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Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Special 11 Local students help promote the Rock Roll & Run for Education taking place on Saturday, March 10 at Loyola Marymount University.

Page 2 • March 2018

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

This Month Brings You A look inside your HTN Community Spotlight: Westchester Townhouse Get ready to Rock, Roll & Run for Education Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club Special Section Visitation celebrates its 75th Anniversary

04 09 11 26

HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher, Editor Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer

Rebecca Hill, Secret Recipes of the Inn Kirby Israelson, Graphic Design

Advertisers’ Directory

Airport Marina Counseling 20, 25 Body & Brain Yoga 26 Cantalini’s Salerno Beach 16 Carousel School 12 Concierge Hearing 14 Drollinger Properties 24, 26 Food Pantry, LAX 07 Gateway to LA 24 Inn at Playa del Rey 17 Jane St. John 23 Kevin and Kaz 02 LAX Coastal Chamber 17 Los Angeles World Airports 13 Loyola Marymount 04 Marina del Rey Hospital 28 Neighborhood Council 19

Rainbow Acres, Washington Blvd. 15 Rock, Roll & Run 18 Sarlo Income Tax 07 SoCalGas 05 Socal Sports and Fitness 21 St. Anastasia School 09 Vergari and Napolitano 21 Visitation School 08 Westchester Family YMCA 07 Westchester Farmers’ Market 14 Westchester Lutheran School 03, 10 Westchester Town Center BID 03 Westside Pacific Village 20 WISH Charter School 27 Zacha Homes 22

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.

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.

Start the theCelebrate New Year Year looking lookingFreedom! in the the right right direction...Up! direction...Up! Start New in Start the theCelebrate New Year Year looking lookingFreedom! in the the right right direction...Up! direction...Up! Start New in

You’re invited...

Start the theCelebra New Year Year lo lo Start New

SStartar theNewYearlo kingintherightdirection.nU.p!Up! An invitation is extended to all tofrom attend the Freedom doubt.Freedom Freedom from Freedom from from doubt. fear.fear. Following services scheduled for Lent: Join Westchester Lutheran Church, Joinus us• at at Westchester Church, Wednesday LentenLutheran Bible Study and7:00 embrace the freedom and embrace theon freedom found in a – 8:00 pm March 7,found 14, 21in&a28 loving,Thursday forgivingService relationship thethe and loving, forgiving relationship with • Maundy of Holywith Communion Lord. Join new friends in a celebration of of Lord. Join new friends in a pm celebration Cathedral Choir presentation 7:30 on March 28 everything that is possible when you live everything that is possible when you live in harmony with the Word. in harmony with the Word. Our Easter Activities include: • Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, at 10:00 am AllMarch are 31st welcome. • Resurrection Celebration are welcome. ComeAll celebrate with us! Easter Sunday, April 1st Come with us! Come look upcelebrate with us. Come look up with us. 8:30 and 10:30 am, continental breakfast Come look up withservices us. between Come look up with us. Weekly Worship Sundays at 10 a.m.

All are welcome.

Summer Choir Rehearsal Vacation Bible School

Weekly Worship Summer Choir Rehearsal Vacation Bible School

Sundays at 9 a.m. July 29-August 2

Sundays at 10 a.m. Sundays at 9 a.m. July 29-August 2 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester, CA 90045

310.670.5422 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd.

School Tours Available •


Westchester, CA 90045 310.670.5422 Please call 310.670.5422

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

March 2018 • Page 3

For more than 70 years, the Westchester Townhouse has been a community hub for local schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, community meetings, performance groups and other youth organizations, but now the aging building is in need of some TLC. While the Westchester Townhouse has served hundreds of local residents and their families over the years, repairs and upkeep of the charming space, which features a stage and hand painted murals, have been deferred due to budget issues. “Our Westchester community is very fortunate to have a no cost nonprofit community building that has served these youth-based organizations in this town for over 72 years. That’s not bad considering Westchester just celebrated its 75th year,” said Westchester Townhouse President Jaymes Bellous, who has been involved with the organization since 1997. The nonprofit organization, run by volunteers who serve on the board, is now asking the community for help to raise the funds needed for repairs. The building’s wood doors, oversized and original from the 1940s need to be replaced, as do the floors, and the

Page 4 • March 2018

Photo by Diana Feil Photography.

Community Spotlight: Westchester Townhouse looks to raise funds for repairs after 72 years of serving the community

Girl Scout troops are just one of the many community groups that use the Westchester Townhouse for meetings.

asphalt in the front of the building needs to be resealed. The goal is to raise $35,000 for these repairs, as well as general upkeep and landscaping for the space located on Emerson Avenue next to Kentwood Elementary School. “The Westchester Townhouse is

a vital community institution that we need to preserve and protect, so children’s activities can continue in our community,” said board member Anne-Marie Ross, who also leads a Girl Scout troop that meets at the townhouse. “If you are looking for a

place to meet, there really aren’t that many. We want to keep it in great shape to keep it for the community for the next 75 years.” Townhouse volunteers recently launched an online fundraising campaign, which will culminate in a Westchester Townhouse Fundraising Drive Festival, on Saturday, April 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will feature food, a magic show and family-friendly activities including a bounce house. Music West, a Westchester-based nonprofit theater company that uses the townhouse for its shows, will also perform at the event. A presentation on the townhouse’s history and a raffle are also planned. “The Westchester Townhouse is a terrific institution and an important community asset,” said Bellous. “It’s our diamond in the rough. We hope people find it in their hearts to donate.” For more information on donating to the fundraiser or sponsoring the Saturday, April 14 event, please visit WestchesterTownhouseLA. The Westchester Townhouse is located at 8501 Emerson Ave. in Westchester.

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

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

March 2018 • Page 5

Business & Nonprofit News

Photo courtesy the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Marina del Rey readies for the spring/summer season. The first day of spring is March 20, and the Marina is already gearing up for a busy spring and summer event season. The Marina’s visitor and information center, located on Admiralty and Mindanao Ways, was just reopened after a major overhaul that included creating a more inviting public lobby for visitors. In June, the Mother’s (Marina) Beach Improvement Project is expected to be completed just in time for the summer crowds. The Department of Beaches and Harbors started construction last summer, and once completed, visitors can enjoy new restrooms and picnic shelters with a modern design and nautical theme. New landscaping and a repaved promenade with decorative pavers round out the improvements. One of the Marina’s most popular events, the Summer Concert Series, recently announced its 2018 lineup. Save the date for these free concerts at Burton Chace Park, located at 13650 Mindanao Way: Symphonic Thursdays at 7 p.m.: • July 12: Opera by the Shore • July 26: TBD • August 9: Katharine McPhee • August 23: TBD

Photo courtesy EACG.

Visitors to Marina del Rey’s Mother’s Beach will soon get to enjoy the improved picnic tables and grills, a repaved promenade and new restroom facilities when its improvement project is slated to be completed this summer. A family enjoys a walk at Mother’s Beach in this file photo.

finally connect Metro rail to LAX, and will help transform this into a worldclass airport that’s also a first-class neighbor.” For more information on the project, visit

Pop Saturdays at 7 p.m.: • July 21: Lalah Hathaway (R&B) • August 4: Cat Power (alt rock) • August 18: X (rock) • September 1: La Santa Cecilia (Latin)

Emerson Avenue Community Garden hosts pancake breakfast. The Emerson Avenue Community Garden Club (EACG) will host its annual pancake breakfast on Saturday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Volunteers will be cooking up traditional pancakes and sausages and serving fresh fruit, juices, coffee and tea. Gluten-free pancakes will also be available. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for kids, with proceeds benefiting the organic community garden and green space, located on the campus of Kick off your St. Patrick’s Day festivities with a $6 pancake breakfast benefiting the Emerson Avenue Community Garden. Wright STEAM Magnet. The EACG is For more info on Marina events, a consolidated rent-a-car facility and also the nonprofit behind the popular please visit roadway improvements in and around Westchester Arts and Music Block ParLAX. The APM will transport ty (WAM), which is scheduled to take Los Angeles World Airports passengers from an off site Metro place this year on Saturday, announces recommendation for LINXS location to LAX along a 2.5 mile track. September 22. to build Automated People Mover. On Trains are expected to arrive every The breakfast will be held in the February 15, the Board of Airport 2 minutes for the approximately ten Fellowship Hall of the Westchester Commissioners (BOAC) approved minute trip to LAX terminals. The United Methodist Church, located at LINXS as the recommended developer APM is expected to transport 10,000 8065 Emerson Ave. in Westchester. for the approximately $4.5 billion con- passengers per hour and up to 87.7 For more info, please visit tract to design, build, finance, operate million passengers per year when it and maintain the Automated People becomes operational in 2023. Westchester Rotary now collecting Mover (APM) at LAX. LINXS will go “The APM will relieve congestion books for annual book sale. for full contract approval in April to and reduce emissions in and around Have extra books lying around BOAC and the L.A. City Council. LAX, and make traveling through our that you’d like to get rid of? The The APM is the centerpiece of airport easier and more convenient,” Westchester Rotary Club will gladly the Landside Access Modernization said area Councilmember Mike Bonin. take them off your hands for its 63rd Program, which includes “It is a critical piece of our strategy to

Page 6 • March 2018

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

annual book sale taking place May 25 through May 31. Every year the club collects, organizes and sells thousands of books at their book sale located in the Ralph’s Westchester parking lot. Proceeds benefit the club’s humanitarian, educational and community projects. For more information about dropoff locations or to schedule a pick-up, please call (310) 670-9792 or email Fourth of July Parade looks for National Anthem singer. The Fourth of July Parade committee is now accepting audition videos for those interested in singing the National Anthem at the community event. It is now an annual tradition to select a local singer to help kick-off

the parade. Audition videos can be posted to or emailed to laxcoastalonparade@gmail. com by Friday, April 6. While everyone is encouraged to submit audition videos, preference is given to students who live or attend school in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey and Del Rey. For more info on the parade or sponsorship opportunities, please call the chamber office at (310) 645-5151 or email laxcoastalonparade@gmail. com. Opened a new business? Celebrating an anniversary? We want to hear about your business or nonprofit! Email us at

WE SPECIALIZE IN TAX RETURN PREPARATION • Personal Tax Returns • Partnerships • Self Employed • LLC • Real Estate Transactions • S Corporations • 1031 Exchanges • C Corporations


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!

310.823.6363 1843 Washington Way, Venice, CA 90291 in Venice on Abbott Kinney

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

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

March 2018 • Page 7

Page 8 • March 2018

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

School News

Event volunteers and students from WISH, Visitation and New Middle School Pathway pose in Westchester Park to promote the Rock Roll & Run for Education. The event will take place on Saturday, March 10 at LMU, rain or shine. Runners are encouraged to sign-up online by Monday, March 5, but last-minute registrations will be available on race day.

Last chance to sign-up for the Rock Roll & Run for Education! Monday, March 5 is the last day to register online for the inaugural Rock Roll & Run for Education 5K/1K Run/ Walk at LMU. The run is presented by the newly-formed LAX Coastal Education Foundation in partnership with LMU. The event hopes to fill the fundraising gap left by the Race for Success, which organizers announced would not be taking place in 2018. The Rock Roll & Run will be held on Saturday, March 10 at LMU starting at 7:30 a.m. The community is encouraged to sign-up to run or walk at the event, and can select which school they’d like to support by participating. The funds raised from the run go back to 18 local schools. Schools can receive additional cash prizes by winning best costumes, most sign-ups and best spirit. For runners, medals will be presented to the overall first, second and third fastest men and women. A fastest team will also be recognized. “We encourage the community to show up in great numbers to support our inaugural Rock Roll & Run for Education,” said LAX Coastal Education Foundation President Matthew Swanlund. “The more runners we have, the more money we are able to give back to the local schools. This is also the only community event that brings all of our schools together for a little friendly competition and fun, so we hope to see you all on race day supporting the schools!” The race will have a rock and roll theme, and runners are encouraged to come dressed in costumes, especially ones that are music related. Live music will play at the start of the race and at strategic locations along the route. After the race, attendees are encouraged to stay for a pancake breakfast, explore the after race expo, listen to live music and enjoy familyfriendly activities. Runners are asked to arrive at LMU prior to 7:30 a.m. to park in the Drollinger Parking lot closest to the event. The 5K starts promptly at 8

a.m. and the 1K Kids’ Run starts at 10 a.m. The cost to participate is $35 for the 5K and $20 for the kids’ 1K. The pancake breakfast is $5 per person (while supplies last). Those that would like to support the event or a particular school but can’t make it on race day, are encouraged to sign-up as a “virtual runner” for $15. Proceeds from the race will benefit the following participating schools: Carousel School, Cowan, Kentwood, Loyola Village Fine & Performing Arts Magnet, New Middle School Pathway, Open Magnet Charter, Paseo del Rey Natural Science Magnet, Playa del Rey Elementary, Playa Vista Elementary, St. Anastasia School, St. Bernard High School, St. Mark’s, Visitation, Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets, Westchester Lutheran, Westport Heights, WISH Community School and Wright STEAM Magnet. Major event sponsors include Los Angeles World Airports, the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, the Hannon Foundation, the HomeTown News, Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd. and Alex and Kate Real Estate. For more information and to sign-up to run, please visit If you are interested in having a booth at the event or sponsorship opportunities, please email info@ or call (310) 645-5151. SoCalGas announces grant opportunities. SoCalGas has recently announced that it is accepting grant applications for the 2018 school year. The grants are open to K-12 schools located in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey and Marina del Rey and are for projects that are STEM related with a focus on energy and/ or sustainability. The grants will be administered by the LAX Coastal Education Foundation and are due by 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 1. For more information or to receive a grant application, please email info@

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

March 2018 • Page 9

EN ROLLING NOW! for 2018/2019 • Preschool- 8th Beli evin g

educating the individual We offer low student-teacher ratio and believe in educating the whole child; academically, physically and spiritually.

A strong foundation We lay the foundation for excellence in a child’s development and build upon it each year. Our teachers use a combination of methodologies to engage students and practice differentiated instruction.

a reputation for quality Our school is recognized throughout the area for the superior caliber of our graduates. We believe in the power of a solid education. Our students are engaged, reflect good character, and become critical thinkers.

! g n i & Achiev

PRESCHOOL JR. K - 5TH 6th - 8th Tours available Call for an appointment 310.670.5422 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd Westchester, CA 90045

THE WLS FAMILY Our student body reflects the dynamic diversity of Los Angeles. Page 10 • March 2018

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

Photo by Glenn Marzano.

Get ready to yell out “B-I-N-G-O” at the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary’s most festive event, the Luck O’ the Irish BingoFest! With the motto “Service Above Self,” being a member of Rotary is all about giving back, both locally and globally, but the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotarians also live by their unofficial motto of “We are Fun! We are Friendly! We Help Others!” Events like the Luck O’ the Irish BingoFest epitomize this sentiment. “As Rotarians, we’re always looking to help and be of service, but we’re also looking to have fun while we do it,” said club President Gwen Vuchsas. ‘This is one of my favorite events of the year because of the energy in the room. There’s a ton of camaraderie, delicious food, great music and the thrill of seeing if your card comes up a winner.” The Luck O’ the Irish BingoFest will take place on Saturday, March 17 starting at 6 p.m. The event will take place on the campus of Visitation School, located at 8740 Emerson Ave.

in Westchester. The cost to attend is $50 and includes 10 games of bingo, a buffet with both traditional Irish fare and Italian food provided by Cantalini’s Salerno Beach and entertainment. The games pay out $100, with the final blackout card paying $500. Cash door prizes ranging from $100 to $300 will also be awarded to three lucky guests. “We invite the whole community to join us at this fun event,” said Vuchsas. “You’ll meet new friends and learn what Rotary is all about. Most importantly, however, attendees are helping us support some

• Cantalini’s Salerno Beach • Drollinger Charitable Trust • Los Angeles World Airports

• Loyola Marymount University • Marina del Rey Hospital • Playa Pharmacy

Have you ever wondered what Rotary is or thought about joining a club for a meeting? I’ve been a member of Rotary for 26 years, and joining was one of the best things I’ve ever done! The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club was founded in 2005, and since then, we’ve helped make a positive impact in our community and abroad. Whether we’re flipping pancakes to raise money for local fire stations, participating in district humanitarian projects, helping to end polio or providing scholarships and grants for local education, each Rotarian can find a project to be passionate about and participate.

Our weekly breakfast meeting, held on Wednesdays at 7:15 a.m. at Whiskey Red’s in Marina del Rey, brings us together for fellowship, fun and to discuss our current projects. And you never know who is going to visit our club! Sometimes it’s our local firefighters, our police captain, business leaders, musicians or international Rotarians in town to visit. We love having visitors, so let us know if you’d like to visit our club! You may even decide to join! Once you’re a member of the

really worthy community projects, events and organizations, while having a green beer, bidding on great silent auction items and hoping you’ve got a lucky bingo card!” Events like the BingoFest help the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club raise money for its community, youth, vocational and international service projects. Some of these projects include supporting Fire Stations #5 and #63, providing bears to USC County Children’s Hospital, scholarships, supporting teachers with the Teacher Mini Grant program,

• Playa Vista/Brookfield Residential • Plotkin Family Foundation club, you become part of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary family, and will hopefully make lifelong friends like many of us have. That’s why in addition to our weekly meetings, we host a monthly happy hour, social outings and parties. We’ve already started off 2018 strong by giving away more than $17,000 at our Teacher Mini Grant Program to local teachers, helping build a Habitat for Humanity home in Culver City and volunteering to run the pancake breakfast at the Rock Roll & Run

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

End Polio Now and sponsoring community events like the Fourth of July Parade and AMCS’ Spring Gala. To purchase tickets for the Luck O’ the Irish BingoFest, please call (310) 963-9494 or visit

The Four Way Test The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages. Of the things we think, say or do: • Is it the TRUTH? • Is it FAIR to all concerned? • Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

• Rainbow Acres • SuperbTech • William H. Hannon Foundation for Education! We’re also currently collecting mobility devices (crutches, canes, wheelchairs, walkers, etc) for Crutches 4 Africa. We’ve got a lot more projects, events and giving in store for a great Rotary year, so stay tuned! Whether you’re new to the community, looking for a dynamic group to get involved with or looking to volunteer with people that are passionate about community and giving back, please come check us out! We love new members, and we’d like to invite you to our Rotary family to share our enthusiasm for “Service Above Self!” Visit our website at to learn more about our awesome club!


PVS Rotary Special Section

March 2018 • Page 11



What is is Rotary? Rotary? What What is Rotary?

Peopleask askususallallthe the time, “What People time, “What is Rotary?” Rotary is a worldwide People ask all the time “What is Rotary?” Rotary is a worldwide is nonprofitorganization organization more 1.2 Rotary”? It isall a worldwide nonprofit nonprofit ofofmore than People ask the time “What is million business, professional and organization of more 1.2 million 1.2 million It business, professional Rotary”? is a worldwide nonprofit community leaders. Asand signified by business, professional commuand community As signified organization of leaders. more 1.2 million the motto “Service Above Self,” nity leaders. As signified by the by the motto “Service Above Self,” business, professional and commuRotary’s main Above objective is service– motto Service Self, Rotary’s Rotary’s main As objective is service– nity leaders. signified by the in theobjective community, the workplace main is service in the in the community, the workplace motto Service Above Self,–Rotary’s and throughout the world. You will community, thethe and main objective isworkplace service in the and throughout world. – You will find members inworld. more than 200 find throughout the You will community, workplace and find membersthe in more than 200 countries in with more than 34,000 members more than 200 counthroughout the world. You will find countries with more than 34,000 clubswith in the world who volunteer tries more than 34,000 clubsin in members in more than 200 counclubs in the world who volunteer in communities atvolunteer home andinabroad to the world who commutries with more than and 34,000 clubs communities at home abroad toin support and job to training, nities at education home and abroad support the world who volunteer in commusupport education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, nities atclean homewater, and abroad support provide combattohunger, improve health and sanitation and

eradicatehealth polio.and Clubs are nonpolitiimprove sanitation and cal, nonreligious and open to all. education and job training, provide eradicate polio. Clubs are nonpolitical, The Rotary Club of Playa Venice clean water, combat hunger, improve nonreligious and to all.provide education and jobopen training, Sunrise is one of 62ofclubs District health and sanitation and in eradicate Thewater, Rotary Club Playa Venice clean combat hunger, improve 5280, which covers the geographic polio. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreSunriseand is one of 62 clubs District health sanitation andin eradicate boundaries of the Pacific Ocean to ligious and open to all cultures, races 5280, which the geographic polio. Clubs covers are nonpolitical, nonreDowntown and Santa Clarita to San and creeds. boundaries of theto Pacific Ocean to ligious and open all cultures, races Pedro. We represent areas of The Rotary ofthe Playa Venice Downtown andClub Santa Clarita to San and creeds. Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Sunrise is one of 62of clubs inVenice District The Rotary Club Playa Pedro. We represent the areas of Vista,which Marina del Rey, Del Rey and 5280 covers the geographic Sunrise is onePlaya of 62del clubs District Westchester, Rey,inPlaya Venice, and of wethe arePacific committed to boundaries Ocean 5280 which theDel geographic Vista, Marinacovers del Rey, Rey andto living the motto of “Service Above downtown and Santa Clarita to San boundaries Ocean Venice, and of wethe arePacific committed to to Self,” while having a lot ofareas fun inofthe Pedro. We represent the downtown and Santa ClaritaAbove to San living the motto of “Service process! Whether passing out Westchester, Playawe delare Rey, Playa Pedro. We represent the areas Self,” while having a lot of fun inof the toys to our adopted families, supportWestchester, Playawe delare Rey, Playa process! Whether passing ing local teachers and schools or


making to support the local out toys pancakes to our adopted families, fire stations, we always find time Vista, Marina del Rey, Del Rey andto supporting local teachers and schools have a little fun, laugh a lot and put Venice and we are committed to or making pancakes to support Vista, Marina del Rey, Del Rey the and smiles on the faces of those around living the motto of “Service Above local fire stations, always find Venice and we arewe committed to time us.have We’re also a diverse club! We Self” while having a“Service lot of fun in the to a little fun, a lot and put living the motto oflaugh Above have members that range in age from process. Whether we are passing out smileswhile on the faces aoflot those around us. Self” having of fun in the 21 toto 70+, our club currently is 50% toys our adopted families, supportWe’re also a diverse We have process. Whether we club! are passing out male andteachers 50% female, we comeorfrom ing local and members that range in schools age from 20 to toys to our adopted families, supportdiverse backgrounds and careers, and making pancakes to support ing teachers and schools or local 70+,local our club currently is 50%the male we also have we members that hail from fire stations, always find time to making tocome support thediverse local and 50%pancakes female, we from as faraaway as Albania and Germany! have little fun, laugh a lot and put fire stations, we always find time to backgrounds and careers, and we also The best however, is we all have smiles onpart, the faces of those around have a little fun, laugh a lot and put members that hail from as far a passion for giving back and us. For more smiles the information faces thoseabout around away ason Albania andof Germany! The supporting ouryou community and Rotary or how can help support a us. For more information about best part, however, is that we all have a projects that help make the world a Rotary youback can and helpsupporting support a passionor forhow giving better place!

VISIT VISIT OUR OUR WEBSITE WEBSITE AT AT PLAYAVENICE.ORG PLAYAVENICE.ORG VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT PLAYAVENICE.ORG I live to serve! As such, having recently joined the ranks of “empty-nester” parents, I found myself seeking a service outlet for my time, energy and spirit of giving back. As fate would have it, Bobbie invited me to a weekly meeting of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. The second I walked in, I knew I was home. I’m now 3 months new, and it has not disappointed!

What I like best about Rotary is the variety. Variety of involvement opportunities, variety of people I get to spend time with, variety of ways to impact the community and society as a whole. The power of the global reach is so impressive, and it is also a very effective and efficient way of volunteering.

Did you know?

I am a part of the Rotary family for over ten years now. I joined Rotaract in Germany (youth program of Rotary international) because I was looking for a community service organization where I could meet young leaders and take part in community and international service projects. We were new to L.A. in June and wanting to plug in to the community. We wanted to connect with like-minded local professionals who are involved in the community and really care, and that is what we found in Rotary. Beyond the outstanding community work, the best part of Rotary is that Rotarians help each other. We didn’t find just acquaintances, but real friends.

Page 12 • March 2018

more information about ourFor community and projects that help Rotary or how you can help local project, please visit oursupport make the world a better place! one our local projects, please visit website, Forof more information local project, please visitabout our Rotary our website at or contact our Director of Membership or how you can help support one of website, sendlocal us an email (310) at playavenice@gMichael Warren our projects, please visit our contact our Director of343-5721, Membership so we can invite you to us send us an email playavenice@gwebsite at or send Michael Warren (310) 343-5721, attend oneorofvisit our us weekly breakfast at a weekly an email at email send us an playavenice@g- so meetings. meeting. The club meets every breakfast club meets we can invite you us to The attend one of our or visit at a weekly Wednesday morning at 7:15ata.m. at every Wednesday morning breakfast meeting. The club meets weekly breakfast meetings. The club Whiskey Restaurant, 13713 7:15am at Red’s Whiskey Red’smorning Restauevery Wednesday morning at meets every Wednesday at Fiji Way in Marina delMarina Rey. We look rant, 13713 Fiji Way, del 7:15am at Whiskey Red’s Restau7:15 a.m. at Whiskey Red’s Restaurant, forward to serving community Rey, CA 90292. Wethe look forward rant, Fiji in Way, Marina del to 1371313713 Fiji Way Marina del Rey. with you! serving the community with you. Rey, 90292. Wetolook forward WeCA look forward serving the to serving the with community community you! with you.

Rotary is a family affair! Our club has five married couples that are members, plus many more spouses and partners that participate in our community service projects and events!

I enjoy the camaraderie with likeminded individuals to give and do more for our community and the world. It’s the little things that people do that can move mountains, and Rotarians have been known to move some pretty big mountains. One example of this effort is the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary’s drive to collect walkers and crutches from the community and send all the donations overseas to Africa. A big thanks to Rotary for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

I joined Rotary to be a part of something bigger than myself, to push myself to be a better person and to surround myself with selfless human beings who would give the shirt off their back for a stranger in need. As Rotarians, we spend our time improving our community and bringing resources to local organizations. I have found that it is also a great place to mingle with likeminded individuals who quickly become like family.

PVS Rotary Special Section

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

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

PVS Rotary Special Section

March 2018 • Page 13




is Rotary? SpreadingWhat Cheer


People ask all the time “What is Rotary”? It is a worldwide nonprofit organization of more 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service – in the community, the workplace and throughout the world. You will find members in more than 200 countries with more than 34,000 clubs in the world who volunteer in communities at home and abroad to support

education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation and eradicate polio. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races and creeds. The Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise is one of 62 clubs in District 5280 which covers the geographic boundaries of the Pacific Ocean to downtown and Santa Clarita to San Pedro. We represent the areas of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa


Teddy bears help cheer everyone up, and that’s exactly what Rotarians aim to do with their annual Build-ABear event benefiting USC County Children’s Hospital patients. For the last five years, the club has met at Westfield Culver City’s BuildA-Bear with the goal of selecting and outfitting bears, dragons, monsters, cats, dogs and other creatures to help spread cheer to kids that are battling illness. Rotarians and their families

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Vista, Marina del Rey, Del Rey and Venice and we are committed to living the motto of “Service Above Self” while having a lot of fun in the process. Whether we are passing out toys to our adopted families, supporting local teachers and schools or making pancakes to support the local fire stations, we always find time to have a little fun, laugh a lot and put smiles on the faces of those around us. For more information about Rotary or how you can help support a

local project, please visit our website, contact our Director of Membership Michael Warren (310) 343-5721, send us an email or visit us at a weekly breakfast meeting. The club meets every Wednesday morning at 7:15am at Whiskey Red’s Restaurant, 13713 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. We look forward to serving the community with you.


work hard to make the coolest, cutest or most heroic stuffed animals, which are then delivered as special gifts by the hospital staff. Afterwards, Rotarians meet at a local restaurant for fellowship and an event recap. This event is typical of a great Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary service project because it involves getting together for a good cause, camaraderie and teaching our “future Rotarians” the importance of Service Above Self!

PVS Rotary Special Section

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

Photo by Glenn Marzano.

Visit our weekly breakfast meetings on Wednesdays at 7:15am! Meet us at Whiskey Red’s, 13813 Fiji Way in Marina del Rey. The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club is a 60+ member strong club with Rotarians of all ages, backgrounds and careers! The club’s 2017-2018 executives and directors include: President Gwen Vuchsas; President Elect Brady Connell; Treasurer Maria Davis; Secretary Lucy Wegner; Club Service/Social Club Service Jerry Jen; Club Service/Administrative Jeff Kim; Director of Community Service Bobbie Casalino-Lewis; Director of Vocational Service Matt Tecle; Director of International Service Joe Chehade; Director of Youth Service Sharma Henderson; District Liaison Juliet Oman; Membership Director Brady Connell; and Sgt. of Arms Joerg Rose.

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

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Playa Venice is a Proud Supporter of Education

Teacher Mini-Grants The Teacher Mini-Grant Program is one of the largest and most successful programs of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. In January, the club celebrated the 21st year of the program and received the most grant requests in the program’s history: 152! The purpose of the program is to fund creative and innovative projects for the classroom. This year, the club was pleased to give away more than $17,000 in grants of up to $400 each to deserving teachers in all grades for both public and private schools in the local community. Over the years, the projects have helped pay for planting and growing vegetable gardens, creating meditation spaces, robotics equipment, teacher development, outdoor education, field trips and basic simple needs such as classroom rugs. Teachers very often pay for these types of projects or basic needs out of their own pockets,

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but the Rotary Teacher Mini-Grant program helps to alleviate some of that cost burden. This year, 70 grants were funded through the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Foundation. The club administers the program with partnerships and donations from organizations and would

PVS Rotary Special Section

like to thank our 2018 supporters: the M & M Foundation (The Plotkin Family); Howard Pollack, Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.; Gail Goldstein; Joe & Maria Davis; Garrett Smith; the Stephanie Younger Group; Jim Bunch Memorial Fund; Playa Vista; SuperbTech; Sarlo Tax Service; Mike & Katie Wallace and the LAX Coastal Chamber. Education is a priority of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. In addition to the thousands of dollars given to teachers for these worthwhile projects through these grants, the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club proudly supports education through a book donation program, sponsoring the LAX Coastal Chamber’s Teacher Eddy Awards, providing volunteers for the Rock Roll and Run for Education, purchasing Venice High School Jackets of Excellence and awarding numerous high school scholarships!

Scholarships Awards Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club has always been committed to providing scholarship opportunities in the community. Each spring the club is thrilled to fund $10,000 in scholarships to deserving high school graduates. Following the review of numerous applications from local area high schools, Rotarians present ten $1,000 Rotary scholarships to amazing students. Participating high schools and organizations include Venice High, Animo Venice Charter, Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet, Culver City High School, St. Bernard High School and Co-Op. The scholarships include an Interact Scholarship, Leadership Scholarship, Exceptional Achievement Scholarship, “Service Above Self” Scholarship, Tony Steinhart Scholarship for a deserving LAPD cadet, Carol Goldstein Memorial Scholarship, Trudy Bird Memorial Scholarship, Don Culton Memorial Scholarship and Most Improved Student. The scholarships are presented at a special Rotary Breakfast Meeting for the recipients and their parents. The winning students are given an opportunity to share their future plans with the club members, whether at a university, community college or trade school. The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club believes all students are destined for continued success and very proud that the Rotary Club can play a role in supporting their efforts.

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



Photo by Glenn Marzano.

Thank you for your interest in our Playa Venice Rotary Club. We proudly live the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” by dedicating our efforts to our Community, International, Youth and Vocational Services. Community Service

Youth Service

• LAX Coastal 4th of July Parade • Pancake Breakfasts at Fire Stations #5 and #63 • Holiday Adopt-A-Family Program • Charity Build-A-Bear • Annual Cultural Dinner with presentation of Sunrise Community Service Award • Westchester/Playa Village Volunteer • Meal deliveries for Meals on Wheels West • Feeding the Homeless at Midnight Mission • Rock Roll & Run 5k/1k for Education • Habitat for Humanity • Utility Box Mural Project • Santa Tour

• Support of Interact Clubs at Venice High School, Animo Venice Charter HS, and Co-Op • Scholarship Program for High School Seniors • Holiday parties for McBride and Carousel Schools for handicapped children • Academic Jackets of Excellence Program at Venice High School • Sponsorship of HS students to Rotary Youth Leadership Academy

International Service

Vocational Service

• Sister City Club in Mexico • International Clean Water Projects • Building Homes for the Poor in Mexico • Support of Schools and Orphanages in Africa • Partnership with LAFD bring supplies and equipment to firefighters in Lake Chapala, Mexico • Jacaranda Project • Crutches 4 Africa • End Polio Now • Build a Better Benin • District Humanitarian Trips

• Teacher Mini-Grants • School Supply Program • Teacher Eddy Awards Sponsor with LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce • Book donations to local area schools • Pageant of the Arts Scholarship program for high school students …and much much more!

Come visit us at our weekly breakfast meetings every Wednesday at 7:15 a.m. at Whiskey Reds!

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

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Random Notes/Opinion

How to lose twenty pounds...hopefully forever By Jeff Blair Opinion: Raise your hand if you have ever lost 10 to 20 pounds on a diet. Wow, that is a lot of hands! Now keep your hand raised if you kept that weight off for more than a year. Where did all those hands go? I see one in the back, I think. Losing weight is simple: reduce calorie intake and/or increase physical activity for 30 days and you will lose weight. Millions lose weight every year on a variety of diets, cleanses and detoxes. Keeping the weight off is the hard part. Repeated “yo-yo” dieting can slow the metabolism, discourage the dieter and can produce a “rebound effect” when the diet ends. Here are some tips: 1. Understand weight loss comes down to “energy balance.” Energy balance is a very simple concept. In order to lose weight, your body must burn more calories than it takes in. If you eat 1,750 calories and burn off 2,250 calories, you have created a “calorie deficit.” Do that long enough and you will lose weight. 2. Track your caloric intake from food and drink. Any calories you consume via food and drink produce your calorie intake. Most underestimate calorie intake by

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about 20%. I recommend tracking your caloric intake for at least 10 days to find your average. There are many apps available that include calories counts for thousands of foods. You can also use pen and paper. 3. Learn that the “calories burned” side involves three factors. Calorie burn includes your basic metabolism, your daily activity level and something called the thermic effect of food. a. Metabolism (or BMR). Your body burns calories simply by staying alive. Breathing, organ function and various bodily chemical reactions burn calories. The technical name for this process is Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR). Some general ideas about BMR: people with more muscle burn more calories than people with less muscle. Larger people burn more calories than smaller people. To provide some numbers, a typical 45-year-old woman weighing 150 pounds will have a BMR of about 1,400. For a 45-year-old man weighing 180 pounds, BMR will be near 1,800. These numbers should be in the ballpark for most. b. Daily Activity Level (DAL). Your DAL includes physical activity from work, intentional exercise and non-exercise activity. If your work is sedentary, you will

not burn many calories from it. But if you are a mailman delivering doorto-door, you can burn hundreds of calories daily. Intentional exercise includes weightlifting, cycling, swimming and similar activities. Consistent, intentional exercise can burn thousands of calories monthly. You may have never heard of “non-exercise activity.” Non-exercise activity is also known as “NEAT.” NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. NEAT includes fidgeting, hand gestures and other low-level activity and can burn several hundred calories per day. c. Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). TEF is probably the least understood component of energy balance, but it is very important. TEF is the number of calories your body burns from digesting and storing food in the body. Here’s the twist: TEF rates are very different for different foods. Proteins have about a 30% TEF rate, while carbohydrates tend to be around 10% and fats about 5%. That means if you eat 100 calories of a protein, there will be only about 70 calories left after digestion and processing, so you get 30 “free” calories. For a carb, about 90 calories will remain, so you get only 10 “free” calories. And for a fat, about 95

calories will be left, so you get about 5 “free” calories. In addition to higher TEF rates, proteins release appetite suppressing hormones to the brain and can minimize late night cravings, especially if eaten at breakfast. The dramatically higher TEF rates and appetite suppressant impacts are why I recommend everyone consume at least 20 grams of protein with every meal. Protein intake can sometimes be more challenging for vegans and vegetarians, but the same ideas apply. 4. Putting it all together. My formula for success is: decrease caloric intake slightly and consume protein with every meal; understand we all have individual dietary preferences, so one size fits all doesn’t work; develop a flexible, non-dogmatic approach to eating; and exercise 4-6 times per week. Be willing to adjust as you go, and you’ll see progress. If you’d like to lose twenty pounds, give yourself at least 4-6 months. Before you start any fitness routine, consult your doctor. Jeff Blair (M.S.) is five-time Trainer of the Year, a published author and a former member of the Mens’ Fitness magazine Advisory Board. Reach him at​ for comments.

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

Find your super power and use it for good By Fay Craton Opinion: When going to the movies there is usually an option to see a super hero movie. The lead character usually receives fantastic powers, and as a result of the new powers, an adventure evolves. I remember watching “Spider Man” last year and laughing about all of the predicaments he got himself into. As the movie wrapped up, he finally settled into a new level of comfort with his powers and who he was as a person. Have you ever wished you could have some wonderful new ability which would change your life? Everyone has unique skills, which I consider to be gifts. When you do not express your gifts, life can feel diminished. Part of people’s purpose and meaning in life comes from sharing your strengths within your family or community. While using his gifts, Spider Man had challenges to overcome. In your real life, you also may have to overcome challenges. A big hurdle is very often that we don’t recognize our own gifts. In fact, sometimes your special ability might be a characteristic you have been conditioned to hide. Stop and think about what you are really good at doing, but do not often pursue because you either: • have been taught to hide your ability; or • have been ridiculed for your talent; or • get embarrassed when people talk about it; or • have been told your ability is of little worth; or • believe other people will think you are weird and unacceptable; or • believe that by practicing your ability you might make another person feel bad; or • let other activities be more important by allowing something else to take priority over using your skill. After living for a long period of time with your skill being ignored, you develop a muted perception of life, which does not include what you uniquely offer. This dull life may be what you consider to be “normal.” Changing from “normal” to something different is hard because it feels unusual. You can improve your experience in life by living through the discomfort of learning a “new normal.” A component of happiness is to live a life which includes purpose and meaning. Are you willing to find a “new normal” through living life in a new way?

Let’s start by considering what you may have already been given as your “super power.” Think about the following questions: • What do you dream about doing someday, but have never found time to do? • Do you have activities which bring you joy (even if you don’t do them often)? • Have you been told you are especially good at doing something? • Do people frequently come to you for help with a particular activity because they need your skill? A “super power” might not result in you swinging between buildings on strands of spider thread. But what it will do is make a real difference in the lives of people important to you. Identifying your ability may take effort. It may be helpful to speak to someone you trust while figuring out your skill. If you are not comfortable talking to someone, consider journaling your thoughts and observations. Even your unique skills take time to cultivate. As you identify possibilities, you may wish to explore them. Usually gifts–or “super powers–” take practice to understand how to best use them. Yes, as skills are cultivated, you may end up in some predicaments, which you will need to figure out how to navigate. Just like in the movies, you will sometimes be successful, while other times you may stumble. Even Spider Man needed a mentor to help him learn, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. It may be helpful to find a support system, which will validate you as you develop your ability. Are you ready to make your “super power” important enough to take the time to practice it? Be gentle on yourself as you learn to use your gifts. As you learn, pay attention to how using your gifts make you feel. Do you like the feelings when you are using your skills? By being mindful of your experience, you can take the time to appreciate positive changes. My wish is for you to fully express the gifts you offer to this world. You are valuable! Your super powers are needed in the lives of your family, friends and community. 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, visit or contact her at (310) 645-6762.

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Recipes from the Inn: Greek yogurt coffee cake By Rebecca Hill, Innkeeper I’m a vegetarian who is adverse to vegetables, or anything healthy for that matter. So, when my health conscious co-worker, Becca, kept extolling the virtues of our “Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake,” I was pretty sure she was trying to trick me in to eating something healthy. Greek yogurt is something my Weight Watcher’s leader always talks about; she says it’s high in protein and good for you (yawn). Becca insisted the Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake is completely decadent and that the guests and I would love it. Finally, she lured me in to tasting it by drizzling frosting on it, and you know what? Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake is AMAZING! After that, I got brave and tested our zucchini bread (also amazing!), and had a sudden realization that my beloved carrot cake actually has carrots in it! Could this possibly count as eating my daily vegetables? As it turns out, no it cannot, but I still love the recipe anyway and hope you do too!

Drizzle the coffee cake with glaze and enjoy the streusel filled center of this decadent breakfast.

• 1 cup salted butter • 2 cups sugar • 2 eggs • 2 Tsp. vanilla • 1 cup vanilla fat free Greek yogurt • 2 cups flour • 1 Tsp. baking powder • ½ Tsp. baking soda Streusel Filling: • ½ cup flour

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Ingredients:

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• ½ cup brown sugar • ½ cup white sugar • ½ Tsp. cinnamon • ½ cup walnuts • 3 Tbs. cold butter Glaze: • 2 Tbs. butter, melted • 1 cup powdered sugar • 1-2 Tbs. milk • 2 Tbs. lemon juice • 1 Tsp. vanilla

Directions for Coffee Cake: 1. Mix butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. 2. Add vanilla and Greek yogurt. 3. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. 4. Pour half the batter into a greased Bundt pan. 5. Layer the streusel on top, then cover with the remaining batter. 6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until done. 7. Plate and allow to cool. 8. Once the coffee cake has cooled, top with glaze. Directions for Glaze: Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Continue adding milk little by little until you get the consistency you like! The Inn’s recipes have been lovingly collected over the past 20 years. Some are original recipes, others are wellknown recipes that have been adapted and some are recipes that have been handed down by our innkeepers’ mothers and grandmothers over the years. Rebecca Hill is an innkeeper at the Inn at Playa del Rey and a published writer. Her stories have appeared in Redbook magazine and in over a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.

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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Visitation Parish

Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Photo by Marcy Dugan.

h Anniversary

On Sunday, February 18, Visitation Parish celebrated its 75th anniversary with hundreds of its parishioner, alumni, students and community members in attendance. Archbishop José H. Gómez led a special mass at the standing room only service and congratulated the congregation on being the oldest Catholic church in Westchester. After the service, the celebration continued on the campus of Visitation School, which is currently in the midst

of a “Renew” campaign to raise $3.5 million for building improvements to the campus. Attendees were treated to music by Woodie and the Longboards and a performance by the school’s hip hop dance class. Councilmember Mike Bonin was also on hand to present Father Jim Forsen with a certificate from the city, recognizing the milestone anniversary and the church’s role as a longtime pillar in the

Westchester community. Alumni from around the country and from classes as far back as the 1950s joined in on the celebration to honor their alma mater’s parish. Games, tours of the school and food from around the world rounded out the event. Visitation Church was established in 1943 to serve the area around what would become LAX by Father Thomas O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan, a native of Ireland, purchased four acres of land

near the airport to fulfill the vision of creating the first Catholic church and school in Westchester. In the four years that it took to build the Italian Renaissance-style church, mass was held in a garage until a building could be erected. O’Sullivan directed the parish for forty-five years, followed by Father James O’Grady, Monsignor Timothy O’Connell and Monsignor Charles Hill. The church is currently led by Monsignor Jim Forsen.

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310.642.9642 8801 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #F, Westchester, CA 90045 (Above Petco & Tuesday Morning) Page 26 • March 2018

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Westchester/Playa HomeTown News March 2018 edition  
Westchester/Playa HomeTown News March 2018 edition  

Please enjoy the March 2018 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News