MORE GOOD STUFF

PAINTINGS & SCULPTURE

Rogue Wave ‘07
12 Artists from Los Angeles

Works in all visual media demonstrating the spirit and vitality of the art that’s being made in Los Angeles now. Through August 18. at LA Louver Gallery in Venice.

Michael Tabori, New Work

Born in Paris, raised in New York, Tabore spent most of his life working in film. Now he lives in Venice and makes mixed media works. At William Turner Gallery, Bergamot Station, through September 1.

Danny Heller, Suburbia

Absolutely straight forward, and bsolutely subversive. At Terrence Rogers Fine Arts, Fifth Street in Santa Monica, through July 31.

Wexler, Joyce and Randall

Glen Wexler, The Secret Life of Cows, Paul Joyce’s Hollywoodland, curated by Dennis Hopper, and Gail Greenfield Randall’s Case Histories, Assemblages, curated by Kristine McK enna. Opening July 7 at Track 16 Gallery, Bergamot Station, Reception, 7 to 10 p.m. Through August 1.

CONCERT

David Lindley with John Cruz and Brandi Shearer. Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier. Thursday, July 5. 6:30 p.m.

Council Meeting: It Was Historic!

We lost track of how many City Council meetings we’ve covered some time ago, but, without question, this week’s meeting was the oddest of the lot.

Mayor Richard Bloom was scheduled to be out of town. Council member Bobby Shriver had been out of the country and expected to be back in time for the meeting, but word came late Tuesday afternoon that he’d been delayed.

And then there were five.

Mayor Pro Tem Herb Katz presided. Council members Ken Genser, Bob Holbrook. Kevin McKeown and Pam O’Connor were present.

The first item on the evening’s agenda was an appeal of a Landmark Commission designation of a beach cottage at 2219 Ocean Avenue.

Under Council rules, at least four votes are required to approve or deny any measure. Council member Holbrook favored continuing the appeal, noting that with only five members present, two members could actually swing the vote any way they wished, which would be unfair to the appellant. Genser disagreed, saying that as the appellant had previously continued the item, the hearing should be held. Mckeown and Katz apparently agreed.

Chris Harding, attorney for the appellant, also believed the appeal should be continued, and objected strenuously at having to proceed.

Continue reading Council Meeting: It Was Historic!

OFF…and ON

As if to secure its position at the bottom of the broadcast TV networks’ heap. NBC aired the last episode of Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” Thursday.

As ever, it was funny and sad and savagely true, which, as any good screenwriter knows, is bloody hard to do in 120 minuses, and damn near impossible to do the 40 minutes that are left in an hour-long show after the commercials are loaded in.

NBC’s new programming guys better act fast or they’ll lose the two or three good sitcoms they still have, and be left with nothing but endless iterations of “Law and Order,” “Dateline” anda slew of really dumb “reality shows.”

Sorkin’s flourishing, of course. His new movie, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and directed by Mike Nichols, is in post-production and will be released later this year.

Meanwhile, an extraordinary new film, “The Fever,” has turned up – without any fanfare at all – on HBO. It will be screened on Saturday at 1 p.m. on HBO’s Signature Channel (507 or 508 in Santa Monica), and can be seen “on demand” through July 15.

Based on a play by writer/actor Wallace Shawn, adapted for the screen by Sha wn and Carlo Nero and directed by Nero, it stars his mother, Vanessa Redgrave. It is devastatingly honest and it will either ruin your day, or weekend, or electrify
you.

City to District: Get On With It

The moment the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District imposed a gag order on its departed Chief Financial Officer Winston Braham, it was out of order. But rather than admitting what was, by any measure, a serious error in judgment and correcting it, the District seemed bent on compounding it.

Through it all, District officials and the School Board have behaved as if they had special privileges because they were engaged in this community’s most vital undertaking: the education of our children.

The fact that California’s public schools in general and this District in particular have been woefully under-funded for years has added a kind of martyr’s aura to District officials. They have so little money, yet they soldier on, against all odds, and keep the schools going and manage to sustain some dazzling programs.

Over the years, this community has given the schools extraordinary support, contributing time and money, staging fund-raisers, approving parcel taxes and bond issues, and creating an arts endowment, among other things. And, with the support of the community, the City of Santa Monica, has annually allocated millions of dollars to the schools.

Continue reading City to District: Get On With It

Letter to the Editor

A few months ago, I went to a meeting of The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where consultants reported on District finances. The talk was so muffled, I realized serious problems were being mentioned, but in a way that came to an attempted burial, rather than an open discussion.

The same matters later came before the City Council, and I atten ded two long sessions on increased City aid to SMMUSD. After much talk, the School District’s former CFO, Mr. Winston Braham, was released from a “gag order” agreement, and he spoke to the Council (on 12 June) about District fiscal difficulties. Much of this involved technical matters, and Mr. Braham gave more detail on them than most lay people could absorb. With his presentation, I think he showed both professional competence and ethical distinction. In short, he struck me as public official of a higher caliber than I’m accustomed to in many upper-level jobs in our civic bodies.

Continue reading Letter to the Editor