COMMITTEE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE CALLS EMERGENCY MEETING TONIGHT

The Committee for Racial Justice has called an emergency meeting tonight to discuss an apparent assault Tuesday night on a Black man by Santa Monica PD.

The meeting will be held at The Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill Street, Santa Monica at 7:00 pm. As this is a community problem, the Committee hopes for a large community response.a wide-ranging discussion and the devel-opment of a positive and just course of action.

Here is the NAACP’s account of the incident:

Darrell Goode, in his capacity as SM-Venice NAACP President, has asked me to let you know about SMPD activity that took place at an electric car charging dock in Virginia Ave Park in Santa Monica on Tuesday night, April 22 that is the subject of community concern.

The electrical charge docks are open until 11pm. A 36 year-old Black male who was charging his electric vehicle at 10:45pm was approached by several police officers, who asked for his ID. He asked “why?” Subsequently, he was pushed to the ground, handcuffed, punched, pepper-sprayed and taken into custody.

The individual was charged with not following a police order. He was jailed and released the next day. He requi-
red eye treatment due to the pepper spray. He has a court date May 25.

A video of some of the interaction was taken by a female passerby, unacquainted with any of the parties.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bwdp1kXhDPb3cmFkM01ObmpteUpnZGIzV1d0V0MzeUNoNGlF

The video shows apparently egregious behavior by the police. The woman who took the video came forward because she believes the police behavior was excessive.

The information on the video is incomplete. It does not show all angles, and it does not show the entire interaction from start to finish.

On April 23, at First AME Church in Santa Monica, Darrell Goode interviewed the man, the passerby/ witness who videotaped part of the interaction and several other people.

Based on information we have, there was no warrant for the man’s arrest and neither he, his car, nor license number fit any description based on any recent criminal activity.

Darrell Goode has informed SMPD Chief Seabrooks, via SMPD Command Staff, of his efforts to assemble information and his intention to publicize it. Based on what is known so far, he may call a community meeting.

Meantime, Chief Seabrooks has promised a full internal investigation and the man intends to file complaints against one or more of the officers involved.

The man has the right to take his case against the officers to the City Personnel Board. Therefore, in addition to filing a complaint with the SMPD, the man intends to ask for an independent review by the Board.

We are united in our unwavering commitment to non-violent advocacy for fairness, transparency and justice for all. .

SANTA MONICA STORY: RESIDENTS VS. THE SYSTEM

By Dish Taylor and Titus Wapato

In September 2010, residents in the neighborhood of San Vicente Boulevard and Ocean Avenue appealed a Planning Commission decision that would allow the construction of a condominium complex at 301 Ocean Avenue without an Environmental Impact Report. They believe that the demolition of the existing 47 rental units that are affordable to the majority of Santa Monica’s middle class to make room for 20 condo units that would be affordable to less that one-tenth of one percent of the population carries environmental impacts that need deeper study. Fourteen residents submitted individual donations to pay the filing fee for the appeal. Many more residents who lacked funds to donate are helping to assemble information to support the appeal.

The foremost concern today is that the Planning Department, which is responsible for preparing a report and recommendation to the City Council when it hears the appeal, is pushing for an early hearing date on October 12. That report is expected to rely on a study prepared by a Santa Barbara firm that included information more relevant to Santa Barbara than Santa Monica, and that purports to arrive at a reasoned conclusion that an EIR is not necessary. Residents say that it is not realistic for the city to expect a group of individual citizens to compile the information that they believe will refute the previous report and compose it into their own report in that short period. The development project is assigned to City Planner Tony Kim who said the early date was
needed because they had to manage the agenda for City Council and there were many items coming up for review.
Titus Wapato, a 301 Ocean Avenue resident for 19 years and the contact person for the neighborhood appeal said, “We appreciate the heavy workload the council routinely handles for the citizens, but I don’t think a heavy workload is a valid reason to deprive the neighborhood of the chance for a level playing field.”

Residents also contend that the massive four story Spanish Revival complex dwarfs the neighboring apartments on San Vicente and is not harmonious with the scale and character of the neighborhood. They also oppose code variances that allow the developer to shift mass from the fourth floor at the rear of the complex down to the second and third floors and nearer to the street which increases the visual mass from the curb view. A major concern is the two story deep excavation that displaces over 31,500 cubic yards of soil in close proximity to the Palisades Park cliffs only 100 feet away. The project site has “High Potential” for landslides according to the City of Santa Monica’s Geologic Hazards Map (Geographic Information Systems, 2001). The appellants assert that this hazard alone should be sufficient cause to require an Environmental Impact Report.

The proposed condominium development has been controversial and unpopular with a growing segment of the neighborhood residents since the beginning, and it has been a heartbreaking experience for the former residents
of the apartment complex that was the long-time home of Clo Hoover, Santa Monica’s first woman mayor and a
pioneer for the meaningful involvement of women in Santa Monica government.

Despite the growing opposition, Texas based developer Trammel Crow evicted all tenants from 301 Ocean Avenue in 2009. Betty Yamamoto, a retired VA researcher who lived there for 27 years, had to move in with her sister in the San Fernando Valley because the “affordable housing” offered in the city was far too small for even one person. “I leave with a heavy heart,” said Yamamoto, this place has been like home to all of us. I am going to miss the sense of community we have here.” Yamamoto’s case is typical. Long term Santa Monica citizens that had close ties to churches, doctors, and banks have been forced out of the city and some have left California to live with relatives in other states.
 The controversy began at a community meeting hosted by the Planning Commission at the Ken Edwards Center in January 2008 where Trammel Crow presented a design for a massive concrete structure that residents said looked more like a penal institution or military stronghold than a residential building, and it was totally out of place in the scenic San Vicente neighborhood.

The appeal also states that the developers design application does not adequately address the cultural and economic impacts. Aside from the cultural loss of a building that is a historical landmark according to many historians including noted authors and history professors at prestigious California universities as well as the Landmarks Commission, the development will also erode the population diversity in the city. It displaces 47 households of typical Santa Monica employed renters, a class that is in the majority of the population, and replaces them with 15 households having the financial means to purchase multi-million dollar condominiums. Those purchasers are not likely to be Santa Monica residents. Santa Monicans that can afford multi-million dollar residences are already living in nicer, single family homes on Adelaide, Georgina, and similar broad streets.

As one Planning Commissioner commented when the developer’s representative described a 4,000 square foot unit in the project, “I suppose that includes maid’s quarters and that is where you will get the population diversity.”
Another area that should be studied in an Environmental Impact Report is the effect on the business and commercial make-up of the city. Will the wealthy buyers of the condominiums shop at our locally owned shops or will they shop at Tiffany’s and Bloomingdales in the newly renovated Santa Monica Place? Removing that many working class rental units will increase the number of employees commuting into the city and increase our already congested traffic. Wages earned by those commuters will be taken elsewhere and spend, reducing our tax revenues even further.
These are the kinds of issues that have extended the opposition to this development across the city. Pro development advocates in the private sector, and in both staff and elected positions in local government, argue that the opposition is composed of preservationists and freeloaders that want prime residences at rent controlled prices. But residents assert it is the culture of Santa Monica that they want to preserve. Clearly not every building is a landmark, but the scale and character of our buildings, and the people that inhabit them, who live and work in the city, are the heart and soul of Santa Monica. As citizens they are asserting their voice in the governance of the city, and saying they want to preserve that culture. During the discussion of the developer’s design one Commissioner remarked, “This Spanish Revival design is great for Santa Barbara or Newport Beach, but this is Santa Monica.” That is what the citizens from neighborhoods as diverse as Sunset Park, Ocean Park and NOMA want to preserve.

The appeal is the latest event in the three year struggle to achieve the resolution that they believe is the best for the entire city. At times spirits have sagged when city officials seemingly turned deaf ears to their cause and listened instead to the diversionary arguments of the developer. The backers of the development claimed that the tenants were abusing city process and were only interested in preserving their rent controlled status even though only a few, mostly elderly, tenants had rent controlled leases. After the Landmarks Commission determined that the property was eligible for local landmark designation the developer diverted the debate away from the objective landmark criteria and into a subjective consideration of the appropriate ways to memorialize a significant personage. In granting the developers’ application to reverse the landmark designation the City Council rejected the impartial expertise of architectural historians and preservation experts in favor of the irrelevant arguments of financially involved advocates.

The residents are again concerned that they will not get a fair hearing if the Planning Department succeeds in their push for an early hearing by the city. The Planning Department staff recommended that the Planning Commission approve the developer’s application and residents fear that the early hearing on their appeal is
being sought because the city staff knows the appeal depends on volunteer researchers to compile their report.
Contact person Wapato said, “I continue to be amazed by the developer’s disregard and disrespect of the city’s processes. They have manipulated early hearings when it serves their purpose and they have obtained delays when
it serves their purpose, often causing a lot of inconvenience to concerned citizens attending the hearings. At
one point they even cast doubt on the integrity of a council member. It is incomprehensible why the city is allowing this.” Wapato said he supports the rights of property owners to utilize their property the best way they can but that those rights accrue to property owners and not necessarily to speculators. “When speculators take control of a property solely for the purpose of turning it over at a profit then their rights take a back seat to the rights of neighboring citizens,” Wapato asserted.

Prior to filing an application to evict the tenants in March 2008 Trammel Crow used a public relations consultant in an attempt to convince tenants to sign voluntary move out agreements by offering a relocation assistance payment larger than the amount required by law. Most tenants rejected the offer because the contract would deprive them of the right to speak out about the project, and would force senior citizens to forfeit most of the legally prescribed time before eviction. Several of the tenants, who considered the document to be a violation of their right to free speech, asked the City Attorney’s office for an opinion on the legality of that provision. The City did not respond for more than 9 months. 
The city Landmarks Commission became interested in the issue in April 2008 after some commissioners heard about the proposed development and it was believed that the existing apartments had historic significance because of its association with Clo Hoover. The apartments were built by Clo and her husband Chester in 1952. Clo Hoover became the second woman City Councilmember in 1965 and subsequently played a significant role in defeating plans to demolish the Santa Monica Pier and replace it with a 16 acre man-made island in the Bay that would have high rise office and residential buildings. She led the fight against another plan that would have built a T causeway through the bay to carry traffic from the end of the I-10 Freeway to Malibu.

That plan would have turned the beach area into a backwater. Landmarks Commissioners also believed that 301 Ocean Avenue was a contributor to a proposed historic district comprised of the garden apartments on San Vicente Boulevard from Ocean Avenue to Seventh Street.

Many residents are still angry at the chain of events preceding the reversal of the landmark designation and while there is no concrete connection in the events there is room for conjecture. Following the death of Mayor Katz, the remaining council members appointed Gleam Davis to fill his seat. The appointment process was contentious and, according to viewers, far below the transparency it should have had. After several votes failed to achieve a majority, the council took a recess, and when they returned they bypassed Ted Winterer who had received the highest number of votes among council candidates that did not win election, and Susan Hartley who had placed right behind Winterer to appoint Davis who had not stood for the election. Some citizens pointed to Davis’s close ties to Chris Harding in past education efforts and the representation of the 301 Ocean Avenue developer by Harding’s law firm as being too coincidental to be accidental. Davis and Councilmember Pam O’Connor cast the deciding votes to reverse the landmark designation.

There is widespread belief that what happens at 301 Ocean Avenue will be the harbinger of things to come. Development advocates have said that most of the property in Santa Monica is underutilized. In their view San Vicente can be developed into the next Wishire/Westwood type of area, with high rise, maximum population density, buildings. Because of its central position on the Bay virtually every location in Santa Monica could be made more attractive to Canadian “snowbirds” looking for a warm place to winter. Those of us who live here because Santa Monica is Santa Monica dread the day that comes true.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally posted in The Dispatch on September 20, 2010. Recently, Tramell Crow sold the 301 Ocean Avenue site to another developer for a reported $22 million.

TRANSFORMATION IN THE HISTORIC DISTRICT

Sunday, May 3 from 1 pm – 5 pm

When Jim Bianco and Lisa Mead purchased their 1906 home on Third Street in 1997, they faced daunting challenges. The house had been subdivided up into smaller apartments, which defaced the front porch with an enclosure. The interior had been abused over decades of neglect. Deterioration and remodeling had claimed many original architectural features.What inspired them to tackle the restoration of this vintage house?

The historic district ordinance put into place in 1990 guaranteed that their investment would be protected, becoming part of the group of preserved early nineteenth century bungalows on Third Street. Other new homeowners have been drawn to this neighborhood, reclaiming and restoring some of the oldest homes in Ocean Park.

Today the Third Street Historic District demonstrates how historic preservation can revitalize an area and also recapture the ambience of Santa Monica’s past.

Join us for the Third Street Neighborhood Historic District Tour on Sunday, May 3, between 1 and 5 PM to see this and other restored homes. The tour includes the interiors of 4 historic properties and a docent-guided walk through the district to see other examples of late 19th and early 20th century architecture.

Check in for the tour will be at 2621 2nd Street.

Advance tickets are $30 for Conservancy members and $40 for nonmembers, and may be purchased online. Tickets purchased on tour day will be $35/$45. If purchasing by mail, send a check by April 28th with your ticket request and contact information (name, phone number and email address) to the Santa Monica Conservancy, P.O. Box 653, Santa Monica 90406.

* Your membership donations help us provide free and low cost events to educate the community about our historic places, like the free screening of “90404 Changing” last month.
* Donations at higher levels will help us complete our innovative “Building a Neighborhood” curriculum for elementary school students and hire our first executive director to lead us into a new era of growth and effectiveness.

Contact Name: Santa Monica Conservancy Telephone Number: (310) 496-3146

FROM CAPITAL&MAIN: WHY THE COMCAST-TIME WARNER CABLE MERGER WAS A BAD DEAL FOR LOS ANGELES

Chris Keyser
April 20, 2015 in Culture & Media, Labor & Economy

ED.NOTE: Comcast withdrew its offer to buy Time Warner yesterday.

Fourteen months ago, media giant Comcast announced its plan to buy Time Warner Cable, a merger that would give
one company control of 30 percent of television distribution and at least half of high-speed Internet distribution nationally. Here in L.A. County, Comcast would serve 96 percent of residents and, for 72 percent of those residents, it would be the only choice for broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps or faster. This level of national and local consolidation has brought together a broad range of consumer organizations, content creators, programmers and organizations representing diverse communities to oppose this merger. On April 14, these organizations came before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) at a hearing in downtown Los Angeles to urge state regulators to say no to this deal.

Why is there such opposition? For starters, if the merger is approved Los Angeles residents are almost certain to face higher prices and anti-consumer policies that limit their access to content. The average prices for five Comcast cable packages in its 20 largest markets are more expensive than comparable offerings from local competitors, including AT&T, DirecTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS and Time Warner Cable. Comcast’s Internet service is also more expensive than Time Warner Cable’s at almost every speed threshold. Further, Time Warner Cable customers currently have access to unlimited broadband data, which allows them to consume as much online content as they choose, without any additional cost. The company has stated that its customers will always have such access. In contrast, Comcast has stated that it envisions moving to a usage-based billing model for all customers within the next five years.

The merger has startling implications for Latinos, who represent 48 percent of L.A. County residents. If approved, Comcast would control access to up to 90 percent of Latino households in the U.S. Making matters worse, Comcast already owns several Latino-oriented broadcast and cable networks, and has strong incentive to favor its own channels and discriminate against independently owned networks. This is precisely what Comcast has done in the past. Comcast was the last of the major pay-TV distributors to pick up Univision Deportes and is now engaged in a dispute with Estrella TV over expanding distribution of the independent programmer.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), a labor union representing 8,000 writers of feature films, television series and original video programming available online on sites such as Netflix, Amazon and Yahoo, has strongly opposed this merger. The unprecedented level of control would allow Comcast to squeeze content providers both on television and online, resulting in less creativity, less content and harm to our local economy. Comcast has told the Federal Communications Commission that it will save billions of dollars from the merger, but a portion of that savings will come from extending the lower rates Comcast pays to carry television networks across Time Warner Cable subscribers.

The problem is that these fees have helped finance television’s new golden age. If Comcast has its way, television networks will have less money to invest in programming, which could mean fewer jobs locally. Comcast’s expanded control of Internet distribution threatens the vibrant and fast-growing online video market, which is reintroducing competition for writers’ ideas and consumers’ attention for the first time in decades. Online video services like Netflix and Amazon have afforded writers new opportunities to tell more diverse stories, such as those featured in Transparent and Orange Is the New Black.

It is no accident that this merger is occurring in response to the rise of these new competitors. Comcast is the largest pay-TV provider and owns NBC Universal, which gives it more incentive than any other Internet service provider to limit the growth of online video alternatives. Comcast has already acted to harm Netflix by refusing to upgrade connections to handle the Netflix traffic that Comcast customers were demanding, resolving the problem only after forcing Netflix to pay. If Comcast is allowed to control half of the high-speed Internet distribution market, we will never realize the promise of this new platform.

As WGAW Board Member Shawn Ryan told the CPUC at last week’s hearing, “As the creator of The Shield and its lead character, Vic Mackey, I understand something about abuse of power and what happens when proper oversight goes lacking. It may make for great entertainment, but it makes for bad public policy.”

It appears that at least one CPUC commissioner agrees, because just days before, Commissioner Mike Florio issued a proposal to deny the merger on the grounds that it would cause too much harm in the state. At the hearing, concerns cited by Commissioner Florio and the WGAW were echoed by more than 10 other organizations and dozens of citizens who described how the merger would raise prices, harm local economies and minority communities, and hamper innovation and creativity.

The merger has been endorsed by some local community organizations, almost all of whom receive financial support from Comcast or Time Warner Cable. However, strategic philanthropy – which elicits the support of precisely those constituencies who ought to oppose the merger – can never outweigh the harm it poses to the individual citizens the CPUC exists to protect. As the Commission continues its review process we hope a majority of the commissioners will come to the same conclusion as Commissioner Florio and protect Californians by denying this merger.

(Chris Keyser is President of the Writers Guild of America, West.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a member of WGAw.
Peggy Clifford

JACARANDA’S 4/25 “SATELLITE STATES” SEASON FINALE

Digital artist Andrew Burke will realize the “color score” of Gubaidulina Fourth Quartet with the Lyris Quartet also playing the Hamburg-based Russian composer’s brief Second Quartet, and Prokofiev’s First Quartet.

Shostakovich is remembered with a duo by Alfred Schnittke, whose rarely performed Septet features a string trio, flute, two clarinets and harpsichord alternating with organ. Organ music by Arvo Part rounds out this exploration of Russian and Estonian music.

Jacaranda’s season finale “Satellite States” presents music after the 1976 death of Shostakovich and remembers Prokofiev’s brief celebrity in the U.S., Saturday, April 25 – 8:00 pm at 1220 Second St., Santa Monica 90401.

“Life in Russian and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, including Estonia (until 1991),” said artistic director Patrick Scott “has always revolved around an omnipotent tsar, a dictator, or a president with virtually unlimited power. As much as this music is about the strong-willed composers who wrote it, their perilous political context is never far away. It seems that artists have always had to manage the gravitational pull of a despot in that part of the world.”

Gubaidulina (pronounced goo-bye-DOO-lee-nah, b. 1931) moved to Hamburg, Germany soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Her music is intensely spiritual, blending the Islam of her paternal roots with Russian Orthodox Christianity, and her view that music should connect ones inner state with the absolute. Among the fruits of her new life was the Fourth Quartet from 1993. To perform it two pre-recorded tracks are required making it a triple-quartet. Both live and recorded, the performers must also employ small rubber balls on wires to strike the strings, and use a click

THE EXPO IS COMING! THE EXPO IS COMING!

The Santa Monica Democratic Club will host an Expo-Line Presentation next week.

What to Expect? When? Where? How much? Benefits/Problems. What it will mean to you and to our City. Expo Light Rail details will be explained. Q and A session.

Featured Presenters: Darrell Clarke, Co-chair of Friends 4 Expo Transit. He has been advocating for Expo for 22 years; Denny Zane, Creator and Executive Director of Move LA. Former Mayor of Santa Monica; Francie Stefan, Strategic and Transportation Planning Manager for the City of Santa Monica.

Wednesday, April 29, 7 pm, multi-purpose room, second floor, Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard. Public welcome. Light refreshments. No charge. Parking available.

SANTA MONICA CANYON NEWS: INCLINE CLOSED; PCH CONTRACTOR DIGS IN

Here is today’s PCH Construction Projects Status Report. Updates always will be pasted below the “hints”
section (which now includes a 24 hr number for California Incline Information). It is our goal to keep you informed of the details of any project which may impact your access to and convenient use of the Pacific
Coast Highway between Pacific Palisades and the McClure Tunnel. We will track timing and the details of
any projects or scheduled activity.

Here are a few hints:

* Santa Monica has implemented a 24-hour hotline for California Incline project information: 888.303.6026. Information is also available at smconstructs.org; cityofsantamonica on Facebook and @CAincline on twitter.
* The City of Santa Monica will host weekly informational meetings at Ken Edwards Center, located at 1527 4th Street, Rm #106, every Thursday evening from 5 pm to 7pm.
* sigalert.com will give you a real time snapshot of traffic conditions on the Coast Highway and local freeways and includes a link to a camera located where the Santa Monica Freeway begins.
* If you have a smartphone, google maps has a traffic monitoring feature based upon tracking of the movement of gps enabled cellphones. And,
* you can download the free WAZE app from Play Store. This cloud-source app depends on reports from other app users.
* Santa Monica Constructs is a City of Santa Monica website that provides updates on construction in that city including the Expo II light rail project. You also can find links to various weekly updates and real-time
parking information.
* PCH Partners is a website created to provide information regarding projects that may impact the highway.
* Wilshire Blvd. Bus Rapid Transit Information can be found here. This is the Bus Lane from downtown to Santa Monica on Wilshire that is under construction. The section from MacArthur Park to Federal Avenue is now operat-
ing (does not include the City of Beverly Hills; don’t ask!) and the lane will eventually extend to Centinela
Ave.
* Respond to this email and we will try to answer any of your questions; comments are welcome.

Today’s report may be found below.

Best regards,
George

TODAY’S PCH CONSTRUCTION REPORT:

(CIRS [Sewer Project] project status unchanged. Completion is currently estimated to occur in mid-July. California Incline roadway closed this morning (April 20). Surprise projects threw a wrench into some commut-
ing today.

CIRS. The completion of the 900’ sewer project has been delayed. The City now believes the project will be completed by mid-July 2015. The basic project is on schedule. The tunneling is complete and the sewer pipe is being installed. During construction it was discovered that the PCH roadway was lacking a proper base and there was subsidence around the pipe. Correction of these unexpected soil deficiencies will require significant work
to bolster the area. This will result in an estimated three-and one-half month overlap with the California Incline Project.

CALIFORNIA INCLINE. The road closed to through traffic today and the contractor began excavating right away.

People have asked, and, yes, the bluff above the incline will be remediated with hydraugers to keep it de-
watered as was done a few years along the coast highway. Santa Monica tweeted out the following fact sheet
this afternoon:

Incline fact sheet

To add to the commuting challenge, Caltrans decided to close the 20th Street off-ramp for maintenance today. In addition, Caltrans and LAPD are removing a robust homeless encampment behind the “wall” between Chautauqua Blvd. and Potrero Canyon. To comply with consent decree and court dictates, 72-hour notice had to be given. Tons of debris and detritus will be removed and one lane had to be coned off.

SECOND MOBILIZATION CALLS FOR END TO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN PRISON

Thursday, April 23, and the 23rd of each month thereafter.

What: Community organizations, families and loved ones of people in solitary, and advocates across California will mobilize a day of Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement each month. These mobilization are a response to a proposal from prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison involved in the 2011 and 2013 Hunger Strikes, who put forward the idea of designating a day each month as Prisoner’s Rights Day. Thursday, April 23 will mark the second of these mobilizations, and future coordinated actions will continue to be held on the 23rd of each month, symbolizing the 23 hours per day prisoners in solitary are held in the complete isolation of their cells.

Where: Various locations across California, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Oakland, Eureka, and others.

Who: The mobilizations are being organized by groups with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS), and are endorsed by over 30 community groups and organizations from California, and around the nation
and the world.

Why: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) refuses to respect basic human rights by continuing to keep people isolated in cages and concrete cells, often for years upon years, despite interna-
tional condemnation calling on California to end its practice of solitary confinement. Solitary confinement has been defined as torture by the U.N., yet the U.S. puts more people in solitary and for longer periods than any other country, and California continues to be an outlier in the U.S. California continues to use the practice in violation of international law and, as many believe, in violation of the U.S.’s policy against cruel and unusual punishment. These coordinated actions seek to build organized, community-based pressure outside prison walls, and to amplify the demands of prisoners who continue to call for the end of torture.

For more information, please contact Mohamed Shehk at 510.444.0484. Shehk is the Media and Communications Director at Critical Resistance, a member organization of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. You can also visit https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com to learn more.

A greater percentage of Americans are in prison today than the prison populations in every other nation on earth. .

BAD NIGHT AT THE PLANNING COMMISSION

On April 16, 2015, the Dispatch posted a long story about the extended battle the writer, her family and her neighbors were engaged in with a developer who was intent on building an outsized apartment complex, with garages, driveways, sidewalks, fences, streetlights, long blank walls and all the usual accessories in their midst. [scroll down to “802 Ashland: Asbestos and the Health and Safety of Our Neighborhood” to see the
original story].

Written on behalf of her family, her neighbors and their neighborhood, where they had lived happily for 20 years, the letter made a very strong case against the proposed project. Their opposition was supported by other residents in the area and many other residents, because it was quite simply the wrong project in the wrong place. .

Subsequently. the Architectural Review Board approved the project, and the residents appealed the decision to the Planning Commission. Last night, they made their case against the project once again. Architect Hank Konig spoke for the project.

The Commissioners were generally sympathetic to the residents’ objections, but,under the current rules, if they
had simply wanted to grant the appeal, they couldn’t, nor could they impose any major changes. Ultimately, they simply denied the appeal.

The Commissioners may, at some point, suggest some simple changes. But, of course, the sad truth is, given the fundamental problems with the site and the design, the project should never have made it out of the planning department. .

A CONVERSATION WITH THE ARTIST, ENRIQUE MARTINEZ CELAYA , AT LA LOUVER

Wednesday, April 22, 7 PM

LA Louver will present a lively conversation with artist Enrique Martinez Celaya and T.D. Neil in the context of
Martinez Celaya’s current exhibition, LONE STAR.

His fourth exhibition at La Louver, LONE STAR begins and ends with installations. In the first, a bronze sculp-
ture of a young boy stands in a pool of water made by his tears. In the second, the same boy stands in a wire cage shaped like a house. Holes in the figure’s chest serve as a refuge for five live birds that live in the cage.

lalouver pic

According to Martinez Celaya, the paintings and sculptures that navigate between the two installations, “point to a world that is familiar and unknown, radiant and brutal, personal and vast….throughout this environment the friction between images and their negation suggest the instability of recognition (which is) often the only kind of recognition available to us.”

Martinez Celaya was born in Cuba, spent much of his time in Spain and Puerto Rico. He studied Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell, Quantum Electronics at Berkeley, and took an MFA at UC Santa Barbara. He has taught. at Pomona, Claremont, Nebraska and Dartmouth.

His work can be seen at LACMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney, the Met and major museums all over America, Europe and Russia.He currently lives and works here.

Jonathan T.D. Neil is the Director of the Center for Management in the Creative Industries, a collabora-tion between Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Los Angeles, The Getty Leadership Institute, the Drucker School of Manage-
ment and the School of Arts and Humanities of Clarenont Graduate University. He also serves as associate editor
of Art Review/ Art Review Asia magazine and is editor of the Held Essays on Visual Art for the Brooklyn Rail.

Conversation begins promptly at 7 pm, LA LOUVER half a block from thr beach, 45 North Venice Blvd.Validated parking provided

The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP to310-822-4955 or rsvp@lalouver.com. The exhibition at
LA Louver will run to May 16.

Founded in 1975. LA Louver is one of America’s most esteemed galleries. .