Culver City Observer -

Columnist Says Goodbye To A Dear Friend


February 18, 2016

He was your friend, he was my friend, and he was our friend. He was Lester “Les” Silverstein, the man with a crazy sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.

We kept each other laughing; sometimes the giggles would be out loud, other times expressed by a big smiling grin. We first met in the Culver City Senior Center in the summer of 2000. Having just retired from the Boeing Aircraft Company, I decided to check out what programs were available.

Out of the blue I heard a voice say, “Take this, you will like it.” I really wasn’t sure, but I was at the right place and at the right time and Les was right. We were amigos from then on. I’ll always remember when one of us needed a shoulder or sympathetic person we would search each other out.

Since we were both veterans we spoke about our military experiences, his being from World War 1, mine from the 1960s and 1970s – and the tales he told brought tears and laughter.

Like many, I’m going to miss him. The United States Coast Guard gave Jewish war veteran Lester Silverstein a burial at sea with military honors on January 11, 2016 (his 95th birthday), three miles off Maui, Hawaii. He leaves his wife, Barbara, daughter, Susan and her husband, Charles.

It wasn’t that long ago you read in this column about the City of Long Beach naming a park in honor of the NAACP. Now weaving its way through city government is a proposal to name a new library in North Long Beach for Michelle Obama.

The world’s richest 62 people own as much wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorer half of the global population, according to a new report by Oxfam. Those 62 people have seen their riches increase by $542 billion since 2010, according to the report.

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel warning urging pregnant women to delay visits to 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries and territories affected by the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects.

Yes, I know it isn’t even May yet, but there are several interesting events coming up and you just might want to mark your calendar. Last day to file your taxes this year is Monday, April 18. You can track your tax refund starting May 11 through IRS.Gov/refunds or call (800) 829-1954.

On Saturday, June 4 most states are offering free fishing days to casual anglers. Visit for a list of participating states and family-friendly fishing locations. On Sunday, July 3 use to get discount tickets to ball games and popular summer concerts. On Monday, August 22 college classes start back up for students and seniors. If you are 60 or older many public colleges will let you enroll in courses tuition-free. The Smithsonian sponsors Museum Day Live on March 12, 2016. Look for free admission to participating museums nationwide.

If you plan to take your family to the movies, you should get a second on your home – the prices are going up faster than a Southern California Edison bill.

Recently Compton Early College high school opened, making it possible for students to obtain a high school diploma and an AA degree at the same time.

If you are a veteran and plan to be in or near Melbourne, Florida April 21-24 why not attend Florida’s 29th Annual Vietnam and all Veterans Reunion? Contact Richard “Doc” Russo at (321) 652-4185 or for more information.

Didn’t Hatchet Hall get fantastic reviews in the October 2015 issue of Angeleno Magazine? Local chef Brian Dunsmoor combines southern charm with Southern California flair. It’s located at 12517 West Washington Blvd, Culver City. Call (310) 391-4222 or go to

Do you want to know why cities put those red light bandits at various intersections? Can we eliminate “It’s for traffic safety” and just say it’s for the money? Look at our sister city, Beverly Hills, where that city’s fines are about $500 for each violation. Beverly Hills receives $111 per citation with the balance going to Sacramento, Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Superior Court. For the 17 cameras, Beverly Hills $727,536 annually, but in 2013 the city issued 16,800 photo red light citations, resulting in a net profit of $1,137,264. So I ask, “When was the last time you saw an automobile accident in Culver City?”

The Norton Simon Museum has free admission the first Friday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91105. Call (626) 449-6840 or go to

A recent study, as noted in the Heart Advisor by the Cleveland Clinic,

suggested that one cup of chopped celery every day would help to relax the walls of the arteries, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow.

The City of Glencoe, Alabama no longer flies a Christian flag from City Hall after receiving a complaint, as noted by the Wisconsin Freedom from Religion Foundation.

As police departments across our great country adopt body cameras, the Burlington Iowa Community School District is following suit by outfitting administrators with clip-on video cameras.

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


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