Sunday, November 1, 2009

Getting Back Into Business

I have slumped off for too long with this blog. It is time to get back into writing about issues that need pondering.

The Daily Breeze has an article about local business owners attempting to get the meter fees lowered throughout downtown.

I hope they are successful and I would sign a petition supporting their goal.

BrewHaHa is coming to the Warner Grand Theatre opening Friday evening.

At least one great comic followed by a movie comedy will be presented by The Relevant Stage Theatre Company.

There will be two consession stands open during the events with one selling beverages of different types to audience members 21-years and older. provides all the information you can stomach and offers great bargains, too.

Buy a season pass for all of 2010 and you can attend BrewHaHa and "The Christmas Carol" for free!
If you haven't visited San Pedro: Block By Block yet, do so as soon as possible. is written by Romee who is determined to touch every street in San Pedro and she is already doing a great job and providing incredible pictures and words for all of us to enjoy.
A former Honorary Mayor of San Pedro who is also an advocate for harbor area business and industry is running for a seat on the Rancho Palos Verdes city council.

There is not much industry in R.P.V. and I still have not found that city's harbor. Perhaps the fellow should stick closer to his profession and advocacy in San Pedro and the real harbor area and let two others serve Rancho Palos Verdes residents.
It's on its Maiden Voyage and I was WRONG about how many passengers it can carry.

The Oasis of the Seas has departed from its birth berth and gone through the Baltic and onto the Atlantic Ocean.

Just about every single new large cruise ship has called on our port even though few of them call on it regularly.

We've seen the Freedom of the Seas, until the Oasis was spotted, it was the largest cruise ship afloat. It carries a mere 3,700 passengers.

We've seen the 'small' Queen Mary II and Queen Victoria but they only carry 2,093 passengers.

Currently the largest ship carrying passengers in and out of our port carries about 3,100-passengers.

But the Oasis of the Seas was originally touted as being able to carry 5,400-passengers. That was based on double occupancy in its 2,700 rooms.

But the maximum number of passengers the Oasis of the Seas can carry is 6,360!

Along with 2,100 crew members, that could put as many as 8,460 humans onto any berth that ship visits in San Pedro.

And it will probably stop by in the next few years.

Now might you be more able to ponder why the traffic supporting such large ships would create nightmares with traffic through much of San Pedro IF a new cruise ship terminal is built in the Outer Harbor?
Please reserve any further pondering about Ponte Vista until something new is released by the developer or Outreach Team.

There will be some information provided at the November 11 L.A. Planning Commission meeting, but it will most likely be only a status report on where the project currently stands......or sits.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pondering Where the 2010 Taste in San Pedro Might Be Held

They are fed up near the Point.

Many residents living in the Point Fermin area and in parts of the south side of The Palisades are fed up with the traffic and parking for Taste in San Pedro when it is held at Point Fermin Park.

Many Taste participants are fed up too. Some received parking tickets for parking illegally on Paseo del Mar. Some folks eager to taste great food later found out their cars were towed for being parked in a tow-away, no parking zone.

Still there are many others fed up with parking at the lot on 22Nd. and Miner and having to take the bus ride to and from the site at Point Fermin Park.

So it looks like next year's Taste in San Pedro will be held somewhere other than Point Fermin Park.

But where, oh where can San Pedro's Taste go.
Oh where oh where should it be?

First we can and should rule out the Middle Reservation of Fort MacArthur. That was the spot where it was held many years ago and years before 2001. Taste in San Pedro outgrew that spot some time ago and there simply is not enough space on the old parade grounds, whether security issues come into play or not.

There is a really big piece of asphalt that makes up the parking lot for Ports O Call, but a catch to that is offered by some.

Sure the Lobster Festival has been held there in past years. Sure, a re debut of the Fisherman's Fiesta made a try near the old Whaler's Wharf.

But there are rumblings around that the management and business owners at that historic, but now pathetic venue don't want thousands of folks there for something they may not profit from.

There is probably enough space at Eastview Park. There are two large parking lots for businesses near the park on Westmont. There is ample street parking in the area.

There is just one little problem having Taste in San Pedro at Eastview Park. Eastview Park is not in San Pedro.

So what about Peck Park. Nobody can say there isn't enough lawn space for Taste in San Pedro at that giant park.

There would be great objections to folks parking for Taste in the parking lot closest to the park. There is only some parking available at the park. Western Avenue is long and there is parking along quite a long stretch of that avenue.

But please take it from somebody who has about 54+ years dealing with the weather very, very close to that park. We would melt in early August is Taste were to be held at one of the hottest parks in San Pedro.

Ken Malloy Park is out. it is not in San Pedro.

Friendship Park. Not enough parking nearby.

There is a large area of parking at two spots that are somewhat close to each other. The parking area at Cabrillo is just a short walking distance from the parking area near the hotel down at the Cabrillo Marina.

There is enough asphalt at both sites for Taste, but then again, there are conflicts because boaters probably don't want their marina parking disturbed or boating fans having their trailer parking altered while they enjoy a day on the water.

Now down by Berth 93 there is a large area that saw the launches of the two Johnson sailing ships. A car show was recently held there and there is California's largest wading pool....sorry, fountain right there.

Unfortunately, there is probably not enough parking there. Traffic would be a nightmare and if a ship were calling on the hub, then that would only add to the problem.

What is needed is a large piece of land. The land needs to be in San Pedro if the event is still to be billed as Taste in San Pedro. Parking should be plentiful and nearby. Or parking could be dealt with, with a closer proximity to outlaying lots. Grass on the ground would be great. The site should be convenient for San Pedrans and folks coming to the event from out of town.

But wait folks! There is a brand new site coming along that just might fit the bill.

The good folks keeping our tideland from baseball diamonds and permanent structures and the great folks associated with the Port of Los Angeles and the L.A. Department of Recreation are building a large open space park along 22nd. Street, right close to the big parking lot at that street's intersection with Miner.

Sure it may not be the flattest park to have Taste in San Pedro, but there are advantages having it there that, I feel, should be pondered.

The new park is in San Pedro.

There is a parking lot nearby. There is parking available along Fisherman's Wharf and at Ports O Call.

Taste will offer a great event to highlight the new park and get more folks to learn about it and probably return to it.

Just like Point Fermin Park, a government agency owns the land. Taste in San Pedro would not be using private land.

So, what do you think? Are there sites I didn't ponder that I should?

What might your pondering be about a site I didn't think of?

We have some time, but not much, to ponder this as a community.

I hope this post is a start in finally finding a home for Taste in San Pedro that meets the needs and wants of the majority of OUR community and the participants of Taste in San Pedro.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pondering Whether San Pedrans Will Speak Up About Marymount

The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council has begun its final push at the Marymount College Facilities Expansion Project.

There will be a meeting of the Council on the matter on Saturday Sept. 12 at the Council Chambers at Hesse Park, beginning at 9:00 AM.

San Pedrans have been very quiet with regards to the project that will impact folks dealing with Palos Verdes Drive North between Western and Five Points and around the area of 24th Street and Cabrillo Avenue, in San Pedro.

San Pedrans' time to speak up about the issues relating more to the college's Palos Verdes North and Pacific Heights off-campus housing sites is running out.

If San Pedrans have problems with the college's apartment building on 24th and Cabrillo or the larger housing along Palos Verdes Drive North, September 12 may be the final date to aire issues and concerns.

Posts on this and other blogs have mentioned the project and how it could impact San Pedrans and San Pedro with increased traffic and more students needing places to reside while attending classes.

I have heard and read comments about the Pacific Heights facility at 24th and Cabrillo and issues neighbors and others have.

The time to speak up is about to end and if folks choose not to speak up, then they will receive what they will receive.....and maybe it will then be too late to try to change things.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"The Wiz" and "The Last 5 Years" and "What the Butler Saw"

San Pedro has a big theatre week this week with three entertainment choices for you.

On Wednesday August 19, and for just two showings only, the late Michael Jackson stars in "The Wiz" at WOW-Warner's on Wednesdays.

Prior to the 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM showings there will be a short tribute presented.

Tickets for each show is a mere $3.00 per person to watch a great movie on the large screen.

Parking should be available free after 5:00 in most spaces and free in other spots after 6:00 PM.

If you want popcorn, sodas, and savings, consider the $10.00 'Date Night Special'. It's two movie admissions, two small popcorns, and two small sodas. The full price for the items would be $18.00 so you ca see the savings you would get.

"The Last 5 Years" ends its run at the historic Warner Grand Theatre this coming weekend.

With 8:00 PM performances on Friday and Saturday, with a closing show on Sunday at 2:30, this show received a good number of great reviews including one featured in The Daily Breeze.

There must be something magical about the thirteenth row of the Warner Grand Theatre because John recommended it as the best row to view the show from.

Don't worry about seating though, there are 1,492 seats in the theatre built in 1931.

Tickets for "The Last 5 Years" are reasonable at just $20.00 per person as a regular admission.

Tickets are just $15.00 each for Seniors and College Students. If you can pass for someone under 18-years of age, you would pay a mere $5.00 to see the show.

"The Last 5 Years" chronicles the 5-year relationship between Jamie and Kathy and viewed by each character either from beginning to end or from end to beginning.

Kathy looks back on her relationship with Jamie, a successful author.

Jamie looks forward to his relationship with Kathy, a successful actress.

The show is a musical with melodies and lyrics that are easy on the ear and easy to understand.

The show includes a slide show of the couple's relationship through the years and it was photographed by San Pedro's own John Mattera. is your access to the theatre company's Web site.

"What the Butler Saw" is the newest production from the Little Fish Theatre Company in San Pedro.

The show which opened last weekend doesn't include a butler but it is a comedy from a theatre group that consistently offers first class entertainment to the entire community.

Information about "What the Butler Saw" and Little Fish's mid-week show can be found at:

Terri and I will be taking in the production just after "The Last 5 Years" closes and we hope you all can come to see "The Last 5 Years" and then "What the Butler Saw" which runs until September 19.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pondering Taste In San Pedro

This weekend is Taste in San Pedro weekend.

It began with a first-ever Friday night concert.

Terri and I were first in line at the Saturday opening of Taste because we wanted to take in the boots and friendships and food before I taped the Youthorizons kids doing bits from High School Musical 2.

I liked the idea and took the opportunity to purchase our tickets online. The Convenience charge was $1.00 per ticket but we got a $1.00 discount on each ticket so it made it a wash and no additional fees were charged.

I was very impressed with the knowledge that the organization administering Taste in San Pedro met all of its volunteer needs days before the event. It shows that OUR community can come together with a great number of volunteers to help out.

Heck, there were volunteers serving who don't live in San Pedro and even some from the Eastview area of Rancho Palos Verdes. (Joshua and I are commenting to each other about my thoughts concerning Eastview and its residents.)

I don't know if my perception that there seemed to be fewer paying participants this year over the same hours as last year is correct. It seemed to me there were fewer folks enjoying the first hours on Saturday than I remember last year.

I hope I am wrong about that but I can understand If I am closer to being correct.

Perhaps more folks came after we left and there may be a big crowd for the music and fireworks later today.

Terri and I tried different food booths than we have enjoyed in the past and we were very pleased that we try new offering each year. We already know the quality of many of the food vendors at the event is wonderful.

It was tough to avoid a slice of Buono's Pizza or the Thai food we feasted on before.

Taste in San Pedro also allows folks to catch up with friends they have been meaning to get in touch with, but haven't.

The idea of even the normal 2-3 degrees of separation San Pedrans normally have gets shot out the window at Taste. It is more common to see people you know from around town. than just about any other place or event in San Pedro, moseying around Taste.

Great food. Great entertainment. Unusual shopping. OUR community uniting to do good works for OUR community.

For Real San Pedrans, folks who want to be thought of as Real San Pedrans, or great friends and residents just wanting to gather and participate in OUR community, Taste in San Pedro is not something to be pondered, really.

This is one of the events that we all just do.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It Flies AND It Travels!

On Tuesday, the Warner Grand Theatre's main curtain was replaced!

The aging red curtain was replaced with one looking golden to most of us.

The new curtain flies in and out, just like the old one did.

"Flying in and out" means something on a stage can be raised out of view or brought down from an overstage storage area known as a fly gallery and be viewed by an audience.

Things that are lowered to be viewed by an audience are "flown in" and when things are removed from the viewable portion of a stage by raising it out of sight, they are "flown out"

The new curtain can fly in and fly out, but it also is able to 'travel'

When something relating to stages or performances on a stage area move from out of sight and move from the sides and into a viewable area, it is said that those items 'travel'

The new curtain, when closed and viewed by the audience, can be made to open from the center to the sides.

The new curtain can either fly or travel, but it cannot do both at the same time.

Some of the more expensive ways for curtains to open and close allow for them to go up and down and from center to side at the same time.

The new one can't do that and that is probably a good thing because it was less expensive to purchase and will cost less to maintain over the coming decades.

One of the best things the new curtain will allow for is the ability to have only a portion of the stage viewable to the audience. It can be completely closed and then completely opened AND it can be completely closed and then only opened a small distance.

More options are now available at the Warner Grand and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to be entertained and informed by visiting this historic theatre, right in downtown San Pedro.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pondering the Reemergence of Ponte Vista and Some Other Ponderings

They are baaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Actually they never left but it seems they went into hiding for a spell.

The Ponte Vista project comes back into focus with a new post at and some other revelations that can be read about at:

Now please ponder the concept of seeing The Dark Knight while the Sun still shines over the Warner Grand Theatre.

Two showings of the latest in the series related to Batman occur at 6 PM and 9PM on Wednesday July 22 at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

Please ponder: where you can find a printable pass for two free entries to "Warner On Wednesdays" or WOW for short.

While pondering free tickets you may want to ponder the concept that free can cost more than $10.00 at WOW.

Let's say you want two movie admissions, two small sodas, and two small bags of popcorn.

If you use the free printable pass and still want the popcorn and sodas, the charge would add up to $12.00 at the concession stand, based on their regular prices.

Now please ponder the $10.00 Special. You would receive the two admissions, two small bags of popcorn, and two small sodas for less than using the free pass.

I don't care which option you choose, but I want you to know about pricing.

Regular admission tickets for each showing is $3.00 per person.

I am the fellow in the ticket booth you will see receiving either money or printed passes and I want you to have the best time possible.

If you are in a party of four persons, you may want to use the pass for two admissions and pay $10.00 for two other admissions and two sets of small popcorn and small sodas.

You are most welcome to print passes and come to different movies showing twice a Wednesday through the first half of September.

The Board of Governors of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council just voted to oppose the construction of San Pedro's fifth 7-11 which might be built on the corner of Pacific Avenue and 19th Street.

There was much to ponder during the lively discussions and comments from all over the room.

7-11 representatives stated they needed to have the convenience store open 24 hours per day, just like the other four are in San Pedro.

Since there are not other convenience stores in San Pedro other than 7-11, essentially they would be competing with themselves.

Noise, traffic, and possible unlawful acts around the proposed store provided interesting debate by almost everyone in attendance.

Have you pondered or wondered about what type of water is being used at the largest wading pool in the State of California? Strike that! I meant to write the largest fountain in the State of California. Does any of your pondering or wondering include what type of water is used to irrigate the new grass and trees in north San Pedro along Gaffey and THAT Welcome Park at the end of the Harbor Freeway?

The answers to those questions currently is potable water or the same type of water coming out of taps in homes and businesses in San Pedro.

There are plans to use reclaimed water at the three sites and other sites, and the pool/fountain did have reclaimed or gray water in it. But that is not the case at this time.

Now ponder on the fact that the city of Los Angeles has mandated a water conservation plan on everyone living in San Pedro. I think we can all agree we are in a long draught cycle.

Did it really make good sense to build a long park-like area along north Gaffey using the grass and other foliage used over more draught tolerant vegetation? How many of us use the north Gaffey parkland or the Welcome Park?

Perhaps the decision makers should have thought more about creating greater need for tap water on sites that have few visitors or could have been postponed until reclaimed water was available.

I use red apple in our parking area. It is really draught tolerant, but then again, I don't live within the limits of the city of Los Angeles.

Do you ever ponder about a land swap between the Port of Los Angeles and another entity to secure Knoll Hill for permanent ball fields for Eastview Little League?

Have you pondered on whether that private organization should have government agencies working on its behalf to provide the solutions it did not adequately plan for?

If a land swap does occur, I hope that OUR community get more benefit from the Port of Los Angeles than what the other entity gives up.

Music By The Sea has one last Sunday at Point Fermin Park this year.

For those of you who have pondered about parking in the area and feel you don't need to follow parking guidelines.....BE WARNED!

This coming Sunday and for Taste in San Pedro the following weekend, L.A. Parking Control Officers and tow trucks will be in the area.

I know there is not enough parking in the area for everyone who wants to come to the park. Please consider walking if you can or taking the bus, or arriving early enough to secure a reasonable and LEGAL parking spot.

This is my mid-summer pondering and  I will write more in the near future.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pondering Pedro For Facebook Members

Howdy to any and all San Pedro Group members of Facebook!

Whether you live here or not, San Pedro has been on your mind and is certainly in your hearts.

Some of you are active in OUR community (all of you are part of OUR community in some form or another) while many of you have moved away but still feel strongly about San Pedro.

San Pedro is a state of mind and heart no matter where its borders are.

There have been more issues circulating around OUR community for years now than there ever have been before.

For those of you who don't live in the area and haven't heard much news, here are some recent events and issues. Some will shock you and some are just "Pedro" things.

Union War Surplus is in the final stages of closing its doors forever. Within OUR community, the shock has subsided somewhat, but it will still be a sorrowful day when the locks are locked for the last time.

Of course we must thank the Kaye and Robinson families and the other who kept that institution here for so long.

Yes, Ramona's Bakery closed down years ago. However, it appears that at least some members of the Amalfitano Family will be opening a Bakery on Western Rancho Palos Verdes.

Did you know that a new public High School campus is beginning to take form on the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur? The new site is slated to become an annex of San Pedro High School with two Magnet Programs, but we'll have to see if that happens along about 2013.

Our Waterfront Redevelopment Plan seems to be off again with the exception of a new marina currently being dug across a small channel from the main Cabrillo Marina. This is a big step forward as the plan inches its way along at far less than a slug's pace.

Have you ridden on the Red Cars? Yup, we've got two of them running on tracks at the Harbor and they may get their routes lengthened to get all the way from Wilmington to Cabrillo Beach!

Disney Cruises is going to have one of their smaller ships home ported in San Pedro hopefully beginning in 2011. It's going to be a trial porting and the ship will only be the 2,400-passenger Disney Wonder, I believe. It is smaller than the two 4,400-passenger ships Disney is currently having built.

Our downtown area is having a very rough time right now, but bright spots shine through the gloom and doom.

We have the Little Fish Theatre Company continuing to provide excellent entertainment including its association with the free Shakespeare By The Sea productions that are now hallmarks in live summer theatre.

Joining Little Fish is The Relevant Stage Theatre Company and everything associated with the Warner Grand Vision Foundation and the historic Warner Grand Theatre.

Boy do we have galleries in downtown. We also have plenty, repeat plenty of housing units that are brand new and waiting for occupants in the downtown area.

The sixteen-story Vue is by no means sold out yet and we have lofts for lease as well as regular condos/apartments that are impatiently waiting habitation.

Work is continuing at Cabrillo Beach with ramp improvements, beach improvements, and a greater appreciation of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

Did you now that the former Nike missle site on Paseo Del Mar is not the White Point Nature Preserve? Its 102 acres are available to take in nature using trails, vistas, and an under construction interpretive center. 

No, no ballfields or soccer fields are on the site, but it is one of the last open areas along the coast in the city of Los Angeles.

Nearby in Rancho Palos Verdes, there is Terranea. If you like a 6-ounce plastic cup of house wine as you stroll on the public paths at the very upscale hotel, golf course, and meeting facilities, just put your $13.00 on the bar and don't forget to leave a tip!

Of course the old Ocean Trails (Ocean Fails) golf course and clubhouse is now owned by "The Donald". The hole that fell into the Pacific Ocean has been repaired and now rich folks can play a round of golf.

Getting back to San Pedro, you can now enjoy a weekend tour of the Point Fermin Lighthouse.

The lighthouse, built in 1874 now is home to its original large glass lens. You can climb up to the cuppola where the lens once was and look at views we weren't allowed to access until just several years ago.

Bring a Kleenex or hanky as you tour Ports O' Call. Right now it is a shell of its former self, but there are a very few shops that you just might remember there. It is probably nothing like you remember, so think of it as a pilgrimage instead of a tourist stop.

Not surprising to just about anyone is that another individual 'fell' to his death at Point Fermin. What is less usual is that he did it on the west side of the park quite a long way from Sunken City.

There are now plenty of access routes into the fenced off Sunken City area, so it is easier for us oldsters to renew memories there.

I still don't know why the local newspaper continues to provide articles about folks who meet their end off the cliffs.

For those of you who haven't visited the Fort MacArthur Military Museum, it is open on weekends and you can roam by gun implacements and through tunnels and have fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean.

For locals who are still living in OUR community, we always need more volunteers to assist YOUR community in a great number of things. Don't be afraid to get involved.

Whether you call it "Pedro" "San Pedro" or make it sound like "Sahn Paydro" it is OUR community to cherish, remember, and help grow.

Always remember, OUR community is NOT  "San Paydro"!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pondering A New Business Coming To OUR Community

If you had trouble noticing the new banner, here is a hint.
Coming not soon enough for many is a bakery at the intersection of Western Avenue and Trudie Drive.
The educated guess is that Amalfitano Bakery will take over the space vacated when Sunken City Skate and Surf Shop left R.P.V. for downtown San Pedro.
A full service bakery seems to be a wonderful idea for Western Avenue and all of us who live in the area.
Even though Terri were full from the one pancake we each had at Rex's, we both spotted the banner placed just this morning as if our bakeryradar was in full working order.
Another bakery in OUR community? Heck yes and why not?
We all lost Ramona's far too soon and it has been gone some time now.
We will never stop loving Polly Ann's and the generations worth of great baked goods from there. Of course we will still visit and purchase great eats for that San Pedro institution.
We all must never forget that we have other local bakeries like Buscemi's, Portofino, Joseph's and other that provide our large family gatherings and small parties with great breads, rolls, and other baked good.
But with a new bakery on this side of OUR community, perhaps we can gather to discuss and debate heavy and light matters involving OUR community while enjoying baked goods in a family oriented environment.
Who could possibly not know the Almalfitano name in OUR community. Real San Pedrans and many who aspire to be Real San Pedran, and even those who never want to be Real San Pedrans know members of that great family.
Yes I know perfectly well that the bakery will not actually be in 'San Pedro' and we in R.P.V. welcome revenue generated by the new bakery.
Having it just five houses away from our kitchen and stomachs may create a bit of a problem for Terri and I. But just the vision of all those wonderful pastries, breads, cakes, deserts, and other baked goods is far too hard to put out of our mind.
It didn't take long for Terri to remember those famous words spoken about a former store's sales. "Open, open open" was heard in the Honda even before we got into the driveway.
Opening a business in these tough economic times is also a gamble and I hope that this venture begins strong and becomes an institution just like Polly Ann's continues to be.
So welcome to Rancho Palos Verdes and the rest of OUR community Amalfitano Bakery. Expect us on your opening day or even before that.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two Releases To Ponder Concerning Warner On Wednesdays

Below are two press releases concerning the Warner on Wednesdays showing of films at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

Because I sit in the ticket booth outside the theatre which was opened in 1931 I can attest that the second week of the schedule brought in far more audience members than the first week and hopes are that the crowds will grow larger with every week's film.

Now here is something really unusual about Warner On Wednesdays; paying just $10.00 is better than free!

Here are the details of how that can be.

Regular admission prices for tickets is just $3.00 per ticket. That would be a whole lot more than the hundreds of complementary tickets that have been passed out but even free costs more, if you want popcorn and sodas.

Let's say you and a friend come to the theatre and want two $3.00 tickets. You hand me $6.00 and you get two tickets.

You go to the consession stand and pay $3.50 each for two small popcorns and $2.50 for two small sodas.

Heck, the prices for popcorn and soda beats the stuffing out of regular theatre prices to begin with.

So, you total up the tickets, the popcorn, and the soda. You just spent $18.00 for two tickets, two popcorns, and two small sodas.

Let's say you use two complementary tickets. O.K., that knocks off $6.00 and you still see the movie and enjoy the grub for $12.00.

Think you are smart? How about I sell you a $10.00 special?

That two tickets for the movie, two small popcorns, and two small sodas for just $10.00!

See, that beats free if you want the popcorn and soda.

There are still some complementary tickets roaming around. If you don't want popcorn or sodas, try to find them.

So now here are the two press releases.

Warner Grand Theatre on Wednesdays Proves To Be Popular With the People of San Pedro

Warner On Wednesdays (WOW) a summer film festival - has brought in the crowds and grows in popularity in Downtown San Pedro. 

WOW - Warner On Wednsdays in San Pedro


PRLog (Press Release)Jun 25, 2009 – In researching the genesis of Warner On Wednesdays (W.O.W) we spoke to producer, Ray Buffer who remarked, "in my time in San Pedro I have encountered a number of people who have told me that they had never been to Warner Grand Theatre, which surprised me.  What I learned is that many have had the perception that it is a 'uppity' place where they may not be comfortable - many people were not connecting to the place because the material presented was not known to them, and the price - not attractive." 

Buffer continued, "I had been thinking about a way to get more footsteps in the theatre for sometime, and I met with Dave Lynch, owner of Sacred Grounds Coffee House, over lunch.  We discussed the economy, and the infrequent events at Warner Grand Theatre.  We discussed ways to stimulate concession sales even if it meant producing an event ourselves.  We talked about doing a series of 2nd run movies - films that were fairly new, and may just be coming out on DVD.  Why rent the film and watch it at home, when for the same price (or less) you can enjoy it on the big screen watching a 35 MM print?  I spoke with Lee about doing a series of films and what 'day' would be good for the theatre.  We looked at the schedule and saw that Wednesdays and Thursdays were generally available, but Thursdays were less available.  Lee told me that John Delgado, president of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council had wanted to do a series of films for sometime, but things may have stalled.   So I met with John and shared my reasons for wanting to do a Summer festival:  get people into the theatre for the first time by making it affordable and mainstream and perhaps after the audience gets comfortable, they will come see other events at Warner Grand Theatre.  John's reasons were to offer low cost entertainment to his constituents and perform outreach for Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council - he also wanted to see the Warner become a more popular venue for locals like it was when he was kid.   We also shared the desire to invigorate business in downtown San Pedro on Wednesday nights.  John agreed to work together and approach various councils for funding and I got to work on the film selection, bookings, and marketing.  When we settled upon Wednesdays, I came up with "Warner On Wednesdays" (WOW) for our concept and produced posters and materials.  As additional sponsors came aboard, fully committed, we revised materials to include them." 

Buffer explained, "in May, The PBID and Chamber produced an event tied in with the Mayor's Day of Service called Super Service Saturday.  I assisted them with title concept and marketing and by booking Superman Returns for a 4PM showing at Warner.  This was where we first mentioned Warner On Wednesdays, and Superman Returns was fairly well attended despite a late marketing attempt.  The event showed me that people who had never been to the theatre could be attracted for free.  So in exchange for financial support, our sponsors were provided with "free" tickets that announce their sponsorship of the event and extended free admission to the holder courtesy of the funding organization.  In addition we were selling $3 tickets at the door, and $10 tickets that included admission, sodas and popcorn for 2." 

Buffer expounded, "if the series ultimately proves to be successful, then we would like to continue it either as a Summer Series of 12 films, or as a year round Wednesday event.  Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council has provided 85% of the theatre costs, with Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council coming in with 10%, the other 5% of the theatre costs, the film rental, delivery and license fees, and marketing/ticket costs are covered by The Relevant Stage and Sacred Grounds.  Revenue goes to mitigate costs, and any excessive profits go back to perpetuate more 'WOW' in the future." 

When asked about the costs of this Summer film festival, Buffer answered, "one way TRS is attempting to make sure all the costs are paid for WOW, is by selling preshow on-screen advertising.  For $360 (about the cost of a movie license and rental) a business or organization gets their slide shown 3 times or more accompanied by 15 seconds of voice over, before each screening.  That amounts to 72 impressions over the 12 film series, which breaks down to just $5 per ad." 

Buffer credits the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for working to make sure this community partnership came to fruition, "Lee Sweet, General Manager of the Warner Grand Theatre which is owned by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs has been invaluable in helping us navigate our way through this first series.  He has dealt with all the movie companies - and it is no small feat to book 12 films from nearly as many film companies all within a fairly compact window of time, and juggle scheduling personnel of the theatre, including a projectionist for something the theatre has not seen regularly in a while: back to back film screenings - especially on a weekday." 

Buffer advised, "the screenings at 6PM and 9PM hopefully allow those who are retired, out of school, and working from 9 to 5, equal opportunities to take in a WOW film, and eat in downtown San Pedro.  We have seen with just the first two films, over 600 people come in to the Warner Grand Theatre on a Wednesday night!" 

Buffer concludes, "we hope that people will seize the opportunity to get engaged with the Warner Grand Theatre through this affordable series.  Movie theatres typically make their money through concession sales, and with Dave Lynch's recently expanded menu of including hotdogs, and the convenience of buying beer and wine, fresh cookies, popcorn, sodas and candies - we hope that audiences who get to see the movie for free or even for only $3, will be inclined to spend more liberally at the concession stand.  Its great to see the community gather in such a beautiful theatre, and use it the way it was intended by its creators".

The Relevant Stage Theatre Company performs in residence at The Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, CA. TRS' mission is to challenge hearts, engage minds and expose truths. TRS tells relevant stories about the contemporary world we share.

Warner On Wednesdays (WOW) is produced through a community partnership between TRS, DCA, Sacred Grounds Coffee House, Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, and Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.


THE WIZ starring Michael Jackson, to be Screened in San Pedro on August 19th as part of Warner On Wednesdays

2009-06-26 06:47:05 - "The Wiz" can be seen Wednesday, August 19 at 6PM and 9PM at Warner Grand Theatre for only $3, or for $10 you can get two drinks, two popcorn and two tickets. See Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in a big 35MM print just as audiences saw it 31 years ago.

The Wiz is a 1978 American musical film produced by Motown Productions and Universal Pictures, and released by Universal on October 24, 1978. An urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an entirely African-American cast, The Wiz was adapted from the 1975 Broadway musical of the same name. The film follows the adventures of Dorothy, a shy schoolteacher from Harlem, New York who finds herself magically transported to the wonderland of Oz — which resembles a fantasy version of New York City. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, Dorothy travels through the world of Oz to seek an audience with the mysterious "Wiz", who they say has the power to take her home.

Produced by Rob Cohen and directed by Sidney Lumet, The Wiz stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor. The film's story was reworked from William F. Brown's Broadway libretto by Joel Schumacher, and Quincy Jones supervised the adaptation of Charlie Smalls & Luther Vandross' songs for film. A handful of new songs, written by Jones and the songwriting team of Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, were added for the film version. The film received four Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Original Music Score and Best Cinematography.

Michael Jackson, a former Motown star who by the start of development on The Wiz in 1977, had left Motown for Epic Records with his brothers The Jacksons, was cast as the Scarecrow. Jackson was dedicated to the role, and watched videotapes of gazelles, cheetahs and panthers in order to learn graceful movements for his part. Critics noted that Jackson possessed "genuine acting talent" and "provided genuinely memorable moments." Of the results of the film, Jackson stated: "I don't think it could have been any better, I really don't." In 1980, Jackson stated that his time working on The Wiz was "my greatest experience so far...I'll never forget that."

Warner On Wednesdays had already scheduled "The Wiz" as part of its Summer Film Festival of affordable for films for families. The selection is made poignant by Jackson's sudden passing. On Wednesday, August 19, There will be two showings of "The Wiz" at 6PM and 9PM at Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th Street, San Pedro. Come see Michael Jackson's film acting debut, on the big screen for this rare opportunity. Visit: for more details.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pondering A Very Busy Summer In San Pedro

Summer hasn't officially begun but it is well past time that we ponder on all the activities planned this summer in San Pedro.

The first note to remember is that there are TWO 'calendars' you should probably bookmark or add to your favorites for everything San Pedro. is under the umbrella of and provides three calendars for you to use. run by Ms. Kristina Smith provides more descriptions about upcoming events, meetings, and other things.

Both sites are essentials for learning more about San Pedro and the hectic happenings happening almost every day.

Shakespeare By The Sea has already begun and this weekend is "Love's Labour's Lost".
The Company needs all of our support and they really enjoy seeing the huge crowds attending the shows at Point Fermin Park. is their site.

Little Fish Theatre Company, along with SBTS is offering "Hamlet II" a very comic parody of the cursed Dane's story. You can find information about that production on the same site.

Music By The Sea begins in July. Now THREE music groups will perform in a program extended one-hour longer than in previous years. has the bands and a whole lot of information about other events this summer.

The Golden States Pops Orchestra will offer a free performance at Cabrillo Beach on Independence Day. This is all part of a humongous day and evening long event that is one of the most popular and well attended events on July 4.

July 11-12 finds Fort MacArthur Days at the Fort MacArthur Military Museum, in San Pedro.

Where else can you spot "Abraham Lincoln" conversing with "General Douglas MacArthur" and you might see our own John Olguin as "Capitan Juan Cabrillo.

There will be battles staged, parades conducted and you might see skirmishes between Roman soldiers against Civil War troops with some Redcoats added into the mix.

This is a real San Pedro treat for the whole family and quite the hoot of a good time.

July 17-19 finds the Mary Star of the Sea Fiesta being held. has information about the event.

What is wonderful about great traditions continuing in OUR community abounds during the Fiesta.

For all Real San Pedrans and even those who want to be, you simply cannot miss one of the dinners during the Fiesta and we all must support the Queen of our choice.

August 1-2 is the TWENTIETH annual Taste In San Pedro...has it really been going on that long?

The Web site looks bigger and better and I expect this year's event will match the improvements of the site and even more!

Weekends from August 7-23 finds "The Last Five Years" being presented at The Warner Grand Theater by The Relevant Stage Theatre Company.

A Summer Camp for youth where "High School Musical 2" will be rehearsed and performed four times before live audiences is available through the Theatre Company and information about it can be found via their Web site. Those performances will be held in late July.

The third annual TriArt Festival will take place on September 12 and 13. provides great information about this ever growing and improving event that all should attend.

Ongoing every Saturday night at Midnight is the long-running "Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Warner Grand Theater.

A $9.00 ticket provides you with both a movie and live-action with skits and pre-show happenings younger folks seem to enjoy.

There is an ongoing Fright Night on Fridays at the Warner Grand, too. has the information you may want.
_____________________________________ is the place to learn about events at The Warner Grand Theater and Grand Annex.

The Warner Grand Vision Organization is doing great things as far as providing entertainment and education in OUR community.

Stop by Angel's Gate Cultural Center during the summer and look up the activities and showings going on at the former Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur.

Tired yet?

We have the largest fountain in the State of California you need to visit.

We still have the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. We have the Marine Mammal Recovery Center.

Out on the coast there is the Point Vincente Interpretive Center, Trump National that has public walkways, and then there is.......

Terranea. Yes it is in San Pedro's neighboring city of Rancho Palos Verdes but it is a must-see for all of us.

Oh the opulence. Oh the pricyness. Oh the views. Did I mention the pricyness?

Get a good look soon because none of us know if it will be around in six months.


Being San Pedro, we have probably the best Italian restaurants this side of Rome. 

Our local restaurants can cook fish, beef, and other meat dishes that cannot be uneaten.

We just about every continent covered as far as types of foods offered in OUR community.

Have you eaten at Think Prime yet? Or should the real question be, can you afford to eat at Think Prime?

I always like to put a shout out to Admiral Risty's at the Golden Cove Shopping Center on P.V. Drive West.

Need a nap or a picnic?

Thanks again to the very late Mr. George Peck for starting something that is truly great about OUR community.

We have parks. Lots of them. You can be hot and sticky at Eastview Park and Peck Park or you can get much cooler at Point Fermin Park.

When the waterworks are fixed at Averill Park, you can lounge or fish for crawdads or just get a big block of ice, a towel or piece of cardboard and slide down the grassy hills with your tummy on the block of ice.

There is so much more I haven't listed that you can do in OUR community. 

The great folks at Beacon House will be putting on their street fair for the community and so many of them help at just about every event mentioned on this post.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Pondering The Truth Of Where I Really Grew Up

As far back as I can remember, my parents kept informing me that the tract of homes I grew up in was the original "Eastview". Well, they and I were not correct. In fact, we were 180 degrees off!

The first photo was taken in 1950 and shows my home and about 214 others in what was the first tract of homes built on the west side of Western Avenue.

The second photo is from Google Earth and you can sure tell times and things have changed.

An Article from The News Pilot dated May 4, 1950:

Harbor Area Project Includes 215 Houses

Two Hundred and fifteen new homes are being erected in county territory above Peck Park as the harbor area continues its residential building boom.

The dwellings, known as Western View Homes, are being constructed by Shinn-Worzburger Building Corp. of Los Angeles.

Two Hundred of the structures are two-bedroom homes with attached garages, while the other 15 are three-bedroom houses with detached two-car garages.

The Price range of the smaller structures is $7200 to $7650. The three-bedroom houses are being offered for $8950.

Forty of the dwellings have been completed and several families already have moved into the project. Pioneer families in the area include those of M.O. O'Brion, James J. Prendergast, R. A. Marcoux and F.T. Veazey.

Three new streets have been created by the project-Highmore Ave., Jaybrook Dr. and Homeworth Dr.

The Shinn-Wurzburger firm built 55 new houses in Walteria in 1948 and has also done large-scale housing construction at Hawthorne, Monrovia, Arcadia and Fontana and in the San Fernando Valley.

The Western View project was started last December. One hundred homes are expected to be completed before the end of this month.

My dad told me he signed papers for his home while it was still only a foundation with wood framing on top.

When the house was finished, he and my grandmother moved into the brand new home with my mother joining them when my parents married.

Our home and yards look quite different now. Our house is pictured as the fifth house above Western Avenue on the left side of Trudie. The first house above Western has a Highmore address.

Our house has sort of a gray shading on its side and the two poles behind it basically define the area of our back yard.

No retaining walls, fences, or patio structure exist in the photo.

Thanks to Mr. Fred Crawford for supplying me with the photo and article.

Now for what the area looks like today, see the photo below.

As you can see, there are quite a few more vehicles visible along Western Avenue.
Long gone is the Channel Heights housing project with its apartments and market in the foreground of the older photo.
Of the 215 original homes first purchased at Western View Homes, only the home of Mr. and Mrs Graham has original buyers, to the best of my knowledge. Boy, they have seen a whole lot of change!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Marymount: The Two San Pedro Facilities Will Remain

Here is an article that appeared in today's The Daily Breeze about the current Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commissions deliberations concerning the Marymount College Facilities Expansion Project.

Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission delays Marymount decision

By Melissa Pamer Staff Writer

Posted: 05/27/2009 06:15:53 PM PDT

After months of meetings, the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission again this week delayed making a decision on Marymount College's controversial expansion proposal.

At a Tuesday evening meeting that lasted well into Wednesday morning, the four commissioners went in detail over documents needed for the approval of the project, which has been altered in response to concerns from the community and city staff.

Those changes included the removal of two proposed dormitories that would house a total of 250 students. That element of the project has raised the most ire of a group of neighborhood opponents.

Commissioners were split 2-2 on that part of the plan at an April meeting, and Marymount officials altered their proposal in response.

"Rather than waste everyone's time, we just redesigned the campus taking out the residence halls," said Michael Brophy, president of Marymount College. "Our main task right now is to meet the needs of the Planning Commission so we can have approval of what they approve of. And that, for now, is really quite fine."

Although the dorms are no longer part of the plan before the Planning Commission, Marymount officials could still appeal that component to the City Council. Brophy said that decision has not yet been made.

"We are keeping all our options open," he said.

The expansion plan includes a large athletic center, a new library and other facilities that would more than double the footprint of the campus, which is surrounded by residential neighborhoods off Palos Verdes Drive East.

A group of area opponents, Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion, lobbied successfully to have the dorms tabled, but its efforts to have the athletic center removed from the plan has thus far failed. Some changes, however, have been made to that portion of the project.

The group, which has retained lawyers for the battle over the plans, on Tuesday repeated its request to have Commissioner David Tomblin recuse himself after his name appeared on a list of Marymount supporters compiled by the college. Tomblin said he had been advised by the City Attorney's Office that he did not need to recuse himself, adding that he did not recall ever signing any document in support of Marymount.

Three other commissioners had previously recused themselves.

The commission is set to continue deliberations June 9.


There is much more to this story as a result of the recent meeting the Planning Commission held.

During the most recent meeting the Chair of the Commission forbade any speaker from providing any comments about the recent tragedy of the death of a second-year student of the College as a result of a single-vehicle incident.

Lawyers have already been notified about the possible problems with the Brown Act and any speaker's possible violation of their first amendment rights.

However, any mention of the tragedy and its effects on on-campus student housing was already moot since dorms had been taken off the table before the incident occurred.

Next, it seems the Commissioner who recused himself wound up on a printed and published list of supporters of the project even though he never considered himself to be one.

Opponents of the project believe they have grounds to question more of the 897 names submitted by the project's supporters because of that and possibly more irregularities.

What does this all mean to San Pedro?

First, get ready to continue to see the two off-campus housing facilities remain in use, if not grow.

Since one of the Alternatives to having on-campus housing at the College is to expand the off-campus housing along Palos Verdes Drive North, that may still come into play.

The off-campus housing site at 24th and Cabrillo in San Pedro known as Pacific Heights has been slated to be closed by the College for years now. Please don't bother betting it will soon be closed.

The folks at Marymount do not wish you to know that two of their students were injured in a traffic collision on Western Avenue earlier this month, either.

Opponents of the College's Expansion Project may now go after the expansion of the Athletic facilities on the Rancho Palos Verdes Campus.

Since there will not be anyone living on the campus, folks who never liked the large gym playing fields may wish to seek to have them eliminated, too.

I feel that would be a shame because there are lots of students and others that could benefit from having better access to athletic facilities on The Hill.

But it sure looks to many of us like the NIMBYs living close to the campus stuck it again to San Pedrans.

But I can honestly claim that San Pedrans were never out in number to support on-campus housing and the closing of the Pacific Heights housing site when the Planning Commission met.

Where were you San Pedrans? If you really wanted Pacific Heights to close, why weren't more of you commenting to the Planning Commissioners and R.P.V. City Council?

Where are the northwest San Pedro and eastern R.P.V. residents when all the traffic problems that will continue as long as Palos Verdes North stays open with 300 students?

I spoke out many times about the increase of traffic along Western Avenue would have because of the project. 

The main opposition group to having on-campus housing used their belief in the expansion of the Palos Verdes North off-campus facility.

It is expected by many that once whatever is granted in the way of the Expansion Project is complete, the College will come back and demand on-campus housing.

Perhaps we on the east side of The Hill have more chances to have our wishes considered.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Welcome Ponderers!

If you are visiting this blog because you saw the advertisement in the program, thanks for attending the show and welcome.

This blog is dedicated to pondering many issues relating to San Pedro and other local communities.

Whoever believes that San Pedro is just a sleepy bedroom community at the end of the Harbor Freeway is quite mistaken in their beliefs so many of us think.

San Pedro is part of a vibrant ever changing community with more issues than many other communities face.

We are located at the end of just about everything in the L.A. area. We share a peninsula with at least four other cities and we are the largest of them all.

San Pedro is part of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The two ports combined welcome over 44% of ALL of the goods imported into the United States.

San Pedro continues to be a community in transition. The downtown area is presently undergoing a rough time involving change, loss, and trying to figure out new directions that will benefit everyone.

There is a large residential development project on the community's northwest border that was second only to the massive Playa Vista project.

With change being the only constant, this blog explores many proposed changes and wonders on the Internet what is the best for San Pedro and the surrounding communities.

There has been a lull in my publishing posts lately. If you attended "Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds, The Musical" I was a member of the picketers, The Dominie, and The Bailiff in the show.

After the run of the show I think I'll go back to just being the House Manager for The Relevant Stage Theatre Company and let the real actors perform great musicals in the future.

Thank you for stopping by. If you read this and the other blogs you will see why I really need to learn to edit myself better or find and editor that can help me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pondering When You Will Come See the New Musical!

This Friday evening The Relevant Stage Theatre Company opens "Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds, the Musical"!

The show, based on an actual historical event that happened right in San Pedro is being presented and the very historic Warner Grand Theater, which opened in 1931.

When you come to the performance you may get a better understanding where I have been spending much of my writing time. 

ONLINE ONLY - A Limited number of discount seats are available for Friday, May 22, and Friday May 29!  Buy One Get One Free on Friday!  Good only for Advance Sales, online.
HERE and enter promotion code: SOLIDARITY.

That's right, for the two Friday performances, General Admission tickets are just $10.00 each when you purchase them online using the link on

Be sure to include "Solidarity" in the 'Discount Code' box so you can see the World Premiere run of this new musical.

If you can't make it to a Friday performance, here are the ticket prices for the rest of the show's run.


Youths 18 and under

$5.00 ($6.12 w/service fee)

1/2 Price Special

$10.00 ($11.24 w/service fee) Remember “Solidarity”

Seniors 55+/College

$15.00 ($16.37 w/service fee)

General Adult

$20.00 ($21.49 w/service fee)

Wine Lover's

$25.00 ($26.62 w/service fee)

Pick of the Vine is located directly across 6th Street from The Warner Grand Theater where the show is being performed.

Whale & Ale + Show

$40.00 ($41.99 w/service fee)

The Whale & Ale is a San Pedro favorite and carries fine food and drink.

6th Street Bistro

$40.00 ($41.99 w/service fee)

6th Street Bistro is located about one block east of the theater and offers great cuisine.


$120.00 ($123.99 w/service fee)


Shipping Method

Will-Call Tickets - Free (Recommended!)

You will not receive a physical ticket, rather your name will appear on the list at the door of the event. You will need to provide your ID for admittance. "Will-call" offers the greatest flexibility for making changes to your order, and potentially allows the option for a full refund for up to 12 hours.

Physical Tickets - USPS Express Mail - $18.00

These tickets will be shipped within 1 business day and should arrive within 3 business days.

Where else can you find live theater performances that will entertain you for so few dollars?

You can plan a great evening of dining or wine tasting and then enjoy a show from the newest professional Theatre Company in the South Bay.