• Los Lobos

    • 08/31/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Sept. 1
    Susie Hansen Latin Band
    Listen to jazz and chow down on food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Quiet Riot, Los Lobos
    Guests can come on and feel the noise on the Delta Air Lines stage for performances by Quiet Riot and Los Lobos, preceded by the comedy magic of The Great Omar and the Metallica tribute band Masters of Puppets.
    Time: 3 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/IowaFleetWeek2017
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 2
    Vince Neil
    Vince Neil, the Legendary Voice of Mötley Crüe, will be performing all the Mötley Crüe hits, with thanks to the generous underwriting of the Annenberg Foundation. A 1980s Dance Party will feature a special guest, kicking things off with an energetic show, followed by veterans Thom Tran and James P. Connolly of the GI’s of Comedy. The entertainment starts with local rock group Purple Sugar followed by comedians Wendy Liebman, Sean Carrigan and Culture Clash.
    Time: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/IowaFleetWeek2017
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    New Blues Festival IV

    More than 30 of the biggest names in Blues Music join us this Labor Day Weekend in the beautiful El Dorado Park in what promises to be its most ambitious event to date.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3
    Cost: $40 to $75
    Details: www.newsbluesfestival.com
    Venue: El Dorado Park, Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Colour My World
    Enjoy covers of Chicago’s biggest hits.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    Brent Payne, Shannon Rae
    Country stars Brent Payne and Shannon Rae headline the entertainment. They will be preceded by tribute bands Dog n Butterfly (Heart) and Mirage (Fleetwood Mac).
    Time: 3 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/IowaFleetWeek2017
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 4
    2H2H

    Join the all-female tribute to UFO on the USS Iowa for a “Shoot Shoot” holiday afternoon.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/yd55onwp
    Venue: Battleship USS Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd, Berth 87, San Pedro

    Sept. 8
    Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47
    Classical Crossroads’ First Fridays at First! ~ fff  recital series presents the Los Angeles Ensemble: violinist Joanna Lee violin, violist Tanner Menees, cellist Bingxia Lu and pianist Sung Chang.
    Time: 12 p.m. Sept. 8
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/FirstFridays.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church & School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    Sept. 10
    Catherine Gregory, David Kaplan
    Rolling Hills United Methodist Church’s Second Sundays At Two concert series presents flutist Catherine Gregory and pianist David Kaplan.
    Time: 2 p.m. Sept. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    Sept. 14
    San Pedro Jam Session
    Instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to sit-in and play the Jazz Standards from the
    American Songbook. Hugh von Kleist Quartet will host the event.
    Time: 9 p.m. Sept. 14, 21 and 28
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.facebook.com/hugh.vonkleist, www.facebook.com/hughvonkleistmusic
    Venue: Crimsin Lounge, 345 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Sept. 1
    Kill Climate Deniers
    The global premiere of playwright/activist David Finnigan’s hyper-real story for the stage, told in the style of an action film, that looks squarely into our battle against man-made extinction. What happens when the unstoppable force of climate change meets the immovable object of politics?
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays, Sept. 1 through Oct. 7
    Cost: $15 to $25
    Details: www.thegaragetheatre.org
    Venue: The Garage Theatre, 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    Sept. 1
    AARP… Silver Sneakers… And We
    Based on the idea of the 1970 Broadway musical, The Me Nobody Knows, which gave voice to the lives, hopes, loves, and frustrations of inner-city youth, this version is told from the perspective of the silver sneakers: elders.
    Time: 6 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: $5 to $10
    Details: (323) 350-1962
    Venue: Barbara Morrison Theatre, Leimert Park, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 1
    Papa’s Bathtub Gin
    This is a story about 1931 bootleggers hiding in plain sight in an African American community in Cleveland Ohio. It was inspired by true events that took place during the time of prohibition and the great depression in the USA
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: $5 to $10
    Details: (323) 350-1962
    Venue: Barbara Morrison Theatre, Leimert Park, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 1
    The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae
    Enjoy a courtroom satire about racial stereotypes. A struggling black businesswoman is suing the all-giving, malleable Mammy Louise and her sex-kitten daughter Safreeta Mae because their stereotypes hobble her progress.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 1 and 5 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: $5 to $10
    Details: (323) 350-1962
    Venue: Barbara Morrison Theatre, Leimert Park, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 2
    All in the Timing
    The Studio Theatre proudly presents All in the Timing by David Ives. This critically acclaimed, award-winning evening of comedic short plays combines wit, intellect, satire and just plain fun. Ives’ collection of six fast-paced glimpses into the eccentricities of life, love, communication and dating will shine a light at the absurdity of life.
    Time: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 through 30
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Pick of the Vine
    An exciting night of entertainment awaits you in these 7 to 15 minute short plays hand-picked by Little Fish Theatre from authors across the country.
    Time: 7 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 2
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Center St., San Pedro
    Details: (310) 512-6030; www.littlefishtheatre.org

    Sept. 9
    The Glass Menagerie
    This autobiographical “memory play” captures the fragility and stifled yearning of characters clinging to hope against the harsh realities of a rapidly changing world. Confined to a tiny St. Louis apartment on the eve of World War II, the Wingfield family struggles to find beauty amid the rough circumstances that surround them.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 9
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Details: (562) 436-4610; www.internationalcitytheatre.org
    Venue: International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    Sept. 10
    Silent Sky
    The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 10
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Venue:  International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach
    Details: (562) 436-4610; ictlongbeach.org

    ARTS

    Sept. 3
    Cada Mente en Su Mundo
    The Museum of Latin American Art is proud to host a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Luis Tapia, a pioneering Chicano artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 45 years, Tapia has taken the art of polychrome wood sculpture to new levels of craftsmanship while utilizing it as a medium for social and political commentary.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
    In May 1931, photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (19071954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until the end of their lives.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

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

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

    Sept. 16
    glass / cedar / grass
    Palos Verdes Art Center is pleased to announce glass / cedar / grass,  featuring contemporary works by Haida artists Corey Stein, Lisa Telford and Corey Bulpitt. Trained in traditional Native art making techniques, these artists are discovering new forms of expression to comment on contemporary life.
    Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 541-2479, pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Sept. 22
    Building a New California
    Rancho Los Cerritos announces a new exhibit, Building a New California: The Lives and Labor of Chinese Immigrants from 1850 to 1930. This exhibit highlights the experiences and contributions of Chinese immigrants in the Los Angeles region through photographs and artifacts.
    Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.rancholoscerritos.org
    Venue: Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Sept. 2
    Peninsula Seniors’ Coffee & Cars
    Car hobbyists and enthusiasts will enjoy hot rods, custom, muscle and sports cars, antiques, classics, exotics.
    Time: 7:30 a.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Peninsula Shopping Center, 67 Peninsula Center, Rolling Hills Estates

    Sept. 4

    © Reidar Schopp, All Rights Reserved, www.RLSFoto.com. Labor Day morning 9/7/2015 at 8:05 was the start of the Conquer the Bridge Run. Starting at 5th and Harbor Blvd in San Pedro, the run is over the Vincent Thomas Bridge with a U-Turn at Navy Way and then back over the bridge to 5th and Harbor. The run is 5.3 miles and is a fundraiser for the LAPD Cadet program.
    Francisco Garcia lead the entire race winning by 2 1/2 minutes.

    Conquer The Bridge 9
    Walk or run 5.3 miles across the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
    Time: 7 a.m. Sept. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.ConquerTheBridge.com
    Venue: Vincent Thomas Bridge, starting and ending along Harbor Boulevard at 5th Street, San Pedro

    Sept. 9
    Dancing in Old California
    Rancho Los Cerritos will invoke a 19th-century style fandango in celebration of California statehood. A dance lesson, covering waltzes, polkas, and set dances like the Spanish Waltz and El Coyote, will be followed by two sets of live music and dancing.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 9
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.rancholoscerritos.org/upcoming-event/dances-old-california
    Venue: Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach

    Sept. 10
    Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
    Gunnar Eiisel’s program “Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder” will explore shape, texture, and unworldly features of cactus and succulents to explain why we become attracted to, and even passionate about, these plants.
    Time: 1 p.m. Sept. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: southcoastcss.org
    Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula

    Sept. 12
    Tai Chi Returns to Long Beach Senior Center
    Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance with David returns Tuesdays. Tai Chi is an evidence-based fall-prevention program proven to reduce falls in mobile, community-dwelling older adults with continuous practice, increasing leg strength and improving balance.
    Time: 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.heartofida.org
    Venue: Long Beach Senior Citizen’s Center, 1150 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Sept. 17
    Salt Marsh Open House
    Step out into nature and discover the hidden world of the Salinas de San Pedro Salt Marsh. Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium educators and Coastal Park Naturalists as they help uncover the world of mud and water that is our local wetland.
    Time: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

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  • The Jazz Giant Sessions

    • 08/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Aug. 26
    The Jazz Giant Sessions
    Thin Man Entertainment presents a very special Jazz Salon Night featuring vocalist Mon David, bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin, drummer Al Williams and pianist Sam Hirsh.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 26
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: The Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Mark De Clive-Lowe
    A sonic journey of jazz and electronic music from a Japanese New Zealander.
    Time: 9 p.m. Aug. 26
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org
    Venue: Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

    Aug. 27
    Lynette Skynyrd
    Lynette Skynyrd is the world’s one and only female Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute. A lifelong Skynyrd fan, Laurie set out to create a tribute that truly does justice to the genre-defining Southern hard rock of the original band.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach
    Aug. 31
    Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo
    Listen to Afro-Venezuelan roots music and be ready to dance.
    Time: 8 p.m. Aug. 31
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts
    Venue: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

    Sept. 1
    Susie Hansen Latin Band
    Listen to jazz and chow down on food from the market.
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 1
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.farmersmarketla.com
    Venue: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

    Sept. 2
    Concert Under the Guns
    Experience the sounds of the Battleship Iowa. The event will include food trucks, beverages and fireworks.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2
    Cost: Free
    Details: (877) 446-9261
    Venue: Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    Sept. 2
    New Blues Festival IV
    More than 30 of the biggest names in Blues Music join us this Labor Day Weekend in the beautiful El Dorado Park in what promises to be its most ambitious event to date.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3
    Cost: $40 to $75
    Details: www.newsbluesfestival.com
    Venue: El Dorado Park, Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Colour My World
    Enjoy covers of Chicago’s biggest hits.
    Time: 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/ManhattanBchConcertsinthePark
    Venue: Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach

    Sept. 4
    2H2H
    Join the all-female tribute to UFO on the USS Iowa for a “Shoot Shoot” holiday afternoon.
    Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/yd55onwp
    Venue: Battleship USS IOWA, 250 S. Harbor Blvd, Berth 87, San Pedro

    THEATER

    Sept. 2
    All in the Timing
    This critically acclaimed, award-winning evening of comedic short plays combines wit, intellect, satire and just plain fun. David Ives’ collection of six fast-paced glimpses into the eccentricities of life, love, communication and dating will shine a light at just how absurd our daily lives can become.
    Time: 8 p.m. Sept. 2 through 30
    Cost: $10 to $27
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach
    Details: (562) 494-1014; boxoffice@lbplayhouse.org

    Pick of the Vine
    An exciting night of entertainment awaits you in these 7 to 15 minute short plays hand-picked by Little Fish Theatre from authors across the country.
    Time: 7 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 2
    Cost: $23 to $45
    Venue: Little Fish Theatre, 777 Center St., San Pedro
    Details: (310) 512-6030; www.littlefishtheatre.org

    Sept. 10
    Silent Sky
    The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries.
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 10
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Venue:  International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach
    Details: (562) 436-4610; ictlongbeach.org

    ARTS

    Aug. 25
    Audrey Barrett: Available Light
    Gallery 478 and TransVagrant Projects are pleased to present Audrey Barrett: Available Light, an exhibition of photography and auction benefiting City of Hope Metastatic Breast Cancer Research.
    Barrett (1940-2017) was an extraordinary photographer and designer whose aesthetic encompassed a broad spectrum from surrealism in photography to Russian constructivism in design. This exhibition consists of black and white gelatin silver and platinum palladium prints from her archive and includes many of the artist’s proofs.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, through Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 732-2150
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 27
    The Desolation Center Experience
    Desolation Center once drew punk and industrial music fans to the far reaches of the Mojave Desert for the first of five events, “Mojave Exodus,” in April of 1983. Cornelius Projects pays tribute to the Desolation Center with an exhibition featuring painting, photography, sculpture and video.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, through Aug. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: corneliusprojects.com, www.desolationcenter.com
    Venue: Cornelius Project, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    Sept. 3
    Cada Mente en Su Mundo
    The Museum of Latin American Art is proud to host a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Luis Tapia, a pioneering Chicano artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 45 years, Tapia has taken the art of polychrome wood sculpture to new levels of craftsmanship while utilizing it as a medium for social and political commentary.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    Sept. 3
    Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
    In May 1931, photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (19071954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until the end of their lives.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Sept. 3
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    .

    Aug. 25
    Visual Communications, Films by Youth Inside and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center bring an inspiring selection of works created by Pacific Islanders to the South Bay. Join the fun-filled evening of food, films and friends. RSVP by Aug. 21.
    Time: 7 p.m. Aug. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://pacinewaves.splashthat.com
    Venue: Carson Community Center, 801 E Carson St., Carson

    Aug. 27
    Castle in the Sky
    From the legendary Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki comes a rollicking adventure about a young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant who falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu. Together they search for a floating island, the site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets.
    Time: 1 p.m. Aug. 27
    Cost: $12.50
    Details: www.fathomevents.com/events/studio-ghibli-fest-castle-in-the-sky
    Venue: Cinemark Carson, 20700 Avalon Blvd., Carson

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  • Ships Ahoy!

    • 08/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    2017 LA Fleet Week Ships Announced

    SAN PEDRO — On Aug. 23 Los Angeles Fleet Week organizers released the names and details of the visiting military ships to the Los Angeles Harbor.

    The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships, which will start arriving Aug. 29, will be hosting tours from Sept. 1 through the Labor Day weekend.

    All visiting LA Fleet Week ships are active vessels recently deployed overseas. Online reservations for the free 20-minute ship tours went live on www.LAFleetWeek.com earlier this month and booked up quickly. However, walk-up tours are available to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Click here for the full list of public events and entertainment.

    Senior citizens and visitors with disabilities are encouraged to visit LA Fleet Week on Friday, September 1, to avoid the larger crowds over the weekend.

    LA Fleet Week ship details include:

    The USS Anchorage (LPD-23) is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and the second ship of the U.S. Navy to be a namesake of the city of Anchorage, Alaska. Its motto is We Leave Nothing to Chance.”

    USS Dewey (DDG-105) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy. Dewey is the third Navy ship named after Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, hero of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. Its motto is “The Will to Fight from the Heart.”

    USS Scout (MCM-8) is the eighth ship in the Avenger-class of mine countermeasure ships, commissioned by the U.S. Navy on December 15, 1990. Its motto is “Pathfinders – We lead the way.”

    Coast Guard Cutter Active, or USCGC Active (WMEC-618), is the eighth Coast Guard vessel to bear its proud name. A Reliance-class cutter, it was officially commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard on September 17, 1966. Its motto is “Li’l Tough Guy.”

    HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341) is a Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate, the Ottawa is named for Canada’s national  capital, the City of Ottawa, and is the twelfth and final ship of the Halifax class that were built as part of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project. Its nickname is “Ocean Beaver.”

    In addition to public ship tours, LA Fleet Week will feature dozens of exhibits and activities for the public to enjoy. These include military, first-responder and STEM displays and demonstrations, aircraft flyovers, live entertainment daily, free evening concerts on the Battleship IOWA, a Wednesday evening Welcome Party in downtown San Pedro, Saturday evening  fireworks, food, the popular Labor Day morning “Conquer The Bridge” race  and Victory Breakfast, a celebrity-judged Galley Wars  cooking competition between the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, Royal Canadian Navy.

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  • Jim’s Burgers No. 2 Gets Fresher Ingredients

    • 08/24/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Cuisine
    • Comments are off

    By Katrina Guevara, Contributing Writer

    On a Thursday at noon, two restaurant cooks grill a steak under a cast iron press, chop onions and fulfill dozens of orders from a new menu they had to learn after 10 years of working at the place. The cashier takes the orders from a line made up entirely of men. A longshoreman fills his cup with horchata from the soda fountain after ordering his lunch.

    Jim’s Burgers No. 2 was originally a family franchise founded in the 1970s. It expanded to more than 20 branches in Southern California from Gardena to La Mirada. This was the second one, thus the No. 2 in the name.

    It’s at a prime location, says Marc Gold, one of its new owners. Big rig trucks continuously pass by. There isn’t another food place within a half mile. And, it’s right across the street from a forthcoming Longshore Hall.

    After making sure Jim’s Burgers could serve any customer by being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, Gold and business partners Greg Gomez and TC also wanted to pay tribute to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The burger joint displays photos of an old warehouse, bridges and several landmarks to remind the many patrons of their roots.

    Gold said the true story behind Jim’s Burgers revival is about a Mexican, an Italian and a Jew who walked into a restaurant and saw a future: a true diversity team.

    The trio repainted the building, renovated the outdoor seating area and swapped out the old ingredients for quality choices. The onion rings and fries are freshly prepared. The hot dogs are now choice Hoffy dogs, known for their natural casing and “snap” when you bite into them. According to the National Hot Dog Council, Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city (more than 36 million pounds), beating out New York and Philadelphia.

    Some of the diner’s remnants are the vintage signs, employees and patrons. The renovated diner offers the same breakfast burrito from 1979 with cheese, ham, bacon, sausage and hash browns.

    Gold, an investigator at a law firm, has a keen eye for data and observing the habits of his customers. He notices the relish falling off from a Hoffy dog and remarks less condiments can be put on the menu item. He also said the former owners of Jim’s Burgers claimed they sold four hot dogs a day, when it only added up to four a month on reports. His goal is to sell a thousand dogs by Labor Day. Gold used to work as a magician on cruise ships as a teenager, so his taste for good food came at an early start. And, it does seem like he has worked some “magic” in turning this restaurant around.

    .

    Gold approaches two women in ILWU uniforms and discovers they both ordered his pride and joy: the Hoffy dogs. He asks if he can take a photo of them to post on social media.

    Gold thought opening a restaurant would be all tasting and eating with friends, but he said it is also about working 20-hour days, looking through cameras and managing the social media accounts.

    A few new menu items include the giant avocado bacon burger called the “LB 206” and a half-pound burger called “Berth 126.” Most items run less than $10. Items like the “Crane Operator” nachos are just $11.95. Gold said he wants everyone to have a fair meal at a fair price.

    Gold said some people count sheep to sleep, but he counts onion rings. Gold believes he was at the right place at the right time when investing in this location.

    It’s only a matter of time before the new Jim’s Burgers No. 2 wins over the hearts and stomachs of everyone who passes through this East Wilmington location.

    Jim’s Burgers No. 2 is at 1601 E. Anaheim Blvd. in Wilmington. The diner is open Mondays to Fridays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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    Charlottesville and the Shattering of America

    • 08/22/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • News
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    By Baynard Woods, Baltimore City Paper Editor-at-Large

    Two middle-aged men, one black and one white, were walking up a street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia yelling at each other. It was a moment of relative normalcy in a day otherwise defined by mayhem.

    Both men use the phrase “born and bred” to define their relationship to the smallish Southern college town, nestled in the hills in the politically contested state of Virginia.

    The white man, Ed Knight, was wearing a Confederate flag bandana around his head.

    “You, with that stupid Confederate flag, talking about history,” the black man, George Steppe, said. “You don’t know nothing about no history. Only thing you know is hate.”

    “This is our history and it should not be destroyed,” Knight said of the statue of Robert E. Lee in the park, where an alt-right Unite the Right rally had been scheduled.

    Knight supported the rally that brought hundreds of armed racists and fascists to his home city on Aug. 12. It also brought hundreds of anti-fascists, some of them armed with sticks and shields as well, pledging to defend the city from right-wing terror. Now, after hours of bloody battle during which they remained largely passive, riot police were breaking things up, pushing Steppe back, inching forward behind their shields. Knight walked alongside with a sign reading, “Make C-Ville Great Again.”

    The chaos started the night before, as the Nazis and other racists gathered for the 21st-century version of a Klan rally—a Klanclave of khaki and tiki torches. At one point, a group of the white supremacists surrounded a group of counterprotesters, throwing punches and torches.

    Within minutes of arriving in town on Saturday morning, we saw the first of many fights.

    White supremacists with helmets—some German World War II-era—white polos, sticks, an assortment of flags, and homemade shields marked with the insignia of the racist group Vanguard America chanted at a smaller crowd of counterprotesters.

    “You can’t run, you can’t hide, you get helicopter rides,” they said, a reference to far-right governments in Argentina and Chile in the ’70s and ’80s that threw leftists from helicopters to “disappear” them.

    The racists began to march forward and the anti-racists tried to block them. After a swirl of violence and swinging sticks, three of the counterprotesters were left with bloody faces—the racists seemed to target women’s faces with their sticks—and the racists, who also took some heavy blows, ran away as the cops finally rolled in and began setting up a barricade.

    Over the next several hours, this same pattern continued to play out: Another fight broke out every few minutes as a new faction of the right marched in its crazed Tom Sawyer armor toward the park.

    The park was filled with every variety of racist you can imagine, from the Nazi biker to the fashy computer programmer. They were almost exclusively white and male. The anti-fascist activists who packed the streets were predominantly white but there were far more women and people of color opposing the Nazis. Otherwise the two opposing armies seemed to be of roughly equal size. The fights were swift, chaotic, and brutal.

    The two sides launched bottles and tear gas canisters back and forth as state troopers stood and watched, slack-jawed. At one point, as a few bottles whizzed by him in quick succession, a trooper perked up enough to pull out his phone and record some of the mayhem.

    When the police declared the assembly illegal before it even began and told everyone to leave, it forced these groups together. Right-wing militia types wielding assault rifles and wearing MAGA patches on paramilitary uniforms roamed through the crowd. Guys with pistols seemed to keep their hands on them, ready to draw at any moment. It felt like something horrible would happen.

    Then, as the various groups became separated, it seemed like the rumble had largely ended.

    “I’m glad no serious gunshots rang out. I was threatened with a gun, though. Police wasn’t around when a guy pulled up his gun up on me, though,” Steppe said, around 12:30 p.m.

    Steppe and Knight both seemed to think that it was the end of the day.

    The racists, who had not been able to hold their rally, were trying to regroup at another park a little further from downtown. Eventually, as a state of emergency was declared, they decided to leave—some of them even suggested hiding in the woods.

    Antifa burned right-wing flags in a park and then marched through the city; two groups converged on Water Street at around 1:35 p.m. It felt triumphant. They had driven the racists out of town—or at least those from out of town.

    About five minutes later, as they marched through the streets, it sounded like a bomb exploded as a muscle car, which police say was driven by alt-right member James Alex Fields, sped down the street and plowed through the march and into other cars. Fields then threw the weaponized car into reverse, fleeing from the scene of terror.

    Bodies were strewn through the road. Street medics, marked by red tape, delivered first aid while waiting on ambulances to arrive. Activists held Antifa banners to block camera views of the injured.

    The alt-righters were nowhere to be found. Trump meandered through a speech in New Jersey in which which he condemned violence on “many sides.”  

    He did not use the words “white supremacy” or “terrorism.” He did not say the name of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in the terror attack. He did not offer support to the 19 others who were hospitalized or prayers for those who were still in critical condition.

    Fields, who was photographed earlier in the day with the same Vanguard America shield we saw when we first arrived in town, was arrested and charged with murder.

    I am writing this later the same night as the attack and I won’t to pretend to know what it means for our country. The racism is not new. The argument Steppe and Knight were having in their hometown could have happened any time in the last 50 years. But the way the battle over white supremacy was being waged around them was new, and Charlottesville was not ready for it. None of us are.

    When that gray car slammed into those people, it shattered a part of America, or at least the illusion of it. I don’t know what that means yet, because it shattered something in me, too.

    Additional reporting by Brandon Soderberg

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  • Fleet Week’s Questionable Benefits

    By Chris Venn, Member of San Pedro Neighbors for  Peace and Justice

    The arrival of Fleet Week in San Pedro from Aug. 29 to Sept. 3 raises the question of what effect military spending has on society and on our democracy.

    With thousands of sailors in San Pedro along with visitors from Southern California, some local businesses reported that sales increased significantly during Fleet Week and are expecting an economic benefit this year.

    Many communities have become dependent on this spending and the glorification of war and the military budget which Fleet Week represents.

    The budget for fiscal year 2017 will not increase but the military budget is proposed to increase by $53 billion. This money will come directly from social programs that are important for the health and well-being of our communities.

    Fifteen years of bombings and war have not led to peace in Afghanistan, Iraq or the countries that are a focus of U.S. military action. Bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria do nothing to address the reasons for violent extremism and do a great deal to radicalize the people being attacked.

    What will happen to our society with greater and greater military spending? Experience from other countries and history is unequivocal. The build-up of the military has severe consequences on civil liberties, democracy, veterans and youth who join the military because there are few options. Most importantly, foreign policy and economy increasingly dependent on the military drive up the likelihood of war.

    A May 9, 2017 study by the Friends Committee on National Legislation indicates that:

    • Further increasing the Pentagon’s budget is fiscally irresponsible.
    • Pentagon spending rose sharply after 9/11, increasing more than 40 percent in 10 years.
    • Even after Congress instituted a cap on federal spending, the $600 billion Pentagon budget is still at or near the levels of the Cold War and the Vietnam War.
    • The build-up of the military does not decrease but rather increases the threat of war.

    In 2016, U.S. taxpayers paid $57.52 million for Department of Defense each and every hour. The military receives $3,979 from the average California taxpayer, according to National Priorities Project (www.nationalpriorities.org). To date no amount of Pentagon spending has appreciably affected the disappearing job market.

    “For every $1 billion spent on the military 11,000 jobs are created, for every $1 billion spent on education 26,000 jobs are created,”  according The Job Opportunity Cost of War (http://tinyurl.com/JobOpCostofWar).

    Diplomacy and peace through means rather than the militarism which has permeated our society is our only recourse.

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

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  • Columbus Day: A Legacy of Tyranny

    • 08/18/2017
    • Zamná Ávila
    • News
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    #SomosIndigenas #IndigenousPeoplesDay

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor

    On Aug. 8, Councilman Joe Buscaino released a letter urging constituents to attend the Aug. 22 Los Angeles City Council meeting and oppose what he called a “misguided proposal” to replace references to Columbus Day in official city documents with Indigenous People’s Day.

    In that letter, Buscaino chose to wrap Columbus in the value cloth of willful immigration and diversity. He even goes so far as to say,  “Columbus, or Columbia, is no longer about a man … it is now a universal theme.”

    As a first-generation Chicano of indigenous Mayan ancestry, I find Buscaino’s call for action deeply troubling.

    Buscaino argues that Columbus Day “recognizes the beginning of a worldwide immigration to America.” Crediting Christopher Columbus with  opening the door for Europeans to immigrate to the Americas isn’t unreasonable. But crediting him with the diversity of our country? That’s not only myopic, but irresponsible. Columbus Day does more than just celebrate immigrants coming to the Americas for a better life; it glorifies a legacy of tyranny, the greed of which brought death and cruelty to a continent. For people of indigenous ancestry, Columbus not only symbolizes the colonization that came from this encounter but also the injustice that still reverberates in the generational hearts of Native Americans.

    After “discovering” the so-called “New World,” Columbus left 39 men there when he returned to Spain. They helped themselves to the local native women until Columbus returned with 1,200 more soldiers, who continued where the original 39 left off–raping, pillaging and torturing. The Spaniards found this (morally) easy to do because they considered the natives subhuman.

    Christopher Columbus allowed his men to use the natives as dog food.

    The mistreatment of indigenous people during Columbus’ voyages is well-documented in letters from passengers and crew members. The correspondence describes how native people were captured and pressed to work in gold mines to the point of exhaustion. Those who resisted or refused were tortured or gruesomely murdered. Failure to produce at least a thimble of gold every three months was punishable. The violators’ hands were cut off and tied around their necks, then left to bleed to death. Some 10,000 indigenous persons died during this time.

    Columbus was significantly involved in setting up the slave trade that sold girls — as young as nine years old — for sex.

    Letters and diaries of soldiers under Columbus’s command document the standard practice of feeding their attack dogs the body parts of indigenous people. Even the tossing of living babies to the dogs was documented.

    If Columbus Day “is no longer about a man,” as Buscaino suggests, why not create a celebration about a people? Italian American heritage is something to be celebrated. Why equate Italian Americans with such a ruthless mercenary?

    In the 241 years since the birth of the United States and almost 525 years since Columbus reached the Caribbean islands, thousands of Italians and Italian Americans have made their mark on American culture. Perhaps those Italian and Italian descendents would be of greater influence and relevance to Italian-American heritage and pride.

    Buscaino said he believes that “recent news events highlight the need for racial and ethnic harmony.”

    In the days following his letter,  James Alex Fields, Jr., an avowed white nationalist, drove his car into a crowd of anti-white-supremacy demon- strators. The protest and counter-protest, a demonstration comprised of white fascists and the Ku Klux Klan,  followed the decision to take down the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who has become an icon of the far right.

    Thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was killed and several people were injured.

    What Christopher Columbus represents and what Gen. Robert E. Lee represents aren’t that far apart.

    If Buscaino truly believes in the importance of teaching, “young people about the contributions of all cultures,” then let’s start with a reality check and look at the man he wants to celebrate. The impacts of colonization and Columbus are still felt by natives across the two American continents.

    Indigenous people face mass incarceration, poverty, land stripping, exploitation of natural resources, violence against women and children, failed education, housing issues, inadequate health care, suicide, and culture and language death, among other issues.

    It is easy for people of privilege to ignore history and the suffering inflicted by centuries of injustice, conveniently using fear about the dissolution of a culture to maintain the status quo.

    It astounds me that a councilman — who was only able to give one instance of his accomplishments (a pool in South Los Angeles) during his State of the District — has decided to use his energy to urge constituents to counter the council’s progressive move, instead of focusing on authoring meaningful ordinances that would improve the quality of life for his district’s residents.

    I urge the councilman to rethink his stance. I support his call for constituents to attend the Aug. 22 meeting, but in support of the proposal to eliminate the celebration of a historical monster. Also, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to discuss and vote on Indigenous People’s Day on Aug. 30. Continuing to celebrate Columbus Day is misguided. Ignoring the realities of our history is lazy, insensitive and privileged, and the refusal to remove these references that no longer reflect our values is problematic.

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  • Rancho’s Hidden History Sheds Light on Public Safety Threat

    • 08/18/2017
    • Paul Rosenberg
    • News
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    Rancho’s Hidden History Sheds Light on Public Safety Threat

    By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

    “Mistakes are a sign of action and movement, and are necessary and inevitable in business,” said RJ Munzer, long-time CEO of Petrolane, in a 1979 interview in Nation’s Business. “But living with mistakes is a sign of stupidity.”

    San Pedro’s Rancho LPG facility — built by Petrolane in 1973 — strikes some as a perfect example of what Munzer was talking about, despite whatever Munzer himself might have thought about the facility.

    Initially built to receive about 50 million gallons of liquified petroleum gas annually via ship, Rancho only received two shipments, totaling less than 12 million gallons. It would never function as originally intended or as its environmental impact report described.

    The first shipment was the only one from Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-owned oil and gas company, which had signed a nine-and-a half year contract.

    The second, following the Sansenia explosion, required an escort of two fireboats and a complete shutdown of the port. Aroused public pressure blocked construction of an anticipated prime customer, a companion mixing plant in Wilmington designed to process propane with air to dilute it so it could substitute for natural gas. Still, Munzer was a lifelong salesman and LPG was what he sold best. But a salesman may not be the best judge of public safety.

    Built at a time of stunningly lax regulations — without either a building permit or an environmental impact report (one was completed just as construct finished) — it has repeatedly been kept alive by bureaucratic inertia, despite sharply increased evidence of risk and failures to comply with regulations. Ever since the 1984 San Juanico disaster near Mexico City, which killed more than 500 people and injured more than 7,000, the dangers of LPG transport have been undeniable, yet they’re still systematically ignored.

    Hidden Origins: Nixon’s Secret Plan Casts Local Shadow

    Why does San Pedro have an ultra-hazardous LPG facility in the first place? Munzer is one key factor. But another is Richard Nixon, who made the Algeria connection possible. According to documents uncovered by Marcie Miller, who served on Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council from 2009 to 2013, a case can be made that the facility is a bizarre offshoot of Richard Nixon’s infamous “secret plan” to win the Vietnam War, which he promised to voters in 1968.

    He didn’t actually have a plan to win the Vietnam War, but he hoped to end it less ignominiously with a strategy to divide the forces of similar national liberation struggles across the globe; one such struggle won Algeria’s independence from France in 1962. Nixon’s 1972 trip to China openly epitomized this approach. But a great deal more was hidden, including a secret effort to woo and influence Algeria — a participant in the Paris Peace Talks. This centered around initiating liquified natural gas and liquified petroleum gas imports as documented in once-classified documents from the White House, CIA and U.S. Department of State.

    “There was a flurry of activity [from] 1969-70: ‘How can we win favor with the Algerians?’” said Miller, summarizing what she had found. “The best way would be to infuse a new government with lots of money in return for something.”

    That something, she suspects, included the San Pedro LPG terminal and Nixon’s involvement helped hurry the process with minimal oversight.

    The interest in liquid natural gas (primarily methane) is central in the documents, given the relative size of the markets involved. But the San Pedro and Algeria LPG connection was publicly announced at the time, just a few months after the LNG deal. What wasn’t known was the hidden geopolitical side of the story.

    “Options open to the U.S. to increase its influence and prestige in Algeria are few,” a February 1967 CIA memo began. However, prospects gradually improved, despite a break in diplomatic relations following the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War in June of that year.

    “[Algerian President Houari] Boumediene has categorically stated that his primary interest is in economic development,” said National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in a memo to Nixon in October 1970. “He is anxious to have greater access to U.S. energy markets, capital resources and technology, and commercial ties with the U.S. have flourished even in the absence of diplomatic relations.”

    In June 1971, Kissinger wrote a memo supporting the Sonartach LNG deal.

    “It would improve relations with Algeria while reducing the Soviet influence and strengthening elements within Algeria who favor closer ties with the U.S.,” he wrote.

    The following March, Kissinger continued.

    “While the Algerians have not abandoned their philosophical positions on such issues as the Palestinian revolution and Vietnam, Boumediene’s pragmatic interest in developing Algeria has made possible a foundation for relating to the U.S. in areas — primarily economic — matching Algeria’s needs,” he wrote.

    On April 3, 1973, the Washington Post had reported a $1.7 billion deal for Algerian LNG from Sonatrach. The deal included the transportation of one billion cubic feet of liquified natural gas within 25 years. Then, on June 21, 1973, the Los Angeles Times announced that Petrolane would purchase about 500 million gallons of LPG from Sonatrach for as much as $40 million within a nine-and-a-half-year period. But neither deal worked out as planned. The LNG deal floundered, resulting in a massive lawsuit, as Algeria repeatedly increased the cost of its product in the wake of the oil crisis and the following geopolitical turmoil. The LPG deal, as noted above, only produced a single six-million-gallon shipment. But at the time the deals were conceived, they were central to altering United States-Algeria relations. Ripples were felt throughout North Africa and the wider oil-producing world.

    A wide range of other issues float through the declassified documents — everything from a proposed $60-plus million air defense system deal with Raytheon to concerns over Algeria having given asylum to Timothy Leary, who the Algerians said had just “dropped out of the sky,” and who worried them as a potential influence on their youth. But the LNG project clearly played the central role.

    Other Factors

    Three other factors loom behind Petrolane’s creation of the LPG facility: the unique nature of the LPG business as a niche product in the oil and gas industry, Petrolane’s spectacular growth record — both in its core business and elsewhere — based on seeing itself primarily as a sales company and the tremendous growth of the oil and gas sector in California within the previous decade.

    As explained in the 2003 book, The Story of LPG, that story “began with a problem, an unstable transportation fuel, continued with a disaster, the Hindenberg crash in 1937 and then developed with the efforts of a few enterprising individuals who had the vision to see its commercial possibilities.”

    The early disasters remain as warnings.

    Munzer had the same sort of enterprising vision that helped launch the industry in the first place, always looking for new ways in which LPG could be used or sold. Replacing distribution via cylinders with customer tanks that could hold several months’ supply was an early source of Petrolane’s growth, for example. Turning LPG into a common auto and truck fuel was a particular long-term obsession for Munzer.

    But he wasn’t just wedded to LPG. Petrolane never had a formal growth plan according to Munzer. “Instinct and desire, those were the things that moved us,” he told Nation’s Business in 1979. “In the early 1960s, we realized we could really sell anything if it fit the locations in which we were operating. Our base was marketing; we understood that function, regardless of the product.”

    In the early 1960s, the Los Angeles Times began publishing annual lists of California’s top 100 companies. In 1963, Petrolane was ranked 82nd in the state, with sales of $29 million and $2.3 million in profits, roughly 1 percent of top-ranked Standard Oil of California, with sales of $2.25 billion and profits of $313.8 million. Two other oil companies made the top 10 that year.

    The next decade saw California’s oil and gas business boom, but excesses and dangers came into focus as well. Smog-fighting intensified as a Los Angeles concern and the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill ignited the modern environmental movement, giving rise to Earth Day and spurring a wave of state and federal laws. Petrolane increasingly promoted LPG as an ecofriendly alternative. In a 1971 Los Angeles Times story, “Petrolane Reaps Profits as LP Scores Hit with Ecology Buffs,” Munzer predicted that LPG would account for 3 percent of all auto fuel in the United States by 1975 — a dramatic increase over the (unverified) 1 percent figure he cited as then current.

    By 1973, the number of oil and gas companies in California’s top 10 had grown to five, including the top three slots. But Petrolane grew even faster: more than twelvefold in sales and almost sevenfold in earnings by 1973. It ranked 37th, with sales of $352.8 million and $15.9 million in profits, while the top five oil companies totalled $21 billion in sales and $1.5 billion in profits.

    At the same time, Petrolane’s holdings had diversified significantly. Operations expanded from 17 states along with British Columbia and Mexico in 1963 to 47 states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and western Europe in 1973. By that time, Petrolane’s holdings included a “fleet of 61 vessels worldwide for offshore exploration and development, a services division providing directional drilling and surveying services, as well as 51 Stater Brother supermarkets, 26 Mark C. Bloome tire centers, 14 drug stores, and three department stores in a joint venture.”

    Petrolane’s “Green” Fantasy

    Stater Brothers grew rapidly under Petrolane’s ownership, but the tire centers relate directly to our story. When Petrolane made a $30 million offer to buy the tire center chain in January 1972, the Los Angeles Times prominently reported that “ecology-minded motorists will have more facilities where they can have their cars converted from gasoline to propane gas … the fuel conversion facilities would be installed at some of the 22 Mark C. Bloome tire and automotive accessory outlets in Southern California, according to R.J. Munzer, Petrolane chairman.”

    There were three reasons this was an audacious, if not hare-brained scheme. First, LPG conversion kits cost $400 compared to $300 for LNG conversion (and are still seen as problematic today); second, the lack of refueling stations (Petrolane had opened five such stations, including one in Los Angeles, which could work for fleet sales — its initial market niche — but not for individual drivers); third, LPG’s particularly dangerous properties.

    “I would never ride in an LPG-fueled car,” retired oil industry consultant Connie Rutter told Random Lengths News, summing up her safety concerns.

    Still, Munzer saw it as a huge potential market and he was nothing if not a salesman. His attitude permeated Petrolane’s thinking. The after-the-fact environmental impact report for the LPG facility made a characteristically dramatic and wildly unrealistic claim:

    “If all local cars and trucks were equipped with propane combustion equipment, air pollution from motor vehicles would be reduced by 50 to 75 percent in the air basin,” the environmental impact report stated.

    That appeal apparently resonated with public officials at the time. But grassroots environmentalists were unmoved and so was the marketplace.

    At the same time, the extremely primitive EIR paid no attention to any potential for explosions. Nor did it foresee anything like the current operations. It describes the project as composed of three elements: a marine unloading arm, an underground pipeline and a storage and distribution terminal facility, containing no discussion of rail operations at all, much less of safety considerations.

    “Petrolane planned to receive LPG by ship, blend it with air in another plant in Wilmington, then send it out by truck to customers who were affected by an expected natural gas shortage in 1972,” Rutter summed up.

    Petrolane apparently began with the assumption that no EIR would be needed. But on Sept. 21, 1972, the California Supreme Court ruled (in Friends of Mammoth v. Board of Supervisors) that government agencies must file EIRs before approving significant private developments. On Oct. 4, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles County Supervisors passed a motion directing the development of county procedures and placed 14 pending conditional use permits on hold. Petrolane’s project was apparently already underway. Its EIR was not completed until the project was done, with no public review process. As noted above, it did not secure a city building permit either. Rather than revisit and correct any flaws, they have been repeatedly treated as sacrosanct and even compounded over the years.

    The most recent example of this involves the State Lands Commission. Corresponding with Rhys Williams, chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of three board members of the State Lands Commission, homeowner activist Janet Gunter referred to the evidence Miller found.

    “There has never been any environmental impact review that responds to this LPG operation as it exists today,” Gunter wrote.

    She pressed for the commission to get the Port of Los Angeles to provide “a rationale and a justification for the high risk exposure and potential liability that faces the public and the State from this site and its rail use.”

    “You’re asking the commission to exercise jurisdiction that it does not appear to hold, in my opinion,” Williams wrote in response.

    But Miller has also turned up evidence that the commission had a much more hands-on understanding of its role and responsibilities in the 1980s and 90s.

    For example, a calendar item from May 9, 1996 states: “Section 10 of Chapter 29 requires that the commission approve all new contracts; and all amendments to existing contracts entered into by the city as tidelands trustee for, among other things, the processing of gas from the Long Beach granted tidelands.”

    Given this view of oversight responsibilities, the commission would surely seem to have jurisdiction over operational changes that legally require a new EIR, as has happened at Rancho and Petrolane over the years. Activists will be making that argument with renewed force when SLC considers an informational item on Rancho at its Aug. 17 meeting —with a satellite video-conference meeting site at Ports O’Call Restaurant. While many of the details in Rancho and Petrolane’s history remain obscure —if not completely hidden — enough is now known to see how past patterns continue to repeat — and how government officials have repeatedly failed to correct past mistakes.

    “Mistakes are a sign of action and movement, and are necessary and inevitable in business,” Munzer once said. “But living with mistakes is a sign of stupidity.”

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  • Grand Performances Breaks Boundaries

    • 08/18/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Culture
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer

    Across cultures and time, humans have had an appreciation of and connection with dance. Language does not limit dance. There are no boundaries to it; it only requires an open mind and imagination. Grand Performances recently broke the boundaries of imagination.

    In No Side Now: Dance that Abandons Boundaries on Aug. 4 at Grand Performances, four artists’ visions and works are connected into a cohesive and stunning production. The pieces drew on movement styles from broad sources including street dance, studio practices and girlhood games.

    Choreographer Milka Djordjevich’s Anthem questions contemporary dance’s tendency towards neutrality, authenticity and the desexualization of the female body. Four women costumed in pants performed a dance that began, although fluid in form, with restraint. They danced in unison in lines and circles repetitively.

    They moved switching their hands back and forth, from their frontal regions where their hips and thighs met and then back onto their buttocks. This was the dance’s foundation. It escalated to rhythmic chest patting, hand clapping and paddy cake with alternating partners. The dancers tackled multiple contradictory tasks, embracing the performance of invented female persona. Their continuous movements amplified the dance with increasingly elaborate configurations. Anthem ultimately transitioned into full-blown jazz dancing vivacity complete with an original score by Chris Peck.

    Micaela Taylor’s Popmadness

    Micaela Taylor with her company, The TL Collective, have a reputation for precision and a distinctive movement style that blends contemporary dance with theatrical hip-hop.

    Much of this piece was fueled by sharp techno and synth-rich music. But it had a whole lot of soul, too. The dancers’ bodies were precision instruments, yet they embodied liberation. It was a performance, the energy of which you couldn’t take your eyes off.

    They created a synthesis of shape, line and gesture. Popmadness was alive with popping and jazz dancing, character-driven theatrics and ferocious funkiness. The dancers were simultaneously robotic and sensuous while personifying the inventiveness of a new generation of dancers in a world of complexity and opportunity.

    Amy O’Neal’s Opposing Forces: Solo Remix

    This solo piece re-examines Amy O’Neal’s most recent group work, Opposing Forces, developed in collaboration with a company of b-boys.

    After enjoying a multi-city U.S. tour, O’Neal altered her original choreography. It went through an evolution toward self-mastery. The piece originally confronted fears of the feminine in the masculine world of break dance via a solo that travels through the complexities of physical, cultural and creative power.

    O’Neal hit the stage all in black and her face covered with a hoody. She stayed close to the ground for much of the performance. The screen behind her illuminated the dark stage with two rays of light forming an “X” and then, purple haze with soft pink in the center.

    With mind-blowing skill, O’Neal captured the full gamut of dance. She moved seamlessly between balletic effervescence and technical jazz — Broadway hallmarks. She even presented a subtle encapsulation of post-modern and flowed right into isolation, hip-hop and breaking.

    Her movements coupled with her black clothing made O’Neal serpentine — a black cord of energy traversing different landscapes.

    d. Sabela grimes Electrogynous

    A description of d. Sabela grimes’ works offers a look into the depth of his piece, Electrogynous:

    d. Sabela [grimes’] … interdisciplinary performances reveal physical and meta-physical efficacies of Afro-Diasporic cultural practices. His AfroFuturistic dance theater projects consider invisibilized histories and grapple with constructed notions of masculinity and manhood, while conceiving a womynist consciousness.

    Electrogynous could be a theatrical work with its dramatic clarity.

    The five-person troupe, choreographed by d. Sabela grimes, entered a dimly lit stage. They wore strings of electric lights around their necks like nooses. One dancer repeated, “I.”

    The powerful entrance pointed to the range and depth of what was to come. The piece covered far-reaching past and future of black identity, expressed through soundscapes, video and spoken word. It countered historically imposed notions of femininity and masculinity.

    The poetry was as astounding as the dance.

    She be darker than her silhouette’s
    God’s home brew, ocean of soul
    hair full of Coltrane notes.

    The finale was performed to a remix of Bob Marley’s Exodus. This powerfully expressed piece was a narrative. They danced under a pyramid, through sparring movements into elegant kinetics exemplifying a hard fought and spiritual journey to the lyric, “wipe away transgressions” to “move,” fusing hand claps, deeply funky hip-hop and jazz dancing.

    The end of the performance was highlighted with a few words from a performer expressing a self-awareness through a source of higher power:

    “I come. Eternal harvest reaper of no things grim. I, self-law and master, bear witness to the evidence of language, independent of words.”

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  • Pacific Cine Waves

    • 08/17/2017
    • Kym Cunningham
    • Culture
    • Comments are off

    Carceral, Colonial Trauma Take Center Stage

    By Kym Cunningham, Contributing Writer

    On Aug. 25, the Carson Community Center will host Pacific Cine Waves, showcasing a selection of films created by Pacific Islanders.

    The event aims to positively affect communities through storytelling and the arts.

    “Our mission is to support Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers,” said Francis Cullado, executive director of Visual Communications — the first American nonprofit dedicated to empowering Asian Pacific communities by challenging perspectives in the media arts. “If nobody is going to tell our stories, we have to tell our stories ourselves.”

    The event is a collaboration between Visual Communications, Films by Youth Inside, known as FYI Films, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

    Although Visual Communications usually participates in events that feature and support East Asian communities, the creation of Pacific Cine Waves is meant as a stepping stone so that the organization can branch ou, both in terms of perspective and location. Through this free event, Visual Communications hopes to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the media arts world.

    “I don’t want our audience to be just Asian/Pacific Islanders,” Cullado said. “We want to be very inclusive…. It would be great if … all of the different media groups … were working together and making those impacts together.”

    To accomplish this goal, Visual Communications teamed up with director Alex Muñoz of FYI Films, a classically trained filmmaker who has been teaching his trade to incarcerated youth in Los Angeles County — the epicenter of the American carceral epidemic — since 2000.

    Giving Incarcerated Youth a Voice

    Originally intended as a single lecture at the formerly named California Youth Authority, Muñoz’s program snowballed into an accredited eight-week course now featured in several locations, including Los Angeles County, Guam, Hawaii and Ute Mountain. Muñoz’s program specifically focuses on incarcerated youth — most of whom have not had adequate educations. The industry training provides them with a future beyond prison cell walls.

    “FYI empowers youth affected by the juvenile justice system to improve their lives and become self-reliant,” Muñoz said. “Through media literacy and the creative story-telling process, youth find their voice and gain valuable skills that are transferable to all areas of their life.

    “The youth deserve the opportunity for self-examination…. They always make films based on their own personal or immediate past. When they look at their own lives being played on the screen, they realize that they matter.”

    Muñoz’s program has had a ripple effect, impacting not only the lives of the youth but also those of their families and the community as a whole.

    “California [youth] recidivism rate is about 80 percent,” Muñoz explained. “Ours is about 15.”

    Muñoz told a story about two mothers who had struggled with addiction throughout the childhoods of their now-incarcerated sons. After watching the screening of the movie that detailed the devastating effects of parental addiction, these women checked into rehab programs within the same week.

    “The films are … brutally honest,” Muñoz said.

    Hard Improvisation

    But providing these youth with a voice wasn’t easy.

    “This is a population that is so underserved and so overlooked,” Muñoz said. “It took me a while to really figure out [how to teach them]. I couldn’t teach it USC-style because a lot of the youth are subliterate. So, I had to kind of shape the curriculum and make it their own.”

    Despite their lack of formal training, Muñoz said that these youth are incredibly innovative, coming up with ideas like bungee cams and suspended cameras that swing around the trunk of a tree. The youth also work to make these films their own, developing lingo that centers around their shared experience of incarceration as well as improvising all of their own lines.

    Born Fo’ Bang, directed by FYI Films Hawaii Youths tells the story of a Hawaiian youth who refuses to beat up a haole as part of his gang initiation. His older brother threatens to ex-communicate him from the gang and his family. Photo courtesy of Alex Munoz

    “They take ownership of the medium,” Muñoz said. “The first day I give them their cameras, they always aim back at the surveillance cameras.”

    Perhaps even more impressive, Muñoz said, was the rational and harrowing grasp these youths have of their own social positionality, viewing themselves — as one of his students put it — as “expendable.”

    “This is a really fragile population and we’re not doing enough: we’re not rehabilitating them; we’re just punishing them,” Muñoz said. “The more I worked with incarcerated youth, the more I realized that some of the kids were incarcerated because they stole baby formula, because they were a teen father and couldn’t afford it, or they stole a bike. It seemed somehow unjust to be incarcerated for 10 months for stealing a bike from someone’s backyard…. The system is changing for the better, but the odds are stacked against them.”

    Muñoz uses FYI Films, in part, to rebel against the prison industrial complex, the multifaceted societal systems in place which make the future of time and unpaid labor in prison almost a guarantee for many American youth of color.

    “Hollywood needs to do more to empower young people of color from disadvantaged communities,” Muñoz said. “For me, they radicalized cinema…. The youth have kind of formed their own genre. It’s kind of like neo-ethnographic realism…. It’s made me more excited about filmmaking.”

    Guam’s Colonial Trauma

    Muñoz has taken this radicalized notion of what cinema can be back to his father’s home country of Guam. Since 2010, Muñoz has worked with incarcerated youth in Guam, attempting to heal some of the trauma inflicted under hundreds of years of Spanish, Japanese and American colonial rule.

    One of Muñoz’s films to be shown during Pacific Cine Waves, Guam is Crying, weaves together elements of political violence and creative fantasy in demonstration of the terrible ramifications of American foreign policy on the island.

    “During the Iraq War, Guam was losing more soldiers a month than each state in the country,” Muñoz said.

    Strategically, Guam is important to the United States as a military base. Indeed, the U.S. military occupies 48.5 percent of the land. This also makes Guam a target for countries such as North Korea, leading the residents of Guam to live in perpetual fear of impending war.

    Similarly, the residents of Guam are subject to the bizarre limitations of being citizens of an unincorporated U.S. territory rather than a state. They can nominate, but not vote for the president and it takes four Guam residents to equal a single “mainland” resident in terms of delegates. Muñoz’s films seek to address the denial of civil rights and liberties associated with American neocolonialism.

    “We have a lot of repressed pain,” Muñoz said. “We are in crisis and we’re still traumatized.”

    Looking Towards the Future

    In addition to providing an avenue for Pacific Islander filmmakers — such as Muñoz — to showcase how identity politics informs storytelling, organizers are hoping to expand the impact of Pacific Cine Waves to outside of Pacific Islander communities.

    “Los Angeles is very diverse but still very segregated,” Cullado said. “[Pacific Cine Waves] is about connecting with people we haven’t connected with before … and sparking something…. This is just the beginning.”

    Organizers hope that City Hall takes note of this event, projecting an annual film festival with government funding and sponsorship.

    “This is very personal,” Cullado said. “I grew up in [the] West Long Beach-Carson area. This is my hood. This is my community. My daughter goes to school across the street.”

    Muñoz agreed, viewing his work as his way of giving back to his community.

    “Artists always have to give back,” Muñoz said. “They have to do what they can to enhance their community and to contribute to the advancement of a safer … more productive and peaceful society.”

    As the current political turmoil shows no signs of abating, it is necessary for Harbor Area communities to come together under art’s restorative powers. On Aug. 25, Pacific Cine Waves will debut its first Pacific Islander cinema night  at 7 p.m. in the hopes of creating an atmosphere of understanding in the place of biased judgement. RSVP for this free event by Aug. 21 at http://pacinewaves.splashthat.com.

     

     

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