• Gould Discusses Issues Vital to CD 15

    By Noel Gould, Candidate for Council District 15

    I’m Noel Gould and I’m running for Council District 15. Our district is terminally ignored and our council office is totally ineffective. Enough! It’s time for a CHANGE! I, with my staff, will host town hall meetings every two weeks in order to listen to you. Then we’ll work together to find creative solutions.

    San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway and Watts voters have been tricked for the past five years by incumbent Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who has not only deliberately failed to respond to community concerns about the homeless issue and inconsistent over-development of our communities, but has also completely failed to provide the necessary police support and crime suppression. These failures, according to Los Angeles Police Department’s COMPSTAT Harbor Area and Southeast area reports, have increased total violent crimes by 45 percent in the past two years: a 400 percent increase in rapes in the last month of 2016 alone, a 200 percent increase in shooting victims, and a 100 percent increase in murders this past year. But arrests are down 190 percent. So Joe just doesn’t care.

    That’s why I decided to run for council: because Joe is killing our community with bad decisions, or indecisiveness. He is a also perfect example for why Measure S should pass to help slow the out-of-control and inconsistent development in our region.

    Buscaino, a former LAPD senior lead officer, has the know-how to address safety and police-related issues. But he’s failed to deliver and he must be defeated!  Joe no longer has a “cop mentality” about service; he’s now a full-fledged “developer pimp,” who receives large contributions from developers and gives them whatever they want, even if, it means ignoring zoning laws, and the health and safety of his constituents.

    One classic example of Joe’s “dirty deeds” is now under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney. It involves the “Sea Breeze” housing project he and Mayor Eric Garcetti jammed into the middle of an industrial zone near Harbor UCLA Medical Center. According to the Los Angeles Times, Joe took almost $95,000 from the developer, Garcetti took $60,000, and former Councilwoman (and now County Supervisor) Janice Hahn took more than $200,000 then changed the zoning laws so that the project could go forward.  The city’s Planning Commission even opposed the project 100 percent, but Buscaino and Garcetti, as Hahn before them, caved in to the developer.

    “The Times reports that a spokesperson for DA Jackie Lacey confirms the office is reviewing the donations.”

    “After the Planning Commission voted unanimously not to recommend the project, the council approved it anyway, with crucial support from Garcetti and Buscaino,” the article read. “Both Garcetti and Buscaino … received sizable contributions from associates of the project’s developer.”

    Another example of Harbor Area residents suffering from Joe’s inaction: Harbor Division lost 30 officers to other parts of Los Angeles and Joe has refused to fight to get them back.  Six years ago, when the new Harbor Division station was built, it came with a state-of-the-art jail that’s NEVER BEEN OPENED.  Even the LAPD officer’s union has supported protests by port area locals demanding staffing for the jail.

    Your safety is at stake because when local officers arrest a suspect, they have to drive to 77th Street Station at Florence and Broadway to book the arrestee.  They have to do their paperwork there as well, which means they’re out of service here at home for 4 to 5 hours!  If you call for help and our cops are in Los Angeles booking suspects, you are at great risk of harm or death.

    Buscaino could have fought to get the jail staffed, but he’s too busy trying to cram high-end condo high-rises onto San Pedro lots that have always housed single-family residences.  And, by the way Wilmington, Watts and Harbor City — YOU’RE NEXT!

    Joe’s cozy relationship with billionaire developers and the District Attorney’s investigation are now on full display. That’s one big reason why Measure S on the March 7 ballot is so important.

    For 20 years, the Los Angeles City Council has refused to update the Los Angeles General Plan that determines zoning in our neighborhoods.  As a result, these billionaire developers from New York, Miami, Canada and Australia are opposing Measure S. They want to turn all of Los Angeles into a skyscraper skyline, right here, in earthquake country; and, here in the Harbor Area from Wilmington to Cabrillo Beach.

    Measure S simply tells the city it has two years to finally update that 20-year-old general plan or it can’t give special zoning favors to billionaires like Buscaino has been doing.

    Measure S does not affect the building of affordable housing or housing for the homeless. And if you build on a lot and comply with current zoning, Measure S doesn’t affect you either.

    However, if you want to slam a 14-story luxury condo project like Joe wants to squeeze in between the Beach City Grill at 6th and Nelson, and Neil’s Pasta & Seafood at 5th and Nelson, in downtown San Pedro making NO street parking available, Measure S says:

    “No, you’re in violation of San Pedro’s local community plan.”

    Measure S stops Joe from these kinds of “political favors” in exchange for money from his out-of-state and foreign billionaire-developer sugar daddies.

    I support Measure S and I oppose everything Buscaino stands for because he is more committed to special interests and his dream of becoming Los Angeles’ next Mayor than taking care of crime and unacceptable developer- raping of our communities by his billionaire pals.

    “And why hasn’t Joe Buscaino done something about the homeless problem?”

    That’s an easy answer:  The more homeless on the street, the faster property values drop and the cheaper the property deals his developer pimps can receive.

    I’m Noel Gould and I will open new communication channels with every community in the 15th Council District every two weeks during my term.  My staff and I will make sure we hear YOUR concerns, and you will be able to hold us accountable on a constant basis for our promises.

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  • Galaz Joins CD 15 Race

    • 03/03/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing  Editor

    Donald Galaz, Vice President of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council and longtime proponent for a sanctioned racetrack for street racing, announced his write-in bid for the Los Angeles City Council District 15 seat, Feb. 24, on Youtube.

    Galaz is a protegé of Big Willie Robinson, a widely respected founder of the International Brotherhood of StreetRacers. Robinson got wayward youths involved with cars as an alternative to causing trouble in the streets.

    Galaz, a San Pedro native, followed in Robinson’s footsteps when he founded Project Street Legal, an organization that  similarly reaches local youths through cars. He’s lobbied City Hall to open a dragstrip in an effort to cut down on illegal street racing and the deaths that result from it.

    It was that activism to open a dragstrip that led him to join the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

    In his campaign announcement, Galaz said he wants focus his attention on public safety, the environment, port issues and vocational education.

    He argued that CD15 isn’t getting its fair share of resources, particularly in regards to street services and police officers.

    “After I’m elected, my plan is [to] give my constituents back the power and champion them in City Hall, not taking “no” for an answer,” Galaz said.

    “All too often, the politicians say one thing and do another, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of those that elected them,” said Galaz, reflecting on his disappointment Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city council incumbent.

    Galaz has less than two weeks to make his case.

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  • Arnold Gives His Reasons to Represent

    By Caney Arnold, Candidate for the Council District 15

    When I started this campaign I was determined to provide voters with a better option.  The more I campaigned, the more I realized voters need a better option. On the campaign trail, I heard voters complain about pay-to-play politics, bribery, intimidation, lack of caring about people’s health, and just plain poor judgment on the part of Buscaino.  With my Air Force program management experience, my ethics and my sense of empathy and caring, I can bring a much needed change to District 15.

    As a child,  my mother (a native of Burlington, Vt.) and my father (a native of a Mississippi delta town called Itta Bena) stressed that we could do or be anything that we wanted if we worked hard enough.

    Despite the fact that economically, the whole town was in the same boat, Itta Bena was a place where a racial hierarchy was so deeply embedded and encoded that there were parts of the town in which I couldn’t play.

    When he was a child, my father’s family lived in an old shack, and my dad picked cotton and other crops. At the time, it was an exciting novelty to think that my dad had picked cotton when he was a kid. It didn’t occur to me at the time how hard his life had been.

    My dad was able to escape on the G.I. Bill. He majored in mathematics, became an engineer, and moved to San Diego for another job where he met my mom. When I was five years old, we moved to Woodland Hills. It is on this foundation, set in an era of 1960s movement politics, anti-war activism and assassinations of our nation’s brightest that shaped my values.

    I graduated from UCLA with a degree in economics and went to work as a civilian at the Department of Defense. I settled, with my family in Harbor City. After 32 years, I retired in 2011.

    Following our councilman’s Homeless Forum in September 2015, I became energized and connected to the issues affecting the Los Angeles Harbor when I assisted a local homeless advocate and her team of volunteers.

    After six long months, they got a mom and her two children into Harbor Interfaith Services shelter program. The family was unable to get into permanent housing until after more than a year.

    As one of my fellow Berners likes to say, “There’s got to be a better way.”

    But that way is not Councilman Joe Buscaino’s way.  He is on record as saying he supports the housing-first approach in transitioning our neighbors without homes off the streets. Yet, his policies say he favors transitioning them off the streets into jail.

    Buscaino led the charge in rewriting Los Angeles City Ordinance 56.11, which authorizes more aggressive encampment sweeps and increased criminal penalties.

    Despite the fact that Los Angeles gets sued every year and loses in federal district court, Buscaino continues to push for even tighter restrictions, wanting to limit people to only be able to carry what can fit into a backpack.

    The housing-first ap- proach gets people off the street as soon as possible and places them into shelters where they can escape the trauma of the streets and receive any mental health or substance abuse treatment they might need, along with job training. Cities that practice the housing-first approach reported 80 percent success rates and was no more expensive than the “move along” approach.

    Seeing how ineffective and uncaring our city is to our homeless neighbors, I decided someone needed to run against Buscaino because his policies just didn’t make sense.

    I watched the short videos produced by his office making it appear that he was actually working on behalf of all of his constituents.

    What I found instead was a string of broken promises and ethics violations. Then I researched those subjects and found promises being broken by Buscaino, the rest of the city council and the mayor. I decided I needed to run for Buscaino’s seat on the city council so I could bring the ethics, constituent-based dedication and the project management discipline to help turn around the management and direction of our district.

    As I campaigned I found more abuses and failures:

    • The SeaBreeze money laundering scandal — where Buscaino accepted $90,000—was written up in the Los Angeles Times.
    • The Exxon pipeline leak in Watts that leaked into the Jordan Downs water system so people were drinking polluted water — similar to what happened in Flint, Mich., but it wasn’t a big story like Flint’s was. I learned about contaminated soil at Jordan Downs.
    • The pay-to-play politics going on at the Port of Los Angeles, where requests for proposals, known as RFPs, are tailored for a campaign contributor to win the award.
    • The broken promise of the Bridge to Breakwater revitalization, a $1.5 billion project promised by then-Mayor Antonio Villaragosa and Buscaino among others.
    • The Ezell Ford settlement that Buscaino voted against, which sparked outrage when he stated in a radio interview that the police officers who killed Ezell Ford acted “righteously.”

    Many people from many different corners have asked me why I chose to go on this quixotic quest to represent Los Angeles’ Council District 15.

    I am a Sandernista and from the very start, I’ve been encouraged by people in our district who supported Bernie Sanders. His  message of change did not begin and end with his presidential campaign. It was a call to action to protect the bedrock American values of hard work and equal opportunity.

    I would be honored to have your vote and to serve you as our next council member.

     

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  • The Buscaino Report Card

    • 03/02/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Feature, News
    • Comments are off

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    March 7 is the date District 15  voters will grade Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. Although there are many in the district who believe he should be graded on a pass-fail basis, he won’t be.

    Three challengers, two of whom have columns in this edition of Random Lengths News, are critical of Buscaino’s handling of the San Pedro waterfront development, the homeless crisis, the Harbor Division jail and the environment — issues on which he is vulnerable. But the depth of their campaign resources, coupled with their lack of name recognition throughout the council district means their quest to unseat an incumbent will be a tough one.

    The Los Angeles Times editorial board endorsed the councilman, but described his “performance,” thus far, as only “adequate.”

    The Times editorial board also laid out the historic and geographic realities that constrain the aspirations of communities such as Harbor Gateway, Harbor City and Wilmington, noting that each of these areas needs its own representatives.

    “But they will never get one,” the Times board wrote. “Not as long as the city herds all of those areas into a single, mammoth city council district.”

    Buscaino has repeatedly said that his success as councilman would be determined by how much communities that are historically underserved by the city, like Watts, Harbor Gateway and Wilmington, are improved.

    At his state of the district luncheon on Feb. 16, the councilman discussed some of the success he has overseen, if not in some way abetted. Buscaino typically highlights the work of residents, community advocates and nonprofits as a way to highlight how the resources and the political weight of his office assist them.

    “The most important function a city can serve is to keep it safe and clean,” the councilman said.

    The councilman called the district’s residents efforts to improve their community inspiring, citing groups like Clean San Pedro, Clean Wilmington and Clean Watts.

    An example of the councilman’s involvement  was the Recreation and Parks Department’s $4 million renovation of the 109th Street Pool. The pool was closed following a 2008 melee that saw 30 men overrun two armed guards and six pool workers. Buscaino provided funding for increased security services.

    The councilman recounted the activism of Watts’s resident and founder of Clean Watts Ronald “Kartoon” Antwine that brought Watts Serenity Park; and the work of John Jones III, founder of East Side Riders Bicycle club, that brought Ciclavia to Watts and said it was set for it to come Wilmington in 2018.

    The councilman highlighted work of entrepreneurs like chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson who opened LocoL, the conscientious health-oriented fast-food restaurant and the Ortiz family’s Hojas Tea House of Wilmington, which has opened up locations in San Pedro and Long Beach within the past few years.

    He applauded Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council chairwoman Pamela Thornton and her council’s advocacy for a pocket park with the aim of pushing out sex offenders from the community.

    The councilman announced the near completion of Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park following the yeoman’s work of local educators Martin Byhower and Joanne Valle. What he neglected to mention was the park’s redevelopment had pushed some 167 homeless people out into the open in the Los Angeles Harbor Area and has become something that has  stained his image.

    The councilman highlighted the funds pouring through Wilmington to upgrade the Avalon corridor and the work in particular of Santa Luna restaurateur Antonio Castaneda, who has renovated several Avalon Boulevard façades.

    Random Lengths evaluated the motions the councilman authored and seconded in his first, full term in office. Buscaino’s performance cannot be fully measured by the motions he filed given that the power of his position relies on  influencing actors beyond the council chambers. But it does paint a picture of his priorities and the depth of his commitment to them.                   

    Homelessness, Affordable Housing, New Development Projects

    In 2015, the councilman was busy in the kitchen when it came to development. He cooked up several motions from Watts to San Pedro. Whether anyone will like, let alone be satisfied with what he’s cooking remains to be seen.

    In May 2015, Buscaino along with Councilman Mike Bonin authored and seconded a motion to negotiate and execute an amendment to City Contract C-120911, a block grant contract extension between the city and Boys and Girls Club.

    In June of 2015, Buscaino with Councilman Bernard Parks, authored and seconded a motion to direct the Port of Los Angeles and the Department of Recreation and Parks to submit a report to the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee report about the feasibility to establish a dog park in the inner Cabrillo Beach area.

    In September 2015, Buscaino and the Los Angeles City Council allocated $200,000 for the purchase of real estate related to Watts Civic Center redevelopment. The councilman filed a motion to relocate a council office and the substations of the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department when the Watts Civic Center gets renovated.

    In October 2015, Buscaino and the Trade, Commerce and Technology Committee over which he presides as chairman, commissioned a feasibility study on San Pedro’s Waterfront redevelopment efforts. The result of that study was released two weeks before the primary election on Feb. 21.

    In December 2015, the councilman’s committee commissioned a report on the marketing strategy to promote tourism at the LA Waterfront due out by the end of 2017. This study was commissioned around the same time as the committee’s feasibility study on San Pedro’s Waterfront redevelopment efforts.

    The study sought to answer the following question:

    For 16 publicly-owned sites in the LA Waterfront area, what are the best near- and longer-term development options given market conditions, zoning codes, regulatory constraints, physical site characteristics, and ongoing public and private investment in the LA waterfront?

    Of the 16 publicly-owned sites, the report identifies the Outer Harbor and the historic Warehouse #1 as likely to elicit the most excitement from developers, with Daily Breeze reporting that some would like to convert it into a hotel. However, a closer look at the report identifies the historic property only as potential “office/flex” space, which has no interest.

    The report noted that 804 market-rate units are slated to be built in downtown San Pedro. Yet, none have broken ground. The report explained that San Pedro rents are too low ($2.02 versus $2.65 per square foot) to support higher-density development like recent Long Beach projects. But the report’s authors believe rental rates will rise in the future. There is no mention of the comparable public investments in infrastructure made in Long Beach as compared to San Pedro.

    Between Holland Partners 312 mixed-use development on the courthouse property, Omninet’s 400-unit development on the former  C-worthy Paint store on Palos Verdes Street between 5th and 6th streets; LaTerra’s 24 single-family residences, which are planned to have direct access garages and rooftop decks; and the councilman’s much maligned Nelson One project, there hasn’t been one project to actually get started.

    The reasons for the criticism of the councilman’s Nelson One project have as much to do about style as about substance. The councilman is looking to place a 47-unit luxury apartment building with ground floor commercial space on the ground floor, adjacent to the Mesa and 6th streets parking lot.

    On this concept alone, the project has been panned as out of character with the neighboring architecture and the narrow one-way street  upon which it would be built. The other issue is that the councilman’s lack of vetting of developer Richard D. Lamphere. Lamphere was connected to a failed land deal that cost two private investors hundreds of thousands of dollars. That ultimately led to his conviction of fraud and resulted in a prison stint in September 2016.

    The councilman talks a good game about building affordable housing, just as long as it is not in San Pedro. None of the projects listed above have any affordable housing component. When he does address low-income housing, he’s talking about getting rid of or significantly altering the public housing at Rancho San Pedro.

    During his state of the district speech, Buscaino proclaimed that the ground has been broken on 300 new units of low-income housing on his watch. That included Blue Butterfly project for homeless vets along Western Avenue (which was started long before he came into office) and two low-income housing developments in the community of Willowbrook, just south of Watts.

    During his forum on homelessness in September 2015, the councilman said that there were several affordable housing developments on the way. He was correct. For a councilman that is on the record favoring a housing-first model approach to addressing homelessness, it’s conspicuous that he didn’t mention that it would be several years before any of those affordable housing units would be available. And of the ones that would be built, none would be in San Pedro.

    The Environmental and Port-Related Issues

    On port-related issues, Buscaino is a reliable vote, especially given that he’s chairman of the Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce and Trade Committee, as well  as the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee — committees that tend to see a lot of Harbor Department requests.

    For example, in May of 2016, the Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce and Trade Committee submitted a report that supported the continuance of a contract with law firm Brown and Winters. It was to recover fees from environmental investigation and cleanup expenses from historic or past tenant insurance policies with the Port of Los Angeles.

    And, his Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee has submitted a number of reports supportive of the Harbor Department’s request to transfer responsibility of certain streets in the industrial areas of Wilmington into private control.

    Decisions made by his committee that support the port’s efforts occasionally benefit residents closest to port operations directly.

    One example is when Buscaino authored a motion in 2012 that supported the appeal of environmental justice activist Jesse Marquez on denying an application to operate a truck and container storage facility in an area zoned as a residential area.

    He also authored motions streamlining permit approval process for maritime-related construction.

    Another such example is when the councilman authored a motion to authorize staff to re-enter negotiations with Union Pacific Railroad to acquire property to complete the East Wilmington Greenbelt Community Center expansion. The railroad initially tried to sell the land to the city for $1.2 million until it was discovered that the property had significant soil and groundwater contamination requiring remediation. Union Pacific agreed to sell the land for $100 if the city would indemnify it against any future lawsuits regarding environmental degradation. Negotiations between the city and Union Pacific devolved into a three-year impasse.

    On simple, no-brainer issues, Buscaino does OK. It’s the bigger stuff that lends credence to the idea that he is over his head and is an unreliable ally for his constituency.

    In March 2016, Random Lengths reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency informed the South Coast Air Quality Management District that its 2012 pollution reduction plan for meeting Clean Air Act standards did not pass muster.

    RLn had reported at the time that AQMD’s NOx cap-and-trade program, NOx RECLAIM, repeatedly failed to perform as well as direct regulation of refineries and other facilities. This is required by state and federal law, dating back to its inception in 1994. But oversight has been lax and slow moving. The story in Random Lengths continued:

    … the EPA’s action was attention-grabbing, especially in light of recent AQMD actions weakening its regulatory commitment — most notably by ignoring its own staff and adopting an oil industry plan for amending the same NOx RECLAIM program. The AQMD raised eyebrows when it fired its long-time executive officer Barry Wallerstein, who openly criticized the decision to ignore staff and adopt the oil industry plan. Buscaino is a member of the AQMD board.

    “[T]he amendments do not appear to meet the minimum emissions control requirements in California law,” California’s Air Resources Board already warned.

    … President pro tempore Sen. Kevin de León also announced plans to add three more members to the AQMD board representing public health and environmental justice points of view.

    De León noted that the AQMD board “further weakened” NOx RECLAIM in December.

    “SCAQMD board members should rethink their votes to weaken the region’s clean air standards and take the necessary steps to comply with state and federal law,” De Leon said. “Their actions are not only irresponsible, but illegal.” San Pedro’s City Council member Joe Buscaino [Mayor Garcetti’s appointee] joined with Republican board members to approve the weakened plan. This goes a long way in backing up the claim that he is a Democrat in name only.

    The Councilman’s Final Grade

    The councilman is pretty good at jumping on bandwagons while maintaining his megawatt smile at the photo-ops, whether it’s at the dedication of the Misty Copeland Square in front of the uninspiring mural of San Pedro’s famous ballerina; the renaming of Center Street between Viewland Place and Knoll Drive to Eastview Little League Drive; the naming of the intersection of Sixth and Centre streets, “Papadakis Square,” or the renaming of Cabrillo Avenue between 12th and 13th streets, to the honorary title of “Boys and Girls Club Way.” If he was graded on just these appearances, Buscaino would earn a B. (He lost points for the execution of the Misty Copeland mural.)

    But on the issues that matter to district residents and that impact their daily lives, the incumbent has not been a consistent ally of residents.

    Think about:

    • His inability to get Rancho LPG to release copies of its liability insurance documents and a specific seismic figure that the plant could survive;
    • His support of BNSF’s Southern California International Gateway;
    • His role as the mayor’s appointee to the board of the South Coast AQMD;
    • His failure to offer a fix that adequately addresses the homeless crisis;
    • His failure to get the San Pedro jail open to improve patrol times;
    • His office’s lack of transparency in choosing developers as exemplified by his choice for Nelson One.

     Councilman Buscaino’s grade: D

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  • The Growth of a Musical Legend:

    • 03/02/2017
    • Kym Cunningham
    • Music
    • Comments are off

    A Conversation with Howard Scott

    Correction: A caption on page 14 of the March 2 edition of Random Lengths News incorrectly associated an artist with his former band. Guitarist and songwriter Howard Scott is performing, on his own, March 16 at JDC Records in San Pedro and March 17 at the Carson Community Center in Carson. Random Lengths News regrets the error and will continue to strive to bring accurate independent news to the Los Angeles Harbor Area.

     

    By Kym Cunningham, Contributing Writer

    For more than 50 years, Howard Scott has made a living doing something most people only dream of: making music.

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Scott was a guitarist and lead vocalist in the legendary musical omnibus, WAR, collaborating with artists ranging from former Animals lead singer Eric Burdon to Danish harmonica player Lee Oskar. And yet, Scott never thought of making music as a paycheck.

    “I didn’t look at it as a way of making a living,” Scott said. “It was just something that we were doing and we were very good at it.”

    The Music of Compton

    Born in San Pedro, Howard Scott grew up in Compton in the 1950s and 1960s, when the city was at its peak. Scott remembers the annual Christmas parade on Compton Boulevard, which rivaled the more famous holiday parade in Hollywood.

    There was also an annual Compton Invitational Track Meet, which featured Olympic athletes.

    “Athletes would come from all over the world to compete,” Scott said. “The guy that had the world record for the 440 was going to Compton High School at that time.”

    Scott credits the City of Compton for much of his musical growth.

    “Compton was probably one of the most unique places to grow up,” Scott said. “Everybody was into the arts…. Everybody had singing groups…. It was amazing to grow up in that era.… The whole city was into music…. The whole community was inspired.”

    At Compton High School, Scott, along with Harold Brown, formed a band called The Creators.

    “It was the natural thing [to be in a band],” Scott said. “It just so happened that the whole city was into music. When we were going to Compton High School … we would go to other [Compton] high schools and perform.”

    But even the musical aptitude of The Creators couldn’t save Scott from the social turmoil of the 1960s. Cultivated at the height of the Vietnam War, the band took a hiatus when Scott was drafted into the Army in 1966. In a stroke of luck, Scott was not sent to Vietnam, but rather spent 18 months in West Germany shortly after finishing high school. When he returned from his service, the band had splintered.

    “When I came back, everybody was gone,” Scott said. “The band had broken up. People were all over in different places.”

    The Start of War

    But music was Scott’s lifeblood. It was a beat coursing through his veins, waking him up in the morning, driving him through the day. Shortly after Scott returned from West Germany, he and Brown got together with Lonnie Jordan and B.B. Dickerson to form The Nightshift. The band included the late Deacon Jones, the NFL Hall of Fame defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams.

    While playing at a North Hollywood club in 1969, The Nightshift met famous producer, Jerry Goldstein, and Lee Oskar, who had recently teamed up with Eric Burdon. The rest, as they say, is history.

    “In the club that night, Lee came up and asked if he could start jamming with us,” Scott said. “A couple of weeks after that, we had a meeting with them [Lee and Burdon] and we decided to form a band with them. And that’s how Eric Burdon and WAR started, right there.”

    But the interaction of these musicians strikes Scott as more than just history.

    “It was destiny,” he said. “It was something that was meant to be. We had a band but Eric Burdon came in with his concept and took it to the next level. He was a world class entertainer.”

    Scott refers to those days as carefree. He fondly remembers his time spent collaborating with Burdon and the rest of WAR.

    “We cranked,” Scott said. “We played so many good shows. We were blowing people’s minds from coast to coast.”

    Hendrix’s Last Jam

    One of Scott’s most memorable experiences is the night WAR played with Jimi Hendrix at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London on September 18, 1970 — the night before Hendrix died. Hendrix was supposed to come in the night before to play, but he didn’t show up.

    “The first night, he couldn’t play or didn’t want to play,” Scott said. “The second night … he had his Strat guitar and he was just on fire.”

    Scott fondly remembers playing blues with Hendrix the night before he died.

    “It was a great night,” Scott said.

    Hendrix was supposed to come back the next night but instead died of asphyxiation after overdosing on barbiturates. Even today, Scott finds this difficult to believe.

    “We were the last band to play with Jimi Hendrix,” Scott said. “I was the last guitar player to play with Jimi Hendrix. That always sticks in my mind.”

    Scott is also proud to have written War’s top 10 smash hit, The Cisco Kid. The song’s name is derived from Cisco, a Los Angeles club where WAR used to play shows.

    “We were playing there and this wino-looking guy came up off the streets and offered me a dollar to play a song that nobody had ever heard,” Scott said. “One of the bouncers from the club grabbed this little man and threw him in the street. I was so upset … so I wrote this song.”

    Scott began to sing the words to his favorite song.

    “The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine,” Scott sang. “He drink whiskey, Pancho drink the wine.”

    “It was my most fun song,” Scott said.  “It put a smile on your face …. I was so uninhibited.”

    Scott admits he also likes the song Why Can’t We Be Friends. But by the time the song came out, the band was already famous, making—as he puts it— “a bunch of money.”

    “It wasn’t as meaningful to me,” Scott said.

    Transcending Barriers

    Arguably the most popular funk group in the 1970s, WAR featured influences from soul, Latin, rhythm and blues, rock, jazz, reggae and blues. Much of this musical amalgamation was courtesy of the various backgrounds of the band members. In fact, WAR was touted as transcending racial and cultural barriers, promoting harmony and brotherhood through its music.

    Scott acknowledges the diversity of the band but maintains that it was the music that brought people together.

    “When WAR came out, they didn’t put our pictures on the covers,” Scott said. “People were judging the band purely by their music, not how we looked or where we came from. We had this whole rainbow coalition of people in the band.

    “Then, when people saw pictures, it didn’t make any difference. The music won them over. When you went to a War show, you saw everybody. It was a great thing to see.”

    Politicization of War

    Through this musical harmony, the band also politicized its message, spreading awareness within its song lyrics.

    “WAR was a political band,” Scott said. “We had political statements.”

    One such song was Get Down, which criticized the “police and their justice” as well as world leaders.

    Scott calls these songs “unity songs,” which he says made people think “about organization, and power to the people.”

    Scott even came up with a kind of musical campaign riffing on the political nature of WAR songs called Peace in the Streets.

    “The world we are in now, politically, we need peace in the streets,” Scott said. “The kids today are not writing those kinds of songs anymore to get people thinking.”

    However, Scott credits the lack of politics in music as a part of why WAR songs continue to be so popular.

    “The songs we came up with during those days are still around,” Scott said. “The message still resonates as something the people can latch onto. It doesn’t have a time period on it … We came up with a memorable tone that will last forever.”

    Still Goin’ Strong

    WAR was plagued by fractured friendships and law suits among band members, some of which actually prevent Scott from using the band’s name in association with his music. However Scott hasn’t let these setbacks keep him from making the music he loves. Rather, it becomes apparent speaking with Scott that the man thinks in music, as though his words come to him in lyrics with a pre-formed melody attached to them. Every few minutes, he’ll break into song, demonstrating just how deep within him music runs.

    “Music is always going to be something that when you wake up in the morning, you have a melody in your head,” Scott laughed. “It’s going to make a change. Musical statements are always going to be there.”

    It seems that part of the reason Scott has not allowed WAR’s legal issues to become an impediment to his music making is simply because creating music makes him happy.

    “You can always make somebody smile with music,” Scott said.

    Scott has his hands in a few musical ventures. He still plays shows with some of his old WAR bandmates in The Lowrider Band — named, of course, after one of WAR’s biggest hits, Lowrider. The band just got back from a show in Panama.

    “We’re working on all 12 cylinders,” Scott said. “You can’t beat it.”

    Scott also hosts a radio show out of his home in Texas, where he plays a variety of music, including, of course, many of the old WAR hits.

    But mostly, Scott spends his time writing more music.

    “I write all of the time,” Scott admits.

    His latest musical solo venture, The Howard Scott Project, seems to be his favorite as it allows him the opportunity to experiment.

    “This is an outlet for me to just come up and do a whole lot of new things,” Scott said.

    On March 16, Howard Scott will play at JDC Records, 447 W. 6th St., San Pedro. The next night, March 17 he will be performing at the Carson Community Center.

    “I’ll be playing some of the biggest songs that WAR recorded that I personally wrote,” Scott said. “Me and Baby Brother, Slippin’ Into Darkness, Gypsy Man … Lowrider because I co-wrote that. Just some of the biggest WAR hits and some of the stuff I did on my own.”

    Advice from a Legend

    Scott ended his interview with some advice for aspiring artists.

    “Stay focused on the art,” Scott said. “Be true to the art and who you are all the way through. Don’t play for money. Be dedicated to the music and be dedicated to yourselves,” Scott said. “Unity is something that bands need.”

    But despite all this hard work and dedication, Scott broke into song with his last piece of advice.

    “‘Keep on rockin’,” he sang. You could tell he was smiling as he crooned the words.

    Howard Scott will perform March 16 at JDC Records in San Pedro and March 17 at the Carson Community Center in Carson.

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  • No on Joe, Yes on S and H

    • 03/02/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    Challenge to the status quo of Los Angeles

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of seeing Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino’s smiling face everywhere I look.

    He has become the cheerleader-in-chief for Council District 15 — nothing more. The sad part about it is that being a councilman is not about you. It’s about serving the people of the district. It’s about getting bigger things done than opening a coffee house and praising small business owners for taking a risk.  It’s about more than conducting photo ops while pretending to care about the homeless — especially while the Los Angeles Police Department is out arresting them on meritless warrants because they have no better options than to camp out in front of the San Pedro City Hall building because there are no other options.

    Buscaino’s latest campaign mailer claims that he is “the councilman of the Port of Los Angeles.” This is strange since most of us here believe that the Port of L.A. exists as the 16th district of the city. It has no elected representatives on its commission and very little to hold it accountable to the Harbor Area residents without the threat of protests, strikes or litigation.

    The Harbor Department is insular in so many ways and immune to public accountability except by higher authorities (i.e. the Los Angeles mayor, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the State Tidelands Commission and the California Air Resources Board), with no serious public engagement except the public relations initiatives at neighborhood councils. Not since the POLA unilaterally canceled the Port Community Advisory Council has there been any significant public oversight of port activities.  Buscaino has not stepped into this void.

    Buscaino’s past five years in office have been an abject failure. He failed to garner support for his delusional waterfront dreams and other grandiose proposals. Because of his abhorrence of real collaboration, he is incapable of leading by consensus, costing him his core ethnic support — Italians, Croatians and Greeks.

    To put it more bluntly, what Buscaino has put forward thus far as a pathway to the future of the greater Harbor Area is neither bold nor brilliant enough — let alone sustainable. What he has done so far is to adopt the initiatives of others like the Gaffey Great Streets Initiative that left people wondering exactly why would you put a playground at an exit park where some 63,000 cars pass onto the 110 Freeway?

    Then there is the Nelson One project, which surprised everyone this past year. Proposed by a man convicted of real estate fraud in Solano County, it would put a 15-story high-rise on one of San Pedro’s narrowest streets. And none of the projects in the pipeline have any affordable housing units.

    Complain all you want about what Measure S doesn’t accomplish, but Buscaino’s development plans for the lower 15th are the poster child for spot zoning and back room deals.

    As for Measure S, I have been reading everything that has been written in the Los Angeles Times against this measure and all the propaganda for and against it. As confusing as this is for most voters not familiar with zoning law and development what this comes down to is whether or not to push the pause button on business as usual at city hall. Los Angeles has been remiss in its obligation to finalize and approve the 35 community plans that make up its General Plan, which gives everybody a chance to chime in on development issues.

    The plans that are in place are some 20 years old and every time a developer wants a variance to the plan or a zoning change, it gets wrapped up in city bureaucracy forever. So to speed things along, political grease is applied in the way of campaign contributions and donations to officeholder accounts.  In the record business, it’s called payola.  At city hall, it’s called pay-to-play, but it’s all the same.

    Now I doubt that we’ll ever get that kind of money out of politics, but what we can have are 35 community plans that are reviewed by the 95 neighborhood councils and approved by the city council. We can have a general plan that reflects the consensus of the communities and the council signed by the mayor. That’s a democratic process. What we have now is just bad governance.

    Measure S is the reset button that holds up only 5 percent of current projects in the pipeline and the moratorium is for only two years. So let’s use those two years to fix the city and come to some plan on where to build density, where and how to build affordable workforce housing and what to do with the cities excess real estate assets. Who knows? Perhaps we could actually build  homeless housing on some of it?

    As for Measure H, Los Angeles County’s quarter-of-a-cent tax, isn’t the best way to finance a cure for the homeless crisis. But it is a “right now” solution that has citizen oversight. So, I’m endorsing a yes vote on it. I’d prefer to place a luxury tax on any real estate valued at over $5 million and to change the appraisal laws on property transfers that occur when a business is sold.

    For instance, when Exxon Mobil sold their Torrance refinery to PBF Energy, a Parsippany, N.J.-based company, all of that property didn’t get reappraised as a real estate transaction but was transferred without it, because it’s a sale of total business assets.  I’d love to know which lawyer wrote that loophole into Prop. 13.

    Lastly, Nancy Pearlman for the Community College Board seat 6 is my endorsement. She’s one of the few true progressives in local office.

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  • Lucia Micarelli

    • 03/02/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    March 4
    Lucia Micarelli
    Lucia Micarelli performs classical, jazz, traditional fiddle and Americana music 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

    Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience
    As the son of legendary drumming icon Ginger Baker, Kofi Baker has a name that’s synonymous with drumming excellence.
    Time: 8 p.m. March 4
    Cost: $10 to $20
    Details: (310) 833-7538; www.alvasshowroom
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 5
    Rina Orellana Flamenco Academy Student Showcase
    Join Rina and her wonderful dancers for an exciting afternoon of flamenco music and dance.
    Time: 3 p.m. March 5
    Cost: $35
    Details: http://alvasshowroom.com/event/rina-orellana-flamenco-academy-student-showcase
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 11
    Tim Weisberg
    Tim Weisberg has long been regarded as one of the most original rock, blues and jazz-fusion flutists. In 1970, fresh out of grad school and virtually unknown, Tim Weisberg exploded on to the scene with his opening performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival, where he firmly established himself as a unique musical talent.
    Time: 8 p.m. March 11
    Cost: $25
    Details: http://alvasshowroom.com/event/tim-weisberg
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 12
    Trio Ondine
    Formed in 2005 as Duo Ondine by flutist Boglarka Kiss and harpist Alison Bjorkedal, the duo invited their good friend and violist Alma Fernandez to join them in an exploration of the unique repertoire for flute, viola, and harp that Debussy first used in his great impressionistic masterpiece.
    Time: 2 p.m. March 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

    The Steppes
    This tribute band performs music from the first five solo albums by Genesis Alumni and Steve Hackett.
    Time: 4 p.m. March 12
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    March 17
    Broadway in Concert
    Musical Theatre West presents Susan Egan with special guest Deedee Lyn Mango Hall. Egan’s Tony-nominated Belle takes the stage in a one-night-only concert event.
    Time: 8 p.m. March 17
    Cost: $40 to $60
    Details: (562) 856-1999 ext. 4; www.musical.org
    Venue: Beverly O’Neill Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    THEATER

    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 9
    The Addams Family Musical Comedy
    Rolling Hills Prep School presents their Spring 2017 musical, a 2010 musical comedy based on the ghoulishly delightful characters created by Charles Addams. This devilishly funny production is sure to please the whole family.
    Time: 7 p.m. March 9 through 11
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.rollinghillsprep.org/page,  www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex,  436 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    March 9
    Letters From Young Gay Men
    Letters from Young Gay Men is a project that was inspired by Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. It is show that brings a unique intimacy between the gay youth and elders of the community.
    Time: 7 p.m. March 9, 8 p.m. Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays, through April 2
    Cost: $25
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/letterstogaymen
    Venue: Studio C Artists, 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

    March 12
    The Perfect American
    Long Beach Opera will present the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’ The Perfect American, a fictionalized version of the final days of Walt Disney. The opera will be directed by Kevin Newbury, conducted by Andreas Mitisek, and the role of Walt Disney will be sung by baritone Justin Ryan.
    Time: 2:30 p.m. March 12 and 8 p.m. March 18
    Cost: $49 to $150
    Details: www.longbeachopera.org/tickets
    Venue: Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    March 25
    Rumors
    In a large, tastefully appointed townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe farce attack. Despite being his tenth wedding anniversary party, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. The lawyer and his wife must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through March 25
    Cost: $14 to $20
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse , 5021 E. Anaheim St., 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 4
    Cao Yong

    The world renowned artist Cao Yong returns to the Parkhurst Galleries in downtown San Pedro for a one-night event. Come meet the artist and see his latest original paintings and limited editions.
    Time: 5 to 9 p.m. March 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 547-3158
    Venue: Parkhurst Galleries, 439 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    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 postwar 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
    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

    March 3
    Half Pint Havurah
    The family Shabbat Service features birthday blessings for children younger than 13 and recognizes the National Day of Unplugging.
    Time: 4:30 March 3
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 833-2467
    Venue: Temple Beth El, 1435 W. 7th St., San Pedro

    March 3
    Back to Broadway
    This variety show features music from Broadway musicals and even some audience participation.
    Time: 7:30 p.m. March 3
    Cost: $15 to $25
    Details: (310) 544-0403; www.PalosVerdesPerformingArts.com
    Venue: Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula

    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

    March 4
    Peninsula Seniors’ Coffee & Cars
    This event if for all car hobbyists and enthusiasts. It features hot rods, custom, muscle, sports, antique, classic and exotic cars.
    Time: 7:30 a.m. March 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 377-4867; www.MaryJoseph.org
    Venue: Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Road, Palos Verdes Peninsula

    March 5
    Ukulele Hootenanny
    Bring your instrument and play or just sing along.
    Time: 3 p.m. March 5
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 832-2424
    Venue: The Corner Store, 1118 W. 37th St., San Pedro

    March 5
    Happy 129th Birthday, San Pedro!
    Learn about San Pedro history while enjoying a great day with friends.
    You are welcome to bring a piece of San Pedro history to share or to record a memory in our video booth.
    Time:1 to 4 p.m. March 5
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.sanpedrobayhistoricalsociety.com
    Venue: Muller House, 1542 S. Beacon St., San Pedro

    March 8
    Hack Nights
    Hack the night away with Long Beach’s tech community. Learn a new skill, work on a new or existing project or just build your network.
    Time: 6 to 10 p.m. March 8 and every Wednesday.
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.meetup.com/Uncoded/events
    Venue: Work Evolution, 235 E. Broadway, Long Beach

    March 12
    South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society
    “Under the Spell of Succulents,” deals with how we engage with succulents — growers, collectors, landscaping, container gardens, and niches such as bonsai, crests, and variegation — and is aimed at both the novice and the long-time enthusiast.
    Time: 1 p.m. March 12
    Cost: Free
    Details: southcoastcss.org
    Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula

    March 11
    Bixby A’Bloom Fashion Show
    Nine local boutiques and retail businesses will come together at the Virginia Country Club to promote the Bixby Business Corridor and Los Cerritos area.
    Time: 12 to 4 p.m. March 11
    Cost: $40
    Details: www.loscerritosna.org/events
    Venue: Virginia Country Club, 4602 N. Virginia Road, Long Beach

    March 19
    We Can Swing
    Arts Alive in partnership with People’s Place and Palace, will be hosting the “We Can Swing” Spring Fundraiser.  Celebrate Arts Alive’s 17th birthday.
    Time: 3 to 7 p.m. March 19
    Cost: Free
    Details: kingsandclowns.com
    Venue: People’s Place San Pedro, 365 W. 6th St., San Pedro

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  • REDCAT Stages Expansive Range of Urban Diversity

    • 02/27/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Music
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    A double billed concert with Steve Lehman and Georgia Anne Muldrow at REDCAT, CalArts on Feb.4, presented both esotericism and consciousness in music. It was a sonic excursion, rooted in the wind of Steve Lehman’s alto sax followed by the sage expressions of Georgia Anne Muldrow.

    Lehman is a recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. He is an alto saxophonist, composer and musical scholar. Muldrow comes from a musical family. Her father is the late jazz guitarist, Ronald Muldrow and her mother is Rickie Byars–Beckwith, the musical director of Agape Spiritual Center in Culver City. Muldrow is a poet, singer, producer and conga player.

    Both Lehman and Muldrow stand as original and innovative voices in experimentalism and jazz. This concert was only a piece of the broad range urban of voices in various artistic mediums showcased at REDCAT this season.

    Lehman’s Esotericism

    Steve Lehman, File photo

    Lehman opened, seated only two feet from the audience, offering an up close look at his method with his laptop, electronic board and his alto sax. He briefly explained his process first, then blew various phrases into his instrument as he operated an interactive system called Manifold. His works incorporate detailed programming, live processing, and computer-driven improvisation.

    The system began matching and expanding the resonance from his sax with string sounds to start. The strings became more specific, with recognizable instrumental sounds of the sitar going into keys then expanding further. Simultaneously, Lehman was playing the scales on saxophone.

    This symbiosis evolved into other sounds, drums, various percussion and keys again. Lehman was playing sounds through keys and drum beats more so than songs. He sprinkled in a little bass and clap along with sound bowls from Manifold. He engineered sounds from low to high repetitions, to ongoing instrumental blends into the next reverberation.

    Everyone was vibing to the music as Lehman’s expressions with his system and his sax lifted the audience. The second half became more experimental with musical overlaps, more unfolding and vocals in different languages. It became even more fluid with sounds of water, waves and even static, as Lehman blew straight ahead jazz riffs on his sax. This was a journey in sound with Lehman at the helm.

    Muldrow’s Consciousness

    With about 30 albums, some in multiple versions, Georgia Anne Muldrow is celebrated in soul, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop. She is sought after for her distinctive vocal style, rhythmic production and complex songwriting.

    Entering with a big smile, which she kept all night, Muldrow sang a welcome and thank you to the audience. She was backed by flowing jazz from her five-piece band, including Lehman on sax and a DJ.

    Muldrow’s musical pedigree is apparent and she’s funky, even while she scats. Just as you’re opening to the groove they’re giving, Muldrow lays down some knowledge. In a positive tone, she sang about how Africans, the first people on earth, were taken away to a strange land and lost their names.

    “But I’ll tell you something about God makes me see my children and instantly, a chemical reaction in my brain will save me from my daily rage,” she said.

    Her voice is big, strong and expressive. She also preaches through her repertoire about where we come from, respect, love and humanity and even ideas that some may not or will not hear.

    The groove’s deep bass, rolling melodies and cymbals and drums conjured a cool meditative pace. She said it was the first time they sing this song for the “black mother.”

    “Do you understand what I’m speaking about?” Muldrow asked, referencing the black mother.

    Then answered:

    “The black clouds, that’s the black mother. It has to come from deep somewhere. It’s why black folks use music to survive.”

    She went deeper.

    “A black woman is your mom,” she said. “A black man is your father. That’s why some want to hide it and why they’re killin us.”

    Muldrow shares her love, while conversing with her audience. She praises the artists who have come before her such as, Max Roach and her spiritual mentor, Alice Coltrane.

    Muldrow’s deep, hip-hop and vibrational music is fluid and experimental. She delivers her grace and she wraps it in wisdom.

    “I beg you to invest in what’s real,” she said in a very soft voice. “Don’t die no slave. Put all of God’s nature first. God don’t want no slaves, God wants to see God.”

    Details: www.redcat.org

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  • Aquatic Academy

    Community members are invited to participate in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Aquatic Academy course.

    The class is a four-part education course on climate change and resiliency.
    Time: 7 p.m. March 7, 14, 21 and 28
    Cost: $35 to $50
    Details: (562) 590-3100
    Venue: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach

    Craftsman Village Historic District Tree Planting

    Volunteer to help plant during a weekday tree planting event.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. March 9
    Details: (562) 570-6830

    Community Police Academy

    Apply for the Community Police Academy. This is an informative day of interactive training on topics such as patrol operations, laws of arrest, internal affairs and community engagement.
    Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 11, April 8 and May 6
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 570-7401
    Venue: Disclosed upon application completion

    Mills Act 2017 Application Window Opens

    The City of Long Beach is now accepting applications for the Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program.  The purpose of the Mills Act program is to provide property tax relief to owners of historic properties in exchange for rehabilitation and restoration of these properties.
    The 2017 application window is to March 17.
    The city is hosting two events for property owners to learn about how you may quality and to apply to receive economic incentives for the restoration and preservation of your property.
    Details: (562) 570-6437, www.lbds.info

    Call for Artwork

    The Aquarium of the Pacific will host its annual Urban Ocean Festival on April 29 and 30.

    In partnership with the Arts Council, the Aquarium also holds an annual juried art contest and displays the winning artwork at the festival. Winners are selected in three categories – painting/drawing, photography and sculpture – and receive $500, with one grand prize winner receiving an additional $250. The deadline to submit to the contest is March 31.
    Details: aquariumofpacific.org

    AOC7’s 5th Annual Literacy Fair

    In preparation for AOC7’s 5th Annual Literacy Fair, the group is collecting new and gently used children’s books through April 28.

    Donations locations:

    Neighborhood Resource Center
    100 Broadway, Suite 550

    Lincoln Elementary School
    1175 E. 11th Street

    Mark Twain Library
    1401 E. Anaheim Street

    The Center Long Beach
    2017 E. 4th Street

    Los Angeles Area Chamber Offers Educational Scholarships

    The Los Angeles Area Chamber and the World Trade Week Education Committee are currently seeking applicants and nominations for a series of prestigious available to high school and college students, including the esteemed Stanley T. Olafson Award.

    Award categories and links for submission:

    High School: https://lachamber.com/forms/world-trade-week-2017-high-school-scholarship-application

    University: https://lachamber.com/forms/world-trade-week-2017-college-university-scholarship-application

    Long Beach Launches Online Police Reporting Service

    The public now has the ability to file police reports online for specific types of crimes through Coplogic, a web-based program.

    Victims of particular property crimes will have the ability to file a report for free from any computer or mobile device equipped with Internet service; however, the user must have an email address.

    To file a report, access Coplogic by visiting the Long Beach Police Department’s website at www.longbeach.gov/police and clicking on the Coplogic icon, or through the free “GO LBPD” mobile app available for download at the Apple App Store and at the Google Play Marketplace.

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  • 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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