Kate Millett, ‘Extraordinary Woman,’ Remembered By Steinem, Ono, and Clinton

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December 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

November 10, 2017

By Mary Reinholz

Yoko Ono at Kate Millett memorial. (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Feminist icon Kate Millett, author of the ’70s classic Sexual Politics, received a star-studded Manhattan sendoff on November 9, following her death September 6 in Paris at age 82. The Upper West Side memorial service drew about 500 people, most of them women, and sometimes befitted a state funeral.

Pamela Mataszewski, a blonde bagpiper in a kilt, began the service with a mournful dirge as she strode up the center aisle of a Unitarian Universalist Church to its altar where Millett’s ashes had been placed in a blue jug beside flickering candles. After she departed, still blowing her pipes,  soprano Katie Zaffrann sang “Ave Maria” to mark the passing of Millett, who lived at 295 Bowery for 38 years, residing there when it was in a rundown neighborhood populated by so-called “Bowery bums.” Her late 19th century building once housed the infamous McGurk Suicide Hall, a spot where several teenage prostitutes were believed to have killed themselves by lacing their last drinks with carbolic acid. Read more

Dunga Brook Diary: Sight To Be Seen

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December 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

From LAX to ALB

By Vicki Whicker 

I bought an 1820’s farmhouse and one acre for $10,000.

In the middle of nowhere.

Sight unseen.

Ok, not $10,000.

$10,000 plus closing costs plus all back taxes.

How many years of back taxes? And how much was even one year of back taxes in central New York?

I didn’t ask. When I want something, fine details are not necessary. You will encounter this attitude of mine, many times.

The FINAL total for an ancient house on an acre in “The Middle of Nowhere”?


BARGAIN. Read more


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December 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Vespertine’s mango wrapped in sunflower blossoms and wedged into stone monolith.

By Bob Vickrey

Each year when Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold releases his list of “101 Best Restaurants” in Southern California, I realize that I may need to get out more often.

I’ve been to only a half-dozen restaurants that Gold chose for inclusion on his 2017 list, which makes me feel I’ve been living like a hermit in the witness protection program. Maybe it’s time to shed those metaphorical ankle restraints. Read more

Adventure Of A Lifetime

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December 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 
By Doug Weiskopf


(Below is a letter and photo I just mailed to a writer for Scientific American Magazine about my experience of a lifetime on Mount St. Helens).


Dear Steve:

I enjoyed and was fascinated by your article in the current edition of Scientific American about Mount St. Helens, having had a decades long spiritual connection with the great volcano. As a student and resident living in the West Hills of Portland, Or. between 1969 and 1980 I had a clear view of St. Helens when it was not shrouded in clouds and was always transfixed by its beauty, looking as it did like a giant snow cone (we used to call it “the Mount Fuji of the Pacific NW”). St. Helens beckoned me for years until I decided to join The Mazamas, a local mountain climbing club, so that I could ascend the mountain and stand on its summit. Read more


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December 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Photos by Barry Stein

By Bob Vickrey

After living in L.A. for almost 40 years, I find myself constantly reminded that we live in the shadow of the Hollywood sign.

Such was the case recently while watching a television rerun of the 1999 movie “The Cider House Rules.” I was once again completely engaged by this unique film, when suddenly my Palisades neighbor Colin Irving appeared on-screen during a dramatic turning point in the story.

I was aware that he had appeared in several movies in his younger years, but I had not yet met him when the movie was initially released. It occurred to me that the former actor—turned fitness guru—would be a perfect candidate to join our lunch club for our November trip to The Galley in Santa Monica. Read more

Pain in Glendale

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November 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Lionel with Tiffany Austin, social worker at the hospital

By Lionel Rolfe

The morning I couldn’t get out of bed because my back went out, I had to be carried down a small elevator to Good Sam Hospital by four members of a Los Angeles Fire Department crew. They listened to my hysterical screaming where I yelled at them to keep me vertical. I was eventually dumped into a bed to save my back—and despite my doctor’s warning they gave me some strong morphine, which also helped. Read more

Dunga Brook Diary: Big Swinging Balls 

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November 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

The horse, of course


by Vicki Whicker

I bought my house sight unseen from a post on Facebook. I am probably going to say that more than once in this monthly column. Maybe once each month. I don’t think it can be stressed enough. Sight unseen!

I don’t need a lot of information. When something comes at me, I either say yes or no, there is no weighing of the options—I’m not calling my therapist, no friends are consulted, certainly not parents (long gone by this time, anyhow), my ex and his wife aren’t in on it, I might have mentioned it to my son and my best friends but I wasn’t looking for input. It’s just me, myself and I. Read more

Remembering Former Colleague Digby Diehl: Journalist, Author, Literary critic and “ghost whisperer” to Natalie Cole, Patti LuPone, Dan Rather and Esther Williams-for starters

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November 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Digby Diehl with Patti LuPone at NYC launch party for her memoir circa 2010 (Getty Images)

By Mary Reinholz

The late journalist Digby Diehl, a longtime Pasadena resident, was an author, co-author and a literary critic — a big, bearded guy who sometimes gave the impression that life for him was a day at the beach. I first got to know him nearly 50 years ago when he assigned me books to review for Coast, a fine arts guide, and later for the Los Angeles Times. Then I moved to New York. We had one lunch in Greenwich Village when I was working for Women’s Wear Daily. He was running a prestigious publishing firm. Read more

Ron Galperin’s Report on Homeless Camps

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November 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Leslie Evans

What is L.A. doing with the camps while waiting for housing and shelters to be built?

A read through the 46 dense pages on homeless camps released September 27 by City Controller Ron Galperin reveals a maze of overlapping jurisdictions that have difficulty communicating with each other, laws that are sometimes ambiguous, often not enforced, legal restrictions, and stalled plans to expand storage facilities for homeless belongings, still limited after years of discussion to a single building in Skid Row.

That doesn’t mean that nothing is being done. There is clearly an aggressive effort to clean up street camps. The devil, as usual, is in the details. Read more

A Glimpse Of Dust Unto Shadow

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November 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

[Seven years ago first-time author Linda LaRoche gained entry into her genealogy by documents she found through The Church of Latter Day Saints. She had been told her family’s roots were in Mexico. But records indicated she descended from Criollos (Spaniards living in Mexico that kept their blood lines pure). Amazed by her findings she began to ask questions. Her mother, who had been an intensely private woman had not shared her family history other than their migration from a comfortable life in Northern California to Santa Clara, a village outside of Guadalajara, Jalisco. But approaching her twilight years, her voice grew steady and louder and her memories were vivid. LaRoche, documented as if she had become a trustee, a conduit to honor the past. She heard about violence, injustice, a lack of humanity and disrespect for life that brought tears to her eyes. The resulting portrait is illustrated in Dust Unto Shadow, a sensitive collection of short stories told in her mother’s voice and written with Hispanic folklore chronicling the quest in living for love.
Copies are available at: http://www.lindalaroche.com/resume_linda_laroche.htm  ]

This is an excerpt:

We fought a lot in Santa Clara. Not just to fend off enemies but to fit in. Maybe because there was little to do or maybe it was because that’s what we had learned by watching my father take out his rage on my mother, and as kids we took it out on each other, or maybe it was because life was hard and it made people hard or maybe it was because we were cramped, and it was dirty but whatever the reason it seemed that everyone had to fight. Read more

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