• The Time to #RESIST is NOW

    • 02/02/2017
    • Paul Rosenberg
    • Feature
    • Comments are off

    By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

    Donald Trump’s presidency began with three acts that spoke volumes about what is to come. First, he cancelled Barack Obama’s executive order benefiting first-time home buyers — many of whom represented his base.

    Second, he visited the CIA and tried to convince them he was their best friend. Media reports to the contrary were all lies. Third, he sent out his press secretary to attack the media angrily for accurately reporting the relatively small size of his inauguration crowd. But Trump’s real problem is not with the media, it is with reality.

    Political scientist Corey Robin once wrote that conservatives “are aggrieved and entitled— aggrieved because entitled—and already convinced of the righteousness of their cause and the inevitability of its triumph.”

    As such, they have no need of facts, only good stories to tell to show how much, how unfairly they’ve suffered.  And, no one is better at that than Trump. Pointing out falsities only fuels his sense of grievance. It’s “very unfair” to point out that he’s lying. He’s entitled to say whatever pops into his head, however false, incoherent or defamatory.

    Trump began by betraying the very sort of hardworking “forgotten” Americans who voted for him. By the start of his second week in office, he was virtually at war with both the military and intelligence services, because their concern for acting on accurate information was a severe impediment to his drive for unfettered power. His war with the media swirled throughout the week, but it was only a symptom of Trump’s deeper war with reality itself.

    The day he took office, Donald Trump wasted little time betraying his base. He issued an executive order cancelling an Obama-ordered reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual fee for most borrowers. The cut would have saved $500 in the first year for someone borrowing $200,000. Hundreds of thousands of new home buyers would be hurt.

    “It took only an hour after his positive words on the inaugural platform for his actions to ring hollow,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer,  from New York, on the Senate floor. “One hour after talking about helping working people and ending the cabal in Washington that hurts people, he signs a regulation that makes it more expensive for new homeowners to buy mortgages.”

    Trump’s action was not a surprise, really. Just after the election, a survey of economists by the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago asked if enacting all of Trump’s “Seven actions to protect American workers” in his 100-day plan would be more likely to improve the economic prospects of middle-class Americans over the next decade. None of the economists surveyed agreed.

    Lying to the Press About the Press

    During his first full day in office, Trump also went ballistic over the fact that his inauguration had been poorly attended, dwarfed by the Women’s March on Washington the next day, which drew more than three times as many people.  Another 500,000 to 750,000 turned out here in Los Angeles as well, adding up to somewhere between 3.3 and 5.3 million protesters nationwide.

    Trump ordered his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to go out and attack the press. Spicer berated reporters at a press briefing Saturday evening, attacking the accurate reports of small crowd sizes and threatening to “hold the press accountable.”

    “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe,” Spicer lied.

    But earlier in the day, Trump promoted the same lie in a visit to CIA headquarters, while also lying about his own past attacks on the intelligence agencies and his refusal to take their information seriously.

    “The relationship [between Trump and the CIA] is the worst of any incoming administration ever,” former senior CIA official Paul Pillar told Alternet a few days before Trump’s inauguration. “You have to go back to Nixon to find a president with as strong negative views about the agency. But the agency did not get this kind of public disparagement from Nixon.”

    Not only had Trump refused to take regular intelligence briefings, like every previous president-elect since Eisenhower, he openly disparaged their warnings of Russian election meddling and even lashed out in anger. Just 10 days before his CIA visit, Trump likened the intelligence agencies to Nazi Germany in a tweet, saying they “never should have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ to the public. One last shot at me.”  (The stories had been circulating for months and were actually suppressed during the campaign.)

    But when Trump visited the CIA, he tried to pretend he was their best friend and it was only the lying media who said otherwise. To help sell his story, Trump brought along a contingent of about 40 loyalists to wildly applaud his speech— something the apolitical professionals at the CIA frown on.  As noted by CNN:

    Trump spent much of his speech lambasting the media. He spoke in front of a memorial wall that honors 117 CIA officers who have fallen in the line of duty. He focused on the size of the crowd size at his inauguration, his appearance on magazine covers and saying he “has a running war with the media.”

    “The wall behind me is very, very special,” Trump said, which was the full extent of his acknowledgment of those who had given their lives.

    He devoted far more attention to himself.

    “Probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did.  But I would guarantee a big portion, because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks,” he said later.

    But that’s not how CIA officers saw things. CBS News reported, “a sense of unease in the intelligence community” after Trump’s visit, which “made relations with the intelligence community worse,” according to an unnamed official.

    Former CIA Chief John Brennan issued a statement saying he was “deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes.”

    And a scathing video commentary from former agent Nada Bakos went viral, in which she contrasted her initial hopefulness with bitter criticism.

    “I was very hopeful that he would understand the building that he was in. That he would understand the apolitical nature of the work that they do. The objectivity that they strive for in their analysis,” Bakos said.

    But what she saw disappointed her:

    I didn’t see a president standing in the building trying to repair the relationship. I didn’t see a president that made an effort to understand the solemnness and the humility it should take to speak in front of that wall. In my view, Trump’s treatment of the CIA is rooted in politicization. He first tried to blatantly twist their arm into ignoring Russian meddling, by calling them ‘Nazis,’ hoping to cow them into submission. When that didn’t work, he used a not-so-subtle peace officer tactic and tried to persuade them he meant well, by extending the olive branch through his visits.

    You can’t sweet talk a good spy. Falsehoods and ‘alternative facts’ are no way to win over a workforce whose job it is to discern the truth.

    Holocaust Remembrance And Muslim Bans

    A week later — without any expert input— Trump signed a refugee ban on Holocaust Remembrance Day. (His Remembrance Day proclamation, tellingly, made no mention of Jews.) That same day, a dedicated Twitter account tweeted out the entire manifest of the USS St. Louis, a ship full of Jews denied entry into the United States in 1939:

    “My name is Max Hirsch. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Mauthausen.”

    “My name is Sophie Münz. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Auschwitz.”

    “My name is Paula Münz. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Auschwitz.”

    The list went on and on, hundreds and hundreds of them, many with pictures.

    Trump’s ban covered entry into the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — none of which have done business with Trump, or pose a serious terrorist threat, unlike Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, for example, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.

    “Foreigners from those seven nations have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and the end of 2015,” the Cato Institute noted on its blog.

    Even U.S. residents — green card holders — and who were abroad at the time were being denied re-entry. Two Iraqi refugees detained at New York’s JFK Airport had spent the last decade working to help America in Iraq. One of the men, Hameed Darweesh, had been targeted at least twice by terrorists. He was released the next day after two New York Democratic members of Congress, Jerry Nadler and Nydia Velazquez, went to JFK, seeking both men’s release.

    “America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world,” Darweesh told the press following his release.

    Darweesh put a human face on the scary abstract threat Trump has repeatedly tried to paint—and it just didn’t match up.

    A November 2015 tweet was typical: “Refugees from Syria are now pouring into our great country. Who knows who they are – some could be ISIS. Is our president insane?”

    The reality completely different. Out of some four million displaced Syrians in 2015, the United Nations referred only 130,000 for resettlement by the end of 2016, 18,000 of them to U.S. interview teams, who were to select 10,000, in a process lasting 18 to 24 months. This involved 13 security clearance steps. Darweesh is the sort of immigrant you get after 13 security clearance steps.  Trump, in contrast, has never even bothered to explain what “extreme vetting” even means.

    By Saturday’s end, tens of thousands of people were demonstrating at airports from LAX to Boston, to Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and beyond. Two federal court orders were handed down, staying implementation of the Trump’s ban, but immigration officers responded erratically, defying court orders more or less blatantly in multiple cases, refusing to let lawyers see detained travelers in many cases, and even sending some travelers back overseas.

    A Constitutional Crisis

    “I believe it’s a constitutional crisis, where the executive branch is not abiding by the law,” New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker told The Daily Beast.

    Immigration officials at Dulles airport refused to even meet with him, but communicated with him through an exchange of written questions and answers. At LAX, immigration officials also refused to speak with reps. Nanette Barragan and Judy Chu. They spoke briefly by phone, but abruptly hung up.

    The administration’s refusal to abide by federal court orders was noted by Princeton’s Sam Wang as the fourth item checked off in eight days from a “ten-point warning checklist for how 2017 America may becoming like 1934 Germany.” Other items checked off included:

    • Taking sides with a foreign power against domestic opposition.
    • Made-up charges against those who disagree with the government.
    • Persecution of an ethnic or religious minority, either by the administration or its supporters.

    A fifth item, “Detention of journalists,” has also occurred, but might be “a one-time error by local law enforcement,” Wang wrote.

    Late on Jan. 28, CNN reported on the profound ignorance and confusion surrounding Trump’s ban. Career Department of Homeland Security staff weren’t allowed to see the final details until Jan. 27, the day the order was signed. The order was crafted by Trump’s inner circle, including Trump’s white nationalist “Senior Advisor” Steve Bannon, former head of the fake news website Breitbart.com. He was not subject to Senate confirmation hearings. When Homeland Security officials saw the order, they concluded it did not apply to lawful permanent residents — aka “green card holders” — but the White House overruled the department. What’s more, CNN reported:

    “Before the president issued the order, the White House did not seek the legal guidance of the Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office that interprets the law for the executive branch. A source said the executive order did not follow the standard agency review process that’s typically overseen by the National Security Council.”

    A second, less-noticed executive order was in some respects even more troubling. It restructured the National Security Council by promoting Bannon to the Principles Committee—the council’s top body—and removing the top two officials from the military and the intelligence communities, the commander of Joint  Chiefs of Staff and the director of National Intelligence.  Sen.John McCain called Bannon’s appointment “a radical departure from any National Security Council in history.”

    During his campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed he knew “more about ISIS than the generals,” and disparaged the intelligence agencies in multiple ways as well, while repeating numerous false stories and factual claims promoted by Bannon’s site Breitbart.com. So this executive order was a logical extension of how he had campaigned.  But it also starkly underscored that’s not just the media that Trump is at war with. It’s any source of facts, whatsoever.

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  • King Washington

    • 02/02/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Feb. 4
    King Washington
    Sit down with King Washington and hear the latest of their new material and see both acoustic side and other new tunes off their new upcoming album, due in early 2017.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 4
    Cost: $20
    Details: http://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 4
    Fartbarf
    Three unassuming, well-mannered and fun-loving fellows from a town near the sea. Regressed, mutated and collectively known as Fartbarf, they somehow bring us all into the future, captivating audiences with relentless melodies, robotically tight rhythms, and danceable beats by use of a strict limitation of tools at hand; vintage analog synthesizers, vocoders, drum machines, analog modular systems and live drums.
    Time: 12 p.m. Feb. 4
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.alexsbar.com/event/1400361-fartbarf-long-beach
    Venue: 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Feb. 10
    Adrian Marcel
    Adrian Marcel picks up the torch for Oakland and timeless rhythm and blues on his debut mixtape, 7 Days of Weak.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10
    Cost: $20 to $200
    Details: www.solvenue.com/event/1395582-adrian-marcel-carson
    Venue: SOL Venue, 313 E. Carson St., Carson

    Feb. 11
    A Special Evening of Music for Friends and Lovers
    Treat someone special to a truly memorable Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a delicious dinner followed by a seductive concert experience featuring the smooth stylings of some of today’s top contemporary musicians.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11
    Cost: $70 to $175
    Details: (562) 424-0013; www.rainbowpromotions.com
    Venue: Terrace Theater, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Feb. 11
    Willie Watson
    Watson, formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show is a leading pioneer in the renaissance of traditional and old-time music.
    Time:  8 p.m. Feb. 11
    Cost: $25 to $60
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 12
    Stars of Tomorrow
    This top international ensemble of advanced students from the renowned USC Thornton School of Music was selected by Director of Chamber Music Karen Dreyfus and coached by Professor of Violin and Chamber Music Lina Bahn.
    Time: 2 p.m. Feb. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    Feb. 12
    Lockout Station
    Drawing upon flamenco and jazz-fusion influences as well as the avant-garde, Lockout Station uses complex harmonies, difficult grooves and winding melodies to evoke impressions of strange and other-worldliness.
    Time: 4 p.m. Feb. 12
    Cost: $20
    Details: http://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Feb. 4
    Andy Anderson
    Andy Anderson is a site-specific performance created by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre for the Anderson House designed by Aaron G. Green. With original music performed live by Yvette Cornelia and the Treehouse, intimate choreographies will happen in the living room or kitchen, the master bedroom and the zen garden. A culminating performance by the pool will feature the three dancers and four musicians and will draw on the architecture of the home and secretive behaviors of the 1960’s culture of the Rancho Palos Verdes community.
    Time: 4:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4
    Cost: $150
    Details: house-performance.com
    Venue: Disclosed to guests only, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Feb. 10
    Best of the Show
    The Best of the Best is an emotional journey through all production themes previously explored previously by Long Beach Community Theater. Themes included parenthood, childhood, the beauty of scars, love & heartbreak, motherhood, fatherhood and forgotten keepsakes and misplaced memories.
    Time:
    Cost: $20
    Details: longbeachcommunitytheater.com, lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Feb. 10
    Evita
    Musical Theatre West presents Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical masterpiece Evita.  The seven-time Tony Award-winning musical captivated audiences with Eva Peron’s passionate and unforgettable true story of her meteoric rise to become Argentina’s champion of the poor and most influential first lady.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 10 through 12, 17 and 18, and 23 through 25, 1 p.m. Feb. 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25, and 6 p.m. Feb. 19
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 856-1999, ext. 4; www.musical.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach,

    Feb. 11
    A Murder is Announced
    The Long Beach Playhouse is pleased to present the Agatha Christie classic, A Murder is Announced in its Mainstage Theatre. In Christie style, the play takes place in a house with several occupants.
    Time: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 11
    Cost: $14 to $20
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Ongoing
    Romeo and Juliet Rehearsals
    You are invited to Elysium for each and every Romeo and Juliet rehearsal.
    Time:  6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, until March 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.fearlessartists.org/box-office-1
    Venue: Elysium, 729 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    FILM

    Feb. 11
    Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts
    Enjoy live action short films at your local theater.
    Time: 7 p.m. Feb. 11
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2714274
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 13
    Finding Joseph I
    Finding Joseph I is a feature documentary chronicling the eccentric life and struggles of punk rock reggae singer, Paul “HR” Hudson, a.k.a. Joseph I. The charismatic frontman’s energetic and explosive live performances helped pioneer hardcore punk rock with the Bad Brains, one of the most influential bands to rise out of the 1980’s.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 13
    Cost: $8.50 to $11.50
    Details: www.arttheatrelongbeach.org/our-films
    Venue:  Art Theatre Long Beach, 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach

     

    ARTS

    Feb. 2
    Ann Weber, Sculpture
    TransVagrant and Gallery 478 present Ann Weber, Sculpture. Ann Weber’s organic sculpture is abstract, formally elegant and composed of inelegant salvaged cardboard. There are abundant hints of figuration and recognizable objects: think chess pieces, balloons, human torsos, plant forms, and graphic ciphers. An artist reception is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 4. The exhibit opens Feb. 2.
    Time: 4 to 7 p.m.  Feb. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873; www.transvagrant.com
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 4th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 2
    Sunken City
    The mixed media and sculpture assemblage revealing the sights and sounds of Sunken City, San Pedro. The exhibit opens Feb. 2.  is currently on view at reet. Please stop by to take
    Time: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 4 to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
    Cost: Free
    Details: (323) 644-8200
    Venue: Machine Studio, 446 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 7
    Heated Exchange
    Heated Exchange, curated by artist Reni Gower, features the seductive surface, luminous color, and ethereal image layering unique to the encaustic medium. Each artist approaches the process from a distinct perspective that may incorporate scraping, burning, burnishing, incising, dipping, dyeing, or pouring, as well as painting, printmaking, drawing, collage, sculpture, or installation. The exhibit opens Feb. 7
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, through March 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3334
    Venue: CSU Dominguez Hills University Art Gallery, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Feb. 9
    Circus Life
    Photographer Harry Atwell made a name for himself shooting images in the 1930s at the Chicago Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. Capturing all aspects of carnival life from the roustabouts to the sideshow, and from the main-stage to the midway.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday, through Feb. 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 433-4996
    Venue: Fingerprints Music, 420 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Feb. 12
    Dreamland: A Frank Romero Retrospective
    A comprehensive retrospective exhibition of work by legendary Los Angeles artist Frank Romero, encompassing more than 50 years of the artist’s career. Dreamland: A Frank Romero Retrospective is the first solo exhibition of a Chicano artist at MOLAA.  It explores the confluence of American pop culture, Latin American heritage and the Chicano experience.
    Date: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, Feb. 12  through May 17
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    March 12
    Significant Otherness, Sea/Saw
    Experience Significant Otherness and Sea/Saw two interesting exhibits at Angels Gate Cultural Center.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through March 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 519-0936; www.angelsgateart.org
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    April 9
    Frank Brothers: The Store That Modernized Modern
    The exhibition relates the story of Southern California’s largest and most prominent mid-century retailer of modern furniture and design. Based in Long Beach from 1938–1982, Frank Bros. embodied the optimistic post-war ethos of the American consumer.
    Date: 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, through April 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: csulb.edu/org/uam
    Venue: California State University Long Beach, University Art Museum, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Feb. 3
    Annual California Native Plant Sale
    The annual California native plant sale will feature native plants of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 782-3989
    Venue: Madrona Marsh Nature Center, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance

    Feb. 3
    Natalie Baszile
    Natalie Baszile’s book Queen Sugar is the mother-daughter story of reinvention focusing on an African American woman, who inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. The former Palos Verdes Peninsula resident will host a talk and book signing.
    Time: 12:30 to 2 p.m. Feb. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 377-5501
    Venue: Marymount California University, The Commons, 30800 Palos Verdes Drive East, Palos Verdes

    Feb. 4
    Crab Feed
    The Rotary Club of San Pedro is a group of business and professional leaders who aspire to the highest ethical standards in their vocations and who not only help those in need in their own communities but who also seek to advance the cause of peace, understanding and goodwill worldwide through scholarships, youth and adult exchanges and humanitarian projects. Three year ago, they started our annual Crab Feed.
    Time: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 4
    Cost: $75
    Details: (310) 210-8577; rotarysanpedro.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Beach Youth Waterfront Center, 3000 Shoshonean Road, San Pedro

    Feb. 4
    Freshwater Dance Collective
    Freshwater Dance Collective presents an evening of modern dance and contemporary ballet. Kenneth Walker Dance Project also will perform the driving and aerobic Before the Verge.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 4 and 2 p.m. Feb. 5
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.artful.ly/store/events/10739
    Venue: Cal State Dominguez Hills, University Theatre, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Feb. 8
    Hack Nights
    Hack the night away with Long Beach’s tech community. Learn a new skill, work on a new or existing project or just build your network. This event takes place every Wednesday. RSVP is required.
    Time: 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 8
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/jpe6j8s
    Venue: WE Labs, 235 E. Broadway, Long Beach

    Feb. 8
    Making Good Things Out of Bad Things
    Benjamin Scheuer, the Drama Desk Award-winning creator of The Lion talks about making good things out of bad things in an intimate evening of stories, songs and videos. He is a singer, songwriter and survivor of stage-four Hodgkin lymphoma.
    Time:  6:30 to 8:30 Feb. 8
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.csulb.edu/thelion
    Venue: The Point at Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

    Feb. 11
    Romantic Tours
    Since Rancho Los Cerritos was built in 1844, it has been the site of great love stories. Visitors will be able to hear these stories firsthand, as costumed interpreters portray former Rancho residents.
    Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 11
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 206-2053
    Venue: Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach

    Feb. 12<
    Designing Gardens for Succulents
    Panayoti Kelaidis program is “Designing Gardens for Succulents.” As Head Curator of the Denver Botanical Garden, Kelaidis is considered one of the premier practitioners of the art and science of alpine rock gardening. In this program he will describe how to build and maintain these works of art, especially crevice garden designs using drought-tolerant succulents.
    Time: 1 p.m. Feb. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: southcoastcss.org<
    Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula

    Feb. 18
    Why Native Plants?
    Come learn how San Pedro’s native plants support local biodiversity and deal with drought. Attendees may purchase native plants and walk through a demonstration garden.
    Time: 1:30 p.m. Feb. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details:  (310) 541-7613; www.pvplc.org/_events/WhitePointWorkshopRSVP.asp
    Venue: White Point Nature Preserve, 1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro

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  • Juice Bars Take on the Harbor Area

    • 01/31/2017
    • Richard Foss
    • Cuisine
    • Comments are off

    A few years ago, my friend and I passed a juice bar and he asked, “What’s the deal with juice bars? I can get juice at the grocery store, or make it at home. Why do people go to these places?”

    It was a valid question. You can buy “fresh” fruit and vegetable juice in grocery stores; yet it may have been sitting there for a week. Some people obviously think there’s enough of a difference in quality to patronize specialty juice bars. A host of them have opened in our area in the past decade, and more are on the way.

    To figure out who is buying these fresh juices, and why, I posed a question to Hayden Slater, founder and chief executive officer of Pressed Juicery (www.pressedjuicery.com), a chain that started in 2010 and now has 23 locations. Are people drinking the same amount of juice they did years ago, but buying it from specialty places? I expected him to claim that juice was the wave of the future and an ever-expanding market. I was surprised when he replied that he wasn’t sure.

    “Juice has been around for thousands of years; it’s nothing new or revolutionary, but the [juice industry] has evolved and people want a product that is better and fresher,” said Slater, who left a career in television in 2007.  “I think what’s happening in the juice [industry] is what happened with coffee, how it went from buying ground Folgers or instant crystals to specialists. Starbucks created this retail formula and it started a demand for the artisanal form. In a way we’ve gone backwards; people used to juice their own oranges, and then came convenience products like frozen and pasteurized juices, even powders like Tang. We’ve brought back the cold-pressed, fresh and raw category that brings back the flavor and nutrients, and it’s making noise in this area.”

    This would be a satisfying answer if modern juice bars were selling mere artisanal versions of commodity products like orange or apple juice. But these establishments also offer items that are blends of fruits, vegetables and herbs that only need booze to be called a cocktail. I pointed out that while drinking juice may be traditional, the concoctions sold by modern juice bars are unlike any traditional beverage on Earth. Who, I asked, had the idea of mixing beet or carrot with orange juice, or any of the other outré ideas that are now available at most juice shops? Hayden thought a moment and then mentioned David Otto, who founded the Beverly Hills Juice Club (www.beverlyhillsjuice.com) in 1975.

    Otto’s road to juicing started differently compared to most other nutritional health advocates. He didn’t start juicing because he was personally unhealthy and seeking a cure, because he had a philosophical or religious reason to lead a pure life, or because he thought he figured out a secret about how the digestive system worked. He changed his diet, his life and the way Americans drink their vegetables because a giant angry bull he was hallucinating told him to. Otto had dropped acid and ordered a steak in a restaurant (in 1967 this kind of decision wasn’t as odd it would be now), and as he cut into his T-bone the spirit of the bull appeared in front of him. Otto “had a mental communication with this creature,” and decided he would stop eating creatures. This started his journey into vegetarianism and evolution from a talent booker for local bands to a juicing and natural foods guru.

    I called Otto, who at 79 years old is still at his shop on Beverly Boulevard, and mentioned that Hayden told me he incited the juice bar craze. Otto was modestly unwilling to claim credit.

    “That’s very nice of him. It is the general perception in Southern California that I started doing this in 1975, but there was one juice bar that was in business before I was, at the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles. It was called La Hood’s…. There was another guy in Redondo Beach named Bruce who also had a juice bar back then, but he was kinda irregular — if the waves were good the store was closed and he was out surfing. There were also health food stores here and there that made fresh juices, but [Bruce’s Juices and LaHood’s] were the only places that specialized in juice. The guy who really should get the kudos is a guy named Norman Walker, who wrote books about the health benefits of juice. He died at about 100 years old after a lifetime of promoting juices. That’s where I got a lot of my information.”

    I’ve been unable to find out much about Bruce the juicer, but Norman Walker has an interesting history. Walker was a pioneer of juicing fruit and vegetables for health, and his 1936 book, Fruit and Vegetable Juices: What’s Missing In Your Body? was the first to champion juice as a cure-all. His theories about the functioning of the human digestive system were definitely wrong and he repeatedly inflated his credentials, claiming to be a doctor despite a lack of any degree.

    Coconut Cacao Parfait at Nuda.

    Nevertheless, the diet he invented fits modern ideas about nutritionally balanced vegetarianism. It worked for him, since he lived to be 99 and was reportedly physically and mentally vigorous into old age. Walker also invented one of the first mechanical juicers, though it is less efficient and harder to clean than those used today. This matters in the realm of juicing, since some advocates claim that the method and speed of juice extraction alters the nutritional content. Furthermore, juice bar proprietors are frequently partisan of different technologies. Hayden Slater rhapsodized about the merits of the system he uses.

    “We use [the term] ‘cold pressed’ to compare with pasteurized or heat-processed juice,” Salter said. “We do use a different process from places where the juice is blended right there using a centrifugal juicer. That makes a tasty product, but the way it is extracted starts it oxidizing immediately. You have to drink it extremely quickly. If you take it home or consume it later, the flavors and nutrients are lost. Our juices are made with the entire vegetable fruit or vegetable turned into a pulp, then subjected to 10,000 pounds of pressure in a refrigerated room. Some studies say that you get 90 percent more nutrients and enzymes that way. Our shelf life is longer for that reason.”

    I was curious about the change in juicing technology, and in the meaning of ‘cold pressed’ since I had never seen a competing product that was called hot pressed. So I asked Otto about it. He explained that juicing technology was a lot more primitive and unsuited to mass production when he started his business.

    “I built my own press because I couldn’t find one that was big enough and did what I wanted,” he said. “Every press that was made back then was extremely slow. Back in 1975 I put the words ‘cold pressed’ on the side of it, and that’s the buzz word everywhere now. I don’t know what it means, I just made it up. Maybe it came to me because we pressed it in a cold room.”

    There certainly is a difference in flavor, and probably one in the nutritional value, between supermarket juice pressed days before consumption and the fresh products. As time goes by, the water in the juice begins to separate, the bright, sharp flavors are lost to oxidization and any citrus pulp in the mix begins infusing its  bitter flavor.

    Beverly Hills Juice Club, Pressed Juicery and other local producers all offer exotic blends that include fruits, vegetables, nuts and greens. Menus everywhere seem to be getting more baroque. Grocery stores and big chains like Starbucks now offer their own juice products. Fresh juices have moved beyond the core group of health enthusiasts and, for better or worse, are now part of the American mainstream. Better, because all modern products are healthier than the powders and concentrates they replaced. If there is a downside, it’s that the new business climate might make it hard for young entrepreneurs with a juicer and some fresh ideas about health and flavor. That is ever the fate of pioneers like Dave Otto, who create a world in which they must compete with their own ideas gone mainstream.

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  • Art Hits the Street

    • 01/31/2017
    • Andrea Serna
    • Art
    • Comments are off

    Street art, be it sanctioned or unsanctioned, has become a familiar sight throughout the world. It was once chiefly a form of protest and political expression, street art has emerged as a means to combat urban blight.

    Next month the Waterfront Arts District celebrates the completion of a trompe l’oeil style, surrealistically inspired mural created by Luis Sánchez. The mural, titled Soulful Sunrise Melody, is 101-feet long and has already added a welcome touch of grace to 6th Street from its home in the Lilyan Fierman Walkway, adjacent to the Warner Grand Theater.

    Luis Sanchez in front of his mural, Soulful Sunrise Melody in The Lilyan Fierman Walkway. Photo by Terelle Jerricks

    Sánchez arrived in San Pedro as a muralist who was something of an exile from the downtown Los Angeles arts district. He followed another artist friend, Cherry Wood, who led him to a serendipitous experience in the San Pedro arts district. He soon found himself in a community of artists in the recently opened PacArts building on Pacific Avenue. One of the fortunate accidents in this move was meeting Regina Argenti, his new next-door neighbor at PacArts. Argenti is also a muralist and became Sánchez’ partner and collaborator on the new mural.

    As the son of a Cuban artist and a Mexican-Lebanese mother, much of Sánchez’s life has been influenced by migration. Born in Mexico City, his passionate and diverse family includes artists, dancers and bullfighters. He grew up spending hours in his father’s Mexico City art studio.

    “I used to watch him paint for endless hours when I was a child,” Sánchez said. “Until I was 15, I didn’t pick up a brush. I already knew everything from watching him.”

    As a child, his parents enrolled him in the prestigious Museo de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where he studied for 10 years  until his parents relocated to Seattle. Following college, Sanchez came to Los Angeles.

    His mural’s Warner Grand-adjacent location on 6th Street is in downtown San Pedro. That neighborhood has been struggling to recover from lost business. For now, the popular monthly art walk and performances at the Warner Grand still seem to be the most successful approach to rebuilding downtown.

    The new mural is just one step in the plans of the Waterfront Arts District, formerly the Arts Culture and Entertainment group, to encourage public art in San Pedro.  Linda Grimes, managing director of the district has been inspired by Jason Ostro of the Gabba Gallery Alley Project in the historic Filipino Town of Los Angeles. Ostro, dismayed by the prevalence of graffiti and trash in his neighborhood, decided to take action. He had a vision of turning “blight to bright” by decorating local alleys with colorful artwork. As Grimes chases funding for her vision, she hopes to bring similar transformation to downtown San Pedro. This mural award is part of the City of Los Angeles’ One Percent for the Arts Funding, a collaboration negotiated by the Council 15 Office and the Department of Cultural Affairs, which advances the social and economic impact of arts and culture.

    Sanchez began his introduction to San Pedro by painting one of the Department of Transportation boxes on Harbor Boulevard, another project funded by the Waterfront Arts District. It was a small project — and a small paycheck — but helped familiarize him with the opportunities for artists in San Pedro.

    When asked if he is concerned about damage by vandals to the mural, Sánchez was philosophical.

    “I don’t paint for me,” Sánchez said. “The process is mine, but I hope for the work to find a home. I don’t make it for me; I make it for someone who will appreciate it. I am detached from the work once I am done.”

    Sánchez expressed a spirituality that sustains him.

    “I have had two kidney transplants in my life that have given me this perspective,” he said. “My work is my lifeline. It has given me tools to get through life. Life became very clear to me after the transplants. Everything I have done has come out of that experience.”

    He spoke of his struggle to find the design for his mural. After making a few designs he became frustrated with his lack of inspiration, and he felt a need to visit the wall for insight.

    “I walked over to the wall and sat for awhile,” said Sánchez. “I touched the red bricks of the wall. I love the natural, organic feel  of the brick. It was a warm sunny day and I stepped back. Suddenly, I experienced a flashing vision and I saw the mural, it was already there. In another dimension, I already painted the mural. I knew that all I had to do is put the paint on the wall.”

    A celebration of the new mural will take place prior to the First Thursday artwalk, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m.  The Lilyan Fierman Walkway, is near 470 W. 6th St. Councilman Joe Buscaino will be present for the ceremony and entertainment will be provided by the Alex Smith trio. Art prints of the completed mural will be available for sale in the walkway.

    As part of the mural celebration, the PacArts Gallery will host a group exhibition, featuring Luis Sánchez, Regina Argentin and other notable resident artists. The exhibition will be open from 6 to 9 p.m, during the artwalk. The gallery is at 303 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro.

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  • American Women Find Progress in Dialogue

    • 01/31/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Feature
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer

    On the road to Evanston, Wyo. Nicolassa Galvez and Alyssandra Nighswonger discussed their post-inauguration interviews. Since Jan. 8, Galvez and Nighswonger had been driving across the country capturing the women’s untold stories.

    “There was a lot more talk about intersectional feminism and race,” Nighswonger said. “There was more of an awareness to stand up for the rights of people around you rather than what’s just important to you. That’s just something I’ve noticed across the board, greater awareness of other people’s struggles.”

    She appreciated seeing the momentum from the Women’s March carrying over. Nighswonger said friends from different cities went to all the airport protests after the administration’s executive order banning Muslims from entering the United States was issued.

    St. Louis was the first city they had interviews in after the president’s swearing in and the city struck a chord with Galvez.

    They said the women attending their event St. Louis had a pretty diverse LGBT population but beyond that it was only slightly diverse. They spoke to the grandniece of a civil rights organizer named, Gregory Clark.

    “She had really powerful things to say about being black, queer and a female,” Galvez said. “She also serves on a board for transgender rights. There was a lot of conversation about transgender rights but I don’t think anyone we interviewed was transgender.”

    In Colorado they met with a powerful group of women who, they said, was probably their most diverse group. A lot women came together who didn’t know each other.

    The Colorado women plan to use the Road to the American Woman event as a catalyst to connect, continue to meet and start organizing.

    Earlier that day,  Galvez read a story about a luncheon for women, who are part of the film industry. They were discussing being more inclusive.

    In the story, actress Salma Hayek asked Jessica Williams, the former senior correspondent for The Daily Show, about the essence of her persona when she is not black and not a female. Throughout the conversation with other women of note Williams found herself explaining several times that she cannot remove herself from her blackness .

    “I was really impressed with Jessica Williams taking that stance with women in film who have been in that industry for such a long time and were older than her,” Galvez said.

    “The women still didn’t believe her,” Nighswonger said. “Jessica was saying, ‘I know but can you just believe me? I can’t put down my blackness, I can’t walk into a room and blend in.’”

    Galvez noted that there aren’t many women of color at their events.

    “Black women are in many ways the most marginalized of all women,” Galvez said.

    She noted that because there are so many subcultures Latinas, their perspectives also differ. Therefore, representation  and leadership for that community would be confusing. Black women should take the lead and that there needs to be more support for movements such Black Lives Matter.

    Something else hit her during an interview in Denver. A Latina filmmaker who attended their event became emotional. She spoke to Galvez and Nighswonger about the anxiety that comes with being at an event where she doesn’t know anyone and is the only woman of color.

    Galvez said the woman started tearing up as she explained how she gets nervous and uncomfortable.

    “Every day, they have to deal with that and I don’t think we always get it,” Galvez said. “Just having to determine if it’s a safe space they are in, wondering if they have to tone it down, ‘Who do I have to keep an eye out for?’ It’s added to the social anxiety we all have when we come into a room full of strangers.”

    Click here to find out what happened in their prior stop in Louisville, Ky.

    Read more about their journey at www.roadtotheamericanwoman.com

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  • Trump Ban on Muslims Met with Fear, Resistance

    • 01/30/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 27, Donald Trump issued an executive order to temporarily ban about 218 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

    Hundreds of opponents to the order protested at major airports in the country, where Muslim refugees and people with visas to enter the country were detained. Sixteen Democratic state attorneys general issued a joint statement calling Trump’s move “unconstitutional.” On Jan. 30, Trump fired Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates for questioning the constitutionality of his actions.

    The ban took effect immediately and is expected to continue for at least 90 days. However, officials said that this may just be a first step. The order bars people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Those countries have been labeled “countries of concern.”  The order exempts diplomats and members of international organizations from the ban.

    Homeland Security also was directed to do 30-day review to see which countries don’t give certain information about their citizens. As part of his orders, Trump also stopped admitting all refugees for four months.


    USS Iowa Plugs into 21st Century Technology

    SAN PEDRO – On Jan. 23, the Port of Los Angeles and Battleship Iowa announced that the ship had become the latest vessel to plug into clean, electric shore-side power. The ship’s operational systems previously ran on a diesel generator.

    Plugging a ship into Alternative Maritime Power® for a 24-hour period achieves the same air quality improvements as taking 33,000 cars off the road.

    Alternative Maritime Power® technology allows vessels to shut down their diesel engines while at berth and plug into clean shore-side power to run on-board systems.


    SpaceX Rocket Docks in San Pedro

    SAN PEDRO — On Jan. 17, a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster docked in San Pedro’s outer-harbor. The 156-foot-tall, first-stage rocket, welded vertically onto its specially made barge, arrived before dawn, following a sea journey from San Diego, where it landed from Vandenberg Air Force Base. This was the seventh booster that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has recovered in the Pacific Ocean.

    LASD Searching for Information on Dead Man near 110 Freeway

    HARBOR CITY — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is seeking information about a dead man found near the 110 Freeway and 223rd Street in the unincorporated area of Harbor City.

    The man, whose name has not been disclosed, was taken to a local hospital where deputies responded at about 7:15 p.m. Jan. 20. The man succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

    Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call (323) 890-5500 or visit http://lacrimestoppers.org.


    Deadly Shooting in Harbor City

    HARBOR CITY — On Jan. 18, Los Angeles Police Department’s Harbor Area Homicide detectives found a 29-year-old Juan Ignacio Alcala dead, at about 6:30 p.m., on the 1200 block of West 256th Street in Harbor City.

    LBPD officials are asking for public assistance in identifying the killer. Alcala was found in his backyard with gunshot wounds. Investigators say an unknown suspect approached him and shot him several times. When the Long Beach Fire Department arrived he was declared dead at the scene.

    Anyone with information is urged to call (310)726-7882 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.


    SCAQMD Proposes Toxic Hydrofluoric Acid Ban in South Bay Refineries

    TORRANCE — On Jan. 17, the South Coast Air Quality Management District proposed a ban on highly toxic hydrofluoric acid at South Bay refineries.  

    The SCAQMD has stated that a series of safety mishaps and community risk information from a PBF Energy-owned refinery in Torrance prompted the proposal, called Rule 1410.

    The acid can create a potentially lethal toxic cloud.

    The proposal was based, in part, on technical analyses Torrance Refinery Action Alliance, a six-member scientific advisory panel formed in 2015, performed. The refinery is a big source of tax revenue for Torrance. City officials signed on an additive reduction that created a higher risk to the community.


    LBPD Promotes New Leaders

    LONG BEACH — On Jan. 19, the Long Beach Police Department announced the promotion of eight employees. The employees and their ranks are as follows:
    Promoted to Lieutenant:
    Sgt. James Foster
    Sgt. Omar Martinez
    Promoted to Administrative Analyst III:
    Asst. Admin. Analyst II Nicole Gross
    Promoted to Sergeant:
    Officer Demetrio Alonzo
    Officer Jason Lacey
    Officer Eduardo De La Torre
    Officer Sean Hunt
    Officer Jonathan Ornelas


    Lieu, Markey Introduce Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. On Jan. 24. Rep. Ted W. Lieu and Sen. Edward J. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.

    This legislation would prohibit the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The crucial issue of nuclear “first use” is more urgent than ever now that President Donald Trump has the power to launch a nuclear war at a moment’s notice.

    “It is a frightening reality that the U.S. now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be ‘unpredictable’ with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect was making sweeping statements about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter,” said Lieu, in an issued statement. “Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the U.S. would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon.”

    Markey agreed.

    “Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival,” said Markey, in an issued statement. “Yet, President Trump has suggested that he would consider launching nuclear attacks against terrorists.”


    OIS Stems from Attempted Murder

    LONG BEACH — On Jan. 22, Long Beach Police Department officer shot a man in Carson after a crossfire stemming from an attempted murder incident.

    The attempted murder took place a day earlier. At about 11 p.m. Jan. 21, LBPD officers were dispatched to the 900 block of Via Wanda in Long Beach to investigate shots heard in the neighborhood.

    When they arrived they found a 40-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. The man was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

    Gang enforcement detectives responded to begin their investigation of that attempted murder. The next day, at about 11 a.m., detectives identified the suspect, which lead them to a residence in the 2700 block of E. 220th Place in Carson.

    The SWAT was activated. As SWAT officers were setting up their containment and making an approach on the suspect’s known location, the residence of an acquaintance, the suspect fled out the back and proceeded to jump multiple fences, in an attempt to get away. Several SWAT officers on the perimeter containment saw the suspect was armed with a handgun and relayed the information to other officers via their police radios.

    As the suspect was fleeing, officers gave multiple commands for him to stop and surrender, but he refused, and then forced his way into the home of a family on the same block. The occupants of that residence quickly fled their home, and advised officers that family members were still inside. Knowing they had a hostage situation, SWAT officers made immediate entry into the house to rescue the remaining family members. As they entered, the suspect fled out the back and over a fence into the yard of a different house, again on the same block. The suspect attempted to hide from officers by barricading himself in a utility shed attached to the outside of that house.

    SWAT officers established two-way communication with the suspect, attempting to persuade him to surrender, however he refused. They saw an opportunity to attempt to resolve the dangerous situation utilizing less lethal options. SWAT officers fired numerous 40mm rubber baton rounds, as well as tear gas into the shed, however, the suspect still refused to surrender.

    At about 5:10 p.m., SWAT officers were then confronted by the suspect, who was armed with a handgun, and an officer involved shooting occurred. The suspect was struck by gunfire and was determined deceased at the scene by Long Beach Fire Department personnel, who were staged nearby. The handgun was recovered at the scene.

    No officers were injured in the incident.

    Two minors who were inside the family home the suspect had broken into were unharmed.

    The incident is being investigated as gang-related.

    Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call (562) 570-7244 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.


    Galperin Reports on Income-Restricted Affordable Housing

    LOS ANGELES — On Jan. 23, City Controller Ron Galperin released an audit entitled Income-Restricted Affordable Housing Units in Los Angeles: A Review of the City’s Density Bonus Incentives and Overall Oversight.

    The review found density bonus incentives have had minimal impact in incentivizing private developers to include affordable housing in their projects. The audit also highlights the lack of adequate tools to ensure income-restricted units are best going only to those who qualify.

    Accompanying the audit, the controller has created a map of the city’s overall stock of 28,482 income-restricted units monitored by the Housing and Community Investment Department. Click here to view the map at www.lacontroller.org/geopanel_la.

    Density Bonus Law Has Not Lived Up to Its Potential

    The audit found that 21 percent of new multi-family projects of five units or more, built between 2008 and 2014 (169 of 790 projects) utilized some aspect of the density bonus program — resulting in 4,463 units designated as affordable. However, just 329 of these units were created in market-rate projects throughout the city — an arguably minimal impact when considering the city’s overall affordable housing needs.

    The audit recommends modifying and, in some cases, increasing incentives offered through the density bonus program. Specific recommendations include:

    •                     Create additional incentives, such as additional density or permitting micro units;
    •                     Streamline processes through modifications to the current process of site plan review and expedited processing of Environmental Impact Reports;
    •                     Conduct a legal analysis of what opportunities might exist, within the density bonus program, to allow market-rate developers to create income-restricted units off-site — or to pay equivalent values into a fund which would build income-restricted units throughout Los Angeles;
    •                     Review how Area Median Income levels are defined for the purpose of the density bonus program so that it is more aligned with state policy.

    Galperin said that the city’s stated goal is 100,000 new units by 2021 — of which at least 15,000 wouldbe officially affordable.

    The City’s Monitoring Program

    The Controller’s audit also examined oversight and monitoring of the City’s overall stock on 28,482 income-restricted units. This includes density bonus units, Section 8 units, Community Redevelopment Agency project units, and other income-restricted units. While auditors found reasonably adequate monitoring by the city’s contractor, and a 93 percent compliance rate, better oversight tools are needed to deal with conditions of some owners collecting more rent than allowed and some tenants exceeding income guidelines.

    Based on a thorough analysis of information available for 2014, the audit found the following:

    •                     For 1,482 units (5.2 percent) — landlords charged higher rents to tenants than allowable under covenants to which landlords agreed. When such circumstances are identified, the Housing and Community Investment Department’s contractor is charged with sending letters to owners demanding remediation.
    •                     For 464 units (1.6 percent) — tenant earnings exceeded program guidelines. In more than two-thirds of such instances, tenants reported incomes that exceeded limits by at least $5,000 per year and in one case, by $149,000.
    •                     For 1,056 units (3.7 percent) — tenant incomes were not verified when tenants moved in.
    •                     For 1,181 tenants, no tenant income was reported at all.

    Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the Westside, announced that he would introduce legislation on Jan. 24, to correct many of the issues raised by the Controller’s report.

    The audit released by the Controller’s Office evaluated a data sample between 2008 to 2014. It focused on units with a signed covenant agreement and monitored by the Housing and Community Investment Department. Affordable housing units that may be under the authority of other agencies such as Housing Authority of Los Angeles), Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were not included in this study.

    The audit, along with the Controller’s other audits, reports, open data and more, is available at www.lacontroller.org.

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  • Steinway by Starlight

    • 01/30/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Feb. 2
    Steinway by Starlight
    This concert features world-renowned American pianist, Sean Chen. The concert will also include a classical guitar performance by Cal State Dominguez Hills student Tara Rose Davison, Dr. Scott Morris and David Issacs.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 2
    Cost: $20
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/2017Steinway-by-Starlight
    Venue: University Theatre, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Feb. 3
    The Fire
    The fire is a high energy Scottish band with world class fiddling, bagpipes, guitar, bodhran, whistle and bouzouki. The trio includes piper and multi-instrumentalist David Brewer, a guest artist with the Chieftains and originally with Scottish supergroup Old Blind Dogs and popular Celtic band Molly’s Revenge. The other members are Adam Hendey on guitar and bouzouki and International Scottish Fiddle Champion, Rebecca Lomnicky.
    Time: 5 p.m. Feb. 3
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Feb. 1
    Figaro’s American Adventure
    This charming opera created by Eli and LeRoy Villanueva, based on Rossini’s popular classic, The Barber of Seville. With his band of sneaky barbers and mercenaries, our wily hero Figaro leads us on a delightful musical goose chase. Ultimately, he outsmarts his adversary, and love triumphs as he helps his friend the Count win the hand of his beloved.
    Time: 10:30 a.m. Feb. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 329-5345; ArtsTickets@elcamino.edu
    Venue: Center for the Arts, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance

    Feb. 15
    Forever Plaid
    Once upon a time, there were four guys who discovered that they shared a love for music and then got together to become their idols — The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Lo’s and The Crew Cuts. Rehearsing in the basement of a family plumbing supply company, they became “Forever Plaid.”
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 15 through March 5.
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Details: http://ictlongbeach.org
    Venue: International City Theater at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    FILM

    Feb. 6
    Farewell to Manzanar

    As part of “And Then They Came for Us Symposium,” the 1976 made-for-television film based off the memoirs of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston will be featured at Loker Student Union. The book describes the experiences of Jeanne Wakatsuki and her family before, during and following their imprisonment at the Manzanar internment camp during World War II. This film will be followed with a talk by actor Clyde Kusatsu.
    Time: 4 to 7p..m. Feb. 6
    Cost: Free
    Details: www4.csudh.edu/uce/EO9066
    Venue: Cal State Dominguez Hills, Loker Student Union, Ballroom A, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Feb. 7
    Go for Broke
    As part of “And Then They Came for Us Symposium, 1951 war film dramatizing the real-life story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II will be featured at the Extended Education Auditorium a Cal State Dominguez Hills. The 442nd was composed of Nisei (second-generation Americans born of Japanese parents) soldiers. This film will be followed with a talk by Rafu Shimpo columnist George Toshio Johnston.
    Time: 4 to 7 p..m. Feb. 7
    Cost: Free
    Details: www4.csudh.edu/uce/EO9066
    Venue: CSUDH, EE-1213 Auditorium, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Feb. 8
    Children of the Camps
    As part of “And Then They Came for Us Symposium, the documentary film, The Children of the Camps, will be featured at the Extended Education Auditorium at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The documentary captures the experiences of six Americans of Japanese ancestry who were confined as innocent children to internment camps by the U.S. government during World War II.
    Time: 4 to 7p..m. Feb. 8
    Cost: Free
    Details: www4.csudh.edu/uce/EO9066
    Venue: CSUDH, EE-1213 Auditorium, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    ARTS

    Feb. 2
    Black Economics: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
    The Andy Street Community Association, along with Councilmember Austin and the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association are hosting Black Economics: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, a Black History Month Celebration featuring the Forgotten Images Collection.
    Time: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 2, 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 3, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.andystreetlb.org
    Venue: Expo Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach

    Feb. 2
    San Pedro Waterfront Arts District to Celebrate New Mural
    The San Pedro Waterfront Arts District, in collaboration with the Council District 15 Office of Joe Buscaino and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs asks you to Save-the-Date for a celebration of the new mural in the Lilyan Fierman Walkway. Entertainment will be provided by the Alex Smith trio and there will be art prints of the completed mural available for sale in the walkway.
    Time: 5 p.m. Feb. 2
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Lilyan Fierman Walkway, adjacent to the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 28
    Primal Origins
    Some of the pieces reflect direct connection to the life force contained in prehistoric ponds, and some bring us into the contemporary landscape.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, through Feb. 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: michaelstearnsstudio.com
    Venue: Michael Stearns Studio 347, 347 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Ongoing
    Resurgence and Rediscovery
    Resurgence and Rediscovery demonstrates and enables the growing trend of film photography as smart phones have replaced digital cameras as the popular medium of choice. With smart phones getting ‘better’ all the time, photography has become a lost process for some.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.huzgalleries.com
    Venue: huZ Galleries, 341 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    COMMUNITY

    Feb. 9
    And Then Came for Us
    This 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066 symposium, explores the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. From 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. Kim Yasuda, artist and professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Art will be giving a talk. And then, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Tom Ikeda, executive director, will present Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project. Then  Satsuki Ina, a filmmaker and psychotherapist will be giving a talk from 7 to 8 p.m. Ina was born in the Tule Lake Segregation Center during World War II.
    Time: 1 to 8 p.m. Feb. 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: www4.csudh.edu/uce/EO9066
    Venue:  Loker Student Union, 1000 E. Victoria, Carson

    Elaine Brown at California African American Museum
    Within the past four decades, American prison activist, writer, and former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown has been involved with effecting progressive change in the United States. She served the Black Panther Party in numerous capacities including as chairwoman from 1974 to 1977, ran for public office in Oakland in 1973 and 1975, and continues to work for social change. Join in on an enlightening evening.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: (213) 744-2024, rsvp@caamuseum.org
    Venue: 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles

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  • The Omnivore Life Examined

    • 01/30/2017
    • Ari LeVaux
    • Cuisine
    • Comments are off

    By Ari LeVaux, Guest Columnist

    As we rang in the new year, the one issue that’s poised to dominate discussions of food and agriculture is the place of meat in the modern human diet.

    This debate strikes at the core of our omnivorous nature. It tugs at our heart strings, tempts our palates, challenges our intellects and presents myriad health impacts.

    The more I learn about the harmful effects of the world’s livestock practices on world hunger, climate change and other facets of our environment, the more foolhardy and selfish eating animal products appears to be — unless, perhaps, you’re raising or hunting your own or purchasing from a livestock operation that’s sensitive to its environmental footprint.

    By contrast, consumer interest in the quality of life experienced by the animals that provide us their meat, organs and secretions has spiked. The likes of Walmart and McDonalds are happy to oblige in at least one way, having pledged to phase out their use of chicken eggs that were laid in a cage. Whether the chickens are truly any better off is an open question.

    Not coincidentally, in 2016 the veggie burger came into its own, largely on the back of the Impossible Burger. This plant-based burger features umami-rich “blood” that sizzles and browns in the pan, and sheds it with each bite you take. Even the least apologetic of meat eaters surveyed have admitted to respecting the Impossible Burger, fortified with wheat and potato protein and lubricated with coconut oil.

    The quasi animal product space has also exploded with the likes of “cheese” made from cultured nuts, pink-hued faux shrimp and crab meat, nut- and grain-based “milk” products like almond milk and hemp milk, egg-free “mayo,” and virtually every kind of vegan substitute for egg, chicken, flesh or fluid you can imagine.

    It’s not just vegans that are are into this stuff. Locavores, climatarians, ovo-lacto-paleo-bacon-vores and good old-fashioned omnivores are finding their way to vegan alternatives for entirely different reasons.

    As for me, I eat meat, mostly wild game for which I feel zero guilt, assuming the hunt goes well.

    While I don’t avoid animal products as a rule, I do limit my intake of mammalian dairy products for phlegm-related reasons. I know it isn’t cool to admit it, but I like soy milk. I like milk, too, and heavy cream, and cheese. However,  I long-ago settled on mayonnaise as my go-to cheese alternative. In recent years, I’ve determined that Vegenaise, specifically the grapeseed oil formulation, is the best mayo on the market — and for reasons that are completely unrelated to the fact that it doesn’t contain eggs. I scoop Vegenaise greedily upon my deer, my scrambled eggs, my beef or veggie burger, and I’m good. Bloodthirsty omnivore that I am, I’m part of the animal-alternative products market.

    Animal product industries have not been pleased with these developments in this growing market and pushed back big time in 2016. Unilever, owner of Hellman’s and Best Foods brands of mayo, took vegan food processor Hampton Creek to court for using the word “mayo” on the label of its egg-free mayonnaise substitute, Just Mayo. The National Dairy Council attempted, and failed, to make it illegal to use the word “milk” to describe nut and grain-based milk substitutes like almond milk. Makers of cultured nut products have similarly lost their ability to label their products as “cheese.” It seems a matter of when, not if, the beef industry goes after Impossible Burger over its use of the word “burger.”

    While many vegetarian diets often attempt to recreate animal products from plant-based ingredients, resulting in the likes of bleeding burgers and Tofurky, this re-creation is not to be confused with vegetable-based cuisine.

    Vegetable cookery doesn’t carry the implicit inferiority complex that comes with constantly serving kinda-sorta-meat. Rather, it celebrates the inherent qualities of the vegetable or plant part in question. So, my final prediction for 2017 doubles as a recommendation: don’t sleep on plain vegetables.

    Even as you nerd-out on a Silicon Valley burger patty formulation that’s precisely calculated to satisfy your body’s nutritional needs while simultaneously saving the earth and tickling your taste buds, don’t forget whole, normal vegetables.

    With each passing study and with each passing year, vegetables continue to accumulate almost zero baggage. The debate over the pros and cons of vegetables is nonexistent, because it has been settled. Vegetables are good and not bad.

    And luckily, one of 2016 biggest food trends, one that will likely grow stronger in 2017, is the push to sell imperfect produce, or so-called “ugly” fruits and vegetables, at a discounted rate. Like cage free eggs, imperfect produce is available at Walmart.

    But with all due respect to vegetables, beautiful and ugly alike, animals are not necessarily always all bad either. In fact, there is an increasingly solid argument to be made in favor eating them, some of them at least.

    In 2016, public understanding and perceptions of fat continued to be turned inside out, especially saturated fat, which has long been assumed to be the culprit behind obesity and weight-related ailments, like heart disease. Once practically unassailable, this position is now openly questioned, as expert opinion  shifts to the camp that regards sugar as the primary dietary culprit behind obesity.

    Saturated fat is a fancy way of saying “animal fat” but with a few exceptions, such as coconut and palm oil, which are derived from closely related tree species. Saturated fats are increasingly understood to benefit brain health, as well as other crucial body functions. Meanwhile, the relative merits of unsaturated fats (especially those found in plant-based oils like canola, safflower, sunflower and soy) seem to decrease the more we learn about omega-6 fatty acids, in which these oils are high. Avocado, olive and other fruit and nut oils are in a vastly better category of plant oil, as they contain more omega-3 fatty acids.

    And it isn’t clear that all meat is bad for the environment, either. A vocal minority of ranchers are making the ecology-based case that certain landscapes can benefit from properly managed herds of certain ungulates. In the absence of buffalo and other native grazers, many ecosystems could spin out of control without tasty livestock like cows to fill that vital niche.

    If done correctly, rotational grazing can result in healthier ecosystems and carbon sequestration, proponents claim. It’s a compelling vision, but even if it’s true, the cattle-carrying capacity of the landscape is much less under rotational grazing than under feedlot rules. If the world were to make a dramatic switch to rotational grazing, it would mean a lot less meat to go around.  But here’s another sobering truth: the global cattle industry will not be switching from feedlots to rotational grazing systems in 2017.

    To recap my forecast, this will be the year of the fight over the legal definition of the word “burger.” It will also be a year of glory and evolution for imperfect produce, and a celebration of the innate beauty of plant parts. But amidst the angst, reverence and exploration of a plant-based diet, don’t be surprised if meat makes a little comeback too. The relative placement of meat and plants within the context of our modern diet will continue to be a fluid, evolving situation in 2017.

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  • American Women Reach their Destination

    • 01/29/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Feature
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer

    I caught up with Nicolassa Galvez and Allysandra Nighswonger as they approached Louisville, Ky. They were on their way home from the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

    “It was overwhelming, all the signs and all the people,” said Galvez on Jan. 29, the day after the march. “There were a couple times I got choked up. Like on the train as we rode by, all these women were screaming and waving at us.”

    Galvez and Nighswonger named their journey the Road to the American Woman.

    The logistics of the march were a little confusing. There were delays starting the march and the people exceeded the capacity of the National Mall. Although the march was scheduled for 1 p.m. the group women didn’t start marching until about  4 p.m. Eventually people took it upon themselves to start moving.

    “Once we actually got marching there was an electricity and a sense of camaraderie,” Nighswonger said. “There were so many different signs for many different causes, all rallying together.”

    From politicians and celebrities, a wide range of people spoke at the event, including mothers of people who died through acts of violence, such as hate crimes or police brutality.

    Singer Janelle Monae, addressed the mothers in a powerful performance. A drum was struck four times and the mother’s called out the name of a victim. The crowd responded by chanting, “Say her or his name!”

    “The mothers looked so emotional,” Galvez said. “The music was playing with the beat of the drums to the chants. It was very emotional and it was so good to see those mothers getting the respect they deserved. That was even more powerful than marching.”

    The march was packed and the women couldn’t see where the march began or ended. Organizers underestimated the crowd and the crowd underestimated the patience needed for such an event.

    “You have to get there, listen to these voices you won’t have a chance to listen to all at once again,” Nighswonger said. “To be there, with it being so powerful, you have to step out of yourself or your own agenda to listen because there are so many powerful stories and causes to stand by, but we have to actually stand together.”

    Nighswonger suggested having an action team of four friends who all carry out actions together. Whether you’re donating to causes or writing to your representatives, it helps to keep each other accountable.

    On the Sunday after the March, the Los Angeles Times had front page coverage of the March but the headline asked, “Will the unity last?” Galvez and Nighswonger shared their thought on this question.

    “One article I read said the Black Lives Matter and Occupy movement were so broad it never moved forward,” Galvez said. “Do we want to get Trump out of office? Do we want to save Planned Parenthood?

    “We do have to be conscious of what we want to do. We have to have one issue and go with it. Also it has to help the most marginalized. It can’t be a white feminist movement.”

    Galvez gave the example of the wage inequality.

    “If you’re complaining about making 75 cents on the dollar but you don’t even know that you’re Latina and black sisters are making 55 and 65 cents (respectively), you don’t get it,” Galvez said. “For instance, if we picked wage equality as the one issue then we have to start with Latina’s. We all work to make sure that they raise their wages, then all the black women’s wages and then it will all rise together.

    The women decided they would look forward from this point.

    “On the way to D.C. it was more about what is Trump going to do, but coming back it’s not speculation anymore,” Nighswonger said. “We want to get into what is really happening and how the administration’s plans affect us and the marginalized people around us.”

    The women are keeping their energy up by drinking veggie smoothies and adding boosts like protein and spirulina.

    The women added two cities to their trip. After Colorado, they will stop in Evanston, Wyoming.

    “Now there is the whole conversation now about how the agriculture economy turned into the prison economy and that has happened there,” said Galvez, about Bakersfield .

    Their project, to interview women across the nation inspired Galvez’s mother, her friends and her cousin, who all marched and maybe wouldn’t have done so otherwise. They all shared to the Road to the American Woman Facebook page the day of the Marches.

    “We marched by the Trump tower, on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Galvez said. “First people started chanting ‘boo’, then it changed to ‘Love Trumps Hate.’ It was going in a good direction.”

    Read about their journey to D.C. here. Click here read about their next adventure on the road.

    Check out their website: http://roadtotheamericanwoman.com/

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  • Ports Host Joint Clean Air Plan Workshop

    The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will host a joint community workshop on Jan. 24 to gather input on strategies released late this past year to update the Clean Air Action Plan, or CAAP. The CAAP was adopted in 2006 and has dramatically reduced pollution from maritime-related sources that operate in and around the ports. The workshop is open to the public.
    Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24
    Details: www.polb.com, www.portoflosangeles.org
    Venue: Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington

    International Terminal FIS Facility

    On Jan. 24, the Long Beach City Council is projected to vote on the International Terminal FIS facility, which would make Long Beach Airport an international airport.
    Time: 5 p.m. Jan. 24
    Details: https://longbeach.legistar.com
    Venue: City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Homeless Count

    Join the San Pedro Homeless Count to get the official count of what homelessness looks like in the community. These statistics are used to bring services and housing to the area.
    Time:  8 to 11 p.m. Jan. 25
    Details: (302) 588-7952; www.theycountwillyou.org
    Venue: Harbor Community Police Station, 2175 John S. Gibson Blvd., San Pedro

    Street, Shelter Point-in-Time Count

    The 8th biennial Long Beach Homeless Count will be conducted on Jan. 26. The count is offered in two shifts. The first shift begins at 5 a.m. and the second shift begins at 8 a.m.
    Volunteers will canvas one of 47 map segments with a trained team to complete surveys. Street count volunteers must be 18 years or older.
    Time: 5 and 8 a.m. Jan. 26
    Details: (562) 570-4588; http://tinyurl.com/street-shelter-PIT

    Community Emergency Response Training

    Residents and neighbors may need to rely upon one another following a major disaster. Training is available through the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Training  program, which will take place over 8 sessions.  Call to register or register online.
    Time: 6:30  to 9 p.m. Jan. 27, 30, 31, and Feb. 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 952-1786; www.fire.lacounty.gov/cert
    Venue: Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson

    Shred & E-Waste Event

    The Hughes Middle School Environmental Science class is hosting and Andrea Testa Realtor is sponsoring the annual shred and e-waste event and fundraiser. The first five boxes are free.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Hughes Middle School, basketball playground, 3846 California Ave., Long Beach

    Public Hearing of the Mobilehome Park Rental Review Board

    A public hearing on Colony Cove Mobile Estates’ Capital Improvement rent increase application is scheduled.
    Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 1
    Venue: Helen Kawagoe Council Chambers, 701 E. Carson St., Carson

    The CART Team Needs Training Volunteers

    For The Child is a new Child Abuse Response Team in February. The Child Abuse Response Team provides emotional support and crisis intervention to children when forensic medical exams and law enforcement interviews are necessary. The program utilizes carefully selected community volunteers who receive 40 hours of specialized training to serve as the child  advocates.
    Details: (562) 548-0034; District2@longbeach.gov

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