Historic Opening of The Original Farmers Market at LAX

June 13th, 2014
(Client: The Original Farmers Market)

Eighty years after setting up at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street, The Original Farmers Market has opened its first outside location.

Travelers passing through the Delta terminal at LAX can visit a scaled-down version of the market, an echo of the original in a modern space.

“It’s just like the farmers market, just on a smaller scale,” said Lynn Hang, a manager at the LAX location. “It kind of takes them out of that vibe of felling like they’re at the airport.”

At 5 a.m., flights already are touching down and passengers unloading in the Delta terminal, Hang said, and lines form before The Original Farmers Market opens at 5:30.

From more than 100 vendors at the original location, nine have been chosen for the new space so far. The airport branch has been operating for almost a month and has an invitation-only grand opening Thursday.

The entrance is eye-catching with a three-dimensional copy of The Original Farmers Market clock tower on one wall. Inside, vendors sell Mexican fare, wine and cheese, pastries and even baked dog treats. Tables fill a common area, and market-like stands hold fruit and bouquets of flowers.

Morgan Wright and her mother, Kate Handley, were passing through LAX on their way home to Davis from the East Coast when they stopped in.

“We have a farmers market in Davis that’s sort of famous,” Wright said, “so it kind of drew us in.” She and Handley were at Bennett’s Ice Cream at the Farmers Market at LAX.

Wright said she hadn’t heard of the farmers market on 3rd Street, so stumbling on the LAX location was “serendipity.”

“The airport seemed very frenzied and hectic, so this seemed like a little bit quieter oasis,” she said after finishing her coffee ice cream.

Delaware North Cos., which operates concessions at Yosemite National Park and other airports, partnered with the A.F. Gilmore Co., which owns The Original Farmers Market, for the concept at LAX.

Several times, other companies had asked A.F. Gilmore Co. to team up to open a new farmers market location. But it was never the right fit, said A.F. Gilmore Co. marketing director Ilysha Buss.

With Delaware North, “We were 100 percent confident that the Farmers Market brand would be produced to our standards, our 80-year-old standards,” she said.

“Some people consider (airport travelers) a captive audience,” said Rodolfo Ornelas, operations manager for Delaware North and general manager for the Farmers Market at LAX. “We don’t necessarily look at it that way. We still want to produce high-quality products.”

Jimmy Shaw left his career in advertising to open ¡Loteria! Grill at the farmers market in 2002. He has expanded to eight restaurants in Los Angeles, including two at LAX.

To view the artical as it appeared on the Los Angeles Rigister follow the link: http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/market-600830-farmers-lax.html?page=1

After a soft opening a few weeks ago, they’re already struggling to keep up with the demand for potted Magee’s nuts at the Farmers Market at LAX Terminal 5, which held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony June 12 as part of the continuing development of L.A.’s love-it-or-hate-it airport.

A microcosm of the famous “original” market at Fairfax and Third, this satellite space looks just like it, right down to the inclusion of some of the famous Farmers Market green wooden carts and shopping bags – it even has a mini 3-D-esque version of the white clock tower on the wall outside (ripe for photo ops).

Inside, the prime spot has gone to Jimmy Shaw’s Lotería Grill – a resident at the Original Farmers Market since 2002 – whose colorful red décor, loteria card posters and yellow stools definitely beckon you toward the bar at the rear. They debuted new loteria cards – El Farmers Market and El LAX – on the opening-day menu, but either way you can pre-flight by sipping a margarita and watching your burrito or tostada come to life in the glass-fronted kitchen.

To the left of Lotería Grill   – and with a wall of wines – is French favorite Monsieur Marcel, which has been at the Original since 1993 with cheeses, meats, wines and crêpes. Here it will have deli sandwiches for hungry travelers as well.

On either side of the entrance to this retro mini-mart is Coffee Corner, with delay-busting cups of java, and the T&Y bakery for a pastry or two.

Staying true to the “farmers” element, there are several green wooden stands of fresh flowers and fruit to pick from. Also at the front is the to-go element, with staple airport essentials: bottles of water, chips, wraps, sandwiches, salads and soft drinks. Bennett’s ice cream also has a rather hidden cooler, which is worth finding, because it’s full of chocolate, nut-sprinkled cone and banana ice creams.

There are plenty of last-minute gifts geared to travelers,  most of which are easily browsed from the cleverly placed wooden carousel structures, which showcase gift-size treats from other Original Farmers Market vendors such as the Dog Bakery, spice experts Dragünara, the candy and popcorn delights of the Magic Nut & Candy Co. and Magee’s, whose quaint labels and pots of peanut butter and nut spreads are “very California.”

On top of these triangular displays are some nifty tablet-size video screens, which run short, glossy videos about the companies behind the munchables, and also have an interesting image-heavy, documentary-esque section on the 80-year history of the Original Farmers Market itself.
There are old black-and-white pictures on the walls, too – including a famous one of Marilyn Monroe cutting a cake – and a video wall facing the terminal passageway shows video footage of times past.

Terminal 5 is only for passengers flying Delta, but if you’re looking for something that’s L.A. but not L.A., this is a far better bet than impulse-buying a pink “Hollywood” sweatshirt and regretting it all the way home.

To view the article as it appeared in laweekly.com follow this link : http://www.laweekly.com/squidink/2014/06/17/meet-you-at-5-and-lax-farmers-market-now-open-at-terminal-5

Bill Johnson: To this baker, his doughnut recipe is the holey grail

June 11th, 2014
(Client: The Original Farmers Market)

I was told Bob Tusquellas could teach me how to make the perfect doughnut.

So I showed up at Bob’s Coffee & Donuts in the heart of the historic Original Farmer’s Market on Third Street at Fairfax Avenue hoping for the best.

Bob Tusquellas, it soon became clear, would have more easily surrendered his ATM pin number than surrender his doughnut recipe. Still, the 72-year-old baker set out a plate of his doughnuts and some coffee, and we sat down and chatted.

He has been making doughnuts at the Farmer’s Market for 44 years now. I was finishing up seventh grade when he first opened up. And you just have to admire anyone who can stick to one thing for that long.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. Tusquellas in the late 1960s was destined to go to Dearborn, Mich., and make cars.

He first went to UCLA for a business administration degree, later transferring to UC Berkeley where he finished up before earning an MBA. Ford Motor Co. wanted him. And he was set to go.

And then, Tusquellas’ father called.

The fish market around the corner from his dad’s butcher shop at the Farmer’s Market was coming up for sale. Was he interested?

The Ford people and his professors were aghast when Tusquellas packed up his belongings and his new bride, Kathy, and made the drive back to Third Street.

It was 1966, and neither Tusquella nor his bride knew a thing about selling fish. It couldn’t be that different from hawking meat, the way he had at his father’s butcher shop from the time he was 11. And it wasn’t, he later learned.

“I’d always wanted my own business like my Dad’s,” he explained of ditching Ford.

“I learned the food business from the guys at my father’s shop, all World War II guys like my Dad, tough as nails, gruff guys that weren’t well-educated, but knew what they were doing. Finest education I ever got.”

In 1970, the doughnut shop came up for sale. He quickly bought it. As with fish, he knew nothing of making doughnuts.

The shop back then made only cake doughnuts – plain, powdered and chocolate-cinnamon. Tusquellas, though, loved raised doughnuts. For six months, he studied making the cake variety. Over the following year, he would study how to make raised glazed doughnuts.

“The flour company sent over a guy. He says to be here at four the next morning, and to bring a table and this and that. We’ll try something, he said,” Tusquellas remembers.

“We put everything in the mixer, proofed it. It comes out, and I taste it. It was absolutely beautiful,” he exults.

His glazed doughnuts are some of the best I have ever eaten – perfectly glazed, the inside so light it is almost like eating cotton candy.

“It is an art,” he tells me. “And no, I’m not a perfectionist, just a guy who wants it to taste the way I want it to taste,” he says.

No, he will not show me how he makes his doughnuts, he says. When I protest that he has shown his bakers his methods countless times over the years, he smiles and says his recipe comes to the store pre-mixed in bags. The bakers just fry them.

It is why he has never opened a second shop, he said. It would mean he couldn’t actually control how the doughnuts are made.

“I won’t ever give away my recipe,” Tusquellas says flatly.

On this day, he is gearing up for National Doughnut Day on Friday. He will add two additional bakers, and three additional counter helpers.

“Last year, I thought it would be kind of busy, but it turned out to be very busy, like planning a dinner party for eight and 30 people show up,” he says.

He walks me over to his counter where he has hung a sign. Friday, too, is June 6.

“Do you know how many young people have no idea what June 6 is?” he asks me. “They think D-Day is a movie or something.”

It is why he will give away doughnuts and coffee for free to any service member who shows up in uniform.

For Bob Tusquellas, Friday will not just be about doughnuts. It will be about remembering.

Follow the link to view the article as it appeared on the Los Angeles Register: http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/doughnuts-600484-tusquellas-shop.html?page=2

Singing Coach Prefers Passion to Perfection

May 11th, 2014

Instructor Karen Morrow applauds a student performance during one of her weekly singing workshops at the Westwood Presbyterian Church in Westwood on Monday

A love song isn’t really a love song if the singer doesn’t feel it. Perfect pitch in a vacuum can be a perfect bore.

Karen Morrow believes that an audience is more likely to respond to a heartfelt voice that cracks than a flawless one that flat-lines emotion.

The Emmy winner — who has belted out numbers on stages from Broadway to Hollywood — has been preaching this to would-be crooners in Los Angeles for decades.

After 54 years in the business, Morrow knows how to grab a song by its soul. She has tricks to ease stiffness and shyness and stage fright. She shares them all over the country in master classes and at two local workshops a week for anyone brave enough to try.

Shower singer or star, it’s hard to get up in front of others and get it right.

Some over-emote. Their eyes bug out. They wave their hands wildly, as if directing traffic. Others concentrate so hard on the notes, they barely move at all.

It’s pretty common for a singer of standards to slip into slumber-inducing singsong. And then there are many who try to sound like someone else: If you must sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Morrow pleads, for pity’s sake, don’t try to be young Judy Garland.

Instructor Karen Morrow works with a toy troll.

“Be a person! Be a person!” she tells her students again and again. Make it natural, make it yours.

At each workshop, they get up one by one to perform songs they’ve chosen.

Morrow, who is in nearly constant motion, might bounce on her feet but let someone sing all the way through. She might stand beside whoever is up and demonstrate a different approach. Or she might call out a few bars in:

“Make it a conversation!”

“Speed up the tempo.”

“Don’t worry about the notes. Just go for it.”

Singer Anne Hager performs with a toy troll. Teacher Karen Morrow has tricks to ease stiffness and shyness and stage fright. She shares them all over the country in master classes and at two local workshops a week for anyone brave enough to try.

Her Monday night sessions attract an after-work crowd. Several sang when they were young but, in the press of life, for a time misplaced their music.

“You don’t have to sing. Don’t even try to sing. Let’s just play the song, and you make it do what the music is doing.” – Karen Morrow

One man who says he sings everywhere he goes discovered his voice only a few years ago, after a doctor put him on lithium for a mild bipolar disorder. Each week, he drives his RV from Ojai to the workshop at Westwood Presbyterian Church. Someone else drives in from Huntington Beach. There’s a lawyer, a psychiatrist, a fabric seller. As they climb the stairs to the second-floor choir room, they let these identities fall away.

They are singers, carrying sheet music to hand to the pianist. They are supplicants — the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion — coming to the Wizard of Oz to be made whole.

Once a year, on props day, each brings an offering. A red-haired troll doll. A coil of rope. A golf club. Morrow gathers the items and makes a pile that stretches across several folding chairs.

Karen Morrow, center, shows, Dyanne Gilliam, right, how to use a prop to enhance a performance during one of Morrow's weekly singing workshops at Westwood Presbyterian Church.

She knows that too often, the mind gets in the way. It needs to be distracted to forget that it’s afraid, to be pulled off the safe path, to do what it dreams of but ordinarily wouldn’t dare.

In the course of the evening, she will dole the props out randomly. Each performer will be given one just a few minutes before taking the floor.

There won’t be time to over-think it. The point, she tells the class, is to plunge in and perhaps surface with something enlightening.

“The prop doesn’t have to be used as what it is…. If it resembles a telephone, use it as a telephone. If it resembles a hamburger, use it as a hamburger. But incorporate it into your song so that when I take it away from you, you will still have information inside of you that you will be able to use.”

And so the first brave soul, Robert Brittany, steps up with a Rodgers and Hammerstein song, “Everybody’s Got a Home but Me.” He is holding a metal flour scoop that in his hands becomes a shovel. As he sings about how he longs to have a roof over his head, he’s digging a foundation, furiously trying to make it so.

Singer Chuck Marso performs with a necklace of plastic skulls. Karen Morrow uses the props to inspire students.

The night unfolds and the rope becomes a snake and a woman struggles with the high notes of “I could have danced all night” until they just come as she’s pressing a plush Charlie Brown to her chest and waltzing him across the floor.

Dyanne Gilliam glowers at the cat toy she’s been handed, which has a stick to hold on one end, a ribbon of feathers on the other. She starts to laugh — sort of.

“I don’t have a cat,” she mutters. “This is just mean.”

To which Morrow replies, “No, it’s not. It’s to get you guys to think and explore and go deep.”

Gilliam’s choice for the evening is “Send in the Clowns.”

When she first started coming to the workshop, Gilliam says, she’d get up, start to shake and go all red and blotchy. She still does not step easily out front.

But there she is, and Morrow is asking her to think about gymnasts with ribbons.

“You don’t have to sing. Don’t even try to sing,” Morrow says. “Let’s just play the song, and you make it do what the music is doing. Make it a ballerina and see what happens.”

And then the music is starting and the feathers are swaying and Gilliam sways and twirls with them, as if they’re both being buffeted by a breeze.

She is smiling. Early giggles fade. The room is quiet but for the piano and for Morrow saying, “Yes, yes, yes, oh yes!”

Follow the link to see the article as it appeared at latimes.com : http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-beat-singing-workshop-20140505-story.html#axzz30rSJe4H0

AYSO World Record: “Biggest Pick-Up Game on Earth”

May 4th, 2014

Client: (American Youth Soccer Organization)

f you donned a jersey and shin guard when you were a youngster, and took to a field on a bright weekend morning, ready to chase down a black and white ball while assisting team mates along the way, chances are you were AYSO.

The American Youth Soccer Organization has been a major part of millions of kids’ sporting lives, and the lives of their parents, too, over the last half century. It started in Los Angeles (update: Torrance) in 1964 and still runs its headquarters from Torrance, making the seen-everywhere outfit very much a SoCal-grown thing.

Which makes AYSO’s 50th anniversary extra special ’round these parts. The organization is going for “the biggest pick-up soccer game on earth” on Saturday, May 3, a lofty but doable goal, for sure. Nope, a field the size of Nebraska has not been built, but smaller meet-ups’ll spring hither and thither across the nation on that day, all to salute a soccer stalwart’s half-centennial.

So where can you find a SoccerFEST pick-up game on that day? There are several Southern California locations, including Encino, Culver City, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Santa Ynez.

If you’re kid is AYSO, you’re good to go, but there’s happy news for non-AYSO players: Some events will accept your entry. Just check ahead of time.

Our sense from the sidelines? It isn’t too controversial. Over a half million kids are AYSO-involved, meaning the pick-up games’ll be packed, as they should be for a mondo anniversary party. The achievement of “biggest pick-up soccer game on earth” is a world record that just might be achieved, then, without breaking too much of a sweat.

Well, perhaps some sweat. Soccer is very go-go-go, after all, and one of our nation’s favorite recreational pastimes. Saluting a powerhouse of the game with some perspire-nice play just seems like the right thing to do.

Follow the link to view the article as it appeared on nbclosangeles.com : http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene/AYSO-World-Record-Biggest-Pick-Up-Game-on-Earth-257276961.html

AYSO to Set World Record With 50th Anniversary #SoccerFEST14

March 14th, 2014
Client: (the American Youth Soccer Organization)

TORRANCE, CA–(Marketwired – March 13, 2014) – On May 3, 2014, thousands of children of all ages will set a world record in a one-day soccer pick-up event in over 100 communities, from New York to Hawaii. As part of the American Youth Soccer Organization’s (AYSO), 50th anniversary celebration, #SoccerFEST14, presented by DOLE Fruit Squish’ems®, will make soccer history across hundreds of U.S. soccer fields with tens of thousands of participants playing soccer, showing off their soccer moves, having fun, making new friends and enjoying a great day of sports and activity.

“We want everyone to join us at the #SoccerFEST14 in their community, not only to set a world record but to participate in a day filled with fun, action, family, friends and soccer,” said Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, AYSO’s National Executive Director. “Since its inception in 1964, AYSO has always been an open and inclusive youth sports organization following the philosophy that Everyone Plays®. Through soccer, AYSO continues to build strength, leadership, skills, sportsmanship and healthy active lifestyles for children and their families.”

“Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, played by 250 million players in over 200 countries,” said Jimmy Conrad, AYSO #SoccerFEST14 spokesperson and former 13 year Major League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. National Team defender. “Soccer is the one unique and universal game where anyone can play regardless of income, gender or size. It’s a global language that brings everyone together. I applaud AYSO and its 50 years of service and dedication to our sport, its players and families. AYSO is building more than just soccer games and teams; they’re instilling lifelong values of teamwork, leadership, athleticism, fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. Not to mention lasting friendships and vibrant communities.”

Each player in #SoccerFEST14′s soccer extravaganza will be shuffled and organized onto new, one-day “pick-up” teams, meeting new teammates to play a series of abbreviated, small-sided games of pick-up soccer. Players will be provided with Dole Fruit Squish’ems branded pinnies and at some locations, have the opportunity to try the delicious and nutritious squeezable fruit pouches. A convenient and healthy snack, Dole Fruit Squish’ems provide one full serving of all-natural fruit from fresh USA apples. To sign-up, parents and kids can visit AYSO.org/SoccerFEST to locate their nearest #SoccerFEST14. The event is filling up rapidly so families are encouraged to check their local AYSO league website for registration availability. This sign-up is specifically for #SoccerFEST14 but many locations will also have open registration for AYSO Soccer’s fall season.

The month of May is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, sponsored by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. AYSO encourages everyone to participate in this momentous day of soccer and health by cheering on their family and friends as they set the world record and celebrate AYSO’s 50th anniversary.

AYSO is a non-profit, parent-supported organization that operates local youth soccer programs for children ages 4-19 in almost 900 communities nationwide. AYSO’s programs are distinctive among youth soccer organizations in its approach to player development, training and family involvement. Six core principles guide all AYSO programs: Everyone Plays®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship and Player Development.

AYSO’s reach into the nation’s communities is supported by a wide variety of corporate sponsors including DOLE Fruit Squish’ems, The American Soccer Company/SCORE, Fox Sports 1, Herbalife, Shutterfly, Kerrygold and Nestle’s®NESQUIK®.

About AYSO

AYSO was founded in Torrance, Calif., in 1964 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It was the dream of a group of devoted soccer enthusiasts who started the organization out of their own garage with nine teams. Today, the national non-profit has more than 50,000 teams, nearly 900 leagues, and 500,000 players nationwide. Its alumni tops 6,000,000, including some of the top professional soccer players in the U.S. AYSO is founded on Six Philosophies which include Everyone Plays®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship and Player Development. For more information on AYSO, contact Sahar Milani at saharm@ayso.org or visit www.AYSO.org.

Link to the original article as it appeared in www.Digitaljournal.com http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1790400

Dishing up cheer for 50 years at Farmers Market

December 4th, 2013

Client: (The Original Farmers Market)

Doris Perez has been working at the Original Farmers Market for half a century, selling dates, pies and nuts with an effervescent smile.

With a smile, Doris Perez, 78, greets her customers at Magee's House of Nuts at the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles in November. Perez has worked at the market for 50 years. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

So much in Los Angeles changes fast. Treasure the good things that don’t.

“Hello, Doris!” goes the chorus of regulars at the Original Farmers Market, when they stop by to see Doris Perez, who has been there as long as they know.

Her first job was at the Desert Date Shop, with its saltwater taffy, plump medjools and deglet noors — though, truth be told, not many who visit remember her from way back then.

They do from Du-par’s, where she worked pies for 38 years, selling thousands each Thanksgiving Day from the parking lot when the rest of the market was closed.

When Du-par’s changed hands and shut its doors for an overhaul, Perez jumped ship to Magee’s House of Nuts.

Since 2005, she’s been dishing up macadamias and cashews and almonds at the stall with the giant peanut grinder.

Maybe you’ve seen her there, standing all of 4 foot 11 3/4 — short white hair, glasses, an Irish lilt in her ever-cheerful voice.

Maybe she’s said, “Wouldn’t you like to try some?” as you’ve gazed at the grinder’s lush peanut butter, being endlessly stirred.

A few weeks ago, on Oct. 23, Perez marked her 50th anniversary at the market — though she isn’t one to brag and she’s kept it mostly under her hat.

On a recent Saturday morning, after flipping on the lights and tying a black apron over her crisp white shirt, the 78-year-old, who has 4 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, set to work arranging the jams, knickknacks and nut butters in precise stacks and V-patterns on almost every inch of countertop.

“Top of the morning!” said a kind-looking man in a khaki windbreaker just as she was finishing up.

“And the rest of the day to you!” she chimed back to Peter O’Malley.

The former Dodgers owner, old-fashioned and courtly, likes to stop in to see Perez as his father, Walter, did before him. (Walter was partial to Du-par’s chicken pies, she says: “He used to buy them by the dozen.”)

“We just came by to say hello. Can we buy you a cup of coffee?” O’Malley asked, his wife Annette by his side.

“She’s the best. We love her. We truly love her,” Peter O’Malley said, which led Annette to reminisce about the St. Patrick’s Day when her husband was heading out to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick stag dinner. Perez said, “You’re going to be alone tonight,” and gave her a big bag of salted nuts for company.

It’s the people like Perez, the O’Malleys said, who have kept them coming back to the market. Remember Agnes? And Joe, who liked to sneak the kids candy? And Charlie in the shop that is now Monsieur Marcel, who once found a bracelet of Annette’s behind a freezer six months after she’d lost it?

“She’s the only one we know now,” Annette O’Malley said of Perez. But half a century? That was big news to them.

It even snuck up on Perez a little.

Who could have guessed it would happen this way? She had planned to be in America for a year. She’d arrived as Doris Leech in 1959 to be a nanny to two little ones: Byron and Francine, they were called. At night, she and other young women from back home — from Ireland and Scotland and Wales — would get together to stave off the loneliness at the Cart Inn on Hollywood Boulevard or Hody’s Coffee Shop at Hollywood and Vine.

At Hody’s, Perez met a Mexican-born cook named Jose Fries Perez, though everyone called him Joe.

It didn’t last forever, but they were married in 1961. He got a job cooking at the market. A friend owned the date shop and when the opening came up, well … Doris Perez had always loved being around people. She also had a little retail experience from Ireland, where as a teenager she’d worked for a grocery store, bicycling to take orders in customers’ homes — including that of Eamon de Valera, when he was the Taoiseach, or Irish prime minister.

At the market, too, she’s had her brushes with history.

She’d been there less than a month — and was still getting lost in the maze of the place — when she learned from weeping customers that John F. Kennedy had been shot.

“Everybody, men and women, I never saw people cry like that,” she said.

She still can’t quite believe that she had the bad luck not to be working when the Beatles stopped by on Oct. 5, 1964. (“Thank you for the Peanut Butter it was fab,” reads a copy of the note — displayed on the counter — that all Fab Four signed for Magee’s.)

Magee’s peanut butter machine dates back to the early 20th century, says Phyllis Magee, whose mother-in-law, Blanche, opened the market’s first restaurant in 1934. Hanging next to the machine is a photo of Dwight D. Eisenhower watching it at work. Perez shook the former president’s hand on that day in 1968.

Glenn Ford used to visit Perez at Du-par’s before he got ill late in life, she said. One day his son stopped by and introduced himself. “And I said, ‘Oh my God, tell him we miss him,’” Perez said. The son said he would have his father telephone.

“Half an hour later, he called and he said, ‘Hi, dear,’” Perez said, still aglow in the memory.

All day long, people stop by to shoot the breeze. Perez asks after children and grandchildren and spouses. “Where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you for awhile,” she says. “You’re on your own today. What did you do with your husband?”

With Perez around, Phyllis Magee teases, she might as well be invisible:

“I can be standing right here and they’ll say, ‘Where’s Doris?’ I’ll say, ‘She’s not here today but maybe I can help you?’”

Follow the link to view the articla has it appeared on www.latimes.com http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/17/local/la-me-beat-farmers-market-longtimer-20131117

Had breakfast yet? Pancakes, more at 1938 prices at Du-Par’s restaurant

October 25th, 2013

Client: (The Original Farmers Market)

Today only, Du-Par’s at Los Angeles’ original Farmers Market will offer a few classic menu items, including hamburgers and pancakes, at 1938 prices.

Coffee is a nickel and hamburgers 25 cents as part of the promotion to celebrate the restaurant’s 75th birthday.

The Farmers Market Du-Par’s was the first to open in the L.A.-based chain, named for founders James Dune and Edward Parsons. The chain changed hands in 2004, and the Farmers Market location was closed for two years for renovations.

When it reopened, the chain noted that the pancake recipe was still 1938 vintage. Fittingly, buttermilk pancakes also will be on sale today.

A Du-Par’s worker on Wednesday morning listed what’s on the 1938 price menu at the original Farmers Market location, 6333 W. 3rd St. (at Fairfax):

Coffee — 5 cents
Hamburger — 25 cents
Buttermilk pancakes — 25 cents
Chicken pot pie — 35 cents
Steak pot pie — 40 cents

Follow the link for the original appearance of this article on latimes.com- http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-1938-prices-dupars-farmers-market-20131016%2c0%2c1348562.story#axzz2ihQhpOeq

Task force projects 50,000 more homeless in L.A. County by 2016

July 20th, 2013
Client: (Home For Good)

Diane Muldanado, 58, tries to stay warm during the Santa Monica homeless count on Jan. 31, 2013. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times / July 12, 2013)

A business group said Friday that 53,000 people, including 33,000 veterans, will join Los Angeles County’s homeless ranks by 2016, the deadline the group had set to get former soldiers and chronic transients off the streets for good.

The grim projection came two weeks after the release of a new count showing a significant rise since 2011 in the county’s homeless population, from 50,000 to 58,000.

“I took these numbers as hard as any of you,” said Christine Marge of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which is overseeing the project to end veteran and chronic homelessness in the county. “I still have so much confidence in our ability to do this.”

Marge’s remarks came at a meeting of nonprofit, foundation and government representatives to assess the United Way’s five-year plan to end long-term homelessness. The plan started in 2010.

Federal officials at the meeting said the county, after decades of failed policies, was on the right track, but had been broadsided by the recession, federal sequestration cutbacks and the elimination of state redevelopment housing programs.

“Ending veteran homelessness is really within reach,” said Barbara Poppe, who directs the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “Chronic homelessness is a much tougher nut to crack.”

The United Way campaign pledged to double the number of long-term and veteran homeless people housed each month over the next 100 days, in part by spreading a pilot program on skid row throughout the county. The program created a one-stop system for homeless people to find housing and services, which traditionally could only be located by navigating a thicket of bureaucratic rules, applications and waiting lists.

The business group is also coordinating public and private funding for  permanent supportive housing, which includes on-site mental health, drug rehabilitation services, and overseeing setting uniform standards for shelters and other homeless agencies.

The United Way group marshaled $105 million in state, federal, city and private funds for its homeless campaign in 2012, and expects to apply $105 million, including $10 million to $15 million in private donations, to the effort this year, a spokesman said. Marge said 9,457 chronic homeless people and veterans had found permanent shelter at the campaign’s halfway mark.

Follow the link for the original posting as seen on www.latime.com http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-homeless-task-force-projects-more-than-50000-new-homeless-people-in-la-county-by-2016-20130712%2c0%2c7355828.story

BASEBALL; Bringing Their Love Of the Game to Girls

July 20th, 2013

(Client: Kids in Sports)

There was no running, no sliding and, of course, no crying.

The Girls of Summer can’t hit, pitch or field the way they used to, but baseball is still in their blood. There could be no other reason why four women ranging in age from 68 to 81 gave up a Saturday morning and much of the afternoon to take part in a special clinic for young girls from the Los Angeles area.

For Maybelle Blair, Shirley Burkovich, Katie Horstman and Thelma ”Tiby” Eisen — proud alumni of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which inspired the 1992 movie ”A League Of Their Own” — it was a labor of love.

”Anything’s worth my Saturday afternoon when it comes to these kids,” said Blair, a pitcher with the 1948 Peoria Redwings. ”It does my heart good.”

Sponsored and run by Kids In Sports, a nonprofit organization that provides after-school sports programs for nearly 10,000 children ages 5 to 17 in the Los Angeles area, the event seemed to be a hit with young and old alike.

Blair, Burkovich and Horstman drove two hours together from Palm Springs, while Eisen had a relatively short drive from Pacific Palisades. The four spent the better part of three hours instructing the girls on the finer points of pitching, catching, hitting and base running before sitting down to sign some autographs.

The gloomy June weather — gray skies and occasional drizzle — kept the turnout at about 80, far fewer than the 240 girls expected. But those who came left with much more than a free cap and T-shirt.

Crystal Acuna, 12, had not been aware that women played professional baseball, and she still had not seen the movie, but it’s now on her to-do list.

If she needs to borrow a DVD, she can always get one from Kelly Birdsall or Amanda Fry, 11-year-old cousins who attended last year’s special screening of the movie at Sony Studios and have their own copies.

”My twin, Heather, she watches it like every day,” said Teri Fry, Amanda’s mother and a sports club vice president and coach. ”I actually use that phrase, ‘There’s no crying in baseball,’ with my team. There’s a couple of girls who are really shy, but when I say that it kind of gets them out of that crying mode.”

As pioneers, the A.A.G.P.B.L. players can be an inspiration to girls and young women, but it took ”A League of Their Own” — the Penny Marshall film starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna — to reignite interest in a league that existed from 1943-54.

”When the movie came out, that’s what brought us to the attention of the public,” said Burkovich, who played with the Springfield Sallies, Chicago Colleens and Rockford Peaches from 1949-51. ”Because unless you were a baseball fan — unless you lived in the Midwest in the ’40s — nobody knew of our league.”

Burkovich said the movie got a lot of things right, including the short skirts, the long bus rides and the camaraderie among the players. But she said there were some differences between what occurred in real life and what was depicted on the screen.

”It depends on who you talk to in the league,” she said. ”I feel the movie was probably 80 to 90 percent accurate. There was some Hollywood in there — drunken managers, kids on the bus, poisoning chaperones — but in movies I think you have to do that. Penny Marshall had a problem: the ballplayers couldn’t act and the actors couldn’t play ball.”

”A League Of Their Own” was inspired by a documentary of the same name by Kelly Candaele, a Kids In Sports board member, whose mother and aunt were members of the original A.A.G.P.B.L.

Follow the link to view the article as it appeared in www.nytimes.com


5th Annual Taste Of Farmers Market

July 20th, 2013
Client: (The Original Farmers Market)
Farmers Market Marketing Director Ilysha Buss joined us live this morning to tell us all about the annual Taste of Farmers Market happening tonight at 3rd and Fairfax’s famous farmer’s market.

5th Annual Taste of Farmers Market and Market-Wide Tastes Featured at 79th Birthday Party
Tuesday, July 16 from 5 to 9 pm
Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax in Los Angeles

Taste of Farmers Market tickets are $35.00 with advance registration, $40.00 at the door.  The ticket includes access to every “taste” available and 2 drink tickets good for non-alcoholic beverages.  Those registering before July 3 will be automatically entered in a drawing for a $100 Farmers Market gift certificate.  There is a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more.

Tickets are now available over the counter at the Farmers Market Office store, upstairs just inside the Market’s Gate One; reservations by phone are available at 323-933-9211.

To see the original posting of this article follow the link. http://ktla.com/2013/07/16/5th-annual-tast-of-farmers-market/#axzz2ZEhxqx4A