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Photos by Glenn Marzano. A look back at some of our favorite LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade pictures and entries.

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

This Month Brings You

help you prom help you prom nization or even nization or even A look inside your HTN

NCWP announces Star of the Neighborhood Community Spotlight: Westchester mom helps you find joy in your space through organizing July Summer Events & Activities List 20th Anniversary Parade Program


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HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher, Editor

Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer

Kirby Israelson, Graphic Design Consuelo Israelson, Contributing Writer

Advertisers’ Directory

Airport Marina Counseling 30 Neighborhood Council 02 Amy Frelinger Group 33 Passman Group 05 Annenberg PetSpace 32 Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary 20 Benny’s Tacos 08 Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd. 14 Carousel School 20 Regatta Capital Group 07 23 CCR Properties 24 RE/MAX Estate Properties Christopher Blatter 07 Silicon Beach Parents Group 25 Decron 15 SoCalGas 27 Drollinger Properties 31, 35 SoCalSport 30 El Segundo Car Wash 05 St. Anastasia School 19 Food Pantry, LAX 16 Stephanie Younger Group 21 Head to Toe Salon 35 Vergari & Napolitano 24 HHLA 23 Visitation School 11 Jane St. John 17 WAM Block Party 18 LAWA 13 Westchester Family YMCA 07 LAX Coastal Chamber 09 Westchester Farmers’ Market 32 LAX Kiwanis 29 Westchester Lutheran School 26 Loyola Marymount 04, 12 Westchester Town Center BID 03 Marina del Rey Hospital 36 Westside Pacific Village 33 Nanci Edwards 26 Zacha Homes 28

act us for rates and act us for rates and hesterhometo About The HomeTown News (HTN)

The HomeTown News is a monthly community newspaper dedicated to providing information about the people, events and happenings of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista. Look for the HomeTown News the first Thursday of the month at your home or at one of our drop-off locations.

hesterhometo Connect with the HTN:

Mailing Address: 8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 110 #745 Westchester, CA 90045 • Email: • Website: • Facebook: The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of each month.

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us on Faceboo to-date with news and us on Faceboo Let us help you promote your business, Let us help youorpromote business, organization event toyour our readers! organization or event to our readers! Contact us for rates and to reserve space at Contact us for rates and to reserve space at

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July 2019 • Page 3

Community Spotlight: Westchester mom helps you find joy in your space through organizing Westchester mom, Kristin DeCou, is on a mission to use her super organization skills to transform peoples’ homes into clutter-free, peaceful, beautiful spaces with her company, Modern Refresh. After transitioning from a job in corporate America, DeCou decided to pursue her dream of starting her own business. Considering a variety of options, including becoming a calligrapher, nothing felt right until she picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and read it cover to cover. Using Kondo’s organizing methods in her own home, DeCou loved the process and was inspired to take the seminars needed to become a certified KonMari consultant and launch her business last fall. “I’ve always valued order. Anytime I take a personality test I always score a 10 on organization,” said DeCou, mom to Hudson, 3 and Kalea, 10-months. “It’s very important to me and part of the fabric of what I value. It just comes naturally.” She is now helping her clients keep only things that speak to the heart, while encouraging them to let go of the items that have outlived their purpose and are keeping them from having

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Kristin poses in her living room with kids Hudson and Kalea.

their dream home and ideal lifestyle. Thanks to the Netflix show, “Tidying up with Marie Kondo,” which premiered this January, the organizing method is now a household name, a pleasant surprise that has helped DeCou not only grow her business, but also makes explaining what she does much easier. “If you watch the show, you can see how it can be transformative, depending on the individual, by going through every single thing you own and processing during that time a lot of

who you are, a lot of your identity, the past and things that you hold on to,” said DeCou. “Everyone grapples with something. Everyone has something that they hold on tightly to for various reasons.” DeCou says her typical clients are women of all ages interested in organizing and transforming their home but need someone to hold them accountable and help them make the commitment. When she meets with a client for the first time, they start with a tour of the home and then discuss

their vision for the space. What would their ideal home look like? What’s on the walls? What would it feel like? Would it smell like anything in particular? “Most people right off the bat can envision what that ideal space would look like, and it’s usually very different from the space they have,” said DeCou. “Anytime you can move them incrementally to that ideal they will enjoy being at home more and doing things there. They won’t be spending so much time dealing with their stuff, so they can do more of what they love and what makes them come alive. It can lead to many positive things that are not related to organizing at all.” During the next step, they organize a plan that tackles one of the five KonMari categories: clothing, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous that includes the kitchen and garage) and sentimental. Most clients start with clothing, which involves emptying out their closets and drawers on their bed and seeing what sparks joy and will be kept. If it doesn’t, the item will be thanked and then donated or thrown away. Items put back in the drawers are folded using the special KonMari technique. (continued on next page)

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Hudson checks out his neatly organized clothing drawer with items folded using the KonMari method.

“Most of my clients are pretty organized, but somewhere along the way they get stuck. They can’t overcome how to put their office together or how to process the mountains of books they have,” said DeCou. “Things get cluttered, and they don’t know where to put things, so that’s where I can help.” For client Kristen Quan, working with DeCou has been a dream come true. With a newborn baby and clutter starting to get in the way of relaxing and enjoying her space, DeCou was able to come in and help the Quans love their home again. “Kristin comes in and she knows exactly what to do, where to put things, how to organize things so that

it will make you feel joy. I never get tired of singing praises for Kristin’s work,” said Quan. “It’s such a rare gift and you can tell she enjoys it because she runs a million miles a minute just organizing on overdrive. She’s genuinely interested in the outcome that after it all, you have a space you truly enjoy.” Echoes DeCou, “A lot of clients say, ‘I wish I would have started this earlier,’ because of how they feel afterwards. The closer you can get to your ideal lifestyle the more joy you’ll feel, the happier you’ll be and the more time you’ll have to do the things you really love.” To learn more, please visit

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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Business & Nonprofit News

Sheri Sather, the YMCA’s Rae Jin and Kristin Stybel are excited to host the inaugural Mother Son Prom at the Westchester Family YMCA Annex on July 27.

Show your community spirit at the Westchester Team Challenge. Inspired to get the community moving, two longtime residents have created the Westchester Team Challenge! With the goal to raise community spirit, celebrate Westchester and meet new people, the day of friendly competition will consist of teams of 10 battling it out in games like football toss, corn hole, bocce ball and more. The Westchester Team Challenge will take place on Saturday, August 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at LMU’s Drollinger Field. Grant Francis, who has lived in Westchester since moving here as a child in the 1940s, got the idea for the event after seeing something similar while on vacation in Australia. Knowing that local realtors are supportive of the community, he connected with fellow Westchester High School alum and realtor, Amy Nelson Frelinger, earlier this year and the two created the event with the hope it will become a yearly summer tradition. The cost to participate is $300 per team ($30 per person) and everyone will receive a t-shirt. The winning teams will receive prizes, a trophy and their pictures published in the HomeTown News. The deadline to register is Friday, July 12 by visiting Sponsorships and prize donations are also being sought. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA), which is responsible for the beautification efforts along Sepulveda Blvd.

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Amy Nelson Frelinger and Grant Francis are inviting community members to participate in the inaugural Westchester Team Challenge to promote community spirit and friendly competition.

Rotary presents scholarships to local high school graduates. The Rotary Club of Westchester recently presented $8,000 in scholarship awards to some of the area’s best and brightest high school students. Among the scholarship recipients are St. Bernard HS graduate, Ani Muckelroy; Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet graduate, Ana Lara; St. Bernard HS graduate, Tyler Roach; St. Bernard HS graduate Reggiona Pawinski-Anderson; St. Bernard HS graduate, Cornell Mapp and Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet graduate, Melissa Ignacio. “These students are an amazing example of the incredible future leaders that come from right here in our community,” said Westchester Rotary President Tori Hettinger. “We are very proud to help them get their college

careers off to a good start with these Rotary scholarships.” Put on your dancing shoes for the inaugural Mother Son Prom. A group of Westchester moms are hard at work planning a new community event, the Mother Son Prom, which will take place later this month at the Westchester Family YMCA. After seeing pictures from the Father Daughter Prom and wishing there was something similar for them and their sons, Kristina Stybel and Sheri Sather connected over social media and decided to organize their own dance. The YMCA quickly jumped on board to host the event in their Annex, and the prom will double as a fundraiser for the nonprofit’s summer camp scholarship program. “We wanted to partner with the

YMCA because it is such a gem in our community,” said Stybel. “So many of our kids have grown up attending the Y’s child programs, so we thought it would be the perfect organization to partner with.” To make this a memorable night for moms and their families, the two women have relied on support from the community and have been blown away by the generosity of Westchester/ Playa businesses. Truxton’s and The Good Pizza will be donating appetizers for the event, while more than 25 gifts—from restaurants, fitness studios, beauty salons and more—have been donated so far for the raffle. The Mother Son Prom will also feature a DJ, photo booth and more. The prom will be held on Saturday, July 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Westchester YMCA Annex, located at 8020 Alverstone Ave. in Westchester. A limited number of tickets are available to purchase online at westchester/pages/events. The cost to attend is $25 per mom with kids free. “We are so grateful to be a part of such a supportive and loving community,” said Stybel. “Eventually, when we have the means we would love to even host a parent/child prom for anyone with kids who loves to dance and wants to have a special night with their child.” Calling all Westchester High School, Class of ’79 graduates! It’s the 40th anniversary of Westchester High School’s Class of 1979 and organizers are inviting their classmates to attend the reunion! Save the date for Saturday, September 14 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Westchester Elks Lodge. Get more info by searching “WHS, Los Angeles CA, Class of ‘79 Forty-Year Reunion” on

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Photo courtesy LAWA.

LAWA will hold a meeting at Flight Path on July 18 to discuss the proposed Airfield & Terminal Modernization Project.

Learn about LAX’s next proposed project at public scoping meeting. You’re invited to a public scoping meeting and informational workshop hosted by Los Angeles World Airports to discuss a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Airfield & Terminal Modernization Project (ATMP). The proposed project would include airfield, terminal and roadway improvements. Most notably, the project calls for the construction of Concourse 0 and Terminal 9 to replace remote gates that would be eliminated by the Taxiway D westerly extension. Concourse 0 would be an 11-gate concourse facility east of Terminal 1. Terminal 9 would be a new 12-gate international and domestic passenger terminal southeast of the Sepulveda/

Century Blvd. intersection. The public scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, July 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Flight Path Museum & Learning Center, located at 6661 W. Imperial Highway in Westchester. Comments on the project can be submitted on the LAX website at or sent to Evelyn Quintanilla at Los Angeles World Airports, P.O. Box 92216, Los Angeles, CA 90009. Comments must be received by LAWA no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30. Learn more about the project at We want to hear about your business or nonprofit! Email us at for a chance to be featured.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

July 2019 • Page 7

Photo courtesy Playa Vista.

Photo courtesy LMU.

Clockwise from left: 1. Shakespeare on the Bluff will include performances of “As You Like it” and “Pericles.” 2. Music fans get ready for a rock performance at Playa Vista’s Bandshell Park. 3. The community is invited to a pancake breakfast fundraiser for Westchester’s Fire Station 5 this month hosted by the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club.

free entertainment! You can also grab a bite from gourmet food trucks that are fixtures at all of the park’s events. Playa Vista’s Concerts in the Park run on select Sundays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and this year’s lineup includes: • Sunday, July 21–Queen Nation (Queen tribute band) at Central Park Bandshell • Sunday, August 11–Woodstock Tribute Band at Central Park Bandshell Playa Vista Movies in the Park are shown on select Fridays from 8 to 10 p.m., and this year’s featured films include: • Friday, July 12–“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” at Concert Park • Friday, August 2–“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” at Concert Park Shakespeare in the Park performances start at 7 p.m. and will

What’s on your summer calendar? Community groups are hosting a plethora of free family-friendly events this month, and you’re invited! Whether you’re looking to rock out at a Playa Vista concert, enjoy a movie under the stars at the beach or listen to Shakespeare while hanging on the bluff, every weekend this month is jammed with activities! Here are our picks for upcoming events:

Playa Vista Summer Events

Various dates • Various times • FREE Various Playa Vista parks Movies, concerts and Shakespeare in the Park? Count us in! Playa Vista is the place to be this summer for outdoor events. Grab your blanket, picnic basket and relax under the stars with hundreds of your fellow community members and enjoy the

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include: • Sunday, June 30–“As You Like It” at Concert Park • Sunday, July 28–“Pericles” at Central Park Bandshell Concert Park is located at Concert Park Drive and Runway Road; and the Central Park Bandshell is located at Waterfront Drive between Artisans Way and Campus Center Drive. For more info, please visit playavista. com/events.

LAX Coastal on Parade “America, Better Together”

Thursday, July 4 • 11 a.m. • FREE Loyola Blvd. at Westchester Park This year is the 20th anniversary of the LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade, and the whole community is invited to celebrate! Fifty community groups, marching bands, schools and floats

will participate in this hometown event with the theme, “America, Better Together!” This year’s theme represents the wonderful melting pot of our country, highlighting our communal spirit and how together we are a stronger, more diverse and prosperous nation. While there’s no bad spot to enjoy the festivities, if you’re interested in a place near one of three announcer booths along Loyola Blvd. (at Manchester Blvd., 83rd St. and 80th St.), you’re encouraged to arrive by 10:30 a.m. Limited bleacher seating is also available on a first-come, firstserved basis at center stage. Biking or walking to the event is encouraged. For more information, please visit (continued on page 32)

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

4th of July Parade Program

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LINE OF MARCH 1. LAPD Pacific Area Junior Cadets

14. Dance It Out

2. Salute to Our Sponsors

15. Senator Ben Allen

28. Mighty Gondolier Marching Band Venice High

3. LA #1 Hog

16. Immortals Lion Dance

4. Congresswoman Maxine Waters

17. LAX Coastal Education Foundation

29. Mar Vista Family Center Forklorico Group with 1932 Bandwagon and Mariachi

5. Inglewood HS Marching Band

18. Knights of Columbus

30. St. Monica Catholic High School

6. Honor Flight Southland

19. Thaine Morris and the Calliope

31. LAUSD Vice President Nick Melvoin

7. Great Pyrenees Alliance of the West

20. Ladies of the Elks Lodge 2050

32. St. Anastasia Catholic School

8. AYSO 7 Westchester Blue Jets State Champions

21. Grand Marshal Jory Rand

33. Eisenhower High School

9. Visitation Catholic School

22. Los Angeles World Airports with Flight Path

34. Westchester Little League

10. LAPD leaders with LAPD West Traffic Division and Booster Club

23. DRALL - Del Rey American Little League

11. Westchester Parents Nursery School 24. Rotary Clubs on LAFD Firetrucks 12. Redondo Union High School Band and Guard 13. Westchester del Rey Little League

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35. St. Bernard High School 36. LAX Coastal Chamber Chair Michael D'Amodio & Honorary Mayor Kelly King

25. 501st Legion

37. Westchester Scouts BSA

26. L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin

38. Westchester Farmers’ Market

27. Loyola Marymount University

39. WISH Community and WISH Academy

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40. Star of the Neighborhood 41. Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet 42. Southern California Masonic Lodge #529, F & AM 43. Otis College of Art and Design 44. Maywood High School Band 45. Emerson Ave. Community Garden 46. Uncle Sam 47. Kentwood Elementary School 48. Westchester Lutheran Church & School 49. Charro Horses 50. Westchester Playa Historical Society with Kentwood Players *Final line of march as of press time

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

WE WANT TO SEE YOUR PARADE PHOTOS! With everyone out in full patriotic force on the Fourth of July, it’s a great place to take photos of your family, friends, the community and the parade entries! This year, we have created the #LAXCoastalParade hashtag in the hopes that you’ll share all of these great photos with us. There are three ways to participate:

1. Like the HomeTown News on Facebook at and post your photo on our wall 2. Follow the Chamber on Instagram at @laxcoastal. Take a photo and tag it with @laxcoastal and #LAXCoastalParade 3. Email your photo to Our favorite photos will also have the opportunity to be featured on our social media sites and in the parade recap of the August Edition of the HTN. Photos must be submitted no later than Monday, July 15. Email

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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This year’s parade participants LAPD Pacific Division Junior Cadets

The Sentinel Marching Band’s reputation for being a great musical force is growing. They have been featured in Teachers Rock on CBS, Cartoon Network’s Hall of Game Show and on a commercial for Beats by Dre called No Strings Attached. They were also featured in the half-time shows of the NFLPA Bowl Games at the Stub Hub Center in Carson and have won countless first place awards in parades and marching competitions.

Continuing our annual tradition, the LAPD Pacific Area Junior Cadets lead off our parade and proudly carry the American flag. The Cadets range from ages 14 to 20 and work in close partnership with LAPD Community Relations. They will be marching all the way to 80th Street to give everyone in attendance the chance to salute our nation’s flag.

Honor Flight Southland: Salute to our WWII Veterans

“America, Better Together” Salute to our Sponsors This parade would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors. Carrying our great flag, here are representatives of the organizations that have stepped up to the plate to ensure the success of this event. Let’s make sure to give them a big round of applause! Admiral Sponsor: Decron Properties, the HomeTown News and Robin Zacha/Zacha Homes. Celebration Sponsor: Jane St. John, RE/MAX Estate Properties. Flagship Sponsors: Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, HHLA and Stephanie Younger Group | Compass. Freedom Sponsors: Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey and The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa. Patriot Sponsors: Loyola Marymount University, Otis College, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, St. Anastasia, United Airlines and Westchester Rotary. Friends of the Parade: The Calliope Man, Carousel School, Ladies of the Westchester Elks, Los Angeles Airport Marriott, SoCalGas, Southbay Custom Integration, Westchester Lutheran Church & School and the Westchester Elks Lodge #2050. Firecracker Sponsors: Cantalini’s, Gail Goldstein & Rob Bird and the Smith family: Garrett, Trish and Analise.

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Look out for this year’s award-winning floats and entries that are bringing home special honors for excellence in the following categories: Best Overall Spirit of the Parade Chairmans Award Mayors Award Thank you to the local Girl Scouts for being the parade’s official banner carriers!

L.A. #1 HOG Chapter Let’s hear it for the Harley Owners Group (or “HOG” for short), the Los Angeles Area’s #1 Chapter is sponsored by Bartel’s HarleyDavidson in Marina del Rey. With more than 150 members, these riders are active contributors to our community, serving various charities and giving back to our veterans. L.A. #1 HOG has been a proud participant in the Westchester 4th of July Parade since the beginning and is glad to be here in the 20th year of the celebration!

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Proudly representing Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Lomita, Torrance and parts of South Los Angeles in the United States Congress, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a

4th of July Parade Program

strong advocate for all of her constituents. She continues to fight against LAX expansion into our neighborhoods; for preservation of the Ballona Wetlands; for the growth of new technology-based industry; and for other issues of importance to Los Angeles. She is the first woman to be elected by her peers in Congress to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, which works to rein in the fraudulent practices of banks and to ensure the fairness of our lending institutions.

The Parade Committee is honored to have WWII Veterans participate in our parade again this year! The Veterans riding with us today are from Honor Flight Southland, a 100 percent volunteer nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s Veterans for all their sacrifices. They safely transport these heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials, with top priority given to the senior Veterans of World War II. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, only 496,777 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II were alive in 2018, so our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out. Let’s salute our World War II Veterans that are here with us today: Joe Hilario, US Navy; Russell Breeding, US Navy; Anthony Campos, US Navy; Ruth Huber, US Navy; Leonard Pace, US Army; John Vander Giessen, US Army; James Hocker, US Navy and Robert Sawyer, Army Air Corps. Thank you to our WWII Veterans riding in the parade today, and to all our veterans and troops for your service to our country!

Inglewood High School Sentinel Marching Band

The Inglewood High School Sentinel Marching Band is making its fifth appearance in the parade today!

Enjoy the photos in this program from past parades by Glenn Marzano!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

4th of July Parade Program

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This year’s parade participants Great Pyrenees Alliance of the West (GPAW)

Please contact or (310) 645-0903 for more information. You can also view their website at

Great Pyrenees Alliance of the West is marching this year in honor of founder Donna Anderson. Great Pyrenees are livestock guardians, companion, therapy and service dogs. They’re also movie stars and show dogs! The white dogs in “Santa Paws” and “Finding Neverland” were Great Pyrenees, and the giant white “lapdog” in the Little Caesar’s TV ad was a GPAW dog. Today is their 19th year in this parade. GPAW Rescue places Great Pyrenees in “forever” homes. Ask us about a Pyr rescue. We’re the people with the big white dogs!

Dance It Out

Dance It Out celebrates being “Better Together” by dancing to “Raise You Up/Just Be” from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.” It’s the story of a struggling shoe factory owner who pairs up with an outrageous drag queen, and when they come together, they not only save the shoe business, but learn to appreciate the differences in one another. Dance It Out is cardio dance, which combines Latin music, current hits, disco and more in a fun, inclusive, amazing workout! Westchester resident Sheri Weitz teaches every Monday night, and you’re invited to join in the fun! Find her on Facebook at DIOsheri.

AYSO 7 Westchester Blue Jets Western States Champions 2019

The Westchester Blue Jets won the Western States AYSO Soccer Championship in the U11 Boys Extra division in Lake Forest, California this spring! The Western States Championship brings together the top AYSO teams from California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The team finished the season with a 40-7-3 record and captured tournament titles at the Costa Mesa McMillan Invitational and the Long Beach Classic. The Blue Jets formed in August 2018 with players from Westchester, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, Inglewood, Ladera Heights and Mar Vista. The Blue Jets are made up of: Max Abroms, Jacob Burns, Brogan Comer, Matthew Dombrowski, Chris Donell, Dasian Galvan, Micah Matthews, Jack Milligan, Karlo Palos, Micah Smith, Devan Vadgama, and Cayden Washington. The team is coached by Harvey Galvan and Robert Milligan. Congratulations Blue Jets! To learn more about the local league, please visit

Visitation Catholic School

California State Senator Ben Allen

LAPD Leadership and Pacific Area Booster Association Board Member Diane Barretti with LAPD West Traffic Division

Coming down the street next is another outstanding float by Visitation School! What better way to show that this country is better together than to build a replica of the train that helped connect and bring this country together 150 years ago…the Transcontinental Railroad! That’s right, we bet no one even knew that this is the 150-year anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad! Visitation families have 100 percent built and decorated the three-part train float, complete with locomotive, passenger car and caboose. Riding on it are all their wonderful and spirited families, and as you can see, they are all brimming with pride in their school and in this great nation! Go Bulldogs!

It is the mission of the Los Angeles Police Department to safeguard lives and property in the communities it serves; to reduce the incidence and fear of crime and to enhance public safety. The mandate of the men and women of the LAPD is to perform these services with honor, integrity and the highest ethical standards. Joining the LAPD West Traffic Division is Diane Barretti, Board Member of the Pacific Area Boosters Association. Happy Fourth of July from the LAPD to you!

Westchester Parents’ Nursery School Proudly serving Westchester and surrounding communities since 1952, here is Westchester Parents’ Nursery School! WPNS, led by Director Joyce Woodruff, offers play-based early education in a magical new school. They are currently enrolling and invite you to stop by and play! For more information about their exciting programs, please visit or call the office at (310) 670-5522.

Redondo Union High School Marching Band and Guard Let’s welcome the Redondo Union Band! The Redondo Union Band and Guard is under the direction of Ray Vizcarra, the Dance Guard is led by Sammie Dobson and the percussion is led by Alan Han. The band and guard have been finalists for three years in a row in the California State Grand Championships, where only 12 of the top schools, out of all entries, are chosen. In 2015, they won the division 4A state championships, and in 2016, they were crowned the bronze state champion in the grand championship final! The students in this organization also branch off into other performing ensembles, which earn high accolades throughout the state. They have even performed on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Westchester Del Rey Little League

California State Senator Ben Allen proudly represents the 26th State Senate District, which consists of the Westside and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County stretching from Pacific Palisades to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Senator Allen serves as chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, as well as the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Arts. He and his wife, Melanie, recently welcomed a baby boy, Ezra into their family. This is his fifth year appearing in the parade! Senator Allen is committed to the protection of our environment, educational opportunities for our children and reforming our election system to increase transparency. He looks forward to continuing to serve you in following years and invites you to reach out to him or his staff at their Redondo Beach office.

Immortals Lion Dance Troupe

Joining us for the first time this year is the Immortals Lion Dance Troupe from Los Angeles! Enjoy the brightly colored costumes of the playful lions and the sounds of drums, gongs and cymbals as these skilled performers make their way down Loyola Blvd.! Happy Fourth of July!

Westchester Del Rey Little League was founded by Mary Ann and Kent Mace in 1974 and had approximately 50 girls playing the first season. Today, the league celebrates its 45th year in the community and has grown to more than 300 players playing on 25 teams with ages ranging from 4 to 14. They have players from a variety of divisions participating in the parade today. Their spring season runs from the beginning of March through July. Fall season runs September through December.

for your safety and convenience While we hope you are having fun and enjoying the parade with all of its music, floats and marching groups, safety is our number one priority! A FIRST-AID STATION is located at the eastside corner of 83rd and Loyola. Need a band aid? We have basic first-aid kits at each announcer booth, on our golf carts, and at the VIP tent at the starting line. Just ask a volunteer in a green parade shirt for assistance. PORT-A-POTTIES are located at 85th & Loyola, 83rd & Loyola, and 80th & Loyola. Please walk your bike or scooter if you need to cross the parade route. Riders that are not with an entry in the parade will be asked to walk their bikes/scooters to ensure the safety of parade entries and to keep the parade running smoothly.


Emergency Food Distribution to those in need. Sponsored by the Westchester Clergy Association

Open Tuesday & Friday, 10am-12pm 355 Beach St., Inglewood

Bring donations of non-perishable food to Covenant Presbyterian Chuch. Volunteers and money donations also welcomed and encouraged!

For more information, please call (310) 677-5597 Ad donated by the Covenant Presbyterian Church

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Madison Fujioka is a born entertainer and loves making people smile. The 12-year-old Westchester resident attends Palms Middle School, where she is an honor role student. A true triple-threat, she loves singing, acting and ballroom dancing. She also plays piano and has taken voice lessons at Musical Beginnings since the age of 6. She currently is taking acting classes and has done musical theater in Santa Monica and Culver City, playing the roles of Annie, Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Besides entertaining, Madison is a Girl Scout and enjoys playing sports. She has played basketball with the Venice Panthers since the age of 5 and plays for her middle school team.

This year’s parade participants

LAX Coastal Education Foundation

This year’s parade theme, “Better Together,” truly embodies the spirit of The LAX Coastal Education Foundation! The organization supports all our local schools, whether they’re public, private, parochial or charter from kindergarten through 12th grade. The float, titled, “Together through education, we uplift the world,” is a testament to how all the children of the world can support our planet and each other by joining hands and working together. The volunteers who built this float, led by LAX Coastal Education Foundation board member, Kelly Kane, have dedicated hundreds of hours to improving local education and many are riding or walking with the entry today. They’d like to give a special thanks to the float’s generous sponsor, Nanci Edwards, your neighborhood realtor, who once again made this entry possible! The LAX Coastal Education Foundation raises funds and awareness for all our local schools, and they welcome your support and donations. Save the date for the 2020 Rock Roll & Run for Education 5K/1K on Saturday, March 14. For more information, please visit and

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men’s organization, officially chartered as a fraternal benefit society in 1882. The Knights of Columbus has more than 13,000 Councils and 1.7 million members worldwide. The Order is still true to its founding principles of “charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.” This is their 10th year in the parade! The Westchester/Playa del Rey Council, Father Emil Kapaun, Council 3744, is named after an Army Chaplin and was established in 1953. Father Emil Kapaun was awarded (posthumously), the Medal of Honor, by President Obama. From their initial membership of 100, the current membership stands strong at 300 and is the eighth largest in California. Through their fundraisers and community famous fish fries, the council is able to turn back to the local community $10,000 annually in scholarships and access to its facilities for special events. Leading the group is Grand Knight, Merv Hughes (Vietnam, Army), who is being driven

by Alex Padilla, a retired police captain with the Santa Monica Police Department and current councilman for the city of Inglewood. On the float are Knights that have served our country in various foreign wars: Vincent A. Migliazzo, (WWII, Army); Al Ward (WWII, Army); Earl Ricks (Korea, Marines) and Tom Zvanovec (Vietnam, Air Force). Representing the 20-plus Peace Officers of the Council 3744 Knights is Craig Miller (LA County Sheriff).

Thaine Morris and the Calliope

Here comes the Calliope Car! A calliope is a musical instrument that produces sound by sending gas, steam or compressed air through large whistles—originally, locomotive whistles. The calliope is owned and driven by Westchester resident Thaine Morris. Thank you, Thaine, for celebrating our nation’s birthday with us!

Ladies of the Westchester Elks #2050

The Ladies of the Westchester Elks Lodge are representing their fellow Elks in this year’s parade. The Westchester Lodge is one of nearly 2,000 lodges nationwide that make up the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a non-profit fraternal organization that donates approximately $200 million every year to support youth, Veteran and community programs. With more than 60 years serving the community, this summer the Westchester Lodge will be celebrating the 20th year of their annual Car Show & Chili Cook-Off! Mark your calendars for September 7! Following the parade, please join the Elks at their family-friendly 4th of July barbecue for only $5 per person. The Elks Lodge is located at 8025 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester.

Grand Marshal: Jory Rand

Jory Rand is the weekend anchor and an Emmy and Murrow Award winning reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News. Raised in Columbia, Maryland, Jory studied broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland, where he was also a two-time All-Conference hockey player, winning two ACC Championships. Prior to coming to Los Angeles, Jory worked in Pittsburgh, Richmond, Virginia and Hagerstown, Maryland. Welcome Jory! Thank you for joining us in today’s parade!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

4th of July Parade Program

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This year’s parade participants

Los Angeles World Airports with Flight Path L.A. is a destination and LAX is improving its terminals, roads and service to welcome the world! Here comes LAX featuring its greatest strength—its employees and volunteers—who represent the warm, friendly faces at the airport starting with LAX’s police officers who specialize in protecting and serving the aviation community and cadets–LAX’s future law enforcement! Next up is the Flight Path Museum & Learning Center models, the External Affairs family, the famous PUPS from the airport’s pet therapy program and wonderful volunteers who make up the “team” in Team LAWA! Let’s also acknowledge the valuable contributions made by the airlines, terminal restaurants, retail stores and sister federal agencies such as the TSA, U.S. Customs and the FAA. Together, they provide exceptional guest experiences! Let’s give a big cheer to the Flight Path Museum models who are wearing vintage flight attendant and pilot uniforms representing various airlines from the golden age of flying: the 60s and 70s. Also joining the “blast from the past” models is LAWA’s Chief of External Affairs, Michelle Schwartz, along with four vintage vehicles: a 1976 Alpha Romeo; 1963 Studebaker Hawk; 1961 Studebaker Wagon and 1952 Packard. Thank you, LAX, for supporting local communities and this parade year after year!

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Del Rey American Little League

When we think about America coming together, we also think about America’s favorite past time, baseball! Marching today is Del Rey American Little League, known as DRALL. DRALL has been serving Westchester and Playa Del Rey for more than 65 years and many coaches played in DRALL as kids and are now back to serve their community! Congratulations to the DRALL teams who recently brought back the hardware from the recent Tournament of Champions! Majors Red Sox won first in the Gold Division; Minor Mariners won first in the Gold Division; Minor Twins won second in the Gold Division and Minor Angels won 3rd in the Silver Division. DRALL is proud of all of you!

Rotary Clubs on the LAFD Firetrucks Give a warm welcome to the Playa Venice Sunrise and Westchester Rotarians, LAX Coastal Chamber representatives, Councilmember Mike Bonin and the Los Angeles City Fire Department! Rotary is a service group made up of dedicated men and women who use their “time, talent and treasure” to give back to our community, supporting such projects as the teacher mini-grants, the Teacher Eddy Awards and today’s parade. The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary hopes to see you at their Saturday, July 13 pancake breakfast at Fire Station 5. Visit for more info! Let’s show our appreciation for these great volunteers!

4th of July Parade Program

501st Legion

From a galaxy far far away, welcome 501st Legion Southern California Garrison and the Rebel Legion Sunrider Base. This world-wide organization is back for the second time this year. More than 10,000 members are dedicated to doing charity events with organizations, including Make a Wish, Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Association and Ronald McDonald House. Costumes are screen accurate and made by the members. For more info, visit

Loyola Marymount University For the past 20 years, LMU has been a proud participant in Westchester’s 4th of July Parade! In this year’s float, each of the puzzle pieces represents a unique, but vital, part of the Westchester/Playa community. Together, all the pieces fit to create a collaborative, safe and healthy neighborhood. Joining Iggy today along the parade route are members of the LMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. Go Lions! LMU is a private Catholic university with 6,000 undergraduates, 2,200 graduate students and 1,100 law students from diverse backgrounds and many perspectives. The seven colleges and schools boast best-in-the-nation programs in film and television, business, education and more. Their mission is grounded in a centuries-old Jesuit educational tradition that produces extraordinary men and women dedicated to service and social justice. They’re proud of the more than 85,000 LMU alumni whose professional achievements are matched

by a deep commitment to improving the lives of others. Visit for more information.

Venice High’s Mighty Gondolier Marching Band Next up is the Mighty Gondolier Marching Band! Marching for the fourth consecutive summer, the band is under the direction of David W. Lee, Director of Instrumental Studies at Venice High School. Venice High School cheer and dance teams are joining the Mighty Gondoliers. The cheer team is under the direction of Ms. Joanna Trocan-Garrett and the dance team is under the direction of Valeria Rivera. Tag and follow the band on Instagram @ venicehsband. For more info about the Venice High School Music Department, please visit

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

4th of July Parade Program

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Photos by Glenn Marzano.

This year’s parade participants

Mar Vista Family Center Folklorico Group with the 1932 Bandwagon

Marching in our parade for the first time is Mar Vista Family Center’s Folklorico Group led by dancers from Culver City Middle School, ICEF Mar Vista, Animo Venice and more, who are showcasing various outfits and regions of Mexico. Join them in celebrating the richness of culture and dance of Mexico! The group is taught by instructor Victor Herrera.

St. Monica Catholic High School

St. Monica Catholic High School is excited to be part of this parade for the fourth consecutive year! St. Monica is currently the high school of choice for more than 125 students from the Westchester area. The St. Monica family is proud to have so many valuable ties to this community and is happy to be part of this community tradition. St. Monica Catholic High School embraces the theme of this year’s parade. The school is proud of the communal spirit among its students, faculty and parents. From the incoming freshmen to the graduating seniors, they work together to provide the strongest academic, athletic and extracurricular experience for their students. Their seniors once again celebrated a 100-percent four-year college acceptance rate and will be attending some of the finest colleges and universities throughout the state and country. At St. Monica, they are thoroughly invested as educators and strive to give their students the confidence and skills to take their place in the modern and fast-moving world.

LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin Riding in our parade for the third year in a row is LAUSD School Board Vice President Nick Melvoin. Nick represents the dynamic communities of Board District 4, from West Los Angeles to the West San Fernando Valley, including all of our public Westchester/Playa schools. Nick’s election to the Board in May 2017 follows a career fighting for our city’s schoolchildren as a teacher, attorney and advocate. Nick believes that together, with the right leadership, we can ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the opportunity to succeed! Sign-up for his newsletter at

St. Anastasia Catholic School

St. Anastasia Catholic School has been a supporter of the LAX Coastal Chamber’s Fourth of July Parade for more than 10 years! Grounded in Catholic tradition, St. Anastasia

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School has been shaping young lives in the surrounding community for more than 60 years. This neighborhood school offers junior kindergarten through eighth grade education enhanced by a variety of extracurricular offerings that support the spiritual, physical and creative growth of each child. They proudly present this year’s float themed “UNITED!” St. Anastasia Catholic School strives to unite its diverse community through faith, citizenship and social responsibility. “One nation under God…united!”

Eisenhower High School

Joining in the parade for the first time this year is Eisenhower! The band, orchestra and color guard are the school’s musical organization, which continue to grow year after year. The band performs several concerts throughout the year, plays for many school and civic events and even serves as a pep band for athletic games. The band has also earned several honors during the last school year including a good rating at the SCSBOA concert festival, being invited to the Chinese New Year’s Parade in San Francisco and participating in the WCWG Championships in San Diego.

St. Bernard High School students have been accepted to highly competitive universities such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, Howard University, LMU and George Washington University. St. Bernard High School is joined today by Transfiguration drum line, led by SBHS Alumnus, Chris Nuno. On the count of three, please join St. Bernard High School in their cheer and say “Hail all, hail! One…two…three….Hail all, hail!”

LAX Coastal Chamber Chair Michael D’Amodio & Honorary Mayor Kelly King Please give a warm welcome to LAX Coastal Chamber Chair, Michael D’Amodio. Michael is the Vice President, Operations at Interstate Hotels and oversees a portfolio of properties owned by Seaview Investors. Riding with Michael today is new chamber Honorary Mayor, Kelly King. On behalf of the leadership of the LAX Coastal Chamber, we wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Westchester Scouts BSA

Westchester Little League (WLL) has provided youth baseball for children residing or attending school in our community since 1954. Carl E. Nielsen Youth Park is the home of the little league. Participants each season average more than 220 boys and girls from ages 5-12 years spread throughout four divisions. The 2016 10U All-Star team made it to the state subdivision, finishing third in California and last year, the 11U team won district 37 and moved on to the sectionals. Come support their four All-Star teams this summer! For more info visit

The Westchester Boy Scouts have participated in the parade since its beginning, and this year’s Boy Scout float celebrates the city of Irving, Texas, home to the headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting develops character through outdoor experiences, leadership opportunities and service to one’s community. Scouting’s most recognizable contributions to Westchester are the numerous Eagle Scout Projects around the community demonstrating the leadership and service skills scouting promotes in each level of the program. Westchester Scouting represents a network of responsible, hard-working and dedicated youth who consider service to the community as their primary objective.

St. Bernard High School

Westchester Farmers’ Market

Westchester Little League

Celebrating 62 years of Catholic High School Education, here is St. Bernard High School, your local community high school serving Westchester, Playa del Rey and surrounding areas! St. Bernard High School helps students find and discover their passion while offering a rigorous curriculum with honors and AP classes available starting in the ninth grade. They’re also competitive in sports, provide a well-rounded and active campus ministry program and have an amazing performing arts department. St. Bernard has a Film and Television Academy and is in the early stages of beginning a Culinary Academy as well.

4th of July Parade Program

WISH Charter Schools

WISH Charter Schools are thrilled to participate in the Westchester Fourth of July Parade for the ninth consecutive year and be part of this amazing community event! This year, our student-driven design, “We Go Together,” was created under the guidance of WISH Academy High School art teachers Steve O’Loughlin and Lynda Modaff. Using inspiration from the classic summer film “Grease,” the float features a jukebox as its centerpiece, with WISH students representing time-tested classic combinations that are always “better together.” WISH Charter Schools will celebrate its 10th year as a Westchester public school with the 2019-2020 school year. WISH Community School spans grades TK through 8th and WISH Academy High School will expand to include 11th grade this coming year, reaching capacity with grades 9 – 12 in the 2020-2021 school year.

Star of the Neighborhood A Star of the Neighborhood is someone who quietly makes a difference in our community. They are the unsung heroes, but are wellknown by the lives they touch. Each Star of the Neighborhood, proudly picked by the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa (NCWP) every year, helps to better the lives of so many in our neighborhood. This year, the NCWP is proud to recognize Steve and Dave Cressman as our Stars of the Neighborhood! The Cressmans are the founders of one of the communities longest and most defining events–The Gillis! The 49th annual weekend volleyball tournament will be held on July 27 and 28 at Toe’s Beach. Read more about the Cressmans on page 2 of the HomeTown News. Thank you, Steve and Dave!

Westchester Farmers’ Market brings together farmers, neighbors and community each and every week in the Westchester Triangle on 87th Street! The market runs Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you’re invited to join them for their third anniversary celebration on July 21! The celebration will include a vintage car show, pie contest, beer & mimosa garden, games and all your favorite vendors and farmers. They thank you all for your community support and their market sponsors: Westchester Town Center Business District, Westchester Vitalization, Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation and the Stephanie Younger Group. For more information, please visit

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

4th of July Parade Program

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This year’s parade participants Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet opened in 2013 as a full magnet school offering sixth to eighth grade students the opportunity to explore the arts, engineering and design. This is their fifth year participating in the 4th of July Parade and the float was designed and constructed by Wright students. Wright is a successful nationally recognized magnet school. This year, Wright will be opening its inaugural Gifted and Talented Educational program. The float’s theme is “Diversity is the Wright Way,” and features a student-constructed Statue of Liberty and the “Hawky” mascot. Students Tylin Farthing, Nathaly Ramos and Jessica Clark designed the float, which is led by the Wright Middle School drumline under the direction of Eleni Maureas. The music you hear cascading from the stereo was originally composed, written and performed by Wright students. These are examples of the hands-on multi-engineering opportunities that Wright students participate in. In addition to these unique electives, all students learn 21st century skills through project-based learning and STEAM integrated lessons.

Southern California Masonic Lodge #529, F & AM

The Southern California Lodge is saluting “America, Better Together” by rowing a replica Viking ship down the parade route with members of their fellow organizations. Members of the youth orders De Molay, Rainbow Girls and the Shriners will join them to “row together” to help build a better community and nation! The Southern California Masonic Lodge has been a part of this community for more than sixty years, beginning as Westchester Lodge, and then being joined by Westgate, Menorah, Loyalty and several other lodges over the years. Their core mission remains the same: to create a place for men to meet and do their best to become better men. They have many events in and out of the lodge every year and are always looking for new members. If you are interested in joining, just ask.

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aim is to raise funds for the garden’s operations and long-planned capital improvements. EACGC is a collaborative project of the community, Wright STEAM Magnet and WISH Charter. EACGC celebrates its sustainable organic community and school gardens as it continues to grow for the enjoyment of neighbors, friends and family. EACGC is led by volunteers, all committed to sharing lessons from nature and working the ground together to improve our community. In addition to WAM, the all-volunteer organization offers many other things for all to enjoy, including gardening classes and workshops, story-time for toddlers, bi-monthly meditation, movie nights and field trips. At EACGC, they “Build a Garden, Grow a Community!” Get more information at

Uncle Sam

They meet the first Thursday of every month and can be reached at (310) 354-4064. They also have an open house the third Thursday of each month.

Otis College of Art & Design

Participating for its sixth year, here comes the award-winning “Moving Art” Creative Action class of Otis College of Art & Design. The group has created a May Pole, dance and sculptures to depict, “One World, One Love.” The class works collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams and the students’ majors this year include product design, toy design, fine art and architecture. Ninety-five percent of all materials they used for the parade are re-purposed, recycled or biodegradable. Appropriate to today’s parade, Otis College is ranked in the top one percent in “diversity.” They are also number four in Money Magazine’s “50 colleges that add the most value.” Please join us them in singing with Bob Marley, “One love, one heart. Let’s get together and feel all right.”

4th of July Parade Program

Maywood Academy Marching Band

Joining us for the first time in the LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade we have the Maywood Academy Night Hawk Marching Band! Maywood is a small gateway city in Los Angeles County. At 1.18 square miles, Maywood is the third-smallest incorporated city in the county. Maywood Academy is committed to facilitating a rigorous and personalized, student-centered learning experience.

Emerson Avenue Community Garden Emerson Avenue Community Garden Club (EACGC) is a proud participant of the 20th Anniversary Fourth of July Parade! They’re driven to be “Better Together,” and this is the eighth time they’ve marched in the parade. On display is the Wheelbarrow Drill Team and a live band performing “Come Together.” Join the club as they host the 4th annual Westchester Arts and Music (WAM) block party on Saturday, September 21 for a day of live performances, arts, crafts, food trucks, a beer and wine garden and activities for all. The EACGC’s

Here comes Uncle Sam wishing everyone in the audience a Happy Fourth of July! Uncle Sam is played here today by Playa del Rey resident and Hamilton High School Senior, Jaren Rhodes. Rhodes is an accomplished singer, dancer and actor, performing in numerous plays and musicals at his school and in community theater. Thanks, Uncle Sam!

Kentwood Elementary School Kentwood Elementary School is very excited to be marching in the LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade once again this year! Kentwood is an award-winning, true community school in the heart of Westchester. The students who attend are challenged each day and exposed to many special programs including music, dance, theater, computer lab, yoga, the Innovation Lab and a Wonder of Reading Library. Kentwood has a robust robotics program, and the new team won awards in its first year! They invite you to be a part of the dynamic Kentwood family and experience the outstanding school for yourself. Tours are the first Thursday of each month starting at 9 a.m. For more info, please visit Happy 4th of July!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

4th of July Parade Program

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This year’s parade participants

Westchester Lutheran Church & School

Bringing school spirit to the parade, here is the Westchester Lutheran School (WLS) Cheer Team and Spirit Leaders! Led by Coach Marge Packman, the team proudly cheers on the WLS athletic teams and successfully competes in state and national cheer competitions. Most recently, they competed at Knott’s Berry Farm at the Sharp International State Championship and the Cheer Camps West Coast Championship where they earned 1st place in both competitions in the Junior High Novice Division. They also competed at the JAMZ Nfinity Champions League Nationals in Las Vegas placing second in the Jr. High Level 1 category without deductions. The WLS Spirit Leaders formed this year when a group of fifth grade girls came together to rally school spirit during athletic games and student events. They also help wherever needed on campus. Their moderator is WLS parent and church member Denise Sanchez. The Wolfpack pride is strong and mighty with these students! Westchester Lutheran School has proudly served students in our community from preschool through eighth grade since 1950. WLS welcomes students from all faiths, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. For more information, to schedule a tour or enroll, please contact them at (310) 670-5422 or visit them at . Go Wolfpack! Believing and Achieving since 1950!

Charro Horses The Chamber is pleased to welcome the Charro

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Internacional de Compton to today’s parade. A charro is a skilled Mexican horseman, part of a tradition with origins in the 17th century. The charros are seen today in traditional costumes and riding their famous dancing horses.

Westchester/Playa Historical Society with the Kentwood Players Here comes the Westchester/Playa Historical Society double-decker bus celebrating parade founder, Mary Lou Crockett! Mary Lou had an innate quality for gathering small groups and getting them to perform amazing acts of selflessness. As president of the community’s historical society, she steered a small group toward the creation of the parade back in 1999, which has grown every year into the neighborhood tradition it is today! On the 20th anniversary of the parade, they celebrate her community spirit! Thank you, Mary Lou! Riding on the float today is Mary Lou’s daughter, Patty Crockett, who has ensured that her legacy lives on. Also riding on the original double-decker bus are the Kentwood Players. The Kentwood Players have been providing quality live entertainment to the community for more than 69 years! Their next production is “Blithe Spirit,” opening July 19! Kentwood Players perform at the Westchester Playhouse and is a completely volunteer, member-run organization. Producing six shows each year, the group is always looking for new members, technicians, designers and performers. Check them out at

4th of July Parade Program

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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4th of July Parade Program

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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Random Notes/Opinion

Small changes can make a big difference in fitness By Jeff Blair Opinion: Fourteen years ago, every day felt the same for Jackie. She had developed some unhealthy eating habits and put on some weight. Her strength and energy were low. She worked in a stressful, demanding and competitive sales position. Her days were spent commuting in L.A. traffic, going from sales appointment to sales appointment and trying to achieve sales goals. Like all of us, her food environment was littered with high calorie food options and she sometimes ate at fast food places. Her appearance and quality of life weren’t acceptable to her. Understandably, she was discouraged. She decided to try and make a change. Jackie could have done what seems intuitive to many: start a 30-day crash diet and lose weight very rapidly–at least until she couldn’t stand the restrictions one more day and quit. Dramatic diets can cause short-term weight loss, but in the long-term, dieters tend to gain more weight than those who do not diet. Sometimes, it’s twice as much weight (Lowe, 2013.) Jackie also could have started an extreme exercise program, but according to the American College of Sports Medicine, most people won’t stick with extreme

exercise. Jackie’s dilemma was this: deprivation diets were painful and unsustainable. Overly intense, overly long workouts weren’t enjoyable, desirable or realistic, but every time she picked up a magazine or watched anything fitness-related on TV, extreme options were all that were presented. She wanted something different, but she was confused. Around this time, we met and started working together. That’s when her journey began. Her first workouts weren’t “hardcore” at all. I made sure they didn’t exhaust or discourage her. Rather than 30 days of “hardcore” workouts and an unsustainable eating plan, she started at a more manageable and comfortable level. While we might not usually associate “comfort” with exercising, overdoing it is probably the biggest mistake beginners make. It’s okay and even recommended to take things slowly. She next made some nutritional changes. Later, she added walking. She eventually added another day of weightlifting. There was still nothing “hardcore” in her workout. We progressively increased her weights to maintain a sense of progress, but think slow and steady rather than intense and painful, and you will have an idea of how this all came together. She

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eventually made more eating changes. She added some hills to her walking route. She was now seeing clear benefits from the choices she was making. She was seeing real progress and feeling hopeful. Her small changes were making a big difference in her life. There were slow periods. She experienced setbacks. Bumps and detours always happen along our fitness journeys. Work and family commitments take priority at times. During these times, I always tried to encourage and educate her, and Jackie always got back on track. We had ongoing discussions about all things fitness, but the choices were always hers and never mine. This gave her autonomy, which is important for sustainability. Over time, all these little changes and choices morphed into habits. She transformed her body and her life, but something even more powerful had happened. She began thinking of herself as a fit and physically strong person. She saw herself as someone who worked out consistently and who tried to make reasonable eating choices. She became empowered and strong. Her self-identity changed. Jackie’s choices created a virtuous cycle in her life. Consider how different this feels

compared to someone who cycles on and off 30-day diets throughout a lifetime and who gets consistently and progressively discouraged to the point of hopelessness. Deprivation diets and extreme exercise approaches can be a vicious cycle for the body and mind. Today, Jackie is strong. She can lift 155 pounds from the floor 10 consecutive times. She probably couldn’t have lifted 30 pounds when we started. She is also 44 pounds lighter than she was 14 years ago. I told her if we could take what she has done, put it into a pill and deliver it to the American public, it would revolutionize our entire healthcare system. To come full circle, she now encourages friends and family to workout. Several have even transformed themselves. Jackie still works in a challenging and stressful job, but in every other way, she has dramatically changed. Most importantly, the transformation is real and permanent. It’s who she has become. Jeff Blair is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Author who has been working as a Personal Trainer in Westchester since 2002. Email for comments or suggestions. *Before you start any fitness routine, please consult your doctor.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness By Fay Craton Opinion: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are well known words found in our nation’s Declaration of Independence. Our understanding of what this simple statement means has shifted over 243 years of history, yet it continues to be a core value. This concept has been cherished and pursued in many ways. Let’s look at part of the statement: the pursuit of happiness. As part of our cultural heritage, this concept of happiness has become an imperative so great that many people think if they are not happy, there is something amiss. Have you ever been quietly reflecting on a situation and somebody asks you, “What’s wrong?” Have you ever been grieving and someone tells you, to “Let it go?” Have you been told you have a bad attitude because you were not snapping your fingers and singing, “Don’t worry, be happy”

after someone said something mean spirited to you? Have you ever felt shame because you were not what your family or friends call “happy?” There is a distorted perception about what happiness is. It is not about owning the best stuff, always having a bubbly attitude or always getting what you want. Happiness does mean you frequently experience well-being and contentment. What creates a sense of well-being for one person might not be the same for another person. It is very individualized. According to research, what is consistent between people is that contentment is linked to quality relationships with people, and/or animals and/or a spiritual presence. What does this mean to you? It means that you do not always need to be bubbly to be happy. There are natural healthy feelings and reactions to normal life events. Your experience is unique to you. You find

your contentment within yourself. It also means that well-being is not about being self-centered. Well-being evolves from being open to form and maintain positive, nurturing connections. How do you do this? Here are some suggestions: • In every situation, especially difficult ones, seek out reasons to be grateful. • Consistently be honest and trustworthy. • Avoid hiding your strengths. • Express from love, not from fear. • Think before speaking. Nurturing relationships require respect. • Disagreements are different points of view. Both views can be correct. Attempt to expand your understanding to include both points of view. • Words said to be spiteful do not build nurturing relationships. Be mindful of what you say. A sense of nurturing comes from supporting strengths.

• When communicating with a significant relationship, try to listen more than speak. Seek to understand what is being expressed. Use reflective words to let the other person know you heard what was said. I want you to have a sense of wellbeing. This year, Independence Day can be the starting point for you to begin shifting your understanding of what life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be in your life. You have the liberty to choose how you act and treat people around you. Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc40011), which is the psychology license specializing in relationships (with ourselves or with others), and she has an office in Westchester. For more info, please visit or contact her at (310) 645-6762.

We want to hear from you! Pictures? Story Idea? Advertising? Email us at

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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Calendar (continued from page 8)

September 20, “School of Rock.” For more info, please visit

Elks Lodge 4th of July BBQ

Thursday, July 4 •12:30 p.m. • $5 8025 W. Manchester Ave., PDR Whether you participated in or enjoyed the Fourth of July Parade from the stands, you’ll probably be in the mood for a good, old-fashioned BBQ after the event. Leave the cooking to Elks Lodge volunteers who will be serving up $5 hamburgers and hot dog meals at the Playa del Rey lodge starting at 12:30 p.m.

Marina del Rey Firework Celebration

Beach Movie Nights & Marina Movie Nights

Thursday, July 4 • 9 p.m. • FREE Marina del Rey Marina del Rey will once again host one of the Westside’s largest firework shows in honor of Independence Day. View the 20-minute show on the Fourth of July at Fisherman’s Village or Burton Chace Park to enjoy synchronized music or at various spots throughout the community with a view of the Marina. Thousands of people head to MDR for the holiday and to enjoy the show, so it’s recommended that you plan ahead to get there early (paid parking lots around the Marina tend to fill up early in the day and street closures can start as early as 1 p.m.) or consider taking the WaterBus, the Beach Shuttle or use your favorite rideshare app. For more info and viewing locations, please visit events/july-4-fireworks-marina-del-rey.

Playa Vista’s summer movie schedule includes“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” at Concert Park.

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21st Annual Pancake Breakfast at Fire Station 5

Saturday, July 13 • 8 to 11 a.m. $5, Kids under two free 8900 Emerson Ave., Westchester The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club will host its annual community pancake breakfast benefiting Fire Station 5 this month. The club will be serving up sausages, fruit, coffee and juice, while volunteers from the LAX Marriott grill up delicious pancakes. Invite your friends and neighbors to join in on the fun, buy breakfast for a good cause and meet with local firefighters. Kids can enjoy a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals and the opportunity to check out the firefighting equipment and vehicles with the help of firefighters. For more info, visit

Food Truck Friday Nights

Friday, July 19 • 5 p.m. • Various $ 8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester Visitation School is celebrating summer with monthly Food Truck Friday Nights and the whole neighborhood is welcome to the Westchester campus for delicious grub and family-friendly fun. During the event, the campus is lined with a variety of food trucks with dinner ready for purchase, and the school’s sugary dessert stand serves up cookies, cupcakes, brownies and more. Plenty of tables and chairs make eating and watching the live music or DJ a breeze. There are also activities for the kids and a beer/wine garden for adults. July’s event theme is “Hamilton.” The rest of the summer lineup includes: August 16, “LaLa Land;” and

Photo courtesy Playa Vista.

Various dates • 8 p.m. • FREE Various locations There’s no shortage of outdoor cinema this summer courtesy of the Department of Beaches and Harbors. At the Dockweiler Youth Center, located at 12505 Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, enjoy family-friendly screenings on the sand, by the waves and under the stars on Friday nights. This year’s schedule includes: • Friday, July 5-“The Lego Batman Movie” • Friday, July 12-“Smallfoot” • Friday, July 19-“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” • Friday, July 26-“Incredibles 2” On Saturdays this summer, Burton Chace Park, located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey, will host movies for the teen and adult crowd. Attend “Marina Movie Nights” for screenings of: • Saturday, July 6-“Aquaman” • Saturday, July 13-“Forrest Gump” • Saturday, July 27-“Crazy Rich Asians” For more information, please visit Email us your event at for a chance to be featured!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester welcomes newest Eagle Scouts Congratulations new Eagle Scouts! On Saturday, June 15, three Boy Scouts from Scouting BSA Troop 927 were recognized for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Candidates for Eagle Scout must earn 21 merit badges, rise through five ranks of scouting and complete a service project that benefits the community. These three young men completed service projects, which included making several benches for the students of Open Magnet Charter School; repairing and enhancing a memorial at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Manchester Avenue honoring local Vietnam soldier Lt. Colonel Roosevelt Hestle; and building an audio-visual equipment closet and repainting the walls in the Fellowship Hall of Westchester Lutheran Church. Each candidate

Pictured from left to right: Westchester’s newest Eagle Scouts: Eric Smyrski, Malgy Blue and Carter Maas.

planned his project, solicited donations, obtained materials and led

volunteers and fellow Scouts during the duration of the projects.



Eagle is the highest recognition that a Scout can achieve and only a small percentage of Scouts attain Eagle rank. The Eagle Scout rank represents the pinnacle of achievement in areas including citizenship, character development, outdoor skills and personal fitness. Scouting BSA Troop 927 is a Westchester organization chartered by Covenant Presbyterian Church. The troop makes contributions to the local community through service projects and by participating in and supporting Westchester area service organizations. The troop is more than 60 years old and meets on Monday evenings at Westchester’s Covenant Presbyterian Church. For more information, please visit

Saturday, August 3 2019 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM LMU Drollinger Field



Bocce Ball

The First Annual

er C A Tea m C h a llenge Football Toss

Three Legged Race

Hold the Rope

Corn Hole

Trophies and prizes for the winning teams! A FUN and EXCITING morning of games to promote team spirit and friendly competition. Get a team of 10 players to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Cost is $300 per team. Everyone gets a T-shirt! RSVP by July 12. Visit for more information.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

July 2019 • Page 33

Page 34 • July 2019

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

By Consuelo Israelson The Doby family are like Westchester rock stars. Everyone seems to know them. Krista grew up here as the youngest of six kids in the LaPonza family. Her dad and brother own B & J Service Center and her sister and brother-in-law run the Timberland Tree Company. DaVion grew up in mid-city as one of nine children, many of whom still live in Southern California. They’re used to being part of large extended families, so Westchester is perfect for them. “In Westchester we have found people that have the same vision for their children. This community lets us have a whole tribe that is solid and you learn you can rely on people,” Krista said. “I’m OK with people knowing who my kids are, because I feel that’s going to help keep them in line. That’s how we grew up. You quickly learn to be on your best behavior. As parents, we can’t be everywhere!” Krista’s family is part of why she works as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Her sister, Cathy, is a nurse, and young Krista loved science and the idea of being in the medical field. Her sister thought nursing would be perfect for her so Krista agreed to try it out and hasn’t looked back since. She works for Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the outpatient clinic. “I used to work at UCLA Westwood in the pediatric unit as a bedside nurse. My passion was the liver and bowel transplant patients,” she said. “It’s been quite a difference going to an outpatient clinic where the patients are mainly well, versus being with the same patients 12 hours a day.” DaVion works as a Vice President in Corporate Finance for Trust Company of the West and works at the TCW

building in downtown. He became familiar with the area while getting his MBA from Loyola Marymount University. “As a financial analyst, I work with company decision-makers about the financial impact of their decisions. We tell them what everything is going to cost and do a lot of budgeting,” he said. “As I describe it to the girls, we do a lot of math all day!” The couple met freshman year while attending high school at St. Monica’s. They started dating after high school and married 10 years ago. They have two girls, Isabella, 7, and Olivia, 5.

“They really are their own people, with their own interests, but they love to be around each other,” DaVion noted. Both girls have been taking dance classes, play soccer and are involved in the Girl Scouts. Isabella’s troop recently got to run the bases at Dodger Stadium, which was a special experience. “We’re trying to expose them to culture and everything around them, but in the end they each gravitate to what they prefer. Isabella’s really into dance and Olivia loves sports,” Krista said. Last year, they added Orso to their family. Orso, Italian for bear, is a

Rottweiler who thinks he’s a lap dog. The family loves traveling and often combines trips with visiting relatives that don’t live in the area. This year, they’re going to Virginia to visit DaVion’s mom and other relatives. One year, they met grandma in Orlando for a visit to Disney World. Most years, they camp in Bishop for an extended family reunion of sorts. “My parents met in Bishop. My mom’s side owned a lodge where my father’s side would come to fish. So we all try to go there the same week, every year. One year, there were about 100 of us!” Krista said. “It’s great for kids to fish, hike and get dirty feet. It’s awesome! Living in the city we don’t often get the whole outdoors experience. Cleaning a fish is a rite of passage in our family!” Both girls attend Visitation Catholic School, where Isabella is in third grade and Olivia is in kindergarten. It was important for the Dobys to send their kids to Visitation because that is where Krista attended school. Some of her former teachers still work there, as well as a former babysitter. The school also helps reinforce their values. “Growing up, we were taught to be people of faith. Attending a Catholic school, that message was magnified, because you’re hearing it at home and you’re hearing about it again at school. So you learn to be kind even to people who aren’t kind to you. This is one of our greatest challenges as parents,” DaVion said. Krista added, “We are teaching them to be kind. Everyone is going through something you don’t know about. Yes, they shouldn’t pick on you, but it’s usually not about you. It’s about them,” Krista said. “It’s a struggle to find the balance between being kind and not getting taken advantage of.”

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Head to Toe Salon

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310.338.8689 Cut. Color. Styling. Blow Dry. Highlights. Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Making your hair beautiful! July 2019 • Page 35

Page 36 • July 2019

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Profile for Westchester/Playa del Rey HomeTown News

Westchester/Playa HomeTown News July 2019 edition  

Please enjoy this July 2019 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News

Westchester/Playa HomeTown News July 2019 edition  

Please enjoy this July 2019 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News