Free Dental Care Available this Summer for Kids and Teens

When I was growing up, my parents never took me to the dentist unless it was an absolute emergency, so I consider myself very fortunate to have had consistent, company-sponsored dental insurance for the past 10+ years. However, many people are without insurance and can’t afford to go to the dentist, even if it is an emergency. That is why the Hollywood / Los Feliz Kiwanis Club, the same people behind the Annual Pancake Breakfast, have partnered with Queens Care and the Hollywood YMCA to hold a free dental clinic for kids and teens throughout the summer.

The only problem: They need another 50 children (ages up to 18) to sign up before Monday, July 5 to keep the clinic open past the second week of July. That’s where you come in! Help us spread the word to families and organizations that can help. Parents will need to fill out an application (available in English or Spanish) before Monday, July 5.

For an application, please contact Robert J. Menz, President of the Hollywood / Los Feliz Kiwanis Club at [email protected] or visit for more information.

It Caught My Eye: And On This Date, Something Happened

Coming back home from Boyle Heights earlier this week on one of what’s become my now-rare bike rides,  I was rolling under the Beverly Boulevard bridge over 2nd Street/Glendale Boulevard and upon seeing this ominous and intriguing image pasted up on one of the overpass columns, stopped to snap it (click for marginal biggification).

Wondering what the date signified, I got on The Google later on and learned something new : July 11, 1926* marks the date the Mexican Episcopate voted to suspend all public worship in Mexico bringing about a bloody 3-year-long holy war in Mexico known as the Cristero Rebellion that began when President Plutarco Elias Calles, a reported fanatic bent on exterminating catholicism, signed a so-called “penal reform” law that specified priests were to be fined 500 pesos for wearing clerical garb and could be imprisoned five years for criticizing the government.

Though more than 80 years have passed since the fighting ended and long-silenced church bells once again rang throughout throughout the country, such a violent conflict between church and state is a chapter of Mexico’s history that obviously resonates enough for guerilla artists to remind us of it today.

* Seeing as the only other events I found connected to this date are the 1926 German Grand Prix; the birthdates of actors Burt Kaiser and Patrick Wymark; and the release of the W.C. Fields movie “It’s The Old Army Game,” I can somewhat safely assume the Cristero Rebellion is the event the poster is referencing and its installer is remembering.

Writers on Genre at the Writers Guild Foundation Throughout July

Winnie Holzman (left, "My So-Called Life") interviews Callie Khouri (right, "Thelma and Louise")

I know your secret. I know you’ve written a screenplay, and you have it stored somewhere on your hard drive.

Oh, wait – how silly of me. This is Los Angeles. Nobody keeps their screenplays secret. Even those of us who probably should. Like the claims adjuster for State Farm who’s written a screenplay about a secret agent who long ago was brainwashed by an off-the-grid coalition of Taliban dissidents and ex-KGB counterintelligence specialists to believe he’s a harmless State Farm claims adjuster with a wife who may or may not be cheating on him with his supervisor and a kid who I swear to god hasn’t looked up from his PSP since March. It could totally also work as a two-hour pilot.

If you’re that claims adjuster, July is the month for you. The Writers Guild Foundation (who I’ve blogged about before) is holding a series of panel discussions with working screenwriters every Thursday this month. Each panel will focus on a different genre, from action to horror to comedy to drama.

Panelists include the Duplass Brothers (who wrote Cyrus, which I’m suspecting will be one of this summer’s sleeper hits); Nicholas Meyer (who worked on scripts for several of the even-numbered, or “good,” Star Trek films); Mark Fergus (who co-wrote Iron Man as well as my favorite movie of 2006); Scott Frank (who wrote another of my favorite movies). All panels are moderated by Dan Petrie, Jr., who himself wrote Beverly Hills Cop. Other writers of other excellent films abound (City Slickers, Arachnophobia, Get Him to the Greek, and You Don’t Know Jack, just to name a few); visit the Foundation’s event page for more information.

You can order tickets via the WGF’s website, or purchase them at the door. Tickets are $20 per night, $10 for students. Until tomorrow, you can buy tickets for the entire series as well — it’ll get you a 20 percent discount if you want to go to every one. Panels start at 7:30 every Thursday, and are held at the WGF headquarters at 7000 West 3rd St.

Win Tickets to Hootenanny 2010!

Photo by Robotclaw666 at last year's Hootenanny.

You Know You Wanna go, Daddio.

We have tickets to give away to HOOTENANNY 2010
at Oak Canyon Ranch on Saturday, July 3rd.

Say it with me, “Hooooootenanny!

See? It’s even fun just to say!

We’ve got two pair to give away. Want ’em?

Describe for me, in the comments, what would be your Dream Car to pull up to the Hootenanny in. Get creative. Best two might not have their dream ride, but at least they go to the show, y’know?

I’m torn between a ’59 Thunderbird two seater with the Rocketship Tail lights, and the Fang front grill, stock, or an Old Shoebox Ford Falcon, with a 5 litre Mustang engine dropped in, (it’ll fit) and new interior refitted with power windows, locks and 6 Speaker Stereo system with custom dashboard input that looks vintage but takes a USB and plays mp3 and Flacs of my favorite Full Custom Gospel Sounds Reverend Horton Heat albums.

Painted Dark Metallic Blue.

What’s your dream ride, L.A.?

Mark Frauenfelder at Crash Space

This Wednesday, June 30th, Mark Frauenfelder will be speaking at Crash Space. In case you are unaware, there are semi-regular speakers on Wednesday nights at the hackerspace in Culver City. Mark, of BoingBoing fame among other things, will be speaking about his new book and the MAKEr culture as a whole. If you like doing things yourself, you won’t want to miss this.

Crash Space is located at 10526 Venice Blvd, Culver City CA 90232
Event starts at 8pm and is free for members, suggested donation of $10 for non-members.

99 Things at 99 Ranch

Tawa Supermarket Inc. was established in 1984 by Mr. Roger H. Chen. As the Asian immigrant community grew in Los Angeles, so did the appetite for quality Asian food products. Sensing the demand, Mr. Chen opened the first Tawa Supermarket store in Westminster, California (Little Saigon). For more than 20 years, Tawa has satisfied the needs of Asian immigrants by providing them with their hometown flavors. Today, Tawa [also known as 99 Ranch Market] has grown from an individual supermarket into a grand diversified organization. We now serve customers from all over the world.

– excerpted from 99 Ranch Market’s About Us page

Continue reading 99 Things at 99 Ranch

Bike thief caught in action, security refuses to help

I don’t know anything about this video other than what you can see by watching it, but judging by the LBCC shirt the guy is wearing and the LBMC sign on the wall behind him I’m guessing it’s in Long Beach. Watch it and see for yourself, but what appears to happen is a guy walks back to his bike to find another guy hovering over it having just cut the lock, he confronts the guy and is threatened meanwhile there are other people and security guards standing around who refuse to help in anyway and the lock cutter just walks away. When the guy asks the security guards why they refused to help at all they simply say he should have locked his bike up somewhere else. Unbelieveable.


Sunday Sweet Street Scooter Rally

Delivering food on bikes is so Peter Parker.  No, in this city, we like our food delivered in style – say, Vespa style, courtesy The Scootabaker.  Upon your order, Scootabaker Heather Wong bakes up cookies, tarts, and cupcakes and delivers them to you via Vespa.  This Sunday, she’s leading a Sweet Street Scooter Rally from one side of town to the other.  At 11am, Vespa owners will take the streets Critical Mass-style from the Vespa of Sherman Oaks and scoot across the city, finishing around 2pm at the Silver Lake record label company that brought us Silversun Pickups, Dangerbird Records.  For those of us (me) without Vespas, we’ll be waiting at the finish line for our rewards: Scootabaker, along with The Sweets Truck, will have all sorts of goodies for your consumption.  The ride and ensuing bake sale are all part of a fundraiser for the Pablove Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research.  This is an issue near and dear to Dangerbird’s heart – the organization was founded in honor of Pablo Castelez, the 6-year old son of Dangerbird Records founder Jeff Castelez who passed last year on June 27th.

It’s a rally, it’s a bake sale, it’s a fundraiser, it’s a great Sunday.  See you there.  I’ll be stuffing my face whilst innocuously trying to ride your Vespa.

Full details of the Sweet Street Scooter Rally can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.  Oh, Facebook, are you the Evite killer we all are waiting for?

UPDATE: If you can’t make it out the Sunday event, vote for them to receive a Chase Community Grant here.

Rad vespa photo courtesy Fire Monkey Fish via the Metblogs Flickr pool.

You know that Arizona Boycott? It hit a little redlight.

So you know that boycott of Arizona that the City Council pushed through to express the outrage over the Arizona’s new immigration law? A lot of people have suggested it’s just a meaningless move, like banning nail clippers on airplanes, that doesn’t really change anything but lets a lot of people pat themselves on the back for doing the right thing. But it seems as quick as they were to pass it, they are just as happy to write in exceptions to it. Like the redlight cameras all over the city, turns out those are operated by Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions, Scottsdale being firmly a part of Arizona. And you know, since those are a big source of revenue for the city and prevent accidents at red lights, in the interest of the people, the City Council has gone ahead and excepted them from the boycott. Except they don’t do either of those things. They aren’t making the city any money and if anything they are causing more accidents. And what is worse, the City Council knows this.

The LAPD’s statistics show that about half of the 32 photo-enforced intersections have either had no change in accidents or an increase, said Councilwoman Janice Hahn.

“That’s not a very good record,” she said. And some of the city’s worst intersections for traffic safety don’t have cameras, she said.

She and Councilman Paul Koretz also pointed to a report from the city’s top budget advisor that says Los Angeles’ revenue from tickets falls about $300,000 short of covering payments to ATS and the LAPD’s costs to run the program.

Doing a heck of a job there City Council. Heck of a job.

Wait, WTF are you doing again exactly??
[part of the above photo taken by flickr user jkarsh and used under creative commons]

L.A. Film Fest-Now Playing Downtown

The 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival is well-underway, but you still have four days to partake in the diverse program of features, short films, and music videos. Personally, I’m a documentary junkie and have seen five so far that I really enjoyed. I’ve watched a lot of great (and of course, not-so-great) films over the past six or seven years of attending the festival that continues to change and grow.

For the past four years, the L.A. Film Fest took over Westwood for 10 days. It was so much fun the first year it was there, but declined a bit every one thereafter. Parking was always a pain, each year a theater closed down, and the entire area was clearly hit by the economy with more storefronts shuttered leaving little to do between screenings. I was very excited when I heard the operation was packing up and heading downtown.

View of Downtown from L.A. Live

I love Downtown L.A. and it’s been amazing to see the number of people attending various screenings. The festival is spread out among several venues including The Regal Cinemas and Nokia Theater at L.A. Live, The Grammy Museum, the REDCAT, Grand Performances at California Plaza, and one of  my favorite places in this city, the Downtown Independent. Parking has not been an issue and I’ve taken advantage of the free festival shuttle to move between theaters. I would be using the Red Line more, but am often hanging out until after it stops running. I was struck by this awesome view when coming out of a screening at the Regal. I hope the L.A. Film Fest makes Downtown its forever home.

Pet Vaccine and Microchip Clinic This Saturday in WeHo

I’ve ranted before in this space about the perils of irresponsible pet ownership; in short, if you don’t obey leash laws, YOUR DOG WILL BE EATEN BY A COYOTE. So leash your dogs, kids. Everyone knows coyotes are the Hannibal Lecters of family Canidae.

OK, so maybe that was a bit harsh. But never let it be said that I don’t alert you, dear readers, to opportunities for you to make your pets happier, healthier and safer. This Saturday the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) is offering a low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic in West Hollywood. The event runs from 9 AM to 1 PM, at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd, behind City Hall.

Microchipping is probably the most reliable way to make sure your pet is returned to you if he or she runs off (that dog was on a leash, right?); to microchip a pet, a veterinary technician will implant the chip — which is smaller than a grain of rice — just under the animal’s skin. Then, if your pet is found, a scan of the microchip will reveal that you’re the owner. The fee for this is $25.

The clinic will also offer a host of vaccinations, ranging in price from $5 to $15. For more information, contact the spcaLA at 310.676.1149.

Win Tix To See Concrete Blonde Monday June 28

Johnette Napolitano is bringing back the twice-dead, now-resurrected Concrete Blonde for a nifty tour, and they’ll be back in their hometown for what’s sure to be a triumphant homecoming. Wanna go? We’ve got your tickets right here. Just tell me what your absolute hands-down fave 80s song was…c’mon, don’t be embarrassed. When I was like seven or something I was in elementary school on the playground and someone was playing Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” on the ghettoblaster and me and my girlfriends all sang along loudly and I was the fu*king Queen Of Rock with my sweatshirt off one shoulder and my blue jeans torn & folded up and my L.A. Gear sneakers. There. Now you. Go on.

Info on the show is here.

Featured image by xrayspx via a Creative Commons license.

Twihards Take Note: Melissa Rosenberg at WGA Theater on July 13

CLARIFICATION: Yeah, I’m a bit of a dumbass. The event is NOT taking place at the Writers Guild Theater, which is on Doheny, but at the WGF/WGA Headquarters. The address I give below (7000 W 3rd St.) is correct, but that is NOT the address for the Writers Guild Theater. If you’re looking for it on Google Maps or Mapquest, just plug in that address and you’ll be fine.

I was never much of a Twilight fan. This is probably because I’m a 35-year-old man, and as such my daddy issues run more toward “crippling feelings of inadequacy” than “desperate need for a brooding hunky celibate vampire to come and take me away from it all.” But, hey, I liked Buffy, so who am I to judge Team Edward?

Now, hang on, Twihards: Before you start sending me angry emails about how you’re actually on Team Jacob, or how Twilight is totally different from any other vampire franchise for the following sixty-two reasons, or how boys are just generally icky, know this: Melissa Rosenberg, screenwriter of the three Twilight films to date, will be appearing at the Writers Guild of America at 7000 W 3rd St. on July 13. She’ll be interviewed by LA Times writer Gina Piccalo, about how her time as a writer on great shows like Dexter and The O.C. led to the vamp gig. The event is hosted by the Writers Guild Foundation, the charitable arm of the scriptwriters’ union.

And if you can’t get tickets, there’s still a bit of good news: The Writers Guild Foundation is offering tickets to an online audience. So if you can’t pre-order a ticket to the actual event (which you can do by visiting this page), you can still watch the event from the comfort of your own coffin, via WGF live stream. To get tickets to the live stream, go here. Tickets to the live event are $20; live stream tix are $10.

Oh, and I’ll be there! Not because I’m secretly into Twilight or anything; I’ll probably be working the door. So come to meet me, too. I’m exactly one thousand times less successful and famous than Melissa Rosenberg, but, y’know, still.

Visit the Writers’ Guild Foundation for more information on this event.

Win tickets to Danzig

Do you really think you deserve to go see Danzig with with Gorgeous Frankenstein & Toxic Holocaust at Club Nokia on June 26th?

Huh? Do ya? Well, I have FOUR PAIRS OF TICKETS I’m giving away. That’s right. Four pair.

Actually, I’m not giving them away, I don’t really think any of you deserve them. If it were up to me, you’d sit outside the venue sniveling like a pathetic emo kid wishing you could come inside.

But the folks here a Blogging.LA are kinder than I. Some would even say weak. Their benevolence will surely be their undoing.

Thus, it has been left to me to determine which of you unworthy heathens shall be permitted to enter this event.

Here’s how to enter: In the Comments Section, give me no more than two lines of your favorite MISFITS lyrics. That’s right, MISFITS LYRICS.

Yeah, I know. I don’t care.

And no more than TWO LINES! You copy and paste the entire text of “London Dungeon,” or whatever, up in there, I will find you, walk up to you on the street, and wordlessly slap you and walk away. You’ll know why it happened. You’ll know you deserved it, too.

So, no Danzig lyrics. Not even Samhain lyrics. Misfits. Two lines. I figure even if you poseurs have to Google the lyrics, at least you’ll be exposed to some actual Punk Rock.

The four entries that please me the most will win tickets.

OK, Go.

Win Tickets to See Gogol Bordello Tomorrow at the Mayan

gregor_y's photo used through Creative Commons

What has 18 legs, 7 nationalities, 4 percussionists, and an accordian? Gogol Bordello that’s what. They’re playing tonight and tomorrow night at the Mayan, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader.

Gogol Bordello’s magical gypsy punk music first really hit my radar when I saw Wristcutters. GB provides much of the soundtrack for the movie, and the Mikal character in the movie is modeled after Eugene Hütz, Gogol Bordello’s front man (who also has a lead role in Everything Is Illuminated). I’ve seen them live twice since then and I can tell you they put on an amazing show. Between the Russian violinist, the rangy Ukrainian front man, bouncy Ecuadoran MC, and the punk rock cheerleader percussionists, Gogol Bordello is like a microcosm of New York (including the hot sweatiness). It was worth the trip to Ventura for me, but this time, you don’t even have to drive out of town and we can hook you up. Just post a “pretty please” comment below (make sure to supply contact information) and one of you will be chosen randomly.