• Making it Visible

    • 09/01/2017
    • Kym Cunningham
    • Culture
    • Comments are off

    LB’s QFilm Festival Shines Light on LGBTQ Diversity

    By Kymberly Cunningham, Contributing Writer

    Expect narrative styles that will entrance you, make you think, laugh and cry through a broad spectrum of visual experiences at this year’s QFilms Festival in Long Beach.

    From 90s-inspired lesbian comedies to documentaries that feature activists, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning community takes the stage, front and center.

    A particularly resonant short documentary, Umbrella, which was directed by Rhys Ernst, provides a quiet examination of the everyday challenges faced by transgender individuals. The film notes that while our society has come a long way in the acceptance of transgender individuals, their unemployment rate is twice as high as that of the general population, and the murder rate has skyrocketed in recent years. Particularly poignant is the insight of Monica Helms, navy veteran and creator of the transgender flag, which now hangs in the Smithsonian as an integral part of American history.

    “I protected the rights of everybody in this country, and yet I don’t get to have those same rights,” said Helms in the documentary.

    With more than 134,000 transgender veterans in the United States, this film becomes increasingly more relevant when taken in context with Donald Trump’s recent ban on transgender military personnel.

    But Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, maintains that this biased attitude against transgender individuals is nothing new in politics. In the film, she catalogues the abhorrent reactions she usually receives when meeting with political officials.

    “We would bet on whether or not the person was going to flinch when we shook hands with them,” Keisling said.

    Another documentary-style film, Butches, Lies, & Feminism directed and edited by Greggorio Davil, pays homage to the life-work of LGBTQ activist Jeanne Córdova who died in 2016. Through a spliced collection of old interviews with Córdova, overlaid with recordings of her close friends and family members, Davil paints a unique portrait of LGBTQ history. Although the initial trajectory is a bit muddled, the film closes with an interesting examination of the confluence of activism, feminism and the early gay rights movement.

    On the narrative end of the film spectrum, The Feels features a more light-hearted examination of the security that love must provide in a healthy relationship. The film centers on a wine-country bachelorette weekend gone awry when Lu unwittingly admits to her fiancée, Andi, that she has never experienced an orgasm. If Wes Anderson ever created a So-Cal reality show, it would view like this film. Occasionally awkward, The Feels is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but  provides opportunities for inward examination uncommon in modern-day cinema.

    In contrast, Saturday Church presents a more earnest account of a black youth, Ulysses, as he explores his sexuality. Although narratively predictable and uninspired in regards to dialogue, the true beauty of this film lies in the juxtaposition of movement and stillness. The musical numbers, which happen just often enough to breathe life into the film, are the film’s emotional backbone, as the range of song and the intricacies of dance mesmerize. The film’s ending leaves a bit to be desired;  the main character’s journey of self wraps up with too nice of a bow for the narrative to be believable. As far as musicals go, this film was still enjoyable, even for a viewer who does not enjoy the genre.

    Overall, the films to be featured in the 2017 QFilms Festival present a diverse array of experiences, narratives and mediums through which attendees can celebrate the many facets of the LGBTQ community.

    “It’s important for folks to be able to access stories that resonate with them in their own lives as LGBTQ people,” said Porter Gilberg, executive director of The Center Long Beach. “Sometimes film is one of the only places where folks are able to see themselves reflected back…. You’re not going to find anything nearly as diverse as an independent LGBTQ film festival. Additionally, storytelling … is a really powerful way for us to share our various lived experiences. It’s also a great way to meet other folks in the community and to really celebrate where we’ve come from and where we’re going.”

     

    A Long Beach History

    Since 1993, Long Beach has hosted the QFilm Festival, the longest-running film festival in the city’s history. Originally named the Long Beach International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, this four-day event showcases the diversity and experiences of the LGBTQ community via film. This Sept. 7 through 10, more than 1500 attendees will mingle with the filmmakers and cast members in celebration of the LGBTQ community. All festival proceeds benefit the The Center Long Beach, which has hosted this event since the early 2000s.

    Officially incorporated in 1980, The Center operates as the only comprehensive LGBTQ resources and services center in Long Beach, assisting more than 25,000 clients every year.

    “In order to serve as diverse an LGBTQ community as we can … we are continually revising and refining our programming and expanding our programming to meet the emerging needs of the LGBTQ community,” Gilberg said. “Part of supporting our community is ensuring that there are cultural programs and opportunities for folks to see additional LGBTQ visibility, especially in the arts. QFilms … is a vital cultural arts program that both helps build community and affords our community the opportunity to see themselves reflected on the screen.”

    Although the lineup changes every year to accommodate the submissions of filmmakers, some short film programs are recurring, such as Men in Briefs and Women in Shorts.

    “Every year, the festival has its own unique flavor,” said Gilberg. “We obviously have our freestanding programs. We know we’re always going to show the best and brightest narrative features and … documentary features of the LGBTQ community…. But there’s a lot of creativity for us to be able to pair films and create additional shorts programs.”

    This year, QFilms is proud to present the first-ever Latinx Shorts Spotlight, showcasing the diversity of the Latinx community.

    “We’re also hosting a Queer & Trans Shorts program to ensure that we’re also speaking to the diversity of genders and sexualities in addition to our gay and lesbian communities as well,” Gilberg said. “The film programming is really diverse.”

    Along with the diversity of the film programming, the 2017 QFilms Festival is also hosting an art opening.

    “Some really wonderful LA-based queer artists … are lending their works specifically for display for QFilms,” said Gilberg. “We have another visual arts opportunity that will hopefully spark discussion in our attendees. And we’ve got a number of opportunities for folks across the LGBTQ community to connect and share stories.”

    Gilberg hopes that some of the other events during the festival — which include nightly post-screening parties, a Saturday Ice Cream Social and the infamous Sunday Drag Brunch — will also provide attendees with the opportunity to get to know one another and share experiences throughout the LGBTQ community.

    “Part of supporting our community is ensuring that there are cultural programs and opportunities for folks to see additional LGBTQ visibility, especially in the arts. QFilms … is a vital cultural arts program that both helps build community and affords our community the opportunity to see themselves reflected on the screen,” Gilberg said.

    Read More
  • LAPD Drone Pilot Program Draws Fire

    • 09/01/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    Police fail to give adequate public notice for meetings

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Community groups were taken aback by the lack of advance notice for community meetings Aug. 24 in Westwood, Van Nuys, Griffith Park and San Pedro to address a pilot drone program for use by the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT team.

    The timing of the Aug. 23 meetings was criticized by residents and advocacy groups. The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which has been among the most vocal, sent a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti on Aug. 22, accusing the LAPD of failing to alert the public about the meetings in a timely manner. The group also took issue with the fact that none of the meetings were hosted in the southern or eastern areas of Los Angeles or in downtown.

    Jamie Garcia said the Stop Spying Coalition first heard of the hearings at an Aug. 8 police commission meeting. Garcia noted that her organization monitored the media for any information regarding the hearings but didn’t hear or see anything until an Aug. 22 alert on KPCC. Others saw a notice in the Daily Breeze during the same time frame. No advance notice was given out to the neighborhood councils.

    Garcia noted that the biggest concern is the further militarization of the police department. Garcia also noted there are communities in other parts of the country that have not only decided to allow their police departments to acquire drones but to arm them with both lethal and nonlethal weapons.

    Garcia was referring to states such as North Dakota, which passed legislation in 2015 to allow their police departments to acquire drones equipped with less-lethal weapons, such as tear gas, tasers and bean bags.

    Connecticut’s legislature introduced a bill that would equip drones with lethal weapons. The bill, House Bill 7260, moved overwhelmingly out of the Judiciary Committee this past March but failed to pass the state’s House and Senate before the session ended in June. It’s unclear if the bill will make it to the governor’s desk.

    The LAPD first obtained the unmanned aircraft three years ago, when Seattle police unloaded a pair of Draganflyer X6 drones that stirred criticism in their city. The controversy accompanied the drones to Los Angeles.  After public outcry, the devices were locked away and never flown.

    The LAPD destroyed the Draganflyers this month, just before the department revealed it wanted to test different drones as part of the pilot program.

    Mission creep was also a major concern. Garcia noted that when SWAT was initially formed, it was only intended for hostage situations. Now it is also being used to execute search warrants.

    Nadia Khan blasted the drone as a non-solution and called out the LAPD for its lack of outreach and not holding any of the meetings in areas that has the most police presence, i.e. East Los Angeles and South Los Angeles.

    Khan noted that predator drones are being used at the border and other theaters of war, firing on targets at funerals and weddings in the Middle East. Once the program starts, she cautioned that it will lead to drones that kill [domestically].

    Speaking during public comment as a former Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council president, Random Lengths News publisher James Preston Allen noted the department is going to receive significant push back if it doesn’t talk to the community. It will be like the backlash city governments received for the road diets that were installed in Playa Vista.

    Allen also suggested a possible solution: trading out police helicopters for the drones. Zarcone said that he hasn’t seen any evidence that the drones could replace all the functions police helicopters serve, but he begrudgingly acknowledged after some pressing by Allen that it is possible, in theory at least, to engage in such negotiations with the community.

    Kristina Smith, who served as a record keeper for 18 neighborhood council members, noted that the LAPD could put out a survey on all 97 neighborhood council websites to get feedback. Zarcone welcomed the idea.

    Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council member Bob Gelfand, representing only himself, noted that the War on Drugs has been used as an excuse for every kind of bad conduct initiated by government. Combined with the LAPD’s brutal past, he said it was understandable that there would be distrust.

    There were about as many LAPD officers present at the meeting as there were constituents.

    The drones, called  SUAS, short for Small Unmanned Aerial System, are small measuring 7.5 by 11.5 inches.

    LAPD brass said the program would “enhance officer safety in tactical situations.”

    SWAT in the Western Division would use the craft in limited circumstances.

    The unmanned craft can see areas obstructed from view by trees and potentially dangerous building areas. Drones also can be used at times when helicopters can’t be used, such as indoors.

    The LAPD’s proposal to fly drones during a one-year pilot program is still in the early stages — the civilian police commission must sign off on both the pilot program and a policy for testing the drones before any are flown.

    LAPD Capt. Pete Zarcone noted that the drones could be used inside large venues such as shopping malls and warehouses. Now that LAPD is also responsible in part for servicing Metro’s rail systems, Zarcone noted that the drones could be used there as well.

    Zarcone noted that the unmanned aerial systems can be perched on high ground which can be used to great advantage in a hostage situation. Three-hundred-and-thirty California agencies, ranging from police and fire departments to coast guard units, use the unmanned aerial systems.

    In response, Zarcone said he understood the public’s critique, but, “All I can tell you is they will only be used for limited tactical situations.”

    Read More
  • Building It Up – Tearing it Down

    • 09/01/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    Buscaino fights windmills while Garcetti grandstands

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Two years ago, the City of Los Angeles woke up to the shocking realization that it had a homeless crisis after a young activist by the name of Elvis Summers started building tiny homes and giving them to homeless people.

    The Los Angeles media blew this up and some people became enraged at giving “those people” shelter in anything other than sanctioned facilities — of which there was next to none. Out of this, San Pedro’s own anti-homeless reactionaries rose up, calling themselves “Saving San Pedro.” It was never quite clear as to what they were saving San Pedro from or for whom, but it definitely wasn’t about saving the homeless.

    In stepped Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino to the rescue. His first act was a carefully orchestrated town hall meeting concerning homelessness — after he ignored the pleas and motions from the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council. His second act was the formation of the Homeless Taskforce to which he appointed a select group of personal ass-kissers to study the problem.

    It’s been more than 24 months and the taskforce has never released the promised report, while the latest homeless count shows an increase of 28 percent in this district of the city — 5 percent more than the average rate for the city of Los Angeles.

    Meanwhile, along Beacon Street right outside the Art Deco U.S. Post Office, Bobby Nizich has his law office and the blight of the homeless persists.

    On an almost daily basis, Nizich comments and documents his displeasure with the “urban campers” congregating along the historic Plaza Park just one block south of San Pedro City Hall and one block east from Buscaino’s exercise studio.

    Nizich persistently emails pictures and comments to a very long list of friends, officials and media. It’s obvious to the lawyer that the councilman has taken notice and shows it with the occasional enforcement of Municipal Code 56.11 to chase out the homeless campers for sidewalk cleanup.

    Comprised of handing out ticket violations and warrants, and taking away possessions and trash, the enforcement measures only result in chasing the homeless a few blocks in any direction. I’ve witnessed this a dozen times and the people just move back.

    Two years ago when the city took homelessness seriously, the city council formed a homeless committee and move forward a series of motions to address the “crisis,” including the amending of Municipal Code 56.11 to shorten the 72-hour notice to 24 hours, putting a $1.2 billion bond for housing the homeless on the ballot, and charging a developer’s fee to help pay for affordable housing units.

    Yet, of all the development projects brought forward, approved or planned in the San Pedro area of Council District 15, none has come with a low income or even an affordable housing component. This, of course, is odd since Buscaino is now arguing against Mayor Eric Garcetti’s development fee saying that the recent construction boom transforming the rest of L.A. has largely missed “this last affordable seaside of Los Angeles, despite its ocean views and proximity to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.”

    Two years ago, following the lead of other California cities, Garcetti proposed charging this fee on construction and using those funds to build affordable housing in Los Angeles. City officials say that the so-called linkage fee — a financing tool already in use in San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland — would raise $100 million a year.  That $100 million also just happens to be the amount Garcetti pledged to spend this past year to build homeless housing but didn’t. It appears that the $1.2 billion homeless bond is now not much more than a pot of money for developers who won’t necessarily address housing the homeless.

    Then on the very day the U.S. Navy Fleet sailed into San Pedro Bay, Garcetti’s office announced that he will lead a coalition called the “Big 11 California Mayors” — a bipartisan group of mayors from the 11 biggest cities in the state — for a press conference to discuss the urgent need for more affordable housing across California in a bid to support bold, immediate action from Sacramento to address the statewide crisis.  The mayor continues to “show boat” on issues like homelessness and hiring veterans, without having specific legislation to alter the economic downward trend in many parts of the city. Has the economic recovery actually happened in East LA or Watts?

    According to one of Nizich’s email pals,  John “the-godfather-of–the-bridge-to-breakwater promenade” Papadakis, “the powers at City Hall and at the port have turned this community into the only ‘seaside slum’ in California.”

    Papadakis writes, “What meaningful jobs, economic prosperity, improvements in our quality of life or environment have these current leaders accomplished? In truth, it has all gone the other way; into the anomaly of a Cali-fornicate, a seaside slum. They have betrayed their every public promise for a ‘Worldwide Waterfront’ transformation and prosperity.”

    It’s clearly not as bad as he alleges, nor has he seen the poverty evident near the port of Oakland. But he does have a point on jobs linked to economic prosperity. Buscaino has not accomplished much on that point.

    Oddly enough, the underlying solution proposed by both Buscaino and his one- time allies is development toward gentrification first. This solution has only made matters worse elsewhere in L.A. and the whole state, by exacerbating both the housing and homeless crisis. Nothing will be solved until city leaders get their minds around the concept of shelter first for the homeless — be it secure parking areas where people can live in their cars, RV’s or vans. Another possiblity is setting up emergency shelters on vacant city- owned properties (there’s some 9,000 vacant city owned properties) where urban campers can have sanitation services and eventually help getting off the streets. If this were a disaster like hurricane Harvey, Red Cross centers would be opened up across the city with 40,000 cots and blankets paid for by FEMA within days. Los Angeles has allowed 40,000 people to live out on our streets for decades.

    In the end, an array of temporary and semi-temporary solutions must happen to begin to put an end to our very troubling humanitarian crisis — our very own moral challenge. This crisis is  what’s stalling any development in the areas that most need affordable housing, permanent emergency shelters and humane treatment for our most desperate neighbors.

    We as a city must address this most basic concern so that the great promise of being connected to the City of Los Angeles will bring the “transformation and prosperity” that Buscaino’s detractors are demanding.  In terms of affordable housing, we must aspire to the saying  “a rising tide lifts all boats.” This is something a seafaring town should understand.

    Until that time, Buscaino will continue fighting the windmills down at city hall, like his battle over renaming Columbus Day. He will continue to fail at bringing any game-changing development to his district even as he promotes the spectacle of Fleet Week and Growler 6 bread and circuses to keep the people amused and distracted.

    Real substantive change will not come from tearing down a historic bar on the supposed “Great Street” of Gaffey just to make way for another drive-thru Starbucks. The solution will come by careful land use planning, effective transportation plans, and historic preservation and adaptive reuse of the core waterfront arts district. These must be undertaken while we address the homeless issue.

    Everyone knows that you can’t build a stable house on a weak foundation.  What is a city, but a extensive home? The weakest part of our home’s foundation is its homeless population. For what is a city but an edifice that encompasses many homes?

    Curing the social ills of homelessness must precede all of the great plans for building a “world class waterfront” or doing any other “great street developments” in the 15th Council District.

    Is this the city we wish to showcase to the entire world when the Olympics arrive in 2028?

    Read More
  • LA/LB Harbor Labor Coalition:

    • 09/01/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Music
    • Comments are off

    Entertainment for the Masses on Labor Day

    By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer

    The Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition presents the largest Labor Day event in the western half of United States, Sept. 4 at Wilmington’s Banning Park. The labor solidarity parade will march on the streets featuring dozens of unions, labor organizations and schools.

    The theme of the 38th annual Labor Day Parade is Union Proud Union Strong. Union members, supporters and their families are all expected and the public is invited to the parade and rally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Adding music to the festivities will be the popular Brian Young and the Blues Station returning for the 10th year. There will also be a special guest performance by rapper Jacob Cerna, also known as Phamiliar.

    In keeping with the trend in labor to remove biases in the workplace, Phamiliar addresses biases in scholastic settings via an anti-bullying campaign.

    Young won the 1999-2000 Battle of the Blues Bands in Irvine Lake. The self-taught musician hails from East St. Louis, Illinois. His influences include BB King, Albert King, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. He has worked with many artists such as Harmonica Fats and Lowell Fulsom. Young keeps audiences entertained with his soulful style and his passion to keep the blues alive.

    Phamiliar brand of rhyme is unique and homegrown; he hails from San Pedro. You can find his weekly Hot 16 videos on YouTube, often filmed at local popular spots in the Harbor Area.

    The United Firefighters of Los Angeles City AFL-CIO will prepare and serve barbeque. The event will feature speakers from a number of unions and have more than 40 information booths.

    “Labor Day is a day set aside to honor working people. Workers exercise their right to organize and march together,” said Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition Chairman Larry Barragan. “Fortunately, the labor movement in California has demonstrated to the nation how we can resist [the Trump] administration’s unprecedented policy by rallying together and fighting back. We will not be threatened easily as we have historically set the standard for working men and women in this country if not the world. From Hollywood to the docks and from San Diego to Sacramento, we stand proud and fight strong! We are the UNION!”

    .

    Read More
  • Reagan Posthumously Inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame

    • 08/31/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Men in dark suits and black government cars hovered around Sirens Java & Tea in San Pedro this past week on Aug. 10. Few outside of the coffeehouse knew it was U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who stopped into town before heading off to the  Port of Los Angeles with the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to meet with port officials and union leaders to show the importance of the twin ports to the U.S. economy.  The visit was initiated by the Secretary of Labor’s office according to an ILWU spokesman.

    Acosta gave no inkling that the following day at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum he would announce the induction of the 40th president of the United States into the department’s hall of fame.

    Reagan’s induction was an ironic choice considering his betrayal of labor during his presidency.

    The director of the POLA, Gene Seroka, said that the secretary was there to discuss, “jobs, jobs, jobs and how important this port complex is to our nation.” The ILWU leadership was mute in response to the visit.

    According to remarks reported by the Washington Examiner, Acosta noted that the former actor served as president of the Screen Actors Guild.

    “I hope you’ll forgive me if I point with some pride to the fact that I’m the first president of the United States to hold a lifetime membership in an AFL-CIO union,” Reagan said in 1981, referring to SAG’s affiliation with the AFL-CIO.

    Acosta also mentioned the former president’s role in promoting the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic’s first free and independent trade union, Poland’s Solidarity movement.

    But Reagan had a combative relationship with unions while in office, as well as a record of betraying his SAG membership in a 1952 sweetheart deal in favor of media company MCA, which represented him.

    The president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization had originally demanded a wage increase and a reduction to their five day, 40-hour work week. Reagan called the strike illegal.

    File photo.

    Long time labor writer for the The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Dick Meister, reminds casual readers and students of labor history that before, Reagan, no GOP president had dared to challenge labor’s firm legal standing, gained through Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid-1930s.

    “Reagan’s Republican predecessors treated union leaders much as they treated Democratic members of Congress — as people to be fought with at times, but also as people to be bargained with at other times. But Reagan engaged in precious little bargaining. He waged almost continuous war against organized labor,” Meister wrote.

    Reagan had the benefit of a labor movement that the general public saw in a negative light.

    Meister said Reagan had little apparent reason to fear labor politically, with opinion polls at the time showing that unions were opposed by almost half of all Americans and that nearly half of those who belonged to the unions had voted for him in 1980 and again in 1984.

    Aside from firing 13,000 striking air traffic controllers, Reagan put in charge dedicated union foes of the federal agencies that were originally designed to protect and further the rights and interests of workers and their unions.

    This was particularly so on the five-member National Labor Relations Board, which he stacked with union foes, including NLRB Chairman Donald Dotson, who believed that “unionized labor relations have been the major contributors to the decline and failure of once-healthy industries” and have caused “destruction of individual freedom.”

    Under Dotson, a House subcommittee found, the board abandoned its legal obligation to promote collective bargaining, in what amounted to “a betrayal of American workers.”

    Meister noted that union-busting was only one aspect of Reagan’s anti-labor policy. He attempted to lower the minimum wage for younger workers, ease the child labor and anti-sweatshop laws, tax fringe benefits, and cut back job training programs for the unemployed. He tried to replace thousands of federal employees with temporary workers who would not have civil service or union protections.

    The Reagan administration all but dismantled programs that required affirmative action and other steps against discrimination by federal contractors and seriously undermined worker safety.

    Dan Moldea’s 1986 book, Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA, And The Mob, documents Reagan’s role in granting MCA, which represented him, a waiver of SAG’s rule that prohibited talent agencies from producing TV shows. This sweetheart deal — selling out the interests of SAG’s members — opened the way for MCA to become a power in TV production and then movie making. Reagan was potentially liable for criminal prosecution — both for his initial actions, and for obstruction of justice in the investigation — but the Justice Department dropped its investigation after achieving their primary goal: the ending of MCA’s monopoly.

    Reagan joins labor leaders such as Cesar Chavez in the hall of fame.

    Read More
  • Los Lobos

    • 08/31/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Sept. 1
    Susie Hansen Latin Band
    Listen to jazz and chow down on food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Quiet Riot, Los Lobos
    Guests can come on and feel the noise on the Delta Air Lines stage for performances by Quiet Riot and Los Lobos, preceded by the comedy magic of The Great Omar and the Metallica tribute band Masters of Puppets.
    Time: 3 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/IowaFleetWeek2017
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 2
    Vince Neil
    Vince Neil, the Legendary Voice of Mötley Crüe, will be performing all the Mötley Crüe hits, with thanks to the generous underwriting of the Annenberg Foundation. A 1980s Dance Party will feature a special guest, kicking things off with an energetic show, followed by veterans Thom Tran and James P. Connolly of the GI’s of Comedy. The entertainment starts with local rock group Purple Sugar followed by comedians Wendy Liebman, Sean Carrigan and Culture Clash.
    Time: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/IowaFleetWeek2017
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    New Blues Festival IV

    More than 30 of the biggest names in Blues Music join us this Labor Day Weekend in the beautiful El Dorado Park in what promises to be its most ambitious event to date.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3
    Cost: $40 to $75
    Details: www.newsbluesfestival.com
    Venue: El Dorado Park, Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Colour My World
    Enjoy covers of Chicago’s biggest hits.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    Brent Payne, Shannon Rae
    Country stars Brent Payne and Shannon Rae headline the entertainment. They will be preceded by tribute bands Dog n Butterfly (Heart) and Mirage (Fleetwood Mac).
    Time: 3 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/IowaFleetWeek2017
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 4
    2H2H

    Join the all-female tribute to UFO on the USS Iowa for a “Shoot Shoot” holiday afternoon.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/yd55onwp
    Venue: Battleship USS Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd, Berth 87, San Pedro

    Sept. 8
    Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47
    Classical Crossroads’ First Fridays at First! ~ fff  recital series presents the Los Angeles Ensemble: violinist Joanna Lee violin, violist Tanner Menees, cellist Bingxia Lu and pianist Sung Chang.
    Time: 12 p.m. Sept. 8
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/FirstFridays.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church & School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    Sept. 10
    Catherine Gregory, David Kaplan
    Rolling Hills United Methodist Church’s Second Sundays At Two concert series presents flutist Catherine Gregory and pianist David Kaplan.
    Time: 2 p.m. Sept. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    Sept. 14
    San Pedro Jam Session
    Instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to sit-in and play the Jazz Standards from the
    American Songbook. Hugh von Kleist Quartet will host the event.
    Time: 9 p.m. Sept. 14, 21 and 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.facebook.com/hugh.vonkleist, www.facebook.com/hughvonkleistmusic
    Venue: Crimsin Lounge, 345 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Sept. 1
    Kill Climate Deniers
    The global premiere of playwright/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, Sept. 1 through Oct. 7
    Cost: $15 to $25
    Details: www.thegaragetheatre.org
    Venue: The Garage Theatre, 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    Sept. 1
    AARP… Silver Sneakers… And We
    Based on the idea of the 1970 Broadway musical, The Me Nobody Knows, which gave voice to the lives, hopes, loves, and frustrations of inner-city youth, this version is told from the perspective of the silver sneakers: elders.
    Time: 6 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: $5 to $10
    Details: (323) 350-1962
    Venue: Barbara Morrison Theatre, Leimert Park, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 1
    Papa’s Bathtub Gin
    This is a story about 1931 bootleggers hiding in plain sight in an African American community in Cleveland Ohio. It was inspired by true events that took place during the time of prohibition and the great depression in the USA
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: $5 to $10
    Details: (323) 350-1962
    Venue: Barbara Morrison Theatre, Leimert Park, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 1
    The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae
    Enjoy a courtroom satire about racial stereotypes. A struggling black businesswoman is suing the all-giving, malleable Mammy Louise and her sex-kitten daughter Safreeta Mae because their stereotypes hobble her progress.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 1 and 5 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: $5 to $10
    Details: (323) 350-1962
    Venue: Barbara Morrison Theatre, Leimert Park, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 2
    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 at the absurdity of life.
    Time: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 through 30
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Pick of the Vine
    An exciting night of entertainment awaits you in these 7 to 15 minute short plays hand-picked by Little Fish Theatre from authors across the country.
    Time: 7 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 2
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Center St., San Pedro
    Details: (310) 512-6030; www.littlefishtheatre.org

    Sept. 9
    The Glass Menagerie
    This autobiographical “memory play” captures the fragility and stifled yearning of characters clinging to hope against the harsh realities of a rapidly changing world. Confined to a tiny St. Louis apartment on the eve of World War II, the Wingfield family struggles to find beauty amid the rough circumstances that surround them.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 9
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Details: (562) 436-4610; www.internationalcitytheatre.org
    Venue: International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    Sept. 10
    Silent Sky
    The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 10
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Venue:  International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach
    Details: (562) 436-4610; ictlongbeach.org

    ARTS

    Sept. 3
    Cada Mente en Su Mundo
    The Museum of Latin American Art is proud to host a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Luis Tapia, a pioneering Chicano artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 45 years, Tapia has taken the art of polychrome wood sculpture to new levels of craftsmanship while utilizing it as a medium for social and political commentary.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
    In May 1931, photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (19071954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until the end of their lives.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    Sept. 5
    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, and a Frida look-alike contest.
    Time: 12 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 5 through Oct. 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 233-3726
    Venue: Picture This Gallery, 4130 Norse Way, Long Beach

    Sept. 7
    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. An artist’s reception is scheduled 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9. 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, Sept. 7 through Nov. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873, (310) 732-2150
    Venue: TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 16
    glass / cedar / grass
    Palos Verdes Art Center is pleased to announce glass / cedar / grass,  featuring contemporary works by Haida artists Corey Stein, Lisa Telford and Corey Bulpitt. Trained in traditional Native art making techniques, these artists are discovering new forms of expression to comment on contemporary life.
    Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 541-2479, pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Sept. 22
    Building a New California
    Rancho Los Cerritos announces a new exhibit, Building a New California: The Lives and Labor of Chinese Immigrants from 1850 to 1930. This exhibit highlights the experiences and contributions of Chinese immigrants in the Los Angeles region through photographs and artifacts.
    Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.rancholoscerritos.org
    Venue: Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Sept. 2
    Peninsula Seniors’ Coffee & Cars
    Car hobbyists and enthusiasts will enjoy hot rods, custom, muscle and sports cars, antiques, classics, exotics.
    Time: 7:30 a.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Peninsula Shopping Center, 67 Peninsula Center, Rolling Hills Estates

    Sept. 4

    © Reidar Schopp, All Rights Reserved, www.RLSFoto.com. Labor Day morning 9/7/2015 at 8:05 was the start of the Conquer the Bridge Run. Starting at 5th and Harbor Blvd in San Pedro, the run is over the Vincent Thomas Bridge with a U-Turn at Navy Way and then back over the bridge to 5th and Harbor. The run is 5.3 miles and is a fundraiser for the LAPD Cadet program.
    Francisco Garcia lead the entire race winning by 2 1/2 minutes.

    Conquer The Bridge 9
    Walk or run 5.3 miles across the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
    Time: 7 a.m. Sept. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.ConquerTheBridge.com
    Venue: Vincent Thomas Bridge, starting and ending along Harbor Boulevard at 5th Street, San Pedro

    Sept. 9
    Dancing in Old California
    Rancho Los Cerritos will invoke a 19th-century style fandango in celebration of California statehood. A dance lesson, covering waltzes, polkas, and set dances like the Spanish Waltz and El Coyote, will be followed by two sets of live music and dancing.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 9
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.rancholoscerritos.org/upcoming-event/dances-old-california
    Venue: Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach

    Sept. 10
    Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
    Gunnar Eiisel’s program “Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder” will explore shape, texture, and unworldly features of cactus and succulents to explain why we become attracted to, and even passionate about, these plants.
    Time: 1 p.m. Sept. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: southcoastcss.org
    Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula

    Sept. 12
    Tai Chi Returns to Long Beach Senior Center
    Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance with David returns Tuesdays. Tai Chi is an evidence-based fall-prevention program proven to reduce falls in mobile, community-dwelling older adults with continuous practice, increasing leg strength and improving balance.
    Time: 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.heartofida.org
    Venue: Long Beach Senior Citizen’s Center, 1150 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Sept. 17
    Salt Marsh Open House
    Step out into nature and discover the hidden world of the Salinas de San Pedro Salt Marsh. Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium educators and Coastal Park Naturalists as they help uncover the world of mud and water that is our local wetland.
    Time: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Read More
  • The Jazz Giant Sessions

    • 08/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Aug. 26
    The Jazz Giant Sessions
    Thin Man Entertainment presents a very special Jazz Salon Night featuring vocalist Mon David, bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin, drummer Al Williams and pianist Sam Hirsh.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 26
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: The Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Mark De Clive-Lowe
    A sonic journey of jazz and electronic music from a Japanese New Zealander.
    Time: 9 p.m. Aug. 26
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 27
    Lynette Skynyrd
    Lynette Skynyrd is the world’s one and only female Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute. A lifelong Skynyrd fan, Laurie set out to create a tribute that truly does justice to the genre-defining Southern hard rock of the original band.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach
    Aug. 31
    Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo
    Listen to Afro-Venezuelan roots music and be ready to dance.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 1
    Susie Hansen Latin Band
    Listen to jazz and chow down on food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Sept. 2
    Concert Under the Guns
    Experience the sounds of the Battleship Iowa. The event will include food trucks, beverages and fireworks.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (877) 446-9261
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 2
    New Blues Festival IV
    More than 30 of the biggest names in Blues Music join us this Labor Day Weekend in the beautiful El Dorado Park in what promises to be its most ambitious event to date.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3
    Cost: $40 to $75
    Details: www.newsbluesfestival.com
    Venue: El Dorado Park, Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Colour My World
    Enjoy covers of Chicago’s biggest hits.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    Sept. 4
    2H2H
    Join the all-female tribute to UFO on the USS Iowa for a “Shoot Shoot” holiday afternoon.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/yd55onwp
    Venue: Battleship USS IOWA, 250 S. Harbor Blvd, Berth 87, San Pedro

    THEATER

    Sept. 2
    All in the Timing
    This critically acclaimed, award-winning evening of comedic short plays combines wit, intellect, satire and just plain fun. David Ives’ collection of six fast-paced glimpses into the eccentricities of life, love, communication and dating will shine a light at just how absurd our daily lives can become.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 2 through 30
    Cost: $10 to $27
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach
    Details: (562) 494-1014; boxoffice@lbplayhouse.org

    Pick of the Vine
    An exciting night of entertainment awaits you in these 7 to 15 minute short plays hand-picked by Little Fish Theatre from authors across the country.
    Time: 7 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 2
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Center St., San Pedro
    Details: (310) 512-6030; www.littlefishtheatre.org

    Sept. 10
    Silent Sky
    The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 10
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Venue:  International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach
    Details: (562) 436-4610; ictlongbeach.org

    ARTS

    Aug. 25
    Audrey Barrett: Available Light
    Gallery 478 and TransVagrant Projects are pleased to present Audrey Barrett: Available Light, an exhibition of photography and auction benefiting City of Hope Metastatic Breast Cancer Research.
    Barrett (1940-2017) was an extraordinary photographer and designer whose aesthetic encompassed a broad spectrum from surrealism in photography to Russian constructivism in design. This exhibition consists of black and white gelatin silver and platinum palladium prints from her archive and includes many of the artist’s proofs.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, through Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 732-2150
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 27
    The Desolation Center Experience
    Desolation Center once drew punk and industrial music fans to the far reaches of the Mojave Desert for the first of five events, “Mojave Exodus,” in April of 1983. Cornelius Projects pays tribute to the Desolation Center with an exhibition featuring painting, photography, sculpture and video.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, through Aug. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: corneliusprojects.com, www.desolationcenter.com
    Venue: Cornelius Project, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    Sept. 3
    Cada Mente en Su Mundo
    The Museum of Latin American Art is proud to host a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Luis Tapia, a pioneering Chicano artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 45 years, Tapia has taken the art of polychrome wood sculpture to new levels of craftsmanship while utilizing it as a medium for social and political commentary.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
    In May 1931, photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (19071954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until the end of their lives.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    .

    Aug. 25
    Visual Communications, Films by Youth Inside and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center bring an inspiring selection of works created by Pacific Islanders to the South Bay. Join the fun-filled evening of food, films and friends. RSVP by Aug. 21.
    Time: 7 p.m. Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://pacinewaves.splashthat.com
    Venue: Carson Community Center, 801 E Carson St., Carson

    Aug. 27
    Castle in the Sky
    From the legendary Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki comes a rollicking adventure about a young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant who falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu. Together they search for a floating island, the site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets.
    Time: 1 p.m. Aug. 27
    Cost: $12.50
    Details: www.fathomevents.com/events/studio-ghibli-fest-castle-in-the-sky
    Venue: Cinemark Carson, 20700 Avalon Blvd., Carson

    Read More
  • Ships Ahoy!

    • 08/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    2017 LA Fleet Week Ships Announced

    SAN PEDRO — On Aug. 23 Los Angeles Fleet Week organizers released the names and details of the visiting military ships to the Los Angeles Harbor.

    The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships, which will start arriving Aug. 29, will be hosting tours from Sept. 1 through the Labor Day weekend.

    All visiting LA Fleet Week ships are active vessels recently deployed overseas. Online reservations for the free 20-minute ship tours went live on www.LAFleetWeek.com earlier this month and booked up quickly. However, walk-up tours are available to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Click here for the full list of public events and entertainment.

    Senior citizens and visitors with disabilities are encouraged to visit LA Fleet Week on Friday, September 1, to avoid the larger crowds over the weekend.

    LA Fleet Week ship details include:

    The USS Anchorage (LPD-23) is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and the second ship of the U.S. Navy to be a namesake of the city of Anchorage, Alaska. Its motto is We Leave Nothing to Chance.”

    USS Dewey (DDG-105) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy. Dewey is the third Navy ship named after Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, hero of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. Its motto is “The Will to Fight from the Heart.”

    USS Scout (MCM-8) is the eighth ship in the Avenger-class of mine countermeasure ships, commissioned by the U.S. Navy on December 15, 1990. Its motto is “Pathfinders – We lead the way.”

    Coast Guard Cutter Active, or USCGC Active (WMEC-618), is the eighth Coast Guard vessel to bear its proud name. A Reliance-class cutter, it was officially commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard on September 17, 1966. Its motto is “Li’l Tough Guy.”

    HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341) is a Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate, the Ottawa is named for Canada’s national  capital, the City of Ottawa, and is the twelfth and final ship of the Halifax class that were built as part of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project. Its nickname is “Ocean Beaver.”

    In addition to public ship tours, LA Fleet Week will feature dozens of exhibits and activities for the public to enjoy. These include military, first-responder and STEM displays and demonstrations, aircraft flyovers, live entertainment daily, free evening concerts on the Battleship IOWA, a Wednesday evening Welcome Party in downtown San Pedro, Saturday evening  fireworks, food, the popular Labor Day morning “Conquer The Bridge” race  and Victory Breakfast, a celebrity-judged Galley Wars  cooking competition between the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, Royal Canadian Navy.

    Read More
  • Jim’s Burgers No. 2 Gets Fresher Ingredients

    • 08/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Cuisine
    • Comments are off

    By Katrina Guevara, Contributing Writer

    On a Thursday at noon, two restaurant cooks grill a steak under a cast iron press, chop onions and fulfill dozens of orders from a new menu they had to learn after 10 years of working at the place. The cashier takes the orders from a line made up entirely of men. A longshoreman fills his cup with horchata from the soda fountain after ordering his lunch.

    Jim’s Burgers No. 2 was originally a family franchise founded in the 1970s. It expanded to more than 20 branches in Southern California from Gardena to La Mirada. This was the second one, thus the No. 2 in the name.

    It’s at a prime location, says Marc Gold, one of its new owners. Big rig trucks continuously pass by. There isn’t another food place within a half mile. And, it’s right across the street from a forthcoming Longshore Hall.

    After making sure Jim’s Burgers could serve any customer by being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, Gold and business partners Greg Gomez and TC also wanted to pay tribute to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The burger joint displays photos of an old warehouse, bridges and several landmarks to remind the many patrons of their roots.

    Gold said the true story behind Jim’s Burgers revival is about a Mexican, an Italian and a Jew who walked into a restaurant and saw a future: a true diversity team.

    The trio repainted the building, renovated the outdoor seating area and swapped out the old ingredients for quality choices. The onion rings and fries are freshly prepared. The hot dogs are now choice Hoffy dogs, known for their natural casing and “snap” when you bite into them. According to the National Hot Dog Council, Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city (more than 36 million pounds), beating out New York and Philadelphia.

    Some of the diner’s remnants are the vintage signs, employees and patrons. The renovated diner offers the same breakfast burrito from 1979 with cheese, ham, bacon, sausage and hash browns.

    Gold, an investigator at a law firm, has a keen eye for data and observing the habits of his customers. He notices the relish falling off from a Hoffy dog and remarks less condiments can be put on the menu item. He also said the former owners of Jim’s Burgers claimed they sold four hot dogs a day, when it only added up to four a month on reports. His goal is to sell a thousand dogs by Labor Day. Gold used to work as a magician on cruise ships as a teenager, so his taste for good food came at an early start. And, it does seem like he has worked some “magic” in turning this restaurant around.

    .

    Gold approaches two women in ILWU uniforms and discovers they both ordered his pride and joy: the Hoffy dogs. He asks if he can take a photo of them to post on social media.

    Gold thought opening a restaurant would be all tasting and eating with friends, but he said it is also about working 20-hour days, looking through cameras and managing the social media accounts.

    A few new menu items include the giant avocado bacon burger called the “LB 206” and a half-pound burger called “Berth 126.” Most items run less than $10. Items like the “Crane Operator” nachos are just $11.95. Gold said he wants everyone to have a fair meal at a fair price.

    Gold said some people count sheep to sleep, but he counts onion rings. Gold believes he was at the right place at the right time when investing in this location.

    It’s only a matter of time before the new Jim’s Burgers No. 2 wins over the hearts and stomachs of everyone who passes through this East Wilmington location.

    Jim’s Burgers No. 2 is at 1601 E. Anaheim Blvd. in Wilmington. The diner is open Mondays to Fridays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Read More

    Charlottesville and the Shattering of America

    • 08/22/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Baynard Woods, Baltimore City Paper Editor-at-Large

    Two middle-aged men, one black and one white, were walking up a street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia yelling at each other. It was a moment of relative normalcy in a day otherwise defined by mayhem.

    Both men use the phrase “born and bred” to define their relationship to the smallish Southern college town, nestled in the hills in the politically contested state of Virginia.

    The white man, Ed Knight, was wearing a Confederate flag bandana around his head.

    “You, with that stupid Confederate flag, talking about history,” the black man, George Steppe, said. “You don’t know nothing about no history. Only thing you know is hate.”

    “This is our history and it should not be destroyed,” Knight said of the statue of Robert E. Lee in the park, where an alt-right Unite the Right rally had been scheduled.

    Knight supported the rally that brought hundreds of armed racists and fascists to his home city on Aug. 12. It also brought hundreds of anti-fascists, some of them armed with sticks and shields as well, pledging to defend the city from right-wing terror. Now, after hours of bloody battle during which they remained largely passive, riot police were breaking things up, pushing Steppe back, inching forward behind their shields. Knight walked alongside with a sign reading, “Make C-Ville Great Again.”

    The chaos started the night before, as the Nazis and other racists gathered for the 21st-century version of a Klan rally—a Klanclave of khaki and tiki torches. At one point, a group of the white supremacists surrounded a group of counterprotesters, throwing punches and torches.

    Within minutes of arriving in town on Saturday morning, we saw the first of many fights.

    White supremacists with helmets—some German World War II-era—white polos, sticks, an assortment of flags, and homemade shields marked with the insignia of the racist group Vanguard America chanted at a smaller crowd of counterprotesters.

    “You can’t run, you can’t hide, you get helicopter rides,” they said, a reference to far-right governments in Argentina and Chile in the ’70s and ’80s that threw leftists from helicopters to “disappear” them.

    The racists began to march forward and the anti-racists tried to block them. After a swirl of violence and swinging sticks, three of the counterprotesters were left with bloody faces—the racists seemed to target women’s faces with their sticks—and the racists, who also took some heavy blows, ran away as the cops finally rolled in and began setting up a barricade.

    Over the next several hours, this same pattern continued to play out: Another fight broke out every few minutes as a new faction of the right marched in its crazed Tom Sawyer armor toward the park.

    The park was filled with every variety of racist you can imagine, from the Nazi biker to the fashy computer programmer. They were almost exclusively white and male. The anti-fascist activists who packed the streets were predominantly white but there were far more women and people of color opposing the Nazis. Otherwise the two opposing armies seemed to be of roughly equal size. The fights were swift, chaotic, and brutal.

    The two sides launched bottles and tear gas canisters back and forth as state troopers stood and watched, slack-jawed. At one point, as a few bottles whizzed by him in quick succession, a trooper perked up enough to pull out his phone and record some of the mayhem.

    When the police declared the assembly illegal before it even began and told everyone to leave, it forced these groups together. Right-wing militia types wielding assault rifles and wearing MAGA patches on paramilitary uniforms roamed through the crowd. Guys with pistols seemed to keep their hands on them, ready to draw at any moment. It felt like something horrible would happen.

    Then, as the various groups became separated, it seemed like the rumble had largely ended.

    “I’m glad no serious gunshots rang out. I was threatened with a gun, though. Police wasn’t around when a guy pulled up his gun up on me, though,” Steppe said, around 12:30 p.m.

    Steppe and Knight both seemed to think that it was the end of the day.

    The racists, who had not been able to hold their rally, were trying to regroup at another park a little further from downtown. Eventually, as a state of emergency was declared, they decided to leave—some of them even suggested hiding in the woods.

    Antifa burned right-wing flags in a park and then marched through the city; two groups converged on Water Street at around 1:35 p.m. It felt triumphant. They had driven the racists out of town—or at least those from out of town.

    About five minutes later, as they marched through the streets, it sounded like a bomb exploded as a muscle car, which police say was driven by alt-right member James Alex Fields, sped down the street and plowed through the march and into other cars. Fields then threw the weaponized car into reverse, fleeing from the scene of terror.

    Bodies were strewn through the road. Street medics, marked by red tape, delivered first aid while waiting on ambulances to arrive. Activists held Antifa banners to block camera views of the injured.

    The alt-righters were nowhere to be found. Trump meandered through a speech in New Jersey in which which he condemned violence on “many sides.”  

    He did not use the words “white supremacy” or “terrorism.” He did not say the name of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in the terror attack. He did not offer support to the 19 others who were hospitalized or prayers for those who were still in critical condition.

    Fields, who was photographed earlier in the day with the same Vanguard America shield we saw when we first arrived in town, was arrested and charged with murder.

    I am writing this later the same night as the attack and I won’t to pretend to know what it means for our country. The racism is not new. The argument Steppe and Knight were having in their hometown could have happened any time in the last 50 years. But the way the battle over white supremacy was being waged around them was new, and Charlottesville was not ready for it. None of us are.

    When that gray car slammed into those people, it shattered a part of America, or at least the illusion of it. I don’t know what that means yet, because it shattered something in me, too.

    Additional reporting by Brandon Soderberg

    Read More
  • 1 2 3 4 233