Posts Tagged california

Living in Broken America

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By Cindy Robinson

The United States of America is broken. We live in a country that is failing its citizens. Growing up I learned about the different political parties representing our country, that each has its own ideals based on their moral beliefs. We learned the purpose of having a fairly equal representation of those parties in our governing offices is to work together, to compromise on issues affecting our country and its citizens – things like healthcare, wages, housing, and protecting our population.

However, our political parties of today have long forgotten the art of compromise, their primary goal is only to further their own agendas and keep the pockets of those already rolling in wealth well lined. Our parties no longer work together to help the American people. They merely work against the opposing party to prevent any positive change for the American people without any regard for the impact these decisions will have on Americans.

An article recently posted on PBS.org pictures hunger in America, showcasing how a variety of families survive on their meager earnings and the small amount of government assistance each receives.  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/picturing-hunger-in-america/#the-rundown . The article also highlights how those in need spend endless hours waiting to get any assistance they are applying for. How is an unemployed person supposed to effectively search for a job that will sustain them when they spend half of one day waiting to turn in paperwork to apply for food stamps only to be told they need to wait further to actually receive the aid if they are approved? Then that person spends the better part of another day waiting to turn in paperwork for the next type of assistance they may be applying for.

Back in December Congress voted to end the extension of unemployment benefits for more than one million Americans. The rug was instantly pulled out from under anyone on unemployment. Instead of receiving a bi-weekly unemployment claim, they were mailed a surprise letter indicating their claim had ended, even if they had money remaining on their claim. While I understand, and support one of the opinions behind this move – to get those off unemployment that are just milking the system, its overall effect has been to send more Americans into the system of applying for benefits, increasing the burden on our already overtaxed economy.

I am one of the more than one million Americans affected by this vote. I was laid off by my employer of nearly 8 years in 2013 when they decided to close their California office and move operations east. In addition to constantly applying for as many jobs in my field as possible, I have spent the better part of the last two months seeking assistance of every kind possible that I could locate with almost no results. I started with dialing 211, the United Way, which is supposed to be a collective listing of resources that a person in need can contact in their area. The people that answer the phones are woefully under trained. I called twice in fact and each time they looked up resources by my zip code and simply told me there wasn’t any rental assistance available in my area and they also weren’t helping with gas bills right now. They neglected to tell me that there is an entire list of resources available on my county website and that while some agencies are approved to offer rental assistance, they are out of funding right now and the same goes for utility bill assistance. I only discovered that these resources existed because I am a tech savvy person. What happens when an elderly person or anyone who isn’t tech savvy calls and receives the same answer? Does that person just give up because they were told there aren’t resources available?

America-BrokenWhile I am finally being called in to interview for some great companies in Southern California, those who are hiring are also being very thorough and going through long lists of applicants to decide who is right for the job. Long gone are the days when you’d interview and be hired on the spot or within a couple days, organizations are now taking weeks to make a decision.

During my research for great resources to help sustain my household during these challenging times, I entered a contest on 102.7 KIIS FM, Los Angeles hit radio station hoping to win a $1,000 prize. I discovered there is also a Ryan Seacrest Foundation and sent in my information to them. I never heard back from them, even though I provided information on the deadline I was facing.

I’ve reached the point where I am losing everything. The long list of resources who’s primary goal is listed as preventing homelessness don’t have any assistance to offer, decisions on jobs applied to are moving forward slowly so I am losing my rental home of six years.

I’m a college educated administrative professional with strong computer skills combined with great social media and freelance photography skills looking for a job in the Inland Empire area of Southern California along with a needing a new home that will accept me, a child, cats, dogs and an alligator lizard.

download It seems the only true assistance out there today is community, people helping people as our government and assistance organizations continue to fail us. Today’s headlines focused on the story of Shanesha Taylor in Arizona, a homeless mother of two, who left her young sons in the car while she went into a job interview. While I don’t condone leaving young children unattended, why aren’t there more readily available resources in this situation? How is she supposed to get a job and take care of her family if there isn’t child care to support her so she can go on an interview? Luckily for Shanesha, Amanda Bishop stepped in and set up a fundraising effort on youcaring.com and quickly raised $70,000 for the mother of two.   http://ktla.com/2014/04/01/homeless-mom-arrested-after-leaving-kids-in-car-during-job-interview/#axzz2xhHpgbUy She’s one of the lucky ones who had a kind stranger step in to help her during her time of need.

So I’m asking each one of you that read this to please help those in need around you, even if you don’t know them. We’re all battling something but if more of us work together, lives can be saved, lives can be improved. Be grateful for what you have and share your extras with those who need it.

 

 

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Rolling Stones to Offer a Few More $85 Seats

rolling-stones-announce-north-american-tour-datesAfter whipping Los Angeles into a frenzy over the weekend by playing a “surprise” club show at the Echoplex on Saturday, today the Rolling Stones announced that a small number of the hard to come by $85 tickets may become available for some venues after production sets up the show. If you are interested in trying to obtain these tickets, which are only available in pairs and must be picked up in person with a valid I.D., register here to be notified if any become available.

For those of us who couldn’t get into Saturday’s show, take a look at Getty Images Photographer Kevin Mazur’s coverage of the rare club gig here. Celebrity guests in attendance included Johnny Depp, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, Bruce Willis, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen and star of the CBS hit show, NCIS, actor Mark Harmon.

The Stones kick off their 50 & Counting Tour this Friday, May 3rd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Saturday night’s setlist included the following songs. I’m sure fans of the band can expect to hear these along with many other great songs rotated into the set as the tour gets under way. The only special guest the band have confirmed to date is guitarist Mick Taylor.

You Got Me Rocking
Respectable
She’s So Cold
Live With Me
Street Fighting Man
That’s How Strong My Love Is
Little Queenie
Just My Imagination
Miss You
Love In Vain (with Mick Taylor)
Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)
Start Me Up

ENCORE
Brown Sugar
Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Grrr! is available now via the Rolling Stones store in a variety of formats including the standard, deluxe and super deluxe editions, t-shirts and digitally via iTunes for those who need immediate “Satisfaction”. Check for concert tickets for your city here

 

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The Rolling Stones Ready to Kick Off 50 & Counting Tour; Depeche Mode Announce Surprise FREE Show at Troubadour

It’s a great time for fans of iconic rock bands like the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Depeche Mode all of whom are set to launch tours in the next couple weeks.

The Rolling Stones have set up shop in Los Angeles where they began rehearsals for their “50 & Counting” North American Tour last week. The tour is scheduled to kick-off May 2nd* at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles (*date tentative due NHL playoff scheduling).

Speculation of a “surprise” nightclub show in the Los Angeles area have Rolling Stones fans running rabid at the mouth as they try to plot the iconic bands next moves. The Rolling Stones have traditionally done a “surprise warm-up” show at a large nightclub or small theater before they kick off a tour. Excitement is high as the Stones have rarely kicked off a North American Tour on the West Coast.

The Rolling Stones 2013 Tour Dates can be found here along with links to purchase tickets. Don’t miss your chance to be part of music history! Grab your tickets before they are gone.

“GRRR!”, the latest from the Rolling Stones featuring two new songs titled “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot” is available now on iTunes.

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Image courtesy of http://www.depechemode.com/

Legendary English 80’s band, Depeche Mode, have kicked off the week with the announcement of a FREE show this Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA. The ONLY way in to this tiny, tiny show is to win tickets from Los Angeles radio station, the world-famous KROQ 106.7. Depeche Mode will be playing to an audience of just 400 people, the most smallest show they have ever played in Los Angeles. This will be their surprise warm up show before they launch their world tour on May 4th in France. Don’t fret (well not too much anyway) if you don’t win tickets to see them this week because they will return to Los Angeles at the end of September for three shows at the Staples Center. A full list of tour dates can be found on the Depeche Mode site. Their latest album, “Delta Machine” is out on iTunes now.

Sir Paul McCartney is also in Los Angeles rehearsing for his “Out There” tour which also kicks off May 4th in South America before heading to North America for a tour along with a handful of scheduled European dates. Stop by his site for more information.

The 2013 concert season is shaping up to be a hell of a good ride with so many rock legends hitting the road this year. Now if we could just get our hands on the winning lotto numbers so we could check out all of these amazing artists touring this year we’d be set. Check back as Life On The Scene hopes to bring you coverage of some of these great shows this year!

Who are you most excited to see this year on the concert trail? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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Robert Downey Jr. Lights Up the Holidays in Venice

Local Venice, California resident and business owner, Golden Globe winning actor, Robert Downey Jr. came out in support of the inaugural lighting of the Venice sign on Friday night. He was joined by the Venice Chamber of Commerce , City of Los Angeles Mike Bonin, and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl.

The historic Venice Sign has been refurbished and is a landmark in the beach community. The traditional white lights were swapped out for holiday red & green. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Robert Downey Jr. flipped the switch together as the crowd counted down amidst a sea of cheers to kick off the Holiday Season.

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Activities included: Complimentary egg nog, coffee and hot chocolate, Mr and Mrs Santa Claus, Arts & Crafts booths from Control Printing, Venice Art Crawl artists, the Venice Sign coloring station for kids,free candy canes and complimentary holiday doggie treats by Venice Pups and Hungry Dawgz of Dogtown. Live music was provided by the band Venice who performed a variety of Christmas classics along with original holiday tunes prior to the lighting of the Venice Sign. It was a family (and pooch) friendly evening that is sure to grow into a wonderful holiday tradition in the years to come.

 

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Duran Duran Heats Up the Crowd at Pacific Amphitheatre

by Cindy Robinson

Fresh off their performance in London’s Hyde Park at the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Duran Duran returned to the Pacific Amphitheatre over the weekend to close out the Orange County Fair’s summer concert series. The sold out show brought legions of fans in to see the band perform on the final leg of their All You Need Is Now tour.

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The hot August night only got hotter as the band launched into a tight set of their greatest hits including early tracks such as Girls on Film, Planet Earth and the only occasionally dusted off fan favorite, Careless Memories, which sent the crowd of hard-core Duranies into a frenzy. Duran Duran continued the journey through their 30 year career thrilling the audience with 90’s gems like Ordinary World, Come Undone and the Grandmaster Flash cover, White Lines.

The set was also heavily peppered with tracks from their latest album, All You Need Is Now including the title track, audience favorite, Girl Panic! and the Man Who Stole a Leopard.

The band continues across the United States throughout the month of August with the remaining dates listed below:

  • August 15, 2012 Tulsa, OK, Duran Duran at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, OK
  •  August 17, 2012, Memphis, TN, Duran Duran at the Memphis Botanical Gardens in Memphis, TN
  •  August 18, 2012, Biloxi, MS, Duran Duran in Biloxi, MS at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
  • August 19, 2012, Atlanta, GA, Duran Duran at Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA
  • August 21, 2012, Durham, North Carolina, Duran Duran at DPAC in Durham, North Carolina
  •  August 22, 2012, Portsmouth, VA, Duran Duran at Telos Wireless Pavilion in Portsmouth, VA
  •  August 24, 2012, Mashantucket, CT, Duran Duran at MGM Grand at Foxwoods
  •  August 25, 2012, Atlantic City, NJ, Duran Duran at Revel Ovation Hall in Atlantic City
  •  August 26, 2012, Pittsburgh, PA, Duran Duran at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, PA
  •  August 28, 2012, Kettering, OH, Duran Duran at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, OH
  •  August 29, 2012, Highland Park, IL, Duran Duran at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL
  •  August 31, 2012, Orillia, ONTARIO, Canada, Duran Duran at Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
  •  September 01, 2012, Orillia, ONTARIO, Canada, Duran Duran at Casino Rama Entertainment Centre

Check Ticketmaster to see if there are any tickets left for your city. They put on a great live show you don’t want to miss!

Duran Duran have also just released their latest concert movie, A Diamond in the Mind out now on Blu-ray/DVD chronicling the first part of their All You Need Is Now Tour.  The Blu-ray/DVD is available via Amazon.com and the live audio CD is out now on iTunes.

The band will take some well deserved time off after the tour wraps up at the end of the summer before heading back into the studio with producer Mark Ronson sometime next year.

In the meantime, fans can catch bassist John Taylor out on the road later this year promoting his auto-biography, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran which is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom in late September followed by an October release in the United States. You can pre-order the book now online, watch the Duran Duran Facebook page or follow John on Twitter to see which cities he will be visiting to sign copies of his book.

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INXS Shine in Los Angeles

by Cindy Robinson

A review in photos of the INXS concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on July 22, 2011.

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Go-Go’s Vacation Sweepstakes

 

the Go-Go's, image courtesy of http://www.gogos.com/

The Go-Go’s are on tour this summer in the United States celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their classic album “Beauty and The Beat” and have teamed up with Cost Plus World Market to offer fans this exciting summer getaway to Los Angeles! You can enter the sweepstakes here to win a trip for you and 10 of your closest friends to see the Go-Go’s live at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on August 17th. You will also get a VIP party and meet the band at the show. The winner will receive a $2,000 Cost Plus World Market gift card. Being the frugal shopper that I am, I could do some damage with that! You can enter the contest once per day (for those who really need a “Vacation”) until July 23, 2011.

Who doesn’t listen to classic tracks from “Beauty and the Beat” like “Vacation” , “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat” while enjoying those warm summer afternoon barbecues with friends? A classic, fun summer album and the 30th anniversary extended edition is out now. Grab your digital copy now via iTunes!

The Go-Go’s have already played to the Eastern half of the USA during May and June before taking a well deserved break during July. They will start up again for the second half of the tour on August 5th in St. Petersburg, FL. Don’t miss these 80’s legends! Tickets and VIP packages are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

Have you already been to see the Go-Go’s this summer? We’d love to see your photos & videos from the shows. Leave a comment with a link where we can check them out.

The remaining tour dates include stops in the following cities:

08/05/11 St. Petersburg, FL   Rays Summer concert series

08/07/11 Ft. Lauderdale, FL   Seminole Hard Rock

08/09/11 Atlanta, GA              ChastainPark

08/12/11 Vancouver, BC        Commodore Ballroom

08/13/11 Portland, OR           Oregon Zoo Amphitheater

08/14/11 Seattle, WA             Woodland Park Zoo

08/16/11 San Francisco, CA  The Fillmore

08/17/11 Los Angeles, CA     The Greek

08/20/11 Temecula, CA          Pechanga Theater

08/23/11 Aspen, CO                Belly Up

08/24/11 Denver, CO              Ogden Theater

08/26/11 Dallas, TX                 House of Blues

08/27/11 Houston, TX             House of Blues

08/28/11 Austin, TX                 Paramount Theater

 

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Fairfax Vying for Coveted Summerfest Slot

image courtesy of Fairfax

Los Angeles based Indie/Alt Rock duo Fairfax, consisting of California native Heavynn Gates (vocals) and Georgia born Blake English (guitar) blend strong, soulful vocals and riveting guitar riffs, on their latest single Battle. The band met while writing songs for R&B artist Brandy, and shared a common background in dance music and hip-hop.

Fairfax are among the top five finalists in Taylor Guitars Test Drive Electric contest for emerging artists (also sponsored by Elixir Strings and SonicBids.com). Nearly 1,000 acts entered, and after a preliminary round of voting, a panel of artist relations professionals narrowed it down to five finalists:  singer-songwriter Tyler Shea, and bands Crash Coordinates, Evaline, Fairfax, and Shot Heard Around the World

The final round of the contest is under way with voting open through March 31, 2011. Fairfax’s entry into the contest, the video for their latest single, Battle, is up for viewing & voting now on the Test Drive Electric contest site. Don’t forget to vote daily for your favorite artist.

The winner of the contest wins a slot in the World’s Largest Music Festival Summerfest taking place June 29 – July 3 and July 5 – 10, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin featuring everyone from Toby Keith, arena rockers Def Leppard, the Black Keys, Florence + the Machine to Cage the Elephant, everyone’s darling Katy Perry and Sugarland.

 The band will release their yet-to-be titled sophomore EP in 2011. The single, Battle, is available now as a FREE download. Don’t forget to visit Fairfax on Facebook to enter their drawing to win a FREE iPod shuffle!

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L.A. County Passes Sweeping Ban on Plastic Bags

Thin plastic shopping bags

Image via Wikipedia

Care2 and the L.A. Times report that Los Angeles County has banned plastic grocery bags! With a 3-1 vote in favor of the measure, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a sweeping ban on plastic grocery bags in unincorporated areas of the county.

The ban will affect nearly 1.1 million residents countywide and has been called one of the nation’s most aggressive environmental measures to date.

The official measure reads: “No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag.” Plastic bags that are used to hold fruit, vegetables or raw meat in order to prevent contamination with other grocery items will be exempt from the ban.

Grocers that continue to offer plastic bags will be required to charge customers 10 cents per bag, according to the ordinance. The revenue will be retained by the stores to purchase the paper bags and educate customers about the law.

Similar plastic bag bans passed in San Francisco and Malibu are less strict because they don’t involve a surcharge. Environmental advocates of banning plastic bags say these measures provide no incentive for consumers to switch to reusable cloth bags, the most eco-friendly option.

While it will be a challenge for those uneducated in the ways of recycling to get used to the plastic bag ban, L.A. County can draw on the recent experiences of the cities of San Francisco and Malibu who have already passed these ordinances. Consumers will become more aware of what they purchase and how they carry those items home.

For most consumers, I believe a small scavenger hunt around their homes and garages would easily reveal plenty of bags they can use for shopping, whether those are plastic bags from previous purchases, reusable cloth bags or even large gift bags. Those of us who already use reusable bags, often keep them in our cars, desks or somewhere handy in the home where they can easily be grabbed before one heads out the door to go shopping.

I hope consumers will learn to be more resourceful and use what they need instead of continuing to live in a society where everything is deemed disposable with little thought to the future of our planet and the creatures that inhabit it.

What was that noise? Did you hear it? Why yes, it was me shouting with joy from the rooftops! Please recycle, we’ve only got one Earth.

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Camp Freddy Reveal Christmas Residency Details

Camp Freddy, the Los Angeles based jam band consisting of Billy Morrison (Billy Idol/The Cult), Dave Navarro (Janes Addiction/The Panic Channel), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver), Donovan Leitch (son of legendary folk singer Donovan), and Chris Chaney (Janes Addiction/Alanis Morrisette), will once again take over the Roxy on Sunset for a string of Christmas dates during December. Today, the band announced they will play three shows, on December 3rd, 10th and 17th at the Roxy. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 5th via the Roxy and Ticketmaster. Ticket prices are $20 per show + fees and there are a very limited number of VIP packages available for $90 + fees which admit you to all three shows, give you the opportunity to attend a soundcheck, and have a meet & greet with the band.

Recent special guests for some of Camp Freddy’s private gigs have included Sammy Hagar, Duff McKagan, Steve Stevens and Macy Gray. There hasn’t been any indication of ‘themed’ nights such as last year’s 70’s, 80’s & 90’s themed weeks or who the guests will be. Your guess is as good as mine but one thing is for certain, don’t delay in grabbing those tickets this Friday because they will go quickly!

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