• Bail Reform: The System that Penalizes the Poor

    • 07/06/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

     

    This past May, reality show celebrity Dog The Bounty Hunter’s voice robocalled about 800,000 phone lines, warning voters that the state legislature was working to do away with the bail bond system. The system is allegedly designed to keep poor people incarcerated rather than keeping dangerous people off the street or from fleeing justice.

    “You, the taxpayer, will pay to release these criminals,” Dog warned. “Car thieves, burglars, sexual predators and repeat offenders will get out of jail with little accountability, and we will not be able to go after them when they run.”

    Human Rights Watch paints a different picture in a report released this past April. The organization found California’s system of pretrial detention kept people in jail even if they are never found guilty of a crime.

    The report used as exemplar the 2015 experience of Maria Soto and her 18-year-old son Daniel Soto who was stabbed in a street fight while he was out with friends. He was arrested.

    “A man had accosted Daniel and his friends outside of a restaurant,” the report stated. “They had fought, and the man pulled a knife. Cut and bleeding, Daniel staggered up to a police officer, who called an ambulance and arrested him. Apparently, the man with the knife had gotten to the officer first.”

    He spent a week in jail before he was able to have a day in court and plead “not guilty” to a felony assault charge. The judge set bail at $30,000.

    Although Soto earned enough as a stenographer to support herself and two sons, none held property to put up for collateral, nor savings or other assets to post Daniel’s bail.

    Daniel spent six weeks in jail until his next court date at which the judge dismissed the assault charges for lack of evidence.

    Human Rights Watch noted that the majority of county jail prisoners in California have not been sentenced, but are serving time because they are unable to pay for pretrial release.

    Like a scene out of a police procedural show such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,  people accused of crimes but unable to afford bail give up their constitutional right to fight the charges because pleas get them out of jail and back to work and their families. Judges and prosecutors use cust- ody status as leverage to pressure guilty pleas.

    With a median bail rate that is five times higher than the rest of the country, the report noted that there is a clear correlation between the poverty rate and the unsentenced pretrial detention rate at the county level in California.

    And those locked up in pretrial are overwhelmingly poor, working class and  black or Latino.

    Human Rights Watch found that from 2011-2015, police in California made almost 1.5 million felony arrests. Of those, nearly one in three, like Daniel Soto, were arrested and jailed, but never found guilty of any crime. Some spent only hours or days behind bars, while others spent weeks, months or even years.

    Assemblyman Rob Bonta noted that while some defendants are considered too dangerous for release or are flight risks and should be held in custody, many are not a threat to public safety and could be released, monitored and reminded when to return for court hearings.

    According to the Board of State and Community Corrections, the average daily cost to counties holding inmates awaiting trial runs at more than $100 per inmate. In Los Angeles County, the cost is $116. According to the Pretrial Justice Institute, the cost of supervising a defendant in the community is about 10 percent the cost of keeping him or her in jail.

    Bonta noted that jurisdictions across the country have begun implementing reforms and experimenting with alternatives to cash bail. For more than two decades, Washington, D.C. has run a pretrial services program that only detains defendants considered too dangerous to release into the community, sending others home to be monitored and given reminders on when to return for court hearings.

    Santa Clara County implemented its own version of bail reform in 2012, adopting a risk assessment method aimed at reducing the pretrial jail population. It costs the county $215 a day to incarcerate a person but only $10 a day to monitor a person in the community. Moving to this new approach in 2013, the county saved more than $60 million by safely supervising many defendants  who would have been held in jail under the old system.

    The median bail in California is $50,000, and 10 percent — what would be needed to pay a bail agent for release — is beyond the reach of most Californians. In fact, according to a 2016 report by the U.S. Federal Reserve, 46 percent of Americans don’t have $400 to pay for an emergency expense and would have to sell something or borrow money to cover the cost.

    Even bail for the most minor offenses can run more than $1,000. And for people who can’t pay, their lives are turned upside down, waiting in jail for weeks or months before their cases go to court. The result is devastating for the individuals, who can end up losing their jobs, apartments and cars, which are towed if left on the street, even before a court decides upon their innocence or guilt.

    Senate Bill 10 promises to reduce the number of people being held in jail awaiting trial and to ensure that those who are not threats to public safety or flight risks are not held simply for their inability to afford bail.

    “Whether you can go free before a trial right now is determined by the size of your wallet, not the size of your public safety risk — and that’s not the way it should be,” said Sen. Bob Hertzberg, who has been writing reform legislation on this subject for years. “This legislation reforms bail so it treats people of all backgrounds fairly and equally, whether they are rich or poor.”

    “With the passage of SB 10 in the Senate, California now moves another step closer to creating meaningful bail reform, which will protect public safety, ensure equal justice for all and spend our limited resources in a more cost-effective manner,” Bonta said in a release.

    The California Money Bail Reform Act of 2017 was authored by Hertzberg and Bonta. They are working with a broad coalition. Hertzberg and Bonta also co-authored Assembly Bill 42, an identical bill that is making its way through the Assembly.

    Provisions would not apply when a person is arrested for certain specified violent felonies. Otherwise, the bill would require a pretrial services agency to conduct individualized risk assessment and prepare a report that makes recommendations on conditions of release.

    If the court has set monetary bail, SB 10 would authorize the person to execute an unsecured bond, execute a secured bond, or deposit a percentage of the sum mentioned in the order setting monetary bail.

    The court may detain a person under certain conditions and the bill allows a prosecuting attorney to file a motion seeking the pretrial detention of a person in certain circumstances, including when the person has been charged with a violent crime or sexual assault.

    The bill also creates standards for training and for cost-effective and validated assessment tools.

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  • Both Sides Miss the Point

    • 07/06/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    Can we stop talking about insurance and start talking about medical care?

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Far and wide, we’ve all heard the Republicans’ Obamacare complaints. They have consistently called it a failure and some kind of attack on the freedom to chose our own doctors.

    Five years ago when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, then Vice  President Joe Biden in an off-mic comment to President Barack Obama called it, “A big fucking deal.”

    It took the Democrats some six decades to get a health care act through Congress.

    Republican naysayers said people wouldn’t sign up for the Affordable Care Act, it would fail to meet enrollments and the economy would suffer from it. People wouldn’t pay their premiums.

    They claimed the ACA wouldn’t reduce the uninsured rate and instead would lead to an overall loss in coverage. The Republicans said Americans would hate the coverage they received under Obamacare.

    All of these claims have been proven false. The only claim that seems to have come true is that insurance rates did rise faster than expected. Indeed, this has proven to be the miscalculation by Obamacare’s critics — they even went so far as to claim the ACA would lead to higher deficits and a weaker fiscal footing for the nation.

    Steven Benen said as much in his report on MSNBC this past March.

    “One of the projections that never sat well for Republicans, who sometimes pretend to care about the deficit, was that ‘Obamacare’ would reduce the nation’s deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years. The GOP assumed the nonpartisan budget analyses were wrong and proceeded to tell the country the law would make the deficit larger and ‘bankrupt’ the country. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, Republicans got this backwards, too. In fact, the overall price tag of the ACA is now smaller than previously projected.”

    After demonizing the law for so long, the Republicans senators can’t agree whether to flat out repeal Obamacare and then replace it later, or repeal it and replace it immediately with something that they can’t even define.

    Meanwhile, out here in California, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris spoke  to a crowd of healthcare professionals and union workers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance recently and reframed the GOP leadership’s discussion of their plans for healthcare.

    “It’s not like we left our healthcare on the bus, or at the club or in an Uber. This is not about losing something,” Harris said. “They’re trying to take our healthcare.”

    In Sacramento, the nurses union rallied  support for SB 562, a bill that would establish a statewide single- payer plan. The bill is currently due to the fact that to date there’s no agreed upon means of funding it.

    The problem with both sides of this debate is that Republicans and Democrats are arguing about insurance plans rather than the actual delivery of health care. The healthcare debate has become a symbolic battle between socialized medical insurance versus free market insurance with a side argument about taxes and who pays for it.  That there’s even Republicans trepidation over repealing all of the ACA and growing recognition that any new plan would need to subsidized by the federal government reflects that the insurance model of health care is proving to be far more complex than necessary. Remember, the ACA was modeled after Mitt Romney’s Republican state plan, not a universal plan.

    If universal healthcare is ever deemed a “right” as President Franklin Roosevelt once argued, then the solution should look more like our universal education system.  Service districts could be set up like school districts with community clinics feeding into local hospitals that are connected to research hospitals.  And like our public schools, this would not eliminate the option for private doctors, clinics or hospitals. You would just pay more to use them.

    So, rather than burdening businesses with yet another employee tax, the cost could  be picked up by a parcel tax on all property not unlike the one everyone pays now for school districts, college districts or flood control districts. And the beauty of this concept is that much of the infrastructure is already in place.

    From the tax collection to the community clinics to the local doctors connected to the hospitals, the networks are mostly already in place. The only thing that would change is who gets billed.

    The insurance middlemen would mostly be out of the picture as the state and/or counties would pay a flat rate based upon per capita sign up in their district. Everyone could get access to healthcare. The tax rate may have to be mediated between vacant parcels, farms and open space versus industrial and commercial uses where more people live or work. But the math on how to cover 39 million residents in California becomes much less complex than all of the fuzzy math and tax magic coming out of Washington, D.C. these days.

    The costs to businesses could also be further defrayed by reducing or eliminating workers’ comp insurance, as it would no longer be necessary, Everyone would be covered 24 hours per day, and the only coverage a business owner would need is an umbrella liability policy. The downside to getting a plan like this passed in the legislature is that the insurance industry would scream bloody murder and the workers’ comp lawyers would cry foul. But these are two categories of the health industry that drive up costs but don’t actually deliver medical services. Business owners, large and small, would universally give up these in favor of a simpler direct access to health care.

    In the end, simplifying access so that a patient can see a doctor regardless of pre-existing conditions  should end up being no more arduous than signing up a child for school. This is something we as a people know how to do. So let’s stop arguing over solving it the wrong way.

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  • Nasty Woman Concert Series

    • 07/06/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    July 8
    Nasty Woman Concert Series
    The concert series is designed to bring together the women’s community through the healing power of music and comedy, especially those women who have been marginalized because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. July 8
    Cost: $15 to $25
    Details: www.nastywomanconcertseries.com
    Venue: diPiazza’s Lounge, 5205 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

    July 9
    Sabine Trio

    Sabine is widely respected as an award-winning classical pianist in the United States and Europe.
    Time: 4 p.m. July 9
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    July 14
    Tony Ferrell Band
    The Tony Ferrell Band rocks another concert featuring 10 of the best soul, rock and pop musicians in the world.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 14
    Cost: $15
    Details: (310) 782-1440
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    July 15
    Artyom Manukyan Trio
    Cellist Artyom Manukyan first made his name as a musician to watch in his native Armenia and traveled the world as the youngest member of the BBC World Music Award-winning Armenian Navy Band.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 15
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    July 15
    Golden State Pops Orchestra
    The Golden State Pops Orchestra along with a full choir performs music from leading video-games with special guest conductors and performers. The concert features hit video game music with projections, lights, special guest composers, performers and video game talent.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 15
    Cost: $28.50 to $70
    Details: gspo.com
    Venue: Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, Los Angeles.

    July 16
    Led Zepagain
    Led Zepagain (stylized Led ZepAgain) is an American hard rock tribute band formed in Ventura, Calif. in 1988.
    Time: 4 p.m. July 16
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    July 21
    Sidestepper and Buyepongo
    Dance your face off with electro-cumbia from Colombia and other global sounds.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Downtown Bollywood
    Learn new dance moves and show them off in a judgement-free zone.
    Time: 7 p.m. July 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.or
    Venue: Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Elliott Caine
    Enjoy live bebop and Latin jazz, then stuff your face with food from the market.
    Time: July 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 West 3rd St., Los Angeles

    FYF
    Explore the lineup at the FYF Fest, featuring Missy Elliot, Bjӧrk, Frank Ocean and Nine Inch Nails.
    Time: 5 p.m. July 21, 2 p.m. July 22 and 23
    Cost: $109 to $549
    Details: https://fyffest.com
    Venue: Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles

    July 22
    Sean Lane
    Join the band on a journey through time and hear everything from the foundational raw Delta style that started it all to the electrified blues-rock that it has become.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 22
    Cost: $15
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    July 23
    Caress of Steel
    Rock to this Rush tribute band.
    Time: 4 p.m. July 23
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    July 23
    Mark Mackay Band
    A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll at Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach.
    Time: July 23
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MB-Summer-Concerts
    Venue: 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach

    July 25
    iPalpiti Orchestra
    The iPalpiti Orchestra performs selections from the 20th iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates. The orchestra iPalpiti  (ee-PAHL-pit-ee, Italian for “heartbeats”) is unique in that it draws its members from top prize-winning laureates of international competitions.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. July 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    July 27
    Sean Watkins
    American tunes feature a celebration of Paul Simon with a great lineup of musicians.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/Sean-Watkins-Friends
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    July 28
    La Charanga Cubana
    Enjoy traditional Cuban dance music, then stuff your face with food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. July 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    July 29
    Mothership Landing
    Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Parliament-Funkadelic’s groundbreaking release.
    Time:  8 p.m. July 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 30
    Hard Day’s Night
    You’ll swear The Beatles are in the South Bay.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. July 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MB-Summer-Concerts
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    July 30
    Rob Garland’s Eclectic Trio
    Rob Garland’s Eclectic Trio plays original high energy instrumental and vocal music with funk, blues, jazz, fusion and rock.
    Time: 4 p.m. July 30
    Cost: $10
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    Aug. 3
    Ibibio Sound Machine
    Experience African and electronic jams inspired by the golden era of West African funk, disco and post-punk.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts/ibibio-sound-machine
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    Aug. 4
    Bad Haggis
    Put some celtic rock in your life, then stuff your face with food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Dance Disco
    Learn new dance moves and show them off in a judgment-free zone.
    Time: 7 p.m. Aug. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://grandparkla.org/calendar
    Venue: Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 5
    Dorian Wood, Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole
    Dorian Wood awakens a haunting interpretation of Jeannine Deckers’ The Singing Nun and Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole offers a genre-crossing performance from Hawaii.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 5
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 5
    Summertime in the LBC
    This summer, enjoy a lineup of talents, including 50 Cent & G-Unit; Yg; Wu-Tang Clan; Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and the George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic.
    Time: 12 p.m. Aug. 5
    Cost: $200
    Details: www.summertimeinthelbc.com
    Venue: The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    Aug. 6
    Seatbelt, The Paladins
    All the Americana you can handle with plenty of rockabilly, honky-tonk and hillbilly boogie will play at Polliwog Park.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 6
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MB-Summer-Concerts
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach

    Aug. 10
    Delgrés
    Witness the Los Angeles debut of a band that brings a bluesy blend of styles from Guadeloupe to Louisiana to the Mississippi delta.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    Aug. 11
    Djs Anthony Valadez, Valida
    Check out the new venue for KCRW’s Summer Nights series, featuring plenty of danceable grooves, games, food and drinks.
    Time: 5:30 p.m. Aug. 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://events.kcrw.com/events/summernightsanthonyandvalida
    Venue:  Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles

    Septeto Santiaguero
    Get on your feet with one of Cuba’s most influential bands.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Bill Watrous Quartet
    Bop to straight-ahead jazz, then stuff your face with food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com/events
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Dj Nights
    Dance, dance, and dance some more.
    Time: 9 p.m. Aug. 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://grandparkla.org/calendar
    Venue: Grand Performances, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 12
    Summer Breeze Festival
    Be part of a night with Keith Sweat, Guy and Teddy Riley, and Bobby Brown.
    Time: 2 to 10 p.m. Aug. 12, and 1 to 9 p.m. Aug. 13
    Cost: $50 to $160
    Details: www.queenmary.com
    Venue: The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    Hamed Nikpay
    Enjoy Iranian melodies and dance.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 13
    Shari Puorto Band
    Kick back for a bit of blues, rock and soul.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 13
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MB-Summer-Concerts
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    Sunday Sessions
    This is a free dance party celebrating Los Angeles’ house music scene, featuring music from Kaleem, Jun and Tony Powell.
    Time: 2 p.m. Aug. 13
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://grandparkla.org/calendar
    Venue: Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Groove Lexicon
    As one of Los Angeles’ most experienced and widely sought after musicians, David Anderson has appeared, recorded and toured with many popular acts.
    Time: 4 p.m. Aug. 13
    Cost: $15
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 17
    Daymé Arocena
    Experience the jazz-inflected blend of Afro-Cuban soulfulness.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 17
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.skirball.org/calendar/2017-08-17
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    Aug. 18
    Sharon Marie Cline & The Bad Boyz Of Jazz
    Listen to classic jazz, then stuff your face with food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Daymé Arocena
    This Afro-Cuban vocalist is sure to blow your mind.
    Time: 12 p.m. Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Cameron Graves
    Experience a mind-expanding jazz fusion.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Dance Argentine Tango
    Learn new dance moves and show them off in a judgment-free zone at Grand Park.
    Time: Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 19
    Catina DeLuna
    Los Angeles’ highly acclaimed arranger/producer Otmaro Ruiz and International Recording Artist Catina De Luna will be presenting the music of their Grammy-nominated CD Catina DeLuna and Lado B Brazilian Project.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 19
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St. San Pedro

    Aug. 19
    ALT 98.7 Summer Camp
    The ALT 98.7 Summer Camp will feature Foster The People as well as The Head and The Heart.
    A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for purchase and will include pit access, a piece of official event merchandise and meet and greets with participating artists.
    Time:  3 p.m. Aug. 19
    Details: http://alt987fm.iheart.com/features/altsummercamp-2199
    Venue: The Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    Daedelus Grooves for Cola20
    Daedelus and musical pals will reinvent classic EDM/IDM joints on real instruments as lullabies, sing-alongs and merry melodies.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Djs Aaron Byrd, Garth Trinidad
    This special edition of KCRW’s Summer Nights series features after-hours museum access, food trucks, a beer garden and more.
    Time: 5 p.m. Aug. 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://events.kcrw.com/events/summernightsaaronandgarth
    Venue: The California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles

    Aug. 20
    Hollywood U2
    Enjoy Bono-approved U2 covers.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 20
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    Aug. 24
    David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havanna
    Explore the rich and exhilarating connections between Jewish and Cuban music, sharing Andalusian, Arabic, Roma, Sephardic and North African ancestry.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    Aug. 25
    DJs Jason Bentley, Travis Holcombe
    Experience the new venue for KCRW’s Summer Nights series, which will feature plenty of danceable grooves, games, food and drinks.
    Time: 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://events.kcrw.com/events/summernightsjasonandtravis
    Venue: Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles

    Inca
    Enjoy Peruvian and Andean music, then chow down on food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Dj Nights
    Learn new dance moves and show them off in a judgement-free zone.
    Time: 9 p.m. Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://grandparkla.org/calendar
    Venue: Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 26
    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
    Enjoy Free Bird at Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach.
    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

    Dance Salsa
    Learn new dance moves and show them off in a judgment-free zone.
    Time: 9 p.m. Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://grandparkla.org/calendar
    Venue: Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., 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. 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

    July 9
    Magic Fruit
    Cornerstone Theater Company is pleased to announce a special concert reading of Magic Fruit. The plays looked at food equity, urban and rural farming, food addiction and community gardens.
    Time: 7 p.m. July 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://cornerstonetheater.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 7
    Mary Poppins
    Musical Theatre West brings a “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.
    Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s production features the delectable Sherman Brothers score, including A Spoonful of Sugar.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, 2 p.m. July 15 and 22, 1 p.m. July 16 and 23, and 6 p.m. July 16, through July 23
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 856-1999, ext. 4; musical.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center , 6200 E. Atherton, Long Beach

    July 21
    Annie
    Join the irrepressible comic strip heroine as she takes center stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals. Annie’s escape from an orphanage and the clutches of the wicked Miss Hannigan leads to new life and home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. July 21, 22 and 29, and 2 p.m. July 23, 29 and 30
    Cost: $39 to $60
    Details: www.grandvision.org/warner-grand/events.asp
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    July 21
    The Taming of the Shrew
    For Shakespeare by the Sea’s 20th anniversary season, community members will be able to enjoy William Shakespeare’s famous comedy The Taming of the Shrew. The professionally-crafted productions are presented free.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. July 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.shakespearebythesea.org/wp/calendar
    Venue: Marine Mammal Care Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., #8, San Pedro

    July 28
    La Linea
    A multimedia story of everyday life on the Mexico-U.S. border with music by Panoptica.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 5
    Guys and Dolls
    Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, Guys and Dolls is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler Nathan Detroit tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town. Meanwhile,the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through Aug. 5
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Aug. 13
    Peter y La Loba
    Enjoy another telling of Peter and the Wolf, this time with Latin Grammy Award winners Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam.
    Time: 3 and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    ARTS

    Riverrun
    Ray Carofano’s Riverrun is a suite of photographs capturing seldom seen images of the 51-mile storm drain still flatteringly called the Los Angeles River. Carofano turns his subject into the narrator. The river narrates itself as it makes you want to look and, more importantly, look again.
    The exhibition runs through July 8.
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 315-3551 or office@dnjgallery.net
    Venue: DNJ Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave. Suite J1, Santa Monica

    July 9
    National Watercolor Society Member’s Show
    The exhibit is juried by nationally known Bob Burridge. The artwork ranges from realistic to non-objective and features 89 paintings.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 12 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through July 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: (424) 225-4966
    Venue: National Watercolor Society, 915 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    July 9
    Justin Favela: Gracias, Gracias, Thank You, Thank You!
    Following a tradition of social commentary practiced by notable Latino artists such as Coco Fusco, John Jota Leaños and Alejandro Diaz, Justin Favela’s pinata-shaped sculptures meld memory with humor to reveal difficult to communicate experiences of identity and place. His exhibition at Palos Verdes Art Center presents pieces from his current body of work that have recently been exhibited at many venues in his home state of Nevada.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through July 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    July 24
    Disruptions
    The Art of Eliseo Art Silva features 20 works which embrace sparring ideas to intentionally disrupt the expected and bring attention to new ideas and conversations. As an artist of over 100 public works on the East and West Coasts and in his own studio practice, this Philippine-born artist strives to disrupt his audience, forcing them to rethink and energize. RSVP requested.
    Time:  5 to 8 p.m. July 24
    Details: (310) 514-9139; linda@sbcglobal.net
    Venue:  The Arcade, 479 W. 6th St., Suite 107, San Pedro

    July 30
    From The Desert to The Sea: The Desolation Center Experience
    Before the era of Burning Man, Lollapalooza and Coachella, Desolation Center 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 Desolation Center’s pioneering vision with an exhibition featuring painting, photography, sculpture, video and ephemera.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, through July 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 266-9216
    Venue: Cornelius Projects Gallery, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    COMMUNITY

    July 20
    Art and Science of Evaluating Beers
    Become a better beer nerd.
    Time: 7 p.m. July 20
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 22
    Her Voice: Sultana, Meklit, And Ulali
    Celebrating women’s voices from Indian, Pakistani, Ethiopian and Native American traditions.
    Time: 7 p.m. July 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    July 24
    Grunion Run Schedule
    Take Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Fish-tival and celebrate all things grunion. Grunion may be collected by people with a valid 2017 California Fishing licence and by hand only. No license is required for those younger than 16.
    Time: 10:30 p.m. July 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    July 29
    Sinister Circus
    The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor proudly presents Sinister Circus, the first-ever haunted summer costume ball aboard the Queen Mary. Following a day of macabre fun at Midsummer Scream 2017, join us at a spook-tacular costume party aboard where you can dress up to become one of the ringmaster’s minions for Dark Harbor’s Sinister Circus.
    Time: 8 p.m. July 29
    Cost: $29 to $34
    Details: http://bit.ly/DHSinisterCircus
    Venue: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    July 30
    Peter & The Wolf
    The childhood classic told with live music.
    Time: 3 to 4:30 p.m. July 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 12
    Iowa by the Sea Picnic
    All Iowans and people who love the great state of Iowa are invited to this year’s fun event.  The picnic location provides excellent security, adequate space and a great view of the battleship.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 12
    Cost: $12 to $35
    Details: (877) 446-9261; www.pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., Berth 87, San Pedro

    Aug. 18
    Movie Under the Guns
    Battleship Iowa invites you to a free screening of Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie will be shown on board the fantail of Battleship Iowa as you sit under the stars, overlooking the beautiful Los Angeles Waterfront.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (877) 446-9261; www.pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship IOWA, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 2
    Swing Pedro Fleet Week 2017
    Come dance, listen to great music and meet great people from San Pedro. This event is free to all Navy and military on active duty so make sure to mingle with our fine servicemen. Spaces fill up quickly so be sure to get your tickets early.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: $25
    Details: (310) 547-2348
    Venue: People’s Yoga, Health & Dance, 365 W. 6th St., 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

    13th Annual Light at the Lighthouse Music Festival
    There will be four stages including a main stage with some of the best headlining Christian rock bands like The Edge and a worship stage featuring talent from local churches.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.lightatthelighthouse.org
    Venue: Point Fermin, 807 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro

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  • Monthly Beach Cleanup

    Cabrillo Marine Aquarium invites the public to participate in its monthly beach clean-up. Join educators in keeping the coastal park eco-friendly and clean.
    Time: 8 to 10 a.m. July 1
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Centro CHA Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

    Looking to learn more about start-ups, business plans, marketing, financial management and legal structures? Centro CHA and the Institute and CSULB are partnering to host a 6-week entrepreneurship program Monday nights beginning July 10. A certificate of entrepreneurship will be awarded to participants who complete the program.
    Details: (562) 612-1424; susan@centrocha.org

    Work Smart Workshop

    Women: attend this free salary negotiation workshop to gain the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate your salary and benefits packages.
    In every two-hour workshop, you will gain confidence in their negotiation style through facilitated discussion and role-play.
    Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: https://salary.aauw.org/longbeach
    Venue: The Center Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Gerald Desmond Bridge Closures

    A lane will be closed, from 7 to 9 p.m. weeknights, on eastbound Ocean Boulevard at State Route 47, through July 21.

    Free Meals Served

    Meals will be provided to all eligible children, free of charge. Eligible children will receive the meals at a residential or non-residential camp.
    Time: 12 to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Aug. 4
    Venue: San Pedro Boys and Girls Club, 1200 S. Cabrillo Ave., San Pedro

    Grant Review Panelist Wanted

    Apply to become a panelist for the Arts Council for Long Beach. Panelists decide how to distribute annual grants funds to Long Beach artists, organizations and community groups.
    Applicants must be Southern California residents; they are chosen from different disciplines.  The Arts Council runs three days, one day for each category. These include: operating grants, community project grants and professional artist fellowships. Applicants must specify which grant category they’d like to be considered for.
    Panelists commit 10 to 20 hours to the process, which includes reading and pre-scoring applications, as well was as attending one full-day panel meeting.
    The 2017 panel schedule is:

    • 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18 – Professional Artist Fellowships
    • 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 21 – Community Project Grants
    • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 – Operating Grants I & II

    Details: lisa.desmidt@artslb.org; www.artslb.org/services/grants

    Arts Council for Long Beach’s Annual Grant

    The Arts Council for Long Beach’s 2017–2018 annual grant cycle applications and guidelines are now available. Applications and guidelines are at http://www.artslb.org/grants.

    Call for Artists

    Friends of Bixby Park is looking for local artists to display or sell artwork .’at Art in the Park events. Submit a sample to joshua@aaronrealestate.net.

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  • San Pedro Gets World’s Most Powerful Rooftop Solar Project

    • 06/29/2017
    • RL Intern
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    SAN PEDRO — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the completion of the Westmont Solar Energy Project, July 26, in northwest San Pedro.

    The project is world’s largest solar rooftop and the second largest solar project in the United States. Jonathan Port and his solar company PermaCity developed the project at theWestmont Distribution Center. It spans more than 50 acres.

    Garcetti toured the site of the Westmont Solar Energy Project.

    “While Washington buries its head in the sand, we are carrying the fight against climate change forward in our city, and the Westmont Solar Energy Project is strong evidence of our commitment to a sustainable future,” Garcetti said.

    The project uses more than 50,000 specialized solar panels, generating 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, enough to supply about 5,000 single-family homes with electricity. It has the ability to take an estimated 6,000 cars off the streets. The Westmount Solar Energy Project is part of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Feed-in Tariff Program, created to encourage renewable energy development within the Los Angeles Basin, and to help meet the 33 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard mandate by the year 2020.

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  • A Chinese-American Fantasy World Lives at Fu Yuan Low

    • 06/29/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Features
    • Comments are off

    By Richard Foss, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer

    Despite the belief that modern foodies are more adventurous than previous generations, Americans have been eating Chinese food of various levels of authenticity for more than 150 years.

    For instance, a banquet attended by a San Francisco food critic in 1865 included reindeer sinews (tendons), bird’s nest soup and braised dried oysters. That intrepid writer was more adventurous than most of his countrymen, then or now. Chinese in America invented a blander, simpler, meatier version of their cuisine, which became the first popular exotic dining experience in America. Restaurants serving it developed a distinctive visual signature that included red walls, paper lanterns and keyhole-shaped doorways.

    That cuisine and environment are on display in an unlikely space: at Fu Yuan Low, a warehouse-like restaurant on a back street behind the Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates. Despite the Peninsula Center address, the main entrance is on Indian Peak Road. The  employees at Fu Yuan Low are used to lost people who phone them after circling the parking lot on the other side of the building. Once inside the nondescript grey building, you’re in Chinatown and it’s 1960. Servers in sober black and white glide through a maze of rooms full of paintings of sages and courtesans, tapestries of improbably tall mountains with tiny people picnicking and drinking tea, and artfully arranged flowers—both real and silk.

    The menu is as classic as the décor. And, if you think of a Chinese dish you enjoyed as a child, it’s probably here. We sorted through the list while snacking on the inevitable crispy noodles with sweet and sour sauce and sipping tea.

    After considering a few retro appetizers like paper-wrapped chicken and teriyaki beef skewers, we decided to skip straight to the soup, ordering hot and sour because that’s usually a reliable guide to the kitchen. The authentic soup is made from chicken stock with vegetables and a hefty shot of vinegar, heat from both red and white pepper and ginger, a fair amount of tree ear mushroom, and some chopped scallions tossed in at the last minute. Recipes vary. Some places toss in fresh mushrooms and a drizzle of fragrant sesame oil, but at the heart is a flavor balance of rich stock, vinegar and spiciness. The stock here had the balance about right but was muted; the heat and vinegar were overtones and there were no scallions, mushrooms or other elements to make it distinctive.

    The soup was mild but had some flavor, while the moo-shu shrimp that followed crossed the line into bland. This is never a highly seasoned dish, but good moo-shu has interest thanks to a mix of cooked vegetables with raw cucumber in a sauce with a little vinegar and shaoxing cooking wine, topped off with a little sweet plum sauce. The version here had no cucumber or scallion and no full flavors to balance the sweet sauce, so the fruity plum took over. We looked for some chili paste or the other condiments that are often on tables at Chinese restaurants, but none were available and our server had disappeared. We were a bit glum as we contemplated the arrival of four more dishes as uninspired as these.

    Fortunately, that was the point at which the meal improved dramatically. Our main courses were Mongolian lamb, shrimp in yu-shong sauce, a house special glass noodle meatballs and pork fried rice. The chef had apparently found both the fresh ginger and the scallions while making the Mongolian lamb. It was a very good rendition of the classic. The shrimp in yu-shong sauce was even zippier and if you know the popular dish called General Tso’s chicken you have a pretty good idea of what this is, because it’s the same sauce. General Tso’s was invented in New York by a Taiwanese chef who based it on a traditional simmering mix of two types each of soy sauce, vinegar and peppercorns with sugar, garlic and ginger. It’s great as a finishing sauce for a mix of shrimp, zucchini, onion and water chestnuts, and it’s probably my favorite dish here.

    Unless … unless, I decide that I like the meatballs better and that’s a hard decision because they’re completely different dishes. The large pork meatballs were stewed in a rich but mildly seasoned broth with thin rice noodles and bok choy, then topped with a little raw onion and a bit of grated ginger. The marvelous thing about these was the texture; they were fluffy and light while still delivering plenty of porky richness. This is comfort food, pure and simple, a satisfying stew that tastes like mama made it.

    The fried rice was the only item of this course that failed to please, as it had little or no seasoning or soy sauce and hadn’t spent much time in the wok to give the rice any texture. It was OK as a platform for the shrimp and lamb, but not something I’d get again.

    Our dinner for four ran $113 with three glasses of wine — they have a full liquor license and offer cocktails, plum wine and sake, but we decided to keep it simple.

    Fu Yuan Low isn’t the most authentic Chinese restaurant in the area and it’s obviously not trying to be. Those who crave Chinese regional flavors will find have to leave the hill for Lomita, Torrance and points north and east. The Chinese-American flavors that have been satisfying Californian palates since Gold Rush days are offered here. If that’s what you like, here’s where you go.

    Fu Yuan Low is at 26-F Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates. The entrance is on Indian Peak. There are vegetarian and vegan items.

    Details: (310) 541-0803

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  • Grant Review Panelist Wanted

    Apply to become a panelist for the Arts Council for Long Beach. Panelists decide how to distribute annual grants funds to Long Beach artists, organizations and community groups.

    Applicants must be Southern California residents; they are chosen from different disciplines.  The Arts Council runs three days, one day for each category. These include: operating grants, community project grants and professional artist fellowships. Applicants must specify which grant category they’d like to be considered for.

    Panelists commit 10 to 20 hours to the process, which includes reading and pre-scoring applications, as well was as attending one full-day panel meeting.

    The 2017 panel schedule is:

    • 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18 – Professional Artist Fellowships
    • 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 21 – Community Project Grants
    • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 – Operating Grants I & II

    Details: lisa.desmidt@artslb.org; www.artslb.org/services/grants

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  • Hit-and-Run Leaves One Dead, Three Injured

    • 06/28/2017
    • RL Intern
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    LONG BEACH — A 28-year-old man was killed in a car in a hit-in-run collision, June 25, near Anaheim Street and the Los Angeles River in Long Beach. The driver and the two other passengers in the car were injured.

    The incident took place at about 1:30 a.m. Long Beach Police Department reported that  a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo was speeding without its headlights on westbound on Anaheim Street, when it collided with a 2008 Toyota Scion that had four people inside.

    Officers found the Toyota had major front and side damage. The Isuzu Rodeo was found with major front-end damage and no occupants. Officials said that a man, wearing a white T-shirt, was seen walking away from the collision eastbound on Anaheim Street.

    The driver of the Toyota Scion was identified as Marie McLaughlin, a 26-year-old resident of Long Beach, who was taken to Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. All three passengers from the Toyota Scion were transported to local hospitals, one of which was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival to the hospital. The remaining two adult passengers from the Toyota Scion had non-life threatening injuries. The identity of the deceased person is being withheld pending notification to the next of kin.

    Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call (562) 570-7355 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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  • What’s going on with the Belt Buckles?

    • 06/27/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Letters
    • Comments are off

    The purpose of this letter is to find out what the Sheriff’s department is going to do with the $300,000 they budgeted for new belt buckles?   When I found this out from an article appearing in the March 14 edition of the LA Times, I was enraged, partly because of the money, which could have been more effectively used for more training, more vests, more Sheriffs, etc. but certainly not belt buckles.

    This all started when a friend of mine had asked me to help Dana Middle School get money for new Marching Band Uniforms.  The award-winning band had been using the same uniforms for over 15 years! They have new ones now, but are $50,000 in debt. I know that LAUSD has its own money, the City of LA has its own money and the County has its own money.  However everyone keeps screaming poverty.  Well it is no wonder: whether it is $3.00, $300, $300,000 or $300,000,000.  It appears to me that we are just taking taxpayers money and using it willy-nilly.  Whoever is in charge decides to use it for whatever they want.

    As I later found out to add fuel to the fire, the Sheriffs are supposed to pay for their own uniforms.  I have tried to get a response from Supervisor Hahn’s office. Without exaggeration, I have left over a dozen phone calls, hoping to get a response.  So far, nothing.

    In conclusion, with no disrespect to the Sheriffs, who I admire very much for their very difficult and sometimes thankless jobs, it seems to me that the money would be better spent on our youth to give them the respect and admiration they merit.  To put this into perspective, all of children in last year’s marching band were younger than their uniforms.

    Arlene Dickey

    San Pedro

    Arthur Schaper’s Latest Rant

    What is it with Random Lengths News? You guys are obsessed with me!

    First, James Preston Allen says, “F—k you!” after I congratulated the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council for throwing him out of office.

    Then Allen claims in a response to my last letter that my support for President Donald Trump does not deserve protection under the First Amendment — what a hypocrite!

    Then in the latest edition of RLn, one of his (unpaid? uneducated?) reporters wrote about my imposing visit at Rep. Barragan’s — aka Cousin No-No — town hall.

    To her shame,   Congresswoman Nanette Barragan refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. My team and I forced her to do her basic civic duty.

    You also forgot that was a town hall, and We the People had every right to denounce her lies about President Trump, his proposed budget and his other successful policies. You so conveniently ignore that Democratic and progressive activists all over California have been harassing Republican congressmen in their town halls. Now Democrats whine because they’re getting a taste of their own medicine?! Boo-hoo!

    You also forgot to report that she shut people out of her town hall when she moved to the auditorium. Whatever happened to being a woman of the people, Cousin No-No?

    And of course, there are more errata in your report.

    We were not shut down in Ted Lieu’s town hall. We Trump supporters made front page news, and even a special place in Random Lengths (Fake!) News. Honestly, I take great pride in your calling me an “exhibitionist,” Mr. Allen. It’s actually called “exercising one’s rights,” although I recognize that such niceties are lost on regressive leftists such as your editorial board.

    As for what happened at The Crazy Black Lady’s (Maxine Waters) town hall — I was repeatedly heckled and harassed by outrageous hatemongers — two of whom were brown “La Raza” supremacists and another crazy black lady who claimed to be 50,000 years old. Then I was removed for no good reason. Talk about tolerance.

    By the way, you call me the leader. I am working with an incredible, diverse coalition of Californians who are fed up with the crime and corruption of the communist Democratic Party in this once golden State. If you have a problem with the First Amendment, then move to a communist country: no free speech, no press, but at least you would be out of job!

    Arthur Christopher Schaper

    Torrance

     

    Dear Mr.  Schaper,

    First off, while Random Lengths News does not shy away from having a progressive editorial  stance, it is far from “a rag.” It is the only newspaper that has been published in the Harbor Area for more than 37 years, which says more about our publication than many more conservative publications in the area.

    While we do believe that wealth distribution is an issue worth discussing, we also believe that marriage for everyone and life for everyone is worth defending as much as choice is worth defending.

    Science, rather than “belief,” gears our stance on climate change, which we know impacts future LIVES.

    Our reporting may not command a great deal of respect from you, and it’s OK. Your writing, with all of its typos, does not command much respect from us, either.

    Over the past several years, we have provided you with quite enough free speech in this newspaper — some might argue too much — but we feel it is our duty to provide you and others with enough free expression so that the common citizen can judge for themselves the value of your positions. 

    It is obvious to us that what you are attempting to do by disrupting town hall meetings and insulting us, all you ae really trying to do is gain personal notoriety so as to publicly express your unpopular, prejudiced ideas without having to actually argue and defend your positions in either a rational or civil manner.

    When #45 finally goes down in a firestorm of self-inflicted Twitter conflicts and emoluments violations — if not conspiracies — all of your arguments will be dumped in the political trash can with him.  However, if you succeed with your stated agenda, we might as well kiss our beloved democracy goodbye, because you’d be the last person to actually defend anyone else’s right to free speech or free expression.

    Thank you,

    The Editors

     

    Response to My Comment

    (Published in the May 11 edition of Random Lengths News)

    I was not going to respond to your remarks to my [last] letter but I had to. I’m convinced that your rationalization is the problem, not a solution for America’s problems. What you are advocating is two separate systems by which to judge people. That is a wrong rationalization and you are in a position to influence your readers.

    Example of one of these systems: If a doctor doesn’t follow set scientific procedures and botches an operation, you can hold him accountable for him setting his own standards; you can sue him.

    The other example is: Deity believers, regardless of what scientific facts there are to prove them wrong, have the right to think (use their analytical skills) any way they want. Fox News and conservative talk radio (deity believers) have this right and they have very warped, dark interpretations of the facts. They don’t believe in science or facts; they change the facts, outright lie, to justify their interpretation of the facts. They influence half of the American population with pure crap and their audience eats it up, because they have no analytical skills and they aren’t held accountable for their ignorance.

    Damien Walters

    San Pedro

     

    Dear Mr. Walters,

    What you say about science deniers may be true in general but not necessarily true about folks who believe in a god, specifically. My caution is that there are many good people of faith who do not ascribe to delusional thinking or who have reconciled their beliefs with their knowledge. Casting judgements against all believers of God doesn’t make you any more rational or analytic than a person who goes around claiming all Mexicans are “bad hombres.”

    James Preston Allen, Publisher

     

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  • MACBETH @ Shakespeare by the Sea

    There’s no denying that Macbeth is a tour de force of a treatise on ambition (one of the Bard’s strongest subjects), and it has more than its fair share of brilliant lines. But despite its reputation, “the Scottish play” may be the most flawed of Shakespeare’s serious (as opposed to trivial) work. “Double, double, toil and trouble”—the whole scene—makes me snicker, the “none of woman born” riddle is eye-rollingly bad, and there are more plot holes than usual for Shakespeare (which is saying something for a guy who never lets a little thing like plausibility get in his way). So much bad writing mixed in with all that the genius has always left me cold.

    But Shakespeare by the Sea’s current production is where I turned a corner on Macbeth. It’ll never be Hamlet, but by trimming the fat, making some nontraditional choices, and incorporating a prominent aural complement, director Stephanie Coltrin and her team have created a Macbeth that is just about as engaging for a contemporary audience as a traditionalist, low-budget take can be. And since they sacrifice none of the essence that is worthy of the Macbeth hype, I’ve come out the other side no longer quite the hater.

    Shakespeare by the Sea makes some great choices right out of the gate. After a standard Three Witches opening scene, the entrance of the king and his soldiers from behind the audience is bracing. Then comes the first of many scenes in which the piped-in audio (played through speakers posted along a perimeter of the large primary seating area and well mixed by sound tech Briana Billups) earns its keep. Shakespeare’s exposition can be tedious even when it’s necessary, but all such scenes in this show are underscored by acoustical accoutrements that help the jibber-jabber sail by more smoothly. We get the gist of what’s being said, but we’re freed from focusing on the stiltedness of the wording. The music and audio is fairly generic, but it does the job.

    Then comes a display of just how carefully Coltrin and cast have thought through their interpretation of the lines that really matter. One of Macbeth’s weakest elements when viewed through a contemporary frame is the Three Witches. Elizabethans were a lot more superstitious than we are, so supernatural hokum played a lot better back then—and Macbeth is full of it. So it’s refreshing to watch Macbeth (Patrick Vest) and Banquo (Olivia Schluter-Corey) regard the “weird sisters” as, well, weirdoes, objects more of ridicule than fear, with Banquo pretty much rolling her eyes at them. Obviously Macbeth and Banquo are a bit awed when their first prognostication immediately comes to pass, but their initial skepticism sets the stage for a production that smartly plays down the supernatural stuff as much as possible, including entirely cutting the worst and most needless such scene.

    It’s this instinct that leads Vest to play “Is this a dagger I see before me?” less as a literal hallucination and more as a symbol of Macbeth’s will to power bubbling up from his subconscious. Overall, Vest is good, but he excels on two fronts. The first is how well he succeeds early on in making Macbeth seem likable. While Lady Macbeth’s wickedness was in place long before the play opens (it was always in her nature, and she merely jumps at this opportunity to actualize it), Macbeth is basically a good guy before the Three Witches ignite his fiery ambition.

    Vest’s very best moments, though, are with Lady Macbeth (Melissa Booey). Vest and Booey are younger than your typical Macbeths, and they intentionally infuse their characters with youthful passion. When Macbeth has doubts about following through on the first of the many murders he must commit in order to ascend the throne, the intensity Vest and Booey bring to the ensuing argument is electric. Booey is fantastic at being villainous, and when Macbeth comes back only half finished with the bloody daggers, her sheer annoyance at his loss of nerve. “Why did you bring these daggers from the place?” she snaps at his near-bungling of the deadly deed. “They must lie there: go carry them, and smear / The sleepy grooms with blood. […] Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers [and I’ll do it].” Evil may not be simple, but it’s to Shakespeare’s eternal credit that he created characters who are simply and inexplicably evil (e.g., Othello‘s Iago, Titus Andronicus‘s Aaron), because in real life some people’s bad behavior seems to defy rational explanation. Lady Macbeth is such a character, and Booey embodies her in all of her unapologetically wicked glory.

    The supporting cast is solid all around. I’ve already mentioned Schluter-Corey, who is so enjoyable that (***SPOILER ALERT***) you can’t help but be disappointed in the knowledge that Banquo will die before intermission. B.J. Allman steals a scene as Macduff when he learns of his children’s murder, generating grief that is perfectly modulated yet palpable all the way out in the cheap seats. Similarly, Ethan Haslam impresses as Malcolm in his absolute-power-corrupts-absolutely self-reflection. And Andy Kallok’s turn as a sot annoyed at being woken with all that knocking helps make clear just how good Shakespeare can be with comic relief. It’s a scene that may seem like a throwaway, but in actuality it’s central to the play’s overall pacing, and it comes off perfectly.

    While I’m content with the acting in context, it’s devilishly hard to achieve what, for example, Ralph Finnes and his cast do in his film version of Coriolanus, which is to make all that overly mannered dialog—fairly unnatural even to Elizabethan ears, downright archaic to us—sound like actual people actually talking. But Shakespeare by the Sea has beaten a good alternative path, shining when it matters most but employing the aforementioned piped-in audio as a means to lighten the load when the lines are less than gripping.

    This is, however, an element with which some purists will take issue, as they will with the stage combat, probably the production’s weakest element (although they certainly didn’t skimp on weapon quality). Some may also chafe at the cuts to the original script, but to me they’ve made for an improvement. I’d happily sit through four-and-a-half hours of Hamlet uncut (providing it’s a great production), but bringing Macbeth in at exactly two hours (including intermission!) feels exactly right.

    But even purists should enjoy the period-faithful costumery (kudos to Allison Dillard), as well as the incorporation of nature. There is true delight in seeing a play that makes prominent use of heath and forest staged amidst a canopy of real trees, and Coltrin has blocked this show—particularly all those big entrances and exists—outstandingly.

    I’ve gone into a lot of detail about this production, but let’s bottom-line it: I didn’t much like Macbeth and had never seen a version I fully enjoyed, but I dug this one so much that I have a better appreciation of the play itself. Macbeth is not Shakespeare at his overall best, but for many this production may be just about as good as Macbeth gets.

    MACBETH SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA • POINT FERMIN PARK: 807 W PASEO DEL MAR • SAN PEDRO 90731 • 310.217.7596 • SHAKESPEAREBYTHESEA.ORG • JUNE 22, 23, 24, 30; JUL 6 & 8; AUG 18 • FREE (SUGGESTED $10 DONATION) • THE TAMING OF THE SHREW JUNE 29; JUL 1, 7; AUG 19 • SEE WEBSITE FOR PERFORMANCES IN LONG BEACH, SEAL BEACH, LAKEWOOD, CARSON, PALOS VERDES, & OTHER O.C. AND L.A.-AREA CITIES

    (Photo credit: Mickey Elliott)

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