June 5, 2014 |

Open Museums on Same Saturday

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

As a longtime member (since 1977) on May 14, 2014 I attended the monthly meeting of the Culver City Democratic Club, held the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Rotunda Room of Veterans Auditorium. The speaker was Bob Stern AKA “the godfather of modern political reform in California,” who discussed the many reforms over the past 30 years he had been involved with. We can all be pleased.

Councilman Jim Clarke is actively pursuing my suggestion that to bring more people to our city, the three museums (Mayme Clayton, the Historical Society and the Cold War Museum housed in the old National Guard Armory) be open on the same day(s) each month. Truthfully, who would come if only one museum were open each Saturday? But all three and a shuttle bus to downtown for lunch and continuing to the light rail station – well, I just know Mr. Steve Rose could see the money coming in to the businesses of Culver City.

Can we take this one step further? Darryl Cherness is requesting the elevator in the tower at Veterans Auditorium be opened, especially now that the city’s 100th birthday will be in 2017 – another great idea to make Culver Blvd. rock. I hope the Mayor and the Council will get on board.

In the “Missing in action” folder, what is going on with the Keystone pipeline? What about Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal? Or the war in Syria?

For those of us who enjoy the theatre, the world premiere of “Flim-Flam,” a new play by Gene Franklin Smith and directed by Thomas James O’Leary depicts Harry Houdini in the summer of 1922. It’s playing June 20 through August 3 at Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Hwy, www.malibuplayhouse.org. This should be a very interesting play.

Before you see the play, why not investigate real estate bargains presently available? For a mere $57,500,000 one can purchase the Frank Gehry Broad Beach estate. The dramatic masterpiece sits on just over once acre with an unprecedented 160 feet of beachfront. There’s a full-size lighted tennis court and lap pool. The house has over 11,000 square feet. There’s fabulous outdoor entertaining with spa, fireplace and adjacent separate kitchen. Hurry – at this price it will not be on the market for long.

Perhaps something a little cheaper – say $43,500,000 – just might be for you. Check www.rosenthalmalibutestate.com.

Yes, it was only 72 years ago, May 7, 1942, that U.S. Army General Jonathan Wainwright went on a Manila radio station to announce the Allied surrender of the Philippines to Japanese forces in WWII.

Also May 7 was the 60th anniversary of the French defeat by the Vietnamese in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.

Can we be honest??? Mothers go through hell waiting and worrying until their husbands and sons come home. My mom had a bad heart and Dad answered the call for WWII, her oldest was drafted for the Korean War in 1951 while her youngest was drafted 12 years later for the Vietnam War. And in between, there was, in 1961, an enlistee who eventually was assigned to the Historic 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Through the many years of separation, Mother was the bravest of all. I always remember her not just on Mother’s Day but all year long.

Labor unions throughout the world are supporting the strike of the garment workers in Cambodia. The apparel industry exported more than $5 billion in goods from Cambodia last year, but each worker took home only $80 per month. On December 24, 2013 the union shut down hundreds of factories to demand $160 per month. The government first offered $95, then $100 as a monthly minimum wage.

According to the United States Census Bureau, California’s population now exceeds 38 million.

From the “Makes sense to me” file – Those who live near natural areas at high risk from a wildfire had only until June 1 to complete brush clearance to create a defensible space for firefighters.

For the fiscal year starting on July 1, 2014 the independent budget analyst predicts California will collect more than Governor Brown forecast. I can just see a majority of you smiling and jumping for joy, but the cold, hard facts are that governments get their money from our fees and taxes. Sacramento raised every tax known.

The windfall may be spent to pay some of the states $74 billion unfunded liability for teachers’ pensions over 30 years. If I were the Attorney General I would round up the people who ran the teachers’ pension fund and drag them into court, but not before I took them one by one into the torture room and found out just where the money went. More money – big, big money – is on the way from Sacramento to the School District. You have to wonder how that will be spent. My friend and financial advisor, “E. F. Huttonstein,” recently told me the school board might have been sold a hot stove because we could have torn down the four campuses and rebuilt them for less than the bond issue.

Jerome Murdough was 56, mentally ill and a homeless veteran when he died on Feb 15, 2014 in a cell in New York City. A preliminary investigation found his internal body temperature was 103 degrees and the cell was 101 degrees. I think one could say Mr. Murdough was baked alive. His mother is suing for $25 million.

Do you realize it’s the 60th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared “separate but equal” segregation policies were unconstitutional?

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at www.culvercityobserver.com by placing Rubenstein in hat website’s search box.

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