Hidden Hills Community Register • April 2023

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PUBLISHED MONTHLY APRIL 2023 A Glimpse into the life of angel • Hidden Hills Winter Social • hidden hills 1950s polo team farmers market spotlight • upcoming events • local reminders destination getaway to punta cana resport & spa
& Hopefully Laugh! We were able to grab your attention and we will get the buyers too! Made You Look! Michelle Graci Real Estate Agent 818.967.8295

Los Angeles Business Journal Named LA Leaders of Influence

Michelle Graci

What brought you to real estate? I have a great love for the arts and for helping people in general. My fat her was a contractor and I have been on construction sites of homes for as long as I can remember, funny I even spent some summers spackling nails and sanding down dry wall! So real estate has always been part of my life. After working in production, I am able to combine my love of being creative and assisting people through one of the most important investments of their lives.

What is your mission? My mission is to provide the most professional, informative, ethical, loyal, and dedicated services by putting my clients first. I am committed to making my clients a top priority as well as provide an incomparable level of service.

What stands you apart from other agents? I truly believe people should not be pushed into a sale. Buying or selling a home is a huge decision, so many factors weigh heavy on a transaction. Emotions are running high and it is important to take time to find the perfect home. While this may not sound as aggressive as the approach other agents take, to me, it is more important to support your client. I also o er turnkey services, which includes staging a property to make sure it is in the perfect state before going to the market and many other things after the sale. I don’t sell and tell, and I certainly don’t sell and run.

Why are you thriving in your 40s? Embracing my 40s has been very powerful in my business. My journey has lead me to knowing who I am and what I can bring to the table in every deal I am a part of. Continuing to use my experience and knowledge from years past in this industry to guide my clients in making informed decisions for their most important asset. My work ethic, guidance and relationships I have built throughout the years lead me to having a record-breaking year and receiving the Agent of The Year Award at The Beverly Hills Estates.

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BULLETIN BOARD HHCA Welcomes Erin Tudron; Upcoming Events 14 LOCAL REMINDERS Recent Severe Weather Prompts Review of Emergency Services 16 ADOPT “PUPPY” Sweet Husky Looking for her Forever Home 18 COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS Hidden Hills Winter Social Wonderland 22 BOREDOM BUSTING IDEAS Ideas to Keep Your Pooch Active and Healthy 32 DANGERS OF IMPOSTER MOSQUITOS How to Protect Your Family 36 APRIL 2023 in this issue HIDDEN HILLS POLO TEAM A Look Back to the 1950s Spring and Summer Seasons 40 HIDDEN HILLS NAMESAKE Christopher “Kit” Houston Carson 46 AN ANGEL WALKS AMONG US A Glimpse into the Life of the Man Dedicated to Our Furry Friends 26 FARMERS MARKET SPOTLIGHT Verni & Halaby Farms 50 LOCAL RECIPES Banana Date Smoothie 54 FINEST PUNTA CANA RESPORT & SPA Personalized Vacation for You and your Family 56 10 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023

Embracing the Beauty of Spring

Spring is a time of renewal, growth, and transformation. As the rain finally lessons, and the flowers begin to bloom, we are reminded that change is inevitable, and embracing it is key to living a fulfilling life. It’s true, change can be difficult, and often times, we resist it. But, it is only when we embrace change and the season of spring that we truly grow and thrive.

Embracing spring means letting go of the old and making room for the new. Just as the trees shed their leaves in the fall, we, too, must let go of what no longer serves us. This may be a job, a relationship, or even an old way of thinking. As we let go of the old, we make space for new opportunities and experiences to come into our lives.

Patience is key when it comes to embracing change. Just as it takes time for the flowers to bloom, it takes time for us to adjust. It’s important

to be patient with ourselves and others as we navigate this season of transformation. Change can be overwhelming, but by taking it one step at a time and being patient with ourselves, we can make the transition smoother.

Embracing the season of spring also means cherishing the time we have with our loved ones. As we spend time with our loved ones, it’s important to be present and in the moment. We must appreciate the time we have with them and create lasting memories that we can look back on with joy and fondness.

So, as we welcome the spring and Easter season, let’s take a moment to embrace all that it brings with it and continue to grow and thrive in this life and stand up for all that you cherish and hold dear.  We wish you a delightful season filled with hope, joy, and renewal.


This community publication is created exclusively for you and all of our Hidden Hills neighbors and is made possible with the generous support of these local businesses.

































DR. MILO (PG. 8)










Published by your friends and neighbors, exclusively for our community
nic & hayley Mattson lonna Weber
Thoughts? Story Ideas? Want to be involved? Editor@HiddenHillsMag.com April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 11

HHCA Welcomes Erin Tudron as the New General Manager

HHCA is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Tudron as the new General Manager. Erin brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, having served as General Manager for 12 years at the North Beverly Park Homeowners Association.

Erin’s professional yet approachable demeanor is sure to make her a great t for the Hidden Hills community. She values the importance of community and good communication and is excited to be welcomed into the “home” of so many.

Erin’s background in managing homeowner associations and her commitment to community building and communication make her an excellent choice for the role of General Manager. Her experience includes managing budgets, organizing events, and overseeing maintenance and repairs.

If you were not able to meet Erin at the Winter Social, we encourage you to stop by the HHCA o ce to extend a warm welcome after she begins her new role on March 20.

Please join us in welcoming Erin to the Hidden Hills community.

New Passport Acceptance Facility at Calabasas City Hall Makes Travel Planning Easier Than Ever

e famous quote goes, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” With the new Passport Acceptance Facility at Calabasas City Hall, planning your next adventure just got easier. Whether you need a new passport or a renewal, the process is now more convenient than ever before.

To apply for a passport, simply bring your completed paperwork, along with passport photos and your checkbook, to Calabasas City Hall. Passport applications are accepted between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and ursdays. However, it is important to note that an appointment must be booked online beforehand, as the facility will not accept walk-ins.

By making the passport application process more accessible, the Calabasas City Hall hopes to encourage residents to explore the world and expand their horizons. Don’t let the hassle of obtaining a passport hold you back from your next adventure. Visit the new Passport Acceptance Facility and start planning your dream trip today.

14 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023
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Recent Severe Weather Prompts Review of Emergency Preparedness Plans in Hidden Hills

During the recent severe weather, some residents experienced issues with public utilities, power, cable, cell, and telephone services. While these incidents were not life-threatening, they provide an opportunity to review and coordinate plans to make coordinated e orts in the event of an emergency to ensure households can weather a crisis safely and comfortably.

As the weather cleared, crews were kept busy in the eld, looking for signs of dangerous landslides, rock or mud ows, and clearing debris from streets and gutters. e HHCA contracts with street sweepers to clean the streets and gutters along assigned routes. Residents are encouraged to check the attached map for the sweeping schedule to see which streets are cleaned every Monday versus the areas that are serviced on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.

It is important to note that the recent rain storms do not mean our water problems are history. Drought conditions will likely return in the future, so conserving water is crucial for the environment and our daily lives. Moving to a drought-tolerant landscape is a great way to reduce water usage and still have a

beautiful yard while saving money on water bills. Resources are available to help with the transition, such as rebates, water conservation programs, and sustainable landscaping ideas, available online or in person at the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

Residents are also reminded to check their mailbox for a Brush Clearance Notice from the Los Angeles County Fire Department. ousands of homes are in danger of re because of their proximity to brushcovered areas. It is the legal responsibility of homeowners to take necessary action by clearing vegetation around all structures at risk. A re-safe landscape creates a defensible space to help protect against approaching wild res. e notices are part of California’s enforcement of a new law that requires the removal of all ammable materials within ve feet of any structure, enforceable through inspections from local re enforcement. e new law added around 60,000 parcels to Los Angeles County’s inspection list.

Let’s all work together to ensure the safety and well-being of our community during times of crisis.

16 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023

Adopt 'PUPPY' the S et


Give Her the Forever Home She Deserves

re you looking for a new furry family member? Look no further than this sweet seven-month-old husky named Puppy! She's in need of a forever loving family and would make a great family or barn dog. Puppy is good with horses, chickens, other dogs, cats, and children. However, she does require lots of space to run and some training.

Puppy's current caretaker is unable to keep her and is looking for a loving home where she can receive lots of love and attention. She dreams of nding a family at Hidden Hills where Puppy can have room to run and play. She has been around other animals, including an Appaloosa and an Australian Shepherd, as well as young children, and has done great with all.

If you're interested in giving Puppy the forever home she deserves, please reach out to Marie Saint Clair for more information. Puppy is not yet xed and needs shots, but with love and care, she will be the perfect addition to any loving family. Let's help nd Puppy her forever home!.

Hi, I'm Puppy!
Marie Saint Clair 24558 John Colter Road (310)482-8965 (818)917-3130 18 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023



Unusually Heavy Snow Turns Hidden Hills Into A Winter Wonderland

e Hidden Hills Winter Social was snow much fun! Snow in the Los Angeles basin is quite rare, but Mother Nature went a little crazy this month, and the u y powder was spotted in Hidden Hills. Fortunately, there is no one better than the HHCA Parks and Recreation Committee to plan a winter wonderland perfect for sledding, building snowmen, and having snowball ghts.

When a blizzard blanketed the Community Center, transforming the area into a white snowbank, it created an excellent opportunity to reconnect with friends over hot chocolate to try to forget about the recent cold weather and storms. e Winter Social’s food trucks and snowy activities solved everyone’s winter worries. What more can a community ask for when the snow falls than live entertainment by D-PAK, a climbing wall, bouncy house, food trucks (Richeeze, LA Donut, Made in Brooklyn Pizza, ai Mex Cocina, and Camich Mexican), and a hot cocoa bar?

e holiday parties may have come and gone; however, the Winter Social continues to be attended by hundreds of families in the community who are grateful for the multitude of activities our HHCA hosts. Residents can attend movies in the theater, food trucks, the Farmers Market, children’s theater performances, the Charity Musicale, Magic Shows, Wine and Paint nights, Drag Queen Bingo, Equestrian Vaulting and Barrel Racing events, Timeball Tournaments, Toddlers Music Circle, exercise classes, weekly summer barbeques, summer camp, and many more fun activities that keep neighbors from babies to seniors entertained all year long.

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Guide | April 2023
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COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS 24 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023

Hidden Hills is like heaven...all of the gardens... all four seasons, there were flowers everywhere. It’s still pre y, but back then, there were many horses... around 500

An Angel Walks Among Us

A glimpse into the life of a man who has dedicated over two decades to our community's furry friends

26 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023

Growing up in Hidden Hills, there are countless reasons that have made this place home, and one of the truly unique, standout aspects of our community is seeing Angel and his pack of dogs out for their morning walks. No matter the weather, he alwways has a wonderful attitude while managing dozens of dogs per team as they mosey through the streets and trails of our beautiful community.

Angel grew up in Zacatecas, Mexico, a city founded in the 1500s and known for its gold and silver mines. When he was just seven years old, Angel started his rst job helping his father in the mines and doing chores such as feeding local pigs and donkeys. “Now I have nine donkeys,” he says with pride, and many other critters on a ranch he owns and frequently visits back in his hometown. He has a wife and three sons that live in Mexico.

In 1989, Angel came to America, beginning work at a farm in Calabasas, and soon was introduced to working with horses in Hidden Hills via his brother. “It was like heaven…all of the gardens…all four seasons, there were owers everywhere. It’s still pretty, but back then, there were many horses…around 500.” By the late nineties, Angel was a regular within the community and began walking dogs for fun in 1997 when “a couple people saw me and asked me to walk them.” He found he loved the peaceful treks with these local dogs, and from there, the rest was history.

For years, Angel walked hundreds of dogs by himself in Hidden Hills until in 2008, when he was featured in season 2, episode 5 of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In the quirky episode, pre-teen Kendall Jenner made a deal with her dad that if she completed chores such as walking the dogs, cleaning windows, and washing the dishes, he would give her the money to buy a pair of shoes she wanted. To work around doing the chores herself, Kendall hired Angel, who was walking their dogs at the time, paying him half of what her dad paid her. Of course, Bruce eventually found out, condemning her scheme but also expressing how he was secretly impressed by her entrepreneurship. After the episode aired, demand for Angel’s dog walking skyrocketed to the point where he ended up hiring more employees to meet the demand, even expanding into housing developments in the Oaks and Mountain View.

His job within our community has also helped Angel to meet people who have quite literally changed his life, especially Lee Lipscomb. Angel had been working with him for some time when Lee asked if Angel was a citizen of the United States. When Angel con ded that he wasn’t, he believed he was going to be red. Instead, the Lipscomb family took Angel under their wing and helped him on a ve-year journey resulting in his citizenship. Lee and Angel have been close friends for over a decade now, working together on projects and enjoying hunting trips all over the country. Lee was looking forward to taking Angel on the

April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 27
Written and Photographed By Grace Bellissimo

To hire Angel:

call or text him at (818) 307-9194

trip of a lifetime to Africa, but everything changed when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

“I am grateful for his family, and I have a lot of good memories. ey are very nice people, but I am so sad that Lee is ghting that disease…he is a strong man; he is very tough…and it is taking its toll.”

As the years have passed, Angel regularly witnesses dogs grow from one-year-old puppies all the way into their senior years.

“I’ve lost a lot of dogs,” he tells me solemnly, “they break my heart. It’s very, very sad. I remember one of my rst clients; their dog’s name was Hunter, and ah, this lady saw me every day. She’d stop me and say, ‘Can you walk my dog?’ But I was afraid to walk him because he was this high,” he held up his hands several feet o the ground, “this large,” he spread out his arms as far as they could go, “and he had a BIG head. He was a labrador—a very smart dog. e rst day I walked him...I walked him all along Long Valley and back and dropped him back o at Hoback Glen. When I left, he barked. Later that day, he came back! I was working on Long Valley, and I don’t know how, but he could smell me. He came back to where I was working looking for me. All the dogs are very good with me, but that dog was very, very special.” His deep brown eyes lit up as he explained this, beginning to waver as he went on to list dozens of dogs o of the top of his head, recalling how much they all meant to them, even some of my own dogs. “I remember when all my dogs died. It always hurts.”

I’ve always been friendly with Angel, but sitting down and getting to know a truly happy, hardworking, and gracious individual is an experience I will forever cherish. “I feel very happy, all the people, they’ve helped me a lot,” he smiles, his eyes glossing over with tears, “being recognized in the magazine means so much to me. I want everyone in Hidden Hills to know how grateful I am.”

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April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 29

Boredom Busting Ideas for Your P ch

32 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023

One of the most common reasons for a dog to be surrendered or rehomed is behavioral issues. Often, these pups are bored and don’t have appropriate outlets for their energy and innate behaviors. is leads to unwanted habits such as chewing, chasing, running away, jumping, or barking. Training classes are a great place to start, but there are a multitude of other ways to keep your dog happy and busy, and not destroying your home and your neighbor’s nerves.

For many dogs, physical exercise isn’t enough. While physical exercise is important, mental stimulation, especially for dogs with high anxiety and high drive, is just as crucial. Mentally stimulating activities mimic dogs’ normal behaviors, such as herding, hunting, sni ng, and interacting with other dogs. Dogs are bred for certain behaviors, and no amount of training will remove the innate drive for that behavior. While many popular dog breeds such as Corgis, Belgian Malinois, and Huskies, are often portrayed in movies as great pets, it is important to remember that many of these breeds are bred for very speci c behavioral traits. Corgis, for example, are bred to herd sheep and cattle, which means that they are often very focused, fearless, muscular, and independent dogs. It is so important to try and allow dogs to apply their natural instincts in a fun, safe, and controlled way. is makes for a much happier dog, and a much happier owner as well!

Russell Terriers. But don’t worry, no rats or rodents are harmed during these events (they are placed in a small ventilated cage where the dogs can’t get to them).

One of the fastest growing dog sports is agility. Agility involves directing your dog through an obstacle course within a certain time limit, solely based on your cues and body language. It is great exercise for both dog and owner. Dogs that are energetic, like to run, and are responsive to their owners cues are ideal choices for agility. Many breeds that do well with agility also happen to be herding dogs. Believe it or not, there are many local sheep herding classes that you can take your dogs too! Many breeds such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Corgis, German Shepherds, and more were originally trained to herd sheep or cattle, and that innate drive still is very strong.

Sheepherding events and classes are available just for fun, and also for competition. is is a great choice for dogs who like to chase and round up cars, other dogs or animals, and even children.

We are lucky to live in an area where many doggie activities abound! Doggie daycare is a great place to start if your dog loves to playwith other dogs. Doggie daycare is just what it sounds like, asupervised care facility where dogs can spend the day frolicking with other similarly sized dogs. e mental stimulation of interacting socially with other dogs in a packlike setting is very tiring and makes your dog use his brain in ways he may not be used to. Dog walks with other neighborhood dogs are also a great way to combine physical and mental activity.

If your dog likes to sni , nosework or barn hunts may be enjoyable. Nosework historically was for police, military, and search and rescue dogs, but now is a competitive sport for all dogs where they learn to sni out essential oils in hidden places. Nosework teaches dogs to problem solve by guring out where the scent is hidden, and also helps dogs gain con dence in new spaces. Barn hunting is a sport that tests a dog’s ability to sni out a rat in a barn-like setting. ey are especially fun for dogs that are bred to hunt small animals, such as Rat Terriers and Jack

If your dog is not very social, there are so many fun ideas to try at home that can keep your dog’s mind busy. Clicker training is a great way to teach a dog new tricks. Clickers are inexpensive and can be purchased online or in pet stores. You can start by teaching your dog that a “click” from the clicker means that he or she gets a reward.

Once your dog has mastered this concept, you can then progress into teaching them to do certain behaviors when they hear the “click.” is type of training really makes your dog use their brain! Other fun activities include snu e mats, puzzle boxes, and other creative toys that you can purchase or make at home. ese types of toys involve your dog having to “work” and locate high value treats either within layers of fabric (make sure your dog doesn’t like to eat fabric rst!) or by opening certain compartments to earn the treat.

Whatever activity you choose, getting your dog started is a win for everyone! Your dog will be calmer and happier, and you will get to spend some quality time bonding with your pup.

Dr. Allison Tashnek’s Mobile Vet (805) 410-4086 dralliemobilevet@gmail.com
April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 33
For many dogs, physical exercise isn’t enough. While physical exercise is important, mental stimulation, especially for dogs with high anxiety and high drive, is just as crucial.

“To help determine the culprit, I typically ask customers: Are the bite marks round red bumps or flat wide marks/welts? If they are flat and wide, that is typically a mosquito bite. But if they are round like the top of a bell and red, that is more likely a sandfly which looks remarkably like a mosquito or a no-see-um.”

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY from the Dangers of Imposter Mosquitoes

Oftentimes folks living in the San Fernando Valley think they are being bitten by mosquitoes when it turns out to be imposter mosquitoes. In Los Angeles, we have lesser-known sand ies and no-see-ums, which also love to bite people. I experienced painful bites growing up around horses in Arizona, which is why I am dedicated to helping protect families from the dangers and irritations of bloodsucking mosquitoes and ticks.

Nowadays, my locally owned and operated company helps protect families from mosquitoes throughout Los Angeles. I constantly run into customers who think they are getting bitten by mosquitoes when it turns out to be sand ies or no-see-ums. ey look really similar, and it can be hard to tell the di erence as we typically don’t see what bit us until we feel an itch. To help determine the culprit, I typically ask customers: Are the bite marks round red bumps or at wide marks/welts? If they are at and wide, that is typically a mosquito bite. But if they are round like the top of a bell and red, that is more likely a sand y which looks remarkably like a mosquito or a no-see-um.

ese pests don’t carry West Nile virus, which has infected 946 people in Los Angeles county and killed 131 since 2015, but they do carry the parasite Leishmaniasis. ese bites tend to hurt more because nosee-ums saw-like teeth cut the skin with their bite to cause bleeding to provide the meal they need to reproduce, versus mosquitoes who insert a needle-like tube to draw blood. e saliva produces a numbing agent, so victims aren’t aware at the time of the bite. Our antibodies react to the infection afterward, which causes the redness and swelling bump. Unlike mosquitoes who live on the back side of leaves when they aren’t biting us, no-see-ums live in soil, dead leaves, and decomposing material like horse manure, which provides the perfect environment to lay their eggs.

Another nuisance is their skillful ying. I tell my customers that mosquitoes can y, but they are like helicopters which hover, unlike nosee-ums and sand ies which jet around. ey are very strong iers even when it is windy out, which makes treating for these bugs much more di cult. A critical factor is eliminating sources where they breed, like horse manure, pet feces, and damp soils. If you are having issues with insects, our All Natural solutions are a great option.

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Sandflies and mosquitoes have different body shapes and features, which make them easily distinguishable from each other.

Sandflies have a humpbacked appearance and are smaller than mosquitoes, typically measuring only 1-3 mm in length. They have a short and broad head, with a pair of large compound eyes and two long, jointed antennae. Sandflies have a hairy body and wings, which distinguish them from mosquitoes. The wings of sandflies are broad and held vertically over their body when they are at rest. Sandflies also have six long, slender legs that are used for walking and jumping.

In contrast, mosquitoes have a slender and elongated body, ranging from 3-10 mm in length. They have a narrow head with a pair of large compound eyes and two long, thin antennae. Mosquitoes have two pairs of wings, with the hind wings being smaller than the front wings. The wings of mosquitoes are narrow and held horizontally over their body when they are at rest. Mosquitoes also have six long, thin legs that are used for walking and flying.

Jay Blecker Jay@SoCalMosquitoSquad.com (818) 835-5755 18520 Oxnard Street Tarzana, CA 91356 April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 37

Pool Design & Build: Backyard Oasis

A Useful Guide for a Successful Project

mising the quality of the final product. They can also streamline the construction process, reducing the overall time required to complete the project.

As a project manager for Vitoli Builders, a leading construction company based in Calabasas, I have overseen numerous in-ground pool projects. Building an in-ground pool can be an exciting and fulfilling project, but it requires a significant investment of time, effort, and money. It is crucial to have a professional project manager and experienced construction team to ensure that the process runs smoothly and the end result meets your expectations.

The process of building an inground pool can be divided into several phases. The first phase is the design phase, during which the client works with a pool designer to create a custom pool that meets their specific needs and preferences. This phase involves selecting the pool’s shape, size, depth, and features, such as lighting, waterfalls, and spas. The designer will also consider factors such as the site’s topography, soil type, and drainage to ensure the pool is structurally sound.

Once the design is finalized, the construction phase begins. This phase involves excavation of the site, which can be a significant undertaking depending on the size and complexity of the pool. The pool’s shell is then constructed using steel reinforcing bars and concrete. The plumbing, electrical, and filtration systems are installed, and the pool’s interior finish is applied. Finally, decking, landscap-

ing, and any additional features such as a pool house or outdoor kitchen are added.

Throughout the construction process, it is critical to have a professional project manager overseeing the project. An experienced project manager will work closely with the construction team to ensure that the project is on schedule, within budget, and meets the client’s specifications. They will also handle any issues that arise during the construction process, such as delays due to weather or unforeseen complications.

One of the most significant benefits of working with a professional project manager is that they can help you avoid costly mistakes. Building an inground pool is a complex process that involves many different elements, from excavation and plumbing to electrical and landscaping. Without proper coordination and oversight, mistakes can occur that can be expensive to fix. An experienced project manager will ensure that all aspects of the project are properly coordinated and executed, minimizing the risk of errors and delays.

Another advantage of working with a professional project manager is that they can help you save time and money. By overseeing the construction process, they can identify areas where costs can be reduced without compro-

In conclusion, building an inground pool can be a rewarding project, but it is essential to work with a professional project manager and experienced construction team to ensure that the process runs smoothly and the end result meets your expectations. A professional project manager will oversee all aspects of the project, coordinate with the construction team, and help you avoid costly mistakes. They can also help you save time and money by identifying areas where costs can be reduced and streamlining the construction process. If you’re considering building an inground pool, be sure to work with a reputable construction company that has a proven track record of success and experience in the field.

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Hidden Hills Polo Team Circa 1954
40 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023
Photos Provided By Theresa Packard

When the weather was bright and warm during the spring and summer seasons of the 1950s, the local men of Hidden Hills would gather together on weekends to play “indoor polo.” Many, if not all, were fathers, so their wives hidden behind cat eye sunglasses, and children wearing worn blue jeans would come to stand along the sidelines and watch the game. e fragrance of backyard orange trees lled the air as families would cheer on the polo players and beloved family horses underneath the saddle.

e polo ring was located outside at the northwest corner of Jed Smith and Lewis & Clark Roads. It was called simply an “indoor polo” ring because the ring was signi cantly smaller than a traditional polo ring.

eresa Packard remembers her father, Adelbert Packard, playing in these polo teams throughout the 1950s. e local contractor was better known as “Dell” by his friends and was part of the Hidden Hills Architectural Board. eresa says that the neighborhood fathers built the polo ring themselves, and that added a sense of pride for playing there on the weekends.

April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 41
Local men built the polo ring themselves, played with Quarter Horses, and their families cheered them on

roughout the decade, there were about eleven or twelve men all together who played polo, and with three people per team, they alternated members frequently. ere were no organized teams or leagues and zero intense competition. Everything was operated in a nonchalant, west coast fashion.

e games were often constructed of groups of neighborhood men playing against each other. eresa remembers that, on occasion, teams from other local areas would come to play against Hidden Hills. e main goal of the local players was to get up on a nice morning and play polo.

Traditionally outdoor polo games call for oroughbred horses to be ridden during the games due to their long endurance. Since the polo ring was in the neighborhood and signi cantly smaller in size, the polo players would simply trailer their American Quarter Horses, the cowboy staple, up the road to the ring and play. After polo games, fathers would often hand over the horses to their children for them to practice good horsemanship by walking the horse around the ring to “cool it o ” after a hard game.

On summer weekdays when school was out of session, many youngsters would meander their way up to the vacant polo ring while their fathers were at work. Some kids would bring their horses, and some would bring donkeys instead. Jill Hartman, a Hidden Hill’s kid during the 1950s and 1960s, remembers there being up to 25 kids in the polo ring and that they all had plenty of space to move around on their horses. She said it was an ideal place to play pretend cowboys because if you fell o your horse, the ground was quite soft because there were no rocks. Additionally, since the polo ring was enclosed, if you ended up on the ground, your horse could not run too far away.

On the weekends, fathers would return to the polo ring to enjoy a good day of fun with families and friends. eresa says the polo players, including her father, Dell, all had a close friendship and met up outside of the polo ring to watch sports games and have family barbecues. She says the Hidden Hills polo team was special because people of all careers and backgrounds bonded over their love of horses and the sport of polo against the rural backdrop of early Hidden Hills days.

The Hidden Hills polo team was special because people of all careers and backgrounds bonded over their love of horses and the sport of polo against the rural backdrop of early Hidden Hills days.
42 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023
Hidden Hills Polo Team shown in the middle of a match, Circa 1954
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NAMESAKES Christopher “Kit”

Houston Carson


Christopher “Kit” Houston Carson was an American frontiersman and trapper who lived from 1809 to 1868. Widely regarded as a skilled mountain man, he is remembered for his exploits as a trapper, scout, Indian agent, soldier, and authentic legend of the West.

Born the sixth of ten children in Kentucky on Christmas Eve, Carson spent most of his early childhood in Boone’s Lick, Missouri. His father died when he was only nine years old, and the need to work prevented him from ever receiving an education and he remained nearly illiterate his entire life. He was apprenticed to a saddle-maker when he turned


fourteen, but ran away at fteen from his home in Missouri to join a caravan of traders bound for the Santa Fe, New Mexico area in 1826. He learned fur trapping and trading from experienced frontiersmen, a career he pursued for 15 years.

Carson quickly became known for his skills as a hunter, tracker, and marksman when he joined a group of trappers on an expedition to the Great Basin, where they sought to capture beaver and other furbearing animals. His excellent skills as a hunter and tracker made him an invaluable member of the party, and he quickly gained a reputation as one of the best trappers in the West.

From about 1828 to 1831, Carson used Taos, New Mexico, as a base camp for repeated fur-trapping expeditions that often took him as far West as California. Later in the 1830s his trapping took him up the Rocky Mountains and throughout the West. As was the case with many trappers, he became somewhat integrated into the worlds of the Native Americans; traveling and living among several tribes, and his rst two wives were Arapahoe and Cheyenne women. Carson was known for his self-restraint and temperate lifestyle. “Clean as a hound’s tooth,” according to one acquaintance, and a man noted for an unassuming manner and implacable courage whose “word was as sure as the sun comin’ up.”

Carson was sought after by other trappers and fur traders and for a time in the early 1840’s, he was employed by William Bent as a hunter at Bent’s Fort. In 1842, while returning to Missouri to visit his family, Carson happened to meet John C. Fremont, who soon hired him as a guide. Over the next several years, Carson helped guide Fremont to Oregon and California, and through much of the Central Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin. His service was celebrated in Fremont’s widely-read reports of his expeditions, and quickly made Kit Carson a national hero, presented in popular ction as a rugged mountain man capable of superhuman feats.

Carson’s notoriety grew as his name became associated with several key events in the United States’ westward expansion. He was still serving as his guide when Fremont joined California’s short-lived Bear Flag rebellion just before the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in

46 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023


1846, and it was Carson who led the forces of the U.S. General Stephen Kearney from New Mexico into California when Andrés Pico mounted a challenge to American occupation of Los Angeles later that year.

At the end of the war, Carson returned to New Mexico and took up ranching. By 1853, he and his partner were able to drive a large ock of sheep to California, where gold rush prices paid them a handsome pro t. is same year Carson was appointed as an agent for the O ce of Indian A airs for the northern New Mexico Territory, a post he held until the Civil War imposed new duties on him in 1861.

Perhaps best known for his role in the American Indian Wars of the mid-19th century, he was tasked with negotiating treaties with Native American tribes and relocating them to reservations. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Carson sided with the Union, helping to organize the 1st New Mexico Volunteer Infantry and was appointed its lieutenant colonel. He saw action against the Confederates at the Battle of Val Verde and again at Glorieta Pass. In 1863, Carson was ordered to relocate Native Americans in New Mexico to distant reservations established by the government, an assignment he refused, tendering his resignation.

His resignation was not accepted and most of his military actions were directed against the Navajos, many of whom had refused to be con ned upon a distant reservation set up by the government. Beginning in 1863 Carson waged a brutal economic war against the Navajo tribe, marching through the heart of their territory to destroy their crops, orchards and livestock. When the Utes, Pueblos, Hopis and Zunis tribes, who for centuries had been prey to Navajo raiders, took advantage of their traditional enemy’s weakness by following the Americans onto the warpath, the Navajos were unable to defend themselves.

By 1864, most Navajos had surrendered to Carson, who forced nearly 8,000 men, women and children to march or ride 300 miles from Fort Canby, Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where they remained in disease-ridden con nement until 1868. Even though he was given a commission as brigadier general and cited for gallantry and distinguished service, he is often criticized for his role in the forced relocation of the Navajo people, which has come to be known as the

“Long Walk.” After the Civil War, he moved to Colorado in the hope of expanding his ranching business. He died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at Fort Lyon, Colorado on May 23, 1868, at the age of 58, and the following year his remains were moved to a small cemetery near his old home in Taos.

Despite his controversial role in Native American history, Carson is remembered for his bravery, leadership, and unyielding commitment in the face of adversity. Today, his name is synonymous with the frontier spirit of the unsettled West, and for that he remains a memorable gure in the history of the American frontier.

Widely regarded as a skilled mountain man, he is remembered for his exploits as a trapper, scout, Indian agent, soldier, and authentic legend of the West.
April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 47
Kit Carson in 1854, painting by William Ranney
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contact for pricing and other info. Thank you so much!


Nothing beats getting your produce from a farmers market. You’ll feel a sense of community by buying local and supporting hard-working growers, plus there’s peace of mind in taking ownership of what you put in your body. These are a few of the reasons to come out to support the dedicated vendors who show up rain or shine at the Community Center every Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. offering prepared meals, jewelry, clothing, cookies, meats, and beauty products, in addition to fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Make it a point to shop for food directly from the people that harvest them, such as Sue Sari from Verni and Halaby Farms. It has been almost three years since the Hidden Hills Farmers Market began, and since day one, our neighborhood has tasted their healthy snacks, including homemade cured olives, hand-picked fresh fruit, dry fruit, and their number one seller, Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil. Week after week, they happily present samples of olives and dried organic fruits, certified organic produce, the most delicious dehydrated and sun-dried fruits, walnuts, and almonds produced on the family farm in Fresno and Clovis County.

In addition to selling what they grow, they specialize in creating fruit baskets, dry fruit trays, olive trays, olive oil baskets, and can mix and match any of their products to make the best gift for every budget. We hope you have a wonderful time shopping at this family-owned and operated business that has been around for decades.

Please call for pre-ordered items to pick up at the next Farmers Market at (818) 402-8627.



(818) 402-8627

farmers market
50 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide
April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 51

A Local Tradition Since 1970, Our Family’s Special BBQ Recipe is Legendary. INDOOR FIRESIDE OR PATIO DINING CATERING

A Local Tradition Since 1970, Our Family’s Special BBQ Recipe is Legendary.









4923 Topanga Cyn Blvd. Woodland Hills
Topanga Cyn Blvd. Woodland Hills

Halaby and Verni Farms dates increase the nourishment as much as the delicious quotient of a Banana Date Smoothie. This healthy energy drink is a quick refreshing snack for children, teenagers, after school or a workout.

Banana Date Sm thie


Dates are considered good for constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, diarrhea, and abdominal cancer. They are rich in several vitamins, minerals, and fiber too. Bananas are good for the heart, digestive system, and vision, in addition to being packed with potassium, a mineral electrolyte required to keep your heart beating. Bananas' high potassium and low sodium content can protect the cardiovascular system against high blood pressure. The natural sweetness of the dates and bananas is enriched by the addition of milk, which provides all the required calcium and protein to supplement one's diet.


2 Ripe Peeled Bananas

6 Pi ed Dates

2 cups chilled Milk of your choice

3 Ice cubes

Honey to taste, if needed

To begin making the Banana Date Smoothie, rst slice the banana. Add sliced banana, half of milk, pitted dates, and honey (if needed) to Blender. Blend rst with half amount of milk, then add the remaining amount of milk and blend once again to get the smooth consistency liquid.

Pour smoothie into the serving glasses. Serve immediately. |

54 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide April 2023

Finest Punta Cana Resort & Spa

All photographs courtesy of Finest Punta and Excellence Resorts
Finest Punta Cana offers a wide variety of travelers a personalized place in the sun, along with white sand, blue skies, and fresh lodgings 56 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023

The Finest Punta Cana, opened in late 2021 by Mexicobased boutique hospitality rm Excellence Resorts, transcends being an all-things-to-all-people vacation destination. Rather than setting itself up as a ashy, overly-themed resort, it taps into such trends as multi-generational and “bleisure” travel (part business/part leisure). Depending on how travelers book their stay, it can be a hidden paradise for couples, a choose-youradventure proposition for adult groups (business, wedding, girls’ weekend), or a exible, e ortless family vacation for those traveling with babies, kids, and teens.

One secret to its success is the continuity of architecture and interior design throughout the property, with two well-de ned “Finest” and “Excellence” sides and a subtle “threshold” in the lobby connecting them. e age-inclusive “Finest” side manages to be festive while remaining orderly and adult-friendly. A comprehensive program of activities and special facilities for kids, children, and teens that allow parents to partake in some of the elevated grownup restaurants, pool areas, and activities. e “Excellence” side, meanwhile, is an adults-only oasis of calm throughout the day, save for a touch of smooth jazz wafting through the P.A. system and a trio of live amingoes frolicking in a landscaped lagoon. At midday, “Excellence” guests can enjoy island- avored outdoor activities that steer clear of the “spring break” vibe.

Guests also have the option to upgrade their vacation experience through reserving an “Excellence Club” or “Finest Club” room. ese larger suites are out tted with additional amenities such as private walk-in pools or in-room jacuzzis, Bulgari bath products, mini-bars loaded with top-shelf liquor, VIP access to its top-end restaurants and other perks. e check-in process for the adults-only Excellence Club upgraded packages is impressive, as the sta takes its time to explain the extra in-suite perks, activities, and preferred restaurant reservations for the top-end dinner-only restaurants.

e food program is eclectic and colorful, with o erings ranging from higher-end adults-only restaurants (including the amazing Le Petit Plaisir, pan-Asian/Sushi/Teppanyaki focused Shoji and New York-style steakhouse Brass), to creative, high quality casual dining (Duke’s Lobster & Seafood, o ering some of the best bites of the resort; sports bar Legends) to the mixology-driven Golden Bar and Dommo lounge, and festive poolside food trucks and bars. Dommo and Gusto are open exclusively to “Club” guests wanting a quieter breakfast, healthier o erings, and made-to-order plates.

Just as much thought has gone into keeping the youngest guests entertained, safe, and even enlightened, ensuring parents can go about business and pleasure with con dence during their stay. e spectacularly conceived kids’ club is resort-within-a resort that looks like a STEM school wrapped around a video game room. eme days, including a science day and a “Dominican Adventure’’

April 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 57

day, bring structure and enrichment for young visitors. at same continuity of the resort’s spirit ows through the spaces where babysitting services are available for the youngest guests, as well as the whimsical tropical themed water park features where the “Finest” accommodations are situated.

e ONE Spa, meanwhile, features a nicely curated menu of family-friendly o erings and over-18 elements such as a superb “Aqua” hydrotherapy circuit, a “spa kitchen pantry” for guests to select their favorite aromas and ingredient for treatments, and services menu (with customizable options like the ONE Consciousness Massage).

e spa space dedicated to kids features its own yummy menu of services and lounging spaces. While yoga classes, pool tness, personal trainer sessions, and a good sized tness room are available, outdoor activities abound on the property and o through the concierge service, the resort also features a paddle court, tennis court and basketball area. Should rain come, there are table tennis, table soccer, and billiard spots scattered throughout the resort as well as the Legends sports bar to catch a game or a co ee and ice cream parlor with a variety of sweet indulgences.

e sustainability proposition of the resort will also appeal to Southern California travelers. Excellence’s in-house designers, architects and management designed

the resort to be exible in adapting to changing guest needs and the evolving travel landscape. Naturally, plastic straws were one of the rst things to go, and all restaurant and spa menus are now consolidated and accessible via an app that covers all Excellence properties throughout the Caribbean. Other environmentally-sound features are more subtle but equally clever. In addition to a fully digitized room system that controls lights, air conditioning, and “do not disturb” and housekeeping signage, there’s a handy cabinet where guests can stash dishes and glasses after nishing room service meals so they are out of the way and easier for housekeeping sta to grab without entering the guest room.

It’s interesting to note that Excellence Resorts has a great track record of successful all-inclusive resorts to build on in Punta Cana as well as Mexico and Jamaica. e Finest Punta Cana follows the success of the company’s other two adults-only properties in the Dominican Republic. e Excellence Punta Cana, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, provides guests with a rustic-yet-elegant Caribbean village backdrop and a traditional (i.e. a “RitzCarlton” vibe, but with more approachable, regionalized feel). Excellence Del Carmen takes a “modern luxury” approach, punctuating its contemporary architecture with splashes of Dominican crafts and colors, and activities and amenities to match.

Finest Punta Cana Carr. Uvero Alto, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic (866) 211-6223 finestresorts.com/punta-cana
58 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | April 2023
Finest Punta Cana’s rooms are stylish, spacious, and designed with sustainable elements everybody will appreciate.

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