Posts tagged ‘event’

Film Festivals Part Deux – AFI Fest

It hardly seems possible that it’s been a full year since we posted about the pleasures of attending film festivals.   One of the biggest and best, the AFI Fest, is about to begin this coming week. AFI Fest is Los Angeles’ longest running international film festival and the 2010 event will be held in Hollywood, California, November 4-11.  AFI (the American Film Institute) is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television, and digital media.

The week-long event offers film lovers a full schedule of screenings and exposure to the very best of world film. Check out the schedule and ticket policies – you may get lucky and snag some free tickets.

Also, if you’re a true film buff and would like to attend other film events in the LA area, here’s a link to a list of festivals through May 2011.

Can’t make it to the festival this year?  Don’t forget to check out audiovisual holdings at any Torrance Public Library location. You can obtain lists of notable films from the AFI website and consult the Library’s catalog or browse the shelves to pick up a classic or two.  DVDs circulate for one week and there is no fee – all you need is a Torrance Public Library Card!

October 30, 2010 at 7:45 am 4 comments

H.E.L.P. is on the way!

Do you have elderly parents, relatives, or friends that need assistance with planning for their future? Are you a “sandwich generation” Boomer seeking to help parents with their life needs? The Torrance Public Library is pleased to be hosting a series of life planning classes that will be provided by H.E.L.P. H.E.L.P. is a non-profit agency dedicated to empowering seniors, their families and caregivers to make wise choices. H.E.L.P. offers education and counseling programs focusing on elder care, law, finances, and consumer protection.

Beginning Wednesday August 4, 2010 and continuing on successive Wednesdays through September 15, 2010, individuals may attend classes on a variety of essential topics. Each two-hour session will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Class Dates and Topics:

August 4                Staying in Charge of Your Health Care and

August 11             Wills, Probate, and Probate-Avoiders

August 18             Trusts and Taxes

August 25             Elder Care and Residential Choices

September 1        Long Term Care Insurance: Pros and Cons

September 8        Medi-Cal for Nursing Home Care

September 15      Safe and Independent at Home

All classes will be held in the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library Community Meeting Room.  Classes are free; however, there is a suggested donation of $10.00 per person per class.  To reserve a spot, please call 310-533-1996.

August 2, 2010 at 4:26 am 5 comments

Poem on the Range

Not only will we soon be celebrating National Library Week (April 11-17, 2010) but April is also National Poetry Month!  The event, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.  It is heartening to see thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events that pay homage to literacy and the beauty and impact of language.

Since it’s still the beginning of April, you can sign up for’s Poem-A-Day and through the magic of e-mail, you will receive one new poem daily throughout the month. The poems have been selected from new poetry titles published in the spring.

One intriguing new initiative associated with National Poetry Month is “Poem on the Range” an ongoing collaborative multimedia-mapping project that challenges readers to contribute their views of poetry in the world. Individuals are asked to contribute to a map that includes videos or photos of poetic landmarks, cities, dwellings, streets, roadside ephemera, and other places immortalized by iconic poems and poets. You can even take video of yourself reading the poem while at the site and then download it to the Poem on the Range Flickr Group, or add it to their Google map. Right now there’s not very much posted from the West Coast, so find your inner poetry maven and share your love of verse.

This year is also the centennial of the Poetry Society of America, the oldest poetry organization in the United States. Their website has profiles of poets and samples of their poetry.

With Earth Day (April 22) also celebrated this month, it seems fitting that one of the country’s leading poetry centers, Poet’s House, is focusing on the natural world with a series of events, “Ecopoetic Futures,” that examine poetry and the environment. While Poet’s House is located in Lower Manhattan and is probably not in your immediate travel plans, you can still enjoy a sampling of ecopoetry by reading from the poetry collections of the Torrance Public Library. Try sampling some of the following poets whose work often focuses on the natural world:
Diane Ackerman
Joseph Bruchac
Mark Doty
Jorie Graham
Robert Hass
Pattiann Rogers

There are also several Southern California events that feature the celebration of poets and poetry that you may enjoy:

Souls and Passions, the Poets of Los Angeles a photography exhibit featuring pictures of notable Los Angeles poets taken by photographer Mark Savage. The exhibit, located at Buena Park City Hall, will run from March 2nd through April 29th, 2010. Visitors are welcome Monday through Thursday and the last Friday of every month, from 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

National Poetry Month Celebration
April 24, 2010, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
San Pedro Public Library,
Ninth St. and Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA
Several well-known local, published and unpublished poets will read from their original poems.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, a two-day literary event featuring hundreds of authors (including poets). The Poetry Stage features tent readings all day; UCLA campus, free festival admission, however tickets with a seventy-five cent service fee are required for indoor panels and speakers parking $9, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 (tickets: or ticket booth onsite)

For other poetry events throughout the year, try consulting the Poetry Flash website (you can also visit their booth at the LA Times Festival of Books). The site lists workshops and readings in addition to its calendar of events.

April 5, 2010 at 4:12 am 2 comments

Disaster Preparedness in Torrance

In California, many of us are aware of the almost certain likelihood of a large-scale earthquake.  There are many other disasters that may also affect us, however, including epidemic viruses, fires, and more.  While all of the potentially frightening possibilities may paralyze us in fear, the most important action we can take is to learn more and be prepared.

The City of Torrance held a Disaster Preparedness fair in October 2009 with just this goal in mind.  In this podcast, Rachel Bieber, Reference Librarian, interviews Kristin Matsuda on the role of the Torrance Disaster Council, Peggy Kramer from Earthquake Disaster Kit Sales (EDKS) on kits and supplies, and Paul Vuoso and Paul Solorzano, respectively from the Torrance Fire and Police Departments for helpful tips.

All of the speakers reiterate do not panic! Other tips include:

1) Duck, cover, and hold.
2) Be prepared. Plan on being self-sufficient for at least three days before help arrives.
3) Start with small changes that will impact you and your family.

Tune in to learn more.

For more information, take a look at the Torrance City disaster preparedness page.

– rs

December 11, 2009 at 3:20 am 1 comment

Give this Holiday Season

The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. In response to rampant consumerism, some organizations have advocated that we refrain from shopping that day and BUY NOTHING.

If you are planning to spend money this holiday season, there are many options for you to purchase locally and buy goods that are hand-made, fair-trade, and support a local organization. Here are some options:

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Eat My Blog Bake Sale, featuring over 600 baked goods from L.A. food bloggers

WHEN: Saturday December 5th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
WHERE: Zeke’s Smokehouse, 7100 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood
CONTACT: 323-234-3030;

All Saints Alternative Christmas Market

WHEN: Sunday, December 6th
WHERE: Sweetland Hall and the Guild Room of the church, 132 North Euclid Ave. Pasadena, CA. There will be free parking.
CONTACT: (626) 796-1172;

Garment Workers Center Shop With a Heart Annual Fundraiser, featuring fair trade items and music performances

WHEN: Sunday December 6th from 3-7 pm.
WHERE: On Los Angeles Street between Pico and 12th
CONTACT: 213-748-5866

4th Annual Fair Trade and Conscious Gifts Holiday Bazaar,  featuring local and international fair trade and hand made items

WHEN: Saturday December 12th 2009, 11 am – 4 pm
WHERE: Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd, LA (Geneva Room)
CONTACT: (626) 676-7884;

Unique Los Angeles Holiday Show

WHEN: December 5&6, 11am – 6pm both days
WHERE: 110 E 9th St. Los Angeles, CA 90079
* This event costs $10.00

If you can’t make it to any of these events, you can shop at Ten Thousand Villages in Pasadena year-round, or visit for thousands of handmade goods sold directly by the creator!

You can also redirect any money you might have spent on consumer items to supporting projects around the world. Global Giving is “an online marketplace that connects you to the causes and countries you care about. You select the projects you want to support, make a tax-deductible contribution, and get regular progress updates – so you can see your impact.”

Global Giving is part of a trend that harnesses the power of the internet to put potential donors in more direct contact with those who receive their donation. An organization with similar principles is Kiva, a person-to-person micro-lending website, where lenders loan money to low-income entrepreneurs for the purpose of alleviating poverty.

Due to the economic crisis and the growing interest in sustainability and simplicity, many of us are choosing different ways to celebrate the holidays. Read more about how to give when you don’t have a lot and giving gifts that won’t add to your loved one’s clutter!

Share your ideas in the comments – where do you like to buy meaningful, affordable gifts? What are your family’s rituals? What do you do to encourage connection and emphasize relationships rather than consumption?

Happy Holidays!

– rs

November 26, 2009 at 12:31 am 1 comment

The Elusive Film Festival


I don’t know about you, but I always miss film festivals. I have the best intentions – marking off the dates on my calendar, browsing through the list of films online, and selecting ones I would like to see – but the festival usually comes and goes without me.

Here in Los Angeles, we are blessed to host several annual film festivals. These festivals are a great opportunity to see international films, independent films, and documentaries that may never make it to mainstream movie theaters.

I recently stumbled upon a listing for a homegrown film festival right here in the South Bay. There isn’t much information about the South Bay Film Festival online, but it is a local event that may be worth checking out! The festival is on Nov. 12, just a little over a week away, at the James Armstrong Theatre.

If you prefer larger film festivals, the American Film Institute Festival is just about to end on November 9 and one of my favorites, the Pan African Film Festival, is just around the corner in February.

Plan your film festival going for next year! This list covers film festivals in Los Angeles for 2009, but gives you a sense of when the festivals are generally scheduled as they usually occur around the same time every year.

Of course, if you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home movie theater, you can check out films at the Torrance Public Library. We carry an impressive collection of VHS and DVDs – feature films, documentaries, international films, educational and workout videos, and more!

In the comments, share where you see your favorite films – what are the festivals, movie theaters, and movie rental stores (for those that are still in business!) that you frequent?

– rs


November 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

Finding Fun and Cheap Entertainment

free sign by klbusta -

free sign by klbusta

Right now we are all looking for ways to cut back our expenses, and reinvigorate those old values of frugality and thrift.  Some of the recent economic forecasts have predicted that we will not make major gains in employment until 2017!  With over 7 years of a potentially sluggish economy, many of us will be in need of cheap (or free), wholesome ways to enjoy ourselves, spend time with family and friends, and lift our spirits.

First, let’s start with some different strategies you can use to find things to do locally.  You may be familiar with some of these suggestions and some might be new. Set aside a few minutes before your weekend to explore your options and plan an awesome day!

1. Check out the City of Torrance’s City Events Calendar. The calendar is a relatively new feature of the city website and is designed to make locating city-sponsored events easier to find. Events hosted by other agencies may also be included. Library events are listed here!

2. Pick up a copy of your city’s recreation calendar. You can get print copies of the Torrance Seasons at the library or online. To access the recreation services of other cities in the South Bay, sign up for Redondo Beach’s e-zine or see Rancho Palos Verdes website. Recreation guides don’t only feature ongoing classes, but other one-day programs that have been planned in advance.

3. Scour your local print mediathe Daily Breeze, Los Angeles Times, Easy Reader, Palos Verdes Peninsula News. Browse the entertainment and calendar sections of the print and online versions of your favorite paper. Don’t forget the Los Angeles Weekly’s vast entertainment calendar.

4. Browse through Yelp. Yelp is a community review site where you can find information on the best restaurant in your neighborhood, where to fix your shoes, upcoming events, and more. Become a “Yelper” yourself and contribute your opinions. Here are some recent lists created by Yelpers on restaurants and bakeries in the South Bay.

5. Sign up for Yelp’s weekly email. If you are adventurous and like to explore new neighborhoods, Yelp spotlights different parts of town, as well as different themes.

6. Explore Upcoming. This event site is owned by Yahoo so you can log in using your Yahoo id.  Enter your hometown in the search bar and see all the events nearby. You can browse events by type as well – music, family, sports, etc.

7. Word of mouth. Truth be told, most of us discover things to do through people we already know. Reconnect with your family, friends, and co-workers some of the best fun there is.

8. Boomer-specific fun. Last but not least, visit the list we created especially for local Boomers with links to some of the local events you might be interested in.

More ideas, suggestions, and featured events to come, so stay tuned. By the way, many of these sites are good ways to promote your own events!  If you have any additional suggestions or tips, please include them in the comments – we would love to hear from you.

– rs

October 21, 2009 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

Spare the Rod – Manipulate the Child?

6a0105368f4fef970b0120a58d528f970b-200wiAs a Boomer child growing up in the 50’s, my parents were heavily influenced by one of the best selling authors of all time – Dr. Benjamin Spock (not the Spock of “Live long and prosper!”) Dr. Spock’s seminal work, Baby and Child Care, was filled with practical and radical (for its time) information that helped millions of parents cope with their fears about caring for and raising their children.

Dr. Spock offered a reassuring alternative to the rigid rules and practices fostered by the medical establishment prior to the publication of his manual. His contention was that parents know their children best and could be trusted to make good decisions. In particular, he stressed that providing natural affection and responsiveness to your children, adopting a more permissive and communicative style, and allowing your children to explore and experiment was not going harm them and, in fact, would result in healthy, happy children.

Fast forward some sixty odd years since the penning of Dr. Spock’s masterpiece to the present day confusion of child rearing advice and techniques. While the methodology advocated in her book may not win any prizes from pediatricians and family practice physicians, the Torrance Public Library Foundation is delighted to be presenting “An Evening with Elizabeth Beckwith” this coming Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Foundation members only are invited to a reception with the author beginning at 6:30 p.m.*) at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library Community Meeting Room.

Ms. Beckwith
, a stand-up comedienne and author, has appeared on The Late Late Show and was one of seven comics featured in the Time magazine article “Funny: The Next Generation.” She has just written a book entitled Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation. While the book is a satire of traditional parenting guides, it does have some sage advice mixed in with autobiographical information about the author and her family. Ms. Beckwith will be reading from her book, as well as talking about her experiences raising her children, and will answer questions from the audience.

An Evening with Elizabeth Beckwith is free to the public; however, the Foundation is suggesting a donation of $10.00 to help defray the cost of the program.  Copies of Raising the Perfect Child… will be available for purchase at the event.  And if learning about the real way to effectively raise children inspires you, try checking out one of the hundreds of titles the Library owns on the subject of child rearing.

* Attendees who wish to become members of the Foundation on the night of the program may purchase a membership between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

October 4, 2009 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

Best Blogs for Books!

WebSocial media is so prevalent and mainstream we now have awards for such things as web sites, blogs, etc. Book lovers (and many of us Boomers are book lovers) are fortunate that not only are there countless blogs devoted to books and reading, but there is now also a Book Blogger Appreciation Week! This event (September 14 – 18, 2009) is held to spotlight and celebrate the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities.

One of the best things about the “event” is learning about the nominations and awards for best book blogs. If you love books and take pleasure reading about them, and/or you would enjoy participating in an on-line community with other like-minded individuals, check out the extensive list of nominees. There is an amazing variety of categories – for example, Best Book Club Blog, Best Book Community/Cataloging Site, Most Chatty Blog, Best Thriller/Mystery/Suspense Blog, Best Name, Best History/Historical Fiction Blog, Best General Review Blog, and many others. There are categories for young people as well – Best YA (Young Adult) Books Blog and Best KidLit Blog – if, on occasion, you like impressing your children with how cool you are, or you’re a closet Twilight fan. It would take me days to search out this kind of information so I am thankful that Amy Riley, author of the blog, My Friend Amy has collated this great list of resources.

Don’t be passive about your book passion. Bloggers want to hear from you and wecome your input. You don’t have to use your name – it’s easy to post to any of these blogs using an adopted screen name. Please do post a comment below on our blog or visit one of the many blogs nominated and comment there. Voting has closed for this year but come next September you can participate and suggest favorites of your own!

September 17, 2009 at 4:01 am 2 comments

Retirement Revolution – PBS Special

pPBS3-6598131regIf you’re looking for more information on retirement from a reputable source, PBS is airing a special entitled “Retirement Revolution: The New Reality,” hosted by Paula Zahn, this evening, Tuesday, Sept. 15. Our local PBS station, KCET is airing the show at 9:00 p.m. The blurb on the program states, “Millions of Americans have had to change their retirement plans in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.  Retirement Revolution looks at the stories of everyday people who have found ways not only to survive but thrive in this new reality.”

If you are unable to view the program on television, here is a link to watch the show in its entirety online!

September 15, 2009 at 6:43 am 1 comment

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    It hardly seems possible that it’s been a full year since we posted about the pleasures of attending film festivals.   One of the biggest and best, the AFI Fest, is about to begin this coming week. AFI Fest is Los Angeles’ longest running international film festival and the 2010 event will be held in Hollywood, California, November […]
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