Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area (SOLAHA)
P.O. Box 5202 ~ San Pedro, California 90733
Telephone: 310/519-0756 or 310/766-4884

For Immediate Release
October 1, 2018

Jack Baric (310)766-4884
Stephanie Mardesich (310) 519-0756

“Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow”
Website Premieres October 1
Oral History Preserved For Posterity
Port Town Websites Creates Opportunity To View Videos & More

The website  for the inaugural oral history (video/film) project Stories of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (SOLAHA, Vol. I) is ready to view, Filmed in May, SOLAHA is sponsored by Los Angeles County (LAC) Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4, through LAC grant funding. Interviews with 20 individuals representing varied ethnicities and ages, were edited to create 72 segments that debuted  August 16, at a “preview” reception hosted by San Pedro Brewing Company. Launched via internet at what is known as “Throwback Thursday” on Facebook, and YouTube, a new story (or more) is dispatched every Thursday and will continue until all the segments are “loaded” and available to view at the website.

From the inception establishing a SOLAHA website was a goal of producers Jack Baric and Stephanie Mardesich, though the funding had to be additional effort beyond production budget. After interviewing many potential designers they chose local firm Port Town Websites (PTW). The San Pedro based company specializes in WordPress and  PHP design and development services,  working with all types of small businesses throughout  the Los Angeles area.” Potential customers are surfing the web 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” states Jill Fox, designer/owner of PTW. “Among the benefits of a professionally designed website is to have a search engine friendly and mobile ready site.”

Website fiscal sponsors are Renaissance Group; Steve Kleinjan (founder of Clean San Pedro); Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, District 15; Van Buren & Associates (accounting services); Jim Hussey (State Farm Insurance); and ILWU Foremen’s Union Local 94. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Along with Sponsor slot other categories at site include Home page, Welcome by Supervisor Hahn, Histories/Stories (video links in alphabetical order), Pres/Events, Testimonials, About (mission statement, filmmakers, production credits, etc.)  Reciprocity (links to other related websites and in-kind sponsors), and Contact.

“We wanted the website to be aesthetically appealing, elegant yet welcoming; and easy to navigate,” comments Mardesich. “The opening page panorama image is a rare photo from our family archive, a huge framed aerial view of the harbor and entire region that hung in our father’s office at Franco Italian Packing Company (FIPC) in the 1950s, then in the hallway of our family home.  It was probably photographed after WW II and before 1955. The area is dense, yet there was much more added on over the decades.  It has mellowed over the decades and has a natural sepia tone. So the image is truly historic with immense personal meaning for many.”

SOLAHA was directed by Emmy Award winning filmmaker  Baric and  produced  under the banner of Baric’s Gopher Crow Entertainment production company. Mardesich. is director/founder of the LA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF) and public relations consultant/free lance writer. The project is under auspices of the LAHIF, a 501c3 non-profit organization,  that permits donations to be tax-deductible to the extent the law allows.

“Remembering our past allows a stronger understanding and connection to the present”, states Eric Eisenberg, founding chairman of San Pedro Property Owners Alliance (PBID) and president of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission;  and CEO of the Renaissance Group that offers a wide range of real estate development services. “The Renaissance Group is involved in many historic preservation efforts,  and proud to support the SOLAHA oral history project. It is our hope that this inspires others to participate.”

Longtime colleagues Baric and Mardesich, both natives of San Pedro, first met to discuss the potential project in May 2017.  A year later production was underway.  Both earned bachelor of arts degrees at the University of Southern California (USC). Mardesich is also alumna of USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate school program focus on  film history, criticism-aesthetics (aka critical studies). Baric is the son of immigrants from Croatia. Mardesich is descendent of similar heritage. Her paternal grandfather Joseph M. Mardesich, Sr.) came to San Pedro in 1918 and was a pioneer of California tuna canning industry..

The producers balance the tasks at hand with Mardesich managing administrative and on-set  needs  and Baric aspects of production including dispatching the weekly video release.  Baric’s debut film, acclaimed documentary Port Town (2006), is an important addition to the historical preservation of San Pedro.  Among his many other credits are feature documentary films A City Divided, that chronicles the history of the USC vs. UCLA football rivalry and the Emmy Award winning Bloody Thursday,  PBS documentary that tells the story of how Great Depression era dockworkers won their union, the ILWU; and numerous commercials, corporate videos and PSAs.

“The goal of this oral history video project is to gather stories from a variety of people and perspectives that capture significant memories and observations about the people, neighborhoods, events, friendships, and families that have contributed to our unique history and have made the LA Harbor Area such a special place to live.,” states Supervisor Hahn in the welcome introduction for SOLAHA.  “The history of the harbor area is vast and varied and deserves to be preserved for posterity, especially with “the Greatest Generation” ebbing away, and their children advancing in age.”

The  SOLAHA mission is to preserve the significant history of the people and communities of the Los Angeles harbor area that spans  from the port towns of San Pedro and Wilmington,  to include Lomita, Harbor City and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, to preserve the history of the region and  recognizing what is  inherent to inspire future generations to continue striving to make it a great place to live, work, and invest in as the area continues to progress.

Plans are underway for SOLAHA Volume II to be recorded late spring 2019.

For more about Gopher Crow Entertainment see; LAHIFF see For more about SOLAHA and sponsorship opportunity inquiries contact Mardesich. (310/) 519-0756; email

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