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.

A free guided tour beginning at Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and CafĂ©, 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.

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.

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,, 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

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 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 or call (310) 918-8650 for more information.