Apr 292017
 

Opening Of Citizen: An American Lyric

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S BLOCK PARTY CONTINUES AT THE KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE WITH OPENING OF THE FOUNTAIN THEATRE’S

“CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC”

THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 30

Stage Adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s Acclaimed Book of Poetry Returns For 11 Performances Only

 

Center Theatre Group’s Block Party continues with the opening of The Fountain Theatre production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” this Sunday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Based on a book of poetry by Claudia Rankine, adapted for the stage by Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, “Citizen: An American Lyric” will begin previews April 28 and continue for 11 performances only through May 7, 2017.

Block Party highlights some of the remarkable work being done in other, more intimate theatres throughout Los Angeles by fully producing three previously staged productions. The three productions receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. Block Party began with the Coeurage Theatre production of “Failure: A Love Story” April 14 through 23 and will continue with The Echo Theater Company’s production of “Dry Land” running May 12 through 21.

“Citizen: An American Lyric” fuses poetry, prose, movement, music and the video image in a provocative stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s internationally acclaimed book of poetry about everyday acts of racism in America. Of Rankine’s “Citizen,” The New Yorker wrote that it was “brilliant… [and] explores the kinds of injustice that thrive when the illusion of justice is perfected.” The New York Times wrote that “Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of possibly being racist ourselves.”

The cast of “Citizen: An American Lyric” includes Bernard K. Addison, Leith Burke, Tony Maggio, Monnae Michaell, Simone Missick and Lisa Pescia. Scenic and projection design is by Yee Eun Nam, costume design is by Naila Aladdin-Sanders, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago and original music and sound design is by Peter Bayne. Anastasia Coon is the movement director and Shawna Voragen is the production stage manager.

Audiences are also invited to engage in discussion with the “Citizen” cast and company following each performance during moderated Stage Talks. There will be no Stage Talk held on opening night.

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie in discussing Block Party. “Coeurage Theatre, The Echo Theater and The Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

Center Theatre Group received 76 submissions for Block Party from intimate theatre companies from North Hollywood to San Pedro, Topanga to Sierra Madre. With Block Party, Center Theatre Group hopes to strengthen relationships within the Los Angeles community, create additional avenues for the organization to become familiar with local playwrights, actors, directors and designers, and foster relationships between Center Theatre Group staff and the staff at theatre companies throughout Los Angeles.

Block Party receives major support from Aliza Karney Guren and Marc Guren with generous funding also provided by Joni and Miles Benickes. Center Theatre Group has a long history of pairing with local theatre companies including the Deaf West production of “Big River” which was produced at the Mark Taper Forum in 2002 and went on to Broadway before returning to the Ahmanson Theatre in 2005 as part of a national tour. More recently, Center Theatre Group partnered with Ebony Repertory Theatre for the remounting of “A Raisin in the Sun” (which played at the Douglas), 24th STreet Theatre’s “Walking the Tightrope” (also at the Douglas) and with other companies around the city for “The Behavior of Broadus” (Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater Company) and “Birder” (The Road Theatre Company).

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for each production are available by calling (213) 628-2772, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre box office two hours prior to performance. Tickets range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change).

As an homage to Coeurage Theatre’s payment structure, the first preview performance of each production will be a pay-what-you-want performance. Pay-what-you-want gives patrons the opportunity to decide what their theatre experience was worth to them before, during or after the performance. The pay-what-you-want performance for “Citizen” will be on April 28 and “Dry Land” will be on May 12.

The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Ample free parking and restaurants are adjacent.

 

 

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Apr 282017
 

The First 100 Days

As President Trump approaches the first 100 days in office benchmark, here is a brief overview of his effectiveness from a liberal perspective.

The accomplishments: Well… there are just four, really. 1/ The nomination and confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court which ensures its conservative majority. (The process wasn’t smooth and the President had to rely on the so called “nuclear option” to get his nominee through Congress, but he did achieve his goal.) 2/ Setting a record for the most issued and signed executive orders in the last 72 years. 3/ Setting a record for the most taxpayers’ money spent on a President’s weekend recreation, in history. 4/ Setting a record for the lowest popularity after the first 100 days in office since the standard was introduced in 1945.

The not-so-good: with the exception of nominating and confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, President Trump was unable to keep any other of the promises he made during his run for office. He failed to establish the travel ban (twice); he failed to secure funding for his border wall; he failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and most recently, he failed in his attempt to withhold funds from sanctuary cities.

The good: in spite of the unexpected attack on Syria, we are not actively involved in any war. There are no immediate plans to launch an attack on North Korea. In spite of the negative changes introduced and promoted by President Trump, the Earth is still here and we are not cooked to death, yet. Science is suffering, but still surviving. There are still national monuments. The Obamacare is going strong. The prospect of the Wall seems to be fading. Travelers of all faith are still allowed to enter the United States. Sanctuary cities stand strong in their commitment to immigrants.

The great: After 90 days in office, President Trump stated for the record: “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.” We can safely assume that in spite of his statement “I thought it would be easier.” he is still satisfied with his performance after the first 100 days and continues to bask in his greatness.

The hope: God willing, President Trump will continue being as ineffective as he’s been in the first 100 days in office for the remainder of his presidency. Perhaps this way, the Earth, air, drinking water, the United States’ budget and America will still be salvageable once his presidency is over. Hopefully then we’ll be able to repair the damage and rebuild our Country on a foundation of renewed citizen awareness and renewed appreciation of the values that made America great long before President Trump took office.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Apr 272017
 
Free Concert Broadway At Grand Park

Mark Ballas, who will appear in the Los Angeles engagement of the national tour of “Jersey Boys,” which plays May 16 through June 24, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by SMOG design.

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP PRESENTS “BROADWAY AT GRAND PARK” FRIDAY APRIL 28

Free Concert from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Grand Park Across From The Music Center

“Into the Woods and “Jersey Boys” Casts Perform Hits From Their Smash Broadway Shows

“Jersey Boys” to Perform “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night”

On Friday, April 28, Center Theatre Group will launch the newly created free concert event “Broadway at Grand Park” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. with cast members from the Ahmanson Theatre’s “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys” performing some of the biggest hits from these popular shows. The concert is free and open to the public.

Mark Ballas as Franki Valli will lead the Jersey Boys for the Grand Park concert with Matthew Dailey, Keith Hines and Cory Jeacoma as Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio, respectively. The Jersey Boys will perform the hits “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night,” “Who Loves You” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Cast members from “Into the Woods” will perform a selection of favorites from the hit Sondheim musical.

Ballas will reprise his acclaimed Broadway performance as Frankie Valli in the Ahmanson engagement of “Jersey Boys.” Ballas, known for his Emmy nominated work on “Dancing with the Stars,” made his Broadway debut in the role last fall. “Jersey Boys,” plays at the Ahmanson May 16 through June 24, 2017.

Free Concert Broadway At Grand Park

The cast of the Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods,” which plays April 4 through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater Company’s “Into the Woods” is currently playing at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre through May 14. The Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

“Into the Woods” includes memorable songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone.” Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky in this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true. The award-winning musical has been mounted with boundless imagination: a witty and wild theatrical reinvention of a beloved modern classic.

Music and lyrics for “Into the Woods” are by Stephen Sondheim, the book is by James Lapine and the co-directors are Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical “Jersey Boys” is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard—and the radio just couldn’t get enough of it. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story—a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

The book for “Jersey Boys” is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the music is by Bob Gaudio, the lyrics are y Bob Crewe, the choreography is by Sergio Trujillo and the director is Des McAnuff.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Grand Park Mainstage is located at 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The event will also feature a pop-up box office open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Grand Park so attendees may purchase tickets for “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys.”

Tickets for “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or by visiting the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets will also be available for purchase from 11:30 to 2 p.m. in Grand Park on Friday, April 28 only. Tickets range from $25 – $125 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012

 

 

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Apr 262017
 

L.A. Commemorated Armenian Genocide

Tens of thousands of Armenians and their friends (including Los Angeles city’s leadership) marched on Monday outside the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The Armenian genocide took place between 1915 and 1918 (and again between 1920 and 1923) and resulted in a mass murder of one and half million Armenians living in Turkey. The Armenians were killed, tortured, exploited and starved to death.

Countries like France, Argentina, Greece and Russia have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Republic of Turkey till today’s day denies that a genocide was committed against the Armenians. (During the Monday’s march the Turkish flag and a statement denying the genocide were flown above Los Angeles.)

Even though evidence against Turkey has been gathered and recorded by Great Britain, Germany and America – the countries who were trying to save surviving Armenians – at the time, Turkey was never formally admonished, forced to either return the Armenian land it occupies or pay restitution to the genocide victims’ descendants. (To learn more visit: http://www.armenian-genocide.org)

A genocide or holocaust is the pragmatic extinction of a nation or ethnic group. It is a crime against humanity. It always begins with the government creating unjustified fear and hatred of such a group by the society at large which often incites violence and hate crimes.

Remembering and honoring victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Jews murdered in the Holocaust is of utmost importance always. Perhaps even more so today when our new administration – which has attempted to introduce nationality and religion-based travel ban – is prosecuting Mexican nationals living in the United States: detaining and deporting individuals without criminal records and even protected by the Dream Act; tearing apart families and separating mothers from their children. Singling out any ethnic group or nation for prosecution of any kind is inhumane. Historically, it has led to mass tragedies.

We cannot allow history to repeat itself: anywhere, ever. It is our moral responsibility to recognize warning signs and prevent discrimination and prosecution based on nationality, ethnicity or religion.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a statement:

“I stand today with survivors of the Genocide, the Armenian Diaspora in Los Angeles, and people throughout the world to remember a great suffering. We stand together in our conviction that the horrible wound opened in 1915 can only be healed through full and unqualified acknowledgement of the truth.

Today’s commemoration is about more than remembering one of the lowest moments in world history. It is a time to reflect on and admire the strength and perseverance of the Armenian people — who for more than a century have inspired people everywhere by insisting on proper recognition, refusing to let their story be minimized, and demanding that their ancestors never be forgotten.

At a moment when the world is again confronted by unthinkable atrocities, we look to the Armenian people’s relentless pursuit of justice, and compassion for all who face oppression and seek refuge. We find hope in that example — and today we march arm-in-arm, lifting our voices to honor the 1.5 million Armenians who died, and stand up for those who face injustice everywhere.”

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Apr 262017
 

Not Winning With Sanctuary Cities

First, a federal appeals court blocked the President’s travel ban, twice. Now his attempt to retroactively attach conditions to federal funding approved by Congress has been found unconstitutional as well.

The latest executive order intended to force communities (sanctuary cities) to cooperate with immigration enforcement, led to numerous lawsuits which were filed in Washington State, Massachusetts and California. San Francisco and Santa Clara County’s lawsuits were the first to be heard by a judge. Consequently, the first preliminary injunction in the lawsuits filed in California was issued by U.S. District Judge William Orrick.

In the words of U.S. District Judge Orrick: “Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves.”

While commanding the court’s decision, San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera pointed out that neither the President nor the attorney general can ignore the Constitution.

The injunction will be in effect while the lawsuits make their way through the court system. It effectively blocks President Trump from using federal funding as a bargaining chip against cities that protect immigrants from deportation.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made the following statement on the ruling to block the President’s executive order on immigration enforcement:

“Today’s ruling by Judge Orrick is good news, and reminds us that people’s rights transcend political stunts. The Constitution protects cities’ right to create humane, sensible policies that keep our neighborhoods safe and our communities together. It is time for the federal government to stop attacking cities and scapegoating immigrants, and begin focusing on the hard work of comprehensive immigration reform. I will keep working to defend the rights of all our residents — including immigrants — and fighting to protect our own federal tax dollars, which Angelenos want to invest in keeping their families safe and our city strong.”

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Apr 252017
 

Mayor Garcetti Protects Affordable Housing

 

Mayor Garcetti continues to tackle housing crisis with new law strengthening Rent Stabilization Ordinance

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to aggressively address Los Angeles’s housing affordability crisis with a new law that strengthens enforcement of the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). The new legislation will preserve rent-stabilized units or require that new affordable housing units be built.

Landlords who tear down rent-controlled units under the state’s Ellis Act must now either replace them one-for-one with affordable units or ensure that 20% of new units are affordable — whichever number is higher.

This new law will also help prevent displacement of tenants by increasing regulation of both vacant and occupied rental units; requiring owners to re-start the Ellis process if withdrawn units are re-rented; tightening rules when units are demolished without necessary approvals; and requiring property owners to file annual reports.

It also expands relocation services for displaced tenants, and preserves RSO units by raising the threshold necessary to obtain an exemption for newly-built replacement units.

“We’re growing L.A.’s housing stock to meet our resident’s growing demand in every way possible — including strengthening our stock of rent stabilized housing. But we need to make sure that it is done in a way that’s fair to all Angelenos by protecting people from being priced out of communities where they have invested so much of their lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The law I signed today is a great step in the right direction.”

“As Chair of Housing, I’d like to thank Mayor Garcetti for his commitment to protect tenant rights and affordable housing,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “The City Council approved my Ellis Act amendments to the RSO, which will close loopholes used to evict tenants and remove affordable housing units off the market. By preserving affordable housing, we will ensure that Los Angeles is a livable City.”

“One of our goals, as elected leaders, must be addressing the loss of existing affordable housing to new, unaffordable development, and these amendments take an important step in that direction,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“Preserving affordable housing is how we preserve the character and inclusivity of our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Strengthening our rent control rules to better protect affordable housing is good for families throughout Los Angeles.”

“The City of Los Angeles must do everything in its power to protect our rent-controlled affordable housing stock,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “With every lost RSO unit, our friends, families and neighbors are potentially displaced and priced out of a difficult housing market. By strengthening these Ellis Act restrictions and RSO requirements, we are taking an important step forward in protecting Angelenos.”

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO, which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

In December 2015, Mayor Garcetti signed into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance, which strengthened renters’ rights by ensuring that landlords inform residents of their relocation rights in the event of a tenant buyout. Previously, tenants could be offered a lump sum to vacate units, without a formal process to educate them about additional sums for relocation assistance to which they may have been entitled.

The ordinance required landlords to file buyout agreements with the City, so that staff can better monitor the process. It also permits renters to withdraw from the buyout agreement within 30 days.

While the City remains on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021, the Mayor is advancing additional policies to ensure equitable growth in the City’s housing supply, and is doubling down on the production and preservation of affordable housing developments dedicated to low-income Angelenos.

 

 

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Apr 242017
 
Mayor Garcetti’s 2017-2018 Budget And Vision For Los Angeles

Photo property of the City of Los Angeles

 

Mayor Garcetti proposes new budget that builds on first-term progress, and charts a course to L.A.’S future

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti today unveiled his proposed 2017-18 budget — a fiscally responsible spending plan that focuses on the City’s commitment to ending homelessness, builds on the Mayor’s efforts to improve basic services, and puts voter-approved Measure M and Proposition HHH funding for housing and transportation projects into action.

The $9.2 billion budget allocates more than $176 million toward housing and services for homeless Angelenos — a $38 million increase from last year’s investment — and $35 million to fix some of the City’s most broken streets, and make roads safer for Angelenos.

“Over the last four years, we have brought Los Angeles back to basics — now, it’s time to build on that progress and dream bigger for tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This budget will enable us to continue bringing change that Angelenos can see and feel in their neighborhoods, while building the future that we have all imagined together.”

Last November, L.A. voters approved Measure M and Proposition HHH to invest billions of dollars in housing and supportive services for the most vulnerable, and transportation infrastructure to make L.A. more connected. Mayor Garcetti’s budget puts tens of millions of dollars of that funding directly to use this year.

More than $89 million of the $176 million allocated to fight homelessness is HHH funding, which will go toward new permanent supportive housing and service facilities for homeless Angelenos. And the $35 million for transportation will come from Measure M and California SB 1, a transportation package that will fund street repairs across the state.

The budget maintains a 5% reserve fund while advancing Mayor Garcetti’s Back to Basics agenda — including a $2 million increase to the City’s graffiti removal program, which will enable the City to respond to 90% of requests within 24 hours, and a doubling of the Girls Play L.A. initiative, which will improve gender equity in sports programming throughout Los Angeles.

Mayor Garcetti’s proposed budget includes funding for:

A Safe City
• 10,000 Sworn Police Officers
• LAPD Metro System Patrol
• LAPD Body-Worn Video Initiative
• LAPD Domestic Abuse Response Teams
• LAPD Pledge to Patrol Program ($1 Million)
• Firefighter Hiring ($10.5 Million)
• Fire Department Youth Program Coordinator
• New Fire Station Alerting System ($1 Million)
• Enhanced Cybersecurity Protection

A Prosperous City
• Community Plan Updates ($3.5 Million)
• Hire L.A.’s Youth & Summer Youth Program
• Day Labor Centers
• L.A.’s Best Expansion
• Proposition HHH Housing and Facilities ($89 Million)
• Outreach and Sanitation Crews ($36.8 Million)
• Sobering Center Emergency Resource Unit

A Livable & Sustainable City
• Vision Zero ($17 Million)
• Great Streets ($3.6 Million)
• DASH Expansion ($14 Million)
• Sidewalk Repair ($31 Million)
• 24-Hour Graffiti Removal ($2 Million)
• Girls Play L.A. Expansion
• Joint Use Agreements for Park Space
• Tree-Trimming ($7.1 Million)
• Purposeful Aging

A Well-Run City
• Innovation Fund
• Anytime-Anywhere City Employee Candidate Testing
• Asset Management ($1.8 Million)
• Network Improvement
• Procurement Reform
• Finance System Enhancement
• Reserve Fund Maintenance (5%)

Mayor Garcetti’s full proposed 2017-2018 budget is available here.

 

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Apr 232017
 

Our Earth, Our Lives: NOT A Business

Earth Day is celebrated worldwide since 1970 and its goal every year is to raise public awareness of environmental protection and more recently, global warming.

The 2017 Earth Day celebration took the form of March for Science. In the United States, the largest March for Science took place on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Smaller marches took place in all 50 states and had a new urgency since the Trump administration’s policy denies the dangers of global warming, restricts research (and research sharing), cuts science budgets and severely limits the authority of EPA while supporting and promoting industries that contribute to environmental destruction and accelerate global warming.

The scientific community is traditionally apolitical, but because of the current political climate many highly-regarded scientists participated in this year’s March to emphasize the importance of science in our lives and our survival as specie.

While President Trump doesn’t seem to understand the urgency of environmental protection or the need to prevent / delay climate change, facts speak louder than any politician can. President Trump’s environmental policies threaten our air and water and long term, our lives.

It is in this context that we appreciate California’s and Los Angeles’ leadership even more. On the occasion of Earth Day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said:

“Earth Day is a time to appreciate the beauty of the planet we call home, and a time to reflect on our mandate to clean the air we breathe, protect the water we drink, and preserve the health of the world we share with all of creation. That’s why our Sustainable City pLAn embraces environmental stewardship and justice as fundamental values that we fight for in Los Angeles — that’s why we’re going to keep fighting climate change by making our utility coal-free by 2025, restoring our river to its natural habitat, and working to open up more green space where our families can connect with nature.”

Well said, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for embracing science and protecting our city from environment-destroying and greed-driven policies.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Apr 222017
 

Aaron Hernandez Suicide Mystery

Aaron Hernandez (27), the ex-NFL tight end for the New England Patriots, serving a life sentence for murder, committed suicide in his jail cell by hanging himself with bed sheets a few days ago, with John 3:16 written in a marker across his forehead. (John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”)

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating a sister of Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée. Just days prior to his suicide Hernandez (who was charged with murdering Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado) was acquitted.

The coroner has ruled Hernandez’ death suicide and no evidence of foul play was found at the scene. Family, friends and the lawyer of Hernandez – in other words, those who knew him well – reject the possibility of him committing suicide.

In an attempt to find an explanation for Aaron’s erratic behavior and his suicide, the Hernandez family made arrangements for his brain to be sent for study at the Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE, is a degenerative disease, often found in the brains of professional athletes who suffered multiple concussions. Traumatic encephalopathy can cause irrational behavior, aggression, confusion, mood swings, and memory loss, among other symptoms.

Regardless of the outcome of the medical inquiry into Hernandez’ brain, the law allows for a dismissal of the conviction of Aaron Hernandez because he has died before exhausting the appeal process which – theoretically, at least – could have found him innocent.

Should this course of action be pursued by the survivors of Hernandez – and according to Hernandez’ lawyer, it will be – a pending civil lawsuit against him – by the family of his victim – could be dismissed for a lack of merit as well: no crime, no financial liability.
Another implication of such a course of action could potentially call for the New England Patriots to pay millions of dollars to Hernandez’ estate.

In view of the Hernandez family’s disbelief that Aaron intended to commit suicide – or would have – and their concern that he may have been mentally impaired at the time of his suicide (as their decision to have his brain examined indicates) a larger question arises: was Aaron Hernandez of sound mind at the time he committed murder?…. Is Hernandez to blame for the murder or – perhaps, just perhaps – the game of football which he played professionally and which caused him numerous concussions is at fault?….

In retrospect, the murder with no motive, Hernandez’ erratic behavior afterward, his reasoning and actions in the second case involving two killings (of which he was recently acquitted), the confession tattooed on his arm (self-incrimination!) and last but not least, the suicide Hernandez’ loved ones can’t believe; all of these don’t quite add up. As much as it is true that many professional athletes have an overinflated ego, Aaron Hernadez’ recent actions weren’t vain but illogical and self-destructive. A degenerative brain disease might provide an explanation.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Apr 212017
 

L.A. Cracks Down On Gang And Drug Dens

CITY ATTORNEY FEUER ESCALATES

CRACKDOWN ON GANG AND DRUG DENS THROUGHOUT LA

 

Five Lawsuits Seek to Curb Rampant Criminal Activity at Properties In the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles

Intensifying his ongoing effort to rid the city of gang and crime infested properties, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has filed five lawsuits against the owners of six properties across the city. The properties include single family homes, an apartment building and two motels and have been the sites of rampant criminal activity including drug sales and gun possession.

“For too long, residents of these communities across our city have been plagued by the rampant criminal activity we allege at these properties,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of illegal guns, drugs and gang conduct that devastate communities.”

Recent narcotics and nuisance abatement filings include:

  • A single family dwelling located at 6548 Cleon Avenue in North Hollywood allegedly continues to be the site for heroin and methamphetamine sales on a regular and continuous basis. In the past year, LAPD has made 18 narcotics related arrests at the property. The property is located within a half mile of Fair Avenue Elementary School and the Victory-Vineland Recreation Center. Emile Gosline, the property owner, was named in the lawsuit.
  • Three separate bungalows located at 709-711 ½ W. 54th Street in Vermont Square in South Los Angeles are allegedly used as hangouts for two allied criminal street gangs: 51 Nothing But Trouble Gangster Crips and 52 Hoover Gangster Crips. Gang members and associates allegedly use the property to store firearms, use narcotics and tag gang graffiti. In the past two years, there have been several arrests at the property and at least four firearms have been recovered. The bungalows are located within a half mile of two parks, one church and six schools (52nd Street Elementary School, Nativity School, Dantzler Middle School, Summit Prep Charter, Hawkins High School, and Budlong Elementary School). Emaline Harris, as trustee of the Eddie & Emaline Harris Revocable Living Trust Dated October 12, 2007, the property owner, was named in the lawsuit.
  • A single family dwelling located at 333 W. 58th Street is allegedly used to sell crystal methamphetamine, including four controlled buys by undercover officers in 2017. The property has also been the location of at least two shootings as well as the arrest of an individual illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic handgun. The property is located less than 2,000 feet from a public park and three schools (Estrella Elementary School, Aspire/Tate Elementary School, and 61st Street Elementary School). Putative property owner Tyreca Deshon Angrum and alleged narcotics dealers Frank Hall and Tyson Hall were each named in the lawsuit.
  • A single family dwelling located at 900 East 24th Street is allegedly used by relatives of the elderly property owner for the sale of narcotics including crack cocaine and heroin. The property has also allegedly been the location for several threats, batteries, and assaults, including an assault with a deadly weapon. The property is located one block away from the Second Baptist Church, a historic site and cultural landmark in South Los Angeles. The property owner Julia Griffith and Aaron Novel, a resident at the property and alleged drug dealer are named in the lawsuit.
  • The 4 Star Motel, an 18-unit property located at 7400 S. Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles and the Showtime Motel, a 12-unit property, located at 11122 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City both allegedly serve as a magnet for criminal activity including individuals who sell and use narcotics, batteries, and sexual assaults. The properties also allegedly serve as a haven for pimps and rampant prostitution activity. Four Star is located within a half mile of four elementary schools (75th Street Elementary, Miller Elementary, 68th Street Elementary, and St. Raphael Elementary), one middle school (Bethune Middle School) and two churches. Showtime is located within a half mile of Rio Vista Elementary, a Senior Living Community and Weddington Park Community Center. The owners and operators of the motels are Sureshchandra N. Patel and Bhavnaben S. Patel who own the properties at which the Motels are located. Four Star Motel Corporation, Bhavna Suresh LA, LLC, Suresh Bhavna SC, LLC, and Showtime Motel Corporation are also named as defendants.

The lawsuits seek injunctions against each of the property owners prohibiting criminal activity (and, where relevant, gang activity) at the locations, physical and managerial improvements to the properties, where applicable, including: an internet-connected video monitoring system covering all public areas at the property; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures including earlier closure times for businesses; and armed, licensed security guards. If those measures aren’t successful, closure of the properties may be sought.

City Attorney Feuer has expanded his Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit, which, since July, 2013, has filed 52 abatement actions and obtained 58 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of nine gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $500,000 in costs and fees. Feuer also recently established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and/or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He’s asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website: www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.

 

 

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Apr 202017
 
Bill O’Reilly Is Out!

Left to right: Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump watching the New York Yankees in 2013.
Photo: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine

 

Fox News Superstar Bill O’Reilly Toppled

 

Bill O’Reilly who has worked for Fox TV Channel for over 20 years has been fired! His immense popularity, the fact that “The O’Reilly Factor” has been the most popular cable news program for over 16 years, not even the incredible profitability of his show could withstand the mounting accusations of misconduct, including sexual harassment, brought by several of his female associates. Since 2004 Fox shelled out 13 million dollars in hush money to silence five women accusing O’Reilly of sexual misconduct, but with new accusations and lawsuits mounting, 21st Century Fox finally gave in to public pressure announcing that: “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.” All three top executives at Fox: Murdoch, Rupert and Lachlan concurred.

The statement was released while the conservative commentator was vacationing in Italy, where he just met Pope Francis….

Changes in Fox’s lineup have been made – and are being made – accordingly. O’Reilly’s famous “The O’Reilly Factor” was renamed to reflect the change and moving forward the show will be called “The Factor”. O’Reilly will be replaced by Tucker Carlson this coming Monday.

One of the people who will miss “The O’Reilly Factor” is President Trump who – in spite of the many sexual accusations against O’Reilly – was not only his fan but a defender who said: “Bill didn’t do anything wrong.” (But then again, that’s the opinion of the President who was accused of making inappropriate and unwanted advances to women himself…..)

One wonders what inspired the 21st Century Fox decision to part with O’Reilly: the mounting public pressure, dramatic loss of advertising revenue (50 advertisers left “The O’Reilly Factor” in a hurry in the past few weeks!) or a recently found sense of morality. (O’Reilly is the second person to leave – or forced to leave – Fox due to sexual misconduct accusations. In 2016 the Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group, Roger Ailes was forced to resign under eerily similar circumstances…)

Regardless, it’s refreshing to see that 21st Century Fox is cleaning house and no longer supports morally repugnant behavior of male employees in a position of power toward their female associates. (The majority of Americans reject the concept of “the good ol’ boys club”. Abuse of power and sexual harassment shouldn’t be tolerated, leave alone concealed by employers. Workplace has to be safe for employees of both genders.) While conservatives may perceive the firing of Bill O’Reilly as a loss, the rest of America is relieved.

UPDATE: Bill O’Reilly denies any wrong-doing and walks away from Fox with a 25 million payoff….

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Entertainment Editor, I. Sturm

 

 

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Apr 192017
 
Fresno Shooter In Custody

Fresno gunman, Kori Ali Muhammad

An arrest has been made. The African American shooter is charged with killing three (four?) people (all white males from 36 to 58 years old) as well as two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Even though the killer – Kori Ali Muhammad, 39 – shouted “Allahu Akbar” (which means “God is great” in Arabic) while he was being arrested, an association with Islamic extremism / terrorism is not suspected. (The imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, Sayed Ali Ghazvini, stated that Muhammad is not a member of the congregation and is unknown to the local Islamic community.) The killings appear to be racially-motivated hate crimes.

The Fresno Police Department suspects that Muhammad’s first victim was a 25-year-old Motel 6 security guard. When Muhammad realized that he is being pursued by authorities as a suspect in the murder, he decided to kill as many white men as he could. He was firing at people in four different locations of downtown Fresno. One of the victims was a passenger in a Pacific Gas & Energy truck, an employee in training. Two other victims were gunned down at a bus stop near Catholic Charities and possibly beneficiaries of the charity which serves the disabled, the homeless and others in need of assistance. (The downtown Fresno killings took place within 90 seconds!) It isn’t clear at this time who is – is being considered – the fourth victim: a person who wasn’t described by the Fresno police yet, or the 25 year old security guard who worked for Motel 6.

All four killings appear to be random. All of them are tragedies. None of the victims has known – or provoked – the gunman. The killings are senseless.

Out of the tragedy and the reports that followed emerge several contradictory profiles of the killer, Kori Ali Muhammad.

1/ According to authorities, Muhammad was homeless at the time when the killing spree took place. He has an extensive criminal record and a history of mental illness. Muhammad social media history indicates his hatred toward white people and is filled with calls to militant action against them.

2/ Muhammad’s family shared that he changed his name from Kori Taylor to Kori Ali Muhammad; that he was “troubled” (mentally unstable) most of his life and appeared to have suffered some sort of a mental breakdown shortly before killing four innocent people in Fresno.

3/ A casual acquaintance with whom he attended Community Media Access Collaborative in Fresno was shocked that the man who was well-liked and espoused constructive views at the time of their acquaintance would be capable of killing people in cold blood.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine and its editors stand united in grief with families of the victims. Like anyone else we too condemn racial hatred, hate crimes and senseless killing of innocent people.

*

It is difficult not to draw parallels between the Fresno killings and another recent killing, the killing of 74 year old Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland, PA. (In the latter case, both the victim and the gunman were black and apparently didn’t know each other.) The Pennsylvania killer, Steve W. Stephens (37), actually recorded his crime and streamed it live on Facebook. He never bothered concealing his tracks, evidence, etc. Recognized by a fast-food worker who reported his whereabouts to authorities, the killer attempted to flee and eventually committed suicide just moments before being apprehended.

None of the killings – and neither killer’s behavior – makes sense. They seem to be the acts of severely disturbed individuals. A large segment of the African American community is underserved, underemployed and poorly educated. It would appear that both murderers may have suffered from mental illness which has been either not recognized or ignored by their families. Since the acts were so heinous, highly visible and neither killer made an attempt to conceal them or their own identity, the killings may have been expressions of despicable characters of the perpetrators OR actions of mentally ill individuals. Both killers displayed alarmingly disturbing behavior before the killings and yet, no one was alarmed and no one summoned help. The result? Five innocent people killed, five families devastated. One suicide. One killer in custody. Could these tragedies have been prevented?

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Apr 182017
 

CTG CAREER FAIR FOR YOUTH

CENTER THEATRE GROUP PRESENTS

“COLLEGE & CAREER FAIR FOR THE ARTS”

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017, AT THE MUSIC CENTER ANNEX

Free Workshops, College Counseling and More Offered to High School Students

 

Center Theatre Group invites current high school students, parents and teachers to attend the second annual “College & Career Fair for the Arts” on Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Music Center Annex located at 601 W. Temple St. in Downtown L.A. Center Theatre Group will also be hosting the previously announced “Going Pro Career Fair” for college and university students on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at East Los Angeles College. Both events will give students the opportunity to explore education and career opportunities in the arts.

Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts” is intended to help students navigate the transition from high school to college, and learn more about careers in the arts. More than 30 colleges, universities and organizations will be in attendance including the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Fashion Careers International and more. The fair will include free workshops, a food truck with free lunch (12 to 2 p.m.) and opportunities for one-on-one college counseling and personal statement help.

The free workshops will give students the opportunity to learn about the college application process and what admissions staff are looking for; the FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid), student loans, scholarships and financial aid; and hear from professional theatre artists across the field, from designers to actors. Workshops are open to students only.

To RSVP to Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts,” students should email StudentBody@CTGLA.org with the following information: the student’s full name, grade and school; which discussions they would like to attend; and if they are interested in participating in a 20-minute session with a college counselor or personal statement expert. Those who RSVP in advance will receive a free gift upon entry. For more information about Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts,” the “Going Pro Career Fair” and other upcoming student events, please visit https://www.centertheatregroup.org/programs/students-and-educators/teen-and-college-initiatives/upcoming-student-events/.

 

 

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Apr 172017
 

Academy Talent Development Program

 

THE ACADEMY WILL LAUNCH ‘ACADEMY GOLD’ TALENT DEVELOPMENT AND INCLUSION PROGRAM THIS SUMMER

Sixteen Entertainment Industry Partners Participate in Pilot Year

 

In June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will launch Academy Gold, a new entertainment industry-wide summer internship and mentoring program that will expand opportunities for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities. This initiative will afford top film entertainment, technology, production services and digital media companies an opportunity to recruit and educate a nationwide pool of diverse talent. The Academy also will build an alumni database to track the professional development of Academy Gold participants and provide a resource to connect alumni with one another upon completion of the program.

Several companies, including Deluxe, The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, FotoKem, FremantleMedia, HBO, IMAX, Lionsgate/Starz, Panavision, Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Sony Pictures, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., have already committed to the program. Each partner will sponsor up to three interns.

“As chair of the Academy’s Education Committee, I am proud that the Academy is taking proactive steps in building partnerships within the entertainment industry to move the needle on talent development and inclusion,” said Nancy Utley, Academy governor and president of Fox Searchlight Pictures. “The Academy Gold program is a testament to the shared commitment of the Academy and industry leaders to address one of biggest challenges facing our community today and effectuate meaningful change.”

In this pilot year, more than 50 interns (including 15 interns who will be placed within the Academy) will participate in the Academy Gold program. The eight-week program will offer participants networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, screenings and educational workshops. The internships are available to undergraduate and graduate college students with an emphasis on high-quality, underrepresented talent in order to help them acquire the knowledge, skills and connections to achieve success as they navigate full-time, above- and below-the-line entertainment industry careers.

“The Academy is in a unique position to tap into and encourage its nearly 7,000 members to become involved mentors,” said Edgar Aguirre, the Academy’s director of talent development and inclusion. “The Academy Gold program will empower and create new opportunities for emerging and diverse talent, while engaging our membership and underscoring the impact these leaders can have on shaping the future of our industry.”

For more information about the Academy Gold program, visit www.oscars.org/AcademyGoldProgram.

*

ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
www.oscars.org
www.facebook.com/TheAcademy
www.youtube.com/Oscars
www.twitter.com/TheAcademy

 

 

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Apr 152017
 
CTG Block Party Kicks Off

The Coeurage Theatre Company production of “Failure: A Love Story” opens on April 16th at 6:30 pm at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S BLOCK PARTY BEGINS WITH THE OPENING OF

“FAILURE: A LOVE STORY” FROM COEURAGE THEATRE COMPANY
ON SUNDAY, APRIL 16TH

Only 11 Performances for the Encore Presentation of the Ovation Award-Winning Production

 

Center Theatre Group’s Block Party begins with the opening of the Coeurage Theatre Company production of “Failure: A Love Story” this Sunday, April 16th at 6:30 p.m. Written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Michael Matthews, “Failure: A Love Story” will run through April 23rd, 2017, with 11 performances only.

Block Party highlights some of the remarkable work being done on other, more intimate theatres throughout Los Angeles by fully producing three previously staged productions. The three shows receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. Subsequent Block Party productions will be The Fountain Theatre’s production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” running April 28 through May 7 and The Echo Theater Company’s production of “Dry Land” running May 12 through May 21.

“Failure: A Love Story” chronicles the lives, loves and deaths of the three Fail sisters and the one man who fell in love with each of them. Set against the backdrop of 1920s Chicago, this touching, whimsical tale explores the impermanence of life and the permanence of love.

The cast of “Failure: A Love Story” includes Joe Calarco, June Carryl, Cristina Gerla, Kristina Johnson, Margaret Katch, Denver Milord, Gregory Nabours, Theodore Perkins, Kurt Quinn, Brandon Ruiter, Nicole Shalhoub, Gina Torrecilla and Brittney S. Wheeler. Scenic design is by JR Bruce, costume design is by Allison Dillard, lighting design is by Matthew Brian Denman and original music, arrangements and music direction is by Nabours. Emily Abbott is the production stage manager.

Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

 

 

 

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Apr 142017
 

American Super-Bomb Deployed In Afghanistan

On Thursday 04/13/17 the United States has dropped its largest conventional bomb on an alleged ISIS stronghold in the Achin district of Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan. This was the first time that the “Mother Of All Bombs” was used outside of a testing facility.

The bomb officially called GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb weighs an astonishing 21,000 lbs and has the power to destroy anything within nearly one mile radius. Even though the bomb is non-nuclear it is certainly a weapon of mass-destruction. The development of the “Mother Of All Bombs” cost 300 million dollars. A single bomb costs $16,000 million.

(Our “Mother Of All Bombs” is the second most powerful conventional / non-nuclear bomb in the world. Russia developed – and has at its disposal – the most powerful non-nuclear bomb, called Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power which so far has never been used in combat.)

President Trump described the Afghanistan bombing as: “another very, very successful mission.”

According to reports, the government of Afghanistan was informed of the bombing in advance. Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, was quick to condemn the latest bombing on Twitter: “This is not the war on terror but the inhuman and most brutal misuse of our country as testing ground for new and dangerous weapons.”

In the latest update, the Afghan military reported that 36 ISIS-Khorasan and Taliban fighters (out of estimated 800) were killed by the U.S. MOAB which has also destroyed three out of four tunnels which enabled the fighters to move around undetected. (The tunnels were an important asset to ISIS and Taliban.) No civilian casualties were reported. In contrast, last week’s missile attack on Syria killed 18 American allies in the fight against Islamic State terrorists.

The overall outcome of the two latest U.S. military actions suggests that both are largely statements of the U.S. power and the President’s willingness to use it.

While the tense situation in North Korea looms large, President Trump said in an interview: “North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of.” Hopefully by political – not military – means. The use of military power is not a substitute for a sound, long-term foreign policy and not the only way to exercise power. Diplomacy is a safer, not to mention cheaper option.

 

 

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Apr 132017
 

YES Is Coming To Los Angeles

 

YES REVEALS 2017 ‘YESTIVAL’ SUMMER TOUR PLANS

YESTIVAL STOPS AT MICROSOFT THEATER IN LOS ANGELES AUGUST 29

 

YES revealed their initial summer touring plans which makes a stop at Microsoft Theater on August 29. The 2017 outing called YESTIVAL, will feature a set list of greatest hits from all of the band’s studio albums up to 1980, showcasing the storied history of one of the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 14th at 7:00 a.m. and will be available online at www.axs.com or via phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849).

“We are looking forward to presenting songs from each of the first nine studio albums, including some surprises,” says YES guitarist Steve Howe.

YESTIVAL will feature special guest Todd Rundgren and an opening set from Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy honoring the magic of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. On this summer’s annual trek, YES–Steve Howe (guitar), Alan White (drums), Geoff Downes (keyboard), Jon Davison (vocals) and Billy Sherwood (the late Chris Squire’s chosen successor on bass)–will treat fans to such hits as “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper,” performing gems off every album from 1969’s Yes to 1980’s Drama.

About YES:
Founded in 1968 by Chris Squire and Jon Anderson, Grammy-award winning recording artists YES have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history, such as iconic pieces “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Starship Trooper,” and countless others. Its albums, including Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going For the One and 90125, have been certified multi-platinum, double-platinum, platinum, and more by the RIAA, and have sold over 50 million records total in its career that has so far spanned almost five decades. Among the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, YES continues creating masterful music that inspires musicians, fans and music lovers around the world.

www.yesworld.com
www.facebook.com/yestheband
twitter.com/yesofficial
https://www.youtube.com/user/yesofficial
www.instagram.com/yesofficial
soundcloud.com/yesofficial

 

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Apr 122017
 

America Has Changed

Has anyone else noticed that America has changed or is it just me? It seems that lately whenever I turn on the TV set there is some shocking news coming at me. In the last few days in particular the news has been overwhelming my sensibilities.

The new administration in Washington D.C. and its eyebrow-raising policies not withstanding (canceling Meals on Wheels, the travel ban, the attack on Syrian airbase, etc.), these three events are mind-boggling to me:

1/ Sean Spicer speaking of Syrian civilians who were bombed with a toxic gas emphasized that even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons during the WW2. REALLY? First and foremost, the statement is false: Hitler killed millions of people in his gas chambers and concentration camps. (Yes, with chemicals!) Second: should a person as ignorant as Sean Spicer be the White House Press Secretary?… Read more

2/ David Dao, American doctor was forcibly dragged out of United Airlines plane: is this a way to treat a passenger?! A better question: is this a way to treat ANY human being, for any reason, under any circumstances? To knock off someone’s glasses, beat them and physically drag them out of a plane…. Where are we? Is it still our Country? If United needed Dr. Dao’s seat that badly, why overbook flights? Who should be punished? The airline that sells tickets it shouldn’t be selling or a paying passenger? Following the brutal beating Dr. Dao is hospitalized. Read more

3/ A man (Nandi Cain Jr.) was arrested for jaywalking in Sacramento: in the process he was thrown to the ground and brutally beaten by the arresting officer. Once again: should anyone be treated this way by a police officer sworn to “serve and protect”? (Incidentally, the jaywalker was arrested and then released: no charges were filed against him.) Can you imagine how a truant student or a shoplifter could be treated?! I wouldn’t be surprised if one got shot dead and the other had his hands chopped off. Read more

What has America come to?! I named only three of the latest examples but we all know that these are not the only instances of shocking ignorance and morally reprehensible behavior, we have seen recently. America has changed. If we were to consider only the three examples I named above:

  • Don’t take Sean Spicer seriously, he really doesn’t know what he’s saying and has proven it, repeatedly.
  • Don’t travel by plane: anything can happen to you in the unfriendly skies.
  • Don’t leave the house: you can get beaten senseless by a police officer for no reason.

America has changed. If it were an option, it would be best to hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. As it is we are being overwhelmed by false information and no one is safe. Paranoid? Yes and aware of it, but don’t YOU share my feelings? Sean Spicer is still the Press Secretary. United Airlines is still overbooking flights. Police brutality is a nearly daily occurrence. Surprisingly(?), not a word of condemnation from the White House…

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Not even Hitler, REALLY?!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Thank you for the "paranoid" editorial. I also feel that our world turned upside down. Sean Spicer's statement in regard to Hitler was highly offensive and no apology of his is a sufficient amend.
Apr 112017
 

San Bernardino School Shooting

Non-terrorism related shooting at the North Park School, an elementary school in San Bernardino, resulted in the death of an eight year old child, a teacher and the shooter.

Although details are still sparse, it seems that the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute between a husband (53-year-old Cedric Anderson, of Riverside) and his estranged wife (53-year-old Elaine Smith, a special-needs teacher) and was intended to be a murder suicide. Tragically the circumstances of the shooting (the gunman entered a classroom with a lesson in progress and started shooting at his wife while two children were standing behind her) involved two young children who were not intended targets. One of the children (eight year old Jonathan Martinez) has died shortly after the shooting. The other child has been wounded and is hospitalized.

To keep the North Park School’s students safe and away from the crime scene, they were initially taken by a bus to California State University’s San Bernardino campus and later to the Cajon High School where they were reunited with their anxious parents.
Watching the reunion on TV, the children appeared remarkably calm although one can easily imagine that the students who witnessed the shooting in their classroom are traumatized and will likely need help to recover their sense of normalcy.

A shooting at any school is every parent’s worst nightmare. But a shooting in San Bernardino, where a terror attack killed 14 people and wounded 22 others little over a year ago, even more so. The fear the parents of the North Park School’s students had to endure yesterday is hard to imagine.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a statement on the San Bernardino School Shooting.

“School campuses are sacred spaces where children should be free to learn, play, and grow without threat of violence. Today’s shooting at North Park Elementary in San Bernardino is a reminder that deadly weapons can shatter that sense of security, mercilessly and without warning — leaving parents and educators struggling to address the questions, fears, and anxieties that gun violence creates for our young people. My thoughts are with the victims and survivors, Mayor Davis, and all of our neighbors in San Bernardino affected by this unthinkable tragedy. Our gratitude goes to all school personnel, first responders, and crisis workers who kept children safe and are helping families cope with the aftermath. On behalf of all Angelenos, I stand with them in their grief, commend their courage, and send prayers for the healing of bodies, minds, and hearts.”

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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