Sea Lion Barker – 2018 #1

Jolly Pops

Spring in Your Step

Jolly pops here to somersault you into Spring with a mandate to jettison joy to MMCC Los Angeles supporters. And boy do I have jolly joy to share. First, we are about to embark on aMobile Visitors Center tour of Rolling Hills. We’ll be open on April 15th and every Sunday in May next to the George Canyon Nature Center at the corner of PV Blvd North and PV Blvd East


Bring the family, kids, neighbors and friends … learn about the sealand sea lion pups that are arriving daily at our hospital. Get your picture with our new dock and life-like sea lion statues. Here’s a shot our setup crew doing a site visit to map out the space.

We can’t wait to see you! 

February was a great month. We shindigged for 4 Thursdays at Smog City Brewery where the fine owners hosted MMCC Los Angeles to donate 10% of beer sales!


Thank you so much to Laurie Porter and Sam Pennington for being so generous to include us in this fundraising opportunity. They even hosted Andy & Renee to play music on the last Thursday. Thank you Randy Bowers for sponsoring these fine musical ambassadors of MMCC Los Angeles.

On February 16th we had a toe tapping fundraising concert where Mediterranean guitarist Pavlo and his band serenaded guests from all over Los Angeles at a cool theater in Little Tokyo.


The night was highlighted by Pavlo dancing with a spry grandmother!

Thanks to Gary Smith, our newest ambassador in the Port of LA, for riding the wave of good feeling from the guitar galapazoo by recruiting several organizations to donate $500 each. A big shout out to Thomas Jacobsen, Millenium Maritime, and the Los Angeles Port Pilots Association!

I just got the stop talking sign from the production crew. Talk soon.


Art & Sea Lion Discovery Camp

Parents all over the South Bay and L.A.Harbor! Dandi here with a brand new cheer.


GivemeaC. Clapclap. GivemeanA. Clapclap. GivemeanMMMMandaPclapclap. What does that spell? The coolest funnest most interesting happy art and sea lion science day camp in the whole wide July of 2018.


That’s right. If a youngster at your kitchen table will be a 5th or 6th grader this Fall, click here to learn about camp details and to register.

The day camp is a joint venture between MMCC Los Angeles and Angels Gate Cultural Center, our cool neighbors on the hill right above our sea lion hospital. Your child will love starting their day at Angels Gate with an art experience, followed by a science experience and animal viewing, then back for more art.


The camp runs each day from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 9th – 13th. If the week fills up quickly, we’ll add a second week. Angels Gate has many professional artists to inspire your child’s creative interests. We have experienced staff and volunteers to explore the scienceof a sea lion hospital and of ocean conservation. Reserve your spot today! Tell your friends so they can secure spots for their children and make our first camp experience a wonderful success. I wish I was a kid!

Speaking of our wonderful volunteers, here’s a few pics from our 3rd annual Volunteer Appreciation Night in February. Awards for our dedicated volunteers; wonderful food cooked by volunteer chefs, smiles all around by our seating-room only crowd, and, laughter with the musical improve comedy from Opening Night musical improv group. Some events start with thenational anthem. Our dinner started with Flaviya singing her song “Lonely Seal”.


When you have a mission to help seals and sea lions, it naturally leads to hard working, passionate supporters and volunteers.

Until next time, I’m Dandi Lyon.

38 Whiskers

Pups, Pups and more Pups

Readers and whisker counters. In spite of the tango talk above, let’s all lower our voices just a tad, put our hands up to our ears, and listen to the growing yelps and barks of hungry sea lion pups arriving daily.


No one should be surprised, as year afteryear we’ve averaged 25 new patients per month for a total of nearly 8,000 seals and sea lionsadmitted since 1992. We really need your financial support! Please consider donating throughour new “Buy a Seal a Meal” program to feed the frenzy of flippered friends.

2017 was no different, as seen on this poster of patients admitted from many beaches from north of Zuma to Seal Beach.


Search the graphic to tally the total of needy pinnipeds from your sandy hot spot. Note the large numbers from Dockweiler, Santa Monica and Redondo Beach. Even a few from Catalina Island. Our nerdy number crunchers convinced our artist to match map regions with colors, to connect the rescue organization that gathers the glad-to-be-rescued. You can help by calling the proper rescuer if you see a stranded pup on your fav beach.

We displayed this poster a few weeks ago in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium where we showed off our Mobile Visitors Center to the directors at the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation, in hopes of securing a grant for kids to see the mobile visitors center or take a field trip to our hospital.


Go Dodgers! Go MMCC LA supporters. Ol’ 38 is not good at gratitude … but … Thank you.

The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at, 555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity. EIN 47- 5249182.


Sea Lion Barker – 2017 #7

Jolly Pops

Ladies and Gentlemen. You are in for a musical treat tonight, the 16th of February. Everyone on your feet. Please silence your cell phone and give a big Little Tokyo welcome to Pavlo Simtikidis and his Mediterranean style band of magical melody makers. Woo hoo!!

How does that sound? I’m practicing my introduction for world-renowned guitarist Pavlo in case 38 Whiskers lets me usher in MMCC LA’s first benefit concert. I offered to be the opening act. But, after a lot of hemming and hawing I heard the show producers mumble something like “thanks … but we’ve got it covered.”

Jolly Pops highly recommends you get your tickets today. The 198 seat intimate theater in Little Tokyo is certain to sell out. Tickets are a great present for all holidays being celebrated, even birthdays!

For directions, more information and online ticket sales, visit



Oh my. Just when I thought I’d seen everything I came across these awesomely artistic leggings on our online gift shop. Talk about dazzling! Artist Dana Zurzolo hooked us up with a sterling undersea design that looks stylish and flashy. Order yours today! 


Lunch was lovely on Tuesday with coloring book story author Sara Beacham. It doesn’t get much better than an In N Out burger and fries while bantering about story lines in the sequel. For now, be sure to snag our first edition on Amazon Smile. 

Don’t forget there is still time to make a tax-deductible donation in 2017, or even use your donation to become a member of MMCC Los Angeles. You’ll be helping us get ready to help sea lion pups that are starting to arrive for medical treatment, shelter and food.

38 Whiskers


If another person asks me if I’m ready for the holidays I just may become curt and short-tempered. I thought I was doing well at steering clear of holiday hoopla, but it seems I report to someone inflicted with irritable boss syndrome. Scrooge is an improvement over the Ebenezer channeling curmudgeon who assigned me to round up local marina and yachter types to listen to the local National Marine Fisheries guru tell them how to “be seal savvy” if a member of the aforementioned species appears on a boat or dock.

Is a seminar really needed? If I were in charge, I’d get it over with in two words. Stay away. But, I guess that misses the point of people having time to swap stories about how a seal that was “this big” climbed onto their boat. Local rescue guy Peter Wallerstein just brought us a little pup that crawled onto a boat 5 miles from shore and another that climbed onto a squid boat.


Maybe it happens more than you think?  But I digress.  The public is invited on Saturday, January 20th from 9:00-12:00 to come to our hospital in San Pedro. Visit our patients and, at 10:00 a.m., Mr. Justin Viezbicke of NMFS will give you the 411 about deterring seals and sea lions and about other interesting coastline factoids.


Until then.

The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at, 555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity. EIN 47-5249182.    

Sea Lion Barker –2017 #6

Jolly Pops

Stowaways & Seal Savviness

Jolly the Jubilant Pops here! It’s here! It’s here! The coloring book arrived just in time for our Supplies for Seals Drive. And look who is on the front cover!


Pops is purring in paradise at the sight of my orange cap perched above my perky black eyes and nose, with a smile and spots donning the rest of my happy happy figure. Speaking of smile, you can buy this book in on Amazon Smile.  Or, come for a visit to our San Pedro hospital and education center and buy the book in our gift shop. It’s a perfect present for youngsters and adults. Stop in the visitors center.   Here’s Wheelhouse Rocker Gary Kovnat debuting our spiffy new plexiglass donation dollar dropper. I can see why he’s sporting a big smile. Everyone is jazzed after his band just finished entertaining our Supplies for Seals guests.


Ya know, our visitors center is a perfect outing over the holidays, and a perfect way to introduce family and friends to the great work we do at MMCC Los Angeles. You get a first hand view of the passion our staff and volunteers have for getting our patients healthy and whole so they can get back to their ocean home as soon as possible.

In fact, on January 20th from 9:00 to noon, come to MMCC for our inaugural “Be Seal Savvy” chat. We have our West Coast guy Justin V from National Marine Fisheries Service educating the public about what do when a seal or sea lion is on a boat or dock!


You boaters and marina types know what we are talking about here. Get your stories ready to tell to Justin and each other. Our colleague Peter from Marine Animal Rescue has a pretty good story. This napping sea lion climbed aboard 5 miles off shore, and rode on the boat all the way to land.

Invite everyone you know to this very interesting day. Meet Peter, who took the call from boat owners and came to rescue the sea lion. Also meet representatives of Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

Talk soon.




Parades, PV & Pedro

Out of breath but filled with inspiration and exhilaration! That’s pretty much how I feel after interviewing streets full of parade watchers on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon as our decked out Mobile Visitors Center taking part in neighborhood parades. It started out at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Holiday Parade of Lights, where we drove down Silver Spur and Deep Valley road amongst local bands and other float-type holiday vehicles for fawning fans! We even got a 3rd place prize!


Many thanks to new Mobile Visitor Ambassador Heather Stambaugh and our long-time volunteer Linda de Ambrosio and for driving the mobile VC. A few days earlier, Linda helped MMCC Los Angeles get a $1,000 donation from the California Trucking Association.


On Sunday, the mobile VC made its way down Pacific and 6th Streets in San Pedro, where thousands of Pedro families and friends enjoyed more than 100 entries in the parade put on by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce. Our own Kelsey Wong dressed up as Splash, with fellow banner carriers Heather and Andrew leading the way.


Get used to these photos. Rumor has it our mobile VC is signed up for many community events in 2018! A cool website page is coming soon with a complete calendar.

Speaking of calendar, have you heard about the cool events coming soon? Here’s a little Save the Date Sneak Peak.

Jan 20th – 9:00 a.m. to noon at MMCC: What do I do if I find a Sea Lion on my boat?

Feb 16th – 8:00 p.m. at downtown Theatre: Pavlo Benefit Concert

TBD – Marine Mammal Anime Event

Dandi is feeling mighty fine about all of this!

38 Whiskers

Supplies, Selfies & Sara

Ask and ye shall receive. Build it and they will come. Bah humbug and something or other. Does the bossy boss know why Whiskers has a desk in the back office? Because 38 Whiskers doesn’t do slogans and slaps on the back socials. Yet, here I am studying a cheat sheet of feel good phrases to con my confidence into high-fiving ideas for holiday hoedowns and similar mindless meet and greets. It’s apparently some sort of team building exercise designed to get me to better understand the chipperness of a couple of we won’t name names reporters I work with. Oh no, it also says here that I’m to participate in a role reversal exercise, where I report on how fun was our Supplies for Seals Drive. Who has time for that! I’ve got bigger issues to indulge. I just got a letter from a lady from Idaho that includes her photo. She saw my selfie stand.


This frilly fan wants me to tape her picture over the head hole, take a picture, and post it on Facebook.

It’s a good thing my brown countenance hides blushing, because lo and behold in the same mandatory memo are pictures of tables topped with stacks of supplies and a story of a steady stream of caring neighbors who brought the bounty.


Notwithstanding my ornery opinions, it appears our Supplies for Seals Drive was a success! We put out the supplies SOS. Our donors ears were perked. Now our storage shed is stocked with paper towels and tp, disinfectant bleach and detergent, vegetable oil and karo syrup, nitrile gloves and trash bags. Apparently we had donors from all over Los Angeles County. Here’s Brenda from Glendale with Emma, Leilah and Matthew tagging along from Wrightwood.


Don’t look now, but I’m flappin’ my flippers with a Whiskers Woo Hoo. Hopefully Sara our coloring book story author didn’t catch that. I heard she’s working on a sequel that features me! I don’t want it made public that there is any waiver to my not-so-charming persona.


I’m pooped from thinking of all of this fun. Time for a nap.

The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at, 555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity. EIN 47-5249182.    

Sea Lion Barker –2017 #5

Jolly Pops

Coloring Book

Oh boy oh boy oh boy! So many things to say that ol Pops feels flummoxed where to begin! Let’s just say I flip flopped fast out of 38 Whiskers’ office when I heard that MMCC Los Angeles is making a coloring book and that kids can color pics of me and my harbor seal spots.


When I’m around town having fun I see lots of people with coloring books. The thought of our supporters sitting around the dinner table having family time with an MMCC LA coloring book puts an extra zest in my smile! Even better, a charming children’s story writer named Sara Beacham is volunteering her tale talents to write a story for the coloring book!


Sara Beacham

 At the gala I spotted Sara and her daughter Robin. Sara! Remember me? Please oh pretty please make me a big star in the story. I will tell all of my fans that you already have a fun book published, called “Miranda and the Tiger’s Eye”.

38 Whiskers hinted that the book will be on sale at MMCC at the Supplies for Seals Drive on November 26th! Oops. Did I spoil the surprise?

Oh well … join Jolly Pops at the Supplies for Seals Drive to find out for yourself. We are putting banners all over town. There is a prize for the person who finds them all and shows up with a bottle of karo syrup!

Talk soon.


Flaviyake’s Lonely Seal

Dandi Dandi cotton candy! That’s what my grandpop used to call me when I’d run around the yard in front of his cottage. You know what else he used to say? The best things in life find you.

Boy is grandpop prescient! Becuz … last week an interview found me. That’s right. I got a letter from a singer named Flaviya. She wrote this beautiful poem “Lonely Seal” about a seal that was stranded at Venice Beach. Her friend plays guitar while she sings it in a magical voice. She found footage of seals and sea lions swimming under water and made a soothing video to accompany the music. I went straight to my bff’s cubicle at work and played the video for her. We both sat stunned, chills on our skin, listening and watching.

My grandmom was a reporter. She taught me when the interview finds you, let yourself be found. Do your research to prepare and show respect for the interviewee. I did, and learned that Miss Flaviya came to the United States in 2015 from Moldova to continue her music career. She reinvents herself in each video. Her entertainer name is Flaviyake, in honor of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. You can read all about Flaviyake at

When we met in person, Flaviya said she visited MMCC after she wrote Lonely Seal and bought a plushie sea lion.


She gave us her email address. Recently when she started getting the Sea Lion Barker, she wrote to me and offered to let us use her song for free. Flaviya said she’d love to be an ambassador for MMCC Los Angeles. She’s going to sing her song on February 16, 2018 as an opener at the Pavlo benefit concert! Even more, she offered to help us put on a “Marine Mammal Anime” festival! Anything to help sea lions. Go Flaviya!

I like being found. Until next time, I’m Dandi Lyon.


38 Whiskers

Pool Plaster and Karo Syrup

I just returned to my desk after Tool Bag gave me a dissertation on how a pinniped pool gets resurfaced. Who needs coffee? Seriously, it is actually pretty fascinating. Did you know that within 30 minutes of applying the latest and greatest kind of plaster you have to refill the pool so the plaster “cures” properly? I never heard about plaster “drying” in water. You let this process continue for 3 days and continuously clean the water of any debris that flakes off. After that, recaulk the edge of the surface, let that dry for three days and voila, you’ve got yourself a brand new pool to let near-healthy seals and sea lions frolic about and dive for fish. That’s their last stop before being driven back to the ocean.

Tool Bag is a darn tootin good guy, really, his do-it-yourself-diatribe notwithstanding. It reminds me to educate you that this is the time of year MMCC LA performs facility maintenance, when there are fewer patients on site. We did get in a couple last week with shark bites. Ouch!! Surgery, bandages, lots of rest in store.

The patient lull is the perfect time of year for our Supplies for Seals Drive.


Come see our healing patients and bring something from this list of really needed items that we use lots of all during the year.

Dawn Dish Soap (blue) • HE Laundry Detergent
Germicidal Bleach • Nitrile or Latex Gloves

Toilet Paper • Heavy Duty Paper Towels

Fish Oil Capsules • Vitamin E
Vitamin C (non-chewable) • Karo Syrup, Safflower Oil or Vegetable Oil

I’m going to ask for a vacation day on November 26th to avoid the certain cacophony of noise. Yah right. The bossy boss isn’t going to have any of that, but a guy can try! Maybe I’ll sequester myself in an enclosure and pretend to be pool plastering. Or, sit really still next to the donation box and look like a statute which, based upon my good looks, will definitely encourage people to donate a minute or more.

Either way, see ya on the 26th. Rain or shine. Admission and parking are free. Tool Bag even arranged to have parking arrows installed on the hill leading to our hospital, so people can find us more easily.

The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at, 555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity. EIN 47-5249182


Sea Lion Barker – October 2017 #2

Jolly Pops

Supplies for Seals Drive


Hellooooo San Pedro! Jolly Pops here. Nothing pleases Pops more than seeing family and friends walking across the parking lot with an armful of something cool to donate. That’s exactly the snappy sight we’ll see the Sunday after Thanksgiving at our hospital and education facility in San Pedro. Our husbandry manager Lori put out the APB that shelves are empty and ready for a year’s supply of paper towels, plastic bags, vitamins, karo syrup and more.


Pops and his pals know just what to do when we get that kind of APB – schedule a shindig! From 11:00-4:00 on that thankful Sunday, we’ll have bins lined up to receive the given goods. We have activities for kids, and it’s a great way for you and your neighbors to learn about what it takes to provide shelter, food and medical care year-round for our patients, including seeing a demo of food preparation. The visitors center and gift shop will be open. And, you can walk through our brand-new mobile visitors center. My hat took an extra spin the first time I dawdled inside the truck being amazed at the displays. Stay awhile to listen to our newest flip flop band, Wheelhouse Rock. My old pal Gary is a bass-playing marine biologist; he and his bandmates are bringing their talents all the way from Santa Clarita to fluff the festivities with fine tunes.


Download the Supplies For Seals Flyer – Please Share!

We can’t wait to see you! Admission and parking are free.

Talk soon.

Dandi Lyon

Mobile VC

It’s home run season for our local boys in blue and a fantastic time for our brand new Mobile Visitors Center. Now that we debuted with 2,300 guests at the KPCC Open House, we are fielding offers from all over town to bring the snappy exhibit filled truck to other venues. There’s one business working out a deal for us to be at their open house in November for another 2K+ guests. The LA Sparks are coordinating a community event plus two events for their scholarship winners. Dr. Warren Skidmore from Thirty Meter Telescope signed us up to participate at a community science fair in Pasadena in late January.

The more I think of it, the Mobile VC is a perfect way for your business or social group to help MMCC LA get in front of new people who can learn about us and help pay for every minute we need in 2018. Our average donor gives between $1-$10, which pays for 1-3 minutes of operations at MMCC LA. We need to be in the presence of tens of thousands of more people who can donate one or five or ten minutes. If some of you to donate a half day, a full day, or a week, that will send the Mobile VC out to meet more people who can donate one or five or ten minutes.


Together, we can do it! WE CAN. WE CAN. And, I’ve submitted my requisition for a bigger calendar book to keep track of all these outings.

Until next time, I’m Dandi Lyon.


38 Whiskers

Hair & Makeup

Do you remember the last time you stood frozen in disbelief, unable to speak? That’s the way I felt the other day when I was rustled from my desk by a chipper hair and makeup artist. When I asked to see the memo she was enforcing, this all-too-cheerful millennial handed me what felt like a subpoena from the bossy boss, mandating my attendance in the photo booth to “get my gala picture taken” for the program.

38 Whiskers doesn’t do the gala photo booth. Isn’t that common knowledge? Apparently it is, because the bossy boss also sent along two beefy bailiff types to escort my whiskers over to the lights and cameras. And, here is my mug shot.


Does this even look like me? No hat. Where’s the blue tie!  I just heard the photographer snickering that my dinner date has tattoos.

Oh well, I guess I’m doing my part. After all, in the last barker blog I did ramble on about how it costs $3 a minute to operate our facility. When will I learn to keep my mouth muffled! In today’s world, if you sound an alarm, be prepared to help put out the fire and stick around to let people know what to do about it. Thus, 38 Whiskers is a gala convert, encouraging guests to whoop it up learning about our mission and emptying their wallets and purses to support the cause.

Thanks to all of the gala guests. We are very grateful for your support.


The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at, 555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

  A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity. EIN 47-5249182.           


Sea Lion Barker – October 2017 #1

 Jolly Pops

Mobile Visitors Center


Hellooooo Pasadena! Jolly Pops here. Last Sunday, boy oh boy did we add a scintillating snapshot to our scrapbook. Our mobile visitors center made its debut at the KPCC Open House.


I know a lot of people who like to spend afternoons going to open houses. At the open house, 2300 guests got to hit two houses in one place — the high tech studios inside of the public radio station and the fascinating photos and hand-made exhibits inside of our touring truck. It was the first time most of the guests heard about our seal and sea lion hospital. Our staff set up speaking engagements at schools and tours at our hospital. All in the basking glow of live music by the Sweet Potatoes. Thank you KPCC Radio!


Today we’re talking to the top brass at another local business, swapping details to bring the Mobile VC to their open house. Do you smell a trend!

Speaking of debuts, Pops Poetry is making its first flip in the barker. When I practiced the poem in front of 38 Whiskers, I heard a faint flopping of his flippers. 38 Whiskers tried to hide it, but out of the corner of my eye I saw the flip flapping going on under his desk. Next thing you know, a producer named Johnny What added piano to the poem! See below for the mp3 file.


Talk soon.


Gala & Grats to the Gals

My perky pony tail felt a little wilted on Wednesday night after our super dooper hoopers the LA Sparks lost a nail biter in game 5 of the WNBA finals. They were only a few points from being back to back WNBA champs. We’re still proud. MMCC LA is very proud! How about a standing ovation for our team, and a round of congrats to the gals!

There’s no better way to celebrate their effort than partying at our black tie Silver Seal Gala on October 21st from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marina Del Rey, Bayview Room and Rooftop Lounge.



Live music. Bidding on killer live auction prizes. Great food. Musical improv entertainment. Classy community partners are sponsoring the gala, including Sports 1 Marketing, the Torrance Refinery, MAR3INE, KPCC Radio, the Los Angeles Sparks, and Malaga Bank. I can’t wait!!!

There are a few tix left. Get yours today! Invite a friend or two. We’re talking red carpets. Step and Repeat. And, meet our graphic artist Julianne Black, who designs the cool images you see in the Sea Lion Barker. She’s donating an auction item where she will paint an image of your pet into a famous artwork.


You can bet Dandi will bid on that prize.

Until next time, I’m Dandi Lyon.

38 Whiskers

Three Dollars a Minute

Well folks. It’s month two of the Barker blog. It took a skip loader to move the fan mail that was stacked up behind my desk. Problem is, now the mail is suspended in the scoop of that tractor. At least I can use my desk top. I miss the days when desk top meant the top of your desk.

Speaking of calculations, the bossy boss sent me to a development team meeting where I learned some pretty poignant numbers. At 25 years, we’ve been open more than 9,000 days in a row, served about 7,500 patients rescued on 70 miles of coastline, and hosted more than 80,000 visitors.

Common seal (Phoca vitulina) surfacing in sea off Scottish west coast.

I ran out of ink writing down the countless number of hours volunteers have donated. But that’s a history of dedication and longevity if you ask me, a mission you can be proud to join.

We also learned it costs $3 a minute to operate our hospital and education facilities. $3 a minute sounds catchy, but definitely caught my attention when I realized the annual budget. Aye yaye yaye. I offered to use the Sea Lion Barker to get the word out to people to help donate a minute or five or ten; and, to encourage people to donate a day or more so we can send our Mobile Visitors Center to places where we meet people who can donate a minute or five or ten.

While I contemplate that plan, here’s a brand new piano poem that tells a story about our mission and a little bit of what goes on here every day.

The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at, 555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity. EIN 47-5249182.       



Sea Lion Barker – September 2017 #2

Jolly Pops

Comedy, KPCC and Gala

Ladies and gentlemen! Jolly Pops here, your Flip Flop Event Captain. Are you enjoying these scintillating snapshots from the scrapbook of life at MMCC Los Angeles? Speaking of announcing things, did you hear my fav Hockey Hall of Fame Announcer Bob Miller was just named Team Ambassador for the Los Angeles Kings? Congratulations to Bob!

Saturday September 16th is the kickoff for MMCC LA’s 25th anniversary celebrations. There’s a beach cleanup from 10:00 – 12:00 noon at White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro. More info on the beach cleanup at

At night from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at MMCC LA we have a “Comedy in the Parking Lot”, a show by Opening Night, a musical improv group.


Opening Night, a musical improv group.

Bring a chair. Admission and parking are free, but our husbandry manager calls this a BYOBB night, as in Bring Your Own Bottle of Bleach to donate, to help keep our enclosures disinfected and sparkly clean for patients to heal and rest.

Then there’s October 1st. From 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. MMCC LA will have its brand new mobile visitors center at the KPCC 89.3 FM Open House in Pasadena, including live music from the Sweet Potatoes,


Sweet Potatoes, a band led by Laura Hall, the band leader on the LOL show Whose Line is it Anyway.

Tickets are hot for our Silver Seal Gala on October 21st from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marina Del Rey, Bayview Room and Rooftop Lounge.

See more on the Gala here:

Live music. Bidding on killer live auction prizes. Great food. Musical improv entertainment. Classy community partners are sponsoring the gala, including Sports 1 Marketing, the Torrance Refinery, MAR3INE, KPCC Radio, and the Los Angeles Sparks. I can’t wait!!!

I could go on and off and on … but 38 Whiskers just gave me the start-shuttin up look. Talk soon, and get ready for the inaugural install of Pops Poetry.


Hoopers & Hung

Hey MMCC LA fans! Have you heard? Our super dooper hoopers the LA Sparks are doing their version of the Dandi dribble, all the way to a 2-0 record in the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs. Next is a road game on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. PST against the Phoenix Mercury, at Talking Stick Sports Arena. By the time of my next report, I’m crossing my pom poms that the Sparks are back to back WNBA champs!

I just got my ticket to the Silver Seal gala.


Silver Seal Gala on October 21st from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marina Del Rey, Bayview Room and Rooftop Lounge.

You know why? We’re talking red carpets. Step and Repeat. And, I get to meet William Hung.



That’s right! Dandi will have camera in tow when William sings his signature song. It’s going to be soooo much fun! And, I just got the 411 that my accountants are attending. Buy a ticket and invite yours!

Until next time, I’m Dandi Lyon.

38 Whiskers

Ozone and Smooth Speak

Well folks. We’re back again for the second edition of the Barker blog. I don’t have anywhere to sit because Jolly Pops’ fan mail is stacked up behind my desk, with most fans suggesting our next hire be Eyelash.  People … telling you how to do your job.  My bossy boss won’t let me make promises. But … I did schedule Eyelash for a second interview and by golly if she didn’t wow the flippers off of us. If all goes well, we’re looking at a springtime start, just in time to report on newly arrived pup patients.

Good news. Our facility manager Tool Bag informed me we’ve upgraded our ozone filtration unit to keep the pool water clean for our swimming patients. Thank you Tool Bag for overseeing this project, which was partially funded by a generous donation from the Robert Sprague Foundation.

Have you heard our radio ad this week on KPCC?  These lovely words are smoothly spoken by Rita Pardue, who generously gave the go-ahead to post in the Barker the product of her purring pipes.

I had the audio file playing on a loop to help me survive Dandi Lyon clapping while Jolly Pops does somersaults in the hall.  But then my heart went pitter patter when I discovered Rita has lots of other voice files on her website.

Finally, we leave you with a picture of a kindred soul, ready for a swim home.


The Sea Lion Barker can be reached at,

555 W. 5th St. 35th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

  A publication of Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charity.

EIN 47-5249182.              

Sea Lion Barker – September 2017 #1


Silver Seal Kickoff

Ladies and gentlemen! Jolly Pops here. Welcome to the Sea Lion Barker Blog, where you will find scintillating snapshots from the scrapbook of life at MMCC Los Angeles. Wow! That was fun to say. I always wanted to be an announcer.

MMCC LA is about to kick off its 25th anniversary celebration. Can you say Silver Seal?!

We’re talking weeks of events that are dear to Jolly Pop’s ears. I’m the happening harbor seal that gets to pass along dates and faces you’ll see at the places where the fun will be.

Let’s start with September 16th. There’s a beach cleanup from 10:00 – 12:00 noon at White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro, the beach we keep clean because it’s the sand and surf where we release our patients to flip flop back to the ocean. At night from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at MMCC LA we have a Flip Flop event.


As captain, I welcome you to laugh and chortle at “Comedy in the Parking Lot”, a show by Opening Night, a musical improv group.

Then there’s October 1st. From 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. MMCC LA will have its brand new mobile visitors center at the KPCC Open House in Pasadena. Many of you listen to KPCC, Southern California Public Radio. KPCC made a deal to advertise MMCC Los Angeles to their listeners starting next week! In turn, we are sponsoring their open house by bringing our mobile visitors center and live music from the Sweet Potatoes, a band led by Laura Hall, the band leader on the LOL show Whose Line is it Anyway.

Come to KPCC to show MMCC LA knows how to represent in Pasadena!  

The big kahuna is our Silver Seal Gala on October 21st from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marina Del Rey, Bayview Room and Rooftop Lounge.

Live music. Bidding on killer live auction prizes. Great food. Musical improv entertainment. An appearance by William Hung. And more! Classy community partners are sponsoring the gala, including Sports 1 Marketing, the Torrance Refinery, MAR3INE, KPCC Radio, and the Los Angeles Sparks. I can’t wait!!! Get your tickets today before this event sells out.


I could go on and on and on … but I see our next reporter is mic’d and ready. Talk soon.


Baskets & Boxes

Hey MMCC LA fans! It’s soooo super to be in the Sea Lion Barker blog. Call me Dandi. I got hired to do sports. But don’t let my striped scrunchie fool you. I’m not your typical sideline sweetie. In between games, they send me all over town to gather goodies about the awesome activities of MMCC Los Angeles. Tonight I’ll be at Staples Center for the LA Sparks next to last regular season game. They can end up with the best record in the league, and they have a great chance to be back-to-back WNBA champs!! Go Sparks!

Last Sunday I was there jumping up and down. The Sparks numbed the noggins of the Minnesota Lynx, 78-67. We’re talking about graceful gals swishing three pointers and tossing in leaping layups. And, just before halftime, our Executive Director and Fundraising Ambassador were at center court presenting a scholarship to 2 students who won the Sparks’ essay contest, as part of We Are Women legacy day.

In the next Barker blog, we’ll have pictures and an interview with the winners. See! MMCC LA doesn’t just help seals and California sea lions. We are part of the community, impacting the lives of the next generation so they can accomplish their dreams.

Did you see our story this Wednesday on Snapchat? Sand Cloud is a cool company in San Diego that supports marine charities. They made custom towels for us that we sell in our gift shop. Come get one! We get to use the Sand Cloud Snapchat account on Wednesdays to tell stories about MMCC LA. Give me an S. Give me an A … Give me an N D C L O U D. Goooo Sand Cloud!!

Before I sign off, I have to share another super story. On Tuesday August 22nd our staff and volunteers saw Buddy the 700 pound blind sea lion in his new home at the LA Zoo. Check him out in this photo!


Buddy lived at MMCC LA for 10 months. When he arrived at MMCC LA, he weighed 250 pounds. He gained another 250 pounds because he ate 3,750 pounds of fish! Do you know how much this is? Here’s what a stack of 25 pound boxes looks like.


Buddy gobbled up 150 boxes … a box every other day. We are sooo super stoked he has a private pool at the zoo to swim in and lounge around. Please visit Buddy, and think of MMCC Los Angeles.

Until next time, I’m Dandi Lyon.

38WAll in a Name

Well folks. I hope you enjoy this first edition of the Barker blog. Our plan is to bark at you on odd-week Fridays, i.e. the 1st, 3rd and 5th Fridays of every month.

I admit I was a little apprehensive, starting off with Dandi Lyon and Jolly Pops. I’m more of an old school newsroom guy, sitting behind a desk having reporters bring me serious stories and quoting sources. Today’s talk-talk has more snapchitchat and instasomething or other than I know what to do with. To get hired as blog editor, I had to pinky swear I’d hire fresh faces that know how to connect with today’s modern media millennials. Hence, Dandi and Jolly.

I told my boss that two chipper story tellers are all I can handle. The boss frowned, leaned closer, and, shall we say, encouraged me to bring my brain out of the printed paper age. I plugged my nose, posted ads for other positions, and wouldn’t you know, next week I’m interviewing a bubbly head named Eyelash to be our lead docent. Her cover letter indicates her goal is to be BFF with the vet. Eyelash? BFF? The next resume is from Dapper Flapper, who wants to be our style reporter. Why stop there? Miss Margeaux is in for a second interview to elaborate on education.

I managed to finagle one item in my favor. The bossy boss insisted on calling this blog “barker,” because scientists call the yelps and chirps of seals and sea lions a “bark.” The boss is a rather rotund grey elephant seal. Even I’m hip enough to know a sea lion is more pleasing to the eye, with a better bark.

It’s probably obvious by now that if you like your news straight and to the point, I’m your guy. Believe me, at MMCC LA we have plenty of important facts to disseminate like upgrades to water filtration equipment and overcoming business bureaucracy to finally get cable internet and phone to our facility. You have no idea how wonderful it is to turn on your computer, log on to email, and have it work! Every time without waiting and waiting for that circle of dots to disappear.

Not to be outdone, I too have a story about my name, 38 Whiskers. My parents heard that sea lions have 38 whiskers on each side. In a whatever-you-say-dear moment, my dad was cool with mom naming me 38 Whiskers. Not even a last name. I’m the soccer player of journalism. Now, I’m still researching if 38 is the real number. Trust me, plenty of times I’ve sat in front of a mirror counting. Even if my flippers were good at separating whiskers, I can’t seem to get past about 8 or 9 before my mind meanders to everything on my to do list. I’ll keep trying and, as straight and pointy as my whiskers get, I’ll give the story to you.

We leave you with a link to our latest video that tells a somber yet fulfilling story of why passionate, caring people work support our mission and work at MMCC Los Angeles.

A tip of the hat to you all