• Trouble on the Iowa

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    That the USS Iowa is open for the third consecutive year in the Los Angeles Harbor is a victory in itself.

    The floating museum exceeded the Port of Los Angeles’ expectations of 188,000 visitors per year in its first two years, drawing more than 200,000 visitors each year. In 2013, it topped out at 244,000.

    This year, the downtown plaza watercut opened just ahead of the festival of TallShips lead by a giant rubber duck. That  festival drew more than 270,000 visitors during the last three weeks of this summer.

    However, this year’s numbers for the battleship museum are down from the first two years. Despite the summer activity on the waterfront those numbers are still within the expectations of Jonathan Williams, the Pacific Battle Center’s president and CEO. (more…)

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  • Transforming Feminisms

    “Big Attitude” by Bronwyn M. Towle is part of the Transforming Feminisms exhibition at the South Bay Contemporary Gallery. Courtesy Photo”Big Attitude” by Bronwyn M. Towle is part of the Transforming Feminisms exhibition at the South Bay Contemporary Gallery. Courtesy Photo

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    South Bay Contemporary Gallery continues their series of outstanding exhibitions with a new show titled, Transforming Feminisms, a group show featuring 29 artists.

    Addressing the many stages and definitions of feminism, gallery owner and curator Peggy Zask has again demonstrated a clear vision for her art space, formerly known as Zask Gallery.

    Organized feminism began in the Western world in the mid 19th century and has gone through three waves.
    Although it developed out of the anti-slavery movement, first-wave feminism was oriented around the station of middle- or upper-class white women. It involved suffrage and political equality. In the 20th century, second-wave feminism attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities. Now, third-wave feminism continues to address the financial, social and cultural inequalities, adding a renewed campaigning for the greater influence of women in politics and media.

    The exhibition is a strong display of ‘intersectional feminism.’ The term, which Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw first coined, states that “women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”

    “There is a third movement of feminism that is focusing more on global issues,” Zask said. “The right to choose, equal pay and abuse are the three topics that have not been resolved.”

    The artists participating in this exhibit represent almost every aspect of American culture and society: Jewish, African-American, Chinese, Samoan, Latina, male, female and transgender. All come together to offer their definition of feminism.

    The timely topics that Zask has chosen are as much by fate as by choice. Our news is full of horrific stories of domestic violence around the globe. Women and children are murdered on the street and in their own homes on a daily basis. In 2012 the story of Malia Yousafzai, shot on a school bus in Pakistan, inspired the women’s movement globally.

    Recent reports of NFL player Ray Rice’s assault on his fiancee and Adrian Petersons disturbing punishment of his 4-year-old child have brought domestic violence into the public discussion of culture and abuse. The U.S. Supreme Court’s questionable decision in the case of Hobby Lobby’s protest to provide birth control for employees affirmed the ongoing controversy over reproductive rights, 58 years after the development of the pill. All of these things are reminders that the struggle continues.

    “I am a curator who goes into territory, which is not clear or may be in flux and change,” said Zask, defining her role. ”In contemporary art, I do not begin to think my perspective or knowledge is more important and do not want to influence the artists, only help them to express their ideas on the subject … the answers and nature of the exhibition is what the artists create.”

    A series of questions were sent to all the artists participating in the exhibit, in an effort to ensure that each artist speaks for themselves. The list of questions included:
     Your personal definition of feminism
     Your personal definition of power
     Your personal definition of agency
     Why you identify, or do not identify as a feminist

    The responses are as varied as the individual artists.

    Video artist Yoshie Sakai, says she is an ‘undercover feminist.’ Her video is about her Japanese-American family, who was in an internment camp during World War ll. Years later, her family ended up owning a liquor store. The family’s patriarch insisted that a male heir take over KOKO’s Liquor Store.

    Hatsuko Mary Higuchi’s art also visits her family’s history of internment during the war. Her watercolor, “Sayonara Oksan,” is a deeply personal collage of the generation that chose to remain silent and rebuild their lives following their release from the internment camp. Higuchi was imprisoned, along with her entire family at the age of three. Upon reentry to American life, she never heard the topic addressed in school or at home. Women are credited in her paintings with an extraordinary and unsung role for keeping the families together during and after they were released from the internment camps.

    “Mary’s mission is to bring it out, to talk about it,” Zask said.

    Painter Bronwyn M. Towle submits a full-figured nude titled, “Big Attitude,” epitomizing a large confident woman. Towle is a third-generation Chinese-American and a feminist. Disturbing stories from China of the abandonment of female children due to the One Child Law influenced Towle. Families would leave female infants to die under trees, preferring a male child to perpetuate the family name.

    Artist Anna Rodriguez went from the small community of Maywood, Calif. to earn a masters degree in fine arts from Otis College of Art and Design. As a first generation Mexican-American she observed the differences in the choices available to her versus her female cousins growing up in Mexico. She defines power as the determination to follow your own path without the interferences of others. Feminism is being able to look back in time and appreciate the struggle and fight for what is yet to be done, she said.

    A few of the artists state that they do not identify as feminists, but rather see a world where respect and human rights exist equally for all people.

    Zask noted that the the original concept for the exhibition was about women’s identity, not feminism. In the discussion they concluded that the third wave of feminism has changed the way women view their needs and priorities.

    “As I began talking to the artists involved, I realized that feminism means simply believing in yourself as a woman” said Zask. “I have never identified as a feminist either. The whole idea for the title ‘Transforming Feminisms’ came from the discussions we had before the exhibit.”

    Many of the artists noted that the reality of women in the arts is that needs to represent their lives. The challenges women in the arts face is similar to challenges women face in almost any profession. Marriage, family and child rearing often interfere with professional development, and that brings with it the whole package of gender discrimination.

    The voices calling for an end to the oppression of women around the globe have become impossible to ignore. In the exhibition catalog Christy Roberts Berkowitz quotes Schumacher, a member of the Russian music group Pussy Riot: “There are two reasons why we frighten people. The first thing is that we’re a feminist, female group with no men connected to it, and the second is that we don’t have leaders… Russia has always linked the idea of leadership with some man or other, who can control things, and control women.”

    South Bay Contemporary will be hosting a round-table discussion for artists in the exhibition who will be discussing women’s issues in our global culture and how art plays a role in expression of these issues and ideas. Audience questions and participation will be invited. A discussion with the artists in the exhibit is scheduled for Sat., Oct. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. The talk will be moderated by feminist scholar, Catherine Scott.

    Peggy Zask will be moving her South Bay Contemporary Gallery from Palos Verdes to The Loft Gallery space in downtown San Pedro at the beginning of 2015. A non-profit has been formed to support her vision of engaging the community in the relevance of contemporary art. This is exciting news for downtown San Pedro as we look forward to her vibrant exhibition schedule participating in the First Thursday Art Walk.
    Details: Transforming Feminism
    Venue: South Bay Contemporary Gallery
    Location: 550 Deep Valley Drive, #261, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

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    Sept. 27
    Gabriel Johnson
    Gabriel Johnson will perform, starting 8 p.m. Sept. 27, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Johnson has been very active in the studio scene and has played or recorded with a wide variety of musicians and bands. Cover is $20.
    Details: (800) 403-3447; WEBSITE
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Sept. 27
    The All American Boys Chorus
    The Battleship Iowa is proud to present the extraordinary voices of the All American Boys Chorus, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 27.
    Internationally acclaimed, the All American Boys Chorus has performed to standing ovations in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as on 40-plus tours in the USA and Canada.
    Cost is $20.
    Details: www.pacificbattleship.com/event/detail/204
    Venue: Battleship Iowa
    Location: 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro
    Sept. 28
    The Chris Dundas Group CD Release Party
    The Chris Dundas Group is having its CD release party, starting at 6 p.m. Sept. 28, at Alvas Showroom. Cover is $20.
    Details: 800) 403-3447; WEBSITE
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 3
    Thom Rotella 4tet
    The Thom Rotella 4tet will perform, at 8 p.m. Oct. 3, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 3
    Ceora Winds
    Ceora Winds performs, at 12:15 p.m. Oct. 3, at the First Lutheran Church in Torrance.
    The members of Ceora Winds have played chamber music together for 10 years, performing throughout Southern California and across the country.
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/BachsLunchtime.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church
    Location: 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance
    Oct. 4
    John York
    John York will perform, at 8 p.m. Oct. 4, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 4
    Susie Glaze & Hilonesome Band
    The Grand Annex presents Susie Glaze & Hilonesome Band, starting at 8 p.m. Oct. 4.
    Winner of the Just Plain Folks Music Award, Susie Glaze & Hilonesome band properly deliver folk-inspired stories of love, tragedy and fate.
    Admission is $25.
    Details: (310) 833-4813 www.grandannex.org
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    Oct. 4
    Something’s Funny at the Warner Grand
    Something’s Funny at the Warner Grand. Check it out. Something’s Funny at the Warner Grand is a monthly show featuring four of some of the funniest stand up comedians working. The next show takes place at 8 p.m. Oct. 5.
    Tickets are $10 and $15.
    Details: Tix.com
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre
    Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 5
    Portia Caeli Chamber Players
    The Portia Caeli Chamber Players are scheduled to perform, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, at the Warner Grand.
    It will be a night of beautiful classical and contemporary music that everyone will appreciate and enjoy!  General admission is $15 cash at the door.
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre
    Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    Oct. 5
    King Washington
    King Washington will perform, at 4 p.m. Oct. 5, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 10
    Richard Sherman Trio
    The Richard Sherman Trio will perform, at 8 p.m. Oct. 10, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Oct. 12
    Andy Waddell Quintet
    The Andy Waddell Quintet will perform, at 4 p.m. Oct. 12, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 17
    Kei Akagi & Jason Harnell Duo
    The Kei Akagi & Jason Harnell Duo will perform, at 8 p.m. Oct. 17, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    Oct. 10
    Dustbowl Revival
    Throughout October 2014, the Grand Annex presents four installments of the Annex Jazz Festival.
    The fun starts at, at 8 p.m. on Oct. 10, when the Grand Annex presents the Dustbowl Revival.  Awarded the “Best Live Band in LA” in 2013, the band is quickly rising on the folk charts.  Known for their energetic live sets, the Dustbowl Revival merges jug-band, gospel, swamp blues and the hot swing of the 1930s to form a spicy roots cocktail.
    Admission is $25.
    Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandannex.org
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Oct. 11
    Matt Gordy
    The Grand Annex presents Matt Gordy, a Los Angeles-based drummer, percussionist, composer, and arranger, at 8 p.m. Oct. 11.
    He returns with his sextet to the Annex stage after a tour in China, leading up the U.S. Jazz Delegation at the Changsha Music Festival.
    Admission is $25.
    Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandannex.org
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    Oct. 17
    Grace Kelly
    The fun continues, at 8 p.m. Oct. 27, with Grace Kelly at the Grand Annex.
    A saxophone player since the age of 10, Grace Kelly has hit the jazz world by storm.
    Admission is $25.
    Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandannex.org
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: Sept. 26, 2014

    Sept. 27
    Overturn Citizens United
    The Environmental Priorities Network invites you to attend a public forum on “Overturn Citizens United,” which will take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 27, at the Pacific Unitarian Church.
    Three outstanding speakers will discuss how we can strengthen our democracy and reclaim it from corporate dominance.  They are Michael Tucker, a coordinator for Move to Amend.  John Smith, a Southern California Common Cause organizer, and Alison Hartson, a California State Director of Wolf PAC.
    Details: (310) 545-1384; lklight@verizon.net
    Venue: Pacific Unitarian Church
    Location: 5621 Montemalaga Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Sept. 27
    Prescription Drug Collection
    The Long Beach Police Department is participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Pharmaceutical Take-Back initiative, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 27, at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.
    This initiative seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft through the collection of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The event will offer a drive-thru service that is free and anonymous. The driver of the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th participating vehicle will be awarded a pair of Aquarium of the Pacific tickets.
    Details: (562) 570-7221; www.dea.gov (more…)

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  • RL NEWS Update: Sept. 26, 2014

    Arson Suspect Arrested

    LONG BEACH — Twenty-three-year-old Bryan Zuelke was arrested Sept. 23 on suspicion of arson.

    Zuelke, a Long Beach resident, is suspect of setting fire to a restaurant on the 200 block of East Pacific Coast Highway on the early morning hours of July 28. The fire cased more than $250,000 in damage. No one was injured in the fire.

    Long Beach Police Department detectives arrested in the 700 block of Cherry Avenue. He is being held at the Long Beach Jail on $200,000 bail.

    Anyone who may have information regarding this case is urged to call (562) 570-2529. or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.


    Hotel Workers to Get Minimum Wage Hike

    LOS ANGELES — On Sept. 23, the Los Angeles City Council approved, 12-3, to approve a minimum wage hike for hotel employees. (more…)

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  • San Pedro Tri-Arts Festival Builds Dance Mecca in Los Angeles

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

    Louise Reichlin is bringing back the San Pedro Tri Arts Festival for its eighth year, on Sept. 27. But after three years since taking the helm of the festival, it’s becoming clearer that she is attempting to turn this festival into vehicle that can add dance to the Los Angeles clout as cultural center.

    Since the founder, Joe Caccavella ,died in 2012, the festival has been growing, evolving and drawing in top flight performance arts partners in the community. In previous years, one could expect to see a lot of different artists that were similar to each other and little different from previous years.

    These past two years we have seen more high quality and more diverse talent than has been seen in San Pedro. Reichlin said as much.

    “In terms of diversity, we have grown,” Reichlin said. “ We have added a dance troupe and have one less music group this year.”

    Reichlin brought back some top shelf dance troupes such as the widely known Lula Washington Dance Theatre and the Ruby Karen Project/Orange County Aerial Arts. But she has also invited some new companies such as the APA Repertory Ensemble and Ballet Folklorico Pasion de Mi Tierra/Gabriel Avila. (more…)

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: Sept. 24, 2014

    Sept. 27
    National Public Lands Day
    Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy invites you to National Public Lands Day, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 27, at White Point Nature Preserve.
    Help plant and water native plants, repair garden trails and signage and clean native plants seeds.
    Details: (310) 541-7613; www.pvplc.org
    Venue: White Point Nature Preserve
    Location:  1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro
    Sept. 27
    The Healing Exchange
    The Healing Exchange is a benefit to raise funds for children with cancer, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 26 at Little Rec Park, in Long Beach
    Venue: Little Rec Park
    Location: 4900 E.7th St., Long Beach (more…)

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  • POLA Fire Contained, Smoke Impacts Linger

    Photos by Betty Guevara

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor
    Officials said that the origin and cause of the Sept. 22 Port of Los Angeles fire on Berths 177 and 179, but some damage is yet to be determined.

    “We are still way too early to determine any type of estimate,” said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman, Capt. Jaime Moore.

    The good news was that no one was injured during the fire.

    Arson investigators determined that workers in the area were doing a soldering operation. The welding caused the fire. The fire spread because of timber impregnated with creosote. The wharf was about 50 by 800 feet. (more…)

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  • RL NEWS Updates: Sept. 22, 2014

    LBPD Needs Help in Fatal Hit-and-Run
    LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Police Department is still looking for the public’s help with information relating to a fatal hit-and-run collision that took place, at about 12:11 a.m. Sept. 13, near Sprint Street and Studebaker Road.
    The victim, 20-year-old Daniel Gomez of Long Beach, was struck by a vehicle as he attempted to cross Spring Street.
    Through their investigation, detectives were able to determine that the vehicle involved in the collision is a 2011-2014 silver metallic Honda Fit.
    As a result of the collision, the vehicle may have sustained damage to the front driver’s side consisting of dents to the front bumper and hood, a broken driver’s side head lamp, a broken or missing driver’s side mirror housing and possibly a broken windshield.
    Anyone with information regarding the identity of the driver or who recognizes the vehicle description is urged to come forward and call (562) 570-7355 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org. (more…)

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  • Twelfth Night Is One Laugh After Another

    By John Farrell

    Twelfth Night is probably Shakespeare’s funniest play.

    Maybe that is because, unlike his other comedies, it is really about nothing in particular.

    It is just a simple and wholly improbable situation, a mysterious island nation that doesn’t (and pretty well couldn’t) exist, and an awful lot of jokes and comic situations. The situations have more crotch grabbing and hip-thrusting than you might expect.

    (If you read up on Shakespeare you’ll discover that that kind of comedy was his forte: only in modern productions has it been cut back because Shakespeare has become, well, sacred.)

    What You Will is the play’s secondary title, and that means “Have at You” is the Elizabethan vernacular. Gregory Cohen directs the new production at Long Beach Playhouse’s Studio Theatre which opened Sept. 6, and he takes that title — pardon us — seriously. This is as fast-paced and hilarious as Twelfth Night gets, with one joke, one funny sequence, one naughty sequence, piled on top of another, fast-paced, direct and effective, with so many laughs the audience never knew when to stop laughing.

    The story is about Viola, (Paige Sherman,) a young woman whose ship is wrecked. Her identical twin brother probably drowned. She comes ashore in Illyria and very soon decides to masquerade as a man and marry the Duke, Orsino (Mikel Wills).

    She assumes the identity of Cesario, and becomes the go-between for Orsino and his love, Olivia (Ani Maderosian). Olivia, of course, falls for Cesario too.

    Along the way Viola has to deal with that and Olivia’s uncle Sir Toby Belch (Dean Figone as a bigger-than-life drunk) and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, (the very mousy, slightly gay and over-the-top hilarious Leigh Hayes).

    And then, there is Malvolio (John Byrd), a dour character who you know will have the wool firmly pulled over his head by Maria (Loren McJannett-Taylor). There are many ways to analyze this comedy, but who cares? Leave analysis for Freudians and enjoy the very obvious sexual jokes, like the yellow stockings Malvolio dons, along with a huge cod-piece, when he thinks he gets a love letter from Olivia. Or the way Viola inflames Olivia’s love. (Is she a he or a she in Olivia’s mind?)

    The only slightly sane one in the character mix is the court jester Feste (Alex Shewchuk). Yes, he is sane and sometimes even sensible, but he has a great time making everyone else the butt of his jokes and their own lack of common sense. He has a great deal of fun getting Sir Toby and Sir Andrew in a fight with Antonio (Ramon Ochoa), the long lost brother, and even more fun when Malvolio is arrested for madness. Well, yes, he is guilty, sort of, but in this crowd who isn’t?

    There is real love here, but it is trumped or at least equaled by the physical lust everyone seems to have.

    “If music is the food of love,” as the play says in its first line, it’s tunefulness is soon forgotten (as are the frequent appearances of Amanda Hillig and Steven Shane as musicians whose services are needed less and less as the evening proceeds) as the frenzy increases. Only in the play’s last song, a titillating tale of man’s sexual life, is the music restored.

    From Sir Andrew’s entrance through the audience to Malvolio’s scream exit, return and second exit, the audience laughed and enjoyed Shakespeare’s most inspired nonsense. You’ll have a great time, too, with this Shakespearean foolishness.

    Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors, $12 for students. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through Oct. 4.

    Details: (562) 230-0564www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre
    Location: 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach


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