Dec 282016
 
Debbie Reynolds Died One Day After Her Daughter

Debbie Reynolds in Singing In The Rain alongside Gene Kelly (R) and Donald O’Connor (L)

Just a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, the Unsinkable Molly Brown stopped Singing In The Rain, forever. Debbie Reynolds suffered a stroke and died. She was 84. In my capacity as the editor for the popular Cultural Events In Los Angeles, I interviewed Miss Reynolds a few years back. She wasn’t young anymore but very vivacious, warm and kind. It is hard for me to believe that Hollywood Royalty and a survivor like her would have departed so suddenly and so quickly. The only explanation is a mother’s broken heart. (In the words of her son, Todd Fisher, “she wanted to be with Carrie.”)

Debbie Reynold’s career spanned over 60 years. She starred and appeared on the big screen, the stage and television. Her film and television credits are too many to list, so here are a few highlights:

Having won a beauty contest at 16, she signed a contract with MGM. She appeared in her first film The June Bride in 1948. Having played several supporting roles, she was offered a role in Singing In The Rain in 1952 (not a professional dancer, she danced alongside Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor and was great!)

Many other roles followed: Susan Slept Here (1954); Tammy and the Bachelor (1957); The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1964 (earned her an Oscar nomination); TV’s The Debbie Reynolds Show (1969-1970); TV’s The Love Boat (1980-1983); TV movie Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder (1989); TV series Roseanne (1997); TV movie These Old Broads 2001; TV series Rugrats (2000-2002); TV series Will & Grace (1999-2006); TV movie Behind the Candelabra (2013) and most recently, TV series The 7D (2015).

Debbie Reynold’s stage credits include: Irene (on Broadway in 1973); Debbie (on Broadway in 1976); Annie Get Your Gun (US Tour in 1977) and Woman of the Year (on Broadway in 1981).

Debbie Reynolds was nominated for many entertainment awards and has won:

  • 1956 National Board of Review
  • 1996 American Comedy Awards
  • 1997 American Comedy Awards
  • 1997 Satellite Awards
  • 2014 Screen Actors Guild (Life Achievement Award)
  • 2015 The Academy Awards (Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award)

Another token of the entertainment industry’s appreciation: Debbie Reynolds received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997. (It is located at 6654 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood)

Interesting tidbits:

  • Debbie Reynolds was one of few actresses to have danced – on screen! – with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. (The two greatest American dancers!)
  • Debbie wanted to play herself in “Postcards from the Edge”, the 1990 film based on her daughter’s book / memoir. The role went to Shirley MacLaine.
  • Debbie Reynolds was a passionate collector of movie memorabilia. Her collection was impressive and included signed movie posters, over 3,000 costumes and 46,000 square-feet of stored movie props and equipment. It was her dream to share the collection with the public. She tried several times to create the Hollywood Motion Picture Museum, but the project didn’t come to fruition. As far as we know, some of Debbie Reynolds’ extensive Hollywood collection was auctioned off.

The above, gives you a glimpse into her life as a successful and sought-after actress and a professional. But no one’s life is work alone.

The sweet girl next door really was who she appeared to be: a Girl Scout. Good, honest, caring and hardworking. Perhaps naïve belongs on the list, too. Her personal life brought her a lot of heartache and – in spite of her work, earnings and savings – severe financial hardship which at one point forced her to live out of her car.

At 23, Debbie fell in love with and married a popular pop-singer and actor Eddie Fisher with whom she had two children (Todd and Carrie Fisher). The couple was close friends with Mike Todd (Oscar-winning movie producer) and his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Following Todd’s tragic death in an airplane crash, Fisher took upon himself to console Todd’s young widow. One thing led to another: Debbie Reynolds marriage to Eddie Fisher ended in divorce; Fisher married Elizabeth Taylor, and the rest is history. (The jilted wife, Reynolds and the seductress, Taylor eventually made peace during the filming of the 2001 TV movie These Old Broads.)

10 years later Debbie Reynolds decided to settle for a comfortable marriage to a shoe mogul, Harry Karl. Years into the marriage, Debbie found out that the originally prosperous businessman was a compulsive gambler who gambled away not only his fortune but hers as well… (It was in the aftermath of her second marriage that Debbie suffered the worst financial crisis of her life.)

Her third and final marriage – to real estate developer, Richard Hamlett – didn’t bring Reynolds happiness, either. (He was not only unfaithful and greedy but Debbie suspected he might have been willing to kill her to collect on her life insurance.) This marriage too ended in divorce (1996).

Debbie Reynolds, America’s Sweetheart, so pretty, talented, hardworking and good was very unlucky in love.

So, this is a much abbreviated life story of Debbie Reynolds, the talented and very successful goody two-shoes forced by life’s circumstances to work harder and longer than most and to become a successful entrepreneur just to amend for the financial losses her husbands caused. She succeeded at this, too. At the time of her death her fortune is estimated to be about forty million dollars.

Speaking of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds once said: People used to call her “Debbie Reynolds’ daughter,” now they call me “Princess Leia’s mother!” In the end, they left this planet, together: “Debbie Reynolds’ daughter” and “Princess Leia’s mother”.

The staff of Anything L.A. Magazine and the staff of Cultural Events In Los Angeles express their deepest condolences to the family of Miss Reynolds: her children and grandchildren; to her friends, admirers and fans. A legendary STAR of Hollywood’s Golden Era is gone. We are heartbroken. The death of Carrie Fisher was a tragedy. The death of Debbie Reynolds is devastating. It is with heavy hearts that we say: Debbie Reynolds wasn’t just an actress, she had guts and spirit, she was an extra-ordinary person and we’ll miss her very much.

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

 

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Nov 172016
 

Anything L.A. Magazine’s SFV Community

Anything L.A. Magazine is building community offline!

Anything L.A. Magazine, Los Angeles digital magazine, is growing. We have many thousands of visitors. Our subscribers’ list is growing. Our Twitter following is growing.

Anything L.A. Magazine informs
Anything L.A. Magazine entertains
Anything L.A. Magazine supports what’s right
Anything L.A. Magazine advocates
Anything L.A. Magazine educates
Anything L.A. Magazine encourages independent thinking

With that out of the way, publishing a magazine is in some ways like a monolog. You know what we do and how we do it. You know how we think and how we feel.
The only feedback we receive is Online. Internet is a blessing in many ways but it is not a substitute for a direct human interaction.

Now we’re opening our doors to the community offline! Let’s meet and talk about issues that are important to you. Let’s have a cup of coffee, some fun, perhaps even make our neck of the woods a little better. Interested? RSVP here!

Nov 142016
 

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Introduces Marketing For L.A. Community Builders

There is nothing as satisfying – and as frustrating! – as community building. The rewards of having a community – centered on an organization, event, cause, belief, brand or interest – are LAVISH.

The best way to launch a community building campaign and then grow the community is Online.

No matter what type of community you’re building, be prepared to invest time and effort. With that said, all the effort is worth it! Whether you’re trying to gain support for your L.A. charity, Church, cultural organization, school, office, or anything else, building a community is key.

PR, publicity, social media management, event promotion, and local publicity (interviews, reviews) facilitate community building. Can you afford to build a community? How to start? Do you need dedicated staff and a huge budget or is there a shortcut?

Come to Anything L.A. Magazine’s Marketing For L.A. Community Builders get-together and discover the best kept secret in town. RSVP here.

Oct 302016
 

SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

The day has arrived and Anything L.A. Magazine held the much anticipated bone marrow drive for Adam Krief. A representative of Be The Match® (National Marrow Donor Program®), was there with testing kits as well as plenty of informational, educational and promotional materials. There were volunteers eager to be tested to hopefully be the match for Adam Krief. KTLA’s (Channel 5) reporter came by as well.

Anything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

Anything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief: All ready to test and educate half an hour BEFORE the drive! (Hope H. from Be The Match has done an excellent job!)

SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

Ready to get tested? (Pictures of donors not shown to protect donors’ privacy.)

KTLA came to cover SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA at work during SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA at work during SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA interviewing Hope H. during our SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA interviewing Hope H. (Be The Match) during our SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief

KTLA, Be The Match and Editor of Anything L.A. Magazine

Be The Match, KTLA and Editor of Anything L.A. Magazine

Here is what we learned:

  • what’s really involved in stem cell transplants
  • why one has to join the National Marrow Donor Program to get tested to be a match for a particular patient
  • why so many people volunteer to get tested and become donors
Hope H. represented Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Registry) during our drive

Hope H. represented Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Registry) during our drive and was with us to administer compatibility tests

Having spoken with Hope H., the Be The Match® representative who joined us for our drive, we now know that either form of bone marrow donation is quite easy on the donor. The PBSC donation (which consists of a specialized blood donation during which stem cells for the transplant are filtered out from the donor’s blood) is simple, fast and requires no recovery. The more complex marrow donation (performed under general anesthesia involves bone marrow extraction using a thin needle, NOT a drill!) is usually followed by a few days of minor discomfort easily relieved with over-the-counter pain reliever. Considering the fact that the payoff is saving a human life, either one is a bargain.

Prior to our marrow drive we were wondering why a person has to join the National Marrow Donor Registry – and make themselves available to donate to any patient in need – to be tested as a possible match for a specific patient. Here is what we learned, you don’t have to join the registry, if you prefer to pay for the test to a private lab (the cost is about $300) you can do so without joining the Marrow Donor Registry. However the odds of being a match for a specific patient are extremely low. Members of the registry who are between 18 and 44 years of age get tested free of charge, provided they are committed to saving any patient in need.

We were wondering who and why would volunteer to join the National Marrow Donor Registry and make themselves available to any patient who needs bone marrow transplant. (It was easy for us to relate to ONE person’s plight. Knowing a face and a story makes volunteering easy. “Any patient” has no face and no story to relate to.) We learned that the most motivated volunteers / donors are people personally touched by a loved one’s fight with cancer. They get tested to save a loved one only to find out that they are not a match. Then, they are eager to become donors for anyone else in the hope that others will be as willing to donate to and save their loved one. (We were surprised to learn that Hope H., our Be The Match representative, not only is a registered marrow donor herself, but has personal reasons to be passionate about – and dedicated to – the cause of treating cancer patients with stem cell therapy.)

The SFV Bone Marrow Donor Drive For Adam Krief was an eye-opening experience for the staff of Anything L.A. Magazine. Even though we are passionate about helping Adam Krief for quite a while now and expanded considerable effort into organizing the drive to his benefit, we were taken aback by our own ignorance of stem cell transplants. The experience of holding the marrow drive changed our view of the National Marrow Donor Registry and its importance. Perhaps emboldened by our encounter with the need for marrow transplants and their value as a treatment for many types of cancer, we – the staff of Anything L.A. Magazine – now believe that making marrow compatibility testing mandatory for all United States citizens might be a good idea. None of us knows whether we – or someone we love – will develop cancer that can be cured with a stem cell transplant, at some point in life. Now, more familiar with the specifics, we believe that it should be possible to “shop” and FIND a matching donor as quickly as purchase a prescription. If we were all in the National Marrow Donor Registry NO ONE would have to die while searching and waiting for a matching donor. Having such a law on the books wouldn’t be exploitative because living tissue regenerates itself (it’s a renewable resource!) but its availability and ease of access could save time and lives of cancer patients.

Anything L.A. Magazine is just that: a magazine. We don’t haveAnything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief legislative power. But we are free to make suggestions to our readers AND legislators. Consider getting tested if you are between 18 and 44: a mass participation in the National Marrow Donor Registry could save your own life or the life of someone you love down the line.

Anything L.A. Magazine thanks all who contributed to the success of our SFV Bone Marrow Drive For Adam Krief. Whether you volunteered and got tested or helped to spread the word: THANK YOU! (Our Special Thanks go to @IronmanMann, @meghubb and @ArtemisPics on Twitter. Another very Special Thanks to KTLA and the KTLA’s reporter who came by during our drive. The reporter was not only well-informed and kind but understood the importance of the cause.) The saying has it “It takes a village to raise a child.” It takes several villages to save a life of a cancer patient. Thousands participated in the effort already. We’ve made a modest contribution, too. Anything L.A. Magazine is sincerely grateful for your support for Adam Krief and our marrow drive!

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich
Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 282016
 
L.A. City Attorney, Mike Feuer

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

 

Mike Feuer and LAPD Foothill Division held a Town Hall meeting in Tujunga. L.A. City Attorney listened to residents’ concerns, showed commitment to solving their problems, offered concrete solutions. So UNLIKE a politician….

 

On Thursday October 27th 2016 L.A. City Attorney, Mr. Mike Feuer together with LAPD Foothill Division held a Town Hall meeting in Sunland / Tujunga. Among local community members in attendance were also staffers of Anything L.A. Magazine.

Anything L.A. Magazine has followed the latest accomplishments of L.A. City Attorney’s and took notice of especially three of them:

  • His massive victory over Wells Fargo which positively impacted the bank’s customers nationwide
  • His fight against homeless patient dumping in Los Angeles and the prosecution of offending health facilities
  • His Ticket Clinics which help people guilty of minor offenses reclaim their lives

Quite frankly, we were curious to see Mike Feuer address every day community issues. Town Hall meetings by their very nature tend to be rather boring. Surprisingly, the Tujunga meeting was anything but. Mr. Feuer doesn’t sit in an ivory tower and perceive his constituents as uniform “people”. He is more than capable of seeing individuals and empathizing with their real-life concerns. He is warm, direct, easy to relate to and doesn’t speak over anyone’s head.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer introduced Mark Ross, Tujunga’s new Neighborhood Prosecutor

The meeting began with Mike Feuer introducing his team members and explaining the role of Mark Ross, Tujunga’s new Neighborhood Prosecutor (formerly with the Rampart Division). L.A. City Attorney explained the concept of neighborhood justice which he also calls “restorative justice”, a program assisting in rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-felons which is intended to reduce recidivism rates. LAPD Foothill Community Police Station’s Chief Green introduced his key officers and explained their responsibilities.

Among the concerns raised by community members were:

  • trouble-making neighbors
  • homeless encampments in the area
  • lack of responsiveness of the parking division
  • doubts about Proposition 47

It was obvious to anyone in attendance that Mike Feuer is more than a run-of-the-mill politician doing his job. He is clearly following his calling and his passion for law is tempered by his concern for the welfare of the people he was elected to serve.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

Mr. Feuer doesn’t avoid uncomfortable topics and doesn’t answer questions vaguely. It was clear that he is familiar with the concerns raised by attendees and ready to propose thoughtful, practical solutions. He asked about specifics of each concern and reassured us that they will be followed until their successful resolution. (In few cases, specifically those calling for more law enforcement, budget and personnel shortage account for the lack of solutions….)

The experience of attending the Sunland / Tujunga Town Hall meeting was surprisingly refreshing. We’ve seen a City Attorney who cares, is responsive and puts forth the effort to offer and / or propose concrete – and creative! – solutions. (One of them was for the city to lease existing, small motels and convert them into housing for the homeless which could be a cost-effective and fast solution to Los Angeles’ massive homeless’ crisis.)

L.A. City Attorney delivers. He made the residents feel heard. He welcomed new ideas. He assured follow up. He was not afraid to introduce innovative solutions. In the end, the attendees felt respected, valued, helped and included in the problem-solving process.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer during Tujunga Town Hall Meeting

Our City Attorney, Mike Feuer doesn’t see people as abstracts, he relates to concerns of individuals and families. He believes that solid structures grow on sound foundations. He is committed to building strong, empowered neighborhoods from the ground up. Mike Feuer doesn’t act like most politicians who duck inconvenient questions and avoid giving direct answers. He is specific and addresses concerns head on.

Mike Feuer EARNED his reputation. On the evening of the Tujunga Town Hall meeting, L.A. City Attorney (along with five other recipients: Tracy Nelson, Adam Schiff, Appo Jabarian, Steve Fazio and Patti Jo Wolfson) was honored with the Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award during Encino Chamber of Commerce annual gala in Woodland Hills. Here at Anything L.A. Magazine, we know why.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / Eve Elrich
Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 262016
 
Misdirected Bonus Repayment Demand

Photo property of L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti on bonus repayment demands placed on California National Guard veterans

“The men and women who serve in the armed forces risk their lives on the battlefield, and carry the weight of our nation’s defense in virtually every area of their lives — physical health, family relationships, personal finances. They deserve gratitude and respect when they come home, not a bill. A number of California National Guard veterans in Los Angeles could be affected by the Defense Department’s decision to pursue repayment of enlistment bonuses marketed to people volunteering to serve at wartime. Veterans accepted those offers in good faith and served with honor. Some gave their lives. The repayment order should be rescinded, and Congress must act swiftly to resolve this matter. I have directed my Office of Veterans Affairs to help local veterans understand their rights and to advocate for those who have already sacrificed so much for our country.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

Anything L.A. Magazine: Correct us if we are wrong, but isn’t the party who’s made a mistake (in this case the Defense Department) responsible for making amends? Isn’t it shameful to demand a repayment (from California National Guard veterans) of a bonus that was given as an INCENTIVE to serve at wartime?…

 

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Oct 172016
 
2016 Sherman Oaks Street Fair

Representatives of Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce

Anything L.A. Magazine’s staffers hit the road this Sunday (10/16/16) and visited the annual Sherman Oaks Chamber Of Commerce Street Fair.

2016 Sherman Oaks Street Fair

The high energy community event was informative, entertaining and action-packed. There was live music, a vintage car show, community stage, pet zone and food trucks serving delicious food… And all that in addition to the business EXPO and vendor booths with all kinds of goodies from clothing to jewelry. No wonder the Sherman Oaks Street Fair attracts thousands of visitors: there were young people, old people, young families with kids in tow and many dogs with their owners on the other end of the leash.

We talked with representatives of the hospitable Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce as well as with:

several media outlets

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many local businesses and organizations

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several notable health organizations

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California State Military Reserve

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several local politicians’ representatives

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and the LAPD!

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We told them all about the plight of Adam Krief who is fighting blood cancer and asked them to support the upcoming Anything L.A. Magazine SFV Bone Marrow Donor Drive For Adam Krief. Community has great powers, the power to heal is among them is.

Thank you Sherman Oaks Chamber Of Commerce for your support of the SFV bone marrow donor drive for Adam Krief and congratulations on another vibrant, busy and successful Street Fair!

Photo credit: Wolf Kesh

 

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Oct 082016
 
Adam Krief with his young family

Adam Krief with his young family. He DOESN’T want to leave them behind.

Adam lives in Los Angeles. He is a member of our community. Anything L.A. Magazine serves millions of Angelenos and asks YOU to get tested as a potential donor for Adam Krief. We are organizing a Bone Marrow Donor Drive in the hope of finding a match for Adam Krief. (The drive will take place on Saturday, October 29th 2016 between 10 am and 3 pm in a Private Residence at 6430 Varna Ave. in Valley Glen, CA 91401.)

The test itself is only a Q-Tip swab of saliva taken from the inside of a cheek. No pain and no loss. There is something else you also need to know, even though the bone marrow donor drive is organized to save Adam Krief’s life, the donor law is inclusive and non-discriminatory. No one can get tested to be a match for Adam, only. Anyone willing to get tested becomes registered in the bone marrow registry. You won’t make an actual donation – or be asked to make one – unless you are a match for someone in need. If you are not a match for Adam, you may be a match for someone else and be called to donate. (You’ll always have the option to agree or not.)

Here is the full information about the test:

  • The compatibility test consists of two steps: signing up for the Be The Match National Bone Marrow Registry and a few swabs inside the cheek. The test is really fast, simple and painless.
  • The cotton swabs get sent for analysis. You may or may not be a match for Adam Krief. You may be a match for someone else.

What if you are a match? (Either for Adam or someone else?) First and foremost, you need to know that the process and recovery are easier, faster and generally, less painful for the donor than for the recipient.

There are two methods of donating:

PLEASE NOTE: The donation that Adam Krief needs is the NON-SURGICAL, peripheral blood stem cell donation.

 

The PBS (peripheral blood stem cell) method: “70% of the time donors are asked to give stem cells present in their blood”. (Quoted from MarrowDrives.org)

The PBS (peripheral blood stem cell) method
Additional information about donating peripheral blood stem cells

The bone marrow donation: “30% of the time, donors are asked to give stem cells extracted from their bone marrow. (The majority of bone marrow donations are for children as they experience a higher success rate with a bone marrow transplant as opposed to PBSC.)” (Quoted from MarrowDrives.org)

The bone marrow donation
Additional information about donating bone marrow

PLEASE NOTE: The donation that Adam Krief needs is the NON-SURGICAL, peripheral blood stem cell donation.

Read more:

 

THESE CONDITIONS PREVENT YOU FROM JOINING:

• Hepatitis B or C
• HIV
• Organ, marrow or stem cell transplant recipient
• Stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)

THESE CONDITIONS REQUIRE FURTHER EVALUATION:

• Autoimmune illness
• Brain injury or surgery
• Blood cancer or disorder
• Cancer
• Chronic neck, back, hip or spine pain
• Diabetes
• Heart diseases, a heart attack, or other heart-related issues
• Currently taking certain prescribed medications on a regular basis for pain, heart issues, cancer, and other serious diseases

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Bone Marrow Donor Drive for Adam Krief is organized in alliance with – and support of – Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)

Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating bone marrow transplants in the United States from volunteer unrelated donors to patients with leukemia, aplastic anemia and other potentially deadly diseases.

Be The Match® works to help every patient get the life-saving transplant they need. As a leader in advancing treatments for those facing life-threatening blood cancers, Be The Match® provides ground-breaking research, innovative technologies, patient support and education that save lives.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

 

 

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Oct 082016
 
Adam Krief With Two Of His Children

Adam Krief With Two Of His Children

Anything L.A. Magazine helped spread the news about Adam Krief’s pursuit of a matching bone marrow donor. We watched the pursuit’s progress. Thousands of people came forward to get tested. (There are MANY caring and compassionate people out there!) Unfortunately, no matching donor was found, yet.

Having watched the search for a matching donor from the sidelines, Anything L.A. Magazine is now preparing to hold a Bone Marrow Donor Drive of our own in the hope of finding a match for Adam Krief, before it’s too late.

Bone Marrow Donor Drive isn’t quite what the name suggests. No one will be donating bone marrow during the drive. It is really about getting TESTED. The test involves a Q-Tip swab inside a cheek: no blood or pain is involved!

Consider getting tested! One of us is THE CURE for Adam Krief. Right now, it’s about Adam. Considering the fact how common and deadly blood cancer is, down the line it might be about someone you love.

Read more:

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Bone Marrow Donor Drive for Adam Krief is organized in alliance with – and support of – Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)

Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating bone marrow transplants in the United States from volunteer unrelated donors to patients with leukemia, aplastic anemia and other potentially deadly diseases.

Be The Match® works to help every patient get the life-saving transplant they need. As a leader in advancing treatments for those facing life-threatening blood cancers, Be The Match® provides ground-breaking research, innovative technologies, patient support and education that save lives.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

 

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Sep 062016
 
The Urgent Need To Amend Betrayal

St. Bernard dogs (NOT the only dogs used to locate and save disaster victims) carry alcohol and chocolate to nourish disaster survivors and warm them with their own body heat while WE KILL DOGS!

I don’t qualify as a spokesperson for all pets. (I had two brief experiences with cats, but a lifetime of experience with dogs.) Therefore I can speak for dogs, only.

I grew up in the mountains with plenty of snow, tourists and… avalanches. When an avalanche buries people, teams of rescuers try to locate and rescue the victim or victims, as it may be the case. The rescue operations are not always possible due to weather and not always successful. When human beings fail avalanche victims, they send in dogs. Under the dramatic conditions of the aftermath of an avalanche, dogs are often better at locating and reaching avalanche victims. A dog can deliver nourishment and warmth even in situations when people cannot. (I suspect that the same applies to the aftermath of other natural disasters.)

Where I’m coming from, people revere dogs because under catastrophic conditions they can be superior to humans. To know that 3.9 million dogs – PETS who don’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives for people! – are brought to US animal shelters every year is difficult for me to comprehend. To know that 1.2 million dogs are euthanized annually in the US is beyond heart-breaking. Needless to say, I don’t understand how anyone could abuse or abandon a dog. Dogs have unlimited faith in people and won’t hesitate to risk or even give a life to save ours. Abusing, abandoning and even killing dogs is entirely beyond my capacity to understand. (When it comes to other pets / animals, I don’t get it either: a betrayal is a betrayal no matter who’s the victim.) There is an URGENT NEED to amend human betrayal of PETS!

My personal feelings aside, the number of PETS brought to animal shelters and euthanized every year is staggering. Way beyond any person’s ability to make an impact. Thankfully, there are many organizations out there that are actively working to change the current situation and prevent it from continuing.

Some of the animal welfare and / or animal advocacy organizations are local and some nationwide. Most assist pet owners in obtaining low cost spay / neuter services, sometimes even free to those who qualify. Many of the charities foster animals available for adoption. Some created no-kill animal shelters. All of them depend on our support for their success. Helping PETS (animals, in this case doesn’t really apply) is costly. There are costs of veterinary expenses, shelter, food and a lot more. If funds are lacking there is less availability and more pets have to be killed.

If and when we realize that this isn’t about “animals” at large but PETS that trusted human beings and were betrayed by them, the issue of abandoned pets and killing them to reduce cost to taxpayers may finally come to an end. Until then Anything L.A. Magazine will feature stories about L.A. animal charities and pets available for adoption in Los Angeles area to facilitate the unification of pets with people who won’t betray them.

We’ve done our homework to further the cause of preowned, adoptable pets. The editors of Anything L.A. Magazine conducted in-depth research of several Los Angeles area animal charities. All of them looked great, at first glance. An in depth research however revealed some disturbing facts: many of them in spite of proclaiming their commitment to fostering animals are NOT involved in animal rescue, AT ALL. Their purpose seems to be motivating donations and organizing fundraisers. The heart-warming pet pictures on their Websites? Well, they feature animals in city shelters that may or may no longer be alive…. It may be hard to believe, unfortunately, that’s what we found. I’m not saying that’s true of all Los Angeles animal charities: some are definitely legitimate, unfortunately, not all.

That’s why we picked the animal welfare charities Anything L.A. Magazine will support, CAREFULLY.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

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Moving and truthful

★★★★★
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I'm a dog lover like ou. Now I'm also your fan because I share your sentiments. Pets need more advocates with your power of persuasion. I'm subscribing to the newsletter and look forward to reading more.
Jul 202016
 

Three Crimes Against Humanity

Three seemingly unrelated events took place just days apart: the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas; the massacre in Nice, France (at least 84 were killed and over 200 wounded) and the killing of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (As we all know by now, ISIS claimed responsibility for the tragedy in France.) The incidents are unrelated and half a world apart yet seem to have some eerie similarities.

07/17/2016 Baton Rouge, Louisiana: by all accounts, the killer Gavin Long (29) seems quite sympathetic. He served in the Marines and earned the rank of a sergeant. He served in Iraq and left the Marines in 2010 with an honorable discharge. His digital footprint indicates that he was passionate about fitness and nutrition and traveled to Africa in search of his roots. He had no criminal record. Long appears to have been frustrated over the two recent deaths of black men at the hands of law enforcement. Following these deaths, he shared on social media that – in his opinion – peaceful protests against police brutality are ineffective and have to be backed up by the use of force.

07/14/2016 Nice, France: the killer, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel (31) is said to have been bitter over his divorce and recently lost his job. He was a Muslim, but not even his father considered him religious. According to statements from people who knew him, he was a womanizer, drank alcohol, used marijuana and enjoyed pork, all of which is against the strict Muslim standards of behavior. His affiliation with ISIS has not been established and seems unlikely. Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had a criminal record consisting of minor criminal offenses.

07/07/2016 Dallas, Texas: Apparently devastated by the deaths of several black men at the hands of white police officers, Micah Xavier Johnson (25) aimed at white police officers in Dallas. He killed five and wounded six. Micah Xavier Johnson was an U.S. Army reservist where, according to media reports, he served as a carpentry and masonry specialist until 2015. Johnson was also deployed to Afghanistan where he served for about 9 months. Despite of being accused of sexual harassment by a fellow soldier while in the Army, Johnson’s service ended with an honorable discharge. In the civil life that followed, he worked for a residential health care company, provided care for his younger brother and exercised in a local gym side by side with local law enforcement. Micah Xavier Johnson had no criminal record. The main source of information about his allegiance to black causes seems to stem from his Facebook account.

In all three tragedies, innocent people were killed and wounded. Many lives were brutally taken and many disrupted. Many families are devastated. Great many people suffered, still suffer and many more are traumatized.

Authorities (US and French) were expected to quickly explain the inexplicable. The French call the massacre in Nice, an act of terrorism. To us, the killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge are murders committed by cold-blooded killers.

The loss of lives in all three cases is real and the tragedies excruciating. Contradicting popular opinion under such circumstances isn’t easy. But am I the only one who can see that all three attackers were lone wolves, unstable individuals who lost their footing in life rather than advocates for causes?

Why would anyone sane murder police officers? Why attack law enforcement officers who were not involved in the killing of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile or Freddie Grey?! Neither Micah Xavier Johnson nor Gavin Long advanced justice, the opposite: they perpetuated more injustice by murdering eight people just like these they wanted to avenge: innocent, healthy, family men…

Why would anyone kill 84 strangers (including children!) and maim over 200 others?! None of the victims caused Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel’s marriage breakup or his unemployment. None of them interfered with his life or practice – in this case, lack thereof – of religion. His actions can’t be explained as an attempted act of revenge, but a hatred of all people.

All people get frustrated and on occasion angry or disheartened. That’s normal. Normal people however know how to deal with their feelings and how to solve problems. We don’t think – leave alone feel compelled to – kill anyone. I don’t know about you, but it never crossed my mind to kill anyone, to kill everybody, or members of a specific group of people. We just don’t think this way. The three killers in question however did: they thought to kill; they planned the killings and carried out their plans.

In my personal need to make sense of events that don’t and none the three events I mentioned above does, I can see only three possibilities:
1/ Each of the killers suffered from some mental or emotional issues.
2/ Each wanted to commit a suicide by a cop.
3/ Each sought instant notoriety.

I wholeheartedly condemn all three acts of mass murder. BUT: normal people don’t commit murders. Are we dealing with terrorism and / or murderers OR the society’s failure to prevent, identify, treat and perhaps even isolate persons with mental / emotional problems?…

Obviously, these are only one person’s questions, I welcome your opinions.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / I. Sturm

UPDATE: #4! On July 22nd 2016 a German-born (with a German and Iranian citizenship) 18 year old, Ali Sonboly, killed nine people and eventually committed suicide in Munich, Germany. German officials didn’t describe the mass killings as an “act of terrorism”.
In spite of terror-related literature found at the killer’s home, authorities concluded that the massacre was in revenge for bullying Sonboly suffered in school at the hands of “Turkish and Arab” teens (seven of the victims were teenagers).
German officials see the attack as a violent outburst of a depressed loner who was receiving psychiatric treatment, not a politically-motivated attack on Germany.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

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Jul 192016
 
Amy Schumer: Non-Consensual Sex

Amy Schumer

In a recent Marie Claire interview the popular comedienne shared that her first sexual experience wasn’t consensual. Many media outlets and bloggers ran with the story, referring to Amy’s experience as “rape”.

Is every instance of non-consensual sex, rape? Who has the authority to slap a label on another person’s experience?

As a public figure, Amy gives interviews. It is up to her what aspects of her personal life she chooses to share with media and the public at large and how. She spoke of non- consensual sex, not of rape.

Anything L.A. Magazine likes Amy Schumer, the artist. We see her as talented, funny, pretty and entertaining.

Amy Schumer became a household name as a hard-hitting, over-sharing stand-up comedienne appearing on Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing. Since then she’s proven her talent most notably on “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Trainwreck”. She is an accomplished writer, actress, and producer. Right now Amy is getting ready for a 50+ city world tour. Her memoir will make its debut next month. The woman isn’t wasting time!

Long story short, there are many reasons to like her. We are among Amy’s fans. There is nothing wrong with that. Re-interpreting another person’s experience by either a media outlet or a fan is. Using other person’s bad experience to explore the topic – or our own opinion on the subject – may not be a great idea, either.

Amy Schumer is an adult, independent and intelligent woman. To her it was “non-consensual sex”. If every instance of non-consensual sex is rape to you, you are entitled to your opinion. With that said, I don’t believe that anyone but Amy Schumer herself has the right to define her own experiences. She described it as unfortunate, unpleasant and stressful. She didn’t cry rape. She didn’t have the perpetrator prosecuted. She doesn’t identify herself as a rape victim or a rape survivor. Why would anyone want to bully her into victimhood?

Not every instance of non-consensual sex is rape. Not every person subjected to non-consensual sex is – or identifies herself as – a rape victim. Defining someone as a rape victim – without the person’s consent, yet another violation of personhood – is disempowering and perpetuates the effects of an already bad experience.

The fact that Amy Schumer is a public figure shouldn’t deprive her of the right to live and interpret her life on her own terms. I don’t know who her first sex partner was and I certainly don’t think of him well. But it’s obvious to me which one of the participants of the questionable sex act overcame its distaste with her dignity intact. I for one wouldn’t try to reframe Amy’s unfortunate sexual encounter as anything that would take away from her pride or power.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Entertainment Editor / I. Sturm

 

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Jul 152016
 

HaveALaughOnUs

According to Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, Laugh Out Loud means:
“extremely funny a laugh-out-loud moment The best scenes in the movie are laugh-out-loud funny. The abbreviation LOL is also used in text messages, emails or Internet chat to show that you think something is funny or do not mean it seriously.”

According to Help Guide, laughter is good for your health:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Life is full of surprises

  Best magic show

Jul 072016
 

Murder In Baton Rouge

To be explicitly clear, Anything L.A. Magazine doesn’t have a reporter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. None of us, me included, has personally witnessed the arrest or the killing of 37-year old Alton B. Sterling. We know as much as all of us have learned from news reports. I have however watched both of the bystander videos released to date and they are terrifying.

I’m not black. Anything L.A. Magazine dedicates a lot of attention to LAPD’s excellent work in protecting Los Angeles residents from crime. Personally, I never had any bad experience with the Police Department. I have no bias.

The two videos released till now, clearly show the murder of a man pinned to the ground by two armed police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The police officers are in complete control of the man in their custody. The man doesn’t act aggressively. I certainly don’t see him reaching for a gun or posing a threat to anyone. I see very clearly that a defenseless man is being shot point-blank by a police officer or police officers.

Police officers have stressful work. I’m sure they’re dealing with adrenaline surges. Obviously, they have to be aware of potential dangers to their safety. On several other occasions, I’ve taken a stand defending the police officers involved in fatal shootings. But in this specific case, I see no possible excuse or explanation for their actions. Shooting somebody who poses no threat point-blank is murder. This was no accident; no case of self defense.

According to the coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish, William Clark, Mr. Sterling died at the scene from gunshot wounds to the chest and back. No information was released clarifying whether a stun device was used during the apprehension of Mr. Sterling or whether the fatal shots were fired by one or both of the arresting officers.

No defenseless human being – of any color, for any reason – should be murdered: by anyone, including police officers; perhaps, especially police officers on whom we all depend for our safety.

I don’t know if Alton B. Sterling had a gun. I didn’t see him reach for a gun or threaten anyone with a gun. The reports say that he has been selling music CDs on the street. We don’t know whether the CDs were of legal or illegal origin. We don’t know whether he held a valid street vendor’s permit allowing him to sell merchandise on the street.
We are pretty certain however that no matter what his misdeeds may have been, none of them called for a death penalty. We are quite sure also that police officers are not authorized to carry out executions in general and without a trial in particular. The videos show cold-blooded murder of a man in police custody – a man who cannot defend himself – by the arresting officers. It isn’t he who should be judged but his killer / killers.

This is not a race or color issue. Seeing that a person apprehended by the police can be shot at point-blank range and killed in cold blood by police officers sends shivers down my spine. That’s against every law, human rights and basic human decency.

If instead of police officers, civilians were the perpetrators of this crime they’d be convicted of murder. In this case, the perpetrators were police officers, one would hope that abuse of authority will be an added charge.

Louisiana officials vowed an in-depth and transparent investigation. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the F.B.I. and the United States attorney’s office in Baton Rouge will conduct their own investigation.

Black or white, with criminal record or without, Alton B. Sterling was a human being, an American in America, someone’s son and someone’s father. Unless the police officers are punished to the full extent of the law, anyone could become their next victim: police will be feared and not looked up to as the public’s protector.

We share in the grief of Alton B. Sterling’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

 

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Jul 052016
 

Healthy Homes Featured Article Anything L.A. Magazine

We say “Home, sweet home.” and “My home is my castle”. Home is the center of family life and the ultimate refuge from the elements, strangers and the world. We perceive home as the place of ultimate safety.

Sadly, most of our homes aren’t as safe as we believe. The building materials, paints, synthetic floor coverings, pressed wood cabinets, etc. exude fumes that pollute the indoor air we, our family and pets are inhaling. If you find the opening statement shocking, most fire victims today don’t succumb to the fire itself; they die from toxic fumes’ inhalation. I’m tempted to say that the worst offenders are houses built in the 1940’s or 50’s (led paint!) but that wouldn’t be true. Toxic building materials are in popular use today, too: just think of the recent laminate flooring “scandal”.
That’s not the whole story, yet. Conventionally built homes aren’t healthy for their inhabitants; they are also destructive to the ecosystem. Traditional energy sources continue to deplete precious natural resources and further contribute to pollution and water contamination. Ever-growing demand for building materials – and today, natural building materials such as stone and wood – calls for more exploitation of natural environment.

Steps have been taken to reduce the indoor pollution caused by toxic building materials. Low VOC paints contain fewer chemicals than conventional paints and dry causing less indoor air pollution. Popularization of solar panels, better water management, all of these help reduce the negative impact our homes have on human health and the environment. Is it enough? In a word: no. (Check the statistics on asthma, allergies and other environment-related conditions. Their numbers continue rising.)

Out of the demand for healthy, environmentally-conscious homes arose a brand new industry: homes designed specifically to be health-promoting and environmentally-responsible.

One of the pioneers of the emerging industry is California’s own LEED PlatinumLiving Homes (http://www.livinghomes.net). Living Homes is the builder of the first LEED Platinum home (The Leed standards set by the US Green Building Council grade projects on their design, safety of building materials used, water and energy efficiency. Platinum is the highest standard a project can be awarded.) and has eleven more Living Homes in production destined for the prestigious LEED Platinum designation.

Even though similar attempts have been made in the past, most of them were intended solely for consumers with very deep pockets. By prefabricating the homes, Living Homes managed to make healthy homes more affordable. The company and its CEO, Mr. Steve Glenn believes that good health and sustainable planet are a right not a privilege: their price range reflects it.

What are Living Homes?

Designed by top architects, Living Homes are prefabricated from non-toxic building materials that are also environmentally-sustainable. The homes are available in standard as well as customizable designs and have drastically smaller ecological impact than conventional homes.

Living Homes’ newly completed six, cutting-edge design, single family homes in Atwater Village include LEED Platinum certified level environmental program and healthy building materials.
With an eye on health and environment the homes have energy-saving appliances and are solar-ready. Many materials used in construction and the interior are reclaimed. To preserve water there are low-flow fixtures and a system in place for grey water reuse. To ensure clean indoor air, the new Living Homes in Atwater Village are free of formaldehyde and VOC paint.

Living Homes has teamed up with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation (http://makeitright.org/) in raising funds and developing health-supporting, environmentally sustainable homes in underserved communities across the country, most notably in New Orleans, Newark, NJ, Kansas City, MO and on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
Recently introduced line of low-cost C6 Living Homes series developed in collaboration with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation is also based on LEED® Platinum level environmental program and Cradle-to-Cradle CM inspired materials. (Cradle-to-Cradle CM is an environmental certification program that awards products developed without toxic chemicals the highest standard ratings.)

Not surprisingly, Living Homes are loved by their owners. They have also earned numerous awards, most recently:

March 16, 2016
Make It Right LivingHome – Architizer A+ Awards

September 15, 2015
Make It Right LivingHome – 2015 Builder Design Awards

October 22, 2015
Our LivingHome RK7.2 received LEED Gold in Canada!

April, 2014
LivingHomes RK1 named one of “The World’s Coolest Prefab Houses.”

February 2010
The LivingHome, Newport Beach wins two 2009 Green Dot Awards; 1st place for Design and 2nd place for Build.

October, 2009
The first LivingHome wins Eco-Structure’s 2009 Evergreen Award in the “Greenhouse” category.

*

We and our homes should coexist with natural environment, not exploit it. By combining state-of-the-art design (nothing like the McMansion!) with a commitment to human health and environmental sustainability, Living Homes brings the concept of harmonious coexistence with Nature within our reach.

Written by Anything L.A. Magazine’s Business Reporter, Jason Berberyan

Jul 052016
 

Mind Detox Section of Anything L.A. Magazine

What’s Anything L.A. Magazine’s idea of Mind Detox? Considering our schedules, stress of daily life and the constant news overload, EVERYBODY needs a break. A break for reflection or even mindless laughter.

That’s why the Mind Detox category of Anything L.A. Magazine provides information on current and upcoming cultural events and entertainment in Los Angeles as well as funny videos, weekly. (Occasionally, there might be a heartwarming story or two, too.)

Immersing yourself in culture, feeding – as opposed to depleting – your mind is nourishing. A good belly laugh is recognized by physicians as a healer. A mix of both is bound to detox your mind and body plus lift your spirit.

Choose from weekly fresh:

Culture And Entertainment In Los Angeles
or
Have A Laugh On Us

Jul 042016
 

Have A Laugh On Us

No highbrow here, just plain belly laughs to unburden you from all the stress! Laughing is a scientifically recognized remedy for stress. It resets the brain. It helps us focus and think better. Last but not least, it makes us optimistic…

Anything L.A. Magazine brings you fresh selection of cute and funny videos every week! Have a laugh on us: you’ll feel better.

This week: A little funny and a lot of CUTE!

Animals, our best and funniest little furry friends

Watching a Puppy Grow: The first 14 days

Kittens Being Bottle Fed

Kittens Sleeping in Hands

Jul 032016
 

Microsoft Theatre L.A

What’s new at the Ahmanson Theatre? What’s cooking at the Greek Theatre this weekend? Staples? Microsoft Theatre?

Los Angeles Theatre Schedules, Los Angeles Concert Schedules and latest events brought to you courtesy of Cultural Events In Los Angeles, Anything L.A. Magazine’s sister Site, weekly.

The Cast Is Set For “Grey Gardens” The Musical

2016 Concerts At The Greek Theatre In Los Angeles

Schedule Of Events And Concerts At The Microsoft Theater L.A.

2016-2017 Season At The Falcon Theatre

2016-2017 Season At The Kirk Douglas Theatre

Jun 302016
 

In A Nutshell Anything L.A. Magazine News Editorials

Anything L.A. Magazine didn’t necessarily plan this section. However some news should not pass by without being reflected upon. Only in the last few weeks, several such events – that called for an in depth reflection – took place.

  • The passing of Muhammad Ali
  • The mass shooting at Orlando’s Nightclub
  • Brexit (Great Britain’s decision to exit the European Union)
  • Victory of Texas abortion rights
  • The terrorist attack at a Turkey’s airport
  • The death of Pat Summitt

Granted, not all of them affect us in the same or even similar way, but each of them had a profound impact in its own way. I won’t trivialize the recent news in a brief summary, suffice to say: future events of significance will be acknowledged with Anything L.A. Magazine’s News Editorials.

An editorial expresses the magazine’s opinion. It is often easier to keep quiet to avoid controversy. But silence has a price tag. Not expressing an opinion on an issue or event can be mistaken for the incorrect one.

Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living”. And what’s life? Our precious slice of time and the events that affect us. As you may have noticed none of the events I listed above is actually local and yet, each is as meaningful in Los Angeles as elsewhere. So, bring on the fire and brimstone: from now on Anything L.A. Magazine has opinions AND editorials!

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

Jun 292016
 

Up To Us Anything L.A. Magazine Editorial

Life can get busy. It can be overwhelming at times. When a natural or man-made disaster strikes, we can feel powerless. The Up To Us section of Anything L.A. Magazine is here to empower YOU.

No matter what comes our way, we are NEVER entirely helpless. There is always something that each of us can do to influence the outcome. The change may not be huge or fast, but sure enough if enough of us unite for a cause, change takes place eventually.

Everybody has a unique perspective on life and somewhat different priorities but there are some objectives we can all embrace.

  • Save the environment?
  • Help veterans recover?
  • Help animals?
  • Show kids the way into adulthood?

These are only a few causes most of us can rally around.

By introducing options for involvement in worthy causes, Anything L.A. Magazine will present you with choices. There will be one that speaks to YOU. Don’t let it pass you by!

Complacency, passivity and laziness are easy. Complaining requires no effort. Taking action requires guts. Exercise your power, make the world the way it could be: better, safer, healthier and prosperous. Don’t let faceless strangers “make” your world. Your life, your world. It’s not up to “others”. It’s up to YOU! The important question is: what can WE make better in L.A., today?

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich

 

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