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Smile A While.

Modern Dentistry, with Old Fashion Values. Our office is a multi-specialty private practice located in Weymouth Corners in San Pedro. With 28 years of experience, we provide high-quality modern dentistry at an affordable cost in an inviting setting. Our office is equipped to provide most specialty dental services efficiently under one rooftop. We use cutting-edge technology and are versed in all aspects of Cosmetic, Restorative, Dental Implants, Orthodontic, and Oral Surgery services. Dr. Souzan Ardalan, D.D.S. Education: USC school of Dentistry Doctor of Dental Surgery Professional Association: American Dental Association, member California Dental Association, member Western Dental Society, member

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I remember sitting in the Warner Grand Theatre five years ago, watching members of Jerico Development, The Ratkovich Company, and the Port of L.A. discuss their plans for the redevelopment of the former Ports O’ Call Village site, now called West Harbor. There was excitement in the air that evening. People were packed in, hoping to get the first glimpse of what San Pedro’s future might look like. We weren’t disappointed. Slide after slide of beautiful artist renderings of a vibrant, world-class waterfront full of restaurants, entertainment, and family activities, appeared on the theater’s large movie screen in front of an enthusiastic audience. There were even spurts of applause. If this was going to be in our town’s future, we were all in that night. Since then, news about the project had been sporadic and not always positive. After announcing their involvement last October, negotiations with Gladstone’s quietly fell through. Then


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Joshua Stecker is publisher/editorin-chief of San Pedro Today. Letters to the Editor can be emailed to

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there was the rebranding, redesign, and sudden name change from San Pedro Public Market to West Harbor. Then the San Pedro Fish Market announced plans to move their restaurant up the Main Channel, exiting the project. So, when news broke in late August that the developers signed not one but seven anchor tenants to West Harbor, including Yamashiro and Sugar Factory, it caught everyone by surprise. Alan Johnson of Jerico Development texted me a photo of the L.A. Times article followed by another text saying, “This [expletive] is real!” His enthusiasm could be felt through my iPhone. He was right. This is real. It’s really happening. Ten years of work and anticipation have finally resulted in shovels scheduled to hit the ground early next year, with an opening for West Harbor slated for late 2023. How long it takes San Pedrans to stop calling it Ports O’ Call, though? That’s anyone’s guess. spt



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Phone: (424) 224-9063 Email: San Pedro Today P.O. Box 1168 San Pedro, CA 90733


San Pedro Today publishes the last Thursday of every month and is produced monthly by Empire22 Media LLC. No portion of this publication can be reproduced without written permission by Empire22 Media. 25,000 copies are delivered to San Pedro and portions of Rancho Palos Verdes. San Pedro Today is a product of Empire22 Media LLC. Empire22 Media LLC, their subsidiaries and affiliates are released from all liability that may involve the publication of San Pedro Today. Copyright 2009-2021, Empire22 Media LLC.

VOLUME 13 | NUMBER 9 ON THE COVER: An artistic rendering of West Harbor looking northwest. (photo: courtesy Studio One Eleven)




OCTOBER 2021 Every Friday – SAN PEDRO FARMERS MARKET AT LITTLE ITALY (638 S. Beacon St.), 11a-3p. – Pick up essential fruits and vegetables from certified, small family farms. Get a head start on weekend meals with so many delicious and fresh options. Please note social distancing of six feet between groups and people is required. Masks must be worn at all times, and a handwashing station is provided for your convenience. For more info, visit sanpedrochamber. com/san-pedro-farmers-market. Every Tuesday & Every Saturday – BELMONT SHORE RAILROAD CLUB at Angels Gate Park (3600 S. Gaffey St., Building 824), Tuesdays 7-10p & Saturdays 12-4p. – The best-kept secret in San Pedro! The Belmont Shore Railroad Club is the oldest and largest N scale club and offers clinics on modeling and an opportunity to explore a new hobby. Admission is FREE and open to the public. For more info, call (310) 831-6262 or visit 2 (Sat) – FESTA ITALIANA at Little Italy Los Angeles (6th St., between Centre St. and Palos Verdes St.), 5-10p. – Join us in celebrating Italian Heritage Month! Our annual street fair will feature food vendors from local restaurants, a beer and wine garden, live music, Italian cars, and more! This event will be entirely outdoors to promote a safe environment. Masks strongly encouraged. For more info, email (See ad page 9.) 7 (Thurs) – FIRST THURSDAY in Downtown San Pedro, 6p. – The popular First Thursday ArtWalk is back in the historic core of Downtown San Pedro. The redesigned First Thursday will feature guided ArtWalk tours, open galleries, outdoor dining, and live music on the corner of 6th and Mesa St.

9 (Sat) – SAN PEDRO BEER AND WINE TASTE at Muller House Museum patio (1542 S. Beacon Street), 3-6p. – Taste award-winning local beer and wine and munch on tasty hors d'oeuvres while overlooking the harbor and supporting the San Pedro Bay Historical Society. You'll also have a chance to bid on exciting silent auction items inside the beautiful Muller House. $25 per person. To RSVP or for more information, visit

COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the rapidly changing nature of public health guidance for in-person events, information may change. Please plan accordingly.

inspiring stories to raise money that funds everything from breakthrough cancer research to free rides to chemo. Sponsors donate at various levels to assist with the cost of the event and further fund the cause. Entertainment, ceremonies, and vendors will fill the day at our in-person event. Together, we can make a difference! For more info, to donate, to sponsor, or to sign up, visit

30 (Sat) – SCARY STORIES 19 at Angels Gate Cultural Center (3601 South Gaffey St.), 6:30p. – The 19th annual Scary Stories is back with two unique programs — one live on Oct. 30 and one online Oct. 22–Nov. 2. Live or virtual, Scary Stories is spellbinding storytelling with fabulous sound effects suitable for young and old, living and ... shh! Scary Stories 19 was produced and directed by Melanie Jones. With Heather Handwerk, John Charles Meyer, Cathy Skubik, and Bill Wolski reading works 24 (Sun) – DIA DE TODOS SANTOS in by Gahan Wilson, Susan Price, Ruskin Downtown San Pedro (398 W. 6th St. at Bond, Libba Bray, and Charles Dickens, 16 (Sat) – SAN PEDRO RELAY FOR the corner of 6th and Mesa), 3-7p. – San among others. LIVE: Saturday, Oct. 30 LIFE 20th ANNIVERSARY at the Pedro Property Owners' Alliance will at 6:30p. Performance will be outside San Pedro Athletic Complex (3181 N. hold a tribute event to remember your in the amphitheater around the bonGaffey St.), 10a-10p. – For over 35 loved ones. Due to COVID-19, we will fire, with distanced seating and masks years, communities across the world not hold our traditional large-format required. Tickets: $5 general admission; have come together to honor and refestival. Instead, we will offer a more children six and under are FREE! Cash member loved ones and act for lifesavintimate event, which will include the only, please. No reservations required ing change. Funds raised through the Tree of Life Memorial at the Garden and picnics welcome. Bring your own American Cancer Society's Relay for Church, traditional offrendas, chilchairs and dress warmly! Limited Life directly support breakthrough redren's Folklorico and mariachi, food number of folding chairs available search, 24/7 support for cancer patients, trucks, and craft booths. There will free on-site. Scary Stories 19 Live is access to lifesaving screenings, and also be a FREE screening of the movie presented in association with Angels much more. The San Pedro Relay for Coco at the Warner Grand Theatre Gate Cultural Center. For more info Life, celebrating its 20th anniversary on at 2p. For tickets to the screening, about AGCC, visit Oct. 16, is both a festival and a walkvisit call the Center at (310) 519-0936. athon. Team Captains recruit members, warner-grand-tickets-170189432173. ONLINE: (Oct. 22–Nov. 2): Gather set fundraising goals, organize fundrais- For event info, visit sanpedrodayaround the virtual fire at home for a ing activities, and cheer on the team!,, unique online program. Scary Stories Participants raise donations through or @downtownsanpedro on Facebook 19 Online is FREE. Go to MelanieJonanything from social media posts to and Instagram. (See ad page 3.) and click on "Witch." letter-writing campaigns. Survivors Donations gratefully accepted. spt can join an existing team and use their 16 (Sat) – SAN PEDRO STRONG & HEALTHY COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (3720 Stephen M. White Dr.), 11a2p. – FREE & open to the public! The health fair will offer a variety of FREE health screenings and COVID vaccinations, FREE aquarium admission, educational tables/exhibits, exciting music, food trucks, giveaways, and more! (See ad page 11.)

Events are back! Email to place a listing for a nominal fee. Deadline for the November 2021 issue is Friday, October 15. Find more events at

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VOICES FROM THE GRAVE REMIND US TO NEVER FORGET by Steve Marconi It was 20 years ago, but it seems like only yesterday when we here on the West Coast awakened to the horrors of airliners crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City, a “day of infamy” igniting the global war on terrorism. We were reminded even then of the parallels to the first “day of infamy,” Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thrusting the United States into World War II. The shock of 9/11 reverberated throughout the nation, just as Pearl Harbor did, but San Pedro was impacted in a very personal way in 1941. As we observe the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor this year, it’s important to remember that hundreds of San Pedro families had loved ones on duty that day in Oahu, the result of the Pacific Battle Fleet having been based here during most of the previous two decades. Those old enough to remember 1941 will have memories of the family gathered around the radio listening to the latest news and headlines blaring the next day. And around the nation, thousands of people who had family members stationed in Pearl Harbor waited breathlessly for word about their loved ones. Pearl Harbor was thousands of miles away from the mainland, and back then, the only direct communication between sailors and their families was by

letter or telegram. Letters took weeks to traverse the Pacific, either by steamship or mail carrier plane. So it was that families received letters and, in some cases, Christmas gifts that had been shipped before Dec. 7, not knowing the fate of the sender. Reading newspapers in the days, weeks, and months after Pearl Harbor, one could tell the attack had been devastating, but details only slowly emerged. We were suddenly at war, and for obvious reasons, officials didn’t want the Japanese to know just how much destruction they had wrought. The official tally was 2,403 Americans killed, and 20 sailors called San Pedro home. The biggest loss of life at Pearl Harbor, of course, was the sinking of the battleship USS Arizona. When that ship blew up, it took 1,177 men with it, the largest loss of life from a ship sinking in Navy history. More than 900 sailors remain entombed in the sunken hull, among them nine men who called San Pedro home. Those who went down with the ship and the 85 bodies recovered and buried were never identified; their names are forever etched into the Arizona memorial in Oahu. The bodies of 105 Arizona crewmen were recovered and identified. It’s a different story, however, for the 429 men who perished on the USS Oklahoma. Only 35 bodies were recovered and identified at the time. Most of the other 394 bodies, including five San Pedrans, remained on the Oklahoma, which had turned turtle in the Ford Island mud after being hit by at least

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seven torpedoes. The dead crewmen, all originally listed as missing in action, had been declared killed in action by 1943 when the Oklahoma was raised and the remains removed. Still unidentified, those bodies were then interred in 46 plots of commingled remains marked as “unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In 2015, the remains were disinterred and sent to the DPAA lab in Hawaii. Since then, nearly 300 of the remains have been identified using DNA, dental analysis, and anthropological analysis. Two San Pedrans — Warrant Officer Machinist Daryl H. Goggin, 34, and Chief Petty Officer Albert Eugene Hayden, 44 — were in the first group identified in 2015. In November 2020, Water Tender 1st Class Oliver Kenneth Burger, 26, was identified, and earlier this year, the DPAA announced it had identified the remains of Storekeeper 1st Class Harry Earnest Walker, 36. That leaves Machinists Mate 2nd Class James Rufus Buchanan as the only unaccounted for San Pedran. All five were married; Burger, Buchanan, and Goggin left children. Walker is just the latest San Pedrorelated war casualty the DPAA has been able to identify. Marine Pfc. Roger Gonzales, a S`48 graduate of San Pedro High, was 20 when he was killed at the Chosin Reservoir in November 1950 during the Korean War. He was buried near where he died; the body was disinterred after the war and returned to the States but

remained unidentified. Using advanced forensic techniques, the DPAA was able to officially account for Gonzales in April 2018, and his remains were buried later that year at Green Hills Memorial Park. It’s not known if Sgt. Fred Farris ever lived in San Pedro; he was born in Texas and joined the Marines there. His mother, brother, sister, and stepfather, however, were all living in San Pedro when he was killed in Tarawa on Nov. 20, 1943. At 19, one of the youngest sergeants in the entire corps, Farris received a posthumous Silver Star for gallantry in that bloody assault. He was buried on the island, but when the military returned after the war to repatriate remains, his were among a group of bodies that couldn’t be found. It wasn’t until 2016 that a construction crew uncovered remains, which were sent to the DPAA in Hawaii. After 77 years, Farris was finally accounted for in April 2020; he was to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. His parents and siblings are all dead; his mother, stepfather, and sister are buried at Green Hills. Just days before the 9/11 anniversary earlier this month, two more of the 2,753 victims of the Twin Towers attacks were identified. That leaves 1,106 victims still unidentified, but those sailors at Pearl Harbor would be proud to know they served a country that keeps its promise to never forget. spt Steve Marconi can be reached at

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Recently, I was reminded of the story of “John,” who each week went to the store to check out the winning lottery numbers, and each week John walked away shaking his head in defeat once again. After months of this losing routine, John finally stomped out of the store, looked up, shook his fist at the heavens, and yelled, “God, can I at least win the lottery one time?” Suddenly, the heavens opened, streams of light shone down on John, and God said, “Meet me halfway, John — buy a ticket!” Our current dysfunction with keeping each other safe during this continuing pandemic reminds me of this story in so many ways. While science has proven that the vaccine is a life-saving action against this unprecedented crisis, so many of us are refusing to get vaccinated and meet God halfway. On Labor Day weekend, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy appealed to all of us by saying once again that “vaccination continues to be the best way to keep people alive and out of the hospital.” Dr. Megan Ranney of Brown University stated, “Everyone I am hospitalizing is not vaccinated,” and “The takeaway for everyone is get your shots and certainly wear a mask for an added layer of protection.” At the same time, we have cable news anchors telling their lockstep followers to “refuse the vaccine” and use a dewormer for horses instead; large numbers of first responders, including police, fire, and health care workers, are refusing to get vaccinated, all in the lame rationale of “personal freedom;” and too many governors (and wannabe governors) are bad-mouthing vaccines and threatening withholding funding for school districts and their boards for wanting to mandate masks to keep students safe, all in the name of politics rather than public safety. So sports fans, do we dummy up and listen to the doctors and science? Or do we listen to the crackpots who recommend horse pills, don’t want to get the vaccine while being first responders, and/or politicians who are lying to the public so that they can get re-elected or elected to a higher office? The data is overwhelming: Individuals NOT vaccinated are 99 percent of those dying from COVID-19 and its variants and are those most readily

spreading the virus to others. It can’t get much more simple than that. I truly believe God does not want us to die from this virus, but we must meet him halfway and take the vaccine to give ourselves and those we love a fighting chance. This is why President Biden mandated vaccines for federal workers and workers for larger companies in an effort to slow the spread and eventually attain herd immunity. At the Boys & Girls Club, we implemented a mandated vaccine policy before the president’s action — and rightfully so. We serve thousands of children and young adults annually, and therefore, it is our responsibility to keep them as safe as humanly possible. As Dr. Fauci recently stated, “The way you protect children because of their age — surround the children with vaccinated people.” (At the time of this writing, one in four new cases nationwide are children.) And while accommodations have become the easy way for individuals to try and skirt this responsibility, we cannot accommodate individuals who directly work with our youth. Therefore, we have basically no accommodations for those working face-to-face with our members. Our youth-development professionals at the Club cannot assist the children we serve from afar, so we must all get vaccinated, or we can no longer remain in the organization’s employ. The same should be said for educators and others who work directly with children and the greater public — we cannot “accommodate” them because they cannot effectively do their jobs from home or an office. We all must either get vaccinated to best limit the spread of the virus and protect those in our care or go into another line of work. The safety of our children and the families we serve is our Club’s number one priority, and it should be the same for so many other professions given their direct contact with both our children and adults alike. Like John, who wanted to win the lottery, we truly need to accept the free “winning ticket” and take the vaccine. We need to stop making excuses and/ or lying to those who trust us, which results in putting children and adults in harm’s way or worse. God isn’t asking too much — take the vaccine and meet him halfway. spt Mike Lansing is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor.

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Richard Garcia, executive director and co-founder of Alma Backyard Farms, and his staff transformed an empty lot in San Pedro into an urban farm. He noticed an elderly lady next door and would chat with her while he worked in the garden. Her name was Celia. She sat on her porch and watched as a dirt lot became a garden with flowers and produce. She would comment on how the raised beds looked pretty. Richard learned the woman had dementia. Her family said she did not remember much but, for some reason, could recall facts about the new garden next door. Alma, which means “soul” in Spanish, is bringing healthy food to San Pedro while beautifying an unused space. Alma’s Backyard Farm, a nonprofit agency, started in Compton, which is known as a food desert. There are few healthy choices in Compton, and food insecurity is prevalent. A practitioner from Holy Trinity who owned an empty lot in San Pedro visited the Compton farm. Alma was offered the chance to use the San Pedro lot to create an urban farm that would provide fresh produce for the community. It took six months to build and plant the garden. Curious neighbors who wondered what was going on at the property were relieved to learn it would be a garden and not an apartment complex. Alma transforms empty lots into useful gardens that grow flowers and produce. The bounty is sold twice a month at each location. On every other Sunday in San Pedro, fresh-baked bread, flowers, agua fresca, kale smoothies, and produce are sold at The Farm Stand. Visitors start arriving as early as 7 a.m., as items are known to sell out. Alma creates beautiful spaces that were once underused and has a program that provides job training to formerly incarcerated individuals. They 14 I SAN PEDRO TODAY I OCTOBER 2021

learn carpentry, framing, irrigation, soil composition, and the business side of running a nonprofit agency. The garden plants seed that creates farm-to-table produce, and their program provides opportunities for people to grow with a fresh start. Alma also donates food and produce back to the community and local nonprofits. Plans for Alma include gardening workshops for youth and cooking demos for the community on the weekends. The Compton location has special events that include cooking instruction and live music. Residents from San Pedro have visited the Compton location and vice versa, creating an interplay between the two cities where food connects people. There are volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals who can make an ongoing commitment of time. Garcia had hoped to have the garden completed for Celia the neighbor to enjoy, but unfortunately, she passed away before completion. The pollinators and flowers that were planted in the front space are in honor of Celia, who watched a barren lot become a vibrant garden from her porch. It may be called Alma, but the intention is that it feels like everybody’s backyard for people like Celia and many others who can enjoy it for years to come. “We look forward to growing in San Pedro and have been so moved by how welcoming it has been,” states Garcia. “It really feels like a small neighborhood, and we are deeply grateful to nourish people.” To learn more about Alma Backyard Farms, visit almabackyardfarms. com. The Farm Stand is open every other Sunday from 7 a.m.–1 p.m. in San Pedro. Updates can also be found on Facebook and Instagram at @ almabackyardfarms. spt Jennifer Marquez can be reached at and @jenntmqz on Twitter and Instagram.

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San Pedro wasn’t built by people afraid of change. I’ve always been fond of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus when he said, “You cannot step into the same river twice.” The river is ever changing, and the water is continually flowing. San Pedro is going through a renewal that will create some amazing changes in how we live, work, and play, and we have an opportunity to help shape that change for the better. Will there be more people? Yes. Torrance, Hermosa, Redondo, and Long Beach are pricing housing out of reach for most people. Home buyers are finding they get more for their money here in San Pedro, along with better views. While San Pedrans complain about the rising home prices, others are seeing our market as a bargain. The average equity homeowners have here in San Pedro is around $300,000. Hopefully, more parents will use that equity to help their children with down payments so they can remain here. Will there be more traffic? Yes, a little, but a number of factors will help with that. Hyperloops, self-driving cars, and the ability to daisy-chain them together will reduce accidents and traffic dramatically. I know it sounds crazy, but some change happens quickly. The iPhone came out in 2007 and has quickly changed the way we live, communicate, and access data. Fifteen years from now, our relationship with our cars will change dramatically. Will there be parking issues? Maybe, maybe not. Expect to see more people working from home or in the jobs being created along the waterfront. Not everyone sees a single-family house, a couple of cars, and a long commute to work as ideal. Many of the folks moving to San Pedro don’t even own cars, trading car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance for the ability to travel more. When I first moved here, I was surprised by how many vacant storefronts lined the downtown. Now, with less parking than we had three years ago, our restaurants are thriving

and hiring more staff to meet the demand. When we eventually add 400–800 parking spots on 6th Street, some people will opt to skip the hassle of parking and instead take a Lyft or an Uber for shows and big events. You can get dropped off at your favorite restaurant, walk to the Warner Grand, take a trolley to the new amphitheater on the waterfront, and Uber home without having to circle back to your car. Some of the ways to be a part of the positive change is to encourage more historical renovations of the Craftsman, Victorian, beach bungalows, and interesting old homes here in San Pedro. If you plan to sell and your home needs work, hire a team like mine who will help pay for the renovation that will get you top dollar and protect your old home from being torn down and rebuilt. Build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on your property so you can bring younger and older generations of San Pedrans together. We need a future generation of “born and raised” in San Pedro to remain here and the older generations to pass down the history, the culture, and San Pedro pride. Start a small business that will benefit from increased tourism, events, and San Pedro as a destination. The prospect of consistent night life, familyfriendly activities, and more things to do in San Pedro, will draw more people from the surrounding area. The fact that cruise ship operations could soon double from 2019 means more growth of our tourist trade and small business opportunities. The small shops, family-owned restaurants, and the businesses that support tourism will make San Pedro an even better place for new entrepreneurs to invest. We can celebrate our history while preparing housing, jobs, and quality of life for future generations. Change is inevitable. Participation is optional. spt Lee Williams leads the Williams Group at Keller Williams Realty and is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and the Boys and Girls Club for L.A. Harbor.



Heart & Soul by Joshua Stecker


21st CENTURY WATERFRONT: Artist renderings of West Harbor, including the 6,200-seat amphitheater (bottom right). (photos: courtesy Studio One Eleven)

Standing on the top floor of an old two-story tugboat dispatch tower, Eric Johnson gazes north overlooking the area of his company’s most ambitious project yet, the 42-acre, $150 million redevelopment of the former Ports O’ Call Village site along the L.A. Waterfront. “We’re at mezzanine level here,” says Eric, referring to the tower’s second story. “Gives you a nice commanding view. It really shows you the scope and scale of this 42-acre behemoth.” The tower has been converted to a scenic office and meeting space, complete with flat-screen TVs for presentations and plenty of snacks for visitors. Eric and his brother Alan, the men behind San Pedro-based Jerico Development, have been using it to introduce potential tenants to the newly christened West Harbor project, formerly known as the San Pedro Public Market. “This is industrial theater,” Eric says, grinning as he points towards a container ship slowly entering the Port of Los Angeles. “It’s free. You can’t see this stuff anywhere else. And it’s also part of our mantra about being unique, authentic, and fun. We’re just embracing the authenticity of it all.”

The Johnson brothers are smiling these days and for good reason. In late August, the developers of West Harbor, a partnership between The Ratkovich Company and Jerico Development, announced the signing of seven anchor tenants, leaving one left to fill. It’s the first official signing of any tenants since the developers won the bid to take over the project in 2013. The 42-acre port property is entitled for more than 335,000 square feet of development over the term of a 66-year ground lease. With a focus on dining and entertainment, these first signings already account for 65 percent of the available leasing space. “I think the leases really speak for themselves,” says Eric. “The progress of the project goes from leasing to us going out and getting secured debt, and then to us starting construction. But you can’t get secured debt until you’re pre-leased. We’re meeting our pre-leasing thresholds right now. We’ve signed 75,000 square feet of leases. The leases are 10, 15, and 20 years with options averaging 15.” The seven anchor tenants announced are Mike Hess Brewing, Yamashiro,


Poppy + Rose, Sugar Factory, Jay Bird’s Chicken, an unnamed Mexican cantina, and Hopscotch, an immersive art installation. West Harbor is slated to open in late 2023, with construction planned to begin early next year. It’s been a long road for the Johnsons, who have been the local connection to this project since the beginning. Being a major stakeholder in town for decades, Jerico Development has a vested interest in the success of West Harbor. (Full disclosure: San Pedro Today’s office is in a Jerico-owned building.) Like many in the community, they also didn’t want to see the waterfront turn into another Grove or Irvine Spectrum. That’s one of the reasons why this slate of anchor tenants is so diverse and doesn’t resemble another cookie-cutter, L.A. outdoor mall. “The anchors really drive everything else,” says Eric. “What we did differently this time was we started marketing the whole site rather than a building at a time. That resulted in us being about 65 percent leased.” The COVID-19 pandemic also affected the planning, but for the better. The delays let the Port of L.A. finish new

infrastructure improvements, including the completion of the promenade walkway and town square. This gave the developers a great visual representation of what the waterfront will look like in the future to potential tenants. “[The pandemic] provided us the time and the space to do it, and also, all of a sudden outdoor space became super valuable,” says Eric. “So, we added [more] outdoor space. We re-drew, we redesigned with more outdoor space, and then we sat down with tenants — real tenants — and got their input, which hipped it up, made it cooler, I think, and fresher and younger.” WHO’S MOVING IN? San Pedro loves its craft beers. That’s why it’s no surprise that the San Diego-based Mike Hess Brewing was the first to sign on the dotted line for West Harbor. With plans for an 18,000 square foot, indoor-outdoor, dog-friendly biergarten right next to the highly anticipated amphitheater, weekends on the waterfront are going to be a lot different in 24 months. “This was by far the most coveted site,” says Eric. “When we looked at it just from a planning


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standpoint, this was the right fit.” The idea to add mezzanines to several anchor buildings, including Mike Hess Brewing, was one of many changes made to the project since the developer’s last major design update in 2016. “It’s a big format space; he’s got a mezzanine, and it’s going to have a catwalk where you walk between the fermenting barrels and the storage barrels,” says Eric. “You’re going to be up on the second floor with a big brewery downstairs and this giant biergarten outside.” It’s worth noting that patrons will be able to carry alcoholic drinks outside throughout most of the West Harbor property. “Just as they do in Europe,” adds Eric. Maybe the most surprising announcement was Yamashiro and Sugar Factory, both co-owned by film producer and real estate developer Elie Samaha. Yamashiro, the century-old Japanese-fusion restaurant in the Hollywood Hills, will open its second location along the waterfront where the San Pedro Fish Market currently resides. “It’s iconic,” says Eric. “They like to have a view. This is only their second store, and they’ve chosen San Pedro.” Sugar Factory is an over-the-top American brasserie and candy shop with locations all over the world. Frequented by celebrities and influencers, they’re known for their decadent drinks and desserts. “It’s this fun, kid, sugarinfused place during the day, then at night, it becomes this booze and sugarfueled, trendy nightclub,” says Eric. Poppy + Rose, the popular countrystyle breakfast and brunch spot in Downtown Los Angeles, will open a new location along the waterfront with a 2,000 square foot patio and active garden, where they’ll grow their own vegetables and herbs on-site. “We wanted a killer brunch place,” says Eric. “They’re facing the parking lot, and they like that space because we can wrap the garden around it.” “They’re also really philanthropic,” adds Alan. The restaurant is known for giving back to the community by supporting local hospitals, children’s organizations, and social justice causes.

Jay Bird’s Chicken brings some Nashville flair to the waterfront with their fast-casual hot chicken sandwiches. They have a few locations in Southern California, including Long Beach and Huntington Beach. Hopscotch is an immersive and experiential 17,000 square foot art gallery that includes a restaurant and lounge area, plus an additional 2,000 square feet of outdoor space. According to their website, they “bring together artists in collaborative environments to create unique, impactful, and distinct shared experiences.” The seventh lease is for an unnamed Mexican cantina from the same people behind Yamashiro and Sugar Factory. In addition to the newly signed tenants, plans are still in the works for the much-anticipated amphitheater. The new design features a large open grass area that can be converted to a 4,500- or 6,200-seat venue, depending on the event. While no venue operator has been signed, talks continue with Nederlander Concerts, according to the Johnsons. Also, next to the amphitheater will be an area for weddings and special events. Harbor Breeze Cruises, owned by Dan Salas, will be bringing his fleet of double-decker sightseeing ships to West Harbor, offering whale watching and dinner cruises. The northernmost section, closest to the new Town Square (where Acapulco Restaurant used to be), will be the location of a new waterfront hotel, which will be included in Phase 3 of the project. But before that happens, that area will be filled with recreational activities, including a dog park, pickleball courts, and standing wave pools, among other family-friendly waterside attractions. Plans are also in the works to move the Battleship Iowa to the southern portion of West Harbor to make room for a third cruise ship terminal. And if you’re worried about parking (like every San Pedran is), there will be 2,000 parking spaces available, with plans for trolley/shuttle service between West Harbor and the downtown district.

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Wayne Ratkovich (center), founder and CEO of The Ratkovich Company, with Eric (left) and Alan Johnson of Jerico Development in a 2013 file photo. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

BUT WHAT ABOUT…? So many stories have been written about the Ports O’ Call site’s redevelopment that it would be pointless to rehash every previously announced plan that didn’t pan out. Although, there are a few omissions that are worth mentioning. Notably absent from West Harbor is the San Pedro Fish Market, which recently announced it would be moving north near the Catalina Express terminal, with plans for a 5,500-seat restaurant and entertainment center. There was also an announcement last October that Gladstone’s would be coming in as an anchor tenant, but those negotiations fell through earlier this year. Also absent is the Trani family. Early rumors had the Tranis joining West Harbor, but instead, they decided to take over the old Canetti’s Seafood Grotto location in the former U.S. Immigration Station building off 22nd Street and will open Trani’s Dockside Station sometime next year. With the announcement of signed anchor tenants, there’s a renewed energy in the Jerico offices these days. The

Johnsons admit, so many factors could have derailed this project during the decade they’ve been working on it with The Ratkovich Company, but they never let that deter them from their goal of creating a world-class waterfront that San Pedro can be proud of. “I can say we never gave up. We never let that kind of thinking get in,” says Alan. “This is a really important project for this community, [and this community] is really important to us. This is our community. That’s how we look at it. We had an obligation. We took on this battle. We knew it was going to be hard.” Eric adds, “I think if you’re doing a 150,000 square foot ground-up, retail project, you’re climbing a mountain to begin with. We always had faith that the power of this site and our partnership [were] important, that we would be a survivor. We did go through having to tread water and keep it alive. But we never gave up, that’s for sure. You’ve got to be a little crazy to even start.” spt For more info on West Harbor, visit

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PHYSICAL THERAPY SAN PEDRO AND ALL FIT COMBINE FORCES by Avery Amaya-Adle In the basement of a two-story brick building across the street from the Warner Grand Theatre on the corner of 6th and Pacific streets, Dr. Ja’nae Brown and Ernie Avina have decided to build something special in San Pedro, out of a necessity of the times — two businesses sharing the same space. Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Brown was running her own independent physical therapy clinic called Physical Therapy San Pedro out of rented office space at a wellness center down the street. Then COVID hit, and most stores and shops were forced to close for the foreseeable future. The Redondo Beach native was fortunate that her profession was already making strides towards telecommunication and virtual visits. This allowed her to continue her practice, albeit in a different form. Avina was not so lucky. His business, All Fit, is a popular gym in Downtown San Pedro that prospered in pre-pandemic life but, due to the layout of its former space, had no ability to continue operating within the state’s health mandates. At the height of the pandemic, there was no outdoor area that he could use, and operating virtually was out of the question. Fortunately, Avina and Dr. Brown knew each other from sponsoring a women’s soccer team and decided that it would be mutually beneficial if they moved their businesses under the same roof. They opened their combined space this past March, sharing equipment and clients but operating as separate but complementary businesses. “All Fit would have had a much less survival rate as a small business if I did not become a co-tenant with Physical Therapy San Pedro,” admits Avina. “Odds are that All Fit would have been out of business.” Physical Therapy San Pedro and All Fit seem, by all accounts, to work in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Ernie Avina, owner of All Fit, and Dr. Ja'nae Brown, owner of Physical Therapy San Pedro. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

One might assume that two businesses sharing the same downtown basement would eventually start to feel a little cramped, but the space is one where anyone would feel comfortable and encouraged to get into shape. It’s clean, spacious, well ventilated, and crisp. Black square molding envelops the ceiling while mirrors line the wall, making the space feel bigger than it is. A large square turf space sits at the center of the basement and serves as a

athletic form, and then transfer to All Fit to continue strength training and staying in shape. All Fit’s focus is more on weightlifting and weight loss. Their popular four- and six-week programs emphasize healthy diets and active workouts to shed pounds. In addition, they offer kickboxing, weight training, and cardio workouts in groups or oneon-one. It’s still an indoor gym though, which, if there’s another surge in the pandemic, could be problematic in the

Dr. Brown works with a client. (photo: Rick Williams)

focal center for activity. Clients work with Dr. Brown or one of her welltrained physical therapists one-on-one and have all the space they need to work out on punching bags, weights, stationary bikes, Pilates machines, and even in private rooms to assess therapeutic solutions. As Dr. Brown puts it, “When our people are discharged [from Physical Therapy San Pedro], our goal is to keep them active so they can become a gym member, and they can go into [All Fit’s classes].” The business marriage is going well so far. Injured clients use Dr. Brown’s clinic to recover and get back into


future, but Avina is confident we’re past that. “The future of [All Fit] heavily depends on the political decisions and mandates regarding COVID-19,” shares Avina. “As long as we are not forced to shut down, we hope to be in business.” Dr. Brown is also cautiously optimistic about the future. An ambitiously busy businesswoman, as well as a wife and mother, Dr. Brown’s positive energy is infectious around the gym. She says that her future plans include expanding Physical Therapy San Pedro’s current practice while maintaining the collaboration with All Fit, and also opening up a second facility, one

that is larger with a boxing ring and maybe even a soccer field, but she is cautious due to the nature of the ongoing pandemic. “There [are] a lot of physical therapists and chiropractors, but there’s not really a specialist for the athletic population,” Dr. Brown explains. Although the clinic tends to cater to the more athletic population of San Pedro, Physical Therapy San Pedro and All Fit’s clientele range from casual weekend gym-goers to the likes of Martins Licis, the World’s Strongest Man winner of 2019, doing Pilates. As for Avina, he’s adjusted the gym’s business model to include monthly memberships, as well as continuing his four- and six-week programs. He’s also quick to note the advantages of having two businesses sharing one space. “The benefits are lower overhead costs and operational synergies between both businesses,” explains Avina. “It also offers an opportunity to provide recovery programs for clients that have a need in that area.” The pandemic has changed all of our lives for more than a year and a half, with no concrete end in sight. Independent gyms like All Fit have struggled to stay afloat, and plenty have closed throughout Los Angeles. But the ability to think creatively has allowed All Fit and Physical Therapy San Pedro to work together cohesively. Out of a challenging situation, Dr. Brown and Avina have managed to make it through the pandemic even stronger. spt All Fit and Physical Therapy San Pedro are located at 481 W. 6th St. All Fit: (424) 536-3122, Physical Therapy San Pedro: (424) 536-3023,

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In both the Iranian and Italian cultures I grew up in, bakeries play an important role in neighborhoods. Cakes, sweets, and seasonal pastries are purchased either for one’s own enjoyment or as a gift when visiting someone else’s home. It wasn’t until I moved to the United States that I became acquainted with grocery store purchased desserts, which, although convenient, are not my favorite. I love the idea of standing in front of a bakery’s display and having options to choose from instead of being locked into purchasing, say, a box of cookies or brownies. For this reason, I appreciate having long-standing bakeries in town where I can pick and choose what I like to buy. Joseph’s Bakery (1027 S. Meyler St.) is a family-owned and -operated business in the middle of a residential block. There are a few important things to know when visiting: Stop by early in the morning for the best options (they open at 5 a.m.), the friendly folks behind the counter are the owners, and they are a cash-only business. The pastry display is full of a variety of

Clockwise l to r: Joseph's Bakery pizza; an assortment of Polly Ann Bakery (top) and Joseph's Bakery (bottom) pastries, breads, brownies, and cookies. (photos: Sanam Lamborn)

sweet breads and cookies, as well as lemon bars and brownies. The almond and lemon cookies are understandably popular because they taste really good. Their brownies are my definition of perfection: crackly on top while rich and chewy on the inside. It took me a while to appreciate their version of a croissant because it is not the traditional buttery and flaky pastry; instead, these crescent-shaped breads are made with a sweet dough. Other shapes include a thin log with sugar sprinkled on top or a rectangular form with either white or chocolate glaze. I have found that their “croissants” are a perfect companion to a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning when they are fresh and still delightfully soft. I mainly stop by Joseph’s for their rectangular-shaped slices of cheese pizza which are easily recognizable to those who have an affinity for it. The ingredients are simple: a tasty dough, reliably tangy red sauce with a hint of oregano, and plenty of cheese. Regulars know that the early bird gets the worm

here. Some may call this elusive pizza because, due to its popularity, it’s not always guaranteed that there might be any available. The truth is locals don’t visit Joseph’s for lunch; we buy their pizza for breakfast early in the morning. Polly Ann Bakery (1440 W. 8th St.) is exactly what you would expect from a neighborhood bakery, a one-stop shop. Their displays are full of a variety of cookies, cupcakes, Danishes, croissants, brownies, mini pound cakes, fruit bars, eclairs, donuts, and frosted cakes. There is usually a tray of sliced cheese pizza as well, in case a customer wants something savory. Polly Ann Bakery has long been a favorite for locals and for wedding cake customers celebrating at one of the venues in town. In fact, they are often recommended for custom-made cakes. Additionally, they make personalized cookies for customers who want a particular design hand drawn or a logo imprinted on their order. This bakery is a neighborhood gem because they bake items that celebrate

every holiday. As we head into Halloween and Thanksgiving, expect to see a selection of decorated cookies and cupcakes, as well as pumpkin-flavored pies and other treats. Additionally, last year I noticed that they offered cookie decorating take-home kits for Halloween and Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, they usually have a selection of holidaythemed desserts, as well as Stollen bread, a German bread made with dried fruit, nuts, and candied citrus. In addition to sweets, they also bake different types of sandwich loaves which can be purchased whole or cut into slices upon purchase. The loaves are baked fresh and are incredibly soft. I particularly like using their bread for homemade sandwiches or for making pressed panini with my electric grill. spt

Sanam Lamborn created the Eat in San Pedro Facebook group and Instagram account in April 2020 to entice people to patronize San Pedro’s eateries.


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In 1898, San Pedro had only been incorporated for ten years, but it was about halfway through its short run as an independent city. San Pedro was growing, and word of its potential as a port was spreading near and far. Off in Osage County, Missouri, a young clerk named Edward Bautzer had heard of the opportunities available in San Pedro and decided to head west to start a new life. Bautzer, 21, wasted no time establishing himself, acquiring the distributorship of the L.A. Times at the busiest corner in San Pedro, Sixth and Beacon streets. In ten years, Bautzer had cemented his place as a San Pedro pioneer. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to be San Pedro’s postmaster, the first to ever keep an official accounting of the postage revenue. Four years later, he helped charter the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and was elected to serve as its secretary. Bautzer’s professional status in town led to a higher social responsibility in 1909 when he became the San Pedro Elks Lodge’s fourth Exalted Ruler. This role allowed Bautzer to be one of the dignitaries that hosted President Taft when he came to celebrate San Pedro’s consolidation with Los Angeles. Following his marriage, Bautzer resigned from the post office to become a lawyer. But

attracted just the right attention from beautiful women and powerful men. Soon the young lawyer was making important connections that would lead him straight to the top. Gregson Bautzer was famous for three things: the clients he had, the deals he made, and the women he slept with. The most important thing was that all three kept his name in the papers, which would attract more of the same. His clients were among the richest and most powerful businessmen in the country, including Howard Hughes and William Randolph Hearst. He could get a meeting with anyone in Hollywood and would often hold court in all the famous Hollywood eateries. In his career, Greg would oversee Greg Bautzer with actress Dorothy Lamour, to whom he was briefly engaged in the late 1930s. (photo: the sale of huge corporations, including Kirk Kerkorian’s hostile takeover of MGM. When you work as hard as of all his professional and social accom- world, winning international titles for Greg, you got to play hard, and he had plishments, Bautzer’s greatest legacy the Trojans. Perhaps it was the celebrity his pick of playmates. The list of Greg would be his son Gregson Bautzer, born he was gaining for himself, but someBautzer’s paramours reads like a who’s April 3, 1911. Unfortunately, he would where along the way, Greg’s profeswho of Hollywood’s Golden Era: Lana not live to see all that his son would be- sional ambitions began to get more and Turner, Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, come; Edward Bautzer died in Decemmore specific. He found himself drawn Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Lamour, and ber of 1921 at the age of 44. to Hollywood. many more. But the heyday of HolGregson was ten years old when his In B. James Gladstone’s book, The lywood always exacted a heavy toll on father died. It was a great loss to suffer Man Who Seduced Hollywood: The Life its most successful. Greg facilitated this so young, but it also seemed to steel his and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown’s predatory system and was also a victim resolve. Greg’s single goal was to beMost Powerful Lawyer, Gladstone says of it. He witnessed actors become come a lawyer like his father. He would that it was living in Los Angeles that celebrities, helped discover new talents, follow in his father’s footsteps to USC influenced Greg to work in Hollywood. brokered deals that would make your and pass the bar, but the level of legal Perhaps it was growing up in San Pedro head spin, and even watched the indusand personal power Greg would achieve when he did. Hollywood had a huge try reinvent itself time and time again. would dwarf his father’s in comparison. presence in San Pedro. A man who Gregson Bautzer from San Pedro Greg’s ambition and competitive claimed to be drinking with sailors liked to win, and for the most part, he streak were apparent from the begindown on Beacon Street at the age of 14, really did. ning. He entered all sorts of local conas Greg did, would’ve had no problem If you would like to learn more about tests, whether it was a poetry contest seeing movie stars when they came to Greg Bautzer, please join us Wednesfor a department store or a newspaper town for work or pleasure. day, October 20, 2021, at 7 p.m. for subscription sweepstakes. Greg liked to After graduating from law school, a Heritage at Home presentation. To win. When he reached San Pedro High Greg made a beeline for Hollywood. attend, please email angela@sanpedroSchool, Greg joined the debate team Every decision he made from that point spt and soon made a name for himself. on seemed to be strategic, even down to He’d write and practice his speeches marrying a Pasadena socialite with con- Angela Romero is the president every day for three hours, even gonections. The smartest decision he ever of the San Pedro Heritage ing as far as to exercise in the gym for made was borrowing $5,000 and spend- Museum. She can be reached at better breath control. If Greg didn’t win ing it on a flashy wardrobe. Besides his oratorical contests, he’d be a finalist. oratorical prowess, Greg was over six He easily became captain of the debate feet tall and handsome. His natural atFor more info, visit team at USC, where he traveled the tributes, coupled with an expensive suit,

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DREAM TO REMEMBER by Sophie Schoenfeld, MFT Since the dawn of time, mankind has tried to understand the dream world. Ancient cultures used dreams as divination and ways to predict the future. They even used substances to enhance and stimulate dreams, believing it expanded their consciousness. For the Egyptians, dreams were a way to connect with the spirit world and understand the wishes and intentions of their deities. Ancient Hawaiians used dream interpretation when important decisions needed to be made, believing dreams could connect them to their ancestral guides and maintained an important spiritual connection to the other world through what they called the “soul sleep.” The traditional scientific community at one point disregarded dreams as meaningless leftovers of the waking life, yet psychologists like Freud and Jung believed dreams were an important key to unlocking our subconscious wishes, desires, and repressed internal conflicts. To this day, dream life remains a mystery that fascinates and intrigues. While we do not have all the answers, emerging research in neurobiology and sleep studies is beginning to illuminate the biological purpose of dreams and the physiological impact of sleep on the body. Brain scans in sleep studies reveal that when we fall asleep, our brains go through a “sleep cycle.” This is an oscillation of slow-wave/delta and REM sleep, also known as the REM-NREM cycle, which takes anywhere from 70 to 110 minutes. Thus, in a typical night, we go through four to six sleep cycles before we fully awaken. These two stages of sleep are characterized by distinct types of brain activities. While we can dream in any part of the sleep cycle, most vivid dreams occur during our REM sleep. When deep into non-REM sleep, it is harder for us to awaken, and upon waking, we are unlikely to remember our dreams. During NREM sleep, the control centers of the brain that are responsible for body movement shut off, thus rendering the body paralyzed. Our body temperature and heartbeat drop, and at this time, our brain shows a slower activity known as delta waves or delta sleep. During delta sleep, there are detectible bursts of activity in the brain that actually help the body resist being woken up by external stimuli. Sleep experts believe that delta sleep is a restorative sleep that allows the body to bolster the immune system, grow, re-

cover from stress and physical ailments, and restore hormonal balance in the body. There is growing evidence that suggests that deep sleep contributes to improved creativity, insightful thinking, and memory formation. Interestingly, as the sleep cycles progress throughout the night, the length of delta sleep becomes shorter, and our brain begins to spend more time in REM sleep. When we begin to enter REM (or rapid eye movement) sleep, we enter a more vivid dream state. At this time, areas of the brain, such as the amygdala, which is responsible for emotional processing, become very active. Based on recent sleep experiments, as well as brain scans, experts believe that REM sleep plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. Dreaming appears to help us process emotions, attach meaning to events we experience, form coherent self-stories that play a part in emotional self-regulation, and categorize memories, as well as improve our cognitive functions, creativity, and critical thinking. This is when we timestamp and store memories in various memory banks, recover from traumatic and unpleasant events and make meaning of our lives. It follows, then, that sleep disturbance can cause post-traumatic stress disorder, amongst other mental health and physical ailments. While dreams may not predict the future or connect us to supernatural worlds, they certainly do help us understand and organize our life experiences in such a way that allows us to form coherent and meaningful stories about our lives. Dreams allow our brains to determine what is important and what is not, what to let go of and what to remember. Dreams are our free therapy! Dreams help us make sense of who we are and what matters. Without a dream life, we would be a jumbled mess of fragmented experiences with no meaning or memory. The fact is what we remember is what constitutes our sense of self. When forming memories during our REM sleep, the same parts of the brain light up as when we are creating or imagining. Our memories are not necessarily accurate representations of external reality, but rather our own created stories, our own personal novel about us. Essentially, dreams are what we are literally made of. So, when you turn out your lights tonight, sleep tight, sleep deep, and dream yourself to the you that you’ve been dreaming of. spt Sophie Schoenfeld, MFT is a local marriage and family therapist. For more info, visit OCTOBER 2021 I SAN PEDRO TODAY I 29


October 27, 2019: Children perform at the last pre-pandemic Día de los Muertos Festival in Downtown San Pedro. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

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Send to: San Pedro Today P.O. Box 1168, San Pedro, CA 90733 Make checks/m.o. for $29.95 payable to San Pedro Today. This offer is for the Continental United States only. Sorry, no international orders.

Discover the only


for repairing TOOTH LOSS

Giri Palani, DDS, FICOL Implant Dentistry Dr. Palani is a Fellow in the International

We Offer:

• Dental Implants & Teeth in ONE DAY • Complete Implant procedure done in one office from start to finish • Minimally Invasive Dental Implant Procedures • Computer Guided Implant Placement • Treatment Options to fit into any budget • Financing Available

Congress of Oral Implantoligists. He has been giving people back their smiles for over a decade.

TRUST AN EXPERT — CALL TODAY — (310) 464-1322

28358 S. Western Ave., RPV 90275 NEW PATIENT SPECIAL

$1200-$5500 OFF

Your Dental Implant Procedure

Not combinable with any other offer or discount. Exp. 10/31/21



CT Scan

with an Implant Consultation

Not combinable with any other offer or discount. Exp. 10/31/21

Profile for San Pedro Today

San Pedro Today - October 2021  

On the Cover: West Harbor Preview - A look at who's moving into town and what to expect in the future; Also in this issue: A look at the new...

San Pedro Today - October 2021  

On the Cover: West Harbor Preview - A look at who's moving into town and what to expect in the future; Also in this issue: A look at the new...

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