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p l a y a v i s t a • m a r i n a d e l re y

April 2020

From making masks to helping neighbors, acts of kindness are everywhere in Westchester/ Playa...page 4

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU

to all frontline medical workers fighting COVID-19, first responders and all workers in essential sectors including healthcare, grocery stores, restaurants & food delivery, warehouses & media

Westchester resident, Suzy Smith, has been making and donating masks to frontline workers and community members to help during this time. Here she poses with her family: Brian, Allie and Isabelle.

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

westchester


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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

Acts of kindness are everywhere in Westchester/Playa Support local businesses Scenes around Westchester NCWP monthly update In Pictures: WDRLL Opening Day

04 06 14 23 27

HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher

Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer

Kirby Israelson, Graphic Design Consuelo Israelson, Contributing Writer

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: westchesterhometown@yahoo.com • Website: thehtn.com • Facebook: facebook.com/thehtn The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of each month.

act us for rates and act us for rates and hesterhometo Consider spreading some cheer with a fun image in your window for people to see when they walk by. If you’re looking for themes, here’s a list of fun ideas for April:

hesterhometo

us on Faceboo to-date with news and us on Faceboo Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

April 2020 • Page 3


Photo by Jee Hyun Lee.

While the recent weeks have brought a lot of fear and uncertainty to everyone, it has also brought an unprecedented amount of people looking to help, volunteer, donate and give back. We’re heartened by the constant stream of reports about neighbors helping neighbors and people they’ve never met before: offering to pick up items for those that can’t go out; giving updates on what’s on store shelves; and sharing resources whether it’s gloves, toilet paper or information. While we’d never have enough print space to highlight them all, below are just some of the ways that community members, organizations and businesses are sharing kindness with others.

Nonprofits join forces to help seniors. Not wanting to duplicate efforts and making sure they were sharing resources, some of the community’s top do-gooders–the leaders at Westside Pacific Villages (WPV), the Westchester Family YMCA, the LAX Coastal Chamber, Covenant Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club of Westchester, the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, Airport Marina Counseling Service and Culver Palms Meals-On Wheels–quickly mobilized to ensure that no local seniors would be left behind or alone during this crisis. The result of their collaboration is Page 4 • April 2020

Westchester Rotarians practice social distancing and get ready to deliver meals as part of the Senior Support Coalition.

the Senior Support Coalition, which is offering free help to seniors that need meal deliveries, grocery runs, essential errands and regular social support calls. According to WPV Executive Director, Carol Kitabayashi, the benefit of contacting an organization like WPV for help is that it vets its volunteers, who must pass a background check. “Sadly, there are a lot of scam artists out there,” said Kitabayashi. “But there are a lot of good people too, so it’s heartwarming for me to see that seniors are getting help. Seniors can often feel invisible—a lot of them are stuck at home and sometimes no one knows they’re even there.” While all the organizations are working together, the Westchester Rotary with its army of volunteers, has already begun making no-contact deliveries of meals and homemade cards from local kids. For people requesting help that range well into their 90s, being able to count on deliveries of food and regular check-ins has been a blessing. The group is also working on a senior needs assessment and tutorials to help seniors with technology like Zoom, so they can connect virtually. “I’m so impressed by how resilient we are as a community. I’m so honored to be working and living here,” said Westchester Rotary president Darlene Fukuji. “Everyone is coming together and sharing their talents, resources and special skills, which is really cool to see.” To receive or give help to the Senior Support Coalition, please visit thewpv.org, call (310) 695-7030 or email WPVcares@thewpv.org. You can also view more info on page 2 of the HTN.

no luck finding basic items like milk and eggs, Chamber President/CEO Christina Davis, did what she does best: she started making calls and started connecting people who could help. She reached out to Playa del Rey’s Todd and Julie Arutunian of Astro Food Service, who needed to distribute perishable food items usually reserved for their wholesale restaurant clients. Davis asked if they could put together pre-packaged food boxes for officers to take home to their families, and the Arutunians jumped on board to make it happen. Next, a phone call to the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation got the LAPD Pacific Booster Club a donation to enable them to purchase boxes for 80 officers and their families—helping both the protectors and a small local business. Said LAPD Officer Robert Hoebink in an email, “What is that special something? It is the bringing together of our community to make a difference. Our first responders could not be more appreciative of all these efforts. One officer in particular stopped me to personally explain how much the food meant to him and his family, and that he had trouble finding certain groceries due to not being able to shop at stores during prime hours. His wife was not able to go out because she had to watch their small children and could not take them out to the store. The groceries that he received were exactly what he and his family needed.”

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

Making and donating cloth masks for those in need. When Westchester mom Suzy Smith heard about hospital workers and first responders facing mask shortages, she sprang into action. A talented seamstress with a lot of fabric on hand, she found a pattern online and quickly got to work sewing. After posting on Facebook that she was making masks for those in need, she got a flurry of requests from community members looking to protect themselves and their loved ones. People shared stories about immune compromised family members, heading to Skid Row to help with no face coverings, collecting masks for their medical offices and being worried about going to the grocery store. “I ended up opening it up to everyone that wanted one,” said Smith. “I offered one per family, and it kind of blew up from there.” Balancing working from home and helping her two daughters with schoolwork, she has now made and donated more than 300 masks that run the gamut of designs—from superheroes to pineapples to tigers. No matter what the design, however, the people she is able to help are grateful for her kindness. While many have offered to donate money to help offset the cost, she’s happy to keep sewing and offering her services for free as long as she can. She’s excited for an upcoming delivery of 100 yards of elastic to be able to make even more masks.

Suzy Smith is one of many community members making cloth masks to donate to frontline workers and neighbors.

Musicians will play music in their homes, which will be streamed on WAM’s Instagram Stories on Fridays in April at 6 p.m. Follow @wamblockparty to watch the concerts live. While the performances are free, donations to the artists are welcome. WLS community creates cards for first responders. Westchester Lutheran School has partnered with Operation Gratitude to say “thank you” to the heroes that risk their health each day to serve and care for those who are ill with COVID-19. Students, parents and teachers are making cards, and if you would like to join them in this effort, please first wash your hands with warm water and soap and get creative! The cards could be made for a nurse, doctor, hospital worker, paramedic, police office or firefighter. Mail your card(s) by April 12 to Westchester Lutheran School, ATTN: Operation Gratitude at 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd., LA, CA 90045. For more info, email Emily Ingistov, Head of School at eingistov@wlcs.org.

WAM helps artists through live-streaming home concerts. Knowing that art can help lift people’s spirits during trying times, Westchester Arts & Music (WAM) Block Party producer John Sharpe is hoping to put a smile on people’s faces Businesses work together to support with online streaming concerts. LAPD officers. “I wanted to do something to support After getting a phone call from a local artists and hopefully, bring folks local LAPD station that officers were a little respite from the stress and having trouble getting food for their anxiety we’re all feeling,” said Sharpe. families after long shifts and having Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester Helpers aid neighbors that can’t leave their homes. Worried about the community’s senior population, Dana Rogers decided to put thoughts into actions. With the Stay at Home order and seniors told to stay at home if possible, Rogers created a flyer to distribute to her neighbors and reached out to her network for help in spreading the word. “For me, most of my family is on the East Coast,” said Rogers who has lived in Westchester for eight years and is the mom to elementary school-aged kids. “The inability to protect my own parents and grandparents made me want to help here.” Creating an impressive spreadsheet, Rogers was able to coordinate with other local moms willing to help with grocery deliveries, prescription pick-ups and friendly phone calls. Connecting There is so with Westside much warmth in Pacific Villages, the community. she was also able to collect You definitely cards made by see people local kids to include with the tapping into the meals they are deepest parts delivering. “With the Safer of their hearts at Home order, when something some people are responding with like this happens. fear, but what I love seeing is turning that fear into an opportunity to help someone else,” said Rogers. “There is so much warmth in the community. You definitely see people tapping into the deepest parts of their hearts when something like this happens.” To learn more, call or text (424) 3413408 or email westchesterhelpers@mail. com. Local organizations host blood drives. The Westchester Family YMCA is hosting blood drives on Thursdays in April from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in their annex location to support much needed donations for the American Red Cross. Those interested in donating are encouraged to visit redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code: YMCAWestchester. To streamline the donation process, visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to fill out a health questionnaire prior to your appointment. The Westchester Elks Lodge will also be holding a blood drive this month on Monday, April 20 from 2 to 8 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please sign-up online at cedars-sinai.org/ giveblood and use code WELG. Zacha Homes offers neighbors help. Longtime Westchester resident, Robin Zacha, is a one-woman team offering help to her neighbors when it comes to errands, meals and item pick-ups. As the owner of Zacha Homes, she has also been helping worried homeowners with their questions and offering information about what government support is out there. She can be reached at (310) 293-3043

and will do her best to answer your question or help with your request. SoCalGas offers grants for nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. SoCalGas’ parent company is offering grants through its COVID-19 Nonprofit Hardship Fund. Grants ranging from $500 to $50,000 will be awarded to small and medium-sized nonprofits. Organizations showing an increase in clients due to the pandemic, as well as organizations that need support to sustain their basic operations due to cancellation of major fundraisers, are encouraged to apply. For more details, visit tinyurl. com/yx5nk247, which will take you to grantrequest.com to fill out an application. Real estate company buys gift cards to support local restaurants. The Suarez Real Estate team is buying $5,000 worth of gift cards to help support local restaurants. They’re asking community members to vote for their favorites, and the gift cards will be purchased from the top 10 restaurants with the most votes. The gift cards will then be donated to local charities to help those in need. Voting ends on April 16. Cast your vote at SuarezCommunityHelp.com. Neighbors spread cheer with decorations, holiday lights and more. While we’re all staying at home as much as possible these days, and trips outside often consist of a walk around the block, neighbors are spreading some much needed cheer by decorating their homes with holiday lights, putting things in their windows for families with young kids to spot and creating chalk drawings with positive messages or jokes. If you’re interested in suggestions for what to put in your window, please see our Westchester/Playa Window Walk list on page 2. In collaboration with WAM and the Living90045.com blog, the HTN is also holding a Chalk Art contest. Check out page 7 for more info or visit our post at facebook.com/thehtn. Woman’s Club offers camaraderie and mask making. The Westchester Woman’s Club is inviting local woman to learn more about their organization and get involved with their philanthropic and civic endeavors. Members are working to offer their services virtually, from health and wellness tips to online group fitness classes. They’re also involved with making masks for those in need. If you have any interest in these services or would like to volunteer to help with masks, please contact club president Margarita Diosomito at margarita.diosomito@yahoo.com. We know acts of kindness–both big and small–are everywhere and touching all corners of Westchester/Playa. Please share your stories with us, so we can share with our readers and work to document this moment in time. Email us at westchesterhometown@yahoo.com.

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

April 2020 • Page 5


Check out these Westchester/Playa favorites that are offering essential & online services Small businesses can all use our help—whether you’re ordering take-out or delivery, buying gift cards, showing some love on social media or lifting their spirits with positive reviews. We reached out to some of our favorite local restaurants, and we heard from all of them that they appreciate the support of the community during this unprecedented time, which is allowing them to continue to serve their customers, keep their doors open and retain their staff. Below are some local restaurants that responded to our questionnaire and are open and ready to serve the community, as well as a few local businesses offering their services remotely.*

Truxton’s American Bistro.

Why we love Truxton’s: This is one of our hometown faves! We love the veggie tacos, monkey bread and great service. Plus, it’s owned by a Westchester family, and is very generous when it comes to donating to local schools and organizations. • Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily • Curbside pickup: Yes. • Are you offering home delivery? Yes, with free delivery. • Best way to order? Visit truxtonsamericanbistro. com. • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? 25 percent off all regularly priced menu items, plus a rotating daily $7 adult and $3 kids’ meal. • Anything else you’d like to share? We will soon be offering canned cocktails, beer and wine to go for pickup or delivery!

Tower Pizza.

Why we love Tower Pizza: How can you not? This is a neighborhood institution that has been around for 34 years and is supportive of the local community and youth sports! • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. • Curbside pickup: Yes! We are calling it “parking lot pickup,” since customers just pull up in our lot. Just call us when you arrive and we bring the order out to your car. • Are you offering home delivery? Yes! Free delivery, as always. • Best way to order? Please call (310) 410-0986. • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? We have awesome “take and bake” pizza kits for $8, and they’re so much fun for everyone! Also, we can now sell alcohol for takeout and delivery (with food purchase), so for a limited time we have $10 bottles of wine! • Anything else you’d like to share? Not only do we serve delicious pizza, but we have a wide variety of burgers, sandwiches, fresh fish, salads and healthy options too! Our menu can be viewed at towerpizza. com.

Bacari PDR.

Why we love Bacari PDR: This place has delicious French toast–that we look forward to eating once restaurants reopen for dine-in–and appreciate their creativity in transitioning into a pop-up market, which has allowed them to keep serving the community and retain some of their staff during this challenging time. • Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Curbside pickup: Yes. • Are you offering home delivery? Yes, through Postmates. • Best way to order? Go to the website and order for Page 6 • April 2020

pickup or call in your order. At bacaripdr.com, you can also view a list of available items. • Anything else you’d like to share or let us know? Bacari PDR was able to pivot quickly to turning their Playa del Rey restaurant into a pop-up market, offering fruits, veggies, meats, dairy and paper products to serve the community. Despite being temporarily shut down by the city for operating as a market, they’re back up and running, providing a vital service for those looking for grocery items. Place your order with them and they’ll deliver it to you curbside.

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach.

Why we love Cantalini’s: This friendly neighborhood eatery is one of our favorite spots for celebrating with friends and we can’t get enough of their spinach ravioli! • Hours: Cantalini’s has expanded its hours to 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., with lunch and dinner now served every day. • Curbside pickup: Yes. • Are you offering home delivery? Yes. • Best way to order? Via grubhub.com and search Cantalini’s. • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? We are offering several complete meal packages, as well as delivery of wine and beer. Visit salernobeach.com or facebook.com/ CantalinisSalernoBeach to view the daily specials. • Anything else you’d like to share or let us know? We will remain open for takeout and delivery for both lunch and dinner. Please use any of the online delivery companies or simply call us at (310) 8210018. Curbside pickup is also available. Cantalini’s remains diligent in our commitment to your health and safety during this temporary restriction on dinein service. Thank you so much for your support and understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Ayara Thai.

Why we love Ayara: We love that this restaurant is family-owned and operated and serves delicious authentic Thai food. We also happen to think they have the best Pad Thai...ever! • Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Curbside pickup: Yes. • Are you offering home delivery? Yes. • Best way to order? Please call (310) 410-8848. • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? “Safer at Home” specials include “Thai Thursday Pinto a Thai” meal subscriptions for two to four people. Prices begin as low as $29. The upcoming menu includes: April 9: Mama’s Veggie Soup, spicy bamboo chicken, BBQ Cornish hen and chicken fat rice. April 16: Stewed pork belly pa-lo, pickled mustard green chicken, lon shrimp and black rice. April 23: Savory egg custard, spicy basil pork belly, snow peas shrimp and rice berry rice. • Anything else you’d like to share or let us know? Ayara is taking extra caution with all food orders and is taking care of their staff by making sure they are fed and have health benefits during this time. Chef Vanda and her family are also giving back to the community and providing meals to those on the frontline at several hospitals in L.A. Top to bottom: 1. Westchester resident, Michael Calzada, gets some takeout at Ayara. 2. An array of some of Truxton’s top dishes. 3. Tower Pizza is a hit with families and kids, thanks to their DIY pizza kits. 4. Cantalini’s Salerno Beach has expanded their hours and added lunch every day of the week.

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


Benny’s Tacos.

person. • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? We’re now offering tele-medicine. • Anything else you’d like to share? Playa Vista Medical Center has been servicing this community since 2008 and continues to stay open throughout the “COVID-19 crisis.” We continue to provide urgent care needs with the required modifications per mandated precautions. We have started a telemedicine service to provide patients with urgent care services not requiring direct physical contact. We’re still providing X-Ray services and any minor trauma care (lacerations/ abrasions, sprains/fractures, etc.) if you need to come in to be seen. We will begin COVID-19 testing as soon as the rapid kits are available. Visit pvmedcenter.com for more info.

Loyola Pizza.

Law offices of Edgar Saenz.

Why we love Benny’s: When we’re craving Mexican food, this is one of our go-to spots, thanks to its hearty portions and friendly service. • Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Curbside pickup: Takeout only. • Are you offering home delivery? Yes, delivery from us or Postmates, Ubereats, Doordash and Grubhub. • Best way to order? Visit bennystacos. com. • Are you offering any specials or promotions? 10 percent off any order. • Anything else you’d like to share? We’ve gotten a lot of requests for larger orders, so we’re offering a boxed lunch option for delivery: for $12 get a burrito or quesadilla (beef, chicken and veggie) with tortilla chips, 2 salsas, 1 guacamole and a prepack sealed utensil set.

Why we love Loyola Pizza: Comfort food is king right now, and pizza sounds delicious. • Hours: Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. • Curbside pickup: Yes. • Home delivery? Yes. • Best way to order? Order by calling (310) 641-8666 or visit LoyolaPizza. com. • Are you offering any specials or promotions? Two medium 2-topping pizzas for $24.99; 2 large cheese pizzas $24.99; large 1-topping pizza & choice of large salad (house or Caesar) $20.99. • Anything else you’d like to share? We specialize in New York-style pizza. Every pizza is hand tossed with in-house dough prepared daily. We’re also family-owned and operated.

Local businesses offering virtual or essential services: Playa Music Lessons.

This Playa del Rey business offers music lessons to all ages and levels. • Are you offering any live-streaming or online classes/services? We are doing all our music lessons online via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? We are waiving the registration fee ($40) for new students who start online lessons. • Anything else you’d like to share? We are uploading free piano tutorial videos on our YouTube channel daily. Visit playamusiclessons.com for more info.

Playa Vista Medical Center.

Located in Playa Vista, this urgent care is open to treat patients virtually or in

This Westchester business counsels clients and prepares their trusts and estate plans. • Are you offering any live-streaming or online classes/services? During Safer at Home, we’re meeting clients by video and telephone who are interested. Visit edgarsaenz.com for more info.

Geslin Law.

Bahar Gelsin is an attorney that practices primarily trust and will drafting, trust administration and probate. She can help you create a trust, will, power of attorney and healthcare directive. If you have minor children, she can also advise you on how to best protect them. • Are you offering any live-streaming or online classes/services? Yes, I will be doing several live presentations over the next few weeks for people that want to learn more about estate planning and whether it is necessary for them right now. I am also set up to be completely virtual and paperless (except for the final documents). • Are you offering any specials or promotions at this time? I am offering a free advanced health care directive to any essential workers and free 15-minute consultations for anyone who is unsure about what legal documents are relevant for them at this time. • Anything else you’d like to share? The likelihood of isolation or quarantine is high right now, so it is important to make sure that you have an agent that can act on your behalf in case of an emergency. For more info, please visit. geslinlaw.com. *Since things can change quickly these days, please make sure to check the website or call to confirm hours and specials.

Is your restaurant open for business? Offering your services online? Let the neighborhood know! Email us at westchesterhometown@yahoo.com. Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

OPEN April 2020 • Page 7


Liveyoga Wellness adapts to online classes as studio readies to celebrate 10 year anniversary By Sarah Ahern Since opening Westchester’s LiveYoga Wellness, Teri Roseman’s mission has been to unite the community through a holistic education of yoga– teaching the practice as a lifestyle that incorporates physical, mental and spiritual components to promote health and wellness. Roseman participated in her very first yoga class in the 1980s in Baja California, piquing an interest that led her to continue to attend classes from time to time. But after Roseman endured an extremely stressful chapter in her life, with the ending of a long-term relationship, the passing of her father and the diagnosis of breast cancer, what started out as a casual endeavor into yoga eventually became her saving grace. “Yoga saved my life,” said Roseman, who will celebrate the tenth anniversary of owning and operating LiveYoga Wellness this May. During that difficult time, she decided to earn a yoga teaching certificate, but it wasn’t until she was let go from her long-term corporate sales position that she was truly ready to make the move from just practicing yoga to sharing her knowledge with others. Courses at LMU– Prime of Life Yoga and the Yoga Therapy Rx Program—were also helpful in shaping her vision for opening her own studio. “I wanted to bring the idea that self-care is health care to our community,” Roseman says. Roseman fortuitously learned that a room at Holy Nativity Church on 83rd Street was being remodeled into a yoga center. She met with the church’s pastor at the time, Peter Rood, with whom she shared a similar philosophy for offering new wellness options to Westchester and a space where people could grow and learn. Her goal was to open a community-minded studio where people would be able to do yoga, and develop their practice, on their own terms and pace. “Peter Rood always said, the idea is for people to find their spirituality anywhere—not necessarily in the pews, but in a yoga class, an art class or in the garden,” Roseman said. “The energy in the studio is so lovely, and it has truly grown as a community.” When Roseman first opened her studio, she offered 25 yoga classes per week, ranging from prenatal to seniors. Over the years as the studio has found its niche, however, she’s honed its offerings to several yoga and tai chi classes each week for a variety of skill

Page 8 • April 2020

levels. “Our classes are made for every type of body,” Roseman explains. “There are many ways in which to modify poses, so that each body gets the benefit.” Until recently, LiveYoga Wellness offered 16 classes per week, but as businesses have had to close their physical doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, Roseman and her teachers shifted to conducting classes virtually. Thankfully, Roseman easily transitioned to teaching online since she has worked with clients remotely for several years. Her efforts these days have been geared toward ensuring that all of her teachers and students are successful as they use Zoom to participate in live-streamed yoga comfortably from home. During a time of stress and anxiety, Roseman emphasizes the importance of maintaining the tightknit community that she has spent the last decade fostering. “We are dealing with an unusual and surreal situation, and yoga has been proven to help reduce stress levels,” she says. For longtime LiveYoga Wellness student Mary Ann Bell, online classes have been invaluable during the recent Stay at Home order. “These classes are something to look forward to every day,” she said. “Being able to do virtual yoga has kept my sanity at a good level, and my stress level has really improved.” LiveYoga Wellness teacher and yoga therapist Elyse Lauren says that what really sets the studio apart is the quality and investment in the education of yoga and the emphasis on the studio as a space for personal growth and development rather than a retail space. “When our industry moves away from the quality of teaching and more into an economic opportunity, a lot of corners are cut,” Lauren says. “This studio is a gem of a place in the community because through and through, it’s a holistic approach to what yoga is all about.” LiveYoga Wellness will celebrate its 10th anniversary on May 2. The studio plans to reschedule “Yoga Day,” to a future date to celebrate. Roseman’s plans for the free all-day event include 30-minute yoga and tai chi classes, wellness and self-care information booths and a book signing with Dr. Larry Payne, the Executive Director and founder of the Loyola Marymount University Yoga Therapy Rx and Prime of Life Yoga programs. For more info about LiveYoga Wellness and online classes, please visit liveyogawellness.com.

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


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

April 2020 • Page 9


Left to right: Fifth grade student Lydia E. zooms into online learning with Mrs. DeMedio. 2. Eighth grade student Cate N. receives birthday wishes on her lawn and birthday drive-by shout outs during social distancing.

WLCS Zooms into online learning YouTube Channels, live-streaming Since mid-February, Westchester videos through Zoom for direct Lutheran School (WLS) has been instruction and assessments, IXL and closely watching the COVID-19 BrainPop for fun student engagement situation unfold worldwide and has centered upon grade level content engaged in multiple tele-briefings standards. Students continue to have for school administrators with Dr. physical education, visual arts, music, Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public and Spanish classes in addition to their core curriculum subjects. In sixth Health. In each call, the Department through eighth grades, the specialized of Public Health advised schools subject matter teachers run the school to prepare for a school closure as day according to their regular course the probability of a school closure scheduled times through Zoom class seemed more likely with each meetings that incorporate “Zoom passing week. On March 12, WLS St. A students excel at decathlon Etiquette,” Google Classroom through teachers sent students home with all Congratulations to St. Anastasia Google’s G-Suite for Education and their books as schools in Southern Catholic School’s Academic Decathlon YouTube live-streaming. Students, California began to close. Onsite Team! They competed in the Los Angeparents, and teachers have been learning at WLS seemed imminent. les Academic Junior High Decathlon on surveyed to fine tune our school’s The next day, LAUSD, many local Sunday, March 1 in the Walter Pyranew method of instruction. Feedback school districts and private schools, mid at Cal State Long Beach. Out of 93 is used to assist in transforming the including Westchester Lutheran schools competing with over a thousand program into an exemplary model for School announced onsite school individual participants, St. Anastasia’s closures amid the outbreak and spread online learning. team finished 18th overall, along with a In addition to a strong, well-rounded top 10 medal in the Super Quiz categoof COVID-19. Thus, with no time to academic program at WLS, Christian spare, WLS teachers participated in ry. “Welcome to Distance Learning 101–” faith is an integral part of WLS. Additionally, four out of the eight inGathering together as a school family a full day of training and grade level dividual subject team members medaled each Friday morning continues with meetings. Remaining positive and in Current Events, English, Literature Chapel time being live-streamed at 10 joyful, the teachers created a musical and Science. The Academic Junior High parody entitled “Taking Our School to a.m. through our YouTube Channel at Decathlon is an academic competi“Westchester Lutheran School” and an Online Course” (sung to the tune tion designed for students at Catholic our Facebook page facebook.com/ of Old Town Road) for students to Schools in grades sixth through 8th. westchesterlutheranschool. They kick-off our new method of learning. The St. Anastasia Academic DecathCheck it out on Westchester Lutheran invite you to tune in and follow them! lon team was guided by teacher Greta Despite these uncertain times, WLS Manzano, along with coaching help School’s YouTube channel for your believes it is important to continue viewing pleasure. from fellow teachers Laura Remington, our mission and effort to bring joy WLS zoomed into online learning Maria Charles, Clare Thomason and and light to others while maintaining that Monday to ensure that students Susie Soriano. The team members were social distancing and staying home. continue to receive an exemplary Serra, Alicia, Kara, Roman, Giada, MarThey celebrate students’ birthdays education despite not being on a lee, Dylan, Esme, Kaiya and Maya. The during this time of social isolation physical campus during the Safer at team members were chosen in Novemwith drive-by birthday shout-outs, Home mandate. Junior kindergarten ber after testing, and the students had handmade posters and birthday through fifth grade teachers and been studying ever since, both at school announcements during chapel time. students quickly learned how to use as an elective, as well as study sessions If you are interested in learning SeeSaw, a remote learning platform before school and in the evenings. The more about Westchester Lutheran to support effective teaching and team also participated School, visit wlcs.org or email Emily learning of grade level content in off-site scrimmages against other Ingistov, Head of School at eingistov@ teams. All of this tireless work resulted curriculum standards. In addition to wlcs.org. using SeeSaw, teachers also integrated in St. Anastasia’s successful accomplishvarious digital methods, such as ments at the competition. Page 10 • April 2020 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del

Westchester Rotary offers scholarships Each year, the Rotary Club of Westchester, through the Westchester Rotary Foundation, offers a $750 scholarship in memory and honor of Jim Hill, a former Rotarian who was exemplary in his service to the youth of the community. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior demonstrating outstanding leadership in community service, who either resides in Westchester, Playa del Rey or Playa Vista and/or attends Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets or St. Bernard High School. The scholarship application is due by April 20 and may be obtained by emailing cozetterotary5280@gmail.com. SoCalGas Scholarship SoCalGas is offering scholarship opportunities of $1,000 to $5,000 for graduating seniors who will be attending vocational/technical school or a two- or four-year college or university. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0, demonstrate strong community involvement and financial need. Students majoring in engineering, business, accounting and math will be given priority, but students majoring in other fields are not excluded from applying. Email info@laxcoastaleducationfoundation.com for an application with more information. Applications are due by July 15. Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


19 wellness tips for thriving during Safer at Home By Sheri Weitz, Contributing Columnist Opinion: Trying to build up your immune system? Want to make healthier choices while in quarantine? Are you reaching for comfort foods like mac and cheese, pizza and chocolate? This stressful time of staying at home can drive us to binge eat while binge watching the news. Here are 19 wellness tips to consider during Safer at Home to help you thrive during this difficult time: 1. TV and mealtime need a divorce. It’s fine to listen to the radio while eating, but watching TV or reading during meals or snack time can lead to mindless overconsumption. 2. Move your body. Exercise increases serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter in your brain, and strengthens your immune system. Plus, your favorite celebrity, trainer or Zumba teacher may be streaming their classes for free. 3. Take supplements and eat prebiotic/probiotic-rich foods. Specifically, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium have been shown to

enhance immune response. 4. Hug your animals or adopt a pet. Animals lower our stress response and blood pressure. Not to mention they’re just plain cute. 5. Take Vitamin D. It can help enhance your immune system and improve sleep. 6. Limit sugary drinks. Some of our favorite beverages contain a lot of hidden sugar. Look for drinks with less than seven grams of sugar per serving. 7. Call a friend: Social distancing shouldn’t mean “social isolation.” 8. Get your “Five a Day.” Consume a minimum of two servings of fresh fruit and three servings of fresh or frozen vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are high in Vitamin C, potassium and other immuneboosting nutrients. 9. Keep your cell phone in another room and use an old-fashioned alarm. Avoiding looking at your phone first and last thing every day is good for your physical and mental health. 10. Start a Gratitude Journal. Writing down what you appreciate goes a long way. 11. Get at least seven hours of

sleep. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain and decreased immunity. Take advantage of this time and “sleep bank.” 12. Limit carbohydrates to one-quarter of your plate during mealtimes. For example, half a cup of rice or pasta or a small baked potato. 13. Stop eating when you’re twothirds full. Imagine your stomach as a snack-sized Ziploc bag. 14. Go outside–safely. If you’re able to get out and bike or walk while maintaining a safe social distance, the fresh air will do you wonders. 15. Read nutrition labels. Know what you’re eating. 16. Drink more water. The rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. 17. Eat slowly. Put your fork or sandwich down after every bite. It takes 20 minutes for your head to know your stomach is two-thirds full. 18. Eat lunch every day. Skipping lunch can lead to overeating at dinner time. 19. Avoid dieting. Forbidden foods taste sweeter. Try eating everything in moderation. While spending more time at home has been challenging for all of us, be kind to yourself. Try incorporating a few new healthy tips this month, in addition to practicing positive thinking and reaching out to your support circle. We will all get through

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

Weitz is a local dietitian and enjoys teaching Zumba at the Senior Center and other local spots.

this, stronger than ever. Sheri Weitz, RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian with a private practice in Westchester, and she provides clinical nutrition services for Manchester Medical. Sheri also teaches Zumba classes… her “happy pill.” To find out more about her services or for a free consultation, go to MovetoWellness.net. Before adding supplements, consult your doctor.

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By Stacey Cochrane, Contributing Columnist

degrees to low-grade to normal. The same happened with all of his symptoms. One moment his legs hurt so bad he couldn’t sit still and the next he was fine. It was several days later that I got to experience this for myself. By this time, I had contacted Dr. Matthew Abinate of Elevated Health, telling him our symptoms and made an appointment at his “office” for COVID-19 testing–a back alley behind his medical building. We decided to only test one of us, since it was obvious if one had it, so did the other. Since my symptoms were more acute at the time, I got the pleasure. I had to pull behind the building and text when I arrived. Dr. Matt said it would be a moment since it would take him so long to put on his protective gear. He also had given me instructions; I was to look forward and not cough. He showed up, we said hello through his mask and my window, and he stuck the very long swab up my nose and then put it in his biohazard sample bag and with a quick turn was gone and back in his building. It took three days to get the positive result of the test back, all the while we had to be completely isolated in our condo, with our (almost) 3-year-old toddler and our black lab, while both parents were sick with Coronavirus. Many people ask how we did it. I say a combination of not having a choice, a lot of screen time and our survival was also fueled by the way we were wrapped (from afar) in love and community from more people than I can name. Luckily, when I did talk to the doctor about my positive test result, he noted that he believed we both had mild cases. Our fevers were mostly low-grade, and while we both felt some tightness in our chests, there were no breathing problems. We also had the tremendous luck that our son has been healthy, stayed healthy, and is now out of the incubation period. It is clear we will not pass it on to him. Because of all these things, I realized that our cases could also become a story of hope. In all the

I stepped outside my front door for the first time in three weeks. While so much in the world has changed since I was last outside, so much is also the same. The birds are singing, the grass is green, and while the beach may be empty, the ocean is still waving and the sky is free of smog and more blue than most Angelenos have seen in their lifetime. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our lives, in one way or another. With that has come a ton of fear, anxiety and worry about what is to come–but in my experience, it has also brought a bunch of hope, love and a sense of community and “togetherness” that hasn’t been seen for years. My name is Stacey Cochrane, and this is the story of my family and our experience catching and recovering from COVID - 19. We don’t know where we got the virus. We have one possible contact who was maybe possibly sick, but no travel, no confirmed cases close to us, and no clues as to where we caught it. It was a day in early March when it infected my family and changed our lives for the month of March 2020. My husband woke up with symptoms that overlapped almost completely with the flu and Coronavirus, except one: he also had chest tightness, which is only a symptom of COVID-19. While he called his doctor to ask for advice, they told him what many health practitioners are having to tell their patients these days: they couldn’t see him in the office, they didn’t know what he had and no, he couldn’t get a test. At this point in March, unless you had recently traveled to China or Italy, you were not a candidate for testing. During a global pandemic where the advice is complete and total isolation if you have it, this didn’t feel comforting. I took to Facebook and heard from a friend who knew a doctor in Huntington Beach that was doing testing. For the next few days, my husband Andy’s fever fluctuated between 100

Photo courtesy Stacey Cochrane.

Playa del Rey mom shares words of hope after COVID-19 diagnosis

Stacey and her family pose for a photo.

bad news and deaths, we provide an example of people who had COVID-19, but are now fully recovered. You hear and read in many articles that this is true, and many people won’t feel more than a cold, but we are here to show that is true. So I started posting about our journey on Facebook and on Instagram. Not only did I want to quickly update our families and friends, but at the beginning of the pandemic in the United States, I also wanted people to know that it was real and people do get this virus. It wasn’t just the story of old people in Italy and a town in China, but their friend, family and neighbor that lives in Playa del Rey. As my campaign for awareness began, so did the offers of love, support and supplies. We had people offering to drop off groceries on our doorstep, giving us their last three Tylenol and even willing to sacrifice toilet paper– and we all know that is an act of love at this time! We had daily messages from friends we talked to every day, but also friends we hadn’t talked to in years. Virtual strangers from the Moms of Westchester and Playa del Rey Facebook group offered help to us—a family that most of them had never met. Our friends in the MOMS Club of Westchester (of which I’m on the board) offered to cook their hard-found food, when we realized food delivery wasn’t the best in this environment. This continued for the entire three weeks until we once again opened our

doors and walked outside. The health department cleared us four days before we did this, but since we live in a condo building and felt worried about our neighbors, we kept ourselves inside for just a few more meals and days of making obstacle courses for our kiddo to run off energy, because we wanted to make sure our neighbors and community weren’t in any danger. I know this time is scary. There is so much anxiety in the world about who is going to catch the virus next, how severe it is going to be and how long the quarantine and shut downs will last. While the three of us are now ok, we are already worrying about another family member who has been told they either have pneumonia or COVID-19 and are stuck in a different state with no options for testing or location for treatment except isolation at home. All that fear is real and we need to ensure we keep apart from each other right now. However, as I read from a very smart psychologist, while we need to physically distance, we also need to socially connect. We need to show each other love and that we are there. We need to keep doing our Zoom happy hours, virtual playdates, text messages and facetimes. We need to make sure that we remember that this virus can take a lot of things from us, but the one thing it cannot take is our humanity and love.

YOU CAN HELP! FOOD PANTRY, LAX

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

Page 12 • April 2020

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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Although a lot of things have changed in recent weeks, one thing hasn’t: Westchester’s community spirit. While we all settled into a “new temporary normal,” social distancing and staying at home, neighbors took to their front yards, porches or got some exercise with a trip around the block. Despite the physical distance between people, the warmth still radiated to those passing by with well wishes, waves and Page 14 • April 2020

thumbs up to friends and neighbors. Comfy clothing, fun props on porches, costumes and smiles were abundant, as was a feeling of hope and connection. Things aren’t easy for any of us right now, but during these unprecedented times, the outpouring of love, support and generosity from all over Westchester/Playa is everywhere. We’re all in this together.

*All photos were taken with a long-range lens observing social distancing.

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

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

Scenes around Westchester, late March 2020


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

April 2020 • Page 15


By Cozette Vergari

Westchester, and originally proposed as a three-story building, Gruen cited the economic advantages of a low, sprawling building. A greater number of cars could be parked on a reinforced roof with ramp access, which would be less costly than a multi-story building with groundlevel parking. Milliron’s contained “five stories” within one story with rooftop parking for 220 cars. Recognizing the limits of a one-story building, Gruen’s architects put a restaurant, beauty parlor, child-care center and auditorium on the roof to elevate the main façade to a height of 30 feet. The elevation was carried around the secondary façade to screen parked cars and stair towers from the view of passersby. From all important angles, Milliron’s appeared to be a two-story building. Its apparent height was accentuated by the vertical concrete fins that were the principal design motif. The large building was designed not with the usual right-angle interior aisles, but with aisles radiating out in circles from a central point. Four freestanding display windows angled to attract the attention of passing cars on Sepulveda were constructed in front of the store. Ramps directed cars up to the roof of the structure, and escalators led shoppers from there down into the store. The rooftop structures and the parking lot were disguised from street view by an exterior façade constructed

The imposing and, even today, architecturally significant massive brick building at the northwest corner of Sepulveda and La Tijera Boulevards in Westchester, was the home of one of that community’s earliest retail stores. Originally opened on March, 17, 1949, as Milliron’s Department Store, it has since been remodeled many times over the years by various occupants, and yet still stands today (now as Kohl’s) appearing much as it did 70 years ago. The Milliron family entered into the department store industry in 1946 when they purchased the Fifth Street Store, which had been built in 1905 at the corner of Fifth and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The Milliron family renamed the store to Milliron’s and soon revealed their plan to build a second store on the corner of Sepulveda and La Tijera Boulevards in Westchester. When the $3 million store opened to the public on March 17, 1949, it contained a host of unusual design features dreamed up by its architectural firm, Gruen Associates. Architectural historians now consider it an early prototype for the modern self-contained suburban department store. Milliron’s in Westchester was Gruen Associates’ first major project and the genesis for the regional shopping center concept. Located in downtown

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with windows to make the store look like a two-story building. Gruen’s ideas were innovative and considered pioneering at the time. The Broadway soon acquired just the Westchester location from Milliron’s, transforming it into a Broadway store. It opened on Aug. 18, 1950 and would become a big part of the community’s downtown retail corridor along Sepulveda for the next 38 years. In 1988, the location was taken over by the Mervyn’s chain, whose tenure at the store lasted for 20 years. The building’s current occupant, Kohl’s department store which opened at the Milliron’s site in Westchester in 2009, continues its operation today. The building has been remodeled several times to accommodate its various inhabitants over the years. The rooftop parking was eliminated by The Broadway in the late 1960s, and the auto ramps blocked off. Mervyn’s considered reinstating the rooftop parking during its $3 million 2005 remodel, but chose not to incur the Top: A rooftop look at Milliron’s. additional costs. The buildings on the Bottom: The department store’s display roof no longer serve their original windows on Sepulveda. purposes. The escalators down Historical Society’s nonprofit status. from the roof have been removed, as Together with a group of dedicated unfortunately have been the beautifully volunteers, the organization is working angled display windows. The Sepulveda on creating new programming and events entrance no longer exists, however the to celebrate the history of the area and exterior of the building still has some engage the community in preserving it for of the features recognizable from the future generations. original Milliron’s, including the faux Sources: Daily Breeze files; “The Fifth Street second-story façade and some of its Store Becomes Milliron’s,” by J.H. Graham, Sept. windows. 18, 2017, J.H. Graham blog; Gruen Associates Cozette is a lifelong resident of website; Los Angeles Times files and “Milliron’s Westchester and is leading the charge Department Store, 1949– Mod-ular,” Phil are go! to reinvigorate the Westchester/Playa blog, April 25, 1913.

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

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Westchester/Playa History: A look back at Milliron’s


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

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Estate Planning for difficult times: the basics By Christopher Blatter, Guest Columnist

the trust property on your behalf if you become incapacitated, helping to avoid court intervention in your finances. If you don’t own real estate or have other significant assets, a simple will may be acceptable. It will allow you to pick who your property goes to and the person who will be in charge of distributing it. However, if the value of your estate ends up being more than $166,250, the estate may end up in probate, so caution should be exercised in relying on a will by itself. An essential element of any estate plan is a Durable Power of Attorney for financial matters. This document allows for someone you’ve selected ahead of time to handle your finances if you ever become incapacitated. It is important to note that a Power of Attorney won’t have any bearing on your property after death, so it shouldn’t be the only element of your plan. Separately, an Advanced Healthcare Directive will ensure your wishes for medical care are carried out, including steps to take in catastrophic situations and how to handle end-of-life decisions. It also allows

It seems we have more questions than answers these days. It’s no surprise that with all this uncertainty I’ve seen an influx of new clients asking for help with their estate plans. Most are concerned about their property avoiding probate, but many worry what will happen if they become incapacitated due to medical complications. The type of planning needed can differ greatly depending upon a person’s family situation, assets and overall wishes. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are many tools that can ensure your family is protected and your property is handled the way you want. If you own a home (or any other real property) or have more than $166,250 in total assets, you may want to consider putting together a Revocable Living Trust. A trust will help your estate avoid probate in the case of death and will also allow for more control for distributions and contingencies (especially helpful when young children may be the beneficiaries). It will also allow for your successor trustee to manage

Chris Blatter has found a niche helping young families plan for the future.

you to nominate representatives to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. Finally, be wary of online ”do-ityourself” wills and trusts. Although attractive at first glance, providers of these documents cannot offer legal advice if you have questions or concerns about specific needs or wishes. The fill-in-the-blank documents you’ll get from these services can have disastrous results from even small mistakes, so consider

an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure your estate matters are handled properly. Christopher Blatter is a trusts and estate attorney serving Westchester and the surrounding areas. You can find more information about his practice at blatterlaw.com. This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.

Visit us online to see our virtual offerings!

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Reimagining your home: How to create calm, clear clutter and reduce stress By Kristin DeCou, Guest Columnist In these uncertain times, many of us are experiencing peak levels of stress and anxiety. Most of this is a result of external circumstances related to the spread of COVID-19. However, there is one area we still have control over: clutter. We often think of clutter as the excess stuff in our homes, which is true. But the digital clutter, the “constant checking for updates,” adds to our stress levels, too, and many of us aren’t even aware of it. Digital Clutter More than a decade after the emergence of smartphones and social media, more than four out of five adults in the U.S. (86 percent) report that they constantly or often check their email, texts, and social media accounts. One study shows that “constant checkers–” people who check their emails, texts, and social media on a constant basis – experience more stress than those who don’t. It’s hard not to check, but as Cal Newport writes in his book Digital Minimalism, “By removing your ability to access social media at any

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moment, you reduce its ability to become a crutch deployed to distract you from bigger voids in your life.” Limiting exposure, especially before bedtime and vulnerable times of the day, will lower stress levels and help you be more present. Physical Clutter Then there’s physical clutter. We all experience it at various times, but even more so now when our circumstances have changed. The house isn’t just where we eat and sleep anymore. Home is now our workplace, our childrens’ school and our entertainment venue. More activity in the home means more stuff, which means more clutter. It’s important to reimagine what purpose your home serves or the clutter will start to overwhelm you. Research shows people with cluttered homes experience increased exhaustion as a result of expending more mental energy on stress. In these unprecedented times, it’s crucial to gain a new sense of calm for a new normal. Where do you go from here? • You decide to make a change. This internal commitment is the same for other areas of your life, whether you

Take this time at home to consider working on digital and physical clutter.

• Surround yourself with things that spark joy. Give yourself permission to surround yourself with what brings you joy and supports you in this season. Let go of—or relocate—what doesn’t. Marie Kondo would agree. • Seek accountability. Join a Facebook Group. Call or text a friend. Invite others to join you. The support from others will propel you forward. Let this be a season of intention as you clear clutter, embrace calm, and choose gratitude for the people, things and home that sustain you. Kristin DeCou is a professional organizer, KonMari Consultant and the Founder of Modern Refresh (www. modernrefresh.com). She lives in Westchester with her husband, Rob, and two children Hudson (3) and Kalea (1). Follow @modernrefresh for more tidy tips and inspiration to uplift your space and spirits.

want to lose weight, exercise more or build better habits. In other words, desire the change enough to make an intentional, conscious shift in a pattern for the better. • Start taking action. It’s easy to say “stop procrastinating,” and yet, it’s hard to do. Surveys indicate over half of Americans would rather do taxes than spring cleaning. Consider small steps you can take and schedule them. • Write it down. List your vision, goals, and most important tasks to help you get there. Writing it down secures your commitment and serves as a physical reminder to get it done.

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

How to make exercise work for you right now By Jeff Blair

just trying to get through the day and stay safe. Although I am biased, I think exercise is needed now more than ever for both physical and emotional wellbeing. Of course, these don’t take the place of safety steps like social distancing and hand washing. Here are some suggestions to make exercise work for you right now. 1. Observe social distancing. Don’t exercise in groups. Exercise alone or in a way where you can observe social distancing of six feet or more. Err on the side of being conservative. Beaches and trails are largely closed now, and we are encouraged to exercise in our neighborhood. 2. Remain flexible. With gyms, beaches and trails being closed, it might be hard to get anything like your normal workout. Look for new resources around your house. Some of our clients are filling milk jugs with water or loading backpacks with books since they often don’t have any weights at home. Some clients are even using canned goods. Bodyweight

Opinion: As we move into our new normal, you might feel like things are one big haze. Schools and businesses are closed; parents and teachers are adjusting to kids being home. People have lost their jobs and businesses are hurting. There is a palpable sense of health anxiety for many people, whether it’s for ourselves or for loved ones. Media reports feel confusing and even contradictory at times. Diversions like sports are on hold. It might even be hard keeping track of what day it is. Some have found an outlet to manage their emotions, while some might really be struggling in that area. There isn’t a simple or easy solution in many circumstances. Unquestionably, listening to public health experts and staying safe is the most important thing right now. We should all be social distancing and washing our hands consistently. Given these circumstances, exercise might be the last thing most people are thinking about. Most people are

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exercises can also provide a great form of exercise. 3. A little goes a long way. Your workouts don’t have to be an hour long to produce benefit. Ten minutes of stretching, 20 minutes of walking and some morning push-ups are all ways to get physical activity in without having it dominate your day. 4. Schedule your workouts. It is all too easy to get sucked into endless hours watching scary news programs and go down a dark, psychological rabbit hole. Scheduling exercise a few times per week can add physical and emotional productivity into our lives. Exercise can also help with perspective and attitudes. Since we all have different circumstances relative to childcare, work, etc., daily exercise might not work for everyone. But if you can exercise daily, I highly recommend it. 5. Seek out resources. Exercise resources are in great supply on social media, YouTube and from temporarily closed gyms and studios. Our studio has switched its delivery

TheHTN.com

almost overnight to daily Facebook workouts, phone coaching and writing individualized workouts people can do at home. Many gyms and studios are doing something similar. 6. Get outside when you can safely do so. Going for a short, midday walk several times per week can help you maximize Vitamin D. Individual amounts might vary depending on skin sensitivity, health history and other factors. If there is a bright spot in this, it’s people pulling together and helping each other. Let’s all support each other, be smart and stay safe and healthy. If you have a question you would like answered, text or call me at (310) 497-0863. I’m happy to give you some suggestions or answer any questions you might have at no charge. Jeff Blair (MS, CSCS) has been a certified personal trainer in Westchester since 2002. Contact him at jeff@socalsport.com. *Before you start any fitness routine, please consult your doctor.

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


Connecting with others during the COVID-19 pandemic By Fay Craton Opinion: COVID-19—a word most of us were not familiar with a month ago— has become a prevalent influence on our daily lives. A couple of months ago we had heard about “novel coronavirus” and how people were sick and dying from it in places far away from Los Angeles. We discovered this thinking was not so right. Within a matter of a few weeks, it has evolved from something distant into a pandemic present in our community, throughout our country and across the globe. It’s requiring us to stay at home in order to keep us from becoming sick or worse. As we prepared to “quarantine” from this unseen virus we discovered food, sanitizers and toilet paper were rapidly disappearing from the shelves of our markets. The world we recognized and understood drastically changed. Coping with change is always difficult. It can become surreal when the shift is so dominant it threatens your understanding and relationship to the world around you. Within days, our lives were reorganized and changed. Jobs and schools suddenly shifted to telecommuting. Work stoppage and layoffs quickly unfolded. Gatherings were stopped–which placed a halt to church services, weddings, conferences and any function where a group of people participated. We were placed on notice that our hospitals and medical workers did not have the supplies and beds to protect themselves and take care of us. For many of us, the rapid transformation caused our natural biological reaction to threat to engage. So, let’s look at how what has happened around us impacts your thoughts and emotions. We are all familiar with the concept of how fight, flight or freeze plays a role when we feel threatened. Your health has been threatened. Plus, humans, as social animals, have been threatened in our ability to touch and be with others. The COVID-19 pandemic has undermined our perspective of our world. The way we make meaning of the world has been shaken. Just as we know one person will freeze when threatened, while another will fight or run, how each person responds to what is currently happening will also differ from person to person. What is “common sense” to one person will not make sense to another. The National Institute of Mental Health lists some natural responses as: • Anxiety, worry, and/or fear • Uncertainty • Loneliness • Anger • Boredom • Frustration • Low mood, depression • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness • Constant worrying and vigilance Everyone responds differently You may be a person who rapidly

transformed troubling feelings into productive action or a sense of calm. Not everyone is able to change their feelings so quickly. There is no reason to be ashamed of how you feel about what is currently happening. If someone is feeling or responding differently than you, it is time to be compassionate instead of judgemental. Kind words build better relationships than unpleasantness. Some feelings or actions are riskier to your ability to thrive than others. You may wish to reach out to a therapist if you have feelings or behaviors of: • Prolonged numbness • Short temper expressed toward others • Feelings of hopelessness • Extreme compulsions • Desire to misuse substances or engage in a different form of addiction When life suddenly changes it becomes a marker in time. You and generations of people who follow you will reference this point in time. Examples of previous changes of this magnitude were 9/11, the polio epidemic and introduction of the polio vaccine, Pearl Harbor and the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. With each marker, life shifted. For most people it did not end. Some people did need help coping with what was happening. There was a period of adjustment while a new “normal” was adopted. A new understanding of the relationship between people and the surrounding world was established. Life normalized and people survived. My wish is for you to be healthy and thrive. To do so you must have ways to connect with others. I know some in our community are touching the lives of others by delivering groceries to those who are disabled or are seniors. Others are helping medical staff stay safe by sewing masks. I encourage you to find ways to reach out. It could be as simple as phoning friends or using social media to keep track of family. You can help yourself and another person by making contact. Some of you may have difficulty making connection with others while we are staying home to stay safe. If you are in this position, or just would like to have more connection, you may wish to join a free weekly 45-minute videoconferencing workshop I am holding from mid-April to mid-May. It will be designed to help people build resiliency and to connect with others. The date and time are still to be determined. If you are interested, please send an email to mft90045@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from 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 communicationtriangle.com or contact her at (310) 645-6762.

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

Sarlo Income Tax specializes in tax return preparation and is here to help you navigate the

new 2020 tax laws! Personal Tax Returns Partnerships Self Employed LLC Real Estate Transactions S Corporations + C Corporations 1031 Exchanges

CALL LORY SARLO FOR AN APPOINTMENT

310.823.6363

1 8 4 2 Wa s h i n g t o n Wa y, Ve n i c e , C A 9 0 2 9 1 i n Ve n i c e o n A b b o t t K i n n e y

April 2020 • Page 25


Stephanie Younger Group — 310.499.2020 hello@stephanieyounger.com stephanieyounger.com @stephanieyoungergroup DRE 01365696 Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. To reach the Compass main office call 310.230.5478.

Page 26 • April 2020

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


Westchester Del Rey Little League

OPENING DAY!

Westchester Del Rey Little League (WDRLL) kicked off the spring softball and tee-ball season with Opening Day on March 7. Opening Day festivities featured the ceremonial first pitch, the Little League Pledge (with the color guard provided by softball players who are also Girl Scouts of Westchester Del Rey) and the first day of the famous Mace Field Snack Stand. The league also honored players from the

March 7 | Nielsen Field

2019 State Championship All-Star team. WDRLL is comprised of more than 300 players on 26 teams who either reside in, or attend school in Westchester, Playa del Rey or Playa Vista. While games are currently suspended until further notice, many players have been practicing their batting and catching skills in their own yards, so they’ll be ready to play ball once Nielsen Field reopens.

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

April 2020 • Page 27


Page 28 • April 2020

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

Profile for Westchester/Playa del Rey HomeTown News

Westchester/Playa HomeTown News April 2020 edition  

Please enjoy the April 2020 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News.

Westchester/Playa HomeTown News April 2020 edition  

Please enjoy the April 2020 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News.

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