• RLn ENTERTAINMENT: Aug. 10, 2016

    Aug. 20
    Popfuji III
    Come enjoy live music and food trucks. Live bands include Fartbarf, Mike Watt and the Secondmen and Death Hymn Number 9. All ages welcome.
    Time: 4:30 to 10 p.m. Aug. 20
    Cost: $5
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/POPFUJI
    Venue: Brouwerij West, 110 E. 22nd St., San Pedro

    Aug. 20
    Dayramir Gonzalez
    The pianist and composer’s work resonates with people from all over the world. A passionate and compelling performer, Gonzalez is a distinct voice of Cuban jazz.
    Time: 8 p.m.
    Cost: $20
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/Cubanjazz
    Venue: Alvas Showroom,1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 24
    Pete Yorn
    Live in-store performance by Pete Yorn. Yorn is an artist with a knack for pop-song craft. He will be recording a live album at the event. The guest list will open with a purchase of ArrangingTime, or any of Pete’s catalog releases. Space allowing, the list will become first come first served (with RSVP). Pre-purchasing will get you priority entry and an event poster.
    Time: 7 p.m.
    Details: (562) 433-4996
    Venue: Fingerprints, 420 E. 4th St., Long Beach
    Aug. 27
    The Emperors
    Rock ’n’ roll in the park will host a live musical performance by the Emperors. The Long Beach Firefighter Association Local 372 will be grilling hot dogs as well. There will activities for the whole family to enjoy.
    Time: 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/EMPERORSINTHEPARK
    Venue: Whaley Park, 5620 E. Atherton St., Long Beach

    Aug. 28
    A critically acclaimed contemporary improvisational music ensemble, they have evolved “organically” over the past few years. They have built a repertoire that is rich in its influences and directions.
    Time: 4 p.m.
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310)519-1314
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: Aug. 9, 2016

    Aug. 11
    Elks National Foundation Fundraiser
    Support a great cause. The Whale & Ale is donating 15 percent of its lunch and dinner sales to the Elks National Foundation, which supports veterans, disabled children and local scholarships.
    Time: Aug. 11
    Details: www.TheWhaleandAle.com
    Venue: 372 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 14
    Progressive Democratic Club Meeting
    Now that the Democratic National Convention and the Republic National Convention are over, participate in the next Progressive Democratic Club Meeting.
    Time: 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 14
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Denny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Carson Plaza Drive, Carson

    Aug. 15
    Eighth District Community Budget Meeting
    The community is invited to come and learn more about the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget and how it will impact the Eighth District.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15
    Venue: Expo Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach

    Aug. 15
    Film Submissions for SPIFF
    Film submissions for the SP International Film Festival are open through to Aug. 15. The time is now to submit films. The organizers are seeking films from 15 categories ranging from the traditional feature, short, documentary, to social issues and causes, our favorite resident Charles Bukowski, music videos, TV pilots, webisodes and more.
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/SPIFFSubmission

    Aug. 20
    The Future of the Separation of Church, State
    Americans United for Separation of Church and State Orange County Chapter is presenting Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.
    Time: 1:45 p.m. Aug. 20
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Irvine Ranch Water District, Community Room, 15500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine.

    Aug. 26
    Volunteers Wanted for Banning Museum
    Get to know the Banning Museum and volunteer. Volunteers at the Banning Museum attend a training class to gain the background necessary to offer public tours and special group tours of the interior of the museum, Stagecoach Barn and grounds. Training sessions are held twice a year in spring and fall.
    Time: 11 a.m. Aug. 26 and 27
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/BanningMuseumVolunteers
    Venue: Banning Museum, 401 E. “M” St., Wilmington

    Aug. 30
    Budget Community Meeting
    Learn about Long Beach’s budget proposal for the fiscal year 2016-17. Staff will explain the proposed budget and answer questions.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 30
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/LBBudget
    Venue: Los Altos Library, 5614 E. Britton Drive, Long Beach

    Aug. 31
    Voter Education Forum
    The YWCA Harbor Area/South Bay, the League of Woman Voters of Palos Verdes Peninsula/San Pedro, and the League of Woman Voters Torrance Area are hosting a voter education forum.
    Time:  6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 31
    Cost: Free
    Venue: YWCA Harbor Area/South Bay, 437 W. 9th St., San Pedro

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  • RLn Briefs: Aug. 8, 2016

    POLAHS’ Announces New Board of Trustees

    SAN PEDRO — On Aug. 5, the Port of Los Angeles High School announced its new board of trustees for the 2016-17 school year.
    The board is responsible for all fiscal and operational policies as part of the oversight of the high schools mission.
    The newest members are Teresa Pisano, Jose Ongpauco and Jorge Grijalva.
    Pisano is the president of POLAHS Parent Organization and has worked for the Port of Los Angeles for 19 years. She was a substitute teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District for three years.
    Ongpauco teaches freshman World Geography and Advanced Placement Human Geography at POLAHS. He is pursuing a degree in policy studies from the Robertson School of Government.
    Grijalva is a student trustee. He is a sophomore in POLAHS. He served as co-president of the ninth grade student body and is the editor of the school newspaper. He was selected as youth ambassador for Los Angeles.

    Mother, Child Die in Shooting

    LONG BEACH — A woman and her daughter were shot and killed Aug. 6, near 9th Street and Locust Avenue in Long Beach.
    The incident took place at about 10:20 p.m. Investigators said the mother, father and their 4-year-old daughter were walking to their nearby home when the shooting took place. The victims have been identified as 26-year-old Carina Mancera and 4-year-old Jennabel Anaya of Long Beach.
    A motive for the shooting and suspect(s) are unknown.
    Detectives believe there were people in the area who may have witnessed the incident and are strongly encouraging them, or anyone else with information, to come forward and call (562) 570-7244 or anonymously visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

    Man Dies in Stabbing Incident

    LONG BEACH — A man died after being stabbed, Aug. 6, near Anaheim Street and Molino Avenue in Long Beach. Another man was injured.
    The incident took place at about 6:20 p.m. Investigators said that the victims were involved in a fight with a group people.
    The man who died has been identified as 22-year-old Juan Chavez of Long Beach. The injured victim is only being identified as an 18-year-old man from Long Beach. The incident is being investigated as possibly gang-related. .
    Anyone with information regarding this incident should call (562) 570-7244 or anonymously visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

    LB Airport Introduces New Director

    LONG BEACH — Jesus “Jess” L. Romo has been named the new director of Long Beach Airport, effective Sept. 6.
    Romo has served as interim deputy executive director for Los Angeles World Airports in which he oversaw operations and emergency management.
    Romo’s responsibilities will include oversight of the airport which includes operations, finances and leases, the Airport Noise Ordinance, community outreach, environmental matters, capital improvements, tenant relationships, security, air service and public affairs.
    Romo is an accredited airport executive of the American Association of Airport Executives. He received the 2015 award for Airport Executive Partnership from the National Air Transportation Association.

    Man Found Dead Near River

    LONG BEACH — A man was found dead near, Aug. 4, Willow Street and the San Gabriel River.
    Officers found the body of 19-year-old Nick Cubas of Downey at about 6:30 a.m. Long Beach Police Department investigators believe the man may have been killed. However, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has not yet determined the cause of death.
    Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to call Homicide Detectives at (562) 570-7244 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

    Baca Indicted on Three Counts

    LOS ANGELES – On Aug. 5, a federal grand jury indicted former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on federal charges alleging that he conspired to obstruct justice, obstructed justice and lied to the federal government.
    The case against Baca is one in a series of cases resulting from an investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities in downtown Los Angeles. As a result of the investigation, 20 current or former members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were convicted of federal charges.
    Baca, 74, of San Marino, California, was charged today in a three-count superseding indictment, with one count of conspiracy to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.
    An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
    The conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison, the obstruction of justice carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison and the charge of making a false statement carries a maximum term of five years in prison. If convicted on all counts, the total maximum Baca faces is 20 years in federal prison.
    Baca is expected to be arraigned on the superseding indictment at a later date.

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  • AOC7 Neighborhood Sets Mind on Safety

    By Michelle Siebert, Editorial Intern

    Change is often the result of a catalyst. Tragedy was the catalyst that hurled one Long Beach neighborhood to action against crime and disarray.

    A September 2011 shooting near Walnut Avenue and 10th Street motivated a group of neighbors to start an association. They  decided to take back their community.

    The Birth of AOC7

    They formed the AOC7, which stands for Anaheim Street, Orange Avenue, Cherry Avenue and 7th Street. The central  Long Beach neighborhood borders the city’s second, fourth and sixth districts where crime is high.

    At first, Mary Simmons, Andre Beasley, Jesus Lopez and Rocio Torres—the core group of AOC7— met every week.

    “We want to … knit our community and neighbors together and bring us in closer,” Simmons said. “We’re breaking all those myths as far as not being able to trust your neighbors.”

    They brought in the Long Beach Police Department, code enforcement and other resources to their meetings and got information from City Council members.

    In turn, the group has provided the community with information about public services, encouraged beatification of the area, neighborhood participation and vigilance.

    “Getting to know your neighbors is the key thing that makes the neighborhood safe,” Simmons said.

    AOC7 is a work in progress, said Simmons. Long Beach has drastically improved since she moved there in 2009.

    “It’s a more personal connection. We feel safer when we know what’s going on in our neighborhood,” Simmons said. “If there’s something going on, we handle that by staying positive and remaining proactive.”

    In the past five years, major crimes have significantly decreased. While central Long Beach continues to be one of the most impacted by crime. It also is one of the most improved areas, said Long Beach Police Department Lt. John Kanaley.

    According to the LBPD, the number of murders was reduced by 25 percent from 2009.Long Beach had 33 murders in 2010, 44 in 2009 and 47 in 2008. Violent crime, including murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery, is down 13.5 percent from 2009.

    Kanaley said AOC7 is an active area in regards to calls for service, in which officers are sent to resolve issues. Kanaley said the constant communication between AOC7 and Long Beach Police Department  reduces crime,  builds  community trust in the police department and maintains cooperation and improves communication with other community organizations.

    “We can participate in more positive events that this type of organization sponsors,” said Kanaley. “Not only does it help in the reduction of crime, it  makes a more positive environment in the neighborhood and our relations with the community and AOC7,” he said.

    AOC7 also engages in a monthly neighborhood cleanup in conjunction with the city of Long Beach’s Neighborhood Clean-Up Assistance Program. They meet every first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Gamboa Manazar Theater. It also has neighborhood cleanups on the third Saturday of every month.

    AOC7 has worked with Neighborhood Services Bureau to install public litter containers and install sidewalk cuts along 10th street. It has also completed beautification projects, in which they plant trees in the street, and they adopted the 10th Street Corridor from Cherry to Alamitos. AOC7 has an annual children’s literacy fair at MacArthur Park every May and for the past four years, they have handed out more than 20,000 books.

    The association partners work with residents and neighborhood groups, such as North Alamitos Beach Association and Craftsman Village Historic District in order to improve the community.

    “It is important for residents to know that they can work together to improve their neighborhood and our city,” said Margaret Madden, Long Beach’s Neighborhood Improvement officer.

    The next project they plan to work on is a tree planting Sept. 24.

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  • EmpowerLA Steps in to Right Wilmington NC

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor

    For the past several weeks, rumors have been swirling throughout the Los Angeles Harbor Area that EmpowerLA was set to dismantle the Wilmington Neighborhood Council. The rumors follow the council not being able to conduct meetings for much of 2016.

    EmpowerLA Director of Outreach and Communications, Stephen Box, put the rumors to rest. He said that EmpowerLA was, in fact, working to get the Wilmington council working again.

    For several months, the Wilmington Neighborhood Council has been failing to achieve quorum at their meetings. A quorum  is the minimum number of members of an organization that must be present to conduct a valid meeting. Without a quorum there can’t be a meeting. “In a nutshell, [the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment] is not dismantling or decertifying,” Box said. “The department is going to facilitate the existing board in the process of filling vacant seats … so that the board can achieve quorum and conduct business.”

    According to the Wilmington Neighborhood Council’s bylaws the advisory board should be comprised of 24 people. Thirteen people must be present at a board meeting in order for there to be quorum.

    Wilmington Neighborhood Council Governing Structure

    The governing structure of the board may be the core reason for the neighborhood council’s issues.

    Of its 24 board seats, only three are elected on an at-large basis. The remaining 21 board seats are either filled by appointments or by selections through a complicated and ambiguous caucus system.

    Six seats are reserved for residential organizations selected by a stakeholder caucus to represent quadrants of the community. These are not defined. People, by definition, are not considered organizations.

    The stakeholder selection takes place every two years. Other board membership is structured to include:

    • Three business or industry representatives selected by stakeholder caucus
    • Two churches representatives selected by stakeholder caucus
    • Two education representatives selected by stakeholder caucus
    • One labor representative selected by stakeholder caucus
    • One nonprofit community or fraternal representative selected by stakeholder caucus
    • One recreational representative selected by stakeholder caucus
    • One parks advisory board representative selected by stakeholder caucus
    • One senior community (although a nominee need only be 16 years old to serve in this capacity) representative selected by stakeholder caucus

    Three seats are appointed:

    • The youth seat, which is nominated by stakeholder caucus and appointed by the board
    • The parliamentary seat, which is appointed by the board
    • And the seat representing the Port of Los Angeles and appointed by the Port of Los Angeles

    But too much is left to be desired due to the complicated selection and appointment process. For a long time, the board seemed homogenous, older people who have ties with the business community and the Port of Los Angeles.

    “You are not going to be outspoken because your hands are tied,” said Sylvia Arredondo, a former selected board member. “The neighborhood council is there sometimes to protect their own interests.”

    Former board member Anabell Chavez agrees.

    “Some of the members are really old,” Chavez said. “People are invested in it for different reasons.”

    But since 2012, there has been a gradual shift in the makeup of the board with younger, more active community members joining.

    Interestingly,  Wilmington Neighborhood Council’s bylaws states that  “no single Stakeholder group shall hold a majority of Board seats unless extenuating circumstances exist and are approved by EmpowerLA.”

    There are 96 neighborhood council. Each one has its own strategies and bylaws. They either work or they don’t.

    The Problem

    The most recent board election, which took place on June 11, yielded the three elected, at-large, board members. But none of the 18 caucus seats were filled, resulting in a loss of quorum.

    Sylvia Arredondo said she was only informed through an email from Wilmington Neighborhood Council Chairwoman Cecilia Moreno that due to the decision by EmpowerLA, she no longer was on the board. She said that part of the reason the selection process failed and resulted in a loss of quorum is a lack of outreach to the community. Volunteering is minimal in the board, communication is minimal and even the materials are limited to English-only in a largely Latino community. The result is low voter turnout in a community known for its involvement because community member do not see the neighborhood council as significant or serving to the community.

    “There is no true outreach and if there is, when you want to step up, it depends on who you are,” said Arredondo, explaining that often when a younger member wants to do outreach, another board member is sent along to make sure the message is delivered in accordance to the status quo.

    Arredondo said that Moreno’s letter stated that Moreno neither agreed or supported EmpowerLA’s decision.

    “I honestly feel lost and confused,” Arredondo said. “It’s great that there is a shake up. There could be more transparency and outreach from DONE to let us know what is going on.”

    Box said EmpowerLA did send an email to board members and even offered assistance at the most recent meeting.

    In 2010, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners established a policy to deal with such cases. It states that if vacant seats are greater than three-fourths of the board, the board and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment must create and execute a selection process.

    A Solution

    The three at-large board members and Department of Neighborhood Empowerment-EmpowerLA, is expected to conduct a town hall meeting to select board members to fill the vacant caucus seats. The department will work with the newly seated  board to ensure quorum is maintained. Any stakeholder who is at least 16 years old is eligible to vote for candidates at the town hall meeting.

    Calls and emails to Moreno were not answered as of press time Aug. 3.

    The town hall meeting is anticipated to take place in late August. The time, date and venue is yet be determined.

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  • Diversity Makes Music Taste Good

    By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    Music Tastes Good is a music and foodie festival custom-made for its three-day stay in Long Beach–so carefully curated that promoters say it will actually taste and sound like the diversity for which the city is known, and thereby make Long Beach a destination for live music.

    “We know what we want and we think we can get it done,” said Joshua Fischel, a local musician and promoter who conceived Music Tastes Good. He proceeded to form a team that has partnered with public radio powerhouse KCRW-FM  to present more than 50 musical acts from Sept. 23 to 25. “We’re trying to represent every Long Beach community from Cambodian to Latino to African American to LGBTQ. That’s what Long Beach looks like and that’s what our fest looks like. We knew we had the people to make that happen. Long Beach gets passed over a lot, because of LA and Orange County, of course, but it’s a viable market for live music.”

    Fischel and his assistant, Meagan Blome, sat down with me to talk about the vision for Music Tastes Good. They’ve been working on the festival for a while — Fischel since December 2014 and Blome since February 2015. They’re still wrapping up details with city officials and departments, but sound optimistic that everything is coming together.

    “It’s just time,” Fischel said, “because downtown is improving so much; the whole city is improving. We’ve got this great city council, and an amazing mayor; it’s just time for something like this.”

    Fischel said it used to be difficult to do events like this. He moved to Long Beach 20 years ago, on what happens to fall on the same weekend the MTG fest occurs. But to make a living as a musician, he had to tour outside of Long Beach and travel the world.

    “No musician can make a living in just one town but we can at least give our musicians more of an opportunity,” Fischel said.

    Blome noted live music has become an economic driver in Long Beach.

    Fischel said that part of the musical concept in curating this festival, is to say “Here’s Long Beach,” “We’re trying to represent every Long Beach community, from Cambodian to Latino to African American to LGBTQ,” said Fischel. “That’s what Long Beach looks like and that’s what our fest looks like.”

    Blome said that the diversity in the lineup was definitely intentional.

    “We wanted that melting pot. In festival culture, you’re seeing a lot of these niche fests that cater to a specific demographic. We knew that that wouldn’t make sense for Long Beach. It’s really about community and about Long Beach.

    “To give you an example how much we’ve planned all this — with much respect to all the music fests out there—but a lot of fests are notorious for not having a lot of women artists,” Fischel said. “Especially headliners, it’s usually something like 10 percent. About 40 percent of our bands have at least a woman in it. In no way did we say, ‘We’re going to book this band because there’s a woman or because there’s a minority or a gay man,’ but we we’re very conscious of it.”

    With everything from rock to punk to jazz and hip hop in the lineup, Music Tastes Good may well be a music fest vanguard.

    M.P. Was the consciousness of the event also about showcasing a diversity of genres?

    J.F. The diversity of genres on the MTG lineup reflect the taste of our team. Everyone has been able to put a real stamp on it. We wanted everything to be amazing and entertaining and draw, of course. But when we announced it we had this ‘oh shit’ factor. When you look at the lineup, it’s like, really? Oh shit, De La Soul and Warpaint and Christian Scott and Living Color.

    M.P. How did food idea get involved and what was the criteria for your food vendors?

    J.F. My three passions are music, food and film. I hope to bring film on board at some point but it might be too ambitious for us this year.

    I grew up with a mom who was a chef and a cook and a teacher. Our whole family cooks, it’s what binds us together … Long Beach’s food culture is growing and we wanted to help showcase that…

    We’ve arranged a unique food experience for each day of the festival, starting with a barbecue and craft beer setup on Friday evening. We’re talking with a company from Texas that has multiple concept restaurants and we thought it would be really cool for them to them showcase each of their concepts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Saturday there will be a pop-up food court with eight to 10 local restaurants, plus other vendors spread around, all local. For our VIP component, we have a farm-to-table dinner. We have six chefs from outside of Long Beach and we’re partnering them with six chefs in Long Beach. There will be six different stations and they will source the food from Long Beach farms. Then on Sunday we’ll have a Bloody Mary brunch.

    “A lot of festivals are bringing food on board. We wanted to separate ourselves and do something a little different. The whole idea is the way you grow a community is not just within the community, it’s bringing other people in to see what you’re doing.”

    Cost: $25 to $240
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MusicTastesGood


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  • Catching the Coyote Yips

    Coyotes on the Rise in Harbor Area

    By Adriana Catanzarite, Editorial Intern

    Most people wouldn’t think that an urban landscape would be rife with wildlife, especially in Los Angeles County, the land of freeways and terrible drivers.

    However, there is one animal that’s steadily challenging the perception of the typical urban setting. From San Pedro to Long Beach, the canis latrans, the song dog, or coyote, has become a source of discord in the Harbor Area.

    Regarded as canine pests, killers of vermin, livestock and pets, coyotes have been the targets of government-sanctioned killing for more than a century. It’s hard to believe an animal the size of a small German shepherd could provoke so much vitriol. But since the arrival of European colonists, the coyote’s image has gone from being respected by Native Americans to straight-up vilified.

    Dogged Pursuit

    In Long Beach, the war against coyotes is being waged specifically in the neighborhoods surrounding the El Dorado Park Nature Center. A recent spike in coyote sightings and pet attacks have riled up residents. In 2015, there were about 223 coyote reports, according to Long Beach Animal Care Services. These include sightings and pet attacks. That same year, Councilwoman Stacy Mungo faced pressure after residents complained about coyotes acting aggressively toward children. As a result, Long Beach Animal Care Services drafted a new coyote management plan.

    The plan features a four-tiered response system. Relocating coyotes is against the law in California, so the last resort for officials is lethal trapping. Animal Care Services record coyote sightings and pet attacks and largely teaches residents how to properly scare coyotes away. Ted Stevens, the manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services, said the biggest difference in the new management plan is a lower threshold for employing lethal removal. Trapping and killing used to be authorized only for attacks on a human. That has never happened in Long Beach. Now, officials can  authorize  to trap and kill if there are at least three pet attacks in the same area.

    Blue: A coyote is seen or heard in the area. Education and hazing techniques are recommended.

    “It’s still kind of early in the season to tell [if it’s working],” Stevens said. “Last year we did have some increase in aggression levels that haven’t been seen in the past. Maybe it was an aberration; maybe it could happen again, we don’t really know. But we’ve always had education as the main focus and we’re going to continue that effort. Hopefully, we can have a peaceful coexistence, but you know, we’re prepared to do what we need to do.”

    Again, it’s tough to believe that coyotes are denounced when there’s a gaggle of geese roaming around El Dorado Park free to attack women with baby strollers with impunity. That’s not a joke, that actually happened.

    In San Pedro, city officials are still deciding how to respond to citizen complaints.

    Yellow: A coyote is seen multiple times in an area with humans or human-related food sources; is not wary of humans; and there are domestic animal losses.

    Education and aggressive hazing is necessitated. Increased response and patrols by Animal Control officers may be implemented.

    Councilman Joe Buscaino requested revising Los Angeles city’s coyote plan. The plan was released in mid-June of this year, and like Long Beach, it calls for more community education and outreach. In 1994, lethal trapping and killing was banned in Los Angeles. So far, officials seem reluctant to go back to this policy, earning criticism from residents in favor of harsher control. The Facebook group San Pedro Coyote Watch, is full of frustration and anger with the city for what they perceive as a lack of action.

    “I just want [the coyotes] to go away. Our animals are prisoners in their own home,” wrote Cheryl Valenzuela. “We pay taxes. This is BULL.”

    But scientists have repeatedly said: That lethal targeting does not control coyotes and may even exacerbate the problem.

    Howl About That

    Since 1931, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services has killed as many as 80,000 coyotes a year.  According to the Humane Society, controlled killings are only a temporary solution.

    Orange: A coyote kills a domestic animal, enters a dwelling or yard when people are present or acts aggressively towards people. Multiple incidents of this level in the same general area may indicate presence of one or more habituated coyotes.

    Education and aggressive hazing is necessitated. Increased response and patrols by Animal Control officers may be implemented and circumstances are discussed by department management.

    If three investigated and confirmed level orange incidents have occurred in the same general area within two weeks, targeted lethal removal will be used.

    Coyotes are highly territorial animals. Like wolves, territories are held by a dominant female and male, with lone coyotes or floaters scavenging in between areas. Take out the dominant pair, and these transient coyotes will just replace them. By actively removing a portion of coyotes from an area, humans inadvertently decrease the competition for food and habitat.

    The Humane Society reported that even if 75 percent of coyotes were killed every year for 50 years, it still wouldn’t be enough to eliminate them. It also found that when aggressively controlled, coyotes can actually increase their reproductive rate by simply breeding earlier and having larger litters. And, larger litters mean a higher survival rate, which equals more coyotes.  That’s right people. No matter what you do, these bitches will always be one step ahead.

    Balancing Act

    David Thraen, executive director of All Wildlife Rescue and Education, a nonprofit rehabilitation organization in Long Beach, said coyotes do more for the environment than we give them credit for. In fact, they’re a keystone species, meaning other animals largely depend on coyotes to keep the ecosystem in balance, keeping the rodent and small mammal populations in check. It’s all very Lion King.

    Red: Coyote involved in an investigated and documented attack, either provoked or unprovoked, on a human. City staff will notify California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which assumes the role of lead agency, and will work with local authorities to eliminate responsible coyotes.

    “They do serve a purpose,” Thraen said. “They’re like Mother Nature’s pest control. If it weren’t for the coyotes, then we would have a big squirrel problem…But they’ve been able to find a food supply, and adapt to the environment as it changes. So the number one thing is to get rid of the food source, and the coyotes will migrate elsewhere.”

    This food supply is from us. Specifically, from our garbage, the pet food we leave outside, the seeds scattered on the ground from bird feeders, fallen fruit from trees and of course, pets.

    The coyote management plan implemented by Long Beach has a checklist for residents to make suburban neighborhoods less tempting places for coyotes to grab an easy meal. Suggestions include keeping pet food securely inside, keeping trash cans secure, cleaning up stray seeds and fruit on the ground. Additionally, city officials suggest keeping vegetation trimmed back and restricting access to decks and sheds to reduce neighborhood hiding places and denning sites. The idea is to push coyotes out of residential areas and back into open and natural areas.

    Thomas Dewey, a retired craftsman in El Dorado Park Estates, has lived in Los Angeles County his entire life. Dewey said he’s  seeing coyotes out and about, although he’s never seen any in Long Beach.

    “I knew people who lost cats in Griffith Park,” Dewey said. “This was before the mountain lions became a problem. People would see [coyotes] an awful lot. But I never got close enough to be threatened by them. I can see how it would make some people nervous, but it doesn’t make me nervous.”

    Ted Stevens said that the way to prevent attacks on cats and dogs is to keep cats inside, and small dogs supervised outside. He stressed that coyotes are opportunistic hunters. They’re looking for the easiest meal. If they don’t come across pets or pet food while hunting, they’ll go back to their natural prey, leaving little Tigger in peace.

    Martin Byhower, an environmental and biological consultant, said that when it comes to biodiversity, outdoor house cats are more of a hindrance than the coyotes.

    “God, they’re terrible,” Byhower said. “Outdoor cats kill so many [native] birds, I think the number is in the billions. They’re killing machines. And this is not a value judgment on cats themselves, it’s just a fact. There are so many things that can happen when you let your cats run free, and actually indoor cats live longer. People talk about animal cruelty, but if you look at the way animals die because of outdoor cats, it’s just incredible. But it’s out of sight, so you don’t usually see it.”

    Most of this information has yet to deter the residents hellbent on completely removing coyotes. Several members of the San Pedro Coyote Watch group have frequently complained about the number of actions that humans need to take in order to peacefully coexist with this animal.

    But Dewey has taken a different tactic.

    “I see it as a problem we’ve created,” Dewey said. “So I wouldn’t really blame the coyotes.”


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  • What it Means to be a Patriot

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    I get extremely nervous when true believers start wrapping themselves in the American flag and then call others “unpatriotic” when they don’t stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    A “patriot,” by definition, is one who loves and strongly supports or fights for his or her country.

    Patriotism does not exclusively belong to those who serve in the military or those who recite the pledge, created 116 years after the founding of our republic.

    There are many more who have served this country bravely that never once donned a uniform or carried a weapon (read President John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage).

    What most of our super patriot neighbors don’t know about this common civic ceremony is that it was written in 1892 by the socialist Christian minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931) with the hope that it would bind the open wounds of the American Civil War and unite the nation in a common creed of “liberty and justice for all”— healing a still divided nation.  These same ideals were enunciated in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.

    The essential words of that founding document give both light and interpretation to the U.S. Constitution’s meaning, which reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Note that Jefferson and the rest of the founding fathers avoided the use of the word “God” in this document. The original Pledge of Allegiance written by a Christian minister, avoided making the same mistake, but we now find it inserted into this oft-recited 1952 version, a legacy inherited from the McCarthy Era witch hunts against communists, who by definition were atheists.

    It seems that once every decade I have to remind readers of this paper and others that the Pledge of Allegiance is not an expression of patriotism demanded by the state, or even legally required for entry into the discourse at our local neighborhood councils, several of which in San Pedro, are now turning the Pledge into a mandatory exercise.

    It has even been the ceremonial protocol for the opening of every chamber of commerce meeting—as if patriotism was a necessary requirement for engaging in free enterprise in the ever-globalized marketplace.

    The list accompanying a new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy found some surprising information, Steve Jobs, the famous co-founder of Apple, is a child of an immigrant parent from Syria.

    Walt Disney was a child of a Canadian immigrant; the founders of Oracle are from Russia and Iran; IBM (Germany); Clorox (Ireland); Boeing (Germany); 3M (Canada); and Home Depot (Russia).

    Not only do we not demand military service from the founders of this elite group of Fortune 500 corporations, we don’t even require their loyalty in business to this nation.

    The Pledge is not a requirement of law but has been adopted by custom. Saying the Pledge is reinforced by regimentation in schools and by protocols at some public ceremonies. But when the words are examined they are at best “aspirational” towards liberty and justice and they avoid pledging any loyalty to an underlying creed of this nation as expressed in both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Bill of Rights.  It would be better, as I suggested back in the 1980s, for the Pledge to be updated as follows:

    A Patriot’s Pledge of Allegiance

    I pledge allegiance to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
    Of the United States of America and to the ideals for which they stand;
    Among these are the rights of the people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, with freedom and justice for all.

    There is no need to mention God or the flag, which is merely a symbol, or that we are indivisible. It goes without saying that we as a nation of people are often divided and take great liberty to express those divisions whenever and wherever we choose. The creed behind the symbol is what we as a nation should be pledging allegiance too, not a piece of cloth.

    However, it was an exquisite form of irony to see Muslim immigrant, Khizr Khan, father of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004, ask Donald Trump if he had ever read the U.S. Constitution. One might ask the same question to those who are now demanding that every meeting of a neighborhood council start with the politically outdated pledge.

    How many of you have a copy in your coat pocket that you could pull out the next time you are stopped by the authorities? Perhaps reading the Constitution should be a mandatory step for anyone wearing a uniform and elected to office.


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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: July 27, 2016

    July 30
    Work to End Homelessness
    Take action to end homelessness in Long Beach. The event will include a park cleanup, a cook out and community meal, haircuts, food drive and a roundtable.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30
    Details: www.actday.org
    Venue: Long Beach Main Library Auditorium, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach

    Aug. 1
    Central SP Rules and Bylaws Committee Meeting
    Due to a venue issue the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet Aug. 1 at the San Pedro Regional Library.
    Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 1
    Details: View Agenda
    Venue: San Pedro Library, 931 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

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  • RLn BRIEFS: July 27, 2017

    Court Places BNSF on Hold, Indefinitely

    WILMINGTON — BNSF’s environmental analysis was put aside as inadequate, July 26, when a $500 million railyard in Wilmington was placed on indefinite hold in a final judgment.

    The judgment affirmed that because the development was close to low-income areas on public land the state had jurisdiction on that specific railroad operation.

    The Southern California International Gateway development on 185 acres, would have brought about 2 million trucks per year and eight trains per day to the area. The company had held that the facility would take big rigs off the road.

    A preliminary judgment was issued in March demanding that BNSF and Los Angeles start anew. The company appealed that judgment on grounds that a state court did not have jurisdiction in interstate commerce. The company failed when a Contra Costa judge rejected that argument.

    The company’s options now are to appeal, forgo plans for the railyard or start anew with an environmental analysis.

    “This ruling affirms that the proposed project cannot proceed without additional measures to protect Long Beach neighborhoods, which is a win for Long Beach and Westside residents,” stated Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, whose city would abuts the facility.

    Guzmán Re-elected Harbor Commission President

    LONG BEACH — On July 25, Lori Ann Guzmán was re-elected as the president of the Harbor Commission. Guzman will serve a second term of one year on the board, which oversees the Port of Long Beach.

    The commission president chairs board meetings and represents the port to the public. Under the city charter, the mayor of Long Beach appoints city residents to the Harbor Commission to six-year terms. Commissioners oversee the port and direct the Port CEO, who in turn manages the more than 500-person staff of Long Beach Harbor Department in the development and promotion of the Port of Long Beach.

    Guzmán, who also is the director of finance for Huntington Beach, was appointed the Harbor Commission in 2013. She was appointed as the president in 2015.

    The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissions also selected Lou Anne Bynum as vice president and Tracy Egoscue as secretary.

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