Susan Brownmiller, Kate Millett and Other Prominent Second Wave Feminists will speak out against Trumpism at June 10 Reunion in Greenwich Village

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June 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Women's Strike for Peace-And Equality, Women's Strike for Equality, Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, August 26, 1970. (Photo by Eugene Gordon/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)

 

 

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Women’s Strike for Peace-And Equality, Women’s Strike for Equality, Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, August 26, 1970.  (Photo by Eugene Gordon/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)

By Mary Reinholz

Radical feminist Susan Brownmiller has plenty of room at the top in her Greenwich Village penthouse near the meat packing district. Outside on the terrace is her urban oasis of carefully cultivated plants, trees and flowers, the subject of her latest book, “My City Highrise Garden” (Rutgers University Press). To a casual observer, she appears to lead an idyllic existence in lower Manhattan.

But Brownmiller, a self-described “82-year-old celibate heterosexual,” isn’t always at peace in her spacious 20th floor pad (now shared with a roommate). It’s a rent stabilized unit which she rented at triple the cost in her Jane Street building several years after the 1975 success of her groundbreaking treatise on rape: “Against Our Will,” a tome that established her as a prominent voice in the women’s liberation movement even while some leftwing feminists denounced her for becoming a star name in a collective effort to achieve gender equality. Read more

THE DAUNTING PERILS OF THE WRITING TRADE

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June 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Bob Vickrey- boy sports editor

 

Sports Editor of College Newspaper– circa 1967. The essay is in conjunction with the recent California Newspaper Publishers Association award  he received for “Best Column Writing” in the weekly newspaper category.

 

By Bob Vickrey

Upon returning to the writing life as a newspaper columnist several years ago after a mere 40-year career detour in the book publishing business, I was reminded of the precarious journey a writer faces from their public exposure.

One of the first columns I wrote after my return was published in my hometown paper in Houston as I attempted to capture the essence of growing up in post-WWII suburbia. The piece received prominent positioning on the op/ed page of the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle, which immediately triggered numerous responses from old friends and classmates in the area who had noticed my byline. Read more

Los Angeles Housing Crisis Feeds Homelessness

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June 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

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Leslie Evans

Median rents in Los Angeles increased 32% between 2000 and 2017, according to a May 2017 report by the Public Policy Institute of California. Over the same period, household income decreased by 3% when adjusted for inflation. The real estate website Trulia reports that in Spring 2017 the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles was $2,600. A UC Berkeley study by the Urban Analytics Lab found a slightly lower figure, at $2,499. In large parts of Los Angeles this is more than the total annual median household income. In the Adams-Normandie section of South Los Angeles, median household income is $29,000 a year, or $2,417 a month; in Watts it is $25,000, or $2,083 a month. Read more

‘SOPRANOS’ WANNABES VISIT CARMINE’S RESTAURANT

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June 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

 

Carmine's Booth featuring cast picture of Oceans Eleven

Carmine’s Restaurant booth featuring picture of cast members of “Oceans Eleven” Photo by Barry Stein

By Bob Vickrey

The atmosphere at Carmine’s restaurant in West Los Angeles was so authentically old-world Italian that one would have thought our lunch club group had just taken an exit off the New Jersey Turnpike and slipped into Tony Soprano’s favorite hideaway.

So, like I was sayin’, my pals Pauley, Vito, and Johnny ‘Sack’—better known as Arnie, Barry, and Josh, were seated in our favorite corner booth and were a bit uneasy about who might be coming through the back door. Vito (a.k.a Barry) always seemed to have our backs so we could enjoy the best food in town without looking over our shoulders. Read more

The Fat Man Returns; The Elusive Hunt for California Bohemia and Other Matters

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May 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Review by Mary Reinholz

Peripatetic author and journalist Lionel Rolfe has slimmed down considerably judging from the cover of this slender 155-page collection of personal essays first written for the Pasadena Weekly and the Huffington Post and compiled nearly two decades after the publication of his 1998 volume, “Fat Man on the Left: Four Decades in the Underground.” In these short chapters, Rolfe, now in his 70s, makes it clear that he still maintains many of his hefty lefty beliefs. He’s all for unions to help working folks deal with the bosses despite his memories of unsavory mob figures in the background.

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THE LOBSTER: NINETY-FOUR YEARS AND COUNTING

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May 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

The Lobster- Bob & Arnie

Bob and Arnie arrive at The Lobster with the Lunch Club Photos by Barry Stein.

By Bob Vickrey

 

It may not look like the “Seafood Shack” of old, but the latest version of the old landmark at the beach still offers that same breathtaking 180-degree view of the crystal-blue Pacific.

Our monthly lunch group decided it was time for some seafood, so The Lobster, located adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier since 1923, was an easy choice. The old seafood house has gone through several incarnations during its 94 years, and the latest upgrade completed in 1999, transformed it into an upscale restaurant that reflects the ever-changing economic climate in Santa Monica. Read more

Will Community Resistance Prevent Building the Homeless Housing Voters Have Funded?

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May 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 
Contested lot at Lorena and East 1st Street in Boyle Heights, proposed site of a 49 unit apartment house, half for mentally ill homeless people. El Mercado shopping center (at the right of the photo) has led the opposition to the project and been supported by Jose Huizar, chair of the Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Contested lot at Lorena and East 1st Street in Boyle Heights, proposed site of a 49 unit apartment house, half for mentally ill homeless people. El Mercado shopping center (at the right of the photo) has led the opposition to the project and been supported by Jose Huizar, chair of the Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Leslie Evans

Last November 76% of Los Angeles voters said yes to Proposition HHH, the $1.2 billion bond measure to build 10,000 units of homeless housing over the next ten years. While the vast majority of Angelinos are ready to spend money get the homeless off the streets, it is a very different story when it comes to where to put them. It seems that most people want them somewhere else than in their neighborhood. A disturbing test case has been a proposed 49-unit apartment house at east 1st and Lorena Streets in Boyle Heights, which has been stalled for three years by community opposition and reluctance by LA City officials to confront the critics and move forward. Read more

WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THESE EARLY BIRD DINNERS?

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May 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 
Is the Lime Jello "Surprise" looming in my near future?

Is the Lime Jello “Surprise” looming in my near future?

By Bob Vickrey

 

I’m trying to remember exactly when my friends all began having dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon. It has occurred to me that this phenomenon could possibly have something to do with their age—and yes, possibly mine.

It seems that every time someone asks me to join them for dinner lately, the invitation begins: “Why don’t you meet us at Ferdinand the Bull’s at 4:30. The early-bird special there is fantastic and it’s only $9.95.” Read more

The Man From Pasadena Who Strode The Globes

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April 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

By Lionel Rolfe

Guard Hall at his control console in the Deep Space Control Area.

Guard Hall at his control console in the Deep Space Control Area, November 1980.

 

Thirty-five years ago in Pasadena I met a young man at JPL from where a device was rocketed to Jupiter. The Voyager was a VW-sized vehicle powered by nuclear fuel, with solar panels and broadcast antennas. Guard Hall was the “Ops Chief” for the Voyager spacecraft. Launched in 1977, the Voyager craft acquired images & scientific data from encounters with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and their moons. He was involved in another related mission, the earlier one to Mars.

Guard Hall—his name apparently came from a military childhood—believed very much in the idea of life  on Jupiter’s largest satellite Titan, and on Mars. He lived a wonderfully scientific life, more mystical than it should have been. He may have been the most mystical around JPL, he says. His job there was to command the Space Flights Operation Facility in the bottom rung of a five-story computer building. Hall, born in 1948, studied psychology, computers and space stations. Read more

The Late Lynne Stewart

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April 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

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Lynne Stewart on her website (one with her husband Ralph Poynter) not long before she died.

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The Blind Shiek, Stewart’s most famous defendant, died Feb.18 –about 3 weeks before Stewart’s passing.

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Photo of Lynne Stewart and husband Ralph Poynter at rally in lower Manhattan before she was imprisoned for helping “blind shiekh,” a convicted terrorist, communicate with his followers in Egypt.

By Mary Reinholz

Detractors of the late Lynne Stewart view her as a disbarred mouthpiece for evildoers who was imprisoned for helping a convicted terrorist communicate with his violent followers in Egypt. Her mostly leftist supporters revere the once prominent lawyer from Manhattan’s Lower East Side as a zealous defender of the poor and the grievously oppressed. Read more

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