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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pondering Musical Theater in San Pedro

The poster above is the latest one for "Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds, the Musical".

The Relevant Stage Theatre Company is presenting the World Premiere of this musical based partially on actual events that happened right here in San Pedro.

This monument sits near the Boys and Girls Club of the Port of Los Angeles and informs readers of the historical event that happened at a Liberty Hill home.
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company at: is producing its second production of its 2009 Season at the Warner Grand Theater in downtown San Pedro.
Ticket sales have begun for the production that is scheduled for the last two weekends in May.
You can find all the information you may want to learn and purchase tickets by visiting the Theatre Company's Web site.
Now to be open and honest, I have accepted and I am currently rehearsing three different roles for this production so I am not totally objective about reviewing what I know so far.
But I can offer that theatre patrons will have a most remarkable time at the production.
The audience will see actors and actresses that perform throughout Southern California and a most fantastic band of first-time actors that will completely blow all away.
I don't have words to describe the pride and joy we have had working with the new actors, singers, and yes, even dancers from Beacon House.
A group of gentlemen have challenged themselves and the rest of us to provide all of us with a real enlightenment.
Take a group of folks in recovery, ask them to do things they would probably never have done if not for this experience and watch wonderful men shine throughout!
They have stepped away from what they knew about themselves and proved they can do so much more that they thought they could.
I am humbled and very very proud of our own Beacon House group. This is yet one more reason that OUR community has been given so many great gifts by men who others don't seem to care enough about.
The star of the production began rehearsals for his part began during a performance run he was in for "The Full Monty". That show was a sell out in Orange County.
Our cast includes trained singers and dancers who have worked all over the country and have been in shows in New York.
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company is in its second full season of productions.
They gained a real footing with "A Christmas Carol" last season that will be produced this December because of its success.
"I Love You. You're Perfect. Now Change." the second musical of this season was so popular its run was extended!
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company brings to San Pedro and a second professional Theatre Company. Little Fish Theatre Company is the older troupe of players that has brought persist ant quality pieces to OUR community for many years.
Having two professional companies also adds to the hopes that more business comes to downtown San Pedro.
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company offers a combination of tickets with an experience with "Off the Vine" and "The Whale and Ale".
They also offer a Season Pass with discounted prices for the remaining productions this season.
Of the two professional larger Theatre Companies, The Relevant Stage offers a range of ticket prices that are less than found at Little Fish Theatre Company.
"Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds, the Musical" brings the largest cast to the biggest stage in San Pedro, the Company has ever had.
I hope you all come and watch me and so many other perform for you later this month.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pondering Dealing With A Crashed Hard Drive

Sometimes having a hard drive crash can bring new sites to learn about.

One such site I found as a result of having to rebuild my stored data is:

When I find sites that deal with OUR community, I like to make other aware of them too.

Linda Dixon's site has some very interesting pages and I recommend her blog be looked from time to time.

Now back to the crashed hard drive.

I HATE Windows Vista!!!!. I am so used to Windows XP and I cannot stand not being able to do the things I found so easy to do.

Of course I have my Vista puter set up to look like a classic form, but I am still having a dilly of a time saving individual files, photos, and videos.

Why can't I just right-click and or find a save as prompt with the foul thing?

The longer I use Vista the more I believe the Microsoft engineers developed it as a method for that company to control our use of our computers.

I am now very comfortable using my iMac for things I used to do on my big Dell that died.

I haven't found an Adobe Photoshop for the iMac but I bet there is one out there if I can afford it. I am not fond of iPhoto compared to the various Photoshops I have my hands on.

I prefer Microsoft Office 2007 over some of the iMac programs, but they are fine and the iMac saves everything in any format I want.

The big debate I am having with myself is whether I get a replacement hard drive for the Dell. Since it is an older 1Gig Dell, I will probably need to replace the hard drive with a like hard drive even though it is sorely out of date. I don't want to trick the motherboard into thinking a sata-300 hard drive is really a sata-150 like what came with the computer.

Having an big external hard drive saved most of my rear end, but I forgot to backup my iTunes and some view files I saved before the Dell crashed.

Thank goodness the value of what was lost is far less than having to pay the hundreds of dollars having the old drive attempted to be restored.

I think I have mentioned that I HATE VISTA on other posts.

My I.T. son Dave says he saw a trial of Windows 7 and it looks fine to him.

The next time Microsoft feels it can make its operating system look and feel like the operating systems on iMacs, we all should travel to Redmond Washington and provide a piece of our minds and probably some computer hardware through the windows of Microsoft.

Windows Vista belongs in the same storage facility that "New Coke" now festers in.

Another thing that also helps when your hard drive crashes is to have a big iMac within three feet of the P.C. and also having at least one laptop available to bring up in a pinch.