Monthly Archive: November 2015

LA Auto Show is a real crowd pleaser showcasing advanced 2016 tech and designs

The 2016

The 2016 Chevrolet Stingray Z06 debuts at the LA Auto show on through Sunday.

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The LA Auto Show, on through the weekend drew record crowds and show-stopping new hybrids and 2016 models of America’s favorite cars and trucks. The new Jeep Wrangler has a rough and tough look that with eye-popping features galore.

Porsche, electric

The 2016 electric Porshe was on display among the many Porsche styles.

On display were classic and old favorites to concepts cars with the so many interesting designs of the automotive industry. The 12-day Auto show takes a few hours if you visit each display, which has brand new models in BMW, Mercedes to really classic cars like the 1970 Camaro. Chrysler brought back the design from the 1950’s with a Chrysler 300c Platinum, said spokesperson Chelsea Watts.

The 2016 Jeep looks rough and tough for the offroading this year at the LA Auto Show.

The 2016 Jeep looks rough and tough for offroading this year at the LA Auto Show.

“This is the top of the line luxury sedan, with heated ventilated leather seats inside. There’s also genuine wood inlays and other luxury features. It still has the iconic body design of the 300 and it even has more rounded edges in the front. It has incredible power under the hood, a 3.5 liter, a V-8 engine that gets 25 MPG on the highway with new powerful transmissions,” said Watts.

Some attendees like Jim Schwartz, Playa Vista, CA came to see the new SUV’s he’s shopping for right now. “I’ve really been focused on the new Chevy Colorado because I own a 2013 model, and the dealer sent me a really good deal,” said Schwartz. “I checked out the High Sierra, and I really wasn’t impressed, because it looks like an old retro truck with a lot of wood paneling in it. I also looked at the Malibu, where they changed the back end, which changed the whole look of the car, which I thought was pretty cool.”

Swartz also noted that many of the new cars and trucks are so uniquely designed and he believes, all dealers are targeting the younger people. “I noticed that Chevrolet is actually thinking about restoring the 70’ Camaro,” said Schwartz. “I don’t believe that Chevy is targeting our age bracket anymore. Everywhere I drive you see the Mustangs and Camaro’s with designs and features of the 1970’s and there are a lot of young people driving them.”

Suburu displayed some new prototypes targeting the younger drivers.

Subaru displayed some new prototypes targeting the younger drivers.

One exciting feature of the LA Auto show you might want to check out is getting behind the wheel and test driving nearly 100 of the latest models.  – Registration for all of this year’s test drives will take place onsite during the LA Auto Show (slots are available at a first-come, first-serve basis). Note: registration at each test drive kiosk/desk will close 30-60 minutes prior to the hours posted Requirements to participate: You will have to present your 2015 LA Auto Show ticket stub prior to signing up; drivers must meet age requirements for each manufacturer and have a valid driver’s license;  passengers are allowed and must be at least eight years of age; drivers and passengers must sign a waiver of liability and may be asked to provide follow-up information; you may be asked to pass a Breathalyzer test in order to participate.

LA Auto offers these tips:  Saturdays and Sundays tend to have the most participating vehicles. Rather than wait until later in the day, they recommend signing up to test drive your favorite vehicles upon your arrival to the show. Ride and drive models will be posted online before the show are subject to change without notice at the discretion of each participating brand.

The 2016 BMW was a showstopper along with the Mercedes Benz.

2016 BMW was a showstopper along with the Mercedes-Benz.

Some of concept cars on display through Sunday (Saturday, Nov. 28: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm) (Sunday, Nov. 29: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm) include: Aston Martin DB10, Scion Concept, Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept, Volvo Concept 26 and Volkswagen Golf GTE to name a few. One drawback if you wanted to sit in the driver’s seat, you had get in line, which had scores of children sitting in the front seat for quite a while with the parents in just about all of the show cars. The parking is steep, too at $20.00, so you might want to grab a parking spot a few blocks away for $10.00 if you don’t mind walking. A better way would be to take the Metro Red Line, and get off at stops nearby for $8.00 a roundtrip pass. The food and drinks are pricey, but if you walk north of the LA Convention Center, around the downtown area, you can find some great, inexpensive place to dine out.

Tickets are a little steep, too, but you spend all day at the auto show and it’s the Disneyland of car shows. Tickets cost General Admission Saturday – Sunday Admission Ages 13 & up: $15; child Admission Ages 6-12: $5 (children 5 and under are free when accompanied by an adult) and seniors ages 65 & up: $10. For more about the LA Auto Show visit: http://



Celebrity chefs, actors, volunteers and politicians serve a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner to LA Homeless on Skid Row

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3,500 Skid Row residents l

3,500 Skid Row residents line up for a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner at the LA Mission.

For nearly 80 years, the LA Mission has been reaching out to help the less fortunate on Skid Row. On this Thanksgiving Eve, it was even more special for some 3,500 homeless neighbors treated to a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings, thanks to 500 people involved near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.  There nearly 45,000 men, women, and children in LA, who have no place to call home. This week HUD said LA now has the largest homeless population in the country.

Tons of food in b

Tons of food in b

The Mission’s sit-down midday meal offered thousands of homeless a unique dining experience. Hollywood Celebrities and local political leaders, including LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  The Mission welcomes its Skid Row friends and neighbors every year on the day before Thanksgiving to relax for a while and celebrate with Mission volunteers. Not present last year were so many tents put up within an arm’s reach of the Mission. Sidewalks surrounding the area on Skid Row are almost at two rows of tents in some areas keeping the homeless out the cold, which recently has dipped into the lower 40’s in LA.

“On behalf of the Wells Fargo volunteers that helped today, I’d like to say how grateful we are to have had this chance to support the homeless people and families living on Skid Row with a Thanksgiving Meal,” said Herb Smith, president, LA Mission. Wells Fargo has also donated $50,000 to support year-round services to the homeless beyond the holiday meals.

Talented celebrity chefs lead by Michael Voltaggio, owner of ink; Steve Samson of Sotto; Ray Garcia, of Broken Spanish and BS Taqueri and Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman, rolled up their sleeves  to brine and roast more than a ton of turkey breast. The menu included: 700 pounds of chestnut and mushroom stuff.  The chefs also cooked 80 gallons of country-style turkey sausage gravy, hundreds of pounds of fresh green beans with sage and onions, pecan crusted yams, homemade cranberry sauce, 4,000 dinner rolls and 600 pumpkin pies, topped with cinnamon pecan whipped cream. “We are thankful that Chef Michael Voltaggio keeps coming back every year and handpicks his team of top chefs to create recipes for a lavish holiday meal,” said Smith.

Niecy Nash among the celebs serving turkey and all the trimmings at the LA MIssion today.

Niecy Nash among the celebs serving turkey and all the trimmings at the LA Mission today.

A short list of some of the celebrities on the serving line and helping in the Kitchen included: Singer Mary Wilson (Supremes); Frankie Grande, half-brother to singer Ariana Grande, who recently judge America’s Best Dance Crew and appeared on Big Brother last year; Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Fifth Dimension and LA Mission board members; Niecy Nash, Scream Queens on Fox and known for reality TV shows; Laura Regan, Minority Report on Fox and the movie Unbreakable to name a few.

Victor Lozan and

LA Mission’s Victor Lozana and Chaplain Keith Newton keep the crowds under control for a Turkey Dinner.

The meal is served in an outdoor dining room created on 5th Street in front of the Mission, downtown LA, the heart of Skid row. In the closed off portion of the street, separate large tents are set up for food service, foot washing and giveaways. gorgeous floral creations were placed on each table adding to the Thanksgiving holiday spirit.


The Los Angeles Christian Health Centers provided food washing and foot health exams to nearly 400 of the day’s guests They also got a new pair of socks. In addition to getting their feet washed, doctors, nurses and other medical staff did minor procedures to relieve foot problems. Those with more serious health issues were referred to the clinic for appointments. The clinic partners with the Mission to provide medical service for area residents. The Los Angeles County Dept. of Health was also on hand to provide free flu shots and TB tests.  Some 2,000 tarps and about 1,200 blankets were also distributed to the needy at the event. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians supplied turkeys while King’s Hawaiian donated dinner rolls and Bonert’s Slice of Pie donated the delicious pies.

The LA Mission has served the people on Skid Row, for eight decades. They provide emergency services such as shelter, food, clothing, as well as professional medical and dental services. The Mission offers long-term residential rehab programs including education, professional mental health counseling, job training/ placement and transitional housing. “The kindness of strangers blesses our endeavors every day,” explained Smith. “This ministry’s work would not be possible without the tremendous help we receive from our city. We want to thank everyone who gives to the Mission and serves to make today possible,” he said.

The Mission was started as a soup kitchen for the depression era men in 1936.  The Mission still serves three separate meals daily and provides emergency shelter, but its primary work is helping men and women to restore their lives and get back to the business of life. For more about LA Mission visit: