Friday, August 29, 2008

Monetary Change: Parking Meter Fees Going Up

Stash more coins in your glove compartment. L.A.’s parking meters are getting hungrier this fall.

Under the terms of a citywide increase, meters that previously cost 25 cents an hour – including those in downtown San Pedro – will go up to $1 an hour effective sometime after September 1.

Meters in certain areas of downtown L.A. will climb to $4 an hour.

Read more about the city ordinance in last month’s Los Angeles Times story.

Social Change: S.P. Democrats Cheer Obama

San Pedro Democrats applaud Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.

Members of the San Pedro Democratic Club gathered to watch Sen. Barack Obama accept the presidential nomination Thursday.

“It was great to be part of one of the many nomination night parties here in San Pedro and celebrate this historic night,” said club president David Greene.

“Barack Obama once again showed that Democratic values are American values and John McCain the Republican leadership are using slick marketing to sell fear and a broken promise.”

Steve Goldsmith of San Pedro was among the members who attended the viewing party, held at Bagels Galore. As a young political activist, Goldsmith attended the 1963 march on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Forty-five years later to the day, Goldsmith watched history being made again as Obama accepted the party’s nomination.

Democrat Steve Goldsmith (left) and club president David Greene.

“Obama’s statement of change was just as inspiring,” said Goldsmith. “Both leaders were and are dedicated to bringing more people into the political process to make positive changes.”

Friday’s Daily Breeze story “Obama raises hopes in South Bay” contains additional reaction from Pat Nave and Bob Farrell of San Pedro.

Angels Gate School Opponents Campaign Online

Residents opposed to construction of a public high school at Angels Gate have launched a website ahead of this week’s meeting about the proposed school.

On its home page, Neighbors Organized and Involved to Support Education (NOISE) is encouraging the community to attend the L.A. school district’s Sept. 4 hearing.

The purpose of the meeting is to hear public comment on the draft environmental impact report for the proposed marine magnet high school. Drafts of the school design will also be presented.

The hearing takes place at 6 p.m. at Barton Hill Elementary School, 423 N. Cabrillo Ave. For more information, call the school district at (800) 704-1267.

Happening this Week

Last week, San Pedro News previewed some early September events, which now top the agenda for this week:

Labor Day March
Union workers from the Harbor Area and beyond will march through Wilmington on Monday, Labor Day.

City Controller to Speak Sept. 4
LA City Controller Laura Chick will visit San Pedro to discuss the nitty-gritty of the controller’s watchdog function, namely audits of city government.

San Pedro homeowners’ organizations are hosting Chick’s Sept. 4 talk, which is expected to detail the recent audit of the city’s emergency response plan.

Representatives of the grassroots group Community Outreach Promoting Safety and Security will be on hand to draw attention to a Sept. 20 emergency preparedness fair at Ken Malloy Park in Harbor City. (6:30 p.m. at the LA County Senior & Community Center, 769 W. Third Street. Call 310-251-7075).

First Thursday: Jazzed for Politics
First Thursday is Sept. 4 in downtown San Pedro. Check the website early next week for the schedule of special events.

Some candidates for the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council board are having a jazzy get-together at Crimsin lounge on First Thursday.

The slate of candidates will meet voters and talk politics over drinks as one of their own tickles the ivories.

Jazz musician and candidate Raymond Lee Parker will perform at Crimsin from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event is free and appetizers will be served. Crimsin is located at 345 W. Sixth St.

Parker and his running mates are seeking votes for the Sept. 9 election, taking place from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W. Fifth St.

Filipino Festival in Pt. Fermin Next Saturday

The annual Filipino festival is next weekend, Sept. 6-7. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the 17th annual event in Pt. Fermin Park.

Wine not: Take a detour from the crowds and sip wine at The Corner Store. A wine, hummus and soda tasting on Sept. 6 will benefit local animal rescue efforts. Call (310) 832-2424 for tickets ($15) and information.

Food for Thought

Following up on last week’s dining and lifestyle story:

Dolci Mango frozen yogurt is now open. The shop is located in the Terraces, on the second level near Centinela Pet Supplies tucked beneath the stairwell with the Marshalls sign. Store hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. 28901 S. Western Ave., #227, Rancho Palos Verdes, (310) 984-1229,

“Restaurateur finds ‘Prime’ location” is a new Daily Breeze story on Think Prime, the forthcoming steakhouse from the owner of Think Café and Think Bistro.

OPINION: Parking Meter Fee Hike Undercuts S.P. Revitalization

By Linda Alexander

Yes, the city needs to raise funds and yes, we must all do our part. However, this dramatic increase of 400% in historic downtown San Pedro will have a devastating effect on our businesses.

Downtown is the only shopping area in San Pedro with parking meters, yet another reason for shoppers to avoid downtown.

Although San Pedro is poised to become a prosperous area, that time has not arrived.

One Los Angeles city manager was quoted as stating that the increased fees would encourage drivers to utilize city parking structures. San Pedro is still without a parking structure despite calls for construction.

Business owners have endured a significant reduction of parking spaces in the past few years. Higher fees will open up spaces because customers will not come.

It is difficult to comprehend why, in newspaper articles, parking fees are compared with Hollywood, Pasadena and Santa Monica. San Pedro is far from that level of economic activity at this time.

I suggest that the fees be increased gradually over a period of five years. That should give enough time for us to realize the economic improvement which so many in our town are moving to create.

If the fees have not changed in 17 years during many periods of solid economic growth, they can wait now during this general downtime.

Linda Alexander is a San Pedro consultant to small businesses and non-profit organizations. This commentary is adapted from a recent letter she wrote to Los Angeles city officials.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Calm Before the Storm

Not much afoot right now at the lazy end of August. The news will resume in full force next month. Here’s a preview of the coming weeks.

September Preview: Community-wide Events

September Preview: Politics

The port is expected to release a much-anticipated draft environmental study of the waterfront redevelopment plans. Activists will be monitoring for the document, which may be posted before the end of August.


Sept. 1 is Labor Day and workers will take to the Wilmington streets for the annual march and parade. Call (562) 595-1891.


At a public hearing on Sept. 4, the LA school district will take comments about the draft environmental impact report for the proposed marine magnet high school at Angel’s Gate. (6 p.m. at Barton Hill Elementary School, 423 N. Cabrillo Ave. Call 800-704-1267.)


LA City Controller Laura Chick will visit San Pedro to discuss the nitty-gritty of the controller’s watchdog function, namely audits of city government.

San Pedro homeowners’ organizations are hosting Chick’s Sept. 4 talk, which is expected to detail the recent audit of the city’s emergency response plan.

Representatives of the grassroots group Community Outreach Promoting Safety and Security will be on hand to draw attention to a Sept. 20 emergency preparedness fair at Ken Malloy Park in Harbor City. (6:30 p.m. at the LA County Senior & Community Center, 769 W. Third Street. Call 310-251-7075.)


The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election is Sept. 9. (3-7 p.m. at Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W. Fifth St. Visit the election page for more information.)


Last but not least, a presidential election is underway. The Democratic convention is next week in Denver, followed by the Republicans in the beginning of September in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Will San Pedro be represented? If you know of any convention delegates from San Pedro, drop us a note and we’ll include them in our report.

September Preview: Dining and Lifestyle

A number of new restaurants are expected to open this fall.

Aloha Ice Cream and Coffee is moving into the space at 25th Street and Western Avenue formerly occupied by Billy Baker’s.

Dolci Mango, a European-style frozen yogurt shop, is opening in the Terraces on the Trader Joe’s level.

The owner of Think Café and Think Bistro is opening a steakhouse on Western Avenue where the Blue Crab recently closed. Now those provocative signs make sense …

The café at Port Town Plaza (formerly Caffé Port Town) will re-open under a new name and new management at the 8th Street Lofts complex.

A Lebanese restaurant is opening at 19th Street and Pacific Avenue.

Monster Burger is opening on Gaffey Street a few blocks before the freeway onramp, next to the newly remodeled Taco Bell.

In other food news:

Nosh Café is featured in the Long Beach newspaper The District, in a story headlined “Presence of Mind.”

Newcomer George’s Café is serving American and Mexican dishes for breakfast and lunch at 726 S. Pacific Ave., (310) 521-8307.

Don your bib and prepare for the Lobster Festival Sept. 19-21.

September Preview: Escapist Alternatives

If just reading about the back-to-back (and simultaneous) meetings is raising your blood pressure, find relief in some escapist alternatives:

  • Have a drink for a good cause at The Corner Store’s Sept. 6 wine tasting. Tickets are $15 and include wine, hummus and soda tasting to benefit local animal rescue efforts. (Two tastings: 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. at 1118 W. 37th St. Call 310-832-2424 for registration and information.)
  • Take a nature walk with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. On Sept. 13, the group will lead a two-hour walk at Royal Palms beach. (2 p.m. at the upper lot at Western Ave. and Paseo del Mar. Call 310-541-7613 ext. 201 or visit

Just Peachy

This week’s farmers market included a special guest.

Los Angeles Times food writer Russ Parsons signed copies of his book How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table.

The book contains straightforward instructions for selecting, storing and preparing peaches and other fruits and vegetables from A to Z. Williams’ Book Store hosted Parsons’ visit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ponte Vista Vote Questioned

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council passed a motion supporting elements of the Ponte Vista housing proposal amidst questions over conflicts of interest.

Heading into Tuesday’s meeting, the council was set to vote on a motion to endorse the 1,950-unit complex as proposed.

Before the vote was taken, questions were raised as to whether some councilmembers had conflicts of interest that might disqualify them from voting on the issue.

During the public comment period, Doug Epperhart, a boardmember of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council and Ponte Vista opponent, presented a letter alleging conflicts of interest on the part of councilmembers Joe Gatlin, Mayra Perez, Pam Foster-Newsom, Joe Donato and Larry Henderson.

The City of Los Angeles ethics ordinance, which applies to neighborhood councils, says it is not in the public interest for individuals to act on a matter if they do not believe they could act impartially or if the public might reasonably reach that conclusion.

The letter states that four councilmembers have conflicts because they are employees or officers of entities that have received donations or contracts from Ponte Vista. Another councilmember serves on Ponte Vista’s own community advisory committee, a group organized by the developer and considered an advocacy body.

Councilmember Kara McLeod moved to postpone the Ponte Vista motion for a month so that the board could get an opinion from the city attorney about the alleged conflicts of interest.

McLeod’s motion was defeated 7-5 and the board went forward with a vote on the Ponte Vista resolution.

Councilmember Andrew Silber voluntarily recused himself because he is a board member of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce. The business group has received significant monetary support from Ponte Vista and favors the project.

Councilmember Sue Castillo proposed an amendment to change the motion to endorse the general concepts of traffic mitigation, union jobs, housing for senior citizens and other such facets without affirming total support for the developer’s proposal.

Boardmembers voted to approve Castillo’s amendment. They then passed the Ponte Vista motion as amended on a vote of seven ayes, two noes and two abstentions.

19 Candidates File for 5 Central Council Seats

At least 19 candidates have filed to run in next month’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election, when five seats will be filled.

Linda Alexander, Arthur Almeida, Frank Anderson, Sylvan Arguello, Heidi Bartlett, Vernon Connoly, Aphram Khalbourji, Margie Maxwell, Wenceslao Murillo, Raymond Lee Parker, Joey Pedroza, Max Pierce, R. Price-Guinn, Rosa Elvira Quintero, Pedro Araujo Reyes, Renee Sanchez Durbin and Phillip Trigas will appear on the ballot.

Ray Buffer and Jason Herring filed as write-ins at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Of the five incumbents, only Khalbourji filed to re-run.

The other four – President Joe Gatlin, Vice President Mayra Perez, Secretary Pam Foster-Newsom and Communications Officer Joe Donato – may run as write-ins.

Of the 19 declared candidates, seven attended Tuesday’s candidates forum and introduced themselves to voters.

The election is Sept. 9 and the deadline for write-ins is Sept. 8. More information is available on the central council’s election page.

Coastal Council Meeting Monday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building.

For more information, view the meeting agenda or call (310) 290-0049.

Hearing Wednesday on Angels Gate High School

The Los Angeles Unified School District is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 20 to report on environmental issues affecting a proposed high school at Angels Gate.

The hearing will center around the preliminary environmental assessment of the property. Such studies are conducted to determine if environmental clean-up is necessary at a given site.

The hearing takes place at 6 p.m. in the Barton Hill Elementary School auditorium, 423 N. Cabrillo Ave.

For more information, view the preliminary environmental assessment or call (213) 893-7045.

For general information about the proposed school, call Roberta Jones Booker at (800) 704-1267.

Everything Tallships

Weekend Festival Includes Free Ship Tours, Cannon Battles, Art Show and Films

The Eagle

Festival of Sail at a Glance

Where: The tallships are docked along the waterfront. Their approximate locations are just north of Fire Station No. 112 (Berths 87-90), at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum (Berth 84), Ports O’Call Village (Berths 77 and 78) and the S.P. Slip (Berth 73 ). Two high-profile ships, the USCG Eagle and movie star HMS Bounty are at the northern end in Berths 87-90. Food and information booths are in the adjoining parking lot. The booths continue south toward the Maritime Museum and across the street next to the municipal building at Sixth and Beacon Streets.

Parking: Available at the Boys and Girls Club at Fifth Street and Harbor Boulevard, Ports O’ Call Village and along 22nd Street. A shuttle runs from the 22nd Street lots to the festival and the Red Cars are operating from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

The Big Red Bus is shuttling visitors into downtown San Pedro.

Tallships-inspired student artwork is on display at Findings Art Center, 470 W. 6th St.

Saturday, Aug. 16

11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Festival and booths open. There is no charge to attend the festival or tour the ships.

12 noon: Parade of wooden hull boats in Main Channel

4:30 p.m.: Ships participating in cannon battles close

5 p.m.: Cannon battle sails. Tickets (if available) are $65 for adults and $40 for children. Purchase them at the “LAMI Battle Sails Will Call” booth. Download the video to experience a battle vicariously.

5-7 p.m.: Eagle closed

8 p.m.: “Master and Commander” at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. Sixth St. ($5)

Sunday, Aug. 17

11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Festival and booths open

12 noon: Parade of wooden hull boats in Main Channel

2 p.m.: “SpongeBob Square Pants: the Movie” at the Warner Grand ($5)

4 p.m.: “Hook” at the Warner Grand ($5)

4:30 p.m.: Ships participating in cannon battles close

5 p.m.: Cannon battle sails

The Daily Breeze has posted photos and video of Friday’s festival opening. (If the video does not load, access it from the Daily Breeze home page.)

For more information, visit the Festival of Sail website and the Port of LA tallships page.

Spaghetti Comes Fast and Flavorful at New Italian Restaurant

“Comfortable” isn’t a word often used to describe Western Avenue, but a new eatery might just relieve a bit of traffic-induced stress.

There’s yet more comfort food next door to the Marie Callender’s. The new P’sketti serves flavorful spaghetti and salad for lunch and dinner at affordable prices.

An order of spaghetti comes with a side salad and the house special p’sketti bread for $4.99.

“We serve the kind of good, family food you’d expect at home,” said operator Greg Reheis.

The bread is not garlic bread but an adaptation of a recipe from a Reheis relative. It’s made with a creamy, oniony topping that hints of tartar sauce.

“The bread is our effort to do something unexpected that’d really be a wow,” said Reheis.

P’sketti serves a lunch special from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Kids eat free on Wednesday nights from 5-9 p.m. with a paying adult. Sundays are all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad, bread and soft drinks for $7.99.

P’sketti was formerly Pronto’s Mexican café and Charo Chicken before that. It retains the drive-thru from the previous restaurants.

P’sketti Spaghetti House, 29035 S. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes, (310) 833-6712. Open daily 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Full Agenda for Central Council Meeting

Ponte Vista, Knoll Hill to be Debated
Board Candidates to Introduce Themselves to Voters

Tuesday’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meeting will include a motion to endorse the controversial Ponte Vista housing development and discussion about appointments to a committee studying the future of Knoll Hill.

The meeting begins with a candidates forum at 6 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W. Fifth St. in downtown San Pedro. Hopefuls running in the September election will introduce themselves to voters and pitch their candidacies.

The regular monthly meeting will be called to order at 6:30 p.m.

Board member Larry Henderson will present a resolution to support Ponte Vista, a proposed residential complex of 1950 condominiums on Western Avenue. San Pedro’s other two neighborhood councils oppose the project as proposed.

Here is the Aug. 12 meeting agenda with the Ponte Vista resolution. For general information, visit

Northwest Council Meeting Monday

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave.

The meeting agenda was not available at presstime.

The council can be reached at or (310)-732-4522.

Harbor City Gets ‘Fresh & Easy’

The Fresh & Easy grocery store in Harbor City opens Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 10 a.m.

The store is located at 26640 S. Western Ave. just north of Palos Verdes Drive North. It occupies the space formerly leased by JoAnn Fabrics.

The store will offer “fresh, wholesome foods at affordable prices for everyone,” according to a press release. It will carry national brands and Fresh & Easy private label products.

“Customers visiting the store will experience wider aisles for a faster, more convenient shopping trip,” the company said.

“We hope all of our new neighbors stop in to say hello and take some time to have a look around,” said store manager Jim Roth.

The British chain had been opening U.S. stores at a rapid clip, but slowed down this summer to reassess its operations.

The company opened a Manhattan Beach store last month. The Daily Breeze story contains background information about the chain.

Priority parking spaces are set aside for hybrid cars and adults with children.

Regular hours will be 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Tall Ships Sailing into SP Next Weekend

Community Groups Host Viewing Parties; Warner Grand Hosts Nautical Film Festival

All eyes will be on the tall ships as the 2008 Festival of Sail comes to San Pedro Aug. 15-17.

The Coast Guard’s Eagle and other “celebrity” ships will be on display and open for tours during the free festival along the San Pedro waterfront.

The event begins with the “grand parade of sail” at 10 a.m. on Aug. 15, when the boats will enter the inner channel and sail into berth.

At least two community organizations are hosting special events to view the ships’ arrival.

The San Pedro Bay Historical Society is having a luncheon at 10 a.m. at Top of the Market restaurant in Ports O’ Call Village. A representative of the American Sail Training Association will narrate as the ships enter and guests dine on a buffet lunch. Tickets are $20. Call (310) 547-1378 for more information.

The Grand Vision Foundation, a non-profit support group for the Warner Grand Theatre, is having a champagne buffet brunch at Ports O’ Call Restaurant at 9:30 a.m. The brunch will take place on the patio, with narration and music to accompany the viewing. Tickets are $60 per person or $100 per couple and include passes to the tall ships movie weekend at the Warner Grand, as described below. Call (310) 833-4813 for more information.

The waterfront isn’t the only place to get nautical over the tall ships weekend. The Grand Vision Foundation is getting into the spirit with screenings of “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “Master and Commander,” “Spongebob Square Pants, The Movie” and “Hook” at the Warner Grand. Admission is $5 per film. See the Grand Vision Foundation home page for show times.

During the three-day festival, community groups will have booths at Pepper Tree Plaza at Sixth and Beacon Streets next to the San Pedro Municipal Building (638 S. Beacon St.)

Festival hours are 12 noon-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15 and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 16-17.

For more information, visit the Festival of Sail website and the Port of LA tall ships page.

SP Library Turns 120

The San Pedro library is having a birthday party on Saturday, Aug. 16 for its big 1-2-0.

The event will trace the library’s history with displays, memorabilia, period costumes, live music and, of course, birthday cake.

The party is free and open to the public. It takes place from 6-8 p.m. in the library’s community room at 931 S. Gaffey St. Call (310) 548-7779 for more information.

Week in Review

Some 1,300 people attended a community meeting Wednesday about the Port of Los Angeles High School. Students, parents and others listened to upbeat updates as the public charter school enters its third year and prepares for 250 ninth graders this fall, bringing its enrollment to 600 students. The downtown San Pedro school offers a college preparatory curriculum with an emphasis on international business and maritime studies. See this week’s Daily Breeze story for background information.

After more than five years, Port of Los Angeles commissioners approved a contract to redevelop Cabrillo Marina. The controversial dry-stack storage site is off the drawing board, but the other planned improvements will be complete in about two years, according to Friday’s Daily Breeze story.

Friday, August 1, 2008

One Tasty Town

Concert, Fireworks to Mark 20th ‘Taste in SP’ This Weekend

Here’s a recap of the Taste in San Pedro schedule:

Saturday, Aug. 2
Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
6 - 9 p.m.: Concert with Santana and Rolling Stones tribute bands
9 - 9:10 p.m.: Fireworks

Sunday, Aug. 3
Hours: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

$10 for adults
$5 for seniors, military members and children ages 4-17
$20 after 5 p.m. Saturday for the evening concert

Taste tickets


Further reading
Last week’s San Pedro News story
“20 tasty years,” Daily Breeze
“San Pedro’s favorite party,” Los Angeles Times

Dockworkers, Shippers Settle Contract

West Coast dockworkers and their employer reached a tentative contract agreement this week after four months of negotiations.

Details of the new six-year contract will not be released until rank-and-file members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratify the agreement. Longshore delegates are meeting in mid-August to review the terms and decide whether to proceed with a full vote by the ILWU’s 26,000 longshore members.

More information appears in the Daily Breeze story.

NOISE to LAUSD: ‘Fix Pedro High First’

“We’re a force to be reckoned with,” NOISE leader Yvonne Schuller told a meeting this week of Neighbors Organized and Involved to Support Education, which opposes construction of a public high school at Angels Gate.

About 45 people gathered to watch NOISE’s slide show of schools that the Los Angeles school district has upgraded by replacing “temporary” classrooms with brand-new buildings.

Schuller said removing the three-decades-old classroom bungalows at San Pedro High School and constructing new buildings is the most cost-effective way to get more seats for students.

She quoted school board member Richard Vladovic, who told her, “If a new classroom building were built [at San Pedro High] instead of a gymnasium, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

Schuller pointed to the $102-million cost of the proposed Angels Gate school and suggested a new building at San Pedro High would have a much lower cost.

Joe Janesic of the Fort MacArthur Museum Association talked about the recent action of the state, which granted historic district status to the portion of Angels Gate owned by the City of Los Angeles. He said the association would be seeking a “boundary increase” to include the school district’s property.

Janesic said that historic designation would not prevent the district from tearing down buildings or putting up a high school, but would create additional hurdles.

LAUSD is expected to release additional environmental documents sometime later this month pertaining to the new plan for a 500-seat magnet school at Angels Gate. The school would be affiliated with San Pedro High and focus on marine education.

The district will also have an additional public meeting to take comment on the proposed magnet school.

On a table at one side of the room, NOISE merchandise was on sale. It included red “thumbs-down” yard signs, baseball caps and new black-and-gold T-shirts that proclaim “There is only one” (on the front) “Pedro High” (on the back).

Candidates Lining Up for Council Election

As of July 30, 13 candidates have filed to run for five seats on the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council board.

They are Linda L. Alexander, Sylvan Arguello, Heidi Bartlett, Vernon C. I. Connoly, Renee Sanchez Durbin, Jilonda Johnson, Margie Maxwell, Wenceslao Murillo, Raymond Parker, Max W. Pierce, Rosa Elvira Quintero, Pedro Araujo Reyes and Phillip Trigas.

According to the council’s election rules, any stakeholder at least 14 years old can run for a seat on the board. A stakeholder is anyone who lives, works or owns property in the council’s boundaries (roughly north of 18th Street, east of Leland Street and south of Miraflores Avenue).

New city rules also allow anyone to declare a stake in the neighborhood by merely affirming the factual basis for it, such as dining at a downtown restaurant or attending school in the area.

Also new this year is the election of five at-large board members in place of the officer positions that were previously chosen directly by voters.

Under the council’s new bylaws, all council members will be elected as at-large representatives. The board members then vote in their president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and communications officer.

There will be a candidate forum at the council’s monthly meeting on Aug. 12. Each hopeful will get about two minutes to speak. (The meeting takes place at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W. Fifth St., beginning with refreshments at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 6:30 p.m.).

Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. is the filing deadline for candidates to appear on the ballot. After that time, candidates can file as write-ins through Sept. 8 at 5 p.m.

The term of office runs through the spring of 2010.

The election will be held at the Port of Los Angeles High School on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the central council’s election page.

Downtown News Roundup

First Thursday next week
The monthly downtown artwalk is Aug. 7. The schedule of special events is posted on the First Thursday website, but the document is inaccessible due to technical difficulties. Check back in a few days for a hopeful repair.

Papadakis for sale
The legendary Greek restaurant could be sold if a buyer meets the owners’ high standards, according to Thursday’s Daily Breeze story.

Fountain update
The performance schedule has been updated since last week’s report. The fountain will sing and dance from 4-10 p.m. daily every 15 minutes, with special continuous shows from 12-1 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. It will add a morning performance Fridays - Mondays every 15 minutes from 10 a.m.-12 noon. Background information can be found on the fountain web page. Correction: Last week’s story stated that 1,000 people attended the grand opening ceremony on July 25. A port spokeswoman estimated the crowd at 5,000.

Downtown Development Roundup

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce has published an update on several downtown condominium projects. This article appears in the current issue of the San Pedro Business Journal.

Bank Lofts is offering 23 condos for sale in the newly finished Mint Building on 8th and Mesa Street. According to spokesperson Linda Wood, the 66-unit Vault building on 7th and Mesa will be finished by late October or November ’08. All Vault units are for lease with new residents most likely moving in by December ’08.

Centre Street Lofts at 6th and Centre Street has sold 80 condos. Only 30 remain. With an active HOA, they have been up and operational for more than a year.

The LaSalle is going up on the 1920s site of the LaSalle and Mission Hotels. Developer Keith Bohr, now assembling an interest list, plans to finish in November ’08 and will sell once the building is completed. There are 26 elegant condo units.

The 16-story VUE poured foundation in October of ’06 and will move in 250 new condo owners in October ’08. “They’ll come in a few floors at a time throughout the month, said Brooke Turner, a VUE spokesperson. 70 condos remain unsold.

Source: San Pedro Business Journal, August - September 2008

Arts News

Local newspapers published stories on two new San Pedro artworks this week.

“Urinetown” cast photo by Matthew Pierce

The Daily Breeze and Long Beach Press-Telegram reviewed “Urinetown,” a political satire at the Warner Grand Theatre by the new performance troupe The Relevant Stage. The show is “flushed with satire,” according to the article headline.

“Angels Gate exhibit greets creativity of new artists” is a look at the cultural center’s current show, featuring artists who opened studios there within the past two years.