Articles written by Sandra Coopersmith


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  • FOOD FOR THOUGHT FROM SAMUEL ESCOBAR

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Mar 14, 2024

    "Tito's Tacos is a place like home, where I feel welcome with staff and owners," said Samuel Escobar, manager of Tito's Tacos Commissary, which produces over 90% of the cuisine for the restaurant. "When I was around four, I walked by here every morning," he explained. "I would hold my mother's hand as we walked my brother, Martin, who is two years older, to La Ballona Elementary School and then walked him home later. We started coming here every couple of weeks, and I grew up eating at Tito's...

  • A Fiesta Mexicana

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Sep 28, 2023

    It’s that time of year again… YOU ARE INVITED to the 6th annual Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana, a fundraiser created by Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka to celebrate National Taco Day, National Vodka Day on October 4 – which also happens to be right in the middle of National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a wonderful fundraiser that gives 100% of proceeds back to the arts, and it’s a true celebration of Mexican culture right in the middle of National Hispanic Heritage Month! And Tito’s has been an...

  • QUERYING CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Nov 3, 2022

    With six candidates campaigning to fill two open city council seats in Culver City, the political math to determine the result of six into two can be somewhat challenging. Candidates Devin M. Yaeger, Freddy Puza, Dan O'Brien, Kin Khin Gyi, Alex Fisch, and Denice Renteria comprise the foregoing equation. To clarify, the city council consists of five seats. Two are open since Councilmember Fisch's term is up, and Mayor Daniel Lee is not continuing. The councilmembers remaining are Göran...

  • A Spectacular Taco Tuesday At Tito's

    Sandra Coopersmith|Sep 29, 2022

    Want to double your fun? Easy, with TWO iconic Tito’s determined to provide a Taco Tuesday that is truly olé-worthy. It’s that serendipitous time again, Oct. 4, not only National Taco Day AND National Vodka Day but this year coinciding with Taco Tuesday -- and during National Hispanic Heritage Month, no less. This fifth annual Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana is a wonderful fundraiser that benefits the Culver City Arts Foundation (https://culverarts.org/) and is put on by Tito’s Tacos (https:/...

  • DINING WITH DIGNITY DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Reporter|Jul 14, 2022

    When it comes to feeding body AND soul, Grace Diner (https://gracediner.org/) is the place to be and its Program Director, Lisa Skelley, is your go-to person. On Monday, June 13, at a special Culver City Council presentation, Skelley and Grace Diner received the first ever Equity and Human Relations Advisory Committee (EHRAC) 2021 awards as, respectively, deserving individual and deserving nonprofit. Established in 2020, EHRAC is an advisory body to the City Council and/or the City Manager with...

  • Olé, Lynne Davidson!

    Sandra Coopersmith|Jun 23, 2022

    Life just came full circle for that 12-year-old girl who worked part-time clearing tables at Tito's Tacos, her grandfather's restaurant, in the summer of 1966. One day, exhausted after several hours of running to the tables to clear them before new customers arrived, she discovered someone had left a tip of 50 cents – twice her hourly wage! – with a note: "For the cutest little waitress." That did it, and the restaurant business has played an active, all-encompassing role in Lynne Dav...

  • Coping Creatively Through POPS Clubs

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Reporter|May 26, 2022

    Enlightening, thought-provoking, intriguing, profound, insightful, funny, heartbreaking, hopeful, inspiring – you name it. That describes Dear Friends, which was published in April and is the eighth annual anthology from POPS the Club, (https://popsclubs.org/). POPS stands for “pain of the prison system,” so this is not just any book. It delineates the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of students with incarcerated loved ones, who have created their stories, poetry, and artwork mainly in is...

  • CONGRATULATIONS, DR. HOULT!

    Sandra Coopersmith|May 12, 2022

    The Energizer Bunny could likely learn a thing or two from Dr. Janet Cameron Hoult who, on Monday, May 9th, was presented a commendation by the City Council as 2022 Senior of the Year. She has traveled, lived, and taught all over the world and, luckily for Culver City, where she has been active on many boards and committees, she has resided here since the 1970s. In fact, she told her late husband, Charley, that acceptance of his marriage proposal was contingent upon his moving here. Culver City...

  • EARTH DAY – Preserving Our Home Sweet Home

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Apr 14, 2022

    “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall, primatologist and anthropologist Unfortunately, mankind’s choices have not always resulted in a positive effect, so let’s hope Mother Earth never gets so fed up that she rolls up the welcome mat and says, “That’s it. Goodbye.” Earth Day is our opportunity to focus, to recognize how critical it...

  • INTERGENERATIONAL WRITERS KEEP CREATING

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Feb 24, 2022

    "Change is the only constant in life." ~ Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher The pandemic has necessitated many alterations, as was evident in the Intergenerational Writers Workshop, a collaboration between volunteers assembled through the Culver City Senior Center (https://www.culvercity.org/Services/Housing-Health-Human-Services/Adult-Senior-Services/Senior-Center) and sixth graders from Turning Point School (https://www.turningpointschool.org/). I've volunteered for this annual project since it...

  • IN THE TRENCHES WITH CULVER ARTS

    Sandra Coopersmith|Feb 10, 2022

    “Creativity takes courage.” ~ Henri Matisse The chaos resulting from the continuing battle with COVID has certainly confirmed that. And the Culver City Arts Foundation (“Culver Arts”) has again stepped up through its Arts Resiliency Fund campaign to aid those in the arts who are struggling to survive. Several months ago the first 11 grants totaling just under $10,000 were awarded. A second round of grants totaling $11,000 has been awarded to 13 recipients who represent a diverse and intrigu...

  • LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION . . .

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Dec 30, 2021

    “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain In a year distinguished by pandemic and economic issues, the residential market continued to trend high according to PropertyShark, a research source for real estate professionals and homebuyers across the U.S. The organization compiled its information by calculating median home sale prices to ensure an accurate picture of market conditions, as opposed to listing prices that reflect sellers’ wishes. Its expertise in the technolog...

  • Connecting With Heather Baker, New City Attorney

    Sandra Coopersmith|Dec 2, 2021
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    The path that would lead Heather Baker to becoming City Attorney of Culver City started in a schoolyard and culminated in October, 2021 when the City Council voted to appoint her to replace Carol Schwab, who announced in July that she was leaving her post at the end of the year. Baker, who was Assistant City Attorney at the time, will take over as City Attorney on December 22. The office provides legal guidance, support and representation for all Culver City officials and staff on matters of...

  • Keeping The Dream Alive At Petrelli's

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Nov 25, 2021
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    What do you call a beloved Culver City landmark that serves up conviviality and heart along with wonderful food and is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year? George Petrelli Steakhouse, of course! These days George's daughter, Marie Petrelli, seems to be channeling a hamster (albeit a very pretty one) whirling around on its little hamster wheel, its tiny feet going a mile a minute. Miraculously, I managed to get her to take a brief breather and be interviewed so that she could share...

  • DRAWING FROM EXPERIENCE

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Oct 28, 2021

    Stick me in a room with my laptop, some pencils, erasers, Sharpies, and paper, and I'm as happy as a pig in swill. You know me as Features Writer but I've been an artist since childhood, the first sale of my drawings being in the schoolyard when I was seven. My career in commercial mortgage banking, where I closed loans, dealt with servicing issues and from which I retired 20 years ago, started in the 1960s when I was in my twenties. I became a professional freelance cartoonist after work and...

  • DOUBLE DOWN ON TITO'S!

    Sandra Coopersmith|Sep 30, 2021

    "Tito's Tacos (https://www.titostacos.com/) has been serving up our award-winning Mexican food cuisine to Los Angelinos since 1959," remarked Lynne Davidson, President of Tito's Tacos Mexican Restaurant and granddaughter of its founder. "We look forward to partnering once again this year with Tito's Handmade Vodka (https://www.titosvodka.com/) in hosting TITO'S FIESTA MEXICANA 2021, a traditional Mexican fiesta in celebration of National Taco Day and National Vodka Day, and together give back to...

  • Keeping the Light of Resiliency Glowing

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Sep 23, 2021

    Cancer hasn't taken a "time out" because of the pandemic and must be addressed. Accordingly, the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Baldwin Hills, which also includes the communities of Culver City, Ladera Heights, View Park, Windsor Hills, Crenshaw, and Leimert Park, was held Saturday, September 18th between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Yvonne B. Burke Athletic Complex, 5401 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056. Although truncated, it was powerful and meaningful. As a cancer survivor, I...

  • CELEBRATING WITH A BIG SPLASH

    Sandra Coopersmith|Sep 2, 2021

    For many of us the most strenuous birthday activity we engage in is blowing out the candles. Not so for Ajae Clearway. Clearway, a cinematic video game producer and director who resides in Culver City, turned 50 in July and wanted to celebrate in epic style. The result: a 21.5 mile swim through the Catalina Channel that started August 15th and ended the following day at Palos Verdes Estates. She got her wish, completing the most ambitious swim she had ever done. "People have been attempting and...

  • #CulverCityResilient, United by Art

    Sandra Coopersmith, Feature Writer|Aug 26, 2021

    The purpose of art? One take, per Pablo Picasso, is “washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” And now, because of the pandemic, that dust has increased and coalesced into a heavy and almost impenetrable layer, given the severe economic hardships faced by so many. Concerned that the arts will be the last to recover from this crisis, the Culver City Arts Foundation (“Culver Arts”), a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization entirely run by volunteers, launched the Arts Resiliency Fund campaig...

  • Transforming Pain into Empowerment Through POPS Clubs

    Sandra Coopersmith|Apr 29, 2021

    It’s hard enough being a teenager navigating the bridge between childhood and adulthood while acclimating to a pandemic, school shutdowns, remote learning, and all the attendant anxiety of these surreal times without also having to cope with the emotional stress, stigma, and financial impact of a family member’s incarceration. Nearly three million children in this country have at least one parent in prison, jail, or detention, and author and prison rights activist Amy Friedman knows how tho...

  • Transforming Pain into Empowerment Through POPS Clubs

    Sandra Coopersmith|Apr 22, 2021

    It’s hard enough being a teenager navigating the bridge between childhood and adulthood while acclimating to a pandemic, school shutdowns, remote learning, and all the attendant anxiety of these surreal times without also having to cope with the emotional stress, stigma, and financial impact of a family member’s incarceration. Nearly three million children in this country have at least one parent in prison, jail, or detention, and author and prison rights activist Amy Friedman knows how tho...

  • Our Intergenerational Zoom

    Sandra Coopersmith, Features Writer|Mar 11, 2021

    For sure, the only constant is change. COVID-19 certainly proved that. We never completed last year's Intergenerational Writers Workshop because of the shutdown. I saw its theme as dealing with three questions: "Who am I? How do I see myself? How do others see me?" We were delving into concepts of community and identity when the pandemic hit. The workshop is an annual collaboration that takes place on several Wednesday mornings during the first quarter of the year. It started in 2010 between...

  • Transforming Pain into Empowerment Through POPS Clubs

    Sandra Coopersmith, Feature Writer|Jan 21, 2021

    It's hard enough being a teenager navigating the bridge between childhood and adulthood while acclimating to a pandemic, school shutdowns, remote learning, and all the attendant anxiety of these surreal times without also having to cope with the emotional stress, stigma, and financial impact of a family member's incarceration. Nearly three million children in this country have at least one parent in prison, jail, or detention, and author and prison rights activist Amy Friedman knows how those...

  • NEW BEGINNINGS

    Sandra Coopersmith|Jan 14, 2021

    One of the fascinating changes the pandemic has brought into my very sequestered life is the introduction of Zoom. I’m no techie, but with a friend patiently guiding me over the phone I managed to download Zoom onto my laptop and voila, I could have a personal visual connection to the world in real time! I quickly joined a weekly Wednesday Zoom poetry group that I enjoy immensely. After sharing and discussing our poems we decide on the subject to write about for the following week. At our D...

  • 'PLEASE STAY STRONG,' URGES MAYOR ALEX FISCH

    Sandra Coopersmith|Jan 7, 2021

    One would be hard put to find idle moments in Alex Fisch's day. Culver City's new mayor, who was elected to the City Council in April of 2018, brings considerable background to his position, as set forth in the city's website: https://www.culvercity.org/City-Hall/City-Council/Mayor-Alex-Fisch. Fisch has assumed the mantle of mayor during the most challenging time our city has known, a critical time on so many levels – health and safety concerns, homelessness, and economic disruption among t...

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