Friday, December 25, 2009

Seaside News

There’s an oceanic theme to this week’s news.

Will the last WWII warship find a home in San Pedro? Read about your possible new neighbor, the USS Iowa.

The Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur is overflowing with distressed animals.

Whale watching season has begun and cruises are running daily through March.

The new issue of Random Lengths News has a cover story on the port news of 2009. The print edition is out but the online version is not yet posted.

The port is sending holiday greetings electronically … and rather comically. The “12 Days of the Port of LA” e-card trumpets everything from “7 clean trucks hauling” to “5 mega-ships!” to “3 Least Terns.”

Western Avenue Restaurant News

We’re a little late on some of these, but here the eateries that have opened and closed on Western Avenue.

Coming soon




Two soon-to-be new kids on the block: Saladish and a second Pavich’s Pizza.



Truselas is serving Italian and California cuisine in the Albertson’s shopping center, across from Cold Stone Creamery where an Asian restaurant used to be. A story appears on page 26 of the October issue of San Pedro Today.

Sirinat Thai is packing in the crowds at peak times. Read a review on the second page of this Random Lengths section. Located on 25th Street in the shopping center with Chicago for Ribs and Hollywood Video.

Aloha Ice Cream and Coffee has closed in the same shopping center.

Amalfitano Bakery, by the owners of the former Ramona Bakery on Pacific Avenue, is expected to open in January.

A second location of Pavich’s Pizza will open in early 2010 in the former Pizza Hut on Western and Summerland Avenues.

Saladish is expected to open in the Terraces in February. The restaurant will be comparable to a Souplantation, serving organic salads plus soups and wraps in a more intimate setting. This will be the first U.S. location of the Korean chain, which plans to open five other cafes in the L.A. area.

Needless to say, P’sketti Spaghetti House has closed.

Happy Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa begins today. The holiday was created in 1966 by CSU Long Beach professor Dr. Maulana Karenga to celebrate African and African-American family, community and culture. Learn more at the official Kwanzaa website.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Week in Review

LA, can you spare a job? Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is forming an economic advisory team to create jobs and revive the local economy.

What’s in your glass? If it’s H20, you might want to know this: “LA’s water quality ranks low among large US cities.”

Speaking of water, Coastal San Pedro neighborhood councilmember Soledad Garcia was recently honored for her citywide leadership of the Department of Water and Power oversight committee.

The feds have noticed the port’s green goals and the result is “Clean Truck Program at ports wins EPA award.”

Random Lengths News published a 30th anniversary commemorative edition Friday. Find it around town (but not yet online) and read what the prominent townsfolk have to say.

Arts & Culture News

The Rabbitat shop is closing. Adopt a bunny and/or save money on inanimate merchandise at the clearance sale through the end of the year.

An effort is underway to create a stamp for the late San Pedro writer Charles Bukowski, who penned the novel Post Office based on his job at the Terminal Annex postal sorting facility. L.A. fans are backing a petition to create the stamp in time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bukowski’s death in 2014.

Read about two holiday shows now playing at the Warner Grand Theatre: “The Christmas Carol” by The Relevant Stage and tonight’s Golden State Pops Orchestra “Holiday Swing” show.

Coastal Council Meeting Monday

Monday’s Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meeting will bring a mix of business and pleasure. New San Pedro High School Principal Jeanette Stevens will speak and the board will take up some bona fide motions. Then the meeting will progress to the critical agenda items involving Pavich’s Pizza and other refreshments. The meeting takes place on Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. For more information, view the agenda or call (310) 290-0049.

Merry Days

Wishing our readers a Happy (end of) Hanukkah and Merry Christmas (in advance). Have a wonderful holiday … or several.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Week in Review

They’re watching you – all 321 cameras that keep an eye on port security. Read more in the Daily Breeze cover story from last Sunday.

Crime in downtown and coastal San Pedro is making the news. The Daily Breeze did stories before and after a special Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meeting about community crime Tuesday. And, following two incidents in coastal San Pedro, a community meeting is taking place Sunday. Hosted by Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the Dec. 13 meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. at the Starbucks at 25th Street and Western Avenue. The coffeehouse was robbed late last month and a nearby clothing store in the Vons shopping center was also robbed this week.

The Gaffey Street pool will be renovated with port funds from the China Shipping settlement.

What’s more, they’re going to build a pool at the new Angels Gate High School. As the Daily Breeze reports, the pool will give the San Pedro High School swim team its own place to practice and it will be open to the public. Get the background in this story, written ahead of the LA school board vote Tuesday to approve funding.

The school board also voted to condemn the cell phone towers that recently went up near Taper Avenue Elementary School.

With just a year left on its temporary lease, Eastview Little League again asked the port Thursday to extend its time on Knoll Hill. Commissioners did not take action on the group’s request, according to a Daily Breeze brief.

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council is not holding a December meeting. Their agenda: to take a little holiday from politics. Do I hear a second?

And how about a break from parking meters? Wish granted. Downtown San Pedro meters will be free from Dec. 15 through Jan. 1.

Holiday Happenings

Tubachristmas today (Dec. 12) at 3 p.m. at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St.

It’s a LuLu jewelry sale this weekend (Dec. 12-13) at The Corner Store, 1118 W 37th St. (310) 832-2424.

City Hall tree decorating on Monday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. at 638 S. Beacon St. Details in the flyer.

Miracle on 37th Street on Friday, Dec. 18 at The Corner Store. Pictures with Santa and socializing from 5 to 8 p.m. Caroling and egg nog at 7:30 p.m. The forecast calls for snow, just like last year. Bring flashlights and bells. 1118 W. 37th St. (310) 832-2424.

Give a pet a good home and Save a Stray for the Holidays. The adoption event takes place at the San Pedro animal shelter next Saturday (Dec. 19) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 957 N. Gaffey St. and other shelters citywide. Save a stray and save money with special discounts on adoptions. Find more information at the sponsoring FoundAnimals.org.

Downtown San Pedro Restaurant News

George’s Café Opens in 8th Street Lofts



George’s Café is now serving Mexican and American favorites in its new location at the 8th Street Lofts, 800 S. Pacific Ave. Chef/owner George Haro, pictured above, is cooking a limited menu for breakfast and lunch as he readies for full service in a few weeks. Watch for dinner service and an ice cream counter coming soon. Meanwhile, Haro is eager to welcome his regular customers to his new location in the quaint “plaza” of the Italian-style building. The café is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (310) 521-8307.

7th Street Chophouse is now serving lunch Tuesday through Friday.

Marcello’s has rebranded itself as Michael’s Tuscany Room. Read all about it on page 30 of the current San Pedro Today.

Next: a roundup of Western Avenue restaurant news.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Civic Notes

Week in review

Mother Nature fidgeted and sent chunks of cliff tumbling into the sea. Translation: there was a landslide along Paseo del Mar in coastal San Pedro.

City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich was in the hospital this week with abdominal pains, but he’s out now.

Saying “the fate of this department is tied to the fate of this city,” new Police Chief Charlie Beck was sworn in Thursday.

Get your bi-weekly dose of news from global to local in the latest issue of Random Lengths News, circulating in print and online.

Today and the week ahead

The show’s on the water today (Saturday) for the 47th annual Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade at 6 p.m. Details and viewing locations here.

Make merry on Sunday at the 29th annual holiday parade beginning at 1 p.m. on Dec. 6. Assuming he’s feeling well enough, the city attorney will serve as grand marshall, followed by a myriad of other politicos parading along.

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council is holding a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8 to address recent crime in the area. The meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St. Visit www.sanpedrocity.org or call (310) 918-8650 for more information.

Locally Crafted Holiday Gifts

So, you’ve been voting with your dollars and shopping locally this holiday season. That’s the spirit! In addition to your favorite stores, shop these special sales for locally made arts and crafts:

The Corner Store is hosting a series of art shows and sales this month. Pottery by Delora runs now through Sunday (Dec. 6), featuring ceramics and silky bejeweled handbags. Upcoming: It’s a Lu-Lu jewelry sale Dec. 12-13 and SilverFox jewelry sale Dec. 19-20. 1118 W 37th St., (310) 832-2424.

Shop downtown’s holiday craft festival on Sunday (Dec. 6) in conjunction with the annual holiday parade. Find all sorts of gifts, home décor, clothing and accessories at the fair, plus face painting, music and refreshments. Sponsored by the new Downtown San Pedro Business Assn., the festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Renaissance Lot, 429 Sixth St. For more information, view the flyer or call Our Creations at (310) 519-8231.

The San Pedro Arts Assn. is holding a holiday boutique sale beginning Friday with an opening reception at 7 p.m. The sale and Dec. 11 reception take place at the group’s gallery in Ports O’ Call Village, Berth 77, Bldg. P18. For more information, visit sanpedroarts.org or call (310) 831-2928.

Friday, November 27, 2009

In Holiday Mode: A Light News Week

First the Thanksgiving Day feast, then the Friday after. Did you relax, shop or go to work? The pace of news has slowed for the holiday, so there’s almost nothing to report. The December issue of San Pedro Today is out, featuring a cover story on the Arcade Building in downtown San Pedro, plus other community news and coupons from Harbor Area businesses to nudge you to “shop local.”

New at First Thursday

The monthly First Thursday artwalk is Dec. 3 in downtown San Pedro. Highlights include:

The opening of “Sunshine and Struggle,” a photo exhibit on Italian Americans in L.A. including historical artifacts and never before published photographs. Ribbon cutting and opening reception at 6:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Building, 447 W. Sixth Street. www.italianhall.org.

A free guided tour beginning at Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Café, 309 W. Seventh Street at 6:30 p.m. The hourlong tour will visit different buildings, shops, restaurants, galleries and artists’ studios each month.

Holiday Events

It’s that time, when the calendar fills up with seasonal events for festive good times. Here are the free community events occurring this week. If you’re in the mood for a holiday show, check the website of your favorite theatre for its seasonal performance.

Friday, Dec. 4

Fountain holiday show on the waterfront along Harbor Blvd. south of the bridge. 7-9 p.m.
www.portofla.org/recreation/fountain.asp

Candy Cane Lane open house and festival at Weymouth Corners, bringing Santa and more to Eighth Street and Weymouth Avenue. 5-9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 5

47th Annual Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade at 6 p.m. Details and viewing locations here.

Sunday, Dec. 6

29th Annual Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade, with City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich as Grand Marshall. Pre-parade entertainment at 11:30 a.m. at two locations in downtown San Pedro, followed by the parade along Pacific Avenue from 15th to Sixth Street then down Sixth to Palos Verdes Street. New this year: a fair at “Jurassic lot,” a.k.a Renaissance Park, 429 W. Sxith Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.spholidayparade.com.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Week in Review

Neighbors are steamed over the unannounced installation of cell phone towers near Taper Avenue Elementary School. Turns out, the cell phone companies don’t need to ask or tell before adding onto existing poles. Here’s the Daily Breeze story and here’s a Channel 2/9 TV news segment. A few days later, “Hahn asks LA council to reconsider cell tower policy.” More here in Hahn’s press release on the subject.

Extra! Extra! “San Pedro citizens panel gives Port of LA its plan for Knoll Hill,” but the devil is still in the (monetary) details.

The new L.A. police chief, Charlie Beck, held a meet and greet at Peck Park Thursday. Following an introduction by Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Beck spoke briefly then opened the floor to questions, which were few.

“Multicultural Man,” nude figure of peace and life-like anatomy, will be permanently displayed on the waterfront.

Funded by the city of L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency, the San Pedro Arts, Entertainment and Culture District has awarded grants to local artists. The grants are the first disbursements of the $500,000 budget allocated for artistic projects that add economic and cultural value to the neighborhood. So, who got funding? Read the names in the Daily Breeze news brief.

Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz defends the Clean Trucks program in a Daily Breeze commentary.

Lt. Gov. Race: Hahn’s Highly Visible, Lowenthal’s Lying Low

And the Juicy ‘What If’ Should the Council Seat Open Up

Two Harbor Area politicians are running for California Lieutenant Governor, more or less. Councilwoman Janice Hahn is leaning towards more, evidenced by the succession of press releases this week announcing her new campaign website, janicehahn.com, a video interview on her platform and more. For his part, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal is reportedly leaning against a run.

So, who might run for City Council if Hahn vacates the seat? The Daily Breeze names names in a story on Hahn’s lead in early polling.

Glimpse of the Future?

A record-setting number of cruise ship passengers will come and go through the World Cruise Center Sunday. If you have nothing better to do, go down and see three big ships and some of the 17,000 people who will embark or disembark throughout the day. Read more in the Daily Breeze story.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Knoll Hill Update

Port officials will give a presentation on Knoll Hill at Thursday’s Harbor commission meeting. Inclusion of ball fields remains the most controversial part of the “preferred alternative,” generating opposition from community activists and legal objections from state authorities.

Meanwhile, the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council voted Tuesday to endorse a Knoll Hill plan that does not include ball fields. By a 10-2 margin, board members signaled support for “passive” open space and non-specific active recreational activities. The two dissenting votes were cast by councilmembers Sue Castillo and Phill Trigas, who served on the port-sponsored advisory committee that authored the plan with ball fields, which the neighborhood council effectively voted down.

Finally, time is running out for the Eastview Little League to relocate from Knoll Hill but they are “striking out on new fields.”

Workshop Tuesday for Community Groups Holding Special Events in L.A.

There are countless horror stories about community groups having to change or cancel special events at the last minute because of incomplete paperwork. To remedy this, Councilwoman Janice Hahn is hosting a workshop to shed light on the city’s new special events process.

The workshop takes place on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Harbor Gateway, 19800 S. Vermont Ave. It will cover topics such as the street closure application process, block parties, Building and Safety permits, fire inspections and special event fees.

Call (310) 732-4515 for more information.

Coastal Council Meeting Monday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. For more information, view the agenda or call (310) 290-0049.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Breakfast is Free Sunday Morning

Pancakes and politics top the agenda for Sunday morning, when the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council hosts a free breakfast from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St. Give your elected representatives an earful of your concerns. Get a tote bag and partake in a free raffle. Read the details of the Nov. 8 breakfast and print a flyer for your neighbors at www.cspnc.org.

Week in Review

When the waterfront redevelopment plan was passed, nearly everyone cheered in unison. The planning and talking phase was finally over and the time had come to do something. No so fast. Today’s Daily Breeze looks at the just released timeline. See the details for yourself in the draft 11-year schedule and the draft implementation guidelines.

Here’s a feature story on City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who tells the Daily Breeze he’s “a watchdog, not a politician.”

The fight to reduce downtown San Pedro parking fees continues with a petition campaign.

Traffic should improve at 71 San Pedro intersections by next September, now that work has begun to synchronize traffic lights under the high-tech Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control System (ATSAC). Here’s a Daily Breeze news brief and here’s the memo from the city Department of Transportation.

This week’s issue of Random Lengths News has a cover story on San Pedro High School plus stories on Knoll Hill, the meeting on light rail and other issues. (It was not posted online at presstime, so you’ll have to seek out the print edition around town.)

The November issue of San Pedro Today is circulating in print and online, featuring a cover story on the San Pedro Bay Historical Society.

The winter issue of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council newsletter includes updates on Averill Park, environmental cleanup at the former Kinder Morgan tank farm site, Peck Park Canyon trail restoration and much more news on area developments.

Neighborhood Council Meetings Next Week

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave. Visit www.nwsanpedro.org or call (310) 732-4522 for more information.

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St. Refreshments are served at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.sanpedrocity.org or call (310) 918-8650 for more information.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Civic Notes

Meeting Tuesday on Possible Light Rail Service for Harbor Area

The county transportation agency will hold a public meeting Tuesday on improving transit routes in the Harbor Area, including possibly bringing light rail service to the region.

The meeting takes place on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. at the port administration building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St. Officials will report on the “alternatives analysis study” that was prepared following community meetings this spring.

View the flyer for meeting details and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority web page for background information.

Coastal Council Honored for Arts Involvement

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council received a citywide award this week for its support of the arts. LA Commons, a nonprofit organization, recognized the Coastal council and five other groups for their “effective efforts to use art and culture as a community building tool.”


Doug Epperhart, who served as founding president of the council, is pictured above accepting the “Uncommon Angels” award from Karen Mack, executive director of LA Commons, against a backdrop of a Day of the Dead display.

“It is rare and impressive for a neighborhood council to dig so deeply into the cultural arena,” said Mack. “We commend the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council for making cultural planning a centerpiece of their activities.”

The awards were given out at a luncheon at Mama’s Hot Tamales restaurant in MacArthur Park, west of downtown Los Angeles, which was vividly decorated for the season.

Coastal and the Downtown L.A. neighborhood council tied for the award in the neighborhood councils category. Coastal has supported Shakespeare by the Sea, Little Fish Theatre Company, Warner Grand Theatre programs, Angels Gate Cultural Center and Harbor Interfaith arts programs, among other initiatives.

Website for Angels Gate HS Development Info

Construction news and other documents can be found on a relatively new website about Angels Gate High School.

Pedro’s Image (Problem?)

City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich is making waves at City Hall, prompting the uptown set to theorize about his tough-guy San Pedro ways. It must be an exotic place to the cityfolk because they are busy writing a new mythology about San Pedro.

To wit:

Nuch “bellows in a San Pedro accent” in the LA Downtown News’ Halloween spoof on City Hall.

As for his approach to the city attorney’s job, Trutanich is “playing by San Pedro rules,” according to a Daily News commentary.

So, what does a San Pedro accent sound like?

First Thursday This Week

The monthly artwalk is Nov. 5 in downtown San Pedro. People’s Yoga is having a grand opening at 365 W. Sixth St. (310) 625-0633. Visit www.1stthursday.com for a map and updates on other special events.

Artists Wanted: Photo Contest for All Ages and Talent Show for Seniors

The Maritime Research Center in downtown San Pedro is holding a photo contest. Winning images of San Pedro will be printed on postcards and the winners will each get a $50 gift certificate to spend at participating Seventh Street businesses. The deadline is Dec. 1. View the contest rules for details.

Harbor Area residents ages 60+ are invited to apply for a talent show taking place in early December at the Warner Grand Theatre. The show will be held in conjunction with a free screening of the film “Young@Heart,” featuring a chorus of seniors.

Local seniors with a flair for singing, dancing, acting or another skill can apply for the talent show by emailing LACommunityCinema@gmail.com with your name, contact info and a description of your talent by Nov. 16.

The talent show will precede the Dec. 2 film screening. The event is sponsored by the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the office of Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs and Community Cinema.

Preview of Next Weekend

There may be no free lunch in this world, but there’s free breakfast next Sunday, thanks to the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council. Enjoy your fill of free pancakes, sausage and beverages on Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St. Give your elected representatives an earful of your concerns. Get a tote bag and partake in a free raffle. Read the details and print a flyer for your neighbors at www.cspnc.org.

Boo! Halloween Events

Visit last week’s calendar of events for today’s Halloween celebrations.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Port News

The upstart San Pedro Bay Port Technologies Development Center is getting an executive director.

Controversial port executive Wally Knox is leaving the harbor for the Department of Water and Power.

The new issue of Random Lengths News includes a cover story on “the port’s love affair with the cruise industry,” plus other port and community news.

Wilmington activists are mounting a legal battle against construction of a truck expressway.

Final Knoll Hill Meeting Tuesday

View and comment on the “preferred design” at this week’s Knoll Hill community meeting, taking place on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza hotel, 601 S. Palos Verdes St.

The meeting begins with a display of the “conceptual design” from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by official remarks and public comment. See the flyer for further details.

Halloween Events

Seasonal Identity Crisis?


Rene and Mary Sanchez have gotten into the seasonal spirit, decorating their home in the 2800 block of South Pacific Avenue. If it could talk, Mary’s hybrid Santa-scarecrow would be wishing everyone a Merry Halloween.

Dozens of Halloween events this Saturday and next. If there’s only a little information here, please click on the event for further details.

Oct. 24

“Twisted, Spooky, Creepy” at Little Fish Theatre Co. 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 or two for $20.

Day of the Dead Open Studio Project at San Pedro Arts Association. 1-5 p.m. Tickets: $10 ($5 for members).

“Halloween Fright Night 7” by the Golden State Pops Orchestra. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 ($15 for students and seniors).

Sea Scare at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. 6-9 p.m. Tickets: $5 for adults, $1 for children and seniors.

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Warner Grand Theatre. Midnight. Tickets: $9.

Oct. 25

YWCA Harvest Festival
at Ports O’ Call Village, Berth 76. 1-5 p.m. Free.

Oct. 29

“Scary Stories” by local actors at the Angels Gate Cultural Center amphitheater, 3601 S Gaffey St. Gather around the campfire at 6:30 p.m. for family-appropriate stories. Bring a sweater, a picnic dinner and chairs. Tickets: $5 for adults, children under 6 free. Call (310) 387-0908.

Oct. 30 and 31

Smilin’ Jack at ConocoPhillips. 6-9 p.m. both days. For the 57th year, the giant pumpkin is smiling for the community and his helpers are distributing free caramel corn. Call (310) 952-6156.

Oct. 31

Big Dia de Los Muertos celebration in downtown San Pedro from 3 to 10 p.m. Free. Folks in Long Beach can even hop aboard a free shuttle bus to attend.

Happy Harbor Halloween on the waterfront from noon to 3 p.m. Free.

Haunted House and “Nightmare on Beacon Street” sponsored by Beacon House. 6 p.m.-midnight. Donation: $5.

Costume party at Ma Griffe Galerie. 5-9 p.m. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Vicars and Tarts Costume Party at the Whale and Ale. 6 p.m. No cover.

“Jaws” at the Warner Grand Theatre. 9 p.m. Tickets: $10 ($5 if dressed in costume).

Howl-O-Ween Adoption/Fundraiser at the Harbor Animal Shelter, 957 N. Gaffey St. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

OPINION: Wanted: 80,000 Committee Members

By Doug Epperhart

Enough with the committees already.

We have three neighborhood councils, a Port Community Advisory Committee, a Community Redevelopment Agency citizens advisory committee, chamber of commerce, business improvement district board, and Arts Culture Entertainment district board, all of which have had some interest and input to the San Pedro waterfront master plan recently approved by the Harbor Commission.

And now various bureaucrats and activists are grappling with creating a committee to work with the port to flesh out the specifics of the master plan. Do we really need another group, likely staffed with the usual suspects, to advocate for the handful of San Pedrans who have somehow managed to avoid representation by one of the aforementioned bodies?

In fact, all of these entities – and many others – were able to get information about the waterfront plan, digest it, make their opinions known, and influence the outcome. There’s no reason to believe that won’t continue now that the plan has been adopted.

Here’s a suggestion for the port and community: instead of a committee of a dozen or two dozen of the chosen few, how about a committee of 80,000? Or at least as many of us San Pedrans who are willing to pay attention to what’s going on and offer our input.

The port has a high-powered publicity machine capable of telling everybody everything. Let them use it to provide regular reports on the waterfront, say once or twice a month. Those interested in getting these reports can sign up for emails, tweets, or snail mail. And everything would be posted on the web.

These communications should include a brief summary of what’s happened in the recent past, what’s expected to happen in the near future, and, most importantly, the opportunity for individuals to give feedback on proposed specifics. This could be done via email, online, telephone, or even at “listening sessions” where staff would be available for face-to-face discussion.

Along with regular updates, there should be public meetings at key points to gather a crowd to provide comment. Workshops should also be part of the mix.

The port has done all of these things in the past as a means to gauge public opinion. I’m sure they’ll keep doing them. Frankly, I don’t need another committee to get between me and the decisionmakers. And neither, I think, do most San Pedrans.

***
Doug Epperhart is a San Pedro resident, business owner and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council board member.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Week in Review

Harbor Interfaith Services will be expanding, thanks to a $5-million grant from the county.

Rep. Jane Harman gave a State of the Region address, which ended up focusing on the situation in Afghanistan.

Story and photo gallery from Monday’s Sportswalk induction.

A little write-up and picture of last Saturday’s Citizen of the Century ceremony honoring John Olguin.

About a year after its formation, the downtown San Pedro Property Business Improvement District (P-BID) is hiring a manager. Better hurry and apply; the deadline is 5 p.m. Monday.

From the arts pages, coverage of “Hate Mail” and “Deathtrap,” both on stage now at the Little Fish Theatre Co.

Last but not least, don’t forget to visit PedroCalendar.com and SanPedro.com for other events happening around town.

Coastal Council Meeting Monday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets on Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. View the agenda on the council’s newly redesigned website.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stop the Presses

This week’s San Pedro News will be a day late. It will publish on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 17) and reach your email box tomorrow, Sunday. One item it will contain is the Coastal neighborhood council meeting Monday. View the council’s new website for the agenda.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Here and There

Assorted tidbits for San Pedro newshounds this week.

Per our midweek update, the Olguin memorial unveiling is today, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.

The new San Pedro High School principal, Jeanette Stevens, will speak at both of next week’s neighborhood council meetings. Hear her Monday (Oct. 12) at the Northwest meeting (6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave.) and/or Tuesday (Oct. 13) at Central (6 p.m. refreshments, 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St.)

This year’s Sportswalk induction ceremony is Monday at 10 a.m. View the inductees and additional information at www.sportswalkwaterfront.com.

If you see a lot of construction and moving trucks around the downtown Centre Street Lofts in the coming months, it’s because the longshore union is establishing its Local 13 offices on the ground floor.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Olguin Monument Unveiling Saturday

Community pillar John Olguin will be honored at a ceremony Saturday to unveil a monument naming him “Citizen of the Century.”

Sponsored by the San Pedro Rotary Club, the event takes place on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. at the entrance to Pt. Fermin Park, 807 Paseo del Mar.

Here’s the background information from the press release:

Mr. John Olguin served the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department for 50 years in the Aquatics division. His many accomplishments include: Co-founder of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the establishment of the Point Fermin Marine Life Refuge, and past president and charter member of the Cetacean Society. He is considered the local “father of whale watching” and “Mr. San Pedro.” He was given a Lifetime Achievement award by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. For 55 years, he raised the funds and coordinated the Cabrillo Beach Fourth of July fireworks.

“It’s a great honor to be receiving this recognition from the San Pedro Rotary,” said Olguin. “The location of this monument means a lot to me. Many years ago I saw that this piece of land was collecting trash and needed attention. I got people involved to landscape and beautify it.”

The Rotary worked with local government for many years to find the right location for the monument. The small triangular median, noted for its large anchor, at the corner of Gaffey and Shepard Streets was selected. Considering the breadth and depth of Olguin’s community contribution, it’s no surprise that he was instrumental in improving this very spot.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Waterfront Reborn: They Did It

We bring you only one news story this week, but it’s important enough to fill this week’s virtual “paper.”


Photo by John Stinson.


At the end of their seven-hour meeting Tuesday, the Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to approve a sweeping plan to redevelop the San Pedro waterfront.

Commissioners made two amendments to the then working, now final, plan. On the controversial issue of new cruise ship terminal construction, they voted to build the first berth of the outer harbor cruise terminal on east side (away from Cabrillo Beach.)

Secondly, they instructed staff to write an implementation (read: funding) plan in 30 days.

As pictured above, hundreds of community members attended the late-night meeting. A handful of voices are quoted in the Daily Breeze stories “$1.2 billion waterfront redevelopment OK’d”
and “Restaurateur savors waterfront victory.”

It took a decade to approve a plan and will take another decade to build it. But, as the Daily Breeze editorialized, “If their predicted schedule is accurate, we’re more than halfway there.”

If you’re so inclined, you can view the entire meeting on the port’s video page. Lastly, here is the port’s press release on the subject.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Moment of Reckoning on the Waterfront?

The local media have spilled considerable ink ahead of Tuesday’s big meeting on waterfront redevelopment.

That meeting takes place on Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, 100 W. Fifth St. All eyes will be on the Board of Harbor Commissioners as they review and possibly vote on a plan to redevelop the waterfront.

Here are the recent news stories:

A three-story package was published in the Daily Breeze last weekend. The main story, “Decision nears on $1.2B San Pedro waterfront plan,” includes a TV news segment as an added bonus. Companion pieces explore the potential benefits to downtown San Pedro and Ports O’ Call. Two letters to the editor were published Thursday.

The port has released another newsletter and the waterfront is the cover story in the current Random Lengths News.

Elsewhere in the News

The October issue of San Pedro Today is available in print and online, featuring a cover story on the Golden State Pops Orchestra.

Going back to port-related issues, the Los Angeles Times examined the impact of diesel pollution on communities along the 710 Freeway. Headlined “A new crop of eco-warriors take to their own streets,” the story and video look at air pollution from the perspectives of grassroots activists in Commerce, Huntington Park and neighboring communities.

Arts & Culture

The first downtown San Pedro Fall Craft Fair is today (Sept. 26) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Renaissance lot at 429 W. Sixth St. is the place to go for ceramics, woodwork, jewelry, clothing, accessories, Christmas ornaments, soaps, oils, candles and more. The event, which includes children’s face painting, food and music, is part of the downtown business owners’ grassroots efforts to revive the local commercial district. For more information, call (310) 519-8231.

A new month begins on Thursday, which means First Thursday is this week, Oct. 1. Highlights appear on the First Thursday website, where you can print the monthly map.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Saturday Happenings: Clean the Seashore, Eat Some Seafood, Mind the Pt. Fermin Traffic

Be good to Mother Earth and join in the 25th annual Coastal Cleanup Day at Cabrillo Beach this morning (Saturday) from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Meet at the aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Dr. Call (310) 548-7562 for more information.

Savor succulent seafood at the 11th annual Port of L.A. Lobster Festival this weekend. Bring your appetite today and help with their world-record attempt for most seafood prepared at an outdoor event. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.lobsterfest.com for details and print an admission discount from the tickets page.

Also, the Light at the Lighthouse religious festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at Pt. Fermin Park.

Key Document Released Envisioning Waterfront of the Future

The port has posted a long-awaited environmental impact report (EIR) on waterfront redevelopment, presenting six possible scenarios for redevelopment. The Board of Harbor Commissioners will consider the options and potentially vote on a course of action on Sept. 29. Find the executive summary, full EIR and details of the Sept. 29 meeting on the port’s website.

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council is holding a special meeting Tuesday to consider its position on the newly released EIR. The community is encouraged to testify both at this meeting – taking place at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St. – and at the port’s Sept. 29 meeting.

Angels Gate High School Meeting Thursday

The L.A. school district is holding a public meeting this week to give an update on construction of the new public high school at Angels Gate. The meeting takes place on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at White Point Elementary School, 1410 Silvius Ave. For more information, call (213) 893-6802 or listen to recorded information on the hotline, (213) 893-6810.

City Attorney to Address Coastal Council Monday

City Atty. Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich will speak at Monday’s meeting of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council. The meeting takes place on Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. View the agenda here.

Solar Power Workshop Wednesday

Learn about the Department of Water and Power’s plans to expand use of solar power at a Sept. 23 workshop, taking place at 6 p.m. at the port administration building. Register at www.ladwpsolarnews.com.

Media Roundup

The headlines tell the story. Click and read.

“Janice Hahn testing waters for lieutenant governor run”

“Port of LA sprucing up its cruise terminal”

“High bacteria levels still being detected at inner Cabrillo Beach”

Downtown Coffee Shops Come and Go

Michel’s Unique Café is now serving coffee and crepes in the 8th Street Lofts building. Now in “soft opening” mode, the café is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 800 S. Pacific Ave., (310) 221-8145. Watch for news of a grand opening and more food offerings in the near future.

Starbucks closed in the Centre Street Lofts on Sept. 4. Word on the street is that Sacred Grounds will open a second location in that space. Stay tuned for a follow-up report.

On a related note, a Subway is “opening soon” in the Centre Street Lofts along Centre Street adjacent to the once and future coffee house spot.

Downtown Craft Festival Next Saturday

Downtown business owners are presenting a craft fair on Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Lot, 429 W. Sixth St. Watch for more information in next week’s San Pedro News.

Sweet!

The Daily Breeze profiled local cupcake outfit Italian Cuppacakes, sold at Nosh Café downtown. And a new Amalfitano Bakery is “coming soon” to Western Avenue. Double sweet!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happening Today

Saturday (Sept. 12) brings the TriArt Festival and “rebirth of Seventh Street” in downtown San Pedro, plus a sidewalk sale at Weymouth Corners.

And the L.A. Conservancy is organizing a scavenger hunt for pieces of San Pedro history from 2 to 5 p.m. today. Tickets are $30. Details here. (On a related note, the port has released a self-guided version of its historical walking tour. You download the audio or pick up a CD to listen as you tour the sites.)

Laboring Ahead

Here’s how Labor Day was celebrated in word and deed:

Some marched in Wilmington.

Some ran and walked across the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Daily Breeze columnist John Bogert urged readers to “remember the laborers.”

“This Labor Day not as happy for public sector unions,” the Daily Breeze reported.

The Los Angeles Times chronicled a rise in statewide union membership.

The Times published first-person stories by workers in changing industries (newspapers, music, farming and the financial sector), a commentary about warehouse workers and an interview with L.A.’s top labor leader.

Hot off the Presses

The port has published an informative newsletter all about waterfront redevelopment ahead of a pivotal meeting at the end of the month.

New issues of Random Lengths News and the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council newsletter are circulating.

Tank Farm to Park

The aforementioned Coastal newsletter, plus today’s Daily Breeze, contain stories on the construction of a park at the former 22nd Street tank farm, expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Prescription Drug Savings

With health care reform in the news this week, it’s worth noting that the city of L.A. has recently announced “L.A. Rx,” a prescription discount program open to one and all without fees or restrictions. Just print a card and bring it to a participating pharmacy to save 5-40% on brand-name and generic drugs.

New Principal at SPHS

Jeanette Stevens is riding the back-to-school wave as the new captain of an educational ship. She tells the Daily Breeze she’s “ready for challenges” at the helm of San Pedro High School.

Northwest Council Meeting Monday

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave. View the agenda, visit www.nwsanpedro.org or call (310) 732-4522 for more information.

Lobster Festival Next Weekend

The 11th annual crustacean extravaganza is Friday-Sunday, Sept. 18-20. They’re aiming to set a Guinness world record Saturday for the most seafood prepared at an outdoor event. Visit www.lobsterfest.com for all the juicy details.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Week in Review

“Final touches being put on San Pedro’s waterfront makeover plan,” today’s Daily Breeze reports. The story previews some of the elements that will be detailed when the much-anticipated, 7000-page tome is released on Sept. 29.

San Pedro community activists held a streetside rally Wednesday supporting federal health care reform. View a short story and picture here, but disregard the mixed-up caption.

The Daily Breeze revisits the Knoll Hill situation, complete with an illustration of a plan some parties are supporting, even though it violates state regulations.

Labor Day Events

Conquer the bridge by running or walking the five-mile span at 8 a.m. on Sept. 7. Visit the website for registration information. Street closures are as follows: the Vincent Thomas Bridge and Harbor Boulevard between Fifth Street and the bridge will be closed from midnight to 11 a.m. Monday.

The 30th annual Harbor Labor Coalition march and rally takes place in Wilmington on Sept. 7. Marchers will assemble at Broad and E streets at 9 a.m. and the march begins at 10 a.m., followed by a rally and picnic in Banning Park at noon.

City Attorney to Speak at Central Council Meeting Tuesday

City Attorney Nuch Trutanich will be the featured speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council. Separately, Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz will make a presentation on waterfront development. The meeting takes place on Sept. 8 at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St. A light dinner is served at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The agenda was not posted at presstime.

If You Were Hiring the Next Police Chief …

The city Personnel Department is conducting a survey asking Los Angeles residents what qualities the next police chief should possess. Voice your opinions here by Sept. 17.

Preview of Next Saturday

The third annual TriArt Festival is Sept. 12-13 in downtown San Pedro. The free event is a celebration of visual and performing arts and classic cars.

Concurrently, you can witness the “rebirth of 7th Street” on Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. A handful of new shops will join with the existing businesses to showcase the newly rebranded “7th Street Village.” The celebration will include food, music, a raffle, children’s activities and more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Slow-Cooked News

The hills are burning and not much else is making news in these hot, lazy, end-of-summer days. Here’s a little something to quench your thirst.

The Los Angeles Times picked up the story of St. Peter’s Church and its delayed move to Green Hills.

KABC Talkradio 790 AM picked up the “half-off” campaign to cut L.A. politicians’ pay, interviewing Doug Epperhart of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council during the McIntyre in the Morning program.

The monthly First Thursday artwalk is Sept. 3 in downtown San Pedro. A few highlights are listed on the official website.

New issues of Random Lengths News and San Pedro Today are on the streets. The Random Lengths website hasn’t been updated yet, so you’ll have to find a hard copy to read the cover story on the Harbor Labor Coalition and the rest of the content. San Pedro Today has been posted to the web and features a rock band that caters to Catholic youth.

If you’re starting to think about your Labor Day plans, remember that the Vincent Thomas Bridge will be closed in the morning for the Conquer the Bridge run/walk.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Week in Review

7-Eleven approved – A local governing panel has approved plans for a 24-hour 7-Eleven at 19th Street and South Pacific Avenue, the subject of two long letters to the editor earlier in the week, including one by Councilwoman Janice Hahn.

Rest in peace? (Not.) – The historic San Pedro church that was going to be repaired and relocated to Green Hills Memorial Park is in bureaucratic limbo and “hasn’t found salvation yet,” according to Monday’s Daily Breeze.

Citywide press for political campaign rooted in SP – As previously reported, community activists Doug Epperhart and Bob Gelfand are waging a citywide campaign to cut L.A. politicians’ pay. The L.A. Weekly has picked up the story, asking, “can pissed off Angelenos cut the nation’s richest City Council salaries in half?”

Classic Cars will Cruise (and Close) Pacific Ave. Tonight

The fourth annual Hot Pedro Nites fundraiser is tonight, Aug. 22. The classic car event is organized by Clean San Pedro to benefit the group’s community beautification efforts.

The 300-car cruise will close South Pacific Avenue between Sixth and 17th Streets from 6 to 9 p.m. The festivities continue in downtown San Pedro, where street music will entertain restaurant and shop patrons.

Read all about it in the Random Lengths News cover story and today’s Daily Breeze.

Friday, August 14, 2009

7-Eleven on Agenda Tuesday

The Harbor Area Planning Commission on Tuesday will revisit 7-Eleven’s proposal to build a store in coastal San Pedro. The sticky issue remains the company’s desire to keep the store open 24 hours, as outlined in this week’s Daily Breeze story.

The meeting takes place on Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the port administration building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St. The meeting agenda is here.

A new commissioner will be seated at this meeting. Phill Trigas, a Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council board member, has been nominated and confirmed to serve on the commission and will take office Tuesday.

Bits of News about Ponte Vista

The developer of the Western Avenue property will hold public meetings this fall and release a schedule of events next month, according to this news brief.

And this brief tells about the routine, “low-key” report that planning staff made before this week’s Planning Commission meeting. Bottom line: still researching, dialoging and planning.

Politician-turned-Port-Exec to Speak at Coastal Council Meeting Monday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets on Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. The agenda includes a waterfront redevelopment update by former state assemblyman Wally Knox, who is temporarily serving as a Port of Los Angeles executive. Knox was named to the newly-created post of deputy executive director for external affairs this spring, but, citing financial concerns, the City Council voted not to confirm the permanent position.

Nuch and the People from the Neighborhood

City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich hosted hundreds of neighborhood council members and other civic activists at downtown L.A. City Hall Thursday.

The unprecedented meet-and-greet began with a reception, followed by a report and question-and-answer session led by the self-declared “people’s lawyer” from San Pedro.



Nuch speaks, above, and takes questions from the audience.

At least one elected official credited the neighborhood councils for Trutanich’s upset victory in the May election. “If not for neighborhood councils getting involved, he wouldn’t be here,” said Councilman Dennis Zine. “You made the right choice.”

Trutanich took every opportunity to emphasize his populist, public-service mission. Here are some soundbites from the meeting:

“You hired me to be your lawyer. Do you want your lawyer to be politically correct or good?”

“During my first management meeting, I told my managers that if you mention politics in here, you won’t be here next week.”

“I don’t think I’ve been home before 10:30 since I took office. It’s just the way you have to lead. We have a department that’s so, so very dedicated to the people of this city. I consider myself a leader among equals.”

Message to billboard companies, who are objecting to the city’s new ban on the outdoor ads: “The days of civil suits against you are over. If you violate criminal law, I’m going to have you arrested and you will go to jail and post bail like anyone else who breaks the law. At the end of the day, we’re going to take control of our city, one billboard at a time.”

For more along these lines, click over to last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times story, “Trutanich stirs city attorney’s office.”

Run across the V.T. Bridge

A race across the Vincent Thomas Bridge will take place on Labor Day. Conquer the Bridge is sponsored by a Redondo Beach-based company. Read more in the Daily Breeze.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Nuthin’ to Say

This week’s recap is more pictures than words.

Politicians and Other Characters Roam the ‘Taste’




City Attorney Nuch Trutanich, top photo, parked himself near the Redmen’s Lodge booth at last weekend’s Taste in San Pedro. Trutanich was among the political figures who made appearances Sunday, as did City Controller Wendy Greuel, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, State Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Assemblyman Ted Lieu. Another character present was the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium harbor seal, posing for pictures and humbly collecting donations from the tasters.

Good Clean Fun



The aforementioned city attorney was photographed taking the plunge at the recent picnic for city attorney employees. Into the dunk tank went the leading lawyer and, sure enough, someone had spot-on aim. Case closed. See the whole photo gallery here.

Bye, Bye, Bratton

L.A.’s police chief is resigning and everyone has something to say about it, including Councilwoman Janice Hahn. If her soundbite in the Los Angeles Times wasn’t enough for you, you can find her entire (short) statement on the press releases page of her website, which is now updated frequently.

Hear Hahn at Neighborhood Council Meeting Next Week

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave. View the agenda, visit www.nwsanpedro.org or call (310) 732-4522 for more information.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn is scheduled to speak at Tuesday’s meeting of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council. The Aug. 11 meeting takes place at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. Seventh St., beginning with refreshments at 6 p.m. followed by the meeting at 6:30 p.m. The agenda is posted at www.sanpedrocity.org.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Locals Wage Citywide Campaign to Halve Council Pay

Two community activists are leading an initiative campaign to cut the pay of L.A. city politicians.

The proposal by Doug Epperhart and Bob Gelfand, veteran members of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, would cut in half the salaries of the mayor, city attorney, city controller and city councilmembers. The reform measure would be a city charter amendment, anticipated to appear on the November 2010 ballot.

At $178,789, L.A. councilmembers are the highest paid legislators in the country, outearning members of the U.S. Senate and Congress. The L.A. “half-off” campaign is the cover story in the current issue of Random Lengths News. (At presstime, there were technical difficulties with the online version. But, you can view the Random Lengths video interview with Epperhart and Gelfand.)

Fill Your Plate at ‘Taste in S.P.’ This Weekend

The 21st annual “Taste in San Pedro” is this weekend, Aug. 1-2. The festival runs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Pt. Fermin Park, 807 Paseo del Mar.

Saturday concludes with fireworks at 9 p.m. Sunday’s military tribute takes place at 12:55 p.m. (not at the festival conclusion, as San Pedro News erroneously reported last week). General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, members of the military and children 6-17. Tickets for food and drinks are sold separately.

All the volunteer shifts are filled and the vendor booth space has sold out. Read more background in the Daily Breeze.

‘First Thursday’ Next Week

The monthly First Thursday artwalk is Aug. 6. Highlights were not posted online at presstime. Check the website next week for an update.

Media Roundup

A new issue of San Pedro Today has been published in print and online, with a cover story on multigenerational family-owned local restaurants.

San Pedro is the featured community in the August issue of Los Angeles Magazine. Half a dozen downtown shops and restaurants are profiled in the “Street Smart” story.

More on 7-Eleven

Random Lengths reports on 7-Eleven’s presentation to the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, which voted to oppose its proposed store at 19th Street and South Pacific Avenue, and the Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting the following day. And Erin Strelich, chair of Coastal’s planning committee, shares her thoughts in a letter to the editor responding to last week’s San Pedro News story.

More News Videos

Add Random Lengths News to the sources of local news videos, along with Councilwoman Janice Hahn and former Honorary Mayor John Mavar. See Channel RLn for Random Lengths’ videos.

Friday, July 24, 2009

7-Eleven Decision Delayed 1 Month

The Harbor Area Planning Commission this week delayed action on the proposed 7-Eleven in coastal San Pedro until next month. Following testimony by supporters and opponents of the proposed store at 19th Street and South Pacific Avenue, commissioners moved to postpone a decision until the August 18 meeting. 7-Eleven is no longer seeking authorization to sell alcohol right away but may apply for permission a year or two after opening, according to Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s office. The store is seeking approval for 24-hour operations, a point of contention among some neighbors and community activists.

‘Taste in San Pedro’ Begins with Special Friday Concert

The 21st annual “Taste in San Pedro” kicks off this Friday, July 31 with a rock concert from 6 to 10 p.m. headlined by Platinum Rockstars, plus 110 South and the Jerry Butera Blues Band.

The food booths are not open for this special concert, but will be serving tastes of San Pedro cuisine beginning at 11 a.m. on Aug. 1.

The ‘Taste’ is open until 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 at Pt. Fermin Park, 807 Paseo del Mar. A fireworks show will close the festival on Saturday and a military tribute will wrap it all up Sunday night.

Admission is $10, plus individual food and drink tickets. Guests who buy and print tickets online can enter through preferred express gates. Use promotion code FL09 to save $1 off adult general admission tickets online. (The code is not valid on family, military, senior or couples packages).

Go to www.tasteinsanpedro.com for information and tickets.

Week in Review

Downtown business owners have launched a grassroots organization to stage special events and promote local commerce. Shops will be open late every Thursday night, not just on First Thursday.

Seaside Pharmacy, San Pedro’s oldest known business, lost a piece of its history when former owner Virgil Ray “Mac” McCutchan died on July 16, the Daily Breeze reported.

“Port facing April 1 deadline for inner Cabrillo Beach cleanup” and they’re already racing against time, according to the Daily Breeze.

Sunken City sank a little more Friday.

“Single drivers can pay tolls to use carpool lanes starting in Dec. 2010,” the Daily Breeze reported. The policy will apply to the Harbor Freeway and a portion of the San Bernardino Freeway.

Catching up on last Friday – Here is the July 17 Daily Breeze story on the Attorney General’s money-bearing visit to a San Pedro drug treatment center and here is a look at the newly named director of Angels Gate Cultural Center.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Key Hearing about Plan for 7-Eleven in Coastal San Pedro

The Harbor Area Planning Commission on Tuesday will consider whether to sustain or overrule a zoning administrator’s rejection of alcohol sales at the proposed 7-Eleven on South Pacific Avenue.

7-Eleven has appealed the zoning administrator’s May ruling to deny alcohol sales. The decision now rests with the Planning Commission, which will vote on the appeal.

The meeting takes place on July 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the port building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St. View the full agenda here. (The 7-Eleven issue is item 5 on page 3).

Councilwoman Janice Hahn supports 7-Eleven’s quest to sell alcohol at the store. The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council will vote at its Monday meeting on a motion to support the zoning administrator’s findings. Opponents are expected to turn out and testify at both the Coastal council meeting and the Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting. Details of the Coastal council meeting are published below.

Civic Notes

Attorney General Eric Holder held an event at Support for Harbor Area Women’s Lives (SHAWL), presenting the San Pedro drug abuse treatment center with an economic stimulus check for $150,000.

San Pedro High School has a new principal, Jeanette L. Stevens. The San Pedro resident sparked controversy this spring when she denied diplomas to Leichy Middle School students who protested the culmination speaker.

The Daily Breeze reports on the waterfront update port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz gave at this week’s Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meeting.

At City Hall this week, Councilwoman Janice Hahn called for taxing medical marijuana and pushed for health-care coverage for airport workers.

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council elected officers at its meeting Monday. President Dan Dixon, Vice President John Mavar and Treasurer Craig Goldfarb were re-elected to office. Diana Nave is the council’s new secretary.

So, how’s “Nuch” doing? “New LA City Attorney Trutanich already making waves,” according to the Daily Breeze.

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets on Monday , July 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. The agenda includes a vote on the 7-Eleven zoning issue referenced above and an election to fill a vacant board seat. For more information about the council or serving on the board, visit www.cspnc.com or call (310) 290-0049.

This Weekend’s Highlights

Today’s art walk has expanded from six galleries to more than two dozen in downtown and beyond. The event takes place Saturday, July 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. Pick up a map at the Chamber of Commerce, 390 W. Seventh St., or one of the galleries listed last week.

Weymouth Corners will celebrate a handful of new shops with a ribbon-cutting event and special sales today (July 18) from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. A new hair salon and health center will be feted, along with the newly expanded Alva’s Music and other new businesses in the 1400 block of West Eighth Street.

The Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown San Pedro will host a free jazz festival on Sunday, July 19 from 2 to 8 p.m. Food and drink will be for sale, as will artwork by members of the San Pedro Arts Association. Details in the flyer.

Press for ’Pedro Pizza

You read it here first, when the deliciously distinctive Pavich’s Pizza opened last spring. Then the Los Angeles Times discovered it and just this week the Daily Breeze published a positive review. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, flip through the little photo gallery with the LA Times piece for some saucy scenes.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pop Goes the News

There was a little ceremony for a really famous singer this week and nary another word of news. By week’s end, the politicos were squabbling over the costs and benefits of l’affaire MJ.

Meanwhile, here are some bits of local news.

Old Ft. MacArthur Days are this weekend, July 11-12.

Regular monthly neighborhood council meetings are next Monday and Tuesday for Northwest and Central, respectively. Central is taking to the great outdoors and holding its meeting on the Waterfront Promenade. That’s right, down by the waterfront at Harbor Boulevard and First Street. The meeting will include an update from port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz about waterfront development and other port topics. Park in the port lot on the east side of Harbor Boulevard and walk one-half block north to the Santa Cruz Plaza area. View the full meeting agenda on the council’s home page.

How about some news videos with your morning coffee? Councilwoman Hahn and former Honorary Mayor John Mavar are among the locals who post multimedia news to their websites.

Preview of Next Weekend

Special Saturday downtown art walk on July 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. Six galleries are participating: Warschaw Gallery, Gallery 478, Board Room Gallery at the Chamber of Commerce, Studio 339, 7th Street Studios and Gallery Azul. Maps will be available at participating galleries.

Weymouth Corners will celebrate a handful of new shops with a ribbon-cutting event and special sales on July 18 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. A new hair salon and health center will be feted, along with the newly expanded Alva’s Music and other new businesses in the 1400 block of West Eighth Street.

The Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown San Pedro will host a free jazz festival on July 19 from 2 to 8 p.m. Food and drink will be for sale, as will artwork by members of the San Pedro Arts Association. Details in the flyer.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Councilwoman’s Third Term


Hollywood-area Councilman Tom LaBonge, right, photographs an exultant Janice Hahn at her Wilmington swearing-in ceremony last Saturday.


The Daily Breeze speculates about Janice Hahn’s next move as the councilwoman is sworn in for her final term.

Grassroots Power Multiplied

The seven Harbor Area neighborhood councils have formed an alliance to boost their collective power over issues of areawide concern, the Daily Breeze reported Sunday.

Seaside Independence Day


U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christina L. Bozeman.


The visiting Coast Guard cutter Active, pictured, is open for public tours today (July 4) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Berth 46, along with the locally-stationed cutter George Cobb. To board the ships, you must be a U.S. citizen and show a valid photo I.D. Photography is permitted, but sandals, high heels and bags are not allowed. A Coast Guard helicopter will perform a search and rescue demonstration at 5:30 p.m. It’s all part of the Navy Days LA celebration, a project of the United States Navy League.

San Pedro’s traditional Independence Day festivities include the morning Korean bell ringing and evening Cabrillo Beach concert and fireworks. Details in last week’s edition.

There’s also the annual flag-raising ceremony at 7:45 a.m. at the home of Vince and Dolores Villa, 1153 18th St.

Preview of Next Weekend: Old Ft. MacArthur Days

The 23rd annual event is July 11-12. Read the details here.

Correction

In last week’s story on the North Gaffey Street beautification project, San Pedro News credited the idea to Pat and Diana Nave. The project is more accurately characterized as the end result of several parallel ideas and efforts by both the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council and the San Pedro Peninsula Homeowners United.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Live from San Pedro, it’s Saturday Morning

Catch Hahn’s Swearing-in and Hopefully Not a Hog-Wild Mass of Motorcycles

Councilwoman Holds Community Ceremony in Wilmington

Councilwoman Janice Hahn will hold a ceremonial swearing-in event today (June 27) at 10:30 a.m. at the Banning Residence Museum, 401 E. M St. in Wilmington. City Attorney-elect Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich will introduce the councilwoman and her brother, James Hahn, will administer the oath of office. Free hot dogs and soft drinks will be served. (Here’s the invitation).

Hahn’s formal swearing-in takes place Wednesday at City Hall in downtown L.A., where she will take the oath in a citywide ceremony with the mayor, city attorney, city controller and city council members from odd-numbered districts.

On Alert for Bikers, Reportedly Not Coming to Coastal San Pedro

The alarm bells rang this week when word circulated that the motorcycle club that brought thousands of bikers to San Pedro for a non-permitted event last summer was holding a picnic Saturday.

According to the Daily Breeze, the club is not planning to hold its event in San Pedro. City officials say that no permits have been issued for a large-scale gathering. The club’s website does not post anything about a Saturday event.

Nonetheless, Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s office asked the police to add extra patrols to cite motorcyclists whose bikes exceed lawful noise levels and potentially disperse an unpermitted assembly.

Here a Park, There a Park

Bandini Canyon Groundbreaking


Councilwoman Janice Hahn joined members of the steering committee to break ground on the new Bandini Canyon park. Pictured from left are committee members David Rivera, Robert Fenton, Rose Gonzalez, Rachel Viramontes and Mike Markulis with Councilwoman Hahn, third from left.

Ground was broken Thursday on a desolate patch of land set to become Bandini Canyon Trail Park. When completed in the spring, the barren landscape pictured above will be transformed into five acres of parkland with lighted walking paths, a playground, perimeter fencing, decorative steel gates and native landscaping.

Under the coordination of Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, a 15-member community steering committee developed plans for the park, located just west of Gaffey Street downhill off of Sepulveda Street at Marshall Court.

Calling the process “long but ultimately satisfying,” steering committee chair Robert Fenton said it was “pretty amazing to watch different groups with different perspectives come to consensus on what we were going to do.”

Steering committee members were Bobby Canosa-Carr, Leslie Carbajal, Sue Castillo, Rose Gonzalez, James Hadley, Dolores Kollmer, Robyn Lamoreux, Mike Markulis, Matthew Newell, Frank O’Brien, Noel Park, David Rivera, Graham Robertson, Rachel Viramontes and Sue Vittorio.

Contractors have set up a trailer on-site and will be working regularly to complete the development.

The Daily Breeze previewed the groundbreaking in a story Wednesday.

Walking on the Pretty Side of North Gaffey Street




Community members and city officials cut the ribbon then strolled the pavement last Saturday along the new pedestrian walkway on North Gaffey Street. In this first phase of the port-funded beautification project, a half-mile stretch of the thoroughfare between Gatun Street and Westmont Drive has been developed into a parkway with a winding path for pedestrians and bicyclists, benches, picnic tables, sun shelters, drinking fountains and lighting.

When the beautification project is completed, it will extend nearly a mile from Channel Street and Pacific Avenue up to North Gaffey Street and Westmont Drive.

It was developed by the port with funds from the settlement of the China Shipping environmental lawsuit. The idea originated with civic activists Pat and Diana Nave, who partnered with the port, the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council, local homeowners groups and Chevron – which owns a section of the land – to bring the project to fruition.

“This project shows what can be accomplished when the port and neighborhood councils work together,” said Diana Nave, a member and past president of the Northwest council.

Seasonal Festival with Classic Cars on First Thursday

Photo courtesy Port of L.A.

The monthly First Thursday artwalk is July 2 in downtown San Pedro.

The port is presenting a classic car show and special patriotic program at the Fanfare fountain Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m.

The “Cars & Stripes Forever” event will feature a number of all-American activities. Classic cars and Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be on display and guests will be further entertained by live music and free Red Car rides. Eat, drink and support local causes at the beer garden, benefitting Clean San Pedro, and the barbecue and soft drink stands benefiting the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society and the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

Officials will speak at 8 p.m., followed by a fountain performance of patriotic songs. The show will repeat at 9:30 p.m.

Free parking is available at Berth 87 and at two Red Cars stops. View the event page for parking details and additional information or call (310) 221-4717.

The fountain will be singing and dancing all summer according to this updated schedule.