LIGHTNING STRIKES VENICE BEACH, KILLS ONE PERSON, INJURES 13

LIGHTNING STRIKES VENICE BEACH, KILLS ONE PERSON, INJURES 13

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(CNN) — A relaxing day at Venice Beach took a deadly turn Sunday afternoon when a powerful lightning bolt struck the water, killing one person and injuring at least 13, emergency officials said.

The sudden lightning strike at Venice Beach caused panic as people tried to get out of the water and off the beach.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed one man in his 20s died at a local hospital after he was rescued from the beach.

But it’s too soon to say whether he died from “a lightning strike, drowning or being trampled by the crowd,” according to John Kades with the coroner’s office.

“The day started out clear, but there were storms in the forecast for the region on Sunday,” CNN meteorologist Sherri Pugh said of the isolated thunderstorms that swept through the Los Angeles area.

The lightning hit the water and the beach at 2:51 p.m. PT (5:51 p.m. ET), according to spokeswoman Katherine Main of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Emergency responders assessed the condition of at least 13 victims — all of whom were either in or near the water — at the scene. Of those, seven adults and one teenager were transported to local hospitals.

One was listed in serious conditions and six were listed in fair condition by late Sunday afternoon
The National Weather Service in Los Angeles tweeted around the time of the strike that “cloud to ground lightning” had been reported in nearby Marina del Rey and at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Witnesses tweeted they saw a huge bolt of lightning strike the area, with one Twitter user describing an explosion that blew off nearby roof tiles.

Lightning fatalities are pretty rare in California. Between 1959 and 2012, 31 people died after they were struck by lightning, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In comparison, there were 468 deaths from lightning strikes in Florida during the same time period, followed by 215 in Texas.

The National Weather Service has compiled a list of lightning safety tips on its website.

JUDGE APPROVES STERLINGS’ $2 BILLION SALE OF CLIPPERS

JUDGE APPROVES STERLINGS’ $2 BILLION SALE OF CLIPPERS

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CNN has reported that a deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for an NBA record price can move forward, a California probate judge ruled Monday.

Judge Michael Levanas tentatively ruled in favor of Shelly Sterling, saying the estranged wife of Donald Sterling acted properly in removing her husband from the trust that owns the NBA team and in winding up the affairs of the trust.

The sale can go forward regardless of any appeals, Levanas said. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has agreed with Shelly Sterling to buy the Clippers for a league record $2 billion.

Shelly Sterling was within her rights to remove her husband from the trust under which each Sterling had owned 50% of the team, the judge agreed. She became sole trustee after two doctors determined Donald Sterling was mentally incapacitated.

In April, Donald Sterling came under fire for making racist remarks against African-Americans in comments to his companion V. Stiviano. The recorded conversation was published online.

In response, the NBA banned Sterling for life, fined him the maximum $2.5 million and moved toward terminating the Sterlings’ ownership rights in the franchise.

Donald Sterling, in turn, sued the league for $1 billion for alleged antitrust violations in its handling of the matter.

He also is suing Shelly Sterling, the NBA, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, seeking monetary damages in civil court. Court documents filed by Sterling’s attorneys call the potential deal “unlawful” and “fraudulent,” and ask for an injunction to block the sale.

Donald Sterling revoked the family trust in June, and the lawsuit contends that the move reverted the Clippers back to his sole ownership and therefore Shelly Sterling has no power or right to sell the team. All the stock for the franchise was issued in his name, court documents said.

Donald Sterling has said he will never sell the Clippers.

The NBA Board of Governors, a group of the league’s 30 owners, will also have to approve the sale for it to go through.

Nothing has been said about the apartments the Sterlings own in Santa Monica.
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SIERRA CLUB CHANNEL ISLANDS PETITION

SIERRA CLUB CHANNEL ISLANDS PETITION

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I signed the Sierra Club petition and added the following paragraph to their letter:

Please don’t permit further construction in the Santa Barbara Channel. It’s one of my favorite places for sea kayaking. I take students from UCLA there. We see humpback whales breaching. Curious Common Dolphin in pods of hundreds of animals, come at us at 30 kt speeds, wanting to see what our blue and yellow plastic boats are about. The beaches of the islands host large pinniped populations, some with over 10,000 sea lions.

I see many sea birds, alcids, petrels, skuas fulmars, albatross, as wells gulls, pelicans and shore birds. I can’t get any closer to the rafts of shearwaters around us. The channel is part of a major route for migrating species in the water and sky. If we degrade the channel, we will lose generations of animals moving between the tropics and the Arctic, as well as those traveling between the mainland, Hawaii and other parts of the pacific rim. DON’T ALLOW THE CHANNEL TO BECOME ANOTHER CASUALTY OF OUR SOCIETY’S INSATIABLE DEMAND FOR PETROLEUM, PLEASE.

Sincerely,
Robert M. Gurfield

SM*A*R*T: DA’S SHOULD BE D.O.A.

SM*A*R*T: DA’S SHOULD BE D.O.A.

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By Admin on July 29, 2014 in Development

Santa Monica is undergoing a period of sustained growth. Why are we at a crossroads where even bus shelters can’t be designed successfully.

We have a city budget driving development, and codes allowing Development Agreements (D.A.s) that exceed our zoning codes. It has become the standard for developers to request D.A.’s allowing height and density increases up to 83% in exchange for “community benefits.” This exchange is destroying Santa Monica’s quality of life while providing few benefits to residents. It results in agreements made with little transparency and the selling of our city assets – held in trust for our children! Circumventing zoning requirements has created a toxic atmosphere with reduction of blue skies, mobility, and increasing water demand during the most serious drought in California history.

The current use of the D.A. is to eliminate uncertainty where zoning codes and/or specific plans are not yet approved. But in the rush for short term economic gain, the City has become blind to the long term effects of their policies – more traffic, higher utility rates, streets in shadow, and the loss of the soul of our city. Developers are generally driven by the cash register instead of the songs of birds and blue skies.

Between 1984 – 2009, only 8 major D.A.’s were applied for. Since adopting the current general plan in 2010, the D.A. process created a tsunami of activity and 61 D.A.’s have been approved or are pending. Not one project in the downtown area or along the boulevards is being designed within the zoning codes. Every application requires a minimum of 7 public meetings in a 2 – 3 year process (Hines took 7 years) instead of what could be a simple 3 – 6 month process. This is not the City that residents envisioned in the LUCE.

Our city planning staff has had 4 years to develop specific plans for the Downtown, Bergamot and Memorial Park areas – plans dictating land use for years to come. This process has been largely delayed allowing developers to push through dense and traffic burdensome projects.

To offset increased height, density and traffic with community benefits, the City’s emphasis is on providing 10 – 20% affordable apartment units within each development and generate additional tax revenue. This unfortunately comes at the expense of open space, design, traffic, and additional required infrastructure.

Economically this is a poor exchange. In the case of the Village Trailer Park debacle, the city receives $2.5m in “community benefits.” In exchange, the developer paid less than $5m for the property and, upon receiving D.A. approval, sold it for +/-$62m!!! In other words, while developers are eating cake, we’re getting crumbs. What makes this process even worse is pitting community groups against each other in pursuit of “community benefit” revenues and thereby helping the developers gain city approval.
Let’s look at the effectiveness of the D.A. process to date with recent examples of this rush to judgment –

• 2 mixed-use projects at Lincoln and Colorado with 75% density increase, where 65% are family apartments but less than 1,500 sq ft of rooftop play area is allocated for children, no nearby schools or parks within the recommended 1⁄4 mile, and 22% reduction in required parking but no curb parking for blocks in all directions!!

• Village Trailer Park, in addition to the windfall profit the developer made, is another project with no meaningful play area or greenscape for 140 family apartments in an otherwise concrete jungle, with height and density in excess of LUCE and Bergamot plans.

• 2 hotels at 5th and Colorado provide a “gateway” to downtown from the Expo station at Colorado with designs looking more like gulag developments rather than saying “Welcome to Santa Monica.”
• Mixed-use development replacing Fred Segal’s at 5th and Broadway with overbearing height, repetitive mass and density creating narrow, shaded canyons for open space.

• Hotel at 7th & Wilshire – 7 stories, 80 feet high and covering 2/3’s of the entire block with the “community benefit” package being little more than converting the historic corner office building to a hotel use???

• The Agensys D.A. at Olympic and Stewart where parking concessions saved the developer $4m in costs but resulted in the developer having to rent 100 parking spaces at adjacent Bergamot Art Center and Transit Station, where future parking will be sorely needed.

• Santa Monica Plaza at Arizona and 4th/5th bought by the city with the help of state funds for the purpose of retaining the ice-skating rink, now designed as a massive private 12-story mixed-use project instead of a town square while adding 1,200 cars to the downtown traffic soup.

• And, finally, the ill-fated Hines project (prior to its demise thru the Residocracy referendum), approved by City Council after 7 years of indecisiveness and pleas from LA City and LA County to avoid creating monumental traffic issues. The City allowed a 40% reduction of required parking because of Expo despite the fact that the EIR showed only 3.1% of employees using the train. saving Hines $36m in garage construction while the city realized $2m annually in community benefits. The adjacent residential neighborhood was left to absorb 1,250 cars.

This is what’s taking place in your city on a weekly basis – reviewing projects that have an abundance of serious flaws in return for “peanuts.” The City’s residents are not being fairly compensated. In an 11/29/12 email exchange with city manager Rod Gould, he writes that “… the D.A. process … quite frankly works well for no one as it stands – not the applicants, public, Planning Commission, City Council or staff.”

The City needs to stop approving D.A.’s and adopt a concise, creative zoning ordinance based on a simple 30/40/50 ft concept – 30 ft height in residential neighborhoods, 40 ft for boulevard mixed-use, and 50 ft in downtown. In the end this will benefit developers by creating certainty, saving time and cost, as well as benefitting the City and its residents. Taking a short term view is a long term mistake. And quoting Gandhi – “the world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

Ron Goldman FAIA for
Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow
Ron Goldman FAIA, Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA, Bob Taylor AIA, Dan Jansenson Architect, Sam Tolkin Architect, Thane Roberts AIA, Armen Melkonians Civil & Environmental Engineer, Phil Brock Chair, Recreation & Parks Commission. SMa.r.t. is a group of Santa Monica Architects concerned about the city’s future. For previous articles, please see santamonicaarch.wordpress.com/writings.

RESIDOCRACY TO HOST ITS FIRST CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES’ FORUM MONDAY, JULY 28

RESIDOCRACY TO HOST ITS FIRST CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES’ FORUM MONDAY, JULY 28

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Residocracy.org., in collaboration with neighborhood organizations throughout Santa Monica, will hold its first Santa Monica City Council Candidates Forum on Monday evening, July 28.

All candidates who have filed with the Santa Monica City Clerk will be invited to participate and the event will be open to the public.

It will be held Monday, July 28, from 6:30 to 9 PM in the Marin Luther King Auditorium, in Santa Monica Main Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

Doors will open at 6 PM. Seating in the auditorium is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

In preparation for the forum, we have asked our members to send us all the questions residents would
like all the Santa Monica City Council candidates to answer.

Our goal is to make sure that residents’ concerns, yours and ours, are at the forefront and help
the process.

In addition to providing questions, you will have an opportunity to rank the candidates based on their answers.

Following the forum, the Residocracy Advisory Board will meet and review your input and select
the three City Council candidates whom we believe will do the best job of representing residents and addressing your issues and concerns.

Please email your questions for the candidates to:armen@residocracy.org.

See you at the forum and thank you for being part of Residocracy, Our Community Network of Residents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On May 13, the Santa Monica City Council rescinded its previous vote to approve the Hines project, because well over 13,000 registered voters opposed it. .

We’ve taken our city back. Now it’s time to take the next step and elect City Council candidates who will represent residents and residents’ interests.

It’s our town. We’ve taken it back. Now we must elect Council members whose priorities are our priorities.

PC

first Santa Monica City Council Candidates Forum on Monday evening, July 28..

All candidates who have filed with the Santa Monica City Clerk will be invited to participate and the event will be open to the public.

It will be held Monday, July 28, from 6:30 to 9 PM
in the Marin Luther King Auditorium, in Santa Monica Main Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

Doors will open at 6 PM. Seating in the auditorium is
limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

In preparation for the forum, we have asked our members to send us all the questions residents would
like all the Santa Monica City Council candidates to
answer.

Our goal is to make sure that residents’ concerns, yours and ours, are at the forefront and help guide
the process.

In addition to providing questions, you will have an opportunity to rank the candidates based on their answers.

Following the forum, the Residocracy Advisory Board will meet and review your input and select
the three City Council candidates whom we believe
will do the best job of representing residents and
addressing your issues and concerns.

Please email your questions for the candidates to:
armen@residocracy.org.

See you at the forum and thank you for being part of
Residocracy, Our Community Network of Residents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On May 13, the Santa Monica
City Council rescinded its previous vote to approve the Hines project, because well over 13,000 registered voters opposed the project.

We’ve taken our city back. Now it’s time to take the next step and elect City Council candidates who will
represent residents and residents’ interests.

It’s our town. We’ve taken it back. Now we must elect Council members whose priorities are our priorities.

THE WHALES BELONG HERE, EXXON BELONGS IN TEXAS

THE WHALES BELONG HERE, EXXON BELONGS IN TEXAS

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Dear Friends,

California’s Channel Islands are one of the best places in the world to watch whales – but I just learned that that could change if Exxon gets its way.

The oil giant is asking our government’s permission to harass and even kill an unlimited number of whales, sea otters, and other marine mammals, all so they can expand an already-huge offshore drilling platform!

We can’t let this happen. I raised my voice – please join me? It only takes 30 seconds to send a note to the government opposing Exxon’s request. The deadline is July 30!

https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?page=UserAction&id=14109&s_src=914GSRSP04_NSRSR&sp_ref=50722064.5.8670.e.32240.2&s_subsrc=email

Thanks!

Ellen Brennan

SEISMIC LIGHT: NEW PAINTINGS BY DOUGLAS C. BLOOM

SEISMIC LIGHT: NEW PAINTINGS BY DOUGLAS C. BLOOM

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Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to announce Seismic Light, an exhibition of paintings by artist Douglas C. Bloom.

The exhibition features Bloom’s new series of idealized landscape paintings, which focus on the visual energy produced by light in the natural landscape. Rich in color and texture, the paintings reflect the brief seconds of time when seismic light appears in nature just before it shifts and is lost, stirring a visual and emotional reaction in those who experience it.

Bloom is among the select group of successful Los Angeles artists who, in the words of critic Peter Frank, “paint from the photograph and produce work of substance.” Holly Myers wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Douglas C. Bloom flirts with abstraction in landscapes, playing with flatness, shape and texture.”

According to Bloom, “The energy of nature is visualized by using tangible light as it filters through the physical landscape. I am depicting events which are altered to further the connection between artist and environment.”

The new paintings in Seismic Light are an extension of Bloom’s signature style, creating images that materialize and dissolve simultaneously. This is a process he describes as, “a metaphor for the destruction of traditional painting.”

Bloom is an internationally exhibited artist whose works have been included in group exhibitions by various curators from MOCA, LACMA, Hammer Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Most recently, Bloom had a solo show at Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago and was part of a group exhibition at Stricoff Fine Art in New York City. His work has been published in New American Paintings, LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times.

Bloom moved from Texas to California in 1999 to attend Claremont Graduate University, where he completed his MFA in 2001. His studio is located in downtown Los Angeles.

For more information about Douglas C. Bloom and his artwork, visit www.douglascbloom.com.

Ruth Bachofner Gallery: 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica. Bergamot Station Art Center – Suite G2
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Exhibition continues through Aug. 30, 2014

NAVY’S WAR ON WHALES MUST STOP

NAVY’S WAR ON WHALES MUST STOP

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Today a pilot whale washed up on the beach in Hanalei, Kauai, and died. Meanwhile, massive naval war games continue off the shore of the Hawaiian Islands.

In the words of marine biologists at the scene of the stranding, endangered sea turtles are showing up with their legs blown off, dead or simply disappearing, 2,000 year old coral reefs are disintegrating into piles of rubble on the sea floor. and it is thought that every whale that washes up on the beach, many more simply die at sea.

The US Navy and 22 foreign navies from around the world are continuing their war games in these beautiful waters. They are sinking ships (likely releasing toxic PCBs and asbestos into the ecosystem), detonating bombs, and deploying high-intensity sonar that seriously disrupts marine mammal behaviors, permanently damages their hearing, and can drive them onto beaches to die.

The Navy says it will investigate this death. But if it follows previous patterns, it will not release the results until months, years or a decade from now — most likely on a holiday weekend, when most people will have forgotten about it. This is a tragic and unacceptable outcome for whales and dolphins who deserve our protection.

We must demand that the Navy use more simulation software for sonar trainings and deploy safer technologies that won’t destroy our natural world.

Please go to our website at www.whaleanddolphinwatch.org
to learn the truth about how Navy sonar is killing whales and/or read Joshua Horwitz’s new book, WAR OF THE WHALES.

Lyndia Storey

SM DEMOCRATIC CLUB SCHEDULES DISCUSSION OF HEALTH CARE INITIATIVES

SM DEMOCRATIC CLUB SCHEDULES DISCUSSION OF HEALTH CARE INITIATIVES

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Everyone is invited to hear a discussion presented by the Santa Monica Democratic Club of the upcoming election Healthcare Initiatives.

The meeting will be held Wednesday July 30, at 7 pm, at Mt.Olive Lutheran Hall: 14th Street and Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica.

Club Executive Board members, Dr. Sion Roy and Genise Schnitman will discuss changing the malpractice cap and giving Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones the authority to regulate insurance premiums prices, which are fundamental aspects of the Healthcare system.

In addition, club members’ recommendations for future projects/priorities of the Santa Monica Democratic Club will be discussed. The club wants to hear from you.

Public Invited, light refreshments, free parking, no charge.

PETER TIGLER WILL APPEAR AT NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM TONIGHT

PETER TIGLER WILL APPEAR AT NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM TONIGHT

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The Natural History Museum has added garden parties to its summer program, beginning this evening. Future Summer Nights in the Garden will be held on August 1, 15, and 29.

Each of the four evenings, the museum’s Nature Gardens will be filled with music, food, drinks, and hands-on projects (crowd-sourced fingerpainting anyone?) each of the four days.

Tonight, from 5 to 9 pm, KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez will spin ambient tunes in the Nature Garden and cocktails will be garden-inspired. Guests may bring a picnic or visit a food truck or several: Peaches Smokehouse, S’Cream Truck, CreativEats Truck, No Jodas Cuban Kitchen Truck.

The Butterfly stilt performers and Toy Theater shows will be present throughout the evening.

A workshop on potting succulents will be given by urban homesteading experts Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne

Santa Monica artist Peter Tigler will lead a participatory image-making project that’s part finger-painting, part color-by-number.

NATURE MAPPING: Visitors can become citizen scientists and help the museum map nature in urban L.A. And museum staff will lead botanical tours of the Nature Gardens.

ADMISSION: Free with RSVP. Register online at nhm.org/summernights or call 213.763.DINO.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90007. It recommends that visitors take Metro’s Expo Line, and exit the Expo/Vermont stop. Parking in the NHM Car Park is $10. When that fills up, parking in Lot 3 across the street is available for $10 (though Lot 3 is not owned or operated by NHM, and prices are subject to change).

CITY CEDES CONTROL OF AIRPORT FUTURE TO RESIDENTS

CITY CEDES CONTROL OF AIRPORT FUTURE TO RESIDENTS

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The Santa Monica City Council has offered residents the guarantee they asked for: limits on future development at city-owned Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

The city is asking for voter approval of a measure amending the City charter to prohibit new development on airport land, except for parks and open spaces, and recreational facilities. Any other type of new development would require further voter approval.

That gives residents what they wanted — the means to protect the airport land from over-develop- ment if flight operations are reduced or end.

Current non-aviation lease-holders could remain: restaurants, a little theater, the flight museum, Barker Hangar, and other cultural, educational and arts-centered facilities, as well as existing studios and offices.

“Santa Monica voters have made it clear they don’t want another Century City on the airport campus,’’ said John Fairweather, chair of the Committee for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Land (CLCSMAL). “This assures residents that voting `yes’ on the city measure and ‘no’ on the lobbyist measure will end concern about high-density development on that land.”

Two Washington-based aviation lobbies, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), are funding an opposing measure. Although touting it as “anti-development,” it actually says nothing about development. It would simply preserve or increase flight operations. (Business jet operations at SMO have been growing steadily).

Their measure would also strip the city of its authority to run the airport and block it from managing its leases, potentially costing residents millions of dollars.

The lobbyists are reacting to three factors: 1. The city’s recent move to explore ways to reduce or eliminate jet traffic and student flight schools that produce most of SMO’s noise, pollution and danger. 2. The expiration in July 2015 of all leases at SMO. 3. The city recently increased SMO’s landing fees, ending years of using money from non-aviation activity and the general fund to subsidize flight operations.

Fairweather added that the city measure “will lead to a cleaner, quieter, healthier city that will benefit all Santa Monicans and make the city even more special than it is.”

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FILMS4CUBAN5 PRESENTS SECOND SHOWING OF WHICH WAY HOME

FILMS4CUBAN5 PRESENTS SECOND SHOWING OF WHICH WAY HOME

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Saturday, July 26th, 7:00 PM. Doors Open at 6:30 PM

At The Home of Rachel and Jay, 601 9th Street, Santa Monica.
One Block East of Lincoln, One Block North of Montana.
Southeast Corner – Easy Parking

BEFORE FILM: Meet at Izzy’s Deli, 15th @ Wilshire @ 5:00 PM for Dinner.
FREE PARKING: At Izzy’s Deli: Rear lot on 15th or Computer Store lot on 15th.
STREET PARKING:Read the street parking signs carefully.

RSVP a MUST to: RachelJay@earthlink.net or: 310-780-7363 (First 20)

$5 Donation for The Defense Of The Cuban 5, www.thecuban5.org

WHICH WAY HOME 83 min 2009

As the United States continues to build a wall between itself and Mexico, WHICH WAY HOME shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the United States.

The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call ” The Beast “. Director Rebecca Cammisa (Sister Helen) tracks the stories of children like Olga and Freddy, nine-year old Hondurans who are desperately trying to reach their families in Minnesota, and Jose, a ten-year-old El Salvadoran who has been abandoned by smugglers and ends up alone in a Mexican detention center, and focuses on Kevin, a canny, street-wise 14-year-old Honduran, whose mother hopes that he will reach New York City and send money back to his family. These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the ones you never hear about — the invisibles, es.
Spanish with English Subtitles

Discussion after the Film and Refreshments. “End the Embargo to CUBA COFFEE”, Gourmet Cookies.

In September 1998, FBI agents arrested five Cubans in Miami. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez were accused of the crime of conspiracy to commit espionage. Rene’ González Sehwerert and Fernando Gonzalez are back in Cuba after serving
13 and 15 years of an unjust sentence.

Gerardo Hernández: “We will always be the Cuban Five.”

__._,_.___

COUNCILMAN McKEOWN ENDORSES HIMMELRICH AND KENNEDY

COUNCILMAN McKEOWN ENDORSES HIMMELRICH AND KENNEDY

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Council member Kevin McKeown writes, “Yes, I’m officially a candidate. I’m grateful to the enthusiastic residents who made my signature-gathering easy. One question we were asked over and over was who I hope gets elected with me.

“I’ve thought long and hard about who I hope gets other endorsements, including the SMRR nomination and goes on to win with me in November, and it comes down to two Planning Commissioners, experienced and trustworthy to represent residents, not special interests: Jennifer Kennedy and Sue
Himmelrich. Both Jennifer and Sue have pledged, like me, not to take developer or hotel campaign money.”

Thanks.

Kevin McKeown

THE DANGERS OF PRIVATE PLANES

THE DANGERS OF PRIVATE PLANES

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“Summer is the season when the pilots of private planes like to take to the skies. But summer flying often means thunderstorms and extreme changes that can lead to accidents. It’s also a time to think about a system that doesn’t do all it can to protect those pilots and passengers.Flying in small planes is far riskier than flying in commercial aircraft,” according to Damian Fowler, author of “Falling Through Clouds: A Story of Survival, Love, and Liability.”

In an OpEd article in the Thursday’s New York Times, Fowler reports that there are small plane or helicopter crashes every week. In January, a twin-engine private jet crashed and burst into flames, killing one and injuring two. In February, in Nashville, a twin-engine aircraft missed a landing approach and four people were killed.In March, in Ridgway, Colorado, a plane went into a flat spin, crashed into ice water and killed five people. Wednesday, a small plane went down in New Jersey.

He goes on to say, “The National Transportation Safety Board found that in 2011, 94 percent of fatal aviation accidents occurred in what’s called general aviation. By contrast, commercial aviation had no fatal accidents… Because the rules are looser for general aviation than for commercial planes, the risks are much higher…

“The current policies are not working. Five years ago, the FAA set a goal of reducing the accident rate in generalaviation by 10 percent by 2018, but it has remained static, with the NTSB reporting an average of 1500 aviation accidents a year, resulting in about 450 fatalities…(But) there is currently no federal requirement that the owner or pilot of a private aircraft carry insurance to cover injuries to passengers or a third party on the ground.”

AOPA ANNOUNCEMENT MAY HAVE BEEN PREMATURE

AOPA ANNOUNCEMENT MAY HAVE BEEN PREMATURE

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Apparently, the announcement by AOPA that the County registrar had confirmed its collected signatures may have been premature. The announcement has now been removed from the AOPA site.

We have since spoken to the City Clerk, and she has no knowledge that the County has completed the validation process..

Sincerely,

John Fairweather
Chair – CLCSMAL

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