• RL NEWS update — What didn’t make it to the paper. Oct. 31, 2014

    POLAHS Organize Union
    SAN PEDRO — On Oct. 29, United Teachers Los Angeles announced that 59 teachers and faculty at the Port of Los Angeles High School in San Pedro organized a union with UTLA.
    The teacher’s primary goal is to have a collective voice to ensure an effective learning environment for students. Teachers and faculty will soon begin collective bargaining for wages, hours and conditions of employment at POLAHS.
    POLAHS is a charter school. UTLA represents more than 900 educators at independent charter schools in the Los Angeles area.

    Victory at TraPac
    SAN PEDRO — On Oct. 29, ILWU members returned to work in and around the automated yard on the MOL Matrix.
    ILWU locals 13 and 63 had representatives at TraPac to observe and verify changes agreed to and signed by all parties involved.
    For more than a month, ILWU locals 13, 63 and 94 have had the TraPac automated yard shut down due to health and safety concerns. Locals 13, 63 and 94 demanded that TraPac hand over the system to the ILWU workforce and implement safety protocols and procedures for all aspects of operation. For weeks the Pacific Maritime Association and TraPac refused to acknowledge that the automated yard was unsafe, despite at least 11 collisions. The company refused to give the union full disclosure and work with them to make the automation safe.
    On Oct. 10, the local, working with the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Harbor Department forced TraPac and PMA to agree to a complete system analysis by an independent information technology firm. The third party performed a detailed audit of the automated system’s configuration, access and security features, along with establishing a comprehensive safety and jurisdictional procedures and protocols.
    On Oct. 20, the IT audit firm issued a 62-page forensic analysis report that was delivered to all parties involved. The union was correct. There were 11 major issues and more than 24 related issues that needed to be resolved before longshore, clerks and foremen could return to work.
    TraPac and PMA agreed tall the of the unions demands on Oct. 24.

    Harbor Commission Approves Tariff
    LONG BEACH — On Oct. 27, the Long Beach Harbor Commission unanimously voted to approve an ordinance amending the Port of Long Beach Tariff No. 4 by increasing non-container wharfage rates by 5 percent.
    The Harbor Commission also approved the adoption of an ordinance establishing charges for water and sewer services to certain customers within the Harbor district for fiscal year 2014 to 2015. The commission later authorized the chief executive to execute a change order for $3,026,740 for the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement project.
    Click here for video.

    Schroeder Hall to House Police East Division Substation
    LONG BEACH — On Oct. 24, Long Beach accepted the deed for Schroeder Hall from the U.S. Army Reserve.
    The 4.7 acre facility will be renovated to house the Long Beach Police Department’s East Division Substation.
    Schroeder Hall has been in the the region since 1960. The Army Reserve Center was constructed in 1960 and later dedicated to Maj. Henry F. Schroeder. Maj. Schroeder served in the United States Army and received the Medal of Honor during the Philippine-American War at Carig in the Philippines. Maj. Schroeder joined the Army in July 1896, and permanently retired with the rank of Major in August 1930.
    The current East Division Substation on Los Coyotes Boulevard near the Traffic Circle is undersized and outdated. The new substation will include office space, renovated locker areas, showers, restrooms, and gym facilities, an elevator to provide accessibility for people with disabilities, public waiting and reception areas, and a multi-purpose community room.
    Renovation work is expected to start in early 2015, and finish in time for the Substation to open by the end of the year.
    Schroeder Hall U.S. Army Reserve Center was declared surplus under the 2005 round of the Base Realignment and Closure process, which was designed to increase U.S. military efficiency by reorganizing its bases. The Long Beach City Council and a citizen advisory committee recommended that the site be used for the Long Beach Police Department’s East Division Substation. The U.S. Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development approved a no-cost public benefit conveyance of the facility in 2010, a savings to the Long Beach of more than $3.5 million.
    As part of the process, the city helped Mental Health America acquire a site on Long Beach Boulevard, where they will provide a Healthcare Access program to help homeless people get services they need. The site is located adjacent to a Los Angeles County Mental Health facility.

    City Manager Announces Recruitment Process for LBPD Chief
    LONG BEACH — On Oct. 28, City Manager Pat West announced the process for selecting a new police chief, should a vacancy occur as a result of the Nov. 4, 2014 election.
    The city manager plans to conduct an expedited recruitment process of internal candidates. All Long Beach deputy chiefs and commanders will be eligible to apply for the position, and all interested candidates will be reviewed and interviewed.
    The process will begin immediately following the November election, should it be necessary, and an announcement of a final decision is expected by mid-November to ensure a smooth transition. There is no expectation that an interim chief would be necessary.

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    Abigail Fedalizo

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    Baltazar Fedalizo

    San Pedro Youth Racing in LA Triathlon
    LOS ANGELES — Abigail and Baltazar Fedalizo both San Pedro natives finished second in their age brackets in the 2014 Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon, Sept. 21, in the Super Sprint Not Youth Race.
    The Fedalizo siblings raised money for Fight Autism organization. Abigail, 10, and her brother Baltazar, 9, attend White Point Elementary School in San Pedro. Their coach and mentor Deanne Preyer inspired both to compete in the adult triathlon. Preyer is head coach at the Zenith Aquatics Program in Rancho Palos Verdes.
    “They are a prime example of the ability of our coaching staff to instill a can-do attitude in Abigail and Bali,” Preyer said.
    Abigail and Baltazar’s parents are Gertrudes Fedalizo, a registered nurse at United Healthcare and Baltazar, a senior retired Naval officer and business owner in the biodiesel industry.
    “We try to lead by example with our kids and Baltazar senior a triathlete himself, at a very young age encouraged the kids to swim in the open water at Cabrillo Beach,” Gertrudes said.
    Both children will continue to compete in the local triathlons.

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  • Solidarity Forever, or at Least for Now!

    Understanding which side of the fence you are on

    James Preston Allen, Publisher
    Over the years, some have questioned my support for the local unions of the Harbor Area. In doing so, they have often questioned the very basis for the continued existence of the  unions themselves. They say that unions as a whole are antiquated and a throwback to another time and era in which the lines between management and labor were distinctly drawn. It is said that in this new age of new technologies, those distinctions doesn’t matter.  Even some inside the unions have come to believe such narratives. I do not and here’s why:

    In the past month, the Pacific Maritime Association, which represent the employers on the waterfront, and the TraPac terminal have been pretending that the automation at piers 136-139, for which the Port of Los Angeles paid something north of $150 million, were working just fine. It had just a few IT glitches and a few other kinks that needed to be worked out. What hasn’t been reported anywhere else is that contract negotiations between the International Longshore Warehouse Union and the PMA have been stalled as a result of Local 13, 63, and 94 refusing to work this terminal—an impasse that affects all port operations on the entire West Coast.

    “For weeks, TraPac and PMA refused to even acknowledge that the automated yard was unsafe, despite at least eleven collisions during this time period. Rather than give the union full disclosure and work with the union to make the automation safe, the employers attempted to bully the union and threatened us with lawsuits and lockouts,”  says the ILWU in an Oct. 27 released bulletin. The weeks-long closed door negotiations were never admitted to by the union, PMA, the mayor’s office and only obliquely referred to by the Port of Los .Angeles.

    On Oct. 10, the ILWU locals working with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and the port got TraPac to agree that the automated terminal was unsafe and pressured the terminal to hire an independent third party information technology firm to audit the system.

    According to the  bulletin, the third party IT audit firm issued  an independent, comprehensive 62-page forensic analysis report  on Oct. 20 that confirmed that the union was correct in its assertion that the automated yard was unsafe and mismanaged.

    On Oct. 24, TraPac and the PMA agreed to all of the union’s demands, which included giving the union the complete “Operating Procedure” for automated operations. The Operating Procedure also included additional safety protocols for ILWU Mechanics, Longshoremen, Marine Clerks and Foremen. The three locals stuck together and attained everything that they were fighting for and returned to work October 29.

    This is an example, not only of how labor needs to address new technologies that are somehow going to move containers more efficiently, regardless of the safety impacts. This is an example for the rest of the Los Angeles Harbor community of how through working together in solidarity we can address the big issues in dealing with the port,  the city or large corporations who wish to bully or intimidate residents.

    Now I’m not saying that the ILWU is perfect. Our past reporting has shown that they too have their flaws, but at least this new leadership at this time still remembers which side of the fence they are on. At its best, the ILWU fights for the very ideals emblazoned on their wall, “An Injury to one is an injury to all.”

    At its worst, it gets lost in the petty inside politics of its own hierarchy. It is something that all working people should remember when they go to the polls Nov. 4. You can only have a significant voice against powerful interests with pockets deep enough drown you in political propaganda every two years if you stick together and vote your own true interests. Don’t get stuck arguing over the stupid stuff.

    My recommendations on the propositions:

    Yes on 1 and 2. It only makes sense to conserve on water and to create an $8 billion reserve fund.

    Yes on 45. This proposition places the power to review health care insurance rates on the hands of the elected insurance commissioner like what was passed by prop. 103 with car insurance.

    Yes on 46 If bus drivers and longshoremen have to have drug testing why not health care professional? Don’t believe all the negative campaign scare mongering on the increase of medical malpractice.

    Yes on 47. This common sense restructuring of criminal sentencing reverses the decades long policy that prioritizes incarceration over education and rehabilitation.

    Prop. 48. I would normally vote against this expansion of casinos. However, this is a one time exception for two particular tribes that has already been approved by both the Governor and the legislature, this time I’ll vote Yes.

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  • Scouting for Public Land:

    Port Opens Bids for State Lands Property

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor
    Responding to a wave of community outrage the Port of Los Angeles recently extended its request for proposals from entities to lease a land at 3000 Shoshonean Road land, near Fort MacArthur.

    The Neighborhood Council Port Affairs Committee asked that the proposal be sent immediately to the appropriate people on the on the port committees of each of the Harbor Area’s neighborhood councils.

    The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council and the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council made motion resolutions calling on the port to open the pre-proposal meeting to the public, asking for a community representative on the evaluation committee who would be selected by the neighborhood councils via the Neighborhood Councils Port Advisory Committee and calling on Councilman Joe Buscaino and the Harbor Commissioner to assist the neighborhood councils in securing port cooperation with a community initiative to make the land more accessible to the public by making it an open facility.

    The RFP for the site was originally due Nov. 20, but calls from stakeholders to include community input have resulted in the extension of the deadline by at least 30 days. The port opened the bidding process on Oct. 7. (more…)

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  • Trouble on the Iowa Part III

    Casino Politics in Iowa and the Battleship’s Directors

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
    In the second installment of the Trouble on the Iowa series, Random Lengths recounted both the well documented series of events as well as some of the untold back story that ultimately brought the USS Iowa to San Pedro.

    In that story, the rival Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square group in Vallejo, Robert Kent (aka Robert Daniels), Jonathan Williams were the dominant figures, we told their stories against the backdrop that was a perfect storm of political circumstances—a backdrop upon which Kent masterfully created a grassroots movement that brought the USS Iowa to San Pedro.

    As a result of the story, a number of volunteers, both former and current, reached out to the newspaper to share their experiences working on the Battleship Iowa. Those experiences also included questions about the khaki pants wearing officers and head honchos steering the ship—management types from somewhere beyond Southern California.

    (more…)

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  • Einstein!: A Portrait Of A Man We Know Too Little About

    By John Farrell

    Can you name one Nobel-Prize-winner of the last century, of any century, who has been immortalized as a Chia Pet?

    One great scientist who is remembered by millions for sticking his tongue out at a photographer? One who is known more for the unruly hair-style on his head than for what he had inside that head?

    Yes, that’s Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, Zionist, pacifist, violinist, whose most famous formula, “E=mc2, is just about all most people know about him. His theory of relativity has created the modern world, everything from space travel to the cell phone in your pocket, but even many current physicists can’t quite understand Einstein’s theories of light, of gravity, of time, and things he spent years thinking about, including a Unified Field Theory. (Those of you who know what that is: congratulations!)

    Einstein is a figure so divorced from reality that it is hard to know him. He had a charming side, disingenuous, humorous and even playful, but he also was one of the fathers of the A-bomb.

    Who was this man, how did he live and love? That’s what Jack Fry shows us in his one man show Einstein!, currently at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. (It was taken on a six-city tour to Canada earlier this year.) (more…)

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  • Dark Alliance

    By Lionel Rolfe

    I surprised myself by how much the movie “Kill the Messenger” affected me. I hadn’t gone to it expecting that it would upset me. I wasn’t a close friend of Gary Webb, the journalist whose story the movie was based on. But I had made a couple of calls at his request, trying to get him a job. He was desperate after the San Jose Mercury-News dropped him when he published his powerful series, “Dark Alliance.”

    At the end of the ‘60s, I did a stint as a police reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle—and then in 1981 Chronicle Books published my book Literary L.A. and in the mid-‘90s I wrote a few op-ed columns for the paper.
    (more…)

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  • RLn THEATER: Oct. 23, 2014

    Oct. 25
    Hocus Pocus
    Watch a free movie at Peck Park in San Pedro. Round up the family;  bring you’re your blanket, beach chair, pack a picnic and join the fun.
    Details: http://nwsanpedro.org
    Venue: Peck Park
    Location: 560 N. Western Ave., San Pedro

    Nov. 1
    Pink Milk
    The Garage Theatre presents Pink Milk, through Nov. 1, in Long Beach
    Pink Milk is about a strange, mathematical man named Alan M. Turing. He dreamed of robots, a boy named Christopher and poisoned apples. It is a magic tragedy, full of beauty, images exploding onstage, and a belief in love and truth above all else.
    Details: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/553
    Venue: Garage Theatre
    Location: 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach

    Nov. 1
    Kidnapped for Christ
    Art Theatre Long Beach presents Kidnapped for Christ, showing at 9 p.m. Nov. 1, in Long Beach.
    The film follows a young evangelical filmmaker who is granted unprecedented access into a controversial Christian behavior modification camp for teens.
    Pre-screening public awareness/press conference at 8 p.m. at The Center Long Beach.
    Venue: Art Theatre
    Location: 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    Nov. 8
    Arms and the Man
    Enjoy Arms and the Man, Nov. 8 through Dec. 6 at the Long Beach Playhouse.
    It is 1885, the height of the Serbo-Bulgarian war. An armed soldier breaks into a young woman’s bedroom and demands refuge.  These events set in motion a witty look at governmental posturing, infidelity, social structures, and the passionate pursuit of chocolate creams. Watch as national and moral borders blur in this brilliant comedy of manners.
    Details: (562) 494-1014
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse
    Location: 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach
     
    Nov. 16
    Big Fish
    Musical Theatre West is reeling in the West Coast premiere of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Big Fish, a new musical, through Nov. 16, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.
    Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed Columbia Pictures film directed by Tim Burton, the musical adaptation of Big Fish  made a splash on Broadway when five-time Tony Award winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman (The Producers, The Scottsboro Boys) teamed with music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) to develop the new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
    Tickets start at $20.
    Details: (562) 856-1999, ext. 4; www.musical.org
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center
    Location: 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach

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  • Harbor Division Gang Unit Raid Marijuana Collective in Connection with Oct. 19 Shooting

    [portfolio_slideshow id=8172]

    On Oct. 23, the Los Angeles Harbor Division gang unit raided Star Buds marijuana collective in San Pedro at 128 S Pacific Avenue in connection with a shooting that took place Oct. 19. Click the link to listen to Random Lengths News photographer and field reporter Philip Cook’s interview officer Lt. McKeckney at the scene of the raid.

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  • Ceasar: The Culmination of 15 years at Casa 0101

    By John Farrell

    It is a dream come true, but it took 15 years to be realized.

    Playwright Josefina López (Real Women have Curves) started the Casa 0101 theater in her Boyle Heights neighborhood 15 years ago with some of her college scholarship.

    The theater has grown with the neighborhood. When it was first opened in a little store-front its success was problematic. More than a decade later the neighborhood on First Street in Boyle Heights has changed: the Metro Gold Line goes to a station two blocks away, the Boyle Heights City Hall is at the other end of the block and a very modern police station is across the street from the new theater premises. (The old Casa 0101 is still used for smaller productions, but the new theater, with an art gallery in the lobby, is state of the art.)

    But that success was only part of the dream. López, Mexican immigrant, grew up with the classics. She always wanted to bring Shakespeare to her community. The opening night of Shakepeare’s Julius Caesar fulfilled that dream. Directed by Robert Beltrán, it features a mostly Latino cast in the tragedy, but with more than few differences. Brutus, Lucius and Antony are played by young women actors and the play is set ambiguously in a world that can be seen as Roman or thought of as contemporary. (more…)

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  • RLn Community Events: Oct. 22, 2014

    Oct. 25
    Pumpkin Decorating Contest
    The Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum will host an annual pumpkin decorating contest from 1-3 p.m.  Participants will be provided with tools to participate as well as the ability to create their own Halloween mask and candy carrying bag. Admission is free. Open to all ages.
    Details: www.dominguezrancho.org.
    Venue: Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
    Location: 18127 S. Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez
     
    Oct. 26
    5th Annual Long Beach Farm Dinner
    The Growing Experience Urban Farm will offer a multi-course meal showcasing seasonal autumn harvest foods. The event highlights foods grown using sustainable methods and features meals form chefs around Los Angeles.
    Details: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/879349
    Venue: The Growing Experience Urban Farm
    Location: 750 Via Carmelitos, Long Beach, CA

    Oct. 30
    CSU Dominguez Hills Talk on Upton Sinclair 1934
    In conjunction with the November 2014 elections and an ongoing exhibition on campus, “Citizen Sinclair: Upton Sinclair–American Provocateur,” the University Library at California State University, Dominguez Hills presents author and journalist Greg Mitchell discussing muckraker Upton Sinclair’s 1934 run for Governor of California and the evolution of the modern political campaign.
    Details: (310) 243-3895
    Venue: CSUD University Library, fifth floor
    Location: 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    Oct.31
    Halloween at the East Village
    The East Village will host events including trick or treating, face painting, bag decorating, ghost stories and more. There will be costume contests starting at 5 p.m. for children, adults and dogs.
    Venue: East Village Arts District
    Location: Near First Street at Linden Avenue, Long Beach

    Nov. 1
    Día De Los Muertos
    Join in the celebration of San Pedro’s Día de Los Muertos Festival from 5 to 11 p.m. Nov. 1, in downtown San Pedro. The streets come alive with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment.
    Venue: Downtown San Pedro
    Location: Between 6th and Mesa streets, San Pedro,

    Nov. 1
    Annual Horror Ball
    The Rho Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi presents the first  Horror Ball. A runway fundraising event for the Trevor Project will take place. Participants are invited to walk the runway for prizes if the come in costume. Event begins at 8 p.m.
    Venue: California State University, Long Beach
    Location: 1250 N Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

    Free Motion Quilting  Techniques  
    Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles is hosting a free Motion Quilting techniques class from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Nov. 1.
    This quilting technique is drawing on fabric with a sewing machine needle.
    The fee to attend the class will be $55. It is required you bring your own sewing machine, but all materials will be provided.
    Details:(310) 732-1270; www.craftedportla.com
    Venue: Crafted, Port of Los Angeles
    Location: 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro

    Día De Los Muertos Crafts
    Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles is hosting Día De Los Muertos crafts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 1.
    Participants  will paint a decorative Dia De Los  Muertos skull onto a mason jar.
    Details: (310) 732-1270; www.craftedportla.Com
    Venue: Crafted, Port of Los Angeles
    Location: 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro

    Nov. 4
    Teen Game Day
    The San Pedro Library is holding a teen game day at 4 p.m., Nov. 4.
    Teens can come to the library to play Xbox and other board games.
    The library is hosting this every Tuesday of this month and subsequently.
    Details: (310) 548-7779; www.lapl.org
    Venue: San Pedro Library
    Location: 931 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro

    Nov. 4
    Baby You are My Religion
    Marie Cartier will be signing her book Baby You are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology before Stonewall behind St. Matthew’s Parish Hall. Women interviewed for the book will present and signing as well. This event is free and open to all.
    Details: (562) 439-0931
    Venue: St. Matthew’s Church
    Location: 672 Temple Ave., Long Beach

    Bottle Cap Crafts
    Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles will conduct a class on making bottle cap crafts from 1 to 6 p.m., Nov. 7.
    Learn how to create custom earrings, magnets and more with bottle caps.
    Details: (310) 732-1270; www.craftedport.com
    Venue: Crafted, Port   of Los Angeles
    Location: 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro

    Nov. 8
    The Festival  2014
    Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles is hosting The Festival 2014, by the Shelton Brothers and Brouwerij West from 12 to 9 p.m., Nov. 8 and 9.
    The festival is a celebration of craft beer, cider and mead makers.
    Admission is $5 for five tickets, or $20 for 24. A ticket will get you a 2 oz. pour.
    A portion of the ticket sales will go to the non-profit Sharefest, which is an organization that works on developing youths.
    Details:(310) 732-1270; www.craftedportla.Com
    Venue: Crafted, Port  of  Los  Angeles
    Location: 112  E. 22nd  St., San  Pedro

    Nov. 8
    18thAnnual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade and Festival
    The parade starts at 10am from the corner of Harding & Atlantic, adjacent to Houghton Park. The Festival follows immediately after featuring live music, food and a number of booths showcasing City services and organizations.
    Location: Corner of Harding and Atlantic, Long Beach

    Nov. 9
    Lynda Arnold at Long Beach Time Exchange
    Sound Healer and Musician Lynda Arnold will play at the Long Beach Time Exchange. The first part of the session will be a group toning or singing experience with guided imagery that will rejuvenate and balance the body’s energy centers. In the second part of the session, Lynda will play her set of 14 Healing Tibetan Singing Bowls, chimes, tuning forks, flutes, voice and shruti box to help guide everyone in a relaxing music meditation.
    Venue: Building Healthy Communities
    Location: 920 Atlantic Ave., Suite 102, Long Beach

    Nov. 16
    Salt Marsh Open House
    Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium educators and Coastal Park Naturalist as they help uncover the world of mud and water that is our local wetland.  The salt marsh help educate people about the local native plants and animals.
    Details: www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org.
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro

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