March against Walmart in Chinatown June 30

Walmart pulled a fast one and pushed through its permitting knowing city council was voting to prevent them from going into Chinatown a few months ago.  They won.  The community is upset that they pulled a fast one but aren’t taking it lightly.  (This isn’t the only store they are opening that caught a community off guard and isn’t entirely welcomed either as Altadena recently discovered).

At the rally there will be many speakers to help explain why Walmart in Chinatown is a bad idea.  Among them:Speakers and performers will include 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta, U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, Grammy winning musicians Ben Harper and Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, United Food and Commercial Workers President Joe Hansen, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor Maria Elena Durazo, Chinatown residents, Walmart workers and other Walmart supply chain speakers.

Deets:  Rally starts at 10:30AM at Los Angeles Historic Park (Corn Fields) with a rally at 11AM, then to march for a final Rally at Cesar Chavez Blvd. & Broadway: 12:00 Noon for the close.

Full press release after the jump. Continue reading March against Walmart in Chinatown June 30

LACBC’s “Beverly Thrills” Sunday Funday Ride Is July 1

When Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Boardmember Ted Rogers (who operates the indispensable BikinginLA blog) asked me in May if I’d lead the next LACBC Sunday Funday ride scheduled for July 1, I said I’d love to. And since it was to take place so close to July 4th, I got busy with an Independence Day-theme for the event. But around that same time when the illustrious City of Beverly Hills had to go and veritably gut the number of proposed pilot program routes in its bike plan it was soon after decided that we chuck any patriotic pedaling, and instead load up our bikes and move to Beverly. Thus the Beverly Thrills ride idea was born.

Well, I’ve finally got the route mapped and now it’s just about hammering out the various stops (landmarks, celebs’ homes, etc) we’ll be making. All told the ride will be about 13 miles’ worth of rolling around the island of Beverly Hills — from the “slums” to the stars — with me offering probably WAY to much of my own personal perspective as a survivor of two separate youth incarcerations within its borders. So if you’re not doing anything that morning and wanna come explore/discover the hills and billies of Beverly, y’all come out now, y’hear?

WHAT: LACBC’s Beverly Thrills Sunday Funday Ride
WHEN: July 1; gather at 9 a.m., departs at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Ride starts and ends in front of the John Wayne statue at 8484 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90211
COST: Free
ROUTE: (there will be some variations/deviations as stops get added in)

The Good Smell of Success

Plumbing truck 1
Smell ya later

Ever since I saw this plumbing truck with its slogan “The Smell Good Plumber!” driving in the Culver City area, I’ve wanted to snap a photo of it. Finally, I had my chance the other day as I ended up behind the truck while we were stopped at a red a light. I guess that’s the plumbing equivalent of camping out for a new iPhone, and thus I call it good marketing!

Plumbing truck 2
Smell ya up close

Gettypede 3/5/2011, and a repeat soon

Oh those folks at GuerilLA have some fun.  They’ve done the centipede at the Getty Center last a year ago this spring.  They are a fun secret society that anyone can join.  Their missions are simple shenanigans that are just clean fun that take place all over the city.  If you join now you can take part in a mission today.  Their facebook page for today’s event will get you started in the fun.

Please tell the City not to ban medical marijuana collectives!


We just received word that the vote, and all action at City Hall, has been POSTPONED until further notice.

Please continue to Support Unionized Medical Cannabis Workers, and your right to Safe Access, in LA by writing a letter to your council person at

Sorry for any inconvenience. Here’s my original post:

The city is set to vote to ban collectives this Friday.

Yes, you read that right.

Currently there are 8 votes in favor of banning ALL L.A. medical marijuana collectives. In order to overturn that, we need to make sure Busciano, LaBonge, or Krekorian lean in our favor. If all three of them vote to ban… It’s referendum time.

Unless we turn just ONE VOTE by Friday, all LA collectives will be banned.

To be clear, there could very well be 8 votes to ban right now because 3 of those votes have been holding their cards close to their chest.

If you can (and you care) please show up this Friday, June 22, 2012 at 9am, at LA City Hall East () for a press conference with Union Members, Patients, and Community Allies, to preserve safe access. This is important and very real; your voice can help keep collectives open to the law-abiding citizens who use them.

Please call and write to your councilmember in the meantime:

Say Hello To Tickets To Glen Campbell’s Goodbye Tour At The Hollywood Bowl June 24

“Are you related to Glen Campbell?” I got that question on a pretty regular basis from classmates first in elementary school and then again (to really date myself) for a second wave in junior high when “Rhinestone Cowboy” was all over the airwaves and atop the charts. I used to deny it, but when I got tired of fending off their disbelief at the truth I’d just shrug and tell ’em “Yeah. He’s my dad.”

Growing up without a father, there was a part of me that wished he was.

“Really!? What’s he like?” And I’d tell ’em that I don’t get to see him as much as I want — which as a fan of his music for as long as I could remember wasn’t a total lie.

Well, thanks to Filter magazine, a lucky reader and a guest will get to see Glen Campbell at the Hollywood Bowl this coming Sunday night in what will most certainly be a poignant night of both revelry and retrospect. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year, this stop of Campbell’s Goodbye Tour will be his final Los Angeles performance as he winds down his storied and award-winning career as a singer/songwriter who produced unforgettable hits such as “Wichita Lineman,” “Gentle On My Mind,” “Southern Nights,” and many others. Scheduled to be on hand to tip their hats to this true icon of American music include Dawes, Jackson Brown, Kris Kristofferson, Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis, The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor-Taylor, and Lucinda Williams.

The first half of the concert will begin with California-based roots rock band Dawes, joined by those other special guests performing original songs as well as selections from Campbell’s repertoire that have been of special influence. The concert will close with Campbell performing his most memorable hits as well as selections from his newly released and highly acclaimed album “Ghost On The Canvas” (title track after the jump).

For your chance at a pair of tickets enter your name and email address in the comments. I’ll randomly pick a winner Wednesday at 2 p.m. and contact that entrant for their name and phone number that I’ll forward on to Filter who’ll then contact you with info on how to pick up the tickets. Good luck!

Continue reading Say Hello To Tickets To Glen Campbell’s Goodbye Tour At The Hollywood Bowl June 24

Keaton Alive!

I didn’t like my stepfather much. I admired him for taking whatever modest talents he had as a writer and making a lifetime career out of it penning novels and teleplays, but by the time my mother married him he wasn’t much more than a bitter asshole drunk at the end of his life and pretty much the only things we had in common was arguing and Buster Keaton — who I idolized and my stepdad personally knew.

French Stewart and Joe Fria as the two Buster Keatons in "Stoneface." Photo credit: Shaela Cook

For any of you folk out there who think Buster Keaton must be Michael Keaton’s granddad, or perhaps the name doesn’t ring even the quietest of bells or you’ve only scene him in cameos  in “Sunset Boulevard” or any of several 1960s goofy beach movies waaaaay late in his career, than google that shit pronto because man you are missing out on being aware of and entertained by one of the greatest film talents that ever was or will be. Period (pardon me if my idolization is showing).

You don’t have to convince any of the good people at Sacred Fools Theater in East Hollywood of that preceding statement. Whether they’re in the audience for “Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton,” or on the theater’s stage or behind its scenes, there is a certainly a respect and appreciation from the patrons for the man who was one of the greatest actors and performers of the silent film era — and pretty much an unabashed adoration of Keaton from those who created the powerful play and the gifted ensemble who have brought it to so wonderfully to life.

Continue reading Keaton Alive!

The Winter’s Tale at the Alex Theatre

Remember that one-time-only performance of The Winter’s Tale we mentioned a while back? Well, it’s coming up soon (June 29th), and this week you can get tickets at a reduced price. Here’s word from one of the Little Candle Theatre group’s founding members, Betsy Roth:

This week only, we are offering tickets directly to the public (saving our patrons $6.50 in processing fees by bypassing the theatre) that can be purchased through this link.

The concept of a one-time-only performance seems pretty neat to me, and the Alex Theatre seems like a pretty cool venue. Anyone think they might go?

Hey Is That A Planet On Your Thumb Or Is Venus In Transit?

My first effort to document the last transiting Venus that any of us’ll ever see, ain’t much to crow about, but here’s what I got at 3:35 p.m. as the sun shined through my 20X spotting scope onto a piece of paper on my Silver Lake front porch as I took the snapshot with one hand and used my other to give some contrast to the blinding rays reflecting on the blinding paper, while trying not to move lest the scope shake like a polaroid picture.

Annular eclipses are soooooooo much easier to shoot.

UPDATE (4:35 p.m.): Here’s one that’s a bit more civilized after the jump, shot at 4:11 p.m. I’ll add any later ones that might be worthy of sharing.

Continue reading Hey Is That A Planet On Your Thumb Or Is Venus In Transit?