Author: The Argonaut

It’s a Ballona Superbloom!

But those giant yellow flowers are mustard plant, which isn’t good for the wetlands The upside of this winter’s record-setting rainfall was the end of a crippling five-year drought; the downside is all that water stimulated unprecedented growth of invasive plant species that threaten the balance of ecosystems in the Westside’s few remaining spaces set aside for nature. All along Culver Boulevard from Jefferson Boulevard to the 90 Freeway, the highlands of the Ballona Wetlands have come alive as a sea of tall yellow flowers as far as a driver’s eye can see, accented by tufts of crown daisies...

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Tambourines, Twitter and Trump-Bashing

Rep. Ted Lieu gets an enthusiastic welcome at Santa Monica town hall By Beige Luciano-Adams While lawmakers across the U.S. are getting pummeled at town hall meetings — that folksy standard now trending, a few months into the Trump presidency — at least one is riding the wave to giddy heights. Rep. Ted Lieu, the Southern California congressional delegation’s premier Trump antagonist, walked on stage at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall last Thursday and got a standing ovation. That’s literally all he had to do: Without him saying a word, the house erupted in applause. The crowd was...

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Trumpgate vs. Watergate

Nixon White House Counsel John Dean and intelligence expert Malcolm Nance tell a packed town hall the Russia scandal isn’t going to fade away By Gary Walker John Dean knows a thing or two about presidential scandals. As White House Counsel for President Richard Nixon, he became embroiled in the Watergate cover-up and ultimately testified against Nixon before the U.S. Senate. At a congressional town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Karen Bass (D- Los Angeles) on April 19, Dean told nearly 1,000 people crammed into the Marina Del Rey Middle School Auditorium and two overflow rooms that it’s too...

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Freaks Out

Displaced by murky real estate dealings, the Venice Beach Freakshow celebrates one last hurrah By Beige Luciano-Adams Venice Beach Freakshow paterfamilias Todd Ray is adamant this story should be about celebrating the Freakshow — its history and import to an iconic and inclusive boardwalk counterculture. He wants their closing party this Sunday — from noon to 6 p.m., and you are totally invited — to reify that legacy and connect the community. He does not want this story to be about his most recent landlord, a shell investment group reportedly summoned at the behest of tech giant Snapchat, which...

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Small Wonder

Le Petit Café serves wonderful French cuisine with understated European charm By Richard Foss I ordered something I didn’t like in a restaurant yesterday, and I did so deliberately. Occasionally I’ll sample dishes made from the few ingredients I’m generally not fond of —like sea cucumber, Icelandic pickled shark and Japanese natto — because perhaps I’ve just never had it prepared well. People all over the world choose to eat these things, so it must be possible to make them delicious … right? The venue for this particular experiment was Le Petit Café in Santa Monica, a surprisingly authentic...

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