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November 2009
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January 2010

Thank You, Santa Paws Supporters!

Thank you to all the many supporters who donated to Operation Santa Paws.  Several carloads of food and treats, beds, toys and even pet sweaters were gratefully accepted by workers at Lacy Street Animal Shelter.

The donations are deeply appreciated! 

New Year Resolution: Slow Time down, just a little

Like many others, the last few years have left me with a sensation of Time hurling, speeding by way too quickly.

So, I want it to slow down, already.  But how to slow it down?

I think that building a deeper awareness of the seasonal cycles, of the ancient solar festivals of quarter and cross-quarter days might help control that feeling of wild speed.

So I pick up a calendar and first remind myself that each day is an infinitely precious gift.

Then to write the old Celtic names on the Calendar


March 21 -Vernal Equinox:  Ostara

June 23 -Summer Solstice:  Litha

September 23 - Fall Equinox:  Mabon

December 21 - Winter Solstice:  Yule

Then the cross quarter days (High Feast Days of the Old Ways)

February 2 - Imbolc - halfway between Yule and Ostara

May 1 - Beltane - halfway between Ostara and Litha

August 1 - Lammas - halfway between Litha and Mabon

October 31 - Samhain - halfway between Mabon and Yule

Then to add a few Saints' Feast Days  such as:

October 4 - Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

December 12 - Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe

And a few days that are important to me:

June 16 - Bloomsday

August 29 - Katrina Remembrance Day

November 18 - Beaujolais Nouvelle

Then I'll add dates of Sporting Events, such as:

February 7 - SuperBowl

December 4 - USC-UCLA Cross-Town Rivalry Game Day

Then a few special birthdays....

Will this heightened awareness help slow time down?  I don't know.  Ask me next year.

I do know that life is too precious not to celebrate very single day with gratefulness and joy.

Fifth Annual Holiday Sale & Party! Avenue 50 Studio

Celebrating another wonderful year of art and community!  Avenue 50 Studio, Two Tracks Studio, Hi Tree, She Rides the Lion cordially invite you to our Fifth Annual Holiday Sale & Party!

Original and affordable prints, paintings, jewelry, scarves, etc. by the following artists:

Lalo Alcaraz
Joseph Botello
Joe Bravo
Benito Campos
Raquel Escobar
Jack Fenn
Margaret Garcia
Rosie Getz
Pat Gomez
Roberto Gutierrez
Mavis Leahy
Los De Abajo Printmaking Collective with Victor Rosas
Pola Lopez
Jose Lozano
H. Luna
Robert Palacios
Beth Peterson
Pounder-Kone Art with CCH Pounder
Nancy Romero
Sonia Romero
Marianne Sadowski
Jaime Sabate
Hector Silva
Richard Valdes

Saturday, December 19th from 7:00pm to 11:00pm, and Sunday, December 20th from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm

Tools for coping with L.A. power outages

Eagle Rock is in the midst of a power outage that started yesterday afternoon. Highland Park suffered a 16 hour outage in mid October, and it seems to me we have at least one serious outage a year. (I must start keeping a record.)

As L.A.'s infrastructure continues to deteriorate without sufficient funds to update it, I don't doubt that we will see outages more and more frequently.

So here's my list of tips for coping with erratic electricity. Please feel free to add your own.

I realize installing a gasoline generator would cover many of these issues, and I probably will get one installed one of these days, but meanwhile:

Battery operated wall clocks in several rooms.

At least 2 flashlights in every room, always kept in the same place - a drawer or on a shelf so I can remember where to reach for them. I think flashlights are safer and more practical than candles, too. Just turn on the flashlight, and set it up on its end and it becomes a lantern light.

Plenty of batteries for the flashlights, always kept in their own special drawer.

A charger for the cell phone that plugs into the car cigarette lighter.

A old-school, plug-into-the-wall-jack telephone.
Battery operated radio.  Extra batteries.

In L.A. most homes have natural gas for heating and cooking, so a tea kettle to boil water on the stove top and a non-electric drip coffee maker.

Everyone, please add your own tools and tips in the comments!

Operation Santa Paws Now Open for Donations

For the next several days, our office will serve as a donation center for Operation Santa Paws.



- OPERATION SANTA PAWS seeks donated pet toys for shelters and rescues to improve the health and demeanor of those pets while reducing their stress to increase the animals' chances of being adopted. The simplest toys can make the animals much more comfortable.

Durable puppy/dog toy, such as indestructible Ball, Nylabone, Kong, Booda, Gumabones, Velva  or Best Ball brand toys
Pup-Peroni, soft Milk Bones or other soft jerky type dog treats.
Dog and cat shampoo
Dry puppy food

Dry and canned kitten food
Large and medium food/water bowls
Durable kitten/cat toys
Cardboard serving trays for use as litter boxes

Heating pads for infant animals
Cleaning supplies and air freshener spray, kennel cleaning supplies
Scrub brushes, rubber curry brushes, mops, brooms heavy-duty water hoses
Laundry detergent, dishwashing gloves, baking soda, bleach, paper towels
Plastic aprons or smocks
blankets, bath towels (used or new)
6' nylon dog leashes
Flannel baby blankets for kittens
Paper towels & bathroom tissue
Top-loading cat carriers
Cardboard cat scratchers
Ziplock food storage bags, all sizes; 33 and 13 gallon trash bags
Liquid hand soap; Bleach; Dish/laundry detergent

NOTE Because of safety and/or housekeeping concerns, stuffed toys, tennis balls, rawhide items and pig ears cannot be accepted.

You can bring items and donations to our office at

5526 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Ask for Pat Barr or Dan Jordinelli


NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night 12/12/2009

WHEN:The Second Saturday of every month from 7:00-10:00p.m.

WHERE: Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night is a free self-guided tour of the galleries, non-profits and artist run project spaces located in Northeast LosAngeles (NELA).

NELA has a tradition in the arts that dates back to the early 1900s.The tradition continues with new spaces opening regularly. NELA is now one of L.A.'s most exciting destinations to view contemporary art.

Individual gallery hours may vary:

Avenue 50 Studios, 121 North Avenue 50

Bike Oven, 3706 North Figueroa Street

Bughouse, 5046 Eagle Rock Bloulevard

Cactus, 5434 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Cafe de Leche, 5000 York Boulevard

Drkrm, 2121 San Fernando Road

Eagle Rock Plaza, 2700 Colorado Boulevard

Future Studio, 5558 North Figueroa Street

GorillArts Gallery, 170 San Fernando Road

hi tree, 131 North Avenue 50 (behind Avenue 50 Studio)

Jose Vera Fina Art, 2012 Colorado Boulevard

Kristi Engle Gallery, 5002 York Boulevard

The Land of Odd Gallery, 4690 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Moppet Studio, 5101 Monte Vista Street

MorYork Gallery, 4959 York Boulevard

New Puppy, 2808 Elm Street, Unit 1

New Stone Age Mosiacs, 4532 1/2 Eagle Rock Boulevard

PHIL, 4918 York Boulevard

Sea and Space Explorations, 4755 York Boulevard

Southwest Museum, 234 Museum Drive

Toros Pottery, 4962 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Two Track Art Studio, 135 North Avenue 50 (next to Avenue 50 Studio)

Verbre Studio and Gallery, 4540 Eagle Rock Boulevard

York Studio, 5029 York Boulevard 

2010 VA Jumbo Mortgage Limit Drops in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles VA jumbo loan limits will be reduced to $593,750, from the 2009 limit of $737,500, in response to the lower median home prices.  Los Angeles veterans looking for a VA home loan above that limit will be required to put down 25% of the difference between the new loan limit and the higher sales price.


An eligible veteran, looking to purchase a home for $693,750, will need a down payment of $25,000 which equals the 25% of the $100,000 difference.

An eligible veteran, purchasing a home for $993,750 will be required to put down $100,000 which is 25% of the difference between the sales price and 2010 loan limit.

Median prices across Southern California stabilized in 2009 in response to the high balance loan program, foreclosure stays, and home buyer tax credits.  Los Angeles County's median price dropped from $355,000, in October, 2008 to $325,000, in October, 2009.  It is anticipated that the 2010 VA loan limit should facilitate approximately 75% of the sales prices for 2010.

2010 VA loan limits in Southern California:

San Diego ..................$437,500

Los Angeles................$593,750

Orange ......................$593,750


San Bernardino............$417,000


“Testimonies Two - Contemporary Ex-Votos” -- Artists’ reception -- Saturday evening, December 12, at Avenue 50 Studio

The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present Testimonies Two – Contemporary Ex Votos.  Curator Raoul De la Sota has assembled a group of artists for a special exhibit focusing on the Mexican-rooted art form of the ex-voto.


Lesser Saint No. 5 – Richard Turner 

Curated by Raoul De la Sota 

Ex-votos historically were devotional visual offerings to the Church for a miraculous cure or for some intervention by a specific religious figure that prevented harm or death.  In 16th century Spain they were painted directly onto the interior church walls as murals depicting the miracle.  The paintings themselves were called Milagros or miracles.  In 18th and 19th century Mexico they became the source of income for itinerant artists who depicted in their paintings some sort of miracle.  These artists, often academically untrained, created their works at the request of families, painting with inexpensive oils on whatever small scraps of material was convenient and cheap, most often tin or wood.  The works ranged from the charmingly rustic to the aesthetically profound. The works were then in turn donated by the family to a nearby church as gratitude for its intervention.  In the 20th century the craft continued but with less religiosity and more pleas for financial help or for material goods.  In all cases there was always a narrative text painted onto the surface that described the event and the stated gratitude of the donor.  Frida Kahlo was a modern artist who admired and patterned some of her work after these forms.
The present-day work by these diverse artists involves personal stories, narratives of gratitude and portrayals of visual histories. Some are graphic representations of difficult times while others are simple tokens of thanks for life’s pleasures.  In form they are sculptures, assemblages, collages, photographs and paintings.  They are no longer directed to a religious institution but rather are personal messages directed to a contemporary audience.
The exhibit opens with an artists’ reception on Saturday evening, December 12,, 2009 from 7 to 10 p.m. and closes with an artists’ panel discussion on Sunday, January 24, 2010.

Yrneh Brown, Martin Charlot, Mita Cuaron, Ruth De Nicola, Diane Gamboa, Pat Gomez, Yolanda Gonzalez, Mark Steven Greenfield, Lucy Hagopian, Cidne Hart, Wayne Healy, Heriberto Luna,
Dorothy Magallon, Rafael Matias, Susanna Meiers/Peter Liashkov, Andrés E. Montoya, Toti O’Brien, Suzanne Siegel, Richard Turner

For further information please contact:
Kathy Gallegos, Director, Avenue 50 Studio,
Raoul De la Sota, Curator,

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.
a 501(c)(3) non-profit art gallery
131 North Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA  90042

Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade Sunday December 6

Don't forget:  The 65th Annual Northeast Holiday Parade will take place Sunday, December 6, starting at 1:00 PM.  The parade marches on North Figueroa Street starting at Avenue 50; and ending at Sycamore Grove Park with a Winterfest Carnival.