• Tony's Barbecue: Carson's Unexpected Bibingkinitan Discovery

    As a culinary adventurer, I am drawn to the unknown. When I see a restaurant advertising a specialty I’ve never tasted —or  heard of —  that is where I go. This may demand making an abrupt U-turn or cancelling an appointment to avoid the chance I might not be able find my way back to the eatery another time.

    I nearly passed by one of those establishments during a recent drive through Carson with my brother.

    “Carpe Diem!” flashed into my mind when I happened to catch a glimpse of the large sign mounted outside Tony’s Barbecue. Fortunately, I was able to make the hard turn into the parking lot, and although the move subjected my brother to severe G-forces. The sign was pretty tremendous, too.

    It read:  “Bibingkinitan! Freshly baked mini-bibingka of Carson.” Immediately, one of the questions that arose was answered: a bibingkinitan is a small bibingka. But that answer just as quickly raised several more, including this one: what’s a bibingka?

    A quick search of the internet revealed it’s a Filipino rice cake, and yes, the bibingkinitan is its little brother. That sounded interesting, so my brother and bibingkinitanI walked into the neat little fast food restaurant knowing at least one thing we would order. The rest of the decision process was just as easy, since there are pictures of everything on the short menu posted behind the counter. The restaurant’s theme is grilled meat and seafood, in either a Filipino barbecue or teriyaki sauce. We ordered grilled pork, chicken inasal, a chicken skewer on the side and a bibingkinitan.  coconut-bibingka01

    Since I’ve eaten Filipino food before, I had some idea of what to expect. Although there are regional variations across the country, the national palate favors dishes sweetened with coconut milk, sugar, or honey, which are balanced with vinegar or citrus. Savory items are mildly spiced and show more Spanish influence than other Southeast Asian cuisines, with garlic and chili used judiciously. Desserts tend to be extremely sweet. I’m particularly partial to the soups that use tamarind to add a little fruity sourness to the broth, so I was delighted to see that a cup of soup is included with everything.

    The soup was a variant on Chinese egg drop; the chicken-based stock was silky, rich and a little sweet. I adulterated mine with a little of the vinegar that arrived with the barbecue, but it was OK even without that. Only after we ordered did I notice that they offer the vinegar and green papaya salad called atchara, and now that I know, next time I’ll order it as a starter. It would be enjoyable to alternate that slight tartness and crunch with the soup.

    The barbecue pork and the chicken skewer were freshly made and had been brushed with a sweet and sour barbecue sauce while on the grill, which slightly caramelized it. In comparison to American regional styles, it’s closest to Chicago barbecue, but without the tomato in the sauce. Both sauces work well because meat tastes great with caramelized sugar and vinegar.

    We saved the bibingkinitan for last, partly because we weren’t sure whether it was intended to be sweet or savory. It looked like a muffin served in an elaborately folded banana leaf instead of the usual paper holder and smelled delicately of freshly toasted coconut. We found that cooking the bibingkinitan in the banana leaf had infused the delicate, spongy cake with an appealing tropical flavor. The filling of cream cheese did not enhance the cake’s flavor much, nevertheless it added a mild lactic sweetness. My California palate makes me want to try making one of these with goat cheese or something else a little more assertive, however I’d try it again.

    Bibingkas of any size are a traditional Christmas item in Filipino households, though Tony’s serves them all year. If you want to explore another culture’s celebratory cuisine you might get a recipe and try making them. But If teaching yourself to fold banana leaf cups sounds like too much work for you, just make your way over to Tony’s in Carson instead.

    Tony’s Barbecue and Bibingkinitan is at 860 E. Carson St., #105, Carson. It is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Details: (310) 518-7860.

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  • New Year's Eve in Downtown Long Beach

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Jan. 1
    New Year’s Eve 2016 DTLB
    The DLBA will not only once again host the largest party in town. It has shifted gears to one-up itself as it welcomes a plethora of the world’s finest musicians to take part in a three-stage, three-block festival in the heart of downtown on Pine Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Citizen Cope are headlining this year.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 31
    Cost: $40
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/DTLB-NYE
    Venue: Downtown Long Beach

    ARTS

    Dec. 31
    L.A. NoirMark V. Lord, L.A. Noir
    Since 1999, Mark V. Lord has plied his trade as a professional screenwriter in New York and Los Angeles, while maintaining a mostly private practice as a photographer.
    Lord’s images of Los Angeles are filled with the deep shadows and low-key lighting characteristic of these films, but with a decidedly contemporary twist.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Jan. 15, 2017
    Chiaroscuro
    Cornelius Projects is pleased to present new paintings by San Pedro artist Candice Gawne. The exhibition will also include an installation of several of Gawne’s signature plasma glass sculptures in the Cornelius Projects’ screening room.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Jan. 15, 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 266-9216; corneliusprojects.com
    Venue: Cornelius Projects, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    COMMUNITY

    Jan. 8
    CHILLChill
    The Queen Mary’s 5th Annual CHILL returns to the majestic ship. CHILL is Southern California’s coolest holiday adventure complete with ice-skating, ice tubing, swingin’ sleigh rides, visits with Santa, gingerbread decorating and the all-new interactive attraction, Alice in Winterland.
    Time: 7 p.m., through Jan. 8
    Cost: $30 to $40
    Details: www.queenmary.com/events/chill
    Venue: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

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  • No Force of Earth:

    A Centenary Becomes a Harbinger for Today

    By Stephanie Serna, RLn Contributor

    It is said that art (as well as national leaders) are an embodiment of the “zeitgeist” of — the social environment of a culture. If that is true, then perhaps it’s time for artists and musicians to offer a mirror that reflects America’s social story. Throughout history, folk and blues kings and queens have sailed us through our struggles with courage, , but now the boat is seemingly adrift in rough seas.

    Damien Dempsey is an artist whose voice comes echoing back across those high seas. He’s from Ireland. He offers historical reflection and   inspiration.  His message is a balance of love and a mighty wake-up call.

    This year marked the quintessential Irish story being retold with undying reverence — the story of Ireland’s freedom — The Easter Rising of 1916.  And Dempsey, like a true Irish bard, hasn’t missed a beat in telling it. His latest album No Force On Earth was released April 12 — a dozen days before the 100-year anniversary day — April 24, 2016. The tour for the album began earlier this fall in the United Kingdom and will continue through Ireland til the end of the year. But the album’s testament will resound into the future. Those who hear it will be prompted to reflect on the harrowing commitment of freedom.

    The album, is a less produced “Damo” (as his fans lovingly call him) than I am accustomed to hearing. It is mainly the artist playing his guitar primarily in Irish folk style. That was what his producer and friend of 16 years, John Reynolds instructed him to do: play the songs “like you would at a singsong in a house or in a pub.”  Perhaps that’s what makes the album so raw and naked with passion.

    It reminds me of the days of early American folk, when Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan were singing about hard times in America, when musicians strived for social reform in the telling of their stories in the form of song. It was a time before “reality” was a term related to “TV.”

    I was aware of the significance of the era recounted on Dempsey’s centenary album, but my understanding and appreciation grew deeper after hearing the stories unfold through the music — and especially after visiting Ireland this past summer, where the celebration was in full display. Gratitude, love and respect for all the Irish people endured and survived. It was palpable in the expression of the people, the land and, of course, the music.

    During my interview with Dempsey in Tullamore, Ireland, he described his aspirations in making the album.

    “I wanted to acknowledge the diversity of people who fought for Ireland’s freedom,” he said. “There were wealthy and poor, rural and urban, Irish travelers and English aristocrats all fighting together for equality and freedom.”

    The album includes eight songs. Four are folk standards Dempsey learned from family members and throughout his travels. The songs  illustrate the diversity among the ranks of freedom fighters who struggled for their civil rights, some seeing glory and others —as told in King’s Shilling— sorrow and death with Britain’s promise of money and a United Ireland.

    In the song, The Death of Cuchulain, Dempsey “collaborates” with the canonized Irish Poet, W.B. Yeats by writing music to the poem of the same name, where Yeats compares the people who fought in 1916 to the ancient mythical warriors of old Ireland.

    And then there are the three originals — two of them very personal stories for both Dempsey and Reynolds about their great-grand relatives. Paddy Ward (Reynolds’ great grandfather) was, according to Dempsey, “an Irish Traveler who fought in 1916, the war of independence, the civil war and was then murdered by a landlord near Athlone. The landlord was given a paltry sentence of 6 months — if it had of been the other way around it would have been a hanging offense … he deserved a song.”

    It was during his research for this album that he unearthed the story of his great-grand Aunt Jenny and her valiant heroism during the uprising. In the song, he also strongly points out that there were many other women rebel fighters — more than 200 of them — who were sort of white-washed out of history by the Catholic Church. Aunt Jenny is the first song on the album. It is dedicated to her and those women who were members of the Irish Women’s Workers Union and then joined the Irish Citizen Army. Here are a few poignant lines from various verses throughout that song:

    Brave Jenny … they never told me …
    of the jails … and combat you’d seen
    Sean Connely … died in your young … strong arms … in city hall
    Aunt Jenny … your gallant bravery …
    gives me strength … in this crazy world
    Thank you … Oh, thank you … for your example … against the tyrants …
    of this world

    The last song on the album Wave Hill Walk Off is inserted in Damo’s all-inclusive empathetic style. It doesn’t tie in directly to the historical 1916 rising, but is related in heart and spirit.

    “This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the walk off and the start of the aboriginal land rights movement in Australia,” Dempsey said. “I thought I’d add this one for some solidarity with other struggles around the world and because we share a common year of remembrance.”

    No Force on Earth, as with many of Dempsey’s other song compilations are an album marker of a particular story — a particular people, place and time — yet they have cross temporal and cultural appeal. They are stories to which we can all relate. They are songs that express what all humans wish to possess — individual freedom, dignity and the need for equality and a sovereign voice.  Even today, when the whispers of tyranny still threaten the “free” world with the insatiable greed of the privileged few, people are feeling the need to stand watch, even protest.

    Perhaps it is time for a new bard to come forward and sing the song of the world, for a champion to help guide this flailing human ship across the rough seas to a shore where there are no borders.

    I nominate Damien Dempsey.

    To read the full Damien Dempsey and John Reynolds interview visit  tonalityblogg.net/music

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  • Pedro Stands with Standing Rock

    Friends and family joined Chicana elder, Xochitlmilko (second from the left) in singing Lakota songs at Badfish Skateshop in San Pedro. The group raised money for protestors at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.  Photo by Jessie Drezner

    By Christian L. Guzman, Community Reporter

    On Dec. 10, the scent of burning sage filled the air while the Lakota Bear Song reverberated through the Badfish Skate Shop in San Pedro.

    Fifty people watched — contemplation and reverence in their eyes — as the singers in a circle beat a buffalo skin drum in synchrony. The song was led by vocalist Xochitlmilko, whose ancestors were Apache, Mayan and Mexica.

    Xochitlmilko, affectionately referred to as “Auntie Xochitl,” and everyone else at Badfish were raising funds for 10,000 activists at the Standing Rock Lakota Reservation.

    While trying to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline underneath the nearby Missouri River, activists had endured below-freezing temperatures, rubber bullets, and at least one concussion grenade from law enforcement guarding pipeline workers. If completed, the subsurface pipeline would transport Bakken crude oil more than 1,000 miles from North Dakota to Illinois; Bakken crude is more combustible than the standard crude and is produced by hydraulic fracturing, which can pollute groundwater with toxins.

    “Water doesn’t care about the color of your skin or if you are a believer or non-believer,” said Xochitlmilko after she finished the song. “We all need it. And if there is no access to clean water, it doesn’t matter if you sit in the highest office in the White House or if you are the humblest two-legged five-finger … you will be affected.”

    The environmentalists at Standing Rock are demanding an Environmental Impact Statement before the pipeline is permitted to be built under the source of drinking water for local tribes. Xochitlmilko explained that for them to continue their demands, they need warm clothing and money for lawyers. The lawyers are needed both to make legal challenges to the permitting process Energy Transfer Partners went through to construct the pipeline, and for liberating protesters from jail. This is particularly critical since the children of arrested activists are left alone or taken in by tribal members.

    After speaking, Xochitlmilko took on another role in raising funds: she began making and selling fry-bread, which is similar to funnel cake and Indian-style tacos. Both were invented after indigenous Americans were introduced to white flour and sugar. Her fellow singers sold her hand-crafted T-shirts and pillows.

    The fundraiser for the people at Standing Rock was the brainchild of San Pedro native and activist, Sarah Valdez. She became increasingly concerned about immigrant and indigenous rights after hearing President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric during this past presidential primary. Valdez saw an example of those rights being violated when she learned about the Dakota Access Pipeline was being built against the wishes of the Sioux.

    Valdez was glad to see her peers calling for justice via social media, but she wanted to do more.

    “People share things and express support, but they tend not to do anything.” Valdez said. “This was an opportunity to engage with my community on an important issue.”

    Valdez began to plan the fundraiser with friends, many of whom are local artists and musicians. They decided to donate pieces of art for a silent auction and were able to get other artists to do so as well.

    “We all saw Standing Rock as having the potential to be like Wounded Knee [where innocent people were massacred],” Valdez said. “American schools don’t [adequately] teach about the atrocities and genocides committed against Native Americans. We wanted to raise awareness and money to help prevent history from repeating itself.”

    The artists whose pieces were on display and auctioned at Badfish included Ashley Hernando, Jackson Miriam, Ricky Hernandez and Donny Miller. The style of art varied from oil on canvass to ink prints to sketches.

    The skateshop got involved after one of Valdez’s friends noticed that the owner of Badfish Skate Shop, Joshua Garcia, was among the locals showing support for Standing Rock on social media.

    “There have been atrocities committed against Native Americans throughout history, but Standing Rock is happening now,” Garcia said. “I don’t want to just read about this in 20 years. If I can do something, I will. I couldn’t make it out there, but I could offer my space.”

    During the silent auction, San Pedro’s the Floaters, donated their time and performed classic blues, rock and reggae.

    “Sarah was over for dinner one night and asked us if we wanted to come out for Standing Rock,” said Mikey Bargeron. “We’ve been active with her before … I met my wife at a leukemia fundraiser thanks to Sarah. We had to be here.”

    There was also a raffle with items donated from businesses and individuals from around the community; donors included House 1002, JDC Records, RAH: Design, San Pedro Skatepark Association, SoCal Tattoo and photography sessions from Dani Avitia and Depan Desai.

    Before Valdez announced the winners, she took a moment to address the crowd.

    “In our society, we take water for granted,” Valdez said. “With what’s happening at Standing Rock and in places like Flint, Mich., government and industries have shown that they don’t care about the people. We need to demand clean water and support each other.”

    The crowd cheered. Fundraiser attendee, Donald Galaz, agreed.

    “What’s happening over there is wrong,” Galaz said. “But what about stuff locally? What’s happening in town [including the Rancho LPG oil tanks] isn’t right. Shit can kick off here too…. We need more of our youth to get active.”

    The Army Corps of Engineers was contacted for details. A spokesman said an official response was in the process of being approved by the Pentagon. No response was received by press time.

    On Dec. 4, the Army Corps of Engineers decided that Energy Transfer Partners would not be issued an easement to build the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation; a full environmental impact statement will be prepared before the Corps decides to grant or deny an easement. This will allow the Sioux and others to give public comment.

    Half of the activists are returning home, leaving 5,000 activists at the Standing Rock Reservation as water protectors.

    “Despite the announcement of no easement, the battle continues,” Valdez said. “Energy Transfer Partners still wants to build.… We’ve had enough with that kind of corporate fascism and disrespect for treaties and indigenous rights.”

    Still, the  Army Corps of Engineers’ decision has caused many indigenous Americans to be hopeful of getting more respect from the federal government. Indigenous activist, Kandi Mossett shared that hope on Warren Olney’s, To the Point.

    “This is the first time in history that the federal government … is uplifting our sovereignty rights,” Mosset said. “We’re looking at the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 and understanding that we have grounding under the U.S. Constitution to honor and recognize treaties … It is precedent setting.”

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  • Candidates Vie for Buscaino’s Seat

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Voters on March 7, 2017, will decide whether to re-elect Councilman Joe Buscaino. Four candidates filed paperwork to gather signatures to get on the ballot, including Caney Arnold, an activist for the Bernie Sanders campaign; Dr. Cheyenne Bryant, the president of the Wilmington/San Pedro chapter of the NAACP; Noel Gould, an environmental and land use activist; and Random Lengths News Publisher James Preston Allen.

    Arnold and Gould were the only challenging candidates to gather enough valid signatures to get on the ballot. The remaining candidates are mulling over whether to mount write-in campaigns.

    RLn’s editorial staff thought it was important to include a biography and platform for the candidates running to unseat Buscaino.

    noel-gould

    Noel Gould

    Noel Gould is the owner of Aquarian Studios, a full service facility for both location and studio recording. Gould has nearly 34 years of experience as a recording engineer, but his passion lies in his community and environmental activism.

    In an email correspondence with Random Lengths, Gould said he aims to form a council office that supports neighborhoods while seeking their input on pressing issues.

    “The way the L.A. City Council operates now cuts residents out of the decision making process,” he wrote. “[The City Council ignores] them or provides improper or inadequate noticing for public input on projects and/or merely paying lip service when promising to deal with issues vital…to the community.”

    He argues that issues such as homelessness, insufficient affordable housing and crumbling infrastructure  result from a city hall culture that prioritizes expediency and short-term goals over policy.

    Gould has a particular interest in the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a ballot initiative that is on the March 2017 ballot.

    Among other rule changes, this initiative seeks, would place a two-year moratorium on developments of certain density size in Los Angeles.

    Gould  elaborated further and said the purpose of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative is to eliminate the practice of “spot zoning,” a practice initiative proponents describe as the bending of rules to approve mega-projects and other inappropriate developments that destroy neighborhood character. According to Preserve LA’s website, a Neighborhood Integrity Initiative proponent, the moratorium wouldn’t stop developments that adhere to zoning designations, nor does it affect downzoning for developments such as parks.

    Gould noted that development interests have launched a counter disinformation campaign that claims that the recently passed City Measure HHH, which addresses homelessness and was passed duringthis past election cycle, would be blocked.

    “The truth is the [Neighborhood Integrity Initiative] would place a two year moratorium on virtually all developments of certain density size in Los Angeles, except for affordable housing projects, thus guaranteeing that $1.2 billion will go exactly where the voters want and not become a giveback for developers to build more unnecessary luxury housing.”

    It was originally proposed for inclusion on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot, but proponents sought to put it before voters on March 7, 2017, instead.

    The initiative, if passed, would amend city laws related to the general plan, which includes: prohibiting geographic amendments to the general plan; requiring periodic, comprehensive review of the general plan; requiring the city to make findings of general plan consistency for planning, zoning and building laws and decisions; and voiding existing zoning laws and regulations inconsistent with the general plan among other rules.

    Gould describes himself as working in the trenches in holding the city and developers accountable, including spending the past three years fighting for issues vital to coastal protection.

    Gould said that this moment in time is critical since the city is finally starting the process of writing a Local Coastal Program, a requirement of the 1976 California Coastal Act.

    He said that once the Local Coastal Program is approved, citizens will no longer be able to appeal projects to the California Coastal Commission. Gould argues that it’s essential that the Local Coastal Program is written in a way that does not weaken any of the current coastal zone protections.

    “We had some great successes when the city was issuing illegal Coastal Exemptions in the Coastal Zone, and the Coastal Commission reversed 12 of those exemptions and also wrote a very stern letter admonishing the city to correctly handle the permitting process.”

    Arguably, this activism, laid some of the groundwork for the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.

    caney-arnold

    Caney Arnold

    Caney Arnold is a retired logistics and acquisition manager at the Defense Department. He has a seat on the Harbor City Neighborhood Council.

    His party affiliation has switch from Green to Democrat to Green within the past 20 years. In the 1990s, he supported Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign. In this past election cycle he supported Bernie Sanders.

    His is a multi-pronged platform based on environmental and social justice, grassroots democracy and government transparency.

    His primary goals include greater inclusion of the neighborhood councils in the city’s legislative matters by keeping them better informed and seeking counsel from the neighborhood councils.

    “I want to increase communication with neighborhood councils and constituents to ensure citizens have more opportunity to have input into the decision-making process,” wrote Arnold on his Crowdpac webpage.

    “I want to ensure that all neighborhood councils in our district are given the opportunity to provide input on important community issues. I will ensure that my office actively seeks input from each neighborhood council before I make my vote on the city council. This is the reverse of how things are usually done now.”

    Arnold noted that it is up to the neighborhood council’s to research actions being worked by the city.

    “As volunteers, neighborhood council board members and constituents usually don’t have the time to do this research. My office will provide information packets to each neighborhood councils and formally request feedback.”

    cheyenne-bryant

    Cheyenne Bryant

    Dr. Cheyenne Bryant is the president of the San Pedro/Wilmington chapter of the NAACP, a motivational speaker and an author.

    Bryant entered the race to address port corruption and the stagnation of the waterfront development, issues she believes to be the root causes of homelessness and economic stagnation in the Los Angeles Harbor.

    Bryant has been particularly critical of the Port of Los Angeles contracting practices as “pay-to-play.”

    She specifically called out the port’s selection of Clear Air Engineering, a company owned by former Harbor Commissioner Nicholas Tonsich. It will be a participating vendor of the Omin-Green Terminal project that was unveiled this past summer.

    In one letter to Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, she wrote:

    The city Ethics Commission and the City Attorney ruled twice that Tonsich is in violation with his activity emission control activities at China Shipping and possibly TraPac. You received documentation regarding this from both Jesse Marquez and Janet Gunter.

    Yet, this commission, the mayor, and the councilman have done nothing except take money from Mr. Tonsich, his family and his employees.

    Bryant recalled a Harbor Commission meeting in December 2015. The Port of Los Angeles’ executive director, Gene Seroka, said the port has no contractual relationship with Tonsich’s company. She blasted the assertion as untrue. She said it was meant to mislead the commission and the public, noting that at the time Tonsich’s company got the contract, Tonsich had a long-term port lease on a building in the Wilmington Marina.

    The conflicts between James Preston Allen and Councilman Joe Buscaino are well known.

    In the past year, Allen has accused Buscaino of eschewing traditional media outlets in favor of social media, where he could avoid answering critical questions regarding his plans and initiatives.

    “Media should be the bridge not the wall between the governed and those who govern— and when the government assumes the role of being the media, like [Branimir] Kvartuc (the councilman’s communications director), and others have done, they eliminate dissenting voices,” said Allen in his candidate position statement. “Hence, like Trump, Buscaino is living in his own self-generated delusion.”

    For Allen, this particular habit of the council office has led to a lack of transparency in the Buscaino administration’s dealings, such as how he was able get so far along pushing the Nelson One development. The developer was on trial regarding a land deal that went bad.

    Allen’s platform include: transparency and accountability; economic sustainability; green tech goal and zero emissions; affordable housing and job creation to address the homeless crisis; building a distinctive waterfront that retains San Pedro’s cultural history, character and successful businesses; and transportation that connects  Los Angeles to its Harbor.

     

     

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  • Getting Another October Surprise

    In an era of fake news, disinformation and propaganda, the pursuit of the truth is invaluable, if not essential

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    This past election cycle brings me back to November of 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected president. Random Lengths News was newly established.

    The October surprise involving the hacked emails of James Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, are far too reminiscent of the 1979 U.S. Embassy hostage crisis in which 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days by Iranian students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line.

    Abolhassan Banisadr, the former president of Iran, has stated “that the Reagan campaign struck a deal with Tehran to delay the release of the hostages in 1980.” He asserted that “by the month before the American presidential election in November 1980, many in Iran’s ruling circles were openly discussing the fact that a deal had been made between the Reagan campaign team and some Iranian religious leaders in which the hostages’ release would be delayed until after the election so as to prevent President Jimmy Carter’s re-election.”

    This truth wouldn’t become publicized until the New York Times blew the lid off the Iran Contra scandal and the release of Banisadr’s memoir of the incident, My Turn to Speak: Iran, the Revolution and Secret Deals with the U.S. 10 years later.

    Donald Trump, like Reagan before him denied any pre-election negotiations with foreign governments to influence these elections. But much can be read into the defense of a man who protests too much.

    At this point, we can only surmise that the Trump campaign was working in concert with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discredit Hillary Clinton during the final weeks of the 2016 general election. But this supposition was solidified by the CIA and 17 of national security agencies in a late arriving report.

    Who knew there were so many “intelligence” agencies protecting us? What we do know is that all of this “intelligence” hasn’t made our republic any safer or smarter in the face of cyber attacks and political treachery.

    Yet, this is precisely the same kind of political treason that has been used time and again to defeat Democratic candidates­. It must have been codified in the Republican playbook.

    Nixon used this same play to derail Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign in 1968 by delaying the Paris peace talks on ending the Vietnam War — a war that ultimately didn’t end until seven years later in ignominious defeat.  Nixon campaigned on his “secret plan to end the war.” It turned out the secret was simply using Henry Kissinger to delay any deal prior to the 1968 election. The rest — as they say— is history.” Now, we are condemned to repeat it.

    Clearly, all three of these historic October Surprises were successful attempts at disrupting the electoral processes of our nation, influencing the vote and misinforming the public before the truth could be widely known or published. This will be the template by which a Trump administration rules. The Office of Public Diplomacy is one of those pages out of the Republican handbook that the Reagan administration used for the express purpose of producing propaganda.

    According to staff report on Otto Reich (a senior official in the administrations of Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush), released by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Sept. 7, 1988, investigators concluded that:

    … senior CIA officials with backgrounds in covert operations, as well as military intelligence and psychological operations specialists from the Department of Defense, were deeply involved in establishing and participating in a domestic political and propaganda operation through an obscure bureau in the Department of State, which reported directly to the National Security Council rather than through the normal State Department channels….Through irregular sole-source, no-bid contracts…established and maintained a private network of individuals and organizations whose activities were coordinated with, and sometimes directed by, Col. Oliver North (of Iran-Contra fame), as well as officials of the NSC. These private individuals and organizations raised and spent funds for the purpose of influencing Congressional votes and U.S. domestic news media. This network raised and funneled money to off-shore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands or the secret Lake Resources bank account in Switzerland for disbursement at the direction of Oliver North. Almost all of these activities were hidden from public view and many of the key individuals involved were never questioned or interviewed by the Iran/Contra Committees.”

    This, my friends, is what we are going to see recycled as foreign and domestic policy by the Trump administration. So readers, beware!

    In this era of fake news and disguised propaganda, it will be difficult at best and impossible at worst to determine who’s telling the truth.

    My greatest fear at this point is that there will be a Trumped up 9/11-style attack, initiated by our Tweeter-in-chief, who would then rally white-supremacists patriots to the cause of our next war of aggression. He might impose martial law for the sake of national security and defense of the homeland, and it will all be packaged in a way to make you feel that Trump is making America great again.

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  • Anne Walsh: CALENDAR Dec. 22, 2016

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Dec. 23
    Anne WalshAnne Walsh
    Anne Walsh and her L.A. band will energize Long Beach’s most-historic supper club with an eclectic soundscape of groove-oriented bossa nova, samba and standards. Her live shows are spontaneous and fun with selections rooted in American and Brazilian classics as well as original works. The Sky Room is the kind of place Desi Arnaz played on I Love Lucy.
    Time: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 23
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.theskyroom.com/entertainment.html
    Venue: The Sky Room, 40 S. Locust Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 23
    Fredy Fresco
    Dance the night away at Long Beach’s hottest nightclub: Sevilla’s.
    Time: 10 p.m. Dec. 23
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 23
    The Cineramas
    Rock the night away with The Cineramas, Damon’s Dagger’s rock ’n’ roll revue and The Class Zero.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 23
    Cost: $5
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 24
    #LifeonSaturdays
    Enjoy the latest in hip-hop, electronic dance music and Spanish hits at Sevilla’s Nightclub in Long Beach.
    Time: 10 p.m. Dec. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 24
    Get Low
    Get Low with a hip-hop Christmas.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 24
    Sylvia & The Savoy 6
    Sylvia & The Savoy 6 will entertain you as you enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve dinner.
    Time: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.theskyroom.com/entertainment.html
    Venue: The Sky Room, 40 S. Locust Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 24
    La Soleindex_img05
    La Sole will entertain you as you enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve dinner.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 436-3388
    Venue: Alegria’s Cocina Latina, 115 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 24
    Kub Kamp Bear Night
    A night for the Bears in Long Beach, with drink specials and go-go bears.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec. 24
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 436-7900
    Venue: Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 25
    Banda Sunday
    This Christmas put on your boots and ranchero hat, and head over to Sevilla’s Nightclub in Long Beach. Free before 10:30 p.m.
    Time: 10 p.m. Dec. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 25
    Rei Williams
    Rei Williams has traveled all over the world performing as a pianist with groups. He is the founder of Master TouchProductions, a company that has helped many musicians and artists write, record, promote and perform their music.
    Time: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.theskyroom.com/entertainment.html
    Venue: The Sky Room, 40 S. Locust Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 25
    Façade Drag Show
    Enjoy awesome performers and the oldest living show girl.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 436-7900
    Venue: Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 26
    Brain Party Trivia
    Enjoy a Star Wars-themed night.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 26
    Cost: $5
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 27
    Alex’s Bar Karaoke
    Get your song on.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 27
    T-Girl Tuesdaystgirl-tuesdays-2015
    It’s a night for the t-girls, hosted by Jamie Jameson, starting off with Mary-Oke.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 436-7900
    Venue: Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 28
    Bachata Wednesdays
    Learn to dance bachata at Sevilla’s Nightclub in Long Beach and shine on the dance floor. No partner needed all levels welcome
    Time: 8:30 p.m. Dec. 28
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 29
    Dreamville
    If you can dream it you can dance it at Sevilla’s Nightclub in Long Beach with DJ Geo, DJ Krazy and DJ Brokk.
    Time: 10 p.m. Dec. 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 29
    Alice Bag

    Jam all night with Alice Bag, Bombón, Rats in the Louvre and DJ Polyester of the Slop Stomp.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 29
    Cost: $8 to $10
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 29
    Leche
    Club Papi presents Leche with hot papí go-go boys. Free before 10 p.m.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec. 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 436-7900
    Venue: Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 30
    #SevillaFridays
    Shut up and dance at Long Beach’s most happening dance club, Sevilla’s Nightclub.
    Time: 10 p.m. Dec. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 30
    Tino Productions
    Tino Productions was recently heralded as “best sounding and most versatile band on the
    West Coast.”  Be it big band, swing, jazz, disco, funk, 80s, rock ’n’ roll, or salsa and merengue, Tino Productions is sure to get you dancing.
    Time: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.theskyroom.com/entertainment.html
    Venue: The Sky Room, 40 S. Locust Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 31
    New Year’s Eve
    Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Long Beach’s most happening dance club, Sevilla’s Nightclub.
    Time: 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31
    Cost: $45
    Details: http://longbeach.sevillanightclub.com
    Venue: Sevilla’s Nightclub, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Dec. 31
    Dengue Fever
    Before, it was partly Cambodian and partly indie rock. Now it’s 100 percent both.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec.31
    Cost: $22 to $25
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Jan. 1
    New Year’s Eve 2016 in DTLB
    The Downtown Long Beach Business Association will not only once again host the largest party in town, it has shifted gears to one-up itself as it welcomes a plethora of the world’s finest musicians to take part in a three-stage, three-block festival in the heart of downtown on Pine Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Citizen Cope are headlining this year with each bringing guests to perform throughout the evening. Those guests include a special DJ set from Cut Copy, electro-dance master Big Data, reggae songstress HIRIE, house DJ Plastic Plates, and Latin soul group Boogaloo Assassins. Joining them are The Delta Bombers, DJ Paul V., DJ Taharba, and Sizwe the DJ.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 31
    Cost: $40
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/DTLB-NYE
    Venue: Downtown Long Beach

    Jan. 5
    MDC
    Formed in 1979 as The Stains and playing their first gig under this name in April 1980, MDC were one of three pioneering hardcore punk bands in Austin, Texas, in the early ’80s, alongside The Dicks and Big Boys. The Grim and Walk Proud also will be playing.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec.31
    Cost: $12 to $15
    Details: www.alexsbar.com
    Venue: Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    THEATER

    Dec. 29
    Black & White
    Experience a mind-reading show about the choice we make. It’s an evening that will have you laughing and asking questions about your own choices.
    Time: 7 p.m. Dec. 29
    Cost:  $15
    Details: blackandwhiteshow.eventbrite.com
    Venue: The Space on Pacific, 624 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    Jan. 6
    Actually Oranges
    Actually Oranges (When life hands you lemons) by Tahirih Moeller is a comedy centering on the friendship of Caren, Jasmine and Owen. However, relationships within the trio are challenged when Owen transforms into orange juice as a reaction to expressing his unrequited love for Jasmine.
    Time: 8 p.m. Jan 6 and 7, and 2 p.m. Jan. 8
    Cost: $15 to $20
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org/show/actually-oranges
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Jan. 13
    Pick of the Vine
    An exciting night of entertainment awaits you in these 7-15 minute short plays hand-picked by LFT from authors across the country.
    Time: Jan. 13 through Feb. 11
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Details: www.littlefishtheatre.org/wp/pick-of-the-vine-season-15
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro

    Jan. 14
    Capitol StepsCapitol Steps
    The election may be over, but the laughter continues. The Capitol Steps return with brand new and up-to-the-minute political satire song parodies that take aim at the outrageous goings on—from the campaign trail, congress and other political hot spots.
    Time: 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 14
    Cost: $50
    Details: www.carpenterarts.org/2016-2017/capitol-steps.html
    Venue: Carpenter Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach

    FILM

    Dec. 23
    It’s A Wonderful Life 70th Anniversary
    Be part of a holiday classic. It’s the 70th Anniversary of Frank Capra’s timeless It’s A Wonderful Life.
    Time: 7 p.m. Dec. 23
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://spiffest-wonderful-life.bpt.me
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 3
    The Polar Express
    Long Beach Councilman Roberto Uranga invites the community to a free movie night, showing The Polar Express.
    Time: 5 p.m. Jan. 3
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Admiral Kidd Park, 2125 Santa Fe Ave., Long Beach

    DANCE

    Jan. 6
    Achieving BalanceAchieving Balance
    West High School Dance Department presents Achieving Balance, a dance concert in the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance. Beginning, intermediate, advanced dance and Choreo Club students come together for an exciting evening of dance.
    Time: 7 p.m. Jan. 6 and 7
    Cost:  $10
    Details: (310) 781-7171
    Venue: James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance

    ARTS

    Dec. 31
    L.A. NoirMark V. Lord, L.A. Noir
    Since 1999, Mark V. Lord has plied his trade as a professional screenwriter in New York and Los Angeles, while maintaining a mostly private practice as a photographer.
    Lord’s images of Los Angeles are filled with the deep shadows and low-key lighting characteristic of these films, but with a decidedly contemporary twist.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Jan. 1
    Suspended Disbelief
    Suspended Disbelief is an exhibition where 12 artists create installations suspended from the ceiling grid at the MADE by Millworks store and gallery. Regionally acclaimed artists have created site-specific suspended installations along with emerging new talent creating their first installation works.
    Time: through Jan. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: madebymillworks.com
    Venue: MADE By Millworks, 204 Pine Ave., Long Beach

    Jan. 5
    San Pedro on the Edge
    Artists at The Loft invite you to celebrate their 20 birthday. San Pedro on the Edge is a special group show featuring the diverse talent of the San Pedro arts community.
    Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 5, 2017
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 831-5151
    Venue: The Loft Art Studios and Gallery, 401 S. Mesa St., San Pedro

    Jan. 9
    New Creations
    New Creations exhibition featuring painters Don Crocker, bronze sculptor Errol Gordon and portrait artist Susan Whiting opens at the Promenade Gallery. There will be an opening reception for the artists from 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 28, 2017.
    Time:  3 p.m. Jan. 14, continues through Feb. 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue:  The Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Road, #159, Rolling Hills Estates

    Jan. 14
    Dear President
    Dear President is an art exhibition corresponding with the presidential inauguration in January 2017.  The artwork being shown touches on issues that face our country.  The art will be displayed along with the artists’ letters to the president as a statement. All the artwork and letters will be combined into a catalog that will be mailed to the chief in Washington, D.C., along with other representatives and the press.  The catalog will also be available to order.
    Time: 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 429-0973
    Venue: South Bay Contemporary at the Loft, 401 S. Mesa St., 3rd Floor, San Pedro

    Jan. 15, 2017
    Chiaroscuro
    Cornelius Projects is pleased to present new paintings by San Pedro artist Candice Gawne. The exhibition will also include an installation of several of Gawne’s signature plasma glass sculptures in the Cornelius Projects’ screening room.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Jan. 15, 2017
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 266-9216; corneliusprojects.com
    Venue: Cornelius Projects, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    April 18
    Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor
    The Historical Society of Long Beach marks the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor with a special exhibition, Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor. Long Beach was a strategic stronghold as a major staging area for the Pacific conflict.
    Time: 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, through April 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 424-2220
    Venue: Historical Society of Long Beach, 4260 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Dec. 24
    Maritime History Sails into Long Beach
    Few are familiar with the term “tall ship,” but the Washington-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is on a mission to change that.
    The Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will dock at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach to offer dockside vessel tours as well as education programs under sail.
    Time: 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 24, 2016 through Jan. 3, 2017
    Cost: $5
    Details: (562) 570-8636
    Venue: Rainbow Harbor, 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach

    Dec. 25
    Holiday at The Centerholiday at the center
    Join The Center staff, community and volunteers for a Winter and Christmas day event. Enjoy a meal, play board games and share in fun times.
    Time: 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 434-4455
    Venue: The Center Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Dec. 27
    QTPOC Open Space
    The intention of this monthly group is to provide a space to build Queer and Trans People of Color community in Long Beach, by engaging in discussion and celebrating queer art and literature, having skill shares, offering healing and self-care practices.
    Time:  7 to 9 p.m.  Dec. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 434-4455
    Venue: The Center Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Dec. 28
    Retired Folks
    Retired folks eat out and talk current events.
    Time: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 833-2467; www.bethelsp.org
    Venue: Think Café, 302 W. 5th St., San Pedro

    Dec. 29
    Rizal Day
    Carson in cooperation the Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles is commemorating the 4th annual Rizal Day.
    Time: 9 to 10 a.m. Dec. 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 952-1743
    Venue: Rizal Monument, Carson International Sculpture Garden, 801 E. Carson St., Carson

    Dec. 30
    Shabbat Hanukkah Service
    Come celebrate Hanukkah at Temple Beth El.
    Time:  6:30 p.m. Dec. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 833-2467; www.bethelsp.org
    Venue: Temple Beth El, 1435 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Dec. 31
    Happiest of the Holidays on Waterfront
    Stay local and celebrate New Year’s Eve at Ports O’Call Restaurant. Receive a complimentary glass of champagne
    Details: (310) 833-3553
    Venue:  Ports O’ Call Restaurant, 1200 Nagoya Way, San Pedro

    Dec. 31
    New Year’s Eve Party Cruise
    Come get your bubbly on with Spirit Cruises.
    Time: 9 p.m. Dec. 31
    Cost: $80
    Details: (310) 548-8080; spiritmarine.com
    Venue: Spirit Cruises, Ports O’ Call Village, 1200 Nagoya Way, San Pedro

    Jan. 1, 2017
    Tidepool Wonders
    Explore low tides on the rocky shore with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in January.
    Bring family and friends to the aquarium’s John M. Olguin Auditorium for an informative slide show, followed by a Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Education Staff led walk to the nearby Point Fermin Tidepools.
    Time: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org.
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Jan. 8, 2017
    Ice Skate on the Big Stick this Winter
    North Pole Village has relocated to the Battelship Iowa. The decks of the Big Stick have been transformed into an Arctic paradise. You and your family can lace up your ice skates and spin around the Los Angeles Kings Holiday Ice Rink on our fantail – the only ice rink known to ever have been erected on an actual battleship.

    Time: 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. through Jan. 8
    Cost: $15
    Details: www.pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Jan. 8, 2017
    CHILL
    The Queen Mary’s 5th Annual CHILL returns to the majestic ship. CHILL is Southern California’s coolest holiday adventure complete with ice-skating, ice tubing, swingin’ sleigh rides, visits with Santa, gingerbread decorating and the all-new interactive attraction, Alice in Winterland.
    Time: 7 p.m., through Jan. 8
    Cost: $30 to $40
    Details: www.queenmary.com/events/chill
    Venue: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    Read More
  • Searching Out the Global Holiday Flavors

    By Richard Foss, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer

    Think of the smells of Christmas for just a moment—got it? You probably thought of baking spices, the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves that accent everything from fruitcakes to holiday candles.

    Those seasonal flavorings go back to 19th century London, to Queen Victoria and her German-born husband, Albert, who took such delight in Christmas that they turned a minor holiday into a commercial bonanza. The Christmas tree, sled rides and candy canes came from Albert’s boyhood in Bavaria. The bright Scottish plaids and English plum puddings Victoria favored would become part of American culture as well as theirs. The eccentricity of a beloved and trend-setting royal couple captured the world’s imagination.

    Other flavors might come to mind if you didn’t grow up in England or the United States, or if your family honored their ancestral holiday traditions. Romanians get nostalgic over cakes filled with brandied cherries, Ukrainians over sweet nut and grain pudding, Argentines a heady mix of sparkling wine and pineapple juice. Some of these foods from around the globe involve rare ingredients or are difficult to make, and since you only get one chance to serve the perfect holiday meal, perhaps you’d rather buy them pre-made. With that in mind, we present this short guide to the delicacies of the Christmas season and where you can get them in the Harbor region: 

    Italian

    Most Americans look forward to the roast beef, turkey or ham this season, but Italians look forward to the Feast of Seven Fishes. A-1 Market in San Pedro stocks up both on fresh fish and the salted codfish called baccalà, which is served fried in codcakes, braised with milk, anchovy and onions, or served in stews.

    Anthony Amalfitano Jr.

    Anthony Amalfitano Jr. makes his famous casadil. Courtesy of Amalfitano Bakery

    A-1 also carries the nougat candies called torrone and imported panettone breads. If you’d like your panettone freshly baked, the Amalfitano Bakery in Rancho Palos Verdes will be happy to oblige. The bakery also produces the Neapolitan honey pastries called struffoli, mostaccioli (not the pasta, the walnut cookie), rococo spice cookies and cuccidati fig cookies.

    Details:  (310) 833-3430
    Venue: A-1 Market, 348 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Details: (310) 833-2253
    Venue: Amalfitano Bakery, 29111 S. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes

    Balkan

    In Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia a dinner of roast suckling pig with the stuffed cabbage called sarma is completed with a walnut pastry called Bishop’s Bread or a poppy seed cake called makovnjaca. The cakes were popular in San Pedro in past decades but are hard to find now — you’ll have to bake your own. You can, however, order the suckling pig, Croatian spices and sausage, and other items from South Shores Meat Shop in San Pedro. The owner, Darko, can explain the perfect way to cook the pig to get a crackling skin that is every diner’s dream.

    Details: (310) 831-0044
    Venue: South Shores Meat Shop, 2308 S. Western Ave., San Pedro

    Filipino

    It may seem odd that the centerpiece of a Filipino table is a Dutch cheese, but that’s the kind of thing that can happen in a country that was colonized by multiple European powers. Edam is known there as queso de bola, and can be purchased along with embutido, a stuffed holiday meatloaf, at Seafood City Market in Carson.

    Details: (310) 834-9700
    Venue: Seafood City Market, 131 W. Carson St., Carson

    German and Northern European

    Making a gingerbread house is one of the most enjoyable family traditions. Alpine Village Market offers the materials in an easy kit. They also have everything for a complete German holiday meal, including weisswurst, the veal and pork sausages that are a holiday treat in Bavaria, and stollen, the fruit bread scented with orange zest. Pick up a bottle of glühwein, the spiced wine that is served heated, to make things even more festive. Alpine Village has items from other holiday traditions too – Hungarians will want to pick up szaloncukor, the colorful candies that are used to decorate the Christmas tree.

    Details: (310) 327-4384
    Venue: Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance

     Japanese

    There is nothing wildly innovative about the Japanese Christmas cake: It’s a sponge cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries. Nevertheless, it has great symbolism in modern Japan. The cake’s red and white are the colors of the Japanese flag, its ornate decoration evokes traditional Shinto shrines. It’s a symbol of prosperity. The local Japanese community buys cakes at Nijiya Market, generally ordering in advance because they sell out quickly.

    Details: (310) 534-3000
    Venue: Nijiya Market, 2533 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance

    Mexican

    At this time of year many Mexican restaurants and bakeries sell fruit tamales — one of the most popular variants includes pineapple, raisins, cinnamon and honey. They wash down those tamales with ponche Navideño. Some Mexican markets stock the hawthorn berries and guavas that are pulped and mixed with rum, tequila or brandy to make this sweet concoction. The distinctive pastry of the season is buñuelos, fried pastries scented with anise or cinnamon and sometimes served with syrup. You can get those and many other Mexican sweets at La Perla de Uruapan, a bakery on a side street in Wilmington. It’s a little hard to find, but if you don’t want to fry those doughnuts yourself, it’s a great stop.

    Details: (310) 835-7030
    Venue: La Perla de Uruapan, 1126 Sanford St., Wilmington.

    Whether your Christmas is a holiday of great reverence or an opportunity to gather the family and give presents, connecting your menu with your heritage helps make a connection with your culture, which you can share with others. Whatever you eat and drink, we wish you a joyous season.

     

    Read More
  • Fleetwood Mac vs Heart: CALENDAR Dec. 15, 2016

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Dec. 17
    Fleetwood Mac vs  HeartFleetwood Mac
    Gaslamp Long each presents Fleetwood Mac vs Heart featuring Mirage and Dog n Butterfly.  This is a concert and dinner show you don’t want to miss.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17
    Cost: $15 to $58
    Details: www.gaslamptix.com
    Venue:
    Gaslamp Lounge, 6251 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

    Dec. 17
    Holiday POPS Spectacular
    The annual Holiday POPS Spectacular continues with festive music and high spirits. Celebrate the holiday season by joining the Golden State Pops Orchestra, Maestro Steven Allen Fox, and the GSPO Chorale, led by Maestra Marya Basaraba.
    Time: 8 p.m., Dec. 17
    Cost: $29 to $60
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Dec. 18
    Celtic Music
    World’s Most Recorded Piper” Eric Rigler (soloist on Braveheart, Titanic, The Simpsons, etc.) and multi-talented string player Dirk Freymuth team-up to create a musical panorama of Celtic spirit and energy. Drawing from haunting Irish melodies, barn-burning jigs and reels, and themes from Eric’s film and television work, the duo produce a hearing-is-believing sonic experience.
    Time: 4 p.m. Dec. 18
    Cost:  $20
    Details: alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 1
    New Year’s Eve 2016 in DTLB
    The DLBA will not only once again host the largest party in town, it has shifted gears to one-up itself as it welcomes a plethora of the world’s finest musicians to take part in a three-stage, three-block festival in the heart of downtown on Pine Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Citizen Cope are headlining this year with each bringing guests to perform throughout the evening. Those guests include a special DJ set from Cut Copy, electro-dance master Big Data, reggae songstress HIRIE, house DJ Plastic Plates, and Latin soul group Boogaloo Assassins. Joining them are The Delta Bombers, DJ Paul V., DJ Taharba, and Sizwe the DJ.
    Time: 8 p.m. Dec. 31
    Cost: $40
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/DTLB-NYE
    Venue: Downtown Long Beach

    FILM

    Dec. 23
    It’s A Wonderful Life 70th AnniversaryAppleMark
    Be part of a holiday classic. It’s the 70th Anniversary of Frank Capra’s timeless It’s A Wonderful Life.  1940’s dress encouraged.
    Time: 7 p.m. Dec. 23
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://spiffest-wonderful-life.bpt.me
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    ARTS

    Dec. 16
    Have an EPIC Election! Exhibit Opens at CSU Dominguez Hills
    An election history exhibition Have an EPIC Election! 100 Years of National and California Elections is showing at California State University Dominguez Hills Library Cultural Arts Gallery. Through newspaper headlines and campaign materials of older campaigns juxtaposed with more recent elections, the exhibition presents a case for how much things have changed and how much they’ve stayed the same.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Dec. 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3895
    Venue: CSUDH, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Dec. 31
    L.A. NoirMark V. Lord, L.A. Noir
    Since 1999, Mark V. Lord has plied his trade as a professional screenwriter in New York and Los Angeles, while maintaining a mostly private practice as a photographer.
    Lord’s images of Los Angeles are filled with the deep shadows and low-key lighting characteristic of these films, but with a decidedly contemporary twist.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Jan. 15, 2017
    Chiaroscuro
    Cornelius Projects is pleased to present new paintings by San Pedro artist Candice Gawne. The exhibition will also include an installation of several of Gawne’s signature plasma glass sculptures in the Cornelius Projects’ screening room.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Jan. 15, 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 266-9216; corneliusprojects.com
    Venue: Cornelius Projects, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    COMMUNITY

    Dec. 17
    Gyotakugyotaku
    Cabrillo Marine Aquarium staff will offer a holiday workshop to teach participants gyotaku, the ancient art of Japanese fish printing.  The lab will double as an artist’s studio where beginners and experienced fish printers can create one of a kind holiday gifts.
    Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 17
    Cost: $18
    Details: (310) 548-7562;  www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Dec. 18
    Salt Marsh Open House
    Step out into nature and discover the hidden world of the Salinas de San Pedro Salt Marsh.  Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium educators and Coastal Park Naturalists as they help uncover the world of mud and water that is our local wetland.
    Time: 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 548-7562;  www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Dec. 25
    Holiday at The Center
    Join The Center staff, community and volunteers for a Winter and Christmas day event. Enjoy a meal, play board games and share in fun times.
    Time: 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 434-4455
    Venue: The Center Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Jan. 8
    CHILL
    The Queen Mary’s 5th Annual CHILL returns to the majestic ship. CHILL is Southern California’s coolest holiday adventure complete with ice-skating, ice tubing, swingin’ sleigh rides, visits with Santa, gingerbread decorating and the all-new interactive attraction, Alice in Winterland.
    Time: 7 p.m., through Jan. 8
    Cost: $30 to $40
    Details: www.queenmary.com/events/chill
    Venue: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

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  • Central SPNC Ad Hoc Committee on Marijuana: ANNOUNCEMENTS Dec. 13, 2016

    Dec. 15
    Central SPNC Ad Hoc Committee on Marijuana
    The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Marijuana is scheduled to meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15 at the San Pedro Municipal Building.
    Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15
    Details: Agenda
    Venue: San Pedro Municipal Building, 638 S. Beacon St., Room 452, San Pedro

    Dec. 18
    Belmont Pier Beach Clean Up
    Meet on the beach in front of the pier parking lot. Any portion of that time you can spare will be greatly appreciated.
    Time: 12 to 3 p.m. Dec. 18
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/BelmontPearCleanUp
    Venue: Belmont Pier, Ocean Boulevard at 39th Place, Long Beach

    Dec. 21
    Memorial Service
    A memorial service is scheduled at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach for the men and women who have died homeless in Long Beach.
    Time: 6 p.m. Dec. 21
    Details:  benoit333@hotmail.com
    Venue:  Harvey Milk Promenade Park, 183 E. 3rd St., Long Beach

    Jan. 7
    Beach Clean Up
    Cabrillo Marine Aquarium invites the public to participate in its monthly Beach Clean-Up. Volunteers learn about coastal habitat, the growing amount of marine debris within it, and the benefits of protecting this ecosystem.
    Time: 8 to 10 a.m. Jan. 7
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro
     
    Jan. 7
    Elysium Conservatory Theatre
    Elysium Conservatory Theatre is scheduling auditions to join its theater company.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 7 through 9
    Details: (424) 535-7333; www.fearlessartists.org/grow-ect/company-auditions
    Venue: 729 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    Jan. 9
    Second and PCH Project Notice of Preparation
    The 2nd and Pacific Coast Highway Notice of preparation of a draft environmental impact report and initial study is available for public comment and review. Long Beach will receive comments on the notice and initial study through Jan. 9. The notice and initial study is available at City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Fifth Floor, and at the Long Beach Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach. It also is available on the city website.
    Please send your comments to Craig Chalfant, Planning Bureau, Long Beach Development Services, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., 5th Floor, Long Beach, CA  90802 or email craig.chalfant@longbeach.gov.
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/2ndandPCHNOP
     
    Creative Long Beach Internship Opportunities Now Available
    Creative Long Beach internships match California State University Long Beach and Long Beach City College art students with Long Beach arts and cultural organizations. As part of the 17-week paid internship, selected interns take part in professional development and networking events with community professionals.
    The Arts Council has five internship opportunities offered through itsinternship program, Creative Long Beach, in Curating, Education, Graphic Design and Marketing available to current students at the following organizations:
    Curatorial Intern at Able ARTS Work
    Marketing Intern at Arts Council for Long Beach
    Curatorial Intern at Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site
    Education Intern at Long Beach Museum of Art
    Graphic Design Intern at University Art Museum
    Visit artslb.org/news for more details or email info@artslb.org for inquiries.

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