Author: The Argonaut

A Life’s Work

Woodcarver Ray Ford has been making art in a Venice garage for 61 years Story by Kathy Leonardo Photos by Ted Soqui Growing up on a dusty sharecropper farm in northwest Texas during the Great Depression, Ray Ford didn’t have many toys. When he turned 5, Ford’s grandfather gave him a pocketknife so he could carve his own from scraps of wood. Like so many others who had fled the ravages of the Dust Bowl before him, Ford headed west to California at age 20, where he worked for Douglas Aircraft, danced to big band music in the old...

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Road Reconfiguration Rage in Mar Vista

Commuters threaten to recall council-man over traffic lane reductions By Gary Walker Furious over losing a lane of traffic in each direction with the recent reconfiguration of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, a group of Westside commuters is organizing to pressure L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin into reversing the changes — threatening to launch a recall campaign if necessary. Part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s pedestrian-friendly Great Streets program, lane reductions between Inglewood Boulevard to Beethoven Street made room for a protected bike lanes between the sidewalk and parked cars, but also triggered public backlash over slower traffic....

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L.A. Already Makes Plenty of Room for Cars Re: “Road Diet Resistance,” News, June 8 The expansion of bike lanes and greenery on Venice Boulevard near Centinela Avenue is a godsend. Not only is the street redesign good for bicyclists, it’s great for pedestrians and people who live there —opening up and beautifying the environment. That’s great for the businesses. People now slow down to see what’s actually in the neighborhood: coffee shops, restaurants, a bookstore, thrift shop and other stores. And that Sunday Mar Vista Farmers Market at the heart of changes to the boulevard is a gem....

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‘Awareness Can Save a Life’

A Venice musician who survived the cancer that killed Steve Jobs pays it forward with information, support and hope By Andrew Dubbins After her 2005 neuroendocrine cancer diagnosis, classical pianist Giovanna Imbesi underwent two difficult surgeries to remove the tumors in her intestines and liver. Worse even than the pain for Imbesi was the fear. “Doctors can give you pain meds,” she recalls, “but what’s really going on is you’re wondering if you’re going to die. It’s such an intense fear.” Neuroendocrine cancer patients usually don’t receive traditional chemotherapy, so they often don’t look like typical cancer patients. Acquaintances...

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