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.

Tour a Coast Guard Cutter

A Coast Guard cutter will dock at the port and offer public tours over the July 4 weekend. The ship (name not released) will arrive Friday afternoon for the Navy Days LA celebration, a project of the United States Navy League.

The ship will pass by the Angels Gate Lighthouse at approximately 3 p.m. on July 3 and will dock at Berth 46 in the outer harbor at approximately 3:30 p.m., when a ship-side welcoming ceremony will be held.

The ship arrival and welcoming ceremony are open to the public at Berth 46, located at the end of Miner Street.

Free public tours will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 4, when the ship will be joined by the locally-stationed cutter George Cobb. To board the ship, 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.

Preview of Next Saturday: 4th of July Events

The annual ringing of the Korean Friendship Bell will take place on July 4 at 10:30 a.m. at Angels Gate Park, 3601 S. Gaffey St.

Then at night, the tradition moves to Cabrillo Beach, where the Golden State Pops Orchestra will present a free concert at 8 p.m. and fireworks will mark the grand finale of the local Independence Day celebration.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Once and Future News

Have you noticed the new landscaping, pathway, lights and benches on North Gaffey Street? Today is their official coming-out party. Representatives of the port, the city and the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council will celebrate the results of their collaboration to improve the thoroughfare. The event takes place today (June 20) at the intersection of Westmont Drive and North Gaffey Street and the public is invited. Refreshments are served at 9:15 a.m. followed by the ceremony at 9:30 a.m. (Here’s the flyer, but it doesn’t say much more than this).

A spay and neuter clinic has opened at the new animal shelter on North Gaffey Street, with reduced fees for low-income pet owners. Clinic staff will answer questions and book appointments during today’s information fair and adoption event marking the shelter’s first year of operation. Details in the Daily Breeze.

Interest groups have been jockeying for years to influence waterfront redevelopment. In the case of Wilmington, the grand finale was reached this week as the port approved a “$144-million development that will change the face of Wilmington over the next decade,” according to the Daily Breeze. Not that the money exists to build it all, but the plan calls for parks, retail shops, restaurants and an observation tower to view the working port. The San Pedro waterfront plan will be heard in the fall.

Shovels will start digging this week at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new park and trail at Bandini Canyon. The event takes place on June 25 at 1 p.m. at Marshall Court between Oliver and Sepulveda Streets. Project background is here and the event flyer is here.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn is holding a swearing-in party for Harbor Area communities next Saturday. Brother James Hahn, now a Superior Court judge, will administer the oath of office at 10:30 a.m. on June 27 at the Banning Residence Museum, 401 E. M St. in Wilmington. A free barbecue will follow the ceremony.

Watch for bicyclists on Harbor Boulevard and Beacon Street this Sunday, when the Bike Palace holds a series of races from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m on June 21. A portion of the proceeds benefit Clean San Pedro and Beacon House.

Today’s the Day to be Earthy and Fashionable

As reported last week, downtown businesses are presenting a summer solstice festival today (June 20) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at “Jurassic lot,” 429 W. 6th St., The event will include exhibits, performers, food and music. For more information, call (424) 204-5813.

In addition to the Maral Designs fashion show mentioned last week – taking place today with a luncheon at the Whale and Ale – a second show will be held at 7 p.m. tonight (June 20) at Soluna, 315 W. 6th St. The show will feature swimwear and will be followed by an afterparty at Crimsin lounge. Call (310) 833-3695 or visit the Soluna blog for more information.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Politicos, Business Leaders Honored

Politicians minded San Pedro’s business and local civic leaders marked their moment in the spotlight at a San Pedro Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.

According to Chamber officials, this was the first time all three Los Angeles citywide political leaders were in San Pedro at the same time. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Controller-elect Wendy Greuel and City Attorney-elect Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich were the main attraction at the Chamber luncheon.

From left, incoming Chamber chair Jayme Wilson, outgoing Chamber chair John Ek, City Attorney-elect Carmen Trutanich, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Controller-elect Wendy Greuel and Chamber president Camilla Townsend.

In accepting the Chamber’s “leadership” award, Villaraigosa highlighted city efforts to advance “green” technology at the port. “Greening and growing the port is essential, but you can’t do one without the other,” said Villaraigosa. (This was the angle of the Daily Breeze story on the mayor’s visit.)

Cindy Miscikowski, the mayor’s nominee to lead the Board of Harbor Commissioners, was among the luncheon guests.

Greuel and Trutanich referred to the reform-minded agendas they will push when they take office on July 1.

Greuel said that during her 1 a.m. call to congratulate Trutanich on his election, she asked, “Are you ready for your audit?” Unlike the incumbent city attorney, Trutanich supports a Controller audit of the city attorney’s office.

Trutanich began his remarks by encouraging the audience to applaud itself because “we’re here. We’re on the map.” Pledging to shake up City Hall, he said, “I’m thankful and humbled by your support. You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The Chamber presented awards to three San Pedro businesses.

Downtown developer Eric Eisenberg of the Renaissance Group received the “bold vision” award for his leadership in spurring business improvement efforts.

Niko’s Pizzeria was named Restaurant of the Year. Owners Deno Boosalis, second from left, and Nick Tsoufoulas are flanked by Chamber leaders Jayme Wilson, left, and John Ek.

Moises Figueroa, center, accepted the Business of the Year award for SA Recycling from Chamber officers John Ek and Camilla Townsend.

In Other Political News

“Who will run for Janice Hahn’s seat on the Los Angeles City Council?” the Daily Breeze asked last Sunday. Names are named as the jockeying begins.

The Lions Club this week honored civic leaders Steve and Flo Kleinjan as Ante Perkov Humanitarians of the Year. The Clean San Pedro founders also support many other non-profit groups in San Pedro. Read more from Tuesday’s Daily Breeze.

High School Seniors are College Bound

Boys and Girls Club ‘College Bound’

Pictured are two of the nearly 200 students in College Bound, a program of the Boys and Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor. The class of 2009 was honored in a ceremony Wednesday at the Warner Grand Theatre.

Board chair Michael Lebovitz is pictured presenting commendations to the graduates.

This year, one of the students became the first accepted to an Ivy League school. The program also celebrated the first acceptances to NYU, Notre Dame, USC and Berkeley.

City Attorney-elect Carmen Trutanich was the keynote speaker. After recounting the story of his underdog campaign, he told the students, “Odds are something to be beaten. I ran because it gave me the opportunity to leave a legacy. As you sit here today, you have the opportunity to leave your legacy. Don’t let yourself down. Work hard.”

Port of Los Angeles High School

Friends and family packed the house to be part of the historic first graduation for the Port of Los Angeles High School. The public charter school opened in 2005 and graduated 90 seniors Friday. Three students are enlisting in the military and the remainder are going to college.

Co-valedictorian Julia Williams, top, delivered the invocation. She will attend Mount Saint Mary’s College outside of downtown L.A. Co-valedictorian Sophia Lopez, bottom, gave the farewell address. She’s headed up to UC Berkeley.

In her keynote speech, Councilwoman Janice Hahn used maritime metaphors to describe the students’ journey. “For the last four years, you all have been moving down the main channel of life. Today, you have reached the breakwater.

“And as you enter the breakwater, you now have to navigate through all of life’s storms. But, as any sailor knows, it never really is about the storm but about how you cast your sails. And just like the various ships and boats we see when we look out to our port, you will all serve different roles in your lives.

“Some of you will put out fires, both figuratively and literally, like our fire boat. Some will serves as guides to others, much like our tug and pilot boats. Some of you will travel to far-away destinations, like our container ships. And the, of course, there will be those of you that just want to have a good time, much like our cruise ships,” Hahn said.

After playfully envisioning the students’ college experiences – eating chips and soda for breakfast, “seeing two sunrises in a row” – Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz encouraged students to apply for jobs in the port, saying she’d be proud to walk the administration building and find port high graduates on staff.

Each graduate posed with the school’s executive director, James Cross (left), and principal Tom Scotti. Students presented Cross with the senior class gifts, a mosaic artwork for the school and an emerald ring for him.

Both graduation ceremonies were held at the Warner Grand Theatre.

100 Years of Learnin’ at Barton Hill Elementary School

People ages 9 to 99 celebrated Barton Hill Elementary School’s 100th birthday Thursday afternoon.

Martilliano Fernandez, class of 2010 and third-generation Barton Hill student.

Harry Hall, violinist, class of 1925.

The school drill team.

Graduates in attendance included Harry Hall, class of 1925, who performed the violin. At the other end of the age spectrum, third-generation Barton Hill “Cougar” Martilliano Fernandez – class of 2010 – was a voice of current students.

There’s more in the Daily Breeze report.

Lookie-Loos Welcome at Swanky New P.V. Resort

The Terranea resort opened around the bend in Palos Verdes Friday. Built on the former Marineland site, the 102-acre coastal resort is now taking reservations at its restaurants and spa. For opening week, the resort is offering tours of the property every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through June 21. Here’s the Daily Breeze story and photo gallery (To see the photo captions, mouse over the top edge of the picture).

Coastal Council Meeting Monday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets on June 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building, Cabrillo Plaza, Berth 28. The agenda was not posted at presstime. Visit or call (310) 290-0049 for more information.

Of Arts and Culture

‘Spring for White Point’ Sunday
The annual home tour and fundraiser for the White Point Nature Preserve is Sunday afternoon, June 14. Tickets are $55 the day of the event and can be purchased at the Vue. Details at

Hump Day at the Movies: ‘Warner on Wednesdays’
The Central San Pedro Neighborhood council wants to “wow” you with a bargain movie of the week this summer. “Warner on Wednesdays” (“WOW”) will feature a different family-friendly movie each Wednesday night beginning June 17 at the Warner Grand Theatre. Tickets are $3 per person or $10 for a couples package with refreshments. Details at

Be Earthy and Fashionable Downtown Next Saturday
Mark the season at a summer solstice celebration on June 20 in downtown San Pedro. The free festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at “Jurassic lot,” 429 W. 6th St., and will include exhibits, performers, food and music. For more information, call (424) 204-5813.

Maral’s Designs, the Whale and Ale and the Maritime Research Center are staging a summer luncheon and fashion show at 1 p.m. on June 20. Tickets are $30. View the flyer for details.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So Begins June and a New Month of News

Sometimes, rigid government is a good thing. Rare case in point: there’s money to improve Averill and Peck Parks and it’s safe from the city budget mess. The Daily Breeze has more in “San Pedro park improvements approved.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed former L.A. City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, dashing Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s hope of a Harbor Area nominee.

The city implemented a new water-use policy on June 1. Mondays and Thursdays are the only days to water your landscaping legally (before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m.) Your bill will be lower if you abide by your 15-percent reduction, but water-wasters will get soaked, the Daily Breeze reported.

The Los Angeles Times did a feature story on Fireboat 2 last Sunday, tracing its colorful history of seaborne adventures and its need for a clean, comfortable retirement home.

Here’s more about Ponte Vista’s community outreach meetings.

Mayor, Controller, City Attorney to Lunch in S.P. Thursday

The highest-ranking city politicos are all coming to San Pedro this week. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Attorney-elect Carmen Trutanich and City Controller-elect Wendy Greuel are attending the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce leadership luncheon on Thursday.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn is also on the guest list for the June 11 luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel in Cabrillo Marina. The chamber will give awards to Villaraigosa, business leader Eric Eisenberg, Niko’s Pizzeria and SA Recycling.

Tickets are available for $60 per person. Visit or call (310) 832-7272 for more information.

Council Meetings Coming Up; Central at New Location

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave. The agenda was not posted at presstime. Visit or call (310) 732-4522 for more information.

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Tuesday, June 9 at the Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. 7th Street (due to construction at the Port of Los Angeles High School.) Refreshments are served at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. View the agenda, visit or call (310) 918-8650 for more information.

Shakespeare, in Priceless Form

Free Shakespeare performances begin this week with “As You Like It” on June 11 at Pt. Fermin Park and continue through next weekend, including an official opening toast on June 13.

To help support the season of free performances, guests are invited to purchase “decadent dining” tickets to the June 13 show. The package includes reserved cushioned seating, a gourmet picnic, dessert and a signed commemorative program for $50.

Shakespeare by the Sea will also stage Love’s Labour’s Lost” this season. View the full schedule at

Sweet Spot for the Lakers

Local baker Cuppacakes made these treats for the Lakers’ big game this week. Dressed in purple frosting and a chocolate basketball topper, the cupcakes were sold at Nosh Cafe ... while supplies lasted, as they say.