Culver City Observer -

Remembering Culver's Richard Alexander


By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

It is so very hard to believe that my friend, your friend, our friend passed away on July 21, 2004. Yes, it has been 11 years since Richard “Alex” Alexander was with us.

Alex spent the last 32 years of his life in public service to our community. He served 16 years on the City Council including three one-year terms as mayor. I remember our friend dressing like Santa during the holidays and running around town handing presents to the children with a cheerful “Ho, ho, ho!” He was a class act.

He was truly remarkable as president of the Exchange Club and member of the Sister City Committee, and was appointed to both the Los Angeles County Fish and Game Commission and the L.A. County Mosquito Abatement District. Without a doubt my personal hero had the love and respect of the citizens of Culver City.

Wondering where you can take the kids that would be interesting and fun? Why not travel two hours to the Oxnard Salsa Festival? It’s two days (July 25th and 26th) of spicy foods, sizzling entertainment, arts and crafts and vendor booths in downtown Oxnard at Plaza Park. It’s free with parking located at 45th and B Streets. See

The Ventura College Foundation has a marketplace every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m .; people will be selling new and used products including tools, furniture and clothing as well as plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. It’s held at Ventura College, Telegraph and Day and is free. Call (805) 289-6062.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Channel Islands Harbor. To celebrate, all summer long they have car shows, free concerts, a farmer’s market and much more. See

For years, Barbara Silverstein at the senior center used to remind me to get the vaccine for shingles. I would say, “Good idea.” and ignore it. That is, until our cousin in Atlanta called a couple of months ago and told us about the agony of shingles. Almost one million Americans get the virus every year. The Ralphs pharmacist gave us the shot, no side effects, and the cost for us was 100% paid by Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Without insurance it’s $280. In the Tri-County Sentry of May 22, 2015 you can read on page 9A, “Six Alternative Ways to Ease Agony of Shingles.”

Everyone should support SB591 which will increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $2. The mere thought of an additional cost of $2 would be enough to get many to stop.

I moved to Culver City in 1977, almost 40 years ago, and began a practice of supporting our local businessmen. Small business work very hard on price, quality and with the “can do – done on time” attitude. If you need a shoe repair shop that also does hand bags, boots, belts and everything leather, then do like so many of your friends and neighbors – go see Gary at Mike’s Shoes, 5457 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City; he’s been there for over 35 years.

If you believe like I do that rescuing and caring for abandoned and abused animals is just the right thing to be a part of, then check out Plus, Best Friends helped start the no kill movement.

In some parts of the United States a dozen eggs went up 85 percent recently. Some claim the steep cost increase was due to the avian flu which caused almost 40 million birds to be destroyed; I thought they were feeding hens steak twice a day.

In Ferguson, MO. of all places, the police are testing a new device called “The Alternative,” a metal alloy ball that fits over the muzzle of a handgun, is propelled by a bullet and hits with enough force to stop, but not kill.

Just up the freeway is Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology Museum that twice a year opens its doors to the public to showcase its collection, which includes millions of bird eggs, 20,000 nests and 60,000 bird skins complete with feathers – one of the largest such collections in the world. The museum was founded in 1956 and moved in 1992 to Camarillo from the UCLA area. For information call (805) 388-9944 or go to

In a major breakthrough a paralyzed man is walking again after cells from his nose were transplanted into his broken spinal cord. The patient, a Bulgarian named Darek Fidyka, was paralyzed in 2010 after a knife attack. Two years of rehabilitation had no effect until the doctor took cells from the nasal cavity which was used to grow 500,000 of specialist cells in the laboratory. The cells were injected at both ends of the tear and bridged the gap with four thin strips of nerve issue taken from Fidyka’s ankle. Two years later he is walking with the aid of a walker. Amazing.

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


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