Archives for August 28, 2019

Meet on Beach Multi-City Event Transforms Communities Along the Iconic Beach Boulevard Route

The first-ever Meet on Beach multi-city community festival is set to reimagine Beach Boulevard on Sunday, November 17 with a full day of live musical performances, local food activations, hands-on workshops, and more free activities for all to enjoy. Created by the Renew Beach Boulevard Coalition, the alliance behind the economic revitalization and transformation of the 21-mile historic corridor, seven Orange County cities have joined together to produce a day of active and healthy fun for the surrounding communities.

Beach Boulevard, originally named Highway 39, was established in 1933 to serve as the primary connector between seven Orange County cities including La Habra, Buena Park, Anaheim, Stanton, Garden Grove, Westminster, and Huntington Beach. The boulevard stitches together Orange County and has the opportunity to become an even more iconic and lively destination for the region.
Meet on Beach, presented by the Southern California Association of Governments’ Go Human campaign and produced by Community Arts Resources, connects seven Orange County cities via Beach Boulevard, beginning from the hills of La Habra and continuing all the way down to the ocean at Huntington Beach. The event is one of the efforts behind collectively renewing this shared corridor to position the boulevard for lasting and future economic development opportunities while enriching the social, civic, and economic well-being of the surrounding neighbors and residents. Each boulevard city will host an event to amplify the future vision of Beach Boulevard as a more active, walkable, and bikeable street.

Start your day bright and early in La Habra and take a ride down the Coyote Creek Bikeway and stay for fun with the La Habra Children’s Museum or watch live BMX and cross fit demonstrations. Next, head south to Buena Park and Anaheim’s joint open streets event.

“We are excited to co-host Meet on Beach with the other six cities celebrating Beach Boulevard,” said Dr. Swati Meshram, senior planner for the City of Buena Park. “The City of Buena Park is excited to present an open streets event in collaboration with the City of Anaheim, allowing participants to walk, bike, and play on 1.5 miles of Beach Boulevard from La Palma Avenue to Orange Avenue for the first time ever.”
Musicians, dancers, and artists will breathe new life into the historical corridor at activations along the open streets route. Knott’s Berry Farm’s Independence Hall in Buena Park will be bustling with activities and entertainment from dance to rock and roll with musical performances by The Satin DollzRedboy Productions and The Springsteen Experience. Enjoy the open road and stroll on down to the West Anaheim Youth Center and enjoy musical performances, games, local food trucks and more.

Walk or ride to hands-on workshops at Stanton’s Walkable Streets Lab and experience traffic safety through a new entertaining lens with “Safe Moves City,” an interactive exhibit in Garden Grove allowing children to experience realistic traffic situations promoting safety while biking or walking. Westminster’s Civic Center will host an active and healthy fun fair for the whole family.

The celebration will continue in Huntington Beach, where Meet on Beach culminates with a party on the beach including a bicycle rodeo by the Huntington Beach Police Department, a live performance by the Ramsey Brothers Band, local food trucks, BMX and bike demonstrations, and more.

“Huntington Beach is stoked to participate in Meet on Beach! It is a great opportunity to showcase individual cities that border one of the most iconic boulevards in all of California,” said Julie Toledo, City of Huntington Beach, Public Information Officer. “Surf City plans a family-friendly event at Beach and PCH that will encourage all to come out and explore awesome booths, great food, and lively entertainment.”
Go car-fee for the whole day and ride to Meet on Beach events by OC Bus! To encourage public transportation on Beach Boulevard and throughout Orange County, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) will give free OC Bus day passes to those who pledge to ride the bus on November 17.Meet on Beach is presented by the Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG) Go Human campaign in partnership with the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee; and produced by Community Arts Resources; in association with the cities of La Habra, Buena Park, Anaheim, Stanton, Garden Grove, Westminster, and Huntington Beach. For more information, visit meetonbeach.com or like us on Facebook. #MeetonBeach

Credit: Meet on Beach.

Sparkle, Aug. 28th Pet of the Week!

Some things sparkle more when they’re not “perfect.” This kitty is such a fine example of this that we named her Sparkle. Sparkle, a 3-month-old orange tabby, was found as a stray with a mangled ear. The shelter’s vets went to work on her immediately, and she’s healing beautifully. She’s also purring, loving on people, and crawling all over them! Bring some Sparkle into your life! Meet her on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#632380.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

LA Fleet Week 2019 Kicks Off With Welcome Party August 29th!

There’s no better way to start the Labor Day Weekend than with a party and some fun! The San Pedro Business Improvement District (PBID) will help kick off LA Fleet Week® 2019 over Labor Day Weekend with a Welcome Party Thursday night, Aug. 29. The entire community is invited to help celebrate the arrival of visiting active military from the U.S Sea Services converging on the LA Waterfront for the annual Fleet Week event Aug. 30-Sept. 2. 

The Welcome Party will be held on 398 W. 6th Street  in the heart of downtown San Pedro starting at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public, the game-themed party will feature group-based activities, trivia contests and organized lawn games. There will be live music throughout the evening from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., including performances by Navy Band, as well as local favorite and 80’s cover band Identity Theft.

“The Welcome Party has become a time-honored tradition to get LA Fleet Week rocking,” said Jonathan Williams, President of the PBID and LA Fleet Week Foundation. “We’d also like to especially invite all our local men and women in uniform to come down and give a warm welcome to their fellow service members, many who will be visiting the LA Waterfront and Southern California for the first time.” 

In addition to a wide variety of gastro fare from food trucks, the party will feature a beer garden for guests aged 21 and older. Local downtown San Pedro restaurants and bars will also be open, with many offering special deals in honor of LA Fleet Week and visiting military personnel. Visitors can also enjoy a complimentary public screening Thursday night of the fighter pilot blockbuster classic Top Gun, made possible through Paramount Studios and FilmLA. The film will be shown from 9:00 -11:00 p.m. at the Historic Warner Grand Theatre in downtown San Pedro.

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About LA Fleet Week®

LA Fleet Week® is a multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services that takes place on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles. Now in its fourth year, the event has become a Southern California end-of-summer tradition over Labor Day Weekend that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

LA Fleet Week is organized by the LA Fleet Week Foundation, in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. Other LA Fleet Week 2019 sponsors include The Ahmanson Foundation, Ambassador Frank Baxter / Alliance Alice Baxter Ready School, Anchor Brewing Company, Annenberg Foundation, AT&T, Black Knight Patrol, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel, Collier Walsh Nakazawa LLP, Comcast, Dante Valve, Delta Airlines, Fast Line Transportation, Humana, KRLA, LA County Veteran Peer Access Network, LA Department of Water and Power, Marathon Petroleum, Outfront Media, Paramount Pictures, Phillips 66, Princess Cruises, Providence Little Company of Mary, Qualcomm, Rancho LPG, Sailor Jerry Rum, San Pedro Property Owner’s Alliance, San Pedro Public Market, UPS, USAA, Valero, Verizon, Vistaprint, Wells Fargo, and Westrec Marinas. For sponsorship information and opportunities, email sponsorship@lafleetweek.org or call 310-971-4461.

For the latest updates on LA Fleet Week 2019, sign up for news announcements at LAFleetWeek.com, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @LAFleetWeek, or locate us using the official hashtag: #LAFleetWeek.

About Downtown San Pedro

Formed in 2008, PBID is a property-based business improvement district. Property owners, including both public and private sectors within the PBID boundaries are assessed annually for services provided by the PBID. Because of its prime location on the Los Angeles Waterfront and the Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro has always attracted various cultures with prominent fishing traditions.  San Pedro is an up-and-coming waterfront city and one of Los Angeles’s hidden secrets with a great art scene. The San Pedro PBID is managed by the San Pedro Property Owner’s Alliance. 

To learn more about attractions and upcoming events, please visit www.discoversanpedro.org and follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/downtownsanpedro (You can also locate us using the official hashtag #discoversanpedro). For information on the San Pedro Property Owners Alliance please visit www.sanpedrobid.com 


Planes, Frogs & Obstacles? They’re All Happening at LA Fleet Week® 2019

Things will really be jumping at this year’s LA Fleet Week®—literally.  Added to the line-up of this annual multi-day LA Waterfront celebration of our nation’s Sea Services, Aug. 30- Sept. 2, will be two new crowd-pleasing events, U.S. Navy Leap Frog jumpers and an all-out battle of the fittest with USAA’s high-stakes Obstacle Course Competition. Aerial flyovers and demonstrations are back by popular demand as well.

The Leap Frogs” are the official parachute demonstration team of the U.S. Navy and part of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command. The team is made up of active-duty Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and support personnel. Each day starting Saturday of LA Fleet Week, the Leap Frogs will make a spectacular parachute landing into the event. Often jumping from aircraft hovering more than two miles above, the Leap Frogs are a unique visual experience not to be missed. 

Also new this year at LA Fleet Week will be a high-intensity Obstacle Course Competition presented by USAA. As much a participant as a spectator sport, the relay-style competition will feature two-person teams racing against the clock to complete the athletically challenging course in the fastest time. From 150- to 200-lb. tire flips to track sprints, to weighted rope pulls and accuracy throwing drills, a winning team will be determined at the end of each competition day. 

For the Obstacle Course Competition, advanced team sign ups are recommended, though walk-up teams will accommodated as scheduling allows. Team competitions will be held Friday through Monday during LA Fleet Week from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The obstacle course will be located in the Battleship IOWA parking lot near the Military Village. See more details here.

Dozens of military and first responder aircraft demonstrations will entertain event goers throughout the Labor Day Weekend. Aircrafts will soar over the Main Channel at the Port of Los Angeles to kick off Friday night’s Military Appreciation concert headlined by Cheap Trick, then regularly take to the skies between 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Saturday through Monday.

On tap for the weekend will be U.S. Navy F/A 18 combat jet flyovers, as well as Search and Rescue (SAR) demonstrations by the U.S. Coast Guard. Other aerial demonstrations by various Los Angeles city and county first responders are also in the works. 

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U.S. Navy F-18 Aerial Demonstrations                                                                                          U.S. Coast Guard Search & Rescue Demonstrations (SAR)

“It promises to be a great weekend of flyovers with the line-up we’ve got planned,” said Dennis Lord, LA Fleet Week aerial coordinator. “It’s a rare opportunity to see how the aviation component of so many agencies works to protect and guard the freedoms we all enjoy.”

Public ship tours will be available throughout the weekend on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no online reservations needed. Visitors will also be able to enjoy free live entertainment on the event’s Main Stage, a Veteran’s Village, a First Responder Village, a Military Village, a kids’ STEM Expo, and a selection of eats from food trucks onsite. 

Credit: LA Fleet Week®

The Angry Birds Movie 2 * A Fast-Paced Slapstick Sequel That Fans Will Particularly Enjoy

The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Damon F. comments, “The Angry Birds Movie 2 is an amazing sequel about a large group of birds who live on an island called Bird Island. These birds are always trying to fight their rivals, the pigs, who live on an opposite island called Pig Island. The first movie Angry Birds, was about how the rivalry between the islands first began. In this movie, while the two islands are still at war, a third island of eagles decide to join in, but in a more destructive fashion. The two enemy islands now must team up to stop the eagles from destroying them both.” Will C. adds, “The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a fast-paced slapstick comedy that fans of the first movie may enjoy. I liked seeing all the same characters again, plus a few new ones that were very funny. You won’t find the old angry Red in this movie, though. Now he’s a hero and everyone loves him. Personally, I prefer the Red of the first film, with his explosive outbursts.” See their full reviews below.

The Angry Birds Movie 2
Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is an amazing sequel about a large group of birds who live on an island called Bird Island. These birds are always trying to fight their rivals, the pigs, who live on an opposite island called Pig Island. The first movie Angry Birds, was about how the rivalry between the islands first began. In this movie, while the two islands are still at war, a third island of eagles decides to join in, but in a more destructive fashion. The two enemy islands now must team up to stop the eagles from destroying them both.

In this film, there is a subplot about three cute hatchlings who accidentally lose some eggs while playing around. Throughout the movie, it shows them trying their best to bring them back home safely before their parents realize what they have done.

This movie is based on a popular game by Rovio Entertainment called “Angry Birds”. In the game, you play as the birds use a giant slingshot to take back eggs from the pigs. The slingshot and other items from the game are replicated in the movie in some appealing animation.

Throughout out the movie there are a lot of different references to old TV shows and movies. For example, the way Red builds his team is similar to the character introductions in Ocean’s 11. I found this cool and funny.

My favorite scene in this movie is when the three hatchlings are trying to get the eggs off a cloud. They miss it and keep going up higher and higher. As they leave the planet and enter space, the song “Major Tom” by David Bowie starts playing. This scene is hilarious because the animated characters are put in front of a realistic space picture and they look completely out of place. My favorite character in this film is Chuck. I like him because he is very fast and almost instantly gets things done. Chuck is also very funny because he is very possessive about his sister. The message of this movie is that sometimes you need to work with your enemies to win.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 because there are a bunch of different jokes that will appeal to kids and adults. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids. This film opens in theaters August 17, 2019.

The Angry Birds Movie 2
By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a fast-paced slapstick comedy that fans of the first movie may enjoy. I liked seeing all the same characters again, plus a few new ones that were very funny. You won’t find the old angry Red in this movie, though. Now he’s a hero and everyone loves him. Personally, I prefer the Red of the first film, with his explosive outbursts.

In the first Angry Birds movie, the birds and pigs were at war. In The Angry Birds Movie 2, they have to team up against a common threat. As the movie begins, the pigs and birds are still happily fighting each other, but then a mysterious frozen ice ball lands on Pig Island. King Leonard Mudbeard realizes he can’t fight this himself and calls a truce with the birds. Together, they find out that a very angry bird named Zeta is trying to destroy their islands to create her own paradise. The rest of the movie involves their plan to sneak onto Zeta’s Island and crush her island-destroying machine.

There are a lot of funny sequences where the voice actors really excel, including a subplot where baby birds rescue a group of eggs. The animation is really well done – it brings the characters to life as well as creates a beautiful world of islands.

The message of this film is that teamwork is always better than fighting. Parents should know that there’s some mildly crude humor, like butt jokes. A bathroom scene with potty humor got the most laughs at the screening I attended.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 7 to 12. Angry Birds 2 opens in theaters everywhere August 13, 2019.

Blinded by the Light * Inspirational Dramatic Comedy With Excellent Performances And Lively Script

In 1987, during the austere days of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family, and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Blinded by the Light is a very inspirational comedy-drama based on the accounts of real-life writer Sarfraz Manzoor. It is buoyed by excellent performances and a lively script. The movie truly has something for everyone.” Ivey H. adds, “Blinded by the Light is a very interesting film about a boy wanting to become a writer.  He is introduced to a famous American singer and becomes inspired. It is a humorous film, but does touch on serious issues of family as well as cultural and economical struggles.” Morgan B. wraps it up with, “I love how the people who made this film brought back a bit of the past by making it take place in the 1980s. That makes it even more fun to watch, because we get to see things such as huge phones record players, cassette tapes and so much more. This makes it feel more realistic and fun to watch.” See their full reviews below.

Blinded by the Light
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Blinded by the Light is a very inspirational comedy-drama based on the accounts of real-life writer Sarfraz Manzoor. It is buoyed by excellent performances and a lively script. The movie truly has something for everyone.

The film follows music fanatic and writer Javed (Viveik Kalra), who after discovering the back catalogue of Bruce Springsteen or “the Boss,” is inspired by lyrics that feel all too familiar to the aspirational teenager. Wanting to escape his racist hometown and the rules of his traditional Pakistani family, Javed finds himself caught between two worlds and must discover if he is born to run.

Viveik Kalra, as Javed, is phenomenal at making his character relatable and inspiring. Kalra, like Himesh Patel from Yesterday, debuts with charm as well. Javed is hilarious, but also takes the surroundings of Thatcher-era Britain seriously. He is a role model for all. Aaron Phagura, as Rhoops, is also a standout as his character’s similar situation to Javed’s adds layers to their identity complexes. Hayley Atwell, as Ms. Clay, is an English teacher who inspires Javed to write. I quite enjoyed her inclusion as she fits the role well. Kulvinder Ghir, as Malik, also impresses as Javed’s dad. His character can be too stereotypical of ethnic ways, but this feels intentional as it satirizes both his culture and English culture.

Gurinder Chadha directs with a nice blend of comedy and drama. He brings life to Manzoor’s memoirs and I never felt any awkward total shifts. Some editing choices also bring great style. But, substance is at the main focus here as Chadha’s and Paul Mayeda Berge’s script is smartly witty. My favorite scene is Javed’s final speech to the school. Kalra’s performance is award-worthy and the script boasts great messages in the movie’s themes of pursuing dreams. My only flaw is that the second act sometimes drags with a romantic subplot that spins its wheels quickly, despite Nell Williams’ impressive performance as Nell.

The message of this film is about pursuing your dream, and also about remembering your family and always staying in touch. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as some language and racist behavior could be inappropriate for younger audience. The movie releases in theaters on August 16, 2019, so check it out.

Blinded by the Light
By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Blinded by the Light is a very interesting film about a boy wanting to become a writer.  He is introduced to a famous American singer and becomes inspired. It is a humorous film, but does touch on serious issues of family as well as cultural and economical struggles.

Viveik Kalra plays his character Javed extremely well. Javed lacks confidence and struggles dealing with his father and his culture. He doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. You get the feeling he is held back by this. Along the way, people in his life believe in him and encourage him to go for his dreams.  His friend introduces him to Bruce Springsteen’s music, which inspires him. Then he transforms his look and gains more confidence.

His parents do not support his dream of becoming a writer.  The parents are excellent in this movie. His father is played by Kulvinder Ghir and his mother is played by Meera Ganatra. The father is hilarious and thinks that if an American is good at something, then they are Jewish. The whole family is dealing with money problems. I have to mention that his best friend, Matt is played by Dean-Charles Chapman who is fantastic in this role. He deals with his own issues in a different way.  They have a true friendship. My favorite part about Matt is his crazy 80s style hair. I love the costumes, music and dancing. It really takes you to another era. The wigs and the old jogging suits that they wear made me laugh! The costumes are bright for the 80s and the Pakistani outfits suit the family.  One of the funny parts that I like most is when the car won’t start and, instead of the dad pushing the car, he makes the entire family push it. Another funny part is when Javed celebrates his birthday and, to treat him like an adult, he is given pants as his gift. The movie exposes you to more serious matters of racism and what other cultures go through. It has very good timing and is a little quirky which I like.

The director Gurinder Chadha really delivers with this film. His timing and costumes are perfect. I didn’t really know who Bruce Springsteen was before, but I really like his music now. Thanks to Blinded by the Light, I am now a fan of this legendary musician.   


I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages xx to xx. It opens in theaters August 16, 2019. Look for it and give it a chance.

Blinded by the Light
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Everyone get ready for a new adventure about a man and his relationship with a great artist who we all know as Bruce Springsteen.

My favorite character is Javed (Viveik Kalra), because he is someone that many people can relate to. He is a person dealing with many issues with his family, because they are very religious people who think that writing poems is wrong and that listening to nontraditional music is unheard of. On top of that, he is trying his best to become his own person and, with everyone on his back, it can be a bit hard for a young college student to do that.

I love how the people who made this film brought back a bit of the past by making it take place in the 1980s. That makes it even more fun to watch, because we get to see things such as huge phones record players, cassette tapes and so much more. This makes it feel more realistic and fun to watch.

The music is so good. I love how it all comes together to make a movie that sounds and looks so incredible. At times it not only looks like a film, but also a music video, all in one. This is a masterpiece in my mind and I greatly appreciate it.

I can’t wait to get the soundtrack of this film. The music is fun and friendly and has a deep meaning, which is something I admire. All the music is by Bruce Springsteen and now that I have heard some of his greatest hits I love him and his artwork. Can’t wait to get the soundtrack of this movie.

This one-of-a-kind true story is very inspirational as well as fun and lighthearted. It has a lot of meaning with its morals and values about following your dreams no matter what anyone tells you, have fun with your friends and family while you still can, and it’s okay to grow apart from your family and their values.

I recommend Blinded by the Light for ages 13 to 18. I think that adults will like this film as well even if they aren’t Bruce Springsteen fans. I give Blinded by the Light 5 out of 5 stars.  Make sure to look for Blinded by the Light at a theater near you when it opens August 16, 2019