• Carson Council Proposes Measure C to Stop Fiscal Emergency

    • 10/27/2017
    • Lyn Jensen
    • News
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    By Lyn Jensen, Carson Reporter

    On Nov. 7 voters will be asked to vote on Measure C, the Oil Industry Business License Tax.

    The ballot measure is the result of Carson being in a fiscal emergency for the second time in two years. On Aug. 7, the city council unanimously voted to propose a new tax on the city’s refineries.

    If passed, Measure C would impose a one-quarter-of-one-percent tax on the gross receipts of oil refineries in Carson.

    The city is presenting the proposed ordinance as necessary to raise an estimated $24 million for the general fund. The measure’s opponents are questioning the council’s motives.

    Carson currently taxes its refineries based on the number of employees, which brings in about $5 million annually.

    Names of all five council members appear in support of the measure in the city’s Voter Information Pamphlet. They argue the funds raised will be used to maintain and improve first responder protections, senior, youth and gang diversion programs.

    “Our streets, sidewalks and parks need repairs. It’s estimated $156 million is needed for improvements throughout the City [Carson] — and cost will multiply if not addressed soon,” the pamphlet reads. “Torrance and El Segundo receive $11 million each [from taxes on refineries] … but Carson receives only $5 million.”

    Although Torrance and El Segundo do impose business license taxes on their refineries, neither city’s is based on gross receipts.

    Carson’s employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, supports the measure, said representative Ana Meni.

    At a recent community meeting, she argued, if Measure C fails, “What programs do we cut?”

    City staff said that conducting the special election may cost the city $270,000. Opponents have sent out mailers charging the overall cost is closer to $400,000.

    The larger amount includes what the city is spending on what it calls “information,” including the mailing of a special edition of the city’s official publication, the Carson Report. Described as an information guide, the mailing only presents the proponents’ side.

    In response, some opponents, including Jan Schaefer of Carson Alliance 4 Truth, criticized the city’s “information” campaign.

    “The staff report actually said they couldn’t spend any money to promote it,” Schaefer said. “It seems they are promoting it.”

    Proponents portray the opponents as representing big oil. Western States Petroleum Association is funding the opposition, including mailings and a website.

    That website lists Local 675 United Steelworkers, which represents local refinery workers, as opposing the measure. David Campbell of Local 675 denied the union or the local had taken a position.

    Matt Klink, campaign manager for the organized opposition, Carson United to Stop Irresponsible Taxes, said the city council has been unable to balance the budget eight of the past 11 years.

    “The measure was rushed onto the ballot,” he said. “The council declared a fiscal emergency on Aug. 7 and put it on the November ballot …. The city has a long history of budget deficits. Eight budgets have been unbalanced in the past 11 years…. The city has not been a responsible financial steward of taxpayers’ money…. They’ve spent $13 million in legal fees in the past four years.”

    Klink also questioned the city’s claim the measure would generate $24 million. He said that figure is not taken from actual data, but from an analysis of a hypothetical refinery.

    Klink said the money might not be well spent.

    “The council’s list of all the specific things funded, that’s just empty promises,” Klink added. “It’s a general tax and by law all [such] tax must go into the general fund.”

    The proposed ordinance is at http://ci.carson.ca.us/Government/Election2017.aspx.

    The campaign against Measure C is at www.measurechurtsme.com.

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  • RecycLA Rolls Out New Future For City

    • 10/27/2017
    • Paul Rosenberg
    • News
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    Thanks to almost a decade of organizing by the Don’t Waste LA coalition, the city of Los Angeles is in the midst of rolling out the largest transformation of a recycling system in American history. The goal is to recycle  90 percent of the city’s waste by 2025. The long-term aspiration is a zero-waste system that “strive[s] to reduce, reuse, or recycle all municipal solid waste materials back into nature or the marketplace.”

    California’s Integrated Waste Management Board adopted that goal in November 2001. Although it’s taken Los Angeles more than 15 years to catch up with the new recycLA plan, its environmental impacts will be staggering. Once fully operational, the system will divert one million tons of commercial waste from landfills every year and cut emissions by 2.6 million metric tons — equal to removing 517,000 vehicles from the road. For the first time, all Angelenos — condominium and apartment dwellers, small businesses, everyone —will have the same kind of efficient recycling service that single-family homes now enjoy.
    But environmental benefits aren’t the whole story. Labor rights and jobs, community health benefits, environmental justice and food recovery all figure intimately in the story of how the plan took shape and how widely its benefits will be shared.

    The Don’t Waste LA coalition was founded by The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, LAANE. It is growing out of conversations with labor and environmental organization partners.
    “A lot of zero waste work up until this point had been at the level of what can people do individually in their lives to take responsibility for the waste they are generating?” recalled Hillary Gordon.

    Gordon was chairwoman of the Sierra Club’s Zero Waste Committee when she was asked to join.

    “What really really impressed me, when I was told about the goal of this coalition, was that this was really addressing it at the systemic level — the huge level of what [do you do] when you have a city as big as Los Angeles, and you got 4 million Angelenos who want to recycle, but have all kinds of impediments in the way of them actually doing so?” Gordon said.
    But labor issues were just as compelling, according to Rob Nothoff, LAANE’s director of Waste and Recycling Campaigns. “We took a look at what was happening here within the waste industry…. We found that working conditions were awful. It’s constantly in the top five most dangerous professions in the country.”

    “The No. 1 thing was living wage,” said Maurice Thomas, a waste management worker who’s been deeply involved with the coalition. “No. 2 [was] work environment, (which he called, ‘truly unsatisfactory’). We’re in an industry that makes as much as the NFL. The NFL is a $14 billion a year industry…. So why is it that, those who are not properly represented, why are the wages below living wages?

    “I’m quite sure that you take your lunch, you wouldn’t want to have to fight off roaches, or rats or mice while you eat…. To be in that kind of work environment, at some time you’re going to get ill and for you to have to have to get a payday loan to go to the doctor,”
    The solution turned out to be simple: change the business incentives, by adopting a limited geographic franchise system, with a single waste hauler serving one each of the 11 districts created. It’s similar in logic to the Port of Los Angeles’ original Clean Trucks Program, as well as the majority of already successful recycling systems LAANE found when they surveyed California.

    “The highest performing cities were exclusive franchise models: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, were all exclusive franchises,” Nothoff explained.

    “Out of 88 cities in Los Angeles County, at the time, I think it was 67 or 68 were exclusive franchise models. If you want to create a model in which you have a race to the top rather than a race to the bottom, you have to actually create some business certainty in an environment that allows for investment, and super high levels of transparency and accountability.”

    It also gave the city a tool for beefing up state labor standards, said Kevin Riley, director of Research and Evaluation at UCLA’s Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, an early Don’t Waste LA partner.

    “We want to reinforce [labor standards] through the language of this ordinance,” he said.

    “What the new program is trying to do is essentially level the playing field and take away competition at that level, and say the safety of the workforce is just as important as environmental issues concerns.”

    Before recycLA, the city had roughly 125 waste haulers competing for a contract, most engaged in a fierce race to the bottom: Investing in worker safety and training — much less a living wage — ran counter to their whole cost-cutting ethos. The same applied to investing in recycling infrastructure. So they priced recycling prohibitively, leaving millions of Angelinos frustrated.

    “It was prohibitively expensive for a lot of the apartment complexes and commercial businesses to recycle,” Nothoff said, because the haulers made it so. “The haulers didn’t have any financial incentive to invest in the infrastructure.”
    Cut-throat competition had other negative impacts as well: First, price-cutting for large businesses was offset by high prices for small businesses.

    “Small businesses were paying four or five times as much as some of these larger businesses,” Notoff explained.

    While big businesses dominated business organizations — like the LA Chamber of Commerce — that opposed the franchise plan, there were many losers, he noted.

    “We started to identify some

    additional small business partners (who joined the coalition in later stages of struggle),” Notoff said.
    Unlimited competition also flooded neighborhoods with repetitive truck trips.

    “Different council members were moved by different aspects of the policy,” Nothoff recalled. “We showed Joe Buscaino a map of Gaffey Street, with 10 different haulers on it and that was a real, ‘aha!’ moment for him. It’s patently absurd in 2017 to have 10 different trucks servicing a block that can be just as easily serviced by one truck.”
    Repetitive truck trips meant wasted fuel, excess pollution, and increased street maintenance costs, with more than 9,000 times the impact of an SUV.

    “The structure of the system was designed to allow these waste companies to direct their dirty trucks to LA, instead of sending their cleaner trucks,” Earthjustice attorney Adrian Martinez said. Only cities with a franchise system were covered by an Air Quality Management District rule requiring the cleaner trucks.
    The sheer accumulation of so many different impacts proved overwhelming in the end. But there were  positive new promises as well, especially in the areas of recycling food, both composting and food recovery, as described by Claire Fox, executive director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.

    “A third of municipal waste stream is comprised of organic waste, and a lot of that, the majority of that is food,” Fox said.

    Since organic landfill waste produces methane gas, which is roughly 30 times worse than carbon dioxide for global warming, the cost of neglecting it is enormous. But the recycling benefits are huge.
    “Food that is post-consumption is really not trash, it’s a resource,” Fox said. “And it needs to be looked at differently…. There’s a very long tradition in the food movement of recovering food that is still edible.”

    There also is traditional recycling and new businesses based on using food waste.

    “We met a guy who grows crickets on clean food waste streams and he processes the crickets into protein; they create … protein bars and protein cookies, all kinds of weird stuff,” Fox said.
    It’s not for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be. But the more options there are, and the more care is built into the system from the beginning, the more will be used for its highest value.
    No place in Los Angeles shows the potential impact of recycLA better than Pacoima, home to 14 landfills in the northern San Fernando Valley. Pacoima Beautiful is a 21-year-old environmental justice organization that was an early partner in Don’t Waste LA. Yvette Lopez is its deputy director,
    “The presence of landfills alone is enough to cause health impacts on the community members who live here, but they come with other things — the diesel trucks that are traveling to the neighborhood,” Lopez said. “There’s also a lot of community members who work at the site and they weren’t necessarily at some point the safest places to work.”
    In short, Pacoima is a low-consumption community bearing the burden of a high-consumption society around it.

    “We’ve been conserving, because that’s what we have to do,” Lopez said. “Our incomes are lower, we may not have houses so we are living in smaller spaces that don’t require so much, so much water so much energy or that produce so much waste…. When it comes to waste, we see it come down our street every single day and then you smell it and it’s impacting our lives and impacting our health.”

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  • Punk is Never Out of Session

    • 10/26/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Music
    • Comments are off

    By Christian Simac, Contributing Writer

    Recess Records is the household name within the microcosm of San Pedro punk.

    First we were given the legendary Minutemen, who put San Pedro on the punk music map,  and brought along neighboring acts like Saccharine Trust, Black Flag and the Descendents. All of them contributed to the foundation of early American hardcore and local punk.

    The first punk bands that spewed from the South Bay and Los Angeles comprised an eclectic selection. As they flourished, faded or broke up over time, their influence was evident in the cyclical waves of new bands that emerged to replace them, outfits formed by youth who grew up listening to them.

    Recess Records, spearheaded by a young Torrance skater named Todd Congelliere, sprouted in the South Bay a decade after the foundation of Pedro and South Bay punk. Congelliere, who eventually developed into a cover-boy quality professional skater for Liberty Skateboards, discovered punk music through the sport and both became his consuming interests.

    Congelliere founded Recess Records in the late 1980s after putting out a few tapes of his band, F.Y.P. (Five Year Plan). The group’s original 7-inch vinyl debut, entitled Extra Credit, is the record that made the label official.

    Recess Records soon solidified its place in the Pedro and South Bay punk scene, putting out countless records, setting up events around San Pedro, and truly representing the state of San Pedro punk.

    Congelliere eventually left Torrance for San Pedro. He continues to enhance local life with gestures of admiration and hospitality — shows for children, art exhibitions, social events, reissues of the essential records of South Bay punk history — all bearing the wit and fun of his unmistakable personal style.

    Recess has more than 200 official releases on its resume, from vinyl records to cassette tapes, featuring bands from San Pedro and throughout the country. That number of releases on a DIY label can be quite a tedious milestone to achieve but Todd made it happen, all while playing in five bands and now being a family man. Occasionally, he still gives a boost to smaller bands by releasing their work on Recess to help get their name out.

    Apart from running Recess Records, Congelliere’s many bands are mainstays in Pedro punk. His first band with his close friend Sean Cole, F.Y.P. (Five Year Plan), started it all. The band lasted more than a decade and took Congelliere and the band across the United States and touring through other continents. Next came Toys That Kill, which had the same lineup of musicians as  F.Y.P., and remains one of Congelliere’s main focuses to this day. Toys That Kill are a pure representation of what San Pedro punk represents: DIY, humility, and absolute fun. Toys That Kill shows are abundant in Pedro and Long Beach and are a guaranteed good time.

    What’s most interesting about Toys That Kill is the band’s fans. Since Pedro is such a small town and its punk scene is so communal and niche, shows often bring out three generations of fans. Older fans from F.Y.P. days will be present and hanging out with Congelliere and other venerable bands, who have been around from the early days of Pedro punk and are still going to shows and supporting the scene decades later. Next you will have those in their mid-20s, who grew up listening to Toys That Kill as teens or may be playing in bands involved in the current scene in Pedro or Long Beach. Finally, you will have the youngest generation of millennial teens, whether still in high school or just graduated. They bring energy to the shows and are the future of punk. Seeing a variety of fans having a blast together adds a warming and welcoming element to the shows.

    Congelliere plays in such other notable bands as Underground Railroad, Candyland, Stoned at Heart and Clown Sounds, all appreciated by dedicated fans, all holding significant positions on the Recess Records discography. Congelliere also manages to record records. Each band is its own animal, with its own unique sound and aesthetic, never bleeding into any blatant similarities with one another, which is quite the accomplishment for Congelliere and his bandmates.

    As for the current state of Recess Records and Congelliere’s sonic endeavors, Toys That Kill has just completed a summer tour and has been playing some shows around Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pomona and San Pedro. Congelliere has been making an effort to get more shows for all-ages in San Pedro, preferable to trying to catch them sneaking into the decorated Harold’s Bar. He has a pop-up distribution outlet in Pedro, which sells all records in the Recess catalog, band merch and other Recess knick-knacks.

    Recess has put out countless bands and organized countless shows to help support the punk community. Congelliere recently spoke about the start of the label, his personal life, and what he has planned for Recess Records.

    Christian Simac: How did you get into punk and DIY?
    Todd Congelliere: Pretty much through skateboarding. I had a ramp in my yard and the locals would bring over Black Flag, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds tapes to listen to while we skated. At first, I thought it was just good to skate too — aggressive. I didn’t realize that it was just knocking on the door to a whole, wide world.

    CS: When and why did you start Recess Records?
    TC: 1990 was the first vinyl release. I did tapes starting in ’87 or ’88. I had some extra money for turning skate tricks and bought a Tascam 4-track recorder. First tape I made was songs specifically for one of my teachers, who was really fucking with me. I would record the songs one night and put the tapes on his desk, when he wasn’t looking, the next morning. I called it 5-Year Plan (F.Y.P), due to him trying to fail me and take another year. I never understood it. If he didn’t like me then why was he trying to get me to stay another year? Anyways, some of those songs spilled into the first 7-inch (F.Y.P-Extra Credit 7-inch — Recess Records No. 1). So, short answer: I started my record label out of spite.

    CS: What’s it like balancing between stoned at heart, Toys that Kill and Underground Railroad to Candyland?
    TC: Right now I’m only doing Toys That Kill and Clown Sounds. There was a point where we were all doing 5 bands and it is super fun but it complicates things sometimes.

    CS: What do you think about the status of the punk scene in Pedro right now or South Bay-Long Beach?
    TC:  Well I’m glad I live in Pedro and so close to Long Beach. Southern California is littered with donkey basketball scenes. There are so many pockets in So Cal that focus on everything but the music. Jim’s Spot in Long Beach and any show in Pedro have a music only vibe. LA proper is where everyone is going to super-make-it and they don’t listen when you talk to them, they just wait to talk.

    CS: I understand you have a child. Has your child shown any interest in punk? 
    TC: Olive’s three-and-a-half  right now. I played her Ramones’ Rocket to Russia before she was 1 and she smiled and bopped her head. She cracks up when I lip sync to the Cows’ Hitting The Wall. She also puts on only blue jeans and dances around like Iggy Pop. I think she finds it interesting.

    CS: What keeps you motivated to continue playing music and running your label? 
    TC:  I feel like I’ll never run out of supply when it comes to music. Having an outlet like this is so valuable. I always thought it was just us being dumb and pissing people we didn’t like off. Which, yeah, it might still be some of that. But it’s much more that I can’t even grasp. There are some tangibles though. It’s one of my favorite feelings to come up with a new song. It’s really not good if you hit a dry spell. I always try to learn a new instrument or dig up something you never heard. It really is ‘The Gift that Keeps on Giving.’ That sticker was right! And, you think about all in the past that made this road. You think of Buddy Guy and Joe Strummer at the same time. It’s pretty nuts. Not to get all drama-rama but I truly believe I’d be dead without this. In my opinion, it’s the only absolutely true and proven religion we’ve ever had.

    Toys That Kill are going strong and are constantly playing in Pedro or surroundings areas. Follow Recess Records on Facebook and Instagram and check out Congelliere’s latest projects.

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  • Junk Food News

    • 10/26/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    Framing and Avatars in the Post-truth Age

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    A year ago, Random Lengths News and the rest of America’s alternative press celebrated the 40th anniversary of Project Censored, the ongoing mission of journalists Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth to exposing the most-important news stories that have gone underreported or effectively censored.

    But in 2017, Project Censored’s 41st, Huff and Roth have reached a milestone — the year in which an episode of The Simpsons was played out in real life. Foreshadowed in a TV cartoon, the black comedy of events that obscured and propelled Donald Trump’s rise to President of the United States is chronicled in the Project Censored chapter devoted to Junk Food News — the so-called “fake news” that squeezed into the places that should have been filled with legitimate information.

    In 2016, Project Censored’s legions of student interns, writers and editors spent a considerable amount of ink on the emerging youth movement. In addition to producing formidable activists in their own right, it undergirded the passion that spurred Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign during the presidential primaries and made the movement to abolish the use of super delegates in the days after the election about more than just sour grapes.

    The occasion of the 40th anniversary and its emphasis on youth seemed to infuse Huff and Roth with hopefulness in Project Censored and the good hands doing its work. But this past election cycle did something else.

    Project Censored opened this year’s Junk Food News chapter, co-written by Huff and Nolan Higdon, a professor of English, communications and history in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a report entitled, Post-Truth Dystopia — Fake news Alternative Facts and the Ongoing War on Reality. It begins with a quote from H.L. Mencken,  a culture writer, thinker and satirist  not known as a defender of democracy and democratic principles, but he offered a particular insight into a particular failing of a civilization without a citizenry that is engaged, informed and armed with the ability to think critically:

    Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

    Huff and Higdon continue by referencing Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death to frame Junk Food News. Postman says a particular medium can only sustain a certain level of ideas. Since the advent of television Americans receive a great deal of their information through television news, sitcoms and dramas. But this form can’t articulate complex ideas the way print can.  Shortcomings of television dilute politics and religion. And “news of the day” becomes a packaged commodity. Postman argues that television de-emphasizes the quality of information to satisfy the far-reaching needs of entertainment. The result is that quality information becomes secondary to entertainment value.

    Postman’s analysis originated from a talk he gave in 1985 at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where he participated on a panel focused on George Orwell’s 1984 and the contemporary world. During this talk, Postman said that the contemporary world was better reflected by Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World, whose public was oppressed by their addiction to amusement than by Orwell’s book whose people are oppressed by state control.

    It is against this backdrop that Project Censored itemizes examples of Junk Food News distracting Americans, ranging from Trump’s refusal to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to the breathless reporting on Trump’s every tweet.

    Huff and Higdon characterize this coverage as a backlash in response to Trump not allowing corporate media to hobnob with the power elites. Besides, Project Censored described the White House Correspondents’ dinner as a means for the media to ingratiate themselves to power rather than speak truth to power. This unhealthy diet of junk news displaced news about the widespread famine in Yemen, a region raked by a two-year-old war led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States, which left more than 10,000 dead and 40,000 wounded in the region. A United Nations’ report estimated that more than 90 percent of Yemen’s citizens are experiencing famine and malnutrition.

    Huff and Higdon described the Olympic Summer games of 2016 as a media spectacle, particularly after the corporate media latched onto the story of the four U.S. Olympic swimmers who lied about being robbed at gunpoint after vandalizing a gas station bathroom and being stopped by an armed security guard. Project Censored contrasted the slap on the wrist these swimmers received, who happened to be white, with the treatment of gold medalist Gabby Douglas when it appeared that she didn’t put her hand over her heart during the medal ceremony. This news displaced coverage of “flooding on a historic scale” in Louisiana. Project Censored noted that, “while the damage caused was less than that of Hurricane Katrina, 20,000 residents had to be rescued, 10,000 were placed in shelters, and several people lost their lives.”

    Huff and Higdon also highlighted the Academy Awards unscandalous scandal in which La La Land was mistakenly announced as Best Picture. It took only two minutes until the film Moonlight was announced as the real winner, but Huff and Higdon noted that this non-scandal scandal obscured major news in that almost 550 community leaders, elected officials, business moguls, health officials and politicians called for doubling the strength of the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative, a clean air and healthy climate program.

    Huff and Higdon noted that, “a gathering of this size to enact policies to prevent further climate change is certainly worthy of major attention. But instead, the American public was treated to endless punditry on who was responsible for the year’s best picture blunder.”

    News Abuse

    Huff and Higdon recounts how Huff and former Project Censored director Peter Phillips argued in 2010 that the United States was facing a truth emergency. They assert that “in the United States today, the rift between reality and reporting has reached its end. There is no longer a mere credibility gap, but rather a literal truth emergency. This is a culmination of the failures of the Fourth Estate to act as a truly free press.”

    In 2017, Huff and Higdon conclude that little has changed. In the current edition of Project Censored, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on his own people is a primary example. This attack was used to justify Trump’s order to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles on a country torn by civil war.

    Project Censored pushes back against the notion that critiquing the corporate press pushing the Bashar al-Assad chemical weapon attack as tantamount to being pro-al-Assad. Indeed, Project Censored adds nuance that should be applied to the Trump administration and the role of the Russians in the 2016 presidential elections.

    Huff and Higdon wrote:

    This is a complicated matter, to be sure, one that even sparks vivid disagreements among the anti-imperialist and the pacifist Left in the U.S. To question official narratives should not mean people are automatically pro-Assad — or pro-Putin, for that matter. More importantly, what does it mean to be pro-truth in a post-truth world, when the truth can be elusive, especially in an environment addled by propaganda coming from many sides?

    Huff and Higdon note that the corporate press’ engagement in news abuse regarding Syria is an attempt to build public support for U.S. invasion, much like the second war in Iraq a decade earlier. Project Censored wrote, “This makes accurate reporting and publishing of diverse perspectives all the more crucial.”

    Huff and Higdon argue that the countermeasure to news abuse and propaganda is an informed citizenry with strong critical thinking skills. Project Censored actually goes a little further than that by saying that the level of critical thinking required now goes beyond simply evaluating information based on conformity with existing knowledge. Huff and Higdon argue that Americans’ thought process must embrace perspectives at odds with “prevailing wisdom or personal views” based on the evaluation of reality.

    Huff and Higdon identified a few different and daunting cases where this form of education is applicable. One of those examples was the aim of right-wing personality Glenn Beck and pseudo-historian David Barton to offer training camps to teach graduating high school students their revisionist history. They used the words of regular writer of Salon Amanda Marcotte to describe their historical narrative, saying that it is “one that valorizes straight white men as humanity’s natural leaders and grants Christian fundamentalism a centrality to American history that it does not, in reality, have.” Marcotte also noted that, “in Barton’s history, the founding father idea of government was rooted in fundamentalist Christianity, instead of enlightenment philosophy, and the contributions of people of color are minimized in service of centering Christian white men as the righteous shepherds guiding everyone else.”

    Huff and Higdon also argue that schools should teach media literacy as core curriculum to help fight against news abuse and fake news. Project Censored noted that the U.S. education system has drifted to the same for-profit model of information dissemination as the mass media, yielding many of the same results.

    Huff and Higdon cite critical theory scholar Henry Giroux, who notes that the for-profit model of education emphasizes individual responsibility for problems created by systemic failures.

    “The market-driven discourse in higher education, including the corporatization of education that privileges administrators over faculty (who became low-paid workers while students are seen as customers), has outlawed or marginalized those faculty who do talk about critiquing the system rather than teach students to accept it and work with it.”

    Giroux concludes that an effective  “democracy cannot exist without informed citizens and public spheres and educational apparatuses that uphold standards of truth, honesty, evidence, facts and justice. Under Trump, disinformation masquerading as news … has become a weapon for legitimating ignorance and civic illiteracy.”

    To combat this, Giroux is quoted:

    Artists, educators, young people, journalists and others need to make the virtue of truth-telling visible again. We need to connect democracy with a notion of truth-telling and consciousness that is on the side of economic and political justice, and democracy itself. If we are going to fight for, and with, the most marginalized people, there must be a broader understanding of their needs. We need to create narratives and platforms in which those who have been deemed disposable can identify themselves and the conditions through which power and oppression bear down on their lives.

    Huff and Higdon recounted the brief history of the term “fake news,” since Trump was “electored” president. The authors noted that during one week in January 2017, the trend of people researching the term “fake news” on Google jumped 100-fold above pre-election levels. Trump and his supporters denounced any critiques of the new administration, such as CNN for questioning the validity of his statements as fake news.

    But Project Censored noted that Trump and his underlings were not alone in labeling inconvenient truths fake news. The Democratic National Committee was also guilty, as it sought to explain how Hillary Clinton lost to a Cheeto. Project Censored noted that the partisan practice of labeling inconvenient truths as fake news undermined credible journalism while distracting the public from the barrage of actual fake news flooding our global society.

    This was reminiscent of a Ron Suskind story in the New York Times Magazine more than a decade ago in which the phrase “reality-based community” was used by an aide in the George W. Bush administration. The term was a phrase used to denigrate a critic of the administration’s policies who are basing the judgments on facts.

    In it, Suskind wrote:

    The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community, which he defined as people who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’[…] “that’s not the way the world really works anymore’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    The source was later revealed to be political operative and Bush administration advisor, Karl Rove, but he has denied it.

    Huff and Higdon noted that the internet’s promise of delivering endless information to circumvent a post-truth world has not succeeded in producing a well-informed populace. Instead, the inflation of spurious information coupled with an education system that does not teach critical media literacy to students and does not show them how to navigate and participate in the digital world has resulted in a dystopia of falsehoods that are now referred to as “alternative facts.”

    This post-truth environment, they argue, gave rise to a term defined as an outright lie that is introduced and then used as evidence to support a desired conclusion.

    Among the examples Project Censored used:

    • Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s claiming three times that a terror attack occurred in Atlanta, Ga.
    • U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson claiming that African American slaves were immigrants who worked hard and found success in America, without socio-economic relevancy or historical context.
    • The Trump administration claim that the resistance to their repeal and replace Obamacare were paid protesters.

    Huff and Higdon argue that the ability to embrace dissonant facts is a skill set needed now more than ever, when inconvenient truths are labeled fake news. They argue that this state of affairs has resulted in a post-truth world.

    After laying this groundwork, Project Censored, shifts to the Democratic National Convention and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    From the start, Project Censored makes the argument that the Russian hacking narrative, propagated by the corporate media invested in Clinton’s bid for the White House, is an example of an alternative fact designed to deflect attention away from Clinton’s deficiencies as a candidate.

    Huff and Higdon cite the Washington Post and the website ProporNot that were purported to have uncovered the media outlets that served as dupes of Russian hackers with a series of algorithms designed to analyze the web content of media outlets. The Post reprinted a list created by ProporNot. Project Censored noted that under threat of lawsuits, they published a partial retraction. Project Censored, using a quote by Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibibi, argues that the Russian story was a distraction from the pre-existing problems within the Democratic Party. Taibibi, and by extension, Project Censored is correct.

    For Huff and Higdon, the question was whether Russian interference had a direct, demonstrable impact on Clinton losing the election. The answer has been a resounding ‘no,’ regardless of the steady drip of leaks regarding the alleged collusion of Trump’s campaign with the Russian government. The fact remains, Clinton with help from the Democratic National Committee, lost to a Cheeto who should not have had any chance of winning.

    Huff’s and Higdon’s choice to frame this chapter with the words of H.L. Mencken, Neil Postman and Morris Berman signals a dark place we’re entering. Though they offer prescriptions to heal American democracy and strengthen its citizenry, there’s an underlying pessimism in this chapter. At the conclusion of the Junk Food News chapter, Huff and Higdon ask, “Who will check the fact checker and what criteria will be used?”

    Huff and Higdon note that fact-checking would not be enough to counter fake news. But fake news is not the only threat. Blacklists like the one used by sites like PropOrNot that include legitimate journalistic outlets as fake news, or the passage of legislation that literally bans the media from lying. Huff and Higdon notes that the corporate press has assisted in creating some of these new threats such as the weaponizing of fake news. The pair acknowledge the daunting task of making these times and nation more hospitable to a more free and democratic place, they write:

    …the failures of the corporate media and education system have already contributed to the current post-truth environment by creating nothing short of an epistemological crisis. This has proven to be detrimental to our democratic process and an affront to the First Amendment rights of the American people. Creating the better world we envision will not depend on rewriting recent history to suit our purposes or flatter our illusions, but rather will depend on creating an ever more democratic, diverse, and critical free press.

    We have three years and two months with Trump at the helm, barring impeachment or another catastrophe befalling this country. Without progress on building critical media literacy and if there’s a hell below, like Curtis Mayfield said, “We all going to go.”

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  • More Merchants Get Evictions from Ports O’ Call

    • 10/26/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    During a private meeting on Oct. 20, port staff told Ports O’ Call merchants and restaurateurs that Ports O’ Call Waterfront Dining, Crusty Crab and Acapulco restaurants will be evicted February 2018.

    When asked for comment, Ports O’ Call owner Jayme Wilson released a statement saying: “Spirit Cruises and the Ports O’ Call Restaurant have not received any eviction notices. We have been, since 2012 and continue to be, in negotiations with the developers and the port.”

    Community activist Jesse Marquez, who has taken on the cause of the smaller Ports O’ Call merchants who were given eviction notices earlier this month, warns of blowback with this latest eviction.

    “It is really disheartening to see the dream for the San Pedro waterfront redevelopment fall into disarray due to Port of Los Angeles back-room deals with unqualified developers. If the project had followed standard business practices of first releasing a request for proposals and been an open, legitimate and transparent process in selecting a qualified developer, the project would not be in the mess it is now.

    “The port is currently evicting all the Ports O’ Call Village shops and now is evicting most of the major restaurants. If the project gets built in three years the port and developer have made enemies of everyone and the project could end up with no tenants.”

    The port is busy preparing Ports O’ Call Village to be delivered to the LA Waterfront Alliance as per the lease agreement, including:

    • A pedestrian promenade along the main channel
    • Realignment of the public right of way and construction of the new 7th Street/Harbor Blvd. and Sampson Way intersection
    • Town square improvements
    • Demolition of Ports O’ Call made suitable for construction
    • And, perhaps most importantly, the property be delivered free and clear of any leases or occupancy rights.

    It’s unclear if the developer has put together the financing or found another anchor tenant to move quickly forward with the redevelopment.

    Though the LA Waterfront Alliance was quick to release a statement explaining that the port’s moves were in accordance with the signed lease agreement, it was slow in responding to Random Lengths News request for a statement regarding whether any additional anchor tenants have been found to complement the San Pedro Fish Market.

    However,  at a meeting to discuss relocating tenants and providing job training for displaced employees, Marquez who was at the meeting reported that Ports O’Call tenants had asked Eric and Alan Johnson of Jerico Development (one-half of the LA Waterfront Alliance) four questions:

    • Whether any new major anchor tenants have been identified.
    • Whether any major new tenants have been identified
    • If the final project drawings can be viewed
    • And whether any building permits have been filed.

    The response to all four questions was no.

    The pending demolition of Ports O’ Call Village, with the exception of the San Pedro Fish Market, is reminiscent of when Beacon Street was leveled with the promise that it would be replaced with new commercial and residential developments. The developments envisioned then, never materialized and in at least one case took more than  30 years to be replaced.

    In the meantime, the small merchants who were first evicted from Ports O’ Call Village are pushing ahead with their $24 million lawsuit.

    The suit, filed Oct. 2, charges the port with multiple violations, ranging from violation of  the California Environmental Quality Act process rules to discrimination against minority-owned businesses.

    The port’s response, at least unofficially, is that regardless of whatever assurances port staff offered in public or private meetings, if it wasn’t in their lease with small businesses or in the lease the port signed with the LA Waterfront Alliance, it doesn’t exist.

    The port’s attorneys filed a summary judgment against the Ports O’ Call merchants on Oct. 24. The hearings are set for Nov. 5, 6, 8 and 14. If the judge hearing the case rules in the port’s favor, the evictions will be effective immediately.

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  • Hahn II and the New County Majority

    • 10/26/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    From Los Angeles City Council to Congress to the Board of Supervisors

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn brought together 600 of her 4th District’s elites for what might be considered a bipartisan power luncheon benefiting the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce at the World Port Cruise Center.

    It has been five or more years since this many of the local movers and shakers gathered in a somewhat awkward kumbaya moment to hear what ostensively was a positive spin on the “State of the County” by the female heir to the legendary Kenny Hahn. His name, she reminded the audience, graces the county hall where she sits behind her father’s same desk.

    “I cut my political teeth in a non-partisan office and I will admit that I was not wholly prepared for the level of partisanship that had taken over Congress when I arrived in 2011 and it only went downhill from there,” she confessed, which is kind of a strange statement coming from someone of notoriously Democratic Party lineage. But it is true, Janice does bring an odd collection of people together. Even to the extent that none other than former Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy Svorinich greeted me with a friendly, “Can you believe how crazy this town has gotten lately?” He said he was amazed at the reaction of “some people” to the homeless problem here.

    There was of course Janice’s brother and former mayor, Judge James Hahn, amongst the 64 elected honorables in attendance and his former chief of staff, Tim McCosker, now chairman of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce. McCosker appeared to be the prime mover in shaping this event.

    But the thin veneer of bipartisanship seemed quite incredulous when Hahn hailed the efforts of Councilman Joe Buscaino for “getting 160 new units of housing for those previously homeless built in Harbor Gateway!” This, considering that the councilman (who has been called a Democrat in name only) has not done much more than chase the homeless around his district for the past five years without addressing the core issues of homelessness as a crisis has unfolded.

    After explaining the $30 billion county budget and her recent actions to vaccinate at-risk populations against Hepatitis A, Hahn noted that, “The biggest obstacle facing us is not a lack of funding, but NIMBYism and a lack of willingness by communities to take on a fair share of the problem.”

    This is something Buscaino has refused to address since the tiny homes episode two years ago. None of the development projects currently slated for the San Pedro area include any affordable or low-income housing component, something that Hahn has insisted upon for the courthouse development site on 6th and Centre streets.

    This puts Hahn at odds with Buscaino in an under-the-radar negotiation about the future of downtown San Pedro over this prime central development site just at a time when the online commercial real estate news outlet, Bisnow, is pushing the Los Angeles development community to support AltaSea and the LA Waterfront Alliance’s Ports O’ Call development. Bisnow hosted an $89 per person breakfast at the Topaz building the day after Hahn’s speech in San Pedro. Hahn says, “This [homeless issue] is a shared problem and it demands a shared solution. There are 58,000 people in LA County who need homes. No one community will bear the burden of housing all 58,000, but no community can house zero either.”

    The challenge is that if we can’t significantly begin to address the homeless crisis with real solutions now we may never be able to overcome the negative designations and self-deprecations broadcast by Bobby Nizich and John Papadakis. They continue calling San Pedro “a slum” or worse. All eyes are now on the AltaSea project as being the focal point of innovation and the spark for waterfront development.

    Also not addressed by Hahn are the evictions of Ports O’Call tenants, which will kill a couple dozen businesses and send hundreds of workers to the unemployment lines. It comes as San Pedro’s wheel of fortune is spinning slowly toward added development that Buscaino has wanted for years. The only new housing project that is actively being built is one by the Holland Group at Palos Verdes and 5th streets, just across from the Port of Los Angeles offices — constructed with non-union labor in this very pro-union town.

    The 2.45-acre property, located at 550 S. Palos Verdes Street, is entitled for a mixed-use development that would feature 404 residential units atop 5,200 square feet of street-fronting commercial space. These are the very same developers who won the request for proposals for the San Pedro Courthouse site. Their first project will not address the homeless people camped out just a few blocks away, but the courthouse may.

    While Hahn now has to address the needs of a district 10 times the size of her former council district, she does have at least that many times the budget to address the big issues of economic development, the LA Metro, pipeline safety issues along with the homeless crisis. The challenge will be how well does this get done?

    A footnote to San Pedro development aspirations is the conviction of the Nelson One project developer Richard Dean Lamphere this past week related to multiple charges in connection to a real estate fraud case in Solano County, including grand theft by embezzlement.

    Lamphere’s proposed 15-story residential high-rise project on one of the narrowest streets in town was heralded at a past Chamber luncheon by none other than Buscaino in a surprise announcement. It now looks doubtful that this project will get built.

    In the end, Hahn’s state of the county speech put a positive spin on the future of the county that is now dominated by four female Supervisors and four Democrats — not very much bipartisanship needed when you only have to convince two other people to get what you want done in your district.

    When asked about POC merchant evictions, Buscaino turned away saying, “Email me your questions.”

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  • Heartbeat City

    • 10/26/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Oct. 28
    Heartbeat City
    Named for one of the Cars biggest selling albums, Heartbeat City faithfully re-creates the look and sound of The Cars. They dress in the period-correct 80s style of The Cars. Seeing Heartbeat City is as close as you can come to seeing a Cars concert.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 28
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/heartbeat-city
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 29
    Lou Mannick
    Enjoy jazz ballads with musical saw and piano, jazz, blues jumps with vocals, harmonica, piano and percussion.
    Time: 4 p.m. Oct. 29
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/lou-mannick-saw-soul
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 30
    San Pedro Jam Sessions
    Jam with San Pedro’s best at Mondays’ San Pedro Jam Sessions. Every Monday night instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome to sit-in and play standards with the Hugh von Kleist Quartet. All levels of experience are welcome.
    Time: 9:30 p.m. Oct. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (424) 570-0514; www.facebook.com/crimsinsp
    Venue: Crimsin, 345 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 31
    Halloween Dance of the Dead Party
    Dress up in your creepiest costume and come on out and dance the night away to a full 80s, all vinyl set list with DJs Polywog, Judith Christ and Verdilak.
    Time: 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.4thstreetvine.com
    Venue: 4th Street Vine, 2142 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Nov. 1
    For Peach Band
    Enjoy SoCal Reggae.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1
    Cost: $10 to $35
    Details: www.solvenue.com
    Venue: SOL Venue, 313 E. Carson St., Carson

    Nov. 3
    Hausmann Quartet
    Now in its 11th season, the Hausmann Quartet has established itself an integral part of the cultural life of Southern California.
    Time: 12 p.m. Nov. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/FirstFridays.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church and School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    Nov. 4
    Bruce Baker

    A fine jazz pianist who is also very talented composer, arranger and orchestrator, Bruce Baker has been making a stir in recent times. Bruce Baker will be focusing on jazz trio piano originals.  Special guest performers will be Jun Iida on trumpet and Angela Vicente on vocals.
    Time: 8 p.m. Nov. 4
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/bb-the-altered-presence-jazz-band
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 4
    Exene & John (& Mike Watt)
    The original icons of Los Angeles punk, John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X, continue their 40th anniversary celebration by playing an acoustic set atop a bill that includes pride of San Pedro, Mike Watt. The concert benefits the Palos Verdes Art Center.
    Time: 6 p.m. Nov. 4
    Cost: $15 to $75
    Details: 310-833-9330, brouwerijwest.com.
    Venue: Brouwerij West  110 E. 22nd St., Warehouse 9, San Pedro

    Nov. 4
    La Santa Cecilia

    Grammy-winning La Santa Cecilia will headline Día de los Muertos in Long Beach.
    La Santa Cecilia combines traditional Mexican music with a modern twist.
    Time: 5 to 11 p.m.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.facebook.com/LenaGonzalezLB
    Venue: Downtown Long Beach, Pine Avenue, between 4th and 6th streets, Long Beach

    THEATER

    Nov. 4
    Arsenic and Old Lace

    If you are a lonely, elderly gentleman, steer clear of the old Victorian rooming house that Abby and Martha Brewster run. It may be your last room on Earth! When these two sweet old sisters feel the need to release a worthy roomer of his lonely suffering, just a sip of their homemade Elderberry wine will do the trick.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays Nov. 4 through Dec. 2
    Cost: $10 to $27
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org/show/arsenic-and-old-lace
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Nov. 10
    The Night Before the Night Before Christmas
    Lou has wrestled with a big ball of tangled Christmas lights for the last time. Christmas is cancelled. Escaping New Jersey, the freezing cold, his nutty family and most of all the holidays, is exactly what Lou plans to do. Will a couple of unlikely characters help restore Lou and Carol’s Christmas Spirit in the St. Nick of time?
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 10 through Dec. 16
    Cost: $27
    Details: www.littlefishtheatre.org/wp/the-night-before-the-night-before-christmas
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro

    Ongoing

    In the Heights

    In the Heights
    Before there was Hamilton, there was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cutting edge musical masterpiece In the Heights. The story unfolds across three days in the vibrant New York community of Washington Heights – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 27, 28, Nov. 3 and 4, 1 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, and 6 p.m. Oct. 29.
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 856-1999; www.musical.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton, Long Beach

    Home
    The action begins on the small farm in North Carolina that Cephus Miles, an orphan, has inherited from his family. Not believing in the Vietnam War, Cephus is imprisoned as a draft evader for refusing to serve. By the time he is released, Cephus has lost his land to the tax collector so he heads north to build a new life.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thrusdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 5
    Cost: $47 to $49
    Details: http://ictlongbeach.org/
    Venue: International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    Cabaret
    From the enigmatic Emcee, to the wounded Sally Bowles, to a mature couple dealing with the difficulties of the anti-semitism that flourishes around them, these familiar characters will reignite the sense of despair and danger so commonly found in fascist regimes.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 18
    Cost: $20 to $24
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    ARTS

    Nov. 3
    Exene Cervenka in Collage
    The acclaimed poet, author, punk vocalist and erstwhile advice columnist will attend the Palos Verdes Art Center’s Nov. 3 reception for an exhibit of her collages that’s entitled, “Exene Cervenka: Lipstick Sunset.” The pieces on display combine handwork and appropriated images, written words and found text that present a perplexing and highly personal world.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 26
    Cost:  Free
    Details: (310) 541-2479; www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road. Rancho Palos Verdes

    Nov. 4
    Celebrate Art Grand Re-Opening
    The San Pedro Art Association invites the public to celebrate its grand re-opening at its newly expand location. The San Pedro Art Association is moving to the aisle where the children’s art show was shown this year. There will be refreshments, music, and beautiful art and craft items.
    Time: 11 a.m., 6 p.m. Nov. 4
    Costs: Free
    Details: (310) 400-9659
    Venue: San Pedro Art Association , 112 E. 22nd St, # 10, San Pedro

    Ongoing

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

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

    blink•point
    TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478 are pleased to present blink•point, recent work by Ellwood T. Risk.
    Risk is a self-taught artist who has been living and working in Los Angeles since 1992. Risk appropriates, alters, re-contextualizes, shoots (here and there) and re-presents the ordinary in unanticipated iterations. An artist’s reception is scheduled 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Nov. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873; (310) 732-2150
    Venue: TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    rebidishu III
    Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to present rebidishu III, Recent Paintings by Katy Crowe.
    Abstract art is often seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be interpreted to stand for virtues ranging from order and purity, to simplicity and spirituality. In the case of Crowe, virtue is obtained by process and intuition.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Nov. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 233-4411
    Venue: Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington

    Rino Gonzalez
    Rino Gonzalez has attracted an impressive following for his works of realism during the almost 40 years since his immigration from the Philippines at age 16. Much of the joy of these painting comes purely from studying technical achievement in the reproduction of such aspects as fine lacework, polished and textured surfaces, worn books and tattered pages, fruit and roses.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Tuesday through Saturday, through Dec. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 547-3158; parkhurstgalleries.com
    Venue: Parkhurst Galleries, 439 W 6th St, San Pedro

    COMMUNITY

    Oct. 27
    Hocus Pocus and Halloween Under the Guns
    First, go trick or treating on the historic battleship Iowa. Next, watch 25-years-younger versions of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and Bette Midler in the 1993 feature, Hocus Pocus. Only nonviolent and inoffensive costumes; no weapons (actual or replicas); concessions are available; no coolers or outside food and beverages allowed; trick-or-treaters should be 13 years old or younger and bring their own “trick or treat” bags
    Time: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Oct. 28
    Scary Stories 15
    Snuggle up around the bonfire for an all-new program of scary stories with sound effects. It’s suitable for all ages. Fresh frights await you. Picnics are welcome; bring your own seating and dress warmly so you don’t get the shivers.
    Time: 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m. Oct 28
    Cost: $5
    Details: (310) 519-0936
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    Oct. 28
    Happy Harbor Halloween
    Kick off the day with a Halloween-themed pet parade and enjoy Happy Harbor Halloween, a free, family-friendly event that features a costume parade, music, reptiles, arts and crafts, face painting, games, and fun for children.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: lawaterfront.org
    Venues: Wilmington Waterfront Park, W. C St., Wilmington

    Oct. 28
    Ports O’ Call Goodbye Tour
    San Pedro Bay Historical Society will lead a trivia-packed walking tour of Ports O’ Call.
    Time: 10 a.m. Oct. 28
    Cost: $15
    Details: (310) 548-3208
    Venue: Utro’s Cafe, Berth 73, San Pedro

    Oct. 29
    Spooky Pedro Walking Tour
    Join San Pedro historian Angela “Romee” Romero and Psychic Medium Mary O’Maley for a stroll through haunted and historic downtown San Pedro. We’ll rattle some chains and see what bumps back.
    Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 808-7800
    Venue: Downtown San Pedro

    Oct. 29
    San Pedro Día De Los Muertos Festival 2017
    The streets will come alive with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment. You can enjoy the sacred altar competition and exhibition, craft vendor booths, on-site face painters, a food court, children’s stage and play area and main stage entertainment.
    Time: 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://sanpedrodayofthedead.com
    Venue: Downtown San Pedro, 398 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 29
    A Dream within a Dream
    Enjoy a community altar making for the day of the Dead.
    Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 435-2787; www.artslb.org
    Venue: Made by Millworks , 240 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Nov. 4
    4th Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser.
    Sip and savor wines of the Mediterranean while enjoying live music with Dave Williams and MBT. Enjoy food, friends, holiday boutique, and a silent auction featuring four Disneyland park hoppers, two nights at a Hilton property, winetasting for 20 at Total Wine & More and Big Bear getaway package.
    Time: 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 4
    Cost: $50
    Details: (562) 570-3548; www.heartofida.org
    Venue: International City Masonic Lodge, 5155 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

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  • RecycLA: The Future of LA Sanitation

    By Enrique Zaldivar, Director and General Manager LA Sanitation

    Beginning July 1, LA Sanitation and the City of Los Angeles launched a new recycling and waste collection program for businesses and apartments throughout the city, called “recycLA.” Aimed at relegating stinky, unhealthy landfills to the past, this collaboration extends to the rest of the city the same recycling opportunities and levels of customer service, dependability and rate protections currently enjoyed by single family homes.

    This new public-private partnership program is not just a transition of haulers. It is a system-wide change that will yield a multitude of benefits —  citywide recycling services, better customer services and recycling education. It will generate jobs, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

    RecycLA separates the city into 11 zones that will be served exclusively by a single service provider. Each of the 11 zones is further broken down into smaller sub-zones to allow for a more gradual transition. Businesses and large apartment buildings in the Harbor area will be contacted by Athens Services in December 2017 to begin the transition phase. With more than 50 years of experience in serving Southern California, Athens Services is one of seven experienced service providers competitively selected under the recycLA program.

    Under recycLA, all commercial and large apartment buildings in Los Angeles will now have the opportunity to recycle. In fact, recycling is now free and part of the base package. Before, recycling was only automatically available to single-family homes in the Los Angeles area. An estimated 1.1 million tons of waste from landfills will be diverted through recycLA, helping reduce the city’s dependence on landfills and ensuring compliance with state environmental mandates.

    Not only will recycLA offer recycling, it will include free bin cleaning and graffiti removal. Customers also have access to 24-hour customer service by calling LA Sanitation’s Customer Care Center at (800) 773-2489. One of the commitments the city government has made is to manage customer care for the entire program to ensure consistent and uniform high-quality customer service.

    This new program is creating new jobs in the Harbor Area, serviced by Athens Services, and throughout Los Angeles. Athens has already created over 150 new jobs to help educate and guide customers through the program transition and beyond, and will continue to add more employment opportunities as it expands its customer base.

    RecycLA will help ease traffic congestion by consolidating truck routes and reducing the number of trucks that are deployed on any one street. Under the previous system, there were as many as 8 to 10 service providers servicing properties on a single street, like Gaffey, where numerous businesses operate. Athens Services is investing in more than 100 new near-zero emission vehicles that will not only serve to ease congestion but will also decrease pollution. The Los Angeles Harbor area will benefit directly, especially as the community continues to expand and welcome new developments like the long-awaited 16-acre Ports O’ Call renovation project.

    RecycLA is transforming the way all commercial and industrial businesses, institutions and large apartment buildings manage waste. The transparent and predictable rates, determined through an exhaustive and thorough contract negotiation process with city officials and recycLA service providers, are the same for all customers across Los Angeles.

    Until now, waste collection in the city for commercial and large apartment buildings was not regulated and operated largely in the shadows. Customers paid different rates and there were no standards or protections in place to protect the environment or service provider employees. Because companies were not required to pay certain fees or minimum wage to their employees, or invest in the safety or cleanliness of their equipment and facilities, they were able to charge artificially low rates. Under these previous rates, service providers would not be able to provide the current services, benefits and customer support expectations now set by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles.

    During the month of December, we encourage customers to take advantage of waste assessments offered by Athens Services to right-size their service plan. Athens Services will contact customers in the Harbor area to schedule on-site meetings to guide them through a “right-sizing” process we call a “waste assessment.” In working with trained recycLA customer service representatives, customers will be able to receive the most efficient, cost-effective waste and recycling package for their business or property. They will be educated on how to recycle more and save money by doing so. Customers can also contact LA Sanitation at (800) 773-2489 or recycla.com to schedule a waste assessment.

    This innovative program is part of the Los Angeles’s commitment to enhance the quality of life in Los Angeles by improving the roads that we travel and the overall cleanliness of Los Angeles, and cutting pollution emissions. Together, we can make waste and landfills history.

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  • LB Man to be Arraigned for Smuggling Lizards

    • 10/20/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    LONG BEACH — Operation Jungle Book, a law enforcement initiative led by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service that targeted wildlife smuggling, has resulted in federal criminal charges against a defendant who allegedly participated in the illegal importation and/or transportation of monitor lizards.

    The black market for protected wildlife increases the demand for wildlife and their parts, which threatens to decimate vulnerable species. The prosecution of these cases will educate the public about the laws protecting wildlife and deter future wildlife crimes.

    Bryan Cho, 41, a Long Beach man is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 7 after being charged earlier this month with smuggling two monitor lizards species that had been shipped from the Philippines.

    Cho allegedly was set to receive five monitor lizards in a package that was intercepted by Fish and Wildlife Service October 2016. After a shipping company delivered the package, Fish and Wildlife Service agents went to Cho’s business, where agents saw the same species of lizards in the store.

    In May, Fish and Wildlife Service learned about another package from the Philippines that was sent to Cho’s business address in Long Beach. While the package was described as containing “Toy Cars,” Cho admitted to ordering two or three monitor lizards from the Philippines.

    If he convicted of the smuggling offense, Cho would face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

    Indictments and criminal complaints contain allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

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  • Jeeyoon Kim

    • 10/20/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Oct. 21
    Jeeyoon Kim

    Classical Crossroads’ “The Interludes” concert series presents Beverly Hills National Auditions winner, pianist Jeeyoon Kim. A native of South Korea, Jeeyoon Kim has performed recitals, chamber music, and concertos in leading venues across the United States.
    Time: 3 p.m. Oct. 21
    Cost: Fre
    Details: (310) 316-5574; http://www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/TheInterludes.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church & School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    Oct. 21
    Dirk Hamilton
    Dirk Hamilton will be singing, playing and talking some on acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 21
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/dirk-hamilton
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 22
    Sabine Trio

    Sabine


    Sabine is widely respected as an award winning classical pianist in the United States and Europe.
    Time: 4 p.m. Oct. 22
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com/event/ sabine-trio-2
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 24
    Native Plant Society
    The Native Plant Society is a sextet led by CSUDH faculty composer Jonathon Grasse specializing in improvisation.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3543
    Venue: California State University Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    THEATER

    Ongoing

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

    Dracula

    Dracula

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

    In the Heights

    Before there was Hamilton, there was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cutting edge musical masterpiece In the Heights. The story is set over the course of three days in the vibrant New York community of Washington Heights – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.
    Time: 8 p.m. Oct. 21, 27, 28, Nov. 3 and 4, 1 p.m. Oct. 22, 29 and Nov. 5, 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, and 6 p.m. Oct. 29.
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 856-1999; www.musical.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach

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

    ARTS

    Oct. 21
    Saturday ArtWalk
    The San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District and the Arts District invite the public to explore the galleries and artist lofts, dine in our unique eateries and stay for a show or listen to music at local bars and restaurants. The free guided ArtWalk tours will be offered.
    Time: 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.sanpedrobid.com
    Venue: Sirens Java and Tea, 357 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Ongoing
    Diasporagasm

    Diasporagasm

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

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

    17th Annual Frida Kahlo Artist Exhibit

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

    blink•point
    TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478 are pleased to present blink•point, recent work by Ellwood T. Risk.
    Risk is a self-taught artist who has been living and working in Los Angeles since 1992. Risk appropriates, alters, re-contextualizes, shoots (here and there) and re-presents the ordinary in unanticipated iterations. An artist’s reception is scheduled 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Nov. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873; (310) 732-2150
    Venue: TransVagrant Projects and Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    rebidishu III
    Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to present rebidishu III, Recent Paintings by Katy Crowe.
    Abstract art is often seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be interpreted to stand for virtues ranging from order and purity, to simplicity and spirituality. In the case of Crowe, virtue is obtained by process and intuition.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Nov. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 233-4411
    Venue: Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington

    COMMUNITY

    Oct. 28
    Scary Stories 15
    Snuggle up around the bonfire for an all-new program of scary stories with sound effects. It’s suitable for all ages. Fresh frights await you. Picnics are welcome; bring your own seating and dress warmly so you don’t get the shivers.
    Time: 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m. Oct 28
    Cost: $5
    Details: (310) 519-0936
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    Oct. 29
    Spooky Pedro Walking Tour
    Join San Pedro historian Angela “Romee” Romero and Psychic Medium Mary O’Maley for a stroll through haunted and historic downtown San Pedro. We’ll rattle some chains and see what bumps back.
    Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 808-7800
    Venue: Downtown San Pedro

    San Pedro Día De Los Muertos Festival 2017

    The streets will come alive with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment. You can enjoy the sacred altar competition and exhibition, craft vendor booths, on-site face painters, a food court, children’s stage and play area and main stage entertainment.
    Time: 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://sanpedrodayofthedead.com
    Venue: Downtown San Pedro, 398 W. 6th St., San Pedro

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