Friday, August 23, 2013

Chasing the News in a Skirt and High Heels



By: George Cunningham


Mary Neiswender is an old-school reporter who walked away from daily journalism more than 30 years ago after a beef with her editors over news coverage and the lack thereof.  She talks about that and much more in her recently released book “Assassins… Serial Killers… Corrupt Cops… Chasing the News in a Skirt and High Heels.” Part autobiography and part true crime, Neiswender’s book is interesting, readable and disturbing. But it’s not perfect, and it’s not for everybody. If there is a primary message in the book, it is this. Evil exists in our world. It lurks outside our doors, it lives down the block, it watches our children as they frolic on the playground, […]


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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Don’t Know How to Read? Read This



By: George Cunningham



Here’s a helpful sign that caught our eye at the Los Angeles Central Library. The folks at the library are smart folks, but if you don’t know how to read, how can you read the sign? Just wondering.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Big Fish/Little Fish Question



By: George Cunningham


At some point in almost everybody’s life they have heard the question. Do you want to be the big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond? It’s one of those questions for which there is no correct answer. And like most such analogous questions, it begins to unravel the minute you begin to analyze it. For one thing, we’re not fish. And we don’t live in ponds. And even if we were or did, the question misses the point. The question really is, do you want to be a leader or a follower and where do you want to do it. In the world where people live, leadership is […]


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Politics in Early California: Slinging Mud and Slinging Lead



By: George Cunningham


When people think of the Wild West, they usually think about Tombstone, Ariz., Deadwood, S.D., or Dodge City, Kan. They certainly don’t think about Sacramento, San Francisco or Los Angeles. But California was as wild as anyplace else in the West and sometimes even wilder. Between September 1850 and September 1851, there were 31 homicides committed in L.A. and the vicinity, according to historian John Boessenecker. That may not sound that extreme, but the population of the area at that time was only 2,500. To put it in today’s terms, the murder rate in the United States in 2011, was 4.7 homicides per 100,000 people. The murder rate in Los Angeles in 1850-51 – adjusted […]


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Do Dogs Worry About Being Gay?



By: George Cunningham


We recently bought Henry his own traveling bowl for water. Henry is our dog and when he goes for a long walk, he often gets thirsty. We decided that the answer was for us to get a collapsible bowl that would be easy to slip into our pocket, then at the appropriate moment, pop out, fill with water, and let Henry have a drink. So we went to Amazon – where else do modern plugged-in folks go to buy stuff – and ordered a collapsible silicon bowl for Henry. But first, we had to read the reviews – most of which were positive. But not all. The negative reviewers all complained about the same thing. […]


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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lovely, stinking, wonderful black goo



By: George Cunningham


If you want to understand a big reason why Long Beach is Long Beach, take a quick trip up to Signal Hill. There at Temple Avenue and Hill Street you will find Discovery Well – the Shell Oil well where the great California oil rush began. On Jan 23, 1921, at 9:30 p.m. oil workers on the rig hit black gold, gushing more than 100 feet into the air and spraying everything in near vicinity with lovely, stinking, sticky dark goo. The kind of dark goo that makes both people and cities rich and brings folks running from distant places to get in on the boom. The timing was fortunate. Dr. W. Pelekan, an executive geologist […]


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Friday, July 5, 2013

Frozen in time



By: George Cunningham



Sculpted oil workers stand frozen in time on a hill above the city and port they helped to build. You can visit the sculpture — and get a great view of Long Beach — at Skyline Drive and Dawson Avenue in Signal Hill.
Friday, July 5, 2013

Are You Listening?



By: George Cunningham


Virtually every married woman I have ever met has the same complaint about her husband. He just doesn’t listen. I am no exception to this rule. As a matter of fact, I may be the poster child for this rule, or so my wife claims. There are a lot of things men can say about not listening to their wives – most of which will get them in trouble quicker than a lightning bolt can fry a pine tree. And because we are not nearly as stupid as we sometimes seem, most men don’t actually say these things to their wives.  They just think these thoughts – or share them with other men. Thoughts like: […]


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Friday, June 21, 2013

Signing Off on KABOOM



By: Reader Publishing Group



Author George Lee Cunningham spends a Sunday afternoon signing copies of his new book, chatting with old friends, eating cake, and drinking — what else? — KABOOMS. (photo by Natalie Shore)
Friday, June 21, 2013

FuturePorts: Looking for Answers



By: George Cunningham


I spent the better part of a day this week at the FuturePorts conference in Long Beach. Here are some quick takeaways from the event – not necessarily what the speakers presented, but what I took from the discussion. And some of my takeaways were not from the speakers themselves, but from some of the other attendees at the event. If you were there – and even if you were not – feel free to add your own. Here goes: • Folks are busy trying to build a port infrastructure that will last 30 years in a world that is rapidly changing. How much of that infrastructure will still be relevant 10 or 20 years […]


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