Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cleats For T-Ball!

My wonderful next door neighbor will be celebrating his fifth birthday at the beginning of March.

Today was his first day of T-Ball practice.

Apparently he needs to have his parents buy shoes with cleats for his upcoming season.

During my one season with Eastview Little League back in 1964, the minor league players got hats and Tee shirts with the team's name on the front. That was it!

When a minor league player came to practice or play in real games, they wore tennis shoes, whatever pants they happened to have on at the time and their Tee Shirts, caps and gloves.

In 1964, the Little League didn't have T-Ball available, so we all had to start by having other minor league pitchers throw baseballs at us, towards us, or in the vicinity of home plate.

My actual on base percentage was fairly high because I usually didn't appear on the field until the later innings, got fewer chances at the plate, and got on base by receiving a ball four count or getting hit by the pitched ball.

But T-Ball seems to eliminate the tears, screams, aches, and pains of being hit by a youngster's pitched ball and that is quite wonderful. But cleats?

Maybe starting off one's hardball career doesn't really need to be so equipment heavy.

Having the opportunity to approach a ball that one has a very good chance of having a bat strike the ball is a really good thing for younger players.

Being able to run as fast as one can towards first base is also a great learning and fun thing to do, even if you run towards the left and third base by mistake.

I hope gender plays no role in who can play T-Ball or other forms of Little League baseball and when everyone plays, everyone wins.

It's just that cleats on very young players seems to be too much to consider when thinking about their enjoyment of the sport and how they can learn to run with cleats on and easily run with joy in shoes without cleats.

In 2009, it also may be a good idea to forgo the concept of having parents pay for extra shoes or temporary cleats because of our country's economic condition.

I think there may be players who want cleats but their parents might not be able to afford that luxury during this and the next couple of years, especially with T-Ball players.

Maybe the league my young neighbor plays in will have donations taken for players who's parents cannot afford extra money for cleats or gloves or other uniform pieces and equipment.

I am very happy to see even five-year olds enjoying participating in organized sports, entertainment, and educational activities and I support all of those activities that welcome everyone.

But cleats in T-Ball? Maybe that is stepping out a little too far.

As far as my neighbor goes, Terri and I are looking forward to his first season, cleats or no cleats.

His grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the multitudes of San Pedrans who know him and his family will be rooting on the little fellow to have the most fun and best enjoyment as he begins his baseball career.

Smack one out of the park, Kyle. And howl with delight when you do it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pondering Information in This Irregular Odds and Ends

2009 started with a bit of a bang during a foggy evening and it is only getting busier and more up to speed with projects, concerns, and issues worth pondering.

The Planning Commission meeting that was the concern of the last post was held. My comments about that meeting can be found at:

The next continuing saga regarding the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commissions seemingly never ending proceedings concerning the Marymount College Expansion Project is now scheduled for Tuesday March 10, 2009 and not as previously believed on Feb. 10.

The process by which the Los Angeles Unified School Districts seeks to acquire a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation for the use of Barlow Saxton road at Angel's Gate for access to two facilities is still under consideration.

It is expected that the MOU will be made available to the public for review and questioning prior to the School District taking the matter to the Board of Governors of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

One of the important issues I think many will be interested in learning about and possibly questioning is the placement of a new traffic signal on Gaffey at the intersection of 32Nd Street on the east and Barlow Saxton on the west.

Most of us never ponder much about that intersection because the gate going over Barlow Saxton Road is usually closed and we are focused more on the intersection of Gaffey at 30Th on the west and 31St on the east.

It appears that we will now get to deal with the Gaffey/30Th intersection at the bottom of three hills and the top of a fourth hill while we will need to learn about dealing with a new signal just a very few yards south along Gaffey Street and up the southern incline of Gaffey Street.

Perhaps L.A.U.S.D. considers placing the new signal at the lesser of two evil intersections, but I do have to feel that the geometry of that area is not very safe for a signal and stop signs not that far apart from each other.
Have you driven by the new parklands along 22Nd. Street near Minor?

Slowly the tidelands park is coming together and it seems to be the first park developed east of Pacific Avenue in far too many years.

The Knoll Hill Advisory Committee will have a meeting the first week of February. Interested folks are encouraged to attend the meetings and participate in pondering what should be enjoyed at the park, in the future.

Councilwoman Hahn has been quoted that she wants baseball fields to remain, but there are issues regarding the placement of permanent buildings at the park to support organized league play continuing after the agreement with Eastview Little League ends.

The Corner Store will be hosting a wine, hummus, and soda tasting event to benefit the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur.

WHEN: Saturday, February 7, 2009

Three Tasting Times: 1-2pm, 2:30-3:30pm, 4-5pm

DONATION: $15.00 per person

Space is limited! Make your reservations ASAP. Please contact Jill Romano> at 310.548.5677 for event details and reservation information or stop by The> Corner Store in San Pedro to register.

WHERE: The Corner Store
1118 W. 37th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 832-2424

Kristina Smith runs Pedro at:

It has become the go to site to learn about upcoming events and meetings you might be interested in.

Ms. Smith has a great site and we hope you bookmark it, save it to your favorites, or link to if via one of my blogs.
Josh Stecker's new publication, "San Pedro Today" is finally out to the lucky 30,000 that received their copy this morning.

Those of us who wished for a copy but can only read it online (like Terri and I), can view the entire publication by going to:

Good luck Josh. We need information, news, and enlightening views from the widest number of people and publications we can find.
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company has scheduled a free presentation to senior citizens of its newest production, "I Love You. Your're Perfect. Now Change."

The free performace will be held on Thursday February 13, 2009 at the Warner Grand Theater, beginning at 1:00 PM

Here is their special invitation:

Happy Valentine's Day to all Senior Citizens!

On February 13, 2009, TRS will offer a special, FREE performance at 1 P.M. for Seniors 55+.

This is a private performance for group and individual Seniors, which is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

Groups may reserve seats by sending an email message to us. Be sure to specify the number of seats.

Individual seniors will be granted admission at the doors which will open at 12:30 PM. Free admission is only offered to seniors for this special 1 P.M. performance on 2009-02-13.
The Relevant Stage

For the rest of the folks wishing to learn more about the upcoming production, future productions, and more about the Theatre Company, please visit:

In a related development, it has been learned that a veteran of live theater, movie and television production, and concerts is joining the Company.

This individual has had experiences with high school productions, worked as a casual with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, worked Summer Stock productions with Washington D.C.'s Center Theatre Group and others, helped stage college productions, and has been around 'industry types' for decades.

I can't name names right now, but this person's face will be recognizable to very few folks in San Pedro.
The city of Los Angeles will host a Day of Service in the San Pedro area in June of this year.

We've got lots of time to ponder what can be done to help improve as many things as we can get done that day and more information will become available as the date approaches.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Update Concerning R.P.V. Planning Commission Meeting

The Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday January 27 will deal with parking and grading variance issues for the Marymount College Expansion Project.

The hearing dealing with traffic issues will be held on February 24, 2009 at Hesse Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.

I doubt that San Pedrans and others wishing to speak about the Pacific Heights off-campus housing facility the College owns at 24Th and Cabrillo, would be interested in attending this Tuesday's meeting.

I do think that the continuance of the traffic matters allows folks to write more comments for submission to the Planning Commission or think more about what they might say during the hearing.

"km" provided some good comments about issues relating to a feeling that cities on The Hill have dumped on San Pedro things they did not wish to have in their cities.

I have to agree with "km" on some of that and reveal something not too many folks have thought about.

I was not involved with issues regarding the studies and approvals that were given to the construction of the original Ocean Trails Golf Course.

That facility and what has come after it failed increased traffic in San Pedro and it is still a puzzle to me why folks in San Pedro were not more objective or able to be heard, during the processes.

There is a person I know who complained to me that the city of R.P.V. would not let San Pedrans have the same opportunities to discuss, object, and debate the issues that others had.

It seems to me though that San Pedro, being part of Los Angeles, has quite the bureaucracy and perhaps City Council clout to wield a might hammer towards R.P.V.

What happened?

What happened during the processes of study, discussion, and debate over the Terranea Resort on the site of the former Marineland? It seems to me that once bitten by Ocean Trails, folks in San Pedro would have had their eyes open for the Terranea Project.

Were both of the projects left off the radar of the 15Th District Council office?

Now here is something different to consider.

Some years ago, the Palos Verdes Unified School District finally allowed school-age residents of the Eastview area of Rancho Palos Verdes the option of attending their schools or remaining in the L.A.U.S.D. system which they has always been in.

Approximately 80% of the students who have the option of attending P.V.P.U.S.D. or L.A.U.S.D. schools go to schools run by P.V.P.U.S.D.

Now please imagine what the student populations would be at Crestwood, Taper, Dodson and.......SAN PEDRO HIGH SCHOOL if the students did not have the option and were assigned to the local school that historically were their home schools.

How long might San Pedro High School have been a year-round school? What might the status really have been on a second high school in San Pedro?

So while many may truly be correct in the concept that some cities on the peninsula dump unwanted things towards San Pedro, it is peninsula schools that have absorbed many students, (as they should have), and kept the L.A.U.S.D. schools' enrollment with what it is today.

Now if only Eastview property owners could have the representation of the P.V.P.U.S.D. and our portion of property tax dollars going from L.A.U.S.D. to P.V.P.U.S.D..

There are a great number of Eastview residents who do not have kids in either District by still have tax money going to L.A.U.S.D.

(Students attending P.V.P.U.S.D. schools who live in Eastview have funds transferred from L.A.U.S.D. to P.V.P.U.S.D. on a per student basis.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Deep Springs College

Until today when I actually did more searching, I found that I have been in error for too long about a matter concerning whether there are any private two-year colleges west of the Mississippi River that have on-campus student housing.

I was wrong and I apologize for not looking further into 'facts' provided to me by others who claimed they knew the truth.

Deep Springs College in Deep Springs, California is a two-year private educational institution that provides housing for all of its students. is the URL where you can learn more about this institution.

But here is a taste of what the college provides;

"Deep Springs is an all-male liberal arts college located on a cattle-ranch and alfalfa farm in California's High Desert. Electrical pioneer L.L. Nunn founded the school in 1917 on the three pillars of academics, labor, and self-governance in order to help young men prepare themselves for lives of service to humanity. The school's 26 students, along with its staff and faculty, form a close community engaged in this intense project.

Deep Springs operates on the belief that manual labor and political deliberation are integral parts of a comprehensive liberal arts education.

Each student attends for two years and receives a full scholarship valued at over $50,000 per year. Afterwards, most complete their degrees at the world's most prestigious four year institutions.

Deep Springs, California is close to the Nevada border and about halfway between the I15 crossing the California/Nevada state line and Lake Tahoe.

It is out there and it looks like it is accessed by a dirt road.

There were no mountains nearby named Brokeback Moutain.

But the college is private and it is a two-year institution, so that means that if on-campus housing at Marymount College is approved, it would NOT be the only private two-year college west of the Mississippi River to have on-campus housing.

Now because I felt bad about blowing this issue so badly, I thought about doing more reading and searching and I found out quite a bit more about colleges that have housing on-campus or directly adjacent to the campus.

In California, there are twelve Community Colleges listed as having on-campus or adjacent housing for students.

Brooks College that closed just late last year seems to have offered some housing for students and it WAS in Long Beach, California!

According to the American Association of Community Colleges there are about 233 public, two-year colleges that have student housing in the U.S., and about "70 independent" two-year colleges that have student housing.

I will probably continue to look for more private, two-year colleges that have student housing, west of the Mississippi River. Most of the private, two-year colleges I have read about that have student housing, are east of the Mississippi, but I will continue to look.

Monday, January 19, 2009

L.A.U.S.D. Want MORE of Your Money!

Here is an editorial that appeared in the Monday January 19 edition of The Daily Breeze.

Taxpayer well running dry
Proposed LAUSD parcel tax for school operations is premature.
Daily Breeze Editorial
Posted: 01/18/2009 07:30:33 PM PST

Barely two months since Los Angeles Unified School District officials convinced voters to allocate an additional $7billion of their money for an ambitious school-improvement plan, the officials are at it again.

In the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, officials who have secured about $22 billion in construction bonds from property owners in the district in recent years are thinking of passing the hat again.

So what's this new measure for? The district wants a parcel tax to pay for operating expenses -- like administrators' six-figure salaries, consultant fees and teacher pay. These are the things that are supposed to be funded by the property tax bills we already pay.

The problem is that the LAUSD is feeling the same pain as every other California governmental agency, from the state down to cities. Tax revenue is down all around, and everyone's hurting. LAUSD officials expect $400million less from Sacramento than they had anticipated.

But rather than cut expenses, scale back the bloated bureaucracy or programs, they just ask for more.

And we thought former Superintendent David Brewer III was living in a fantasy world when he suggested last summer that what the LAUSD really needed was an additional $60 billion in the next decade - not just the $7 billion he was pushing for at that time. Just to put that in perspective, it's more than $85,000 per student -- or perhaps even more per student because the LAUSD's enrollment is decreasing all the time.

We might as well use the money to simply pay for the college education of every kid in Los Angeles and save kids the experience of attending the LAUSD's schools.

Most unfortunately, the parcel tax proposal is being floated by new Superintendent Ray Cortines, who has promised to downsize the administration while protecting the classrooms.

"We have to show signs that we're responsible and that we are not just asking for another buck," Cortines said last week.

We agree. And it's going to take more than a year - which is when that proposal for a new parcel tax might make it to the ballot - for the district to prove it is responsible. Until then, school officials should refrain from asking for additional money.

Meanwhile, residents must speak up. If they don't now, such requests will never end.
Did you catch Ray's comment, "We have to show signs that we're responsible..." Doesn't that look like an admittance that they have not beer responsible or trustworthy of the money taxpayers have already provided the District?

I don't normally agree with many editorials from this particular newspaper but this one I can easily appreciate.

When will L.A.U.S.D. voters finally wise up and stop pouring money into a District that has not shown any reason to trust their value of OUR money and use funds wisely to educate the students who attend their schools?

It is unfortunate to consider that every bond measure gets passed and only Proposition 13, back in 1978 established any brakes on wild spending, too long ago.

I know many folks will state that it was Proposition 13 that brought about suspected underfunding of education but had Districts used whatever funds they received more wisely, perhaps they would have learned how to live within their budgets.

But I also need to realize that is was not all the fault of Prop. 13 and how the District attempted to manage funding, it was also due to a dramatic increase in student enrollment that was not contended with by the District going to the Federal level.

L.A.U.S.D. helped get themselves deeper into this problem by not continuing to sue the Federal Government for its lack of support to the District and the growing problem of how to educate too many students coming into the District whose parents do not have legal documentation to be in the U.S.A. in the first place.

There had to be a time and it still may be now that we all have to look much harder at how to handle educating children who are not in this country legally, and how do we manage to try to keep families together when one sibling is a citizen and others may not be.

This is a funding issue that revolves around immigration but should be kept to funding issues only.

If the Federal Government chooses not to do any real mitigation concerning students who are not here legally, then it must fall on the Federal Government to pay L.A.U.S.D. for educating the students the Federal Government does not wish to deal with.

If the Federal Government wants to provide an amnesty program, then that is fine with me as long as they provide education funding to the students and their parents who are granted amnesty.

None of the students within L.A.U.S.D. should suffer because of what the Federal Government does or does not do.

Perhaps the Jarvis Taxpayers group should take another look at whether folks who pay into L.A.U.S.D. coffers have standing enough to sue the Federal Government to provide funding to L.A.U.S.D. rather than just us picking up the tab for what the Feds fail to do.

It seems to be a taxation without representation issue if we are paying for federally mandated things using our property tax money going towards local education.

But getting back to Ray and his follies, he hasn't been in office one month and he is already begging for more money to mismanage.

I thought there was language in the Prop. Q measure that allowed for maintenance and operations at L.A.U.S.D. schools. If it was a Build Baby Build measure only, L.A. voters who approved the measure just were not interested in dealing with the measure and they approved it just like all the rest.

Perhaps all the owners of apartment buildings in the areas within L.A.U.S.D., but who do not live within the L.A.U.S.D. area, should sell off those buildings to folks who do live in the L.A.U.S.D. area. I bet we would get a groundswell of opposition from large property owners who will balk at a new parcel tax, especially if they live in the District's area.

Sometime in the next couple of years, this all must end. We cannot afford L.A.U.S.D. as it currently is and will be if something drastic is not done.

Maybe a federal takeover of the District may have to be done. It could be the only way that we all can make the feds understand what has been happening.

They are most responsible for getting the ball rolling towards what is happening these days.

Just watch the number of hours and money is spent drawing up a ballot measure for a new parcel tax. L.A.U.S.D. will spend thousands and thousands of dollars creating a measure and then cry when they say they need more money.

As it appears many within the greater Los Angeles area are fed up with over development and have joined forces to sue the city and put a big dent in development, now we may all want to join a District-wide movement to reign in L.A.U.S.D. and make some real changes to benefit the students, faculty, and staff of the schools.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Planning Commission Meeting Regarding Marymount's Expansion

The Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission will continue to take oral comments concerning the Marymount College Expansion Project at is meeting scheduled for Tuesday January 27, 2009, beginning at 7:00 PM, inside the City Council Chambers at Hesse Park.

You are also encouraged to contribute written comments to the Planning Commission and you may do that via Email, using the Marymount College Expansion Project in the subject line and sending the Email to: That address is for Mr. Ara Mihranian, the city's manager for the project.

The Expansion Project's most controversial aspect is the proposition of placing 128-on campus dormitory rooms to house 250 students and 5 faculty advisers.

I will posting this notice on three of my blogs and providing some different comments on each blog, depending on the blog.

For many residents of San Pedro, especially those fine folks living near the corner of 24th. and Cabrillo, you may certainly want and strongly wish for on-campus housing to be approved.

Marymount College owns and operates an off-campus housing facility near that corner and I have heard numerous reports of things going on around the building that most residents do not approve of.

If the expansion project is approved as the college's administration wants it, the building called the Pacific Heights Housing would be sold and all the students would be gone.

However, years ago a former administration at Marymount claimed they would close the Palos Verdes North off-campus housing facility, but they did not.

If the expansion project is approved, there would be more than 1,500 ADDED vehicle trips every weekday classes are held at the college.

There would be some added vehicles on 1st. Street to Gaffey and 9th. Street to Gaffey but the real added number of vehicles would be along Western Avenue between Crestwood and Palos Verdes Drive North.

I can certainly understand that there could be some revenue generation in downtown San Pedro by students, but there has been no study to determine how much added revenue might be generated.

Personally, I do not want on-campus housing built at Marymount, but I do not begrudge anyone living in San Pedro from supporting that idea because of what has been happening at the Pacific Heights housing complex.

In a straw poll, all members of the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission voted to oppose on-campus housing, but that really means little right now, especially if the City Council is tired of dealing with Marymount and is simply willing to give in to the administration's wishes.

Free Performance For Seniors!!!!!

Do you want to see an off-Broadway comedy for FREE? Are you a senior citizen?

If you answer yes to those two questions, Ray Buffer and The Relevant Stage Theatre Company have a great deal for YOU!

The Relevant Stage Theatre Company (TRS) at San Pedro's Warner Grand Theatre in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, has partnered with Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council to present a special performance of the musical comedy that celebrates love and relationships:

"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" , featuring live actors/singers and musicians - on Friday, February 13, 2009 at 1PM for Senior Citizens and other Social Services.

Admission will be FREE for this special daytime performance the day before Valentine's Day, to adults 55 and over. This notice is meant to encourage groups to book in advance.

There is no limit to the number per group, but groups are requested to make a reservation so that seats are held. For assisted care facilities that cannot provide transportation, buses may be provided by Councilwoman Hahn's office by contacting them directly.

TRS can provide you with more information after you express interest.

Please reply to this invitation by email or phone as soon as possible to secure your group's seats.

Duration of the performance is 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Contact or call (310) 929-8129.

Feel free to forward this notice to others who specialize in Senior Care and Assistance, particularly within radius to downtown San Pedro.
Free! How can you beat that!

A funny comedy presented by a company that continues to grow and develop into a great company of actors, technicians, backstage personnel, and management.

Did I mention it is FREE on Friday February 13, 2009 at 1:00 PM. If you miss this FREE performance, then you'll be just like me and have to pay to see the play.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pondering Who to Vote for in L.A.

I don't get to vote in elections dealing with Los Angeles City government. But that doesn't mean I can't have opinions on who I would like to see win in the March 3 election.

I have two 'slam dunks' for different reasons.

For City Attorney, Mr. Noel Weiss:

Mr. Weiss is a clear choice for San Pedro, its residents and the OUR community on the whole.

Mr. Weiss continues to work with members of OUR community and is intelligent, interesting, innovative, and involved.

For 15th District City Council is there any real option who to vote for?

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you feel Ms. Janice Hahn: is probably going to retake the helm of the 15th District by a landslide.

Ms. Hahn may not serve out another whole term if she decides to run for the 4th Supervisory District seat now held by Mr. Don Knabe, and wins.

Now pondering on who should be the Mayor of Los Angeles, I have been battling my own thoughts and the thoughts of others.

Antonio Villaraigosa spends about 11% of his 'work' day on city business. This has been written about and is backed by public information and records.

I think the current Mayor of Los Angeles is the only person in L. A. Government who is more into photo opportunities that a certain very local Councilperson.

I haven't been able to find anything real or important that Tony Villar has accomplished with the exception of promoting more taxes for you and me.

The list of candidates is not all that long. It seems nobody is willing to give any of the other candidates any real chance at sending Tony packing and seeking another cozy job.

There is Walter Moore, but I think he is ignorant of the issues in OUR community and he is not written about very well, by others.

And then there is David Saltsburg. You may not know that name but you probably know him by the name he uses, Zuma Dogg:

For the office of Mayor of the city of Los Angeles, I don't think you could do any better than electing Zuma Dogg for that office.

It would be better than allowing Tony Villar (Antonio Villaraigosa) a second term.

Los Angeles has the City Council that makes the laws and (sort of) runs the city. The office of Mayor has become completely ceremonial because of Tony's inaction's, photo ops, glad-handing, and attempts to gain higher attention in the national media.

Zuma Dogg doesn't pull any punches when he tells you what he thinks and he carries around a video camera to make sure you see him in action.

Now I do not believe Zuma should be without medication for long periods of time, but that is probably true for Tony as well.

Zuma would bring more national spotlights onto L. A. and laughter counts in some of the spotlights.

Did Minnesota gain when Jesse Ventura was Governor?

L. A. needs all the attention it can get right now. We do not have any rivers where a large plane can land safely and we don't have a Wall Street crumbling down.

The election of Zuma Dogg might create so much discussion that something actually gets done in the city.

Voters electing Zuma Dogg could all take credit for finding a home for someone who has been described as homeless and living in his van.

I don't think that Zuma Dogg could do any more damage than Tony has done. Zuma seems to look out for the less fortunate and people who don't necessarily donate to his election campaign.

So in closing,

Zuma Dogg for Mayor

Noel Weiss for City Attorney

I'd sit out voting for Janice Hahn knowing that so many other will vote for her it is almost as if she is running unopposed. I never vote in elections where there is only one candidate. It seems to be too much like communist countries when that happens.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pondering A Great Orchestra and More

The Golden State Pops Orchestra, has become an institution in OUR community.

Every year the concerts get better and better and a wider variety of programs are being introduced.

The Orchestra has welcomed guest conductors whose music they created has been used in motion pictures. Guest soloists have provided outstanding music that cannot be believed to be coming from such local organization.

The overall talent demonstrated by all the members of the Orchestra combines musicians involved in education, movie and television production, live musical theater, other professionals, and others to create an evening of enjoyment for everyone.

Click on image to enlarge.

The Orchestra's conductor, Mr. Steven Fox goes out of his way to create brave new adventures in music enjoyment that are rarely heard anywhere else.

One of the concerts that is truly unbelievable is the recurring music taken from video games. Conductor Fox probably only hoped for the great reaction he received when he ventured into an arena heard mostly by younger people, but appreciated so much by those of us who are not into video games.

As you read the schedule for both the Golden State Pops Orchestra and what will be produced at the Warner Grand Annex, I think you will find a larger array of music programs now scheduled.

One of the former criticisms of the programs was that not enough truly classical music was presented.

With the previous few programs that offered opera soloists and a program where a tenor brought the house completely down after the audience heard something nothing short of magic, it now looks like music lovers of many more types of music will have something to enjoy.

Now I have to admit, Terri and I have been to as many concerts as we possibly could have attended over the years and I even attended concerts in a wheel chair and on crutches. I am not that objective when it comes to GSPO.

They are OUR Orchestra and I hope we continue to grow the audience numbers at both the Warner Grand Theater and at the Warner Grand Annex.

The GSPO season ends each year with the free 4th of July Concert at Cabrillo Beach. It has become a larger event every year and there is no stopping the pride and pleasure afforded by that Concert.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Contribution of a Post

I welcome post contributions on all of my blogs, except one. My Cavemandairy blog is the blog that I don't share.

This post was created by Mr. Peter Warren, a member of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

While Mr. Warren and I do not agree on everything, he and I are both very opposed to having a new cruise ship terminal built in the outer Los Angeles Harbor at Kaiser Point.

Mr. Warren's post provides a more reasons to ponder about the Port of Los Angeles and what might be included in the future.

Here is Mr. Warren's post.
Councils Weigh In on San Pedro Waterfront Plan
Commissioners Need to Hear from Community Before Making Decision
By Peter M. Warren, Chair
Port and Environment Committee

Among San Pedrans, the waterfront project—from bridge to breakwater—has been discussed for a decade and more. Finally, there is agreement among almost all key constituents about how to rebuild San Pedro’s waterfront while sustaining downtown businesses, upgrading cruise ship facilities, improving Ports O’ Call (POC), and reserving the waterfront south of 22nd Street for non-industrial uses.

But there is a real chance that this vision will not happen.

That’s because Port staff is continuing to push its idea to base cruise ships near Cabrillo Beach (see photo) and tear down POC to double its size.

The staff plan is strongly opposed by almost all the business, environment and community leadership in town, as well as the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, and the Coastal and Central neighborhood councils.

These groups want an upgraded, modern cruise terminal adjacent to downtown; a promenade from bridge to breakwater; a rebuilt and slightly expanded Ports O’ Call with a conference center; shared parking structures (not built along the waterfront) that would serve downtown and POC visitors; as well as transit, bike and red car links that tie all these things together.

The final decision will be made by the Board of Harbor Commissioners sometime between now and mid-March. Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz has urged the public to let the commissioners know what they want along our waterfront.

The CSPNC also asks constituents to make their views known by emailing the harbor commissioners at Bob Henry is the executive officer to the commissioners.

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council (CSPNC) has long opposed building a cruise ship terminal at Kaiser Point, where it will dominate Cabrillo Beach and interfere with recreational boating in the Outer Harbor, including access to the West Channel passage to the Cabrillo Marinas.

The Port plan for a cruise terminal near Cabrillo Beach would require more than 600 bus trips daily to transport passengers to and from cruise passenger parking areas near the Vincent Thomas bridge, as well as hundreds of trips daily by support vehicles and trucks.

The chamber of commerce also opposes the idea, believing that building a cruise terminal and berths near the beach will draw tourists away from downtown, harming existing businesses there and at Ports O’ Call. The Port plan also calls for a massive expansion of POC, which the chamber feels is not sustainable and will hinder downtown’s renaissance.

Business, community and environmental leaders are also critical of the port plan because it puts long-term cruise terminal parking along the waterfront and does not provide transit or a red-car link between the waterfront, POC and downtown. The Port’s plan is based on an economic analysis of the cruise industry conducted in 2006, a study now out of touch with current economic developments.

Supporters of the Port plan maintain that without a cruise terminal and berths at Kaiser Point the cruise industry will leave San Pedro, in part because larger cruise ships cannot turn around under the bridge and find it unsafe to back down the channel.

But existing ships regularly back down the Main Channel without tugs. Larger cruise ships coming to the Port beginning in February will, as with current ships, navigate the channel without tugs. Even Director Knatz has testified before the commission that backing down the channel is, at worst, an inconvenience, and that some of the cruise lines prefer the current berthing near downtown to the proposed terminal near Cabrillo Beach.

The plans for the port favored by the chamber and the neighborhood councils include the Sustainable Waterfront Plan and enhanced versions of Alternative Four, which was included in the environmental impact statement written by the Port. Though they have different names, the Sustainable Waterfront Plan and “Alternative Four with enhancements” are virtually the same.

In particular, the sustainable plan is built around four key components in the belief that each component should enhance and sustain the others, and that the combination creates a world-class attraction. The four components are a revived downtown San Pedro, a modern cruise ship terminal near downtown, an enhanced Ports O’ Call, and the vision to reserve the area south of 22nd street for recreation, museums, boating, education, biking, scientific research, and compatible low-key commercial development.

Advocates of the Sustainable Plan point to the state Tidelands Act, which says waterfront should be dedicated not just to industrial and shipping uses, but also to recreation, habitat preservation, swimming and boating.

The plan’s supporters, including CSPNC, argue that the area south of 22nd Street is unique and that the harbor commissioners’ duty is to think of the needs of future generations, not short-term economic gain for one industry. The area south of 22nd Street can be a magnet to draw people to our town, and it will fill a desperate need for recreational space in Los Angeles county.

The right thing to do is preserve this land for use by the millions of people who live within an hours drive of San Pedro; not dedicate it to the cruise ship industry and to those who can afford thousands of dollars for a cruise ship holiday.
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Pier 400 Supertanker Terminal Plans Raise Red Flags in Harbor Community

The Port of Los Angeles has been planning a supertanker terminal on Pier 400. This proposal has inspired protest in the community and among neighborhood council participants. Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council has a committee which oversees port and environmental issues. Committee Chair Peter Warren reports on the latest legal fight.

By Peter M. Warren, Chair
Port and Environment Committee

A harbor area environmental group and several Coastal San Pedro and Wilmington residents are seeking a better deal for the public from the Houston-based company that wants to bring tens of billions of dollars of crude oil into the United States through a supertanker terminal in Los Angeles Harbor.

The group filed an appeal last month regarding the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project, which had been approved in December by the Board of Harbor Commissioners (BHC).

Numerous residents and groups, including the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council (CSPNC), cited significant flaws in the draft EIR when it was presented in May.

The appeal, which was filed by a Wilmington-based organization, A Coalition for A Safe Environment, as well as several CSPNC residents, asks the city council to reconsider the approval.

In its appeal, the group notes that “the project will cause an annual increase of premature deaths and public health problems” for Los Angeles residents.

It also cites numerous failures by the Port of Los Angeles to ensure that the project’s environmental and health impacts be substantially reduced or fully mitigated.

The harbor commissioners in December approved the project without requiring that almost a dozen significant environmental impacts be reduced to a level of insignificance.

Among the areas where unmitigated or significant impacts will be allowed are: air quality, noise, “risk of upset” (explosion), oil spills, recreation, water quality, hazardous materials and biological resources.

The project would be owned and operated by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, LP. Under the proposed 30-year lease, Plains would annually dock and unload up to 201 supertankers or very large crude carriers (VLCCs) at Pier 400. Each supertanker would carry about 2.5 million barrels of crude oil.

The supertanker docking facility would be built at berth 408 on the most southwesterly face of Pier 400, which is nearest to Angels Gate, the entrance to L.A. harbor; a mile from Cabrillo Beach.

The project would also include several crude oil tank farms on Piers 300 and 400, as well as pipeline facilities. Construction, including significant pile driving operations, would take up to three years.

One example of lax requirements concerns the failure to require cessation of diesel power by ships which are docked. During the hearing process, residents criticized the Port for failing to require that all supertankers shut down their engines and be plugged into dockside electricity.

This technique, called AMPing (alternative maritime power), significantly reduces pollution from vessels in port. Air pollution from docked ships is reduced 88 to 98 percent by AMPing, according to the EIR.

Diesel emissions have been tied to increased risk for lung cancer, asthma and respiratory disease. A 2005 Air resources Board (ARB) exposure study at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach shows that more than two million people live in areas around the ports and they have an increased cancer risk and a substantial increased health risk due to emissions from docked ocean-going vessels.

From that study and other data, ARB estimates that about 61 premature deaths per year can be attributed to exposure to diesel exhaust generated from ships in port.

Critics say that the Port has not done all it can to reduce pollution through AMPing. Plains says that business realities make it impossible to require that all VLCCs using the terminal have AMP capability because some ships will be making infrequent calls in Los Angeles and there is a limited availability of AMP-capable VLCCs in the world.

As approved by the harbor commissioners, even in the year 2026, fully 60 percent of the supertankers (120 vessels) unloading crude at the new terminal will NOT be required to use AMP while docked in Los Angeles.

Even in the 17th year of operations and beyond, 60 vessels (30 percent, or more than one a week) will not be required to use AMP. Regardless of whether the ships plug in while docked, the supertankers will still run their boilers to offload the crude from the ship because there are no facilities to pump the crude off the ship using dockside power.

Residents and activists, in the effort to clean up the “diesel death zone” around the Port, say that if the Port insists on going ahead without further air quality mitigation, then residents of the immediate area should see some of the financial benefit because the vast majority of negative impacts are concentrated in San Pedro, particularly in the CSPNC area.

One idea being discussed is a residential solar subsidy program paid for by Plains that would create local jobs, build green business and provide a real benefit to local residents.

It would reduce the price of a solar system to about $5,500, making residential solar affordable and providing some financial offset for the additional pollution affecting harbor area residents.

Officials estimate that (depending on the current price of crude) the project will import between $20 billion and $70 billion worth of crude a year. If Plains receives one percent of that as a fee, it will gross between $200 million and $700 million a year.

By one standard calculation, each tanker trip docking at Pier 400 will save the owners of the crude oil at least $2 million per shipment; that is in the reduction in the cost of transferring the crude from Supertankers to smaller vessels offshore, the current method of offloading crude from VLCCs.

Under the residential solar proposal, Plains would set aside $10 million a year to subsidize residential solar for 2000 homes at $5,000 a home.

Currently, a typical solar installation costs about $28,000 with the Department of Water and Power providing a $13,000 subsidy. The federal tax credit of 30 percent would reduce that cost to $10,500, and the Plains subsidy would cut the cost to $5,500. This for a home that spends about $600 a year on electricity.

Considering the substantial profit to Plains, which will become a virtual ATM for crude oil, Plains could afford the plan and also would earn goodwill by providing a benefit to the residents most affected by the increase in pollution and other impacts.

In addition to reducing electric demand from the harbor area, it would stimulate small business, build the solar residential industry, create new jobs and job training at Harbor College for installers.

The 2009 San Pedro Theater Season Has Begun!

The 2009 season of great plays, comedies, and musicals has begun in San Pedro!

The Little Fish Theatre Company opened the live theater season, so they get first billing.

"Pick of the Vine" is a collection of short, one-act plays that plays to many emotions and creates a truly enjoyable evening of entertainment.

Terri, Ruth, Phil, and I were members of a full house Saturday evening at the Little Fish Theater at 777 S. Centre Street, in San Pedro.

The Theatre Company's Web address is: and you can find out the dates and times for "Pick of the Vine" On that Web site.

Also you can find out about future productions, discount tickets, supportive opportunities and amenities offered for an entire evening's worth of good food, fantastic theater, and great company.

But wait! There's more! Along with Little Fish, we are also gaining pride with San Pedro's newer Theatre Company, The Relevant Stage Theatre Company!

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is the hit Off-Broadway musical revue which closed after over 5000 performances in July, 2008. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change features music by Jimmy Roberts with a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro. The musical comedy celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and myths behind relationships. Act I details the journey from dating and waiting to lovers and marriage, while Act II reveals the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, trips in the family car and pick-up techniques of the geriatric set. It is the longest-running musical revue in New York stage history. Valentines Day audiences will enjoy a free glass of champagne at intermission.
This production begins the season of The Relevant Stage Theatre Company and you can learn more about this and future productions by visiting:
The Web site for The Relevant Stage also provides a great deal of information about the dates of their season opener, future productions, how you can help support the Company, and other things.
I was informed that the Company's performances for students have been fabulous hits and they will continue to help students learn to appreciate and participate in all aspects of theater life.
The Relevant Stage is a much newer theater company in San Pedro compared to Little Fish. Both companies provide great entertainment on a much different scale and both are enjoyable for the widest number of audience members possible.
San Pedro's Little Fish Theatre Company has been around for a long enough time to establish itself as a Company that provides programs that have folks coming to watch it from a very large area of greater Los Angeles.
It is hoped that in a few year's time, The Relevant Stage Theatre Company will also attract a much wider group of theater goers than they have seen in the first seasons.
I have been around theater since I was a toddler and I have worked a bit in the theater as a student, volunteer, and a professional.
The acoustical problems faced with previous productions by The Relevant Stage has been carefully and thoughtfully fixed and with the production of "Bat Boy, the Musical" we have now found a much better listening experience, even in a 1,400+ seat theater.
If I can't get a job before a particular future production ends, I am going to do my best to help out with "The Rocky Horror Show", if Ray and Terri will let me.
San Pedro is also home to the Grand Vision Organization or more commonly known as the Warner Grand Vision Organization.
Their Web site is at:
This Organization has The Grand Annex theater space where productions occur as part of live theater.
Of course throughout the year, productions take place of live theater at The Warner Grand Theater that are not part of The Relevant Stage Theatre Company.
"The Nutcracker" is best remembered when you watch it as part of a packed house full or relatives, friends, and others enjoying the huge cast of "The Nutcracker" at The Warner Grand Theater.
In these very tough economic times, I surely hope Shakespeare by the Sea is able to produce a 2009 season.
At their Web site: you can learn about past seasons and how you can help this very cash strapped organization.
If you have ever been an audience member attending a free production by the Shakespeare by the Sea Company, you already know how great they are, no matter where you go to see a production.
I hope "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged", the only production they charge for, acts as a recurring benefit for the Organization and it is a MUST SEE!
During 2009 schools throughout the area will have shows that can be enjoyed.
Dodson Middle School has a performing arts Magnet Program, as well as South Shores Elementary School.
Dance recitals also are performed throughout the year at several venues in San Pedro.
When I thought about this post, I intentionally left out The Golden States Pops Orchestra until this spot because it's new season began last year and I wanted it separated from other forms of live entertainment.
OF COURSE you all need to attend every Golden States Pops Orchestra concert. That is a given and doesn't need further discussion.
Their Web site is at:
As far as concerts around San Pedro go, I hope that "Music by the Sea" comes back during this Summer at Point Femin Park. is their Web site.
Also, live music can be heard at many local venues, on First Thursdays, and at concerts presented at churches in the area.
Ya, we do got cul-cha in San Pedro. It's a whole lot of quality stuff, waiting for you to enjoy an entire year of great works.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Too Humorous For Me Not To Ponder

This post is directly related to shipping and ships but it has nothing to do with the port on OUR community.

A very large oil tanker was hijacked at sea.

Somali pirates took over the M.V. Sirius Star and demanded ransom money.

After an extended period of time when the ship and pirates were encountering vessels of other countries attempting to thwart the hijacking a ransom of 3 Million Dollars was parachuted down to the Pirates.

The Pirates then abandoned the hijacked vessel and fairly quickly thereafter, five of the Pirates, along with the ransom money exit the small craft they were speeding in. The money sank to the bottom of the ocean while five of the Pirates drowned.

Now here is another bit of humor to add.

An uncle of one of the Pirates/now dead guy, blamed the deaths on the fact that the small craft the Pirates were escaping in had to speed fast over rough waters to keep from being taken over by people in other watercraft seeking to take the priates into custody and return the ransom money.

It's tough to consider that your nephew after doing any number of illegal things, won't be able to bring you any illegally gotten gains because the nephew dies as a result of actions taken by other pirates in not keeping their craft from capsizing. All this while claiming that the death occured at the hands of law enforcement personnel or military members who were legally allowed to attempt to capture your nephew because he was.........a pirate!

It may come to pass, with this particular event, that some Somalis may consider leaving the Pirate business and entering the deep sea-diving business. It just might be more profitable, you think?


Oh, by the way, have you seen the gunmounts and bit machine guns on the small watercraft that scoot around our harbor.

I imagine there is no pirate in there right mind who would want to try and go up against our U.S. Coast Guard

HOWEVER, if there are any Pirates on any vessel operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, then thank you very much should go out to those Pirates from everyone, including all of us Pirates who graduated from San Pedro High School.

Being a Pirate is a good thing. Being a pirate is a dangerous thing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One L.A.U.S.D. Representative Continues the Mistrust of the District.

According to a person who attended the California Coastal Commission meeting yesterday, Mr. Rod Hamilton, a manager within the Facilities Services Division of the Los Angeles Unified School District stated the following when addressing the Commission members and referring to the approved South Region High School No. 15;

(It will become) "the jewel in the crown of LAUSD".

Now where have we heard that quote before and what was it really referring to?

I created that very quote vocally and in many of my writings concerning the redeveloped Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center.

I never used that quote when I mentioned South Region High School No. 15.

Mr. Hamilton took my quote that I used when referring to the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center and used it when referring to the annex of S.P.H.S.

I am quite sure That Mr. Hamilton heard my words when I used them referring to the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center.

My words were recorded on videotape during an L.A.U.S.D. Board of Education meeting.

My words were spoken during a public hearing in which Rod also attended.

My words were published in documents submitted regarding the South Region High School No. 15.

My words have been published on this blog, more than once and appear on more than two posts.

At NO TIME have I referred to South Region High School No. 15 as being any jewel in any crown of any School District.

Yet Rod thought my words were good enough to use for his purposes when talking about the annex and not the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center.

If you wonder why I continue to suggest that L.A.U.S.D. cannot be trusted and that its representative would do just about anything to have their wishes granted, all you need to do is look at the quote........really the misquote.

Rod used MY words for the annex. I used MY words for the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center.

Hey Rod, if you want to quote me, quote me and don't misquote and misinform what I truly stated.

I can just see the smirk on his face that I have viewed too many times when he was dealing with folks who don't agree with him.

He can be viewed as a consummate bureaucrat who apparently doesn't really care what the folks who pay him think or feel.

HOWEVER, since voters have approved another Seven Billion Dollars, the vast majority of the bond money going into the coffers of the Facilities Services Division, the division Mr. Hamilton is a manager within, we can only expect him and his ilk to continue to do whatever they wish in order to achieve their goals.

Folks, I don't need to make these things up. They appear just about everywhere you look outside the classrooms of LAUSD.

It's just another instance of foot in mouth disease that exists throughout the bureaucracy of LAUSD, it appears.

Two More Posts From "Mayor Sam's Sister City" Blog That May Concern OUR Community

Here are two more posts from:

The first post concerns one or OUR community's great persons. Ms. Soledad Garcia was included in the lawsuit brought by Tony Villar against the "Solar eight" which Ms. Garcia was a member of.


This just in - the judge in the case of the Mayor's Yes on Measure B team - the one that sought to sue Ron Kaye and other local activists for their ballot argument against a controversial and "flawed" DWP solar initiative - tossed out the suit.

The judge found no merit in the Mayor's team's argument and the Solar 8's ballot statement will stand - telling the truth to voters about this alarming boondoggle.Big feather in the cap for Ron Kaye and his Solar 8 and their legal counsel, candidate for City Attorney Noel Weiss.

Been a good week so far for the people, no doubt!

I altered the name of Noel Weiss because I want to also let you know that he has helped a great deal for the Steering Committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1 right here in OUR community.

The Secret Is Out! Mayor Finally Releases Names of Mystery Gang Panel

You may remember the LA Weeky's Daniel Heimpel's piece about Mayor Villaraigosa's secret anti-gang committee, that group of unknown commisars, sort of the Majestic-12 of anti-street crime, who were responsible for deciding which of Zuma Dogg's favorite shady non-profits would be the winners in the City lottery of millions of dollars of anti-gang tax money.

The Mayor's office - including the "Why I am still working here" spokeshole of record - the otherwise brilliant Matt Szabo - refused to release the names of this esteemed panel but after much sunshine thanks to our true paper of record - The Weekly - we now have the list.

And here it is:

Chuck Flores - District 4, Operations Coordinator LAUSD
Alexandra Lieben - Executive Director UCLA School of Public Affairs
Greg McManus - Lieutenant LAPD
Faith Mitchell - Attorney South LA Area Planning Commission
Tim Brown - Clear Deputy Probation Director Law Enforcement
Gregory Burks - Chief of Grants CDD
Maria Cardona - Healthy Start Coordinator Nightingale Middle School
Susana Coracero - LAUSD/Monica Garcia's Office
Ed Corbett - Watts Towers Community Action Committee
Mary Darks - Jones Community Resident
Philip Egans - Probation
Lark Galloway - MPA Executive Director Community Health Councils
Ruben Gonzalez - Consultant, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Carlos Gonzalez - Assistant Principal Bethune Middle School
Donna Groman - Judge Superior Court- Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center
Tom Hayden - Gang and Academic Expert - wrote the book "Streetwars"
Nyora Higgs - Community Resident
Kimberly King - Professor CAL State LA
Anthony Koutris - Deputy City Attorney Gang Prosecution and Prevention, Clear Taskforce
Jose Kubes - Parent Center Coordinator Manual Arts High School
Jose Maciel - Director Macarthur Park Recreation Center
Myrian Magana - Community RepresentativeRosa Manriquez - Recreation and Parks
Claudia Martinez - Social Worker LADCFS
Tim McDonald - Assistant Principal West Adams High School
Victor McKamie - Executive Director Minority Aids Project
Richard Mora - Assistant Professor Occidental College
Christina Ortega- Libatique DONE Project Coordinator City Representative
Eric Rost - (LCSW) Sheriff's Office
Jose Sandoval - Chair of Gang Comte. Community Resident
Lloyd Scott - Sargeant South Bureau Gangs
LaTanya Skiffer - Professor CSDH
Lynette Smith - Assistant Principal Telfair Elementary
Maritza Sosa - Community Program assistant CCYF
Chinyere Stonehem - Mt. Carmel Recreation and Parks
Gerald Thompson - Executive Director Pathways to our Future
Ailleth Tom - Organization Facilitator LAUSD Local District 5
Lucia Torres - Community Resident
Dea Tramble - Operation Coordinator LAUSD, Local District 1
Rodrigo Vazquez - Youth Justice Coalition
Paul Vinetz - Probation Director JJCPA Cluster 3 Programs
Curtis Woodle - South Bureau LAPD
Stacy Wu - Gang Expert Davis Ja and Associates

Now here is where I am stuck and need your help.

I cannot determine if any of the listed individuals are connected in any way with the Harbor Area and our more local community.

Can it be that Tony Villar continues to ignore the Harbor Area and the gangs and their activities in this area?

I did not see any names I can attribute to Councilwoman Hahn's offices but I know she is very concerned about gangs in her District, including the southern end of her District.

Being that the Harbor Area contributes vast sums of money into the coffers of the city of Los Angeles, compared to most other areas, one might think that the Mayor might wish to include the Harbor Area in efforts to manage gang activity.

So if you can identify anyone on the list as dealing with gang activity specifically in the Harbor Area, will you please let me know.

If it comes to pass that Tony's group contains no members associated with dealing with gang activity specifically in the Harbor Area, that information would be appreciated, too.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Report From the Meeting of the CCC

On January 7, 2009, members of the California Coastal Commission, meeting in Oceanside, California voted 8-3 to approve the South Region High School No. 15 Project to be built on the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur.

Mr. Rod Hamilton and TWO lawyers representing L.A.U.S.D. attended the meeting.

When I learn the names of the other L.A.U.S.D. representatives that made the journey south to attend the meeting, I will publish those names, too.

The next meeting of the California Coastal Commission will be on February 4-6 in Huntington Beach, California.

Just a bit of trivia: Huntington Beach is CLOSER to the offices of the Los Angeles Unified School District than where today's meeting was held in Oceanside, California.

The next meeting is LESS than one month from today.

Had L.A.U.S.D. requested a continuance of LESS than one-month's time to deal with the Project, by the California Coastal Commission, I highly doubt that there would be the expenditures created by L.A.U.S.D. representatives attending today's meeting than there would be by those same folks attending a meeting much, much closer to the District's offices.

Just about every day now, we are reading and hearing that L.A.U.S.D. has incredible financial woes and is in desperate need to save as much money as possible.

When L.A.U.S.D. feels it is so important that the issue concerning the new campus cannot wait LESS THAN one more month, I should also imagine that they don't really care about their financial straights OR they simply do not 'GET' that they can be shown to be so wasteful with OUR money.

I expected the California Coastal Commission would approve the Project, but I was glad to see that there were opposition votes cast.

L.A.U.S.D. was willing to change their Board of Education plans for the Project so it would find favor with the majority of Commission.

In fact, now that the wind turbines have been removed from the Project, it now conforms to one of the four Alternatives to the Proposed Project, but that Alternative was not approved by the Board of Education, the Preferred Project (with the wind turbines) was approved.

L.A.U.S.D. altered the approved plans without another vote by the Board of Education.

What make anyone trust or believe that L.A.U.S.D. won't make further alterations to their plans for the campus.

Gone should be the consideration that there would only be "810" students attending the new campus, especially since it has been shown that classroom student counts for non-physical education classes have approximately 40 students each.

Gone should be all the notions that Alma Street would NOT be the primary route for students, faculty, staff, and others going to and from the campus.

Gone should also be the promise that L.A.U.S.D. would actually provide funds for a new swimming pool for both school and community use.

If L.A.U.S.D. was willing to cave on their plans documented to support approval of the Project by the Board of Education, what could make anyone believe that since they caved for the California Coastal Commission, they won't cave for others and themselves?

Trust has been demonstrated to be something the Facilities Division and others within L.A.U.S.D. lacks because of their overwhelming desire to do exactly what THEY want to do, no matter what members of the public and taxpayers are told.

What else will L.A.U.S.D. change in the Board of Education approved plans for the new campus?

We will see, we will report, and we will continue to provide comments and facts to support issues of importance.

Pondering My New Blog About Where I Live

I live in a home within the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.

When my parents carried me into the very same home on May 4, 1955, it was considerd to be in "San Pedro".

The zip code that the house used to be in was 90732.

The house has only moved several inches since it was first built, beginning in 1948.

The house was actually built in the unincorporated area of the County of Los Angeles and the area where the house is located was annexed into the city of Rancho Palos Verdes during the time other family members occupied the home.

The house is in the original tract of homes located between Western Avenue and Miraleste Drive. It is in the tract of houses first named "Eastview" by the developers of the tract.

"Eastview" has now grown to mean all the homes formerly located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County that was annexed into the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, years ago.

There are still a great number of residents living in Eastview that lived in the areas before it was annexed into the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.

As such, there are still a great number of residents who consider themselves to be 'San Pedrans' and they hold their hearts, allegiances, and thoughts with San Pedro and have little consideration for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, where they actually live.

My heart still is firmly with San Pedro. It is still my community even though my brain has told me for years that I need to consider Rancho Palos Verdes as my governing entity.

I also want to deal with the facts that the vast majority of residents in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes also still believe we are more alligned with San Pedro than we are with their city.

Voting records for the Eastview area prove that our residents vote in elections affecting Rancho Palos Verdes at about 11% of the eligible voters.

But the Eastview area has a large percentage of the population of Rancho Palos Verdes. We have two of the three major Supermarkets in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes (Smart and Final and Trader Joe's). We have the only movie theaters in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. The majority of sales tax revenues that come back to the city of Rancho Palos Verdes come from the Eastview area, with help from our great friends/spenders who live in San Pedro, Lomita, and other communities.

So we have the population, commerce, restaurants and some other items far greater than any other area of Rancho Palos Verdes.

The eastern side of Rancho Palos Verdes is a sleeping giant of a residential and commercial base for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes yet we are sorely under represented with regards to just about everything within the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Miraleste is has some of the oldest residences in the city. We have more custom made homes on the east side than anywhere else in the city.

The Eastview area is more densely populated than any other area in R.P.V.

We have Palos Verdes Drive East within the area, two L.A.U.S.D. schools, one P.V.P.U.S.D. middle school and we are topped off by a military installation.

With all this, we are still connected in so many ways with San Pedro, especially the northwest area of that community, all of the businesses, recreational facilities, and community concerns that affect all of us in San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes.

Northwest San Pedro and all of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes make up two of the largest areas within OUR community. We can't survive apart from each other and we share far too many things together.

I created: to deal with issues that more reflect the needs and wishes of the residents of the entire eastern side of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.

I want to be able to provide another forum for everyone to understand better how we are all connected, yet we have some issues relating more to the rest of Rancho Palos Verdes than some issues found in San Pedro and other communities.

It is understandable that our hearts belong to San Pedro, but our brains need to focus on Rancho Palos Verdes more of the time.

Residents of eastern R.P.V. need to become more united in their dealings within eastern R.P.V. and with dealings by the government and bureaucracy of Rancho Palos Verdes.

It is time that we realize the need to take more control of our own city and the needs of the residents of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes.

On November 3, 2009, there will be an election where one current member of the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council may run for reelection or two seats will be up for new members to the Council.

There are already some candidates for the two seats and residents of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes have the opportunity to learn more about those candidates and become more involved with affairs in Rancho Palos Verdes.

I have less than a year to help gather more interest by residents of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes so they can be better able to determine how our city's government and infrastructure should be run.

Of course, I will never be a candidate for an elected office in Rancho Palos Verdes, but I can make available instruments where more of our residents become involved.

The biggest problem we need to overcome is the lack of interest, particularly within the Eastview area, for our own city's government and activities.

We have over 3,000 residential units on the east side or R.P.V. I sponsored a candidates forum during the last R.P.V. election cycle and less than 40 people showed up to listen to the candidates. That is shameful for an area with so many residents, I feel.

Currently, eastern R.P.V. and northwest San Pedro are dealing with the Marymount College Expansion Project.

This project will affect eastern R.P.V. and northwest San Pedro more than any other areas of either communities.

40% of the new traffic created by an approved Expansion Project will travel north and south along Western Avenue between Crestwood Street and P.V.Drive North.

Another 25% of the traffic would go through eastern R.P.V and along 1st and 9th Streets in San Pedro.

With up to 65% of the increased traffic going through our two areas, it is very important that discuss, respond, and have opinions as to whether we want the Expansion Project to be approved. will now have an information stream about the Expansion Project and I will move information resources from this blog to that blog, dealing with the Marymount College Expansion Project.

Please consider visiting my new blog concerning eastern Rancho Palos Verdes.

Thank you.

Pondering More Waste From L.A.U.S.D.

The following is from an article found in The Daily Breeze.

San Pedro school plans go to Coastal Commission
Los Angeles Unified School District is delaying wind turbines to speed construction.
By Melissa Pamer, Staff Writer
Janyary 7, 2009

Plans for a new high school on former military property in San Pedro will face a near-final hurdle today when the project goes before the California Coastal Commission.

Designed as a "green" demonstration campus, the school will not turn out exactly as Los Angeles Unified School District officials had hoped because a plan for three dozen 50-foot wind turbines has been put on hold.

LAUSD officials said they have accepted the elimination of the energy-producing turbines and other conditions recommended by commission staff in order to move forward with the project, which is set to relieve crowding at nearby San Pedro High School.

"We wanted the coastal permit as soon as possible," said district regional development manager Roderick Hamilton. "Time is of the essence."

The district is racing to complete the school so that it can ensure compliance with the terms of a class-action settlement and related legislation that mandate the statewide elimination of year-round instruction by 2012.

LAUSD officials have said overcrowding at San Pedro High could force a multitrack academic calendar at the campus if the new school isn't completed.

The district, which is facing teacher layoffs amid anticipated
state budget cuts, has enough money from four multibillion-dollar bond measures for the $102.5million project, Hamilton said. The state's move last month to freeze infrastructure funding, which could deprive the district of $833million for construction, will not affect the new campus, he said.

The new school would provide seats for 810 students on 29 acres of the district property at the former Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur. Officials are working on a plan to house about 500 magnet students from San Pedro High at the school, with extra classroom space going to other uses.

The Board of Education approved the project in December over opposition from the site's neighbors, who have expressed concern about noise, traffic, parking and other issues. About a dozen opponents plan to attend the meeting, which will be held in Oceanside.

If the commission approves the project, the district would move an early education center, a continuation high school, old military buildings and an adult skills center from the site by April, when grading is set to begin, Hamilton said. Construction would start next year.

In the meantime, the district will conduct a study on the impact that wind turbines would have on birds, as recommended by commission staff. LAUSD would then return to the commission to request approval for the turbines, Hamilton said.

The school site is on the Pacific Flyway, a north-south route for migratory birds.

The district's project is the first development in the state to request the commission's approval for multiple wind turbines, said Al Padilla, a coastal program analyst.

"There's a lot of questions...and we just can't approve (the turbines) at this point," Padilla said.
He also recommended that, before issuing a permit, the commission require plans for lighting, landscaping, water management and the care of archaeological artifacts.

I posted a comment to the article, and here it is.

Economy seems to have been removed from the vocabulary of the Facility Services Division of L.A.U.S.D.

Not only are those folks not willing to wait ONE MONTH until the California Coastal Commission meets, in all places, Los Angeles, they are now willing to bend over to the CCC with their plans to economize with the use of wind turbines just to get the campus approved.

Please forgive me for remaining a bit confused.

The District has the money to build the school, but as of late, not enough money to keep from the potential of laying off classroom teachers for students currently attending the District's campuses.

When anyone attempts to truly suggest that the "810 seat" campus would only have that many students, they omit the fact that the student to teacher ratio found at the vast majority of classrooms that are not connected with physical education, at S.P.H.S. had a ratio of about 40-1 in April, 2008.

Nobody from L.A.U.S.D. has, can, or will claim that classroom overcrowding would be elimated because of any new campus, in San Pedro.

Far more than 30 regular classrooms at S.P.H.S. have about a 40-1 student to teacher ratio.If anyone truly feels that the 30 new regular classrooms proposed at the new campus would hold only 27 students each, is not stating a fact currently found at S.P.H.S.

In truth, the new campus would find itself having at least 1,200 students attending classes, no matter what the proposed seat count actually is.

I don't know how many District employees and other representatives will be logging vouchers for travel, food, and possible lodging to attend the CCC meeting in Oceanside, but if any of them do, it also demonstrates the pure lack of fiscal responsibility the District needs so badly at this time.

For a Proposed Project that would not even open for students for perhaps 3-4 years, waiting just one month for the CCC to meet in Los Angeles seems to be too much to ask for District personnel.

The next time you hear of fiscal and economic hardships within L.A.U.S.D. please remember that money will be spent sending folks south that could have been kept in the District by simply having the issue carried over by just one month.

Sorry L.A.U.S.D., your money woes now fall on more hard of hearing ears because you simply don't get it, do you?

Currently and for the foreseeable future, enrollment at L.A.U.S.D. schools are going DOWN and the prospect that S.P.H.S. would go to a multi-tract calendar is also going DOWN.

That doesn't seem to stop L.A.U.S.D. from creating the marketing ploy of crying wolf, it seems.

Everyone should remember that the proposed new campus would NOT ease classroom overcrowding at either of the campuses and classroom overcrowding and a very high students to teacher ratio that now is seen, will NOT be relieved because of any new campus.

I have always been told that classroom overcrowding and a high students to teacher ratio are the most important factors when pondering poorer performance by students. The construction of any new campus in San Pedro would not alter that fact.

But the majority of voters found themselves willing to approve a Seven Billion Dollar bond measure last November to go along with other bond measure approved for more schools.

So I guess L.A.U.S.D. is eager to start spending that money even though it may layoff classroom teachers.

When L.A.U.S.D wants something from voters and 'deciders' they are not very willing to wait.

When regular folks want something from L.A.U.S.D. you can probably imagine how slow they are to comply. I waited months for the answer to a question I felt was very simple and easy to answer. When the response finally came, the information could not be found by L.A.U.S.D. even though the evidence of the information was on an L.A.U.S.D. document.

There is now absolutely no guarantee that S.P.H.S. and other schools now on regular calendars won't have to go multi-tract simply because of the lack of teaching positions in the near future within L.A.U.S.D.

Even though L.A.U.S.D. may layoff teachers, it means that classroom overcrowding will probably get worse before it gets better and one of the remedies to that would be for schools to go to a multi-tract calendar......and L.A.U.S.D. knows this.

So IF S.P.H.S. does have to go multi-tract is will NOT be because the campus is overcrowded, it will be because of mismanagement within L.A.U.S.D. and its lack of real economic accountability.

It would have nothing to do with easing crowded halls, cafeterias, and not enough student lockers.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Another Blog About A Neighboring City

Late last year, Mr. Jeffery Lewis began a blog also dealing with Rancho Palos Verdes.

You can find his blog, "RPV 2009" at:

It is my feeling that sources of information and opportunities to comment should be afforded in the widest possible ways and to as many people as possible. Knowledge is power and having more and different information bases available is very good for everyone.

I welcome new blogs onto the scene and I feel it allows everyone a wider range of instruments to share their knowledge and opinions.

I also believe that blogs do have some power in 'advertising' to government officials and bureaucrats what the residents and others feel about how cities and elected officials are viewed.

Many residents of Rancho Palos Verdes, especially in the Eastview area, have their hearts with San Pedro and unfortunately, their minds too.

Offering more information and discussion opportunities concerning Rancho Palos Verdes and its links with San Pedro, also offers more glimpses how so many of us living in Rancho Palos Verdes are still firmly connected to San Pedro.

Mr. Lewis is an attorney and he has offered his opinion on at least one of his posts. I hope he continues to offer his opinion and shares the opinions of others.

I have already added a link to Mr. Lewis' blog. I wish him good fortune in 2009 and beyond and happy writing and posting.