March 2019
e-mail Edition
Our Website:
www.bncla.org 

Our e-mail: labrandeismensgroup@gmail.com
UPCOMING BREAKFAST MEETINGS
March 20, 2019 - Wednesday - 9:00 AM

Speaker: Mr. Clayton Frech
Founder and CEO of Angel City Sports
Mr. Clayton Frech is the founder and CEO Angel City Sports, a Los Angeles based charitable organization dedicated to providing opportunities and training to children and young adults competing in adaptive and Para-Olympic sports. The organization was established during the summer of 2013, as a result of difficulties Mr. Frech and his wife experienced while traveling with their young son Ezra to compete at an adaptive sports meet in the Midwest.

Although competitive games for children and young adults with disabilities existed nation-wide at that time, there were no formal organizations in Southern California, which meant that participants and families often traveled large distances, incurring significant expenses and stress. 

In late 2014, Angel City Sports partnered with UCLA Recreation, and under the banner of Angel City Games, Mr. Frech began a formal and competitive program for youth and young adults with physical disabilities. The first games was a hugely successful 2-day event in June, 2015, consisting of over 1,300 participants, and supported by Hollywood stars, professional athletes, and media coverage. 

As a result, the Angel City Games has been able to expand to a 4-day event, while the organization continues to address the challenges and disadvantages that individuals with physical handicaps endure when competing in Para-Olympic and adaptive sports. Angel City Sports provides year-round training and support to Southern California youth and young adults in sports such as Archery, Swimming, Wheelchair Tennis, Track & Field, and Wheelchair Basketball. 

The cost of breakfast is $15 for members. It is free for first-time guests and prospective members. 
April 17, 2019 - Wednesday - 9:00 AM

Speaker: Mr. David Lazarus
Noted Columnist for Los Angeles Times 
David Lazarus is an award-winning business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, focusing on consumer affairs. He also appears daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and is a part-time radio host. His work appears in newspapers across the country and has resulted in a variety of laws protecting consumers.
The cost of breakfast is $15 for members. It is free for first-time guests and prospective membe rs.
PAST BREAKFAST MEETING
February 20, 2019 - Wednesday - 9:00 AM
Speaker: Stanley Weinberg 
 
Speaking to an obviously interested and attentive audience of around 45 members and guests, Stan Weinberg, the LA Brandeis Men's Group speaker for February, was able to draw on his many years as a tax consultant to not only explain and comment on recent changes to our Federal tax laws, but also to note how these changes will impact the average citizen. While saying that there should be minimal differences for individuals filing their California state returns, Stan pointed out that in general, the average person can expect to pay less federal tax for the current filing year, but also will receive less money back. If a person owns a business, or income property, then the filing becomes a bit more complicated. 
 
At the conclusion of Stan's presentation, there may have been a few worried members in attendance, but on average the feeling in the room was that it was a thoroughly worthwhile morning, and one that some hope might become a regular feature in future tax years.
RECENT SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP MEETINGS
Westside Walking Group SIG 
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Despite overcast and drizzly conditions, three members of the Westside Walking SIG met on Thursday, February 28, to continue the group's weekly tradition of a round-trip hike down Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. The group rendezvoused in Palisades Park at 9:30am, near the intersection of Marguerita Avenue, and commenced the leisurely stroll along the cliffs trail to the Miramar Hotel, a distance of approximately 3/4 mile. At the half-way point, the group then entered the hotel and proceeded to a dining area where they enjoyed coffee and conversation. Among the many topics of particular interest this day were the time that Gerry Sallus managed to have H. Ross Perot removed from a GE advisory board, the time that Navy man Randy Barnes almost crashed in the Pacific Ocean, and the time that Jeff Penso campaigned for presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy! 
 
The Westside Walking Group SIG meets in Santa Monica every Thursday, at 9:30am. The walk is intentionally slow-paced and decidedly not strenuous. It is perfect for just about any LA Brandeis Group member and a good experience is guaranteed! Individuals interested in joining should contact Gerry Sallus at 1-310-559-2536, or email: gsallus@twc.com .
Current Events SIG 
Wednesday, February 19, 2019
Seven members of the Current Events SIG met on Wednesday, February 19th. Hosted as usual by group leader Lou Bernstein, the topics of discussion included the ever-changing field of Democratic candidates for the Presidency, the worldwide increase of anti-Semitism, the impact of tax changes on commercial and individual property, how to control the rats in city hall (i.e., the vermin), and predicted winners at this year’s Oscars celebration (which were all made with 100% accuracy).
 
In attendance were Jerry Weinstein, John Harris, Lou Bernstein, Bernie Schneier, Arnie Geffner, Bernie Schiffer, and Randy Barnes.
 
The Current Events SIG meets on the third Tuesday of each month. Individuals interested in joining should contact Lou at 310-275-7736, or louislaw@aol.com .
Legal SIG
January 2019 Meeting
Notable Legal Cases
The Brandeis Men’s Group Legal SIG met Thursday, January 24 th, to again hear and discuss notable legal cases as presented by Constitutional Law expert, Harold Orchid. Members in attendance were Marty Jaffee, Randy Barnes, Marvin Alperin, Bernie Schneier, Steve Silvers, Stan Epstein, and Bernie Schiffer.
 
The first case in the docket involved SunTrust - acting on behalf of the estate of Georgia author, Margaret Mitchell – suing African-American writer, Alice Randall. In early 2001, Ms Randall’s novel, “The Wind Done Gone”, was published. The story in this instance was a reimagining of Mitchell’s famous 1937 Pulitzer Prize winner, “Gone With The Wind” (GWTW), but differed in that it was told from the viewpoint of the slave rather than the slave-owner. As such, it also used some different names, invented new characters, and had plot deviations. In April, 2001, however, the US District Court in Georgia ruled for SunTrust, and blocked publication of, “The Wind Done Gone”, on the basis of it being a violation of copyright. Immediately, the book’s publishers, Houghton Mifflin, appealed the preliminary injunction, claiming that the book was a parody of GWTW, and that prohibiting its publication was, “…an unlawful prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment.” In May, 2001, a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the 11 th Circuit referred the case back to the lower court, stating that while SunTrust could sue for monetary damages it was unlikely that copyright infringement would be granted. In May, 2002, SunTrust dropped its suit and the case was settled out of court under terms considered favorable to Ms Randall and her publisher.
 
The second case involved Ronald VanRossum, a San Bernadino police officer arrested in March, 2002, and accused of 27 counts of kidnap, rape, and battery against 11 women. All alleged instances occurred while VanRossum was working night shift as a policeman. Prior to the suspect entering the court room for his arraignment, media personnel approached the county Superior Court judge and requested permission to photograph the proceedings. The judge agreed, but after the defendant, his lawyer, and the prosecutor entered the room and learned of this decision, they objected to photographs being taken. Somewhat ironically, both the defense and prosecution felt it would prejudice their cases. Consequently, the judge rescinded his earlier decision, and forbade the use of cameras. Various media representatives then sued, claiming that Freedom of the Press was being denied. The defense and prosecution countered that the defendant had a right to due process and a fair trial, and the photos would jeopardize this right. The case went to Federal Court, where it was ruled Press rights were constitutionally more important, and the media won their case. As suggested by our expert, Harold, of all the Rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the only one that has never been qualified is the right of a Free Press.
 
The final topic of discussion involved a curious legal conundrum: The California Constitution states that a person cannot be imprisoned for failure to pay debts. Broadly speaking, however, alimony is considered a financial obligation and therefore a debt. , Ergo, if a person doesn’t pay alimony can he/she be put in jail? If so, then why? The short answer, of course, is that jail is definitely an option when not paying alimony! The reason being is that alimony is court-ordered, and a failure to pay would be considered Contempt of Court, for which a person can indeed be locked up!
 
Next month’s discussion will begin with, “SEX…Is it in the Constitution?” If you’re the type who has always wondered whether it is, or whether it isn’t, then please contact SIG moderator Marvin Alperin at 1-323-931-7172, or email marvinalperin@gmail.com.
Legal SIG
February 2019 Meeting
Sex and the Constitution
 
On Thursday, February 28th, 8 members of the Legal Cases SIG were once more called to order by constitutional law expert, Harold Orchid, to discuss and consider three questions of law, this time under the topic of "Sex and the Constitution."
 
The first case involved the "Frisky Kitty Strip Club" of Tarzana, California, which, in 2006, was a juice bar featuring nude dancers! Pertinent to this situation was that the business did not serve alcohol, there was no evidence of illegal sexual activity or prostitution, and police had not received any significant complaints of fighting or raucous behavior by patrons. Indeed, other than the fact of having nude women dancers, it was a legitimate business. The basic problem was one of location, and - unfortunately for the owner - a Los Angeles City ordinance stipulated that establishments featuring nude women could not exist within 500 feet of a residential area. The owner argued that his establishment was already in an area zoned for Business, and that he was being discriminated against because the constraints of the city ordinance prohibited him from having the club. When the case was initially heard in court, the judge ruled that the city attorney must find a location that the Frisky Kitty could move to. The LA City Attorney subsequently submitted four possibilities, but of this number three had already been leased and the fourth was located at the airport! The case ultimately went to the Supreme Court which declined to hear it. Finally, in 2007, unable to afford further legal expenses, the owner was forced to close down...the Frisky Kitty was no more!
 
The second case presented occurred in upstate New York, in the small town of Latham, near the capital of Albany, where the "Night Moves" gentlemen's club had for years featured nude women offering choreographed nude and pole dancing. The state had long taxed amusement and sporting events, but allowed an exemption for "...dramatic or musical arts performances that promoted cultural or artistic events." The owner of the club hired professional choreographers to organize dance routines, and used this action to justify not having to pay the amusement tax. The case first went to an administrative tax judge, who ruled in the owner's favor. The prosecution appealed to the state Supreme Court, which also agreed with the owner. The prosecution appealed again, and in 2012 the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state, and the "Night Moves" owner was ordered to pay a fine of $400,000.
 
The third case of the day originated in South Bend, Indiana, where in 1991, the city prosecutor filed misdemeanor charges against dancers of the "Kitty Kat Lounge and Glen Theatre". The women in this establishment performed totally nude, without pasties or g-strings, which violated the state's public indecency statute. The dancers fought back, claiming a violation of Freedom of Speech. The trial judge ruled in favor of the women, and the city appealed to the 7th Court of Appeals (COA), which sent the case back for retrial. When it returned to the COA a second time, the original judgement was upheld. The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1991, the Rehnquist court, by a margin of 5-4, ruled in favor of the state of Indiana. The ruling in this instance was that the state  statute against public indecency was a general, content-neutral law that regulated conduct not speech. 
 
The topic of "Sex and the Constitution" will continue at the next meeting on March 28th, at which time Harold will explain what is meant by the word "obscene".
 
Legal SIG members in attendance were Steve Silvers, Bernie Schneier, Marvin Alperin, Randy Barnes, Marty Jafee, John Harris, Stan Epstein, and Bernie Schiffer.
 
The Legal Cases SIG meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. Los Angeles Brandeis members interested in joining this group should contact Marvin Alperin at email: marvinalperin@gmail.com ,or phone: 1-323-931-7172.
MEN'S INTEREST GROUPS
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES
Sport SIG
March Madness - NCAA Finals
April 8
The LA Brandeis Men's Group Sports SIG will meet on Monday, April 8th, to watch the championship game of the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament. Cost of the event will be $15...food and refreshments will be catered. Sitting will be limited, so best to contact one of the following individuals soonest to reserve a chair at this popular event.

Points of contact: John Harris: 1-323-650-0664 or
Lou Bernstein: 1-310-275-7736
The Brandeis Men's Group has many "Special Interest Groups" (SIG) which meet on a regular basis. To find out more about the various groups, or to suggest adding new ones, contact Marv Alperin (1-323-931-7172), or the individual group chairman below.
  • History Group - Arnie Geffner, 1-310-839-3235
  • Investment Group - Marv Alperin (for info), 1-323-931-7172
  • Bridge Group - Marv Alperin (for info), 1-323-931-7172
  • Westside Walking Group - Gerry Sallus, 1-310-559-2536
  • Life Experiences - Bernie Schiffer, 1-310-476-5077
  • Current Events Group #1 - Louis Bernstein, 1-310-275-7736
  • Current Events Group #2 - Henry Gass, 1-310-444-7152
  • Legal Cases Group - Marvin Alperin, 1-323-931-7172
  • Opera Group - Marty Jaffee, 1-323-653-409
  • Sporting Events & Viewings - John Harris, 1-323-650-0664
  • Westside Current Events - Marvin Alperin, 1-323-931-7172
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
BRANDEIS STEERING COMMITTEE convened on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at Factor's Deli. There were 12 members present, 9 excused absences, and 1 guest.  

The meeting was called to order at 9:10 am by Vice President Louis Bernstein, who presided in the absence of President Stanley Epstein who was ill.
 
The minutes of the January 23, 2019 Steering Committee meeting were submitted by Secretary John Harris and approved as corrected to reflect that the speaker for the March 20th meeting will be Clayton Frech from Angel City Sports.
 
TREASURER’S REPORT: Bernie Schneier reported that there are now 82 paid members, including new member Sheldon Ellis. There were 35 members in attendance at the February breakfast meeting. It was noted that 6 Steering Committee members remain in arrears for their yearly individual contribution to Brandeis University. The Los Angeles Brandeis Men's Group makes annual contributions to Brandeis University for fellowships and scholarships to outstanding students in the field of Neuroscience.. This year’s recipient is Rabia Anjun from Lahore, Pakistan., a PhD candidate in Neuroscience. 
 
DISCUSSION OF FEBRUARY BREAKFAST MEETING: Tax expert and Steering Committee member Stan Weinberg was thanked for his excellent and informative presentation on the changes in the 2018 income tax laws.
 
PASSING OF LONG TIME MEMBER DAVID HABIB: His funeral was held at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park on Sunday, February 17th. Brandeis members Louis Bernstein, John Harris, Phil Greenwald, and Henry Gass attended. David was the leader of the Play Reading interest group.
 
 SPEAKERS: Chairman Bernie Schiffer reported plans for speakers through June:           
           March 20, 2019---Clayton Frech, CEO of Angel City Sports. 
      April 17, 2019---L. A. Times Financial Columnist David Lazarus.
           May 15, 2019---UCLA Neurobiology Professor Joshua Trachenberg. This will be joint meeting with the Brandeis Women’s Group, and greater attendance is anticipated.
           June 19, 2019—No speaker currently scheduled.
           Phil Greenwald will investigate getting a speaker from the Gene Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park.
 
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (SIG): Chairman Marv Alperin requested that leaders of each interest group report on the activities of their group, including dates and times of the meetings, and the names of the participants. This information and photos will appear in our monthly newsletter and website.
           Plans for the formation of new special interest groups were discussed, to include a Book Group, Movie Group, Tennis Group, and an Evening Dining Group.
           The Sports Group recently met at the home of Jerry Weinstein, and had 15 members watch the 2019 College Football National Championship game. The Sports SIG currently has scheduled a viewing of the 2019 NCAA College Basketball Championship game at the home of Harvey Ganz for Monday, April 8th. Catering will be from Label’s Table deli, and cost is $15.
           
TELEPHONE COMMITTEE: Chairman Stan Weinberg has 9 members serving on his committee. These members are responsible for contacting other members via phone or email, so that an accurate estimate can be made of the expected attendance at the breakfast meetings. This count is needed in order to make sure enough food is available for members and their guests.
 
NEWSLETTER:  Randy Barnes has received several responses from persons who have seen articles and announcements about Brandeis Men’s group meetings in the Beverly Hills Courier newspaper. He compiles reports of various group activities and SIG meetings, and sends them to Allen Kwawer, who updates the newsletter and website. Public Relations Chairman Al Wilner has been responsible for sending out news releases and announcements of future meetings and speakers to the local neighborhood newspapers.
 
TRIPS:  Chairman Myron Forst is planning a trip to the Peterson Automotive Museum on Wilshire and Fairfax, with docent and new Brandeis member Howard Green leading the tour.
 
NEW BUSINESS: It was recommended to have at least one steering committee member available at the door to greet and accompany guests during the monthly breakfast meeting, and to encourage them to join. The group agreed to donate $200 for a full page ad in the Women’s Group Ad Book for the Authors and Celebrities Luncheon event. Arnie Geffner is Liaison with the Women’s Group.
 
GOOD AND WELFARE: Immediate Past President Richard Cohn is at home and would enjoy visitors, but it is necessary to phone first to arrange a visit.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 am.   

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marv Alperin, Randy Barnes, Louis Bernstein, Arnie Geffner, Philip Greenwald, John Harris, Gerry Sallus, Bernie Schiffer, Bernie Schneier, Steve Silvers, Stan Weinberg, and Al Wilner.

EXCUSED ABSENCES: Bob Bienenfeld, Richard Cohn, Stanley Epstein, Myron Forst, Irv Kierman, Bob Margolis, Mel Miller, Jeff Penso, and Jerry Weinstein.

GUEST: Richard Harmetz.
BNC - WOMEN
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES
BRANDEIS NATIONAL COMMITTEE (BNC) - WOMEN
GENERAL MEETING CALENDAR 2019

The BNC women currently meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Temple Akiba in Culver City. . Contact phone number is 1-310-558-8622.

2019 (Wednesdays, except as noted)

March 27 - Chocolate Seder
April 11 (Thursday) - Authors; Celebrity Luncheon (save the date)
May 22 - Louis Bernstein, Opera Program
June 26 - Bagel Brunch and Installation for 2019-2020
July 24 - David Hunt Stafford – Dramatic Reading
August 11 (Sunday) - Theatre Forty - Theatre Party

**JOIN US AND BRING A FRIEND**
DUES...DUES...DUES
July was that time again, and our annual LA Brandeis Men's dues were due !

If you haven't paid yet send or bring check made out to BMG for $30 to:
Bernie Schneier
311 Bora Bora Way, #204
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

And not just Local Dues, but our annual Brandeis National Committee too !
Send check made out to BNC for $60 to :
Brandeis University
MS132
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453

And for each SIG, it's $10, paid to the appropriate SIG chairman!

Let's support our group and Brandeis University by paying our annual dues!!!