Author: The Argonaut

Inspirational Stories

The Actors’ Gang Theater’s new production features tales of the Great Depression By Kamala Kirk Tim Robbins met and interviewed his longtime hero and renowned author, Studs Terkel, for a public conversation that was hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 21 years ago. “Paul Holdengräber from the New York Public Library contacted me and asked if I wanted to interview the greatest interviewer of all time,” Robbins said. “When he told me it was Studs, I jumped at the opportunity because I loved his books. This was a man that chronicled the human condition of everyday people that were struggling to get through terrible times.” Terkel’s bestselling book, “Hard Times,” featured firsthand accounts of people who lived during the Great Depression of the 1930s. On the book’s 50th anniversary last year, Robbins — who is the artistic director of The Actors’ Gang Theater — and his cast adapted “Hard Times” into a play via Zoom when they were unable to get together during the pandemic. “The idea came out of the limitations. We couldn’t meet or be in the same room to create together,” Robbins said. “Zoom is not a theatrical medium and, because of those limitations, we started working on just storytelling. At first, we tried doing the stories in the first person, but later adapted them to the third person. When we started workshopping,...

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Coronavirus by the numbers and local updates

Compiled by Kamala Kirk Cases and deaths by neighborhood as of July 22: Culver City: 2,346 (deaths 110); Del Rey: 35 (deaths one); El Segundo: 793 (deaths six); Marina del Rey: 455 (deaths four); Mar Vista: 2,229 (deaths 37); Palms: 2,766 (deaths 61); Playa del Rey: 128 (deaths one); Playa Vista: 652 (deaths nine); Santa Monica: 5,210 (deaths 183); Venice: 1,933 (deaths 13); Westchester: 2,738 (deaths 49) Total Westside cases: 19,285 Total Westside deaths: 474 Total confirmed cases in LA County: 1,276,137 Total deaths in LA County: 24,607 Total new cases as of July 22: 2,767 Total new deaths: 13 Hospitalizations: 645 Positivity rate (seven-day daily average): 4.05% Total number of people tested: 7,213,245 (Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public...

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Re: Responses misrepresented the original letter Editor: Thank you very much for publishing my letter on July 1, but the “corrections” to it by both Jack Schwartz and Angus MacDonald misrepresented my letter. Mr. Schwartz claimed that he “did not promote building private housing for the homeless,” while in his original letter he wrote, “So, if you want to help, support housing groups like Venice Community Housing Corp., who are actually building these projects to house people.” He also repeated that it is “unconstitutional to decree mandatory destination housing for the homeless,” although he has yet to cite the article, section and clause in the Constitution (or the amendment) that this violates.  I didn’t realize that our Founding Fathers had a significant homeless crisis to deal with back then, or for that matter polluted, public, modern cities and waterways. If one is going to reference the Constitution, then it is important to be specific. National Parks, public schools, NASA, Medicare, Social Security and the EPA, to name just a few, are not in the Constitution either, so does that make them unconstitutional? The Constitution, as demonstrated by the aforementioned and the 27 amendments, is a living document, which must keep up with our ever-changing world. He also stated that “Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia were prime examples of ‘majority rule,’ as is modern-day China,” but all three of these examples were or are...

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Opinion: An open response to Nick Antonicello

By Traci Park Hi, Nick. Traci Park here. We have actually met multiple times at community events over the last decade. You probably just don’t remember me because I’ve always been polite and respectful when we talked. We’ve never had a disagreement or testy exchange that might stand out in your mind. But since you took the time to publicly share your views of me, without the courtesy of a phone call or email to inquire about mine, I wanted to take the time to respond to the points you raised. You said that I am “a political novice with no real community advocacy or service.” You’re absolutely right: I’m not a politician. I’m just an average resident who is willing to take on the establishment instead of sitting behind a computer and complaining about things. I’ve spent my entire career in advocacy and service, I just don’t brag about it on social media. I don’t do that work for publicity or because I expect anyone to thank me. I do it because I care about protecting the families and businesses in our community. You also noted that you found it “downright strange and disturbing” that I did not mention Mike Bonin on my website. I’m stepping away from a career I love and taking on the uncomfortable role of jumping into politics by running against him. But since...

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Happy Camper Hangouts

Program brings camping, connection and confidence to kids By Haley Beyer Happy Trails for Kids, a camp for boys and girls growing up in foster care, partnered up with Happy Camper Live, Comfort Cases and Alternative Family Services to start a program called Happy Camper Hangouts. This program is dedicated to bringing camping, connections and confidence into the lives of kids who do not have access to the same extracurricular activities most get to experience. The idea for the camp started back in 1976 when a boy named David Abrams was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 2 years old. He survived cancer, but his treatments left him epileptic and with intellectual disabilities. Because of Abrams’ illness, no sleepaway camp would allow him to stay, so his mother, Pepper Edmiston, started her own called Camp Good Times, which was changed a year later to Happy Trails. Happy Trails hosted families who were raising seriously ill or incapacitated kids (either kids of their own or through foster care) for 13 years. David’s sister, Susan, became an attorney who represented kids in foster care. In 2009, she took over as president of Happy Trails and focused the mission of the program on kids in foster care with and without disabilities. From that point on, The Salters (David’s grandparents), Abrams and Edmiston families continued to support Happy Trails for Kids, both to...

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