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A vigil was held Saturday night for a young mother killed by a hit-and-run driver in Encino.
Lynwood residents lined up Saturday to buy Ring security devices at discounted prices as part of an effort to enhance neighborhood security.
The Dodgers are headed to the World Series for the second straight season after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
4200 Radford Ave
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Wilton Speight threw two touchdown passes, Joshua Kelley ran for 136 yards and UCLA won its second straight game, defeating Arizona 31-30 on Saturday night.
LeBron James scored 24 points for the Los Angeles Lakers in his wild home debut, which included three players getting ejected for fighting late in the fourth quarter of the Houston Rockets 124-115 victory Saturday night.
So, at this writing, there is give or take a few million about $2.2 billion up for grabs this coming week.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 17 shots to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to their third straight win, 3-1 over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
Its off to Fenway Park for a showdown against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.
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Even your pizza is getting into the Halloween spirit.If you remember, Dagwoods -- aNew York style pizza shop located in Santa Monica -- debuted an edible glitter pizzaover the summer. But now its October and were getting spooky Cheese and Glitter Coming Together for One Magical Pizza Dagwoods new boo-tiful addition features a pizza with an edible glitter pumpkin face.The limited edition glittery jack-o-lantern inspired pizza will be offered only until Oct. 31.The pizza is made with extra mozzarella cheese, homemade sauce and dough, and edible black and orange glitter. It is available in small 9-inch for $12, medium 12-inch for $19, or large 16-inch for $25.So why eat a plain old boring pizza when you can have a not-so-basic, glittery Halloween themed one Be the envy of foodies on Instagram everywhere.Find the pizza shop at820 Wilshire Blvd.Photo Credit: Dagwoods
The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed back to the World Series for the second consecutive season after dispatching of the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games.After the game, we caught up with many of the teams players and coaches as they reflected back on the season, celebrated their monumental achievement, and looked ahead to the World Series against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts:Roberts on advancing to the World Series for the second straight season:I cant say enough about our players, our coaches, the front office and most importantly the fans. They supported us through thick and thin and we fed off their support.Roberts on winning the NL pennant:Every single person has their finger prints on this season and for us, our goal is to bring a championship back to Los Angeles. Our fans deserve it. We deserve it, and thats our only goal.Roberts on winning Game 7 of the NLCS:Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig, Walker Buehler, everyone has got their fingerprints on this game and this season and my hats off to everyone over there Brewers.Roberts on Yasiel Puigs home run that put the Dodgers ahead by four runs:I was praying like heck it had enough backspin to get out of here. Everyone was pulling for Yasiel.Roberts on pulling Buehler, pitching Kenley Jansen in the 7th and Clayton Kershaw in the 9th:Ryan Madson gave us some good innings. I just felt right there, Kenley Jansen could bridge that gap and I wanted this moment to be for Clayton Kershaw.Roberts via ASAP Sports on getting back to the World Series:Im just so proud of our guys for enduring this roller coaster of a season. A lot of people had their hand in this. And for us to just continue to lean on each other, depend on one another and stay the course, it says a lot about the focus, the toughness of this team. Coaches, training staff, baseball ops, scouts, and so many people got us to this point. So Im just really proud of this entire organization and look forward to giving ourselves a chance to bring the championship back to Los Angeles.Roberts via ASAP Sports on Chris Taylors catch:I think thats probably it. You get the MVP in Christian Yelich and hes competing and Julio Urias leaves a pitch up with two strikes and Yelich puts a really good swing on it. At that point in time I thought the game was tied. But CT Chris Taylor gets a great break on the ball, and really a game-saving play. Once the game is tied anything can happen. The momentum shifts. But that was certainly a signature play at the time.Roberts via ASAP Sports on returning to Boston for the World Series:Im looking forward to going back to Fenway. Obviously for me personally I have a lot of fond memories of the Red Sox and Fenway Park. To be wearing another uniform going in there playing for a World Series Championship is going to be special for me. But, yeah, I think that the fans -- its great for baseball. Two storied franchises going head-to-head. Its going to be a great series.Dodgers Pitching Coach Rich Honeycutt:Honeycutt on how the bullpen performed:You cant say enough about these guys all year they battled. Thank goodness we were deep enough to get through some injuries, but now we have some guys healthy and every night they stepped up.Honeycutt on returning to the World Series:Doc Dave Roberts set the tone a couple years ago. We saw it when we went to Washington in 2016 NLDS. Team comes first. Everybody is about the team doing whatever it takes. From Rich Hill last night. Woody Alex Wood. Kenta Maeda. All of our starters doing whatever it takes to help us win and you saw it again with Kersh Clayton Kershaw tonight.Dodgers Utility Player Chris Taylor:Taylor on his leaping catch in the fifth inning:I knew it was in the gap and I was just trying to run hard and get to the spot. I had to change my route and go back towards the fence a little bit. Im just glad I caught it.Taylor on returning to the World Series:It feels just as sweet as it did last year. Unbelievable. Its been a long road for us and it feels good to get another opportunity. Hopefully, well come out on top this time.Dodgers outfielder and NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger:Bellinger on his second inning home run:I was looking for a pitch up, two strikes, just trying to put a good swing on it, and luckily it went out of there.Bellinger on playing the Red Sox in the World Series:Thats going to be a pretty special series.Bellinger on advancing to the World Series in each of his first two season:Its a blessing to be a part of this team. I had a lot of guys tell me its not this easy, so Im enjoying this 100 percent.Bellinger on Chris Taylors fifth inning catch:I think the most important part of the game today was CTs catch in left field. That definitely changed the whole game for us.Dodgers Outfielder Yasiel Puig:Puig on his three-run home run in Game 7:I never expected that ball to be a home run I was so excited because there was two people on base. Thank God that ball kept going and it was a home run.Puig on playing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series:Its an amazing team. The best team in the AL American League and the best team in baseball with 108 wins. But now, theyre going to face us and the best team is going to win. I still feel that way about Dodgers winning, but you never know. Ive never played in Boston before. Its going to be cold.Dodgers Game 7 Starting Pitcher Walker Buehler:Buehler on if he had nerves before his start:There has to be. I think thats the nature of the beast. Third time third postseason start is the charm and this being my third time, I think that helped for sure.Buehler on how he felt he pitched:I feel good with it. This one worked out a little better than earlier in the series.Buehler on if he was okay coming out of the game in the fifth inning:Were 25-men deep and thats how you win in the World Series.Buehler on what its like going to the World Series:Thats the expectation here every year, obviously its a little more special for me never being there, but we hope to do this a few more times.Buehler on Chris Taylors fifth inning catch:The Taylor catch was unbelievable. I dont know many people who can play shortstop to start the season and then go to the outfield and make that catch.Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen:Jansen on the season as a whole and returning to the World Series:We all stick together. We never quit. We had one goal in mind and we fell short last year. We just kept playing. JT Justin Turner went down. Kersh Clayton Kershaw went done. Me included went down. A lot of guys went down, but everybody had their fingerprints on this and we never quit and here we are celebrating.Jansen on entering the game in the seventh inning and not pitching the ninth:Before the game Doc had a conversation with me and told me they might go the same route as they did in 2016 NLDS against Washington Nationals. It doesnt matter if Im closing or not, just put me in the game when you need me. He brought me in in the seventh I got my job done, Kersh Kershaw picked me up and here we are celebrating.Jansen on looking ahead to the matchup with the Boston Red Sox:Play 27 outs. Thats the best team in the game right now. We respect that, but we know that were good. We have to go out there and compete and try and get that championship.Dodgers Catcher Austin Barnes:Barnes on how his season went as a whole and getting back to World Series:Its an awesome feeling. This whole year was full of adversity. We were a third place team in September and we never lost faith in us and we want to thank the fans for never losing faith in us either. It was an up and down ride, but we got back and hopefully were going to win it this year.Barnes on Game 7 and how he was able to take over as starting catcher for most of the NLCS:Personally I didnt feel great at the plate, but to contribute with my defense and help this team try and win and get to the World Series is all you can ask for.Barnes on how Walker Buehler looked:His stuff is unbelievable. Hes been pitching big games for us all year. From 163 to Game 7 tonight. All of our starters pitched big games for us.Dodgers Third Baseman Justin Turner:Turner on returning to the World Series:This is an unbelievable feeling to be standing here right now. At one point 10 games under .500, at one point in third place in the division in September. Weve played with our backs against the wall all season, here we were again tonight, Game 7 backs against the wall again and we found a way to get it done.Turner on what he and the team learned from being in a Game 7 in the World Series last season:Win every pitch and win every inning. We wanted to get to him Chacin early. We knew they were going to run to their bullpen right away. We got behind when Christian Yelich hit that solo homer in the first, but we grinded, we saw their bullpen guys in all seven games. We got some big swings by Belli Bellinger and by Puig to give us a cushion.Dodgers Shortstop Manny Machado:Machado on going to the World Series for the first time:This is awesome. Theres no better feeling than coming here and winning. We had this goal since I got here and we finally made it here.Machado on what his emotions are after winning Game 7:It feels awesome. Theres no better feeling than winning the pennant. Weve worked hard for his. Weve got four more games left.Machado on the NLCS series with the Brewers and how the Milwaukee fans treated him:We never took anything for granted. We knew we were playing a very good ball club on the other side and it was going to be a grind. We did everything possible: we played the little game, we hit the longball, like we had all year, and were just happy we came out on top like always.Machado on his full count bunt in the second inning:You dont really want to know what I really want to say right now. Were trying to do anything to win. He quick pitched me so Im going to drop one down. I know it was a little ballsy but anything to win. It came out perfect because Belli Bellinger came up next and hit that big, big homer to put us on top. I knew Belly was due. He was due for something. I just needed to get on base for him and pass the baton.Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw:Kershaw on returning to the World Series:I appreciate these moments. Its pretty fun. You might never get to do it again. Its hard to take something like this for granted.Dodgers relief pitcher Alex Wood:Wood on winning the NLCS in seven games:It was a total team effort. Its been a really complete series when you put all the games together it was a lot of fun against a really good Milwaukee Brewers team. Thankfully we won Game 7 and will now get ready for the Red Sox here in a couple days.Wood on warming up three times, Kenley pitching the 7th and Kershaw closing:You never know whats going to happen in a Game 7. Kenley makes quick work of the inning he threw. Claytons got the ninth. Then I got up three different times, you never know whats going to happen so you just have to be ready for every minute of the game.Dodgers relief pitcher Ryan Madson:Madson on going back to the World Series:Im very lucky to be here and fortunate that they brought me over. I really appreciate it.Madson on pitching 1.2 scoreless innings of relief:I look around and see Kershaw is out there and Kenley, and they picked my name Its such an honor. I dont take it lightly. I put everything into every pitch. I take it one pitch at a time, I know its a clich, but thats what I do.Madson on watching Kershaw pitch the ninth inning:I dont think Ive ever had a better feeling. When you see Clayton Kershaw in the bullpen with 100 pitches under his belt and ready to go in to the game, I dont think theres a better feeling.Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
On Friday the Saudi government finally admitted that writer Jamal Khashoggi had died inside its Istanbul consulate, saying he had been killed in a fight.From the outset of his presidency, Trump has offered a warm embrace to Saudi Arabia and its ambitious royal heir, Mohammed bin Salman, believing he could help the U.S. confront Iran in the Middle East.But the gamble appears to have backfired badly, experts and former officials tell NBC News, with the young prince now implicated in the killing of Khashoggi, who dared to criticize the regime.Photo Credit: AP/Evan Vucci
A fight erupted in the fourth quarter of LeBron James home debut with the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Saturday, as Chris Paul, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo were all ejected in a feisty contest that ultimately saw the Lakers fall 124-115 to the Houston Rockets.The Lakers may be 0-2, but they showed some fight--literally. LeBron James Says to Expect Greatness Ahead of Home Debut The fight erupted after Ingram shoved James Harden, with Paul and Rondo getting into a heated discussion that boiled over into punches being thrown by Paul and Rondo. Ingram, who had already received a technical foul, decided to run into the scrum and deliver a punch of his own to guarantee his ejection. LeBron James Suffers Defeat in Lakers Debut The Rockets led 109-108 when the fight broke out, with a shade over four minutes remaining in the game. The ensuing two technical free throws gave the Rockets a crucial three-point advantage, and Houston relied on Harden to outscore the Lakers 15-7 following the fight. Debut Day for LeBron James with the Lakers in Portland The night, though, started far more positive, with celebrities packing the stands and a crowd charged up during introductions. James and company faced the Houston Rockets two-headed monster of James Harden and Paul, with James making his highly anticipated regular season home debut dressed in LAs iconic gold jersey.James scored the Lakers first two points of the game, but the Lakers had already dug a seven-point hole before the 33-year-old netted his first official basket at Staples Center for the home team.The first quarter laid the groundwork for Hardens big night, with the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player tabbing nine points in the opening 12 minutes before pouring in 14 points in the second quarter for a halftime total of 23 points. The Southern California native ended the night with 36 points to lead the pack.Thanks in part to contributions from Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Rondo and, of course, James, the Lakers nullified the eye-popping output provided by Paul and Harden early. Paul went into the break with 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds.Still, the Rockets never truly pulled away, and the two teams were tied eight times, with 14 lead changes in the first 24 minutes. The Rockets held a four-point edge at the break.James led the Lakers in scoring at the intermission with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Rondo added nine points, four assists and three rebounds before the break.The third quarter continued the back-and-forth seesaw of the first half, with six lead changes in the penultimate quarter. Paul took the scoring lead from Harden momentarily, and the former LA Clippers point guard scored nine points in the period to lead all scorers with 28 points and eight assists with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.The Lakers, meanwhile, spread the scoring out and had six different players scoring in double figures before the end of the third quarter--led by James 18 points at that stage.For the second game in a row, an unlikely opponent off the bench caused damage to LAs hopes of getting its first victory of the 2018-19 season. While Nik Stauskas had killed the Lakers off the Blazers bench of Thursday, Gerald Green assumed that role for the Rockets.After three quarters, Green was 5-5 from the field for 13 points in 15 minutes off the Rockets bench.The fourth quarter featured the Rockets building a six-point lead almost immediately, but a flagrant foul on James Ennis III for wrapping his arm around Harts neck helped the Lakers cut the Rockers momentum on the scoreboard.Lakers coach Luke Walton pointed to that Flagrant 1 foul as possibly leading to the fight minutes later. Hart, after the game, said he thought that Ennis should have been ejected, and Walton said the same.At the five-minute mark, though, the Rockets only led by a single point, but then a basketball game turned into a fight. Paul was ejected from the game with 28 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Ingram hit the showers with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes, while Rondo left the floor with 13 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.Down the stretch, however, Harden managed to put the ball in the bucket and claim victory for the visitors. The MVP finished with 36 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the victory, while James ended his Lakers home debut with 24 points on 9-22 shooting from the field, five assists and five rebounds.Notes: Ball finished the night shooting 4-8 from three-point land and 14 points to lead all bench scorers on both teams. With suspensions to Rondo and Ingram likely, Ball should slot into the starting lineup.Photo Credit: Getty Images This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
On Oct. 19, 1991, a small brush fire in the hills above Oakland that appeared to be under control turned into one of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history just hours later. Photo Credit: California Department of Water Resources
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Date:Saturday, October 13, 2018 - 8:00pm to Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 8:00pmeHunt me Down, Smear my name, Say I did it for the fameJohn Wilkes Booth in Stephen Sondheims AssassinsAt the Long Beach Playhouse Oct. 13 - Nov. 17,2018Long Beach, CA, The Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre closes its 2018 season with Stephen Sondheims musical Assassins. The play opens with an eerie carnival calliope playing Hail to the Chief. Instead of a patriotic welcome for a president its a carnival shooting gallery that offers a shocking invitation to the assembled crowd. As the barker calls for contestants, eight individuals step forward. Apparel ranges from a 19th Century frock coat to a Santa Claus costume. Each receives their own gun. And with that most shocking opening scene, musical genius Stephen Sondheim and playwright John Weidman bend time and space to allow the nations nine successful and would-be presidential assassins to meet, interact, and inspire one another to make their mark in the American history books.Sondheim uses music to show us the souls of the assassins, said Madison Mooney, Executive Director for the Long Beach Playhouse. He insists we see them as human beings and understand their motives. For example, John Wilkes Booth muses that some think he did it for fame, but he contends he wanted to kill the man who killed his country. Unfortunately, that probably reflected the view of many southerners in that era.The music for The Ballad of Boothis reminiscent of Civil War songs. John Hinckley is writing a love note to Jodie Foster that turns into a ballad. Squeaky Fromme joins with Hinckley declaring her love for Charlie Manson.Its the music that speaks the loudest, said Sean Gray, Artistic Director for the Playhouse and director for this show. The lyrics draw us in and show us the commonality in the experience. In Something Just Broke Sondheim reminds us that the words I know where I was when I heard it cuts across political leanings and time to capture the feeling of the nation when a president is shot.One of the defining characteristics of Sondheim is his ability to handle the darkest of topics with melodies and arrangements that are upbeat and in sharp contrast to the lyrics. Not everyone can write about political assassinations in a way that makes one want to sing along, but Sondheim and Weidman have done just that. I think its that counterpoint that makes the show engaging despite the dark subject.As artistic director for the Playhouse, Gray proposed and advocated for the show. As the shows director, he is responsible for selecting the cast, approving the designs and pulling the absolute best performance out of the actors as individuals and as a group. This is his tenth time in the directors chair at the Playhouse. He has a string of successes behind him including Spring Awakening, Sweeney Todd and Cabaret.The set is equal parts patriotic Americana and pure carnival. Stephen Olear is the musical director. The show boasts a six-piece band with trombones, flutes, sax, keyboards and drums. Halley Hardy is the choreographer, her touch is a meaningful addition to the production. Costume Shop Manager Donna Fritsche and her team of volunteers are building memorable costumes for the actors. Her talents for design and storytelling will be on full display.Making their debuts are: Derek Rubiano, Kevin Wood, Sean McCallon, John Vann, Amanda Webb and Jess Oliver. Those returning are: Brian Pirnat, Jeseka Luna, Kyra Kiener, Taryne Moyse, Nick Bradfield, Noah Wagner, Hunter Ryti, Mark Eggert, William Ardelean, and Serena Bottiani-Henderson.The show opens October 12 and runs through November 17.SPECIAL EVENTS FOR THIS PLAY:Pay what you can Thursday October 11 - community can see this production for whatever they can affordTwo for One Preview Friday October 12 - Tickets are $10.00Opening Night Champagne Reception with cast on October 13 - Tickets are $27.00Ticket Pricing:Friday: Adults are $20.00, Seniors $18.00, and Students $14.00Saturday and Sunday: Adults are $24.00, Seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00.Tickets are available atwww.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre with programs and events that cut across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries.Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees.Promotional Design: Daisy Ramirez
By:Kirt Ramirez Ever since rolling out onto the streets of Long Beach this past summer, more and more people are taking electric scooters for a ride.Folks use them to get to work and school, take them on errands and go for joyrides with friends at the beach. Whatever the reason, the scooters are popular nowadays.The city has implemented a pilot e-scooter program to determine community benefits/impacts, Public Works Director Craig Beck said through email. The pilot started July 1 and is currently underway.Beck said the companies Lime, Bird, Razor, Spin, Skip and Unscooters have received operating permits to provide e-scooter services in Long Beach.The city is not financially involved, he said. All operational costs are funded by those companies.He said each of the six companies can deploy up to 200 scooters and maintenance is handled by the businesses respectively.The use of scooters has flourished across the state, country and even world.In California, Governor Jerry Brown recently got rid of a scooter helmet requirement.Adults over 21 are no longer required to wear helmets while riding scooters however, the city strongly encourages people to do so, Beck said.E-scooters are banned on the beachs bike path, per Long Beachs municipal code.I think you should be able to ride them anywhere you want said local resident and scooter-rider George Herrera. If you cant ride them in an ideal spot like the beach, where are we supposed to ride theseLike many others, Herrera zipped on the beachs bike path during a Sunday afternoon.Ronan Boiteau, a Cal State Long Beach French exchange student, said he rides a scooter to school but cannot take it onto the grounds, as the university prohibits e-scooters on campus. He also takes them to work and has used them in France.Its way better than the subways in Paris, he said. Its way more fun.But its more expensive than the subway, he added.Boiteau said he pays Bird $1 to start and then 15 cents a minute and the price is the same for Lime.People can ride e-scooters through downloaded mobile applications. They walk up to a scooter and with a cellular device they scan the code to unlock it, get on and then take off. The scooters can be located by wireless means.The battery-operated, dockless scooters are left behind and picked up just about anywhere.Later in the day, contract workers gather them up in vehicles and take them home to be charged, The Atlantic reported May 20 in Electric Scooter Charger Culture Is Out of Control Bird hunting has become a pastime and a side hustle for teens and young professionals, but for some its a cutthroat business.The paper interviewed a high school senior who on one particularly successful night made $600 for charging Bird scooters. The following morning he delivers them to Bird Nests, or scooter pickup locations, the paper reported.Various e-scooter share drop zone spaces exist throughout Long Beach where people can drop off and grab scooters.Mary Carb rode a Bird on the beach. She said finding a scooter that works well can be challenging.They seem to always be damaged or no battery, she said. Other than that, theyre great.Allen Fan and Peter Kim cruised on the beach bicycle path.They said theyve experienced times when the scooters did not work and times when there was not great Wi-Fi connectivity. But the scooters are still fun, they agreed.They were in a hurry to find more-charged-up scooters before the ones they were on ran out of juice.Were going post by post by post, Kim said. Theres a reliability issue.Various newspaper publications, blogs and television reports have detailed problems with e-scooters.Scooter use is rising in major cities. So are trips to the emergency room, reads a Washington Post Sept. 6 headline.Electric Scooters Are Causing Havoc. This Man Is Shrugging It Off, states an April 20 New York Times headline about an article discussing Bird founder Travis VanderZanden.Bird scooters are ruining Venice, declares a May 15 Los Angeles Times headline to an op-ed by Nate Jackson.Abandoned Scooters: Rented scooters causing problems in Pacific Beach, cries the headline to a Feb. 7 piece by San Diego News 8.Injuries are the untold part of the scooter trend, doctors and victims say, reads a Sept. 10 San Francisco Chronicle headline.Electric scooters caused headaches in Louisville. Is Lexington ready Not yet, declares an Aug. 15 Herald Leader headline.And so on.Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a July 23 Twitter comment: But we should embrace and try new forms of multimodal transit. These scooters can and do provide incredible forms of transportation for many people. Im hopeful that we can get it right during this pilot program.He added, Ive read almost every article about these scooters and understand the concerns which is why we are piloting a program that takes best practices from other cities. This is not a perfect science and adjustments will need to be made as we go.kirtbeachcomber.newsCategory: News
By:Diana Lejins In its 18th year, Picture This Gallery celebrated the longest running Frida Kahlo tribute exhibit on Sept. 30 in Long Beach. In conjunction with Latino Heritage Month, artists came together to share their vibrant talent. Pictured above, complete with her pet monkey, Amy Lodevico captured TheFrida Look-A-Like 1st place trophy. The exhibit runs through Nov. 3 at 4130 Norse Way, phone 562 233-3726.Category: News
PART ONE OF TWO PARTSBy:Stephen DowningTracy Alcantar and his attorney, Jerry L. Steering, call them the Somali Pirates. Their names are Eugene Rotondo, Jerome Chiaro and James Wieser.When telling his story to the Beachcomber, Tracy Alcantar, 60, a retired mortgage broker said, We use to refer to them as the knuckle heads, but I decided that Somali Pirates was a better description. My attorney liked it.Alcantar was referring to the year 2000 piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia that threatened international shipping when Somali Pirates were enabled to hijack ships with impunity because of the absence of an effective national coast guard.Alcantar said, It fit perfectly. These guys take over a business and sell its goods with impunity just like those pirates did when they hijacked the ships. And the LBPD helped them get away with it.Alcantar began his story by showing the Beachcomber a videotape date stamped August 25, 2016, 7:20 a.m. a Thursday.Two men he identified as Eugene Rotondo and Jerome Chiaro stroll up from different directions, look around and casually stop on each side of the sidewalk leading to the front door of the Acapulco Inn AI on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore.A third man, James Jimmy Wieser approaches from a vehicle parked at the curb. Wieser glances around and strolls casually past Rotondo and Chiaro to the AIs front door.Wieser glances around and then stoops to look into the mail slot.Alcantar, whose investment made him one of the majority owners of the Acapulco Inn four years prior, narrates the video, So, thats Jimmy. See him looking though the mail slot, trying to see if anyone is insideAlcantar explains that Wieser owns the Thirsty Isle bar on Carson Street near Lakewood Boulevard and Jerome Chiaro is owner of The Annex, on Stearns Street at Lakewood Boulevard.He told the Beachcomber both places are watering holes for LBPDs East Division. Both of them have the Police Officers Association POA membership support plaques hanging in their bars.The Beachcomber reviewed the POA website and found that it solicits business owners financial support with the message, Whether you are looking to create brand visibility or direct response, weve got you covered.Alcantar points again to the video screen, Now, Wieser is going to go back to his car.The video shows James Wieser turn, give Rotondo and Chiaro a furtive nod and walk back to the vehicle parked at the curb, leaving the video frame for several seconds.Wieser then re-enters the frame holding a power drill close to his chest. Rotondo and Chiaro alter their positions giving Wieser cover from the street.Alcantar continues his narration, See the drill Hes got both Gene Rotondo one of the guys I bought the place from and his backup, Jerome Chiaro, giving him cover as pedestrians are walking by with their dogs.The deadbolt is cut, Wieser pushes the door open and the three men enter Alcantars business.Alcantar continued his story as the interior security cameras pick up the three men inside, So, this guy Gene Rotondo, he used to be an owner of Legends and an owner of the Acapulco Inn AI. The AI was a dead zone back in 2010 and Rotondo and another one of his partners, Timothy Moriarty, wanted to sell.Alcantar shuts off the video and continues, Me, Im a retired mortgage guy but my friend Hawaiian Bob Aristides Gascon who knows about running a place like the AI says, well why dont you and I join forces and buy those guys out So, I check with my wife and she says, Heck yeah We can turn that place around. So, we bought them out and over the next couple of years we made the AI a real success. So much so that these guys wanted it back.Alcantar continues with the complex story involving years of litigation he and his partner underwent With them pushing to make something out of some worthless shares they bought from the bankruptcy court, their fraud, phony legal filings and us spending hundreds of thousands in legal fees to fight this complete nonsense.Alcantar said the day of the break-in his attorney had just wrapped up the case in Judge Kleins Long Beach courtroom and finalized a sanction for attorneys fees in our favor.Alcantar continued, So, our attorney is in court getting that done the morning these pirates break into my business. Im at home and around 9:25 a.m. and I get a text message from a number Id never seen before but later found out it came from Jimmy Wiesers cell phone. It reads, You might want to come to AI for a change of management.Alcantar said, Right away I smelled something. So, I called my attorney who was just finishing up in court to meet me there. I got in my car and headed out. On my way I saw a LBPD black and white and waved him down.Alcantar said that Sergeant Mark Kosoy, working out of LBPDs East Division, occupied the black and white. He briefed Kosoy about his suspicions that an illegal takeover was in process at the AI and asked the sergeant to accompany him, which he agreed to do.When they arrived, Alcantar said, My attorney was waiting for me outside and the three of them, Rotondo, Chiaro and Wieser, were inside sitting at the bar with all these so-called legal papers spread out to allege their phony ownership.Alcantar said, So, I walked in and went up to Rotondo, took him by the arm and said, You got to go. Now Rotondo says, Dont touch me and then the sergeant steps in and says, You cant touch those people. I told the sergeant, like I had told him before, they dont belong here. I dont even know how they got in here.Alcantar continues, Then my attorney steps up and tells the sergeant about having been in court that morning. He shows him the papers related to the hearing and tells the sergeant how the judge put sanctions on Rotondo, pointing out that they had no legal right to even be in the place.Alcantar shakes his head, And the sergeant says, how do I know any of thats true Thats when Rotondo starts showing the sergeant all the so-called legal papers hes got laid out on the bar and for some reason the sergeant starts buying into his phony side of the story.Alcantar told the Beachcomber that at about this time he was getting hot and Sergeant Kosoy told his attorney that he should, Get me out of there.I objected, Alcantar said. This was a hijack I didnt even know how they got in there. It had to be some kind of break in. I said, how can the police back something like this upAlcantar said his attorney told him that the sergeant was not listening to any of it and advised that they should leave and get a court order, something that the three men who broke in did not have.A court order thats something that Sergeant Kosoy should have been asking them for, Alcantar said.Alcantar continued, So, I gave up. We left, hired another set of attorneys that cost us another $10,000 and went back to Judge Kleins court the next morning.Judge Kline was very familiar with the case, Alcantara said, and not at all happy with the blatant violations pulled by Rotondo and his pirate friends. We got the court order and they were removed from the premises that afternoon.Alcantar showed the Beachcomber a copy of the court order, as well as court documents that supported the litigation to which he referred to in his story.Alcantar said that after he took possession of the AI he discovered that the pirates damaged the security videos and it took several days to be restored by a specialist.Alcantar played the eight-camera security video no audio for the Beachcomber.It showed the break in at 7:23 a.m.It showed Wieser make a phone call and while on the phone step outside, look up at the building to verify the address and then re-enter and end the call at 7:26 a.m.It showed Chiaro clean up the inside and outside debris from the break in at 7:39 a.m.It showed a uniform LBPD officer Herrea arrive at 7:40 a.m., shake hands with each of the three men, enter into a discussion, look at their papers and then shake hands again before exiting the premises at 7:45 a.m.It showed Weiser texting on his cell phone at 9:25 a.m., the same time that Alcantar received the mysterious text that read, You might want to come to AI for a change of management.It showed a technician enter and install a temporary credit card processing machine at 9:36 a.m.It showed Sgt. Kosoy and another officer Herrea again arrive on scene at 9:59 a.m. Alacantars attorney is present. Alcantar arrives seconds later and leaves the scene a few minutes later.At 10:07 a.m. Sgt. Kosoy shakes hands with the pirates and exits along with the uniformed officer Herrea.Alcantar told the Beachcomber that after reviewing the video he called East Division and informed them that he wanted to report a burglary.Sgt. Kosoy responded.Alcantar said, I showed the sergeant the entire video, pointed out how they broke in, showed him the temporary credit card machine being installed, showed him test receipts on the machine and told him what several of my customers reported the pirates did the night before selling our inventory, taking in cash without ringing it up and running sales though their bootleg credit card machine.Alcantar told the Beachcomber that the sergeant shrugged, told him the burglary and theft of his inventory was a civil matter and refused to take a crime report.After reviewing this story, Tom Barham, a former Los Angeles Sheriffs lieutenant, combat veteran and distinguished constitutional rights attorney commented as follows:The crime of burglary is committed if a person enters, among other things, a shop, store or other building with the intent to commit grand theft, petty theft or any felony. Penal Code 459.The police are obligated to take reports of alleged crimes and convey those reports to either a city prosecutor or district attorney. In Long Beach, the city prosecutor is responsible for misdemeanor and infraction prosecutions whereas the Los Angeles County District Attorney prosecutes felony crimes.It seems that the good sergeant didnt stay in his lane when he decided for the prosecutors that this was a civil matter, Barham said.Alcantar and his partner went back to running the AI but there would be a second take over by the Somali Pirates 13 months later their criminality would again be immunized and protected by the LBPD and this time Tracy Alcantar would report it to the LBPDs Internal Affairs Division.Part Two of this two-part series will report on Alcantars experiences with LBPD Internal Affairs and the staff of the Citizen Police Complaint Commission CPCC, the classification of police conduct during the second criminal invasion as No Further Action NFA and how as Alcantar said, I came to learn just how deep the cover-up of police misconduct is allowed to thrive in the City of Long Beach.Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.stephenbeachcomber.newsCategory: News
By:Steve PropesIn what might be rock musics most litigated issue, lawyers for an L.A. area rock band have been given another bite of the apple against Led Zeppelins iconic Stairway To Heaven, which the British rock blues band is accused of lifting from the lesser-known instrumental, Taurus by Spirit.On Sept. 28, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled unanimously that a lower court judge provided erroneous jury instructions about copyright law central to the suit. It sent the case back to the court for another trial.The dispute over the timeless Stairway stemmed from a passage 45 seconds into Taurus from Spirits 1968 debut album.Amazingly enough, the jury was not allowed to hear both compositions side-by-side, relying instead on sheet music. The appeals court said the jury should have been permitted to hear the album recording of Taurus.Taurus was written by Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe, who was much better known in rock circles as Randy California. Born in 1951, his uncle, well-known Long Beach blues guitarist Bernie Pearl recalled, Randy was in my sisters house, close to Culver City, near Robertson, all the years he was growing up.Pearls sister, Bernice, about 11 years his senior, had a very musical house, their outlook was about music. She was involved in the Ash Grove, a legendary L.A. blues and folk music club begun by their brother Ed Pearl in the summer of 1958. Prior to the founding of the Ash Grove, she would host some of the first hootenannies in L.A. Ed was member of UCLA folksong club, people would come over and sing parts of various songs. In the 1950s, there were not that many folk singers. There were musical instruments around the house and Bernice got Randy a Martin guitar.They moved to New York City in the early 60s. I went back East with Long Gone Miles to see if we could break into the Newport Blues Festival and went to New York to visit my sister. In summer of 1966, Randy was in Jimi Hendrixs band. He had met him in a music store. He was 15 years old and was invited him to play with them. When I saw him in the Village, he had his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. At the Caf Wha, he did some blues. They had a unique sound, he was astounding, said Pearl.After nicknaming him Randy California, Hendrix wanted to take him to England. My sister was living with Ed Cassidy, later the drummer of Spirit. He was playing at this jazz club. Ed and Randy had been in the Red Roosters at the Ash Grove. Cassidy was much older and knew about the music business. They moved to Topanga, I was at the house all the time. I went to one of their concerts. They were also in Ojai.California was Randys nickname until he legally changed his name to Randy California, said Pearl. My mother attended the courts legalization with my sister.After Spirit hit with I Got A Line On You, they released an album in 1968, which included Taurus. Led Zeppelins Stairway To Heaven, with Jimmy Page on guitar, was released three years later.My sister told me Randy confronted Jimmy Page about it, Page blew him off, obfuscation, a non response. Randy was not interested in suing, Bernice was very high on it. Randy just wanted Page to admit, say Im sorry, whatever. In 1997, after moving to Hawaii, Randy drowned while trying to rescue his son from an ocean riptide. The executor of the estate, Mick Skidmore, who was in support of Randys career, pressed the lawsuit in behalf of the estate.I can personally verify that Randys riff was copied in every detail by Zep same key, same chords, same arpeggios, same tempo, Pearl wrote to the Times of Israel. I am a life-long blues guitarist who has paid as little attention as possible to rock music. I had heard neither version, believe it or not, and only when I heard news of the original suit from a reporter who called did I listen with guitar in hand to both recordings as originally issue. I found that my hands copied exactly the same notes both times.This isnt the first time attorneys got involved in well-known Led Zeppelin songs. In 1985, the band settled out of court in favor of Chicagos most formidable blues songwriter, Willie Dixon for an undisclosed amount over his Muddy Waters composition, You Need Love which Zep recorded as Whole Lotta Love, forgetting to credit Dixon.Asked about this settlement at the 1988 Long Beach Blues Festival, Dixon said, Well it wasnt very much, but we finally got it straight where I could get results from my own songs. And thats very appreciated.My sister Bernice told me after his death, that the money would go to music in Ventura County schools, said Pearl.stevebeachcomber.newsCategory: News
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