• Los Angeles Prostitute Known as ‘Pretty Hoe’ Charged with Sex Trafficking

    • 03/15/2018
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
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    LOS ANGELES— South Los Angeles women, widely known as “The Most Hated Hoe in LA” has been charged with sex trafficking.
    Melanie Denae Williams, 22, used her social media platforms to recruit young girls into prostitution. Her website features countless pictures and videos of “run-ins with the law.”
    The victim, who has not yet been identified, told police Williams forced her to sell sex, taking all proceeds then threw bleach on her and beat her with a broomstick.
    Williams also made the victim tattoo “Melanie” on her wrist and face to show that she was her property.
    The indictment specifically targets one count of sex trafficking an adult by force, fraud or coercion. Court papers say Williams was sentenced to three months in jail back in December of last year for prostitution. Williams is being held in the Los Angeles County Jail without bail and if convicted, will face up to 55 years in prison.










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  • Los Angeles Harbor International Film Festival Celebrates 15th Anniversary

    • 03/15/2018
    • Reporters Desk
    • Culture
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    The Los Angeles Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF) is celebrating its 15th anniversary this week, from March 15-18 at the Warner Grand Theatre. LAHIFF showcases film and video that pay tribute to the golden age of Hollywood while encouraging youth reading through the festivals Read a Book, See the Film program. More recently the festival has begun to feature documentary films focused on the labor movement.

    This year continues in that vein, with films on subjects as varied as cultural tradition, social justice, nostalgic film – including a children’s book and documentaries.

    LAHIFF offers stimulating and entertaining programming that inspires the audience and respects the integrity of the silver screen. The four day event will showcase three films, two full length documentaries and documentary shorts.

    Key components are the free education outreach program, Read the Book, See the Movie promoting literacy and a more thoughtful way to view a film, March 15, Hollywood Nostalgia Tribute, March 17 and DocSunday, March 18.

    LAHIFF opens with Read the Book, See the Movie, in the festivals Education Outreach Program features the novel, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne and Disney’s 35mm film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Thousands of books have been distributed to students and community members through this program since 2004. After reading the book, students attend the Culmination Program at Warner Grand Theatre where they will enjoy refreshments then watch the film version of the book, followed by a discussion. A total of 900 books have been distributed to students throughout the harbor area and Palos Verdes.


    15: A Quinceanera Story, debuted on HBO, will feature four half hour documentaries which reveal unique stores of the right of passage of 15 year old Latina girls.

    New Filmmakers LA (NFMLA) On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project, 90 minutes of 26 short one to five minute films with conversation and Q&A after the screening with filmmakers.

    1962’s Bye Bye Birdie preceded by Put On A Happy Face Red Carpet Gala.

    The picture takes place during the prelude to the Vietnam war with the story being inspired by Elvis Presley’s draft call into the United States Army. Prior to the film there will be a short performance by the San Pedro High School Jazz Ensemble.

    DocSunday, presenting sponsor Andeavor ~ POLA premieres Social Justice Theme, The Armor of Light. Documentary concerns issues about gun violence and resolution.

    Finding Kukan, the award winning feature documentary investigates story of Chinese, Hawaii-born Li Ling-Ai, un-credited female producer of Kukan, 1941 Academy Award ® winner about World War II China that has been lost for decades. Lung will attend the screening then participate in a Q&A with members of the film crew.

    See film trailers for Finding Kukan and 15: A Quinceanera Story below.

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  • Port of Long Beach Shipments Jump Ahead During Lunar New Year

    • 03/15/2018
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
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    LOS ANGELES–After a record breaking January at the Port of Long Beach, the increased cargo volumes continue historic highs for February.

    In February alone, 661,790 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved through the Port, at a 32.8 percent increase compared to February of last year. This marks the first time Long Beach terminals have handled more than 600,000 cargo containers in the month.

    Imports climbed 37 percent in February, to 342,247 TEUs. The Port handled 130,916 outbound containers, up 9.3 percent. Thriving import markets drove up numbers of empty containers needed overseas, rising by 46.5 percent to 188,628 TEUs.

    Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said a month like February is now the new normal  and he expected a lull in March as East Asian nations celebrate the Lunar New Year, and then rebound in April.

    “It’s clear new vessel alliances and the increasingly interconnected global economy have shifted cargo patterns,” said Board of Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “The Port of LongBeach is investing $4 billion on infrastructure and leveraging technology to ensure our partners are productive and successful.”

    Board of Harbor Commission President, Lou Anne Bynum noted new vessel alliances and the increasingly interconnected global economy have shifted cargo patterns. Port of Long Beach is investing $4 billion on infrastructure and leveraging technology to ensure their partners are productive and successful.

    The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship.

    Detailed cargo numbers are at www.polb.com/stats.

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  • Say it Loud, Say it Clear, Trumpism Not Welcome Here

    I found the juxtaposition of hundreds of rowdy anti-Trump protesters and a drum circle against the backdrop of hyper-manicured Beverly Hills Park oddly apropos in the wake of President Donald Trump’s March 13 fundraiser in Los Angeles. Unlike the smoky air rising from some corners of the event, their message was clear: Trump is not welcomed here.

    With all the chanting, you would be forgiven for wondering if the messaging memo was prepared by Vitruvius – not the famous Roman who gave us perfect proportion theory, but The Lego Movie character voiced by Morgan Freeman who defended his prophecy that the villain would be defeated by saying, “… all this is true because it rhymes.”

    “Build the wall, we’ll tear it down, Donald Trump is a stupid orange clown” may not be the stuff of sound policy and risks color-shaming at the expense of constructive dialogue, but it seemed crowd-pleasing when delivered through a bullhorn by one of the alphas of the L.A. resistance. This particular member of the L.A. resistance asked to be called “Jim,” for the music icon Jim Morrison. Jim was one of many who covered their face with a bandanna to mask his identity. Another one of Jim’s protest slogans: Education, not deportation!

    It is highly unlikely that President Trump caught so much as a glimpse of that surprisingly well-crafted super-sized effigy of himself grasping a Klan mask while en route to the mega-fundraiser. Yet, setting the couplet caucus aside for a moment, the president would do well to listen to these voices that are the most critical of him, for it is from them he could learn the most. Politically, it seems clear and expected that Angelenos would largely reject Trumpism, but what further steps do they plan to take? It remains to be seen if the resistance as illustrated at Beverly Hills Park can select the next Democratic presidential nominee with our neighbors in more conservative Arizona and Nevada.

    But snarky animated movie references aside, I spoke to another demonstrator, Mr. Fujimora, who told me that both his parents were interned in the Japanese internment camps during World War II. For him, his presence – really, his resistance – was profoundly personal.

    “I am against Donald Trump’s immigration policy. He’s telegraphed a lot of what he plans to do and it isn’t good.”   

    Demonstrator, Adnan Alvarzez of Teamsters Local 396, spoke to the same point.

    “Trump has proven himself to be a “racist” “who has put our democracy at great risk.”

    Then there’s Rick, who tells me he’s a recovering alcoholic who used to work in special education and that his mum was a former global activist. He offered a surprisingly convincing argument that Donald Trump is a “dry drunk”― an “untreated  alcoholic”― even though (according to him) he’s never had a single drink.

    “It’s important for me to be a part of this because we have to have a voice,” says Rick. “We have to stand up for our democracy and country. If we don’t we lose our voice and country. Donald Trump has no restraint of pen and tongue and this is straight from the big book (AA recovery manual).”

    Taking my own advice, it seemed fair to seek out the opinions of those whose voices would be in the minority.

    A good, if obvious, place to start was with the debonair-looking man dressed in a long red coat, top hat, and white gloves, who assured me that “Donald Trump is going to be reelected  in 2020 because he’s done great things for our economy.”

    Another pro-Trump voice came from Alicia Lopez, visiting the protests from the city of Orange. She felt that “Americans need to give Donald Trump a chance to implement his agenda. He’s only had a year and half. Many of these protesters don’t give him any credit for the good things he has done.”

    If there was a slight urge to succumb to temptation by noting their arguments lacked rhyme or, reason, it was better to let it go. After all, you don’t find political debate at a sanctioned park protest of a Beverly Hills fundraiser. At best, it’s a snapshot and a caricature at worst.

    Even so, it seemed the resistance remains focused on stuff my friends and I debate: protecting DACA recipients, rejecting racism, guarding California’s right to self-govern, its affinity for marijuana. Those intramural debates seemed a bit out of place among some of the more fringe elements at the park, especially amid the antifa and anti-Israel voices. When I spoke to some of the people who claimed to represent these elements, it was hard to see past the hidden faces cloaked by bandannas.

    Hey, I understand you may want to avoid whatever detection program “The Man” has in place, but it illustrates that anti, like white supremacists, are hardly mainstream. Maybe it’s just me, but hidden faces matched with violent rhetoric is just not a great look.

    Such musing were suddenly shattered. Jim ― bandanna wearing demonstrator from earlier ― assertively “offers” the megaphone to all of the cool people in the crowd, yet he’s pointing directly at me. What does he know? Why me? I didn’t even have a vape in my hand or a cloud of smoke following me.

    I begged off, telling him I couldn’t take the megaphone because I was covering the event. Given time, he might have argued that anyone ready to share their views with thousands of readers should be prepared to defend them in the here and now… but megaphone and rhyme games are not the stuff of “given time.” Maybe I should have wondered aloud and amplified, “Will the next election will be about how many of the resistance turn out, or how many non-activist “swing voters” we convince.

    Because there at Beverly Hills Park, it seemed there was plenty of the former that could hurt us with the later in the old voting booth, and that’s the truth.

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  • Volunteer with Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI)

    What are you doing with your free time? What if we told you we have an opportunity to have a ton of fun while giving back to your community? Sound good to you? Help re-build the Swift of Ipswich…

    The ship is now in the Maritime Institute’s yard near at the south end of Ports O’ Call Village,

    where the remaining work will be done in the institute’s Building G workshop on site.

    The tall ships serve the youth of LA and beyond, teaching them life lessons while encouraging ocean conservation.

    Your job? Help students sail the boats and perform science experiments. We’ll teach you all you need to know; use that knowledge to inspire, connect with, and help students shape better lives for themselves.

    Details: (310) 833-6055, volunteercoordinator@lamitopsail.org

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  • New Farmers Market Launched in North Long Beach

    The grand opening of the Houghton Park Farmers Market on Feb. 26 — a Monday — Long Beach now has a farmers market every day of the week.

    Houghton Park is in North Long Beach, on the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Harding St., and is open for business from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. during winter.

    In addition to fresh produce, the market provides a food court, live music and a free yoga session.

    EBT vouchers will be distributed for SNAP benefits using the EBT card. People using their EBT cards are also eligible for a “market match” which gives matching funds to buy fresh produce up to $10, according to the farmer’s market organizers.

    Time: every Monday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. during winter. The schedule backs up an hour during summer, from  3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    Venue: Houghton Park 6301 Myrtle Ave. Long Beach

    Parking is available on the street or the park parking lot.

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  • The Port of Long Beach

    The Port of Long Beach is accepting applications for it’s community sponsorship program until Friday, March 30, but any group that misses the deadline can shoot for this year’s next and final call for applications in September.

    The Harbor Department provides sponsorship funds to local groups for community events and programs which help inform residents about the Port of Long Beach’s role as an economic engine and a leader in environmental sustainability.

    In November of 2017, Harbor Commissioners awarded 100 Port sponsorships totaling $446,650 to organizations for events and programs benefiting the community. Local groups receiving funding included organizations focused on education, arts, diversity, environment and health.

    For more information and to apply, www.polb.com/sponsorship.

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  • March For Our Lives–Long Beach

    On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. March with us in Washington DC or march in your own community.


    March 24 

    Time: 10 a.m.

    Details: marchforourlives.com

    Venue: Bixby Park, 130 Cherry Ave

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  • San Pedro Bay/Long Beach: Clean Air Action Plan Advisory Meeting Scheduled

    An advisory meeting concerning progress of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) 2017 is set for March 29 in Long Beach.

    This is the first of up to four stakeholder advisory meetings per year, which are required as part of the CAAP Update approved by the Long Beach and Los Angeles boards of Harbor Commissioners, Nov. 2, 2017.



    March 29

    Time: 10 a.m. to noon

    Details: www.cleanairactionplan.org

    Where: 1st floor training room of the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices at 4801 Airport Plaza Dr., Long Beach, 90815

    The meeting is open to the public.


    The CAAP 2017 Update is a comprehensive strategy for accelerating progress toward a zero-emission future while protecting and strengthening the ports’ competitive position in the global economy.

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  • Project Censored Event

    Join us at the RLn headquarters and get your copy of the Project Censored book signed by authors Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth.


    March 29

    Time: 6 p.m.

    Place: Random Lengths News, 1300 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

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