Jul 312017

Cocaine Dealing At Day Care Stopped




City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has successfully secured a preliminary injunction ordering the owners of a Highland Park property to comply with numerous safety and security conditions including the immediate shut down of an alleged unlicensed child care business where more than 20 kilograms of cocaine were recently recovered.

“The drug activity we allege at this home was a massive blight on the community and especially outrageous because little kids were caught right in the middle of it,” said City Attorney Feuer. “Shutting down this day care center, combined with the other tough conditions we fought for, will make this neighborhood safer for everyone.”

The injunction, granted by Judge James Chalfant, orders Felipe Talamante and Prodigios Garcia Talamante, the father-son owners of the multi-unit residential property at 5215 Marmion Way in Northeast Los Angeles, to refrain from operating a day care business at the property; to refrain from allowing non-resident children on site unless accompanied by their parents; to refrain from advertising or marketing the location as a child care facility; as well as requiring them to post signs notifying the public that babysitting and child care are not allowed at the property.

The court also prohibited the Talamantes from immediately selling the property and allowing any firearms on the property. The court further ordered the Talamantes to terminate the tenancy of son/brother, Miguel Talamante, based on his arrest for narcotic sales and to install proper lighting and maintenance.

For at least the past two years, the property allegedly has been known by law enforcement as a location for the distribution of narcotics and has been heavily frequented by drug users and buyers. The location was also allegedly being used as an unlicensed day care business for children between two and ten years old. It is located within 900 feet of Monte Vista Elementary school.

In 2015, a search warrant was issued on the property resulting in the arrest of defendant Felipe Talamante and the recovery of 20 kilograms of cocaine. In May 2017, a second search warrant was served on the property resulting in the recovery of an additional 20 kilograms of cocaine as well as two rocks of cocaine and digital sales. Defendant Felipe Talamante was taken into custody for narcotics sales and child endangerment.

Investigators observed children being dropped off at the location throughout the day as part of the illegal child care business and numerous children were observed playing on the patio where criminal activity was taking place. The recovered cocaine was also found in the same room as a child-size mattress.

City Attorney Feuer has expanded his Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit, which, since July, 2013, has filed 89 abatement actions and obtained 83 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has successfully secured the closure of 10 gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $845,000 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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Jul 302017
The Curious Tour At Ahmanson

L-R: Maria Elena Ramirez as Siobhan, Gene Gillette as Ed (rear) and Adam Langdon as Christopher Boone in the touring production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which will be presented by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre August 2 through September 10, 2017. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus




Tony and Olivier Award-Winning Best Play
A New Play by Simon Stephens
Adapted From the Novel by Mark Haddon
Directed by Marianne Elliott


Presented by Center Theatre Group, The National Theatre production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” will begin performances at the Ahmanson Theatre on August 2 with the opening set for August 3. The Tony Award-winning new play by Simon Stephens is adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott (“War Horse”). Performances will continue through September 10, 2017.

The “Curious Incident…” cast includes Juilliard graduate Adam Langdon as Christopher, Gene Gillette (“War Horse”) as Ed, Felicity Jones Latta (“Metamorphoses”) as Judy, Maria Elena Ramirez (“Fish in the Dark”) as Siobhan and Amelia White (“The Heiress”) as Mrs. Alexander. The ensemble includes Brian Robert Burns (“War Horse”), Francesca Choy-Kee (“Disgraced”), Josephine Hall (“Les Liaisons Dangereuses”), John Hemphill (“School of Rock”), Robyn Kerr (“Dark Vanilla Jungle”), Kathy McCafferty (“Dada Woof Papa Hot”), Tim McKiernan (“War Horse”), J. Paul Nicholas (“Blood and Gifts”), Geoffrey Wade (“Translations”) and Tim Wright (“Curious Incident”/Broadway). Benjamin Wheelwright (“Curious Incident”/Broadway) will play Christopher at certain performances.

The production is designed by Tony Award winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning video designer Finn Ross, with lighting by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, choreography by Scott Graham and Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph, and hair and wig design by David Brian Brown. Casting is by Daniel Swee, CSA and Cindy Tolan, CSA.

In “… this highly original, deeply engaging play” (Elysa Gardner, USA Today), 15-year old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

Ben Brantley of The New York Times said this play is “… one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway. Be prepared to have all your emotional and sensory buttons pushed, including a few you may have not known existed.”

Richard Zoglin of Time Magazine said that “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is “… a play that works on every level — crowd-pleasing, eye-opening, life-affirming and unmissable.”

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” transferred to London’s West End, following a sold-out run at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre in 2012. The production received seven 2013 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play and continues to play to sold-out houses at the Gielgud Theatre in London. A UK and Ireland Tour launched in 2014 and a second tour of the UK and Ireland launched in January of this year.

“Curious Incident…,” the longest running play on Broadway in the past 10 years, opened on October 5, 2014, at the Barrymore Theatre, winning five Tony Awards including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Production of a Broadway Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play.

The North American tour is produced by Stuart Thompson, Tim Levy for NT America, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures Inc., Lisa Burger for NT Productions, Bob Boyett, Roger and William Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Roy Furman, Glass Half Full Productions, Ruth Hendel, JFLT TLP Partnership, Jon B. Platt, Scott Rudin, Triple Play Broadway and The Shubert Organization.

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.

Tickets for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” 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 range from $25 – $130 (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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Jul 282017

Conviction For Falsely Triggering Amber Alert




City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has successfully secured a conviction and a 60-day jail sentence against a Los Angeles woman for falsely reporting to police a carjacking allegedly involving the kidnapping of her 16-year old stepson which triggered an Amber Alert.

“Making a false criminal report is a serious offense with real consequences. It squanders precious law enforcement resources that should be devoted to solving actual crimes,” said Feuer. “And here, this reckless and irresponsible action triggered an Amber Alert that diverted attention throughout our region.”

Charline Gatson, 26, entered a plea of no contest to one count of filing a false police report. Gaston was sentenced to 36 months of probation, 60 days in county jail as well as a $220 fine. A restitution hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

On July 6, 2017 Gatson allegedly reported that her vehicle was stolen at gunpoint from her Vermont Knolls neighborhood in South Los Angeles near 47th and Figueroa Street. In her report, Gaston alleged that her teenage stepson was in the vehicle at the time triggering an Amber Alert. Police later found the vehicle and determined that Gatson’s police report was false and no carjacking had occurred and the stepson was not involved. Gaston was subsequently arrested and booked at LAPD’s 77th Station.

At the time of her arrest Gatson also was wanted on an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court for a restitution hearing on a 2015 conviction for auto theft.

Deputy City Attorney Bethelwel Wilson successfully prosecuted the case.



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Jul 072017

Staying Cool In Los Angeles

The heat is on, again. Air conditioning is costly. The city of Los Angeles has many cooling centers open that welcome Angelenos in need of staying cool. On Friday, July 7th and Saturday, July 8th the locations below will operate on extended hours due to a Heat Advisory. Please call the location near you to confirm its operating hours.

Cooling Centers in San Fernando Valley

Canoga Senior Citizen Center
7326 Jordan Avenue
Canoga Park, CA 91303
(818) 340-2633

Lanark Recreation Center
21816 Lanark St.
Canoga Park, CA 91304
(818) 883-1503

Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center
11075 Foothill Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
(818) 899-8087

North Hollywood Recreation Center
11430 Chandler Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 763-7651

Mid Valley Senior Center at Sepulveda Recreation Center
8801 Kester Ave.
Panorama City, CA 91402
(818) 893-3700

Sherman Oaks / East Valley Adult Center
5060 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 386-9674

Sunland Park Senior Center
8640 Fenwick St.
Sunland, CA 91040
(818) 353-9571

Robert M. Wilkinson Multipurpose Center
8956 Vanalden Avenue
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 756-7741

Cooling Centers in the City of Los Angeles

Algin Sutton Recreation Center
8800 South Hoover St
Los Angeles, CA 90044
(323) 753-5808

Green Meadows Recreation Center
431 E. 89th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90083
(323) 565-4242

Mount Carmel Recreation Center
830 W 90th St,
Los Angeles, CA 90044
(323) 789-2756

Rancho Cienega Sports Complex
5001 Rodeo Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 290-2663, (323) 290-2330

Slauson Multipurpose Center
5306 Compton Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(323) 233-1174

For additional information on staying cool in Los Angeles, visit http://emergency.lacity.org/heat




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Jul 032017

Mayor Garcetti Sworn In For Second Term

Mayor Garcetti Sworn In for Second Term: “We Will Build a City That Throws Open Every Door Ever Shut on a Hope or a Dream”

On July 2nd 2017, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was sworn in for the second term. Mayor Eric Garcetti laid out his vision to expand hope, prosperity, and opportunity to every corner of Los Angeles, as he swore the oath of office on the steps of City Hall for the second time.

City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galperin, and eight members of the City Council were inaugurated on the same day. Mayor Garcetti was sworn in by his mother, Sukey Garcetti, who was flanked by First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland and their daughter, Maya.

“We know … the future is already here. We must decide whether our whole city will own its share of that future, or whether we will watch it pass us by while our greater number watches from behind a glass,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We decide, here, now, and walking forward, whether that future will be offered to one in a million with a lottery ticket, or whether every child growing up here will know it is her birthright. We must connect. We must succeed — at sustaining middle class jobs, at strengthening education, at protecting our environment while growing our economy — because right now, it’s on us to show the way forward.”

This evening’s ceremony, witnessed by thousands of Angelenos who gathered on Spring Street, marks the official beginning of Mayor Garcetti’s second term as mayor. He won reelection on March 7 with a record-setting 81% of the vote.

The Mayor’s second term comes after four years of extraordinary economic growth across Los Angeles. He began his first term by navigating the City through the end of the Great Recession with ambitious steps that helped to bring billions of dollars of investment to the City, create nearly 160,000 new jobs, and slash the unemployment rate in half.

Mayor Garcetti has also taken visionary action to bring long-term prosperity to Los Angeles. He led the campaigns to pass Measure M and Proposition HHH — two of the boldest housing and infrastructure measures in American history — raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, developed the City’s first ever Sustainable City pLAn, brought the historic Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to Exposition Park, and has carried Los Angeles to the brink of hosting a third Olympic Games.

In his second term, Mayor Garcetti will build on that success, and continue to confront L.A.’s most difficult challenges. He will work to end the City’s homelessness and affordable housing crises, and continue the effort to make Los Angeles safer, and more prosperous for all Angelenos.

The Mayor will also focus on implementing the plans and initiatives set forth during his first term. He will make sure that the funding voters approved with Measure M and Proposition HHH is invested in housing and transportation projects as quickly and effectively as possible; continue working to create good-paying jobs, and strengthen the middle class; and expand successful programs like Hire L.A.’s Youth, which he has already grown threefold since taking office.

The inauguration program celebrated Los Angeles with L.A.-centric performances by Boyle Heights native George Takei; KCRW’s Jason Bentley; singer Angel Joy Blue; UCLA’s Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute Ensemble; and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.




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Jul 032017

Travel Ban, Voter Rolls, Women And Media


Highlights of an eventful week: from the President’s attack on Mika Brzezinski to the fake video in which he pummels CNN reporter


It’s been yet another eventful week, the Republican – and atrocious! – healthcare plan not withstanding:

The still unconstitutional but revised travel ban went into effect. The latest version – partially approved by the Supreme Court – is supposed to keep us safe at the cost of separating families from their grandparents and discriminating against refugees from extreme Islamism who – having been granted political asylum years ago – made America their home. Refugees from extreme Islamism – many of whom are American citizens for a generation or two – are our best allies in the war against terror. Treating them like “terrorists” is counterproductive, to say the least.

The federal government requested that States turn over their voter rolls to confirm the President’s unfounded belief that dead people and illegal aliens cast fraudulent votes for Hillary Clinton during the last Presidential Election and he – President Trump – has in fact received the majority of legitimate votes. Several States – including California – denied the request. While many people glanced over the news, those familiar with history – and the fact that it tends to repeat itself! – were alarmed. Voter rolls contain detailed, personally identifiable information, including the political affiliation of every voter. Sharing such information could potentially facilitate the re-birth of McCarthyism and blacklisting…. (Incidentally, no significant evidence of voter fraud in 2016 Presidential Election was reported by any State.)

As if the above wasn’t disturbing enough, President Trump grows ever more outrageous on Twitter.

First, the President took aim at Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of MSNBC’s weekday Morning Joe. Just as he’s tried with Megyn Kelly (former corporate attorney, and currently, a journalist and political commentator), President Trump attempted to discredit Brzezinski’s intellect (she is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government), demean her as a person and humiliate her as a woman. Predictably, the President’s behavior drew outrage and criticism from both sides of the aisle.

President Trump’s contempt for the media in general was further emphasized in a “doctored” video he released in which he “makes believe” to knock-out a CNN reporter. The President posted the fake video on his Twitter account. Since we have witnessed how President Trump’s inflammatory speeches incite white extremist violence, the video doesn’t bode well for American journalists. (Let’s not forget that the responsibility of journalists is to inform the public. Not that long ago, while American youth was protesting against the federal government, two journalists saved the Country from a “corrupt” president. They used their investigative reporting skills to provide evidence of his wrong-doing. The massive protests didn’t save us. Two journalists did.) Journalism is any country’s last line of defense from a corrupt / abusive government….

Finally, on Sunday the latest protests took place in Los Angeles. President Trump’s supporters and a larger group speaking for the majority of Angelenos took to the streets. Among the creative signs carried by the marchers were: “Make America SANE, again.” and “Impeach Trump: Make America great, again.”

And how was YOUR week?

With the 4th of July approaching, we wish you a happy and restful holiday. As for the celebration of our Independence many are worried (see the tweets below) that it is being threatened as we speak…



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



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Shame on us

5 5 1
Why are we standing idly by while our morals, norms - not to mention, ideals - are being publicly violated?! Is this some lousy production of Emperor's New Clothes? We can all see that the "emperor" is naked and no one enjoys the view. Let's reign in the rampant insanity already. Enough.

At what point do we draw a line?

5 5 1
The vast majority of Americans is sane. We know that we are on the wrong course. There is no need to persist in error. Let's stop the insanity now before any more harm is done. Children are watching!
Jun 302017
Summer Night Lights Are On

Mayor Garcetti kicking off the 10th Summer of Summer Night Lights in South Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of LA Mayor’s office.


“Summer Night Lights” Kicks Off 10th Year of Providing Fun, Safe Spaces for Young People and Families


Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off the 10th consecutive year of Summer Night Lights (SNL), a landmark program that keeps parks and recreation centers open late to provide young people and families with safe, fun gathering spaces during the summer months.

Hundreds of Angelenos joined the Mayor, Councilmember Curren Price, police and fire officials, and SNL supporters for the evening celebration at Ross Snyder Recreation Center in South L.A.

“Every family in Los Angeles deserves safe places to spend time together, have fun with their neighbors, find new opportunities and resources, and create strong relationships with the people who serve them,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Summer Night Lights has made all of that possible for countless Angelenos over an incredible decade of success, and created a model for building stronger communities in cities across America.”

SNL is a signature initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD) — offering free food and activities at 32 City parks, and connecting young people and families with job opportunities and other resources. The program also aims to help reduce crime and violence during the summer months.

In 2007, then-Councilmember Garcetti founded ‘At the Park After Dark’ in response to a fatal shooting near a local park. The following year the program was expanded across the City as Summer Night Lights.

SNL is an essential component of the comprehensive GRYD strategy, which includes gang prevention, gang intervention, violence interruption, community engagement, and juvenile gang reentry programs.

Mayor Garcetti has expanded GRYD services, bringing both prevention and intervention work to every GRYD zone for the first time. A 2016 evaluation report found that 83.4% of GRYD clients decreased their risk of gang joining overall; and a new study by researchers at Cal State L.A. and UCLA found that GRYD intervention work prevented 185 gang-related violent crimes across L.A. over a two-year period — including an estimated 10 fewer homicides,175 fewer aggravated assaults, and 43.2 percent fewer gang retaliations.

Since 2008, there have been more than 5.6 million SNL site visits for activities ranging from healthy cooking classes and sports leagues, to dance and art workshops.

The program works to directly re-invest in Angelenos most affected by unemployment by creating a broad range of local job opportunities. In 2017, SNL will employ over 850 Angelenos of all ages — including 352 young people. Members of the Youth Squad receive training in everything from community organizing and outreach, to how to spot the signs of human trafficking and provide trauma-informed services.

On top of the free meals, entertainment, sports, and art activities, SNL sites will have booths with information on educational and job opportunities for young people, resources for families experiencing domestic violence, and more.

The generous support of foundation and corporate donors pays for about half the program’s cost, demonstrating the effectiveness of the public-private partnership. SNL program partners include LAPD, Department of Recreation and Parks, Department of Cultural Affairs, the Hungry Hog & Starving Steer, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and Los Angeles area professional sports teams, among others.

The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles (MFLA), an organization that brings together private, philanthropic, non-profit, and government resources to sponsor programs, works closely with the GRYD Foundation to partner with private donors for the SNL program. Donors to the 2017 SNL Programming include the Walt Disney Company, the Weingart Foundation, Katie McGrath & the J.J. Abrams Family Foundation, the LA Dodgers Foundation, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, LA84, and the Eisner Foundation.

SNL will run from 7 p.m.-11 p.m., June 28-August 5 and August 11-August 25 at the following locations:

  • 109th Street Recreation Center
  • Algin Sutton Recreation Center
  • Costello Recreation Center
  • Cypress Park Recreation Center
  • Delano Recreation Center
  • El Sereno Recreation Center
  • Glassell Park Recreation Center
  • Green Meadows Recreation Center
  • Highland Park Recreation Center
  • Hubert Humphrey Recreation Center
  • Imperial Courts Recreation Center
  • Jackie Tatum Harvard Recreation Center
  • Jim Gilliam Recreation Center
  • Lanark Recreation Center
  • Lemon Grove Recreation Center
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center
  • Montecito Heights Recreation Center
  • Mount Carmel Recreation Center
  • Nickerson Gardens Recreation Center
  • Normandale Recreation Center
  • Normandie Recreation Center
  • Ramon Garcia Recreation Center
  • Ramona Gardens Recreation Center
  • Ross Snyder Recreation Center
  • Sepulveda Recreation Center
  • Slauson Recreation Center
  • South Park Recreation Center
  • Sun Valley Recreation Center
  • Toberman Recreation Center
  • Valley Plaza Recreation Center
  • Van Ness Recreation Center
  • Wilmington Recreation Center

For more information, please visit http://grydfoundation.org/programs/summer-night-lights/.




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Jun 292017
L.A. Record Rooftop Solar

Mayor Garcetti Announces Completion of the World’s Most Powerful Rooftop Solar Project. Photo courtesy of LA Mayor’s office.


Mayor Garcetti Announces Completion of the World’s Most Powerful Rooftop Solar Project


Mayor Eric Garcetti joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to celebrate the completion of a historic rooftop solar project that will generate enough renewable energy to power nearly 5,000 homes.

The 16.4 Megawatt (DC) Westmont Solar Energy Project in San Pedro will produce more than 28 million Kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, making it the most powerful rooftop solar project in the world.

“We are putting sustainability at the center of everything we do in Los Angeles — and that means investing boldly to expand the use of local solar and renewable energy,” said Mayor Garcetti. “While Washington buries its head in the sand, we are carrying the fight against climate change forward in our city, and the Westmont Solar Energy Project is strong evidence of our commitment to a sustainable future.”

The project is part of Los Angeles’ rooftop solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program, the largest of its kind in America. The FiT program enables the owners of large buildings to install solar panels on their roofs, and sell the power they generate back to LADWP for distribution into the power grid.

“Our goal is to create a clean energy future for Los Angeles and solar is a big part of our strategy,” LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said. “Along with helping spur the clean energy economy in Los Angeles and meeting renewable energy goals, the expansion of local solar builds more resiliency and reliability into the power grid. Local solar systems are like mini power plants that generate power right where it is being used, saving on transmission costs and taking advantage of the city’s abundant sunshine to help meet electrical demand.”

The Westmont project includes more than 50,000 solar panels, covering 50 acres of roof space. It ranks second in size only to the solar project at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino — though Westmont’s highly efficient solar panels and unique roof design will enable it to surpass that project in total power generation.

The project advances several of the goals outlined in Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn, including the expansion of renewable energy use and eliminating the use of coal power.

The new solar project was developed by PermaCity Solar, together with building owner BlackRock and financial partners True Green Capital and GAF. Through a partnership with EmPower America, the country’s first Veteran Workforce Development Organization, the project trained 50 veterans in project management, roofing, and electrical skills. Through its program, EmPower has trained and employed more than 25,000 veterans in return for tax benefits.

“The way this project came together — its design, the installation and the financing — satisfies everybody,” said Jonathan Port, CEO of PermaCity Solar. “The workers get high pay, the owner gets a new roof, and the City gets the power. It’s nice when we can make all that happen.”

The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) was also a critical partner on the project.

“California has led the way in demonstrating that climate change policy and economic growth aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Mary Leslie, LABC president. “With the Westmont opening, we are once again distinguishing ourselves as national leaders capitalizing on the economic promise the FiT program has to offer.”

To learn more about solar FiT projects in Los Angeles, visit www.ladwp.com/fit.




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Jun 272017

Carl’s Jr. Underpays Employees



City Attorney Mike Feuer and City’s Office of Wage Standards Join to Protect Workers


City Attorney Mike Feuer and the City’s Office of Wage Standards announced that the City has taken action against Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC, demanding the company pay $1.45 million in restitution and penalties for repeatedly failing to pay dozens of workers at multiple Los Angeles locations the City’s minimum wage.

“L.A. law is clear: employees must be paid at least the minimum wage. Anything less is a slap in the face to workers struggling to make ends meet. This is a major corporation that should know the rules,” said Feuer. “Our offices will always aggressively stand up for workers to ensure they get the wages they’re owed, and all the protections and benefits the law demands.”

“The minimum wage is a legally established threshold below which employers may not venture to pay their workers,” said John Reamer, Inspector of Public Works and head of the Bureau of Contract Administration. “The minimum wage was established to ensure economic equity and opportunity, and the Office of Wage Standards will continue to partner with the City Attorney to regulate and enforce compliance with the law.”

Following a report from a Carl’s Jr. employee, L.A.’s Office of Wage Standards (OWS) (in the Bureau of Contract Administration) launched an investigation in coordination with the City Attorney’s Office. As a result of the investigation into the company’s financial records, it is alleged that Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC failed to pay 37 employees the Los Angeles minimum wage of $10.50 per hour from July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. In addition, the City cited the company for allegedly failing to post the notice of the current minimum wage rate, sick time benefits and employee rights required under the City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance at two Los Angeles locations.

The City is demanding the company pay $910,010 in penalties to the 37 employees identified by OWS investigators no later than July 24, 2017. (The funds are to be delivered to and distributed by the OWS to impacted employees.) The City is seeking an additional $541,423 in penalties and fines for allegedly: violating the City’s minimum wage law, failing to post the required notice and failing to provide investigators access to interview employees at two locations.

Failure to make payments could result in a civil action. Additionally, a lien could be placed against any property owned or operated by an employer who fails to pay wages, penalties, and administrative fines calculated by the City Attorney’s Office.

Deputy City Attorney Alexander Freedman and Dania Minassian are assigned to the matter.



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Jun 242017
Grand In Downtown Los Angeles

Photo copyright AC Martin

The Wilshire Grand Center has opened in Downtown Los Angeles, setting records. The 73-story building at 1,100 feet high is the tallest building west of the Mississippi and 9th tallest in the entire United States! Yes, there is more! The spectacular roofline of the new building is designed to reflect the shape of the Half Dome rock formation in Yosemite National Park. (The building is one of very few high-rise structures in DTLA without the mandatory flat roof providing helipad.) Another striking characteristic of the Wilshire Grand Center are its millions of programmable LED lights. So is its cost: $1.2 billion.

Grand In Downtown Los Angeles

Photo copyright AC Martin

Here in Los Angeles where we’re all concerned with the possibility of a major earthquake, one has to wonder about the safety of a building as tall as the Wilshire Grand Center. Well, it is supposedly safer than our one family homes. The specifics are actually quite stunning, you can read more about them here.

The spectacular skyscraper, a new landmark in Downtown L.A., is the brainchild a Korean businessman Yang Ho Cho, 68, a chairman of Hanjin Group (the owner of Wilshire Grand Center) whose father Choong Hoon Cho founded the Hanjin conglomerate. The lead designer of the project is David C. Martin.

Grand In Downtown Los Angeles

Photo copyright AC Martin

To paraphrase the owner, The Wilshire Grand Center is an upscale world-class 73-story skyscraper in the heart of Downtown, Los Angeles. Wilshire Grand Center boasts not only the 900-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel, but also cutting edge restaurants, business spaces, and attractive nightlife offerings. It is the tallest structure in the Los Angeles skyline and it will contribute to the rich cultural and economic revival of Downtown.

Wilshire Grand Building
900 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, California
Phone: (213) 550-1878
Website: www.wilshiregrandcenter.com

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



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Jun 232017

L.A. Justice Fund

Mayor Garcetti on the City of Los Angeles’ $2 Million Share of the L.A. Justice Fund

“Immigrants do not stand alone in Los Angeles, and this City is bound to the American values of equal justice and due process. Today’s City Council vote makes possible the allocation of our $2 million share of the L.A. Justice Fund, an extraordinary public-private partnership. But the L.A. Justice Fund is about more than dollars — it means that more Angelenos will have legal protection, more families will stay whole, and more people will be able to build lives with the people they love, in the country they chose.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

Members of the City Council also shared statements of support for the L.A. Justice Fund:

“I’d like to thank my colleagues for approving the L.A. Justice Fund and for making it a priority in our budget. The fund falls in line with the Mayor’s efforts to defend Los Angeles and the council’s commitment to defend all its residents, regardless of immigration status. At the core of our democratic system is the belief that every person has the right to due process. The L.A. Justice Fund expands that right to more Angelenos, increasing their odds of prevailing in removal proceedings.” — Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Immigrant Affairs and Civil Rights

“Our commitment will help protect vulnerable members of our community who currently live in fear of deportation and uncertainty about their future. We’re taking the necessary steps to ensure that the fund upholds the guidelines we’ve set forward and rightfully provides the vital aid and representation our immigrant communities need in order to keep families together.” — Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee

“In a nation founded by immigrants, we are a city of immigrants. The City of Los Angeles’ diversity defines us as Angelenos — it is, more than anything else, the heart and soul of what makes our City so unique. As we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, we are also assisting the immigrants among us to defend themselves against a federal government that seems focused on divisive rhetoric instead of inclusive dialogue and dividing families instead of bringing them and America together. We hope for a better day. We will work for a better day. In the meantime, we will do all we can to protect the most vulnerable among us.” — Councilmember José Huizar.

The L.A. Justice Fund, led by Mayor Garcetti, is a $10 million public-private partnership to assist immigrants who are facing deportation proceedings without legal counsel. The City of Los Angeles’ $2 million share of the fund, which the Mayor first announced in December 2016, received final City Council approval today. Other partners include the County of Los Angeles, the California Community Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has issued a Community Resource Guide for Immigrant Angelenos that includes comprehensive know-your-rights information and resources, including contact information for legal service providers and community organizations. The guide can be downloaded in English and Spanish at lamayor.org/KnowYourRights.

In March, Mayor Garcetti signed the twentieth executive directive of his administration, “Standing with Immigrants: A City of Safety, Refuge, and Opportunity for All.” It ensures that L.A.’s public servants stay focused on protecting people, serving communities, and saving lives — not inquiring about immigration status or engaging in federal civil immigration enforcement. The directive expands longstanding LAPD policies on immigration enforcement to Airport police, Port police and firefighters — and prohibits all city employees from using public facilities or resources to assist or cooperate with federal civil immigration enforcement. It also requires that every city facility and service be made available to all Angelenos without regard to citizenship or immigration status, and orders protections on the confidentiality of information submitted by residents who enroll in city programs and services, unless required by law.




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May 172017

City Attorney Mike Feuer Secures Restitution For Victims


California Restoration to pay $88,000 to 23 victims, $150,000 Civil Penalty, Establish Restitution Fund of $250,000

In his continuing efforts to protect consumers, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced his office has secured restitution for 23 victims allegedly scammed by Chatsworth-based California Restoration, a $250,000 restitution fund for additional victims and a civil penalty of $150,000. The City Attorney’s lawsuit alleged that for at least the past four years, California Restoration regularly engaged in fraudulent business practices.

“Imagine your home is flooded with sewage and the company you call for help takes advantage of you instead,” said Feuer. “Whether it’s Wells Fargo creating fake accounts, phony lawyers scamming immigrants or sewage removal companies allegedly victimizing customers, we will fight to hold L.A. businesses accountable and stand up for consumers. That’s why, in addition to the restitution we’ve gotten for 23 victims, we’ve set up a fund for other customers who believe they’ve been victimized. We’re now asking them to come forward.”

California Restoration, owned by Matthew and James Monroe, is a Chatsworth-based water damage restoration company that removes water and sewage from residential homes. The City Attorney’s complaint alleges that for at least the past four years, the company regularly engaged in the following unlawful business practices:

  • Used contracts that omitted the description of the work to be completed, the cost of the project, the approximate date of completion, and the customers’ three-day right to cancel.
  • Made substantial misrepresentations in the procurement of the contract and defrauded customers with false and fraudulent pretenses.
  • Made false and fraudulent statements in support of claims submitted to insurance companies.
  • Unlawfully initiated legal action against former customers and dissuaded them from cooperating with the Contractor’s State License Board.

Feuer’s office spearheaded the case following a collaboration with the Contractor’s State License Board, the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Insurance. After California Restoration had its contractor license suspended, the City Attorney moved to address past violations, identify victims and ensure that future violations do not occur.

In addition to requiring California Restoration to pay restitution and penalties, the company will remove all liens placed against former customers and dismiss all pending lawsuits against former clients. California Restoration also must:

  • Allow customers to cancel contracts up until midnight of the third day after the contract is signed.
  • Use the same language in its contracts that it used during its oral sales presentations.
  • Not dissuade customers from reporting their experiences to regulatory agencies, including Contractors State Licensing Board.
  • Make only truthful statements to customers and the public at large about their services.
  • Include in all its contacts key information, including the cost of the work to be completed, the approximate dates upon which the work will be completed, its contractor license number, a description of the project including materials and equipment being used, among other items.

Consumers who used the services of Cal Restoration, Inc., and/or California Restoration, LLC between July 15, 2012 and May 15, 2017, and believe they were victimized, may be eligible to receive restitution. They should contact (213) 978-8070 or email mike.n.feuer@lacity.org.




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May 162017
Mayor Garcetti Facilitates Affordable Housing

Photo courtesy of LA Mayor’s Office


Garcetti creates more affordable housing and protects thousands of Angelenos from eviction by enabling the City to legalize certain unpermitted housing units.


Mayor Garcetti signs Ordinance to legalize more Affordable Housing Units: Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed a new law that will create more affordable housing and protect thousands of Angelenos from eviction by enabling the City to legalize certain unpermitted housing units.

There are currently thousands of occupied units across Los Angeles that were not permitted properly when they were built. This ordinance creates a path to legalization for many of those units, allowing the City to ensure that they are safe and habitable, without displacing families from their homes.

“Too many Angelenos are already struggling to stay ahead of rising rents — and we must take action to protect our communities, and keep families in their homes,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This ordinance will improve the health and safety of our housing stock, add more units to the market, and bring us closer to meeting our affordable housing goals.”

The new ordinance will use existing State Density Bonus provisions to legalize the unapproved units, once they have passed all necessary health, safety, and habitability inspections. The City will permit the units in exchange for long-term commitments from landlords to keep them affordable.

“Passage of the Unapproved Dwelling Units Ordinance is a small but significant step to address affordability in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “Buildings zoned as multiple family, including apartments and duplexes, will now be be brought to code while ensuring health and safety requirements, adding to our housing stock. We are in a housing crisis and need to use every tool within reach to increase our affordable housing supply.”

“The UDU ordinance is a common-sense solution to increasing the City of Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock and protecting low- and moderate-income Angelenos doing their best to get by living in unapproved units at no fault of their own,” said Councilmember José Huizar, Chair of the City’s Planning Committee. “This ordinance will directly benefit and protect those residents and their families while increasing our available affordable housing stock for others.”

To give property owners time to pursue this new route to legalization, the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) is developing a program that would defer certain code enforcement proceedings, while landlords bring their unpermitted units into compliance.

This new policy is just one piece of Mayor Garcetti’s strategy to solve the affordability crisis in Los Angeles. The Mayor has also called on the City Council to pass an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee — a fair, reasonable requirement that market-rate developers build affordable housing or contribute to the City’s affordable housing programs. This could add 1,000 new affordable housing units to the market every year-— about double the current rate of production.

Owners of multifamily buildings who have questions on how to pursue legalization of unapproved dwelling units can contact the Department of City Planning’s Priority Housing Project (PHP) program at (213) 202-5456 or dcpphp@lacity.org.



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May 122017
Mayor Garcetti Watches Over Owens Valley

Photo property of L.A. Mayor


Mayor Garcetti visits Owens Valley to monitor LADWP emergency flood control efforts


Mayor Eric Garcetti traveled to the Owens Valley to survey the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) emergency flood control preparations for what the utility expects will be a record snowmelt from the Eastern Sierras.

The trip comes after Mayor Garcetti declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities of the Owens Valley from flooding, as this year’s snowpack begins to melt.

“I declared this State of Emergency because we have a responsibility to protect Angelenos and the people of the Owens Valley,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We are acting as quickly and diligently as we can to address this potential threat, and I’m pleased by the progress we’re making.”

During his visit, the Mayor spoke with community members, met with LADWP workers involved in the flood control efforts, and toured key areas — including Mono Lake and Owens Lake — where the snowmelt is threatening communities and LADWP infrastructure.

This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and as spring goes on, LADWP expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.

This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water that Angelenos use in a year — could damage local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake. Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration enables LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat.




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May 112017

Wage Theft Prosecuted In Los Angeles



Lawsuit Alleges Valley Homecare Provider Paid Employees As Little As $5.50 Per Hour or Less, Failed to Provide Overtime Wages


Continuing his aggressive fight against alleged wage theft, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced his office has sued a Canoga Park-based home care provider for allegedly routinely failing to pay its employees minimum wage and overtime.

“Stealing wages from hard-working men and women is reprehensible,” said Feuer. “No worker should be forced into poverty because an employer denies them their basic rights to a minimum wage and overtime. My office will aggressively combat wage theft and fight to ensure all workers are paid what the law demands.”

“This case is sending the important message that here in Los Angeles City, immigrant workers rights are being protected” said Aquilina Soriano, Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center.. Immigrant workers like the Filipina homecare workers of this homecare agency have suffered from poverty wages while providing heart-felt, quality care to the elders of our city.”

“SEIU 2015 fights every day for the rights of our dedicated home healthcare workers,” President Laphonza Butler, Local SEIU 2015. “We applaud City Attorney Mike Feuer’s leadership and commitment to fighting wage theft and look forward to continuing to support those efforts in the days ahead.”

The complaint alleges that during the last four years, Emelyn Nishi and her corporations Health Alliance Nurses Corp., and Hand Homecare Provider, Inc., have employed two hundred workers or more, mostly Filipino, immigrants. Defendants allegedly charge between $170 and $250 per day for 24-hour in-home domestic care to families. However, these employees allegedly were paid only $100 to $125 per shift, equating to as little as $5.50 per hour or less. According to the lawsuit, defendants allegedly pressured their employed caregivers to falsify time records to avoid overtime payments, and routinely threatened them with termination or blacklisting within the industry.

The defendants allegedly also prohibited caregivers from discussing rates directly with clients and often threatened exorbitant contractual penalties for entering into a direct hire position with clients. Defendants allegedly misclassified their caregiver employees as independent contractors to avoid paying federal and state payroll taxes and sidestep government investigations.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against further alleged unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts as well as restitution to all current and former employees who were not paid minimum wages or overtime. In addition, defendants could face civil penalties up to $2,500 for each violation.

Feuer asked other workers who may be the victims of wage theft to come forward and report it directly to his office by e-mail at mike.n.feuer@lacity.org or by phone at 213-978-1868. Feuer emphasized that wage theft victims may report to his office anonymously.

Deputy City Attorneys Ben Delfin and Miguel Bahamon of Feuer’s Affirmative Litigation Unit are handling the litigation.




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May 092017
Star-Studded 50th Anniversary Celebration At Ahmanson

Annette Bening and Alfred Molina in “The Cherry Orchard” at the Mark Taper Forum. Bening and Molina will participate in Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Ahmanson Theatre. For more information, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/50thCelebration. Center photo by Craig Schwartz.








One-Night-Only Production to Take Place on Saturday, May 20th 2017 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre


Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group, announced today that Matthew Broderick, Tyne Daly, Louis Gossett Jr., Thomas Sadoski, Jimmy Smits, René Auberjonois, Jon Robin Baitz, Bill Cain, Anthony Crivello, Culture Clash, Merle Dandridge, Tim Dang, Keith David, Shaila Essley, Davis Gaines, Harry Groener, Clint Holmes, David Henry Hwang, Gregory Itzin, Dale Kristien, Doug LaBrecque, Tzi Ma, Alan Mandell, Dakin Matthews, Christina Saffran, Benjamin Schrader, Shoshannah Stern, Lisa Vroman, Ed Waterstreet and Aryana Williams are set to take the stage at Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Co-Chaired by Chairman of NBC Entertainment and Center Theatre Group board member Robert Greenblatt and fellow Center Theatre Group board member Sue Tsao.

The lauded group joins previously announced Center Theatre Group alums Annette Bening, Sir Matthew Bourne, Alfred Molina, Edward James Olmos and Phylicia Rashad for the one-night-only production from writer, director and producer Robert Egan. The performance will draw from the many landmark productions that have been brought to life on Center Theatre Group’s stages, as well as its continuing role in creating new work and helping to define the role of theatre both in Los Angeles and beyond.

Center Theatre Group has welcomed to its stages some of today’s biggest stars, including Matthew Broderick, Sterling K. Brown, Viola Davis, Jane Fonda, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Al Pacino, Chris Pine, Denzel Washington and more.

For more information about Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/50thCelebration.




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May 062017

$10,000 Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists



June 5th is the Deadline to Apply for $10,000 Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists


Center Theatre Group is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Richard E. Sherwood Award. The deadline to submit an application is June 5th 2017, at 11:59 p.m.

The Sherwood Award is an annual $10,000 prize that supports innovative and adventurous theatre artists and engages them in a professional relationship with Center Theatre Group. The award is presented each year at the Ovation Awards ceremony produced by LA Stage Alliance. Two additional finalists will each receive a $2,000 honorarium.

Center Theatre Group invites individual emerging artists to submit an application if they have resided in Los Angeles for at least two years and have developed or collaborated in at least two fully produced projects in Los Angeles. Sherwood awardees demonstrate leadership qualities, push existing boundaries and are dedicated to improving the future of their respective artistic fields. Artists are not limited by title, role or genre, but they must have a relationship to contemporary performance rooted in theatre.

Center Theatre Group will also offer two information sessions to prospective applicants on Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m. (must RSVP by Wednesday, May 10) and Monday, May 22 at 7 p.m. (must RSVP by Thursday, May 18). To RSVP or to receive more information about the sessions, please email Sherwood@CTGLA.org. Both sessions will be held at The Music Center Annex building, 601 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Created in memory of Richard E. Sherwood, the $10,000 award aims to cultivate emerging theatre artists working in Los Angeles who push formal and aesthetic boundaries and demonstrate dedication to improving their respective artistic fields. Richard E. Sherwood was a patron of the arts with a special appreciation for emerging artists who are in the vanguard of theatre. He was president and then chairman of the Center Theatre Group Board of Directors from 1980 until his passing in 1993. The award is established as an endowed fund at Center Theatre Group by his family, friends, colleagues and fellow board members to honor Sherwood’s passionate commitment to theatre.

Past recipients of the Richard E. Sherwood Award include lighting designer Pablo Santiago, Miwa Matreyek of Cloud Eye Control, Sean Cawelti of Rogue Artists Ensemble, Miranda Wright of Los Angeles Performance Practice, Lars Jan of Early Morning Opera, lighting designer Christopher Kuhl and costume designer Ann Closs-Farley, among others.

For more information about the Richard E. Sherwood Award, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Sherwood.

For questions or concerns about the application process or to RSVP to the information sessions, please contact Sherwood@CTGLA.org.



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May 032017
One-Of-A-Kind Cast Party At Ahmanson Theatre

Cast of Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” at the Ahmanson Theatre



What Character Did You Play In “Into the Woods”?
The Baker? Cinderella? The Wolf? A Prince? The Witch? Little Red Ridinghood?

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, following the 2 p.m. matinee performance of Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” at the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group will throw a cast party for all the Bakers and Witches, Cinderellas and Princes, Milky Whites, et al., who have ever appeared in a production of “Into the Woods.”

With a pianist to play songs from “Into the Woods,” those familiar with the show may sing along with their character counterparts and share backstage stories.

Actors are encouraged to send in photos of themselves in character; photos will be screened during the party and shared on Center Theatre Group’s social media sites.

A special ticket price is being offered for the May 13 matinee performance; “Into the Woods” actors will be able to purchase one ticket and get one free using a special promo code: ITTAKESTWO.

Be it a school production, community theatre, Broadway or film all those who have been ‘into the woods’ are invited to participate. The call is out to talented Southern California actors who have appeared in a production of “Into the Woods,” including Teri Bibb, Karen Culliver, Zachary Ford, Helen Geller, Gordon Goodman, Michael G. Hawkins, Bonnie Hellman, Pamela Hamill, Kim Huber, Tracy Katz, Damon Kirsche, Carol Kline, Heather Lee, Vicki Lewis, Bets Malone, Mary Gordon Murray, John Rubinstein, Brent Schindele, Leslie Stevens, Robert Yacko, and from 3-D Theatrical’s production, Viva Carr, Jeanette Dawson, Tim Martin Gleason, Jordan Lamoureux, Bets Malone, Julie Morgentaler, Tracy Rowe Mutz, Christanna Rowader, Cameron Sczempka and Jeff Skowron.

Center Theatre Group also extends a warm invitation to Meryl Streep, James Corden, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Anthony Geary, Joanna Gleason, Bernadette Peters, Chris Pine, Vanessa Williams, Judi Dench, Charlotte Rae, Cleo Laine, Douglas Sills, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Sally Struthers and all the denizens of Sondheim’s modern classic “Into the Woods.”

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” plays through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The celebrated new production of 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.

This wildly inventive ensemble piece features versatile actor/musicians who sing, act and play instruments, including Anthony Chatmon II as Lucinda/Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Eleasha Gamble as Baker’s Wife, Evan Harrington as Baker, Lisa Helmi Johanson as Little Red Ridinghood/Rapunzel, Bonne Kramer as Cinderella’s Stepmother/Jack’s Mother, Patrick Mulryan as Jack/Steward, Darick Pead as Milky White/Florinda/Rapunzel’s Prince, Evan Rees, Music Director/Pianist, Fred Rose as Mysterious Man, Vanessa Reseland as Witch and Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella/Granny, with Joshua Archer, Sean Peter Forte, Javier Ignacio, Kate Moore and Alanna Saunders.

“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 in a witty and wild theatrical reinvention of a beloved modern classic.

Scenic design for “Into the Woods” is by Derek McLane, costume design by Whitney Locher, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Darron L West and Charles Coes, orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle, music supervision by Matt Castle and choreography is by Lisa Shriver.

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” is presented by the Dodgers (the Tony Award–winning producers of the original “Into the Woods” with Bernadette Peters, and of its revival with Vanessa Williams, “Jersey Boys,” “Matilda”), along with NETworks Presentations (the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “War Horse”).

Unanimously revered and extended twice at Roundabout Theatre Company, “Into the Woods” became New York’s surprise hit of the 2015 season, followed by a celebrated engagement at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

The popular film adaptation of “Into the Woods” by Walt Disney Pictures premiered in 2014 with Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden and Anna Kendrick, and was critically and commercially successful. Already in the top five of the most successful movie musical adaptations ever, it was nominated for three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes.

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 May 13 Cast Party for “Into the Woods” at Ahmanson Theatre 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 “Into the Woods” 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 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.




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May 022017
Robin Coste Lewis Los Angeles Poet Laureate

Robin Coste Lewis, Los Angeles Poet Laureate


Mayor Eric Garcetti names

Robin Coste Lewis the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles

Award-winning poet is nationally recognized as a major figure of contemporary literature


Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award, is the new Poet Laureate of the City of Los Angeles.

As an official ambassador of L.A.’s arts community, Lewis will promote and celebrate the written word, and represent the city’s rich literary scene.

“Robin is a fearless writer whose lyricism reclaims history for people who feel forgotten, and gives voice to those who feel silenced,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Los Angeles is fortunate to be represented by such a powerful artist. She will push boundaries and challenge us to rethink our perspectives.”

The Los Angeles Poet Laureate Program is a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). Its aim is to enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Los Angeles, and to engage Angelenos who have limited exposure to poetry and other forms of expressive writing.

“The role of the L.A. Poet Laureate is two-fold: first, to celebrate and curate an ever-widening cross-city appreciation for poetry of all kinds, from all cultures and nations; second, to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Los Angeles poetry,” said Lewis. “Poetry is high art, sure, but it is also an exceedingly accessible cultural game that anyone can play. From the elderly to prisoners, I try at all times to remind my students that the only difference between a great poet and a lousy one is practice. Poetry isn’t rocket science. It’s merely love.”

A native of Compton, Lewis is the author of the award-winning collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. She is a writer-in-residence and provost’s fellow at the University of Southern California. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, she has published poems in The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry, Lambda Literary Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond.

“We are thrilled to celebrate National Poetry Month with Robin named the official ambassador of Los Angeles’s vibrant poetry and literary culture,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “We are so pleased she will promote the transformative qualities of poetry and the written word across all communities in our great city.”

Lewis has an MFA in creative writing from New York University, a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied Sanskrit and comparative religious literature, and a PhD in poetry and visual studies from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles.

“Lewis’s poetry is both tender and arresting. She is an astute cultural critic, alert to the complexities of race and the black female voice,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo.

To select the new Poet Laureate, DCA convened a peer review panel of four professionals: a senior librarian from LAPL, the director of a local chapter of a national literary nonprofit organization, a City of Los Angeles Master Fellow in Poetry, and an award-winning poet from San Francisco.

Lewis will serve a two-year term as Poet Laureate, and will be awarded an annual grant of $10,000 from DCA.




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May 012017

25th Anniversary Of 1992 L.A. Riots

25 years ago Los Angeles was burning….

The riots were believed to be the African American community’s reaction to the acquittals of four LAPD officers accused of the brutal beating of Rodney King. There were however several other factors that likely contributed to the uncontrolled outburst of black frustration, among them are the disproportionately high unemployment rate in the African American community and several – not just one! – verdicts which seem to have indicated that violence against blacks wasn’t prosecuted the same way violence against members of other racial groups was.

Justified or not, frustration with hardship and injustice boiled over: there was violence (most notably the vicious assault of Reginald Oliver Denny, a white truck driver), arson and looting. A state of emergency was declared. The situation was beyond Los Angeles Police Department’s capacity to contain. Finally, the California Army National Guard was called in and only then order was restored.

In the aftermath of L.A. Riots: 58 people were dead, over 2,000 injured and more than 11,000 arrested. The estimated property damage topped one billion dollars.

A significant progress was made in the recovery process, but not all issues have been successfully addressed till today’s day.

On the occasion of 25th anniversary of 1992 L.A. Riots Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement:

“The 1992 unrest was one of the most painful moments in the history of Los Angeles — and today we remember those who perished in the violence, honor the heroes who risked everything to help others survive the chaos, and stand with those whose lives were forever changed by the destruction.

Twenty-five years of healing, reconciliation, and reform have shown the world who Angelenos are: a resilient people who remember our past and never give up hope for the future. That’s why this anniversary is about both how far L.A. has come and how far we have to go. We have made historic and lasting reforms to policing — but are still working to build more trust and transparency, to ensure that no one is deprived of equal justice. We have now recovered and exceeded the number of jobs in the city before the unrest — but we’re still fighting hard against poverty and income inequality, so that no communities are excluded from economic prosperity.

Today, let us recommit ourselves to the work of continuing to build bridges — to opportunity, to equality, and most importantly, to each other.”




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