Susie Hansen Latin Jazz at Heritage Square

Here's a short video clip of the Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band performing at Heritage Square last Thrusday (07/30/2009).

One commentator called called Susie "The Greatest Salsa Violinist in America"; and that about covers it.

Susie is a Chicago native, the daughter of a concert violinist; her study of violin began at the age of six. Susie moved to Los Angeles in 1988, and embarked on an in-depth study of Latin music.

If anyone initially had doubts about a transplanted blonde mid-westerner playing Salsa music, those doubts are gone, and Susie has won the hearts of Los Angeles, in addition to much critical acclaim.

This link will take you to the Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band web site.

Writings of Charles Fletcher Lummis

In a couple weeks we will all be enjoying the Lummis Day Festival. 

Would you like to become a little better acquainted with Charles Fletcher Lummis? 

Many of his writings have been digitized by Google through their Library Project.  The books are in PDF format, can be read online or downloaded, and they are free of charge.

Here are links to a few well known Lummis works

Tramp Across the Continent

The Land of Poco Tiempo

The Land of Sunshine

More Lummis books here ....

Historian 4 Hire

Charlieportrait NELA locals will recognize Charles J. Fisher as a tireless advocate for historical preservation.  Charlie is a multiple-times past president of the Highland Park Heritage Trust. He was integral in establishing the Highland Park Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, participates in the Alliance of Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, and currently serves on the Highland Park HPOZ Board.

If you own an older home, you may have heard of the property tax relief via the Mills Act for owners of homes declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments.

Did you know that Charlie runs a small business called Historian 4 Hire that will assist you in obtaining the Historic Cultural Monument declaration, and in completing the Mills Act application?

OK.... So, this is a plug for Charlie's Historian 4 Hire business.  But, if you do need assistance in navigating the whole declaration/application process, you'll find Charlie is the best!

Hey... You're Reading Me !

I write on NELA Live because Cheryl Johnson, known as " Da Blogmother" in the real estate weblogging community, asked me to some 9-10 months ago.  She was the first one to invite me to write on a weblog outside of the Active Rain Real Estate Network.  C.J. encouraged me to develop my own weblog, America's Most Opinionated Mortgage Broker.

I have an actor's ego and I read all my reviews.  I encourage review.  Hell, sometimes I try incite a riot to get reviews.  I did it twice on NELA by criticizing your taste in baseball teams and taking a position on a touchy subject.  It was like a tree falling in the forest.   I resigned myself to the fact that my style was a bit too smarmy for NELA.

Somebody sent me an e-mail today about a post on NELA.  That means that you DO read me.  Now, I'm not insecure but I'm feeling a whole lot like Sally Field tonight.  I just want to be relevant and add value to what is known as one of the best local weblogs in the country.

The last thing you need is some tempermental author with an ego but thank you, ladies.  You know who you are.  You made my weekend.

Completing the Circle

I had planned to create a multi-dimensional exhibit for the Lummis Day Celebration that took place the first Sunday of this month. Unfortunately the memorial service for the most influential person in my life took place the same day. (FYI, that is why I have short hair-Plains Indians traditionally NEVER cut their hair except to honor the passing of a relative).

I would like to share with the NELAlist group some of the web-based research I compiled to include in the exhibit. All but one link will take you to info on Charles Lummis, but all might raise a new question for you as we consider the politics and physical realities of our communities (in the broadest definition of that word), our city, our state, our country, our planet: As it appears we have come full circle, will we simply repeat the tragedies of the past? Or can we learn from history and the Ancestors who the Creator placed in this Homeland and use what we have to repair the Sacred Hoop, to re-create a circle of full and fulfilling life, to admit that restoring balance comes from the heart of wisdom, not a head full of knowledge and destructive pride?

Here are my Lummis links:

Highland Park Hertiage trust "Our Cornerstone" newsletter volVI,IssueIII (May-June 2001) (printed pdf file, don't have link on the hardcopy)

I used yahoo as my search engine, and often coupled Lummis with Cupeno, because of knowing how Lummis tried to help that people avoid relocation from their San Diego county homelands. They were moved, heartbroken, to Pala Mission Rancheria, a place of other broken Native hearts. Most people do not want to know what the Pala Mission descendants will tell you, and history records: the missions were built by the peaceful California Indians, yes. Only they were used as slave labor against their will, shackled, and horribly mistreated. A more accurate and less romanticized account of Californian history telling the story of Cupeno Relocation is found in Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey For California:

I am sorry I diidn't get to create my multi-dimensional exhibit for Lummis Day which would have allowed you to watch a video demonstration of our tipi set-up in Sycamore Park for the event, hear modern and ancient AI music, browse relevant books available in the library, and sit inside the tipi to hear the story I was given for my community about how the 4 leggeds, winged, and Tree Nation initiated healing after the last quake (read by an actor at a previous event in the park). And learn how my tipi covers were created specifically for the area around the park and SW Museum. Enjoy the work-in-progresss tipi display while you can. I am selling and moving to where I don't have to fight so hard to BE an Indian on my own land.

Shauna Turner for NativEye

Ways you can preserve Charles Lummis vision

As an American Indian community activist I've wondered a lot about overlooking Charles Lummis vision and heart in all the goings on about the physical space of the buildings (SW Museum , El Alisal) he used as headquarters for his efforts as an American Indian rights activist. I am even quite often surprised how no one in the community even knows that that IS what Charles Lummis was known as- just google his name and most of the hits will reflect his efforts to help American Indiansfrom the steamroller of Western civilization.

That said, I wanted to let (com)passionate folks in the area know of some important grassroots efforts for preserving first peoples that they could directly and easily help with.

Most urgent is a need for donations (literally anything would help) to pay the purchase price for sacred priistine land of the Mound Builders in Ohio.  They saved this incredible piece of nature and history
from the auction block and developers yesterday, but need about $300,000 by close of escrow in mid July.

Here is the link:

I found out about this from the Longest Walk 2 website. There is to be a March from Alcatraz Island to Washington DC next year starting in February to commenmorate the 30 year anniversary of te first
Longest Walk. I'm amazed that people in Mt Washington don't know that many of their neighbors were newsworthy participants in the efforts of American Indian activism in the 70's and 80's. Several locals can give first hand accounts of the Occupation of Alcatraz that led to establishing DQ University in response to American Indian demands spelled out in the "Declaration to the Great White father in Washington" at onset of the occupation.

I plan to take part in the march to honor relatives who marched for awareness and ancestral forced walks from their homelands.

Here is the link to the longest walk

It is all well and good to try to save Lummis' past  work to protect First Nations culture and land by  persisting in pressuring the Autry concerning their treatment of the Museum. I simply offer that
participating in some of the ongoing grassroots efforts to fulfill his mission might be more richly and easily rewarded.

Thank you for any assistance in restoring balance through ensuring justice and rights for Natives.

Shauna Turner, RN Chickasaw-Blackfeet-Celt
(aka "the tipi lady on marmion")

NELA Art Galleries: Avenue 50 Studio

Avenue50studio1 Avenue 50 Studio, owned by Kathy Gallegos, is a multicultural alternative art space, with an emphasis on chicano/latino art, formed to support the cultural vitality of the community of Highland Park.

The Avenue 50 Studio, located at 131 North Avenue 50 in Historic Highland Park, originated in November 1999 as a photography workshop, and has grown into a community leader in promoting diversity and cultural recognition not only in Highland Park but also in the greater Los Angeles area.

NELA Art Galleries: Rock Rose Gallery

Rockrose Rock Rose Gallery, owned by Rosamaria Marquez has been instrumental in fostering cross cultural understanding and communication throughout NELA.

Rock Rose Gallery is located at 4801 North Figueroa Street, Historical Highland Park,in the heart of the Sycamore Grove community, a few blocks from Sycamore Grove Park.

In addition to fine art, and books available at Arroyo Books, Rock Rose sponsors events ranging from jazz and rock performances, poetry readings, community drum circles, to spiritual events such as Dia de los Muertas celebrations.

NELA People: Charles Lummis

Lummis Journalist, poet, traveler, outdoorsman, newspaper and magazine editor, historian, archaeologist, folklorist, photographer, American Indian rights activist, librarian, preservationist, museum founder, and prodigious lover of dozens of women, Charles Fletcher Lummis is celebrated as one of Northeast L.A.'s most colorful founding fathers.

In 1884, at the age of 25, Charles Fletcher Lummis was working for a newspaper in Cincinnati when he was offered a job with the Los Angeles Times.

Lummis decided to make the 3,507 mile journey from Cincinnati to Los Angeles on foot.  He set out from Cincinnati in September wearing knickerbockers and a duck coat.  The journey took 143 days, and all the while Lummis sent weekly dispatches to The Los Angeles Times chronicling his trip.  His writing gained a national following and in 1892, his chronicle of the journey was published as a book, A Tramp Across the Continent.

In 1897 Lummis began construction of his home, near the banks of the Arroyo Seco, in the Northeast L. A. community now referred to as Sycamore Grove.  Lummis named the home "El Alisal " ("Place of the Sycamore"). The house with built with his own hands, from stone and boulders he collected out of the Arroyo Seco, and was finally completed in 1910.  Lummis stated his home was built to "last for a thousand years." 

Charles Lummis died in 1928.  El Alisal was declared an Historical Monument and is now owned by the Department of Recreation and Parks of the City of Los Angeles.  It is administered in partnership with the Historical Society of Southern California.

Godspeed, Grace

GracieIf you visited our office in the last few years, you may have met Grace Ortiz, Grace worked for us part time as a receptionist, data-entry expert, file person, and all round assistant.

Grace's last day with us was December 22.  Grace will be leaving January 8 for Cambodia, serving as a missionary for her church.

While I may not share her beliefs, I truly respect and admire anyone with the courage and conviction to live their faith.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, Grace.