• Alice Comes to the Queen Mary

    Gearing up with extra layers of shirts, pants, jackets and gloves and loading up the car with bladed skates to visit the Big Chill at the Queen Mary is an annual tradition for many Harbor Area residents. But this year is going to be different.

    This year, the Queen Mary is presenting Alice in Winterland, a holiday adventure that re-imagines the classic Lewis Carroll story in striking colors and light fixtures.

    Attendees will get to wander through an immersive 14,000-square foot experience that tells the story of Alice in Winterland featuring hand-crafted lanterns made from hundreds of pieces of silky cloth and countless hours of preparation in a beautiful visual celebration of the holiday season. Radio-frequency identification technology which uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects  will make the experience truly interactive as attendees unlock the wonders of Winterland.

    There’s also a 6,000-square foot outdoor Ice skating rink on which skaters can twirl around alongside the legendary Queen Mary. Or, you can grab a tube and glide down the 135-foot Glacier Glide Ice-tubing luge.

    Families can stroll through the North Pole Village get a taste of peppermint at the Peppermint Parlor aboard the ship. The kids can even stop by the Queen Mary Village’s post office to send a letter to Santa.

    The holiday fun is endless: Take a spin on the Swinging Sleigh Ride, the Giant Rocking Horse or play Prancer’s Paintball for holiday thrills.

    Time: Nov. 18, 2016  through Jan. 8, 2017
    Cost: $45 to $60
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/Alice-in-Winterland
    Venue: Queen Mary,1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

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  • Cornel West Speaks on Integrity to Millennials

    By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer

    Anyone who has heard of Cornel West understands that he is a powerful orator. The prominent democratic intellectual and Princeton doctoral graduate in philosophy brought his brand of verbal might, Oct. 21, to Long Beach City College as part of its Student Equity Speaker Series.

    West’s 2014 book, Black Prophetic Fire was at the core of his lecture. In it, he dialogues with scholar Christa Buschendorf about Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X and Ida B. Wells.

    West opened by letting the audience in on his foundation.

    “The reason I’m here now, able to do this work is because someone looked after me and cared for me,” West said. “I was already spiritually fortified to get the tools necessary to be a force of love.”

    West describes the philosophy and meaning of his book’s title:

    “The Black prophetic tradition is fundamentally committed to the priority of poor and working people, thus pitting it against the neoliberal regime, capitalist system, and imperial policies of the U.S. government. The Black prophetic tradition has never been confined to the interests and situations of Black people. It is rooted in principles and visions that embrace these interests and confront the situations, but its message is for the country and world. The Black prophetic tradition has been the leaven in the American democratic loaf.”

    West states when this tradition is strong, all poor and working people benefit. When it’s weak, those same people are overlooked. On a global level, when the tradition is vital, the plight of the wretched is elevated.

    West’s motivation is to resurrect black prophetic fire, especially among millennials. To become a leader you must have integrity and lift others up as you climb.

    A huge part of that “fire” comes from the oral tradition of music which is integral to West. He regularly invoked songs and artists, both past and present in his discussion. From Marvin Gaye, John Coltrane, Gil Scott-Heron, Nina Simone, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield and Wu Tang Clan as sonic inspiration.

    He focused on four questions raised by W.E.B. Du Bois which he said are about education and the distinction between education and schooling.

    “The two are not the same in this American culture of weapons of mass distraction,” West added

    Schooling is about enforcing an idea of smartness, the pursuit of money and materialism. Wisdom is gained through an education enforced by integrity.

    Du Bois’ Questions

    These questions examine how one reacts when faced with dire circumstances. As if grasping that torch from Du Bois and handing it to millennials, West explained the better choices these leaders in his book acted upon when faced with such circumstances. He illustrated how people have the same choices and the necessity of a leader to have both wisdom and integrity.

    How Shall Integrity Face Oppression?

    What Does Honesty Do in the Face of Deception?

    What Does Decency Do in the Face of Insult?

    How Does Virtue Meet Brute Force?

    In today’s political and sociological climate, people of color and the poor deal with oppression, deception, insult and brute force almost daily. So as these conditions are well understood, the answers West described lie in an intimate understanding of these leaders actions and of ourselves.

    “Each student has to decide, what is your calling, not your job?” West said. “(We have to) creatively and critically examine the self for a new self to emerge. There is no rebirth with[out] learning how to die and (then) to live well. This is something American culture won’t learn.”

    The contrast between the black prophetic tradition of lifting others as you climb and the fact that the most vulnerable are targets of those in power means that moral consistency is absent and the law is tilted.

    “Where do you find courage to tell the truth?” West asked. “Where do you find courage and willingness to bear witness to injustice?”

    One opening lies within the movements that have sprung up in recent years.

    “Silence in the face of evil is the face of evil,” West said. “But now young people have experienced a spiritual awakening in the form of Black Lives Matter, whistleblowers and the occupy movement.”

    “We used to see it in our music but that’s a whole separate lecture. Aretha Franklin can walk on stage and her voice immediately touches your soul. These musicians set us up to be better people. There is a service through performance, you offer an alternative reality and empower folks. This is what we must not lose.”

    From his book, West put forward his own questions concluding thoughts on this tradition

    “What does it profit a people for a symbolic figure to gain presidential power if we turn our backs from the suffering of poor and working people, and thereby lose our souls?” he asked, rhetorically. “The Black prophetic tradition has tried to redeem the soul of our fragile democratic experiment. Is it redeemable?”

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  • Few Surprises on an Otherwise Sad Election Night

    Photo by Phillip Cooke
    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    President and Vice President

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Hillary Clinton (D)    1,601,382     71.48%

    Donald J. Trump (R)          525,308        23.45%

    Gary Johnson (L)    55,104          2.46%

    Jill Stein (G)  45,469          2.03%

    Gloria Estela La Riva (P)   13,060          .58%

    United States Senator

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Kamala D. Harris (D)         1,246,356     61.04%

    Loretta L. Sanchez (D)      795,561        38.96%

    United States Representative, 33rd District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Ted W. Lieu (D)      144,541        66.31%

    Kenneth W. Wright (R)      73,433          33.69%

    United States Representative, 44th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Nanette Díaz Barragán (D) 61,828          51.18%

    Isadore Hall, III (D)  58,983          48.82%

    United States Representative, 47th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Alan Lowenthal (D)  67,629          69.71%

    Andy Whallon (R)    29,383          30.29%

    State Senator, 35th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Steven Bradford (D)          91,599          54.32%

    Warren T. Furutani (D)      77,022          45.68%

    Member of the State Assembly, 64th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Mike A. Gipson (D)  59,373          73.85%

    Theresa Sanford (R)          21,019          26.15%

    Member of the State Assembly, 66th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Al Muratsuchi (D)    69,410          53.03%

    David Hadley (R)     61,489          46.97%

    Member of the State Assembly, 70th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Patrick O’Donnell (D)         69,834          66.65%

    Martha E. Flores-Gibson (R)        34,948          33.35%

    Supervisor 4th District

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Janice Hahn (N)      241,961        56.13%

    Steve Napolitano (N)         189,132        43.87%

    Measure 51–School Bond Measure for K-12 and community college facilities

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,223,638     57.69%

    No      897,469        42.31%

    Measure 52–MediCal Hospital Fee Program

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,544,978     73.64%

    No      552,951        26.36%

    Measure 53—State Revenue Bond Constitutional Amendment

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    915,346        44.89%

    No      1,123,595     55.11%

    Measure 54—72 Hour legislation posting before vote

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,303,884     64.33%

    No      722,971        35.67%

    Measure 55—Personal income tax increase extension

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,407,565     66.60%

    No      705,950        33.40%

    Measure 56—Cigarette tax increase

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,469,702     67.78%

    No      698,642        32.22%

    Measure 57—Judicial Discretion in criminal sentencing of juveniles and non-violent felons

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,415,597     66.66%

    No      708,110        33.34%

    Measure 58—Preservation of multilingual education

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,596,718     75.73%

    No      511,612        24.27%

    Measure 59—California effort to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,084,017     53.77%

    No      931,944        46.23%

    4,988 of 4,988 precincts reporting (100.00%) | Majority of votes cast

    Measure 60—Condom requirement for adult film performers

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,076,816     51.42%

    No      1,017,186     48.58%

    Measure 61– State prescription drug pricing standards

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,058,312     50.40%

    No      1,041,640     49.60%

    Measure 62—Repeal of the Death Penalty

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,090,487     51.56%

    No      1,024,437     48.44%

    Measure 63—Background check for ammunition sales

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,511,181     71.19%

    No      611,656        28.81%

    Measure 64—Legalization of recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 or older

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,263,634     58.24%

    No      906,152        41.76%

    Measure 65—Redirection of money collected on carryout bags to environmental projects

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,018,366     48.71%

    No      1,072,458     51.29%

    Measure 66—Procedure and appellate changes to challenges to death sentences

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    993,302        48.95%

    No      1,035,850     51.05%

    Measure 67—Referendum on single-use plastic bag ban

    Candidate(s) Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,165,729     55.90%

    No      919,660        44.10%

    County Measures

    Measure A: Los Angeles County Property Tax for clean parks, open spaces and waterways

    Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,519,795     73.49%

    No      548,326        26.51%

    Measure M: Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan

    Votes  Percent

    Yes    1,451,784     69.82%

    No      627,510        30.18%

    Rep. Janice Hahn’s election night party was supposed to begin at 9 p.m. But from the moment results started to roll in just after 8 p.m., it became increasingly clear that Donald J. Trump was far exceeding expectations and party time was repeatedly pushed back. It was after 10:30 p.m. when the celebrating finally began.

    For Hahn, election night represented the completion of a journey to what seems to have been her political destiny. In winning the District 4 seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, she walked in the footsteps of her late father, Kenneth Hahn. His service on that body has elevated him to a status that approaches political legend.

    Hahn captured 56 percent of the vote to defeat Steve Napolitano, the protégé and chief of staff of four-term Supervisor Don Knabe, by an unsurprisingly large margin of 50,000 votes.

    Next door to Hahn’s party, similar festivities were being planned by supporters of Isadore Hall’s campaign for for the 44th Congressional District seat that Hahn vacated. By the end of the night, however, the would-be partiers found themselves offering condolences at a wake.

    Nanette Barragán’s narrow upset victory over Hall (51.1 percent to 48.8 percent) was nearly as big a surprise as Trump over Clinton. Hahn had endorsed Hall, but Barragan trailed him by only a few percentage points in the primary, countering his dominance in Compton and Carson with support from South Gate, Lynwood, Harbor City and Wilmington. She was nearly neck-and-neck with Hall in San Pedro.

    Barragán was the underdog throughout the election fight and campaigned like it. Hall was served with a summons to give a deposition involving a rent-to-own lawsuit by some of the condo’s tenants — a condo he voted to approve while a Compton councilman — at his election night party during the primaries. Barragan’s campaign tipped off the media that Hall was to be served.

    Her campaign repeatedly hammered Hall on his ties to Big Oil and attacked the California state senator on his vote as a Compton School Board member that gave a decorated high school basketball coach accused of child molestation his job back after initial accusations.

    For his part, Hall attempted to go high when his opponent went low by focusing only on her background as a securities litigator for large banks, linking her to the 2008 housing crisis and likening her campaign tactics to that of candidate Trump’s. It didn’t work.

    Hall seemed to lead much of the night and was one of the bright spots of optimism until the numbers started to tighten. By the next morning, Hall fell 3,000 votes short.

    Most other races in the state and Los Angeles went as expected. Attorney General Kamala Harris defeated Rep. Loretta Sanchez for California’s senate seat; Rep. Ted Lieu defeated Republican newcomer Kenneth W. Wright; Rep. Alan Lowenthal defeated Republican challenger Andy Whallon; State Assemblyman Mike Gipson defeated Republican challenger Theresa Sanford; and State Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell defeated Republican challenger Martha E. Flores-Gibson.

    Assemblyman Steve Bradford posted a general election win against former Assemblyman Warren Furutani that was as dominant as his win during the more crowded primaries.

    During the primaries, Bradford showed deep support in the cities of Compton, Carson and Long Beach, but weaker support in Wilmington and San Pedro. That dynamic played out in the form of increased mailers in the San Pedro area and appearances at such events as Janice Hahn’s gun violence sit-in this past June at Port of Los Angeles High School.

    The race between former State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and incumbent Assemblyman David Hadley wasn’t a given from the very start. Muratsuchi lost his seat to Hadley by a few percentage points in 2014, reclaimed his seat by several percentage points this time around.

    Muratsuchi worked hard to portray Hadley’s politics as closer to Trump’s than the typical South Bay voter, calling him out for not denouncing Trump’s candidacy, a step beyond simply not endorsing the president-elect.

    Updated Nov. 11: A correction was made to correctly identify representative-elect Nanette Barragan as a former securities litigator.

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  • Neighborhood Councils, Steep Learning Curve

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Los Angeles neighborhood councils were intended to make city government more accessible to citizens, with hope that they evolve into a bicameral governing system similar to New York City’s borough system. But two Central and Coastal Neighborhood Councils meetings this past month showed the growing pains of realizing such a system.

    Coastal Neighborhood Council

    Coastal Neighborhood Council president James Baeza (left in above photo) resigned from the board last month following a reprimand from the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment for “non-compliance with the laws, regulations, policies and rules that apply to the governance of the council.”

    Baeza’s resignation followed a meeting with, and subsequent letter from, the Department’s outreach and communications director, Stephen Box.

    The letter addressed illegal council actions, which including:

    • Holding a meeting that was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    • Failure to comply with a public records request despite being supplied with the information.
    • Violating the Brown Act in several different ways.
    • Violating its own bylaws and standing rules at the October Agenda setting meeting.
    • And, creating a hostile work environment in which board members and the public felt bullied, harassed, intimidated or stalked by members of the board.

    At the Oct. 17 Coastal San Pedro stakeholder meeting, Baeza used the public comment period to air his complaints against Box and Octaviano Rios, another DONE representative, who were present at Baeza’s moment in the woodshed.

    “I thought I was being invited down there to figure out a way to fix it …make it better. To take stock of the mistakes we made and to improve upon ourselves to make something better than what we have.”

    He called the meeting a one-sided recap of a list of complaints that have been lodged against the council—complaints with which the council has been most familiar.

    He admitted to the ADA violation, but noted the council corrected the mistake.

    Baeza strongly disputed charges of anti-Semitism in reference to the fact that the stakeholder meeting was held on the Jewish holiday Sukkot.

    Baeza noted that no one in DONE warned the council of the holiday and allowed the meeting to go on anyway.

    The Coast Council president chalked it up as another tactic by opponents on the council to stall votes they didn’t like.

    “Does anyone know that today is the first day of Sukkot?” Baeza asked the audience. No one knows because nobody brought it up. No one wanted to stall this meeting.”

    “These are the things I spent my time dealing with as president of this council,” Baeza continued. “I have not spent any of my time dealing with community improvement projects and I have not spent any of my time dealing with neighborhood purpose grants.”

    Baeza accused DONE of being more interested in protecting their jobs than assisting the council, saying that the department could have stopped the meeting.

    “I can’t continue doing this anymore. I am out,” Baeza said. “This is cronyism and founders syndrome. This is the city of L.A. making an established bureaucracy.”

    Baeza took note of the salaries of the officials that are at the head of DONE, saying the general manager earns $130,000 to $140,000 a year and the next person in line earns $100,000 a year.

    “They are just there protecting their jobs. They are not in fact assisting this council,” Baeza said.

    According to records by Los Angeles Controller’s office, DONE General Manager Grayce Liu actually earns a salary of nearly $180,000 when benefits are factored in.

    It’s worth noting that Baeza emerged at the end of another Coastal president’s term, Dave Behar. Back then, council members attempted to officially reprimand Behar on the grounds of self dealing and lack of transparency in council business dealings overall.

    Baeza resignation was similar to the way Behar announced he was not going to run for the council again three years ago.

    Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council

    On Oct. 18, Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council held a special board meeting prior to the 6:30 p.m. stakeholder meeting to discuss the proposed Navigation Center on Pacific Avenue.

    This was the council’s first meeting after Councilman Joe Buscaino’s Oct. 4 town hall meeting where he and his homeless task force were taken to task by residents angry about the lack of outreach and proposed placement of the center.

    The board voted to oppose the proposed location of the Navigation Center, but amended the proposal so they council could forward recommendations to go along with the council’s community impact statement.

    The amendment was surprising since Danielle Sandoval and Donald Galaz were most insistent in ensuring that recommendations were offered with their rejection of the center. Those two council members were most intimately involved with the Sept. 25 rally.

    Before the vote, Sandoval spent several minutes recalling how much she learned while on the council’s homeless committee and working on the issue while on the council’s board. She related her own experience with homelessness as a young single mother, recalling the proliferation of liquor stores and drug addiction.

    She described today’s homeless situation  as different from what she experienced, one marked by widespread untreated mental health problems amongst the homeless and few resources to address it.

    During the regular stakeholder meeting, however, Sandoval took a few moments to call out this newspaper in objection to being connected to the flyer that drew Barton Hill residents to the Sept. 25 rally.

    “There was an article printed in Random Lengths,” Sandoval said. “I wanted the board to know that I never conducted an interview and I never said that I was a member of this neighborhood council and I never took responsibility for passing out the flyer… I never created the flyer nor did I pass it out to the community in reference to the Navigation Center. Elise was very upset with me asking “why did I put her name on that flyer, why did I put her phone number in that flyer.” My words were misconstrued and I just wanted to make sure I was on record.”

    Galaz and Sandoval thought they could exchange their neighborhood council hats for community activist hats and that the two roles would never meet. They had to learn the hard way that elected officials cannot turn off their status as public leaders whenever they want.

    In the cases of both Baeza at Coastal and Sandoval and Galaz at Central, the learning curve of running a system of government in a pluralist society is steep, and living up to the ideals of the neighborhood council is not always easy.

    Click below to listen the recording of her remarks in regards to her involvement with the Sept. 25 rally.

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  • Clinton Fails to Deliver

    Popular Vote: Clinton  59,796,267 | Trump   59,589,809
    Electoral College Votes: Clinton 228 | Trump   279

    By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

    In 1872, Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for president of the United States. She was a candidate for the Equal Rights Party, campaigning on a multi-front progressive platform of women’s suffrage, regulation of monopolies, nationalization of railroads, an eight-hour workday, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty and welfare for the poor.

    In 1972, Shirley Chisholm—the first African-American woman to serve in Congress—became the first woman to run for president in the Democratic Party primary. Her platform was left of George McGovern’s.

    This year, 144 years after Woodhull, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman to run for president as the nominee of a major party.  Running on much more conventional — if still progressive — political positions, but still facing spectacular levels of visceral hostility, she was poised to become America’s first female president. She seems to have won a plurality of the popular vote, leading by more than 200,000 votes at press time. But Clinton lost by a total margin of 111,000 votes in three states where Democrats have won for decades: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, giving Donald Trump the Electoral College votes he needed for an unexpected victory. He performed significantly better than pre-election polls had predicted.  Third-party candidates took more than the margin of victory in all three states.

    The results sent shockwaves around the world, with stocks plummeting and people pouring out their thoughts online.

    “The unthinkable happened before, to my family in WWII,” Star Trek star and social activist George Takei tweeted. “We got thru it. We held each other close. We kept our dignity and held to our ideals.”

    “When a man says he will forcefully deport 12 million immigrants in 2 years don’t tell me we don’t need an organized resistance,” Black Lives Matter activist and writer Shaun King tweeted.

    “Q: How much of this result is about coastal complaisance with union decline?” independent journalist Marcy Wheeler (aka “emptywheel”) asked. “NV—Solid Dem win. Other key states—fuck you.”

    “Efforts to weaken union power in the Midwest sure seem to have worked,” Vox’s Matthew Yglesias chimed in.

    “The 2016 Dem primary, and specifically how it was tilted to Clinton by the machine, now becomes one of the darkest moments in party history,” tweeted David Sirota, of the International Business Times.

    Locally, Nanette Barragán narrowly won the 44th Congressional District’s vacant seat by a 51-49 margin. Janice Hahn, who gave up that seat to follow in her father’s footsteps as a Los Angeles County Supervisor, held a commanding lead in her District 4 race against Steve Napolitano.

    While Trump’s bigotry, vulgarity and childishness significantly inhibited public support for him by many in the GOP establishment, he continued to enjoy solid support in defiance of early expectations, thus allowing him to consolidate a base of voter support.

    “I heard it from John Boehner a week ago,” said Nicole Wallace, former George W. Bush communications director, on MSNBC. “I said, ‘What’s your message as he’s out there, a private citizen now?’ ‘Hold your nose and vote for him [Trump], for the sake of the Supreme Court.’”

    This logic connected with a broader Republican strategy of simply defying normal democratic norms. For a year they have refused to hold hearings on Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. For decades they have manufactured “Clinton scandals” and then howled “cover-up” when they turn out to be nothing. This pattern repeated again with the bogus “email scandal,” and FBI Director James Comey’s unprecedented late October announcement suggesting that the FBI had uncovered some sort of new evidence only to say, “Nevermind” nine days later. There were widespread reports that an anti-Clinton clique of agents was responsible for pressuring Comey into this violation of Justice Department guidelines, which rules out doing anything to interfere in an election in the last 60 days.

    The GOP’s third defiance of democratic norms is its strategy of voter suppression. Before the election a flurry of lawsuits addressed a significant reduction in places to vote. A report from The Leadership Conference for Civil Rights found 868 fewer places to cast a ballot in counties previously covered by Section 5 of Voting Rights Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. The total number was undoubtedly higher, since it only included 381 of the 800 counties, where polling place information was available in 2012 or 2014. “Out of the 381 counties in our study, 165 of them — 43 percent— have reduced voting locations,” the report stated.  But there were relatively few specific problems reported. Much harder to track is the more subtle effects due to increased difficulty of getting to the polls.

    One exception was Nevada, where the Trump campaign brought a lawsuit challenging votes cast in several early voting locations that were open late because of long lines. The suit also sought the names of the poll workers at the sites.

    “Do you watch Twitter? Do you watch any cable news show?” the judge in the case asked, incredulously. “There are trolls who can get this information and harass people.  Why would I … make information available to you about people who work at polls when it’s not already a public requirement to do so? So that those people can be harassed for doing their civic duty?”

    Democrats have now won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections. But two of those six victories—Clinton’s this year and Al Gore’s in 2000—were transformed into defeats in the Electoral College. [Gore received approximately 540,000 more votes than George W. Bush, but Bush became the 43rd president by winning the Electoral College tally, 271 to 266.]

    The losses reflect the party’s far-ranging institutional weakness, which was underscored by the Democrats failure to regain control of the Senate, despite being slightly favored in pre-election polls.

    At the same time, there were progressive advances on ballot initiatives. Eight of nine marijuana initiatives were approved, including in California, and all four minimum-wage measures also passed.

    “Marijuana law reform is sweeping the country, no matter how hard our opponents have tried to roll back our gains,” marijuana reform group Marijuana Majority said in a late-night statement.

    Three of four gun safety measures passed, including Proposition 63 in California, which bans large-capacity ammunition magazines and requires some people to undergo background checks in order to buy ammunition.

    It’s too soon to definitively see why polls were wrong, but it wasn’t because they were “rigged,” as Trump often claimed.

    “GOP polls weren’t predicting this night either,” tweeted NPR political reporter Jessica Taylor. “Senate, House, Gov sources I talked to all expected Clinton would win per their polls.”

    What’s clear is that Clinton’s decision to court college-educated Republicans to offset non-college losses did not turn out well in the crucial state of Pennsylvania. Poll-predicted gains in Philadelphia suburbs did not materialize to offset losses in more rural and exurban areas.

    But this makes it easier to understand the results. The continued sluggishness in the world’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has failed to restore pre-crisis levels of economic security for middle-class majorities, accentuating longer wage-stagnation trends. Meanwhile, elites have recovered, and seem increasingly disconnected from the larger population.

    In the United States, a wide range of significant social indicators point to increasingly levels of political instability and potential crisis through 2020, according to a 2010 paper in Nature by cultural anthropologist Peter Turchin. Turchin just published a book-length expansion on the subject, Ages of Discord, which examines all of U.S. history in terms of a model that quantifies the main factors contributing to socio-political instability. These include popular immiseration (falling incomes, declining  and health indicators), elite overproduction (too many elites competing for too few resources) and state fiscal distress (a combination of excess debt and declining trust).  The model explains how non-linear feedback between different factors produces increased stability up to a turning point and then produces the opposite. This was most recently experienced in the United States around 1970.

    Turchin offered two thoughts.

    “First, our political class really doesn’t understand the population they govern,” he said in an email. “The indicators that I watch all continue to show increasing popular immiseration, so why is everybody surprised when a political entrepreneur figures out how to channel it?…. Uneducated people I know (not a scientific sample, admittedly) are actually not stupid and they don’t really believe Trump. But at least he is saying what they want to be said out loud…. Clinton, on the other hand, is perceived as a candidate of the wealthy and, worse, of foreigners (I can’t believe she accepted that large donation from Qatar during her tenure as Secretary of State)…. We should expect growing intra-elite conflict, political instability, and government dysfunction…. Had Clinton won, it would be the same general trend, although particulars would, of course, change. I don’t think it will help Trump that Republicans are likely to keep control in the Congress. There is really no Republican party anymore; it has split up into three factions.”

    While political commentators across the board were shocked and surprised, Turchin sees more of a continuity — though not in an encouraging direction.

    “Unfortunately, we are still on the same disintegrative trajectory and this ‘shocking upset’ suggests that it may be entering the accelerating phase as nonlinear dynamical feedbacks are amplifying each other,” he said.

    At worst, this sort of dynamic is what sometimes leads societies into civil wars.  But it doesn’t have to. In the 1910s and 20s, elites found ways to reverse the trends that were pulling their society apart. So, we know it can be done.


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  • America Experiences a Stunning Defeat

    Clinton wins the popular vote but experiences defeat the election

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Well, there you have it—a reality TV braggart has bullied his way into the Oval Office by flim-flamming the American electorate. To get there, he defied many respected national polls, especially the polls conducted by Nate Silver—the guru of political forecasting.

    Apparently, one of the few who got it right was filmmaker/activist Michael Moore who has been warning progressive Democrats for weeks that Trump will win. Trump did just that by amazingly narrow margins in several key battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

    Election night was very depressing to say the least—especially for the 71.5 percent of Los Angeles County voters that chose Clinton. It felt more like a death in the family than a political defeat. I offer, or rather share, my condolences to all.

    Clinton did win the popular vote by a slim 240,000 votes out of some 118.88 million after all. But in one of our more curious American forms of democracy she lost the Electoral College vote 279 to 228.

    This undisputedly gives Trump the presidency even though he could be indicted and prosecuted on various criminal charges before he even takes the oath of office, which is something to ponder. Would anyone care to trade Trump for Mike Pence?

    Now that the Republicans control both houses of Congress, it seems improbable that even if Trump were charged with high crimes and misdemeanors (the term used for qualifying for impeachment), Congress would even convict him. Unless enough representatives from his own party joined Democrats to vote him out. But that’s mere speculation and of little consolation now.

    Trump has been, and will continue to be, a divisive figure and an embarrassment to those who voted against him. But perhaps the point that was made by this election was that voters weren’t so much trying to elect one candidate over another, but rather were voting against Trump or Clinton.

    I, however, cannot find it within myself to be so gracious as Hillary Clinton was in her concession speech in which she said:

    I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.

    I am far more skeptical than she.

    I don’t believe that we, the majority who voted against Trump, should after all of his fear mongering, hate speech and bigoted misogynist and racist rants give him the benefit of the doubt for one second.

    Keep an open mind on what exactly? A chance to lead this nation down the road to perdition (which is not a small town in Georgia) or worse, fascism?

    This guy has pulled off so many scams in his life that to give him a break now is like giving a thief the keys to your home and car. What happened Tuesday night was worse. We gave this scammer the keys to our nation!

    Resistance from the beginning is the only pathway to salvation and I’m with the university students who immediately started demonstrating after the election was called.

    Resistance is the only reasonable response. Trump doesn’t understand governance and unifying this divided country behind this bigot is a pipe dream that you can now legally smoke in California.

    I can’t imagine what President Barack Obama will say when he meets up with this imposter and turn over the reigns of power. But if I were him, I’d order all the flags to fly at half mast to mourn the passing of our republic. There’s already a storm brewing and there are no calm seas ahead


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  • Norteña Madness


    Nov. 11
    Rob on the Piano
    Enjoy great food, great fun and great music.
    Time: 7 p.m. Nov. 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 832-0363; whaleandale.com
    Venue: The Whale & Ale, 327 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 12
    Ramon Ayala, Paquita La Del Barrio, Los Rieleros Del Norte

    Norteña music at its best with three of the great regional music artists.
    Time: 7:30 to 11p.m, Nov. 12
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/Ayala-Paca-Rieleros
    Venue: Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Nov. 12
    The Darts
    Stop Crying presents the OC debut of The Darts
    Time: 9 p.m. Nov. 12
    Details: (310) 832-5503
    Venue: Harold’s Place, 1908 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    Nov. 12
    Rob Garland’s Eclectic Trio
    This high-energy outfit lives up to its name, playing original music that blends jazz, rock, funk and blues.
    Time: 8 p.m. Nov. 12
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 833-7538; http://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 12
    Markus Carlton
    Markus Carlton has worn out many guitars playing gigs, recording and writing.
    Time: 7 p.m. Nov. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 832-0363; whaleandale.com
    Venue: The Whale & Ale, 327 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 13
    Iris Malkin, Robert Thies
    Second Sundays at Two presents an art song recital with mezzo-soprano Iris Malkin and pianist Robert Thies. Malkin represents a new generation of singers who effortlessly meld superb musical expression with exquisite vocal mastery and musicianship. Thies is renowned for his consummate musicianship and poetic temperament.
    Time: 2 p.m. Nov. 13
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    Nov. 14
    Heavy Justice
    Several metal bands will converge at the Black Light Lounge.
    Time: 8 p.m. Nov. 14
    Cost: $5
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/BlackLightLounge
    Venue: Blacklight District Lounge, 2500 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Nov. 18
    Tim and Myles Thompson
    Tim is a Nashville-based session player, singer and songwriter. Myles is also a prolific singer-songwriter and mandolin player.
    Time: 8 p.m. Nov. 18
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 833-7538; http://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 19
    Dirk Hamilton
    Dirk Hamilton returns to Alvas Showroom with a new CD Touch and Go. Touch and Go is an album of 13 songs recorded and produced by Rob Laufer in Los Angeles.
    Time: 8 p.m. Nov. 19
    Cost: $20
    Details: (310) 833-7538; http://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 19
    The Joshua Tree
    Tribute to the loud and important band by a group named after its finest album. Opening acts include: The Contenders (tribute to The Pretenders) and  Substance (tribute to New Order).
    Time: 6 p.m. Nov. 019
    Cost: $10
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/The-Joshua-Tree-U2Tribute
    Venue: Gaslamp, 6251 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

    Nov. 19
    The Funk Show
    The most anticipated show of the year will feature Cameo, The Bar-Kays, The S.O.S Band, Con-Funk-Shun, Mary Jane Girls and One-Way.
    Time: 7 p.m. Nov. 19
    Cost: $150
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/jnstlbo
    Venue: Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Nov. 19
    The 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist, Joyce Yang will dazzle us with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s well known Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
    Time: 6:30 p.m.Nov. 19
    Cost: $92
    Details: http://longbeachsymphony.org, http://tinyurl.com/joyceyang
    Venue: Long Beach Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Nov. 20
    Colors of Autumn
    The Nori Tani Group, a multicultural jazz band, will play popular jazz tunes and some Japanese tunes in their “Colors of Autumn” concert.
    Time: 4 p.m. Nov. 20
    Cost: $25
    Details: (310) 833-7538; http://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 26
    Mac Sabbath
    Come out to the Gaslamp in Long Beach and see the great MAC SABBATH. Also performing are Los Pendejos, The Great Pumpkin (Smashing Pumpkins Tribute), Room Service (Kiss Tribute), Disraeli Gears (Cream tribute), The Approach & Execution & Seeds of War. This show is for all ages.
    Time: 5 p.m. Nov. 26
    Cost: $18 to $25
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/MacSabbath-gaslamp
    Venue: The Gaslamp, 6251 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

    Nov. 28
    DMT, Fracture, Meridian
    Get your introduction to Black Light Lounges Metal Mondays.
    Time: 8 p.m.Nov. 28
    Cost: $5
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/BlackLightLounge
    Venue: Blacklight District Lounge, 2500 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 3
    Wagman’s Gold & Silver Celebration
    KJazz 88.1 FM presents a concert celebrating the career of host of Nothin’ But the Blues, Gary “The Wagman” Wagner. Headlining this special evening are Walter Trout and Friends, Janiva Magness, Coco Montoya and The Alastair Greene Band.
    Time: 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 3
    Cost: $25 to $55
    Details: www.jazzandblues.org, http://tinyurl.com/Wagman-Gold
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro


    Nov. 13
    The Boys from Syracuse
    Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Staged Reading Series presents the Rodgers & Hart’s classic The Boys from Syracuse. The play was the first musical ever adapted from a work by Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors featuring delightful music by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and book by George Abbott.
    Time: 7 p.m. Nov. 13
    Cost: $27 to $32
    Details: (562) 856-1999, ext. 4; www.musical.org
    Venue: Beverly O’Neill Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Nov. 13
    Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny
    This hour-long staged adaptation features endearing puppets, stunning scenery, evocative music and stories that have delighted generations. It’s a familiar nighttime ritual about leaving home and a parent’s love.
    Time: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nov. 13
    Cost: $25
    Details: (562) 985-7000; carpenterarts.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton, Long Beach

    Nov. 18
    My Son Pinocchio
    Geppetto’s musical tale retells the classic Disney story from Geppetto’s perspective.
    Time: 7:30 Nov. 18 and 19, and 2 p.m. Nov. 19
    Cost:  $22
    Details: (310) 781-7171; www.southbayconservatory.com
    Venue: James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance

    Nov. 19
    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

    The infamous tale of Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, follows his blood-soaked return to 19th century London as he seeks vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him, ravaged his young wife, and keeps his daughter a virtual prisoner in his house.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; through Nov. 19
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.lbplayhouse.org/show/sweeney-todd-the
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 3
    Don’t Dress For Dinner
    Bernard’s plans for a romantic rendezvous with his mistress are complete with a gourmet caterer and an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert. But when Bernard’s wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she decides to stay in town for a surprise tryst of her own… setting the stage for a collision course of assumed identities and outrageous infidelities.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach


    Nov. 12
    RKDC Kids Show
    Enjoy an evening of dance by talented youngsters.
    Time: 2 and 4:30 p.m. Nov. 12
    Cost: $12
    Details: (310) 781-7171
    Venue: James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance

    Nov. 13
    Ek Do Teen VIII
    Enjoy Bollywood dancing at its finest.
    Time:  12 p.m. Nov. 13
    Cost: $35
    Details: (562) 402-7761; www.ndmdance.com
    Venue: James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance


    Nov. 19
    Sixteen mustangs, four men, on dream: to ride border to border Mexico to Canada. The documentary tracks four fresh-out college buddies.
    Time: 4 p.m. Nov. 19
    Cost: $10
    Details: (310) 541-7613; pvplc.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro


    Nov. 12
    Primal Origins, Works by Michael StearnsPrimal Origins
    In his book Cosmos, Carl Sagan wrote “The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean”. In this series Stearns explores the primordial soup from which we emerged 3.5 billion years ago. An artist’s reception will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 12.
    Time: 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Dec. 23
    Cost: Free
    Details: michaelstearnsstudio.com
    Venue: Michael Stearns Studio 347

    Nov. 20
    See the world as things move, then stop and enjoy the sky, flowers and rock patterns through Serendipity, the works of Norma Cuevas, Joe Devinny, and Mina Tang Kan.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 12 to 6 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 20
    Details: (310) 265-2592; www.artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: The Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, #159, Rolling Hills Estates

    Nov. 30
    The Long Beach Playhouse Gallery presents Paula A. Prager exhibit, Ambiguity.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 494-1014
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Gallery, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    Dec. 10
    On Being Blue
    TransVagrant and Gallery 478 are pleased to present On Being Blue, Recent Works by Jay McCafferty. Electing the neutrality of the grid as an organizing principle, McCafferty has been creating artworks by focusing rays of sunlight on its points of intersection for more than three decades.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, through Dec. 10
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    Dec. 12
    Altered Objects
    Altered Objects offers a reimagining of everyday objects by three Los Angeles artists: Julie Schustack, Tina Turturici, and Nicolas Shake. Shake builds his ghost sculptures from a tire, a shovel, or a palm tree frond, but they change within the context of the media and color he employs. Turturici recreates everyday objects in multiple media including ink drawings, collage, paintings and 3D objects. While Schustack combines found objects with her unique ceramic forms to create mysterious sculptures that capture the essence of time and change, especially her works related to music.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Dec. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3334
    Venue: University Art Gallery, LaCorte Hall, A-107, California State University Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Dec. 31
    L.A. Noir
    Since 1999, Mark V. Lord has plied his trade as a professional screenwriter in New York and Los Angeles, while maintaining a mostly private practice as a photographer.
    Lord’s images of Los Angeles are filled with the deep shadows and low-key lighting characteristic of these films, but with a decidedly contemporary twist.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.pvartcenter.org
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Jan. 15, 2017
    Cornelius Projects is pleased to present new paintings by San Pedro artist Candice Gawne. The exhibition will also include an installation of several of Gawne’s signature plasma glass sculptures in the Cornelius Projects’ screening room.
    Time: 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Jan. 15, 2017
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 266-9216; corneliusprojects.com
    Venue: Cornelius Projects, 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro


    Nov. 12
    Tidepool Wonders
    Explore low tides on the rocky shore with Calo Marine Aquarium. The area offers a home to a variety of local tidepool animals and seaweeds. Among the organisms are tidepool sculpin, sea urchins, sea hares, hermit crabs, feather-boa kelp, and an occasional octopus.
    Time: 12 to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Nov. 13
    South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society
    Stephen McCabe’s program, “Dudleya Conservation: Threats and New Species” will highlight his 30 years of growing and studying these little known and endangered plants. Often called “live forever,” these plants are denizens of our California and Baja Coasts and can be found growing wild in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
    Time: 1 p.m. Nov. 13
    Cost: Free
    Details: southcoastcss.org
    Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula

    Nov. 14
    Cooking Demonstration Class with Chef Mario Martinoli
    George and Patti open the Fabulous Art Deco Penthouse Display Kitchen for a class with renowned chef and TV personality Mario Martinoli. This event features “Turkey 101” with wild mushroom stuffing, stuffed tomatoes, garlic-infused green beans,  and brûlée southern buttermilk pie.
    Time: 6 p.m. Nov. 14
    Cost: $65
    Details: (310) 351-0070; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2707666
    Venue: Art Deco Penthouse Display Kitchen, 520 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Nov. 16
    Si Se Puede Yoga
    Everything is stretching when you look closely, come out for some community yoga.
    Time: 10 a.m. Nov. 16, 17 and 19 (English)
    Cost: Free
    Details: https://www.facebook.com/sisepuedeyoga
    Venue: Drake Park, 951 Maine Ave., Long Beach

    Nov. 18
    Supply Chain Digital Transformation Conference, Hackathon
    In an effort to streamline and optimize  supply chain efficiency in the maritime industry, the USC Marshall School of Business has partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach  to host the first-ever Supply Chain Digital Transformation Conference. The event will kick off with a one-day symposium at USC’s Town and Gown, where industry leaders, academicians, transportation experts, port executives, digital influencers and policy makers will come together to discuss data sharing innovations and new technologies for digitizing the supply chain.
    Time: Nov. 18 through 20
    Cost: $100
    Details: www.uscsupplychain.com/digitalsc
    Venue: USC Town and Gown, 665 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles

    Nov. 19
    Family Adventure Sail
    Every month, the Los Angeles Maritime Institute offers locals and visitors to the Los Angeles Waterfront a chance to sail on a tall ship and look behind the scenes at the Port of Los Angeles. These sails serve as mini-fundraisers and help raise awareness about our mission, volunteer opportunities and the importance of supporting youth education at-sea.
    Time: 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 19
    Cost: $60
    Details: (310) 833-6055; www.lamitopsail.org
    Venue: Berth 78 in Ports O’ Call Village

    Nov. 23
    chill, queen mary
    Long Beach will once again be overtaken by the holiday spirit when the fifth annual Chill returns to the majestic Queen Mary ship. In addition to ice skating, ice tubing, sleigh rides, and visits with Santa, Southern California’s coolest holiday adventure will unveil a new interactive and immersive experience Alice in Winterland.
    Time: Nov. 23 to Jan. 8
    Cost: $30 to $40
    Details: http://queenmary.com/chill
    Venue: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    Read More
  • Masthead

    “A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but make people mad enough to do something about it.” Mark Twain

    Published every two weeks for the Harbor Area communities of San Pedro, Rancho Palos Verdes, Lomita , Harbor City, Wilmington, Carson, and Long Beach, Random Lengths is distributed at more than 350 locations throughout the region.

    Publisher/Executive Editor
    James Preston Allen

    Assoc. Publisher/Production Coordinator
    Suzanne Matsumiya

    Managing Editor
    Terelle Jerricks

    Senior Editor
    Paul Rosenberg

    Assistant Editor
    Zamna Avila

    Lyn Jensen
    Gina Ruccione
    Andrea Serna Melina Paris

    Advertising Representative
    Richard Hoogs

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

      Where can I find the hard copy of the newspaper.
      Click here. (Links to a post with the list.)

      How do I renew, cancel, or update my subscription?
      Send email to rlnadmin@randomlengthsnews.com

      Where can I read Random Lengths News’ Terms of Service and Legal Disclaimer?
      Click the links Terms of Service and Legal Disclaimer

      What is Random Lengths News’ address and phone number?
      1300 S Pacific Ave
      San Pedro, Ca 90731

      (310) 519-1016
      (310) 519-1442

      How do I submit a letter to the Editor?

      What do I do if my question isn’t answered here?
      Contact us at the above phone number, email and mailing address.

      I’m looking for an article that was in a recent issue of Random Lengths and can’t find it on your Web site. Aren’t all recent articles available on your Web site?
      Not all articles published in the print edition appear on our website. You can find the print edition in its totality if you click the following link, which will direct you to our page on issuu.com.

      I’m looking for an article that appeared in RLn many years ago. Can I find it on your Web site?
      Random Lengths was founded in 1979, but our online archives only go back to 2012. For anything further, call editorial staff at the contact number listed above.

      How do I unsubscribe myself from your e-mail newsletters, or change the email address to which they are sent?

      How can I order back issues of Random Lengths News?
      Call (310) 519-1016

      How do I submit a story for possible publication in Random Lengths News?
      Send an email to editor@randomlengthsnews.com.

      How do I get permission to reprint an article that appeared in Random Lengths News?
      Send an email to the Managing Editor at editor@randomlengthsnews.com followed by a phone call to (310) 519-1016.

      I’d like to contact a RLn contributor. What’s the best way to do so?
      Send an email to letters@randomlengthsnews.com.

      How do I renew, cancel, or update my subscription?
      To renew or update your subscription, email us at: Subscription@randomlengthsnews.com or call us.

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  • Blues Concert to Benefit Youth Center

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Juanito Ibarra has been pounding the pavements in his hometown of San Pedro for weeks promoting his July 9 blues benefit concert at the Warner Grand Theatre.

    He hopes the show will do better than just break even. He envisions it becoming a seed that grows in a 30,000-square- foot youth center in San Pedro that would offer mentoring, fitness classes, martial arts training and vocational trades.

    Ibarra has been talking to everyone who will listen, from the council office to the Chamber of Commerce, from local businesses to ILWU Pensioners. He said promises have been made, but he’s taking a wait-and- see position to see if any of it will come to fruition.

    “I was down in San Pedro hustling almost every day for months, trying to balance out this whole thing,” Ibarra said. “I’ve been taking meeting after meeting before I left on my Olympic tour as a [boxing] cutman. I’ve been on hiatus from that. That’s why I’ve been hustling again.”

    Juanito Ibarra

    A cutman is responsible for preventing and treating physical damage to a fighter between rounds of a full contact match in sports such as boxing or mixed martial arts. They typically handle swelling, nosebleeds and lacerations.

    Ibarra, who once trained world champion boxer Oscar de la Hoya and mixed martial arts fighter Rampage Jackson, is a man aiming to achieve quixotic dreams with a singled-minded focus and heart. He’s reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa when he retired after he reached the top, before he was pulled back into the ring as a trainer.

    “I’m not God; I’m not a hero; I’m just a C-plus guy,” Ibarra said. “I’m better than half the world and half the world is better than me. But I’ll tell you what. I have the heart to make a positive change.”

    The result of his labor was the enlistment of local businesses such as Brouwerji West, Sirens, 710 Grill, Slavkos and The Whale & Ale.

    The concert’s headliners includes Big John Atkinson, an old school multi-instrumentalist bluesman; Mighty Joe and the Prophets, the mixed bag of nuts filled with superstar blues guys in the band 2,000 Pounds of Blues.

    Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers who has been around for 40 years will be performing. And, the Rock in Alabama Music Hall of Famer James Harman, will also be there.

    Ibarra noted that VIP tickets, which include a meet-and- greet with the artist and special seating, have been selling quickly. He indicated that he was turning his attention to filling the remaining 1,400 seats at $25 a ticket.

    “I’m just out to save lives,” Ibarra said of effort.

    Ibarra’s vision is expansive. He’s looking to incorporate whatever is needed to help a child who wants the make it as a professional in basketball, football or baseball.

    “I want to have indoor batting cages,” Ibarra said. “When it’s raining outside, where do kids go when they want to hit a ball?”

    He’s been working with Yolanda Regalado, proprietor of Sirens Tea and Coffee to create a $500 scholarship for Port of Los Angeles High School’s graduating seniors looking to go to a trade school.

    On the night of the blues concert, the first recipient of that scholarship is going to be announced. Ibarra recalled receiving a similar kind of scholarship from the San Pedro High School athletic boosters club when he played football.

    “It’s a joy to get a few hundred dollars that says you were recognized,” he said. “That’s why I’m so passionate about it. It’s because I see it in San Pedro. You don’t need these knuckleheads walking around at night.”

    One of his goals is for it to be staffed later in the evening when other places would be closed.

    “I would like it so that a kid can’t just say, sorry coach we got into some trouble man when I was walking home and make all sorts of excuses,” Ibarra said.

    “We have so much talent in this town, past, present and future, where this can be a world class community center that can change lives.”

    Time: 4 p.m. July 9
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.sanpedroblues.com
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

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