

    Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: https://www.centerlb.org/healthsummit2017
    Venue: Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach, 500 E. 1st St., Long Beach

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  • California Becomes a Sanctuary

    • 10/05/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    SACRAMENTO — On Oct. 5, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a legislation that would limit state and local enforcement agencies in holding, questioning and transferring undocumented immigrants at the request of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Senate Bill 54, dubbed the sanctuary state law, takes effect in January of 2018. It is estimated that more than 2.3 million immigrants live in California.

    The new law will prohibit state and local agencies from using resources to aid immigration agents unless the people in question have been convicted of one or more of 800 crimes. Immigration agents may still enter county jails and question immigrants, but personal information available to those agents would be limited.

    The federal government may is expected to try to block the law before it goes into effect.
    About 35 municipalities in the state have taken on the “sanctuary” label to protect undocumented immigrants. While the sanctuary label may provide law enforcement the ability to use its resources to fight real crime and provide some relief for undocumented families, it is important to note that federal officials may still capture and deport people at their homes and workplaces.

    The signing follows a series of actions by Brown and his administration to bolster resources and support for the immigrant community. The governor also signed:

    • Assembly Bill 21 by Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Public postsecondary education: Access to Higher Education for Every Student.
    • AB 291 by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Housing: immigration.
      AB 299 by Assemblyman Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier) – Hiring of real property: immigration or citizenship status.
    • AB 343 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Public postsecondary education: holders of certain special immigrant visas.
    • AB 450 by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Employment regulation: immigration worksite enforcement actions.
    • AB 699 by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) – Educational equity: immigration and citizenship status.
    • Senate Bill 29 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – Law enforcement: immigration.
      SB 68 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – Public postsecondary education: exemption from nonresident tuition.
    • SB 156 by Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) – Military and veterans: transition assistance: citizenship.
    • SB 257 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – School admissions: pupil residency: pupils of departed parents: residents of adjoining state or foreign country: school district reimbursement.

    Since taking office, Governor Brown has signed the California Dream Act, which allows top students who are on the path to citizenship to apply for college financial aid and AB 60, which extends the legal right to drive on the state’s roadways to millions more Californians. The governor has also signed legislation to help fund legal services for unaccompanied minors arriving in California from Central America as well as legal services to assist immigrants seeking naturalization and deportation defense; legislation to extend health care coverage and other protections to undocumented children in the state; and a number of other bills to enhance protections for immigrants.

    In 2016, Brown  appointed a director of immigrant integration to serve as the statewide lead for coordinating immigrant services and monitoring the implementation of immigration assistance programs. In September, Brown signed legislation to provide $30 million in financial aid for immigrant students and legal services for young people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status and the administration launched the California Immigrant Guide website to help connect immigrants with resources and services provided by the state.

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  • Fourth and Olive: Where Those Who Served, Serve

    • 10/05/2017
    • Richard Foss
    • Cuisine
    • Comments are off

    By Richard Foss, Culture & Cuisine Writer

    “Hi, I’m Don, and I’ll be your Navy veteran server.”

    That’s not a greeting you’re likely to get at local restaurants, except for one: Long Beach’s Fourth & Olive. Owner Dan Tapia is also a veteran, he strives to hire veterans at his restaurant. He’s even helping to start a garden program so he can use vegetables grown by vets with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    There’s only one sign of this dedication in the restaurant itself: a shrine-like table in a corner that is always set but never occupied, in honor of those who are missing in action. Otherwise, Fourth & Olive is just like any other Greater Los Angeles restaurant that specializes in the cuisine of Alsace, which is to say that Fourth & Olive is unlike any other Los Angeles restaurant; it alone serves the recipes of that French region on the borders of Switzerland and Germany.

    Alsatian cuisine is hearty and unfussy, rich in varieties of sausage, smoked meats and pickles. The region also makes superb Riesling wines and malty lager beers. Not many Alsatians moved to the West Coast, so this cuisine is undeservedly obscure.

    Duck liver mousse and pickled vegetables are a specialty at Fourth & Olive. File photo

    On my first visit it was happy hour and I zeroed in on two specials: housemade duck liver mousse and a bacon and leek tarte flambé, the Alsatian equivalent of pizza. Tarte flambés originated as a way of testing a woodfired oven to see if it was ready; bakers would slide in a sheet of very thin dough to see how quickly it turned brown. And as long as they were cooking dough, why not put something on top of it? In Alsace, where most people are bilingual, it is also called a flammkuchen, which means “flame cake.” But the crusts are nothing like a cake. Some are made with a flaky pastry, and others are a thin, crisp biscuit, like those found here. Either way, they’re a treat, and the ones here benefit from housemade apple-smoked bacon that has a slightly sweet character. Whatever else you try here, you should get a tarte flambé — among the ones available is one made with stinging nettle leaves, which is less weird than it sounds because the nettles taste a lot like spinach.

    The duck mousse paired nicely with the tarte, as the richness of the meat spread was balanced by housemade pickled onions and cucumbers on a toasted whole grain baguette. Get these two at happy hour and you’ve spent about 18 bucks for a very good dinner. Of course, you might feel inclined to have some wine or beer; I enjoyed a very good pinot blanc and a glass of riesling and still left without spending much.

    I went back for brunch a few days later with friends and tried a German pancake as a starter, followed by venison hash, house-pickled and smoked salmon and a spring bean cassoulet topped with a fried egg. The German pancake isn’t like any American variant; it is a cross between an omelet and a custard baked in a skillet. The pancakes have a crust at the edge with a fluffy, soft center and are a mildly sweet, decadent delight. Though it’s a bit light as a meal, one of these and a side of housemade sausage would be a great breakfast.

    My companion ordered the venison hash after ascertaining that it was just what it claimed to be, since some places that list an exotic meat use pork or beef as filler. This was indeed a hash of deer, potatoes, onions and mild seasonings. The venison was not overshadowed by the other ingredients, which my companion appreciated. The lean meat can be tough unless cooked slow and moist, but it came out surprisingly well in this pan-fried preparation.

    I ordered the vegan cassoulet with deep suspicion, since this slow-cooked bean dish is usually laden with pork sausage and trimmings. The meat was replaced with mushroom, eggplant and a rich vegetable-onion and bean liquor stock. While it was not an exact substitute for a traditional cassoulet, it was enjoyable on its own merits.

    Those seeking a slightly lighter meal might prefer the salmon, which was smoked and pickled like Scandinavian gravlax and served on a baguette with housemade soft cheese and a topping of dill, sorrel and arugula leaves. This puts all the focus on the craftsmanship of this kitchen — how many other local places attempt anything approaching this? The skill is consummate, showing that the veteran in the kitchen deserves the title in more ways than one.

    The restaurant was short-handed that morning but our server, Don, kept everything moving despite being almost alone on the floor. We didn’t get a chance to talk to him before we left and wanted to respond to his initial greeting, so here goes:

    Hi from Richard and Janice, both offsprings of World War II Navy vets. Thank you for your service to the country and the good service you provided to us that morning. Both are deeply appreciated. Keep up the good work.

    Fourth & Olive is at 743 E. Fourth Street in Long Beach. Beer and wine are served. Reservations are accepted.

    Details: (562) 269-0731; 4thandolive.com

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  • Long Beach Woman Dies Vegas Massacre

    • 10/03/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    LAS VEGAS — On Oct. 2, the Manhattan Beach Police Department confirmed the death of one of its own from a shooting spree that took place Oct. 1 during the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

    Thirty-three-year-old Rachel Parker, a Long Beach resident, was among the 59 people who died while attending the concert. Parker was off-duty employee who had worked for the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years. She was a Manhattan Beach police records technician. She died at the hospital. She was among four MBPD employees who attended the festival.

    Another sworn officer, Police Officer Chad Swanson, suffered minor injuries. He aided in the rescue of several shooting victims, officials said.

    The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire at fans from 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, claiming the lives of 59 people and injuring more than 500 people, before shooting himself. The shooting is being called the worst in U.S. history.

    Paddock had multiple semiautomatic rifles, authorities have reported. The rapid fire heard suggested a fully automatic weapon. Investigators still have not concluded a clear motive.

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  • El Twanguero

    • 09/29/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Oct 13
    El Twanguero
    Back by popular demand! Once called a “fire-breathing guitar hero” by U.S. press, Grammy & Goya award-winning guitarist Diego Garcia puts a Spanish twist on American rock ’n’ roll stylings of Chet Atkins, Carl Perkins and Les Paul.
    Time: 8 p.m., Oct. 13
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Oct. 6
    Blood Wedding
    The classic Spanish play by Federico Garcia Lorca erupts into a deadly dance of love and deception, family and revenge, beauty and betrayal.
    Featuring a El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) look and style, Blood Wedding is the tale of a young bride-to-be who receives a visit from Leonardo, a former lover who stirs up trouble on her wedding day, sparking a family blood feud that threatens the celebration.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 6, 7, 13 and 14, and 2 p.m. Oct. 8
    Cost: $10 to $15
    Details: (310) 243-3589; www.csudh.edu/theatre/tickets
    Venue: California State University Dominguez Hills’ University Theatre, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Oct. 14
    Cabaret
    From the enigmatic Emcee, to the wounded Sally Bowles, to a mature couple dealing with the difficulties of the prevalent antisemitism that flourishes around them, these familiar characters will reignite the sense of despair and danger so commonly found in fascist regimes.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 14 through Nov. 18
    Cost: $20.00 to $24.00
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Kill Climate Deniers
    The global premiere of playwright and activist David Finnigan’s hyper-real story for the stage told in the style of an action film that looks squarely into our battle against man-made extinction. What happens when the unstoppable force of climate change meets the immovable object of politics?
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays, through Oct. 7
    Cost: $15 to $25
    Details: www.thegaragetheatre.org
    Venue: The Garage Theatre, 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    Boeing Boeing
    A zany French farce featuring the swinging bachelor Bernard and his three stewardesses – all engaged to him without knowing about each other.  Turbulence abounds when airline schedules change and they all end up at his Parisian flat at the same time.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, through Oct. 21
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Details: https://shakespearebythesea.secure.force.com
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro

    Dracula
    Celebrate the Halloween season with the Long Beach Playhouse in the company of the most classic monster ever to roam through literature, film, and stage – Count Dracula! As Lucy Seward succumbs to a mysterious illness which is draining her life force, her father and his long-time associate, Dr. Van Helsing hunt the true cause of her malady – a vampire stalking London.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 21
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    ARTS

    Oct. 5
    Diasporagasm
    South Bay Contemporary Gallery in conjunction with Michael Stearns Studio 347 presents a co-
    located multimedia exhibition Diasporagasm. This exhibit is curated by artist, Beyoncenista, the alter ego of April Bey. This exhibit acts as a performance bringing together melanated artists working in Los Angeles, Haiti, Ghana, the Caribbean and West Africa.
    Drawing from the groundbreaking film Moonlight—a timeless story of human connection and
    self-discovery, the curator appropriates, amends and recontextualizes the juxtaposition of art,
    race and gender. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5.
    Time: Oct. 5 through Nov. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 400-0544
    Venue: Gallery 347, 347 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 7
    PUMP 2017
    FLOOD, the artist group that brought Soundwalk to Long Beach for 10 years and recently inaugurated “soundpedro” at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, is pleased to announce PUMP (Public Urban Multi-Sensory Presentations). This arts festivalwill highlight works by over 50 emerging and mid-career artists from throughout Southern California.
    Time: Oct. 7 through 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: lbpump.org
    Venue: Various locations in Long Beach

    Be the Change: Los Angeles Protest Photographs by Cindy Bendat, 2003-2017
    This photography exhibition features 58 timely and incisive protest photographs by California photographer Cindy Bendat.
    Bendat’s protest photographs in the exhibition reveal the visual power of people taking action in major protest movements in Los Angeles, including marches for immigrant rights, the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, Arab Spring, Burma freedom, anti-Iraq war/peace, labor unions and worker solidarity and the 2017 Women’s March.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Oct. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3588
    Venue: California State University Dominguez Hills’ University Art Gallery, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    17th Annual Frida Kahlo Artist Exhibit
    Enjoy another awe-inspiring exhibit featuring several artists at Picture This Gallery. The opening reception night, from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 16, will include live musical performances featuring CASI SON and Omar Perez, as well as Frida look-alike contest.
    Time: 12 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, through Oct. 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 233-3726
    Venue: Picture This Gallery, 4130 Norse Way, Long Beach

    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 re-presents 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

    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

    COMMUNITY

     

    Oct. 5
    5th Annual San Pedro International Film Festival
    Fifth annual festival featuring an eclectic mix of feature length and short films, including 1987’s Some Kind Of Wonderful (Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.), documentaries, panel discussions and special events.
    Time: Oct. 5 through 15
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://spiffest.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 7
    Jessica Lang Dance
    The award-winning choreographer and artistic director of Jessica Lang Dance seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and classical ballet vocabulary into artfully crafted, emotionally riveting, contemporary works.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 7
    Cost: $99
    Details: (562) 985-7000; www.CarpenterArts.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach

    Oct. 7
    Filipino American History Month Celebration
    This month-long celebration in Carson showcases amazing talents and performing artists in music, creative arts, and other varied forms of entertainment from the Filipino-American community. Headlining this year’s event are The Filharmonic and Geneva Cruz.
    Time: 9 a.m. Oct. 7
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 952-1743
    Venue: CJMM Community Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson

    Oct. 12
    Many Winters Gathering of Elders
    The Gathering of Elders Committee is excited to announce the revival of the annual Many Winters Gathering of the Elders. Indigenous elders from across Turtle Island will visit Tongva territory to share their traditional teachings and medicine.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12 through 15
    Cost: Free
    Details:  http://angelsgateart.org
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

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  • Medicare-For-All Emerges

    • 09/29/2017
    • Paul Rosenberg
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

    A last-ditch GOP attempt to “repeal and replace” Obamacare which would deprive tens of millions of Americans of healthcare collapsed on Sept. 26, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced they would not pursue a vote on the measure. The ability to act with a simple majority in the Senate — which Republicans could not muster — expires at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

    The frenzy of the past two weeks only serves to underscore how severely the politics of healthcare remains in flux. Yet, the Donald Trump administration still seems fully committed to doing everything possible to undermine Obamacare in order to build the GOP case that it’s “a failure.”

    On Sept. 13, Democrats struck back by going on offense. Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced his Medicare-for-All Bill, along with 16 cosponsors.  The sponsors included several potential presidential candidates for 2020:  Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker.

    At the same, Republicans formally announced their now-abandoned, last-ditched attempt to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” which some, including cosponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham, portrayed as a direct response to Medicare-for-All.

    “This is the only process left available to stop a march toward socialism,” Graham told reporters the following week.

    The logic was questionable.

    “It’s weird that Graham […] are making the argument it’s their bill or single payer,” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tweeted. “It’s the opposite! Killing ACA paves way for SP.”

    Above all, people want health care for their families. The means are secondary. If Medicare-for-All is the only way they can get it because Republicans have destroyed everything else. That’s what they will demand.

    In fact, one health insurance group — America’s Health Insurance Plans — cited “potentially allowing government-controlled, single payer healthcare to grow” as one reason for opposing Graham’s bill.

    Failing the Jimmy Kimmel Test

    But it was Graham’s cosponsor, Sen. Bill Cassidy, who drew far more attention when talk show host Jimmy Kimmel called him out in a monologue on his Sept. 19 show.

    “This guy, Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face,” Kimmel said.

    Conservatives then attacked Kimmel for his lack of expertise. Virtually all the experts in the field lined up against the bill and the GOP refused to hold any hearings to receive their testimony.

    But Kimmel’s real function was to draw attention to the deeply unpopular sneak attack the Republicans were trying to pull of before an aroused public could notice. He succeeded.

    Kimmel first became involved on May 1, when he opened his show with an emotional 13-minute monologue on the birth of his son with a life-threatening heart defect, who was doing fine thanks to the high-quality medical care Kimmel could afford. At the end, Kimmel urged Americans to come together and hold politicians accountable for their healthcare decisions, saying it wasn’t a partisan issue.

    “If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “That’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”

    On May 5, Cassidy told a reporter that a bill would have “pass the Jimmy Kimmel test” in order to gain his support.

    “I want to make sure folks get the care they need,” he pledged.

    On May 8, Kimmel had Cassidy on his show.

    “Since I am Jimmy Kimmel, I would like to make a suggestion as to what the Jimmy Kimmel test should be,” Kimmel said. “I’ll keep it simple. No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it. Can that be the Jimmy Kimmel test, as simple as that?”

    Cassidy agreed.

    “Tell the American people to call their senator to endorse that concept,” he said.

    Cassidy went on to add some further commitments after that, all of which, Kimmel noted, he had now abandoned.

    “This new bill actually will pass the Jimmy Kimmel test, but a different Jimmy Kimmel test,” Kimmel said. “This one, your child with a pre-existing condition will get the care he needs, if and only if his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed.”

    Kimmel then recalled what Cassidy had promised.

    “These were his words,” Kimmel said. “He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle class families and no lifetime caps. And guess what? The new bill does none of those things.”

    He then ticked through the list, adding just enough detail to let viewers know the basic games being played with the bill:

    Coverage for all? No. In fact it will take about 30 million Americans off insurance.

    Pre-existing conditions? No. If the bill passed, individual states can let insurance companies charge you more, if you have a pre-existing condition. You’ll find that little loophole later in the document, after it says they can’t. They can, and they will.

    But will it lower premiums? Well, in fact, for a lot of people, the bill will result in higher premiums and as far as no lifetime caps go, the states can decide on that, too, which means there will be lifetime caps in many states.

    So, not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test. He failed his own test.

    “Why won’t @jimmykimmel leave policy talk to the healthcare experts?” The National Review tweeted indignantly in response, linking to an article that failed to cite a single fact that Kimmel had gotten wrong.

    Experts Echo Kimmel, Not Conservative Critics

    In fact, everything Kimmel said was echoing healthcare experts. The Commonwealth Fund, the Brookings Institution and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities all said that Graham-Cassidy would lead to at least 32 million losing coverage after 2026, with first-year losses of 15 to 18 million people in 2019, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

    In California alone, the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education estimated that 6.7 million Californians could lose coverage in 2027 under Graham-Cassidy. In the Harbor Area, 166,300 people would lose coverage in the 44th Congressional District represented by Nanette Barragán, and 132,000 would lose coverage in the 47th represented by Alan Lowenthal.

    As for pre-existing conditions, the title of a Sept. 15 report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said it all: Cassidy-Graham’s Waiver Authority Would Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions. “While insurers would still be required to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, they could offer them plans with unaffordable premiums of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per month,” it went on to state. “For consumers, an offer like that is no different than a coverage denial.”

    As for premiums, Graham-Cassidy would “increase individual market premiums by 20 percent,” the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities stated.

    But older Americans would be even harder hit.

    Graham-Cassidy “threatens to make healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible for millions of older Americans,” the American Association of Retired Persons warned. “For a 60-year-old earning $25,000 a year, premiums and out-of-pocket costs could increase by as much as $16,174 a year if they wanted to keep their current coverage.”

    The Commonwealth Fund also confirmed what Kimmel said about many states imposing lifetime caps. Even beyond that, Graham-Cassidy involved massive Medicaid cuts which would decimate the system. In the early years, it shifted money from states that had expanded Medicaid under Obamacare to Republican-dominated ones that hadn’t. But in the long run, it reduced Medicaid funds for every state — even as its co-authors claimed to be giving states more control. A bipartisan group of governors disagreed and urged the bill’s defeat. The national board of state Medicaid directors opposed it as well.

    They weren’t alone. Opposition in the healthcare field was virtually universal.

    As Kimmel said in his monologue, “Don’t take my word for it. Here are just some of the organizations who oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill: The American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Arthritis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis, the ALS Association, the March of Dimes, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Children’s Hospital of LA — basically any group that you’ve ever given money to thinks this is a bad idea.”

    In addition, doctors, nurses, hospitals and even insurance companies opposed it, both individually and through their most venerable institutions.

    Millionaires versus Medicine

    There was only one clearly identifiable constituency in favor of Graham-Cassidy: multimillionaire GOP donors. A late-June story in The Guardian, “Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform,” laid things out clearly:

    At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

    One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

    “Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

    The Koch network’s budget for 2018 was $300-$400 million — a lot of motivation for lawmakers, regardless of what anyone else wants. But polling on Graham-Cassidy was brutal when it finally arrived on Sept. 21.  PPP found 24 percent of respondents favoring Graham-Cassidy, and 50 percent opposing it, with 27 percent “not sure.” That was followed a few days later by a CBS News Poll, which found 52 percent disapproval and just 20 percent approval. Even Republicans fell short of giving majority approval.

    On Sept. 22,  Arizona Sen. John McCain announced his opposition, leading many to conclude the bill was dead. Some last-minute tweaks were made in hopes of buying off one or two votes, but after the Congressional Budget Office released its score on Sept. 25, Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced her opposition as well. That same day, when the Senate held its only public hearing on the bill, 181 protesters were arrested, most of them disability activists with ADAPT, a national grassroots community that organizes disability rights activists. Videos of them being arrested quickly spread across social media. Graham-Cassidy appeared to be finally dead.

    The Road Ahead

    No one knows for sure what’s next, but there are at least three things to keep your eyes on.

    First, to look out for is the continued undermining of the  Affordable Care Act. Trump has repeatedly threatened to destabilize the ACA marketplaces by abruptly halting subsidies to insurers. His Health Department has used taxpayer funds intended for advertising to encourage Obamacare enrollments and spent them on ads promoting the law’s repeal. His administration signaled that it might not enforce the tax penalty for those who don’t sign up for insurance. Then, in late summer, it cut Obamacare’s advertising budget by 90 percent, as well as cutting funding for the law’s outreach groups by 40 percent. Such sabotage efforts are only likely to get worse over time.

    Also watch the bipartisan efforts to fix Obamacare. Despite GOP propaganda to the contrary, Democrats have never pretended that Obamacare was perfect. No major piece of legislation ever is. After the GOP’s first few efforts to kill Obamacare failed, lawmakers in both houses started working on bipartisan efforts to address issues that both could agree upon. These were halted in September as GOP leadership sought to force its members to fall in line. But now that Graham-Cassidy has failed, there could be a revival of these efforts.

    Third, and perhaps most importantly, there’s the Medicare-for-All discussion. It’s not going to become law anytime soon, but it is already changing the conversation and altering the realm of the possible for the future. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in June found that there’s now a 53 percent majority supporting it, with independents’ support at 55 percent, up 12 percent since 2008/9. Support among Democrats — at 64 percent — will surely rise if the leading 2020 primary candidates all support it. And with a majority of independents supporting it, it could be a key campaign issue in the general election, regardless of who the Democratic candidate is.

    Of course, nothing is certain. The Kaiser poll found that support could be shifted in both directions. Arguments against — raising taxes and giving government too much control — could raise opposition as high as 62 percent, while arguments in favor — reducing administrative costs and ensuring healthcare as a right — could increase support to 72 percent. But the longer the current state of endless struggle continues, the more opportunity there is for single-payer arguments to advance.

    Critics have argued that “Medicare-For-All” is a dangerous idea for Democrats, just the same as “repeal and replace” was for Republicans. But it’s an argument that’s full of holes. Yes “Medicare-For-All” is a slogan, just like “repeal and replace.” But that’s where the similarities end. “Repeal and replace” was just a slogan. There was never any unified concept of what it stood for. “Medicare-For-All” is a concept  rooted in the existing Medicare system that can be implemented in a variety of ways.

    By giving concrete form to the ideal of universal healthcare — something every other advanced nation takes for granted — Medicare-For-All also encourages other ideas that might actually achieve the same result. Shifting the debate from the endless finger-pointing of where it is now to “how do we cover everyone?” is arguably the biggest shift in healthcare thinking that our country can make. It’s what the “Jimmy Kimmel test” is all about. In that sense — as a concept, at least — “Medicare-For-All” is an idea whose time has come.

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  • Everyday Outlaw

    • 09/29/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Sept. 30
    Everyday Outlaw
    Down from the High Sierras, this Tahoe-based country band kicks up the best of Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and George Jones with a traditional honky-tonk lineup of acoustic guitar, telecaster, pedal steel, bass and drums.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 30
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    The Fred Schreuders Project
    Makule Productions is proud to announce the next monthly event offering the best in jazz, featuring the Fred Schreuders Project.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 30
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 320-8802
    Venue: Ohana Club Room, 21718 S. Vermont Ave., Torrance

    Stones & Stewart
    Stones & Stewart takes the audience back to this magical time in the 70s and 80s. Jumping Jack Flash as the Stones and Gregory Wolfe as Sir Rodney deliver the one-two rock ’n’ roll knock-out punch.
    Time: 8 to 11 p.m. Sept. 30
    Cost: $17.50 to $22.50
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/stones-gaslamp
    Venue: Gaslamp Long Beach, 6251 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

    Fredy Boy
    Fredy Boy will be performing debut album “Tail of the Shark”. Fred Beato on drums; Tom Croucier on bass, guitar & vocals; Iliana Rose on keyboards; Kerry Chester on keyboards; Pablo Padilla on guitar.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 30
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct 13
    El Twanguero
    Back by popular demand! Once called a “fire-breathing guitar hero” by U.S. press, Grammy & Goya award-winning guitarist Diego Garcia puts a Spanish twist on American rock ’n’ roll stylings of Chet Atkins, Carl Perkins and Les Paul.
    Time: 8 p.m., Oct. 13
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    All in the Timing
    The Studio Theatre proudly presents All in the Timing by David Ives. This critically acclaimed, award-winning evening of comedic short plays combines wit, intellect, satire and just plain fun. Ives’ collection of six fast-paced glimpses into the eccentricities of life, love, communication and dating will shine a light on the absurdity of life.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 30
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Oct. 6
    Blood Wedding
    The classic Spanish play by Federico Garcia Lorca erupts into a deadly dance of love and deception, family and revenge, beauty and betrayal.
    Featuring a El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) look and style, Blood Wedding is the tale of a young bride-to-be who receives a visit from Leonardo, a former lover who stirs up trouble on her wedding day, sparking a family blood feud that threatens the celebration.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 6, 7, 13 and 14, and 2 p.m. Oct. 8
    Cost: $10 to $15
    Details: (310) 243-3589; www.csudh.edu/theatre/tickets
    Venue: California State University Dominguez Hills’ University Theatre, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Oct. 14
    Cabaret
    From the enigmatic Emcee, to the wounded Sally Bowles, to a mature couple dealing with the difficulties of the prevalent antisemitism that flourishes around them, these familiar characters will reignite the sense of despair and danger so commonly found in fascist regimes.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 14 through Nov. 18
    Cost: $20.00 to $24.00
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Kill Climate Deniers
    The global premiere of playwright and activist David Finnigan’s hyper-real story for the stage told in the style of an action film that looks squarely into our battle against man-made extinction. What happens when the unstoppable force of climate change meets the immovable object of politics?
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays, through Oct. 7
    Cost: $15 to $25
    Details: www.thegaragetheatre.org
    Venue: The Garage Theatre, 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    Boeing Boeing
    A zany French farce featuring the swinging bachelor Bernard and his three stewardesses – all engaged to him without knowing about each other.  Turbulence abounds when airline schedules change and they all end up at his Parisian flat at the same time.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, through Oct. 21
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Details: https://shakespearebythesea.secure.force.com
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro

    Dracula
    Celebrate the Halloween season with the Long Beach Playhouse in the company of the most classic monster ever to roam through literature, film, and stage – Count Dracula! As Lucy Seward succumbs to a mysterious illness which is draining her life force, her father and his long-time associate, Dr. Van Helsing hunt the true cause of her malady – a vampire stalking London.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 21
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    ARTS

    Oct. 5
    Diasporagasm
    South Bay Contemporary Gallery in conjunction with Michael Stearns Studio 347 presents a co-
    located multimedia exhibition Diasporagasm. This exhibit is curated by artist, Beyoncenista, the alter ego of April Bey. This exhibit acts as a performance bringing together melanated artists working in Los Angeles, Haiti, Ghana, the Caribbean and West Africa.
    Drawing from the groundbreaking film Moonlight—a timeless story of human connection and
    self-discovery, the curator appropriates, amends and recontextualizes the juxtaposition of art,
    race and gender. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5.
    Time: Oct. 5 through Nov. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 400-0544
    Venue: Gallery 347, 347 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 7
    PUMP 2017
    FLOOD, the artist group that brought Soundwalk to Long Beach for 10 years and recently inaugurated “soundpedro” at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, is pleased to announce PUMP (Public Urban Multi-Sensory Presentations). This arts festivalwill highlight works by over 50 emerging and mid-career artists from throughout Southern California.
    Time: Oct. 7 through 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: lbpump.org
    Venue: Various locations in Long Beach

    Be the Change: Los Angeles Protest Photographs by Cindy Bendat, 2003-2017
    This photography exhibition features 58 timely and incisive protest photographs by California photographer Cindy Bendat.
    Bendat’s protest photographs in the exhibition reveal the visual power of people taking action in major protest movements in Los Angeles, including marches for immigrant rights, the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, Arab Spring, Burma freedom, anti-Iraq war/peace, labor unions and worker solidarity and the 2017 Women’s March.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Oct. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3588
    Venue: California State University Dominguez Hills’ University Art Gallery, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    17th Annual Frida Kahlo Artist Exhibit
    Enjoy another awe-inspiring exhibit featuring several artists at Picture This Gallery. The opening reception night, from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 16, will include live musical performances featuring CASI SON and Omar Perez, as well as Frida look-alike contest.
    Time: 12 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, through Oct. 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 233-3726
    Venue: Picture This Gallery, 4130 Norse Way, Long Beach

    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 re-presents 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

    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

    COMMUNITY

    Sept. 30
    2017 Yatai Festival
    Bringing the community together for a cultural experience, Japan Alliance is proud to co-host the 2017 Yatai Festival alongside the City of Los Angeles! We are shutting down the streets to bring you Japanese food (with a beer garden), live entertainment, and Japanese and Japanese American culture.
    Time: 3 to 9 p.m. Sept. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: japanalliance.org
    Venue: 186th Street, between Harvard and Denker Street, Gardena

    Oktoberfest at the Wigwam
    Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls, the Annual Oktoberfest returns to the
    San Pedro Wigwam! There will be traditional German fare, including brats, sauerkraut, German potato salad, pretzels and beer.  There will also be music, stein holding, yodeling, polka and more.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept.  30
    Cost: $14
    Venue: San Pedro Wigwam, 543 Shepard St. San Pedro

    Oct. 1
    Sustainable Seafood Expo 2017
    Learn how to choose the right fish for your dish – one that’s good for your body and for the environment. Throughout the Aquarium, you’ll be able to enjoy scrumptious seafood samples, meet top chefs, learn during cooking demonstrations, explore informational booths, watch educational movies in the auditorium and sip an ice-cold beverage or two.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Oct. 1
    Cost: $10
    Details: (310) 548-7562, https://sustainableseafoodexpo.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M White Drive, San Pedro

    Oct. 5
    5th Annual San Pedro International Film Festival
    Fifth annual festival featuring an eclectic mix of feature length and short films, including 1987’s Some Kind Of Wonderful (Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.), documentaries, panel discussions and special events.
    Time: Oct. 5 through 15
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://spiffest.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 7
    Jessica Lang Dance
    The award-winning choreographer and artistic director of Jessica Lang Dance seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and classical ballet vocabulary into artfully crafted, emotionally riveting, contemporary works.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 7
    Cost: $99
    Details: (562) 985-7000; www.CarpenterArts.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach

    Oct. 7
    Filipino American History Month Celebration
    This month-long celebration in Carson showcases amazing talents and performing artists in music, creative arts, and other varied forms of entertainment from the Filipino-American community. Headlining this year’s event are The Filharmonic and Geneva Cruz.
    Time: 9 a.m. Oct. 7
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 952-1743
    Venue: CJMM Community Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson

    Oct. 12
    Many Winters Gathering of Elders
    The Gathering of Elders Committee is excited to announce the revival of the annual Many Winters Gathering of the Elders. Indigenous elders from across Turtle Island will visit Tongva territory to share their traditional teachings and medicine.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12 through 15
    Cost: Free
    Details:  http://angelsgateart.org
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

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  • SoundWalk Group is PUMPing Up Long Beach

    • 09/28/2017
    • Greggory Moore
    • Art
    • Comments are off

    By Greggory Moore, Contributing Writer

    On a temperate October night in 2013, the artist and curatorial collective called FLOOD transformed Long Beach’s East Village Arts District into an indoor and outdoor gallery of sound-art installations.

    Four square blocks of downtown were converted into one big audiovisual playground; people leisurely explored about 40 installations. The experience was unique for each visitor: simple novelty, deep meditation on sound as a transformative environmental factor or a chance to get stoned and trip out in Long Beach’s closest approximation to Burning Man.

    It was called SoundWalk (soundwalk.org), and for 10 years running it was the city’s most unique arts event. But a decade is a long time, enough for sound art to move from the fringes to the mainstream — well, sorta. It became big enough for  the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles to host a sound-art exhibition of its own. So FLOOD decided to close the book on SoundWalk.

    FLOOD promised to return in 2015 with “a more expansive and more daring event that [would] explore and respond to the synaesthetic experience in which cognitive boundaries dissolve and the senses converge.”  When that didn’t happen as scheduled, SoundWalk devotees couldn’t be blamed for some pessimistic nostalgia.

    But this past June, FLOOD suggested that perhaps the best is yet to come. It introduced soundpedro, a reconceived SoundWalk in indoor and outdoor spaces at San Pedro’s 36-acre Angels Gate Cultural Center. Staged with a commanding 360-degree hilltop view of the horizon as a background, soundpedro’s dozens of fixed, mobile and interactive installations were so well received that another was immediately green-lighted for 2018.

    But soundpedro was a detour on the way to fulfilling FLOOD’s original promise, which will be honored in full beginning Oct. 7 with PUMP — an acronym for Public Urban Multisensory Presentations. PUMP will encompass an array of exhibits, sculptures, environments, installations, site-responsive works, projections, interactions and performances tailored toward isolating or linking our senses and methods of perception in Long Beach.

    If you ever went to SoundWalk, you have some sense of the delights in store with PUMP. If you never went, it’s time to find out what you missed.

    FLOOD’s impetus for PUMP is not merely to celebrate art for its own sake, but to combat what the group views as “local communities’ and governments sometimes dismissive attitude and stance towards arts and culture, [which has] result[ed] in waves of arts scenes coming and going throughout Long Beach history.”

    Neil Mathis’ “Thoughtitarium” is an 8-foot diameter sound modulating hemisphere fabricated with burlap, plaster and water. Photo courtesy of FLOOD

    FLOOD stated on its website that this pattern affects artists lives frequently:

    “[T]hose artists who are able to make the transition from bohemia to the ‘Art World’ no longer, literally or figuratively, count Long Beach as home, with some pulling up stakes and moving elsewhere and others residing but no longer exhibiting here. [PUMP] recognizes our city’s identity as a point of artistic origin while, at the same time, attempting to explore the possibilities of making Long Beach an end point and destination for artists and art lovers.”

    The dismissive attitude that artists have felt is one of the reasons SoundWalk is no more.

    “People are still talking about SoundWalk, but it became logistically impossible to keep doing it downtown,” said FLOOD member Marco Schindelmann, who is the vice-president of the Arts Council for Long Beach. “As the economy recovered [from the financial crisis of 2007–08], businesses weren’t as generous with accommodating installations. But Amy Eriksen [executive director of Angels Gate Cultural Center] was a big fan of SoundWalk and offered up Angels Gate. That’s how we were able to put on soundpedro.”

    Unlike SoundWalk and soundpedro, PUMP is a series of events spread across two weeks. While some works can be experienced at various times during the entire two weeks, others will happen only once. PUMP venues and spaces include the Packard, the Icehouse, the East Village Arts Park, the Collaborative, WE Labs, the Artist Co-Op Gallery and Studios, the Pacific Court Apartments and galleries and studios at 3rd and Elm streets.

    Although neither the Packard nor the Icehouse was originally conceived as an arts venue, Schindelmann said this typifies the city’s art history.

    “A lot of art in Long Beach happens in places that were not designed to feature art but have been adapted to do so,” he noted.

    Aside from its extended physical and chronological footprint, PUMP will also have more of a multisensory thrust. Even though many SoundWalk and soundpedro installations had a strong visual component, Schindelmann said PUMP aims “to move from multimedia to the synaesthetic,” more fully merging sensorial experience — with increased emphasis on the tactile and even the olfactory — rather than giving sound top billing. That being said, attendees will not be lacking for aural stimulation.

    PUMP kicks off on Oct. 7, featuring no less than three opening receptions, which include performances and installations by more than 30 separate artists and groups. As with SoundWalk, soundpedro and every other event FLOOD has ever staged, all aspects of PUMP are free to the public. This is part of FLOOD’s mission to make art accessible.

    FLOOD will be able to stage PUMP’s installations largely thanks to two producers, Michelle Molina and John Chiang. Molina is well known for supporting the arts in Long Beach. While Chiang is less well known around town, the five cavernous floors of the Icehouse give FLOOD an opportunity in terms of scale that the Long Beach arts scene has never seen.

    “Without knowing exactly who we are, Michelle and John are letting us do what we want to do,” Assadi said. “We couldn’t afford these spaces based on our budget.”

    While FLOOD co-founder and President Kamran Assadi expressed pragmatism about the great seismic shift Long Beach needs, he knows from experience how things can take root and grow in the city.

    “I was talking years ago with people about doing this and they called me crazy,” he said. “But SoundWalk started with just three or four of us talking about how nice it would be to bring sound art to Long Beach and by the end it had become an internationally known sound-art event and a signature event for the city.… We’re not expecting Long Beach to become an arts mecca from just one event, but hopefully PUMP will help change the dynamic.”

    For all things PUMP visit lbpump.org.

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