• Buscaino Discovers the Homeless are his Own

    Emergency Response Team meets with 145 homeless people, 85% call the Harbor Area home

    James Preston Allen, Publisher

    It has been more than 10 months since Councilman Joe Buscaino held his San Pedro Forum on Homelessness at the Warner Grand Theatre, where  he reiterated the commonly held belief that neighboring cities were busing their homeless to the San Pedro area.

    He vowed he would stop this practice and called for greater cooperation amongst local cities to curb the importation of homeless people. Then he appointed a special task force to deal with the issue. The San Pedro Homeless Taskforce still hasn’t reported its findings. The homeless problem persists. Only it’s not what Buscaino expected.

    In Buscaino’s weekly e-news bulletin, he reports that, “In April, the Emergency Response Team met with 145 homeless individuals, 85 percent of whom are from the Harbor Area.”

    The report continues on about the reported results in the month of May that, “the team met with 170 individuals, 88 percent of whom were from the Harbor Area.”

    These reports from his trusted sources are similar to, but higher than national statistics, that show that most people who are homeless live in places in which they were reared and lived in a home.

    The reality is that the people whom we have come to call “homeless” in our neighborhoods (at least some 85 to 88 percent) are in fact right at home because this is where they came from. They just don’t have a roof over their heads with a permanent address.

    This fact flies in the face of tightly held prejudices that perceive the homeless in our communities as outsiders. The councilman now must recognize them as his constituents.

    The Cost of Sweeping Homeless

    This is a hard fact to swallow for the indignant Saving San Pedro crowd after shaming the homeless on social media and having consistently called for more encampment sweeps to the tune of $30,000 per action.

    It was reported at one of the recent Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meetings that there have been 27 such sweeps in the Harbor Area since the end of last summer, possibly more by now. By my estimation, the sweeps have cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles somewhere around $810,000.

    In addition to this expense, the police routinely issue tickets for infractions for any of the 24 municipal codes of which the homeless could be in violation, just by existing in a public space. Most of these tickets go to warrant for failure to appear. This only adds to the public expense and burden to the superior courts­, not to mention the cost to the homeless themselves. This criminalization of the poor has become a revolving door with a downward spiral. It’s part of what keeps the homeless, homeless. None other than the U.S. Department of Justice has recognized this vicious cycle for what it is: a civil rights violation that jeopardizes federal housing grants to our city. Enforcement actions such as the ones this city has used do nothing but make city officials look responsive.

    In response to the Los Angeles Police Department’s growing awareness that we can’t arrest our way out of homelessness. Los Angeles Police commission and the Los Angeles police chief, Charlie Beck, issued new policy guidelines this week that change  how officers approach the mentally ill and homeless populations. This policy change comes after two officer involved shootings of homeless people in the past few years. One of those shootings was judged “out of policy” and the officer is being criminally prosecuted.

    Clearly there must be more creative and effective ways to spend $810,000 in Council District 15 and the rest of Los Angeles. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the estimated $80 million spent on police and fire department to react to the homeless crisis isn’t working either.

    Homelessness itself is not a crime. We as neighbors and as citizens of this city and nation must not continue down this misconceived path. The homeless are our neighbors without shelter.  If this were any other kind of crisis that left 46,000 residents countywide without shelter for even a day, someone would call for the Red Cross and the National Guard to step in.

    In Los Angeles, we talk the issue to death at city council meetings. Then propose three different bond or tax measures, one of which will be voted on in November. Yet, not one new emergency shelter or new low-income housing unit will be opened or built before then.

    If this is how Los Angeles handles a crisis, I’d hate to see how the city would respond to the next major earthquake.

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  • CYMBELINE @ Shakespeare by the Sea

    Back when I was heavily into Shakespeare, I considered Othello one of the Bard’s best. It’s a classic tale of deceit and jealousy that may be (along with Hamlet) the most compelling examination of the human psyche until Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground a quarter of a millennium later. On the other hand, Cymbeline seemed like a Shakespearean afterthought, odd and obscure and completely forgettable.

    So when I heard that this year Shakespeare by the Sea is alternating productions of these two plays over the course of the summer and that I would be reviewing only one, it was a no-brainer which I wanted to do. But wouldn’t you know it? With the scheduling such as it is, I got stuck with Cymbeline. Lucky me.

    No, really: lucky me. Thanks to Shakespeare by the Sea’s ability to magnify the comedic side of Cymbeline (one of Shakespeare’s four “romances,” so-called “problem plays” that critics have traditionally had a tougher time categorizing than his other 33), I was reminded once again that first impressions are often wrong. Well, sort of. Let’s just thank our lucky stars for George Bernard Shaw. But we’ll get to that.

    Widowed King Cymbeline (Steve Humphreys) has a daughter, Imogen (Stacy Snyder), who married her childhood playmate Posthumous (Christopher Dietrick). This vexes the Queen (Andria Kozica), “a mother hourly coining plots,” because she wants Imogen for her son Cloten (Bryson “B.J.” Allman) so that eventually he will be king of Britain. That’s enough for Cymbeline to banish Posthumous, who goes to Rome to reside with a friend of his father. Once in Rome, his high praise of Imogen rankles Iachimo (Dorian Tayler), who bets Posthumous that he will be able to seduce Imogen and then immediately leaves for Britain, where his conniving to win the wager sets in motion a series of misadventures for all concerned.

    Let’s not kid ourselves: frequently Shakespeare’s plots are ridiculous, and his writing can be as bloated as it is dazzling. In response to the popular (mis)conception that Shakespeare’s works came out fully formed, without his having to blot out a single line, Ben Johnson famously wrote, “Would he had blotted out a thousand.” It’s not that Johnson didn’t recognize Shakespeare’s genius, but he also recognized his fallibility.

    So did Shaw. Although he ranked Cymbeline as among the best of Shakespeare’s later plays, “[it] goes to pieces in the last act,” he said, becoming “a tedious string of unsurprising dénouements sugared with insincere sentimentality after a ludicrous stage battle.” So Shaw did what many purists consider anathema: he fixed it, sifting Shakespeare’s bad last act to write a better one.

    I had no knowledge of this as I watched Shakespeare by the Sea’s Cymbeline wind its way toward conclusion. All I knew was it was a hell of a lot funnier and cleverer than I’d remembered, and that the last scene made the meat of the play pay off spectacularly. Shakespeare had never seemed quite this funny.

    Due credit goes not only to Shaw but also to director Cylan Brown, who had the good sense not only to use Shaw’s ending, but to make severe cuts throughout. (The entire performance runs under two hours including the intermission, which is nearly unheard of for Shakespeare.) For the duration Brown focuses the text and his cast on the humor in Cymbeline. It’s a bit slow going early on, but hang in there. Brown’s cast comes alive as the comedy kicks in. Especially strong is Bryson “B.J.” Allman as Cloten. His preening ignorance is most of what brings the funny before Shaw gets to work.

    Shakespeare by the Sea does a nice job utilizing the wilds of Point Fermin Park. When Posthumous arrives in Rome, he comes calling from way behind the audience. With all that sky and ocean in the background, just about the only way to achieve greater verisimilitude would be to have him sail up on the beach and hop ashore. As for the challenges that come with staging theatre in a park, Shakespeare by the Sea has rigged up a sound system that makes it generally easy to hear the actors from far away and yet doesn’t blow you out if you’re sitting closer.

    If you’re going to see Cymbeline, Shakespeare by the Sea’s production is the one to see. And if their Othello (a play that doesn’t need Shaw’s help) is as good, see that one, too.


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  • Community Celebrates the Life of Democratic Party Stalwart

    Photos and story by Diana Lejins, Contributing Writer

    LONG BEACH — On June 21, about 150 people celebrated the life of longtime Democratic champion Eric Thomas Sean Bradley. The ceremony took place at the Long Beach Terrace Theater.

    Bradley died unexpectedly this past May in his Long Beach home. Celebrants focused on his community activism.

    A Southern California native, Bradley grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, graduated from Arcadia High School in 1982 and studied political science at the University of California Santa Barbara. He met Gail Schuster on a school trip to Europe and married her in 1992.  They moved to Long Beach in 1995, and in 1997 their son Anders Patrick was born.

    Bradley began his political involvement as an aide to Sen. Alan Cranston in the 1980s.  He later played a critical part in the successful elections of Rep. Alan Lowenthal,  State Sen. Ted Lieu, Gov. Jerry Brown and other Democratic candidates.  Bradley held a number of positions in the California Democratic Party from 2001 to 2016.

    Notable guests included Rep. Alan Lowenthal, California Treasurer John Chaing, former Long Beach Mayor Robert Foster and Long Beach Prosecutor Doug Haubert.  Former California Assemblyman Hector De La Torre served as master of ceremonies.

    “Eric’s dedication to  the Democratic Party is well known,” said De La Torre. “He would help out anytime there was a just cause…. He was a friend and mentor to so many.”

    Recently-elected Democratic Central Committee member Joan Greenwood reminisced about her friendship with Bradley.

    “I will always remember Eric as one of the outstanding gardeners of our time—someone whose deeds and memory will continue to make great things blossom,” she said.

    Eric’s wife Gail and son Anders remained pensive as Bradley’s friends spoke of his life and achievements.

    “Eric Bradley passed away doing what he loved—organizing for candidates and causes he cared passionately about,” said California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in a recent Facebook post.

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  • Their Story: Jewish Latinos Share their Experiences

    By Michelle Siebert, Editorial Intern

    Despite not having much money, sharing her home with her large Mexican family made Tila Carrol’s childhood a happy one. While her upbringing was monolingual (only Spanish was spoken at home), her faith was dichotomous. Her home was Lutheran and Catholic.

    But neither religion seemed to satisfy her curiosity about life’s most complicated questions, such those related to creation and life after death. So, when she turned 18, she began exploring other faiths, most of which did not offer much room for free thinking or expression.

    It took her about 12 years to find a faith that helped her find some answers: Reform Judaism.  Carrol was attracted to Judaism because she could learn about it, but the answers aren’t all scripted and pat, such as, “there aren’t answers in life sometimes.” Judaism fit into her way of thinking about life and her philosophy. Her family didn’t oppose her very much, besides a few questions about why she was converting at the time.

    “Judaism didn’t have all the answers, but it allowed me to be a person that could question, which wasn’t allowed much where I was brought up,” said Carrol, a member of Temple Israel in Long Beach.

    She is a panelist for The Jewish Story, a conversation about the experience of modern-day Latinos, who also happen to be Jewish. These intersecting identities are often less visible. Most people assume that Latinos, by the mere fact that many trace their ancestry to traditional Spain or Portugal, are universally Catholic.

    “People should expect to hear stories that are very different than the dominant narrative of the American Jewish experience,” said KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzmán-López, a congregant moderating the panel.

    The modern Jewish experience in the United States is largely perceived as an experience of European and Eastern European Jews.

    Being Jewish Latino/a

    “It’s important because … [there are] many types of diversity there is in this country,” Guzmán-López said. “Diversity also exists within religions. It’s important to understand that Latino immigrants — while they’re mostly working class and Catholic — come in other shapes and sizes.”

    The panelists will discuss how they navigate between the different worlds of being Jewish and Spanish speakers from Spanish-speaking countries, said Guzmán-López. He said they will talk about how they combined these two cultures into their daily and family lives.

    Jewish Latino heritage is unique in the community because of the Jewish experience in Spain hundreds of years ago and the important and influential Jewish population that emerged out of Spain, Rabbi Steven Moskowitz said.

    “The Hispanic and Latino population is such a significant part of the diversity that is both Long Beach and California as a whole, so it’s important for us to appreciate that our congregational community is a reflection of that wonderful reality,” Moskowitz said.

    Long Beach is also one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the United States. Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of members of Temple Israel congregation with Latino or Hispanic heritage. Exploring Jewish Latino heritage is part of an overall exploration of the cultural diversity within the Jewish congregation, Moskowitz said.

    Temple Israel has a yearly series of events called Joys of Jewish Learning Program, which explores current Jewish thought, history and aspects of Jewish culture. The program has previously focused on the Persian-Jewish Americans’ and Cuban-Jewish Americans’ experiences.

    Two other panelists will discuss The Jewish Story through their lens. Cuban-born Ross González, who traces his roots to Turkey and Spain, will discuss how his family ended up in Turkey because of the Spanish Inquisition.  And, Mexican-born Gabriel Lopez, who traces his roots to Mexico and Eastern Europe, is the ritual chair at Temple Ner Tamid in Downey.

    The event will take place at 7 p.m. June 23 at Temple Israel, 269 Loma Ave., Long Beach. The cost, which includes dinner, is $12.

    Details: (562) 434-0996; www.tilb.org

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  • THE NEWS @ Long Beach Opera

    One-trick ponies are a curious species. If they have a good trick and perform it well, their lives may not—may not—be in vain. Otherwise, best to take them out back and put them down.

    There’s no getting around the fact that The News is a one-trick pony. Composer JacobTV recognizes what we all recognize: mainstream TV news reportage has largely morphed into infotainment. The most impactful events and gut-wrenching tragedies are deep-fried and served up as sound bites and video clips by anchorpersons who spend more effort making sure their outfits and makeup are just right than educating themselves.

    With The News, JacobTV has packaged this idea as plotless operatic spectacle (could there be a more fitting frame for today’s world?) conflating actual news coverage with music and movement meant to highlight the absurdly trivialized distillation of world events by a never-ending network news cycle that pauses only to hawk products such as hamburgers and artificial tears.

    It’s a good trick, and for the first half of The News it’s generally well executed. But one-trick ponies often keep the stage too long, and for the last third of the show we feel like we’ve been there and done that.

    Several elements of The News are good for the duration. Front and center are the two “anchors,” “rhythm vocalist” Loire Cotler and soprano Maeve Höglund. There isn’t a single vocal misstep between them. Höglund makes her sometimes soaring vocal flights seem easy, and Cotler alternates between machine-gun syllabification and tuneful warbles with mechanistic precision. Together they effectively skewer the reportage we see/hear onscreen, their individual efforts perfectly complementing each other. The only failing here is the sound mix. While the music (effectively performed by a nontet including two horns, electric guitar and bass, and digital beats) is passably balanced, Cotler and Höglund are too quiet, not so much layered in with everything else as a slightly buried.

    The video element of The News is excellent. JacobTV has not only collected just the right news clips to make his case, his edits and effects (often reminiscent of Max Headroom) bring out the best angles. There’s most always something compelling onscreen. Some of the show’s most affecting moments, in fact, are when the subjects of field interviews in calamity areas are allowed to speak for themselves, with JacobTV’s music providing fitting ambiance. It’s inspired counterpoint to the kind of coverage these crises typically get from network infotainment. “I just want to know: why is [Assad] shelling us?” asks an 8-year-old boy standing after describing the gory deaths of relatives and neighbors from Syrian barrel bombs. “For the law of the powerful over the weak? Just for that?”

    Where The News fails is where JacobTV seemingly runs out of ideas. The show opens with “You Know What?”, featuring Cotler and Höglund behind their anchor desk satirizing the Fox News-style of topical chatter that doesn’t actually tell you anything. The third song, “Stock Market”, executes a staccato rhythm reminiscent of a ticker-tape machine as we’re bombarded with visuals of NYSE numbers and financial analysis that is little more than excited speculation. Before long we’re into our first commercial (no less a song than the rest but cleverly timed at almost exactly 30 seconds), then “Si Wang” immediately changes the pace, with stately music and red-flashing Chinese characters blended into news coverage of a terrible earthquake.

    Little by little, though, JacobTV seems to lose the thread. His anchors increasingly forsake their anchor roles, becoming generic frontwomen with minimal, uninspired choreography. Perhaps the point is that infotainment anchors are more showbiz folk than news reporters; however, that point was better made while the show stayed true to its central conceit.

    Musically, the problem is that JacobTV starts repeating himself, and the score becomes a bit stale. By the last two songs the problem is so pronounced that the video themes are also recirculating. This is not a true bookending (there is no plot arc, and the only structure of any import is the flow), so bringing in a second round of Donald Trump—from what appears to be the same speech, no less—feels like killing time.

    JacobTV has a good ear for speech grooves, a good eye for arresting images, a good sense of timing, and a good idea. If this 75-minute show had come in at under an hour, it might have been great. But while less may never be more when it comes to true news coverage, the arts are a different story.

    Still, there’s something nice about The News. It may not leave you wanting more, but a strong start and several affecting and charming sections open a better window on our world than your average nightly newscast.


    (Photo credit: Keith Ian Polakoff)

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  • RL NEWS Briefs: June 17, 2016

    Long Beach Ranked No. 1 Port in North America

    LONG BEACH — The Port of Long Beach has again been recognized as the Best North American Seaport at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards, June 16, in Shanghai.
    The shipping trade publication Asia Cargo News hosted the event.

    The award is bestowed by importers, exporters, and logistics and supply chain professionals. Ports are judged based on service quality, innovation, customer relations and reliability, among other factors. The other finalists were the ports of Seattle, Houston and New York/New Jersey.

    This is the second consecutive year and the 18th time in the last 21 years that the Port of Long Beach has won the title “Best North American Seaport” from Asia Cargo News and the previous event organizer, CargoNews Asia.

    “This award speaks volumes about the satisfaction our customers have with our Port,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzmán. “We’re always working hard to improve our services, and we’re pleased to be recognized for our efforts.”

    More than 15,000 industry professionals who read Asia Cargo News were invited to participate in the nomination and selection process for the awards presented June 14. Awards were also given in many other categories, including shipping lines, container terminals, air cargo carriers and road haulers.

    Lieu Says ‘Enough is Enough’

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  • Soy Africano Explores Diasporic Musical Connections

    By, Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    Most Latin and Afro-Cuban beats are based around the clave, which means “key” in Spanish. The clave is the key to Latin music and Africa holds that key.

    Producer, music director and multi-instrumentalist Dexter Story, along with disc jockeys, Sonny Abegaze and Rani de Leon of Radio Afrique, present the show Soy Africano (I Am African), June 18, at the Grand Performances in Los Angeles. The concert will explore the musical diasporic connections between east and west that have never before been highlighted by way of the clave.

    Soy Africano Origins

    There is an overlooked musical history and connection between West Africa and The Caribbean, specifically Cuba. Abegaze and de Leon said there has been much research on the African influence on Latin music and Afro-Latin culture in the Caribbean and in Mexico, but not much research on the way Latin music came back to and influenced Africa.

    Soy Africano will present West African trademark sounds of lilting guitars and joyful rhythms, blended with well-known Latin sounds as they cover the widespread influence of Latin music in West Africa. Most of the music will be from West African countries. There will be about 15 musicians and vocalists. Like many of Story’s Grand Performance shows, visual elements will be incorporated.

    Most of the vocalists don’t speak Spanish, Abegaze said, but they attempted to pronounce it the best they could or sing it in their own dialect and sometimes mixed it up. There is an element of making the music interpretive.

    Similarly, Radio Afrique will bring what they call, “an LA filter” to the music, a spirit of creatively adapting it to make it relevant to Los Angeles in this day and time.

    “We really tried to pull together an eclectic, dynamic group of musicians who embody the spirit of Soy Africano, and those connections that exist between our peoples in an attempt to celebrate those similarities that don’t get acknowledged,” Abegaze said.

    To the Radio Afrique DJs this seems like the next bounce back from the time when clave based music came back to Africa. An interesting epiphany may happen when we start to accept how much the Latin influences were embraced and reinterpreted. They influenced Africa.

    Clave-based music including New York Salsa, led to thriving “Latin Afro” scenes in Senegal, Benin, Guinea and the Congo. This exciting sound had no specific name but it was a phenomenon with musicians in West Africa in the 1960s and 70s. Many of them even changed their names to reflect a more Latin feel and changed the scope of their entire music career trajectories to take on this new Latin vibe.

    Something interesting about the history of African music has gotten lost, they explained. It’s been highlighted through various compilations. Music collectors and historians are aware of it but these musicians and sounds do not get singled out. That is why it’s important to put this music out there on a larger scale.

    “We’ve learned a lot of this music through obscure compilations and it’s come to us through these niche ways, but it hasn’t been presented on a larger scale,” de Leon said.

    Radio Afrique surmises that people see the identity that these musicians were playing within West Africa and believe it will open up conversations around what does it mean to be African, what does it mean to be Latino and what does it mean to be in America? It opens possibilities and it’s often much more complex and multilayered than we think.

    “Part of the concept is not just the one way influence from the Caribbean to Africa,” de Leon said. “We wanted to highlight that boomerang. This is West African traditions and ancestry to Cuban music returning home. It’s not just a one way trip, it’s a round trip and a one way back to LA. Now we’re going to reinterpret over here.”

    Story and Radio Afrique came together through a project with the Los Angeles-based Ethiopian jazz band, Ethio-Cali, of which Story is a member of. Their relationship developed around different show concepts. Abegaze and de Leon noted that Story is equally like them, another person who is all about researching, new knowledge, making connections and drawing parallels when it comes to music.

    “One day we had been learning about the music and there were certain songs Rani and I play with Radio Afrique,” Abegaze said. “Highlighting that history and finding a venue and personnel, those seeds for the Soy Africano show were planted a year-and-a-half earlier. It came together through Dexter’s long relationship with Grand Performances and producing shows for them. He presented it to them and it happened from there.”

    Radio Afrique’s first event was a DJ night they started at Hyperion Tavern in March 2014. It was a way to celebrate and highlight the diversity of music from Africa specifically, which came from the love both DJ’s have for African music. After about a year they expanded, organizing and hosting film screenings from various African filmmakers and have done live performances. It has evolved but always kept the main focus of highlighting the music and culture from Africa.

    Abegaze’s parents are Ethiopian and he was exposed to that region of music while growing up. Then, as a junior in college, he lived in Ghana and became immersed in the music there, where he had his own radio show.

    “It was a pretty formative time,” Abegaze said. “Before that, I was playing electronica house music that referenced Fela (Kuti) and African funk, but recently I’ve gotten back to the roots and folkloric music. It’s an expression of the type of music I’m into.

    De Leon grew up on music and attended University of California Berkeley as a music major.

    “My journey with music has always been led by finding connections between music, culture and spirituality,” de Leon said. “Going through and moving beyond American music like jazz, soul and hip-hop and trying to move around the world, I went to Brazil, Cuba and the next location for me was Africa, in terms of drawing certain connections I was looking for. All the genres that I’ve played from stem from that area. It’s one of the main roots of all the styles I play.

    “When we had our DJ nights at Radio Afrique with Latin-influenced music from Africa … because we live in LA it was easy for the audience to tune into that sound. It wasn’t what you would expect from African music with more of an Afro-beat feel. This music definitely came off as Latin style and, for many people in LA, it was easy for them to dance to. Seeing the potential behind this sound in LA, it was a subconscious thing that we were probably observing over the course of our DJ nights and it made sense to highlight this genre.”

    “Because the original tunes are from Cuba, that hooks them in,” Abegaze said. “But there’s another part that people have never heard and it’s a catalyst for people to open up and have a conversation around how that music has been transformed by going through those passages.”

    They feel like this show is part of a larger narrative of a spirit.  The music is travelling and being reinterpreted. Story has been transcribing and arranging music in a language that he does not speak. He’s doing his best to write the words out phonetically and that’s what he’s passing along to the musicians and the vocalists. He’s researching the lyrics to understand them and reaching out to musicians from those countries to translate lyrics and get references to what the songs relate to.

    “That is in the tradition of where this Cuban music came from, where even the African musicians don’t understand Spanish but are singing it the best they can with all the feeling they can,” de Leon said. “Hopefully this show is one of many things that attempts to highlight this history…. This isn’t just one genre that hasn’t been highlighted. There are many out there equally worthy of investigating. It inspires all of us to continue to research and dig and find those stories that highlight a different narrative that isn’t necessarily always acknowledged. It makes us look at ourselves and each other differently. In the best case scenario that is what this show is part of.

    8 p.m., June 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandperformances.org/soy-africano
    Venue: Two California Plaza, 350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles

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  • RLn ENTERTAINMENT: June 16, 2016

    June 18
    Dave Widow, Bernie Pearl
    Blues-rocker Dave Widow and his band The Line Up bring rhythm and blues back to the Annex, along with Bernie Pearl.
    Time:  8 p.m. June 18
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: Brown Paper Tickets
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    June 18
    Tim Weisberg
    Tim Weisberg has long been regarded as one of the most original rock, blues and jazz-fusion flutists.
    Time: 8 p.m. June 18
    Cost: $25
    Details: (310) 519-1314; www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    June 18
    Long Beach Bayou Festival
    Enjoy the sounds of Lousiana’s zydeco and blues at the Long Beach Bayou Festival.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 18 and 19
    Cost: $25 and $30
    Details: (562) 912-4451www.longbeachbayou.com
    Venue: Rainbow Lagoon Park, Shoreline Drive, Long Beach
    June 19
    Nori Tani Quartet
    The Nori Tan Quartet will perform their Song for My Father concert.
    Time: 4 p.m. June 19
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 519-1314; www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    June 25
    Yuval Ron Ensemble
    Academy Award Winning composer & oud player, Yuval Ron and his band return to the Annex to share the ancient intercultural connections between the musical traditions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
    Time: 8 p.m. June 25
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/YuvalRonEnsamble
    Venue: Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    June 25
    John York
    John York is a singer, composer and instrumentalist well known as a former member of the Byrds.
    Time: 8 p.m.  June 25
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 519-1314; www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    June 26
    Catina DeLuna, Fish To Birds, Ashley Maher
    Asley Maher will kick off the concert with her highly infectious brand of world-folk-jazz, accompanied by guitarist Frederico Ramos.
    Time: 4 p.m. June 26
    Cost:  $20
    Details: (310) 519-1314; www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: June 16, 2016

    June 16
    Community Gathering in Response to Orlando Events

    Community members are invited to gather in prayer and music in observance of the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.
    Time: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 16
    (562) 434-0996
    Temple Israel, 269 Loma Ave., Long Beach

    June 17
    Free Food Distribution
    Long Beach District 6 is hosting a free food distribution event.
    Time: 9 a.m. June 17
    Details: (562) 570-6816
    Venue: Ernest S. McBride Sr. Park, 1550 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Long Beach
    June 18
    Capitol on the Corner
    You are invited to Capitol on the Corner where you will have the chance to meet and talk with your various elected representatives at the local, state and federal levels.
    Guests include Long Beach District 5 Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Sen. Janet Nguyen, Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell and Assesor Jeff Prang.
    Time: 9 to 10 a.m. June 18
    Details: (562) 570-5555; Click here to RSVP

    Venue: Wardlow Park Field Office, 3457 Stanbridge Ave., Long Beach
    June 20
    Coastal Board and Stakeholder Meeting
    The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council is hosting its next stakeholder meeting.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. June 20
    Venue: Cabrillo Marina Community Building, 223 Whalers Walk, Berth 28 San Pedro
    June 20
    Unexpected Pedro
    The presubmittal site meeting for Unexpected Pedro, an artwork appreciation mural will be at 4 p.m. June 17.  The Contract Award will be given the week of Aug. 8.
    If selected, the winning muralist will be asked to submit a final, revised rendering.  You can visit the 2d painted mural, which is a transition onto 6th street, with access to the 5th street parking lot.  Artists must design their submission with the location or vista in mind, as well as the imagery from the Warner Grand Theatre.  Artwork showing religious, overtly sexual or political themes will not be allowed.  RSVP for presubmittal site meeting by June 17. The mural is due October 14. Deadline for concept sketch or application is 5 p.m. July 15.
    Time: 5 p.m. July 15.
    Details: (310) 732 -0010; SanPedroWaterfrontArtsDistrict.com

    June 22
    Community Planning Meeting
    Participate in the community planning meeting for Atlantic Avenue and 61st Street in Long Beach.
    Find out about a really exciting development being planned near Houghton and provide your feedback to the city and the developer.
    Time: 6 p.m. June 22
    Details: Facebook events page

    Uptown Façade Improvement Opportunity
    The Long Beach is working with property owners in Uptown to help improve their building façades, signage, painting, landscapes and lighting.
    Details: hunter@uptownlongbeach.com

    Crisis Counseling at the LGBTQ Center Long Beach
    In response to the event in Orlando, Florida, The Mental Health Program at the LGBTQ Center Long Beach is offering free crisis counseling. You may contribute monetary support to the victims of the Pulse Orlando Shooting through Equality Florida’s GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday
    Details: (562) 343-4455; www.centerlb.org
    Venue: LGBTQ Center Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Pet Safety
    Los Angeles Animal Services is reminding pet owners take extra care of their dogs or cats during the expected extreme heat weather.
    If your dog or cat breathes noisily and rapidly, has trouble swallowing, and looks distressed, he or she could be having a heatstroke, and you should get him or her out of the heat, apply cold, wet towels to the back of the head, cool off your pet and take him or her to the vet immediately.  Don’t leave your pet alone in the car and keep a gallon of cool water and ice cubes in a bucket for your pet.

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  • Across the Great Divide

    We are recognized as much by our friends as we are by our adversaries

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    This has been a raucous election season and with the results.

    Sadly, Bernie Sanders garnered only 43.2 percent of the primary vote to Clinton’s 55.8 percent in California—nothing at all like what the pollsters were predicting at all. Does anyone perceive the undue influence of the Associated Press prematurely calling the delegate count the day before the election?

    One can only presume that this depressed the Sanders vote, but by how much, we’ll never know.

    Bernie’s parting words, “The struggle continues” was not an admission of defeat, but a pronouncement that the political revolution that started in Iowa has not ended with him bringing 1.5 million voters to the polls in California.

    I have never been more honored than this past week when I learned I was named in Isaac Galvan’s hit piece targeting Warren Furutani—a rival for the 35th State Senate  district. The mailer attempted to slander both of us over the homeless issue. This desperate attempt to use the homeless as a political football so late in the campaign, using the ranting language of the Saving San Pedro vigilantes, is such a crass subterfuge of the political debate as to appear comical.

    In part, Galvan alleges that “Furutani and Allen are the biggest proponents of the ‘Tiny Homes on Wheels for the Homeless’ in San Pedro.”

    It was a statement reminiscent of the Facebook rants of Saving San Pedro’s George Palaziol. Then Galvan exclaims that we are also behind the “busing-in of homeless from Long Beach and Santa Monica.”

    Not only is Galvan delusional in his allegations but he also confers far too much power upon the lowly position of neighborhood councils in Los Angeles—a board with more little more than an advisory role.

    Councilman Joe Buscaino hasn’t been paying too much attention to the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council except for our election rules, to which he then used to qualify a bus load of Los Angeles Police Department cadets to vote as stakeholders in the recent polling on June 7.

    As insignificant as neighborhood council races are to the real politics of Los Angeles, this current race for Central (which extends voting on a second day—June 14) has taken on some symbolic significance, mainly because of Buscaino’s support for his surrogates in the Saving San Pedro uprising.

    This is curious because of the 15 opposing candidates to the slate that I’m working with, five of them are known Republicans. In addition, Allyson Vought, threatened to sue the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council over a spurious copyright infraction of the San Pedro mascot of the famous Three-Eyed Fish logo and was paid a ridiculous settlement of $2,000.

    The two who are also running on the this slate that announces “transparency” and “accountability” are the two incumbent council members responsible for the “copyright infraction” and who objected to my revealing Vought’s name to the full council when the settlement was announced. These are the reactionary people Buscaino is supporting. The only question that should be asked is why? Their full slate can be seen in the  June 2016 edition of the conservative-leaning San Pedro Today magazine on page 19. It’s fairly easy to see the difference.

    Symbolism is high up on Buscaino’s priority list these days as he is being honored by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce on June 16 with its “Bold Vision” award. That may have something to do with finally getting the Port of Los Angeles to sign a lease for the Ports O’ Call waterfront after three years of closed door negotiations. This is political symbolism at its finest. The plan that was released was ultimately a significantly scaled back version than the one announced two years prior. This of course then brings up the not- so-subtle role that POLA plays in both politics and civic affairs in San Pedro and Wilmington.

    Readers of this publication will notice the continued absence of any port sponsored ads for almost a year, while they continue to place ads in our boosterish competition. This can only be explained by the silent influence of Buscaino to dish out to anyone who even slightly criticizes him and his relationship to the Assistant Port Director Doane Liu, his former chief of staff.

    This retribution was on display formally during a bizarre opposition vote at the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce recently over my reelection bid to the board.

    According to one source, it was engineered by Arley Baker, the senior head of communications at POLA.
    Baker showed up to vote at the Central San Pedro elections—something I’ve rarely seen in my years of covering neighborhood council elections. This, while Saving San Pedro continues its attempt at bullying this paper’s loyal advertisers.

    What seems to be agitating their ire is that no matter how much pretty propaganda they put out (they now reach some 53,000 contacts on digital media. Whether they place ads or not in this publication, they just can’t seem to buy off or threaten our independent editorial coverage, especially when it comes to environmental issues.  And that’s what you, our loyal readers respect, even if you don’t always agree. What the Port of Los Angeles doesn’t respect is that with far less budget, we still reach nearly 16,000 more readers who know the difference between propaganda and independent news reporting.

    Why does this even matter? Because the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the $400 billion gorillas in the room and their influence both economically and politically extends far beyond their control of the Tideland Trusts they maintain for the people of California. And the unchallenged power that they wield is daunting to all those who don’t have the agility to push back or who are reliant upon their charity or largess. The real debate that we continue to carry is “what’s the highest and best use” of the State Tidelands?

    Stay tuned. There’s more to come on accountability and transparency at POLA. Thanks for reading.

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