Students played on it after riding the bus to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for a field trip. There is usually down time before and after field trips so it was a great distraction from the polluted water at Inner Cabrillo Beach.
When the Port of Los Angeles replaced the sand at Inner Cabrillo Beach, the pirate ship was taken apart and put behind a barrier in the parking lot. My kids loved watching the trucks and conveyer belts moving the sand so I was at the beach a lot. I always kept my eye on that pirate ship.
When the first phase of the sand project was complete, I was surprised the pirate ship wasn’t put back. I began to ask the Port Representative who attended the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council (CSPNC) meetings if it would be returned and was told yes month after month. Then one month I asked, and the port representative told me that no it wouldn’t be returned because the Department of Recreation and Parks had lost the pirate ship. From his tone, I could tell he did not want to talk about the pirate ship any longer, which of course, made me want to talk about it more. How can you lose a pirate ship?
At the next CSPNC meeting, it was my great luck that somebody from Recreation and Parks was there so after her report, I inquired about the pirate ship that was lost by her department. She stated she never heard anything about it and gave me a number to call. The Port Representative began yelling at me asking me why I cared and I told him the more he avoided the truth the more I wanted to know. Seriously, who yells at people like that at a public meeting I wondered.
I contacted Recreation and Parks and found out they never had received the pirate ship. When I located the subcontractor who replaced the sand, he gave me the same type of “friendly” response the Port Representative had given me. He told me he was not under contract with me so he didn’t have to tell me anything.
If a $75,000 life size pirate ship can disappear in the city and nobody knows or cares where it went it, it makes me wonder what else goes missing. To me, the pirate ship incident is a prime example of lack of transparency and accountability in our city not to mention a waste of money. I contacted the City Controller and while she could not locate the pirate ship either, she did tell me that the Port would be buying a new one. It will be installed in March and will include swings. The Port Representative recently told me that the old pirate ship was out of code, which to me is “code” for they never found the old one.
I envision the pirate ship sailing into some employee’s backyard or maybe onto EBay or into the dump. Either way, a pirate ship is missing, there was some yelling, some finger pointing and a treasure chest of money wasted to buy a new one. Just another day in San Pedro, matey.
We were able to get a look from across the water at the Cabrillo Beach Youth Waterfront Center (the Boy Scout Camp at 3000 Shoshonean in San Pedro). I would also suggest viewing from the Cabrillo Marina. It is hard to see, look for the orange rope around it in the water. The submarine is scheduled to depart on Tuesday.
The Trump National Golf Course is located at One Ocean Trails Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA and can be reached at 310 265-5000.
For more information:
2515 S Western Ave
San Pedro, CA 90732
It’s A Small World
“I have never been on a boat,” my five-year-old son announced one day. I tried to explain that the boats on “it’s a small world” at Disneyland were real and he had ridden them numerous times. Unfortunately, he was not buying it but I thought it was worth a shot. My life, which at times seems like one giant quest to complete errands, drives us past boats on a frequent basis. This torment only added to his desire to ride on a “real” boat.
When my sister said she was coming for a visit, I used the excuse of having an out of town guest to enjoy a local adventure. There are a few whale watching boats that leave out of San Pedro but we chose 22nd Street Landing because it was the only boat going out when she would be visiting during the week.
The Monte Carlo left at 10 am with students from a school and our family. I left my 2-year-old son at home because the thought of being trapped on a boat with an active climber for two hours was not my idea of relaxation. In addition, I had other things on my mind, mainly focusing on the horizon to avoid seasickness. I sat on the front of the boat barely blinking so I wouldn’t miss a second of seeing the horizon.
The boat left the marina and headed back down the main channel. We stopped to pick up anchovies and sardines from the bait barge and went behind the fish markets at Ports O’ Call where sea lions were waiting for handouts. The children on the boat used the bait to feed the sea lions. Feeding sea lions in the wild was worth the whole trip and beat driving to Sea World.
We headed out to sea and saw dolphins, seals and variety of birds. A docent from the whale watch program, which is a partnership between the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the Cetacean Society, announced over the loudspeaker that the most common whale in this area was the grey whale. There are over 90 types of whales including dolphins and porpoises. After 15 minutes, I was beginning to think that there was no way we would see a whale but being out on the ocean was a great experience and everybody in our family including my son was having a great time. Then, the docent announced that a whale and her calf were in front of the boat.
I am normally not the excitable type, but seeing the whales was incredible. I wasn’t seasick and the whole trip only cost $15 per adult, life was good. Even more amazing was watching the whales and San Pedro in the near distance. How many people have whales as their neighbors?
“The grey whale is one of the largest animals in the world and they are in our backyard,” stated Larry Fukuhara, Program Director, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. “On the East Coast you have to get on a boat and go out for two hours to see a whale. Here we can see them from our coast,” he continued.
Being on the ocean and watching these incredible creatures, our neighbors, gives me a different view of our close-knit community and reminds me that it is a small world after all.
Whale watching is available through March at:
22nd Street Landing – (310) 832-8304 – Weekdays - $20 adults and $15 children
LA Harbor Sportfishing– Weekends - (310) 547-9916 - $20 adults and $15 seniors and children, under 5 free.
Spirit Cruises – (310) 548-8080 – Weekends - $18 adult and children $10
American Cetacean Society – (310) 548-7821 call for schedule and rates.
After a recent trip to Kaiser to get my son his TB test for school, he asked me to stop at Harbor Regional Park across the street. While the park is only a few minutes outside of San Pedro, I rarely frequent it. With Reggie the Alligator gone from Lake Machado, I decided to stop for a few minutes.
I pulled into the parking lot and was planning to go to the playground visible from the street until I spotted a new play structure. This was not a typical playground. Immediately my spirits rose as I realized this was a universal access playground (UAP) designed for children of all abilities. The only other park like it that I had been to was in Griffith Park and called Shane’s Inspiration.
As I watched my son play, I immediately noticed that both play structures were designed with ramps for wheelchairs. Finally, somebody was thinking of everybody when they designed a park I thought. There were so many amazing details and it was easy to see that there was careful consideration and care put into this playground: drums to beat on, a water mister, a balance structure, a Braille board, swings that have full back support for children who cannot sit up, ropes to climb and even sand diggers to operate.
I contacted the city of Los Angeles and learned this too was a Shane’s Inspiration Park and was part of a master plan that would put a UAP in every council district in the City of Los Angeles. This was the playground for District 9 and the closest UAP to San Pedro. The cost of the playground was $777,613 and paid primarily by Proposition 40 funds.
Shane’s Inspiration began after Catherine and Scott Williams lost their son to Spinal Muscular Atrophy a few weeks after his birth in1997. Realizing that if their son had lived he would have been denied the fundamental right of every child: the right to play with friends and family at neighborhood playgrounds. This realization inspired the William’s to start Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit grassroots agency dedicating to improving the lives of children with disabilities. Shane’s Inspiration opened the first UAP in the United States in 1998, has since opened 24 more, and has 90 in development.
“It is the birth right of every child to be able to play in the park,” states Brad Thornton, Director of Playground Development, Shane’s Inspiration. “The playgrounds are custom made and the design is driven by physical therapists, children, parents and doctors,” states Thornton. “Our designer, Virginia Hatley, spends time with therapists who are working with children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism and incorporates what she learns from the therapists and children into her designs,” he states.
I took my other son back to Shane’s Inspiration and could feel hope being there: hope for a mother who is in a wheelchair and cannot typically push her child in a swing over sand but now she can; hope for children who already have so many obstacles because of a disability but now have a place where they are not limited like most parks; hope that this park just appeared to us in the community without having to go through years of local politics that usually end up with our children losing out; hope that in our economy anybody can go to the park and sit at a picnic table under an old tree or play on a large pirate ship overlooking the lake.
Lastly, I feel hope that after all the care that went into getting this playground into our community that somebody in the City of Los Angeles will realize that we need to have a grand opening even though the playground has been open nearly a year. It is time to celebrate and let the community know that we have a park that is open for all.
Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park
(310) 548-7515 - 25820 Vermont Ave, Harbor City, CA
Southern California Select - $169
Southern California - $219
Deluxe - $299
Premium - $439
Parking Pass - $79 or $14 a visit
Jamba Juice is located at 924 N. Western, 300 in San Pedro, CA 90732. They can be reached at (310) 514-8352.
This is a free event open to everyone.
|Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731, 310-548-7562|
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
|Sunday, January 17, 2010|
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
This free event for children will help them to discover the wonders of the ocean through literature; join staff and volunteers in reading stories and poems. Participants will meet in the exhibit hall and learn about many different ocean habitats and creatures in this free workshop.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731, 310-548-7562