In the Wrong Body
En el Cuerpo Equivocado
Saturday, July 7, 7 pm

At the Home of Rachel and Jay, 601 9th Street, Santa Monica, California, one block East of Lincoln, one block North of Montana, Southeast Corner, Easy Parking

Before Film: Meet at Izzy’s Deli, 15th and Wilshire, 5:00 PM
Free street parking @ Izzy’s Deli, rear lot, computer store lot on 15th.
After Film: Discussion, end the embargo on CUBA COFFEE, Izzy’s cookies.

RSVP: 310-780-7363 (first 20)

(2010. 52 min.)

The film, “In the Wrong Body,” was produced in 2010 by Cuban award-winning filmmaker, Marilyn Solaya, The documentary is a moving portrayal of Mavi’s life. Mavi Susel has had to endure discrimination and abuse, but she courageously pursued her dream of realizing a reassignment surgery, the first to be performed in Cuba, in 1988. The growing national discussion in Cuba promoting inclusion and respect for diversity has been led by Mariela Castro, director of Cuba’s National Sex Education Center (CENESEX).

Fidel Castro and Vilma Espín, founder of the Federation of Cuban Women, helped Mavi with support for her journey. Today, with the leading role provided by CENESEX and other Cuban organizations, there is a broader campaign aimed at raising the consciousness of the population in Cuba with the goal of overcoming the holdovers from the past.

Cuba is conducting ongoing education and using popular culture to bring the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism to the people for discussion.

$5 donation
For the Cuban 5 defense
In September 1998, five Cuban men were arrested in Miami by FBI agents. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez were accused of the crime of conspiracy to commit espionage.
RENÉ González Sehwerert, one of Cuba’s five anti-terrorist heroes, was released from prison October 7, 2011, having served in full the brutal and unjust sentence he was given.


By Brenda Barnes

We have handwritten petitions with signatures of about 200 of our neighbors in Mid-City and Pico Neighborhood, from just one guy going out for a few hours on two Sunday afternoons. Not one person said they were in favor of the development, 200 people signed, and five said they were watching the game and couldn’t take time to talk about anything right then. That’s the way support for us goes.

When we picket in front of the Park 5:30-6:30 Mon-Thur every week–as we’ve been doing since May 10 only–now 100s maybe 1000s of people honk and give us thumbs-up as they pass. We’ve decided since that group recognizes our signs now and knows what we are talking about, we’ll move to the two blocks before the light on Centinela where we can hand out flyers to every car because they are stopped for two blocks at the light. Then we’ll set up a lemonade stand with kids selling lemonade to help their parents pay the rent that is going to go from $500 to $1500 if this passes, in the next block, after everyone really understands the issues, and get them to sign our petition to the state government there at the same time that they help us with fundraising for our legal expenses in the future.

Our next step is picketing in the neighborhoods of the four City Council people running for reelection or the Assembly, and hit them with what they have actually done–supported developers who are going to bulldoze homes owned by 109 families covered by rent control–where their support most logically is. This is where they claim they have done something good, as Bloom claims he has gotten things passed in the Council and he would do the same in Sacramento. He sure would do the same thing he has done here–support Big Money instead of the people–but that is not what he is claiming he did.

Same with the others–for instance, Gleam Davis changed her vote on the second reading from no to yes on 710 Wilshire when Bobby Shriver changed his vote from yes to no because he had been shown the workers were not being guaranteed a living wage as the developer had claimed, since they would have to pay $3 an hour to get decent health coverage. It was more important to her that developers be sure they can develop than it was that workers be guaranteed a living wage.

We just have to get the truth out about what these people actually do. Big Money has bought them because they are in the revolving door–once they make developers happy, they will get cushy consulting jobs and no telling what else for the rest of their lives…Big Money rewards its friends. We have to elect people who will not look out for themselves at our expense..

Then we are going to picket at corners where SM voters are likely to be–unlike where we are on Colorado between 26th and Centinela, where most of the drivers going east during rush hour live somewhere else, which is why the traffic is gridlocked. We hope to get 20,000 signatures–the number we need to elect four Council members in November–on our petition to put reversing this on the ballot, and by the way elect four people who commit themselves never to allow destruction of homes for development. There are plenty of industrial buildings they can build on the land of over on this side of town. That is going to be bad enough if we don’t get them replaced, since they seem never to have seen a development plan they don’t like once its far beyond ridiculous first draft is cut in half to a still-ridiculous second or third one.

Let’s come up with some good, pithy stories and slogans for this. Together we are so much better than any of us alone.

We started a Stories of Village Trailer Park project some time ago, but didn’t get very many stories until the day-to-day having to live under stress of the very sick people whose stories would be heartrending intervened. Also, having to spend so much time on the legal processes. That’s our excuse, perhaps our reason, but this does show enough promise that someone(s) should take time to do it.

I think Patrick Corsaro is the most heartrending I know. He’s my neighbor and I remember him from when he walked around all gentlemanly and friendly when I bought our trailer 26 years ago. He has an English accent still, although he has been here 37 years and in America since before WWII. He was the gentleman scholar of the Park and knew everyone by name. Now he is 94 and so ill and almost bedridden that his three friends in SM from his life living here, going back to a Navy buddy, do everything for him. What would he do if he didn’t have them? He is so desperate to stay in SM that, like the other sick people, he has along the way been almost willing to take the $20,000 and go to rental housing, but now that there are both no redevelopment money and no Section 8 vouchers, he would last a year or so at most paying market rent. Then what would he do, sick and homeless at 95?

If the Council adopts the Planning Commission’s recommendation that people who choose the come-back-to-a-box if-and-when-it’s-ever-built option will get market rent paid by the developer as long as the construction takes, along with a bond we could charge against if the developer doesn’t build, as a condition precedent of the development agreement, then people like Patrick could choose that option, unfair as it is, and have something. However, when you multiply out the numbers, for 60 of us to be guaranteed even that will be paid, the developer will need to post a $12-50 million bond! (It’s $12M for just the 60 families remaining to be covered for five years of market rent and $100,000 for losing our homes, with no damages for loss of our leaseholds into the next generation–it’s $50M for covering all 109 families that have rights under rent control and to cover their heirs–as anyone who owns a home covered by rent control has a right to have.)

People have never been willing to accept how damaged all of us will be by losing our homes we own free and clear here, with rent and eviction protection as long as rent control lasts, which means with our protections under the Mobilehome Residency Law (right to sell and will our homes, and the new owner gets the same rights we had), we are as damaged as any homeowners on leased land would be. In Palm Springs that is half the population, since native American tribes own every other section. Similarly, in NY and London, which have had rent control for generations, many million-dollar flats are on leased land. It simply is not true that because we do not own the land we have no right to damages for our leaseholds and our homes being taken.

If we could get people to turn it around and see how much they would be damaged if they had to go into the rental housing market, the numbers add up. The developer has never been confronted with the true cost of this development because the City has not represented us or the voters who passed rent control to keep this from happening. Every agency we go to acts like they are doing us some favor by telling us how troubled they are to kick the can to the next agency. That is simply not confr5onting the issues.

Please respond with your ideas on how we can make this heartrending as it is, and clear at the same time.

In solidarity,




Ephron grew up in Beverly Hills, made a name for herself as a journalist in New York, got into screenwriting via collaboration with then-husband Carl Bernstein on a version of “All the President’s Men,” and grew into what People magazine calls today “one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood as the creative force behind such blockbusters as ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally.'” Ephron reportedly had leukemia.
Her son Jacob Bernstein, a journalist, told the New York Times that Ephron died in New York of pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia.

The NYT news story calls Ephron a “wry woman of letters” and says she was “an essayist and humorist in the Dorothy Parker mold (only smarter and funnier, some said) who became one of her era’s most successful screenwriters and filmmakers.”

She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1958. Ephron is also survived by her sisters Delia, Amy and Hallie, another son Max, and husband Nicholas Pileggi, the writer.

From the NYT:

She was a journalist, a blogger, an essayist, a novelist, a playwright, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director — a rarity in a film industry whose directorial ranks were and continue to be dominated by men. More box-office success arrived with “You’ve Got Mail” and “Julie & Julia.” By the end of her life, though remaining remarkably youthful looking, she had even become something of a philosopher about age and its indignities.

“Why do people write books that say it’s better to be older than to be younger?” she wrote in “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” her 2006 best-selling collection of essays. “It’s not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you’re constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday.”
She turned her painful breakup with her second husband, the Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, into a best-selling novel, “Heartburn,” which she then recycled into a successful movie starring Jack Nicholson as a philandering husband and Meryl Streep as a quick-witted version of Ms. Ephron herself.

Ephron’s parents, Phoebe and Henry Ephron, were a screenwriting team who wrote such films as “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “What Price Glory” and “Desk Set.”

Mark Lacter recommends a New Yorker piece by Ephron from last year: My life as an heiress


Summer’s here. Can Santa Monica’s sixth Annual Fourth of July Parade on Main Street, presented by the Ocean Park Association, be far behind?

This year parade’s theme is science and technology, so put on your propeller hats and activate your anti-matter pods as organizers hope to see a spirited display of the imaginative, inventive spirit of our nation’s founders — Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, after all.

Applications to participate in the 4th of July are available on the OPA Parade page:

Unlike the Fourth of July fireworks, which will be shot off on June 30th (see story below), the Fourth of July parade will actually take place on the Fourth of July.

The parade will start at 9:30 am on Wednesday, July 4th in front of City Hall and proceed down Main Street to the Venice border. OPA urges everyone to join in as a marcher or spectator for this festive celebration of our nation’s independence.

Volunteers are vital to the success of the parade. Anyone who can lend a hand should send an email to General parade inquiries should be directed to

Sponsors underwriting the costs of staging the parade thus far include RAND, Brian Maser of Abbot Kinney Real Estate, Santa Monica Place, Friends of Sunset Park, Westside Rentals, the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pacific Park, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Santa Monica Place, Wells Fargo, the Sea Shore Motel, the Coalition of Santa Monica Municipal Employees, Downtown Santa Monica Inc., Union Bank, The Gas Company, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and the City Of Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Daily Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Urth Café and Neighbor Electric Vehicle Club are providing in kind sponsorships. The parade still needs help with expenses: please contact if interested in sponsoring in return for inclusion on all parade promotional materials.

This year, OPA will have a special sponsor partnership with The Buy Local Santa Monica Committee.

“The Buy Local Santa Monica Committee is proud to be a sponsor of the 2012 Fourth of July Parade. This is a great opportunity to further link together our local businesses with our residents in celebration of the community. Thanks to OPA for this great opportunity,” said Jennifer Taylor, chair of Buy Local and Acting Economic Development Manager of the City of Santa Monica.

Buy Local Santa Monica was created by representatives of the Santa Monica business community and the City of Santa Monica to support local businesses and raise awareness of the community, economic and environmental benefits of choosing local first.


Once upon a time, Santa Monica’s Fourth of July
fireworks were legendary. They were shot off the
the beach, and they were glorious, dazzling, overwhelming — as well as legendary –- everything we want great fireworks to be. People came from all over Southern California to see them, and came every Fourth of July.

But the City didn’t like them. The town filled up early. By mid-afternoon, driving in downtown Santa Monica was impossible. Crowds, throngs of happy people gathered in Palisades Park and on the beach. There was some drinking, of course. And inevitably some incidents.

After a number of years and incidents, the City moved the fireworks from the evening of the Fourth of July to dawn of the Fourth. They called it “Dawn’s Early Light,” and added an orchestra, which played on the Santa Monica Pier. It was still great, but not as great as it had been at night. Still, throngs came, filled up the town. And there was still drinking – more actually, as some stout people drank all night. But, after a shooting on the Pier, the City cancelled the fireworks.

Residents and visitors were disconsolate, but
the City was adamant. That was some years ago, but people remembered them, and we still get calls about them every year.

For some time, Santa Monica College has held the fireworks show in Corsair Field – but not on the Fourth. This year, the 30th anniversary of “Celebrate America” will be held on June 30. In addition to fireworks. the rock and blues band, Chris Mulkey n’ Deluxe, a regular at the House of Blues, will perform, and there will be community service booths, food trucks and food booths operated by the Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica and the SMC Athletics Department. Picnicking is welcome, but alcoholic beverages, glass containers, barbecues, fireworks and chairs with pointed legs are prohibited. The college is at 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Gates open at 5 p.m., with entertainment at 6:45 p.m. and the fireworks at 9 p.m. The event is free and parking is $5. Call (310) 434-3001.

Sponsors of the event are SMC and the City of Santa Monica, the SMC Associated Students and Bourget Brothers Building Materials in Santa Monica.