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When Bobby Shriver became a member of the Santa Monica
City Council, one of his major concerns was the plight
of homeless veterans.

He worked with Julie Rusk and other City staff members, acquainting himself with existing programs,and develop-
ing some new policies. He also met with regional, area
and national politicians, soliciting their support.

Years ago, a “homeless care provider” told him about
empty houses on the vast West L.A. VA campus. He sub-
sequently won a promise from the then Secretary of
Veterans Affairs to renovate and convert one of the
closed up houses on the West l.A. VA campus into a residence for homeless veterans.

But time passed, and nothing happened. Ultimately,
Shriver and others filed suit to compel the VA to
keep its promise.

This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert
A. McDonald annunced a legal settlement that will,
according to the Los Angeles Times, “transform its
sprawling West Los Angeles campus into a center of permanent housing for homeless veterans and curtail
the controversial practice of leasing VA facilities
to corporations and other non-government entities…
The VA and its legal opponents must also create a
written document by Feb. 13 to end homelessness among veterans in Greater Los Angeles. That plan, the VA
said, would focus particularly on veterans who are chronically homeless, female, aging and severely dis-

McDonald said he had “no question” that local and
federal officials could end veteran homelessness in
the county by year’s end.

“This can be done.” he said. “If we don’t fix it in
Los Angeles, it’s not going to be fixed.”



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The principal speeches at the recent Chamber of Comm-
erce “State of the City” event were given by Mayor
Kevin McKeown and retiring City Manager Rod Gould.

City TV taped them, but chose to run them on YouTube,
not CityTV. It has now scheduled them on CityTV, chan-
nel 16.
Airtimes will be Friday, 1/30, at 8 pm, Saturday, 1/31,
at 10 am and 8 pm, and Sunday, 2/1, at 7 pm — all on Channel 16.

The mayor’s speech will be run first, followed by Gould’s remarks. .


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LAObserved story

Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern is
quite disturbed by the coming closure of Vidiots,
the popular Santa Monica video store. He writes at
the WSJ (no subscription required) that it “feels
like an impending death in the family—in the family
of film lovers that extends, in fact, to readers of
my reviews.

Vidiots is my local video shop in Santa Monica, but
it’s the Alexandria library of video shops, a reposi-
tory of 50,000 DVD’s and tapes, many of them rare
and unavailable anywhere else, including the Inter-
net. For the almost 20 years I’ve been reviewing
movies for the Journal, I’ve cherished the shop,with
its all-knowing staff, as an indispensable resource

“I can’t count the times I’ve called them for a quick memory jog, or jumped in the car close to midnight on deadline night to pick up a film I needed to see for
a specific visual reference, or to make sure it was
as good as I recalled before listing it as a video tip.
Never once have they let me—or my readers—down.These
days people believe that everything is available on
the Web, though nothing could be farther from the
truth.I came to believe that everything was available
at Vidiots, and damned if it wasn’t true, every time.

“What has also been available, at no extra cost and
with no late-return fee, is wisdom. In the grand tra-
dition of Quentin Tarantino, the quintessential video-
shop clerk turned auteur, the people behind the counter
at Vidiots love to talk about movies, and to give ad-
vice whenever it’s sought. And not just casual recommen- dations for a current action adventure to be consumed
with beer and pizza, but advice that qualifies as cholarship—the shop’s racks include whole sections de-
voted to stars long dead as well as currently ablaze,
and to directors like Andrei Tarkovsky whose work is seminal, though not what you’d call wildly commercial.”

Morgenstern notes he has moderated public Q&As at the
store with Anjelica Huston, Nicole Holofcener in hopes
of keeping Vidiots viable. “The feeling of a family gathering was strong on both evenings, but everyone
knew the end was near,” he concedes. Morgenstern was
on KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.? last night talking about


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Inglewood Mayor James Butts chose, at the last minute,
not to appear on KCRW’s “Which Way, LA?” Wednesday.

According to the Morningside Park Chronicle, Butts, who
was once Chief of Police in Santa Monica, learned a few hours before the broadcast that several Inglewood resi-
dents who opposed the proposed football stadium would appear with him on the program

According to a show spokesman,”Inglewood mayor James Butts and Hollywood Park executive Gerard McCallum agreed to appear on our program tonight, but when they heard that stadium opponents would also be on the program, they both dropped out.”


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Santa Monica High School Vocal Music Students will perform in Cabaret this week-

Three shows. Friday, January 30th, 7:30pm, Saturday, January 31st — 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Co-directed by Phoebe Abramowitz and Isabelle Sherouse.

It’s fun, and a fund-raiser. $10 Tickets at the door! Refreshments available.

The Humanities Center ((near the 7th and Michigan entrance) Santa Monica High
School. On-street parking, or park at the Civic Center for a fee.


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We grew up with members of the Gandara family here in Santa Monica on Raymond
avenue. Our friend Paul Gandara spoke of his uncle Joe Gandara who was killed in World War ll a very few times speaking of the way in which he was killed in act-
ion with reverent praise and honor. Paul lamented the view that his uncle would
never be recognized for his heroic sacrifice because Joe Gandara was of Mexican decent.

I am sorry to say that at the time I rejected that view, and that when it came
those who serve at the edge of freedoms shining and forfeit all there to a
greater cause, that race creed color religion would have no influence on this
nations ability to recognize the difference when a private in the armed forces
during wartime rushed forward against impossible odds named Gandara.

I am very sorry that Paul Gandara did not live long enough to know that Presi-
dent Obama has righted a wrong by seeing to it that Joe Gandara and many other service men have been honored with the citation they deserved in service to
this nation during war time.

It is altogether fitting and right that the city of Santa Monica name a plot
of land in the form of a park to the memory and heroism of a real native son
besides a grave site. To do any thing less not only dishonors the city, it
dishonors the man Joe Gandara. I join the extended Gandara family in their
quest to see to it that this honor is conferred in recognition of the distinc-
tion of the Medal of Honor conferred posthumously upon Joe Gandara by naming
a park after Joe Gandara here in Santa Monica.

Stewart Resmer
Vietnam Veteran


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Students from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified’s middle and high schools will show-
case their work at the District’s annual visual art show this week at Roberts
Arts Gallery. The young artists and their families, together with art teachers
from across the District, will display two-dimensional artwork and photography,
which will be professional installed at the gallery, as well as ceramic and
video art from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29.

The free event, which is open to the public, will highlight and promote the
talents of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified students, and provide a forum where Dis-
trict art teachers can observe varying art and instruction from other
school sites.

Roberts Art Gallery, located on the Santa Monica High campus, is dedicated to promoting and advancing education, interest and insight in contemporary visual

Entertainment will be provided by the Santa Monica High Jazz Combo. Light ref-
reshments will be served.

Parking will be available at the Civic Parking Structure on 4th Street across
from the campus, with signage directing attendees to the gallery.

For more information, please contact Tom Whaley at (310) 450-8338 ext. 70287.


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“The Courage and Resistance Tour” on government spying on American citizens in
the 1960s and 1970s, was put together by Glendale Community College, History Department Chair Peggy Renner, and her husband, Bob Nelson.

The tour features a variety of panel discussions with John and Bonnie Raines,
two of the eight burglars who broke into a Pennsylvania FBI office in 1971,
stealing over 1000 documents exposing J. Edgar Hoover’s program of illegal surveillance (COINTELPRO).

Also on the panel this week is Betty Medsgar, the only journalist willing to
defy threats by the U.S. Attorney General, publishing in her newspaper the evi-
dence of agents instructed to infiltrate activist communities so as to “enhance paranoia,” (making people think there was “an agent behind every mailbox”) and blanket surveillance of black communities throughout the nation.

The 1971 revelations enraged the public, leading to the first congressional in-
vestigations of all intelligence agencies, establishment of permanent congress-
ional oversight, the 1974 strengthening of the Freedom of Information Act, and
the first national discussion of the role of intelligence agencies in a democra-
tic society.

Decades later, when Medsgar learned that two of the burglars (the Raines) were
old friends of hers, she interviewed them, and the other six burglars. That mat-
erial appears in her recent book, “The Burglary, the Discovery of J. Edgar Hoo-
ver’s Secret FBI.” In addition, this week’s programs will screen the compelling
film on the topic, “1971,” directed and produced by Johanna Hamilton. and co-
produced by academy award nominee Laura Poitras, whose Edward Snowden documen-
tary, “Citizenfour,” is now playing across the country.

Although the focus of the week’s events vary, Peggy Renner and Bob Nelson’s int-
erest in constructing this tour is to encourage greater public activism against government intrusion in our private lives and the further erosion of social jus-
tice. As Renner wrote in her letter to the campus community: “This event offers
us and our students a wonderful opportunity to meet a journalist, victims of
the FBI’s COINTELPRO program and two ordinary American citizens who changed our country’s history. Given recent revelations surrounding the NSA’s secret surveil-
lance programs, the issues addressed in the documentary and subsequent panel discussion continue to be relevant to our lives today.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
6 p.m. Screening of 1971,
7:30 p.m. Panel discussion and book signing with Betty Medsger and John and Bon-
nie Raines. Moderated by Robert M. Nelson and Tess Saxton-Fox
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Beckman Institute Auditorium. Co-sponsored by the Caltech Y Social Activism Speaker Series/ Moore-Hufstedler Fundand the Pasadena ACLU

The Glendale events will take place on Wednesday, January 28, as follows:

11am-12:30: Screening of “1971.” Glendale Community College Auditorium

12:30pm: Book signing with Betty Medsger, lunch

1:30pm: Panel discussion, book signing with Medsger, the Raines. Moderated by
GCC Superintendent/President David Viar, Glendale Community College Auditorium 7-8:30 pm

Events hosted by Peggy Renner, Chair, Department of History. (campus phone: 818/240-1000, x5461)

If interested in the Glendale events, you are welcome to attend. . Parking per-
mits can be purchased for a small fee at the large lot and structure just off
the Mountain exit of the 2 Freeway, up the hill from the GCC Campus). All pro-
grams are free.

Screening (11 a.m.) of 1971. Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles Universi-
ty Hall 1000—Ahmanson Auditorium. Panel discussion with Medsger and the Raines. Moderated by LMU President David Burcham. Hosted by the Department of Student Media and the William H. Hannon Library.
Registration, event details, and driving directions:


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Cathy Tauber and Patting Polinger announced via email today that after 30 years
in business they would close Vidiots, on April 15,

“It is no secret to our customers and the community at large that we have been struggling to stay open for the last few years. Please be assured that we have
done everything possible to continue our mission but it was not enough to make
up for the precipitous drop in rental income — a 24 percent drop in the last
five months alone.

“Unless a sustaining benefactor steps forward within the next month, we will
close as planned and focus on the future of our collection. Our heartfelt
thanks go to all our generous donors, who through online auctions and direct donations, have enabled us to keep our 30-year collection together. It has
been a wonderful journey and we thank all of our staff, past and present, as
well as our loyal customers throughout the years for making Vidiots a prime
resource for Los Angeles film lovers.”

The City urges us to “shop local,” but it does nothing to help uniquely valu-
able and beloved local businesses to survive, much less thrive. There used to
be nearly a dozen independent bookstores on or near the Promenade. They’re
almost all gone – including the legendary Midnight Special, and Arcana, which
has moved its books on the arts to Culver City. Only Hennessey & Ingalls has withstood the Barnes & Noble blitzkrieg, which was engineered by…lo…the City.
Not because it was the right thing to do, but the most lucrative thing to do.
Like the late and still lamented Midnight Special, Vidiots has everything –not
just the “Top Ten.” And it’s staged “special events” that really are special,
and sold “lifetime memberships” for very little and handed out free videos
when construction on site made parking difficult.

The owner of the Midnight Special found a perfect new location a block away
from its old location. but, it closed before it opened, “killed by red tape,”
the owner said succinctly and finally, and Santa Monica lost another treasure.
Vidiots is a treasure, too. Benefactors needed now.


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To: City Council

From: Board of Directors, Friends of Sunset Park

RE: 1/27/15 Council agenda item 8-B: FY 2014-15 Midyear Budget — Fire Department

The January 27th City Council agenda will include the midyear budget review.
There has been some discussion as to whether to add:

a) 6 paramedics to staff one rescue ambulance 24/7, or

b) 12 personnel to staff one reserve fire engine 24/7 with 2 paramedics
and 2 EMT’s.

The FOSP Board of Directors urges the City Council to maintain the current
response model by funding an additional 12.0 FTE firefighters to allow for
the full-time 24/7 staffing of one of the Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD)
reserve fire engines with 2 paramedics and 2 EMTs.

We think that the staff recommendation for 6.0 FTE firefighters to allow for
the full-time staffing of one rescue ambulance (RA) with 2 paramedics 24/7
is insufficient, in addition to being an unwise and unnecessary change in the
city’s current model of responding to calls for both fire suppression and
emergency medical assistance with a fire engine staffed by 2 paramedics and
2 EMT’s.

The Santa Monica Fire Department received a Class I rating in 2012 (one of
seven cities in California with that rating currently — http://www.isomiti- with the current model of sending a fire
engine with 2 paramedics and 2 EMT’s in response to calls for both fire sup-
pression and emergency medical assistance.

The FOSP Board does not understand the rationale for the Santa Monica Fire De-
partment to start switching to a different, and seemingly less effective, res-
ponse model.

We understand that affordable housing is a funding priority for the City Coun-
cil. However, it seems puzzling that the Council would fund housing for resi-
dents less likely to be able to afford health insurance, less likely to visit
a primary care physician for regular check-ups, more likely to use the ER for
primary care, and therefore more likely to need Emergency Medical Assistance,
at a time when we apparently can’t afford to maintain the city’s current high-
ly effective model for Emergency Medical Assistance.



Growing demand for service:

Calls for Service to the Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) have increased dramatically over the years, from 1,800 calls in 1972, when the department
had 5 engines and 1 ladder truck, to 13,000 calls in 2013, when the department
had 6 engines and 1 ladder truck.

Insufficient staff for fire suppression:

Due to the increase in calls, SMFD apparently has to call on the Los Angeles,
Culver City, and Beverly Hills Fire Departments for “mutual aid” more and more

At the time of the November 18, 2014 attic fire in a 7,000 sq ft home in the
2300 block of La Mesa Drive, due to the size of the structure and the type of
roof construction, the incident commander had to call a “2nd alarm,” i.e., add-
itional equipment and staff. However, SMFD does not have enough firefighters
for a 2nd alarm, so the dispatcher contacted other cities for “mutual aid.”

Unfortunately, none was available, although the LA Fire Department eventually
sent an engine and an ambulance. According to the Daily Press, “A total of 35 firefighters were on the scene.”

Fire Department responds to structure fire” — Santa Monica Daily Press –
11/20/14 – p.12 —

Santa Monica only has 31 firefighters on duty at any given time, so this one
fire apparently required nearly the entire Fire Department. What if another
emergency had occurred in Santa Monica at the same time, and the nearby fire departments couldn’t provide mutual aid?

When the Expo Light Rail starts bringing even more people into the city on a
daily basis in 2016 and tying up north-south traffic, there will apparently be
only two engine companies to serve the neighborhoods south of the light rail,
i.e., the Pico neighborhood, Sunset Park, and Ocean Park.

Fire Station 2 is on Hollister in the Ocean Park neighborhood.

Fire Station 5 is on 25th and Ashland, next to Santa Monica Airport.

An additional concern is that when Engine Company 5 is out on a call, there is
no one to man the Aircraft Crash Rig at Station 5, which is specifically de-
signed to suppress flammable liquid fires in the event of an aircraft accident.

Medical emergencies:

Approximately 78% of emergency responses in Santa Monica are medical in nature.
All firefighters must possess EMT certification at the minimum. Almost half of
the SMFD firefighters are licensed as paramedics. All the EMTs and paramedics
are also firefighters, which allows the SMFD to provide a full service response, whether it’s a medical emergency, fire traffic collision, or any other emergency.

According to the City of Santa Monica, “More than 1/3 of Santa Monica residents
are over the age of 50, and the percent of adults 65 and older will increase dramatically over the next 10 or 15 years.” This will inevitably result in an increase in the need for emergency medical services.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s “Leading Causes of Death” as of
2010, heart disease was the leading cause of death for males and females of all
races and ethnicities.

From the American Heart Association: “We’ve all seen the movie scenes where a
man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart
attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic. Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an ele-
phant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without
chest pressure….

“Instead [women] may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the
lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper
back pressure or extreme fatigue. Even when the signs are subtle, the conseq-
uences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away…
Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, women often chalk up
the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu
or normal aging.”

2-person Rescue Ambulance squads vs. Fire Engines staffed with 2 paramedics
and 2 EMT’s:

With 4-person response, for example, if the call is to an apartment building
with a security door, one person secures the entry door and guides the cont-
ract ambulance crew to the apartment, while a second person documents the call, contacts the hospital(s) and gets a destination, talks to the family, gets the patient’s medical history, and finds out what medications the patient takes.
This leaves the third and fourth to perform Advanced Life Support (ALS) proce-
dures — check vital signs, start IVs, attach 12 leads for EKGs, perform capno-
graphy and intubation, or whatever is needed.

If the patient suffers a heart attack, all 4 stay with the patient:

1 – airway (intubation)

2 – chest compressions

3 – connect the patient’s 12 leads to the EKG monitor

4 – start an IV with cardiac drugs

According to Wikipedia, capnography is increasingly being used by EMS personnel
to aid in their assessment and treatment of patients in the pre-hospital envir-onment. These uses include verifying and monitoring the position of an endotra-
chael tube or a blind insertion airway device. A properly positioned tube in the trachea guards the patient’s airway and enables the paramedic to breathe for the patient. A misplaced tube in the esophagus will lead to the patient’s death if
it goes undetected.

If only a 2-man squad responds to a call, one does chest compressions while the second person does CPR with a bag valve mask (which can inadvertently push air
into the stomach, causing vomiting), and they wait for back-up to arrive. From
what we understand, a 2-man squad can’t start an IV, and they can’t intubate air directly into the lungs.

The advantage of starting an IV to administer cardiac drugs is that these drugs apparently strengthen the heart in case shock treatment is required (which para-
medics can do, but not with a 2-man crew).

Complications from using the bag valve mask, rather than intubation, are related
to over-inflating or over-pressurizing the patient, which can cause 1) air to
inflate the stomach, 2) lung injury from over-stretching, and/or 3) lung injury
from over-pressurization.

When a face mask is used in conjunction with a manual resuscitator, the intent
is for the force-delivered air or oxygen to inflate the lungs. However air
entering the patient also has access to the stomach via the esophagus, which
can inflate if the resuscitator is squeezed too hard (causing air flow that is
too rapid for the lungs to absorb alone) or too much (causing excess air to
divert to the stomach).

Gastric inflation can lead to vomiting and subsequent aspiration of stomach con-
tents into the lungs, which has been cited as a major hazard of bag-valve-mask ventilation, with one study suggesting this effect is difficult to avoid even
for the most skilled and experienced users. Stomach inflation is a complex prob-
lem that may cause regurgitation, gastric acid aspiration and, possibly, death.

For these reasons, it seems that maintaining the current model of sending a Fire Engine with 2 paramedics and 2 EMT’s in response to calls for emergency medical assistance would be safer than sending only a Rescue Ambulance with 2 paramedics.