Culver City Observer -

Sebastian, Kudos To Jeff Muir, The Beatles…And More



February 13, 2014

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Sebastian, Sebastian, Sebastian, please get in touch with me and tell me if it is true. There is a vicious and mean-spirited rumor saying you appointed Scott Malsin your field representative. We all realize you just got elected to the California State Assembly two months ago from the 54th District, and as a rookie it is very easy to screw up. That's why you, a greenhorn, could easily be the laughingstock of the Assembly Members in Sacramento and the voters back home.

I can only hope you will check with your dad ASAP and try to regain the lost momentum. To many people, this appears to be a political payback for Scott's flip flop on Mayor Christopher Armenta.

Despite Mr. Malsin's character assassination, Chris took every Culver City precinct except two. Can we be honest, Sebastian? Mr. Malsin's support wasn't worth a hill of beans. You had the best campaign with an army of telephone callers, an army of door knockers and a $600,000 bank account.

Now that you represent us at State Capitol you need to be a tower of strength to get our bills signed by the governor and not the laughingstock you would become because of this issue.

Man up and say, "Upon reflection I've decided someone else would be better suited."

We have all read of the numerous cities in the United States that just might be forced into bankruptcy. Just recently Puerto Rico had its bond rating lowered and now is considered to have a "Junk" rating. Are you concerned about our Culver City rating? Well, don't be. It's "AA" thanks to our Chief Financial Officer Mr. Jeff Muir. My hat is off to him and his dedicated team.

From the "amazing medical discoveries" file: Scientists are working feverishly to enable paralyzed users to control their motorized chairs by a sensor-laden magnetic stud utilizing tongue positions to control movement.

Those who are World War II buffs will recognize Feb. 26, 1943 as the first major defeat of our Army. It was at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia where German forces broke through the Allied defensive line, killing over 1,000 and taking hundreds prisoner.

I remember the first time the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 1964, 50 years ago. Hard to believe it was that long ago.

Do you like the idea that our government and private industry have you and me under a 24-hour X-ray machine more intrusive than the machines used at LAX? If you are okay with Big Brother having the ability to know what toothpaste you use or what medicines you get at the pharmacy or how many miles you drive each year or what you paid to view cable stations you watch, do nothing. If you don't mind Washington reading your emails or having access to your computer or being able to read he messages inside addressed to you, keep smiling. Many of us don't feel it's the business of NSA, CIA, FBI, etc., etc., etc. to know what toilet paper brand we prefer, or what was our grandmother's maiden name. I know there is a whole heck of a lot to be upset about these days -- taxes, pensions, city hall wages and benefits, and the amounts keep going higher and higher -- but this is too intrusive for me.

There is an answer. In the Popular Mechanics Feb. 2014 issue, beginning on page 56 they discuss "Privacy" and what we can do. Read this extremely important article ASAP and protect the information in your computer from the never blinking, never sleeping eyes in Washington.

Hold onto your shoes -- Cellphone carriers in 2012 answered at least 1.1 million requests from law enforcement agencies seeking information on caller locations, text messages and other data for use in investigations, according to reports from the telephone companies.

And from the "good news" file, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell ruled last fall that a union representing sheriff deputies cannot prevent the L.A. Times from publishing information from officers' background screenings.

Additional information regarding the VFW Military History Museum: It's open Wednesdays noon to 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's free and has hundreds of military posters, artifacts, uniforms and much, much more. Location: Simi Valley Town Center Mall, 1555 Simi Town Center Way, #220. Phone: (805) 377-7926

Metro sent a friend of mine a "Notice of Toll Evasion Violation." Apparently on the Harbor Freeway near the Santa Monica Freeway the FasTrak lane begins. Since he doesn't have a transponder and before he could change lanes due to the usual heavy traffic -- well, you guessed it -- he received a ticket. Does anyone want to guess what the fine was? Do I hear $30? Do I hear $50? Well, friends, it was for one thin dime or two nickels or ten pennies. Yes, that's right, a ten cent fine. How much more it cost Metro to send the letter and to cash his check is beyond me. The picture even shows his vehicle moving over to the next lane. Dumb, dumb, dumb . . .

Once again let me repeat, according to our California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, "The teacher retirement system, CalSTRS, in 30 years implodes. We are currently $5 billion a year short of what we have to do just to keep solvent."

Coming up on April 27 is the 91st anniversary of the 1923 election where Beverly Hills voted not to join the City of Los Angeles. Boy, where they lucky.

UCLA just opened the largest Meteorite Museum in California. It's located in the Geology Building, Room 3697, is free and open weekdays 9 a.m. – to 4 p.m. Visitors can touch the 357-pound iron chunk that crashed into Arizona 50,000 years ago. See At least 100 items are on display.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website's search box.


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