GOODBYE, REDISTRICTED! HELLO, GREATER LONG BEACH!

June 24, 2010 3 comments

DAVE WIELENGA DISCONTINUES  BLOG FOR FULL-SERVICE WEBSITE GREATERLONGBEACH.COM

Dave Wielenga, just this minute formerly of Redistricted! and a talented group of collaborators announce today the debut of Greater Long Beach—a full-service website grown from very deep local roots … and the pooled efforts and experience of the area’s very best journalists.

Together, Greater Long Beach intends to provide something … well, GREATER:
GREATER, as in a Long Beach that is reported, investigated and explained with intelligence, diligence and fearlessness.

GREATER, as in a Long Beach that is explored and celebrated with expert coverage of arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as insightful looks at its people, culture, lifestyles and social issues.

GREATER, as in a Long Beach that is connected to satellite cities–suburbs from Seal Beach to Cerritos, Bellflower, Lakewood, Compton and Downey to San Pedro–through coverage that  tracks their particular orbits and their influence on one another.

GREATER, as in a Long Beach that is improving and ascending in both big-city and small-town ways—the natural outcome of a free flow of information through first-rate independent journalism, reported quickly but explained clearly, with necessary objectivity and reasoned perspective.

AMONG THE STORIES ON GREATER LONG BEACH RIGHT NOW:
 
Ellen Griley’s  BLANCHE DEATHEREAUX: QUARTERBACK PRINCESS OF LONG BEACH ROLLER DERBY: “Some people just can’t go up to someone they don’t know and hit them or flip on top of them,” says Sarah ‘Blanche Deathereaux’ Scanlon, the team captain and jammer for the Retro Rollers of the Long Beach Roller Derby. “That’s what got me excited once we actually started looking like roller derby players.”
 
Bill Pearl’s editorial A WAVE SO BIG NO BREAKWATER COULD STOP IT: It was a wave so big no breakwater could stop it. It had been building for nearly 10 years, and when that wave crashed through the City Council Chamber on Tuesday night, it swept aside years of stale excuses as Long Beach’s elected representatives finally faced up to how much those excuses had cost this City.
 
Dave Wielenga’s SECOND+PCH + DEVELOPERS + ENVIROS + COUNCILMEMBER = BEER & POLITICS: The latest pivot point in the development of Long Beach—the proposed replacement of the tired, old SeaPort Marina Hotel with the high-rise Second+PCH hotel, residential and retail complex—will be the next topic of debate at Beer & Politics.
 
Susan Jacobs’ BACK AT MY ROOTS, NO HAIR MEANS NO BAD HAIR DAYS: I’ve returned to my roots, literally: I’ve just had my hair shaved off—gone, no más. As a result, I am happy, nappy and finally free from the drama that I’ve allowed to big-foot its way back into my life for the past several years. I’m back where I belong after trying it all, again.

****

Greater Long Beach is inspired by the 10-years-and-counting legacy of LBReport.com, the city’s first legitimate news outlet on the World Wide Web, and informed by the ahead-of-its time hip and humor of the District Weekly. In fact, much of Greater Long Beach’s local news coverage is propelled by Bill Pearl’s nuts-and-bolts dispatches from LBReport.com. Greater Long Beach’s reach into investigations, entertainment, profiles and sports is generated by its publisher, Dave Wielenga, whose wide body of work at the Press-Telegram, OC Weekly and District Weekly has spanned all those categories.

INFORMATION                                    ADVERTISING

Dave Wielenga                                        Terry Jensen

(562) 879-5498                                         (562) 743- 1285

DaveW@GreaterLongBeach.com           TerryJ@GreaterLongBeach.com

SUMMERTIME: IT’S ENOUGH TO MAKE SOME KIDS LOSE THEIR LUNCH

June 22, 2010 3 comments

BY MELISSA BOTEACH & SOPHIE MILAM

COMPTON BULLETIN

Most children jump for joy when the final bell rings on the last day of school. For them, summer means freedom. It means camp, vacation and popsicles. But summer also means hunger and stagnation for too many American children. Schools begin letting out over the next week, and many children are facing a summer of skipping meals or consuming the cheap but empty calories that contribute to the nation’s child obesity epidemic.

 More than 31 million children benefit from the national school lunch program, with 62 percent receiving free or reduced-price meals. But only one in six of these kids will receive a similarly subsidized summer meal during the summer months. READ MORE

DISAPPOINTED IN COLUMBIA SPACE CENTER, DOWNEY FIRES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

THE NEXT FRONTIER: Space Center's revelations include include how to take a dump in space

FROM ERIC PIERCE / DOWNEY PATRIOT

Eight months after presiding over its grand opening, Jon Betthauser has been fired as executive director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, where city officials complained about poor fundraising and the fact that the center is not even fully operational yet.

“The bottom line is the center is currently average and it should be exceptional,” said Scott Pomrehn, a deputy city manager who has assumed Betthauser’s duties. “It really needs to be outstanding.” READ MORE

ON FATHER’S DAY, SHE FEELS MORE LUCKY THAN GOOD

June 19, 2010 13 comments

DAD WITH ASSISTANT, c. 1950

BY LOUISE CUNNINGHAM

This is for everyone whose father wasn’t Robert Young—you know, the 1950s TV dad on “Father Knows Best,” the dad everyone wished they had. Instead, we got … well, I got an alcoholic mess of a smart, well-read, first-to-wear-Bermuda shorts (with black socks and shoes) in 1959 dad, who died young. I got lucky. He called me Lucky.

“Lucky, you’re doin’ good,” he’d say, and 36 years after his death at age 62, he still does—presumably while sitting on my right shoulder, up near my ear, which explains why I can hear him so clearly. He never explained why he called me Lucky. Nobody did. I never knew.

But it made me—the younger of his two girls—feel special. I loved my dad and hated him, as growing girls are wont to do. I know now that he was human, with way more frailties than most. He wasn’t like those men who went to work every day, maybe went to church every week, went to the school play, paid the bills and were there when the kids needed them.  But it doesn’t mean that my father wasn’t worthy of a “Best Dad” trophy. And I miss him like crazy on Father’s Day. Read more…

COMMIE GIRL ON JURY DUTY: BENDING THE MORAL ARC OF JUSTICE ALL OVER YOUR ASS

FAIR IS FAIR, RIGHT?

BY REBECCA SCHOENKOPF / FOURSTORY.ORG

Remember last week when I said we would talk about parks today? Oh, I had so much opining to do, and you … you were going to listen!

But that was before I got jury duty, and you … you, but of course, got it with me. Now! Everyone knows I love jury duty—I do! Doing my civic duty gets me all tingly and happy, and if I could wear my “I Voted” sticker all year long without looking like a homeless who doesn’t change her clothes, I would. Voting and jury duty in the same week? The French have a name for that, and it is “hog heaven.”

And so we got a courtroom, and a voir dire, and an almost-unheard-of one-day trial, and it was the stupidest case you’ve ever seen in your long life of seeing stupid cases. There was our judge, welcoming us with Dr. King’s quote about the moral arc of the universe bending towards justice—lovely!—and in our case, “justice” was some simpering lunatic chick suing a perfectly wonderful young man who didn’t do a thing wrong. Young lady, we will bend the moral arc of justice all over your ass! READ MORE

RETURN WITH THE BLASTERS TO THE MIDDLE OF THE EARTH—RECORD STORE, THAT IS

BY PETER THOMPSON

Subject: “I don’t like music I haven’t heard before”
 
Yeah, someone really said that. We wish we had her name so we could attribute it. But instead, we held her up to ridicule by writing the quote on the infamous felt letterboard that greeted each soul who entered the hallowed grounds of Middle Earth Records in Downey.

These were the ’70s, the peak vinyl years, and Middle Earth was the place to go to feed your music addiction. Punk landed early here, finding fertile ground among the prog, rock and folk freaks who made up the staff. The Ramones made an in-store appearance here. Middle Earth was the home store of the Blasters, as well as Richard and Karen Carpenter, and bands passing through L.A. made a southeast detour to Downey just to search the imports. (And our parents thought Downey was a SAFE place to raise their kids!)

Today, 30+ years later, we’re searching out those who either drew a paycheck from Middle Earth or simply wasted away their youth and hard-earned cash on vinyl, magazines, and other “things” we sold back in the day. For more information, check out http://www.facebook.com/middleearthrecords

WHAT: A Tribute to Middle Earth Records featuring The Blasters
WHERE: The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd, LA 90026
WHEN: Saturday, June 19, 2010; doors open at 6:30
FOR MORE INFO: attheecho.com

ALL WRITEY!!! A SAMPLING OF YOUR COMMENTS / CRITICISMS / LOVE NOTES / WITTICISMS

June 13, 2010 3 comments

JUNE 9, RACHEL POWERS’ “ELECTION DAY FOR PERENNIAL CANDIDATE PETER MATHEWS: MANY UNHAPPY RETURNS”

Probably time [for Mathews] to give it up; Richardson was eminently beatable. The “lost” campaign mailers story sounds a little fishy to these ears. / HOWARD X

Rachel, time to put your incredible talent to work on a fact-based novel about the Eternal Candidate. Or a film. Maybe you could get the Mathewsmobile to get in and promise its owner royalties to go toward the next campaign. Plenty of material. / KATE K.

I hope this means Mathews will stop parking that eyesore of a people mover—covered in half-assed “detailing” extolling his virtues—in the most inconvenient places in town. The worst was when he was parking it on Bellflower Blvd., right at where it bottlenecks near the YMCA. The second really bad spot creaed a major traffic hazard on 7th Street near Park. Good riddance! / LB CITY GIRL Read more…

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