LOCALmotion – Jozelle Smith

13Now why didn’t they do this when WE went to school? Last month La Ballona Elementary School started a pilot program using theater and comedy to teach narrative writing in all of its fourth-grade classes. The program was developed and performed by the “Story Pirates” group, whose highly trained teaching artists spend an hour per day in each classroom for four days to work with students. Story Pirates’ comedic theater-style presentation caught the students’ imagination right away and encouraged them to write high-quality stories. Students have reported that Story Pirates made writing fun, and they want to do more. At the conclusion of the program, Story Pirates will collect and read every story, write positive comments on the students’ papers, and send them back to the classrooms for students to read. The top two stories from each classroom will be selected by Story Pirates, rehearsed and then performed by professional actors at an assembly in June!

It’s free and it’s this Saturday! The 12th Annual “Cruisin’ Back to the ’50s” Culver City Car Show will “open its doors” (translation: close the streets) on Saturday, May 9, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The best way to start the day is the Culver City Fire Department Station #1’s All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., served by firefighters and City employees (and you should see them flip those pancakes!) to celebrate Fire Service Day. Cost for the breakfast feast is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and kids (kids under 12 free). The Station will have an Open House that will feature guided station tours, activities for kids including a coloring contest with a chance to win Fire Department t-shirts, equipment displays, and even some fire coats to try on for the public. Culver City’s CERT team will be providing information and assistance, and Culver City Fire Department hats and t-shirts will be available for purchase. Appropriately parked right by Station #1 will be former Fire Chief George Sweeney’s 1932 Ford Roadster, lovingly restored by George and buddy Paul Vogler over a 12-year period. Over 400 classic cars and hot rods are expected to be on display in downtown along Culver and Washington Boulevards from Ince Boulevard to Duquesne Avenue, as well as vendors and music performances scheduled throughout the day. Produced by the Culver City Exchange Club and sponsored by throughout the day. Produced by the Culver City Exchange Club and sponsored by the City of Culver City, the Culver City Car Show will feature customized cars from George Barris, creator of the Batmobile, the Munsters’ Koach, the Beverly Hillbillies’ jalopy and many more vehicles from the movies and TV. For more information, visit www.culvercitycarshow.com or call 310-499-4840.

Are you a closet rockhound? Then you’ll know that found throughout California Serpentine, or Serpentinite, is a rock that ranges in color from black to intense green. California was one of the first states to designate a state rock in 1965. Serpentine made headlines when an anti-asbestos group started a movement to remove it from official state rock status. Why was asbestos involved with this honorable rock? Well, the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club will present an informative and entertaining evening with Justin Zzyzx at its Monday, May 11 meeting. Justin will tell about the history of our state rock and how a call to arms was made to help an army of geologists, botanists, and lawyers to educate a few about asbestos and Serpentine. Justin Zzyzx (isn’t there a rural road named after him off the I-15?) is prominent in the gem and mineral community for his notable work exposing fakes and forgeries in the mineral industry. He recently spoke at the NY/NJ Mineral Show and many know him for the Zzyzx Gallery of Natural Science that was open in Downtown Los Angeles a few years ago. Justin’s latest endeavors can be found at www.FortySevenPress.com or www.justinzzyzx.com. General Meetings of the Rock & Mineral Club are held the second Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Veterans’ Memorial Building’s Multi-Purpose Room. Enter the parking lot from Culver Blvd, closest to Overland and walk to the right when facing the building. Around the corner, you will a sign leading to the Multi-Purpose room. The meeting is in the room with the glass windows and doors. Guests are always welcome.

Notice anything different about Downtown Culver City? The city’s Parks Planning staff has redesigned our own Restaurant Row along Culver Boulevard and part of the Downtown Plaza to update overgrown and declining plant material with a completely new look, using drought-tolerant, indigenous plants. All of the pots were replanted as well (all by Marina Landscape and Parks Irrigation Staff), giving Downtown a welcome face lift! Thank you Pubic Works!

And for heaven’s sake, don’t forget this Sunday is Mother’s Day! How about treating Mom (or Grandma?) to the historic Culver Hotel’s “Brunch and Beyond” set for 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the hotel’s Crystal Dining Room. The menu includes salads, a “create your own Omelet Station,” and other breakfast items, merging into Free Range Braised Chicken with Black Mole Sauce, wild rice, Salmon, Ham, Prime Rib, and lots of assorted “mini bites” desserts. The cost is $39.00 per person ($49.00 with bottomless mimosas), and $19.00 for children under 12. Call for reservations – (310) 558-9400 or email [email protected].

Birthday greetings go out this week to Stu Freeman, Daniel Retting, Barbara Steinberg, and Xavier Nuques. If you’d like to have your (or a friend, neighbor or family member’s) birthday noted here, send the info to [email protected] and we will post it!

The Actors' Gang

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