Friday, April 27, 2012

San Pedro High French Teacher Shows the "Democratic" Way of Eating By Making Crepes  And Students Building a Wave at the School From Plastic  Bottles Invites the Public to Help on Saturday
French Teacher Diane Hartunian shows San Pedro High students how to make crepes.

By Diana L. Chapman

   French teacher Diane Hartunian readily jumped on the bandwagon to teach crepe making  to San Pedro High students after school. Why?
   Because she wants people to not be so afraid of it.
Elizabeth Solorio, 18, prepares the mix.
 "French cooking is very simple and it's not what people think," Hartunian explains during the club where students came to whip up, in this case, the sweet treats."I really like to make French cooking and culture more accessible to people. French culture is democratic. It's not just the elite that eats like this.
   "In every home they eat crepes.  French kids eat everything.  It's for everybody; Everybody eats the same cheeses, the same butters. Their success is their simplicity."
   Several students taking the class enjoyed  it immensely especially after they tasted the crepes with strawberries, Nutella and whip cream.
   The Coastal Neighborhood Council supported the program giving $1,000 for supplies. The CNC has been a longtime supporter of local schools.

Two students show off the desert they will be soon eating.

    The Wave of Awareness

   San Pedro High students and an artist -- creating a 90 foot long wave out of plastic bottles -- invited  the public this Saturday to witness and perhaps help build the giant sculpture.
   Visitors are asked to bring plastic water bottles of any size and are welcome to give a hand to build the creation.
   'It is a chance for the public to see and help work on the wave," said artist Beth Elliott, who designed the project. "It would be great if (visitors) have bottles to bring, but they don't have to."
   The event will be held from 8: 15 a.m. to noon. The Wave is located in the Senior Court at the campus, 1001 W. 15th Street. Enter on 14th between Meyler and Alma streets.

Crepe Recipe
You can view the complete recipe online at but it's in print below:

Crepes Fines Sucrees
3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
5 tablespoon melted butter
An electric blender
A rubber scraper

An iron skillet or a crêpe pan with a 6 1/2- to 7-inch bottom diameter
2 to 3 tablespoon cooking oil and a pastry brush
A ladle or measure to hold 3 to 4 tablespoon or 1/4 cup

Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hour or overnight. Brush the skillet lightly with oil. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke

Immediately remove from heat and, holding handle of pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere back into your bowl; judge the amount of your next crêpe accordingly.) This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.

Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crêpe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the underside is a nice light brown, the crêpe is ready for turning.
Turn the crêpe by using 2 spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.

Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crêpe. As they are done, slide the crêpes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of the crêpes. Crêpea may be kept warm by covering them with a dish and setting them over simmering water or in a slow oven. Or they may be made several hours in advance and reheated when needed. Crêpea freeze perfectly.)

As soon as you are used to the procedure, you can keep 2 pans going at once, and make 24 crêpea in less than half an hour.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One
October 2001, Julia Child

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fsh and GAme president should quit

California Fish and Game President showing off his mountain lion kill.

California Fish & Game President,  Please Step Down

By Diana L. Chapman

California Fish and Game president Dan Richards pressed more than many of our buttons here when he appeared to boast of hunting and killing a magnificent mountain lion in Idaho, verified in a photograph that spread faster than fire across the internet.

He proudly kneeled in his January hunt next to the 3-year-old, now dead puma, big smile on his face -- in sort of a screw-you-California stance. You are idiots here in the Golden State. But Idaho is much smarter;  hunting the big cats there remains legal. So that's what he did while representing us.

He shot the puma and later ate its meat.

As huge stories washed across the nation, the Trayvon Martin killing, the secret service gone wild and the government's general services frivolously spending our money to make whacky videos, Richard's hunting escapade took a back seat. We slowly began to let what he did fade.

We should not let this issues escape us for a moment, because what we have now  I consider akin to having a wolf guard the hen house or an aquarium director dropping a shark in the same tank with endangered fish. That fails to detail his absolutely preposterous arrogance and refusal to leave the post.

"While I respect our Fish and Game rules and regulations (are you sure?), my 100 percent legal activity outside of California, or anyone else's for that matter, is none of your business," Richards wrote to our politicians.


He must be joking. Doesn't he realize that when our then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him (and we all know how well that muscle-less leader did for our state) that Richards is not in a private position, but in an ever-so-public one.

So yes, it is our business and it should continue to be our business until he quits the post. Richards needs to vacate, because he's been given a precious task as the guardian managing our wildlife and fish resources. That involves not only our future, but the future of generations to come.

And yet it's so apparent that there's a great chasm between Richard's philosophy and that of California's - a state that banned cougar hunting starting when Governor Ronald Reagan made it illegal to hunt pumas in 1972. It received several extensions until voters here extended it permanently  in 1990.

More alarming is that our politicians -- who scrambled and clamored at first calling for Richard's resignation -- immediately backed away when hunters and gun enthusiasts built a ground swell of support for the Fish and Game president.

 Come on political guys and gals. Have some guts.

What Richard's did is not about hunting. It's not about what's legal. It's not even an issue about guns.

It's truly a story of Richard's moral compass and about his ethics. That's the crux of the matter. He represents our state whether he likes it or not. And he was in violation for taking a $6,800  freebie -- not paying it back until critics vehemently opposed his actions.

Richards, for instance, violated California's laws that clearly states public officials cannot accept gift more than the $420 limit. Later, after the media maelstrom-- the president repaid the fee to the Idaho Flying B Ranch where he was given the initially free guided hunt to catch the cat.

Since he did pay -- albeit later than the 30 days allotted and likely only prompted by the ire it raised in the media -- the Fair Political Practices Commission just sent him a stern warning that he was in violation.

But Californians, we must ask ourselves: is this the man we want guarding our resources if his ideals don't align with ours?  Despite our efforts, we are losing the big cats still.

At least 11 mountain lions and possibly up to 20 have been shot and killed illegally up in Tejon Ranch, a vast swath of private land that rests to the east of Interstate-5.

And while Fish and Game charged the corporation-- which owns 270,000 acres of the California's wild lands-- about $137,000 for killing those pumas, I am awfully uncomfortable having Richards in charge -- obviously a man who believes in shooting them for sport.

The Tejon ranchers believed the pumas were killing big game, such as deer and elk, which competed with the corporation's high-paying private trophy hunts at the ranch.

State officials need to encourage Richards to leave and then appoint someone who doesn't believe in cougar hunts and has a willingness to care for the animals and fish in this state.

Richards then -- can go live and work in Idaho -- and hunt pumas until his heart is content.

Friday, April 13, 2012

LAPD officer Ria Garcenila faces off with San Pedro High Police Academy's cadet Karen a friendly basketball rivalry.
San Pedro High Police Cadets Win Fun Basketball Game Against the LAPD

By Diana L. Chapman
  About 300 San Pedro high school students crammed the old gym at San Pedro High School this week -- cheering on their classmates as they struggled to reign in a  basketball game with five Los Angeles police officers. In the end, the cadets won by one point.
   During a raucous crowd of cheering students  -- and with eagerness to slip up the LAPD after a horrendous loss last year by 54 points -- students from the high school's police academy gained more momentum in the second half and won 52 to 51.
   A student-coach for the cadets pointed out that the five officers -- who had no substitutes to pick up the slack -- began to wear down by half-time and that's when he knew his 16  players would beat them.
   "They did great," said 15-year-old Coach Manuel Ortega of his team. "At the beginning of the game, I didn't think we had a chance to beat them. But I saw the officers were getting tired.
   "I was hoping they'd (his players) come back and they did."
   It was looking sticky early on for the cadets as the police officers repeatedly made basket after basket in the beginning of the game. Early on, there was a  20 point gap -- and it appeared the cadets would lose.
   This was something the LAPD officer, Cynthia Deinsten, who runs the school's police academy, didn't want to see happen again.  Her cadets this year practiced several days beforehand and had a coach after suffering a severe defeat last year.
  But the game isn't really what the competition is about. It's a way to amplify to the cadets how human police officers are -- and for the students to see them in a different light. In addition, Deinstein wants to build a bridge between the LAPD and her 113 cadets -- many of whom want to become police officers.
  "The best part that came out of this is it brought all the cadets together from all levels -- all grade levels, said Deinstein, who added that many of her cadets come from other areas in Los Angeles. "They don't often get to work together. I asked the kids: 'Why are we doing this?' They said it's about community.  They realize the community is (not just neighbors) but the schools and the police department."
   LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon, a big advocate of youths, agreed to the basketball game and has done so in the past because he wants to connect teens with his officers.
   "Anytime we can bring officers and teenagers together to play basketball or any other type of activity," Gannon said, "it establishes the foundation for a great relationship. Building these relationships fosters trust in the police and helps young people see officers in a different light also."
   His concept seems to have worked among officers and students alike.
  "It's wonderful to see kids under these circumstances and to make ourselves present and active in the community," said officer Ria Garcenila, an eight year veteran of the department who played against the cadets.  "It was a lot of fun."
   Said Harbor Division officer Jon Rosenblum: "It's worth it. It was good to see how competitive they are and definitely I'll recognize their faces in the community."
   Cadets said they were appreciative of the LAPD officers taking time to come and play a friendly game of basketball. Each time an officer knocked down a student while playing, they helped them back up, checked to see if the cadet was alright and smiled.
   Karen Tovalin, 18, a senior, said she definitely saw officers differently now.
   "It was really a good experience," said Tovalin who wants to become a police officer. "We got to see how the LAPD contributes to our program. We really appreciate them coming."
   Sophomore Hugo Gomez, 16, of South Gate, said: "I am just really thankful they took the time to come out and play with us."
   The police academy falls under the management of the school's magnet program and all the magnet students were invited to attend, said Sandy Martin-Alvarenga, the coordinator.
   "It's a dynamo experience to interact with real police officers in a fun and competitive atmosphere," she said. "The kids love this."

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Los Angeles dumpster where the canine's heads were found, according to CBS news.

Two Beheaded Dogs,  a $20,000 Reward And a Heinous Crime

By Diana L. Chapman

    I did a double-take when the Los Angeles City Council approved a $10,000 reward last week to solve the mystery of who dumped two dog heads in a city garbage bin. Another $10,000 was provided by other agencies, totaling $20,000.
    It was more than I can remember being posted for actual homicides.
    But in the end, I agree with the decision --- whole heartedly.
    It's clear that anyone who can chop off these poor canine's heads is someone whose moral barometer is more than broken. It's already off-the-charts and likely to get worse. The common thread that runs through animal abuse is that those perpetrators get bored and then go after bigger game --  people, including kids.
     They become full-blown serial killers.
     The two canines heads were discovered in late March in a South Los Angeles dumpster near Slauson and Vermont avenues. A man rummaging through the garbage there called the police when he found them. 
    I applaud that the finder  took the time to call police -- and that the Los Angeles Police Department cared enough to take it seriously. A top police official called the act "despicable."
     One of the helpless killed dogs was a chocolate Labrador. The other a shepherd mix. It's unclear where the dogs were killed, but it was apparent that their heads were removed with a sharp object.
    I'm glad this crime spurred so much action since animal abuse appears to be rampant in our country. The Humane Society of the U.S. reported in 2007 that one million plus animals that year were abused, tortured, maimed and killed nationally.  Most were linked to cases of domestic violence, according to the Orange County Animal Services website.
    Besides the senseless horror for the animals, officials have other reasons to worry.
    Animal abusers often tend to balloon into serial killers -- a connection the FBI started tracking in the 1970s and confirmed through studies that "most (serial killers) had killed or tortured animals as children," according to animal abuse websites.
    Recognize some of these names:
·            Jeffrey Dahmer, who tortured and killed 17 men and boys, speared the heads of dogs, cats and frogs as a youth.
·            Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed and mutilated a 7-year-old boy, strung up cats and stuck firecrackers in animal rectums.
·            Columbine high school students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold bragged at school that they had mutilated animals before they shot and killed 12 of their classmates.
   Other names include the notorious Ted Bundy and Albert "Boston Strangler" DeSalvo.
    I've always believed that the way a country treats its animals is a reflection for what  we stand for. America doesn't deserve any pets on the back .
     Even though dog fighting remains a felony in the U.S., the national humane society reported in 2007 that 250,000 dogs were put into fighting pits and about 40,000 people participated in organizing these illegal events. Those numbers do not include what's called "bait" -- small puppies, cats and kittens.
    Our poor Los Angeles dumpster dogs - showed no signs of dog fighting -- but their heads were severed  with a sharp object, officials said.
   I never thought I'd be thanking the city of Los Angeles and the other agencies who took these deaths seriously, but I am. Each of these organizations put up an additional $2,500 each: the Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society, Councilman Paul Koretz and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to the Los Angeles Times.