Culver City Observer -

A Way to Aid Children's Vocal Skills


By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Is your child musically talented? For those students who would like to develop their vocal skills from the most basic concepts through the college level, the National Children’s Chorus rehearses each week at UCLA and will have auditions on Saturday, May 3. Visit

Many years ago, as a member of the California Army National Guard, I and several others “volunteered” for the assault helicopters. As you recall, the choppers would swarm in and hover several feet off the ground as grunts would jump out and scurry for the tree line or some other defensive position, sometimes dragging a broken leg.

For those whose life is incomplete, you can visit the Stratosphere Sky Jump in Las Vegas. Yes, it’s 100 stories of controlled free fall (855 feet), but just to protect everyone, bring a pen to sign a waiver, buy life insurance, paramedics will be standing by and Bibles can be rented. Just kidding.

Summer is almost here and in keeping with my policy of informing parents of free events close by I highly recommend “Fairy Tales in the Park.” It will be the 20th anniversary season that they perform in five parks on the first and second Saturday, May through September.

In May enjoy The Princess and the Frog, in June there’s Thumbelina and Tom Thumb’s Voyage to Neverland, and in July there’s The Gingerbread Man. Visit for locations and more info.

Every time I think of Mr. John Noguez, the Los Angeles County Assessor, I reach for my Aleve. After all, it’s alleged Mr. Noguez was in a tax scheme that cost taxpayers as much as $10 million. Don’t worry about him as he is still collecting his $200,000 salary.

Please give me a moment so I can get into the mood of surprise and concern for the private companies that withheld money from their employees and invested it in their pension plans. By 2016 they face not only a 52% increase in administrative costs but also an additional $150 billion in liabilities from longer-living retirees.

Mark your calendar for the May 14 meeting of the Culver City Democratic Club, meeting at 7 p.m. in the Rotunda Room in Veterans Memorial Auditorium building.

The Supreme Court will render their decision this summer if an employer can be held liable if their 401k plan drops dramatically in value. In a case from Ohio, the Fifth-Third Bancorp encouraged its employees to invest in the bank’s stock, which lost 75% in 16 months because the bank lost its shirt and its pants and its socks when the sub-prime mortgage market collapsed in 2009.

During the first 10 months of 2013 there were about 14,000 hit-and-run cases in the City of Los Angeles.

Going to be in the San Francisco Bay area in June? You just might want to see the Color Guard Competition set for Saturday, June 21 in the Santa Clara Convention Center at 7 a.m. It’s the American Legion Department of California convention. Contact

I was up in Ventura County recently and was nearly trampled by folks running to sign the initiative by May 16. 16,000 registered voters are needed to get it on the November 4 ballot to require new county employees, effective 2015, to enroll in a 401k pension system.

Soon the Boy Scouts of America will be in a courtroom defending the organization from sexual abuse allegations. The court ordered that roughly 120,000 pages of internal files dating back to 1991 could be entered as evidence in the case.

A New Mexico judge has ruled doctors can help terminally ill patients die. Aid in dying refers to doctors prescribing a fatal dose of drugs so patients can achieve a peaceful death and thereby avoid further suffering.

Still in New Mexico . . . Police in Deming handcuffed David Eckert in a Wal-Mart parking lot when their dog, Leo, indicated Eckert had drugs on the driver’s seat. Well, they took him to the hospital for two x-rays; two doctors did a rectal; the doctors gave him three enemas and then a colonoscopy. All were negative so they let him go, but the hospital sent him a bill for $4,539. Eckert will receive a check for $1.6 million in damages.

Do you realize the legislature passed a bill which would, among other things, allow guns (in some cases) to be brought into churches and temples? Yes, it happened in the Peach State – Georgia – where else?

Also in Georgia – a Chinese restaurant in Doraville passed its routine inspection despite having a dead rat in the oven.

It looks like federal prosecutors will be having a trial against two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies for kicking and punching a prisoner, with his hands cuffed, in Central Jail. They also pepper-sprayed him and hit him with a flashlight.

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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