• San Pedro Shooting Leaves One Dead

    • 02/23/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    SAN PEDRO — The Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Area homicide detectives are asking the public’s help in providing any information that would lead to the identification and arrest of the suspect(s) responsible for the shooting death of 22-year-old Juan Antonio Bueno.

    The shooting took place at about 8:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the 200 block of North Gaffey Street. When officers arrived they found Bueno, suffering from a gunshot wound.  Investigators found that unknown suspect(s) pulled into the El Pollo Loco lot as Bueno and began a confrontation with him. Sources said that one of the suspects was urinating in public when one of the suspects got out of the car, charged Bueno and began to tussle with him. A second suspect got out of the car with a gun and fired one round in the direction of Bueno, striking him and causing him to fall to the ground.

    The Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded took Bueno to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries.

    There is no suspect(s) or vehicle description.

    Anyone with additional information is urged to (310)726-7889 anonymously visit www.lapdonline.org.

    Swat Officers Shot During Search Warrant Service

    LONG BEACH — A man was died after a shoot out with the Long Beach Police Department SWAT officers Feb. 17 in the 18000 block of Alexander Avenue in Cerritos.

    It is unknown at this time if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted or from the SWAT officer’s earlier return of gunfire.

    The incident took place at about 4:45 a.m. No officers were injured. The SWAT was used in this incident because the narcotics investigation led detectives to believe the suspect was possibly armed and dangerous.  The SWAT personnel surrounded the location and were going to call the suspect out when the suspect opened fire on hem with an assault rifle. He fired on officers with the assault rifle from two separate locations in the residence, nearly striking them.  SWAT officers subsequently returned fire and deployed tear gas into the residence.  After the tear gas was deployed two people exited the residence and were detained by officers, but the suspect remained inside. The subjects were later identified as the mother and uncle of the suspect.
    After a long standoff, SWAT officers entered the residence and found the suspect deceased from a gunshot wound to the upper torso.
    The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will conduct its own independent investigation and release the identity of the suspect pending notification of next of kin.
    Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call (562) 570-7244 or anonymously visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

    Burglary, Sexual Assault Suspect Assaults Pleads Not Guilty

    LONG BEACH — Melvin Earl Farmer Jr., who faces 14 felony counts, pleaded ‘not guilty’ Feb. 16 to charges in connection to a recent burglary spree, which involved the assault of three elderly women in Long Beach.

    There was at least five residential robberies, one sexual assault and one attempted sexual assault in period of a week.  All of the victims were elderly women between the ages of 63 and 95. Long Beach Police Department officials said that Farmer has a lengthy criminal history that includes robbery and thefts.

    The 39-year-old Lynwood resident is scheduled to return March 14 to the Long Beach Superior Court.

    His suspected accomplice, Sophia Kim, 31, who was charged with one count each of first-degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present, also pleaded not guilty.

    Woman Pleads Guilty to Illegally Shipping Ammunition

    LONG BEACH — On Feb. 13, Marlou Mendoza pleaded guilty to charges of illegally shipping thousands of rounds of ammunition to the Philippines, the U.S. Department of Justice stated in a release.

    The 61-year-old Long Beach woman, admitted to sending three shipments of .22-caliber ammunition, about 131,300 rounds, to the Philippines in June 2011.

    Mendoza pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to provide required written notice to freight forwarders that her shipments contained ammunition destined for a foreign country.

    Mendoza is free on bond and is scheduled to be sentenced April 20. She faces a statutory maximum charge of 15 years in federal prison.

    In a related case, Mendoza’s son, 31-year-old Mark Louie Mendoza, was charged last year with illegally shipping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ammunition and firearms parts, disguised and labeled as household items, to the Philippines.

    Mark Mendoza, who was the president of a “tools and equipment” company in Long Beach called Last Resort Armaments, is a fugitive. He is named in an eight-count indictment with charges including conspiracy, smuggling, money laundering and unlawfully exporting arms.

    Through his business, Mark Mendoza allegedly purchased more than $100,000 worth of ammunition and firearm accessories during a six-month period in 2011. Some of the items he allegedly purchased, including parts for M-16 and AR-15 type rifles, are listed as defense articles in the U.S. Munitions List and, in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act, may not be shipped to the Philippines without a license from the State Department.

    Additionally, the money laundering charges against Mark Mendoza allege that during the first half of 2011, he transferred more than $650,000 earned by the illegal transportations from an account in the Philippines to a money remitter in Los Angeles.

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations to investigate the Mendozas.

    The investigation began in 2011 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered ammunition and firearms in an outbound crate shipped by Marlou Mendoza, which had been falsely labeled as household items. Then, in November 2012, Homeland Security and the bureau special agents seized more than 120,000 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition and AR-15 trigger assemblies, magazines, sights and rifle barrels at a location tied to Last Resort Armaments.

    If Mark is found, tried and convicted, he would face a statutory maximum sentence of 115 years in federal prison.

    Port Selects Managing Director of Engineering Services

    Sean Gamette. Courtesy photo

    LONG BEACH — On Feb. 13, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners named Port of Long Beach senior executive Sean Gamette as the managing director of Engineering Services.
    Gamette, the port’s program delivery group director and chief harbor engineer, will lead a bureau that oversees and executes engineering and construction projects and maintenance for the Harbor Department.
    Gamette was selected after a competitive process to replace Doug Thiessen, who retired earlier this year.
    In his most recent position, Gamette led a team of managers, engineers, inspectors, surveyors, technicians and support staff responsible for the port’s capital investment program.
    Gamette came to the Harbor Department in 2003 as a senior program manager and was promoted to deputy chief harbor engineer in 2009 before assuming duties leading the Program Delivery Group in 2013. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

    Hospital Celebrates its 60th Anniversary of First Open Heart Surgery

    LONG BEACH — On Feb. 14, Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first open heart surgery at its hospital.

    The recipient of the first procedure, Michael Rivard, joined the medical center’s staff in celebrating the occasion. The day also marked his 72nd birthday.

    Photo courtesy of Dignity Health at St. Mary’s Medical Center

    Photo courtesy of Dignity Health at St. Mary’s Medical CenterSixty years ago, Rivard was a 12-year-old little boy with a congenital heart defect, which caused chest pain and shortness of breath and over time resulted in an enlarged heart. St. Mary doctors told his parents he had a one in four chance of surviving the invasive surgeries. Thanks to the cardiovascular services available at St. Mary, Rivard shared his story of gratitude.

    The Long Beach resident gives back to children facing heart problems just like he did, as a volunteer at Camp del Corazon, a free week long summer camp on Catalina for children with heart disease.

    Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center cardiovascular services include 24-hour on-site emergency care, designation as a STEMI Receiving Center for heart attacks, diagnostic services, including a 64-slice CT scanner, echocardiograms, stress and treadmill tests, two state-of-the-art catheterization labs, surgical suites for open-heart, thoracic and complex valve surgeries, cardiac rehab unit, and a telemetry unit with single patient rooms.

    Arrest Made in Connection with Beauty Salon Death

    LONG BEACH — On Feb. 15, the Long Beach Police Department announced an arrest was made in connection to a suspicious death at a beauty salon.
    Officers arrested Sandra Yaneth Slaughter, also known as Sandra Perez Gonzalez, Feb. 13. The 48-year-old Long Beach resident was booked for murder and is in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with a bail set at $2 million. The investigation remains ongoing.

    The arrest was made in connection to an incident Feb. 12. At about 12:30 p.m. the LBPD responded to Areli’s Beauty Salon at 2113 Pacific Ave. to help the Long Beach Fire Department with a patient who was in cardiac arrest.

    LBFD personnel performed CPR on 36-year-old Long Beach resident Hamilet Suarez. Suarez was taken to to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
    Officers were initially told she went to the salon for a massage, but before the massage began, Suarez went into medical distress. Due to conflicting information, Homicide Detectives responded to the scene and learned that the masseuse, who is being identified as 45-year-old Sandra Perez Gonzalez of Long Beach, was renting a treatment room within the beauty salon.
    Gonzalez provides massages for her customers; however, she also advertises that she provides Vampire Facelifts, butt augmentation, and lip augmentation procedures. Inside the treatment room, detectives found medical equipment and multiple vials of controlled substances which were used for these medical procedures. Gonzalez, who is a recently licensed massage therapist, is not licensed to conduct these procedures or administer any of the controlled substances found at the facility.
    The investigation continues with Homicide Detectives working closely with the California Medical Board who is assisting with the investigation. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is also conducting an investigation to determine the cause of Mrs. Suarez’s death.
    Based on the evidence gathered so far, it appears Gonzalez has been conducting these medical procedures from this location for approximately one month.
    Anyone who may have received these types of treatments from Gonzalez is urged to call (562) 570-7244.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org .

    Officer-Involved Shooting in Gardena

    GARDENA — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding a Gardena Police Department officer-involved shooting that took at 10:30 p.m. Feb. 16.
    Detectives learned that Gardena officers were patrolling the 1000 block of West Rosecrans Avenue, Gardena, when they noticed a disturbance in the parking lot of the business.
    The officers stopped to assist the security guard in quelling the disturbance between several patrons.  During the contact, one of the men fired at least one round in an unknown direction and fled westbound away from the parking lot.
    Officers tried to apprehend man and an officer-involved shooting occurred.  The suspect was struck at least once in the torso and was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The suspect is described as a male black adult.
    Officers recovered two handguns believed to belong to the suspect.
    No officers were injured.
    Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call (323) 890-5500 or anonymously visit http://lacrimestoppers.org.

    Los Angeles Joins Amicus Brief Against Trump Travel Ban

    LOS ANGELES — City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Feb. 17 that Los Angeles has joined a coalition of local municipalities opposed to Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13769, commonly known as the travel ban.

    Los Angeles joined an amicus brief in Darweesh v. Trump, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York.  LINK TO AMICUS BRIEF HERE (ATTACHED)

    Prompted by reports that visa and green card holders were detained or denied entry at LAX, Feuer sought to intervene with federal officials at LAX the night of Jan. 28.  When Feuer’s efforts were rebuffed by these officials, Feuer sent this letter top federal authorities seeking answers regarding the unlawful treatment of legal immigrants at LAX.   When reports indicated LAX detainees suffered deplorable conditions — for example, receiving little or no food or water for hours — Feuer submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the federal government.

    LA County Supervisors Proclaimed Day of Remembrance

    LOS ANGELES — On Feb. 14, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed Feb.19, 2017 as a Day of Remembrance to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 which authorized the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.  The motion was cosponsored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and passed with unanimous support.

    Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, forced more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent – including children and the elderly – from their homes and businesses and incarcerated them without charge or trial under the pretext of national security. None was ever found to have committed sabotage or espionage.

    In declaring a Day of Remembrance, the board emphasized that “no community should suffer such violations of constitutional and human rights.” It also encouraged County employees to voluntarily participate in Day of Remembrance events through October.

    Supervisors Take Action to Get Payments to Foster Youth, Families

    LOS ANGELES — On Feb. 14, Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda L. Solis took action to address an ongoing problem delaying payments to foster parents and foster youth in Los Angeles County.

    Since December 2016, hundreds of foster parents and youth have reported missed payments from the Department of Children and Family Services. Problems with a recent change to the payment system that distributes funds has caused the payment delays. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion, co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, to expedite delayed payments and resolve the issue.

    The Supervisors are asking DCFS to report back to the board in seven days and every week thereafter until the matter has completely resolved.  Due to the urgency of the issue, the motion directs the department to have a complete back pay plan completed by March 14, 2017. This includes determining steps to resolve and distribute funds as well as finding the root cause of funding delays.

    Los Angeles County’s foster care system is the largest in the Country.  DCFS distributes thousands of payments each month to foster parents, group homes and youth in extended foster care.  Low-income families and youth rely on these payments for food, rent and the necessities of life.  Businesses rely on these payments for operating costs and payroll.  Delays in payment by DCFS can be debilitating and have serious consequences.  These circumstances make resolution of this issue essential and urgent.

    Off-Duty Cop Fires Gun While Attacking 13-Year-Old Boy


    ANAHEIM — On Feb. 21, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department fired his gun while attacking a 13-year-old boy.

    Protests erupted as demonstrators called for the arrest of the LAPD officer, whose apparent use of a gun during the heated argument over what authorities said was an ongoing issue of children walking across the lawn of his Anaheim home.

    The argument began after the 13-year-old when the officer insulted a teenage girl he was with when they were crossing through the officer’s lawn. The 13-year-old boy and one teenager say that the 13-year-old told the man he was going to “sue” the cop, who apparently heard the word “shoot.”

    The officer grabbed the 13-year-old’s collar and attempts to drag him. A teenager tried to help the 13-year-old boy and pushed off -duty over a hedge. The man pulled a handgun from the waist of his jeans and a shot is heard.

    The man was not detained.

    The 13-year-old boy was detained, however, and later booked at Orange County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of making criminal threats and battery. He was later relased.

    A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery and later released, according to the Anaheim Police Department.

    Those arrests, paired with the off-duty cop’s use of a gun, sparked protests in Anaheim Feb. 22 as hundreds took to the streets calling for the officer’s arrest.

    Anaheim police reported about 24 arrests for misdemeanor on Feb. 23. The status of the teen’s charges remained unclear. The police officer is on paid administrative leave.

    Lieu Elected to New Leadership Post

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Feb. 15, Rep. Ted Lieu was elected by his colleagues to serve as a regional vice chairman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    The position was created as part of reforms initiated by the Democratic Caucus to make the party more competitive heading into the next election cycle.
    As one of five vice chairs, Lieu will be responsible for mentoring candidates, participating in media response, raising funds and traveling as a surrogate. The region he will represent includes: California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.

    Trump Revokes Transgender Education Guidance

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Feb. 22, Donald Trump’s administration announced its withdrawal of President Barack Obama’s 2016 guidance to ensure transgender students have equal access to schools and school facilities.

    This guidance formalized for more than a decade of court decisions that found that Title IX and other sex discrimination laws included protections for transgender people. Among other school groups, it was supported by the American School Counselors Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Association of Secondary School Principals.

    The rollback of these protections will allow many states and school districts to discriminate against transgender and gender nonconforming students without repercussion.

    In California, a state with some of the strongest anti-discrimination protections in the United States, there is reasonable assurance that the current protections for transgender and gender nonconforming students will remain intact.

    Man Pleaded Guilty to Buying Firearms for San Bernardino Shooter

    RIVERSIDE, Calif.– Enrique Marquez Jr. – a longtime friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack – has agreed pleaded guilty to conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists.

    Marquez, 25, of Riverside, entered into a plea agreement that was filed Feb. 14 in U.S. District Court. The defendant entered his guilty pleas Feb. 16.

    In the plea agreement, Marquez agreed to plead guilty to providing material support and resources to terrorists, including weapons, explosives and personnel. Marquez admitted in the plea agreement that he conspired with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to attack Riverside City College and commuter traffic on the 91 Freeway.

    Marquez also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm for being the “straw buyer” of two assault rifles that were used in the shooting rampage at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015.

    Marquez was arrested about two weeks after the attack at the Inland Regional Center, which was perpetrated by Farook, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who were killed in a shootout with law enforcement hours after the attack.

    The investigation into the deadly shooting quickly uncovered evidence that, in 2011 and 2012, Marquez purchased two rifles that Farook and Malik later used in the attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at the Inland Regional Center. A law enforcement officer was wounded during the shootout that afternoon.

    According to the plea agreement, Farook paid Marquez for the rifles. Marquez also discussed with Farook the use of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices during the planned attacks on the Riverside City College and State Route 91. Marquez purchased Christmas tree lightbulbs and a container of smokeless powder for use in manufacturing improvised explosive devices.

    Marquez will face a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison.

    Marquez, who did not personally participate in the attack on the Inland Regional Center, has remained in custody since he was ordered detained at his initial court appearance in this case on Dec.17, 2015.

    Also as a result of the investigation into the Inland Regional Center attack, three people have pleaded guilty to being part of a sham marriage scheme in which a Russian woman “married” Marquez to obtain immigration benefits.

    Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of Inland Regional Center attacker Syed Rizwan Farook; Tatiana Farook, who is Syed Raheel Farook’s wife; and Mariya Chernykh, who is Tatiana Farook’s sister, pleaded guilty earlier this year to immigration fraud charges and admitted being part of conspiracy in which Chernykh paid Marquez to enter into a bogus marriage.

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  • Let’s Roll: Sushi, Doobies

    • 02/23/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Features
    • Comments are off

    By Gina Ruccione, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer

    It’s 4:20 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, and I’m stationed at a long, thin table, sandwiched between a scientist and an attorney. No, this is not the beginning of a dirty joke — it’s the beginning of what turned out to be an educational afternoon.

    The tables are quite obviously set for a sushi rolling lesson, but with a few crucial variables. The assembled tools include chopsticks, a red plastic lighter, some sliced cucumber, a ripe avocado,rolling papers and a huge, dense nugget of pungent flowering marijuana. I immediately realize I’m not adequately prepared for this writing assignment. A formidable panic sets in. As I turn to survey the rest of the room, there are about 50 men and women of various shapes, sizes and ethnicities. The woman behind me could easily be my grandmother — but she’s smiling at me and clearly has 100 percent more chill than I do at the moment. Maybe I should hit the weed? It’s prescribed for anxiety.

    These sushi and doobie rolling classes are the first of their kind in the Harbor Area and are organized by Mary Jane University, a company whose main initiative is bridging the gap between medication and education. Times are changing and many find the new wave of marijuana consumption both intimidating and overwhelming. There are so many products available, including infused creams, honey, tea, chocolate, even gelato. Where does one even begin?

    The first time I had an edible or a marijuana-infused snack was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was curious, young and incredibly ill-informed, and the high was so intense I wanted to army-crawl out of my skin. I thought I was going to die — and the only cure was three boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese and a three-hour nap.

    That was enough to keep me away for more than 15 years and I’m certain I’m not alone. Several friends have confessed that they, too, fell victim to a chocolate brownie that landed them in a downward spiral of debilitating panic. The misguided apprehension with regards to marijuana consumption comes from a lack of knowledge. Most people scoff at this but the truth is that there is scientific evidence supporting the benefits of marijuana consumption. The untapped potential is overwhelming and stuck between political and financial issues. I’m not advocating for its recreational use, but at the end of the day, it’s none of my business what you put in your body.  However, the discourse is warranted and an open-mind is necessary. And for the love of Jesus, don’t eat the whole brownie!

    MJU’s primary focus is to bring the dispensary experience into the home through educational presentations — think Tupperware parties but for weed — and I say that in the most loving way. Just recently, they’ve added the high dining experience to their repertoire — ergo doobies and sushi. The rest of Los Angeles has been holding underground and not-so-underground marijuana-infused dinners for some time now and they’re definitely on to something.

    The class took several hours and I was entertained and engaged the entire time. Guests wandered around the Goosefire Gallery, a glass blowing facility that also teaches classes and showcases student work. Chef Victor Miller led both the sushi and doobie rolling portion of the class. His crew passed out deliciously crisp, fresh oysters and seared scallops, while we sipped on fresh squeezed blood orange soda. Vendors toting chocolates to infused bath bombs shared products and knowledge.

    The scientist next to me chimed in. “This is a cultural awakening that needs information,” Jeffrey Raber, an organic chemist who has spent the last ten years of his career studying botanical analysis, said. “Everyone is curious, so we should probably start explaining how this works.” He explained that you can’t put all marijuana strains into the same category. They all work differently according to an individual’s body chemistry.

    Let me be clear — this was not a whole bunch of people sitting around getting stoned, nor was any of the food infused that evening. In fact, you didn’t have to spark up the doobie. No one was visibly stoned or impaired either. This was purely for fun and education. Admittedly, those who smoked were slightly more inclined to eat the sushi, and the rest of the extra hand rolls, and a couple of the homemade strawberry ice cream sandwiches, and a couple mints from the bathroom. Actually, it was probably closer to nine mints, but who’s counting?

    Details: www.maryjaneuniversity.info

    Gina Ruccione has a webseries about food, which was featured at San Pedro Film Festival last October. She was also a contestant on Master Chef, Season 7 and has been hosting pop up dinners around the Harbor Area. Most recently, she was named the creative director for mealsharing.com, a website that allows guests to eat with locals all over the world. Visit her website at ginaruccione.com

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  • Tributo a Mexico

    • 02/23/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Feb. 24
    Radio-Active at Alpine Village
    Radio-Active is a 70s and 80s new wave-rock cover band based in the South Bay.
    Time: 9 p.m. Feb. 24
    Cost: $5
    Details: www.alpinevillagecenter.com
    Venue: Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance

    Feb. 25
    Tributo a Mexico
    Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Co., led by Artistic Director Jose Vences, showcases the splendor of Mexican folk dance from various regions.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Honey County
    Rooted in three-part vocal harmonies, southern twang, and pop hooks, Honey County tis an alt-country trio led by singer-songwriter and Virginia native, Dani Rose.  The trio creates its own story-driven country, melodic pop and punchy, guitar-fueled rock.
    Time: 8 p.m.Feb. 25
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 436 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Bunny Brunel & Kaylene Peoples
    The well-regarded Bunny Brunel & Kaylene Peoples is presenting acoustic jazz and electric fusion.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 25
    Cost: $30
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 4
    Lucia Micarelli
    Lucia Micarelli performs classical, jazz, traditional fiddle music and Americana for a high energy, eclectic stage performance, all bound together by her impeccable emotional vulnerability and technical wizardry.
    Time: 8 p.m. March 4
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex,  436 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Feb. 26
    Question 27, Question 28
    Artists at Play and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 are presenting Chay Yew’s frank drama, Question 27, Question 28. In 1942, 10 weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The order authorized the removal and internment of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. Yew’s play traces this moment in history, serving not only as a reminder of the past, but as a cautionary tale for the present.
    Time: 3 p.m. Feb. 26
    Cost: Free
    Details:  http://bit.ly/2k4KJku.
    Venue: Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles

    Monster Nite at the Puppet Asylum
    Monster Nite at the Puppet Asylum explores the outer edges of puppetry with inventive, absurdly funny and wicked acts of puppetry independently produced for an adult only audience. Due to adult subject material, no one under the age of 18 will be admitted.
    Time: 4 p.m. Feb. 26
    Cost: $12
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 5
    Forever Plaid

    Once upon a time, there were four guys who discovered that they shared a love for music and then got together to become their idols:  The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Lo’s and The Crew Cuts. Rehearsing in the basement of a family plumbing supply company, they became “Forever Plaid.”
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 17 through March 5
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Details: (562) 436-4610; www.InternationalCityTheatre.org,
    Venue: International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

     

     

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

    FILM

    March 3
    Singin’ In the Rain – 65th Anniversary
    SPIFFest is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Singin’ In the Rain.
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    ARTS

    March 12
    Significant Otherness
    Significant Otherness is a benefit exhibition for the Spay and Neuter Project of Los Angeles. It explores the unique bond between animals and humans through artworks of eight contemporary artists.  A benefit event is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 25.
    Time: 10 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday, through March 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://angelsgateart.org/gallery-receptions-on-january-21-2017
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, Building A, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

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

    April 16
    Wearable Expressions
    Wearable Expressions explores the unbreakable bond between Art and Fashion portraying boundary-pushing works in fiber, jewelry and accessories by creative minds from around the globe.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: wearableexpressions.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 26
    Creative Expressions, featuring glass artist Howard Schneider, local painter Kathie Reis and abstract artist Lois Olsen opens at the Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula. An opening reception is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. March 4.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; www.artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, at 5400 Crestridge Road,  Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 30
    Ann Weber, Sculpture
    TransVagrant and Gallery 478 present Ann Weber, Sculpture. Ann Weber’s organic sculpture is abstract, formally elegant and composed of inelegant salvaged cardboard. There are abundant hints of figuration and recognizable objects: think chess pieces, balloons, human torsos, plant forms, and graphic ciphers.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through April 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873; www.transvagrant.com
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 4th St., San Pedro

    May 21
    Dreamland
    The Museum of Latin American Art presents a retrospective of the work of one of the original Los Four founders, Frank Romero in the exhibition entitled Dreamland. Romero’s most iconic works, including his mural work, such as Driving to the Olympics on the Hollywood Freeway, address life in the barrios of Los Angeles.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, through May 21.
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: (562) 437-1689; molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Feb. 24

    Whiskey Walk with Master Distiller
    Michael’s Restaurant Group — known for Chianina Steakhouse, Michael’s On Naples, Michael’s Pizzeria and Working Class Kitchen — is hosting an evening with Master Distiller Dave Pickerell of WhistlePig Whiskey. Dubbed the ultimate “whiskey walk,” guests will begin with a cocktail reception on the Rooftop Lounge at Michael’s On Naples from 6 to 8 p.m. and then walk two blocks to Chianina Steakhouse for a family-style steak dinner with Mr. Pickerell.
    Time: 4 p.m. Feb. 24
    Cost: $8 to $75
    Details: (562) 439-7080; www.MichaelsOnNaples.com
    Venue:  Michael’s on Naples, 5620 E. 2nd St., Long Beach

    Feb. 25
    The Great Los Angeles Air Raid
    Celebrate and recreate one of the most controversial events in Los Angeles history, a night when thousands of people were convinced the city was under an air attack during World War II in 1942. This year marks the 75th anniversary of that night. Many living historians will be in character. Classic cars and military equipment will be on hand.
    Time: 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.FtMac.org
    Venue: Fort MacArthur Museum, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    March 4
    PVPLC First Saturday Family Hike at George F Canyon

    Bring your family and join our naturalist guide to discover habitat, wildlife and more on an easy hike up the canyon with amazing views of the city.
    Time: 9 a.m. March 4
    Cost: Free.
    Details: (310) 547-0862; www.pvplc.org,
    Venue: 27305 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills Estates

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  • Frank Romero in Dreamland

    • 02/16/2017
    • Andrea Serna
    • Art
    • Comments are off

    MOLAA Honors Chicano Artist

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    The year was 1974. Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, White House officials were indicted for their role in the Watergate scandal and a black man, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. It was also the year that Chicano art was introduced to the world in an exhibition called Los Four at the University of California Irvine Art Gallery.

    This month the Museum of Latin American Art presents a retrospective of the work of one of the original Los Four founders, Frank Romero, in the exhibition entitled, Dreamland.

    An extended video interview with Frank Romero is available at Palacio Magazine.

    The seminal work of artists Carlos David Almaraz, Roberto de la Rocha, Gilbert Sanchez Lujan and Frank Edward Romero launched a movement of identity art that endures. The group emphasized the importance of dealing with the cultural terrain and also railed against cultural injustice and civil unrest.

    Romero’s most iconic works, including his mural work, such as Driving to the Olympics featured on the Hollywood Freeway, address life in the barrios of Los Angeles. Romero and his fellow artists grew up in Boyle Heights, a place that informed much of their cultural experiences during the turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s. Car culture, Mayan and Mexican mythology, tension and violence in inner city Los Angeles all make up the highly autobiographical work of Frank Romero.

    In the exhibition catalog, Patrick H. Ela explains Romero’s esthetic:

    “Over time, some of his images, pingos, decorated or flaming hearts, chairs and cars have become his personal icons and symbols. They are simultaneously symbols of the Chicano environment in which he grew up.”

    MOLAA has completely filled the museum’s walls with the collection of 200 works of art, assembled from almost 50 lenders. Major museums across the country and private collectors sent a historical collection of the glimmering fantastical works. His bold and joyful images reflect the conflicts, as well as the pride, of Chicano life.

    After 20 years, the museum opened its arms and its galleries to fully embrace the work of Chicano artists. It required a change in the mission statement to break down the barrier that prevented exhibition of the art form. Former Director Stuart Ashman returned from Santa Fe, New Mexico to join in an exuberant celebration of artists, community sponsors and low-riders to celebrate the historic evening. The exhibit was unveiled following a passionate speech by Cástulo de La Rocha, president and CEO of AltaMed Health Services, collector of Chicano art and a major funder of Dreamland.

    The shift in the direction of the museum was triggered by a chance elevator ride, shared by actor and Chicano art collector Cheech Marin and Ashman. Marin raised the question: Why have Chicano artists been shut out of the museum that is meant to represent their heritage?

    “I am very proud to be the first solo Chicano artist to exhibit at MOLAA,” Romero said . “It is something that I have worked many years to see happen. And of course, I’m kind of shocked that they got my favorite artist, me! Cheech and I campaigned to change the mission. It was a gradual process but I am happy to be part of it.”

    Curator Edward Hayes explains that there is some serendipity in the timing of the exhibition.

    “Two-thousand-seventeen turns out to be the year of Los Four,” he said, referring to the Chicano artist collective of the 1970s and early ‘80s. “MOLAA is the first out-of-the- gate this year, organizing the Frank Romero retrospective, then [the Los Angeles County Museum of Art] opens a Carlos Almaraz show, followed by UC Irvine with Gilberto Lujan. Roberto de la Rocha is also acknowledged in a film here at MOLAA.”

    Griselda Suarez, executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach and professor of Chicano Studies at Cal State Long Beach finds a connection to Romero’s work.

    “I grew up in East LA,” Suarez said. “Frank Romero’s work is reflective of the struggles that the community goes through ….  Any brown community in the LA area can connect to those paintings and the struggles they depict. At the same time, he has some really vibrant work that reminds us of how vibrant life is. Romero is a good example of not staying static as an artist. That is a really important lesson for young artists, that you continue to find that creativity within you.”

    Forty years after the explosion of Chicano art, there is a question as to the continuing relevance of its message. A culture of narcissism overtook the work of many artists in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Many younger artists rejected the idea of a Chicano Movement. At the same time, younger artists have been criticized for a lack of political views.

    Writer, historian and director of the film Dark Progressivism, Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre, has noted the changes that have taken place in the new generation of artists.

    “The Chicano movement was very specific” he noted. “It was mostly Mexican-American, male dominated with a political agenda. It dealt with border issues; it dealt with labor, race ideology and identity. Most of the young artists today do not necessarily identify as Chicano artists, but they will all say that they were influenced by it. The platform that artists have today speaks to the national dialogue, it doesn’t necessarily speak to a demographic.”

    Now, with the emergence of Black Lives Matter and the radical right wing occupying all branches of government, artists are quickly responding to the political atmosphere. Romero’s  works,  Police Violence: The Arrest of the Palateros, The Death of Ruben Salazar and The Closing of Whittier Boulevard, brought national attention to him and to the topic of violence by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

    Romero has considered revisiting the topic.

    “Yes, I have been thinking about a new painting,”  Romero said. “It will be about a young black man who was killed in Ferguson, with 15 bullets in him. The Arrest of the Palateros  (ice cream vendors) is very current. In the LA City Council, they are still arguing about licensing for street vendors. This has been going on for 20 years. The inequity of who can sell and who can be licensed still needs to be addressed.”

    As Suarez pointed out, Romero is the example of an artist who continues to find  creativity within himself.

    Dreamland is on exhibit at the Museum of Latin American Art, and runs through May 21. Visit the museum website for collateral programming and activities celebrating this historic exhibition.

    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, through May 21.
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: (562) 437-1689; molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

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  • Immigration Attorney Answers ‘What the Hell is Going On?’

    • 02/16/2017
    • Kym Cunningham
    • News
    • Comments are off

    Sanctuary Cities, the Cost of ICE and Trump’s Immigration Policies

    By Kym Cunningham, Contributing Writer

    Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, on Jan. 25. This order cuts funds for so-called “sanctuary cities” and gives immigration officers unlimited discretion in instituting deportation proceedings. The order belies the Trump administration’s lack of knowledge concerning the realities of immigration law.

    “‘Sanctuary cities’ is a misnomer,” Ally Bolour explained. “The cities don’t enforce immigration law. That’s a good thing because immigration law is the most complicated area of law next to tax law.”

    Bolour has worked as an immigration attorney in downtown Los Angeles for almost 20 years.

    The Los Angeles Police Department is, and should be, in support of sanctuary cities, he said.

    “They don’t want to be the ones to enforce immigration law,” Bolour said. “They don’t know the law … and … if people stop trusting your police force, then crime will go up. Then you and I, as citizens, are less safe because no one’s reporting.”

    Bolour argues that local police forces are not meant to enforce immigration law because they lack the technical know-how and the manpower.  This  is why an entire department,  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, exists.

    “I would think that the federal government would actually support the concept of sanctuary cities,” Bolour said. “They’re the ones that are supposed to enforce it, not local offices, not local police forces.”

    The Trump administration does not seem to understand the nature of “sanctuary cities,” just as it does not understand the reasons behind the alleged 11 million undocumented workers or, as Trump refers to them, “criminal aliens.”

    “There’s no reason to have 11 million undocumented individuals,”  Bolour said. “We’ve never had this. Migration between Mexico and the United States … has been going on since the birth of both countries. This particular problem can really be pinpointed to the present law [the Illegal Immigration and Immigration Responsibility Act].”

    This act, also known as IRAIRA, came into effect in April of 1997 under Bill Clinton. The law tightens immigration controls, making it incredibly difficult for people who come to the United States without authorization to obtain legal status.

    Essentially, if an immigrant comes to the United States without being inspected, it is incredibly unlikely that she or he will be able to adjust status and obtain a green card.

    “People come here, perhaps, to work the farm, not knowing what the full consequences are,” Bolour said.

    Unless the undocumented immigrant can prove “Extreme Hardship” and is willing to travel back to his or her home country to be processed, she or he is not eligible for a green card and cannot be legalized, even if she or he marries a U.S. citizen. Many immigrants opt instead to remain undocumented in order to avoid separation from their loved ones for prolonged periods of time. Bolour gave a hypothetical example of a common scenario in which an immigrant can easily fall into this “undocumented trap.”

    “[Let’s] say a female Mexican national comes here to work [on a] farm,” said Bolour. She meets a U.S. citizen farmworker. They fall in love. They have babies. The babies are U.S. citizens. That woman is unlikely to be able to get a green card — even though she has U.S. citizen kids, a U.S. citizen husband, for all practical purposes is an American — she is unable to legalize. She is one of … the 11 million.”

    Before IRAIRA, an undocumented person could have paid the federal government a $1,000 penalty for crossing over without documentation and then adjusted status. Although the process takes time, the undocumented individual could have eventually applied for citizenship. As the law stands now, undocumented individuals who keep under ICE’s radar cannot obtain green cards. Therefore, they cannot become U.S. citizens.

    “When you’re not a citizen, you don’t fully participate in society,” Bolour said. “You can’t, perhaps, go to your kids’ PTA meetings because you’re scared…. You don’t feel like a full member of society. Perhaps you don’t learn English. You certainly don’t vote; you don’t serve on a jury. That’s a loss to American society in general.”

    IRAIRA Costs Taxpayers

    But the loss to American society due to IRAIRA is not merely general, it is specifically fiscal as well. As it stands, Bolour explained that the law costs the government and, by extension, the taxpayers who foot ICE’s bill.  The government could stand to make $11 billion in potential profit if it legalized these immigrants.

    “That a $1,000 penalty,” Bolour said. “Multiply it by 11 million [people]. Just do the math.”

    Alternately, Bolour proposes another solution termed, “paroled-in-place.”

    Currently, this relief is only offered to the spouses of military veterans. If an undocumented immigrant marries a veteran, his or her attorney can ask the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, to issue him or her a parole-in-place. This essentially produces a document which states that she or he was “paroled-in,” allowing the person to retroactively gain legal documents. After this process, the person is eligible to adjust status, becoming legalized by obtaining a green card or visa.

    Although less lucrative for the federal government than the $1,000 penalty, this system of parole-in-place would save American taxpayers millions, if not billions, of dollars in immigration enforcement.

    In 2013, the estimated budget for immigration enforcement was more than $5 million per day. In 2016, the budget proposed an increase of 2,000 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP,  officers — to include their salaries, benefits and future pensions. Alongside this increase in personnel, the ICE fiscal year budget included $373.5 million to “maintain the necessary infrastructure and technology along the Nation’s borders.”

    Bolour’s paroled-in-place solution for these 11 million undocumented workers would allow the federal government to divert these funds, channeling a deficit funded by citizens into benefits for American citizens via universal healthcare or better public education.

    Bolour maintains that by legalizing these immigrants, the government will be able to weed out what he called “the low-hanging fruit.”

    “As it is, it’s a wide net and it’s not effective,” Bolour said. “We need a system to sift through everybody [who] can be legalized … then we spend money to deport criminals.”

    It is important to note that the Trump administration is not the first to target undocumented workers. Rather, Trump’s attack on the working class builds on policies set forth by Presidents Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton (the progenitor of IRAIRA).

    In fact, Obama has been labeled the “deporter-in-chief” by many immigration groups, as his administration was responsible for the physical removal of more than 2.5 million people — a figure that does not include those individuals who were turned away at the border or who left of their own volition. The Obama administration was responsible for more deportations than any other administration in U.S. history.

    And yet, there was not the same fear felt by the immigrant community under the Obama administration.

    Recently, reports of ICE raids have put whole communities on edge. Although ICE has issued statements claiming that these raids are business-as-usual, this cavalier bureaucratic attitude only seems to create more fear and confusion.

    On Feb. 9, University of California Undocumented Legal Services Center sent out the following message:

    ICE agents are targeting individuals with prior removal, or deportation, orders. We have also gotten reports that even individuals without prior orders of removal are being targeted. This includes people who do not have any criminal records. The reports describe that unmarked white vans are going through neighborhood, with agents targeting specific individuals for enforcement.

    The message then urges affected students or their family members to contact their respective campus center attorneys.

    Bolour said this fear is the true difference between the Obama and the Trump administration in regards to undocumented workers.

    “Tyrants rule by creating this set of circumstances that create confusion, uncertainty and just panic,” Bolour said.

    Trump Targets Muslims

    In a different part of the immigrant community, this same panic spread on Jan. 28, when Trump announced yet another Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. Now infamously labeled  the “Muslim Ban,” this order refused entry to immigrants traveling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

    However, the true terms of the executive order remained murky even to those enforcing it.

    In conjunction with the executive order, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement, saying that it would immediately stop processing the benefits for immigrants from the aforementioned seven countries. These benefits included work permits, green cards and citizenship.

    Shortly thereafter, Secretary John Kelly declared that green card holders were exempt from these restrictions and were going to be allowed back into the country.

    “Well, I have a bunch of green card holders who are just confused whether to board a plane,” Bolour said. “They’re being refused boarding a plane wherever they are worldwide. So this element of confusion … was the immediate aftermath.”

    While many have argued the inherent discrimination that belies this executive order, to Bolour, the legal issue of discrimination lies not with the executive order itself, but with the intent behind the executive order.

    “I would say yes [it is discrimination], but it’s not because he’s attempting to deny a class of individuals from entering the country—that’s within his authority,” Bolour said. “The intent is there. The intent is: Muslim ban. But [Jan. 7] in court, the government attorney was going up and down swearing that ‘hey it’s not Muslim ban.’ But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

    Bolour argued that at the most fundamental level, this executive order challenges the separation of church and state as laid out in the Constitution. Similarly, he argued that the order discriminates against individuals based upon their religion, which is prohibited in the Bill of Rights.

    “So you have several issues,” Bolour said. “You have the religious ban issue [and] you have due process issues. If somebody is doing everything that they are supposed to do and suddenly they are prevented from getting a benefit, that’s a due process issue.”

    Executive Orders Damage Society

    As a result of the confusion generated by the implementation (or not) of the “Muslim ban,” Bolour shared some advice he gave to his clients.

    “If someone’s going to come in, I’m advising them to come in as soon as they can,” Bolour said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know what Trump’s going to do. If somebody wants to travel abroad, I still tell them only travel if you have to. Don’t travel for pleasure.”

    Bolour was angry that he even had to suggest this advice.

    “People should not feel fearful,” Bolour said. “People should be celebrating that they’re becoming U.S. citizens.”

    “I have clients, business clients, that routinely travel overseas because they have meetings,” Bolour added. “Even if they’re not one of the seven stated countries — that’s the thing the element of fear — they’re still asking me, ‘Should I go? What if he adds more countries and what if I’m affected?’ That affects business life.”

    Bolour recounted the chilling effect of  Trump’s “Muslim ban” on one of his clients, a student from Iran who applied for and was granted asylum and a green card. This student planned to celebrate his birthday in Puerto Vallarta later this month but canceled, even after everything had been paid for, because he was worried he was not going to be allowed back into the country.

    “It may sound trivial to people but in America…we’re supposed to be certain,” said Bolour. “We’re supposed to know what’s going on. This is the only place in the world where political uncertainty has no basis, right? Because we’re supposed to have a stable set of institutions.”

    However, there is a glimmer of hope on an otherwise bleak horizon.

    In the Los Angeles field office of USCIS, paperwork from the seven “banned” countries is being processed normally. Applications for citizenship from countries such as Iran are being accepted, processed and approved. Other applications are being scheduled and processed normally. All the visas that had been canceled by the State Department were reinstated.

    “But again, the element of uncertainty is at the whim of a circle of people,” Bolour said.

    Lastly, Bolour suggested that Trump’s executive orders were not only problematic for immigrants, but also for the community as a whole.

    “You don’t even have to be an immigrant or a green card holder, you can be born here and you are affected,” Bolour said. “He’s attacking the very fabric of American consciousness and society … where people don’t trust one another … That’s extremely destructive beyond the four years or the eight years or even 20 years…. It has created this atmosphere of paranoia, of fear.

    “Trump’s regime will end. But the damage that it is doing to our society is going to prevail for many, many years.”

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  • Buscaino’s War on Homeless

    • 02/16/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Most of you have been distracted by the Tweeter-in-Chief’s misdeeds in office during his first weeks playing in the Oval Office. But you should realize that his antics are a lot like using a feather toy to distract a cat. The real threat to our democracy seems to be going on down the street in the U.S. Congress with the Republicans noodling with Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act.

    Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles—the capital of the Sanctuary Cities and where city leaders have vowed to stand against No. 45’s bullying and unconstitutional executive orders—there’s something more going on.  The city is about to hold its off-season municipal elections and voters have just received their sample ballot pamphlets. But is anyone paying attention?

    There are two on my ballot that need no endorsement since they are running unopposed: City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Controller Ron Galperin. Both have done superb jobs. Feuer for suing Wells Fargo and winning, and Galperin for giving the citizens access to the city’s database with his control panel. Even though they don’t need your vote, vote for them anyway.

    What you won’t see on this ballot is the simmering discontent with the Los Angeles City Council that is bubbling up from the ground like tar at the La Brea Tar Pits.  Pay-to-play development zoning, lack of leadership on the homeless crisis and lack of affordable housing are covered up with a blanket of hypocrisy.

    This is best exemplified in District 15 Councilman Joe Buscaino’s  attempt to show that he has compassion for the homeless by reporting via his weekly political e-newsletter and his campaign mailer about his ride on the bus that transports our San Pedro neighbors without homes to the winter shelter in Long Beach.

    He does not explain why Los Angeles doesn’t have a winter shelter anywhere in Council District 15, nor does he address the illegal stepped-up enforcement actions and continued criminalization of the people camping within a stone’s throw of his office on 7th and Beacon streets. This is the urban encampment that Bob Nizich, the lawyer who has an office on the third floor of the San Pedro Post Office building, has been documenting for months — most recently with a 2017 calendar that he has printed with a picture of San Pedro’s City Hall on the cover.

    “The view from the third floor overlooking 8th Street indicates a clean street free of debris and tents,” Nizich complained recently. “The view from the fifth floor at 7th Street (if one bothered to look) would indicate a street full of debris and trash. Hard to believe you could go to work for the last week… and not see it.” The debris he is referring to are the belongings of people who are chased around, harassed and often arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department for the crime of being without shelter.

    It has been reported to me from more than one source that the current police tactic is to issue tickets for minor infractions like smoking in the park or obstructing the sidewalk at places where people are camped out. It is when those tickets go to warrant, that the ticketed are caught in catch-22.

    On the one hand, if a ticket is allowed to go to warrant, the ticketed are liable to get arrested and their belongings “confiscated” if not left abandoned for city-hired contractors to pick up and dispose.

    If they trek over the bridges separating San Pedro from the Long Beach court to satisfy orders to appear, they are likely to find that their cases are not even on the docket for the day they were ordered to appear, wasting precious resources while still running the risk of their tickets going to warrant.

    This is the current game that is being played with the councilman’s approval. Remember, he is a former cop and Captain Oreb is his hand picked successor at Harbor Division. This tactic is easily implemented since the 72-hour clean-up notification rule was reduced to 24-hours  in Los Angeles municipal ordinance 56.11.  The council office uses this tactic without even offering the ticketed individuals the benefits of the contentious Navigation Center they were pushing back in September 2016. Remember the Barton Hill uprising? The city’s ordinance can’t be legally enforced without this option, yet it is.

    This is all complicated more by the  accusation by Mayor Eric Garcetti and a couple of the city’s power centers, the Los Angeles Times and most of the City Council, that Measure S will stop in its tracks construction that would address the affordable housing and homeless crisis in this city.

    Garcetti was quoted as saying that Measure S, “will cause major job loss, will cost taxpayers millions and make our housing and homelessness crisis even worse.”

    Yet Measure S specifically carves out exceptions in the two-year moratorium for the building of affordable and homeless housing.  It does put a hold on the gentrification of and the rezoning of properties for the expressed purpose of oversized developments that are negotiated in the back rooms of city hall.  Buscaino is among the 11 city council members endorsing the “No On Measure S” campaign. All of these council members have taken campaign money from developers and have not come up with a right now solution for sheltering the homeless this winter.

    This is just one more reason not to vote for Joe Buscaino. But there are few more reasons:

    • Not one of the three housing developments that have been approved have even broken ground to date in San Pedro,
    • His grand vision of the Ports O’ Call waterfront is stalled and may be in jeopardy of not even being built,
    • The Harbor Division jail is still closed. Even though if it were opened, it would provide more patrol hours for our limited number of police officers
    • And nothing has been done to provide any temporary emergency shelter for the homeless after three years of posturing on the issue.

    You’ve seen the sign in my window — Joe Must Go!

    Vote yes on Measure S.  Vote for Caney Arnold or Noel Gould for city council. Either would be better than Buscaino for Council District 15.

    Vote Yes on County Measure H. It will actually address the core issues of homelessness that the city is incapable of solving.

    And on the Community College District seat 6, vote for Nancy Pearlman, the only independent progressive.

    Regardless of what your perspective is on the homeless crisis, you have to admit that after three years of debate in city council, the problem has only gotten worse and the only cure the citizens have is to vote those out who have been an obstruction to curing the problem. Let’s start with Buscaino and his reckless disregard for the desperately poor.

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  • Rose’s Pawn Shop

    • 02/16/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Feb. 18
    Rose’s Pawn Shop
    This Grammy-nominated band has a veritable musical arsenal: guitars, banjo, thumping upright bass, fiddle and drums. The group delivers a rootsy, driving sound that reflects its musical lineage, which includes Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, The Band and Old Crow Medicine Show.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 18
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 436 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 18
    Tommy Peltier
    Enjoy the musical talents of Tommy Peltier as he releases his new extended play Tommy Peltier and the Heat. The event will include a surprise guest.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 18
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Feb. 19
    Fat Brando at Alvas
    Fat Brando is as big as four people. That’s because Fat Brando is a quartet that comes from a diverse set of musical experiences and interests. Fat Brando also comes from Long Beach. Fat Brando’s original compositions draw from jazz, rock and chamber music.
    Time: 4 p.m. Feb. 19
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    The Breaking, Jason Paul
    Porch Party Records produces a regular show at Que Sera called Dank Steak, conceived for up-and-coming artists who are pushing the musical envelope. This week featuring a band from Portland called The Breaking, and a Long Beach-based rebel named Jason Paul.
    Time: 9 p.m. Feb. 19
    Cost: $3
    Details: www.facebook.com/Thequesera
    Venue: Que Sera,  1923 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    Feb. 24
    Radio-Active at Alpine Village
    Radio-Active is a 70s and 80s new wave-rock cover band based in the South Bay.
    Time: 9 p.m. Feb. 24
    Cost: $5
    Details: www.alpinevillagecenter.com
    Venue: Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance

    Feb. 25
    Tributo a Mexico
    Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Co., led by Artistic Director Jose Vences, showcases the splendor of Mexican folk dance from various regions.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Honey County
    Rooted in three-part vocal harmonies, southern twang, and pop hooks, Honey County tis an alt-country trio led by singer-songwriter and Virginia native, Dani Rose.  The trio creates its own story-driven country, melodic pop and punchy, guitar-fueled rock.
    Time: 8 p.m.Feb. 25
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 436 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Bunny Brunel & Kaylene Peoples
    The well-regarded Bunny Brunel & Kaylene Peoples is presenting acoustic jazz and electric fusion.
    Time: 8 p.m. Feb. 25
    Cost: $30
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 4
    Lucia Micarelli
    Lucia Micarelli performs classical, jazz, traditional fiddle music and Americana for a high energy, eclectic stage performance, all bound together by her impeccable emotional vulnerability and technical wizardry.
    Time: 8 p.m. March 4
    Cost: $20 to $120
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex,  436 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    Feb. 17
    Forever Plaid

    Once upon a time, there were four guys who discovered that they shared a love for music and then got together to become their idols:  The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Lo’s and The Crew Cuts. Rehearsing in the basement of a family plumbing supply company, they became “Forever Plaid.”
    Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 17 through March 5
    Cost: $35 to $55
    Details: (562) 436-4610; www.InternationalCityTheatre.org,
    Venue: International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

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

    Feb. 26
    Question 27, Question 28
    Artists at Play and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 are presenting Chay Yew’s frank drama, Question 27, Question 28. In 1942, 10 weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The order authorized the removal and internment of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. Yew’s play traces this moment in history, serving not only as a reminder of the past, but as a cautionary tale for the present.
    Time: 3 p.m. Feb. 26
    Cost: Free
    Details:  http://bit.ly/2k4KJku.
    Venue: Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles

    Monster Nite at the Puppet Asylum
    Monster Nite at the Puppet Asylum explores the outer edges of puppetry with inventive, absurdly funny and wicked acts of puppetry independently produced for an adult only audience. Due to adult subject material, no one under the age of 18 will be admitted.
    Time: 4 p.m. Feb. 26
    Cost: $12
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

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

    FILM

    Feb. 18
    SPIFF Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts
    For the second consecutive year, the San Pedro International Film Festival is presenting Oscar-nominated short films.
    Time: 5 p.m. Feb. 18 and 7 p.m. Feb. 24
    Cost: $14
    Details: www.SPIFFest.org
    Venue: The Space on Pacific, 624 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    March 3
    Singin’ In the Rain – 65th Anniversary
    SPIFFest is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Singin’ In the Rain.
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Cost: $10
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    ARTS

    Feb. 18
    Open Studio Art Party
    Come out to support local Long Beach artist as they display their creations from a range of disciplines at this open studio art party.
    Time: 2 to 8 p.m. Feb. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://aiaart.net/
    Venue: Luna Rising Art Studio, 2102 Clark Ave., Long Beach

    Feb. 20
    Creative Expressions, featuring glass artist Howard Schneider, local painter Kathie Reis and abstract artist Lois Olsen opens at the Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula. An opening reception is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. March 4.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 20 through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; www.artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, at 5400 Crestridge Road,  Rancho Palos Verdes

    Feb. 25
    Significant Otherness
    Significant Otherness is a benefit exhibition for the Spay and Neuter Project of Los Angeles. It explores the unique bond between animals and humans through artworks of eight contemporary artists.  A benefit event is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 25.
    Time: 10 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday, through March 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://angelsgateart.org/gallery-receptions-on-january-21-2017
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, Building A, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

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

    April 16
    Wearable Expressions
    Wearable Expressions explores the unbreakable bond between Art and Fashion portraying boundary-pushing works in fiber, jewelry and accessories by creative minds from around the globe.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: wearableexpressions.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 30
    Ann Weber, Sculpture
    TransVagrant and Gallery 478 present Ann Weber, Sculpture. Ann Weber’s organic sculpture is abstract, formally elegant and composed of inelegant salvaged cardboard. There are abundant hints of figuration and recognizable objects: think chess pieces, balloons, human torsos, plant forms, and graphic ciphers.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through April 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873; www.transvagrant.com
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 4th St., San Pedro

    May 21
    Dreamland
    The Museum of Latin American Art presents a retrospective of the work of one of the original Los Four founders, Frank Romero in the exhibition entitled Dreamland. Romero’s most iconic works, including his mural work, such as Driving to the Olympics on the Hollywood Freeway, address life in the barrios of Los Angeles.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, through May 21.
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: (562) 437-1689; molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    Feb. 19
    Cullah Mi Gullah: A Look at the Carolina Low Country
    Join with the members of Mt. Sinai Baptist as they celebrate black history with a presentation that traces the history and culture of the Gullah people, descendants of enslaved people who escaped during the 18th through 19th centuries.
    Time: 3 p.m. Feb. 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 533-3223
    Venue: Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, 225 S. Mesa St., San Pedro

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

    Feb. 23
    Robert Lee Johnson
    California State University Dominguez Hills is hosting a book signing for author Robert Lee Johnson’s newest book, Notable Southern Californians in Black History. Award winning radio personality, Pat Prescott of 94.7 The Wave will interview the author.
    Time: 6 p.m. Feb. 23
    Cost: Free
    Venue: CSUDH, 1000 Victoria Ave, Carson

    Feb. 24
    Whiskey Walk with Master Distiller
    Michael’s Restaurant Group — known for Chianina Steakhouse, Michael’s On Naples, Michael’s Pizzeria and Working Class Kitchen — is hosting an evening with Master Distiller Dave Pickerell of WhistlePig Whiskey. Dubbed the ultimate “whiskey walk,” guests will begin with a cocktail reception on the Rooftop Lounge at Michael’s On Naples from 6 to 8 p.m. and then walk two blocks to Chianina Steakhouse for a family-style steak dinner with Mr. Pickerell.
    Time: 4 p.m. Feb. 24
    Cost: $8 to $75
    Details: (562) 439-7080; www.MichaelsOnNaples.com
    Venue:  Michael’s on Naples, 5620 E. 2nd St., Long Beach

    Feb. 25
    The Great Los Angeles Air Raid
    Celebrate and recreate one of the most controversial events in Los Angeles history, a night when thousands of people were convinced the city was under an air attack during World War II in 1942. This year marks the 75th anniversary of that night. Many living historians will be in character. Classic cars and military equipment will be on hand.
    Time: 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.FtMac.org
    Venue: Fort MacArthur Museum, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    March 4
    PVPLC First Saturday Family Hike at George F Canyon

    Bring your family and join our naturalist guide to discover habitat, wildlife and more on an easy hike up the canyon with amazing views of the city.
    Time: 9 a.m. March 4
    Cost: Free.
    Details: (310) 547-0862; www.pvplc.org,
    Venue: 27305 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills Estates

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  • LB Supports ‘Sanctuary State’ Legislation

    • 02/09/2017
    • Zamná Ávila
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    On Feb. 7, the Long Beach City Council 7-0 voted, Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and Councilman Dee Andrew did not participate,  to support state bills that would essentially make California a “sanctuary state.”

    District 1 Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez moved for the proposal to support the bills. Prior to the city council meeting led a rally to the chambers. Long Beach limits immigration holds in jail as a way to foster trust between police and immigrant communities.

    Senate Bill 31 would prohibit state or local agencies from providing or disclosing identifiable information of a person’s beliefs, practices or affiliation to the federal government when it is sought for compiling a database on people based on religious belief, practice or affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity for law enforcement or immigration purposes.

    SB 54, the California Values Act, would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest person for immigration purposes.

    The state Senate and Assembly must approve the bills by at least two-thirds approval before they could be sent out to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.

    Donald Trump has threatened to penalize “sanctuary cities” by stripping them of federal funding if they refuse to comply with his deportation boosting plans.

    One of his executive orders, which was neutralized for a second time by a three judge panel, was to institute a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, excluding the Christian minorities.

    Going against Trump carries a risk of more than $200 million in federal funding. However, taking a stance for the city is important officials said.

    “As the vice chair of the State Legislative Committee, I believe it is imperative that Long Beach shows the rest of the state and the nation that we stand with our immigrant community and that we stand for religious freedom,” Gonzalez said in a released statement.

    About 10 percent of the nation’s 11.1 million undocumented immigrants live in Orange or Los Angeles counties, a recent Pew Research Center analysis reported. According to the U.S. Census more than a 25 percent of the population in Long Beach is foreign-born, about 40 percent of them are Latino. The city also has the largest population of Cambodians outside of Cambodia.

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  • Valentine’s Day Concert

    • 02/09/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

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

    Feb. 11
    A Special Evening of Music for Friends and Lovers

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

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

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

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

    THEATER

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

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

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

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

    FILM

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

    Feb. 13
    Finding Joseph I

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

    ARTS

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

    Feb. 12
    Dreamland: A Frank Romero Retrospective

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

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

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

    COMMUNITY

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

    Feb. 12<
    Designing Gardens for Succulents

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

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

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  • Exploring Valentine’s Day Dining Traditions

    • 02/09/2017
    • Richard Foss
    • Features
    • Comments are off

    By Richard Foss, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer
     
    It’s that time of year when you look at the calendar and suddenly realize you don’t have a restaurant reservation for Valentine’s Day.

    But while frantically scolling through photos of restaurant interiors to see if they fit your idea of romance you might start to wonder: “Just when did this tradition of going out for dinner on Feb. 14 start and why do we associate some atmospheres as romantic?”

    The whole topic is murky, starting with why St. Valentine would be associated with romance in the first place. Valentine was a third century Roman of whom nothing whatsoever is known except that he was executed and regarded as a martyr. There was confusion about what he had done that was noteworthy as early as 496 Common Era.

    Nevertheless, a pope named Gelasius declared him a saint in that year, while admitting that he was so obscure that “his acts are known only to God.”

    The first detailed stories about him appeared over 700 years later and none of them are particularly romantic.

    Whatever he did to become noteworthy, Valentine would probably be horrified to hear that his feast day is now associated with Cupid, a pagan fertility god whose name means “desire” in Latin. That association of Cupid and Valentine may have come about from the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a rite of spring that was celebrated on Feb. 15, the day after Valentine’s Day.

    Valentine’s Day was associated with romance as early as the 1300s, when Geoffrey Chaucer stated in a poem that birds choose their mates then.  This did not mean that people sought out candlelit restaurants on that particular day. First of all, restaurants as we know them wouldn’t be invented for another 300 years. Since candles were all they had back then, there was no particular appeal to soft mood lighting. Through the centuries the holiday came to be celebrated with the exchange of poetic cards and with small gifts that often included sweet candies and cakes.

    The tradition of dining out for Valentine’s Day seems to be quite modern, and the earliest menus and restaurant ads I have found that mention doing so are from the 1930s. For help pinning that down I contacted culinary historian Charles Perry, who confirmed my suspicions.

    “The tradition probably arose during the Depression, when any meal out was a special occasion. Popular restaurants like Sardi’s had some tables with curtains so that couples could choose to see and be seen or to have an intimate meal while still enjoying the sounds of the orchestra.”

    At some of these restaurants the server would knock or ring a bell a moment or two before entering, which suggests that something more than dining might have been going on inside. (Keep this in mind the next time you go to a restaurant that includes heavy draperies – they were once functional rather than ornamental.) Many elegant restaurants also had a rear entrance that was not visible from the main room, which was handy if your valentine was someone else’s wife, rather than your own.

    As to the style of dining at these restaurants, it was “continental,” in which dishes had French names despite being primarily based on a mix of English and American ideas. Though Italian cuisine is now one of the most popular at Valentine’s Day, it was a latecomer to the table. As documented in the magnificent book, How Italian Food Conquered The World, by John Mariani, authentic Italian dining was long regarded as simple peasant cooking by everybody, including Italians.

    The first high style Italian restaurants in America didn’t open until well after World War II.

    The Valentine’s Day dining out tradition is certainly well-established now. Even humble restaurants offer specials and dress the place up as much as possible. As we have become a multicultural society, the variety of experiences has broadened, so that just within our coverage area you might have a romantic dinner for two in a sleek modern room or a reasonable facsimile of a Moroccan palace, English pub, Indonesian mansion, or a ship at sea.

    All this effort at décor aside, the most romantic dinner for many people is a return to the place where they first met, kissed, or realized that they were having a meal with someone who they just might want to spend the rest of their life with.

    Blu Restaurant and Lounge

    Upscale yet casual Blu Restaurant and lounge at San Pedro’s Crowne Plaza Hotel is the spot for great food and live jazz.  Dress up or not, a romantic moment is impossible to miss.
    Details: (310) 521-8080
    Venue: Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel
    Location: 601 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    Baramee Thai Restaurant

    This quiet romantic gem of a restaurant in downtown San Pedro is warm cozy, and intimate, with great food at an affordable price. There are no special deals on this, just make sure you RSVP early. It’s a popular spot.
    Details: (310) 521-9400;www.barameethairestaurant.com
    Venue: Baramee Thai Restaurant
    Location: 354 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Ports O’ Call Restaurant

    Dining on waterfront at sunset is a special way to have a romantic meal. Their full bar and extensive wine list is a help too. Valentine’s Day specials will be served Feb. 10 through Feb. 14. Full bar and extensive wine list is available.
    Details: (310) 833-3553
    Venue: Ports O’ Call Restaurant
    Location: Berth 76 Nagoya way, San Pedro

    The Whale &  Ale

    You can’t miss in going to The Whale & Ale. On this evening, The Whale & Ale offers a choice of special entrees from sauteed Alaskan sand dabs to Chilean sea bass. There’s even live entertainment in this venerable pub.
    Details: (310) 832-0363
    Venue: The Whale & Ale
    Location: 327 W 7th St, San Pedro

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