Seeing San Pedro’s Future Through Its Past

Celebrating a 125 years of San Pedro, for me, begins with thoughts of my grandfather, Domenico Costa, emigrating from Ischia, Italy, back in 1920, and my father Tony in 1956.

Both of them came to San Pedro at drastically different times but at the same age of 18. My grandfather arrived when San Pedro was in its Golden Age, the years following World War I where the port was growing dramatically and surpassed all other west coast ports in handling of tonnage in 1923. Like many emigrants from Europe, he became a fisherman at a time when the Los Angeles Harbor was becoming a leader in the industry.

My father came to the United States at a time when life in Italy was still recovering from the effects of World War II and at a time when our fishing and canneries were beginning to thrive. His fascination with radio growing up in Ischia led him to attend a technical trade school in downtown Los Angeles in the evenings where he would learn to repair radio and televisions and operate his local business, Tony’s TV, for 40 years.

Today, many of our local jobs are based around the import and export of cargo and raw material, as well as local companies and small businesses that support the industry. The local, regional and national impact of the goods movement industry is tremendous. For example, it is forecasted that for every single waterfront-related job 10 more are created in the region and over 40% of the nation’s cargo passes through our port. The methods in which cargo is transported today has also changed dramatically over the years. The crate-by-crate approach of the 1950s to the containerization and technology tracking cargo of today are indications of where this may evolve to within the next 10 years.

San Pedro is in the middle of a new development era. A couple of years ago, there was no thought that we would have the USS Iowa as a floating museum on our waterfront or that we would see Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles established. Five years ago, no one predicted that Marymount College, now a four-year university under the new name Marymount California University, would have a San Pedro-based campus on 6th Street offering Bachelor and Masters Degrees. Finally, 10 years ago predicting that the Southern California Marine Institute would consider moving from Terminal Island to the San Pedro side of the channel was unheard of, but here we are in the middle of the Port of Los Angeles’ $500 million, 28-acre development effort of the AltaSea Marine Research Innovative Center, ironically situated just a stone’s throw away from where a vibrant fishing fleet once operated some 40 years ago.

All of the indicators point to San Pedro heading towards a technology-rich and higher-educated local workforce to support jobs and industries that are on our horizon. It’s this challenge of preparing the next generation’s workforce for these future jobs that we must collectively work together to achieve. As San Pedro transforms to a destination for high-tech jobs, we must continue to innovate and find ways in which to expose our youth to science, technology, engineering and math. Also, we must focus today’s work force to ensure that they are well prepared for the technology that will come to our port while we find ways to attract new jobs to our waterfront.

These new industries will need a safe environment to build upon, so we must address the crime that we read and hear about each day. It’s no secret that we are being pulled on by both ends of the spectrum as we battle for this transformation to take hold. We must be persistent because the future is upon us and we must secure it. While other cities are maintaining the towns of today, we must continue to build San Pedro as a technology hub for tomorrow while making it a global destination and crown jewel at the tip of Los Angeles. spt

Anthony Pirozzi can be contacted at

A Walk To Remember: Ted Golden & Gerilynn Gioiello – September 14, 2012 (Wedding)

Ted Golden & Gerilynn Gioiello - September 14, 2012 (photos by John Mattera Photography)

The old adage is never date a co-worker. Ever. But sometimes the stars align, fate intervenes and what could end up being a disaster turns into something incredibly special.

Gerilynn (Gioiello) and Ted Golden were both working as longshoremen for ILWU Local 13 when they met in 2006. Gerilynn wanted to get back into shape and began taking walks with Ted, who was also very active. Their first official date was to an Eagles concert at Staples Center in November 2006.

“The funniest part about that night was that after trying to hide our interest in each other from our co-workers, we ran right into them at the concert,” explains Gerilynn. “Of all the places to run into your co-workers!”

Throughout their relationship, the two traveled to various places including Mexico, Napa Valley, and Hawaii – of which Gerilynn says Maui is their favorite place.

“We just enjoy being with each other and experiencing new places with one another,” described Gerilynn. “It’s been like that for as long as we’ve known each other.”

In December 2011, Gerilynn and Ted decided to take a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate Gerilynn’s birthday. Her brother, sister, and brother-in-law joined the two. With reservations set for her favorite restaurant – Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino – Gerilynn invited her sister and brother-in-law to join her and Ted for dinner, not knowing Ted was planning on proposing. But that didn’t stop him. He asked her to marry him, and, of course, she said “yes.”

The two married less than a year later on September 14, 2012, a date also commemorating Gerilynn’s father’s birthday, who passed away prior to their wedding. Ironically, Gerilynn’s birthday is December 14 and Ted’s is June 14 – more reasons as to why the 14th was the chosen date. The event was cocktail-style and took place at The Sepulveda Home in San Pedro, a French-colonial plantation-styled home that reminded Ted of New Orleans, where he was raised, and his mother, who passed away a year before the wedding.

More than 100 guests gathered for the intimate ceremony, where Gerilynn’s mother, Carmela, walked her down the aisle to Tom Petty’s “Here Comes My Girl.” Her father was part of the ceremony as well, as Gerilynn had his picture in her bouquet. During the ceremony, Gerilynn was joined by Maid-of-Honors Teresa Pisano, her cousin, and Sofia Rogers, her best friend, who was bed-written due to pregnancy, but was Skyped in by a friend so she could be part of the ceremony.

Ted was joined by Best Men (and sons) Ted and Charlie Golden. Ted’s daughter Juli also shared a reading during the ceremony, while Gerilynn’s niece Kristy sang “The Prayer.”

The reception immediately followed with food catered by Critic’s Choice Catering. Guests enjoyed everything from sliders, to tri-tip, to mac n’ cheese. Specialty drinks were also being served, featuring pomegranate and lemon drop martinis, and beer from Four Peaks Brewery, owned by Ted’s son Ted. And when it came to music, it was none other than 80s music video icon Richard Blade spinning the tunes.

While the night began with Italian music in honor of Gerilynn’s family, she and Ted danced to The Beatles’ “In My Life” for their first dance.

For their honeymoon, Ted and Gerilynn spent more than three weeks in Italy, touring Venice, Rome, and Ischia, the island Gerilynn’s family is from. When the couple got there, her family surprised them with another wedding reception.
“It was just great to be with my family and have them meet Ted,” says Gerilynn. “It was just so nice.”

Currently, Ted and Gerilynn live in San Pedro and still work as longshoremen for ILWU Local 13, and are very busy tending to their puppies. spt