Saturday, September 27, 2008

Downtown Development Updates

Parking Signs Installed at Centre Street Lofts

Signs have gone up to clarify the public parking area at the Centre Street Lofts.

A large “public parking” sign has been installed above the garage entrance. Interior signs direct visitors to the available parking spaces and the pedestrian exit to Sixth Street.

The garage is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The public may park for four hours free. Overnight parking is prohibited.

Apartments Open at 8th Street Lofts

A banner on the 8th Street Lofts building is announcing the grand opening of the rental apartments. The units have been approved for occupancy and rental applications are now being accepted.

The building at 8th Street and Pacific Avenue is a residential and lifestyle complex with retail shops, a hair salon, casual dining and a banquet hall on the ground floor and loft apartments above.

The popular Caffe Port Town was shut down in January for lack of proper health permits. A sign near the coffee bar now reads, “Michel’s Unique CafĂ©, coming soon.”

Bank Lofts Become Rentals
The Bank Lofts have been converted entirely to rental units. Condominiums were originally planned for the development’s Mint building at the northeast corner of Eighth and Mesa Streets, but only a handful of the 23 units had been sold. The larger Vault building on the northwest corner is under construction. It is expected to open as rental units this fall.

Vue Prepares for November Completion
The 318-unit Vue is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy in November. The 16-story glass condominium building at Fifth and Palos Verdes Streets is a dominant feature in the downtown San Pedro skyline.

Construction Continues at LaSalle Lofts
Construction is proceeding at the LaSalle Lofts, expected to be completed by the end of the year. What happens next is an open question. The developer hasn’t decided whether to sell or rent the units or put the entire building on the market.

First Thursday Next Week

The monthly artwalk is Oct. 2 in downtown San Pedro.

Highlights appear on the First Thursday home page.

If the smells of barbecue fill the air, they may be coming from the Corner of Sixth and Nelson Streets. That’s where Porky’s BBQ is opening by First Thursday, if not sooner.

Political News

Palin to Visit Carson

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will rally at the Home Depot Center in Carson on Saturday, Oct. 4. The Daily Breeze has all the details.

Democrats Huddle to Watch First Debate

Two days before Friday’s presidential debate, a pair of San Pedro Democrats spontaneously decided to invite their friends to a viewing party at the Los Angeles Yacht Club in Cabrillo Marina.

Dozens accepted John and Terry Miller’s invitation, coming together to root for their candidate and jeer their opponent as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain held the first of three debates.

Voter Forum Set for Oct. 21
San Pedro voters will have the opportunity to learn about the candidates and issues, ask questions and get politically active at a voter forum next month.

The forum will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 21, exactly two weeks before the Nov. 4 national election. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Berth 28 in Cabrillo Plaza.

Leaders of San Pedro-based Democratic and Republican groups will represent their respective presidential candidates, articulating their positions on the major national issues. This is not a back-and-forth debate but a straight speaking opportunity by each party.

After the portion focusing on the presidential candidates, the forum will shift to local politics.

Neighborhood council presidents will speak and boardmembers in attendance will be introduced. The grassroots leaders will explain how voters who are passionate about the presidential race can “think globally, act locally” by becoming active in community issues year-around through neighborhood councils.

Candidates for Congress, State Assembly and State Senate will also speak.

The forum takes place just days before the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council election on October 25 (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Cetacean Society Building in Pt. Fermin Park), giving voters an immediate chance to participate in a local election before they vote in the national election.

The forum is sponsored by San Pedro News and the Central, Coastal and Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Councils.

City Controller Releases Port Audit

Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick released an audit of the Port of L.A. Tuesday. “We didn’t find any cases of wrongdoing or suspicion of abuses, but we did find a high risk of liability,” Chick told the Daily Breeze.

Ponte Vista Opponents Raise Funds for Legal Battle

R Neighborhoods Are 1, the group advocating lower density development at the old Navy housing site on Western Avenue, recently announced it is hiring a lawyer. The attorney will assist the organization as it prepares for city hearings about the development, known as Ponte Vista.

Bisno Development is proposing to build nearly 2,000 condominiums on the 62-acre property across from Green Hills cemetery. The R-1 group wants to hold the number of units down to the 500-700 allowed by current zoning.

RNA1 is seeking donors to help defray the cost.

“We’re up against a guy who has a closet full of lawyers and lobbyists,” said R1 supporter Bruce Horton. “We need all the help we can get to fight Ponte Vista.”

Donations can be made online at

Councilwoman Salutes Aquarium Fundraisers

Respecting the Sea: Community leaders Bruce Horton, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, John Stinson, Debbie Sue Stinson and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Executive Director Mike Schaadt at the Stinsons’ fundraiser. Photo by Tony Haig.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn attended a grassroots fundraiser for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium youth programs last Saturday, where she paid tribute to hosts John and Debbie Sue Stinson of San Pedro for organizing their 16th-annual event.

This year’s effort raised nearly $5,000. “It’s a record,” said John Stinson.

In keeping with the aquatic theme, Finnie the fish is the mascot of the annual fundraiser. Finnie changes with the times and is a presidential candidate this year, hence the campaign sign and patriotic T-shirts modeled in the photo.

San Pedro Magazine Launches Website

San Pedro Magazine has added an online edition at

Writing in the October issue, editor Joshua Stecker explains he built the site himself after years of attempts to get management support from the magazine’s corporate parent.

Friday, September 19, 2008

RPV Hearing on Ponte Vista Monday

The Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission is holding a forum on Monday, Sept. 22 to hear public comment about potential traffic and transportation impacts from the proposed Ponte Vista residential development.

The forum takes place at 7 p.m. in the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council chambers (29301 Hawthorne Blvd. in Fred Hesse Park; note that this is not RPV City Hall).

The purpose of the forum is to receive comments on the proposed traffic and transportation mitigation for Ponte Vista within the area of Rancho Palos Verdes along Western Avenue and some intersecting streets.

Comments received during the forum will assist the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council in deciding to accept, reject or seek changes to the proposed mitigation within RPV city limits.

The Los Angeles Departments of Transportation and Planning consider RPV a stakeholder in the decision-making processes concerning traffic and transportation mitigation for the proposed development.

For more information, call RPV City Hall at (310) 544-5252.

One More Local Election Before the Big One

Candidates for next month’s Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council election will introduce themselves to voters at a forum on Monday, Sept. 22.

The candidates forum takes place at 6 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28.

Voters will elect 17 governing board members on Election Day, Oct. 25.

Thursday, Sept. 25 is the candidate filing deadline. Se the filing form for eligibility requirements.

See the Future Port

The Port of Los Angeles will release a draft environmental document Monday specifying plans for waterfront redevelopment and expansion.

Observers have watched as plans were drafted, debated and shelved through the years. Now everyone is wondering, will it really happen this time?

Port leadership said so emphatically in a Daily Breeze story headlined, “Commission wants to get San Pedro waterfront project started.”

The draft environmental impact report will be posted at and available at libraries.

Following a public comment period, staff will write a final environmental impact report, which will then go before the Board of Harbor Commissioners for a vote.

Once a plan is approved, contracts will be put out to bid and a phased, years-long construction process will begin.

Another Busy Saturday of Work and Play

Morning Mission: Be Safe, Clean the Seashore

This morning, you could attend the City of Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Fair (10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Harbor City; see details in last week’s story).

Alternatively, you could head to Cabrillo Beach to take part in California Coastal Cleanup Day. Volunteers will meet at the outer beach at 9 a.m. and scrub the shore until 12 noon. The cleanup will be followed by an open house and refreshments at the salt marsh, Salinas de San Pedro, from 12-2 p.m.

Afternoon Mission: Love the Lobsters

This weekend’s Lobster Festival is serving up food, music and entertainment from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. 7 p.m. Sunday.

Read about the ticket packages and other details at

Here’s a play by play of the Maine action from opening day on Friday.

Get in and line up.

Dress the part.

Find a seat.

Feast on lobster, cole slaw, a roll and “buttery topping.” First-class ticketholders get watermelon, too. Repeat as necessary.

Evening Mission: Music for Many Tastes

Those with contemporary musical tastes may enjoy the lobster festival’s lineup of popular and up-and-coming bands.

For a multicultural experience in an intimate setting, Japanese drummers are performing at the Saturday night debut of the Grand Annex. See details in last week’s story.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Textbook Politics at Play in Central Council Election

Interest Groups Spin Results; New Leaders Look Ahead

Time-honored political tactics came into play in this week’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election.

As reported in the midweek update, a record-setting 306 voters cast ballots in the 25-candidate election for five board seats.

The winning candidates – Phillip Trigas, Frank B. Anderson, Linda L. Alexander, Arthur Almeida, and Raymond Lee Parker – will be seated next month.

They ran together on the “Accountability ’08” slate. (See commentary below for an analysis of the “accountability” theme.)

Much like campaigns for higher office, the neighborhood council election included competing slates of candidates, special-interest endorsements, get-out-the-vote mailers and a late-breaking surprise.

The final week before the election brought high political drama to the San Pedro civic arena.

The “accountability” slate intensified efforts to reach out to voters. Candidates and supporters aggressively campaigned for votes at markets, libraries, community meetings and anywhere else potential voters could be found.

Just minutes before the deadline, a slate of three incumbents and two newcomers filed to run as write-ins. Their public campaign had begun just days earlier, with flyers appearing for the first time at First Thursday on Sept. 4.

At least three special-interest groups backed one of the slates.

Ponte Vista, a proposed 1,950-unit housing development on Western Avenue, urged constituents to consider seven candidates for the five seats: Joe Gatlin, Mayra Perez, Pamela Foster, James Brown, James Cordero, Aphram Khalbourji and Phillip Trigas.

“These candidates have demonstrated a willingness to work together to support economic, business and development opportunities to improve the future of San Pedro,” wrote Ponte Vista official Elise Swanson in an email.

Gatlin, Perez, Foster, Brown and Cordero ran as a slate of write-in candidates.

Trigas campaigned on the opposing slate of “accountability” candidates and was the top vote-getter on the ballot.

Ponte Vista’s Swanson did not respond to a request for comment on the election results.

The Sierra Club Harbor Vision Task Force and R Neighborhoods Are 1 endorsed the winning “accountability” slate.

“Educating voters and candidates on environmental issues is how the Sierra Club participates in the democratic process,” wrote Sierra Club leader Tom Politeo in a San Pedro News commentary (See below).

“By being a part of larger processes and reaching out to candidates and groups that agree with us and those that don’t, we help bring interest to an election and encourage voter participation and turnout,” wrote Politeo.

The Sierra Club sent out a mailer encouraging members to go the polls and vote for the club’s endorsed candidates.

R Neighborhoods Are 1, a grassroots group that supports single-family R-1 zoning at Ponte Vista, emailed a get-out-the-vote message to residents associations and community activists.

“Obviously, people felt strongly enough about this election that they turned out in goodly numbers,” said R Neighborhoods Are 1 member John Stinson, a resident of the Central council area.

“Our candidates won decisively. It’s a victory of the people over special-interest developers,” said Stinson.

Meet the Councilmembers-elect

Here’s a look at the five new members of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council governing board.

Linda L. Alexander
A consultant to small businesses and non-profit organizations, Alexander currently works with the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and focuses on issues involving the arts, business and downtown redevelopment.

She served as development director for Rainbow Services in downtown San Pedro until 2007, raising funds to support domestic violence victims.

Before her election to the Central council board, she was a member of the council’s finance committee, advocating openness and accountability in money matters.

Arthur A. Almeida
A San Pedro native with a 55-year history of community leadership, Almeida had walked the walk and talked the talk.

The retired longshoreman has been active in the San Pedro Bay Historical Society, Holy Trinity Parish, L.A. Harbor College and countless other civic organizations.

His goals as a councilmember are to “make sure services are adequately supplied by the city as new projects are approved.”

Frank B. Anderson
Anderson is a retired teacher and union leader who worked at Todd Shipyard and Kaiser Permanente before earning his teaching credential.

Today, he is an active member of the San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowners Coalition, the Leland and Peck Park advisory boards, the San Pedro Bay Historical Society and the San Pedro Youth Sports Association.

“I hope to deal directly, collaboratively and consensually not only with the issues that are particular to central San Pedro, but also to involve the other neighborhood councils, community groups and local government bodies in the decision-making process and resolution of community-wide issues,” said Anderson.

Raymond Lee Parker
As a jazz musician, Parker seeks to harmonize the arts and economic development in downtown San Pedro.

He has married into a longtime San Pedro family through his wife, Bonnie, daughter of the late Flora Baker. Parker’s personal and professional background gives him first-hand knowledge of San Pedro working artists and the town’s cultural heritage.

Phillip Trigas
Trigas is an architect and resident of the Centre Street Lofts in downtown San Pedro. Soon after unpacking his boxes, he started attending neighborhood council meetings.

“I quickly found myself getting drawn in, getting involved in this committee and that committee and meeting great people who welcomed me in and encouraged me to get involved,” said Trigas.

“I immediately realized I was living in an authentic, close-knit community – a rare find,” said Trigas. “I hope to use my background to have a positive impact on the development of our downtown Arts, Culture and Entertainment District.”

San Pedro Marks 9/11

A handwritten sign on the Port Gelato storefront urges public appreciation of first responders.

A downtown business owner organized a Patriot Day tribute to local police officers and firefighters in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Rebecca Trani of Port Gelato Creamery put together care packages with coupons for free ice cream at Port Gelato, coffee at Mishi’s Strudel and a meal at Big Nick’s Pizza.

Trani delivered the care packages to 12 Harbor Area police and fire stations to express appreciation to the first responders.

“My son is a soldier in Iraq. He has to know I’m safe and he feels better knowing I’m in good hands with our local police and firefighters,” said Trani.

The owners of Mishi’s wrote a tribute statement, displayed on the counter.

“Through their selfless acts of caring, nurturing the suffering and compassionate, tireless dedication, our servicemen teach us the true meaning of ‘civilization;’ that we are only a ‘civilization’ if we, in turn, care for and nurture each other!” the Mishi’s statement read.

Other San Pedro business owners, their employees and customers wrote messages of gratitude to the public safety officers.

Emergency Preparedness Fair Next Saturday

An emergency preparedness fair is taking place in the Harbor Area next Saturday, Sept. 20.

The fair will be held at Ken Malloy Park (25820 Vermont Ave., Harbor City) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The free event will include sample products, demonstrations and information to prepare families, homes and businesses for an emergency.

The fair will also include nature walks in the park, a kids pavilion and music.

It is sponsored by the City of L.A. and Community Outreach Promoting Safety and Security, a grassroots group led by San Pedro activist Lonna Calhoun.

Have Dinner, Watch the Game and ‘Take a Bite Out of Crime’

Local police officers are once again trading their patrol cars for servers’ aprons, waiting tables to raise funds for Harbor Division youth programs.

The San Pedro Brewing Company is hosting the “tip-a-cop” fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15.

The football game will provide additional entertainment to go with the experience of being served by an off-duty officer impersonating a rookie waiter.

When diners tip the cop-server, the full amount is donated to the station’s youth programs.

The restaurant is located at 331 W. Sixth St. in downtown San Pedro.

For more information, call (310) 522-2042.

Coastal Neighborhood Council Meeting Monday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building.

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

TriArt Festival Set for This Weekend

Art, music and classic cars will assume the spotlight at this weekend’s TriArt Festival in downtown San Pedro.

Mesa Street between Fifth and Seventh Streets will be lined with artists booths, displaying their artwork and submitting pieces to the festival’s juried competition.

The Warner Grand Theatre will host several performances, while classic cars, music and more performances take center stage outdoors on Seventh Street.

Festival hours are 12 noon-6 p.m. both days.

This second TriArt Festival honors the memory of San Pedro artist Violet Parkhurst and longshoreman Thomas “Jack” Stenehjem.

For more information, visit or call (310) 547-1460.

Lobster Anyone? Festival Next Weekend

The annual crustacean invasion is next weekend, when the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival unfolds for three days of music, entertainment and tons of Maine lobster.

The festival takes place Friday-Sunday, Sept. 19-21.

In addition to lobsters and other foods, the festival promises to entertain guests with dancing, parades, street performers, a pirate camp, tall ships, arts and crafts booths and musical performances.

Visit for more information or call (310) 798-7478.

New Performance Space to Open Downtown with Shows Next Weekend

The Grand Vision Foundation is opening the Grand Annex at 434 W. Sixth Street with a Sept. 20 performance of Japanese drumming.

The annex is a small, intimate performance space a few doors down from the Warner Grand Theatre.

“We’re really excited about bringing live music to our local and intimate listening room setting,” said Liz Schindler-Johnson, director of the Grand Vision Foundation. “This is something the community has said they want and that’s what we’re going to provide.”

The annex’s fall calendar includes a mix of familiar acoustic performers and a significant array of new and unique programming.

The inaugural season kicks off with a Japanese Fusion Series.

The Sept. 20 performance features Hiroyuki Hayashida and Zi-Pang taiko drummers, preceded by a workshop to learn the taiko drumming technique.

The next day, straight-ahead jazz is the theme as the Richard Glaser Band performs on Sunday, Sept. 21 with special guest artist Bill Tapia on his Hawaiian-style jazz ukulele.

For tickets and more information, visit or call (310) 833-4813.

OPINION: The Long, Combative Road to Central Council ‘Accountability’

By Doug Epperhart

This week’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election was the culmination of a lengthy tug-of-war between political philosophies.

One side appeared to believe the council’s role was to support special interests seeking favors (not unlike our highly-paid brethren on the city council).

The other side viewed the council as a sounding board for public opinion, amplifying the community’s voice.

The campaign that ended Tuesday evening really began a year ago when the first “accountability slate” of 11 candidates swept into office promising a new commitment to Central’s constituents.

These individuals, for the most part, worked together to forge new bylaws governing the council. They created a more open agenda-setting process, for one thing.

They also empowered the councilmembers to elect officers, replacing the past practice of direct election by the voters. It was this last rule that had caused most of the problems.

Because the officers were guaranteed two years, they didn’t have to be responsive to the other 12 board members. The council’s officers frequently seemed to confuse legislative leadership and executive authority.

Earlier this year, when some board members realized they didn’t have the votes to prevent bylaws reform, they tried to end the meeting by walking out. It didn’t work.

A month later, they tried to expel board members they didn’t like. That didn’t work either.

And now Central’s president, vice president, and secretary have been turned out of office by the voters.

Next month, board members will choose officers who will, presumably, understand their colleagues have given them the obligation to serve and not the right to command.

Democracy works.

Doug Epperhart is a San Pedro resident, business owner, Coastal council board member and Central council stakeholder.

OPINION: Electing Political Allies to Advance Sierra Club Goals

By Tom Politeo

The Sierra Club was delighted to see a slate of candidates who provided thoughtful answers on environmental issues win for the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

Though not all the answers were in full agreement with club positions, they did broadly reflect a positive concern about environmental issues.

There were other good candidates running. To strengthen our influence, we focused on five, one for each vacant seat.

A couple of years ago, the club’s Harbor Vision Task Force, which is active in the San Pedro Bay area, got permission to carry out an expedited endorsement for the neighborhood council elections in San Pedro and Wilmington.

This is much faster than the usual Sierra Club endorsement process, which can take several months. We hope this will be adopted elsewhere in the club.

Educating voters and candidates on environmental issues is how the Sierra Club participates in the democratic process.

By being a part of larger processes and reaching out to candidates and groups that agree with us and those that don’t, we help bring interest to an election and encourage voter participation and turnout.

A good number of groups worked the Central neighborhood council election and it had the largest turnout ever in this election. This is a victory in its own right because even with the increase, the turnout in these elections is small.

We need to encourage more participation in neighborhood councils, as they have significant potential to influence City of Los Angeles policies.

Our questions to the candidates focused on three timely local issues of interest to the club, particularly our members in the Central area.

These included two on the waterfront and one on opening up LAUSD schools to joint use after school hours, which all impact the Central council area. Like most of Los Angeles, San Pedro needs more public facilities available for use, and this is one way to provide them.

Our task force has been very active in greening the ports, reducing air pollution and noise and improving labor conditions by opening the doors for union participation for port truck drivers.

We have also worked on environmental-justice access issues to improve public access to our beaches and waterfront in San Pedro, Wilmington and Long Beach.

We are now an intervener in court to defend the L.A. and Long Beach ports’ clean trucks programs and we are promoting the concept of a “Cool Cities” waterfront for the bridge-to-breakwater area.

Our new “Cool Cities” concept is beginning to guide city land-use and transportation decisions in a direction that will improve the quality of life and reduce climate change.

Based on the Port Community Advisory Committee sustainability plan, “Cool Cities” explores how to reduce carbon emissions by reducing car trips to San Pedro, increasing public transit, improving Ports O’ Call and local business and keeping the Kaiser Point area free from an industrially-scaled cruise industry.

Tom Politeo is chair of the Sierra Club’s Harbor Vision Task Force.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Midweek Update

Central Council Election Results; 110 Freeway Meeting Correction

‘Accountability’ Slate Sweeps Central Council Election

The five members of the “accountability” slate won seats in Tuesday’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election.

Based on unofficial results, a record-setting 308 ballots were cast in the 25-candidate race for five board seats.

Councilmembers-elect Phillip Trigas, Frank B. Anderson, Linda L. Alexander, Arthur Almeida, and Raymond Lee Parker are expected to be seated at the council’s Oct. 14 meeting.

Here are the complete, unofficial results. Unofficial winners are boldfaced. The election administrator is expected to release the final results today.

In ballot order:

Sylvan Arguello: 11
Rosa Elvira Quintero: 41
Max W. Pierce: 5
Phillip Trigas: 198
Joey T. Pedroza: 14
Pedro Araujo Reyes: 13
Frank B. Anderson: 165
Linda L. Alexander: 194
R. Price-Guinn: 3
Vernon C. I. Connoly: 4
Margie Maxwell: 14
Renee Sanchez Durbin: 10
Wenceslao Murillo: 2
Arthur A. Almeida: 163
Aphram Khalbourji: 15
Raymond Lee Parker: 154
Heidi Bartlett: 9
Jason Herring: 1
Ray Buffer: 21
L. Tollstrup: 0
James Brown: 80
Joe Gatlin: 73
Mayra Perez: 62
Pamela Foster Newsom: 62
Jim Cordero: 65


110 Freeway ‘Congestion Pricing’ Workshop: Corrected Time

The time has been revised for the public meeting regarding carpool-lane tolls and other changes for the 110 Harbor Freeway.

The workshop is this Friday, Sept. 12 from 9:30 a.m.-12 noon at the Carson Civic Center (801 E. Carson St.). It is part of the Metro South Bay Governance Council meeting.

For more information, go to or call (213) 922-4200.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Central Neighborhood Council Election Tuesday

Voters will elect five boardmembers at Tuesday’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election.

The election takes place on Sept. 9 from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W Fifth St.

Eligible voters – stakeholders – are those who live, work or own property in the area, approximately north of 18th Street and east of Leland Street.

People can also vote if they have some other connection to the area. Examples of a qualifying connection include doing business, shopping or dining in the area, belonging to a community organization or patronizing a museum within the council boundaries.

Five seats will be filled in the election.

Seventeen candidates will appear on the printed ballot. At least eight write-in candidates are also running.

Write-in candidates must file in advance; candidates cannot declare the day of the election. The write-in filing deadline is Monday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m.

At least two slates of candidates have formed.

Phillip Trigas, Frank B. Anderson, Linda L. Alexander, Arthur Almeida, and Raymond Lee Parker are running together on the “accountability” slate.

Incumbents Joe Gatlin, Mayra Perez and Pam Newsom are running with Jim Cordero and James Brown on another slate. These five candidates are running write-in campaigns.

Find more information, candidate filing forms and a district map on the council’s home page.

Meet the Central Candidates

Here is autobiographical information about the candidates, reprinted verbatim from their own candidate statements or campaign flyers.

In ballot order:

Sylvan Arguello
Statement not available

Rosa Elvira Quintero
I am self-motivated person. I have a positive outlook on life. I was elected as the community representative for Cabrillo Elementary School in San Pedro. I am currently employee by Los Angeles Unified School District as manager assistant in the cafeteria in San Pedro.

I live in the lovely community of San Pedro since 1995. My desire is to help improve the city and to increase San Pedro citizens participation to join in our efforts to enhance San Pedro.

Because I love San Pedro; I will devote my time, knowledge and experience to enhance the livelihood of our community for our children, friends, visitors, and our neighborhoods to make San Pedro a better place to live!

Source: official candidate statement

Max W. Pierce
I became interested in the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council after talking to a member of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council and getting elected to the Knoll Hill steering committee.

I have only lived in San Pedro for two years but have been aware of San Pedro activities all of my life.

I bring to the Board 33 years experience in Architecture 20 of those as a licensed Architect working in Public Works for the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering.

During those 20 years I’ve worked mostly on Public Works Projects involving Wastewater Treatment Plants including Terminal Island.

I am very interested in maintaining the character of Downtown San Pedro.

Source: official candidate statement

Phillip Trigas
Architect / Planner
Phillip Trigas is an Architect, Father and Homeowner living in the downtown district. He is running for the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council as the culmination of his wide-ranging commitmentto the CSPNC and its various committees. Phillip has “walked the walk” with his ongoing activism and involvement:

Harbor Area Representative, Congress of Neighborhoods Planning Committee
Steering committee member for the Knoll Hill Park planning process
Co-Chair Communications and Outreach Committee
Planning and Land Use Committee member

As a Board member, Phillip will advocate:

Consensus building to work together for common goals
An “Open Door Policy” for community input
Greater Stake Holder involvement
Support to grow our downtown Arts, Culture, and Entertainment District

Source: official candidate statement

Joey T. Pedroza
Statement not available

Pedro Araujo Reyes
Statement not available

Frank B. Anderson
My name is Frank B. Anderson. I am a life time resident of San Pedro, and a retired teacher. Currently, I am involved with several community groups. I am the president of the Leland Park Advisory Board and a member of the Peck Park Advisory Board. I am also the treasurer and acting secretary of a nonprofit group, the San Pedro Youth Sports Association, that raises money to subsidize sport registration fees, buy equipment and uniforms, and make physical improvements in local park facilities. Further, I am a fifteen year member of the San Pedro and PeninsulaHomeowners Coalition, a group that actively promotes local homeowner rights, and I have served as its secretary for the past ten years.

I desire to serve on the…..

Source: official candidate statement (truncated by election administrator to meet 125-word limit)

Linda L. Alexander

I am a business owner and have lived and worked in San Pedro for many years. I experience what our stakeholders experience, 24/7. My concerns are for the quality of life in all areas of San Pedro but most particularly, our Historic Downtown. There is much to be done, such as cleaning streets, and improving the appearance of storefronts, which will benefit our entire community.

I regularly attend and participate in the Central Neighborhood Council board and committee meetings. I am a member of the finance committee dedicated to transparent and fair oversight of the council budget. My many years of experience, in a variety of San Pedro organizations, allow me to contribute knowledge and stability to the board.

Source: official candidate statement

R. Price-Guinn
Our community sits on an unarticulated tragedy that will prevent us from ever becoming all that we might be. The problem is that of rampant and open “drug abuse” by our children, their parents, and et al. A closer look at the secondary effects of this scourge and a study of precisely just how it effects us all is called for in the most immediate future.

Sincerely, R. Price-Guinn

Source: official candidate statement

Vernon C. I. Connoly
Statement not available

Margie Maxwell
Statement not available

Renee Sanchez Durbin
Statement not available

Wenceslao Murillo
Statement not available

Arthur A. Almeida
I am a San Pedran by birth, born in 1928, in a house built by my father in 1921 on Black Hill. I am a retired stevedore after working on Los Angeles and Long Beach docks including during my early years as a newsboy. I have been involved in many community issues for the past 55 years.

I have been and am very interested in all San Pedro projects, including serving for 12 years on the original Beacon Street Development Advisory Committee. I have long been associated with the San Pedro Bay Historical Society as a charter member, president, and on the Board. I possess extensive knowledge of local history … where it has been and our hopes for its future. San Pedro’s evolution has been phenomenal.

Source: official candidate statement

Aphram Khalbourji
I have been with the Neighborhood Council since pre certification (February 12, 2002), and have served on the steering committee and assisted in the formulation of the By-laws.

At the first election I was honored to be elected to the Treasurer’s Office, working hard to provide the NC with proper accounting and accurate financial information. The most important duty the Treasurer should have is integrity and the safe guarding of assets. As a neighborhood council, it is our job to find the right people for the right positions, in order to provide our community with the best possible service that volunteers can give.

I would like to remain active in my neighborhood, as I learn more about it and become well trained in the stakeholders’ needs. We are getting all the experience we need, learning to grow and reach out, managing our talents, skills and expertise, all in the spirit of grassroots democracy. We need your trust and support to continue the path towards a better San Pedro, full of action, entertainment, more jobs, cleaner streets, healthier environment, safer neighborhood, and a deeper sense of belonging.

I have lived in San Pedro since November 2, 1983. I was 20 years old, single, student, and broke. Today, I am happily married with two handsome boys, live on 19th Street and Alma, and operate an accounting and tax practice on Meyler & 11th Street. I can surely say that I am not broke, but I am still searching for the American Dream.

I just would like to see San Pedro become the jewel of South Bay, Greater Los Angeles, and the World. Even though it is a treasure in itself, sometime I think that it remains empty. It is our constant duty and responsibility to make sure the treasure chest is always full of JEWELS!!!

Source: campaign flyer

Raymond Lee Parker
Raymond Lee Parker is a highly respected Jazz Musician & Recording artist who believes that the Central San Pedro arts district is on the verge of great success. He wants make certain that all races, ethnicities, social and economic classes work together to grow and prosper while maintaining an atmosphere where art and culture can flourish. Raymond is a disabled American Vet and feels that the council should have a voice representing this constituency. His wife, Bonnie, is the daughter of the late Flora Baker, and Raymond is committed to continuing the family legacy of honoring San Pedro’s rich historical culture.

Source: campaign flyer

Heidi Bartlett
Statement not available

Write-in candidates published in the official voter bulletin: (as of August 15, 2008):

Ray Buffer
I believe in the potential for San Pedro to grow and the need to embrace change. Not all change is good, and I believe it is the important role of the Council to determine and weigh the benefits and the costs of change. I run a Performing Arts Company that originated in Downtown San Pedro. I believe this historic area is on the verge of great growth and opportunity and I want to be a voice that represents the downtown interests. I bring with me the unique experience of running a non-profit, and years of working as a union actor, a union stage manager, and union singer. The arts can change attitudes, educate, and stimulate commerce making San Pedro a true destination.

Source: official candidate statement

Jason Herring
Statement not available

L. Tollstrup
Statement not available

Additional presumed write-in candidates:

Joe Gatlin
President, Central Neighborhood Council

Mayra Perez
Vice President, CNC

Pamela Foster
Secretary, CNC

Jim Cordero
Vice Principal, Mary Star Elementary

James Brown
Owner, San Pedro Brewing Co.
Homeowner, Centre Street Lofts

Source: campaign flyer

Meet the Slate Monday
These slate candidates will meet voters at the San Pedro Brewing Company on Monday night, Election Eve. They will talk about the election and campaign for votes during halftime of the 7 p.m. football game.

Harbor Republicans Cheer McCain-Palin

The newly formed Peninsula Harbor Republicans gathered in Palos Verdes to watch Sen. John McCain accept the party’s presidential nomination Thursday.

The viewing party was held at the former Marie Callender’s restaurant in Rolling Hills Estates, atop the Promenade of the Peninsula shopping center. The building will serve as Republicans’ local campaign headquarters through the election.

“McCain gave the speech he needed to give,” said John Stammreich of San Pedro, chair of 54th Assembly District Republican committee. “He had a big challenge following [Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s] energetic speech the night before.

“The biggest thing he made us realize is that he’s going to represent all of us, not just Republicans and not just the Republicans who backed him from the start.”

Peninsula Harbor Republicans President Gene Dotson, left, and 54th Assembly District party leader John Stammreich.

Gene Dotson, president of the Peninsula Harbor Republicans, said that local grassroots efforts would focus on 25th State Senate District candidate Lydia Gutierrez, 54th Assembly District candidate Gabriella Holt and 46th Congressional District incumbent Dana Rohrabacher.

Rohrabacher and Gutierrez – a San Pedro resident and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council boardmember – attended the viewing party and spoke to the activists.

Neighborhood Council Meetings Coming Up

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park auditorium, 560 N. Western Ave.

For more information, view the agenda, browse the council’s website or call (310) 732-4522.

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Tuesday, Sept. 9 at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W Fifth St. Refreshments are served at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

View the agenda and home page for information or call (310) 918-8650.

What’s This About Tolls on the 110 Freeway?

Plans are underway to turn the carpool lanes of the 110 Harbor Freeway into toll lanes for single-occupant vehicles as part of a test project to reduce traffic congestion.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is introducing FastLanes, an experimental effort to improve commutes along the 110 and 10 freeways.

When implemented in December 2010, the program will give more options to single drivers, carpoolers, vanpoolers and transit riders.

“Congestion pricing” will be implemented in the carpool lanes, opening them to single drivers for a sliding-scale fee.

The MTA will hold a public meeting on Friday, Sept. 12 from 9-11 a.m. at the Carson Civic Center, 801 E. Carson St., to hear community input about ways to improve commutes.

Meeting details and extensive background information can be found on the MTA’s FastLanes page.

Pt. Fermin Park Hosts Filipino Festival

The tents are all set for visitors to this weekend’s Filipino Festival. See the current issue of Random Lengths News for a feature story (not posted online at presstime).

Week in Review

San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowners Coalition President Andy Mardesich introduces City Controller Laura Chick. Photo by Frank B. Anderson.

Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick spoke to approximately 80 community members at a meeting sponsored by San Pedro homeowners’ organizations. Chick discussed recent audits her office has conducted, including her findings that L.A. does not have a comprehensive emergency response plan.


An estimated 150 people attended a public meeting Thursday on the proposed high school at Angels Gate. The Daily Breeze headline “Proposed SP school under scrutiny” expresses the vocal neighborhood opposition.


More about downtown parking meters: Last week, San Pedro News reported that meters are increasing to $1 an hour. Readers have posted letters to the editor in response to a commentary on the topic. And, the Daily Breeze did a story this week, aptly headlined “San Pedro’s parking pain.”


There was major police action in coastal San Pedro Tuesday as a suspect locked himself in his home and caused a four-hour standoff. The Daily Breeze has the story and photos.


The Daily Breeze reported on the first meeting of the Knoll Hill committee, formed to study options and recommend a plan for the hill’s future.


What happened to the water in the Averill Park ponds? The Daily Breeze story has some answers.

Porky’s Barbecue Coming to Downtown S.P.

Pretty soon, San Pedrans will be saying, “Let’s go to Porky’s” and they won’t be referring to a chubby friend’s house.

Porky’s BBQ is opening on Sixth Street in the old Downtown Subs ’N’ More location.

The family-owned Inglewood restaurant and catering company has been wowing customers and food critics with its slow-cooked Kansas City-style barbecue.

The outside and inside of Porky’s in Inglewood, near the Great Western Forum

Porky’s soon-to-be San Pedro restaurant, site of the former Downtown Subs ’N’ More

Pork, beef, chicken and ribs are hickory smoked over low temperature for up to 16 hours. Sides and sauces are made from scratch. Portions are so generous that only the heartiest appetites can finish a meal.

Porky’s expects to open in the second half of September at 362 W. Sixth St., phone (310) 521-9999.

A smaller Porky’s, primarily take-out, opened in Long Beach this spring.

A positive Daily Breeze review is posted on Porky’s website.

OPINION: Vote for Trigas, Anderson, Alexander, Almeida and Parker

By Doug Epperhart

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election will be held this Tuesday, September 9, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 West Fifth Street (between Palos Verdes and Centre streets).

You need to go there and vote for these five candidates: Phillip Trigas, Frank B. Anderson, Linda L. Alexander, Arthur Almeida, and Raymond Lee Parker. They are on the ballot to fill five board member seats.

I support these individuals because they will bring a variety of needed talents to the Central council, have a track record of volunteerism, and, most importantly, are committed to serving our community.

They understand that neighborhood council board members should work for the people, not developers or other special interests.

The 33,000 inhabitants of the Central San Pedro area (roughly everything north of 18th Street and east of Leland Street) deserve better leadership than they’ve had from the incumbents running for re-election. It’s time to vote the rascals out and bring in new blood.

Under the city’s new rules, virtually anyone can qualify to vote in the Central election. If you live, work, or own property, you’re in.

You can also vote if you are a member of an organization in Central (such as the historical society, maritime museum, or chamber of commerce), have a library card, or shop or dine in the area.

You do not have to be a resident of the City of Los Angeles to vote. Even though it only takes a few minutes to mark your ballot, it can mean years of good government for the people of Central San Pedro.

Remember: vote for Trigas, Anderson, Alexander, Almeida, and Parker on Tuesday.

Doug Epperhart is a San Pedro resident, business owner and Central council stakeholder.

Editor’s note: San Pedro News has also invited the opposing slate of candidates to write a commentary about their campaign. Their statement will be posted upon receipt.